Interview with Winning Feature Screenplay Writer – Richard Geiwitz (THE LAST PRISON)

Richard Geiwitz is the August 2017 Sci-Fi Feature Screenplay Winner. 

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Judith, a robotics genius who designed and programmed robots to mine a moon of Saturn, which is uninhabitable to man. The bots are designed to think independently and problem-solve. There are three series: administrative, worker and repair. The workers begin to resent their assigned role. They want more input into running the colony. The administrators disagree, citing their assigned programs. There’s a worker’s strike, exports stop and Judith is sent to face her creations, wondering if they are now smarter than she.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The main genre is Sci-Fi, but social and political as well.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay should be made into a movie because it will be an entertaining drama set in another world, while also being thought-provoking. It looks into the future of man versus machine, creator versus creation, but also takes a look at society today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Frighteningly possible.

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

“Network,” the most visionary film of all time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It was written in the mid-eighties. If I recall correctly, it took about 6-8 months. My inability to land an agent put it on the shelf for a long time. I converted it into a novella, but didn’t sell it. I recently turned it back into a screenplay, updating certain technical aspects and reworking dialogue. Maybe the third time is the charm.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written ten feature screenplays, three short scripts and two treatments. So, far, they’ve won or placed in 71 contests. There are a few other scripts from the past I might update along with new projects in the works.

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

“Pride” – U2

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Technical issues. Computers, programs and robotics were different in the 1980s when this was first written. Researching the recent rewrite was fascinating. Also, creating the future as envisioned today. Of course, this is a more social issue story than scientific. So putting the Bible and Plato’s Republic into outer space was interesting.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love Asian culture, philosophy and architecture. I’m fascinated by the Feng Shui design of ancient cities in China and Japan. I love watching movies and TV series from around the world, stories you can’t find in Hollywood.

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

It’s easy to use and actually fun, like shopping on Amazon. There are a lot of festivals to choose from. It’s easy to search for festivals and the many filters save a lot of time.

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

I’ve always liked the feedback. It really points out what needs another look. Other scripts I’ve entered haven’t won, so I was completely shocked when this one did. I had to read the email a couple extra times before I believed it.

WATCH the Winning Screenplay: 

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Judith: Mandy May Cheetham
R-14: Angelica Alejandro
Reeve: Ryan Yusep
Alain: Peter Mark Raphael
Joshua: Allan Michael Brunet

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Interview with Winning Sci-Fi Short Screenplay Writer – Auriga Ifill (SID)

Watch the August 2017 Winning Short Screenplay. 

What is your screenplay about?

SID – Prologue is about an artificial intelligence tasked with reintroducing human life, after the human race is eradicated by a virus.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi/Drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

From one perspective I believe there is a basic message of peace and respect within the story that, given the current political & racial, hate mongering climates, needs to be heard, understood, and learned from. From another perspective, people need to be made more aware of repercussions of their actions & in-actions.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Potentially influential.

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

Tough question, maybe Die Hard, 1988, or possibly Apocalypse Now, 1979, but the answer could be any one of a plethora of other movies. Maybe American Beauty, 1999.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Maybe six months at this point.

How many stories have you written?

One.

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

Possibly, Sweetness Dream Of Me by Anton Barbeau.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Who said I’ve finished? Biggest obstacle though? Probably insomnia, or a lack of Stroopwafels.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Passion is a mighty strong word, I’m passionate about watching movies also. I live for the next scene to play on repeat for days without end.

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

Quick & painless.

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

The influence to enter your festival was your location. My feelings on the initial feedback were, that I felt a sense of relief. It finally seemed possible that I may have had an idea worth investigating.

Watch the Winning Screenplay: 

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Reporter: Mandy May Cheetham
Hideo Kojima: Peter Mark Raphael
Dr. Melvin Hess: Allan Michael Brunet
Dr. Amy Kojima: Angelica Alejandro

 

Interview with Winning Feature Screenplay Writer George M. Johnson (PEACE PLEDGE)

Watch the August 2017 Winning Feature Screenplay at the WILDsound Corporate Festival. 

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

George M. Johnson: A disillusioned First World War veteran, challenged by a reckless Anglican priest, reluctantly fights for peace against fascists in 1930s Britain, losing both friends and family but gaining a second chance in love. The screenplay is based on the true story of Canon Dick Sheppard and the Peace Pledge Union, the strongest pacifist movement in history.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Period drama, history, biopic

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Peace Pledge is a gripping and heart-felt story about standing up for what you believe in, even against all the odds. It is also a tale of redemption, love and the power of the human spirit. Peace Pledge is timely with the centenary commemoration of the end of WWI on the horizon (and the 80th anniversary of the beginning of WWII); the story becomes more relevant every day with the escalation of military spending and worldwide violence.

How would you describe this script in two words?

heart-warming, uplifting

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

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started researching it in 2012 and have worked on it along with other projects since then.

How many stories have you written?

I have written about a dozen stage-plays, some of them award-winning. “Still Life With Nudes” is a comedy about seniors who stage a sit-in at a contemporary art gallery in protest when their full-length nude self-portraits were rejected. It won the National Playwrighting Award and several other awards. I’ve also penned three award-winning screenplays, including “Peace Pledge,” which received Honorable Mention in the Euroscript Competition, and “The Wonder,” a finalist in the British Independent Film Festival, as well as half a dozen children’s stories, one, “Marissa and the Mountains,” to be published by Simply Read next year.

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

Universal Soldier has been a long-time favourite.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Information about the Peace Pledge Union has been buried in history and so it took considerable digging to piece together the peace story.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about social justice issues, particularly fighting threats to the environment where I live in B.C.. I also enjoy canoeing, camping, and travelling with my family.

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

It has been great!

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

A friend had entered and told me it was worthwhile. I was elated at the encouraging, articulate, insightful feedback and inspired to make further revisions to make this the best script possible.

WATCH the Winning Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Dick Sheppard: Scott McCulloch
John: Brogan Caulfield
Esme: Sandra Krstin
Alison: Julie Sheppard
Burt: Peter-Mark Raphael