Interview with Screenwriter Michael R. Barnard (EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE)

 Matthew Toffolo: What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Michael R. Barnard:Drama and thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This project became a personal passion project. Every time I’ve thought it would be irrelevant, I’d get drawn back into its vibrancy and imperative. Today, we watch an administration that wants to shove gays back into the closet and that encourages followers to be violent against everyone who is different.

The subject has been considered too edgy. It’s been at studios, it’s been with producers, I’ve tried on my own to finance it, but people have thought it’s too edgy, they didn’t believe how valid and important it is, and wouldn’t believe an audience could identify with it.

I think they’re wrong, especially in today’s world.

I am trying again to get it into theaters. It’s still for that one guy who was sitting in that diner in Big Bear Lake.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Inspiring. Healing.

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


How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Since 1998. I am waiting for the world to catch up to its importance.

How many stories have you written?

I have written several screenplays, some well-developed and some just rough drafts. I am currently working on a comedy screenplay. I have written a couple books, one a technical manual about computer video when that was new, and the other an historical fiction romance set one century ago. I have written magazine articles and essays.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Purple Rain. (Prince was a friend of mine.)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Prejudice and funding.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I write about everything that I’m passionate about. Social justice is most important to me. Filmmaking is important to me. Acting is important to me. I am also passionate about classic cars and vinyl LPs.

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

I like Film Freeway and am glad it exists. I have submitted various projects to various contests through it.

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

I have always been reluctant to consider EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE—The Story of a Father and Son to be an LGBTQ story. As I mentioned, I wrote it for the good ol’ boy sitting in the diner in Big Bear Lake bragging that he’d throw out his son if he were gay. Your contest description made me re-think my attitude.

Your initial feedback was interesting and solid. If ever there were someone who actually wanted to team up on really making this movie, I would apply such feedback to make the best motion picture possible.



Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

EVERYBODY SAYS GOODBYE–The Story of a Father and Son uncovers those issues on a very personal level: a parent disowns his teenage son who come out as gay. Drastic reality slaps this father hard, though, when he discovers his son may have been the victim of a serial killer killing the boys of the streets of Hollywood.


Sauer: David Rowan
Catherine: Jillian Robinson
Narration: Kat Smiley
John: Allan Brunet
Henry/John: Bill Poulin
Sarah: Pascale Behrman


By matthewtoffolo

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

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