Interview with Screenwriter Bennett Weinschenk (FOR BLOOD)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Bennett Weinschenk: Well, beside the obvious rescue mission, I’d say the film is about familial love, and learning how to be vulnerable. That it’s okay to show love as a vulnerable thing; it’s not something you need to protect yourself from.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi/Dystopian Action I’d say; Children of Men, Logan-type films.

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

It’s a female-driven action film that actually shows the consequences and carnage of action while avoiding as many story clichés as it can. The real question is why hasn’t this been made yet?

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

Love and Pain

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

Any of the Star Wars films; maybe Casino Royale. Maybe The Dark Knight? I don’t really keep track of these things, I just watch what feels right in the moment. Hopefully some of that tells you something about me.

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

Just over a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

Five. This, another feature, two pilots, and a short film. Plus everything I did at the beginning of college and high school. This is really all I’ve ever done.

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

“Finale” by Max Richter, from Mary, Queen of Scots. Max is a truly gifted composer (probably the most gifted, in my mind). Highly recommend.

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

Jobs, other screenplays I was writing, and generally making sure that I was getting this screenplay right. Developing the world of this film was definitely a major obstacle. I had to get really in depth with it, and not much of it is on the page. But it’s something you have to know as the writer.

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

Politics, unfortunately. I grew up in the DC suburbs so it kinda just seeped in. I’m also a passionate fan of the Boston Red Sox, and baseball in general.

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

They’ve been great. Very supportive. I always look forward to feedback.

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

I really wanted feedback from a different corner of the festival circuit, and I was really touched that your feedback didn’t rip me to shreds. I think you always kind of expect that your feedback is gonna rip you to shreds. But I got lucky.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After a disease has wiped out millions of us, Universal Blood Donors will be identified and contained by the government. When Morgan Woodard found out his son Sam was O Negative, he took his family and went into hiding. Twelve years later, a man, desperate to survive, kidnaps Sam, and shoots Morgan. The only person left to save anyone is Sam’s older sister, Virginia.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Sam (M): Bill Poulin
Morgan (M) Scott Beaudin
Virginia (F): Alicia Payne

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Raasch (UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS)

What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about the outer and inner workings of a society under the grip of a police state. This specific police state takes the form of a security firm with vast power and influence called Vane Security.

The overall story focuses on three main characters whose stories interweave with each other: Rosemary Banks, Jason Fischer, and Veronica Vane.

Jason is the half-brother of Rosemary and although the two genuinely care for each other (as siblings would), the two live by significantly different lifestyles. Jason is a petty thief who is content with surviving through committing low level crimes throughout Chicago and resides in a duplex with drug dealers. Jason, however, gets a wake up call when he stumbles upon the dead body of high ranking official to Vane Security and is seen as a suspect of the murder.

Rosemary is an up and coming comedian/entertainer who is generally upbeat and likes to joke around with others; however, her jokey facade slowly peels away as unfortunate events happen to her and her loved ones as the series progresses.
Finally, Veronica is the daughter of the Superintendent Deputy of Vane Security’s Midwest headquarters. Veronica is a precocious, independent young woman who grows resentful of her family as she discovers the dark secrets of the firm and starts to long for a more normal life away from the baggage that comes with her family name.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genre for the series would be a hybrid of a Dystopian Drama with elements of Dark Humor throughout.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I believe the series should be produced because of its unique take on the Dystopian genre. It focuses on a diverse set of characters that come from many different walks of life that all deal with the reality of living under a police state in different ways. Besides the engaging characters for the audience to identify with, the series has an element of mystery that will keep audiences invested throughout as stakes begin to rise and twisted secrets begin to surface.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Sardonic paranoia.

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

The films I’ve seen the most are films by P.T. Anderson, the Coen brothers, and Terry Gilliam. In terms of animation, I have a soft spot of French animated films like “The Triplets of Bellville,” and Studio Ghibli films like “Princess Mononoke,” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took me roughly 5 months to write the Pilot script and am currently writing more episodes.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written a handful of stories spanning from prose fiction to screenwriting. While none of my stories have been published or sold (as of yet) I’ve been working on my craft for a number of years and am slowly growing my portfolio of written works.

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

One song I’ve been listening a lot to recently is “The Mercy Seat” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. It is one of the most darkly creative pieces of music I’ve heard with genius songwriting and poetic, schizophrenic lyrics.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Most of the obstacles I’ve faced when writing my script is internal strife regarding my writing abilities as well as constant overthinking and double guessing with plot details and character motivations due to the story’s unique set-up.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Apart from writing, I am a music and film aficionado. When I’m not listening to good music or watching a good film, I greatly enjoy playing with my dog and riding my bike outside.

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

This was my first time using Coverfly and I found the service to be smooth and accessible.

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

I submitted to this festival for feedback due to the affordable entry fee and their apparent care in giving well rounded feedback for the scripts submitted to them. I strongly encourage others to submit to this festival as well once they feel that their script is ready.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Set in a future version of North America where all law enforcement is replaced by a single security firm owned by a large family, an aspiring entertainer, and her half-brother, befriend the daughter of a distinguished member of the family. However, the three get tangled up in a conspiracy against the firm when one of the firms’ high ranking members is murdered.


CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Yoldana (F): Hannah Ehman
Veronica (F): Kyana Teresa
Jason/Jason (M) Scott Beaudin
Cashier (M): Bill Poulin

Interview with Screenwriter Andrew Cooper (COME ALIVE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Andrew Cooper: A middle-aged gay couple’s attempt to rekindle their relationship turns into an absurd, hormone-fueled quest to defeat heterosexist aliens and save a new LGBTQ society.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s a fast-paced adventure-comedy, with a touch of sci-fi for kicks.

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

A madcap quest led by middle-age characters that’s queer through and through is something people have rarely, if ever, seen—but are ready for. Come Alive will satisfy younger and older LGBTQ audiences as well as others looking for a story off the beaten path.

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

Absurd fun

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

A three-way tie: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Foul Play, and Seems Like Old Times. I watched them almost on a loop when I was a kid, so often that my parents had to make a rule that I could watch them only once a month. I grew out of it but still have a silly streak.

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

I finished drafting circa November 2019 and have been tinkering ever since.

7. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. I’ve published 30 or 40 prose stories but written reams more. Since I started screenwriting a couple of years ago, I’ve churned out about 15 scripts (shorts and features).

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

Possibly “A Strange Day” by The Cure. It’s full of goth-y goodness while still being uplifting.

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

Life might have tripped me up once or twice, but the real obstacles lay in the writing itself. Even though I wouldn’t describe the script as a gut-buster, it is comedic, which was new to me. It required developing and trusting a different ear for dialogue. It also called for a sense of pacing that, for this story, made me squish events into an unbelievably short timeline. Mostly for chuckles, we go from weird to weirder to totally WTF in not many minutes. I also needed to write a lot of sex and sexual situations, more new-ish territory for me. Some of it is intentionally puerile, but I want some of it to be… hot. Strategies for writing hotness were definitely an obstacle. I can only hope I succeeded.

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

Movies, of course! We work a lot, but my husband and I take our screen time seriously, likely playing more video games than people in our age demographic in addition to streaming lots of TV shows and movies. Our cat, about whom we are ridiculously passionate, doesn’t seem to mind. When the world is open, we also love brunching all around Los Angeles and traveling when possible, often beating our feet raw so we can take in maximum museums.

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

It’s great for finding competitions and keeping my entries organized. I have also used Coverfly. Its scoring system is intriguing, but I don’t fully understand it.

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

I went looking for a place to send Come Alive and thought (hoped) this festival would be a perfect fit. Though I’d love for many audiences to enjoy it, the story speaks mostly to LGBT audiences, who are most likely to relate to the characters, get the humor, and possibly even feel, um, titillated. The festival’s inclusion of feedback for all entries also spoke to me, as I entered new territory with this script and need(ed) professional eyes on it. I was thrilled to get feedback that responded enthusiastically to the characters, humor, and story! I felt like my venture into uncharted territory might have worked out. I am especially excited about the upcoming full reading, a prize I will cherish—and an opportunity to hear how the timing I worked on actually operates.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Summary: A hilarious comedy about two men, TIM and ALVY, as they explore their sexuality again in their relationship.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Tim (M): Steve Rizzo (8)
Alvy (M): Geoff Mays (9)

Interview with Screenwriter John Ravitz (THE WRONG CANDIDATE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

John Ravitz: A Well financed terrorist organization has trained operatives since they were children; when they finally have viable candidate to run for president, the current president sets into motion a plan to put his own successor into the Oval Office.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The Wrong Candidate is a political thriller/action series.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV series?

After the 2016 presidential election, most people would agree that political conventional wisdom was thrown out the window, especially in terms of who the nominees were. Watching The Wrong Candidate will make people forget Trump vs Clinton in a heartbeat. The Wrong Candidate will give viewers a front row seat to the most bizarre and deadly presidential election in this country’s history.

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

Fast paced.

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

Rocky

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

Two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have been writing screenplays for the last four years.

8. What is your favorite song?

New York State of Mind.

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

A full-time job, four kids and other responsibilities.

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

Family, sports, music and reading.

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

No problems at all. I appreciated the updates that you sent.

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

All good!.

 
Watch the Screenplay Reading:

When a well financed domestic terrorist organization which has breed sleeper agents since they were children, finally have a viable candidate to run for president, the current president sets into motion a plan to put his own successor in the Oval Office.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Dorothy (F): Hannah Ehman
Paul (M): Steve Rizzo
Lanky Boy/Man (M): Geoff Mays
Mr. Smith/Voice Over PA (M): Allan Michael Brunet

Interview with Screenwriter Edward Hicklin (WIPE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Edward Hicklin: Tommy was never taught how to wipe his butt properly, and was therefore teased for most of his childhood and beyond. After a particularly heinous prank takes his life, Tommy vows supernatural revenge against the summer camp that played host to his early demise.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy/Horror/Slasher

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

Because it is genuinely funny one of the more original comedy spec screenplays out there. Also, it has a character named ‘Wet Butt.’

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

Funny Ridiculous

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

The Return of the Jedi

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

It took me four months to write and I have been fiddling with it for two years since.

7. How many stories have you written?

Four

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

‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles.

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

None that I remember

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

All things art

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

Excellent

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

I don’t remember why I entered, but the feedback was first rate.
 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Tommy was never taught how to wipe his butt properly, and was therefore teased for most of his childhood and beyond. After a particularly heinous prank takes his life, Tommy vows supernatural revenge against the summer camp that played host to his early demise.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Tommy (M): Steve Rizzo
Kid #1/Random Kid/Random Kid #2 (F): Kyana Teresa
Henry (M): Scott Beaudin

Interview with Filmmaker Scott Fredette (THE WANDERING WOLF)

THE WANDERING WOLF was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the April 2020 Documentary Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Scott Fredette: Yoni Wolf, lead singer in the band WHY?, has a podcast by the same name. We wanted to give it a visual compliment to his Wandering Wolf podcast. I travel (or traveled) for a living for commercial, branding and storytelling work, and had a very similar take as Yoni. And we invariably end up in the offbeat parts of cities we visited. And we were curious by nature, and explorers so this travelogue is an experiment into showing how we experience places. Ultimately, we want to evolve on this into a series, where we visit and explore the underbelly/undercurrent of 2nd tier cities around the country and world…places you don’t travel to as tourists. And through the eyes of artists in the art/music/youth scene, we want to experience what the locals cherish about each city.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took rough 5 months and 20 days to actually make. We think we can do it in two weeks now. 🙂

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Underbelly travelogue.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Money. Always money. Not having it just makes everything 3x as hard, from asking for favors to having to do so much shit by yourself. Filmmaking is collaborative.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

“Wow, I didn’t know Cincinnati was so cool.”
We both know our craft, so we got a lot of praise on the content and how it was done, from visual to audio. People said it was fun to watch.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As stated above, this was a visual compliment to the Wandering Wolf Podcast.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Weird, I dunno, I always seem to watch Shawshank Redemption when passing by it on TV. And don’t underestimate a ROM COM with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts? Which one? All of them.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Super Simple. Love it

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Probably GRAND DARK FEELING OF EMPTINESS by Bonnie Prince Billy or that Don’t bring me down song by ELO

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Working on a beauty commercial Campaign. Continue experimenting with short films, and trying to get 13 episodes of the WANDERING WOLF.

the_wandering_wolf_1

Interview with Filmmaker Sandy Parker (ALIENATED)

ALIENATED played to rave reviews at the April 2020 Female Feedback Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Sandy Parker: I was getting the feeling that some festivals mainly wanted stories about young people getting molested. A moderator at a pitch session I attended said, “These are the stories that need to be told,” and I thought to myself, “Oh no, not again.” I know there’s a lot of evil in the world, and it needs to be called out. But frankly, I also think you can have a very compelling story without someone having to get molested, and in a way, I feel like there’s an element of rubber-necking involved in using that kind of shock value, and that it’s almost a cheap shot. In fact, I think the real challenge would be to write a truly riveting story involving a couple of elderly shut-ins. But anyway, I was feeling annoyed, so I thought to myself, if you guys want a molestation, I’ll give you a molestation: Alien Molestation! That was my original title! I sat down and wrote the first version of the script in about an hour just to get it out of my system. So basically, I wrote this script out of frustration.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

After I wrote the script, I set it aside. And two week after I wrote it, Trump was elected, and I thought, oh no, I can’t do anything with this script because it will look like a political commentary on fascism. A year later, I was invited to enter a short script contest, and I figured enough time had gone by since the election that I could enter this script and it wouldn’t appear to have such a strong political overtone. At the end of January 2018, I learned that my script had won the contest, and the prize was having my film produced! I was given a $5,000 budget, and was able to raise another $2,000 through word of mouth. Casting was held in mid-April, costume fittings and rehearsals were in the first week of June, and we filmed for two days, on June 8th and 9th. Editing began about a week after that, and we brought our sound designer into the process in mid-July. Around that time, we also began working on our poster, music, end credits, and our title card, which was pulled from the poster. Our goal was to finish in time to enter the New Orleans Film Festival, which ended up being our premiere screening.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Twilight Zone-esque

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Our biggest challenge was the alien masks! We knew we would need to augment whatever masks we got with special effects makeup, and we
already had a very talented special effects makeup artist on our team. We were originally looking at an $800 prosthetic mask. My producer told me we could only afford to buy one of them, which would mean having to rewrite the script so that we never saw more than one alien in any given shot. I decided to check out the offerings at an online costume shop, and saw rubber masks that had the kind of alien face I’d been envisioning, and they were only $38 each. I ordered three of them, and when they arrived, I couldn’t believe I ever considered the $800 ones! But then I put one on and was immediately so hot and uncomfortable in my air-conditioned living room, I was just about ready to slit my wrists. I’m glad I had that experience, because it made me aware of what I was asking of my alien actors. On the day of the shoot, we were able to keep them in an air conditioned building right up until the moment we were ready to film them. The poor guys had to wear their masks for several hours straight, and they could barely breath or see. They were real troopers!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was amazed. I didn’t expect feedback from so many people, and I didn’t expect it to be presented as a video. Honestly, it made me feel like a rock star! I hadn’t expected to get such positive feedback!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

There was this movie, The UFO Incident, starring James Earl Jones, that aired on TV when I was a kid. I was just kind of hanging out in the same room while my mom was watching it, and I got sucked into watching it, too. It was actually pretty frightening, at least for a child. It told the story of Barney and Betty Hill, a couple who claimed, in the sixties, that they had been abducted by aliens while driving on a highway at night. They had no memory of it, but they knew there was a period of several hours that they couldn’t account for. Betty was having strange dreams, so they went to a psychiatrist, who recorded his interviews with them while they were under hypnosis. I was scared on road trips for years after that. Anytime we were driving home at night from visiting grandma, I was sitting in the back seat, looking up at the stars, and hoping to God the aliens weren’t going to come get us.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I think maybe Silence of the Lambs – but mostly the second half! This isn’t something I plan. Now and then I’ll discover that it’s on TV, or once I even walked by a public outdoor screening. I always come along when it’s right in the middle, and I just cannot tear myself away. The way the story plays out and wraps up, with our heroine really gathering her courage and defeating the bad guy, is just so delicious.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Honestly, the whole submission process can be so tedious, I rarely enter any festival that doesn’t use FilmFreeway. I love having everything set up on my profile so that all I have to do is make my selection and click “submit.” Even then, there are the tasks of sending in the files if my film gets in, and making an announcement on social media, and occasionally sending an email to cast and crew with all the latest news. I don’t have a PR person, so I have to be a self-starter and do it all myself. I appreciate anything that makes the process a little easier.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

What an interesting question! I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this. I’m sure there are several that are way up there, and if you think about it, the songs I know from childhood have had more time to be repeated over the course of my lifetime, right? But I’m gonna say it’s the song Frank Sinatra by the band Cake. I used to play it over and over on a cassette tape in my car, back in the nineties. There’s something fascinating and beautiful in the lyrics.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m writing a feature-length script, or actually several, but this one is a coming of age story set in 1950’s New Orleans about a 13-year-old Italian-American boy named Dué. Dué hangs out every day after school at a camp that he and his friends built in the swamp. Dué is trying to find a priest outside his parish to whom he can anonymously confess his crush on a nun, which he knows is a pretty big sin, but when he discovers the body of his own murdered priest, his granddad has to protect him from the killer, who has now gone after Dué. It’s actually an adaptation of a novel written by a local New Orleans author, and it’s a really sweet story with a lot of humor. I’m hoping to direct it myself, once it’s safe to work on a movie set again.

alienated_movie_poster

Interview with Filmmaker Daniel Everitt-Lock (FROM THE THUNDER)

FROM THE THUNDER was voted BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the May 2020 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival. A representation of the best DRAMA short films from around the world today.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Daniel Everitt-Lock: It was originally part of a 3 year plan, starting with a VR film that we created with my old company. The piece was called ‘Humanity’. Well received thankfully. It was based on the Christmas Truce of 1914. This led us to undertake the short, that would then be adapted into a feature. We are still looking to make the feature next year. This is called ‘Iron Harvest’.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for
you to make this short?

As above, this was the second year in a three year plan. Once we crowdfunded, we had a month of pre production, 2 day shoot, then 2 months of intermittent post.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

As described in my favourite review, A Poem on Humanity. (I know that’s 4 words, but 2 of them are small… 😉 )

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Crowdfunding…. By far. That was more work than the film, and the things myself and my producer had to do to raise the money were ridiculous….

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Very pleased! It was a joy to know that my work has been well received and taken as I had hoped.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

After shooting the VR piece, myself and my writer, Sean Meldrum, developed the idea from a basic concept. It evolved into what was put to the screen.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

A combination of Seven, Whiplash and Disney’s Hercules. And probably Jurassic Park…

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Useful! Nice and easy to operate and put out to numerous festivals, with the option of personalising each application.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Probably something by Linkin Park… or something from the 80’s, such as Gold by Spandau Ballet.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I recently finished DPing two features that are doing the festival circuit. One already has an international distribution deal, so that’s great! Other than seeing where they take me, I have Iron Harvest to pitch around, so if anyone is interested???? 😉

from_the_thunder_movie_poster

Interview with Filmmaker Seb Cox (TIDE OF GHOSTS)

TIDE OF GHOSTS was awarded BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the May 2020 LA Feedback Film Festival. A representation of the best Action, Crime, Fantasy, Thriller Shorts Films in the world today.

Watch Seb’s Video Interview:

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

tide_of_ghosts_2

Interview with Screenwriter Drew Robinson (BEAUTIFUL SURFACES)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Drew Robinson: What if you could live forever? Beautiful Surfaces is a science fiction, coming of age television drama. Set in a dystopian future where aging has been eradicated, the series explores how immortality affects societal norms, relationships and the human psyche. Echoing many of the issues that today’s millennials face, the series offers audiences, of all ages, the opportunity to reflect on contemporary issues through the lens of a science fiction setting.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Science fiction/drama/speculative fiction

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

I think that this script would be a great pilot for a tv series. The search for meaning and purpose that Mia, Alejandro and many of the characters grapple with in this series reflect my own struggles as a millennial. The millennial relationships with privacy, with debt, and with job security are fundamentally different than those of previous generations and figuring out how to navigate this new frontier inspired many of the questions raised in Beautiful Surfaces.

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

Intellectual rollercoaster

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

Jurassic Park or Die Hard

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

I’ve been working on this script for over a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

Too many to count. I’ve written several other original pilots since I made the decision to pursue screenwriting as a career several years ago.

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

‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift (don’t judge me!)

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

Science fiction is a very specific genre and if a reader isn’t into sci-fi, they can struggle to suspend their disbelief. So as I received notes, it was a challenge to swift through the feedback to see what would improve the story versus what was just dislike of an entire genre. Fortunately I was able to locate some really great sci-fi readers to give notes and their feedback was immensely valuable.

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

I love to draw, read and discuss the ramifications of a hostile robot takeover.

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

So far it’s been great!

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

I’m always looking for feedback on my stories so I try enter festivals where I think I could benefit from the readers’ perspectives. I thought the feedback was useful and I appreciate the time the readers took.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

In a world where aging has been eradicated, the heir apparent to the immortality industry discovers problems with the anti-aging drugs and finds herself caught in a conspiracy that threatens not only those she loves but also the very fabric of this new, everlasting society.

CAST LIST:

Man: Bill Poulin
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Yona: Hannah Ehman
Mia: Nkasi Ogbonnah