Interview with Screenwriter Richard M. Kjeldgaard (SEVERENCE PAYBACK)

1. What is your screenplay about?

A story of Karma. Amanda is a hardnosed CEO of a company. Single, married to her work. Good management skills buit no people skills. Uses scare tactics and alienation to “Motivate” her employees. A quiet Friday at home is suddenly turned into a fight for survival as she is terrorized by unseen figures outside her home turning it into a makeshift mousetrap.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?


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

It’s a different take on the employer-employee relatioship. You hear a lot of stories in the news about employees and/or former employess getting their revenge. Quite a few movies have been made over the years my favorite being “Swimming with Sharks” I took that subject matter, combined them with my own experiences and went in a completely different direction. Sends a message.

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

Page turner.

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

Anything by John Carpenter or Wes Craven. Seen their movies a ton of times.

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

Took a few weeks. It is a short script that I outlined years ago based on some experiences I had working for several companies. Took them and went off the charts when I visualized it. With the social distancing, I’ve had a lot of free time to turn them into scripts.

7. How many stories have you written?

19 features, 10 shorts. Presently working on a triology feature and two their short scripts.

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

Carry on Wayward Son – By Kansas.

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

No real obstacles. Just trying to take some of my workplace experiences and doing the old “Getting back at the boss” routine which millions of people go through (And I’ve heard) and put those into a believable storyline. I’ve worked for a few companies in my life and some of them have been toxic to say the least.

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

Photography, Reading, and Real Estate.

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

Excellent. They treat you well!!

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

Have been entering for years. Feedback has been what I call fair but firm. Writing is very subjective. You take the good with the bad and just keep at it. That is what has worked for me.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Narrator: Hannah Ehman
Female Voice/Amanda: Kyana Teresa
Female Voice #2/Teenage Voice: Val Cole
Male Voice/Parking Attendant: Allan Michael Brunet
Lindsey Voice: Julie Sheppard
Robert Voice: Bill Poulin


By matthewtoffolo

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

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