Interview with Screenwriter Chris Desmond (RIFF RAFF)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Chris Desmond: When one of their own gets adopted, residents of a pet store plot to break out, crosstown and bring her back home. Ultimately the story is about the extremes one goes through in order to keep the family together.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?


3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I believe that the sacrifice, risk, and determination needed to keep your family together under duress is universal and transcends race, religion, and creed.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Misfit pets

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Blade Runner

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Originally I sat down to write a short story for my 10yr old daughter while she was going through chemotherapy. Of course, I discovered when it was complete that I wrote it for myself to get through a tough time. But in the end, I had an extremely detailed outline for a screenplay. The actual writing of the screenplay probably took about 6-8 weeks.

7. How many stories have you written?

16 screenplays, 6 original pilots, 6 short films (wrote/directed/produced), 2 webseries (wrote/directed/produced)

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Release by Pearl Jam

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The usual suspects: Self-doubt, my own procrastination, ignoring the proven rules of screenwriting then taking time to fix, and that nagging voice in the back of my head that kept echoing “There is no spec market for animated screenplays. What are you going to do with this?”

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love going to the beach. I’m happiest with sand between my toes.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I’ve had a great experience with Film Freeway. I have submitted many projects through them and they keep the artist well informed and do a great job of tracking all my projects. I actually found the Feedback Animation Festival there in my search for Animation Screenplay contests.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The screenplay had won the Screencraft Family Friendly screenwriting contest and I wanted to see where else I could put it up against other screenplays. Animation screenwriting contests are pretty rare so I was happy to find your competition.  

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When one of their own gets adopted, residents at a pet store decide to bust out, cross-town and bring her back home.


Daisy: Pascale Behrman
Bo: Thomas Fournier
Sonia: Jillian Robinson
Girl: Aimee Poulin
Narration: Kat Smiley
Riley: Bill Poulin
Luc/Jared: David Rowan
Karl: Sean Ballantyne


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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