Interview with Screenwriter Travis Darkow (HOW DID WE GET HERE?)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Travis Darkow: It’s about two lazy best friends who desperately want out of their jobs, but don’t really have any ambitions or talent. At it’s core I think it’s really about the dreamer in all of us who fantasize about a better job and a better life, just layered with ridiculous and sometimes (most of the time) over the top situations.
-Travis

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy

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

We feel that this premise and these characters have so much potential to make a solid half hour comedy series. following these two guys who, over time will grow up in some ways, and hilariously stay the same in others, paired with our weird sense of humor, could lend itself to a quirky little series of misfortunes as well as triumphs for these two characters.
-Travis

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

Absurd and Absurd

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

The Nightmare Before Christmas or The Sandlot
-Travis

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

We came up with the general idea about 4 or 5 months ago, and a week after we came up with the idea we had the first draft of the pilot done. We are currently working on the second draft using the suggestions and insight we got from you guys.
-Travis

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written around 15 to 20 short scripts, some of which I took and shot myself as short films, others I’m working on getting produced. I have been getting great feedback and interest from the festival circuit with 4 or so of my short horror screenplays. I am also working on a handful of original feature length screenplays as well.
-Travis

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

It changes day to day, but if I had to choose I would probably say Everlong by Foo Fighters
-Travis

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

Honestly the pilot script flowed pretty easily once we locked down the idea of what we wanted to do. Pretty much everything in the pilot comes from our weird sense of humor and even jokes we have. It felt very natural, because it was basically writing down the ridiculous way we think and joke with each other. Once we get going it’s tough to stop us.
-Travis

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

I am passionate about all types of writing, I write poetry and short stories. But I am very passionate about directing and actually going out and shooting short films, even if they’re just little no budget movies that hardly anyone will see. I’m obsessed with the entire process, from one tiny idea, to writing it out, shooting it and then editing it all together. It’s truly my passion. I also just love to spend time with friends and family, and I love to make music as well.
-Travis

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

It’s been fantastic, I absolutely love FilmFreeway. It’s so user friendly and helpful to be able to see and manage all of your projects through one platform. nothing but good things to say about it.
-Travis

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

We just wanted to get our idea for this series out there, and try to get feedback on what works, what doesn’t work, what can be tweaked, and we have gotten really great feedback so far. It’s always nice to get feedback where you can tell the person actually read your script and put some effort in to their thoughts on the project. Unfortunately that’s not always the case with responses from film festivals, but your guy’s feedback has been excellent, and we’re excited to send in the 2nd draft as soon as it’s done.
-Travis
 

‘Geraldine Hall’ is a Gothic Horror Fiction script, that emphasises on the unease of two orphan children, a brother and sister, as they’re adopted to Geraldine Hall, and the terror into which it quickly changes.

CAST LIST:

Charlie: Liam Kinahan
Stuart: John Leung
Narrator: Adrian Currie
Miss Bethany: Anjelica Alejandro
Mary Ann: Mandy May Cheetham

Submit exclusively via Film Freeway:

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Interview with Screenwriter Iannis Aliferis (Samantha Rutledge PI, A Killer Case)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Iannis Aliferis: It is the story of a bored and jaded female private-eye, who takes on another seemingly open and shut case of infidelity, only to put herself in grave danger when it turns out that the cheating spouse is in fact a professional killer.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It falls under the genres of film noir, thriller and action.

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

I believe that film noir is a neglected genre in today’s cinema, and one with a lot of scope and opportunity. I also believe that the main character provides a female actor with a terrific role and opportunity to shine. Finally, I am also of the belief that it will give the world, in Samantha Rutledge, a female private eye on par with Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

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

Intense and unconventional.

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

The Big Lebowski.

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

A couple of years, on and off.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written 12 feature screenplays and 14 short screenplays.

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

La Tortura by Shakira.

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

The biggest challenge was to reach an emotional crescendo in the finale that felt real and pure, and to marry that together with the thrilling and violent elements that brought the story to its conclusion.

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

I am passionate about acting and directing too. Oh and chocolate.

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

FilmFreeway is an easy to use and helpful platform and it has made life a lot better since its inception. I cannot speak highly enough of it and would recommend it to any fellow filmmaker I come in contact with.

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

As a writer and filmmaker, it is important to get your writing and work out there for people to view, and this festival looked like a good opportunity for that. The initial feedback has been largely positive and this has been a good experience.

It is the story of a bored and jaded female private-eye, who takes on another seemingly open and shut case of infidelity, only to put herself in grave danger when it turns out that the cheating spouse is in fact a professional killer.

Genre: Crime, Thriller.

Type: Feature Screenplay.

CAST LIST:

Samantha: Mandy May Cheetham

Narrator: Adrian Currie

Henry: John Leung

Waitress: Anjelica Alejandro

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

Interview with Screenwriter Ricardo Fleshman (KILLING MOSES)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Ricardo Fleshman: Killing Moses is the account of New Orleans Private Detective Moses Byone and his search to understand the death of a wealthy white lawyer, Jefferson Collingwood, who perished in the fire that consumed the Upstairs Lounge in the summer of 1973. During his investigation Moses meets Creole voodoo priestess, Lisette St. Germain, who is being pursued by the dark and sinister Alexis Beaureparie and henchman Christophe, who are in search of the mysterious silver box she possesses. Moses forges an unlikely alliance with his primary source of information, effeminate antiques dealer Armond Fontenot and also with Lisette as he seeks to protect her from harm. What Moses uncovers about the silver box and Alexis and Jefferson Collingwood’s involvement are enough to make him Alexis’ next target for murder.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Mystery/Thriller

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

The story is quite original. The elements of voodoo, betrayal, and murder in the 1970s Crescent City are treated not as cliche but as enticements for the audience to draw them deeper into the mystery as Moses seeks to unearth the truths hidden behind all of the deception. It is a tribute to detective/noir stories.

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

Beautifully dark.

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

The Maltese Falcon.

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

2 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

More than 50 stories, 8 shorts novels, 3 screenplays.

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

Superstition- Stevie Wonder

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

The city of New Orleans, particularly in 1973, is such an integral part of this work. Capturing those important, vital elements of the city- of the Vieux Carre- in Moses and the supporting characters was challenging. I hope I did it justice.

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

Food, Art (classic works) and music. Blues and jazz.

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

FilmFreeway has been such a wonderful platform to work with and I am glad that it exists. Now that FilmFreeway Gold exists I will use it for many of my future submissions.

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

This festival was a natural fit for Killing Moses. The feedback I received exceeded my expectations and I took it all to heart. The recommendations were extremely helpful to making this screenplay read/flow so much better and I am a better writer for it.
 

Thriller; Private Detective Moses Byone and effeminate partner, former antiques dealer Armond Fontenot get more than they bargain for in the seedy underbelly of 1970s New Orleans.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Mandy May Cheetham

Moses: John Leung

Armond: Adrian Currie

 

Submit exclusively via Film Freeway:

Interview with Screenwriter Hank Biro (SPACE FISH)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Hank Biro: Donny, a one-armed, African-Canadian man, tries his best to honor his dead girlfriend by becoming an astronaut. It is an era where thousands of space shuttle launches occur every year in search of new, habitable planets for earthlings to live, due to disastrous weather events happening on Earth brought on by over-pollution. When Donny is rejected from the Canadian Space Agency for having only one arm, apparently, Donny is forced to turn to robbing banks, so that he can afford a new limb device.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

‘Space Fish’ is a science-fiction drama.

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

This screenplay should be made into a movie because it features cool, exciting, and relevant sci-fi ideas, and it delivers a positive message, that the world needs to take the effects of global warming seriously, and that racism and prejudice needs to end.

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

Violent future.

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

I recall watching the Star Wars series, Donnie Darko, The Thing (1982), A Christmas Story, This is Spinal Tap, The Goonies, The Silence of the Lambs, The Sandlot, 12 Monkeys, Jurassic Park , Small Soldiers, Godzilla (1998), Men in Black, Mars Attacks!, The Matrix trilogy, Signs, The Lord or the Rings series, School of Rock, Daredevil, Collateral, Napoleon Dynamite, King Kong (2005), Drag Me to Hell, Moon, and District 9 the most growing up.

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

My writing partner and I have been developing ‘Space Fish’ since 2012, then we finally began writing out our ideas and finished the script in 2017.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have one feature-length script and five short film scripts in my portfolio.

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

The song I have most listened to the past few years is New Faces (ft. Earl Sweatshirt & Dash) by Mac Miller.

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

Struggling with mental health.

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

I am also passionate about animal welfare, and watching movies/TV.

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

FilmFreeway is an excellent, easy-to-operate platform for submitting scripts to festivals.

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

Reading testimonials from others who entered and getting the chance to have my script read by actors is what enticed me to enter this festival. The initial feedback My writing partner and I received for ‘Space Fish’ was very helpful, and it made us realize we needed to cut many pages from it to make the story more focused. The pages we cut are now part of the sequel script to ‘Space Fish’.

Submit via FilmFreeway, the exclusive way our festival accepts submissions.:

In the future, a one-armed young man obsesses over becoming an astronaut after a final discussion with his girlfriend, and turns to criminal actions to fulfill his desire after the space agency rejects him.

CAST LIST:

Security: John Leung
Narrator: Anjelica Alejandro
Bill: Adrian Currie
Donny: Liam Kinahana

******

Interview with Screenplay Writer Adam Lapallo (WOLFPACK FENCERS)

Submit your Film & Screenplay via FilmFreeway:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Wolfpack Fencers is a TV sports drama about the goings-on of a college fencing club, specifically of a group of four freshmen entering the scene and finding their place.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sports Drama/Comedy.

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

Wolfpack Fencers is set in the unique, vastly under-represented world of modern fencing. When most people think of fencing on screen, they go to The Princess Bride, which admittedly has some fantastic choreography, but modern fencing community has been largely untapped by film and television. I’ve spent ten years as a competitive fencer, all through my high school and college years, and I’ve gotten to know the sport and the people, and I’ve found that fencing is a never-ceasing opportunity for drama and suspense.

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

College Fencing.

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

Difficult to say, but most likely the Harry Potter series.

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

I’ve been tossing the idea of a fencing-based sports drama around for years, probably since high school. In my junior year of college, I finally sat down and, in a 12-hour, coffee-fueled writing sesh in my hometown Panera, banged out a first draft and submitted it to the Virginia Screenwriting Competition. It was eliminated early on, but the judges sent me some really helpful feedback and I spent the next year editing that draft. I resubmitted it the following year and won the competition, achieving a huge milestone in my screenwriting career.

7. How many stories have you written?

Simply put, a lot. I’ve written 2-3 full-length novels, five feature screenplays, two television pilots, and numerous short films and short stories.

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

It tends to change pretty frequently, but “Piano Man” by Billy Joel currently has the top spot for me.

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

Criticism. Having my script rejected by the Virginia Screenwriting Competition and being told all of its problems was a difficult pill to swallow. It took some time to come around to it, but after I’d shelved my pride and learned to look at the feedback from an objective standpoint, incorporating the judges’ critiques into my next draft was very doable. The end result was a winning screenplay which I feel is much stronger than the original version.

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

Well, fencing. Like I said before, I’ve spent the past 10 years as a competitive fencer. Wolfpack is based on my life experiences as a high school and college fencer. I’m currently nationally-rated in all three weapons, a 3-time Junior Olympic competitor, and a part-time coach and armorer. I was also ranked #1 in Virginia for the 2016-17 Men’s Foil season. I also served as Head Coach and Treasurer of VCU’s Quidditch team, the Wizengamot, and am an active member of the Virginia Screenwriter’s Forum.

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

FilmFreeway is an excellent resource for filmmakers. It’s an easy-to-use platform that does a great job connecting independent artists and film festivals.

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

 I’m always open to feedback on my work. This festival has been a great learning experience at a reasonable cost.

Watch the Script Reading:

LOGLINE: Four college freshmen band together through their university Fencing Club. Together, they find their place in this new world and learn what it means to be teammates in a solo sport.

GENRE: Sports, Drama, Comedy

CAST LIST:

Gillian: Regan Brown
Miles: Hartley O. Gyamfi
Narrator: Allen Michael Brunet
Rockhard: Georgia Grant
Geo: Kevin Gabel

Interview with Screenplay Writer Terry Connell (PLANS FOR THE HOLIDAYS)

Submit exclusively via FilmFreeway:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Terry Connell: Based on the memoir of the same title, “Slaves to the Rhythm” is the true story about an inter-racial gay couple,Terry and Stephan, as they explore the themes of self expression, love, and what defines a family, during the early years of the AIDS crisis.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Biographical, Historical, LGBT

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

With three African American female leads, one African American gay male lead, “Slaves to the Rhythm touches on issues as such as inter-racial relations diversity, gay rights, religious extremism, and the history and impact of the AIDS epidemic. This script is not only topical, but adds an important voice to these current cultural conversations.

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

Honest, surprising

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

I’ll give you three: Strictly Ballroom, Kill Bill I, Torching Trilogy

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

Appr. 6 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Hard to say, more than 20, less than 50.

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

Again, here are three: Car Wash (Rolls Royce), Espiritu (Thomas Otten), Two Grey Rooms (Joni Mitchell)

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

Money, of course, and the fact that this is an “AIDS movie” keeps some people from considering it.

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

I am an Acupuncturist and Yoga Teacher.

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

I like FilmFreeway a lot. They are organized, keep me posted on any updates with my script.

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

There are so few LGBT festivals – I was excited to find Toronto’s. To have a part of my script read live was incredible! Feedback is always an interesting conversation, I actually rewrote part of my script based on some of the feedback I got.

 

CAST LIST:

Stephan – 10 – Kevin Gabel
Big Dawn – 10 – Georgia Grant
Narration – Ariel Brooker
Terry – 12 – Hartley O. Gyamfi
Terry’s Mom – 6 – Regan Brown
Terry’s Dad – 4 – Allen Michael Brunet

Interview with Screenplay Writer Todd Bird (LITTLE EARTHQUAKES)

Submit exclusively via FilmFreeway:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Todd Bird: At its core, Little Earthquakes is a reflection on racism, homophobia, and self-discovery. Literally, it is the story of Troy, a gay man who is returning to his hometown in Scranton Pennsylvania for his class reunion with the hopes of facing his ex-wife for the first time since their divorce. During his trip however, Troy is forced to face several unpleasant realities about himself and must come to terms with his role in a violent and heart-wrenching incident.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

Little Earthquakes is important because it deals with racism and homophobia in a realistic manner as it truly exists in today’s world. It also portrays a very underrepresented demographic: non-stereotypical gay men, gay men of color, and accepting families.

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

Realistic and melancholy

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

Pretty Woman

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

4 years

7. How many stories have you written?

4-5

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

Stay – Sugarland

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

This is my first screenplay so I have re-written it so many times as I have learned what works, how things should be formatted, etc. Plus finding time to write and hold down a day job is never easy.

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

I am passionate about tennis… playing, watching, tweeting. I also love running tennis tournaments and have run a charity LGBT tournament for several years to raise funds for a local HIV/AIDS charity.

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

I have found Film Freeway very easy and user friendly. The hardest part is researching what contests are worth the effort and the money.

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

I like that this is LGBT specific given the genre of my screenplay. I enjoy any feedback i get whether I use it or not. I have found that everyone’s opinion is so different… things one person hated and told me to remove, another critic praised. Just hearing the different voices has been extremely helpful however.

 

Troy and his boyfriend return to his hometown to attend his class reunion with hopes of re-connecting with old friends and possibly making amends with his ex wife. But nothing goes as planned for the ex-jock.

CAST LIST: 

Casey – 3 – Hartley O. Gyamfi
Man/Nolan – 2 –  Allen Michael Brunet
Narration –  Sean Ballantyne
Maggie – 13 –  Ariel Brooker
Troy – 10 –  Kevin Gabel