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

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Interview with Screenwriter Adam Lapallo (THE CRIMSON LEGACY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Adam Lapallo: The Crimson Legacy is an original screenplay about a private investigator with a dark past who hunts a serial kidnapper across Richmond, Virginia. His search takes him to the infamous Church Hill Tunnel collapse of 1925, the urban legend of the Richmond Vampire, and the secrets of his own family’s bloody history.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror/Mystery

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

The Crimson Legacy is based on real history. The Church Hill Tunnel, one of the longest railway tunnels in the country, collapsed in 1925 and killed several workmen. The tunnel remains untouched to this day and is a well-known story in the Richmond area. Workmen on the tunnel reported seeing a pale, jagged figure covered in blood fleeing the wreckage of the tunnel, which sprung the popular urban legend of the Richmond Vampire. I collected a wide spread of information on both the Church Hill Tunnel and authentic European vampire lore to create the story. I had the opportunity to interview Teresa Mason, the descendant of the engineer who died in the collapse, Thomas Mason. She agreed to let me use Tom Mason as a character in the script and shared a wealth of information on the tunnel and its workmen, much of which is not known to the history books.

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

Noir Vampires.

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

Hard to say, but most likely the Harry Potter films. J.K. Rowling has been a huge source of inspiration to me as a writer for my entire life and I grew up reading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies.

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

I developed the concept for The Crimson Legacy in November of 2017, during my senior year of college. I finished a rough draft a month later and by January had a script I was ready to submit to festivals. The script has gone through numerous edits since then, the most recent draft having been finished in July of 2018.

7. How many stories have you written?

The Crimson Legacy is one of five feature-length screenplays I’ve written, in addition to two TV pilots, five short films, three novels, and various short stories.

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

Probably the soundtrack to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which I often listen to while writing.

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

Writing The Crimson Legacy proved challenging in its intersection of two large research projects: the history of the Church Hill Tunnel and vampire lore. I wanted the character of Vasile Sangescu to accurately represent the classic image of the European vampire, from Bram Stoker’s era and before. I read the original Dracula and did a great deal of study on the origins of vampire mythology and the many traits associated with them. I learned that modern vampire movies get quite a lot wrong about the original lore, and I set out to portray Vasile as fearsome and mysterious, like Dracula himself or Murnau’s illusive Nosferatu. In addition, I wanted to use this script as a way of shedding light on a unique piece of Richmond’s history. This, again, meant a great deal of research and interviews. It has been a prevailing challenge to keep all of the factual components accurate without interfering with the film’s narrative, but the story I have produced is one I am very happy with.

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

I am a nationally-ranked, three-weapon fencer and a three-time Junior Olympic competitor. I have been fencing for nearly ten years and hold a B-rating in Foil and E-ratings in Epee and Saber. I was the Virginia Division’s #1 ranked Men’s Foilist for the 2016-17 season and am a part-time coach at my local club. I also played live-action Quidditch during my time at VCU, serving as Club Treasurer and eventually Head Coach of the team.

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

FilmFreeway has been an excellent resource. It is extremely easy to use and offers a wide variety of festivals and contests. I try to submit scripts through it a few times a month, and it has been instrumental in developing my career in screenwriting.

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

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I was drawn to this festival because of the opportunity for prompt, affordable feedback. Most screenplay contests I know charge extremely high costs for feedback with submissions and often take several months to respond, by which point many of their suggestions are made obsolete by updated drafts and changes to the script. I have submitted to this festival several times with multiple projects and have always been satisfied and informed by the feedback I receive.

 

CAST LIST:

Narration – Salma Dharsee
Bill/Vasile – Shawn Devlin
Damien – Zain Warraich

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.