Interview with Screenwriter John Saunders (MIMICS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

John Saunders: A plane carrying two prisoners crash lands in North Carolina where hunters Ethan, Tommy and Dale come to their assistance. Major Reynolds and one prisoner, the attractive Amber, are the only survivors and are taken back to their hut. But the injured Reynolds warns Ethan that Amber is dangerous, and that the second prisoner must be found. Returning to the plane, Dale is killed by the second prisoner who ‘mimics’ his appearance to try and fool Ethan, but Ethan kills him. Alarmed by the discovery of a magazine featuring Amber, Ethan realises that she is also an alien. Convincing the others, a dangerous game of cat and mouse results in Ethan being the last to survive, but has the creature won and mimicked him?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It is Sci-Fi

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

It would make a good movie because it is a very visual story. Plus it has a unique group of protagonists, a different adversary and an unusual location.

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

alien chameleons

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

The movie I have watched the most is probably Grandma’s Boy. I love that movie.

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

The screenplay took a couple of months to pull together. I started with the idea of duck hunters as the protagonists then added a different adversary.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written a bunch of other stories.
Beach Massacre at Kill Devil Hills that was made into a film.
We Live in Darkness which is set to start filming in Puerto Rico in February.
My first novel, The Last Spartan, has been optioned by Mane Entertainment.
My scripts:
Survive the Night was a finalist In The Hollywood Horror Festival, Underground Indie Film Festival, and Motorcity Nightmares
Girl Hunters was a finalist for Boob and Blood International Film Festival
Adaro was a finalist i Indie Suspense horror Sci-Fi film Festival, Hollywood Horror Fest

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

I am an old metal head. I listen to Dope, Five Finger Death Punch and Ice Nine Kills. Right now I am listening to Amon Amarth Shield Wall.

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

My main obstacle with this or any script is making it move quickly. There is a tendency for me to get too wordy and the expense of the story.

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

My other passion is surfing. There is nothing like it.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

My experience with Filmfreeway has been fantastic. They have simplified finding Festivals that fit my individual projects.

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

My feed back on Mimics was the best I have ever received. It was detailed and very insightful. It pointed out areas that needed to be improved and areas that needed to be removed. It absolutely improved my script.

Watch the Screenplay Reading; 

A plane carrying two prisoners crash lands in North Carolina where hunters Ethan, Tommy and Dale come to their assistance. Major Reynolds and one prisoner, the attractive Amber, are the only survivors and are taken back to their hut. But the injured Reynolds warns Ethan that Amber is dangerous, and that the second prisoner must be found. Returning to the plane, Dale is killed by the second prisoner who ‘mimics’ his appearance to try and fool Ethan, but Ethan kills him. Alarmed by the discovery of a magazine featuring Amber, Ethan realises that she is also an alien. Convincing the others, a dangerous game of cat and mouse results in Ethan being the last to survive, but has the creature won and mimicked him?

CAST LIST :
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Marine One: Hartley O. Gyamfi
Marine Two: Sheldon Graham

Interview with Screenwriter Matthew Papadopoulos (THE REAL THING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Matthew Papadopoulos: Adam, a virgin college student, creates his virtual perfect girlfriend Sarah V… then meets her real-life lookalike Sarah who is anything but perfect.

Will Adam realize that falling in love with Sarah V would mean he could only ever love himself? Will he admit that, with all her foibles and flaws, he loves Sarah and needs to win her heart if it isn’t too late and before his rival irrevocably does so? Will these pesky questions never end?

Find out by seeing the film of the screenplay on your local streaming device sometime soon… or just abandon all this suffering caused by the unsatisfactory nature of temporary things, including pleasant but temporary experiences such as The Real Thing, and instead, strive for Nirvana…

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic Comedy and Sci-Fi.

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

I need the money. Apart from that, and less importantly, it delves with themes about love

and reality pertaining to the now and near future that will be hotly debated.

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

Love virtually?

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

The Lord of The Rings trilogy – 25 times up to now (art imitating life).

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

Not long enough to please every reader.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’m a first-time screenwriter with my first spec script.

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

“Amoureuse” by Kiki Dee (life imitating art).

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

Whatever I could find.

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

Golf… definitely a case of life wishing/praying/begging to imitate art.

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

I once was blind… then came FilmFreeway. Mercifully, my prior blindness only lasted a couple of months. Wonderful platform – and not only for promoting oneself thus:

https://filmfreeway.com/MatthewPapadopoulos

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

a) The thrill of having part of my screenplay read by professional actors;

b) Let’s not diminish the cultural value of writer and reader agreeing to disagree without fear of decapitation either way…

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A virgin college student creates his virtual perfect girlfriend… then falls for her real-life lookalike who is anything but perfect.

CAST LIST:

Jack: Kaleb Alexander
Narrator: Elizabeth Morriss
Adam: Peter Mark Rapheal
Male Golfer: Peter Nelson
Female Golfer: Jen Daniels

Interview with Screenwriter Mike D’Ambrosio (SPACE FRONTIERS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mike D’Ambrosio: A young Space Fleet officer (Will) convinces his commander to pursue a mythical crystal (the Eye) which foretells future events and may be the secret to a barbaric alien king’s successes against the Fleet. After several attempts by the king to destroy Will’s ship and crew, Will is sent to the surface of the king’s planet to do reconnaissance. Telepathy is common among the races but Will has one valuable trait in that he can cloak his thoughts, thus making him hard to detect. Will is also a shape-shifter which allows him to sneak into the king’s palace through a cave. Will’s ship is forced to abandon him when alien cruisers identify and hint them. Once inside, he rescues one of the prisoners, Shanna, who is not only a Seer of the crystal, but a princess as well. Despite an awkward beginning to their relationship, they realize they have more in common with revenge in mind as the king is responsible for the deaths of their parents. Will has the knack of making friends with the most unusual characters. Without his crew for support, Will takes his new team to battle to the alien king while stealing the crystal.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy/sci-fi. I love space opera.

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

I believe it has all the elements of a movie that sci-fi fantasy fans look for. We have the Star Trek element with aliens who can speak our language; the romance/ young love that develops between Will and Shanna; the faithful side-kick/mentor in Jack; the young rebel attitude in Will and Shanna that often causes more trouble than it helps; and the unity for a cause that Will builds among several unique alien characters. You can’t help but root for them as underdogs against an arrogant barbarian who plays dirty.

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

Galactic fun!

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

5th Element – I like the mix of humanness with the aliens and the bizarre futuristic ideas (i.e. Space Liner) that may not be so bizarre in a few years.

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

About a year. This was adapted from my Space Frontiers series of novels and focuses on the first half of The Eye of Icarus. If this became a motion picture, there is definitely a lot more to come that is even more exciting as the plot for galactic peace evolves.

7. How many stories have you written?

Twelve novels and seven scripts. The novels are self-published and the scripts have won or placed in six contests. This is the first for Space Frontiers: The Eye of Icarus.

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

Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple. This actually helped inspire me to write my latest script and novel, both titled Space Truckers.

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

The hardest part was setting up the crossover into the next script titled Leviathan without taking away from the ending. I had to leave enough strands to make a valid sequel but still give this one a satisfying ending. Also, there is the challenge of finding a balance between too much dialogue and not enough. There is no formula for that but hearing it at a table read assures me that dialogue wasn’t wasted.

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

Strategy plotting: whether it’s games, finances, war, I enjoy a challenge. Even in marketing, you have to have strategies, although funding can be a limiting factor.

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

I really enjoy using Film Freeway. The hardest part is on me to keep it updated whenever I do a revision. It is convenient and reliable. I highly recommend it to writer.

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

I’m always looking for ways to validate the level of skill in my writing and the marketability of my projects. Sci-fi/fantasy is always a tough sell and often big budget but that’s what makes it such a challenge. I was pleased with the feedback because I felt as though I accomplished my goals but I also saw where I can improve my script just a little bit more.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A young officer and a fiesty princess take on a barbaric alien king.

CAST LIST:

Maya: Kristen Pepper
Jack: James Chapman
Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Will: Russell Batcher
Shanna: Regan Brown

Interview with Screenwriter Robert Cole (The Musketeers and The Zombies)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Robert Cole: The classic Alexandre Dumas action-adventure novel, “The Three Musketeers,” ends in 1626. My story begins a couple of years later.

Aramis now serves God as a Jesuit priest. Porthos, Athos and the newly commissioned lieutenant d’Artagnan have moved on with their lives.

The enmity with their number one antagonist Cardinal Richelieu remains.

The malevolent Cardinal sees a chance to get the Musketeers off French soil. His spy intercepts a plea meant for King Louis from Charles St. Jacques requesting urgent help in solving the Zombie crisis on the island of Saint-Dominique.

The Cardinal sends The Musketeers on mission impossible to solve the Zombie crisis in this thrilling all-new adventure.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This is a cross-genre screenplay with action, adventure, historical drama, comedy and horror in the mix.

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

The title alone has prompted numerous filmmaker friends to say they’d see this film. I had one festival say they’d like to see it made. These are validations that you’ve hit on a big idea.

Of course, The Musketeers are perennial favorites. One for all. All for one is literary magic. By adding the Musketeers to the zombie trope I augment their appeal. As one friend said, it’s like marrying chocolate with peanut butter. You can’t lose.

I also introduce the character of Olivia Buckingham. She matches the Musketeers for bravery and swordsmanship and becomes the first female Musketeer at the end. This character resonates with contemporary action movies from DC and Marvel.

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

Entertaining. Thoughtful.

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

Without a doubt, it’s “The Fifth Element,” It’s on TV so much and I always get pulled in. Just kidding. It’s the Bond franchise. Can’t resist.

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

This was about a six-month process.

7. How many stories have you written?

I write TV and Feature films. I have 12 projects.

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

The Leonard Cohen song, “Dance me to the end of love,” is my current favorite.

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

Procrastination is always the number one obstacle for a writer.

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

I am passionate about my fitness. I workout at the gym 3 times a week. I spin and train with weights. I love to travel. I’ve spent months in Spain and Argentina and now live in Mexico. I’m also an inveterate street photographer. Living in Oaxaca, Mexico is photo-op gold.

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

Film Freeway is amazing for its simplicity. Love it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Aramis: Brandon Knox
Athos: Russell Batcher
Narrator: Kristen Pepper
D’Artangnas: Hugh Ritchie
Olivia: Regan Brown
Porthos: James Chapman

Interview with Screenwriter Kim Renner (EYES OF A SWAMI)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kim Renner: The screenplay is about Liv, a young American girl who travels to India in search of ways to better herself. She wants to heal the emotional pain she experiences from the lack of a father figure she has had in her life until now. Niraj, one of the founders of the ashram she calls home for the next few weeks, seems to begin filling this role as they slowly form a close bond. She immediately notices the mystical traits he seems to embody. When another teacher in the ashram sexually harasses Liv one evening, Niraj finds out. He avenges her violator and drives him away from the ashram, but he drags his oppressed wife along with him. Liv swears her intentions on helping to liberate her offender’s wife, all the while having to navigate the cornerstones of Indian culture and protocols. Niraj promises to mentor Liv in the secretive, supernatural powers of meditation and chakra activation. With his help, she finds a way to set her free, allowing her to be with who she truly wants. Liv faces her own demons and heals her childhood traumas, vowing to dedicate her life toward helping others learn to do the same. Through this experience, she has found her purpose.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action/adventure

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

It’s entertaining, is enlightening and educational with regards to the Indian culture, and its message is positive and impactful.

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

Adventurous and entertaining

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

The Lord of the Rings Pt. 1

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

It took about 3 months to write.

7. How many stories have you written?

Around 10-12

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

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

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

I faced many, but the main was time. I was in Edinburgh when I started it, and was planning to travel throughout Europe. I didn’t want to completely lose myself writing the script without losing myself in my travels a little too, so I had to find a healthy balance.

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

I’m also a yoga teacher, so I’m pretty passionate about helping people diminish their anxieties, stresses, and more through yoga and meditation. I love being a vehicle for my students that brings them somewhere else entirely—it’s no longer about me, but completely about them and their experience.

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

I like the platform; it’s organized and easy to use.

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

I wanted to get some valuable feedback on my writing so I can continue improving. I agreed with pretty much all the feedback I was given.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Liv seeks out change in her life. She knows there is something missing, and that these issues lie within her deep past. She embarks on a journey to an ashram in India where she learns healing through yoga. She fills her missing father-figure void with an unlikely person. When she is violated by a teacher in the compound, her new mentor vows revenge on her behalf.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
NIrja: Hartley O. Gyamfi
Liv: Jennifer Misiorowski

Interview with Screenwriter Zach Kalinyak (STARLEAGUE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Zach Kalinyak: The screenplay is about Larry Trenton’s success of turning had-been enemies into a close-knit family striving to unravel a galactic conspiracy that all of these aliens have unwittingly stumbled upon, earning them places on a hit-list.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Action, Family, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Adventure, Mystery

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

Currently, this screenplay is NOT ready to be made into a movie. In fact the movie that best introduces the entire franchise that this movie exists in is being produced by the writers ofThe Intrepid Factor – To Catch a Falling Star this winter.

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

Insanity united.

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

Star Trek: IV: The Voyage Home

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

Eleven years, three alone, eight with P.E. Novak

7. How many stories have you written?

Alone, about 10 to 20, with P.E. Novak over 1,000

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

Oh, every year that changes as my journey changes. The song that best describes The Intrepid Factor – To Catch a Falling Star is Barry Manilow’s It’s a Long Way Up.

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

Originally Starleage: The Intrepid Factor – To Catch a Falling Star was Star Trek: The Next Frontier – Strength of Will. A spinoff from Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine set after Voyager’s return home from the Delta quadrant. It took creating a totally different franchise to determine these characters fromThe Next Frontier belonged in a world apart from that of Star Trek as their behaviors did not match those of the characters and races created in the Star Trek universe.

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

I’d say that the answer to that would be either songwriting, as I do that, too. Or changing the world for the better. Entertainment just seems the best way to go about doing that.

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

FilmFreeway is a good submission platform. I don’t have any complaints.

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

I entered the festival, because the only reward was the table-read and Starleage – The Intrepid Factor – To Catch a Falling Star is not slated for production for at least a decade, so the pressure to produce this script, which is perhaps one of the strongest having been so thoroughly edited for so many years, while likely to win (which it did) would be just left at a low-key table-read still un-produced, allowing its franchise to grow into the size needed to support The Intrepid Factor as a television series, while giving us the laurels needed to be taken more seriously as writers. My thoughts on the feedback. The first feedback was good. It convinced me to cut ninety percent of the scenes with the Hadolites (pronounced HAH-doe-LIGHTS) as the real two lead characters are Larry J. Trenton and Elbapac Eurt, a point to which that first reader was oblivious. Therefore I understood better having seen that misinterpretation how to rework a screenplay to convey important information while minimizing the roles of supporting characters. So I learned an important lesson from it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

The starcraft Intrepid sets out, premature to save one star, and begins an isolated journey to unite the galaxy.

 

CAST LIST:

Veltin: Ron Boyd

Kilo: Michael Ruhs

Narration: Shawn Devlin

Bihong: Hannah Ehman

Klevar: Bree Ali

Interview with Screenwriter Alexander Chernega (THE UNDERWATER STORY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Alexander Chernega: The screenplay is about friendship, family and love.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genre is animation/action.

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

This is saga under the name of Underwater Story consisting of five feature scripts.

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

The Fifth Element

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

I have been working four months on this screenplay.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have 12 written stories and 10 completed screenplays.

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

The man who sold the world by Nirvana

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

My biggest concern was to save a quality of the script after translation it in to English. That was obstacle I have faced as did translation myself.

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

Travelling

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

The FilmFreeway is very convenient platform to work with (easy to navigate and understand it).

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

The power of the stone of Bereon haunts the villains. To get it brothers Marten again have been turned into blue dolphins by the will of the father of beautiful daughters is the greedy merchant Dorey.

CAST LIST:

Ludwig: James Chapman
Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Virgil: Russell Batcher
Joseph: Brandon Knox