Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Pat Jourdan : The story is about the secret lives of holiday towns once summer visitors have left.

What genre?

It is in a plain literary genre.

Describe it in two words

Season’s end.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Great Expectations (David Lean version)

What is your favorite song?

A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum)

Do you have an all-time favourite novel?

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West

What motivated you to write this story?

Noticing the changes in the last weeks of Sepember.

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

Emily Bronte

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an artist, usually painting in oils

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Testing if it worked in another medium, and through the voice of someone else.

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

Get a big (real book, with pages) dictionary and read it, discover more words. Read as many books as possible. Books you don’t like are just as valuable, as they are teaching you what works and what does not. Always have biro & paper or other means to jot something down as it occurs to you -writing is not some ‘grand’ occupation at a desk!

 

Synopsis: A café closes for the winter and the waitress re-invents herself.

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Screenplay Writer Adam Lapallo (WOLFPACK FENCERS)

Submit your Film & Screenplay via FilmFreeway:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Wolfpack Fencers is a TV sports drama about the goings-on of a college fencing club, specifically of a group of four freshmen entering the scene and finding their place.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sports Drama/Comedy.

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

Wolfpack Fencers is set in the unique, vastly under-represented world of modern fencing. When most people think of fencing on screen, they go to The Princess Bride, which admittedly has some fantastic choreography, but modern fencing community has been largely untapped by film and television. I’ve spent ten years as a competitive fencer, all through my high school and college years, and I’ve gotten to know the sport and the people, and I’ve found that fencing is a never-ceasing opportunity for drama and suspense.

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

College Fencing.

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

Difficult to say, but most likely the Harry Potter series.

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

I’ve been tossing the idea of a fencing-based sports drama around for years, probably since high school. In my junior year of college, I finally sat down and, in a 12-hour, coffee-fueled writing sesh in my hometown Panera, banged out a first draft and submitted it to the Virginia Screenwriting Competition. It was eliminated early on, but the judges sent me some really helpful feedback and I spent the next year editing that draft. I resubmitted it the following year and won the competition, achieving a huge milestone in my screenwriting career.

7. How many stories have you written?

Simply put, a lot. I’ve written 2-3 full-length novels, five feature screenplays, two television pilots, and numerous short films and short stories.

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

It tends to change pretty frequently, but “Piano Man” by Billy Joel currently has the top spot for me.

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

Criticism. Having my script rejected by the Virginia Screenwriting Competition and being told all of its problems was a difficult pill to swallow. It took some time to come around to it, but after I’d shelved my pride and learned to look at the feedback from an objective standpoint, incorporating the judges’ critiques into my next draft was very doable. The end result was a winning screenplay which I feel is much stronger than the original version.

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

Well, fencing. Like I said before, I’ve spent the past 10 years as a competitive fencer. Wolfpack is based on my life experiences as a high school and college fencer. I’m currently nationally-rated in all three weapons, a 3-time Junior Olympic competitor, and a part-time coach and armorer. I was also ranked #1 in Virginia for the 2016-17 Men’s Foil season. I also served as Head Coach and Treasurer of VCU’s Quidditch team, the Wizengamot, and am an active member of the Virginia Screenwriter’s Forum.

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

FilmFreeway is an excellent resource for filmmakers. It’s an easy-to-use platform that does a great job connecting independent artists and film festivals.

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

 I’m always open to feedback on my work. This festival has been a great learning experience at a reasonable cost.

Watch the Script Reading:

LOGLINE: Four college freshmen band together through their university Fencing Club. Together, they find their place in this new world and learn what it means to be teammates in a solo sport.

GENRE: Sports, Drama, Comedy

CAST LIST:

Gillian: Regan Brown
Miles: Hartley O. Gyamfi
Narrator: Allen Michael Brunet
Rockhard: Georgia Grant
Geo: Kevin Gabel

Interview with Screenplay Writers Charzette Torrence & Danielle Johnson (JILLIAN’S PEAK)

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Submit exclusively via FilmFreeway:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Charzette Torrence & Danielle Johnson: This inspirational story is based loosely on Charzette Torrence life and the stages that she took to find her true self. It is a dramatic series examining one woman’s inner turmoil when confronted with her own sexuality. Jillian struggles to reconcile her feelings, seemingly attracted to both men and women and unsure of where her true love really lies. She faces challenges from family, friends, and church members. As she becomes a lesbian in the African American community. Once Jillian comes out as a lesbian. How does she navigate and understand the gay community and the issue that affect the community? Also, will she find love? Jillian wants to understand what will truly make her happy. But mainly she seeks to explore her hidden nagging feeling of “I am a closet Lesbian?” Jillian pursues her truth in New York. She lives with Gail, her best friend from college, a self-assured lesbian who challenges Jillian’s ideas and beliefs about herself and her life.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Family, Love, Self-Discover, and Acceptance

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

JILLIAN’S PEAK is told in 15-18 minutes episodic series increments over 12 episodes first season.

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

Dramatic, and Inspirational.

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

I look at a lot of movies. Then I critic them from a viewer point.

My favorite now is Black Panther and Wonder Woman. Danielle like Stars Wars and War movie.

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

We have been working on the screenplay for seven 8 Years

7. How many stories have you written?

This is Danielle and I first but we have written 12 episodes

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

Our Favorite songs are Minnie Riperton – Loving you, and Steve wonder- The Songs of the Key of Life .

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

Funding to hire a crew to film. Also, finding and literary agent network to put it on television or steaming service, like Netflix, hula or Amazon .

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

My art Prevalent I got accepted in Art Basel This year as raising artist with Spectrum in

Miami. FL Dec 5-9
https://www.charzette.com/art-basel-prevalent-soical-art-exhi

Danelle is passionate about her music
https://www.deejayandcatsproduction.com/

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

I love Film Freeway. It is very easy to use

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

To change the way the world think about African American Lesbian and the LGBTQI culture. By show the world who we are. Also, to get the script out in the industry. So that It can be film for television or steaming platform. Your feedback was excellent It help us to improve our script. Thanks

Jillian Thomas an African American woman who is afraid of marrying a man. Because deep down inside she knows the truth that is a lesbian. She has been struggling with the truth for years that she is gay.

CAST LIST:

Keith: Kevin Gabel

Sherry: Regan Brown

Narrator: Hartley O. Gyamfi

Jillian: Georgia Grant

Gail: Ariel Brooker

Project Links

Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)

1. What is your novel about?

This is an autobiographical account of my 32 year adventure in the federal government. Beginning my career with enthusiasm and idealism and ending with the belief that our own government is more a threat to this country than anything that can be dreamed up from outside. Between the two, the events I witnessed or participated in which infused in me these hard lessons of reality. This includes our efforts to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks (yes, we knew it was going to happen) followed by the retribution of a vengeful federal government that demonstrated its more interested in maintaining its lucrative and unaccountable status quo than in serving the country – no matter how many people it kills.

On the positive side, the book also demonstrates what moral, highly motivated individuals and groups can accomplish once they learn to ignore the limitations that society and the system imposes on them.

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

Nonfiction, horror, comedy, all rolled into one.

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

Ecce signum!

Latin for: behold the proof.

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

The Yakuza!

The ZEN master in the movie is inspirational.

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

The music of ENYA is my favorite. She has the voice of an angel.

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

The original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Deductive reasoning is a unique way of thinking.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I spent the first half of my career developing the expertise to identify the threat, the vulnerabilities, and attempted to prevent the calamity of the 9/11 terror attacks. Just one of a few in the entire federal government to do so. I spent the latter half of my career entombed in an entry level staff job engaged in a daily struggle just to survive. After 9/11 when I realized that Congress was engaging in a big cover up, including the 9/11 Commission, I became an official federal government whistleblower. Through experience I learned that even the whistleblower laws were designed to maintain the unaccountable status quo of the government. Once I was able to retire, I knew this story of how our government really operates had to be told.

Frederic Whitehurst (one of the first of contemporary whistleblowers engaged in trying to stop major FBI abuses in the 1980s and 90s, and a hero of mine) recently sent me an email succinctly describing the problem in government. It was written specifically addressing the FBI, but it applies directly to the entire federal government: “The problem we have with them is that they are law enforcement officers and though fools can cut and slash under the color of law for as long as they wish without accountability. Because we are a civilized society we do not cut and slash in return. We do what we do with the law, so far without violence, so far in a civilized manner. With our hands tied behind our back, blinded in both eyes and without hearing. They know it, violate the law and human rights and hide behind the badge while beating the hell out us.”

This is the reality of the deep state. If you got rid of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government then literally at least have of our tax dollars would be eliminated. This doesn’t even count the more nefarious things our government does.

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

My mom. Didn’t get much of a chance. She died when I was eight.

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

Life, developing the mind, body, spirit.

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

Someone suggested I contribute my book, seemed like a great opportunity, particularly with a minimal budget for marketing. Really a great service you provide.

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

Don’t quit your day job. Write for yourself. Never say die.
 

Buy on Amazon

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Mirka Kettunen (MAJOR TOM AND THE ALIEN GIRL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mirka Kettunen: “Major Tom and the Alien girl” is a story about two space geeks with extraordinary talents. In different parts of town both of them have been waiting “for the Mothership” to come pick them up.

But when they finally meet and realize that the other one is on the same wavelength, then suddenly their mundane lives downtrodden by the gravity becomes exciting and weightless.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Rom-com / Sci-fi.

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

It addresses loneliness and feeling excluded because you are different. It gives hope to those that feel they are left out by life and love. Theis movie shows that you can find friendship, understanding and even love in the most unbelievable places. You could say, we are not alone in space, because the eternity of space starts here on Earth. Maybe the real Mothership that’ll take you home lives next doors?

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

Galactically hopeful.

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

At home: “Trading places” with Eddie Murphy. I lost count between 40-45 times. Now it’s probably around 50 times.

At the cinemas: “Gladiator” 10+ times.

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

I’ve thought about this idea for the last 5 years, but as a written script it’s been approximately a year in the making and planning.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve probably written some 15 short film stories. Lots of short stories and poems. And now I’m working on a history / mystery novel series that will include 3-4 books.

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

Probably the collected works of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. It’s calming and mostly in Latin, so the meaning of the lyrics don’t distract me. I’ve used Arvo Pärt as my “writing music” for over ten tears.

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

As the story is dependant on VFX I debated with myself if the script should be doable on a low budget or if it should look good. I went for the Writer’s Privilege – writing the scenes I want to see, not the scenes that can be produced on a shoestring budget. But I also have ideas how to solve the visual difficulties of showing weightlessness on Earth with old school and not expensive film techniques.

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

I love directing and learning about dramaturgy and good ways to solve visual problems when shooting. Otherwise I like salsa, take long hikes and bike riding.

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

Filmfreeway has been such a good and easy platform to work with. I had thought it would be more tech heavy, complicated and so on, but I highly recommend it.

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

I looked for fantasy and sci-fi festivals and found yours. I didn’t make it into the competition with my script “Major Tom and the Alien girl”, but I got brilliant written feedback on how to improve it-

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

This is a short romcom sci-fi about Tom Major. He keeps waiting ‘the Mothership’ to come pick him up. In order to survive life on Earth he sees his life through the eyes of the his alias – the astronaut Major Tom. Apparently he’s not the only one who believes he’s stranded here. One day he meets Sigourney, aka Scotty, who’s also waiting to get beamed up.

Narration – Justin Hay
Tom – 14 – Hartley O. Gyamfi
Scotty – 18 – Esther Rogers

Interview with Writer Dossie H. Terrell (Good Things Come To Those Who Wait)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Dossie H. Terrell: Clare could never reconcile the habitually dirty, disorderly lifestyle of Glenn, her morbidly obese spouse, with her puritanical sensibilities. To that end, she finally reached her coping limits. She wants out but, in the meantime, takes pleasure in tormenting him and waiting for what she presumes will be his imminent demise. Her personal ambitions, as she imagined them to be, can be achieved.

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

Prose fiction

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

Life’s reclamation

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

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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

Amazing Grace

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

Pride and Prejudice

7. What motivated you to write this story?

It’s an amalgamation of relationship types I witnessed in my career in social service, among my family and my friends. I discovered t lack of constructive communication, a failure to see each other’s points of view and a disregard for warning signs, denoting trouble ahead, were leading causes of breakups.

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

Maya Angelou

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

Getting to know Jesus more intimately and taking His message of Grace to whomever and wherever it leads.

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

I needed a confidence booster. Winning the right to have my work read by a Novel Writing Festival professional not only gave me a delightful boost, it also provided a renewed inspiration to keep writing.

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

Keep writing even on those days you can’t dream up a single original idea. When that happens, picture yourself, beyond your moments of mental inertia, in an idyllic place where you are both creative and prolific. Imagine writing your best-seller. If you find this mind shift, or change in focus, successful go there often, even when your muse returns.

Performed by Val Cole

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Interview with Writer Ed Kulzer (Twitter Short Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Ed Kulzer: The story is about a standard, carbon copy, cardigan-wearing office worker, a woman becoming aware of how suffocating the lack of fulfillment in her monotonous life has become. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”, opined Thoreau, presciently foretelling the gargantuan army of spiritual malaise masquerading as a society marching on the belly of numbed clockwatchers cruising on autopilot. But for this office worker, this woman, today is a line crossed in the sand, a demarcation of radical departure. The exact nature of that change is left vague. Quitting? Vacation? A whirlwind of workplace violence? Even I don’t know.

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

urban contemporary fiction

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

Life Actualization

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

Frozen. And no, I’m not happy about that.

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

“Let it Go”, may God save my aching soul. I’m a dad of an 8 year old.

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

Dune

7. What motivated you to write this story?

The news reports of the latest office-place mass shooting which aired while I was listening to Radiohead’s “Spinning Plates”.

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

My daughter. I all too often am kept late editing at Sesame Street & rarely get the chance.

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

Art, reading, politics, crafting the machinery of motivation to try to lighten the load of a burdened blighted world.

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

Just the opportunity presented.

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

Be mindful of advice or tips you receive and heed from other writers.

 

performed by Kate Fenton

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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.