Interview with Screenwriter Tim Gale (PARTY OVER COUNTRY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Tim Gale: A Republican candidate is sworn in as president of the united states, but he’s way more into partying than he is into doing his job or serving his globalist master. It’s pretty much White House meets Animal House.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy. But it does have some intrigue to it. How about a political comedy thriller? I’m good with that.

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

I’d actually like to have this green lit to be its own tv series because I have so much story to tell with these characters that a movie wouldn’t be able to encapsulate it properly. There’s plenty of character and plot development that I have written down and I truly believe that it would be a series that would not only make people laugh, but also get them to think a bit.

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

Irresponsible behavior.

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

I can’t even begin to fathom how many times I’ve watched Naked Gun.

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

I probably came up with the idea around May 2018. When I have a new plan for a script or a project, I always take a lot of notes detailing story lines, characters, jokes and ideas. This process does tend to take a while since I reflect on it for a while before I start the actual writing of the script. Any screenwriter will tell you that sometimes the hardest thing about writing is just starting it. Overall it probably took me around 3-4 months to write it since I would do rewrites. The second episode however didn’t take as long as I had a better understanding of my characters and environment.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written one feature script, one short film script, two episodes of this series, and am almost finished work on a spec script I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. I have a bunch of other projects waiting in the wings that I’m excited to get started on.

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

Bring Da Ruckus by Wu-Tang Clan is definitely my most played song ever. But what’s my favorite song? Tough call. There’s too many to name a definitive favorite, but I will say that Echoes by Pink Floyd is undeniably an incredible song.

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

Prior commitments and self doubt were probably the biggest challenges that I faced. I try not to have my friends or family read my work, so I feel super vulnerable during the process when it comes time to actually share it with professionals. It’s easy to doubt yourself while you’re working on a script, but you just gotta have faith in yourself and keep it pushing.

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

I’m really into music. Like really into it. I can’t play an instrument at all, but I can appreciate it all the same. I can literally talk about it non stop all day.

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

So far FilmFreeway has been a good resource for me to discover festivals and competitions that geared towards my specialty. It’s been very valuable for me and I’m going to continue to use it going forward for sure.

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

Since it was a festival that was specific to comedy, I felt that it was appropriate for myself to enter since I always felt like my strengths were in the comedy territory. I felt that if I got the approval from this festival, that I was truly on the right path. I’m constantly trying to be funny with my friends and make them laugh, so if I can do that for strangers, that’s even better.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

An intolerable Republican candidate is voted in as President of the United States, but he seems more interested in partying than running the country, or taking orders from his ominous overlord.

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – SARAH DESOUZA-COELHO
Buzz – 5 – SEAN BALLANTYNE
Hope – 6 – JULIE C. SHEPPARD
Carson – 5 – GENE ABELA
Bryan – 3 – THOMAS FOURMIER
Val – 3 – DIANA FRANZ

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Interview with Screenwriter Kayla Kristofco (BOJACK HORSEMAN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kayla Kristofco: This is a spec script of Bojack Horseman. The premise of the episode is when Bojack returns home from rehab, he discovers that Princess Carolyn has been meeting with other networks about picking up Philbert, so he enlists the help of Todd to prevent any progress, which puts a strain on the relationship between Bojack and Princess Carolyn.

2. What motivated you to write a BOJACK HORSEMAN script?

I’ve always wanted to try to write a spec script, and I really connect with the themes of Bojack Horseman. I’m drawn to interesting characters with realistic flaws, which makes this show a great fit. So I thought that I would try to write an episode of this show because I wanted to challenge myself to get in the minds of these characters.

3. How does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

This screenplay is meant to come right after the end of Season 5 of the show. So it would be the hypothetical first episode of Season 6 (which hasn’t come out yet as of writing this). I thought that my script could be a progression of the things that were set up in Season 5. At the end of the most recent season, Bojack decides to take the steps to be a better person, so now the audience should see how and if he is able to stick to that in a world where things keep moving forward and he is expected to get on board.

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

This script in two words: Lively, Emotional

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

I have probably seen Wet Hot American Summer the most times in my life.

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

I worked on this screenplay for about 4 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Including this spec script, I have written around eleven scripts or treatments. Two are for feature-length films and the rest are shorts. I have also written about four short stories.

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

It’s really hard to pick a favorite song, but I guess that my current favorite song – or at least one that I listen to a lot – is Santa Cruz by The Vaughns.

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

One aspect that’s really cool about Bojack Horseman, and a lot of other newer TV shows, is that it is very plot based. That being said, it was hard to come up with an engaging plot that seems like it was a logical place for the show to go in the future and that still felt like a typical episode of Bojack Horseman. It also took a lot of writing and rewriting to have the characters’ voices in this episode match their voices in the rest of the show, and to find original actions that are authentic to these already established characters.

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

I’m pretty passionate about music. I am a music director and a DJ for WMUH, the radio station at Muhlenberg College.

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

Entering this screenplay was the first time I actually submitted anything through FilmFreeway. It’s been great! It’s very easy to find festivals, submit, and check up on the status of submissions through the site.

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

I was just looking around for festivals that would accept spec scripts, and I was also looking for a festival that would provide feedback. I thought that the feedback I got was very helpful and encouraging. There were concrete examples of areas in which I can improve. I will definitely use the advice for future screenplays.

Watch the Screenplay Reading;

Overview: One of the best things about this script is that you were willing to take chances and they certainly paid off. Bojack, Princess Carolyn, Diane, and Todd are at the core of this episode. Each begins with very different expectations and perspectives than they end with and the overall plotline is something that fans will immediately connect with.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Andrea Irwin Irwin Irwin

Waiter: Thomas Fournier
Mr. Peanutbutter: Jolly Amaoko
Diane: Delphine Roussel
Bojack Annaleigh: Steven Holmberg
Princess Carolyn: Katelyn Varadi
Todd: Logan Forsyth Freeman

Interview with Screenwriter Lea Ann Vandygriff (GLASS ANGEL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Lea Ann Vandygriff: A prominent family in Ireland is torn apart by a deadly accident. Sir Andrew turns away from his crippled daughter, Calina, because he cannot bear the sight of her. He slips into a depression and turns to alcohol for comfort. Edward, the butler, does the unthinkable; He contacts Sir Andrew’s estranged sister for help. Lady Amelia and Calina come up with a plan to bring love back into the heart of Andrew.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama / Faith-Based / Christmas

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

Many of the Christmas movies I have seen the past few years are the same story told different ways.

Glass Angel is original, relatable, thought-provoking, and entertaining. I believe there is a great need for a Christmas story you can’t predict the events as they unfold.

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

Tragedy Meets Fate. (I know it’s three words. It’s on the poster. lol).

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

The Preacher’s Wife (Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston)
I love Christmas movies. I have a collection.

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

“Glass Angel,” took me about three weeks to write. I am also working on a novel based on the screenplay.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am the author of, “Seasons Once Upon My Innocence,” and “Seasons II Justice is Not for the Weak,” a fiction novel series. I have written an award-winning feature screenplay, “Journey of Innocence Lost,” and an award-winning TV/Pilot Script, “Seasons,” based on my novels.

I have a Christmas book in editing, “Lost at Christmas,” based on my award-winning screenplay.

I have also written six feature screenplays in a variety of genres; Western, Christmas, Drama, Comedy, and Faith-Based. All are award-winning.

I have four short scripts in a variety of genres; Western, Christmas, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, and Faith-Based. All are award-winning.

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

These past two years, I have been listening to Disney’s, “Happily Ever After.” It talks about reaching your dreams, the struggles, and the excitement when the story comes to life.

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

I am blessed to say I have not run into any obstacles on any of my screenplays. My writing style is different than most. When I get an idea, I just start writing. I am as excited to see how it ends as the reader. I have a bachelor’s degree in film. So, it helps to already know how a film is made from idea to finished product.

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

I am passionate about my faith and singing.

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

I love Film Freeway. It is easy to submit, they will notify you of deadlines, keep track of your submissions, and the dashboard will let you know how your projects are doing overall. If you happen to have trouble with a festival, they are good about helping you work it out.

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

Honestly, what you are offering for the investment is beyond affordable. For the indie screenwriter, just getting our work out there is tough and costly. The feedback and quality of this festival are far above the price we pay.
You guys are awesome!

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A prominent family in Ireland is torn apart by a deadly accident. Sir Andrew turns away from his crippled daughter, Calina, because he cannot bare the sight of her. He slips into a depression and turns to alcohol for comfort. Sir Andrew’s estranged sister for help. Lady Amelia not backing down from her brother’s fury gives him an ultimatum.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Sir. Andrew: David Jackson
Edward: Ron Boyd
Mildred: Victoria Murdoch
Anna: Lyndsay Clarkson

Interview with Luqman Raymond Whittinger (THE SHADOW PRINCE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Luqman Raymond Whittinger: The Shadow Prince tells the tale of a woman’s struggles in an age when women and children were considered little more than chattels. Her dream is to escape a broken home by seeking secure marital bliss. She rebuilds her relationship with her estranged mother. Ten her dream courtier partner is taken away when she encounters a royal plan to head off an impending republic. She struggles amid her duty towards her betters and the deference they deserve. Having no choice; unable to resist; she falls in a head-spinning journey towards unpredictable outcomes.

The screenplay is based on stories my grandmother told me as a child about my grandfather’s life and his family. As unbelievable as they were they checked out and were enriched through later research and historical court gossip.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical Drama, Biopic

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

The Shadow Prince is a story needing to be told about the social revolution in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The unimaginable struggles of women like Elizabeth and Adelaide her mother when divorce was illegal for most people. Father’s owned their children and women were exchanged on marriage between men. These events and people have been completely written out of our history books. The bigoted fire and brimstone religion on one side and modern secular Liberalism on the other in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1848. Working-class anti-socialist heroes like Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant were part of the ending of the great estates and the birth feminism, universal education, voting reform, birth control, anti-imperialism, universal human rights, in fact, the modern world as we know today.

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

“Deference” and “Misogyny”

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

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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

I started working on this screenplay about nine years ago after decades of research in a quest for self-identity.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written more than a dozen stories as novels, TV scripts and screenplays.

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

I do not have favourite songs but I find the hymn “All things Bright and Beautiful” very relevant to this story, especially the verse: “The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate.”

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

It was a very emotional journey that moved in starts. Dickensian times are difficult to represent.

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

I love writing fantasy novels, ecology, political history and philosophy.

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

It is simply a pleasure to use.

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

The WILDsound Screenplay Festival gives me an indication when my screenplay is ready.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

“A girl from a broken home seeks a new beginning in Windsor and falls for an officer in the Royal Court. The couple are forced into a clandestine scheme to save the royal lineage as clamour for a republic builds.”

CAST LIST:

Narration – STEVEN HOLMBERG
Elizabeth – 10 – KATELYN VARADI
Adelaide – 13 – DELPHINE ROUSSEL

Interview with Screenwriter Jessi Thind (NANUQ)

Currently Head of Narrative on Dead by Daylight at Behaviour Interactive, Jessi Thind brings his passion for all things Hitchcock and Lovecraft as well as his unique world-building experience to the game’s universe, including the recently released Stranger Things Chapter that features the Demogorgon. Previously the Narrative Director on Arkham Knight and an undisclosed game at Warner Brothers, Jessi was also one of the visionary talents behind Guy Laliberte’s Unknown Nine. He writes stories and spec scripts in his spare time when he’s not playing laser tag with his children.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your original spec script about?

Jessi Thind: Nanuq is about a group of well-meaning environmentalists who are brutally attacked and tormented by a polar bear out to avenge the death of her cubs to poachers. The two main characters attempt to rescue polar bear cubs from a gang of poachers but are too late, and they end up stuck in the poacher’s compound with a wounded and frenzied polar bear stalking them.

2. What genre does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a horror film that many in the industry are now referring to as the ‘monster-in-the-house’ genre. It takes inspiration from Jaws, Cujo and The Thing.

3. Why horror and not some other genre?

I enjoy writing in many genres, but I do have a special affinity for horror. I’d say the appeal is that horror is the one genre that is easy for audiences to get into without much set-up or exposition. Horror also taps into very universal and primal emotions that speak to us all, and unlike other genres, a well-designed horror tends to leave audiences glad to be alive. You watch an adventure and you leave the theatre wishing you were living another life. You watch an art-house drama and you break into discussions about existence and the meaning of life. You watch a romance and suddenly you’re having stressful, subtexty discussions with your significant other. But when a good horror ends… you’re just glad to be alive. That’s it, that’s all. You’re glad to be alive. You begin to breathe again, and you appreciate every single breath of your ordinary life. The gift of horror is your life back. It’s relief and gratitude all rolled into one. It’s that unique feeling of waking up from a nightmare to realize it was all just a bad dream.

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

Thrilling. Brutal.

5. What’s your favorite horror?

Depends on the medium. I’ve definitely got a bunch I enjoyed and it’s difficult to name a favorite. Shakespeare wrote one of the darkest, revenge horrors with his first critical success Titus Andronicus. Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Agatha Christie’s ‘And then there were None’ are each terrifying in their own right. But the three that had me captivated as a teen were Jaws, Alien and The Thing. And of the three I think I’d pick The Thing because of its Lovecraftian look and feel.

6. What’s your favorite Stranger Things Season?

I enjoyed them all, but I definitely lean toward Season Three. I often say season one feels like Alien. Season two feels like it’s part Goonies, part Aliens. And Season three is like this crazy combination of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing that the Duffer Brothers actually managed to pull off in a way I didn’t expect. Season Three also had this undeniable Lovecraftian feel to it that is hard to put to words but is evident nevertheless.

7. What are some of your most memorable experiences with your writing?

Most memorable has got to be working with Mark Hamil on Arkham Knight. He’s such an incredible talent and a geniunely kind person I won’t foget that experience anytime soon. It’s hard to believe that watching Star Wars and the Big Red One as a kid I would ever dream I’d work with him and actually have him perform lines I wrote for The Joker. I also worked with Tim Kring, the creator of Heroes, on a project I am currently unable to discuss but am very excited about.
My second feature film ‘Killbird’ starring Elysia Rotaru and Stephen Lobo premiered at Dance With Films and will be featured at the upcoming TIFF festival.

Watch Screenplay Reading: 

Research scientists in the Arctic find themselves stalked by a vicious polar bear.

CAST LIST:

Jack: Allan Brunet
Mikey: Brandon Knox
Narration: Isabel Kruse
Rick: Aaron Williams
Ellie: Kyana Theresa

Interview with Screenwriter Everett Moss (FULLY KNOWN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Everett Moss: This story is about a Kurdish refugee that thinks he can earn the approval/praise/love of others by outworking everyone around him. This mentality was instilled in him as a young orphan and followed him to America – when he got adopted. Ultimately, he realizes that he doesn’t need to be “the best” in order to be loved and accepted.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama. Coming of Age.

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

I think it gives a unique voice to a people group that isn’t often represented (the Kurds). It also tackles some big identity issues that young people face on a daily basis.

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

Heartfelt, and bittersweet.

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

Probably Tombstone… Silver Linings Playbook is a close second.

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

I finished this screenplay in about a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 3 screenplays, working on the 4th.

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

The song I’ve listened to the most recently would be… Probably… “Beer Never Broke my Heart” by Luke Combs.

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

This was my first solo screenplay, so just a lot of trial and error.

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

People.

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

Very easy, very helpful. 10/10. Would use it again.

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

This script is still a work in progress and has gone through many drafts… There are still a few things I’d like to do with it, but I thought it was a story that needs to be told. I was pleased with the feedback I received.

In his senior year of high school, an adopted refugee learns that he doesn’t need to earn the approval of others, and in the process, gets better at coping with his anxiety.

CAST LIST:

Narration – KATELYN VARADI
Alex – 10 – LOGAN FORSYTH
Nabil – 13 – JOLLY AMOAKO