Interview with Screenwriter Devone Jones (Pen and Pencil: Spring Break)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Devone Jones: The screenplay is about when a date to the museum turns into a high stake drawing contest for a young artist and the girl of his dreams, it’s Pen and Pencil to the rescue.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genres in the screenplay are comedy, romance and drama.

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

This screenplay would become an animated short film that has comedy, drama, love and conflict.

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

Pen & Pencil has a lot of creative flair.

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

I’ve watched “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” a lot when I was younger.

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

I’ve been working on this project for three years now.

7. How many stories have you written?

So far, I’ve written four stories.

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

Through the wire by Kanye West is one of my favorite songs.

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

I started this project in San Diego California. I have relocated to Denver Colorado and now reside in Orlando Florida. The biggest obstacle would be moving around, but the journey has been worth it.

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

Besides writing, I’m passionate about directing, producing and acting.

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

FilmFreeway is a great submission platform. I submit all my projects through them and the experiences have been wonderful.

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

My professors and peers have influenced my festival submissions. The feedback have been so helpful. I grow every time I receive feedback.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Randall – 9 – DANIEL JONES
Pencil – 10 – TED POWERS
NARRATION – ETHEL ABRAY
Peter – 18 – JUSTIN DESOUZA
Samantha – 21 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE
Coordinator – 9 – OLIVIA BARRETT

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Interview with Screenwriters Hank Biro & Kai Biro (Must Escape from the Slaughtercity)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Hank Biro & Kai Biro: This screenplay is about a future where the majority of people are vegan, and the government are satanists who think the murder of animals and the people they govern is a necessity.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genre is sci-fi/horror.

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

This script should be made into a movie because of its positive vegan message. Our hope is for many people to see the film and consider switching to a vegan lifestyle. It has been proven that the consumption of animals is directly linked to 14 out of 15 of the leading causes of death around the world, and also is the leading cause of global warming.

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

Evil agriculture.

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

Donnie Darko and Fight Club.

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

One year.

7. How many stories have you written?

Five screenplays.

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

My favourite songs currently are: Immaterial by Sophie, Infatuation by Sophie, The Bends by Earl Sweatshirt, and 151 Rum by J.I.D.

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

Obstacles we faced would be thinking of new and entertaining action and dialogue for certain scenes among the second half of the script.

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

I am also passionate about watching movies and TV, and hanging out with my friends and family.

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

It is very useful and easy to operate.

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

This is our second submission to this festival, and we consider the feedback we received very helpful.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When almost everyone on Earth becomes vegan, the government begins forcing people to use animal products again. Many are imprisoned and turned to plastic, and some go on living for centuries hoping to achieve retribution.

CAST LIST:

Melina – 1 – OLIVIA BARRETT
Tamika – 1 – ETHEL ABRAY
NARRATION – DANIEL JONES
Braydon – 3 – TED POWERS
Jaimie – 4 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE
Walker – 4 – JUSTIN DESOUZA

Interview with Screenwriter Renate Grassmugg (FREE FALLING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Renate Grassmugg: The journey of two men to each other.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama. Romantic drama. Family drama.

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

Because Kiefer Sutherland and Sam Heughan will be brilliant in it.

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

Emotion and soul

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

Amadeus

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

Two years

7. How many stories have you written?

Five

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

„Time in a bottle“ by Jim Croce
„Something you love“ by Kiefer Sutherland

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

I have a very clear vision of „Free Falling“, the movie… So – none. 😉

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

My relationship. Movies. Theater. Music. Photography. Travelling.

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

Easy handling.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Max is a happy family man. But when knock-out Frenchman Joel is hired at
his law firm and immediately turns his charm on him, he is increasingly
torn between remaining happily married and returning to his
long-repressed gay life. On a rollercoaster of lust, guilt, surrender,
remorse and confusion, the two men slowly allow themselves a real love,
leaving Max to face the most difficult decision of his life.

CAST LIST:

Leo Mayer – 1 – DANIEL JONES
Catherine – 4 – OLIVIA BARRETT
NARRATION – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE
Max – 20 – TED POWERS

Interview with Screenwriter James C. Peters (Soccer Babe)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

James C. Peters: Soccer Babe, inspired by a true story, chronicles the towering desire of a woman to overcome her childhood handicap and become a world-class soccer player. Plus she battles prejudice, injury, disease and homelessness to get what she wants.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a sports drama with a romantic story thread.

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

Soccer Babe is a monumental story of the human spirit, in which a woman faces more challenges than most people–men included–could endure. A torn meniscus, a serious disease that almost kills her, and a California wildfire that destroys her home.

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

Wonder woman!

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

It’s Complicated, Fargo, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

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

Actually it only took a couple of months. After my sister-in-law told me about her real-life ordeal–and she persists today in her 70s, playing on three soccer teams and coaching another! It’s my first sports drama, but it’s more about the amazing character than the sport itself.

7. How many stories have you written?

About a dozen feature screenplays and half a dozen shorts.

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

Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely”

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

An agent in Phoenix told me no one would be interested in a story about an old woman playing soccer! Tell that to Meryl Streep!

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

The need to embrace people of all hues and let them know they matter.

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

It’s very simple and efficient — an excellent conduit for submitting screenplays to competitions, film festivals, etc.

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

I first entered the festival in 2015 with my Chinese aviation history screenplay, Fei Ji (Flying Machine, in Mandarin), which won the competition prize of a professional table read. It was wonderfully done, with excellent actors, and it was over 2.5 hours long! As for my feelings, it was thrilling. Later I received an option offer for the script. As I’ve told WildSound Festival director Matthew Toffolo, the Festival provides not only opportunities for screenwriters but also for young actors to perform at table reads and also act in short films. I’m truly grateful for the Wildsound Festival and the opportunities it offers.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Rhonda – 2 – ETHEL ABRAY
NARRATION – DANIEL JONES
Resnor – 12 – TED POWERS
Jessica – 8 – OLIVIA BARRETT

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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

***