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