Interview with Screenwriter Rob Ayling (LIVING IN CRIME ALLEY – Batman)

Watch the October 2017 Winning Short FAN FICTION Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

Living in Crime Alley is about a single father in downtown Gotham City struggling to live and provide for his young son. The son is a huge fan of Batman. Living in Crime Alley raises questions of morality and justice from the points of view of a father, the child and the dark knight himself.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/Crime.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay should be made into movie because it brings the dark knight and
everything that he brings with him into the sharp focus of todays recession and the reality of everyday struggle. The perspective of a ground level citizen living in Gotham City is something that hasn’t been fully explored in film. Despite Batman having been created in the late 1930s, Living in Crime Alley shows that his character has a resonance with the life that people live today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Conflicted, Justice.

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

Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Its simply one of the best movies ever made. Great
writing, great direction and masterclass acting from Jack Lemmon. A funny, dramatic,timeless movie that I’ve re-watched many times for inspiration and entertainment. But Hitchcock’s Rear Window runs at a close second.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on Living in Crime Alley for the the last 6 months. I started writing the screenplay after having gone through one the worst financial periods in my life. Instead of sitting around helplessly, I wrote Living in Crime Alley not only as a way to escape my own problems, but also to express my frustrations in a creative way.

How many stories have you written?

I have written several original short stories for films, but this is my first fan fiction short screenplay. I’m a huge fan of the Batman character and I’ve always wanted to write or direct a Batman story.

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

One of my favourite songs and one I listen to all the time is Sinnerman by Nina Simone. Or any Nina Simone songs in truth.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle I had to finishing the screenplay was the ending. As a writer, I think its important to raise questions within your work. The final moments of Living in Crime Alley is very much a question on justice and morality. From another perspective, the ending could’ve gone for a more sympathetic route or perhaps an even more darker turn. I leave it to the audience to make their own judgement.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Besides from writing, I’m passionate about making films. I have directed several short films, some of which have had screenings at BAFTA recognised film festivals. I also love to draw, read, travel and eat good food.

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

This is the first time I’ve entered a screenplay on FilmFreeway. In my experience, it’s by far, the easiest way to submit your work to festivals.

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

I submitted Living in Crime Alley to Fan Fiction Festival to gain constructive feedback on my work and progress as a writer. I never expected the screenplay to be a winner and for that I am very grateful. The feedback was extremely valuable in helping me hone my craft. They pointed out particular screenplay formatting issues I had made, in terms of introducing characters, dialogue etc. As well as making creative suggestions on how to improve the story. I’ve never really been a confident writer, but the feedback they gave me on my screenplay was a validation on my skills.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Winner: 

Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Thriller

A single father struggles to live and provide for his young son in downtown Gotham City.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Father: Nick Baillie

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Interview with Screenwriter Brooke Elowe (BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE)

Watch the October 2017 Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Natasha Romanoff, better known as the Black Widow, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, so it’s set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natasha was branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords and is currently being hunted from all sides. She must not only protect herself but also a young girl from her past: Ava Orlova.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Superhero fiction, Action, Sci-Fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Not only have fans wanted to see Natasha Romanoff shine in her own standalone franchise for years, it’s also a ripe time in the industry to make female-lead superhero films. I think this story serves as a unique take on the genre, focusing on a duel-protagonist, sisterly dynamic between Natasha and Ava. That, combined with Marvel’s winning formula for making superhero films, would make for a successful movie of an iconic character.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Dynamic Duo

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

Definitely Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also Stepbrothers.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Start to finish, I’d say about a year. The process was broken up by my college courses and job, so I worked on it whenever I had time.

How many stories have you written?

This is actually the first screenplay I’ve ever written, which is why the writing process took a bit longer than normal. I first had to learn how to construct an actual script, with regards to formatting, editing, etc.

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

That’s definitely a tough one. I’d say “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit or “You Need Me I Don’t Need You” by Ed Sheeran.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I think deciding which characters to include in Natasha’s story was a challenge, considering the extensive line-up of heroes in the MCU. Also, mapping out the script and making sure it was coherent, with regards to plot holes and character arcs, was another challenge as well. However, I really enjoyed the process of constructing Natasha’s story. I have a large amount of material that either changed or didn’t make the final draft, which enriched the editing process and added to the overall satisfaction of completing the script.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Most definitely music. I’m a songwriter and am hoping to get into Music Supervision after college. I love reading, travelling, and video games and am also working on a sequel to this screenplay.

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

It was a very seamless process. I had no trouble submitting my script or payment.

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

Seeing as this was a passion project of mine, I really wanted to have an industry professional’s point of view, as having a knowledgeable set of eyes reading the script would benefit the story. The feedback was fantastic. It was critical without being negative, bettered the script overall, and increased my confidence as a screenwriter.

WATCH the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is on the run. Branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha tries to keep her head down and lay low, but there’s no rest for the world’s greatest spy…

CAST LIST:

Narrator: David Occhipinti
Natasha: Lindsay Gerro
Tori: Norma Dunphy
Ava: Carina Cojeen
Waiter: Nick Baillie

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Mike Meade (FAN FICTION – WELCOME TO CRYSTAL LAKE)

September 2017 Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay Writer:

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Welcome to Crystal Lake is about a group of corrupt developers that come to town with plans to build a new lakeside resort, but when they take things too far by trying to force Elias Voorhees off of his property, his son Jason violently intervenes.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say it falls firmly into the slasher sub-genre of horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because the Friday the 13th fans (including myself) are dying for the next film to be made, but we want it done right. To me, that means creating a story that is new and fresh, while keeping the same tone and feel of the original films. I think Welcome to Crystal Lake succeeds in doing that and also has the potential to be expanded into an even better feature film.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Classic Jason.

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

That’s a hard one, but if I had to say which Friday the 13th movie I’ve seen the most times it would have to be Part 6, followed closely by Parts 4, 5, and 7.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had the original idea almost two years ago, but didn’t actually write it until recently. By that time the story was so clear in my head it didn’t take long to finish once I got started.

How many stories have you written?

I couldn’t say for sure since I’ve been writing since I was a kid. But as far as screenplays go, I’ve written six shorts (including one I co-wrote) and am working on my third feature right now.

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

Fade to Black by Metallica. It never gets old no matter how many times I listen to it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Just finding the time to actually write it since I was already working on other projects.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve been into martial arts since I was about ten years old, so that’s probably the biggest thing. I also like taking my Jeep up into mountains while my hound dog rides shotgun and going camping.

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

I’ve had a great experience with FilmFreeway. Before I started submitting my stuff through them, I’d have to email each individual contest or festival, attach whatever file I needed, didn’t have my payment info saved, etc… Basically, it was a big hassle. With FilmFreeway it really just takes a few clicks and I’m done, plus it makes it super easy to keep track of all my submissions in one place. +

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

I really wanted to write a Friday the 13th script, but was afraid it might never be seen or read by anybody, especially since I couldn’t sell the finished product. But then when I discovered this festival I thought I’d go ahead and give it a shot and I’m glad I did. When I received the initial feedback I was mainly impressed with how in depth it was. They had obviously taken the time to really read it and understand what I was going for.

Genre: Horror, Crime, Thriller

When corrupt developers come to Crystal Lake with plans to build a new lakeside resort they run into one unexpected problem, Jason Voorhees.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole

Frank: Kris Hagen
Elias: Peter Nelson
Sean: Nick Wicht
Tom: Mike Ruderman
Marta: Carina Cojeen

 

Interview with Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner – Gil Saint (ROCKETEERS)

Gil Saint is the August 2017 Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay writer for the short script ROCKETEERS. 

What is your screenplay about?

In the spirit of something like TRON: Legacy or Jurassic World, ROCKETEERS is a modern day “legacy-quel” that pays tribute to its source material, but takes the mythos in an exciting new direction. It’s a passing-of-the-torch from the jazzy 30’s world depicted in the original 1991 Rocketeer movie… to what the golden age hero might look like in today’s high-tech universe. My story follows Charlie Secord, a thief with a good heart who will do anything to protect his grandfather’s heroic legacy — that of Cliff Secord, the original Rocketeer. Yes, the jetpack doesn’t fall far from the tree, as we see Charlie forced into taking up the mantle of becoming the Rocketeer when a frightening new global threat emerges with designs on ruling the skies. Charlie may be in over his head, but he won’t have to battle evil alone… hence the title, ROCKETEERS. The ‘s’ -the pluralization of that word- is meaningful in more ways than one.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Hopefully, like its blockbuster predecessor, it’s a Family Action/Adventure.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Of all of Disney’s live action fare from the 80’s and 90’s, I firmly believe The Rocketeer is the most deserving of a sequel. Aside from the fact that I believe he’d feel right at home in the superhero movie landscape –especially with the homegrown, All-American Steve Rogers defending the multiplex for the MCU; a square-jawed Cliff Secord type– I think the universe of The Rocketeer is ripe for re-discovery and exploration. The original movie is a classic, no doubt, but it’s really a comedic look at the classic hero’s origin story. We’ve seen him learn to fly and juggle his secret identity with his masked one, with kind of a wink and a smile. But we’ve also seen that now in countless other superhero movies. What excites me is the possibility of seeing this “aw shucks” hero through the lens of a modern day action film; seeing him go up against other high-flying villains that are, perhaps, villains better suited for a Liam Neeson actioner, and not a family film. How does that affect the tone of The Rocketeer when, yes, we believe he could be in real mortal danger? And yes, we’ve seen him in the golden age of zeppelins and biplanes. Now let’s see him survive high-stakes threats in an age of drones and stealth military tech wonders and power-mad dictators. And, what they could achieve with the modest optical FX of the 90s was great, but how cool would it be to see The Rocketeer in an ILM-style action sequence with updated VFX?? I get a big, goofy grin on my face just thinking about how cool it would all look. Look out, Iron Man! This Rocketeer would straight up OWN aerial action sequences.

How would you describe this script in two words?

As you can probably tell, brevity is not my strong suit. Two words…. aw jeez… how about: ROCKETEER. INSANITY.

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

I’m an action and sci-fi nut, but funny enough, the movie I’ve probably watched the most is ED WOOD. I love watching movies about making movies, and I also am something of a Tim Burton apologist. I used to be a Tim Burton defender, now I’m an apologist. It’s not easy these days for us Burton fans. Well, before Alice and all that, he made what might be the best movie about making a movie ever made… ED WOOD. It’s Depp in his prime before he started annoying people. It’s touching, uplifting, humanizing… and it’s honestly the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. I’d put it above Spinal Tap for best comedy movie, no joke. The late, great Martin Landau powers the movie with an all-timer performance as Bela Lugosi. That accent. Every line out of his mouth is a quotable gem. And when I’m feeling down, or creatively empty, the movie inspires me. It reminds me of everything I love about movies and the creative process in general. It teaches me to rise above the odds, to shake off the hate and second thoughts. It makes me want to create. Plus, it’s got gorgeous black-and-white cinematography and an awesomely gothy score. Runner-up is PUMPKINHEAD.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve honestly been toying with this story for 26 years. Ever since I saw the first Rocketeer in the theaters back in ’91, I was imagining a sequel. I kept holding out hope that Disney would make one, but they never did. I scribbled little notes here and there, I’d put it down, I’d pick it up, and back down again. It was only recently, in the last year, that I sat down and made myself streamline the ideas and turn it into a screenplay. Once I got writing, I cranked it out over a couple of weekends; full days of writing – mornings for new stuff, afternoons for rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

Several. I don’t have an exact number thanks to all the false starts, but it’s I’m sure it’s up there. I have stories I keep going back to, and I have inklings of ideas for things all the time. Let’s guesstimate that it’s between five real stories and about a zillion fragments of others.

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

Man, this is tough. It’s not my favorite, but you know what song I listen to A LOT? “Epic” by Faith No More. When those drums kick in, it gets me so pumped up, I feel like steam shoots out of my ears like a real life Looney Tune, and I bounce around the city all day after I hear it. I feel like I could run through a wall, or take on the world, or at least mosh a bit and not be self-conscious about it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I’m my own worst enemy. My biggest obstacle is my stupid mind. My first instinct is to second guess everything I put on the page. “Is it good enough?” “Will people think this is cool?” “Does this make sense?” I have to fight those demons back every page, and remind myself that I’m writing for me. No one else. Yes, it’s good to know your audience and all that, but you have to please yourself first and foremost. If you yourself like it, chances are others like you will enjoy it too. Once I get over that little voice, the scenes geyser out. Movie magic happens.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Animals – especially, my cat. I’ll keep his identity a secret, but his nickname is Boo Man. He’s freakin’ adorable. I also am an avid movie watcher. I am passionate about seeing film and discussing it; I average 1 to 2 trips to the theater a week. I like to see everything on THE BIGGEST SCREEN POSSIBLE. Big releases, indies, classics. Specialty screenings are my favorite. I recently saw a 35mm print of the original Robocop on the big screen and it was a transcendent experience. The audience was cheering and hollering at every classic scene, it was like an interactive Robocop rock concert. “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!” APPLAUSE. “Your move, creep!” DOUBLE APPLAUSE. I also pretend I’m interested in cooking, but I think I’m more interested in eating.

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

So far, so good. They’ve made submitting easy, and I’m extremely grateful for that.

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

Fan Fiction Festival seemed liked the premier fest for fan-driven stories, so it felt like an organic choice. I wanted the script to find an audience of like-minded creators and fans that not only celebrate the properties they love, but create within those worlds as well. I’m happy your fest exists, honestly; it seems like fan fiction stuff is hard to get out there, so thank you for doing the good work. In terms of feedback, I’m always gobsmacked anytime anyone likes anything I do, so I was flattered by my reader’s kind remarks and warm reaction to the script. I also thought he was gentleman, and phrased his constructive criticism in a very polite manner. If you’re reading this now, Mystery Reader Man, thank you for that.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Charlie: Nick Wicht
Lex: Julia Baldwin
Valentina: Alicia Payne
Tour Guide: Beck Lloyd
Bodyguard: David Occhipinti
Air Traffic Guy: Michael Lake

Interview with director Ferdinand Koerner (Star Wars “Revengant”)

Ferdinand Koerner’s short film played at the January 2017 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film Festival. It passed the ultimate test – the fanboys who love Star Wars.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ferdinand Koerner: The very intrinsic motivation were the Lucasfilm Star Wars Fan Film Awards 2016. For the first time you could participate in that festival directly from Germany!

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

FK: Well, I had this idea of a Kylo Ren film in my head for quite a long time – say around 6-7 months. But never got the last piece of motivation to realize that idea – as you often do with ideas.

So when I heard of that festival I only had 7 days to produce that movie cause of the deadline (noticed that Festival really late). Fortunatly I had the idea and my Full Body Kylo Ren Outfit – so I “only” needed the location, the actors and the props – piece of cake XD.

But Ferman actors are very into it if they could play a part in a genre film (what is very underrated here in Crime-Film-Ballerburg-Germany. So I posted the demand for talent on 3 Facebook-Actor-Groups an got 67 responses in 24 hours. What a luxury!

So I gathered my very awesome Filmcrew and we shot that at T-7 Days in a whole day and I spend the rest 6 Days in my office doing the postproduction. Movie was uploaded at 23.45pm on a 23.55pm Deadline.

JUST IN TIME.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

FK: Oh I LOVE 2 Words descriptions. For the Revengant I would go with…:

starwarsescapism-badassery.

Does that count as 2 Words? *grin*

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

FK: ONLY 6 Days of postproduction with a one man crew (ega. ME) to rely on.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

FK: Due to the 7 days quick-deadline I am very well aware of the not so good things on the movie – for example the lack of a realistic McGuffin-Solution. But even realizing that in the audience speaks for a very cineastic-firm audience that really is loving it to watch those Fan Films. So – it hasnt been a full disassambly – so I am very pleased and surprised by the wonderfull charming audience! I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

FK: Like I said – after watching Episode 7 I immediatly fell in love with the Kylo Ren Character. So dark, so gritty, so … rough and not even. So it was pretty clear to include that character in a Star Wars Fanfilm – if I would ever realize one.

That compared with my intension to realize that film in a OneShot-Planar-Sequence-Look (no visible cuts) gave me the needed technical challenge to start that film in the first place.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

FK: On the top five there definitly is the Star Wars Sage (Episode 1 till Rogue One) – but I think the most seen film would be “The Dark Knight”. So much detail in that masterpiece. #NolanLove

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

FK: Yeah sure – there is always a new project, right?
So I am one of the few Fans out there who loves als the “Star…” Movies. So I will still participated in the 2017 Star Wars Fan Film Awards if I got another good idea for a worthy film. But till then you may get a glimpse on my Instagram-Account on what FanFilm ther is in preproduction-phase:

Thanks for the opportunity to showcase a “german produced genre film” in the HOLY COUNTRIES overseas. its an amazing honor the be mentioned by international film fans, Filmmakers or critics!

So THANKS AGAIN – you and your festival did a GREAT Job and a PERFECT plattform for every Fan of all those gigantic Franchises and Universes out there!

_____

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 month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.