Interview with Winning Screenwriter (PREY FOR THE DAY)

1. What is your screenplay about?

John and Kathy Pearson are an early 30’s, financially successful couple living an Los Angeles and are flown out Miami to meet a Real Estate Investor, Miguel, with a Real Estate investment plan that seems too good to be true, rehabbing abandoned neighborhoods from the Real Estate bubble for great returns on investment. After showing them a few of the areas the pair becomes suspicious when Miguel invites some of “Contractors” out to meet them. They are subsequently tied up, beaten and forced to transfer all their money to Miguel. After the deal is done Miguel goes back on his word and orders his men to murder them. John breaks free and turns the tables on Miguel and his henchmen. John and Kathy flee into the swampy, derelict neighborhood they were originally lured. Miguel, having survived the escape hires “Human Hunters” and puts a price on their heads. From there it’s a cat and mouse game of survival in an worn down area far from any civilization

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Thriller

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

It’s an edge of your seat, action thriller which will have an audience thinking “What’s next?. The backstory of the couple makes them characters the audience will cheer for and the bad guys characters the audience will genuinely hate. The isolation of the locale adds to the atmosphere and feeling of helplessness..

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

Page turner.

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

John Carpenter’s Halloween.

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

Took close to six months. Rewrote the story several times giving the two main characters more of a backstory and introduced more bad characters in the “Abandoned community”. The ending took a few rewrites as well to make it credible. Had to give the story more of that emotional roller coaster feel to it.

7. How many stories have you written? Scripts (Feature) Three horror, Three suspense/thrillers, Five character driven dramas, three short screenplays (20 pages) and A TV sitcom idea (Pilot and three scripts for the idea) a while back.

8. What is your favorite song?

(Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?) Any song off the original BOSTON album.

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

The pacing of the story was the most difficult part. Keeping the visuals, action scenes and characters all together and at a pace that was believable without taking anything or anyone to a situation that might confuse the reader. Also making the John and Kathy characters that I call “Transitional”

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

Reading biographies (For inspiration) Real Estate investing, Travel and Photography.

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

Great. A combination of guidance and encouragement through the writing process.

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

Feedback has been great. They definitely are thorough in their reading as I can tell from their notes. Again, always encouraging!!

******

 

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

An early 30’s couple is flown from California to Florida by a Real Estate Investor with an opportunity that appears too good to be true. Once they arrive the couple soon realizes they have fallen into the hands of a con man and his “Henchmen”. They are robbed, taken hostage and beaten as their journey to financial security soon becomes a fight for survival and terrifying encounters in an abandoned home development out in the middle of nowhere.

CAST LIST:

Tara: Cassandra Sirois
Billy: James Murray
Kathy: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Val Cole
John: Dan Fox
Miguel: Nick Wicht
Mendez: Fabio Abreu
 

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Michael Clohesy (BIOS)

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

BIOS surrounds the life, love and destiny of two people, born lifetimes apart but who share the same consciousness, who must come together and harness their shared potential in order to avert a cataclysmic ecological disaster.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

BIOS is a Sci-fi mystery drama. Kinda like LOST with some elements of Dark thrown in, even though it was conceived well before Dark entered the zeitgeist.

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

The reason BIOS should be made in to TV series is because the themes of Indigenous land rights, the cost of ecological preservation, the role of technology in overcoming adversity and the importance of critical thinking in a world full of ‘fake news’ are all crucial in today’s increasingly interconnected yet myopically corporatised global society.

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

Head. Trip.

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

The movie I’ve seen most in my life is probably Back to the Future Part II. Mainly because the TV channel in Australia that had the rights to it, seemed to play it and Part III every couple of months. Not Part I though weirdly, but I assume that was because it was the turn of the millennium, and implied themes of incestuous behaviour didn’t really fly with the ratings board back then. If only there was a way to go back and change things…

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

I worked on the version of BIOS this scene comes from off and on over the course of 5 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

I recently returned to writing after a break of four years, after I studied it during my post graduate diploma. Since this time last year, as well as BIOS, I have also written a short film ‘Min Min’ surrounding the psychedelic disappearance of a woman on her honeymoon at Uluru in Outback Australia.

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

As a voracious consumer of music that is a crazy hard question, but I’d have to say that Hall & Oates – Out Of Touch, Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody and Drake – Hold On We’re Going Home are definitely all up there, along with instrumental jams like Hans Zimmer – Time and John Murphy – Sunshine (Adagio in G Minor)

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

The biggest obstacle that I faced was time, which I see now is the recurring motif of this Q&A. Working erratic/ long hours freelancing in the Australian TV Industry, then trying to carve out time to ‘be creative’ as well as living a full active life. These are just a few of my many #firstworldwhitemanproblems

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

I’m passionate about active adventure and challenges, be they physical or mental, for if it challenges and pushes you, then anything that happens along the way is progress. That, and understanding the forces behind how the world works, who we are and how things got to be the way they are, in both the internal and cosmic sense… so basically I read a lot of science, anthropology and devour podcasts and travel the world as much as possible.

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

Film Freeway has been real smooth to use. easy to navigate and control my submissions to various competitions and programs. Two shakas up from me.

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

I was influenced to enter the festival primarily because it gave me a chance to get professional feedback on an original story that had been bursting out of my head over the middle of 2017. I was also very intrigued by the prize of having professional actors bring your story to life, which is something I never expected, especially considering this was the second screenplay I developed as a screenwriter, so I’m very grateful for such a cool opportunity.

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

Life as we know it is thrown into question when a disparate group of young creatives attempt to unravel the multi-generational mystery surrounding the reemergence of a reclusive artist, one who aspires to save the world by forever changing the face of the planet.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Olivia Jon
Kita: Jennifer Vallance
Miranda: Lesley Ballantyne

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Christine Sherwood (CHERRY GLAZED)

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Cherry Glazed is about about a small town crime boss who has to go clean up her sabordinates mess and she really hates messes.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Crime Drama

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

It’s a fun, witty, crime drama with a strong female lead that uses her wit over brawn for most of her actions.

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

Wet and Sticky

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

Goodfellas

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

I first wrote a flash story, which I then adapted. Time from starting to write flash story to script was 2.5 years, but I was also moving countries, traveling, and had many many months gap between. Actual time spent writing or researching, I’d say about 60 hours.

7. How many stories have you written?

Too many to count.

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

I don’t really have a favorite song. I find I always love hearing Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love in film soundtracks. Definitely adds to my love of Goodfellas.

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

When I moved back to the states, I’ve been bouncing around a bit. I’d say stability was the only obstacle.

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

Filmmaking in general, photography, and an avid reader.

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

FilmFreeway has stepped up the platform game by providing a clear, clean platform that makes it easy for filmmakers, writers, and festivals to navigate and find what they’re looking for.

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

It’s always nice to obtain feedback from someone who isn’t close to you. I’m lucky enough to have some great fimmaking professional friends who provide me honest, constructive feedback, but having an outsde perspective from that is still really useful. The feedback from WildSound was thorough and constructive. Definitely saw some of the points made. Was also a great opportunity for me to reflect on some of the choices I made whilst I wrote the script, and was able to respond back and explain why I made the choices I had. Having that back and forth really allows one to truly understand their work to a deeper level and also share those deeper choices with another.

Genre: Drama, Crime

A crime boss is forced to get her hands dirty to clean up her subordinates mess when they fail to handle a job.

CAST LIST:

Charlotte: Jennifer Vallance
Mark: Geoff Mays
Narrator: Olivia Jon
Rachel: Lesley Ballantyne
Joe:  Allan Cooke

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Keith Famie (MAIRE’S JOURNEY)

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Maire’s Journey is a journey of a young ladies fight with a rare cancer and the journey she takes us all on as she’s facing her end of life . Along the way she befriends a blind carpenter and small bird named Fern who eventually travels with her remains that are sealed in a small sail boat built by George the carpenter. Along the way we learn about life thorough the many people that encounter Maire , each of these new friends are touched by Maire’s desire to reach the ocean . We witness as these people from all walks of life choose to help Maire reach the ocean.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Hmm I guess adventure / drama

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

We are confident this story will resinate with anyone who has been touched by cancer in someway or those who have lost a love one thorough cancer.

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

Inspirational Journey

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

Hmm tough one , I guess my go to feel good movie for a variety of reasons would have to be the first Indian Jones , If I had to choose another one it would be Silver Lining

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

Maire and I were close friends , she is real, George the carpenter is real. This screenplay is based off the real life documentary I had produced Maire’s Journey http://mairesjourney.com/

So I’ve been on this journey with Maire for five years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have been producing documentary films for many years now, almost all of them air on PBS.

This is the first completed script I have written for an animated film. If interested in what we are working on now http://www.v-prod.com

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

In My Life , the Beetles

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

I guess for me was the emotional side of telling Maire’s story through an animated character. Since Maire really lived and did go on this journey I was always trying to decide how if any of the life characters Maire came in contact with should be part of the animated story verses new charecters I created. For me what was always most important is that the story would offer a sense of hope about the ability for humanity to care about a small pink sail boat with a young girls ashes in it trying to reach the ocean. Would anyone care? If So Why?

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

I love doing what I do as a story teller / documentary producer. The film we are working on now will for sure touch so many people.

Those on the Front Lines of Alzheimer’s & Dementia “ http://ontodaysfrontlines.com/alzheimers/ So for me at my age I guess I am just passionate about life and friends I make on my journey of life. Our time here on this planet is far shorter than anyone really understands until its too late.

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

I did not know what to expect, this has been an absolute wonderful experience , the team offered me wonderful insight into my story that I feel has helped Maire tell her story .

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

We were searching festivals where a screenplay of this nature could fit. FilmFreeway brought us to the festival. As I mentioned above I very much appreciated the very detailed feedback.

Genre: Animation, Family, Adventure

The journey follows Maire, a 23-year-old cancer patient, as she battles a rare heart cancer. Maire faces end of life issues and questions about where we go when we die. She befriends a blind carpenter who crafts her a small 3 ft wooden sail boat for her remains to go on a extraordinary journey in hope she will reach the ocean.

CAST LIST:

George: Shawn Devlin
Narrator: Olivia Jon
Maire: Rachel Rain Packota
Monika: Lesley Ballantyne

Interview with Winning Screenwriter John Lucas Bowman (THE COLD SLEEPER)

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Hudson, hotshot CIA Agent with photographic memory, learns that his slightly senile Grandpa is a forgotten Soviet sleeper agent who is reactivated when his former handler Korolov escapes a Russian mental institution.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action Comedy

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

It’s a tale of conflicting loyalties, of compassion and what it means to be family, and an exploration of what to do when you fall in love with the enemy. Those are very human topics most spies struggle with. – But mostly because the movie is funny.

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

Great entertainment!

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

Some like it hot.

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

I wish I could crank it out over the weekend, but it took some doing and a couple of @#$% rewrites.

7. How many stories have you written?

Enough to cease counting.

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

Everything Clapton.

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

Finishing something is no problem. Making something compelling is the real challenge. (for me)

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

The search for intelligent life on earth.

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

Having a screenplay read out loud is a valuable experience that reveals whether the script works or not. The initial feedback was helpful in the rewrite.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Hudson, hotshot CIA Agent with photographic memory, learns that his slightly senile Grandpa is a forgotten Soviet sleeper agent who is reactivated when his former handler Korolov escapes a Russian mental institution.

CAST LIST:

Hudson: Allan Cooke
Narrator: Olivia Jon
Luddmilla: Jennifer Vallance
Becker: Shawn Devlin

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Melissa Willis (WHAT THE HELL)

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
It’s about a woman who has lost her faith in everything and is struggling to understand why she’s here. She’s still dealing with PTSD and has a lot of nightmares about her past when she’s visited by a man who’s trapped between worlds who desperately needs her help. She doesn’t seem to care or understand until it starts affecting her personally, some of it his doing, but mostly she resists everything about this process and she doesn’t quite believe that what’s happening is real. Until it becomes too real.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
This was such a fun project to work on and I have so many ideas about things that could happen in coming seasons if it were ever picked up. It could easily last 5-8 seasons. And I think that a lot of it could be very relatable to the audience.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?
Darkly funny? Comical misery? Ever evolving? Something like that.

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
Impractical Jokers, The Goldbergs, The Mick, Togetherness, Pushing Daisies, Sex and the City, Scrubs, The Golden Girls, Martin, Chappelle’s Show

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The idea came to me sometime in early 2016, but I didn’t really start working on it until about April or May of 2017.

6. How many stories have you written?
Spec scripts? I think this is my 5th one. Two existing shows and three pilots.

7. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
It’s hard to pick just one because I love music so much, but probably “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson (Oh, come on – you know you love it, too) or anything by the Four Seasons because I just love them and have since I was little.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I’ve been struggling with resistance for several years now and it’s probably the single biggest annoyance/hindrance/frustration in my life. That was probably the biggest one. That and I had a different original concept that turned more into this (which I love), but I’d still like to explore that original concept maybe as part of a season or something.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Music – I’m also a singer/songwriter. Having a great performance or writing a new set of fantastic lyrics that make you go, “Damn, that’s good!” is Heaven on Earth.

Improv/Comedy – There’s no better feeling than getting that unexpected laugh, especially in improv when you don’t even know what’s going to come out.
Exercise – I love that high of finishing a good workout.

Personal Development – There’s so much good stuff out there and it feels so good. I hope to pay it forward sometime soon.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I’ve been using WildSound for a few years now and I’ve always found their service to be reasonably priced, their notes to be very helpful and tell me exactly what I need to do, and their promotion of our work to be fantastic.

The feedback I received was great! The reviewer was very friendly, too! (I’ve had some in the past that were a little less so, to put it gently.) I had already changed a lot by the time I got it back, but it was still very useful.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I think it’s pretty smooth and I haven’t had any issues with it.

12. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and keep going. Work hard and want it and you’ll get there.

Genre: Comedy

A single-camera comedy that follows a free-spirited young woman who’s lost everything and her four friends who are all forced to recreate their lives and themselves one humiliating, semi-permanent situation at a time.

Cast List:

Jamie: James Dooley
Narrator: Val Cole
Amy: Kelci Stephenson
The Messenger: Gary Graham

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Byron Erwin (POOP MOVIE)

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

See the world from the Poop’s point of view as a cowardly outcast discovers his courage and bravery when he battles the evil Toilet Paper Empire in this animated action adventure.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy / animated adventure

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

The laughter that it will bring to everyone that sees it!

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

Holy Shit!

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

The Shining.

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

4 months

7. How many stories have you written?

Two dozen feature screenplays

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

96 Tears by Question Mark And The Mysterians

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

Creating a spirit for the lead character that made him relatable to everyone. The first draft had him as cynical and pessimistic. That was the wrong way to go. It’s much funnier to watch a character with set goals and dreams and then witness them unravel at the seams.

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

I am a film director who released his first feature film in theaters nationwide in 2009. Unfortunately, the film wasn’t very funny, so it did not do well. I went back to the drawing board and worked on my comedic elements – and this is the result.

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

Film Freeway has been incredibly easy to use for me. Whether it is one of my film, or a screenplay, I simply upload the files, write a mini synopsis, and then I am set to start submitting. I found their search engine to be very user friendly and most festivals that I want to enter are available through their submission process.

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

I found your festival after a brief search on Film Freeway. I looked up the reviews and submitted immediately. The feedback I received was incredibly inspirational. I think they nailed the weak spots. I was aware of them, but did not have the objective viewpoint to make the corrections. Sometimes, one gets so invested in the story that it is hard to see it from the outside. The feedback assisted me in finding the right tempo for the pacing in the problem spots and turned the script into something that I am very proud of. Most scripts that I have written are preconceived ideas that I flush out on the paper. This story was an inspiration that hit like a lightning bolt. It practically wrote itself. The first draft was completed in one week. What made it so easy? I only had one goal. Make everyone laugh!

Genre: Animation, Comedy

See the world from the Poop’s point of view as a cowardly outcast discovers his courage and bravery when he battles the evil Toilet Paper Empire in this animated action adventure.

CAST LIST:

Mr. Tee Pee: Daniel Cristofori
Lily: Emily Weir
Tootsie Roll: Brogan Caulfield
Narrator: Peter Nelson
Duke: Peter-Mark Raphael
Browneye: Neil Bennett
Floater: Regan Brown