Interview with Screenwriters Kim Turner & Tony Ferrendelli (TED LASSO: RICHMOND ‘TIL WE DIE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Our script, TED LASSO: RICHMOND ‘TIL WE DIE is about when the entire Richmond Greyhound crew helps run the Crown & Anchor for Mae while she attends to a sick uncle. Let’s just say, things don’t go according to Ted and Coach Beard’s initial, well-meaning plan.

2. Where does this episode fit into the TV show (season and episode)?

When we first started writing the episode, we envisioned it as a stand-alone episode. As we were writing the script, we leveraged some of the great threads established in seasons one and two. It also has some new character insights that would make this episode a good fit for early season three.

3. What motivated you to write a spec based on the Ted Lasso TV series?

We both love Ted Lasso. And, we wanted to do a project together. This seemed like a natural next step in writing our first joint project. We settled on a great concept that fit the tone and style of show and the rest is history.

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

Heartfelt mayhem

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

Tony: Jaws
Kim: The Hobbit (1977 – animated)

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

This script came together pretty quickly. We went from concept to submittable draft in about six weeks. We had a strong concept and developed a solid outline over the first couple of weeks. Then it took about four weeks to write the script and get peer feedback.

7. How many stories have you written?

Jointly, we have written two TV pilots with a feature on the way! Individually, we have both written numerous award-winning stories that include features, TV and shorts. The script range from comedy, drama and public domain to historical fiction.

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

Tony: Just Breathe (Pearl Jam)
Kim: Lowdown (Boz Scaggs)

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

We mean this in the best way, each other. We didn’t want to this to be a run of the mill script or we would never let it see the light of day. Too much ego involved for that. We have known each other for a few years and were both big fans of the other’s scripts. And quite honestly, a little intimidated of each other. So we went into the project knowing we would have to up our game. After we created the outline, we took a divide and conquer approach: Tony wrote the Cold Open and Act II. Kim wrote Act I, and the final Act. Each Act had to build on the preceding Act and when the bar is set high, you have to reset yourselves and dig deeper to top the previous work all while keeping with the tone of an existing show. But best

• TONY: I knew Kim as going to write an incredible first Act, but when I read it my first response was F**K! That was so much better than I even imagined it would be. I had to rethink my approach on what I was going to write to match the quality.

• KIM: Tony and I worked the Cold Open and parts of the First Act together, but then he took the Second Act. When he sent it to me, I recalled a scene from Dennis Quaid’s Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis biopic) where Lewis was infuriated that he had to perform before Chuck Berry (who would close out the show), so he set fire to his piano just before Berry came onstage and announced “Follow that!” Tony’s Second Act wasn’t left maliciously, but I still felt like, “How in the world will I follow that?!” He’s pretty epic. We complement each other well.

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

Tony: Cycling and seeing movies
Kim: Politics. Kindness. Comedy.

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

FilmFreeway is an excellent avenue to research, submit and host your scripts. They also make the process easy to manage your entire portfolio.

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

The draw was two-fold. The Los Angeles Comedy Film & Screenplay Festival’s focus on comedy was a big draw. But also, it is one of a few (sadly) contests that accept spec scripts. The feedback was great and will be very helpful in developing the next version. That is if they (Jason are you listening??!!) don’t hire us immediately to write for Season 3.

Watch the 1st Scene Screenplay Reading:

When the Richmond’s pitch accidentally gets ruined and is being restored, Ted and Coach Beard help run the Crown and Anchor for Mae as she attends her sick uncle.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hannah Ehman
Nigel: Steve Rizzo
Ted: Shawn Devlin
Beard: Geoff Mays
Higgins: Sean Ballantyne
—–

By matthewtoffolo

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

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