Interview with Screenwriters Sean J.S. Jourdan, Danielle Prall (JESS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sean J.S. Jourdan, Danielle Prall: Our screenplay is about an ex-con who, like many of us, struggles with medical bills, minimum wage employment, and companionship. Due to her circumstances she pulled back into the world she escaped from, to her detriment, but is able to provide for family. It’s a story about folks we see everyday but don’t see. People who live on the margins of our booming cities.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Suspense, Crime, Thriller

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

This screenplay should be made into a movie because it shines a lot on good people who are, unfortunately, not the beneficiaries of entitlement, yet they do what they can to survive. They’re not superheroes or royalty or super spies. They’re people we know. Relatives. Maybe even ourselves. Their struggle and world deserves to be shown on the big or small screen too.

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

Human. Struggle.

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

When I was a kid I think I saw ET more times than I want to admit… and Poltergeist. – Sean

16 Candles, A Bug’s Life and Enter the Dragon. I only had a handful of VHS tapes (no cable/TV) for several years. – Danielle

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

Off and on for a couple of years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Hard to say… and I’ve told more than that 🙂

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

It changes… currently The Queen is Dead by The Smiths – Sean

Ditto…lately I’ve been repeating When I Get my Hands on You by The New Basement Tapes – Danielle

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

Finding time within our schedules.

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

Exercise (swimming, yoga), skiing, reading (particularly music/band biographies for fun). – Sean

Movement of many kinds – yoga, martial arts, snowboarding, also gardening and growing just about everything – Danielle

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

It’s great. A lot better than the old withoutabox.

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

The feedback was great and our story contains people who are LGBTQ/POC. With friends and family members who are LGBTQ/POC we feel that their representation and inclusion is important. That’s what attracted us to this festival.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

On the hard edge of the urban west, Jess, an ex-con and single mother, strives to provide for herself and her own in the face of desperate poverty.


Various: Nikolai Afanasev
Carlos: Peter Mark Raphael
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Jess: Kristen MacCulloch
JJ: Kyana Teresa
Various: Kaleb Alexander


By matthewtoffolo

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

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