Interview with Screenwriter Federico Vicino (Karl Reagan: The Capitalist-Communist)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Federico Vicino: Karl Reagan: The Capitalist-Communist is about a dark horse candidate running for a seat in Missouri’s House of Representatives. Set on the heels of a near-apocalyptic nuclear winter, his platform is to fuse the best characteristics of capitalism and socialism to help the common person realize the struggling American Dream. His pitch to the electorate is a devotion to standing up to corporate greed.

Karl’s unconventional strategies has led to great notoriety in that area. For instance, he wants to allocate funds towards the essentials; money for food, medicine, a cleaned-up ecosystem…and for everyone to get the latest iPhone. He hosts bottomless brunches at soup kitchens. He composes songs that will be the anthem to his revolution and hopes one day he can sell those songs for big bucks to a car commercial. Karl seems to be his own enigma, but always has the voters’ best interest at heart. His opponent, a politically established contender named Tom Baker, uses conventional and tiresome tactics to label Karl’s candidacy as ludicrous and too idealistic. Their rivalry will come to a head come election day.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark Comedy.

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

Political satire has long been ingrained in American pop culture and I feel this screenplay comes at a perfect time given the tumultuous political climate. Even with the current instability, this script can cut across the political aisle and reach a broad audience.

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

Organized Chaos.

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

It is a tie between Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas and Taxi Driver.

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

I came up with the idea for this character a couple of years ago, but I worked on this screenplay for about nine months.


7. How many stories have you written?

I have written five completed screenplays, including this screenplay.

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

If I had to choose, my favorite song is “Rocks Off” by The Rolling Stones. It’s confluence of disorganization and harmony makes it the perfect song to me. It is organized chaos.

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

An Obstacle I faced to finish this screenplay, at first, was writing a feature-length script to this story. I was stumped on how I could make this story more than 80 pages. However, as I kept coming up with more situations and how I envisioned Karl’s journey panning out, I found myself not being able to stop writing. Up to this point, this is the longest screenplay I have written at 116 pages.

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

Apart from writing, my passion is my daytime job, which is being a Licensed Social Worker. I feel that my career is really fulfilling and I have worked with various populations, such as adults, middle schoolers, alcohol/drug users and undocumented immigrants.

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

I LOVE FilmFreeway. It such an accessible platform to get your work out to many different festivals, along with finding festivals that I have never heard of before. I would recommend this site to anyone who wants to promote their screenplay.

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

I was drawn to this festival as I read the information about this festival and the great reviews it got. I was really touched seeing a portion of my table read, as I never had one of my screenplays had a table read before. The feedback was great as it was encouraging, while at the same time gave great pointers as to how to enhance and improve certain areas of the story.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Karl Reagan is an underdog candidate running for a seat in Missouri’s House of Representatives. Set on the heels of a near-apocalyptic nuclear winter, his platform is to fuse the best characteristics of capitalism and socialism to help the common person realize the struggling American Dream. Mr. Reagan’s pitch to the electorate is a devotion to standing up to corporate greed, especially to a company called NuTech who has not fulfilled their promise of cleaning up the environment after the catastrophe. His unorthodox approach to stumping on the trail leaves voters enthused, angered, and baffled. His rival, a politically established contender named Tom Baker, uses conventional and tiresome tactics to label Karl’s candidacy as ludicrous and too idealistic. As his campaign progresses, Karl Reagan gets a slice of American values, fortitude, hardships, and inconsistencies. The electorate get a front row seat of his as well.

CAST LIST:

Eric: Matt Schichter
Karl/Randy: Ted Powers
Narration: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Marcus: Gabriel Darku
Jeff: Sean Ballantyne
Serena: Katelyn Varadi

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