Interview with Winning Screenwriter (PREY FOR THE DAY)

1. What is your screenplay about?

John and Kathy Pearson are an early 30’s, financially successful couple living an Los Angeles and are flown out Miami to meet a Real Estate Investor, Miguel, with a Real Estate investment plan that seems too good to be true, rehabbing abandoned neighborhoods from the Real Estate bubble for great returns on investment. After showing them a few of the areas the pair becomes suspicious when Miguel invites some of “Contractors” out to meet them. They are subsequently tied up, beaten and forced to transfer all their money to Miguel. After the deal is done Miguel goes back on his word and orders his men to murder them. John breaks free and turns the tables on Miguel and his henchmen. John and Kathy flee into the swampy, derelict neighborhood they were originally lured. Miguel, having survived the escape hires “Human Hunters” and puts a price on their heads. From there it’s a cat and mouse game of survival in an worn down area far from any civilization

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Thriller

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

It’s an edge of your seat, action thriller which will have an audience thinking “What’s next?. The backstory of the couple makes them characters the audience will cheer for and the bad guys characters the audience will genuinely hate. The isolation of the locale adds to the atmosphere and feeling of helplessness..

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

Page turner.

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

John Carpenter’s Halloween.

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

Took close to six months. Rewrote the story several times giving the two main characters more of a backstory and introduced more bad characters in the “Abandoned community”. The ending took a few rewrites as well to make it credible. Had to give the story more of that emotional roller coaster feel to it.

7. How many stories have you written? Scripts (Feature) Three horror, Three suspense/thrillers, Five character driven dramas, three short screenplays (20 pages) and A TV sitcom idea (Pilot and three scripts for the idea) a while back.

8. What is your favorite song?

(Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?) Any song off the original BOSTON album.

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

The pacing of the story was the most difficult part. Keeping the visuals, action scenes and characters all together and at a pace that was believable without taking anything or anyone to a situation that might confuse the reader. Also making the John and Kathy characters that I call “Transitional”

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

Reading biographies (For inspiration) Real Estate investing, Travel and Photography.

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

Great. A combination of guidance and encouragement through the writing process.

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

Feedback has been great. They definitely are thorough in their reading as I can tell from their notes. Again, always encouraging!!

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Genre: Thriller/Suspense

An early 30’s couple is flown from California to Florida by a Real Estate Investor with an opportunity that appears too good to be true. Once they arrive the couple soon realizes they have fallen into the hands of a con man and his “Henchmen”. They are robbed, taken hostage and beaten as their journey to financial security soon becomes a fight for survival and terrifying encounters in an abandoned home development out in the middle of nowhere.

CAST LIST:

Tara: Cassandra Sirois
Billy: James Murray
Kathy: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Val Cole
John: Dan Fox
Miguel: Nick Wicht
Mendez: Fabio Abreu
 

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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.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Richard M. Kjeldgaard (NOWHERE VILLE)

October 2017 Winning Feature Screenplay Winner

1. What is your screenplay about?

An isolated, deserted trailer park in the middle of the desert falls under control of escaped convicts. Two guys on a camping trip accidentally become prisoners in the park and their trip turns into a fight for survival.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Thriller

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

Plays on everyone’s fears of being isolated, controlled by another human and put in an inescapable situation.

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

Page turner   

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

John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN

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

4 months

7. How many stories have you written?

10 specs

8. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Driving across the desert between Arizona and California (Had a summer home in CA) Seeing abandoned buildings especially in the abandoned town of Desert Center, CA and the soon to be ghost towns around the Salton Sea, CA. A lot of visuals went into this script from these two locales.

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

Building some of the motivation for a few of the characters while keeping the readers on their toes and curious.

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

Reading about writers (Bios) and photography.

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

Read some reviews on your festival which were positive. Feedback was to say the least, educational.  I learned a lot about character development and pacing. The feedback was very encouraging regarding my writing.  Appreciated it very much!

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

Good porthole for entering contests.  Always updating info on upcoming festivals. Just one miscommunication on the acceptance of a spec I did in one festival.  A mass Email was sent to clarify the issue in a few weeks.

WATCH the Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Thriller, Horror

Two men fly a Cessna from California to New Mexico for an out of state camping trip. They encounter bad weather and are forced down in the desert with no means of communication. Their situation becomes worse when they run across escaped convicts hiding out and are taken prisoner in an abandoned trailer park. They soon find out there’s more horrors waiting for them.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Jory: Sean Ballantyne
Robert: Connor Lyon
Mike: Shaun Mazoka
Travis: Dan Cristofori
Fulton: Brennan Clost
Char: Rachel Rain Packota
Leona: Julie C. Sheppard