Interview with Novelist Linda Palmer (SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Linda Palmer: A girl meets a guy who is way more than he appears to be.

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

YA fantasy/scifi

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

Alien invasion

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

Divergent

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

Perfect by Ed Sheeran

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

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I thought it would be fun and different.

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

JK Rowling

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

Movies and books

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

I wanted to hear it out loud.

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

Never give up

http://www.lindavpalmer.com

Watch the Novel Transcript Reading: 

Performed by Norma Dawn Dunphy

BUY on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Middle-Linda-Palmer/dp/1499121377

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Interview with Screenwriter Julia Sauder (DR. NEVES)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Julia Sauder: It’s about what can happen when you mess with Mother Nature and try to play God. How it can devastate lives and leave a path of destruction in its wake.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I imagined it as a horror, but there is a lot of science fiction.

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

It would be a fun ride. I want to write movies that make people happy, so they can have a good time.

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

Monkey business.

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

Aliens. I know it backwards and forwards. It taught me some valuable lessons about storytelling like timing and plot points. It’s just a great, entertaining movie, and I love to watch it.

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

I wrote the step outline in the fall of 2006 in Lake Como, Italy. The rough draft took me 11 days. After that, I worked on it off and on for 13 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have no idea. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I think it would be cool to know an actual number, though.

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

“Freedom ’95” by George Michael. It’s my anthem, and I totally rock out to it. It really gets me going and gets me excited.

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

Making the reanimation believable. I wanted the power source to be realistic. It had to be strong enough to wake the dead. There’s a fine line between cheesy and clever.

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

Traveling. I love going to new places and absorbing cultures, seeing new things. Just put me on a plane and tell me where to later. Time stops as you connect to the world.

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

It’s a very simple process. It’s very easy to apply to contests, to get information about festivals. I like how the dashboard where you can see where you’ve applied and what your status it.

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

Definitely the free feedback was a large draw. I was very happy with the feedback. It was encouraging and constructive. Well done and professional. And I especially liked the grammar notes.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After practicing first on a manufactured ape, an ambitious doctor creates life while losing control of his own.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Neves: Colin Sandquist
Woman: Melie B Rondeau

Interview Screenwriter George M. Johnson (THE WONDER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

George M. Johnson: In The Wonder, an ambitious Edwardian journalist saves an uncannily precocious child from drowning in a pond. The boy, Victor, reads through the library of the local aristocrat and rejects the accumulated knowledge of mankind before trying to communicate his own theory of life. This theory threatens authorities, particularly the local Rector, but also drives the journalist to the brink of insanity. In the end he discovers the boy dead in the same pond and is distraught, but manages to restore his sanity by writing the child’s story so that others may share the wonder.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I have adapted The Wonder from the early “scientific romance,” as speculative, science fiction stories were called, of the prolific writer J.D. Beresford’s 1911 novel The Hampdenshire Wonder. It has the caché of being the first “superman” story in English literature and probably the first story featuring what we now recognize as an autistic child. The Hampdenshire Wonder was praised by the likes of H.G. Wells, Graham Greene, and Alistair Cooke, among others.

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

We are fascinated by exceptional people who don’t fit in, who are compelled to convey a message more advanced than our capacities can handle – just think about the popularity of films about exceptional children, as in The Room, Gifted, and A Brilliant Young Mind, and stories about genius, such as The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game.

The Wonder taps into our collective anxiety about the unknown, what it means to be human, and the possibility that we do not have all the answers about how the world works, despite our scientific advances and our obsession with information. For these reasons it is a compelling story for our time.

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

Threatening genius.

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

Every so often I return to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a brilliant send-up of a legendary quest.

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

I’ve been at it on and off for several years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve drawn on my expertise in early twentieth-century literature to write several award-winning period dramas, but I also love writing contemporary satirical pieces, such as Mockus, a play about a clown who provokes a desperate Mayor into trying playful approaches to his city’s social and environmental ills, including replacing corrupt traffic cops with mimes.
Some of my other work can be viewed on my website: georgemjohnson.com.

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

Probably John Lennon’s Imagine because I believe in the transformative power of the imagination.

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

Beresford’s original novel, though a compelling read, is rather philosophical and is populated almost exclusively by male characters, so I had to imagine concrete scenes or set-pieces displaying Victor’s uncanny ability to predict seemingly random events as well as to develop a backstory for the unnamed narrator. I decided to weave in details from Beresford’s own life, such as his romance and marriage to his first wife Linda, an actress, in order to make the story more human and compelling.

I had written a biography of J.D. Beresford (Simon and Schuster, 1998) so knew Beresford’s descendants and they were happy to give me permission to pursue this project.

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

I am passionate about peace, social justice, and environmental issues and recently was awarded the Peace Medal from the Y.M.C.A. for my writing and activism on these issues for over 25 years.

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

This platform is seamless. I like the fact that I can keep track of my submissions in one place.

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

I received very discriminating and supportive feedback on my script Peace Pledge, which won a full Wildsound Table Read and so decided to submit The Wonder. The feedback was really helpful, and encouraged me to make revisions.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A journalist finds himself fighting to protect a boy whose deformity might actually be a link to discovering the origin and true meaning of life.

CAST LIST:

Victor: Shawn Devlin
J.D.: Colin Sandquist
Narrator: Norma Dawn Dunphy
Ellen Mary: Melie B Rondeau
Man: : Neil Bennett

Interview with Screenwriter Montgomery Burt (THE GIRL ON THE SKYTRAIN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Montgomery Burt: During an early morning trip on the commuter train, a good samaritan tries to help a naive young woman seemingly headed for trouble but she doesn’t want his help.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

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

The interaction between the two main characters reflects what’s going on in life—young people not questioning what may be an “opportunity” they found on the internet.

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

Two perspectives.

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

North by Northwest.

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

A few months. About five drafts.

7. How many stories have you written?

Many. I’ve been writing since I was fourteen.


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

I have hundreds of CDs with thousands of songs but my favorite is Los Super Seven’s debut album.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/los-super-seven-mw0000040720

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

Having it workshopped at my screenwriters group, Upwords. It’s a true story so I tried to work within the confines of what actually happened and still make it dramatic and interesting. Three of my colleagues, when they were younger, got into creepy situations with photographers and they explained why they overlooked any danger for the prospect of fame.

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

Music, movies, travel, volunteering at our local animal shelter. I team up with directors to make shorts. Here is our most recent, a short comedy directed by Tabatha Golat called “The United Guys Network.”

https://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/783?fbt=share

This is the proposal for our next project:

http://www.thefilmcollaborative.org/fiscalsponsorship/projects/dougiedog

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

Excellent. It’s easy use and quite dependable with notifications. Service is good, too. When I informed them of a possible scam festival, for example, they looked into the matter right away.

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

I wanted the challenge of writing a short script with few characters and limited locations.

The written feedback I received was excellent.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

During an early morning trip on the commuter train, a good samaritan tries to help a naive young woman seemingly headed for trouble but she doesn’t want his help.

CAST LIST:
Automated voice – 2 – OLIVIA BARRETT
NARRATION – JUSTIN DESOUZA
Sean – 24 – DANIEL JONES
Carly – 21 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE

Interview with Screenwriter Michael D’Ambrosio (Princess Pain)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Michael D’Ambrosio: Princess Pain is about a black market courier who renegs on a special delivery, drawing the ire of the black market entities, law enforcement and mercenaries who want the package at any cost. When her real identity is discovered, the stakes are raised as some want her dead; others want her alive.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

(Futuristic) action, sci-fi

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

I believe Marina is a character that viewers would want to see. Her story is a scarred one beginning with her hatred toward her missing parents believing that they abandoned her at an early age. She lives for pain as a means of dealing with her loneliness, possibly wanting to die as well, based on her extreme actions. The action scenes are dramatic and in the final showdown between her and the man who hunts her, she learns that it was he who murdered her parents, driving her to exact her revenge and accept that her whole life was a lie.

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

Intense and Angry

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

5th Element with Bruce Willis. A little sci-fi, fantasy, humor and lots of action

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

2 years

7. How many stories have you written?

11 novels and 7 screenplays. Always close with the screenplays but no cigar.

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

Bloody Reunion – Molly Hatchet

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

How to find the best resolution to the story. There was a lot going on and I wanted to capture all of it.

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

Anything exciting or futuristic. I love technology especially in regards to space.

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

It’s well-organized and easy to use.

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

  Originally I wasn’t a fan of contests as winning doesn’t guarantee a movie deal. I have realized, however, that by winning or placing in a contest, buyers can see that the script is quality.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Marina is a cold-hearted courier of contraband who likes to play rough. Her life as a loner is just fine until the delivery of a flash drive with stolen weapons technology ends her alias and makes her the target of a power-hungry militia leader who wants her alive, and his sultry assassin lover who wants her dead. The action-filled chase across the sector with two unlikely allies melts the ice off her heart and leads her to a secret that changes everything she ever stood for. Nothing is easy with Marina as she drives everyone crazy with her anger-driven arrogance and stubbornness, including Britt, the militia captain, who falls in love with her.

CAST LIST:

Balthus – 3 – TED POWERS
Sonia – 2 – ETHEL ABRAY
NARRATION – OLIVIA BARRETT
Jerrold – 2 – DANIEL JONES
Marina – 7 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE

Interview with Screenwriter James Greasley (THE EMERGENCE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

James Greasley: How would the human race react if five uninhabited planets mysteriously appeared around Earth? This question is what our trio ( an ex-military officer, a researcher and a techie) are tasked to discover when hired by a private firm owned by a menacing corporate titan. After years of searching for answers, our team is finally given one, only for it to be stolen by a futuristic thief. This coupled with the mysterious planet Kal. A planet that no one has been to and survived to tell the tale, with exception of our protagonist. After our teams information is stolen, they struggle to re-coup. In the end they meet one last obstacle, one of the planets completely disappears, leaving one last question. What do we do now?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi/Adventure

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

This screenplay was more designed to be a TV-pilot. I believe this script is a phenomenal candidate to make an extremely captivating series. The opportunity to explore many different planets leads to lots of moments for pure discovery, adventure and fun. These are also very real, relate-able characters. Following them through space and time would be nothing but an amazing journey.

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

Adventurous, fun.

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

That’s a tough one. It would have to come down to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Oceans eleven and an assortment of the Avengers might be making a close contender.

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

This particular piece took me approximately six months to complete fully.

7. How many stories have you written?

Six total at this moment, currently outlining my seventh.

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

Not sure if I can answer that, I will just give you my most frequent genres: Country, old school hip-hop, and some down tempo D & B

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

What obstacles did I not face haha? Honestly I would say it would come down to a couple of things. The first one was creating characters people would actually care about. Characters people could identify with in one way or another. The second major one was world building. Creating multiple new planets to the solar system in the future, adding that all to a pilot episode without making it overwhelming or flat.

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

Golfing, snowboarding, movies, live music, health and wellness.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A disgraced and unstable former soldier becomes the leader of an unlikely trio digging for answers, when five new planets mysteriously appear around Earth.

Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure, Action.

TV Pilot.

CAST LIST:

Tara – 15 – OLIVIA BARRETT
NARRATION – TED POWERS
Garrett – 10 – JUSTIN DESOUZA
Kelsey – 12 – ETHEL ABRAY

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