Interview with Screenwriter John Kestner (SLAUGHTER LAKE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

The script is set in the aftermath of a slasher movie, but it’s about the strong friendship between two mothers whose children were murdered and how they work together to stop the unstoppable boogey man that did it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s set in the slasher movie world, with some humor.

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

Because it’s for the fans. I was in high school when I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978, and I’m amazed that the slasher genre has survived to this day. It’s such a simple premise, but people just keep going back to see them, and in my script, it’s a different take. The aftermath. The determined divorced moms going after the monster.

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

Creepy fun.

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

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I saw it eleven times over the summer of 1980, trying to figure out everything going on in that movie, and I’m still watching YouTube videos with other people’s reactions and interpretations of that film.

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

I got the idea about three or four years ago from going to horror conventions and meeting the actresses who played in Hellraiser, Re-Animator, and so on, and I tried to think of something that these ladies could do. Something the fans would want to see them in, so I figured a story about two moms going after their kids’ killer would be fun.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have over 30 screenplays, two published novels, and a new but unpublished novel.

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

“Against All Odds” by Phil Collins…which probably just destroyed any cred I had in this interview up to this point. Sorry. Just being honest.

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

I didn’t have any obstacles writing the script, because it’s a genre I’m very familiar and I could already see the lead actresses since I had several “scream queens” in mind. The only problem now is that most of the conventions and autograph shows have been cancelled and I can’t talk to the ladies about it. I’d love to be able to attach a couple of them, but I’m not far enough along to contact them outside of a social setting at this point.

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

Writing and movies are about it.

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

I love FilmFreeway. When I started entering festivals and contests, I’d have to make copies, put everything together, go to the Post Office. Now I just click on FilmFreeway and I’m in. My scripts have been selected in festival in Britain, France, and Israel, along with dozens here in the States and Canada, and FilmFreeway makes it so easy.

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

I loved the feedback I received! It was very helpful and I incorporated all of it, I hope. I was influenced to enter because of the feedback as well as things like this interview and other very useful services to get the script out there, because it’s all about getting something made. I just think it’d be so awesome to be able to say that I got script made because I entered this festival. Whatever it takes.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Two single mothers join forces to hunt down and destroy the supernatural killer that murdered their teen children.

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Patti: Julie Sheppard
Alexis: Val Cole


By matthewtoffolo

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

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