Interview with Screenwriter Tyler Frech (The Pestilence)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Uncertainty, loss, fear, discovery, family, and identity. Set in the time of the Black Death, 1348-1350 approximately.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical Drama, Suspense/Thriller, Horror.

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

Though it takes place nearly 700 years ago, there are innumerable parallels between the Bubonic Plague and the current pandemic we find ourselves in. Persecution, political unrest, misinformation, and social upheaval existed then just as it has arisen across the world today. My hope is that a potential audience may connect with Matthias’ journey and find salvation of their own through these difficult times.

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

Unrelenting Hope. Both words relate individually and together.

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

I’d say its a tie between the first Godfather, Once Upon a Time in the West, and the Social Network.

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

I’ve had the seeds for this story since late middle school, but most of it really came together with the onset of the Coronavirus. I did most of my research in the Spring 2020 and finished the first draft at the end of the summer.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written three short film scripts and three features since I moved to LA in 2017. I’ve been writing short stories since elementary school, however, and used to post some of them online through middle school and early high school.

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

Probably anything off of Led Zeppelin IV.

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

Honestly, the pandemic eased the usual writer obstacles for the most part. I had no job, no time constraints or particular deadlines which was nice.

Writing about the Black Death helped me get away from the current situation that was invading all our lives, while still maintaining an objective sense of what was going on. It felt therapeutic! I was able to watch many shows and read articles about Covid and take that mindset down a more constructive path, rather than give in to the anxiety of watching and listening to it all.

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

Art in all forms. International history, politics, culture and food.

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

Fantastic. They’ve been my primary source for submissions and festival info ever since I started writing scripts.

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

The reviews were great! And I’m always looking for good feedback on my scripts. Constructive criticism is how a writer grows! I’m very happy with what LA Feedback Film Festival has provided me so far.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Matthias is torn between God and Man as he travels home to England amidst the Black Death.


Matthias: Steve Rizzo
Father Alberto: Sean Ballantyne
Italian Woman: Julie Sheppard

By matthewtoffolo

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

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