Interview with Screenwriter Jason Harley (Pandora’s Adversaries)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Jason Harley: Pandora’s Adversaries is set in the not-too-distant future. It’s about an irrational, rabidly anti-feminist cult committed to the eradication of women. Pandora’s Adversaries believe that the prominence of women within the establishment and professional classes is the root of all evil, and that women constitute a threat to societal male domination. The story’s heroine and main protagonist is Lena, a journalism grad student committed to exposing and taking down the cult and its maniacal leader, Harvey.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Pandora’s Adversaries is primarily a suspense thriller with horror and sci-fi overtones.

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

Pandora’s Adversaries presents timely themes, with the paranoid, pathological beliefs of cult leader Harvey who is convinced that women and feminism represent a dangerous movement that needs to be wiped out. The story provides a great opportunity for a black female lead in protagonist Lena, a journalism grad student. Lena is young, tenacious, beautiful, physically fit and strong. She is ultimately shown to be Harvey’s intellectual superior. The story’s main draws are its characters and the game of cat and mouse between Harvey and Lena in Scene 6, the interview scene, leading up to the story’s climax.

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

Pandora’s Adversaries.

Just kidding.

“Timely thriller” would be the two words I’d choose.

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

Aside from the original series Star Trek movies, probably “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Ten Commandments.”

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

I wrote the lion’s share of it over the 2018-2019 Christmas break. I then set it aside for several months and went back to it this past December and spent some time polishing it up. I then did a slightly revised draft in February.

7. How many stories have you written?

It’s hard to say how many stories I’ve written. I don’t have a long history as a writer of fiction or pros. I always excelled at writing, but was a journalism major in university, so certainly didn’t specialize in creative writing. Pandora’s Adversaries was certainly my first screenplay.

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

Hey Jude.

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

Primarily time. I am a practicing lawyer (under my “legal” name Jason Gilbert) and also an actor (under my actor/writer name, “Jason Harley”). I have a wife and two daughters, aged seven and 10. So setting time aside to focus on this project and really bear down on it may well have been the biggest obstacle!

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

Acting. Check me out!

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

I find Coverfly very convenient and user friendly. It’s great!

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

I really wanted to test the professional potential of my screenplay and get some professional feedback I could really work with and absorb in order to make my script even stronger and more marketable. The feedback I received was constructive and invaluable.


Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

My story addresses the dangers of anti-feminist sentiment, or the irrational hatred of any identifiable group, for that matter. There is a terrific opportunity here for a strong female hero in LENA, the protagonist. The story is heavily character driven and requires minimal special effects. The battle of wits between LENA and GRIFFIN, the antagonist, is central to the story and its climax.


Carmen: Rebecca MacDonald
Thayne: Thomas Fournier
Narrator: Justine Christensen
Lena: Georgia Grant
Harvey: Nick Hendrik


By matthewtoffolo

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

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