Interview with Screenwriter Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Peter Lloyd: It’s Episode 1 of Street Law, a TV series set in a multi-ethnic law
practice in Singapore.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Crime/drama.

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

We think the series should be commissioned because a fast-paced,
English-language law firm drama has never been done before in Asia.

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

Gritty, realistic.

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

Probably ‘Southern Comfort’.

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

A year on creating and plotting the TV series and writing the Episode
1 screenplay.

7. How many stories have you written?

Many.

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

‘Broke My Neck’ by Echo and the Bunnymen.

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

Time – and ensuring many of the series-long plot issues raised in
Episode 1 continue throughout the series to the finale.

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

Music. Travel.

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

Brilliant. Very easy to use.

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

We liked the festival. The initial feedback on the screenplay was
constructive and excellent.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Street Law is a fast-paced, multi-ethnic English-language law firm drama, wrapped in a murder mystery.

CAST LIST:

Mike – Alex Clay
Narration – Pip Dwyer
Ricky – Russell Batcher
Christina – Vanessa Burns

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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Producer: Matthew

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Interview with Screenwriter Michael Zielinski (CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT)

CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT was a October 2018 Romance Screenplay Winner.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Michael Zielinski: My romantic screenplay CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT centers on three couples at Christmastime encountering connection obstacles, the most compelling pairing a body-shaming victim with her one-time bully.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance.

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

The search for love is universal and my screenplay is heartwarming in demonstrating that serious potholes in that journey, like past scars, disparity in professions and ambition, can be overcome — especially with some help from the magic of Christmas.

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

Feel good.

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

Heaven Can Wait by Warren Beatty.

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

Eight months

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written this screenplay, written two published novels, and written two full-length plays and six one-act plays (all produced at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York City). I also am a newspaper columnist.

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

Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers.

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

I usually write comedies and this script was meant to be more romance than romantic comedy — an adjustment for me.

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

Sports.

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

Extremely positive and educational. FilmFreeway gives me access and exposure to industry professionals I otherwise would not have. And the feedback has been quite helpful. FilmFreeway is a portal to the possibility of opportunity.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
The feedback was my primary motivation. And the feedback has been exceptionally helpful in pointing out issues of exposition and story/structure context in my screenplay.

 

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

FilmFreeway exclusive Festival:

CHAD MORGAN and WHITNEY PAXTON see each other at the ski lodge at Christmastime for the first time since high school 15 years ago. He was the star quarterback, she was overweight and had a hopeless crush on him. He body shamed her at a Christmas dance their senior year, an incident that transformed both their lives.

CAST LIST:

Narration – Vanessa Burns
Whitney – Sydney Addison-Rudat
Chad – Alex Clay

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Interview with Filmmaker Erik Bloomquist (SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS)

SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS was the winner of BEST FILM at the October Horror FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Erik Bloomquist: My brother Carson and I grew up watching ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?, which really woke up and shaped our sensibilities as filmmakers and horror enthusiasts. We wanted to go back to basics — something warm and nostalgic and spooky.

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

Just over three months. It was a super quick one!

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

Campfire rollercoaster.

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

We shot the whole thing with a skeleton crew in just two very fast overnights.

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

Heartwarming. Truly. We’ve been very fortunate to play all over the world with this movie to very enthusiastic audiences. But to hear such positive, organic feedback from a group of people when I wasn’t even in the room is extremely special. I just sent the link to the whole cast. I’m still smiling.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The campground where we filmed triggered a distinct mood and aesthetic for both me and Carson. The movie just sort of spilled out of us from there.

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

Probably SCREAM or TITANIC. Pretty much the same movie.

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

Super user friendly. Great customer services. Awesome interface.

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

Between Toto and now Weezer’s cover, probably “Africa”. It’s a bop, dude.

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

We’re currently in the middle of a pretty intense USA tour with my debut feature LONG LOST. We’ve been getting some amazing responses and award recognition (including Grand Jury Prize at Laughlin Film Festival, Best Feature/Audience Choice & Director to Watch at Eastern Oregon Film Festival, and a nomination for Best Debut Director at Twin Cities Film Fest). It’s a dark domestic thriller that we shot right after SCFTW. Check us out at Facebook.com/LongLostMovie.
House Wide (Cropped)

Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Pat Jourdan : The story is about the secret lives of holiday towns once summer visitors have left.

What genre?

It is in a plain literary genre.

Describe it in two words

Season’s end.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Great Expectations (David Lean version)

What is your favorite song?

A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum)

Do you have an all-time favourite novel?

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West

What motivated you to write this story?

Noticing the changes in the last weeks of Sepember.

If you could have dinner with one person,( dead or alive), who would that be?

Emily Bronte

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an artist, usually painting in oils

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Testing if it worked in another medium, and through the voice of someone else.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Get a big (real book, with pages) dictionary and read it, discover more words. Read as many books as possible. Books you don’t like are just as valuable, as they are teaching you what works and what does not. Always have biro & paper or other means to jot something down as it occurs to you -writing is not some ‘grand’ occupation at a desk!

 

Synopsis: A café closes for the winter and the waitress re-invents herself.

Performed by Esther Thibault

Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

Nia Markos: My novel is about a young woman whose life gets thrown into turmoil by events out of her control. It involves a prophesy, a quest and finding her inner strength.

Along the way, she also has to deal with matters of the heart. Throw in mythology, magic, faeries, demons and shadows, and danger from all sides stand in the way of her accomplishing her task.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

This novel is a young adult urban fantasy, paranormal quest story.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Magical awakening.

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

Independence Day. I still stop to watch it whenever I catch it on television.

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

It’s so hard to pick just one song. If I had to pick one on the spot, I would say Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I’ve always wanted to write, but I never found the time. This story, though, wanted to be written. When I sat down this time, the words just seemed to flow.
I found my motivation in my main character. Alexa sparked something in me. I never looked back once I started telling her story.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Ernest Hemingway. What a fun night that would be.

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

Music, science fiction movies. I’m learning the guitar. Most of all my family, living life to its fullest.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

The thrill of seeing my words come to life.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

I’ll pass on what other authors have told me. Read. Read a lot. Not just a genre you like, but vary it to see the nuances of other ones. Each genre has its own way of storytelling.

Take what you read and build your own voice.

BUY on Amazon

 

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Filmmaker Deniz Campinar (THE REVELATOR)

THE REVELATOR was the winner of BEST FILM at the October 2018 Female FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Deniz Campinar: Oh God, that’s the question, right? And it’s a good one too! As a Turkish girl who grew up in Belgium and went to a Christian school, I could never fully understand the differences between the two worlds and religions I was living in. The question ‘but why?’ never went away. Why was my mother telling me that the Islam is the right religion while the priest at school told us that being a Christian is all that mattered? Growing up in a time where the Islam is so hated (and I can’t blame people for doing so) because of terrible people are doing terrible crimes in the name of a ‘God’. How come that things like terrorism is so sad, devastating and heartbreaking to us but people on the other side of the world are celebrating every defeat? That tells me that good and bad is rather a dark, subjective concept and it made me wonder. Belgium isn’t the religious little country that it used to be, it’s hard to be religious when nobody really is anymore. I want to believe but it’s a God damn struggle to do so! (Haha) Because WHY? I saw an interview of Stephen Fry, he answered the question ‘what would you tell God’ beautifully. That was the inspiration of the monologue Mason gave at the end of the film. I wanted to make the devil very likable, I wanted to explore his side of the story we find in the Quran. Wasn’t it kind of harsh to condemn him for eternity because he refused to kneel for something that eventually became a huge disappointment? I don’t know, you tell me. I wanted to explore all those questions and hope I succeeded a little bit. I can write a whole novel about a topic like this, but I’ll end it with that. (Haha)

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

It took us about two years. It was a real adventure (every production is though). Can you believe that we worked on this for almost 2 years but the actual filming part only lasted 5 freakin days?! (Haha) The whole crew turned into zombies by day 5, but it was worth it and I can’t be thankful enough for every single one of them.

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

HOLY SHIT! (Haha)

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

Definitely time! Although we worked on it for two years, we had to get it on film in 5 days because of an unfortunate misunderstanding. It fits with the theme of the movie though, because we went to hell and back!

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

I was pleasantly surprised, I was shocked, because for the first time I realized that people across the world watched my movie all together. That’s crazy! I loved the feedback, It’s nice that people picked up on such small details like the apple and the way we dressed up the devil. There were little Easter eggs spread across the film, it’s nice that people picked up on that! The whole conversation about The Monkees was a direct reference to the story of how the devil got ‘kicked out’ of heaven (in the Quran). The restaurant ‘Sidora’ is an anagram for ‘Dorsia’, the restaurant in American Psycho. I wanted to link the whole Yuppy culture to Mason so that’s where the anagram came from. Stuff like that made it more meaningful to me and I hope the audience agrees.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The writing process was a long and difficult road. I knew I wanted to tell a story that had to do with religion, something that would make the audience ask the same questions, I ask myself all the time. In the middle of the writing process I stumbled upon a story, a script, written by David Lambertson (shout out to this man!). The story ‘The Relevator’ was such a simple yet effective storyline, I immediately contacted David, asking for permission to film his script. But as time went on the story began to change, I added details and removed certain obstacles. The biggest changes were definitely the possibility that the elevator opens in a different setting (moments in Mason’s life), in the original script everything happened in the elevator. And a also the ending is very, VERY, different. I wanted a sad and a happy ending at the same time while still being satisfactory. So I killed off Mason, and there never was a God…

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

That’s a hard question. I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan! Inception (by Christopher Nolan) is definitely a favorite. Every movie Leonardo DiCaprio plays in actually. Leo for life! (Haha). But the one I’ve seen the most in my life… Is actually a series. Every time a new season of Game of Thrones comes out, I watch the whole story again starting with season one! Season 8 is on the way, so I’m starting with season 1 next week! I’m scared because: Valar Morghulis…

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

I like it a lot! It’s so freaking easy to use! Once you put in all the information you can just click away!

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

That’s a difficult one too. I think it has to be a Linkin Park song. ‘Somewhere I belong’ and the whole Hybrid Theory album are definitely the songs I listened too the most times in my life. Since I was 11 eleven years old I’ve been a huge fangirl! Chester Bennington was the first man I ever fell in love with (haha). So yeah… He will never be forgotten. EVER!

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

Who knows… January is the start of something new! It’s too early too share, but The Revelator is definitely not the last story I’ll be telling.

the_revelator