Interview with Screenwriter Caledonia Hanson (NECROPOLIS)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Necropolis is a limited series that tests the bond of siblings in the most broken, lawless part of their city. When 18 year old Eddie Soreno ventures into this insidious place to uncover the truth of his father’s past, his sister, Maria, goes after him, willingly risking her life so that her brother won’t suffer the same fate as their father.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama primarily, crime secondary.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Necropolis touches upon some very real topics which a lot of people are either unaware of, or have chosen to overlook. This is especially true when it comes to the most racially diverse and institutionally impoverished parts of our country that need to be addressed and fixed. These topics and themes are brought to light through a tragic love story, a sibling’s bond, and the hope of something greater than what these people are promised.

Necropolis is a unique take on the crime-drama genre in that it can change how we see the ugliest parts of our cities, give hope to those who live there, and let our communities know that we see them and we’re fighting for them.

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

Intensely heartfelt.

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

Mad Max Fury Road is my go to comfort film, the 1931 original The Public Enemy is a close second, and my favorite movie is The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

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

I came up with Necropolis awhile ago but kept it on the back burner. It’s based on my own experiences and the people I met when I was a street fighter. Once I was ready to say goodbye to my own demons, I sat down and wrote the pilot script in a week. I took my time writing in my journal and fleshing out the characters, the world of Necropolis,

7. How many stories have you written?

So many stories! I’ve always written short stories, poems, comics. I wrote my first short script at 16, which has also won a number of awards around the world, and my chosen form of storytelling now is primarily TV scripts. As to how many? Too many, and not enough at the same time.

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

According to my Spotify, the most played song I listened to is Sleep is For the Weak by the Dreadnoughts. Asking me for my favorite song is like asking me for my favorite child’s name. How can I choose between a good Irish fighting song, a drunken sea shanty, and anything by Duran Duran? I just can’t.

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

I think formatting was my biggest challenge. The story and characters fell into place, but I read a lot of articles and watched a handful of shows to make sure I understood the pacing and formatting of an hour-long drama. When I was more or less ready with plot points, I taped note cards onto my closet and used them to figure out what to put in all
four acts for the pilot episode. After that, the script wrote itself.

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

Production design. I earned my degree in film production and my focus was on production design. I knew if writing didn’t work out for me I could find work in the art department. I’m obsessed with architecture and the history of design. I get sucked into movies and shows and often watch them over and over just to take in the choice of wallpaper and color schemes and texture. It makes me so excited to be able to see the character and their history written in the walls and furniture and objects they own.

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

FilmFreeway was my first taste at entering contests as a writer. It was easy to figure out after uploading my projects and starting the submitting process, and there’s a thrill in getting an email notification from them that your project’s judging status had gone from ‘being considered’ to ‘placed in festival.’ It’s also a plus to see what my acceptance rate is, what countries I’ve placed in, and being able to see how many options I have to enter my scripts. From smaller festivals just getting started with just the promise of recognition to bigger festivals with bigger prizes and the promise of not just recognition but also a chance to be picked up or even gain representation. So exciting!

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

I loved the idea of being able to hear how my script sounded with the right narration and acting. I wasn’t expecting much entering, but I’m really happy with the really helpful feedback I got that didn’t feel subjective or opinionated. It was genuine feedback on how to make something good even better while also picking up on what was good about my script, what worked, and how to just improve it. And hearing my script be read professionally was so stinking cool! I really am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity. Thank you so much for doing this for me. I’m forever grateful.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Necropolis: A violent and seedy hell on earth, the part of the city everyone warns you about. When 18-year-old Eddie Soreno ventures into this insidious place to uncover the truth of his father’s past, only his sister, Maria, holds hope that he will return alive. Against the clock, Maria goes in after him, willingly risking her life so that her brother won’t suffer the same fate as their father.

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Horaz: Sean Ballantyne


By matthewtoffolo

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

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