Interview with Screenwriter Steve Feld (AND THEN, THIS HAPPENED)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Steve Feld: Finding love in the most unexpected places, with the most unexpected person and the most unexpected gender.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Romance, RomCom

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

It’s a love story and a comedy. Who doesn’t love those kinds of movies.

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

Labor (of) love

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

Cast Away

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

1 year

7. How many stories have you written?

Started when I was 4. Too many to count.

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

Clair de Lune

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

My fingers couldn’t keep up with my brain.

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

My family and my dogs.

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

Nothing but positive.

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

Wanted to get feedback from professionals. Very happy with the feedback.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Hard-ass tabloid reporter Lacey Stevens has the scoop of the year when she finds a reclusive superstar diva who’s been in hiding for years. But before she can expose her, Lacey and the star fall in love, creating an even more sensational story. It’s a modern take on It Happened One Night for a new generation.

CAST LIST:

Anna: Rachel Salsberg
Kelly: Nancy Kenny
Harvey: Jarrod Terrill
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Security Guard: Kirk Gordon
Drunk Woman: Gauri Prasad
Max: Rhys Harrison

FilmFreeway exclusive Festival:

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Interview with Screenwriter Jessi Thind (UP AND AWAY – Superman Script)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Jessi Thind: Up and Away is about identity, friendship, and parenthood. It follows Clark Kent as a runaway teenager on a journey of self-discovery with his parents desperately searching for him.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Coming of age/ Drama.

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

I’d say because it’s a fairly unique and relevant take on Superman. It’s less about Superman’s powers and more about his struggle to find himself as he travels across America with a bunch of friends in a Winnebago. In this way, it takes inspiration from the Green Lantern series “Hard-Traveling Heros” by Denis O’Neal and Neal Adams in which Lantern and Arrow travel across America dealing with real, grounded issues. Up and Away is about a teenage Clark Kent traveling from city to city with a journalist mentor and a war veteran as they confront real menaces–corruption, racism, poverty, drugs– and try to understand the shifting attitude toward immigration and minorities. Essentially, it’s about Clark Kent’s discovery of the American way

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

Inspiring. Entertaining.

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

Richard Doner’s Superman.

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

I wrote the first draft ten years ago. I revisited it last year. An earlier draft of this script actually helped me get into Warner Brothers where I was narrative director and writer on several highly successful projects.

7. How many stories have you written?

I write quite a bit being a scriptwriter and the narrative director on the recently announced Unknown 9 property. But in terms of fanfiction, I write a fan script whenever I feel inspired usually in the DCU. Keeps the creative juices flowing.

8. What book have you read the most times in your life?

Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

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

No real obstacles other than finding the time to write with two little kiddos who demand quite a bit of my time. If I had to define an obstacle I would say it’s more of the inner struggle of knowing there is no hope for a fan fiction script to be taken seriously or ever picked up. But at the end of the day, the passion wins out and you finish the script because you love the universe and characters. It’s really a case of the work being its own reward.

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

Toastmasters. It’s something I’ve recently begun as an on-going effort to mitigate the complications of dyspraxia. Toastmasters forces constant impromptu talks which helps train quick recovery when there’s a struggle with thought or perception while giving a talk. Individuals with dyspraxia often have learning and speaking challenges because of the unique way their brains work which has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s just a different way the brain is wired. In fact, our wiring is ideal for creative and chimeric thinking and less ideal for linear-sequential thinking which makes it more difficult to speak on the fly. Actually, one of the reasons I joined Toastmasters is because I recently had someone in my professional life imitate my condition behind my back because of a slight goof in a talk. It’s not something I dwell on, but I did want to find some potential solutions. I asked around and Toastmasters was at the top of the recommendation list, and I’ve definitely been enjoying my experience so far. It’s a great and supportive atmosphere for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.

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

Quick. Easy. Accessible. No complaints. It’s a great platform for writers and filmmakers.

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

I wanted other Superman fans to have access to my take on the universe and see what they thought. I’ve been writing Superman scripts every since I learned the craft of screenwriting. It’s actually the first Superman fanfiction script that won best script. It’s thrilling because it gives me the sense that fans would definitely be open to something that is a little less about the powers and the spectacle and more about the characters and the inner struggle of being the most powerful kid on earth. Not to mention, the struggle of the parents who have to raise the most powerful kid on Earth. One of the things my dad used to say, and I only fully understood when I had my first child, was that the real heroes in the Superman universe are his parents. The ones who cared for him, loved him, taught him, instilled within him his sense of right and wrong. Superman is about the responsibility of being a protector and guardian of an entire world. When you become a parent you instantly become a guardian and protector of an entire world. It can definitely be said that you become a hero when you become a parent. This is one of the reasons the original creators actually wanted Superman’s name to embody both mother and father. Martha Clark. Johnathan Kent. Clark Kent.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Jonathan Kent desperately searches for his runaway eleven-year-old son throughout the United States before he hurts someone with newfound powers he is just beginning to understand.

CAST LIST:

Police Officer: Brian Carlton
Jonathan: Brandon Knox
Narrator: Val Cole
Linda: Alex Simpson
Clark: Randy Baumer
Douglas: Harry Judge

You can also submit via FilmFreeway:

Interview with Screenwriter P.J. Palmer (NORTH STAR)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

P.J. Palmer: This story is ultimately about the families we are born into and the families we choose. While on the surface, the story is about a couple who has fallen on hard times and must downsize their life. But the struggle is with one part of their extended family that feels it has the best solutions for the couple, while the couple themselves have a different idea of what is best for themselves. Part of the issue is that the couple in the story is queer – and the rest of the family doesn’t fully accept or grasp that the couple is their own legitimate family unit. Put another way: if the queer couple was not married – if the story happened just a few years ago, before marriage equality – then the blood family would have been able to successfully be imposed their will on them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This is a drama.

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

This is an important conversation to have. It has been written to be gentle and subtle in its assertions, but the characters are strong and un-moveable in their commitment to each other, their commitment to stay together at all costs – even when the rest of their world is finding ways to split them apart.

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

This is hard……
True Loyalty

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

LOL. Probably JAWS. Maybe Back to the Future. Harold and Maude. The Shining. I have seen all of these many times.

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

I wrote the first draft a couple years ago – then shelved it. This past year I re-wrote it and added a lot of my personal story into it –

7. How many stories have you written?

So many. Long and short. About a dozen so far.

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

U2 Joshua Tree – the entire album, in order, is like one great song to me. (

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

I had to really be honest about my own life and struggles and be willing to express myself and my story – to be vulnerable. It’s a scary thing to do – but is also the most satisfying. And it’s the best way to connect with an audience.

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

Directing. Telling a good story is my passion – either writing it, directing it or both. Also – I am pretty passionate about getting good sleep!

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

FilmFreeway is fantastic – I find it very easy to use and to navigate – I like all the options it provides writers to build up their projects and submit to festivals.

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

When I first read about this festival, my initial reaction was “why have I not heard of this before?!” I felt happy that there was a festival dedicated to Diversity – and that the festival also did table readings. Which is something I really love. The feedback was very encouraging. Which, as a writer who spends most of the time writing alone, was very much appreciated.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

While struggling to keep his marriage intact, a rural rancher makes hard sacrifices to survive an ongoing crisis.

CAST LIST:

News Anchor: Jarrod Terrill
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
James: Kirk Gordon
Erin: Gauri Prasad

Submit your Film & Screenplay via FilmFreeway:

Interview with Screenwriter Helen Marsh (Alice Through the Microscope)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Helen Marsh: Alice Through the Microscope follows an insect obsessed girl trying to win the science fair amidst an absentee mother and a fungal monstrosity of a foster mother.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark Fantasy/ Sci-fi

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

Alice Through the Microscope should be made into a movie because although it’s set in a dark, uncanny universe (like The series of Unfortunate Events) it tackles real issues in mother-daughter relationships and follows a girl who is looking for parental love.

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

Eerie yet heartfelt

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

Juno

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

six months

7. How many stories have you written?

3 screenplays but an uncountable amount of stories.

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

Other People by LP

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

Countless Friday and Saturday nights at home with Final Draft instead of out with friends.

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

Painting, animals, watching movies, hiking

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

As a girl, it is not always easy to find representation in the film industry. Female Film Festival was the first festival to promote my work to the public. The feedback was extremely helpful and encouraged me to write consecutive drafts.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy

An insect-obsessed preteen girl struggles to create a great science fair project amidst an absentee mother, a relentless bully, and a fungal monstrosity of a foster mother.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Jarrod Terrill
Mikey: Rhys Harrison
Frankie: Gauri Prasad
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Alice: Rachel Salsberg
Claudia: Nancy Kenny

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

Interview with Screenwriter Paul R. Price (PAX GRAVITATE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Paul R. Price: What my screenplay is about is the story of a man, Simon Kirk, who watched his wife, unborn son, and his father murdered by a totalitarian government bent on total world domination. Simon wants justice. Justice is fleeting in a Simon’s world. Simon makes it his life’s goal to bring this group to justice using any means at his disposal. They must pay for what they have done. Simon finds out that this maybe what he has in mind. Others have different plans for him. He’s thrust into a time travel journey not of his making, but so that he can fulfill his destiny and along with this save humanity.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genres that my show falls into is science fiction and drama.

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

The reason for the show being made into either a TV series, or, movie is that the story will resonate with the common person. It’s a story about heartbreak and retribution. This one man’s journey to seek justice only to find out that his journey will save humanity for the rest of eternity. He must choose which path he must set himself on. Will he save humanity as the time council has recorded it to happen, or will he follow his own path, humanity be damned! This is the crux of the character, Simon Kirk. He must choose what his path will be. What would you do if you found out that your life was put on a path that you had not chosen? If you choose not to follow the path that you’re forced on humanity and reality will cease to exist. Would you choose to be happy, or, choose to save humanity so that humanity will survive? This is the problem. Simon must choose. It’s not only a time travel story. It’s a story about one man’s journey to redemption.

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

Heartache and triumph

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

I’ve seen many movies a lot of times. One in particular is Star Wars: A new hope. I loved the character development. Luke being a poor boy who is thrust onto a bigger stage. He’s the pivotal man of destiny. Luke wasn’t looking for destiny when destiny found him.

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

I’ve been working on this script for over a year. I’ve had to go through many rewrites. It’s been a long process.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written seven stories so far. One trilogy is the Prophecy Chronicles.

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

Goodbye Yellow brick road by Sir. Elton John.

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

The obstacles that I faced in writing the script deals with my razor focus. I needed help to weed out the issues with the characters. Some friends of mine made suggestions as well as the people here at

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

My work in science. I’ve written peer reviewed papers on the subject of gravity propulsion. I love my faith too!

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

Film freeway has been a great resource for me. Without their help I wouldn’t have had the opportunity that I had to enter this contest.

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

 
I believed in myself, even though I didn’t have any way to promote my material with an agent so that it could’ve been seen by an agent. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. I’m thankful for some feedback. This helped me tweak the script making it better over all. I”d like to thank WILDsound for their input!

Watch the Reading:

Logline: One man’s search for gravity control to change the world. Simon Kirk is a time traveler sent back in time to get information on past technologies to stop a tyrannical government from oppressing humanity. He’s the only man who can change history so that humanity can survive. Without him humanity will not survive. This is his story.

Genre- Science Fiction Dystopian

CAST LIST:

Male: Sean Ballantyne

Sherry: Zena Driver

Paul Simmons: John Marcucci

Narrator: Kat Smiley

Delores: Cassandra Guthrie

Simon Kirk: Sam Fazli

Guard 1: Shawn Devlin

Submit your TV Show/Pilot via FilmFreeway:

Interview with Novelist Jerry L. Harvey Jr. (SPACE TANGENTS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Jerry L. Harvey: Four rednecks are abducted by aliens while playing golf in Kansas. They are drawn into rescuing a princess as they try to return to earth.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Science Fiction

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Mindblowingly Ludicrous

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

That’s a toss up between Tequila Sunrise and The Fifth Element.

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

One Week, By: Bare Naked Ladies.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No, but Douglas Adams, Robert Aspirin, Harry Harrison, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Terry brooks are all favorites.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A recurring image of a one-legged Gautemalan pigmy hooker.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Isaac Asimov or Kurt Vonnegut come to mind, I forgot to mention them earlier.

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

I do a fair amount of hiking in the Smokies.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I just thought it would be good to have it performed by a different perspective than the writer’s.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep trying, keep writing, write because you have things in your heart and soul to share with the world.

Performed by Kat Smiley

Buy on Amazon

Four Rednecks from Kansas are abducted by aliens and have an unbelievable adventure as they travel to several planets, fight Kelvekians, battle the Elvi, rescue a damsel in distress, party with Elvis and then, there is the incident on Herpe.

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Interview with Novelist Chynna Laird (PASSING LOOP)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Chynna Laird: The novel is about three generations of very strong women, each set in their ways, who are brought together in a time of tragedy. It was not an easy transition for any of them, to say the least. And on top of their personal hurdles they’re trying to overcome, they are thrown other unexpected curve balls to deal with. They teach one another that no one way is the ‘right’ way and through it all, despite how hopeless things may seem, together they are a force to be reckoned with.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

This story is clean and can be read by anyone anywhere but the main genre it targets is NA/YA.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Finding peace.

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

I really love old movies. I’d have to say the black and whites are some of my favorites. But the movie I’ve seen over and over without wanting to blow DVD up has to be ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.

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

Blackbird by the Beatles. This song has tremendous meaning for me for a multitude of reasons.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

That is such a hard question. I should really show a picture of my ever-growing, over-stuffed bookshelves. lol I am an avid reader, which is important in becoming a good writer. I’m not sure I could narrow all of the books I’ve read down to one specific all-time favorite. I do have a certain kind of book that draws my attention. I like a strong main character who is going through or facing tough times and dealing with it in the most positive way he or she can under their given circumstances. Books, like good movies, need to make you think, open a new door (or view an opened door in a new way), draw you in, surface emotions and have moments of laughter because that is what real life is made up of.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

You know, it’s funny because I am usually more comfortable showing a story through a male main character’s perspective than a female one. But this story not only has a very strong female main character, but also revolves around her mother and grandmother. What motivated me to write this novel were the words my own grandmother said to me many years ago, “Life is a passing loop with many trains going in different directions and with different end destinations. As fast as they go, it’s the sudden or unplanned stops made along the way to that end place that you learn from the most. Just always make sure to keep your back to where you’re leaving from, and face where you’re heading.”

There are sprinkles from my own experiences mixed in there but all in all, it’s my way of thanking my grandmother for all of her pearls of wisdom, even when she didn’t think I was listening to her.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

There are several people I’d love to have this opportunity with for different reasons. Not just for what they do, but to be enlightened by their unique view of the world. If I had to pick one person of all of those I highly respect (dead or alive, famous or not), I’d have to say Alan Alda. I have admired him and his work for many years. He’s not just a superior actor and director, he sees things with the most profound wisdom and undying curiosity. I love that!

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

I’m passionate about giving a voice to issues or causes that aren’t discussed or dealt with as strongly as they should be. Giving those a voice whose own aren’t always strong enough to be heard over what other people believe or think, is so inspiring. The most important things in my life are my four children. They are my reason to keep going, the daily reminder of why I’m still here and the motivation to trudge ahead through each day I wake up to.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I won’t speak for every other author, but I spend endless months hearing my stories in my head. I see the characters, hear their voices and experience the story right alongside them. But it’s a beautiful thing to hear your words being read by another person. It brings to mind a quote I came across recently by Maya Angelou who said, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

After reading that, I considered it my sign to enter the story and see what happens.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep writing. Even on days when you think you don’t have anything useful to put down, keep that writing craft active. There will be days where ideas may not come as easily and trust me, I know how frustrating that can be. But don’t stop. If you need to, get away from your writing space for a while and surround yourself with all that life has going on around you. It won’t be long before your inner idea jar will overflow again.

So, keep writing, don’t give up, hold strong to what you believe in and absorb the advice from those you aspire to be. That will always keep you motivated.

Watch the Novel Reading: 

Performed by Kat Smiley

BUY Author’s Novel on Amazon

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