Interview with Screenwriter Josh Brushett (PERSEVERANCE)

PERSEVERANCE was the May 2019 WILDsound Feature Screenplay Winner.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Josh Brushett: The screenplay is about a young bride to be, in the prime of her life, with everything to live for until her life is unexpectedly cut short. Struggling to deal with the circumstances of her death and the discovery of an afterlife, Sarah Murphy, returned to earth in spirit form embarks upon a supernatural quest for revenge against the man who killed her.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Supernatural drama.

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

Because at the heart of it there’s a story of love and loss, loss of self and love at the same time. And there’s the idea that it could happen to anyone.

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

University project.

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

Probably one of my childhood favourites, either Jumanji or The Parent Trap (remake).

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

I spent almost two years whilst studying Scriptwriting For Film & TV at Bournemouth University on this script and it was my final major project.

7. How many stories have you written?

Not half as many as I’d like yet. Plenty in development. Choosing to focus on the LGBT side of things right now as it’s something personal to me and I always wanted to write a compelling indie rom com.

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

I can never decide my one favourite song because I go through phases where something becomes deeply personal to me. Probably “It Happens” by Busted.

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

Course pressure in my final year of university (nothing compared to the world of work but still), my own anxieties about whether it could possibly be good enough and whether I’d actually done the story justice and ended it at the right place.

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

Reading, watching films and TV box sets. Reading books at home, or listening to audiobooks whilst driving or walking. Basically stories, more than anything I love to be lost in fiction and be immersed in escapism in whatever form. I’m a sucker for a Netflix original series and I think the writers are incredibly talented and am always left wanting more.

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

My feelings were that the script still needs work, I have doubts like any human about my ability. It’s hard not to constantly compare yourself with other writers and it can be very daunting. I took the positives on board and tried to take a step back and look at the negatives and make a plan of how to address them. I entered the festival because I wanted to see if the story was something that would translate on screen and to see if anyone could connect with it.

 

 

 
Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Mother: Sylvie Normandeau
Chris: Brodie Nichols
Narration: Danielle Nicole
Sarah: Tiera Watts
Sylvia: Rebecca Whitby
Robber: David Rowan

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Interview with Screenwriter Nicole De Sapio (The Magnificent Mid-Century Met)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Nicole De Sapio: The Magnificent Mid-Century Met is about the intersecting, professional and personal lives of six famous singers at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, during the post-WWII period. It is almost as much about the cultural changes of the post-WWII period in America as it is about those singers.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Biopic, musical, and comedy

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

I did some research and was frankly astonished how few movies about opera (as opposed to movies of operas) have ever been made. And, while the real-life stories of the singers in my screenplay are highly humorous and dramatic, they have never yet been the subject of a movie or play. This, in my opinion, is a shame and a serious oversight. I believe my screenplay could really fill a void if produced.

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

Witty, urban

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

Either the original, 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street or the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge. I’ve seen 12 Angry Men (1957) countless times as well.

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

It was a long and convoluted process, as I had originally intended the screenplay to be a biopic of the Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Merrill (who is one of six main characters in The Magnificent Mid-Century Met). That version (titled Merrill of the Met) I began on February 9, 2018. I began the current version, The Magnificent Mid-Century Met, on December 29, 2018 and finished the first draft on February 14, 2019. Revisions took two more months; the final draft was finished by mid-April 2019.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’m mainly an essayist, and I didn’t become interested in fiction or in screenwriting until late in 2016. I’ve written some fanfiction short stories and two biopic-type screenplays.

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

That’s really hard…Broadway is my first love, and I’d have to say that my favorite Broadway ballad is “A Quiet Thing” from a little-known, 1965 Kander and Ebb musical called Flora, the Red Menace. Liza Minnelli sang this song originally.

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

Without a doubt the biggest challenge was deciding what story I actually wanted to tell and then finding the right form for that story. The screenplay didn’t really “take off” for me until I realized that it needed to have more than one protagonist and more than one storyline.

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

Opera, musicals, detective stories, and 19th-century English paintings.

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

Film Freeway is so usable and convenient that I couldn’t imagine my screenwriting life without it.

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

My brother, who is also a writer, suggested I enter the festival. Had I not done so, I would still have no idea how to format a screenplay or how to write proper slug-lines. In those two areas (and in others), the reader gave me indispensable advice.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

LOGLINE: Singers at the post-WWII Metropolitan Opera House face artistic and personal challenges amid cultural and social changes.

GENRE: True Story/Biography

CAST LIST:

Lillian (40s + – 8 – Carrie Schiffler
Narration – Barbara Bergeron
Abe (40s +) – David Occhipinti
Merrill (20s) – 10 – Steve Saet

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Interview with Screenwriters Vicki Cargill, Adam Cargill (STEVE & OLIVIA)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Adam : The story is about what really makes a family. Two long-lost siblings are reunited when they are both at their lowest and find a connection they’ve never experienced before.

Vicki : It’s about finding roots and discovering your own definition of family. It’s about watching two middle-aged people who are already meant to know this, try to discover what family means to them, and how it’s very different from what society expects.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Adam : It’s a comedy with dramatic elements, strictly speaking. Really I think it’s counterprogramming for the MCU!

Vicki : It’s a pretty dark comedy, with a bunch of drama thrown in.

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

Adam : Steve and Olivia is a funny, sad, life-affirming, heartbreaking story. It tells a universal tale of redemption, acceptance and letting go. It’s a story I think people can connect with.

Vicki : It’s a story that has tremendous heart and a fierce humanity, which is something that can lacking in many big-budget action epics. The connections we all have are in our flaws, and these characters have a bunch of them on display. And I just want to see it, to be honest.

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

Adam : Love. Family.

Vicki : Finally written. Still polishing. Award Winning!

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

Adam : The Princess Bride.

Vicki : Withnail and I. Possibly Frozen given that we have young kids.

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

Adam : Since 2017.

Vicki : It was written in 2017, but it came about quickly once we began.

7. How many stories have you written?

Adam : Too many! We’ve completed about 7 feature scripts and our newest is in development with the British Film Institute.

Vicki : I have no idea. Don’t know when it started, or if it will ever end. It’s fun finding out, though.

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

Adam : At the moment, Hallelujah I Love Her So by Ray Charles – it was kind of the spirit of this screenplay.

Vicki : I’ll Be Seeing You, by Sarah Vaughan.

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

Adam : The characters were always there, but finding the spine of the story while allowing them the space to grow was a challenge. We knew the beginning, we knew the end, but as usual with us, Act II was a little trickier. But we got there eventually, I think.

Vicki : We always tend to write with a strong start and a good ending. We tend to have a midpoint lull trying to get them connected, and we lost a lot of sleep figuring it out.

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

Adam : Reading, art, family, food. All the good stuff!

Vicki : Our kids. Art. Music. Creativity. Food. Friends. Being in nature. All the good things in life, the stuff that makes you get up and get out.

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

Adam : It’s been a real boon for us – it’s easy to use, easy to update, and has really helped us increase our visibility and profile.

Vicki : It’s been pretty seamless, really.

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

Adam : We loved the idea of a festival that might actually table read the screenplay – and we were fortunate enough to have it happen! The feedback was very valuable – both with format and structure. Overall, we’ve been blown away by the level of support and promotion we have received.

Vicki : The feedback we received sent us over the moon! It was such a shot of positivity. Thanks!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

When his grand comeback falls flat, a Broadway legend finds himself out of favour and out of luck. Finding the sister he never knew he had leads him on a journey of separation, hope and redemption that answers the question: what is a family?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Shawn Devlin
Steve: Colin Sandquist
Jonathan: Neil Bennett

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Interview with Screenwriter Jerry Nield (CATCH!)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Jerry Nield: A historical madcap comedy drama depicting family values, romance, morals, religion, gambling, corruption and revenge.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical, biographical, drama, action, comedy.

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

Because it’s an entertaining, must see, four quadrant movie. That brings back to life a forgotten part of history.

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

Page turner.

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

Alien.

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

I started doing the research almost 10 years ago.

7. How many stories have you written?

This is my first screenplay.

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

Three Little Birds

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

Learning how to write a screenplay.

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

Growing fruit and veg, fishing, travel and local history, especially the local myths and legends that abound where I live in Wales.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: Could David really defeat Goliath?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Bertha: Elizxabeth Rose Morriis
Martha: Ali Chappell
Edison: Scott McCulloch
Ogre: Peter-Mark Raphael
Rufus: Gabriel Darku

 

 

Interview with Screenwriter Mark Thiru (BLACK LIVES MATTER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

I’m not going to choose black nor will I choose white because I’m a human being and that’s all that matters and all lives matter. The love I have for human progress is more than the hate I have for human hatred. I fight for all and not for one and I’d fight for one to save all. I’m not concerned about life because I considered fighting for lives and I am. Human progress for black lives is progress for all lives. The human race depends on all to progress and not some. Those who hate are dead to themselves but those who love are alive to themselves and others because the room for racist behaviourism has evacuated the heart and others are respected as humans beings rather than colored beings. The script ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ is about human progress and that for all rather than some! I don’t believe in black power! I believe in human power! I believe in human progress! I believe in progress for all and all should!

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thriller.

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

‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ should be made into a movie because it is in support of human progress for all rather than some. That is the right human call. Kindness and gentleness for all and without such the human race is dead alive.

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

Human progress.

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

‘LONG WALK TO FREEDOM’.

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

About a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

One.

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

‘GOOD LIFE’

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

I haven’t finished yet and so far I have no obstacles but one I’m trying to solve being human progress for all.

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

Writing is a strength of mine linked to the passion I have for film making.

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

I love the site. I’ve had no problem whatsoever. I don’t imagine problems in the future because of it’s professionalism.

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

The festival was always conspicuous to me but the professionalism I heard about it from others influenced me more. I had no bad feelings about the feedback I received. I was glad because I knew its professionalism.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline : “Los Angeles, 1992: An eminent police department commissioner resolves to purging his deputy commissioner after passion manifestation become inevitable between him and his deputy’s spouse.”

Genre : Thriller

CAST LIST:

Crystal King: Erica Levene
Daryl Gates: Isaiah Kolundzic
Narration: Esther Thibault
Dr. Ethan Harris: Charles Gordon
Rodney G. King: Gabriel Darku
Report Presenter: Julie Sheppard

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Interview with Screenwriter Daniel Fishbayn (Adventure Time)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Daniel Fishbayn: My screenplay is a spec script for the beloved Cartoon Network show, Adventure Time. I chose to spec Adventure Time as I was looking for an animated series I connected with not just creatively, but also on a more emotional/personal level. Plus, I’ve been a fan since the show began over a decade ago as an online YouTube short, and this felt like the ultimate tribute.

The story follows Finn and Jake as they are investigate a series of mysterious kidnappings in the Candy Kingdom, only to get kidnapped themselves. The captor turns out to be their old nemesis, the evil scientist Doctor Gross, who claims to have changed her ways and seems to be beloved by the kidnapped creatures. Dr. Gross tries to recruit Finn and Jake as “Creativitists” in her dream project of repopulating the Land of Oo with her own genetically engineered animals, using her gleaming Crystal Sword as a reward for Finn for helping her. Initially, Finn and Jake are skeptical at the notion of a “job,” but Finn quickly realizes that using his creativity for a higher purpose might not be such a bad thing.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Adventure Time is an animated series that appeals to a really wide age range. Lots of kids and teens love the show for its hilarious antics, but lots of adults enjoy it too for the same reasons. There are some pretty dark themes explored, particularly in the later seasons, that I think add a depth to the show not present in a lot of other cartoons.

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

Not sure if this one applies for my script since Adventure Time has now wrapped up, but it would be amazingly cool to see it as a real episode!

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

Ridiculous. Fun.

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

Probably The Matrix. Although Rat Race is up there too, since there was a DVD player in my mom’s car and my brothers and I all thought it was the funniest thing ever. So we watched it there on repeat for a good chunk of my childhood.

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

I started work on it around May or June of 2018. So it was about 6 months of working on it, on and off, to get to this polished draft.

7. How many stories have you written?

I lost count a long time ago! I’ve been writing short stories since I was a little kid. The fun fact I always tell people is that I actually wrote my own sequel to the Harry Potter series when I was eight years old. I’ve been making up stories ever since, in one medium or another.

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

In the past couple of years, it’s probably “Sleep Sound” by Jamie xx. It’s this low-key incredible piece of electronic music that just soothes my soul.


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

I definitely hit some writer’s block at a couple of points. This was actually one of the first pieces of writing I’ve done specifically with younger viewers in mind. I had been writing a lot of adult comedy at that point, so it was an interesting challenge to sort of adapt my voice for a different audience.

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

Lots of things! I’ve been quite active in the Toronto improv community for a few years now, and I’m definitely passionate about improv, especially narrative improv, as an artform. I also love playing guitar, and I used to play in bands many eons ago. I’m one of those people that has lots of hobbies, and can never pick just one.

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

I’ve had a good experience using FilmFreeway. It’s conveniently designed in a way that makes submitting to festivals very quick and easy. It’s also helpful for organizing the different pieces of promo material that make up a single project’s “package.”

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

I had heard about FEEDBACK many times, and knew that it was part of a wider network of festivals that have been showcasing filmmakers’ work for years. When I realized there was also a screenwriting component to the festival, I felt like it was a great opportunity to, at the very least, get some helpful feedback on my script. I felt unsure whether it was working as a whole, and whether it was ready to be sent out as a portfolio piece. When I found out that the programmers loved my piece and wished to arrange a professional cold read, I was thrilled and gained a lot of confidence in the script.

The coverage report was also very helpful as it addressed several aspects of my screenplay in a coherent, organized fashion. As constructive feedback, I would just say that while I was glad to hear the reader found very few issues with it, it would have been interesting to hear more about which specific aspects of the script the reader felt were working best and which could be improved. That said, to hear that the FEEDBACK team considered it to be one of the strongest spec scripts they had read was extremely validating and encouraging to say the least.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

When creatures begin disappearing from the Candy Kingdom overnight, Princess Bubblegum tasks Finn and Jake with solving the mystery.

CAST LIST:

Science Cat: Emily Weir
Starchy: Peter Nelson
Dr. Gross: Regan Brown
Narration: Laura Kyswaty
Finn: Kevin Gabel
Jake: Kevin Robinson
Toffee Girl: Patrice Henry

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Interview with Screenwriter Justin Lamar Petty (The Immortal King Jesus)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Justin Lamar Petty: My screenplay is about The Lord Jesus Christ and the sacrifice God made for humanity in order for us all to be able to choose eternal life through his son the mediator between God and man Jesus Christ.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

My screenplay falls under the drama category.

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

My screenplay should be made into a movie because it explores the idea of the lord Jesus Christ being portrayed by a Black Man something that has NEVER been done BEFORE.

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

I’d describe my script in 2 words as ” Very OMINIPOTENT”

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

What movie have i seen the most times in my life “The Godfather trilogy by Martin Scorsese.

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

I’ve been working on this screenplay 1 year.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written hundreds of stories film tv and playwrights.

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

My favorite song is ” I ain’t hard 2 find” by 2pac Shakur

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

The only obstacles i faced during writing my screenplay is just finding the time i own a business too.

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

I am also passionate about recording music for the record/ music publishing company i own Intangible Entertainment LLC / Southside Lima Landlord publishing ( BMI publisher)

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

My experience with film freeway has been great they create a great submission platform for indie screenwriters to make contacts ams network within Hollywood and with indie film makers they’re wonderful i actively use my profile.

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

I was influenced to enter the festival after i won best tv pilot/ script writer of the month in October 2018 i knew i had something special. My feelings on the feedback i received were positive i feel blessed to be apart of this opportunity.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST :

Eve – 2 – Brittany Clough
Mary – 3 – Anne McMaster
NARRATION – Jen Daniels
Jesus – 4 – Hugh Ritchie
Satan – 7 – Ron Boyd
Adam – 2 – Rhys Harrison

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

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