Interview with Screenwriter Thomas Clary (The Switch)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Thomas Clary: Well, the official logline is: “After an unexplained global event, where everyone on Earth has switched bodies, an FBI agent must recapture every serial killer he’s ever put in jail after they’ve “escaped” into other people. They look nothing like they did before; they have different DNA and fingerprints… But one thing hasn’t changed — their desire to kill.”

That’s the story, but at its heart it’s “about” the question of “Who are we really?” You think you know who you are… But are you 100% sure? And, would you stay that way if everything you thought you knew about yourself just “switched” one day? Our hero FBI agent, Cooper Langford, suddenly finds himself in the body of literally the richest man in the world after going to sleep living a life of a miserable failure. When he starts to discover that he could very well be at the center of why the world has been turned upside-down, he must decide whether he’s going to help get to the bottom of it all — or compromise everything he thought he believed in to keep from changing back.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a Sci-Fi Suspense/Horror series inspired by those suspenseful, cinematic serial killer movies like “Silence Of The Lambs”, “Manhunter”, and “Seven” — and the larger “mythology” science fiction T.V. shows like “The X-Files” and “Westworld”.

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

Well, because I think it’s pretty awesome!!!

Seriously, though… I think there is a real fun and watchable “monster of the week” aspect to it as Cooper and his crew attempt to re-find all of these dangerous serial killers and hunt them down all over again. But on top of that, there is a deeper story about why everyone has suddenly changed bodies — and is there a way that they can ever change back? I think that’s going to be the story that really hooks everyone and keeps them coming back week after week to see what happens.

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

Fun read.

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

I think for everyone my age, our answer is going to be a very boring one. When I was seven years-old, the original Star Wars was my babysitter. My mom used to drop me off at the Sherman Oaks General Cinema (here in the San Fernando Valley) with enough money for a ticket and a couple of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the concession stand. While she would run errands in the morning — I would go to Tatooine and the Death Star. It was a different time and it wasn’t an issue for a 7 year old to be alone in a movie theater (hard to believe, I know), so I ended up seeing it about 50-70 times. Little did I realize, it was one of my first masterclasses in filmmaking and is still a deep influence on my storytelling even now, forty years later.

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

I started writing it about seven or eight years ago, got to about page twenty and then put it on the shelf for a while. Then, about a year ago, I decided to blow off the dust and cobwebs from it and had it done in about two months. It all flowed pretty quick at that point.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written quite a few stories. I’ve written about four or five full length screenplays. I wrote a spec script for the “X-Files” as a writing sample. But, nothing has been produced or published.

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

The Power Of The Heart sung by Peter Gabriel. It was originally a Lou Reed song that he wrote to propose to Laurie Anderson. Gabriel’s version of it is achingly gorgeous and just puts me in the mood every time I sit down to write my next full-length screenplay. Someday, my dream is to create something so beautiful.

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

I’m the father of 6 year-old twins with a full-time day job as a Visual Effects Producer for film and TV. Finding the time to write with all the plates I was spinning was quite the adventure. But now I’ve been able to set up more of a routine that makes that less of an issue.

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

I love photography. There is something about telling a story with a single visual image that excites me and (I hope) helps me to be economical and efficient in my writing. I’m also trying to teach myself the guitar — but that’s more of a sadistic passion rather than a “passion” passion.

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

I think it’s a wonderful site. Anything that makes it easier to enter festivals — and toot your own horn, as well — I certainly endorse.

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

I actually owe quite a bit to a colleague at work for urging me to enter, if not specifically this festival, science-fiction based festivals in general. I had mentioned to him that I was doing well in other festivals, but I couldn’t seem to break the top 20 or 10. He suggested that maybe I should enter festivals that were specifically for the genre(s) my screenplay was in. His thinking was that other festivals may be making the mistake of not taking this type off work as seriously as they should — instead rewarding more traditionally “important” pieces. It was excellent advice. And now, here we are!

The feedback was very good and helped me to put the last bit of detail work into the script I needed to really “dot my i’s and cross my t’s.” I was confident in the work prior to getting the notes, but it really helped to hear things that would take it over the top.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After an unexplained global event, where everyone on Earth has switched bodies, FBI Agent Cooper Langford must recapture every serial killer he’s ever put in jail after they’ve “escaped” into other people. They look nothing like they did before; they have different DNA and fingerprints… But one thing hasn’t changed — their desire to kill.

CAST LIST:
Mille: Regan Brown
Bertie: Peter Nelson
Wentworth: Kevin Gabel
Narration: Laura Kyswaty
Cooper: Kevin Robinson
Waters: Patrice Henry
Trillium: Emily Weir

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Interview with Screenwriter Stan Barton (Moon Over the Hill)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Stan Barton: A hard-edged attorney leaves it all and moves into a secluded adobe in the high desert with an acquaintance, but the house holds a secret that brings trouble knocking at the door.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thriller, Dramedy

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie

? It is emotional, intriguing, inexpensive and has a positive theme of making amends. It has few speaking parts and 90% of scenes can be filmed on property owned by the writer.

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

simply entertaining

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

SLEEPLESS IN SEATLE

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

6 months

7. How many stories have you written?

six

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

YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME

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

developing a fairly complex story with few characters and my first effort at the thriller genre – I had to study a lot about what makes a thriller work.

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

Horse racing

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

GOOD


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

I wanted quick feedback on my first draft. Feedback was valid – but maybe the reader wanted a more predictable story

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When a cutthroat lawyer seeks a new life and redemption in a secluded homestead in the high desert of New Mexico, she discovers the previous owner’s mysterious experiment, which the government is desperate to bury, along with anyone associated with it. She is determined to make the wonder drug available for the public’s good.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Rosie: Michelle Urbano
Black M: Peter-Mark Raphael

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Interview with Screenwriter Giselle DaMier (ASHPODEL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Giselle DaMier: ASPHODEL explores moral conflict, and the extent to which humans will go to satisfy their theological beliefs. With the classically disarming energy of the Twilight Zone and the theme of two women falling in love, ASPHODEL creates an equally timeless and culturally relevant take on the thriller genre.

Log Line: After stepping off a train into a foggy grassland, Lyla meets a beguiling girl named Marie in an isolated town called Asphodel, where the residents believe they exist in a realm between life and death.

2. -What genres does your screenplay fall under?

ASPHODEL falls under the following genres: Thriller, Romance, LGBT, Mystery, Drama.

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

Although I think the LGBT struggle is a valid theme and something that absolutely needs to be represented in the media, I also think that it is important to tell stories that normalize homosexual romance, where the main characters are comfortable in their sexuality. Firstly, ASPHODEL is a dynamic, ethereal film that will captivate fans of the classic noir genre, and it also happens to star two girls in love.

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

Heaven & Hell.

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

Clue (1985)

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

Two years.

7. -How many stories have you written?

Countless, with about 20 that I actually like.

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

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

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

I was so focused on the relationship between the two leading women, it took time to develop the other characters that populate the town of Asphodel.

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

I am passionate about Greek mythology, French New Wave cinema, and the sea.

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

FilmFreeway has become my favorite submission website because it allows me to add specific details to each project, including a poster, a writer’s statement, and a list of awards.

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

Surprisingly, there aren’t yet many LGBT film festivals, especially for screenwriters. I am grateful that the Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival has provided this platform. I found the feedback to be valuable and applicable.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After stepping off a train into a foggy grassland, Lyla meets a beguiling girl named Marie in an isolated town called Asphodel, where the residents believe they exist in a realm between life and death.

CAST LIST:

Diane: Regan Brown
Marie: Patrice Henry
Narration: Laura Kyswaty
Lyla: Emily Weir
Engineer: Peter Nelson

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Interview with Screenwriter Justin Lamar Petty (The Immortal King Jesus)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Justin Lamar Petty: My screenplay is about The Lord Jesus Christ and the sacrifice God made for humanity in order for us all to be able to choose eternal life through his son the mediator between God and man Jesus Christ.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

My screenplay falls under the drama category.

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

My screenplay should be made into a movie because it explores the idea of the lord Jesus Christ being portrayed by a Black Man something that has NEVER been done BEFORE.

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

I’d describe my script in 2 words as ” Very OMINIPOTENT”

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

What movie have i seen the most times in my life “The Godfather trilogy by Martin Scorsese.

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

I’ve been working on this screenplay 1 year.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written hundreds of stories film tv and playwrights.

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

My favorite song is ” I ain’t hard 2 find” by 2pac Shakur

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

The only obstacles i faced during writing my screenplay is just finding the time i own a business too.

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

I am also passionate about recording music for the record/ music publishing company i own Intangible Entertainment LLC / Southside Lima Landlord publishing ( BMI publisher)

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

My experience with film freeway has been great they create a great submission platform for indie screenwriters to make contacts ams network within Hollywood and with indie film makers they’re wonderful i actively use my profile.

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

I was influenced to enter the festival after i won best tv pilot/ script writer of the month in October 2018 i knew i had something special. My feelings on the feedback i received were positive i feel blessed to be apart of this opportunity.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST :

Eve – 2 – Brittany Clough
Mary – 3 – Anne McMaster
NARRATION – Jen Daniels
Jesus – 4 – Hugh Ritchie
Satan – 7 – Ron Boyd
Adam – 2 – Rhys Harrison

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Haley Isleib (DRONES & DRIVERS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Haley Isleib: A soldier comes back from war on Mars but nothing seems quite right. She can’t find anyone she remembers–not friends or family, no one. Except this one guy from a somewhat regrettable one night stand. He’s the only one she can turn to for help fighting off the mysterious forces that pursue her as she tries to find her missing family and figure out why the world seems inside out. Also, there are a lot of robots.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Science fiction, action.

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

It will kick ass and make you laugh.

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

Super fun.

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

Probably The Wizard of Oz.

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

Sporadically for a while.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have no idea. Bunches. Or did you mean coherent, good stories? That’s a smaller number.

8. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Probably the theme songs to various Star Trek shows.

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

Day job. Other stories kept seducing me. The usual.

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

Reading.

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

It was easy enough.

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

I found the synopsis written by the festival judge was much better than the one I had written.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A soldier with the enhanced ability to control robots with her mind finds herself the target of mysterious government-related forces when she returns to Earth after a war.

CAST LIST :

Driver: Kevin Gabel
President: Regan Brown
Narration: Laura Kyswaty
Captain: Peter Nelson
Charm: Emily Weir

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Interview with Screenwriter Kathryn L. Scurry (TEXAS SHIELDS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kathryn L. Scurry: Texas Shields is a show about four women deputies following in their fathers footsteps as they lay down the law and keep the town safe.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action / Drama

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

The series details the struggle of four women deputies in front and behind the badge.

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

Bad Ass.

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

Friday

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

The process took about a day with one rewrite.

7. How many stories have you written?

Over 50 screenplays.

8. What is your favorite song?

Newspaper by Mz.Dyzihre

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

None. Writing comes naturally to me.

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

Music. I’m also a recording artist.
http://www.soundcloud.com/Mz-Dyzihre

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

A lot of notability and success winning a lot of awards and official selections for various projects.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

I wanted to try my hand at writing since I can also write lyrics, poems and short stories.

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

Loved it and appreciate it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When four woman deputies follow in their father’s footsteps, They will stop at nothing to catch the bad guys and a few women on the way. But beware, They may be women but they have an insatiable appetite for justice.

CAST LIST:

Sheriff Bennett – 8 – Brian Carleton
Charlotte – 18 – Sarah Bedford
NARRATION – Russell Batcher
Morgan – 25 – Bree Ali
Grace – 19 – Stephanie Herrera
Harriet – 12 – Sarah Bedford

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Interview with Screenwriter Randall Talton (DREAM)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Randall Talton: Here is the logline: Logline: When his former lover is in danger of being deported, a successful family man must confront the consequences of the mistakes he made in his past.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

This speaks to various elements prevalent in today’s society. Race Bias, Lust above Love. A ma’s weakness and Women’s strength.

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

Heartbreakingly possible.

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

The Godfather

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

Off and on for a few years

7. How many stories have you written?

5 screenplays. Several short stories and an unfinished novel

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

Wow, that’s a tough for me. I will move from Maxwell to Nick Drake, to Grand Nubian to Chet Baker to Aretha to Judy Collins to Prince….you get the point

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

Working on other projects

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

Music

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

It’s been wonderful. I’ve had no issues.

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

This is a wonderful way to get your work out there amongst other artist

I can tell by the feedback that they really took time to read and evaluate my manuscript. I couldn’t thank you enough

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

In this scene Elliott, overcome with guilt, has a dream about the child he abandoned. Anais, the child’s Mother offers no sympathy

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – KAT SMILEY
Elliot – STEPHEN SANDQUIST
Anais – JESSICA BOWMER

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