Interview with Screenwriter Andy Carpenter (Throwaways)

What is your screenplay about?

This story is about the connection, and disconnection, of humanity.

My intention with this screenplay is to illustrate the massive amount of human and resource capital required to produce objects that are literally created, and then tossed away; like people. People are tossed away. Transported. Forgotten. Even when we mean well, or have the capacity for connection, and love, the convenience of indulgence, can minimize our reflection of where things come from, how they reached us, and what cost to others.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

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

Watching this simply constructed film, condenses these processes into scenes that depict the situations of people connected to the chain of global consumerism-and the cost.

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

Our choices.

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

The Outsiders.

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

This story ruminated in my mind for years. It was the birth of my son, that pushed the storyline into its current construct. I AM part of the problem. I recall clearly saying to my wife “Let’s not buy anything for him made of plastic or that needs batteries.” Holy shit, you should see our house, it’s littered with plastic crap! Most came from others as presents. But we have purchased our fair share. I am very aware of the cost to our environment, and the choices people make along the way, to participate in this production. And the hard truth is, for many people, they are just scraping by. And we throw them away. And then the toys.

When I sat down to write the screenplay from start to finish, 45 minutes passed.

7. How many stories have you written?

About twenty short stories. Two books. Five screenplays.

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

Too close to call between “Rearviewmirror” by Pearl Jam, and “Elvis Presley and America” by U2.

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

My own acknowledgement that I am definitely part of the problem! You can’t help but look like (and be) a hypocrite when you write a story like this!

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

My son.

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

I am very pleased with FilmFreeway as they provide relevant and abundant resources. I have never experienced a glitch when using their platform.

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

I was thrilled, truly thrilled, to find a festival designed to highlight environmental issues, which are, the most acute issues that our planet faces. It felt important to specifically submit to the Environmental Film and Screenplay Festival to support them, and hopefully, find a partner who could share this story.

The initial feedback left me with the belief that they “got” the ideas behind the screenplay. This isn’t a Disney movie. It’s not for elementary school kids. It’s not an American story. It’s OUR story. It’s a little bit of a slap in the face. It wasn’t designed to sugar-coat consumerism. But it was written that the human spirit is the most valuable resource we have within us. The organizers did offer a valid suggestion, and we discussed it; ultimately I kept the screenplay as I originally submitted it, and I never once felt any sense of disappointment from the festival organizers. Ultimately, I feel valued and the work has merit; you can’t ask for more than that!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

After a seemingly insignificant plastic toy is manufactured by a young child in Latin America, it begins a journey across the world by tractor trailer, a fast-food restaurant trash can, SUV, a garbage truck, and an ocean-freighter. Each mode of transportation offers glimpses into the lives of its transporters, whether mundane, privileged, or desperate. Finally making its way into the grateful hands of a young orphan trying to survive in the trash-wastelands of Malaysia, these throwaways prove that significance is relative.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Iris/Shelly: Julie Sheppard
Juan/Manager/Foreman: Geoff Mays
Man/Father/Rayyan: Sean Ballantyne
Oliver/Nathaniel: Allan Michael Brunet
Wife/Woman: Hannah Ehman

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