Interview with Screenwriter Suzanne Lutas (The Dead Ringer, The Grand Jury)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Suzanne Lutas:

The Dead Ringer: It’s about an ordinary waitress who is trained by the MI5 to infiltrate and bring down a London-based Chinese Triad gang because she bears an uncanny resemblance to the mistress of their boss.

The Grand Jury: It’s about a young outcast who gets an interview for a sought-after position. Still, he must endure a long time in the waiting-room where the test truly begins.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The Dead Ringer: It’s an Action/Thriller.

The Grand Jury: It’s a Sci-Fi Short script.

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

The Dead Ringer: Because it is based on an actual fact. Back in 2013, the dealings and the quarrels of Chinese Triad gangs — in the very heart of London — motivated the inception of a National Crime agency, within which the London Metropolitan police and their special Chinese Unit, would team up with the MI5 to stop that growing violence.

The Grand Jury: Because it deals with a topic that most people can relate to. That is, holding an interview for a job in hopes of changing one’s life forever.
And, of course because of its unexpected final twist.

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

The Dead Ringer: Against that background of Triad’s feudal dispute and British National security concern, the script also deals with children trafficking. But mostly with coming to terms with a double identity.

The Grand Jury: The story has a Black Mirror quality to it. Set in a near future, it examines the psychology and the reactions of a group of people faced with a stressful situation.

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

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey.

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

Six months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Five. Three feature-lengthed scripts: An Action/Thriller. A Sci-Fi/Fantasy Adventure. And, a Supernatural Thriller.

A half-hour TV Comedy pilot aimed at young girls and their mothers.
And, a Sci-Fi Short script.

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

Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.

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

The fact that the main protagonist achieves her mission and is officially recruited implies future assignments. Therefore, a sequel to the movie. Which some may deem presumptuous.

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

I paint, hand-craft costume jewelry, and also do the lead vocals in a Jazz band.

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

I’m highly satisfied with Film Freeway. It’s a wholly user-friendly, reliable submission platform site.

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

The Dead Ringer: I’m proud about all he positive feedback’s on The Dead Ringer. Along with the multi previous placements as a semi-finalist in contests like Page Awards, Screencraft Action and Thriller as well as Creative World Awards.

The Grand Jury: From my previous experience with submitting different scripts to the festival.

Then, since I received a good feedback and placed semi-finalist, I can only be thrilled.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the mistress of a London-based Chinese Triad boss, an ordinary waitress is trained by the MI5 to infiltrate the gang and bring them down.

Genre: Action, Thriller

CAST LIST:

Alex – Alex Clay
Boss – Russell Batcher
Narration – Pip Dwyer
Mei Li – Vanessa Burns
Scar Faced Man – Luke Robinson

Submit your TV Show/Pilot via FilmFreeway:

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When a young outcast unexpectedly gets an interview for a sought-after position, he must endure a long wait in a room where the test truly begins.

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
CAST LIST:

Mary – Sydney Addison-Rudat
Kyoko – Vanessa Burns
Narration – Russell Batcher
Steve – Luke Robinson
Drew – Alex Clay

Interview with Screenwriter Suzanne Lutas (INSIDE THE WORLD OF ZOE SANDER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Suzanne Lutas: It’s about a kid who becomes a trendy designer overnight. She must then learn to navigate through the cut-throat world of fashion with only the help of her working-class single mom, and her imaginary friend, a talking magazine cut-out of her favorite supermodel.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

A 30-minute comedy TV series aimed at a female audience: young girls and their mothers.

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

It’s time that little girls see a side of the fashion business that embraces creativity and individuality while bringing the fun, escapism and wish-fulfillment that they love so much. The message is not to become a part of the façade, but to be yourself. And also, to tell mothers to never underestimate their baby girl’s dreams.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?
This is the story of a kid realizing her potential and fighting to claim her space in the fashion world. She will learn from her flaws and failures. As she will get into crazy adventures in a world of shallow people and will narrowly burn her wings in the spotlights of Madison Avenue, ZOE SANDER’s journey will nevertheless be about being creative, perseverant and authentic to herself.

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

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey.

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

4 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three feature scripts. One Half-hour comedy TV Pilot, and a short script.

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

Al green’s Let’s Stay Together.

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

I had to edit out a lot for the sake of pacing.

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

I’m the vocal lead in a Jazz band. I also paint and craft costume jewelry.

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

I’m completely satisfied with Film Freeway as a user-friendly contest submission platform site.

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

My previous, positive experience with a different script convinced me to enter the festival again. As for the initial feedback I received, I’ll have to think about the piece of advice I was given to turn that TV Pilot into a movie.
 

Genre: Family, Comedy, Animation.

When a kid becomes a trendy designer overnight, she must learn to navigate through the cut-throat world of fashion with only the help of her working-class single mom, and her imaginary friend, a talking magazine cut-out of her favorite supermodel.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Lily: Rachel Rain Packota
Zoe: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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.

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Suzanne LUTAS (DESTINY’S VESSEL)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

After a rebellious princess is cast to the farthest planet and forcibly shapeshifted, she must team up with a rogue bounty hunter to steal an antidote and return home in time to prevent war by sealing an intergalactic alliance with her arranged marriage.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Action Adventure.

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

It tells a unique story which has everything to gain from being shown on the big screen. Because while riding through funny, action set pieces and fast pace, with a diverse cast of stuntmen and circus performers, it definitely appeals to a four-quadrant international audience.

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

It is a swashbuckling adventure relating the fun heist of an impregnable vault by a young princess in search of a shapeshifter serum, who forges unlikely bonds along her journey with outcast teenagers and a rogue bounty hunter. Only to learn who she is, and what love and friendship are.

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

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey.

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

Three months for the first drafts, then twice as many for the rewrites.

7. How many stories have you written?

Five altogether: three feature scripts, a half-hour comedy TV Pilot, and a short script.

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

Al Green’s Let’s stay together.

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

I had two possible endings. But I was advised to choose the romantic one, in lieu of a more funny, amoral one.

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

I’m the vocal lead in a Jazz Band named Oh Happy Fiu, which is a pun on a Tahitian word roughly meaning Carpe Diem. I also paint and handcraft costume jewelry.

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

It is an excellent platform which allowed me to discover interesting contests I was not even aware of. They provide an easy and secure way to submit screenplays. And, they kindly give exposition to those which place well.

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

My feelings were as mixed as the initial feedback I received putting stress on the good and the bad aspects of the script with pinpoint accuracy.

So, I felt a bit disappointed by my results, but determined to take their advice to improve my script to the best.

Now, I couldn’t miss this festival providing such an exceptional showcase for my work.

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Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure

The story starts on planet Stellanor in the Orion galaxy at a crucial moment in intergalactical politics, against a background of mounting tension due to a catastrophic shortage of natural resources, since the drought-stricken planets are ready to invade the fertile ones — unless an Intergalactic Alliance is sealed.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: John Fray
Destiny: Val Cole
Ethan: Nick Wicht