Interview with William Opperman (NEW TO THIS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

William Opperman: A young man who is unsure of his sexuality is lucky enough to find, through a chance encounter on a subway train, a gentle, more experienced guide.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

LGBTQ, romcom

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

The story is simple, but universal. Who hasn’t needed help at some point in their lives?

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

Sexy, tender.

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

Before my time: All About Eve
In my prime: If…
Contemporary: Talk to Her, The Lives of Others, and Spotlight
(Note: All incredibly strong scripts!)

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

A little over a year. The basic storyline was excerpted from a novel I’m working on.

7. How many stories have you written?

More than a dozen, fewer than a score.

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

A dangerous question! I’m an opera lover, and a Wagnerite to boot. So Meistersinger is in many ways the best answer to the question. But there’s always “Hey, Jude” and about twenty Joni Mitchell songs.

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

Sex is a major element of the screenplay, and it was tricky to find the right balance of unapologetic frankness and good taste. I was also worried that it might be too Tea and Sympathetic, if that makes sense. I hope the eventual audience will enjoy the journey and fill in any blanks with their own memories.

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

My husband and my kids, movies, opera and other serious music, Jane Austen and Thornton Wilder, and maybe politics. I wish I were either totally uninterested in politics or consumed by them. Instead I swing between evangelistic zeal and total indifference.

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

The great thing about FilmFreeway is that it manages your scripts for you. You upload your work once and submit it to as many places as you want. Results are tracked for you as well.

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

The feedback was incredibly helpful. Encouragement is always nice, and heaven knows it can be hard to come by, but even better was the advice: Pull back on this element, emphasize that one; heighten the conflict; specify, make it move, let it breathe. I owe you guys a lot! Thanks.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A crowded subway car affords a young man a chance at self-discovery.

CAST LIST:

Dog Owner: Isabel Kruse
Barry: Neil Bennett
Narrator: Val Cole
Paul: Geoff Mays
Jack: Jarrod Terrill

Interview with Screenwriter Mark Allard-Will (Herculean Task)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mark Allard-Will: Herculean Task is an attempt to Frankenstein Greek mythology with Black Comedy. The premise is simple: What if using terms of exaggeration could get us in to literal trouble, not just verbal discourse? The result is a bonkers script that, while needing a re-write, is an example of how something as rigid as mythology can be fused with irreverent styles of comedy.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The one definitive genre would be comedy, but a good moniker for the screenplay might be ‘fusion’.

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

Wilder forms of comedy are gaining traction now, in Canada, in the USA, Britain and Europe and this screenplay is inventive in it’s own way – inventiveness seems to be what producers are seeking out now. It utilises the graveyard humour of French and German comedy and that, in and of itself, is still fairly fresh to American, Canadian and British audiences.

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

Out there

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

Super Troopers

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

I probably dedicated about six hours to it and knocked it out as one of my comedy soaps (short sketches) scripts and moved on to the next one. Admittedly, it would need some touching-up by myself if someone were to adapt it.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’m a published author of graphic novels, so if you include my graphic novels and screenplays we’re probably looking at eight stories

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

Raining Blood by Slayer

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

For sure, I’d say my own self-dismissal

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

I love mythology, regardless of whether it’s Norse, Greek, Mesopotamian, Aztec, Maya – it doesn’t matter, I love it all the same. I’m also a massive Metal Head and a huge fan of world cinema; to me, there’s nothing better than watching a German comedy movie or a Danish drama.

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

I love FilmFreeway. It’s easy to use and very intuitive, I’d recommend it to all budding film-makers and screenwriters

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

As a published author, I’m used to working with editors and I actually love the process of editing my manuscripts. What a good editor does is give you notes that help you make your work absolutely flawless; notes that give you ideas of how to improve your work in your own writer’s voice. So, you say feedback, I say notes that show me how this quickly banged-out script could be improved if a producer were ever to pick it up and ask for a re-write – to put it another way, I was happy with your notes, because they exposed the weaknesses in my script. As for why I entered the festival, every up-coming writer needs feedback from WildSound to channel their screenwriting in to being a better, stronger beast.  

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Comedy and mythology collide in Mark Allard-Will’s Short Screenplay, Herculean Task.

After climbing a Mountain with his girlfriend, Sheila, and claiming that he’s completed a ‘Herculean task’ in doing so, he mysteriously finds himself in Ancient Greece tasked with actually completing Herculean tasks (commonly known as The Twelve Labours of Hercules).

CAST LIST:

King: Allen Brunet
Narration: Isabel Kruse
Derick: Brandon Knox
Sheila: Kyana Theresa

Interview with Screenwriter Eric White (BLIND VAMPIRE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Eric White: The 15-minute Short is about a vampire who was blinded in an ambush. She learns to survive throughout the centuries by using the vision of animals and her ability to compel beings through thought. In the Short we see: (1) Healthy vampire Dreven, (2) Blinded Dreven and (3) Dreven overcoming her disability. It’s heartwarming in a horrible sort of way.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror, Action

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

Vampires typically don’t have a disability — they are either very strong and resilient or dead. In this case, the vampire Dreven adapts to her disability in a seemingly “normal” way by using a service dog that she has trained to detect danger, protect her and hunt for blood.

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

Pragmatic adaptation.

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

Fifth Element

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

1 month

7. How many stories have you written?

I have mature scripts for “Blind Vampire” and “Vapor”, a Sci-Fi Steampunk TV Pilot. And nascent scripts/stories for two more Pilots, “Unseen” and “Not So Charming” and one feature, “Dead Princess”.

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

Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

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

Targeting 15-minutes in length and I struggled with the ending. Some will feel it ends abruptly. I could have explored a relationship with the neighbor, making the script longer, but I preferred bloodlust over just plain lust and kept the script to 15 pp.

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

Beach, beagles, and irreverence.

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

It’s great. I feel like I’m not presenting work through a portal but, rather, sharing my accomplishments with a community.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

The festival struck me as welcoming, constructive and interested in my work, not just building a lengthy participant list to legitimize their festival – particularly new ones.

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The feedback — in particular the tone, not just the content — was far more helpful and encouraging than most all other reader responses I’ve received.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Centuries after a being ambushed, a blinded vampire survives thanks to her seeing eye dog.

CAST LIST:

Thug Leader: Daniel Jones
Boris: Steve Rizzo
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Dreven: Caroline Concordia
Melanie: Emily Weir
Celia: Judy Thrush

Interview with Screenwriter Morgan Schefflin (L.A.’s Finest)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Morgan Schefflin: The backdrop of the script is about making a one hour TV procedural. However, the heart of the show is about relationships: friendship, love between current/old flames, and love of family.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It is a dramedy, so it falls under the drama and comedy genres.


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

TV and movies are supposed to be entertaining for an audience. I firmly believe that this script is extremely entertaining and scripts are eventually meant to be seen and not read.

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

Witty, heartfelt

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

Rocky

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

I’ve been working on this script on and off for about 10 years. The last year or so I’ve worked with network executives and managers to really show me how I needed to shape this to be what it is now.

7. How many stories have you written?

If we’re talking stories in general, not scripts, then probably 100s in various forms of short stories, scripts, plays, etc. I think I’ve written around 15 screenplays, and I think I have around 30 scripts in various stages of development.

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

My favorite song is Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley.

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

Oh man, what obstacles didn’t I face? For context purposes, I loved writing when I was in elementary school. I really started to get into writing scripts when I was in 7th-8th grade, but I could never find real training in how I should write a script until my mid 20’s. Up until that point, all of my writing techniques were self-taught. When I was looking for colleges I had a really hard time finding a program for screenwriting. I eventually found something at Full Sail University and I learned a lot about what I was missing in this particular script during that time. Last year, I found another program through RoadMap Writers where I can work with Network executives and Managers. That really got me to the point of where it is now. However, I had to work with many various executives and managers because screenplays are very subjective, obviously. Also, this particular script takes place in the world of TV, so it’s getting scrutinized even harder than a regular script would. I’ve been told this will never sell. I’ve been told to try something else. I’ve been told almost everything you can be told to discourage you from not continuing this script, but I’m very passionate about these characters and their stories.

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

I like watching my sports teams and playing sports. Unfortunately, all my teams are generally terrible, so watching them is very painful (Jets, Mets, Nets, Devils). I’m a big movie buff, so I love to watch movies. I don’t get as much time to play games as I was when I was younger, but right now I’m playing The Division 2 and revisiting some older games I didn’t get a chance to finish.

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

My experiences have been pretty good. It’s been easy to submit and if I had a question the people have been responsive.

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

I have entered the festival previous times, but unfortunately I had received a lot of conflicting feedback. Now that I had time to work with Managers and Network executives to fine tune my script, I wanted to see if it had paid off.

It turns out it has!

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: A TV showrunner clashes with his head writer and network executive girlfriend to get his pilot made as promised to his niece before he gets ousted out of the TV business for good.

Genre: Drama, comedy

CAST LIST:

Steve (20s)– 4 – Steve Saet
Josh (50s) 11 – David Occhipinti
Narration Ella A
Ryan (30s)– 30 – Michael Ruhs
Jenny (20s-30s) – 19 – Barbara Bergeron

Interview with Screenwriter Louetta Jensen (Bittersweet Serenity)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay, Bittersweet Serenity, is about an estranged wife who is desperate to put an end to her failed marriage from a maverick scientist, and joins forces with an endangered family who have been touched by the scientist’s evil. As a result, the wife becomes empowered, through necessity, in order to bring the scientist down and end his tortuous treatment of patients.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Psychological thriller, mystery, horror.

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

It’s the hook which is the specific method of treatments done by the scientist which is the use of holograms in a scientific approach, leaving patients wondering if their greatest fears are real, or a dream, and neither which they can escape mentally.

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

Fear monger.

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

The Witches of Eastwick, and Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds.

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

Many years. It has been adapted by myself and my co-writer from my published, award winning, novel by the same title name.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have personally written 4 novels, 3 screenplays, and many short stories, most of which are published.

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

The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli.

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

No obstacles. The words fell onto the pages. No one will stop me from writing my heart out.

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

I’m also passionate about working as an animal advocate and have done this for many decades due to my deep love for animals.

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

Film Freeway is a great and streamlined way to enter submissions.

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

I’ve done so previously and was pleased with the final product.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Logline: In the remote mountains of Washington State, there lives an evil and monstrous legend: his name is Dr. Martin Braddock, and he devours souls for a living. The maverick scientist has a brilliant mind and advanced technology, yet he’s about to face his toughest opponent ever . . . his estranged wife, in what becomes a war between the bitter and the sweet.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

CAST LIST:
Orenda – 10 – Carrie Schiffler
Narration – David Occhipinti
Krystyna (20s) – 21 – Ella A
Logan (20s) – 17 – Steve Saet

***

Interview with Filmmakers Lucy Joan Barnes & Ali Causon (FOR WANT OF A NAIL)

FOR WANT OF A NAIL played to rave reviews at the April 2019 Female Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Lucy (director): The script and it’s message, it was not trying to “sugarcoat” what having OCD is really like.. it was showing how intense it can be for the person who suffers from it.

Ali (producer): Although I was not looking for a script that specifically focused on mental health, after reading FWOAN just a couple of times, it felt like a natural follow up to my previous short about PTSD.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

Lucy: I believe it was about a year…

Ali: Writer Nick and I had been working together for a few months before mainly to find a director we wanted to work with. Lucy, Nick and I then ran a development workshop with volunteers from OCD Action and Actors to learn more about the condition.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Lucy: Frank and Eye Opening

Ali: Honest

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Lucy:Finding Marty and a shower to film in 🙂

Ali:Definitely finding a shower! Our Actor Clark is quite tall

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Lucy: I may not have agreed with all the feedback, but I can see where people came from, I learnt a lot , I will take on what has been said and it use it to evolve as a director

Ali: Excited! We had some really interesting feedback and although not everyone enjoyed the film, it certainly had them talking! For me that is the best result, the only way to raise awareness for mental health conditions, like OCD, is to talk about it. ‘For Want Of A Nail’ has been lucky enough to have full support and endorsement from OCD Action, the charity were very much involved in production from development to final film. It has always been important to me to show an honest portrayal of OCD.

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Lucy: Nick had already written the script but the idea of adding animation was the first thing that came to mind when I read it..

Ali: Nick, our writer, suffers with OCD. He was inspired to write the script as a cathartic experience to try and get to grips with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Lucy: Old Boy

Ali: Star Wars!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Lucy: I think it’s great

Ali: Very user friendly system.

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

Lucy: Oh that’s a hard one.. probably Bohemian Rhapsody

Ali: Same as Lu!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Lucy: I’m adapting a Shakespeare for a modern audience looking at the mental health of the character and hopefully get people to connect with Shakespeare more

Ali: I’m in the process of pitching the ‘For Want Of A Nail’ TV series and have just completed post for a feature film called ‘The Hidden Track’ which is due for release later this year.

for_want_of_a_nail_1

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Nurkowski (CETACEANS)

https://www.facebook.com/Cetaceans2016/

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Paul Nurkowski: In a near-futuristic world, Dr. Amanda Kozky, a bio.robotics scientist and doctor, has developed new technologies that enable her and her team of human scientists to work with bottle nosed dolphins, CETACEANS, who use robotic arms and voice conversion modules to communicate with the human scientists. When it’s revealed that dolphins are descended from a race of aliens, and smarter than people, a powerful army of men deem to destroy her research and pirate the dolphins’ ancient alien technologies to rule the world.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

CETACEANS is a high concept, sci-fi, action film wild with imagination and full of surprises.

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

CETACEANS is a totally original script that probes deep philosophical themes, is beautifully cinematic and provides a passionate, dramatic spin on the popular world of “dolphin movies”. The audience will love CETACEANS, become immersed in it’s intensely convincing futuristic world inhabited by both human and non-human players, who they’ll love, hate, laugh with and cry for.

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

Entertaining, Educational

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

I’ve been around for quite a while, many favorites come to mind (i.e., Terminator(1984), The Fifth Element(1997), The 13 th Warrior(1999), Edge of Tomorrow(2014)), but it seems that the title that keeps popping up on my TV for a watch is definitely, “Galaxy Quest(1999)”.

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

I started scripting CETACEANS in November, 2015. As my writing progressed, I also began creating both 2D and 3D concept art for my story. After copywriting my first draft (150 pages) in 2016, and working with a consultant, who told me that my story had potential but actually began on page 115, I began referencing the first 114 pages as backstory, reduced my page count to 95, and over the next two and a half years, and countless drafts later, now consider CETACEANS, at 99 pages, to be 99.999 percent completed, so approximately four years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve always been a storyteller, expressed myself through a variety of visual media, including designing video games. CETACEANS is my first attempt at writing a feature screenplay.

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

I listen to all genres of music depending on my mood, but love the classics, a thumbs up for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, 3rd movement.

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

I‘d rather call them challenges. When an artist paints a picture, countless, individual brush strokes are intuitively placed on the canvas, eventually merge to create a singular manifestation of the artist’s inner vision. For me, scripting CETACEANS was like painting my story with words. I’d edit each scene, line of descriptive text and dialogue, until I had a clear vision of what was happening, could hear what each voice was saying. I found that process very time consuming, at times neverending, definitely the most challenging project I’ve ever undertaken.

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

I’m a retired fine arts and technology teacher, have taught a variety of creative and constructive disciplines. For years, that was my passion. Now, with my screenplay completed, I’m planning to pool my 2D, 3D, and creative writing skills, begin working on a CETACEANS graphic novel. That’ll be my passion for quite a while.

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

GREAT! If your screenplay is ready to go, go FilmFreeway! I found that their submission platform offered an ongoing slate of easily accessible festivals, a valuable tool, and they maintain an updateable listing of every writer’s submitted screenplays, along with a record of their festival activity, a great asset.

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

I was notified about your festival through a sci-fi competition that I entered last year. The feedback I received enabled me to tweak my script a little bit more. That’s why I always consider my script to be 99.999 percent completed, leave a little room for minor changes.

Interview with Screenwriter Julia Sauder (DR. NEVES)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Julia Sauder: It’s about what can happen when you mess with Mother Nature and try to play God. How it can devastate lives and leave a path of destruction in its wake.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I imagined it as a horror, but there is a lot of science fiction.

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

It would be a fun ride. I want to write movies that make people happy, so they can have a good time.

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

Monkey business.

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

Aliens. I know it backwards and forwards. It taught me some valuable lessons about storytelling like timing and plot points. It’s just a great, entertaining movie, and I love to watch it.

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

I wrote the step outline in the fall of 2006 in Lake Como, Italy. The rough draft took me 11 days. After that, I worked on it off and on for 13 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have no idea. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I think it would be cool to know an actual number, though.

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

“Freedom ’95” by George Michael. It’s my anthem, and I totally rock out to it. It really gets me going and gets me excited.

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

Making the reanimation believable. I wanted the power source to be realistic. It had to be strong enough to wake the dead. There’s a fine line between cheesy and clever.

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

Traveling. I love going to new places and absorbing cultures, seeing new things. Just put me on a plane and tell me where to later. Time stops as you connect to the world.

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

It’s a very simple process. It’s very easy to apply to contests, to get information about festivals. I like how the dashboard where you can see where you’ve applied and what your status it.

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

Definitely the free feedback was a large draw. I was very happy with the feedback. It was encouraging and constructive. Well done and professional. And I especially liked the grammar notes.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After practicing first on a manufactured ape, an ambitious doctor creates life while losing control of his own.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Neves: Colin Sandquist
Woman: Melie B Rondeau

Interview Screenwriter George M. Johnson (THE WONDER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

George M. Johnson: In The Wonder, an ambitious Edwardian journalist saves an uncannily precocious child from drowning in a pond. The boy, Victor, reads through the library of the local aristocrat and rejects the accumulated knowledge of mankind before trying to communicate his own theory of life. This theory threatens authorities, particularly the local Rector, but also drives the journalist to the brink of insanity. In the end he discovers the boy dead in the same pond and is distraught, but manages to restore his sanity by writing the child’s story so that others may share the wonder.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I have adapted The Wonder from the early “scientific romance,” as speculative, science fiction stories were called, of the prolific writer J.D. Beresford’s 1911 novel The Hampdenshire Wonder. It has the caché of being the first “superman” story in English literature and probably the first story featuring what we now recognize as an autistic child. The Hampdenshire Wonder was praised by the likes of H.G. Wells, Graham Greene, and Alistair Cooke, among others.

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

We are fascinated by exceptional people who don’t fit in, who are compelled to convey a message more advanced than our capacities can handle – just think about the popularity of films about exceptional children, as in The Room, Gifted, and A Brilliant Young Mind, and stories about genius, such as The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game.

The Wonder taps into our collective anxiety about the unknown, what it means to be human, and the possibility that we do not have all the answers about how the world works, despite our scientific advances and our obsession with information. For these reasons it is a compelling story for our time.

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

Threatening genius.

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

Every so often I return to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a brilliant send-up of a legendary quest.

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

I’ve been at it on and off for several years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve drawn on my expertise in early twentieth-century literature to write several award-winning period dramas, but I also love writing contemporary satirical pieces, such as Mockus, a play about a clown who provokes a desperate Mayor into trying playful approaches to his city’s social and environmental ills, including replacing corrupt traffic cops with mimes.
Some of my other work can be viewed on my website: georgemjohnson.com.

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

Probably John Lennon’s Imagine because I believe in the transformative power of the imagination.

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

Beresford’s original novel, though a compelling read, is rather philosophical and is populated almost exclusively by male characters, so I had to imagine concrete scenes or set-pieces displaying Victor’s uncanny ability to predict seemingly random events as well as to develop a backstory for the unnamed narrator. I decided to weave in details from Beresford’s own life, such as his romance and marriage to his first wife Linda, an actress, in order to make the story more human and compelling.

I had written a biography of J.D. Beresford (Simon and Schuster, 1998) so knew Beresford’s descendants and they were happy to give me permission to pursue this project.

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

I am passionate about peace, social justice, and environmental issues and recently was awarded the Peace Medal from the Y.M.C.A. for my writing and activism on these issues for over 25 years.

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

This platform is seamless. I like the fact that I can keep track of my submissions in one place.

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

I received very discriminating and supportive feedback on my script Peace Pledge, which won a full Wildsound Table Read and so decided to submit The Wonder. The feedback was really helpful, and encouraged me to make revisions.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A journalist finds himself fighting to protect a boy whose deformity might actually be a link to discovering the origin and true meaning of life.

CAST LIST:

Victor: Shawn Devlin
J.D.: Colin Sandquist
Narrator: Norma Dawn Dunphy
Ellen Mary: Melie B Rondeau
Man: : Neil Bennett

Interview with Screenwriter Montgomery Burt (THE GIRL ON THE SKYTRAIN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Montgomery Burt: During an early morning trip on the commuter train, a good samaritan tries to help a naive young woman seemingly headed for trouble but she doesn’t want his help.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

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

The interaction between the two main characters reflects what’s going on in life—young people not questioning what may be an “opportunity” they found on the internet.

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

Two perspectives.

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

North by Northwest.

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

A few months. About five drafts.

7. How many stories have you written?

Many. I’ve been writing since I was fourteen.


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

I have hundreds of CDs with thousands of songs but my favorite is Los Super Seven’s debut album.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/los-super-seven-mw0000040720

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

Having it workshopped at my screenwriters group, Upwords. It’s a true story so I tried to work within the confines of what actually happened and still make it dramatic and interesting. Three of my colleagues, when they were younger, got into creepy situations with photographers and they explained why they overlooked any danger for the prospect of fame.

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

Music, movies, travel, volunteering at our local animal shelter. I team up with directors to make shorts. Here is our most recent, a short comedy directed by Tabatha Golat called “The United Guys Network.”

https://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/783?fbt=share

This is the proposal for our next project:

http://www.thefilmcollaborative.org/fiscalsponsorship/projects/dougiedog

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

Excellent. It’s easy use and quite dependable with notifications. Service is good, too. When I informed them of a possible scam festival, for example, they looked into the matter right away.

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

I wanted the challenge of writing a short script with few characters and limited locations.

The written feedback I received was excellent.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

During an early morning trip on the commuter train, a good samaritan tries to help a naive young woman seemingly headed for trouble but she doesn’t want his help.

CAST LIST:
Automated voice – 2 – OLIVIA BARRETT
NARRATION – JUSTIN DESOUZA
Sean – 24 – DANIEL JONES
Carly – 21 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE