Interview with Screenwriter Bo Liebman ((A) UTOMATED (I)IRRITATION)

 (A) UTOMATED (I)IRRITATION played to great reviews at the May 2018 Comedy Feedbaack Film Festival in Los Angeles.

 1. What motivated you to make this film?

A friend had asked me to contribute a short for an anthology series he wanted to do about artificial intelligence. Knowing that most people take a dark, dramatic approach to AI, looking at the world-changing ramifications it could have (ie: Terminator), I wanted to take a different approach and see how it would effect smaller, mundane aspects of life in a comedic setting. The script I wrote was a little too far off from my friend’s vision for his series, so I decided to move forward with the script and get it made myself.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

Overall the film took around a year to complete – 1 day for filming, and then the rest of the year for editing, voice overs and VFX.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Satirical Sci-Fi

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Getting it edited – we didn’t have a lot of money for post, and our original editor took forever and eventually had an accident with his equipment, so we needed to start over with a new editor.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was exciting to hear such positive responses from people who I had never met. It showed me that the film really spoke to people and that the themes came across (and that some people found nuances in it that I didn’t notice myself).

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As mentioned above in question 1, I had wanted to take a completely alternative look at what kind of future artificial intelligence may bring us, and see how it could complicate even the simplest of daily tasks (like making breakfast). I’m sure I had the animated film The Brave Little Toaster in the back of my mind as well!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Truman Show. My all-time favorite.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

FilmFreeway is very user-friendly, and does a great job of making the submission process quick and easy. I love that it has a laurel generator, and makes it simple to keep track of the festivals you’ve entered (since we entered a lot).

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Probably The Mighty Mighty Bosstone’s “The Impression That I Get”. I’m unashamed to say I am a big fan the 90’s ska-punk music.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

With the director of (A)UTOMATED (I)RRITATION, we will be developing an anthology-style series in the same world as this short. For the web at first, but eventually a broadcast version. I’m also editing a second collection of short stories I hope to have out this year.

 

 

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Nicole Stuart (THE EGG AND I)

1. What is your screenplay about?

This is a journey that takes you inside Natalie Monroe’s life. She’s a neurotic 40-year-old, who hopes she hasn’t missed her window of time to have a baby, but her odds don’t look good. She put her personal life aside to follow her dreams but she can’t catch a break and fears her life and time-clock have passed her by. Even Natalie’s younger boyfriend isn’t supportive of her having a baby; in fact, he’s one of the many people who tells her she’s too old. Along with her fertility doctor who says, “you have the same chance of winning the lottery as having a baby. But you may have a 1% shot if you can find sperm in the next week.” Natalie begins her uncanny search for sperm, finding an unexpectant donor and a little more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, her sperm donors ex-girlfriend stops at nothing to block Natalie from getting his sperm, finding true love and freezing one good egg.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic Comedy

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

I think rom-com’s need to make a come back. That being said more romantic comedy’s like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or ANNIE HALL. These films were great and the subject of my film needs to be seen because so many women and men are going through IVF AND INFERTITLY and I feel we’ve yet to have a great story about it. It’s light-hearted comedy nothing more and nothing less. It’s not trying to be something it’s not.

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

Sweet comedy

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

Annie Hall but so many from the 70’s and 80’s. Films in my humble opinion were so much better then.

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

4-5 years
Over 9 drafts

7. How many stories have you written?

This is my second script that I’ve written. But in total I’ve told 4 stories now. Two features, a short film and the first story I told was a memoir about my life growing up in Las Vegas which I turned into my first feature. Then this The Egg and I was my second feature. 40ish is my short.

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

So hard to narrow it down to just one song I’m a big fan of music from the 70s and 80s and I like everything from the Beastie Boys to Tupac and I love this guy I discovered Greg Laswell and think he’d have a perfect tone for this film.

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

Where do I begin? I started this at the beginning of my journey with IVF but while going through that, it was such a painful journey, mentally, physically and financially it took everything out of me so I stopped. Then started again throughout the course of the three years I was trying IVF. Then I began again once I found out I was pregnant and stopped again hitting walls with what type of story I was telling. Then once I had the baby, I knew I needed to finish my story and share it with the world. I initially set-out to write a very dramatic , truthful story that shows how hard IVF can be…. emotionally, financially and physically. And what I discovered while writing, was this was deeply and painfully funny. Scene after scene it took its own turn.

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

LIFE being a mom, wife, acting, exercise & fitness…

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

It’s been pretty cool. The way it works and they are very on top of things!!!

******

Genre: Drama

Natalie Monroe’s a neurotic 40-year-old, who hopes she hasn’t missed her window of time to have a baby, but her odds don’t look good. She put her personal life aside to follow her dreams but she’s unable to catch a break. Natalie’s younger boyfriend isn’t supportive of her having a baby; in fact, he’s one of the many people who tells her she’s too old. Along with her fertility doctor who tells her, “you have the same chance of winning the lottery as having a baby but if you find sperm in a week you might have a 1% shot to try IVF.” Natalie begins her uncanny search for sperm, finding an unexpectant donor. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend stops at nothing to block Natalie from getting his sperm, finding true love and freezing one good egg.

CAST LIST:

Roger: Charles Gordon
Annette: Katelyn Varadi
Narrator: Brandon Knox
Natalie: Carina Cojeen
Katherine: Angelica Alejandro
Steve: Gabriel Darku

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Bridget Bell (Rearranging Roxy)

1. What is your screenplay about?

In a last ditch effort to keep her rock star dreams alive, a self-sabotaging rocker returns home to make a deal with the devil, her estranged father. During the painful reconciliation process, she uncovers the missing creative spark she needs to personally and professionally succeed.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Family drama, dramedy

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

The current climate of divisiveness inspired me to write a story where people at opposite ends of the spectrum learn to respect and accept each other’s unique qualities and work together for the greater good. Age, sex, orientation, musical bent, talent level, economic status, none of these need to be barriers to collaboration.

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

Unpretentiously unifying

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

The Sound of Music

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

About three years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Four feature scripts, loads of short stories

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

Black Cow by Steely Dan

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

Finding the right ending took many, many rewrites!

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

Family, music, food, live theater and movies!

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

FilmFreeway makes it easy to stop procrastinating and get your work out in the world.

Genre: Drama, Musical

A self-centered rocker must revive her estranged father’s holiday musical to fund her band’s last chance for a tour and to save her hometown from developers, finding love and redemption along the way

CAST LIST:

Ruby: Carina Cojeen
Ms. Barnes: Angelica Alejandro
Narrator: Brandon Knox
Roxy: Katelyn Varadi
Grayson: Charles Gordon
Gene: Gabriel Darku

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Bristol MacDonald (RETURN TO FREEDOM)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s the story of a timid young woman who escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her volatile brother and the reason she ran away from home years ago. Prepared to flee once again, an unexpected kinship with an abused wild mustang brought to the ranch for rehabilitation, forces her to confront her past and overcome her deepest fears, giving her the strength and courage to finally stand up to her greatest nemesis.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama – Family Drama

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

This entertaining family drama addresses domestic violence and bullying. It has always been my desire that this story give women, who may feel powerless, hope and encouragement; that they are stronger than they know, braver than they can imagine and that their voice matters.

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

Moving and inspirational.

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

The Shawshank Redemption.

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

About 5 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written 3 Screenplays and a One-Hour Television Pilot

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

Bruised But Not Broken by Joss Stone

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

The biggest obstacle was me. Because this story is personal, and loosely based on my experience, it was often times difficult to open up about my past; to be honest, raw, vulnerable and expose my truth.

I would have to walk away for months at a time and come back to it. But, in the end it was a very cathartic journey and one that I hope will inspire women of all ages.

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

Horses. They saved my life. I hope to share, with women in particular, just how healing these creatures can be. I am also a wild horse advocate using my fine art photography to help shed light on the plight of the American Wild Horse.

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

I love FilmFreeway. I use them for all my projects.

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

A festival focused on women filmmakers and screenwriters was definitely what drew me to your festival. I was extremely excited about the feedback. It was professional and constructive, which has helped tremendously during the rewrite process. Thank you.

******

Genre: Drama

Emma Wilson, a timid young woman escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her brother Frank, a volatile bully and the reason she left home years ago.

CAST LIST:

Jack: Fabio Abreu
Emma: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Dan Fox
Rex: James Murray
Odeda: Val Cole
Carmen: Cassandra Sirois

Interview with Winning Screenwriters Alexandra Dyranis-Maounis & Athanasia Michopoulou (HYPNOS)

Get to know the writers:

1. What is your screenplay about?

In the world of 2056, in which dreaming is outlawed by an authoritarian state and sleep strictly controlled by the machine “Phobetor”,
a scientist enlists the help of an ancient Greek goddess to destroy it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sc-Fi, Fantasy

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

Athanasia: The intention of the film is to be an exciting story with various references and interpretations of elements deriving from Greek mythology,
using pioneering scientific theories that will be entwined together and presented under a new and original prism. I want to try at a very symbolic level to make a statement about the world today but make a film that has a feel good factor, bringing hope and making light of some of the darker worries that are brewing in this time of socioeconomic crisis and uncertainty.

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

A dystopian nightmare with a happy end.

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

Athanasia: The English Patient

Alexandra: Lord of the Rings

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

Two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Athanasia: This is the first script Alexandra and myself have written together,
but we plan on writing more female-led fantasy stories!

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

Athanasia: The National – Start a war & Empire line.

Alexandra: Faith No More – Epic

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

Alexandra: Well… we built a huge world that simply didn’t fit in the short screenplay formatbut it would be more difficult for us to make a fantasy feature film in Greece(due to budget reasons), so we had to edit and adapt a few times
trying to find the right balance between world-building and character development.

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

Athanasia: Watching films, listening to music & dancing

Alexandra: Watching films, listening to music, going to live Jazz and Blues concerts

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

So far so good! It’s been super helpful.

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Year 2056. A quantum machine named “Phobetor” controls society. Above other measures, dreaming is forbidden and there is absolute control of the allowed limit of sleep to 3-hours per day. Those who rebel by entering REM or a self-induced dream state, most are arrested and punished as traitors. Their penalty, essentially entering their own mind prisons where each individual’s Nightmare is personalized.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Hypnos: Katelyn Varadi
Daniel: Charles Gordon

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Virgo Velasquez (2084)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

An adaptation of the George Orwell classic “1984”, in a redux 2084 future, the United Kingdom and United States find themselves under the rule of The Party, which instills a totalitarian regime that engineers human nature to fit its agenda. Winston Smith, who works for the Ministry of Truth as a manufacturer and falsifier of information, stumbles upon a dangerous path once he falls in love with a colleague, and attempts to rally a resistance movement against The Party.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi, Drama.

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

The screenplay and novel interplay a plot that is reflective of current political outcries. The world is relevant to modern day woes, with impressive skylines, sympathetic characters, and large-scale action sequences woven with layers of societal truths.

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

Illusory Truth.

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

Back to the Future, Part II.

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

Started as an idea in High School back in 2006, to depict the Bush Administration and the Patriot Act (aka Big Brother programs) and prompted a full treatment during the 2016 Presidential Election.

7. How many stories have you written?

About a ten complete screenplays, two major novel manuscripts.

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

Dreamer – by Supertramp

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

International copyright from Sony pictures (which own the license). 1984 won’t be in the public domain until 2044.

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

Studying history, watching old movies, filmmaking and working the in film industry as an assistant director.

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

Brilliant. Easy to use. Accessible, resourceful and informative.

******

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

In a totalitarian future society, a man whose daily work is
rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

CAST LIST:

Simon: Charles Gordon
Narration: Angelica Alejandro
O’Brien: Gabriel Darku
Winston Smith: Brandon Knox

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Royce Adkins (THE GIRL WITH NO BRAIN)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

THE GIRL WITH NO BRAIN is a story of an experimental artificial intelligence that was implanted into Miracle, a young woman born with a cephalic disorder which left her with only a brain stem. This story follows the A.I.’s struggle and acceptance with its own identity separate and apart from Miracle.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/Science Fiction

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

This script should be made into a movie because I believe it is a unique take on Artificial Intelligence. Having an AI be the consciousness and driving force of a human girl will challenge and blur the line of humanity as we know it.

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

Thought provoking

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

Ridley Scott’s “ALIEN”

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

I’ve worked on the script for about a year now.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written over a dozen complete stories and continue to write to better my craft.

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

“Controversy” by Prince

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

The biggest obstacle was finding the confidence to finish the script.

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

I love reading and playing video games when I’m not writing.

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

Filmfreeway is really cool. I love using it because it’s intuitive and easy to use.

******

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

An artificial intelligence, implanted into the head of a girl born without a brain, struggles between forming it’s own identity and the identity it was programmed to be.

CAST LIST:

Miracle: Katelyn Varadi
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Linda: Angelica Alejandro
Joe: Charles Gordon