Interview with Winning Screenwriter R. Harris Smith (MIRRORS)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

‘Mirrors’ is about the fear of your reflection watching you as you sleep – almost an extension of fear of the dark, I suppose.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror.

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

As a short film, it is simple to make but can be particularly frightening at the same time.

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

Quite scary.

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

Probably ‘Shaun of The Dead’ or ‘Hot Fuzz’.

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

This screenplay took me a couple of hours, mainly just small fixes needing doing after the main idea was finished.

7. How many stories have you written?

‘Chloe’, ‘Mirrors’, ‘Out of Time’ and ‘Lucid Visionary’ so far.

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

At the moment, I’m mainly listening to Royal Blood and Manic Street Preachers.

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

Luckily, I had no obstacles as it was such a short script.

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

I’m also a director and producer, plus a lecturer.

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

I have found FilmFreeway pretty useful so far.

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

I liked the idea of a festival purely for scripts and films under 5 minutes so I had a look. I was happy with the feedback I received about my script, as it was mainly positive with a couple of suggestions on how to improve it.

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Genre: Horror, Thriller

Young Rachel is getting ready for bed, but as she sleeps, she worries her reflection might be watching her. Once her eyes are closed, her bedroom mirror reflection gets off the bed and presses itself against the mirror. Tapping to get out

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Rachel: Georgia Grant
 

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Carla Miles (WAVERLY RIDING)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

‘Waverly Riding’ is about a woman who has tried hard to always do the right thing but she reaches her breaking point when she gets an eviction notice and her ex-husband says he’s going to try to get custody of their three kids. Waverly needs money now and devises a plan to rob the supermarket she works in. It’s a story about right and wrong, and how far a person will go for the people they love.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This is a comedy script with many dramatic undertones. Or vice-versa.

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

I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this story – the financial hardships, single parenting, and a lousy job. And It’s ultimately a feel-good story.

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

Life’s hard.

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

Norma Rae.

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

I first thought of the story 20 years ago when I worked in a supermarket while raising six kids. So…

7. How many stories have you written?

At least 15 screenplays and 20 short stories.

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

Changes by David Bowie.

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

Working overtime as a police dispatcher, putting kids through college, babysitting grandkids, laundry, cooking, housecleaning…

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

Music and law enforcement.

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

I only recently discovered Film Freeway and my first submission was selected so I’m pretty psyched about it. I have had a couple of passes on other stories since but it helps me see which of my stories have potential, and the site is super easy to use and search for festivals.

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

I was drawn to this festival because of the word FEMALE. We really are underappreciated and underproduced in the film industry. There needs to be more great roles for women in film and more opportunities for female writers.
The feedback I received was phenomenal, very detailed and well thought out. I know my screenplay was read and carefully considered and this was all I wanted. I applied all of the suggestions to my script!

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Genre: Drama, Crime

A single mother in a financial crisis engineers a robbery at the supermarket she works in.

CAST LIST:

April: Lara Amersey
Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Kat: Georgia Grant
Waverly: Jane Smythe

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Stephanie Barnes (THE PAPER PRINCESS)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

The Paper Princess is about a courageous, young princess called Paige who goes on a journey to save her home, after a cruel sorcerer transforms her into paper. Accompanied by her two friends, a grouchy hermit and a brave sprout, Paige learns that her paper doesn’t have to be a curse, it can be a source of power.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Animation, Fantasy and Adventure.

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

It’s a fun, epic adventure which embodies several positive themes: a princess who doesn’t need a prince to break her curse – she breaks it herself; change is always possible, as a person and in society; and, true strength comes from within.

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

Paper wins!

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

Moulin Rouge

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

About one year.

7. How many stories have you written?

At least twenty (three film scripts, a collection of dark fairy tale short stories, other short stories and one book).

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

Daryl Hall & John Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True

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

I faced quite a few obstacles writing The Paper Princess. The main male protagonist Aeren went through many changes during the early drafts. Because of his complex character, some readers found it hard to relate to him. In the end, I decided to completely redraft the character and I’m really happy with the end result. When I finished the script, I fell into a bad habit of redrafting and editing the first ten minutes of the script again and again because I felt it wasn’t right. Eventually I realised I was just being overly pedantic and had to take a step back.

Finding time to write while balancing my home and work life was very difficult too.

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

I love reading, especially fantasy, and visiting new places. I gained a lot of inspiration for The Paper Princess when I went travelling in Japan.

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

It was really easy and had no problems.

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

I entered the festival because I’m eager to get more feedback on my script and improve its chances of being made one day. The feedback I received was really thorough and gave me some really good things to think about. My only concern about my feedback was there were some points that conflicted with other feedback I’d received in the past, leaving me feeling unsure on how to move forward. But, overall, I’d recommend this festival for anyone looking for industry feedback.

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Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy

When a courageous princess is transformed into paper, she goes on an epic journey to save her home from an evil sorcerer, learning that true strength comes from within.

CAST LIST:

King Jasper: Tim Paul McCarthy
Aeren: Scott McCulloch
Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Tania: Alicia Payne
Paige: Lara Amersey
Chancellor: Rais Moui