Interview with Screenwriter Mark Cline (CHECKED BAGS)

1. What is your screenplay about?

‘Checked Bags’ is about the burden of carrying our emotional baggage around and the freedom of letting it go.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say that ‘Checked Bags’ would be classified as a dark comedy.

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

I think that ‘Checked Bags’ should be made into a short movie because it is very short in its essence and concise that tells a story that a lot of viewers could relate to.

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

Pleasant Unburdening

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

I would say the movie/s that I have seen the most times in my life has either been ‘Blazing Saddles’ or ‘The Fifth Element’.

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

Writing ‘Checked Bags’ took roughly 4 hours. However, I had the stories premise/idea for about a year before I started writing.

7. How many stories have you written?

To date I have completed a total of 18 short scripts/screenplays and 1 feature length script. Like most writers out there, I have plenty of other stories that are still in various stages of the writing process, but lately I have been focused on finishing my second feature length screenplay.

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

Great question. Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped results told me it was ‘America (You’re Freaking Me Out)’ by The Menzingers so we’ll go with that.

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

Honestly, most of the time writing ‘Checked Bags’ was spent on editing, tweaking and condensing this down to all fit on one page. One page scripts seem simple, fast and easy. But I think they are a great exercise in writing, thinking and processing how a story can be told in a very short amount of time.

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

I am also passionate about making movies. Being on location working as a grip, gaffer or what have you, just being around other creative and passionate people doing what they love to do: Making art!

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

Overall, my experiences with FilmFreeway have been really positive. FilmFreeway provides a simple portal to submit one’s work to thousands of festivals world-wide, that of which I continue entering.

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

I entered the Toronto Comedy Film and Screenplay Festival because it was one of the few festivals listing the 1-page script/screenplay category. Plus the added bonus of getting feedback as well, which I am looking forward to receiving soon.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

All passengers are now required to check their baggage upon check-in.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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