OPERATION BROTHER SAM was the winner of BEST FEATURE SCREENPLAY at the August 2018 Action/Adventure/Crime/Mystery Festival.
Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Gustavo Freitas:During the Cold War an Intelligence Officer, haunted by the death of his wife, must stop a US Ambassador who plans to fraud the Brazilian elections. This script is based on true historical events.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
This is an action / spy thriller.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Usually Cold War movies focus on the European setting, but there were so many interesting stories happening in Latin America in the same time period. This is a part of the History that must be told.
Few people still remember that during the sixties and the seventies the U.S. Government supported dictatorships all over South America in order to stop the Communist threat. I wanted to tell a story about a group of people trying to fight against that kind of foreign policy. This is a story about idealism, sacrifice, fairness and fighting for what’s right, even against all the odds. This is a timeless discussion and one I believe it’s worth telling.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Summarizing almost one hundred pages of a script in two words is probably be the worst nightmare of a screenwriter. That being said, and with a gun in my head, I would have to say: dark and sharp. Is it three words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I believe it was “Star Wars IV: a New Hope,” but it is a close dispute with “The Godfather.”
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I had researched the material for over a year, trying to find the story I wanted to tell. The execution part of the script took me three months, counting the rewrites.
7. How many stories have you written?
That’s a tricky question. I’m developing an animation series for Fox, so I had to write down 26 short episodes just for the first season. Specifically about features, I’ve written three screenplays so far, one of them optioned. Also, I’ve worked on six pilots for TV series, two of which are being market right now.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
I love music, so this is probably the hardest question for me. One of my top choices would have to be “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Nirvana. But I actually have a long list of favorite songs, coming from The Doors to Arctic Monkeys.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Many sleepless nights, I’ll tell you that. Setting up the plot was quite easy, but entering the minds and views of each character was a huge challenge. Looking to the final draft, I’m happy to see that each character stands with his own voice, and they sound quite unique and fresh.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love playing guitar and I’m really dedicated to that. That’s something I try to do almost every day. I also like to sing, which is quite relaxing. Besides that, I’m a certified scuba diver, which is something that I really love to do when I have some extra time in my hands.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I’m a big fan of FilmFreeway. It’s very practical for the writer, as you can easily submit to multiple contests and keep track of them.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Being able to have professional actors reading your script is a wonderful experience. It’s invaluable. Feedback was good, but it can’t be compared with a table-read. First, it was very satisfying to see all these characters come to life. Second, to be able to hear an actor performing your material is an incredible tool to sharpening the dialogue. I would recommend every single writer to do at least one table-read of their scripts.
Genre: Action, Political Thriller
During the Cold War, an intelligence officer, haunted by the death of his wife, must confront a corrupt politician who plans to start a military dictatorship in Brazil.
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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.