Interview with Reginald Johnson (BATMAN: Beyond the Cowl)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Reginald Johnson: Beyond the Cowl is about the role of class in crime and society’s inability to see the humanity in our poorest citizens.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action/Fantasy/Drama

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

It presents a timely sociological view on law enforcement, the nature of crime, politics with, in my mind, a style and caliber of action closer to an East Asian Martial Arts film (The Raid 2, Ip Man, etc.). If only, WB…if only.

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

Don’t blink.

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

Probably “The Last Dragon” starring Taimak. It was one of three VHS tapes I had as very young kid.

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

Tough to quantify. Probably 4 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Five.

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

Easy. Funkadelic’s “(Not Just) Knee Deep.”

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

Two young children, a full-time job. Learning story structure on the fly.

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

Family, music and people.

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

Awesome.

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

I wrote a story on what was in my head, which happened to be on a piece of studio IP. I liked it and wanted to see what someone else thought. As one might surmise, this was extremely affirming!

 

 

 

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Batman works to uncover a new sinister crime wave and realizes Bruce Wayne must rise to be the hero that Gotham needs.

CAST LIST:

Various: Val Cole
Sebastian Hady: Ron Boyd
Alfred: Wyatt Lamoreaux
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Bruce Wayne/Batman: John Fray
Candace Collins: Weronika Sokalska
Lonnie Machin: Caleb Jacques

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Interview with Screenwriter Thom Holland (The Last Breath Of Winter)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Thom Holland: A huntsman battles a brutal winter and the spirits that in habit the forest around his family’s home.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy, and horror to some extent

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

It’s a tight, short tale that offers a rich visual narrative wrapped up in the mythos of traditional fables and fantasy. We don’t see those nearly enough anymore!

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

Rather tragic.

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

Alien.

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

The first draft was written in a single weekend when the idea came to me, almost fully formed. It’s since had several redrafts over about four years until I landed on wanting to do it as an animated short and from then on it’s been pretty much locked.

7. How many stories have you written?

Dozens!

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

I’m completely all over the place, musically. I’m currently listening to a lot of ELO and Thom Yorke but tomorrow it might be Earth, Wind & Fire with David Bowie or Talking Heads and some vaporwave/electronica mixed in.

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

Remembering that I designed it to be entirely without dialogue so needed to keep my focus on action!

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

Filmmaking, animation, illustration, design, psychology and sci-fi.

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

It’s been great! Very easy to use. Wish it had been as prevalent 10 years ago, it would have helped motivate me to get more work out there!

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

I did a number of searches on fantasy/horror/sci-fi festivals and this one came up well recommended – the opportunity to have a recorded table read made it very appealing above festivals that simply offered laurels and small cash prizes too!

Watch the Screenplay Readings: 

A huntsman battles a brutal winter and the spirits that inhabit the forest around his family’s home.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole

Interview with Screenwriter Bethany Maines (BLUE CHRISTMAS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Bethany Maines: Blue Jones just stole Jake Garner’s dog. And his heart. But technically the French Bulldog belongs to Jake’s ex. And now they’re both being chased across Seattle by Jake’s ex-girlfriend for a dog collar’s worth of smuggled diamonds. For Blue, Christmas has never been quite so dangerous. For Jake, Christmas has never been quite so Blue.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance, Comedy, Action

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

Blue Christmas should be made into a movie because we need more stories about couples finding love, the bad guys getting arrested, and Uber drivers who finally have their dream of being in a car chase come true.

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

Romantic Fun

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

Die Hard and Clue, probably followed by The Princess Bride.

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

One year or three months, depending on if you count the time I spent working on the novella that the screenplay is based on.

7. How many stories have you written?

Uh… In my lifetime? Published? How are we counting this? Can we call it a lot? I’ve been writing since grade school. My first short story was published when I was nineteen and my first novel was published in 2010. Writing stories is one of my passions. However, this is my first screenplay. I’m excited to write more.

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

That is an extremely difficult question. I use music to set the mood for what I’m writing and I’ll listen to a pretty wide variety of stuff, so picking an absolute number one is practically impossible! Top five, in no particular order:
Have a Good Time by Paul Simon
Got Your Money by Ol’ Dirty Bastard
It’s a Fire by Portishead
Rock DJ by Robbie Williams
The De Guello, the theme from the John Wayne / Howard Hawks movie Rio Bravo

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

Well, I first had to learn how to write screenplays and that was a bit of an obstacle. Also, being a parent presents many challenges in regards to scheduling time to be creative.

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

I’m a graphic designer and I’m passionate about good design. I love when I can synchronize a clients story with visuals.

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

FilmFreeway has been extremely useful and easy. I like that I can sort my submissions, track contests and surf for new opportunities all in one location.

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

I entered because I really wanted to get feedback and it felt like a festival that matched my screenplay. The feedback was incredibly helpful and adorably Canadian since they used the word “whilst”. I got feedback, not just about industry standards for some of my first-timer formatting mistakes, but also about content and how to strengthen my script. I used the feedback to make changes that I’m very happy about (and secretly wish I could go back and add them to the novella).

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Drunken TV news cameraman Jake Garner thought he was tackling an intruder. But no, Jake just took out the fantastically attractive dog sitter. Mortified, Jake does what any man would who has just been dumped right before Christmas would do—give the offended party all his ex’s things. Meanwhile, Blue Jones is determined to do whatever it takes to get her grandmother the best cancer treatment possible, even if that means some high-rise burglary from one of her worst dog-sitting clients, the failure to walk, feed or book a pet-sitter for a three day weekend, Grace Lorra. But Blue didn’t count on Grace’s ex, Jake, showing up and drunkenly handing over all of Grace’s belongings— including her adorable French Bulldog, Jacques. It takes no time at all for Blue to fall in love with Jacques, but Blue also finds herself wondering if it would be so bad to return to the scene of the crime to reconnect with Jake. But as Christmas draws closer, Grace pressures Jake to return the dog and Blue is targeted by mysterious assailants. Can Jake find Blue and Jacques before her stalkers do? And can Jake and Blue stop these mystery men without also getting Blue arrested for theft? For Blue, Christmas has never been quite so dangerous. For Jake, Christmas has never been quite so Blue.

CAST LIST:

Grace: Victoria Murdoch
Jake: David Rowan
Narration: Esther Thibault
Blue: Mojeane Sadr
Cindy: Julie Sheppard

Interview with Screenwriter Samuel Zehr (MY FAVORITE PERVERT)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Samuel Zehr: It is about a guy struggling to sexually satisfy his wife/ keep his marriage alive.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy. Rom-com. Dark comedy

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

This screenplay would make a great movie because it shows the honest/ugly, funny and dirty side of a realistic relationship.

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

Absurd. Crass.

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

The Sandlot

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

I wrote this screenplay in 48 hrs.

7. How many stories have you written?

Hundreds.

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

My current favorite song is “brain” by the Action

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

Staying awake.

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

Acting, comedy , playing music – and just being in a constant state of creation

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

Fine.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: When the spark has faded in a 20 year marriage; an intuitively sexual husband tries to convince his not-so-carnal minded wife to go to a sex-con.

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Romantic-Comedy, Dark-Comedy, Offbeat-Comedy.

CAST LIST:

Narration – Steve Saet
Jim (40s) – 21 – Michael Ruhs
Janet (40s) – 21 – Barbara Bergeron

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Interview with Screenwriter Raymond A. Porter (Himal Gold: Murder and Intrigue in the High Mountains)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Raymond A. Porter: A WWII German plane is discovered crashed in Nepal in 1953.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action, adventure.

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

It’s a great historical action adventure that is based on fact.

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

Epic adventure.

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?

12 months

7. How many stories have you written?

6 books, 8 screenplays

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

Too many to list

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

Finding time, working and family always take up most of my day.

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

Martial arts, i gave up teaching at the end of 2017. And making movies.

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

All good, is straight forward and easy.

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

To get my script promoted. Initial feedback was good.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

In 1953, a British Journalist in Nepal to cover the attempt on Mt Everest, writes an article about an old Nazi cargo plane that has been found crashed in a sacred valley.

Upon reading the article, the Nazi officer who led an expedition into Tibet in 1938, seizes on the opportunity to reclaim the gold that was lost on that fateful flight.

CAST LIST:

Vincent – 3 – Michael Ruhs
Gunther – 1 – Steve Saet
Narration – Carrie Schiffler
Hauptman Weiss – 8 – David Occhipinti
Sebastian – 1 – Steve Saet

***

Interview with Screenwriter Gail B. Robinson (He Tried to Kill Me… He Died!!)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Gail B. Robinson: A woman dies after giving birth to Identical twin girls. 32 years later they grow up to become beautiful, smart and successful women. This is one of many things that they have in common but will later find the horrific tragedy that had taken place in their bloodlines. Lies, deceit, and bad choices in men will have them cross paths and reveal their truth. He Tried to Kill Me…He Died!! Tells the story of… Secrets! 32 Years! Shocking Revelations! And their lives will never be the same!

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/Crime/Murder (Fiction)

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

It starts off keeping you on edge and you will remain focus with all of the twist and turns throughout the movie.

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

On edge

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

Sparkle (The original version in 1976)

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

Since 2015 and still do rewrites

7. How many stories have you written?

Two books and one screenplay.


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

Any song from “The Jackson 5”

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

Having the time and rewrites/changes in the script.

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

Singing and enjoying life.

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

It was very user friendly.

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

I was contacted on Linkedin and I was intrigued. I was very excited on the feedback, it was great!

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Beautiful, smart and successful is what they have in common but will later find the horrific tragedy that had taken place in their bloodlines. Lies, deceit, and bad choices in men will have them cross paths and reveal their truth. He Tried to Kill Me…He Died!! Tells the story of… Secrets! 32 Years! Shocking Revelations! and Their lives will never be the same.

Genre: Family, Drama, Crime

CAST LIST:

911 – 4 – Stephanie Herrera
Lynn – 6 – Sarah Bedford
NARRATION – Brian Carleton
Man/James – 21 – Russell Batcher
Woman/Ann – 15 – Bree Ali
Officer Albert – 2 – Jolly Amaoko

****

Interview with Screenwriter Eduardo Ramirez (TRAVEL COMPANION)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Eduardo Ramirez: The screenplay is a romantic drama about a couple of men whose lives cross paths when they’re both at the lowest point in life. They develop a friendship, which eventually turns into something more.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic Drama

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

The story explores a side of human relationships that is normally treated as a taboo: a romantic relationship between two men. In these times of increasing intolerance towards the LGBT community, it’s important to produce films that include these type of relationships to hopefully create a more positive view of them in our society.

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

Unconventionally warm.

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

Star Wars Episode IV (37 times)

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

I worked on it for about 6 months but I have made changes since then.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written several short stories. This is the first full length (feature film) screenplay I’ve written. I am currently working on three new short stories.

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

‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper.

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

Lack of quiet time in which I can focus and write.

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

Being a film director.

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

My overall experience with FilmFreeway is very positive. I really enjoy submitting material to festivals via their website.

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

I received an invitation. I was really excited after I read the initial feedback.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: The lives of two men: An unsuccessful writer and a former mixed martial arts champion cross paths when they’re both at the lowest point in life. They develop a friendship that turns into something more.

Genre: LGBT Romance, Drama

CAST LIST:

Gloria – 5 – CASSANDRA GUTHRIE
Julia – 11 – ETHEL ABRAY
NARRATION – TED POWERS
Brian – 19 – JUSTIN DESOUZA
Helen – 11 – OLIVIA BARRETT
****