Interview with Winning Screenwriter Hazel Allan (THE RECEIPT)

October 2017 Winning Short Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

It’s the story of Zak, a coffee shop customer who allows his ignorance to get the better of him.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/tragedy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Many years ago I witnessed a waitress having her hair pulled by a huge bully of a man. I chose to turn a blind eye and that decision has haunted me ever since. I want her to know I’m sorry and that I still think about her.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Harrowing. Chilling.

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

‘Barefoot in the Park’. It’s my “go to movie” whenever I need cheering up.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I scribbled the original at the breakfast table one morning and typed it up later that day. The re-write took about two days to get to a point where I was happy with it.

How many stories have you written?

Hundreds, possibly even thousands, since I was a little girl. I now have three published children’s novels and approximately twenty screenplays of varying lengths.

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

‘Let’s Go Crazy’ by Prince. I love the lyrics. And what about that guitar solo! He’s my musical hero.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The ending was the most difficult part to write. I have a tendency to write in shorter time than what appears on the screen. I desperately wanted to get across Zak’s desolation and regret but found this a challenge within the constraints of such a short piece.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My family, books, animals, food, politics, music, coffee. Not necessarily in that order!

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

I wanted to try my hand at writing something short and snappy. I tend to get carried away and write too much so this felt like the ideal opportunity to practise a spot of self editing. I was most impressed with the initial feedback and found the comments very thorough, encouraging and constructive. I took on board the recommendations and felt they really helped me to reflect and develop my story and my style of writing.

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

My experience of Film Freeway has been a really positive one. I now look forward to their emails which have some great advice about festivals and competitions. At one point during the process of entering this competition I posted the wrong submission (duh!) and Film Freeway was extremely helpful and swift in replying to my call for help and sorting out my refund. Highly recommended.

Genre: Drama, Crime

A coffee shop customer allows his ignorance to get the better of him.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Esme: Lindsay Gerro
Zak: Nick Baillie
Man: Dennis Barham
Police: Fabio Abreu

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Interview with Screenwriter Heath Harris (RED)

October 2017 Winning Short Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

Red is about a family of three that goes to spend Christmas in a secluded cabin, cut off from the world. The husband, John and his wife, Natalie are having marital issues and Christmas Eve goes from bad to worse as tensions rise. Natalie puts their young son, Damien to bed. He is woken up during the night to find that his mother is missing. John tells Damien to go back to sleep so Santa doesn’t find him. John tells Damien to close his eyes immediately if he sees Santa otherwise Santa will be very angry. Damien, after peering out of his window, sees a figure carrying a sack outside, and excitedly runs out to meet Santa Claus. Damien finds the sack to be containing his mother’s dead body. As John approaches, covered in her red blood, Damien instantly shuts his eyes.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror, Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because I believe it is scary, haunting and atmospheric and would be a fun themed watch during Christmas time for horror fans. I also think it raises the topic of domestic abuse and violence within households.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Christmas Murder

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

Ex Machina

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About 6 months.

How many stories have you written?

During the course of my MFA program I’ve written about 8-9 stories.

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

All I Need – Radiohead

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main problems I was having were logic problems, making sure there were no plotholes and making sure that everything in the story could potentially happen in real life.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love painting and drawing.

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

I think FilmFreeway is a great site and is very easy to use and helps me find many festivals that I wouldn’t otherwise know existed.

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

I loved the feedback I received, I thought it was so well thought out and well written. I love horror and was excited to find a festival dedicated to horror and horror writing.

 

It is Christmas Eve. John (40s) drives his wife and son (Michael) up through a snowfilled wilderness. They reach a solitary rental cabin in the woods. Completely alone, Michael worries that Santa Claus will not come, however his father, John, reassures him that Santa knows exactly where he’s going.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Damien: Cameron LeRoy
John: Jim Canale
Natalie: Regan Brown

Interview with Screenwriter Colin K. Stewart (BUNNYMAN BRIDGE)

Watch the October 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

 What is your screenplay about?

It’s a supernatural story about a malevolent spirit reliving its past to reclaim its family..

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Supernatural horror…

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The book written by, Ronald J. Van Wynsberg, is an awesome read… If done right, I think it could rival with other cult classics like ‘Halloween’ or ‘Friday the 13th’… It has all the elements of a supernatural horror with an ending no one sees coming.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Movie worthy…

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

Halloween…

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

6 months…

How many stories have you written?

To many to count…but several that have made their way into producer’s hands…

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

I am a fan of Country Music… If I had to pick one…’Wide Open Spaces’ by the Dixie Chicks

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time…

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Golf…

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

User-friendly website; Professional…

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

The fact that the festival was looking for the genre to which I absolutely love… Very excited…

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery

After the tragic loss of her husband in a line of duty shooting, Detective Joan Fortune collapses and loses their unborn child. In the ensuing weeks, Joan’s life begins to crumble around her as she desperately tries to find the drug lords responsible for her husband’s murder. Things change for Joan when a local priest brings in a three year old girl who was left abandoned at his church. Joan’s heart melts upon meeting her.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Gage: Connor Lyon
Ed: Dan Cristofori
Mike: Shaun Mazoka
Todd:: Brennan Clost
Mrs Zachary: Julie C. Sheppard
Joan: Rachel Rain Packota

Interview with Screenwriter Chris Parrish (MY ATARI CHRISTMAS)

Watch the October 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

What is your screenplay about?

In the spirit of A CHRISTMAS STORY and CHRISTMAS VACATION, it’s about a kid from a crazy family on a quest to get the most popular and expensive toy of the holiday season — an Atari 2600!

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Family Holiday Comedy

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because Hollywood hasn’t made a good live action Christmas comedy for the entire family since ELF (nearly fifteen years ago.)

How would you describe this script in two words?

Funny & nostalgic

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

BLADE RUNNER

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Over a year (with lots of starts and stops)

How many stories have you written?

To date, I’ve written about 18 screenplays (at least half of which truly stink)

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

According to my iTunes, ROAR by Katy Perry

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Finding time to write it with work and going back to school

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve always loved to draw

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

Very user friendly

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

Everybody told me it wasn’t commercial enough to get made but my college professor encouraged me to ignore the cynics, get it out in the world and see see if other people want to see a fun live action Christmas movie as much as I do. I LOVED the feedback from the festival. Honest. Thoughtful. Insightful and very constructive.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Family, Comedy, Drama

In the spirit of “A Christmas Story,” an unlucky kid from an eccentric family embarks on a disastrous quest to obtain the most coveted present of the 1982 holiday season — an Atari 2600!

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Dad: Dan Cristofori
Mason: Brennan Clost
Radio: Connor Lyon
TV Chorus: Shaun Mazoka
News Reporter: Julie C. Sheppard

Interview with Screenwriter Ryan Brannan Doyle (THE MONSTER HUNTER’s CODE)

Watch the October 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

What is your screenplay about?

A group of 12 year olds star to outgrow their monster hunting business, but when the Boogeyman comes to town, its up to them to save everyone.

What genre does your screenplay fall under?

Action adventure, horror, Fantasy, something for the whole family

Why should your screenplay be made into a movie?

It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s heartfelt, and has franchise potential!

How would you describe the script in two words?

Growing Up

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

Back To The Future

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

7 years, on and off

How many stories have you written?

Too many. Lots of bad ones. A couple of good ones.

What is your favorite song?

Fright Night (Nevermore) by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It’s never finished. It’s only finished until I learn something else and come back to it.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Movies and Dogs

You entered your screenplay using filmfreeway – what was your experience using a submission platform?

It was easy.

What influenced you to enter the festival?

Just finished a draft and wanted to see how it would be received.

What were your feelings about the initial feedback you received?

It’s always good to hear the thoughts and opinions of others.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

 

Three 12 year old con-artists make a business out of tricking their schoolmates out of money by offering to slay monsters that don’t exist. When the Boogeyman threatens to unleash hell on earth, these amateur ‘monster hunters’ may be the town’s only hope.

Genre: Action, Thriller, Family

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Jake: James Boutcher
Tobey: Brandon Knox
Shane: Luke Robinson
Ben: Rob Notman
Emily Jenson: Premika Leo
Damsel: Lindsay Rolland Mills

Interview with Screenwriter Rob Ayling (LIVING IN CRIME ALLEY – Batman)

Watch the October 2017 Winning Short FAN FICTION Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

Living in Crime Alley is about a single father in downtown Gotham City struggling to live and provide for his young son. The son is a huge fan of Batman. Living in Crime Alley raises questions of morality and justice from the points of view of a father, the child and the dark knight himself.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/Crime.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay should be made into movie because it brings the dark knight and
everything that he brings with him into the sharp focus of todays recession and the reality of everyday struggle. The perspective of a ground level citizen living in Gotham City is something that hasn’t been fully explored in film. Despite Batman having been created in the late 1930s, Living in Crime Alley shows that his character has a resonance with the life that people live today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Conflicted, Justice.

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

Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Its simply one of the best movies ever made. Great
writing, great direction and masterclass acting from Jack Lemmon. A funny, dramatic,timeless movie that I’ve re-watched many times for inspiration and entertainment. But Hitchcock’s Rear Window runs at a close second.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on Living in Crime Alley for the the last 6 months. I started writing the screenplay after having gone through one the worst financial periods in my life. Instead of sitting around helplessly, I wrote Living in Crime Alley not only as a way to escape my own problems, but also to express my frustrations in a creative way.

How many stories have you written?

I have written several original short stories for films, but this is my first fan fiction short screenplay. I’m a huge fan of the Batman character and I’ve always wanted to write or direct a Batman story.

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

One of my favourite songs and one I listen to all the time is Sinnerman by Nina Simone. Or any Nina Simone songs in truth.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle I had to finishing the screenplay was the ending. As a writer, I think its important to raise questions within your work. The final moments of Living in Crime Alley is very much a question on justice and morality. From another perspective, the ending could’ve gone for a more sympathetic route or perhaps an even more darker turn. I leave it to the audience to make their own judgement.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Besides from writing, I’m passionate about making films. I have directed several short films, some of which have had screenings at BAFTA recognised film festivals. I also love to draw, read, travel and eat good food.

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

This is the first time I’ve entered a screenplay on FilmFreeway. In my experience, it’s by far, the easiest way to submit your work to festivals.

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

I submitted Living in Crime Alley to Fan Fiction Festival to gain constructive feedback on my work and progress as a writer. I never expected the screenplay to be a winner and for that I am very grateful. The feedback was extremely valuable in helping me hone my craft. They pointed out particular screenplay formatting issues I had made, in terms of introducing characters, dialogue etc. As well as making creative suggestions on how to improve the story. I’ve never really been a confident writer, but the feedback they gave me on my screenplay was a validation on my skills.

Watch the Winning Screenplay Winner: 

Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Thriller

A single father struggles to live and provide for his young son in downtown Gotham City.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Father: Nick Baillie

Interview with Screenwriter Brooke Elowe (BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE)

Watch the October 2017 Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay Writer.

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Natasha Romanoff, better known as the Black Widow, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, so it’s set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natasha was branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords and is currently being hunted from all sides. She must not only protect herself but also a young girl from her past: Ava Orlova.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Superhero fiction, Action, Sci-Fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Not only have fans wanted to see Natasha Romanoff shine in her own standalone franchise for years, it’s also a ripe time in the industry to make female-lead superhero films. I think this story serves as a unique take on the genre, focusing on a duel-protagonist, sisterly dynamic between Natasha and Ava. That, combined with Marvel’s winning formula for making superhero films, would make for a successful movie of an iconic character.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Dynamic Duo

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

Definitely Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also Stepbrothers.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Start to finish, I’d say about a year. The process was broken up by my college courses and job, so I worked on it whenever I had time.

How many stories have you written?

This is actually the first screenplay I’ve ever written, which is why the writing process took a bit longer than normal. I first had to learn how to construct an actual script, with regards to formatting, editing, etc.

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

That’s definitely a tough one. I’d say “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit or “You Need Me I Don’t Need You” by Ed Sheeran.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I think deciding which characters to include in Natasha’s story was a challenge, considering the extensive line-up of heroes in the MCU. Also, mapping out the script and making sure it was coherent, with regards to plot holes and character arcs, was another challenge as well. However, I really enjoyed the process of constructing Natasha’s story. I have a large amount of material that either changed or didn’t make the final draft, which enriched the editing process and added to the overall satisfaction of completing the script.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Most definitely music. I’m a songwriter and am hoping to get into Music Supervision after college. I love reading, travelling, and video games and am also working on a sequel to this screenplay.

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

It was a very seamless process. I had no trouble submitting my script or payment.

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

Seeing as this was a passion project of mine, I really wanted to have an industry professional’s point of view, as having a knowledgeable set of eyes reading the script would benefit the story. The feedback was fantastic. It was critical without being negative, bettered the script overall, and increased my confidence as a screenwriter.

WATCH the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is on the run. Branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha tries to keep her head down and lay low, but there’s no rest for the world’s greatest spy…

CAST LIST:

Narrator: David Occhipinti
Natasha: Lindsay Gerro
Tori: Norma Dunphy
Ava: Carina Cojeen
Waiter: Nick Baillie