Interview with Screenwriter Al Cool (MIRACLE COVE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Al Cool: MIRACLE COVE is about a college student in need of money who takes a dangerous job logging the forest, where betraying who he is may be his only chance to survive. But on a deeper personal level, it’s about a Tom’s struggle to overcome his being an adult child of an alcoholic; on the community level, it’s about dwindling resources affecting everyone in a small rainforest town dependent on logging; on the global level, it is about the exploitation of a rainforest and how that destruction destroys humanity.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

My pilot MIRACLE COVE is a 1970s dramatic period piece.

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

MIRACLE COVE is unique and authentic, and based on actual events. Also, I worked as a logger over 12 years and during that time I lost 10 friends to logging and related accidents. I do feel some part of this story is about them, but this script captures the logging lifestyle, portraying the good and the bad exactly the way it was then for all of us who worked and lived in those communities.

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

MIRACLE COVE has been reviewed as unrelenting and authentic and I agree.

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

I watch many movies more than once for pleasure and professional reasons, but the big 3 are Chinatown, The Dirty Dozen, A Shot in the Dark.

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

Exclusively, and for 8 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 7 novels (4 self-published), one screenplay, and 18 short stories.

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

Abbey Road – always, particularly, You Never Give Me Your Money and Here Comes the Sun. (Personal note: I live in a rain forest.)

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

I over-edited the dialogue several times while working on the action lines. To correct, I returned to earlier versions of the pilot to recover the best of the raw dialogue.

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

I want to protect BC’s forests, rivers and oceans, and preserve what’s left for the next generations, not to exploit, but to enjoy and cultivate.

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

FilmFreeway is easy to access and track submissions, they offer breaks on entry fees, many contests and reasonable filtering capabilities to find the contest that fits the project.

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

I wanted Canadian feedback and exposure for this pilot. I wanted it to be seen outside of BC, to determine whether or not there was connection and impact with the story. The feedback I received was professional, considerate, detailed.

Watch Screenplay Reading: 

SERIES: Set in 1970, this rainforest tale follows a damaged son wanting to save his sisters from their violent father by taking a dangerous logging job. There, he must live with his decision in a world intertwined with a twisted employer, workplace thugs, mentors and an alluring lover — a world he might not survive.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Andrea Irwin

Dad/Johnny: Steven Holmberg
Weylin/Dirk : Logan Forsyth Freeman
Tom: Thomas Fournier
Annaleigh: Katelyn Varadi
Faeona: Delphine Roussel
Herbie/Jim: Jolly Amaoko