Interview with Screenwriter Joel McElvaney (Dragons Of The Gloaming)

1. What is your screenplay about?

On the surface, Dragons of the Gloaming is about a group of Dungeons & Dragons players getting trapped in their game world, overcoming obstacles and defeating monsters to be able to escape back to the real world. Under the surface, the story is about the importance of family and friends coming together, putting aside egos and personal conflicts to achieve a larger goal.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action/Adventure; Sci-Fi Fantasy

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

Dragons of the Gloaming should be made into a movie because audiences crave escape, even more so during these times of pandemic isolation and tedium. And interest in Dungeons & Dragons is currently exploding! More than a million YouTube viewers subscribe to Critical Role, where they watch voice actors sit and play actual D&D scenarios and campaigns. Imagine the built-in audience for a fun, live action D&D feature.

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

Thrilling Adventure

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

The Princess Bride

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

3 months

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written several short stories, a short novel, and two feature-length screenplays

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

“Never Going Back Again,” by Fleetwood Mac

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

The pandemic presented both an obstacle and an opportunity. I ended up working intensively for a relatively short period of time before being called back into the classroom.

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

I am passionate about diversity education and information literacy.

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

The list of competitions on Film Freeway is extensive and easy to browse. I have enjoyed the ability to edit my profile information and even update the pdfs on file for my completed screenplays.

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

I entered this festival for the sole purpose of receiving quality industry feedback on my script. I was not disappointed. The coverage was brilliant. Every point made resonated with me, and I immediately dove into revisions, ideas bubbling.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

A group of teenage Dungeons & Dragons players get zapped into their game—and into the bodies of their characters. Still scared teens on the inside, the game characters must work together to find a hidden castle and defeat a poison-breathing dragon in order to return to their normal lives—and selves.

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Lumbu: Bill Poulin
Gruber: Sean Ballantyne

By matthewtoffolo

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

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