Interview with Screenwriter Hoyt Richards (AWAY WITH MY HEART)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Hoyt Richards: Away With My Heart is about a washed up, womanizing, alcoholic country singer is forced to reevaluate his life when he discovers not only is he dying of cancer, but he also has a twenty-year old daughter that he never knew he had.

AWMH is about second chances and how as long as we’re still breathing, there is still an opportunity to change, grow and mend fences.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Family, Drama, Country Music

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

“Away With My Heart” is a very moving country music drama that has familiar tropes but develops the characters well enough to rise above the clichés and effectively pulls at the heartstrings. With shades of “Crazy Heart,” “A Star is Born,” and this year’s “Wild Rose,” “Away With My Heart” could definitely be a crowd pleaser, and the family dynamic of Beau, Sara, and Carol along with their history is developed well throughout. Beau would be a great role for an actor, as he loses weight throughout the script due to the cancer, so it has the possibility of being awards worthy, like previous De Niro, Bale, and McConaughey roles where they’ve lost (or put on) weight.

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

Redemption tale.

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

It’s A Wonderful Life

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

Eight years — on and off.

7. How many stories have you written?

Six screenplays and many shorts.

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

Angel by Sarah MacClalan

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

The resistance to keep rewriting. Writing is rewriting. No script is ever finished. Lol. Just at some point you have to make the movie.

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

Filmmaking, acting, sports.

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

It’s the best platform I’ve sen out there.

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

Feedback and fresh eyes are essential to the writing process. I have had good experiences with the FEEDBACK festivals in the past. The initial feedback was encouraging and useful. I love it when there is an opportunity to make the story better.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

A washed up, womanizing, alcoholic country singer is forced to revaluate his life when he discovers not only is he dying of cancer but he also has a twenty-year old daughter that he never knew he had.

CAST LIST:

Stage Manager: Sean Ballantyne
Beau: Pierre Simpson
Narration: Esther Tribault
Sally: Elizabeth Erhart
Groupie Girl: Nadine Charleson
Carol: Tiffany Davison

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