Interview with Screenwriter Sara F. Hathaway (Disaster: The Changing Earth Series)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sara F. Hathaway: Featuring Erika Moore, The Changing Earth Series, presents a legendary story of a survivor of the Great Quake attempting to navigate a world torn apart by a series of natural disasters
.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dystopian

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

This screenplay would make an epic TV series that follows the riveting stories of the earth’s inhabitants as the changing planet tests their ability to adapt. Viewers will be drawn into the drama as it unfolds in a series of must-see adventures.

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

Thrilling adventure

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

Gladiator

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

The screenplay is a scene from the novel, Day After Disaster, book one in the Changing Earth Series. It took me eight years to write the book. The screenplay was adapted from it so it took me about a day to do.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am the author of eight novels. Seven of them make up The Changing Earth Series and the other story the life story of one of the villains, TJ Swenson, from the novel series. Also, I have written a full pilot for The Changing Earth TV series.

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

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

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

The most challenging part was making the scene fit on one page.

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

Martial arts and women’s self-defense are another passion of mine. As a third-degree in Taekwondo and a practitioner of Jujitsu, I take great pride in helping others learn that they are capable of protecting themselves.

Natural disaster preparedness is another facet of my life that I take great pride in teaching others. Ensuring individuals have the knowledge and gear to protect themselves and their families during any disaster gives me a priceless feeling of purpose.

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

Working with FilmFreeway has been a great experience. The narration of the story was adequate. The actors voicing as the characters did a fantastic job. I wish the narrator wouldn’t have stumbled over some of the words as much as he did. However, overall it has been an outstanding experience.

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

The festival can help to fulfill the dream I have of seeing The Changing Earth series played out as a TV drama, so I felt compelled to enter.

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Root (RESET BUTTON)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Paul Root: A guy with no direction in life, losing the only person he thinks he has, and coming to terms with that. Learning to trust in ones self and others. Blah blah blah. It’s a coming of a age story

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Overall I would call it a “Dramedy”

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

It’s fun. It’s light. It’s honest. Its “Caprs-Esque,” which isn’t a bad thing

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

Tolerable saccharin

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

Probably Uncle Buck

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

A little over a year

7. How many stories have you written?

Not many. This is only my second honest attempt at finishing something

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

Depends on the day. I listened to Bob Seger “Shakedown,” Harold Faltermeyer “Fletch’s theme,” David Bowie “Young American,” a lot writing this

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

Mostly myself. Creating obstacles that didn’t exist. “I can’t keep rewriting this,” or “I’ve done everything I can do.” I have rewritten once, and polished three times since submitting. Always room to improve

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

At heart I’m an actor. Sports. Food. Travel. Activism. I would love the opportunity to give back in so many ways. Working toward that goal.

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

In terms of the submission very simple and straightforward

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Thirty-something “ne’er do” well Cameron discovers his dear Grandmother, Peggy, has cancer, and not long to live. Not able to cope, Cameron hits rock bottom, until Peggy tells him if he completes a simple list, he stands to inherit a small fortune. After a chance meeting with the steel willed and wild Laura, Cameron is swept around the world, and finally having a life worth living…but will he accept it?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Cameron: Nikolai Afanasev
Peggy: Julie Sheppard

Interview with Screenwriter Molly Waterman (RANCH EXIT)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Molly Waterman: In order to prove her loyalty, an ambitious GMO scientist must convince stubborn owners of an fiercely independent sustainable ranch to partner with her agro-chemical corporation or risk losing her job, and worse, her reputation.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

The debate over how “clean” our food should be has become a hot topic in America. Ranch Exit dramatizes the connection between chemicals used in – and on -crops, and how chemical companies will do anything to suppress the truth that their products are deadly.

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

thought-provoking

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

Probably Erin Brockovich… the film definitely inspired Ranch Exit

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

On and off for ten years, but really concentrating on it for the past three years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Besides Ranch Exit I’ve written another drama and two comedies.

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

Probably “Out Here On My Own” from the 1980 film “Fame”

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

Working a full-time office job (40-60hrs/week), raising two children who are now in college, and trying to spend quality time with my husband of 30 years.

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

Besides my family (husband, two children and our awesome dog), I love all the Colorado outdoor activities (running, skiing, hiking, golfing, gardening). I also see as many movies, musicals and plays as I possibly can.

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

This being my first submission, I’ve found the FilmFreeway site to be a streamlined way to upload my script, and easily build my profile for use on future submissions.

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

The LA Feedback Film Festival caught my eye because I really want as much feedback as possible, and the festival name itself intrigued me. I received in-depth, thoughtful feedback for which I am very grateful. Based on this feedback, I still have a lot of changes to make on Ranch Exit: t’s all about the re-writing!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

An ambitious GMO scientist must convince stubborn owners of an organic ranch to partner with her agro-chemical corporation or risk losing her job, and worse, her reputation.

CAST LIST:

Haughton: Luke Robinson
Lassiter: Scott McCullouch
Cathy: Julie Sheppard
Narrator: Regan Brown
Isabel: Vanessa Quagliara
Marcus: Daniel Jones
Lala: Cassandra Guthrie

Interview with Screenwriter Jax Smith & Helene Taylor (DISCORD)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Jax Smith & Helene Taylor: A prodigy pianist with misophonia (extreme sound sensitivity) becomes unhinged when she interviews with a sexually predatory Music Director.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

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

With women’s empowerment movements such as Time’s Up elevating consciousness about obstacles women encounter daily, both in their personal and professional lives, ​Discord​ seeks to highlight one such situation of employment disparity within the realm of classical music.

DISCORD ultimately asks the question: How out of harmony with herself does a woman have to fall, to stay in tune with a male conducted workforce?
An experience, undoubtedly, far too many women will find relatable.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Uncomfortable and timely.

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

Together? We’ve seen none, lol. Clearly we need a movie date soon.

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

Jax: Off and on, for a year and a half.
Helene: A weekend.
Jax: …
Jax: Clearly one of us is more committed.

7. How many stories have you written?

Together? About four officially, but about a billion half-baked ones according to our texts & notes apps on our phones.

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

Together? Anything vinyl. Because we want you to think we’re cool like that (not hipster cool, but cool).

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

You actually don’t want the answer to this question, it will get far too dark for this interview.

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

Jax: Nothing and no one.
Helene: Popcorn.

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

It’s been a beneficial tool for our screenwriting goals.

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

We felt DISCORD suited the festival’s ethos and the feedback was helpful and appreciated.
 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

This short is about a female musician putting up with inappropriate advances from a senior male musician in order to secure a job.

CAST LIST:

Server: Daniel Jones
Narrator: Regan Brown
Meastro: Luke Robinson
Jane: Cassandra Guthrie

Interview with Screenwriter Dave Cowzer (SHE KNOWS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Dave Cowzer: A coming of age, coming out story.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

It’s a story of a family torn apart that figures out how to heal together, despite their differences.

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

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

Star Wars

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

One year

7. How many stories have you written?

1 published novel, a second in production a funded feature lengthy screenplay and several short stories and screenplays.

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

Today’s favourite…Somewhere only we know by Keane

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

The biggest obstacle is finding the time it deserves.

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

Family, friends, environment, sports.

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

Very good so far.

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

It caught my attention on filmfreeway.

Watch the Winning Reading: 

Having “that conversation” is not easy for a traditional father and his alternative son…

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Regan Brown
Malcom: Scott McCullouch
Kevin: Daniel Jones

Interview with Screenwriter John T. Frederick (THE NEED FOR SOMETHING NEW)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

John T. Frederick: A screenwriter, “a bull without balls,” eight days from 60, heads into The Great Southwest, searching for beauty, purpose… and a new story to share.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s an Adventure/Fantasy Road Pic

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because it’s a warm-hearted and humorous examination of what’s tearing this country apart at the seams.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Humorously serious.

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

“FULL METAL JACKET” – “THE TAO OF STEVE” – “THE FIFTH ELEMENT”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Four months… with a year between months One and Two.

How many stories have you written?

Thirteen feature-length screenplays.

What is your favorite song?

“I’m here right now, I’m not dead yet”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

My Self.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Photography, creating “Family Movies” from family videos and photos (I’m working on number eight.)

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

The platform is easy and free. The problem lies with the festivals and
screenwriting contests they provide easy and free access to.

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

A Film Freeway e-mail:

L.A. FEEDBACK provided great feedback for THE NEED FOR SOMETHING NEW… the evaluation read like the person “got” what the script was trying to say and
show. It also stated: “We consider this one of the best screenplay specs in the world.” And seriously… I’d like to know if that’s true!

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A screenwriter, a “bull without balls,” eight days from 60… drives into The Great American Southwest, searching for beauty… and a new story to tell.

CAST LIST:

Old Indian: Michael Ruhs
Florance: Bree Ali
Narration: Hannah Ehman
Josh: Shawn Devlin
Gary: Ron Boyd

Interview with Screenwriter Chris Desmond (RIFF RAFF)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Chris Desmond: When one of their own gets adopted, residents of a pet store plot to break out, crosstown and bring her back home. Ultimately the story is about the extremes one goes through in order to keep the family together.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Animation/Family

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

I believe that the sacrifice, risk, and determination needed to keep your family together under duress is universal and transcends race, religion, and creed.

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

Misfit pets

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

Blade Runner

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

Originally I sat down to write a short story for my 10yr old daughter while she was going through chemotherapy. Of course, I discovered when it was complete that I wrote it for myself to get through a tough time. But in the end, I had an extremely detailed outline for a screenplay. The actual writing of the screenplay probably took about 6-8 weeks.

7. How many stories have you written?

16 screenplays, 6 original pilots, 6 short films (wrote/directed/produced), 2 webseries (wrote/directed/produced)

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

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

The usual suspects: Self-doubt, my own procrastination, ignoring the proven rules of screenwriting then taking time to fix, and that nagging voice in the back of my head that kept echoing “There is no spec market for animated screenplays. What are you going to do with this?”

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

I love going to the beach. I’m happiest with sand between my toes.

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

I’ve had a great experience with Film Freeway. I have submitted many projects through them and they keep the artist well informed and do a great job of tracking all my projects. I actually found the Feedback Animation Festival there in my search for Animation Screenplay contests.

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

The screenplay had won the Screencraft Family Friendly screenwriting contest and I wanted to see where else I could put it up against other screenplays. Animation screenwriting contests are pretty rare so I was happy to find your competition.  

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When one of their own gets adopted, residents at a pet store decide to bust out, cross-town and bring her back home.

CAST LIST:

Daisy: Pascale Behrman
Bo: Thomas Fournier
Sonia: Jillian Robinson
Girl: Aimee Poulin
Narration: Kat Smiley
Riley: Bill Poulin
Luc/Jared: David Rowan
Karl: Sean Ballantyne