Interview with Screenwriter A. S. Templeton (Fairyland Ain’t What It Used To BE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

When the prototype of a super-advanced game console mysteriously arrives on their doorstep, twelve-year-old VR game addicts Claire and Casey lose no time in immersing themselves in an adventure game called Quest for the Shining Realm.

But the Quest gets weird fast. The Shining Realm’s landscape seems oddly familiar, the non-player fantasy characters prove a little too fantastic, and the gameplay turns downright dangerous. Then there’s that annoyingly shy blonde girl always following them around…

And when their PTSD-afflicted combat-veteran mother joins them in the Quest, things go from dangerous to deadly as they each confront a vengeful presence that shows an unnerving interest in the family heirloom worn by Claire: a charm necklace of seven golden crowns.

Casey and Claire must journey the enchanting yet perilous Shining Realm to thwart an uncanny threat to the real world. Their mother must find healing, for herself and for her bond with her children. And Claire must discover her wondrous heritage and fulfill a magical obligation denied her by fate.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Children’s Fantasy; Family Drama; Adventure

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

It is a contemporary yet clean fairytale with a happy ending, written to transcend genres and be enjoyable for all demographics nine years and older. Furthermore, in accordance with modern viewing habits, the story is plotted as a 150-minute serial (limited-run series) in four bite-sized chapters.

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

Modern Fairytale.

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

Always-goods: Coraline (2009), Peter Pan (2003), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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

In one form or another, since the spring of 2018. Its roots date back to 1816.

7. How many stories have you written?

Six in the past seven years.

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

Eclectic faves in my playlists. Schubert’s Lieder make for serene listening.

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

Deciding when it was “done enough.”

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

Baking. Whale-watching.

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

Good. FilmFreeway is a flexible and reliable platform for the management of contest submissions.

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

Toronto seems to be where the action is, eh? Feedback is grounded and actionable.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Lured into what they think is a virtual reality game, girl-boy twins find themselves in a fantasy dimension, fighting for their lives to save an enchanted realm fallen into shadow.


Narrator: Val Cole
Casey (M-12): Shawn Devlin
Claire (F-12): Hannah Ehman


By matthewtoffolo

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

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