Interview with Screenwriters Sean Chandler & David Leeper (AT THE FLASH)

1. What is your screenplay about?

At The Flash is a mind-bending, kaleidoscopic story covering six decades in the life of a fictitious gay bar. This four-episode limited series begins when main character Rod Mahoney learns of the closing of a local, historical gay bar called The Flash. Personally attached and newly-jobless, Rod buys The Flash out of bankruptcy, which he remodels and reopens – celebrating the transformation with a large grand reopening event. While the series is propelled by Rod, each decade is populated with specific characters representative of their time frame. Such characters include a 1965 closeted married man, a 1978 drag queen, a 1989 club kid, a 1996 lesbian activist and a 2009 straight senior den mother. Six variant stories, defined by decade, are told throughout each episode, creating a dramatic, comedic, mind-bending, history-filled experience.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

TV Drama Limited Series.

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

At The Flash features six main characters in a multi-decade story, with LGBTQ issues that explore universal themes and toggle together to entertain, educate and edify.

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

Engagingly Dynamic

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

Sean: “Meet Me In St. Louis” / David: “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

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

We’ve been working on the TV series for six years. The story, however, is based on an award-winning, one-person play that was initially created in 2002.

7. How many stories have you written?

In total we have written 3 screenplays, 3 TV show scripts, 2 plays and 2 musicals.

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

Sean: “Let The River Run” from Working Girl written and performed by Carly Simon / David: “On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)” from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever written by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner and performed by Barbra Streisand.

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

The play was a one-person show (performed by writer David Leeper) and featured only five main characters – all other characters were spoken to with answers inferred. Developing all the “unheard” characters for the TV show was an exciting challenge to give them voice. In addition, the play was created so long ago that we had to add an additional decade/character which turned out to be such a wonderful opportunity as we were able to create a straight, senior den-mother-type character, which added significant depth and scope to the overall story.

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

Sean: Reading and Theater – which includes my podcast “Your Program Is Your Ticket” / David: Acting, Cooking and Knitting.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site? FilmFreeway has opened up so many more opportunities by simplifying the submission process and providing an excellent tool for tracking results. Honestly, it’s been a game changer.

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

The supportive and communicative team has an excellent reputation. The feedback was tremendously insightful! A supportive, fair critique that really helped to flesh out and develop the series.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:
https://vimeo.com/648924070

At The Flash tells the story of a fictitious gay bar over six different decades from the 1960’s to current day. We begin in 1965 with Richard, a husband and father, struggling with his true identity and reaching a critical personal crossroads. The new gay freedoms of the 1970’s are represented in Miss Sparkle, an aging Drag Queen, who shares her wisdom with her newest protégé. With the 1980’s bringing the fear of AIDS to gay men young and old, Derrick Winston humorously faces a questionable diagnosis adding to the already complicated task of finding a lover. Fighting the uphill battle of the Gay Rights Movements of the 1990’s, bubbly lesbian Mona Epstein takes on activism to advance her personal, political and social agenda. Doris, an unofficial den mother, challenges the unreasonable “requests” of a local religious figure during the mid-2000’s. Present day owner of The Flash, Rod Mahoney, struggles to make his grand re-opening deadline while pinpointing his motivation to do so.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Julie Sheppard
Jake: Allan Michael Brunet
Rod: Steve Rizzo
Destiny: Val Cole

By matthewtoffolo

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

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