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

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Interview with Screenplay Writer Dan Hass (THE UPSIDE OF OVER TV Pilot)

Winning LGBT TV PILOT Screenplay for October 2017.

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

The Upside of Over is about a gay (possibly alcoholic?) twenty-something named Adam—whose fresh start is interrupted when the ex he ran away from forces his way back into his life.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

For me, Upside scratched an itch—it’s the kind of show I’m desperate to see more of on TV. Fast paced wit of Happy Endings, overt sexuality and honesty of Broad City, and all framed within a young gay narrative that’s still struggling to find a place on mainstream television. It’s a fun, gay ride with a cast of crazies. What’s not to like?

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

Hot mess

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Right now, I’m all about Fleabag and Gravity Falls. Is that weird? Feels weird.

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

All in all, it took about 6 months to write (and 26 years to live).

6. How many stories have you written?

It’s hard to count the notches on my writer belt. But so far, I’ve written a handful pilots, a few commercials, a bunch of specs, a huge collection of half-finished (mostly illegible) short stories, and one original comedy musical—so let’s round up to 20?

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

Billy Joel’s “Vienna.”

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

It was a long rewrite process—because as much as I want this to be a hoot, I want it to have some real heart, too. So here’s hoping that comes across in the read!

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

Into the gay usuals like gymming and brunching—but also love a good long camping trip away from the city. With brunch still, though. Because I mean, come on, we’re not animals.

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

I saw a real opportunity to connect with like-minded creators who were passionate about getting more gay stuff out there—and I’m blown away that they responded so strongly to this (sometimes verging on trashy) comedy. Honestly, the whole process has been pretty inspiring.

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

Only good things! It’s packed with opportunities and it’s really easy to use (which, thank god, because keeping track of submissions is impossible otherwise).

12. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Work with your friends. That’s helped me more than anything. You’ve got an amazing system of support, ideas, feedback—whatever you need—at your disposal. And if you’re lucky, they want to make it as writers or directors or artists or actors just as badly as you do. So reach out and get working.

Watch the Winning TV Reading: 

Genre: Comedy, Romance

A gay (possibly alcoholic?) twenty-something’s fresh start is interrupted when the ex he ran away from forces his way back into his life.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Adam: Fabio Abreu
Blake: Dennis Barham
Nathan: Nick Baillie
Jason: David Occhipinti
Megan: Norma Dunphy
Zoey: Lindsay Gerro

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Craig Page (THE BIGGEST LITTLE TV Pilot)

Winning TV PILOT Screenplay for October 2017.

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

A murder cop in the desert investigates killings that appear unrelated, but finds that blood is easier to drown in than water.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

In this script, Reno, The Biggest Little, is a character of its own that creates a surreal but gritty backdrop for the series. It would be a cheap place to shoot the series and offers the maximum conflict possible with 24/7 access to gambling and alcohol, legalized prostitution, and fed by the insatiable thirst for water and revenge.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Human foibles.

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

True Detective.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Over a year at least.

How many stories have you written?

Six. Two others won UCLA screenplay awards.

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

Lissy’s “Back to Forever.”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time, energy, and the haunting specter of failure.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, family, dogs, and our cabin in the woods.

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

Filmfreeway is way too easy and simple.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Put away the whiskey and the revolver and get back to writing.

WATCH the Winning Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Crime, Detective, Thriller, Drama

A Reno murder cop investigating a string of killings discovers they are all connected to the discovery of an aquifer in the desert and her half-sister’s unquenchable thirst for revenge.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Jess: Lindsay Gerro
Natasha: Norma Dunphy
Curly Bill: Nick Baillie
Boone: Dennis Barham
Captain Harvey: Fabio Abreu
Marcus: David Occhipinti

 

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

 

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Joel Stern (WORD GAMES)

WORD GAMES is the September 2017 Winning Feature Screenplay.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

“Word Games” is about two strangers in a nursing home who are isolated because of the “Blizzard of the Millennium” . One man – Sal Genesinni – is the janitor. The other is Dave Phillips, an old man, wheelchair bound, who was found abandoned in the storm. While Phillips’ true identity remains a mystery, he and Genesinni play “Scrabble” to kill time. As they spell certain words it takes us back in time to real life events. As they recall these events they actually change what happened. This affects the destiny of the promising young people they speak of. As the story unfolds, we realize their “game” is a battle of wits between good and evil – one they engage in as different people throughout time.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Word Games” would provide moviegoers with a suspenseful, alternative view of destiny and attempt to explain why bad things happen to good people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Story in two words: Inescapable destiny.

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

The movie I’ve seen the most: “Pineapple Express”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote the short story two years ago (now on Amazon). I began writing the screenplay in January, 2016.

How many stories have you written?

I’m currently writing my third screenplay. I began my first, “Trickle Down”, a dramatic comedy based on the 2007 mortgage meltdown, in 2012.

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

Favorite song – Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately…”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Obstacles to writing screenplay: Trying to think as God

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Other passions: Sports, politics, travel, history

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

Film Freeway: Easy to work with

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

I entered the festival to gage interest in my work and to get it produced. “Word Games” also won a Finalist Award at the Cannes Film Festival Screenwriting contest in April of this year.

I was thrilled with the feedback I received. I made a few clarifications when asked to.

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama

A commercial airliner flying to Paris explodes off the U.S. East Coast killing sixteen members of a high school French Club and a young pianist destined for greatness; a pair of deranged teens go on a terrifying high school shooting spree ending the life of a young girl devoted to serving God and mankind. If there is a master plan, how could these horrific events be allowed to happen?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Sal: Kris Hagen
Dave: Peter Nelson
Monica: Shania Belton
Julie: Katelyn Varadi
Tanya/Shannon: Carina Cojeen
Lassen: Mike Ruderman
Bill: Nick Wicht

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Holt Boggs (BROTHERS MCSHANE)

BROTHERS MCSHANE was the September 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Donny and Dickey McShane are two dumber-than-dirt lawmen who find out that their long lost twin brothers are actually the notorious Shifty Silver City Gang. They enlist the help of a “weird Indian fells” as they embark on a journey to find their siblings and save them from the hands of the deadly Molcajete Brothers before it’s too late.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy/ Western

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Brothers McShane is a hybrid throw back to many of the great physical comedies (comedians) like, Blazing Saddles, Don Knotts, Buster Keaton and the like, not seen in modern cinema. Those elements mixed with a more modern action-packed feel, use of meta humor and modern references, while narrowly bordering a family friendly tone, I feel offers an interesting, heart-felt story to a much wider audience than your typical action/comedy. Basically, it’s an action-packed comedy that adults will want to see, but with enough potty humor and content safe enough to take their kids to. You can’t lose with fart jokes.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fu**ing hilarious.

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

The Big Lebowski

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Two years.

How many stories have you written?

Eight

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

Probably the score to Leon – The Professional or anything from Eminem.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Really, it was finding the tone I wanted. Originally, I was dealing with a production company that was pressuring me to write a family film. Hungry to get a film made, I caved and it had a totally different feel. Paco was originally a twelve year-old boy with a dog and much of the humor was dumbed down, but I just didn’t feel it, so I went back and wrote the film I wanted to see. No dog and now Paco is a little person with an attitude.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m an actor by trade, but I love motorcycles and my kids. Not in that order necessarily, but it depends on the day.

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

Great and it’s super easy.

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

I had heard a lot of great things about the fest from other writers, and while I didn’t agree with all of the feedback, I felt that most of it was spot on. I could tell that time was taken by the reader and not just submission money. That equates to money well spent.

Two dumber-than-dirt lawmen enlist the help of a ‘weird Indian fella’, to help them track down their outlaw twin brothers and save them from hands of the deadly Molcajete Brothers.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Adventure

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Sam Elliot: Brandon Knox
Ma: Julie McCarthy

Interview with Winning Screenwriter J. Logan Alexander (BREAKDOWN)

BREAKDOWN was the September 2017 winning short screenplay.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Liz and Alec are en route to a wedding for Alec’s boss and arguing about their own relationship woes when they collide with the runaway Bride. Battle lines are drawn when Liz and Alec oppose each other about what to do: Liz is determined to help her, but Alec insists on leaving immediately for fear of losing his job. Things get complicated after the Bride disappears into the woods and an inquisitive Cop arrives on the scene—further dividing Liz and Alec—and forcing them in a predicament: tell the truth and face the consequences, or lie to escape scot-free.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark Comedy

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Well, it is a movie now. Breakdown is my MFA thesis film. We are currently in post-production.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Anti-romantic Comedy.

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

Boogie Nights or Fight Club.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Roughly 10 months.

How many stories have you written?

Too many to count. My previous film, Wrung, follows a bull-rider and his dead beat dad. It’s available on my website, http://www.jloganalexander.com.

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

This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Film school bureaucracy, minimal budget, record breaking low temperatures in Massachusetts (48 degrees in June), gale force winds, and a steady three days of rain.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Directing. There is nothing I love more than seeing a crew of artists working together to achieve something. I love working with actors. My job is to just get actors in front of a camera.

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

The platform is fantastic. Very intuitive.

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

I like to get unbiased feedback from festivals after I write a few drafts of whatever I’m working on. Getting rejections from other film fests galvanizes you–makes you want to try harder, be better.

Liz and Alec are en route to a wedding when they turn the corner and hit the runaway bride with their car.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Liz: Lindsay Rolland Mills
Alec: Brandon Knox
Cop: Luke Robinson
Bride: Premika Leo