Interview with Screenwriter Anna Bielkheden (WALK OF SHAME)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Anna Bielkheden: It’s a raw drama series centered around three female roommates in LA going through a quarter life crisis in the age of social media. My main characters are 29-year old makeup artist SKY from Sherman Oaks, 26-year old personal trainer ASH from Oklahoma and 25-year old aspiring student actress CLARA.

I decided to call the show “Walk of Shame” because it’s set in Hollywood in the modern era of online fame, where the line between shame and fame is always slim and wobbly.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

I think that that as a web or TV drama series, it really fits in with the times we’re living in.

It’s real, gritty, diverse and shows the modern reality of what it’s like being a young person, especially a woman, trying to make it in a city like LA. Most drama shows set in Los Angeles are incredibly unrealistic, and I wanted to show a different side without all the bells and whistles.

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

Endearing rawness.

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

I’m pretty sure it’s Goodfellas.

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

On and off for about two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Going back all the way to when I started writing, I don’t really know. I’ve written one and a half novel (got stuck midway on the second one) and completed a total of three screenplays.I also have four additional treatments in progress, including a new pilot and three features.

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

I’m not really into favorites, to be completely honest. I like diversity, whether it’s people, buildings, colors or music. I listen to anything from Cypress Hill to Garbage and Abba. It’s all about the mood. If it doesn’t make me feel what I want to feel, I turn it off.

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

Getting my ass in gear and finishing it. Walk of Shame was also my first pilot script, so I kind of had to learn the ropes as I went along in terms of structure and formatting. Other than that, most of the script came naturally. My outline consisted of rough scenes on post-it notes, which I placed on a big white board so I could move them around as needed. But in terms of really nailing the details, the story unfolded on its own. My characters talk, I just listen and write it down.

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

Human connection is what drives me. Understanding how we are similar in our differences and uniting polar opposites really fascinates me. I’m more into deep conversation than adrenaline boosting experiences. To me, the beauty of life really is in the little things.

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

I’ve had a great experience so far. It’s simple to use and gets the job done!

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

I was drawn to the motivation behind the festival; to showcase female writers and filmmakers.That is definitely needed! I was over the moon with my submission feedback. It was super detailed and very helpful. Most importantly, I got the impression the person reading my script truly understood what I was trying to say and saw what I envisioned with the show.

 
Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Walk of Shame is a raw drama series about three female roommates in LA struggling to navigate the road to success and personal identity, smack in the middle of a booming social media era and a pending quarter life crisis. Over the course of ten episodes, we follow the complicated lives and relationships of a 26-year old personal trainer from Oklahoma with a raging Tomboy vs. Barbie complex (ASH), a 29-year old second generation immigrant MUA from Sherman Oaks with the goal of becoming a star beauty influencer (SKY), and a 25-year old aspiring actress from Denmark with an expiring student visa, desperate to make it at any cost (CLARA).

CAST LIST:

Avery: Aaron Maxwell Williams
Alexis: Katelyn Varadi
Sky: Camila Aguirre
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Clara: Melinda Jordan
Ash: Kristen MacCulloch
Miguel: Michael Ruhs

Interview with Screenwriter Stephanie Annis (OLIVIA & BORIS TAKING RISKS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Stephanie Annis: A mob princess coming to power.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thriller/Action

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

It’s the perfect cast of characters with a modern gangsta appeal.

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

Family & Murder

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

The Crow

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

Too many years (idk)

7. How many stories have you written?

More than a few, maybe a dozen, who tracks such things?

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

At the moment, “Smoking Section” – Jelly Roll.

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

Survivial.

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

French Bulldogs and Nature.

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

Okay, but I prefer to deal direct with WildSound.

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

My goal for entry is to have the table read. The table read helps me to judge my own work.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Sam: Michael Ruhs
Ava: Kristen MacCulloch
Dahlia: Melinda Jordan
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Olivia: Camila Aguirre
Boris: Aaron Maxwell Williams
Ella: Katelyn Varadi

 

Interview with Screenwriter Frank Friedlander (KILLER BE KILLED)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Frank Friedlander: A Manson-Esque band of pleasure killers venture deep into uncharted territory. There, they run afoul of a pair of super soldiers thought to have died years ago; and they intend to keep it that way.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

-Action-Horror-dark comedy

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

-I would appeal to fans of multiple genres and could be done on a very low budget.

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

-Campy. Fun.

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

-If I had to guess, I’d say Beetlejuice.

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

-It seems like an eternity.

7. How many stories have you written?

-Are we talking about those in my head or just the ones that have made it to paper?

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

-The Rake’s Song by The Decemberist. Disturbingly dark yet brilliantly blithe.

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

-The ability to leave well enough alone; meaning that even long after it was finished, it’s difficult to walk away from making minor tweaks, which can ultimately evolve into not so minor tweaks.

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

-Refer to my email address;) – (Cubs fan!)

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

-Very well organized and easy to work with.

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

-Reasonable entrance fee with an enticing description. As for the initial feedback, it was honest and helpful.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

Jeffrey: Aaron Maxwell Williams
Abigail: Kristen MacCulloch
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Tammy: Camila Aguirre
Portia: Katelyn Varadi
Karaleigh: Melinda Jordan

Interview with Screenwriter Sam Tracton (DRAGONSTEEL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sam Tracton: A brother trying to keep his sister safe while his own head is weighed down with survivor’s guilt and both of them are wrapped up in a complex web of politics and magic.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy Action Adventure

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

It is an epic tale of fantasy and action while also delving into the characters’ own warped sense of family and responsibility.

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

Epic character

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

Star Wars; Return of the Jedi

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

I have been working on this screenplay for three years now.

7. How many stories have you written?

One feature-length screenplay, two one-hour television pilot screenplays, and an animated series pilot screenplay, and a whole lot of fanfiction.

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

I don’t really have a favorite song, but I’ve listened to ‘Heaven’s Light’ from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame a lot.

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

Creating compelling drama in between the grand story beats that I originally crafted the story around.

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

Watching TV and anime.

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

FilmFreeway has been really useful for me.

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

Honestly, I was just putting my finished screenplay into every festival I could find that it qualified for. Though I found the feedback from this festival most helpful.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After breaking a sacred law in an attempt to protect his sister from the monsters that killed their mother, Cedric Armor must master a mystical shield in order to stop a war from breaking out.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Shala: Hartley O. Gyamfi
Kylar: Sheldon Graham

Interview with Screenwriter Kayla Kristofco (BOJACK HORSEMAN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kayla Kristofco: This is a spec script of Bojack Horseman. The premise of the episode is when Bojack returns home from rehab, he discovers that Princess Carolyn has been meeting with other networks about picking up Philbert, so he enlists the help of Todd to prevent any progress, which puts a strain on the relationship between Bojack and Princess Carolyn.

2. What motivated you to write a BOJACK HORSEMAN script?

I’ve always wanted to try to write a spec script, and I really connect with the themes of Bojack Horseman. I’m drawn to interesting characters with realistic flaws, which makes this show a great fit. So I thought that I would try to write an episode of this show because I wanted to challenge myself to get in the minds of these characters.

3. How does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

This screenplay is meant to come right after the end of Season 5 of the show. So it would be the hypothetical first episode of Season 6 (which hasn’t come out yet as of writing this). I thought that my script could be a progression of the things that were set up in Season 5. At the end of the most recent season, Bojack decides to take the steps to be a better person, so now the audience should see how and if he is able to stick to that in a world where things keep moving forward and he is expected to get on board.

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

This script in two words: Lively, Emotional

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

I have probably seen Wet Hot American Summer the most times in my life.

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

I worked on this screenplay for about 4 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Including this spec script, I have written around eleven scripts or treatments. Two are for feature-length films and the rest are shorts. I have also written about four short stories.

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

It’s really hard to pick a favorite song, but I guess that my current favorite song – or at least one that I listen to a lot – is Santa Cruz by The Vaughns.

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

One aspect that’s really cool about Bojack Horseman, and a lot of other newer TV shows, is that it is very plot based. That being said, it was hard to come up with an engaging plot that seems like it was a logical place for the show to go in the future and that still felt like a typical episode of Bojack Horseman. It also took a lot of writing and rewriting to have the characters’ voices in this episode match their voices in the rest of the show, and to find original actions that are authentic to these already established characters.

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

I’m pretty passionate about music. I am a music director and a DJ for WMUH, the radio station at Muhlenberg College.

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

Entering this screenplay was the first time I actually submitted anything through FilmFreeway. It’s been great! It’s very easy to find festivals, submit, and check up on the status of submissions through the site.

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

I was just looking around for festivals that would accept spec scripts, and I was also looking for a festival that would provide feedback. I thought that the feedback I got was very helpful and encouraging. There were concrete examples of areas in which I can improve. I will definitely use the advice for future screenplays.

Watch the Screenplay Reading;

Overview: One of the best things about this script is that you were willing to take chances and they certainly paid off. Bojack, Princess Carolyn, Diane, and Todd are at the core of this episode. Each begins with very different expectations and perspectives than they end with and the overall plotline is something that fans will immediately connect with.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Andrea Irwin Irwin Irwin

Waiter: Thomas Fournier
Mr. Peanutbutter: Jolly Amaoko
Diane: Delphine Roussel
Bojack Annaleigh: Steven Holmberg
Princess Carolyn: Katelyn Varadi
Todd: Logan Forsyth Freeman

Interview with Screenwriter Lea Ann Vandygriff (GLASS ANGEL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Lea Ann Vandygriff: A prominent family in Ireland is torn apart by a deadly accident. Sir Andrew turns away from his crippled daughter, Calina, because he cannot bear the sight of her. He slips into a depression and turns to alcohol for comfort. Edward, the butler, does the unthinkable; He contacts Sir Andrew’s estranged sister for help. Lady Amelia and Calina come up with a plan to bring love back into the heart of Andrew.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama / Faith-Based / Christmas

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

Many of the Christmas movies I have seen the past few years are the same story told different ways.

Glass Angel is original, relatable, thought-provoking, and entertaining. I believe there is a great need for a Christmas story you can’t predict the events as they unfold.

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

Tragedy Meets Fate. (I know it’s three words. It’s on the poster. lol).

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

The Preacher’s Wife (Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston)
I love Christmas movies. I have a collection.

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

“Glass Angel,” took me about three weeks to write. I am also working on a novel based on the screenplay.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am the author of, “Seasons Once Upon My Innocence,” and “Seasons II Justice is Not for the Weak,” a fiction novel series. I have written an award-winning feature screenplay, “Journey of Innocence Lost,” and an award-winning TV/Pilot Script, “Seasons,” based on my novels.

I have a Christmas book in editing, “Lost at Christmas,” based on my award-winning screenplay.

I have also written six feature screenplays in a variety of genres; Western, Christmas, Drama, Comedy, and Faith-Based. All are award-winning.

I have four short scripts in a variety of genres; Western, Christmas, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, and Faith-Based. All are award-winning.

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

These past two years, I have been listening to Disney’s, “Happily Ever After.” It talks about reaching your dreams, the struggles, and the excitement when the story comes to life.

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

I am blessed to say I have not run into any obstacles on any of my screenplays. My writing style is different than most. When I get an idea, I just start writing. I am as excited to see how it ends as the reader. I have a bachelor’s degree in film. So, it helps to already know how a film is made from idea to finished product.

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

I am passionate about my faith and singing.

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

I love Film Freeway. It is easy to submit, they will notify you of deadlines, keep track of your submissions, and the dashboard will let you know how your projects are doing overall. If you happen to have trouble with a festival, they are good about helping you work it out.

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

Honestly, what you are offering for the investment is beyond affordable. For the indie screenwriter, just getting our work out there is tough and costly. The feedback and quality of this festival are far above the price we pay.
You guys are awesome!

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A prominent family in Ireland is torn apart by a deadly accident. Sir Andrew turns away from his crippled daughter, Calina, because he cannot bare the sight of her. He slips into a depression and turns to alcohol for comfort. Sir Andrew’s estranged sister for help. Lady Amelia not backing down from her brother’s fury gives him an ultimatum.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Sir. Andrew: David Jackson
Edward: Ron Boyd
Mildred: Victoria Murdoch
Anna: Lyndsay Clarkson

Interview with Luqman Raymond Whittinger (THE SHADOW PRINCE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Luqman Raymond Whittinger: The Shadow Prince tells the tale of a woman’s struggles in an age when women and children were considered little more than chattels. Her dream is to escape a broken home by seeking secure marital bliss. She rebuilds her relationship with her estranged mother. Ten her dream courtier partner is taken away when she encounters a royal plan to head off an impending republic. She struggles amid her duty towards her betters and the deference they deserve. Having no choice; unable to resist; she falls in a head-spinning journey towards unpredictable outcomes.

The screenplay is based on stories my grandmother told me as a child about my grandfather’s life and his family. As unbelievable as they were they checked out and were enriched through later research and historical court gossip.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical Drama, Biopic

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

The Shadow Prince is a story needing to be told about the social revolution in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The unimaginable struggles of women like Elizabeth and Adelaide her mother when divorce was illegal for most people. Father’s owned their children and women were exchanged on marriage between men. These events and people have been completely written out of our history books. The bigoted fire and brimstone religion on one side and modern secular Liberalism on the other in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1848. Working-class anti-socialist heroes like Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant were part of the ending of the great estates and the birth feminism, universal education, voting reform, birth control, anti-imperialism, universal human rights, in fact, the modern world as we know today.

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

“Deference” and “Misogyny”

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

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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

I started working on this screenplay about nine years ago after decades of research in a quest for self-identity.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written more than a dozen stories as novels, TV scripts and screenplays.

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

I do not have favourite songs but I find the hymn “All things Bright and Beautiful” very relevant to this story, especially the verse: “The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate.”

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

It was a very emotional journey that moved in starts. Dickensian times are difficult to represent.

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

I love writing fantasy novels, ecology, political history and philosophy.

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

It is simply a pleasure to use.

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

The WILDsound Screenplay Festival gives me an indication when my screenplay is ready.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

“A girl from a broken home seeks a new beginning in Windsor and falls for an officer in the Royal Court. The couple are forced into a clandestine scheme to save the royal lineage as clamour for a republic builds.”

CAST LIST:

Narration – STEVEN HOLMBERG
Elizabeth – 10 – KATELYN VARADI
Adelaide – 13 – DELPHINE ROUSSEL