Interview with Screenwriter Tim McClelland (15)

1. What is your screenplay about?

On the surface, it’s about a severely agoraphobic man who is experiencing horrifying events as his brother seemingly works to get him out of the house he hasn’t left in 15 years. On a deeper level, I see it as an examination of trauma. How has this particular trauma affected Adrian, the main character? It’s about how he was hurt and, in turn, how he continues to live a life that hinders himself because of this pain, but it also asks the question of what kind of punishment is befitting for his abuser. It’s a complex story that examines the many facets of how terrible a severe trauma can be through the lens of a victim whose life was forever changed by it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I consider it a horror/psychological thriller. It begins in a subtle way that works as a psychological thriller, but as the script progresses, it becomes more graphic and terrifying, so by the end, it’s full-blown horror.

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

It’s a unique story that packs a massive twist ending, which has been praised in numerous reviews, and the script has won several awards. It features a small cast, minimal locations, and it could easily be made on a small budget. With all those factors in mind, I think it’s a movie that would have an excellent chance for success.

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

Deceptively horrifying.

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

The Matrix. I’ve written research papers, speeches, and I even once had a website dedicated to the symbolism within the film. There is no doubt that it’s The Matrix.

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

I wrote the first draft almost a decade ago. I’ve worked on it over the years, and it’s changed quite a bit, but I’ve spent a long time with it.

7. How many stories have you written?

It’s tough to put a number to it. I’ve written 6 feature-length screenplays, I’ve written more short films than I can count, I’ve written a few short stories, a couple of proof of concept scripts, and even some autobiographical things. So let’s just say that I’ve written quite a few and there are even more in my head waiting to burst forth onto the page.

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

Nrrrd Grrrl by MC Chris. He’s not a well-known artist, but if you’re a super nerd like me, MC Chris has your back.

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

There were several challenges along the way. Originally, Adrian spoke in a very bizarre manner as a way to further ostracize his character from the outside world, but it didn’t flow well and it made him off-putting. I really toned that down. He still says some odd things, but it’s nothing like it was in the first draft. It was also tough to find the right time for the script to take a hard shift away from the subtle, unassuming beginnings of the film. The script is also littered with hints as to what is really going on, which may not hit the reader their first time through, but they are the kinds of things that will reward a viewer on a second or third screening of the finished film. It was tough finding the right hints to give without giving too much to the audience, but I think an astute viewer or reader can pick up on them. One of the biggest nods I gave was the name of the doctor. His name in the script is a real word, but it’s a word nobody ever uses. A simple search of his name would tip the reader off quite quickly, but after all these years, nobody has ever mentioned it.

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

I’m a massive nerd and proud of it. Comic books, movies, video games, LEGO, and board games are where I dedicate my passions. I’m eagerly awaiting the time when we can attend large comic conventions again. I also work to incorporate these things into my writing.

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

FilmFreeway is great. They have a massive selection of unique festivals to choose from, and it’s been an excellent place to build my writing profile.

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

I initially submitted to this festival because it offered a unique prize while focusing on a genre I was working in. I was quite happy to be selected for a Best Scene Performance, and the first feedback I got from the competition is one of the best reviews I’ve ever received. Your initial feedback was one of the first reviews where I felt like someone understood what I was trying to do while the reader clearly got the intricacies that I laid out throughout the script. Your feedback stated, “There is no doubt that the writer understands the genre, because with each passing scene, it becomes clearer that everything matters and nothing is inconsequential.” Those words were a clear sign to me that someone finally understood the complexity of it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

As a child, Adrian experienced a horrific trauma resulting in 15 years of self-imposed solitude in his home, and now, his brother is sanctioning a radical new therapy that will push Adrian to his limits, forcing him to question his own sanity.


Narrator: Val Cole
Adrian: Kyana Teresa
Barton: Geoff Mays


By matthewtoffolo

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

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