Interview with Screenwriter M.W. Hogan (DEADWEIGHT)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

M.W. Hogan: Technically, it’s about a narcolepsy specialist doctor finding herself in an awkward position while having an intimate affair with a patient.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy

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

It’s a one-page script; ideal for a micro-short comedy. Single location; small cast; low-to-no budget. Like a great, short, variety show skit.

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

Highbrow humor

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

The Wizard of Oz

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

One hour.

7. How many stories have you written?

Well over 100; short stories and screenplays combined.

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

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

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

To tell a story in one page/one minute, you essentially have to skip the first act and open with the inciting incident that launches the second act. I like it because it teaches parsimonious word selection.

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

Related: reading and watching films. Unrelated: island life adventures.

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

I’d rather not answer because I don’t want to piss off the Coverfly folks.

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

I like short-form film and, therefore, short-form screenwriting, as well. I like that there’s a competition and opportunity to get feedback. To be honest, though, I can’t find any email/record of receiving feedback for “Deadweight”. Nor can I find any competition results (finalists, winners, etc.)

The director of a narcolepsy and sleep disorder clinic finds herself in more than an ethical dilemma when a patient falls asleep atop her during an in-office tryst.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
EILENE: Val Cole –

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Interview with Author Mary Barr (HOW TO BUY A HUSBAND)

Matthew Toffolo:. What is your novel about?

Mary Barr: In brief, my novel centres around a rich lonely woman in Texas. Lyme Carrington-Lynch and her wacky group of girlfriends. She is thirty-five years old and has a life style most of us only dream of; but with her lifestyle comes responsiblity. Her powerful controlling father has always made it known she must be married and produce a son before she turns 35. The time is now and she has failed to do so. Now her father will choose her husband for her. But from a strong wiled and stubborn father comes a daughter who knows her own mind and now the battle of the wills will commence. Lyme has never been in love, doesn’t understand it, and since the loss of her mother doesn’t want to be loved. Until, she has a chance encounter with a stranger on a plane. Her attraction is instant and deep. Her desires knows no bounds. Before she even speaks to him she is hopelessly in love. The fact he is married, doesn’t care to know her, and doesn’t even appear to like her, makes no difference. He hardly knows she exists; but Lyme knows money can buy anything, it is how she was bought up and she believes it. So if, he doesn’t want her maybe she can buy him, This is the story of how Lyme Harrington-Lynch sets out to buy a husband – before, her father finds one for her.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Romance /adventure

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Ambitious/romantic

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

I have never been to the movies

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

The summer of ’69. By Brian Adams

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

‘Boy’ by Roald Dahl

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I write mainly, suspense thrillers, murder mysteries and childrens’ books. I only write fiction but I wanted to try a different Genre. So, I thought how does a woman marry a man who doesn’t even like her? And this book is the answer….. although I had to make it interesting and fun to read.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Roald Dahl
Such a brilliant mind and a crisp, clean, uncluttered writer. He adds humour and excitement into his words just by being ‘him.’

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

I am passionate about many things, but writing has been number one since I was seven years old. I design and make jewellery, I paint colour on canvas using wax. I build houses and have been known to cook. I also enjoy cycling,, playing tennis, golf, boxing, rowing… etc

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I have entered several times before, and it is not about entering but more about which manuscript to enter. I have many completed manuscripts, they are unpublished and one day I must do something about that. Although I have been published eight or ten times, for me its about finding a publisher who is a good fit and has the same vision for my work as I do. That’s the key and that’s what makes it happen. I love writing, and I tend to write another book rather than send out pitch letters to publishers and get rejected…lazy I guess…but one day!

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

I am not really in a place to pass on advice; But I have read a lot of work from first time writers and to you I would simply say, keep it simple. Have one story line and stay focused. Always write your synopsis and index first. And refer back to them often. If you don’t love it don’t do. Find your passion and each day will be perfect.

 

Performed by Allison Kampf

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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

Interview with Poet David Cook (A LAST LOOK BEFORE LEAVING)

 1) What is the theme of your poem?

A woman admitting to herself that her relationship is abusive

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

An anecdote told me which I thought was instructive and had a twist

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

35 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

William Shakespeare

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

A good offer coupled with enjoyment of much on YouTube

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Mostly poetry

7) What is your passion in life?

Writing complex things with clarity and economy

Performed by Allison Kampf

POEM:

Suddenly she hadn’t the heart to quarrel.
‘He’s faithless and won’t change’
and with that thought was freed.
After he had gone out, she packed
and put her suitcase by the door.
A last look before leaving.
The rug chosen together in Istanbul,
chess set lovingly given him.
‘Three years and nothing.’

She walked towards the traffic and hailed a taxi,
in her raised hand the black queen.

Interview with Screenwriter Federico Vicino (Karl Reagan: The Capitalist-Communist)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Federico Vicino: Karl Reagan: The Capitalist-Communist is about a dark horse candidate running for a seat in Missouri’s House of Representatives. Set on the heels of a near-apocalyptic nuclear winter, his platform is to fuse the best characteristics of capitalism and socialism to help the common person realize the struggling American Dream. His pitch to the electorate is a devotion to standing up to corporate greed.

Karl’s unconventional strategies has led to great notoriety in that area. For instance, he wants to allocate funds towards the essentials; money for food, medicine, a cleaned-up ecosystem…and for everyone to get the latest iPhone. He hosts bottomless brunches at soup kitchens. He composes songs that will be the anthem to his revolution and hopes one day he can sell those songs for big bucks to a car commercial. Karl seems to be his own enigma, but always has the voters’ best interest at heart. His opponent, a politically established contender named Tom Baker, uses conventional and tiresome tactics to label Karl’s candidacy as ludicrous and too idealistic. Their rivalry will come to a head come election day.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark Comedy.

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

Political satire has long been ingrained in American pop culture and I feel this screenplay comes at a perfect time given the tumultuous political climate. Even with the current instability, this script can cut across the political aisle and reach a broad audience.

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

Organized Chaos.

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

It is a tie between Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas and Taxi Driver.

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

I came up with the idea for this character a couple of years ago, but I worked on this screenplay for about nine months.


7. How many stories have you written?

I have written five completed screenplays, including this screenplay.

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

If I had to choose, my favorite song is “Rocks Off” by The Rolling Stones. It’s confluence of disorganization and harmony makes it the perfect song to me. It is organized chaos.

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

An Obstacle I faced to finish this screenplay, at first, was writing a feature-length script to this story. I was stumped on how I could make this story more than 80 pages. However, as I kept coming up with more situations and how I envisioned Karl’s journey panning out, I found myself not being able to stop writing. Up to this point, this is the longest screenplay I have written at 116 pages.

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

Apart from writing, my passion is my daytime job, which is being a Licensed Social Worker. I feel that my career is really fulfilling and I have worked with various populations, such as adults, middle schoolers, alcohol/drug users and undocumented immigrants.

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

I LOVE FilmFreeway. It such an accessible platform to get your work out to many different festivals, along with finding festivals that I have never heard of before. I would recommend this site to anyone who wants to promote their screenplay.

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

I was drawn to this festival as I read the information about this festival and the great reviews it got. I was really touched seeing a portion of my table read, as I never had one of my screenplays had a table read before. The feedback was great as it was encouraging, while at the same time gave great pointers as to how to enhance and improve certain areas of the story.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Karl Reagan is an underdog candidate running for a seat in Missouri’s House of Representatives. Set on the heels of a near-apocalyptic nuclear winter, his platform is to fuse the best characteristics of capitalism and socialism to help the common person realize the struggling American Dream. Mr. Reagan’s pitch to the electorate is a devotion to standing up to corporate greed, especially to a company called NuTech who has not fulfilled their promise of cleaning up the environment after the catastrophe. His unorthodox approach to stumping on the trail leaves voters enthused, angered, and baffled. His rival, a politically established contender named Tom Baker, uses conventional and tiresome tactics to label Karl’s candidacy as ludicrous and too idealistic. As his campaign progresses, Karl Reagan gets a slice of American values, fortitude, hardships, and inconsistencies. The electorate get a front row seat of his as well.

CAST LIST:

Eric: Matt Schichter
Karl/Randy: Ted Powers
Narration: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Marcus: Gabriel Darku
Jeff: Sean Ballantyne
Serena: Katelyn Varadi

Interview with Poet Sienna Feruzi

Go to the writer’s website: http://mybook.to/Blumaniterrian

1) What is the theme of your poem?

“Dear Mema,” is about my grandma’s passing. “If Only” is about an old friend who didn’t know God.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

“Dear Mema,”- my grandma’s funeral/”If Only”- poor decisions in life

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

about 15 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Maya Angelou

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

I just googled opportunities to get my poetry sold more.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I am working on a novel now!

7) What is your passion in life?

I have a passion for helping women and children in need and expressing myself through poetry and the arts.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

I’m paralyzed,
You’re in the front of my eyes
And you won’t. go. away.,
You were my light,
You were the shadow in my shade,
The breeze on my hottest days,
The pink and gold of a sunrise haze,
You were the ground under my feet,
You were the smile folks loved to greet,
I feel you now when I see injustice,
I feel you when I see true love,
I know you are the voice of my happiness and patience;
You’ll always be my baptismal dove
And the one who encouraged me to stay confident and kind
Who taught me to never be left behind
For I am special, just how I am.
I’ll always have that Avery glam.
I’m paralyzed but I’m motivated
Because of you I’ve become elated
To have this life I have to live,
If only with you, for you I could give
Another walk along the bridge
Or through the park
Or at the store
I’ll always, always want some more.
But I’ll have the time, I’ll get the chance,
Once I meet you again.
I love you.

Interview with Screenwriter James Zeankowski (Every Purpose Under Heaven)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

James Zeankowski: Reporter Vera Reynolds of WBN News is investigating a sudden occurrence of immortality and makes a shocking discovery in the process that alters the course of humanity forever.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Supernatural Disaster, Faith based drama, Thriller

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

It is a story surrounding the theme of life and death that has never been told before.

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

Extremely unique.

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

Too many to name, but everything from the Disney and Star Wars franchises more than anything else.

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

5 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

4 scripts overall. 2 that I have the most faith in getting produced.

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

I’m very eclectic in my music tastes, but “Rooms on Fire” by Stevie Nicks definitely stands out.

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

No obstacles in finishing my writing, just getting the right people in the industry to read them and love them as much as I do.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
\
I’m a pop culture guru as well as a news/current affairs/politics junkie. And since 2018, I’ve become more serious about my overall health to the point of regular fitness and better dieting. Though as a foodie, the latter part is difficult at times.

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

A few lingering hiccups, but overall am grateful for the opportunities given to showcase my work.

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

I was sought out by some LinkedIn connections, and the feedback has been positive overall. Once I have all materials I’m waiting for in my possession, I can better market myself to agents and producers.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Red Team Producer – 1 – Sean Ballantyne
Susie – 4 – Andrea Irwin
NARRATION – Adrian Carter
Mayor Tibley – 11 – Sean Ballantyne
Doctor – 2 – Trevor Howes
Green Team Producer – 2 – Laura Afelskie

Interview with Screenwriter Elizabeth Searle (A FOUR SIDED BED)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Elizabeth Searle: It’s a menage a trois love story- with an emphasis on ‘love.’ The themes are sisters and marriages of different kinds, and a love that falls between the blurred lines, ‘all ways.’

Here is our offical ‘summary’: “An impassioned three-way affair between a man and two women, one of them transgender, re-ignites years later. The man’s conventional marriage is upended when the threesome rediscovers a love like no other. This intimate tale stretches the boundaries of love, friendship, gender and marriage.”

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, Erotic Drama, Romance, LGBTQ

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

It’s a unique love story with love and sex scenes that have the potential to appeal to audience members from all sides of the gender and sexual spectrums. While set in the ’80s, and giving a frank account of a transgender character in that era, this story touches on timely themes of sexuality, gender identity, prejudice and love without bounderies.

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

All Ways

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

Casablanca

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

Always! Actually, many years, because the screenplay started with my novel A Four-Sided Bed, which took me about four years to write. I started trying to make it into a screenplay in 2011- worked on it on and off from then til now!

7. How many stories have you written?

Wow, that is a hard one. I have had over 30 short stories published in magazines. I also have three novels which are of course long stories. I co-wrote the script for one short film. And I wrote the script/libretto for an opera and for a rock opera. But this is my first Feature Screenplay.

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

Soul Love by David Bowie

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

Many! This is my first screenplay so I had to learn all about screenwriting from scratch. I went through countless drafts over many years (see above). It also took time to find the right team to help me. The recent draft of this script was much improved because I worked closely with two producers, David Ball and Amy Carpenter Scott, as well as with the director attached to our feature film project, Vittoria Colonna, and (giving me vital help in shaping the character of Kin) with actress/producer and transgender activist Rain Valdez. All of them helped me overcome all obstacles.


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

My son; my whole family; Democratic Party politics, reading, films, theater- and riding my bike.

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

Love it! It is very easy to use and very helpful. This year, my script has drawn attention in over a dozen film festivals and contests so Film Freeway has helped our project a lot.

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

I entered since our story is an LGBTQ story. I was excited to be given the opportunity to have a Best Scene read! THANKS to all at the festival and big THANKS to the whole cast and team for a terrific reading!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

A Four-Sided Bed is a ‘ménage a trois’ love story— with the emphasis on ‘love.’ An impassioned three- way affair between a man and two women, one of them transgender, re-ignites years later. The man’s conventional marriage is upended when the threesome rediscovers a love like no other.

CAST LIST:

JJ (m 20s) – 6 – Adrian Carter
NARRATION – Andrea Irwin
Kin (Trans female) – 19 – Norma Dunphy
Bird (f 19) – 8 – Laura Afelskie

Interview with Screenwriter Mark Spurlock (The Outlaw Josey From Wales)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Mark Spurlock: The travels of three misfits looking for a missing family member.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Western comedy

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

We need more comedy westerns.

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

Laughable parody.

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

The Big Lebowski

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

For a couple of years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Just two with a couple in the works.

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

Stairway to Heaven

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

Trying to find an ending.

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

My children.

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

Great. They let me know what’s going on in the festival world.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

After learning his brother is missing a Welch not so outlaw must leave his country and travel to America to find him. With the help of an Indian tracker and a gay sheep herder, the three leave an everlasting mark on American history.

CAST LIST:
Bison Bob: Sean Ballantyne
Man at Table: Allen Brunet
Narration: Isabel Kruse
Josey: Brandon Knox
Popeye: Aaron Williams

Interview with Screenwriter Horton Emory (TRANSPARENT Spec Screenplay)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Horton Emory: My spec script ‘Transparent: Who’s Getting Ali?’ is about using the rare moments of anonymity we have to explore gender.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy Spec

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

Self exploration

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

Best in Show

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

I worked on this screenplay for about five months.

6. How many stories have you written?

In my day job I’m a journalist, so combined with narrative work it has to be at least hundreds!

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

I’m going to hold “A Father’s First Spring” by The Avett Brothers close to me even though I can’t bring myself to listen to it, because my mother sent it to me just before she died.


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

There were two big challenges in this screenplay: first of all, I had to figure out what to do with Maura, since Jeffrey Tambor is no longer with the show and the episode is set after the fourth season ends but before the fifth begins. I let Maura move away and have her own life, but after I wrote the spec Transparent revealed Maura will be dead in the newest season and I wish I had thought of that! I think I was afraid to kill off one of the most prominent transgender characters in television. But now that the show has done it, I think its a brilliant way to wrap up the series. Maura needs to leave the show in a strong, final way and there will be a lot of emotional material to work with in the rest of the characters to end on a strong emotional note, as this show is known to do. (I know that was a rant, but I want to put my respect for the direction the show took out there!)

As far as a more technical obstacle, that had to do with the timeline between writing scenes in both Los Angeles and Israel, and how those would meet up. It was very confusing and it took a while to create a sequence of events that made sense logistically.

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

Media literacy! I used to manage a newsroom and the company was taken over by a man with no media literacy, and boy is that dangerous. I’ve seen first hand that some people who control media aren’t media literate, and that’s how ignorance spreads.

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

I started using FilmFreeway as a festival I was working with was switching from Withoutabox. I had used both platforms and FilmFreeway was so much more user-friendly!

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

I entered this festival because at this stage in my career, I want all the feedback I can get.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

CAST LIST:

TSA Officer: Allan Brunet
Husband: Diego O’Brien
Len: Justin Martins
Narrator: Elizabeth Morriss
Sarah: Michele Urbano
Ali: Jessica Bowmer
Davina: Victoria Urquhart

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Interview with Screenwriter Louetta Jensen (Bittersweet Serenity)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay, Bittersweet Serenity, is about an estranged wife who is desperate to put an end to her failed marriage from a maverick scientist, and joins forces with an endangered family who have been touched by the scientist’s evil. As a result, the wife becomes empowered, through necessity, in order to bring the scientist down and end his tortuous treatment of patients.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Psychological thriller, mystery, horror.

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

It’s the hook which is the specific method of treatments done by the scientist which is the use of holograms in a scientific approach, leaving patients wondering if their greatest fears are real, or a dream, and neither which they can escape mentally.

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

Fear monger.

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

The Witches of Eastwick, and Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds.

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

Many years. It has been adapted by myself and my co-writer from my published, award winning, novel by the same title name.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have personally written 4 novels, 3 screenplays, and many short stories, most of which are published.

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

The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli.

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

No obstacles. The words fell onto the pages. No one will stop me from writing my heart out.

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

I’m also passionate about working as an animal advocate and have done this for many decades due to my deep love for animals.

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

Film Freeway is a great and streamlined way to enter submissions.

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

I’ve done so previously and was pleased with the final product.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Logline: In the remote mountains of Washington State, there lives an evil and monstrous legend: his name is Dr. Martin Braddock, and he devours souls for a living. The maverick scientist has a brilliant mind and advanced technology, yet he’s about to face his toughest opponent ever . . . his estranged wife, in what becomes a war between the bitter and the sweet.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

CAST LIST:
Orenda – 10 – Carrie Schiffler
Narration – David Occhipinti
Krystyna (20s) – 21 – Ella A
Logan (20s) – 17 – Steve Saet

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