Interview with Screenwriter Susan Boger (The Day the Corn Hatched)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Susan Boger: A genetically modified cornfield is irrigated with contaminated radioactive river water. After a severe storm, corn creatures hatch, simultaneously the town is engulfed in marijuana smoke. The corn creatures run amuck attacking and terrorizing the town people. Two teenagers through a series of comical events try to figure out how to restore peace in their town.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi horror comedy

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

More people are aware of the potential problems of eating genetically modified foods. This an entertaining and comical approach to give more information about genetically engineered foods. And it gives some knowledge of why one should be careful of what one eats.

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

Hilarious Sci-Fi

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

Zoolander

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

Several years

7. How many stories have you written?

Three

8. What is your favorite song?

I don’t really have one favorite song, but I love Reinga Carter’s version of “Ain’t Nobody.”

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

The biggest obstacle was learning formatting along with improved dialogue.

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

I am passionate about my family, encouraging my children and grandchildren to follow their dreams. And to set challenges with realistic goals for myself.

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

The site is easy to work with. It shows all the various contests, information about the contests, and the deadlines. It is easy to check on the status of my submissions.

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

What influenced me the most was it was a festival for fantasy and sci-fi. The initial feedback was terrific. I was thrilled and encouraged by the reader’s feedback.
 
Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Considered irresponsible and having a vivid imagination, a smart teenage stoner/hacker gains respect from his family when he saves his town engulfed in marijuana smoke from mutant killer corn creatures.

CAST LIST:

Anchorman: Kaleb Alexander
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Devin: Nikolai Afanasev
Rick: Peter Mark Raphael

Interview with Screenwriter Stephen Beyer (Living In The Moments)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Stephen Beyer: Jon spends most of his time partying and carousing with best friends Joey and Jay, and filling his life with hijinks. But when he develops romantic feelings for his new coworker Holly, he’s challenged to grow up a little so he can have a more mature relationship with her, while also introducing her to his wild and crazy world.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic Comedy

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

A film at it’s core has a real beating heart about relationships and friendship that can inspire!

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

Hilarious & Heartfelt!

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

Casablanca

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

18 months

7. How many stories have you written?

3

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

Memories by Elvis

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

Many including sleep apnea and merger at work.

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

Family.

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

Very enjoyable.

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 because of the great potential of getting my work out there on a platform that can be see by many. The initial feedback was extremely insightful. Since then a few revisions has been made and I have received perfect reviews from Miami and NYC since.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Joey: Geoff Mays
Narrator: Val Cole
Jon: Biden Hall
Jay: Shawn Devlin

Interview with Screenwriter Shruti Tewari (Flares)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Shruti Tewari: FLARES is a screenplay about friendship underscoring the thought that “When women come together, magic happens.”

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

DRAMA

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

FLARES should be a movie because it holds a mirror to several unexplored issues pertaining to women’s rights and serves as a metaphor for the lives of my characters that seek humor in darkness, serenity in turmoil and the freedom to shine, even if fleetingly, quite like a flare.

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

Survivor’s Choices

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

Forrest Gump

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

One year

7. How many stories have you written?

Stories for film – 4

Stories overall – Lost Count

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

Top of the World – Carpenters

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

The story and characters were in my head for a while but some of the plot points, inspired by actual events, took a while to fit in with the rest of the narrative.

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

I feel passionately about supporting and educating at-risk youth and have worked as a mentor in juvenile halls for nearly a decade with a local non-profit organization.

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

Great. I love the ease of the interface and enjoy discovering new festivals that match my subject interests.

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

I initially submitted just my logline and that submission was free. It was a great way to test if I was able to elicit interest in my project based on a couple of sentences.

I was then able to submit more information based on the response and the feedback helped me make revisions that benefited the pacing of the screenplay.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – Rebecca MacDonald
Starry (f 30s) – Krista Barzso
Sunny (f 30s) – Tracy Rowland

Interview with Screenwriters Sean J.S. Jourdan, Danielle Prall (JESS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sean J.S. Jourdan, Danielle Prall: Our screenplay is about an ex-con who, like many of us, struggles with medical bills, minimum wage employment, and companionship. Due to her circumstances she pulled back into the world she escaped from, to her detriment, but is able to provide for family. It’s a story about folks we see everyday but don’t see. People who live on the margins of our booming cities.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Suspense, Crime, Thriller

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

This screenplay should be made into a movie because it shines a lot on good people who are, unfortunately, not the beneficiaries of entitlement, yet they do what they can to survive. They’re not superheroes or royalty or super spies. They’re people we know. Relatives. Maybe even ourselves. Their struggle and world deserves to be shown on the big or small screen too.

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

Human. Struggle.

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

When I was a kid I think I saw ET more times than I want to admit… and Poltergeist. – Sean

16 Candles, A Bug’s Life and Enter the Dragon. I only had a handful of VHS tapes (no cable/TV) for several years. – Danielle

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

Off and on for a couple of years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Hard to say… and I’ve told more than that 🙂

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

It changes… currently The Queen is Dead by The Smiths – Sean

Ditto…lately I’ve been repeating When I Get my Hands on You by The New Basement Tapes – Danielle

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

Finding time within our schedules.

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

Exercise (swimming, yoga), skiing, reading (particularly music/band biographies for fun). – Sean

Movement of many kinds – yoga, martial arts, snowboarding, also gardening and growing just about everything – Danielle

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

It’s great. A lot better than the old withoutabox.

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

The feedback was great and our story contains people who are LGBTQ/POC. With friends and family members who are LGBTQ/POC we feel that their representation and inclusion is important. That’s what attracted us to this festival.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

On the hard edge of the urban west, Jess, an ex-con and single mother, strives to provide for herself and her own in the face of desperate poverty.

CAST LIST:

Various: Nikolai Afanasev
Carlos: Peter Mark Raphael
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Jess: Kristen MacCulloch
JJ: Kyana Teresa
Various: Kaleb Alexander

Interview with Screenwriter Malcolm Carter (Adam and E.V.E.)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Malcolm Carter: It’s story about a little girl, Victoria, who can only speak in hip hop lyrics from the 1990s, and she has the key to saving or destroying the world. Unfortunately, the year is 2050 and nobody really listens to hip hop from the 1990’s anymore, especially our hero, Adam, who is accustomed to more country music. They have to work together to stop a global catastrophe.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say Sci-Fi/Drama with a dose of comedy

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

It’s a story that is a cautionary tale about what might happen in the near future if we are not careful. I try dealing with some hot topic issues of today, and at the same time have it blend with a cool sci-fi story. It’s probably not quite like any movie that I’ve seen out there in a while, at least I think so. I try to blend politics, music, technology and social issues into a sci-fi story that keeps your entertained, which can be a challenge.

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

The future.

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

That’s tough, I really think it’s a tie between Network and Raiders of The Lost Ark. CA: Winter Soldier and Inception are close seconds.

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

Since 2014. It started out as a basic genre film, that I really liked, but I felt it was missing something, so I just put it to the side for awhile. Then the politics of 2016 came about and that was just what the doctor ordered.

7. How many stories have you written?

Too many to count, but actual written full length screenplays totals fourteen and three TV pilots.

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

Mariah Carey “Breakdown” with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

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

Trying to find the right songs that Victoria would say that would fit the story. I have many favorite hip hop songs that I wanted to use, but they didn’t fit what was going on in the story, so that was a big obstacle I had to overcome.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Filmmaking, I love filmmaking, the process on how a movie is created is really a passion of mine.

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

I enjoy it, it keeps everything in one location and the updates on what’s happening with your project is amazing.

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

I tend to go for the more independent type vibe festivals. Wildsound definitely has that feel, which I like. The feedback, support and interaction has been top notch, everyone is easy to reach and talk with.

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

In 2050, during a revolution, a government secret agent must protect a young girl who could ultimately end civilization or save the world, only one problem, she only speaks in hip hop lyrics.

CAST LIST:

Terminal Voice: Shawn Devlin
Narrator: Val Cole
Adam: Biden Hall
Imani: Aliya Hamid

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Sean Chandler (RUNNING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sean Chandler: “Running” is the story of a discordant political family caught in the middle of a gay sex scandal who are faced with the choice of banding together or falling apart.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Political Family Drama

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

The idea of “Running” was conceived following a spate of married, yet closeted, politicians being caught in gay sex scandals. The televised image we usually see in this situation is a press conference where the fallen politician either comes out as gay or commits to some sort of conversion therapy. As a writer, the more interesting element is what is happening to the family standing behind the politician. We never really get the whole story of how they struggle to recover, pick up the pieces, and put them back together in a way that makes sense to form a new family dynamic. The public has a definite fascination with such political adversities and “Running” would allow them to experience an examination of that aftermath.

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

Finding truth.

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

“Meet Me In St. Louis”. Gorgeously shot, a deeply loving narrative through-line and charm to spare!

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

Eight years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Ten.

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

“Going The Distance” from the original “Rocky” soundtrack. A composition masterpiece.

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

There were two: 1.) Figuring out the sweet spot of how much of the politics to include for a full understanding of that element while keeping the family front and center in the story. 2.) Developing the female characters to be real, inspiring, three-dimensional people who own their own choices without shame.

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

Theater and podcasting. I am the creator/producer/host of a theater-based podcast called “Your Program Is Your Ticket”.

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

FilmFreeway is AMAZING! It makes the process of finding and entering film festivals and writing competitions so much easier by consolidating the submission process and payment system.

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

Chicago is a writers city. It is willing to take risks in incubating new work and supporting up and coming artists.

Excellent feedback from the team! It was specific in observation and gave suggestions as to the future of the piece. Very, very well done!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

A married, closeted-gay mayoral candidate who is outed in a very public manner must contend with its effects on his campaign and family.

CAST LIST:

Leslie: Esther Thibault
Ed: Steven Holmberg
Narrator: Kat Smiley
Justin: Brandon Knox
Camile: Patrice Henry
Cassidy: Amiee Poulin

Interview with Screenwriter Sara F. Hathaway (Disaster: The Changing Earth Series)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sara F. Hathaway: Featuring Erika Moore, The Changing Earth Series, presents a legendary story of a survivor of the Great Quake attempting to navigate a world torn apart by a series of natural disasters
.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dystopian

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

This screenplay would make an epic TV series that follows the riveting stories of the earth’s inhabitants as the changing planet tests their ability to adapt. Viewers will be drawn into the drama as it unfolds in a series of must-see adventures.

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

Thrilling adventure

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

Gladiator

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

The screenplay is a scene from the novel, Day After Disaster, book one in the Changing Earth Series. It took me eight years to write the book. The screenplay was adapted from it so it took me about a day to do.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am the author of eight novels. Seven of them make up The Changing Earth Series and the other story the life story of one of the villains, TJ Swenson, from the novel series. Also, I have written a full pilot for The Changing Earth TV series.

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

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

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

The most challenging part was making the scene fit on one page.

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

Martial arts and women’s self-defense are another passion of mine. As a third-degree in Taekwondo and a practitioner of Jujitsu, I take great pride in helping others learn that they are capable of protecting themselves.

Natural disaster preparedness is another facet of my life that I take great pride in teaching others. Ensuring individuals have the knowledge and gear to protect themselves and their families during any disaster gives me a priceless feeling of purpose.

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

Working with FilmFreeway has been a great experience. The narration of the story was adequate. The actors voicing as the characters did a fantastic job. I wish the narrator wouldn’t have stumbled over some of the words as much as he did. However, overall it has been an outstanding experience.

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

The festival can help to fulfill the dream I have of seeing The Changing Earth series played out as a TV drama, so I felt compelled to enter.