Interview with Poet Arloa L. Means (THE PROMISE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Arloa L. Means: The theme of my poem “The Promise”, is the fulfillment of God’s promise & prophecy, to re-establish the Nation of Israel

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

My motivation in writing this poem was to express lyrically & with music as one of many songs sung within my musical play ” The Promises”

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve written poetry Since my youth, over 50 years.

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

If I could have dinner with anyone….Jesus Christ.

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

I wanted to hear it read by someone other than myself,to get a clearer view as to how it would come across to others.

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

I am a Librettist and composer, I have musical works written as well as poems and stand alone songs.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion from a writers standpoint is to create songs and scripts for musical theater.

Watch the POETRY Reading: 

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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Interview with TV PILOT Screenplay Winner Josephine A. Perry (MY MOTHER MURDERED MY FATHER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Josephine A. Perry: The title of my pilot for my TV series has been changed to SHATTERED. Shattered is more accurate regarding its overarching theme: how one family, generation after generation, tries unsuccessfully to leave its destructive past behind by pretending it never existed. It incorporates a variety of themes in the pilot; some are only hinted at initially but then looked into fully in later episodes: for example, miscegenation, that ugly term used by racist lawmakers to stop people from integrating the races in the US. Or the uniquely American version of narcissism that Americans tend to believe makes them “the greatest nation on earth” as well as the ongoing abuse of women by men of power. It also introduces us to a woman whose life work will be to explore the abuse and pain of young women and young men in a society that has collapsed from drug abuse, self mutilation, and capitalism without limits. These are the stories that keep the seasons developing so that the main character’s story, once it is “solved” in a sense, is not all there is.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It is a drama certainly with parallel stories of young men and women whose lives are in crisis and for whom the main character Francesca involves herself, perhaps far more than she should in order to steer them towards healing.

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

It is a TV series

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

Dark and penetrating

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

The Verdict

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

About 6-8 months. It is still being formulated although there is a bible but the pilot itself is in another stage.

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?)

Believe it or not I love September by Earth, Wind and Fire. I met the woman who wrote it and I can say she and that song are one of a kind.

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

The main character eluded me for months. What is the engine of this story that will keep it moving past a mini series. I found it recently and am now working on a rewrite.

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

The environment. My documentary Within Reach (www.withinreachmovie.com) won several awards and accolades. It is about sustainable communities in the US

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

? It’s good but you need to know more about the places you are sending your work.

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

This festival has been very helpful, encouraging and rigorous in their feedback.
 

Genre: Drama, Thriller

When she learns her mother’s been released on parole for the murder of her father 25 years earlier, a bi-racial woman suffering from panic attacks faces inner demons and the possibility of losing her career as a counselor for troubled teens.
(Inspired by a true event )

CAST LIST:

Dev: Twain Ward
Doug: Peter Nelson
Sally: Pearl Ho
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Francesca: Katelyn Vanier
Claudine: Julie C. Sheppard
Rob: John Leung

Interview with Stacey Lynn Patterson (TORN BETWEEN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your novel about?

My novel is about Gabreilla a young African-American photographer who goes on a vacation of a lifetime with her childhood friends and Accident Happens she dies she goes to a place called The between at her death and encounters the Forgotten there who rip her soul in half as she is revived back to the world of the living. The crazy adventure to go back and retrieve the other half of her soul is what dilemma is left on Gabriella’s lap

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

Supernatural/occult/thriller

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

Fast-paced

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

I watch a lot of suspense films.

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

I Am an eclectic listener of music, but I old and 90’s r&b the most

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

The good house by Tanaraive Due

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I had written poetry books and had them publish I written the children’s book and after I did my creative writing diploma classes I had a group of short stories that I compiled and published a short stories book which I believe the short story book is what really truly push me forward to write a novel. My short story book is called Strange Happenings it’s also available on Amazon. The stories are twisted

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

Angela Bassett the actress she is one of my all-time favorite actresses I would just love to pick her brain

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

I am very spiritual and I am also on a spiritual journey to elevate my spiritual being I’m very passionate and very driven when it comes to that subject

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

I’m always looking to promote my writing and to get feedback from other people especially people in the literary community it helps me to tweak and improve my writing

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

Never give up even when it seems like your writing is going nowhere the more you write the better you’ll get and it some point somewhere we’ll see your work and believe and it just like you

BUY Amazon

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Interview with Screenwriter Adam Lapallo (THE CRIMSON LEGACY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Adam Lapallo: The Crimson Legacy is an original screenplay about a private investigator with a dark past who hunts a serial kidnapper across Richmond, Virginia. His search takes him to the infamous Church Hill Tunnel collapse of 1925, the urban legend of the Richmond Vampire, and the secrets of his own family’s bloody history.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror/Mystery

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

The Crimson Legacy is based on real history. The Church Hill Tunnel, one of the longest railway tunnels in the country, collapsed in 1925 and killed several workmen. The tunnel remains untouched to this day and is a well-known story in the Richmond area. Workmen on the tunnel reported seeing a pale, jagged figure covered in blood fleeing the wreckage of the tunnel, which sprung the popular urban legend of the Richmond Vampire. I collected a wide spread of information on both the Church Hill Tunnel and authentic European vampire lore to create the story. I had the opportunity to interview Teresa Mason, the descendant of the engineer who died in the collapse, Thomas Mason. She agreed to let me use Tom Mason as a character in the script and shared a wealth of information on the tunnel and its workmen, much of which is not known to the history books.

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

Noir Vampires.

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

Hard to say, but most likely the Harry Potter films. J.K. Rowling has been a huge source of inspiration to me as a writer for my entire life and I grew up reading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies.

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

I developed the concept for The Crimson Legacy in November of 2017, during my senior year of college. I finished a rough draft a month later and by January had a script I was ready to submit to festivals. The script has gone through numerous edits since then, the most recent draft having been finished in July of 2018.

7. How many stories have you written?

The Crimson Legacy is one of five feature-length screenplays I’ve written, in addition to two TV pilots, five short films, three novels, and various short stories.

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

Probably the soundtrack to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which I often listen to while writing.

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

Writing The Crimson Legacy proved challenging in its intersection of two large research projects: the history of the Church Hill Tunnel and vampire lore. I wanted the character of Vasile Sangescu to accurately represent the classic image of the European vampire, from Bram Stoker’s era and before. I read the original Dracula and did a great deal of study on the origins of vampire mythology and the many traits associated with them. I learned that modern vampire movies get quite a lot wrong about the original lore, and I set out to portray Vasile as fearsome and mysterious, like Dracula himself or Murnau’s illusive Nosferatu. In addition, I wanted to use this script as a way of shedding light on a unique piece of Richmond’s history. This, again, meant a great deal of research and interviews. It has been a prevailing challenge to keep all of the factual components accurate without interfering with the film’s narrative, but the story I have produced is one I am very happy with.

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

I am a nationally-ranked, three-weapon fencer and a three-time Junior Olympic competitor. I have been fencing for nearly ten years and hold a B-rating in Foil and E-ratings in Epee and Saber. I was the Virginia Division’s #1 ranked Men’s Foilist for the 2016-17 season and am a part-time coach at my local club. I also played live-action Quidditch during my time at VCU, serving as Club Treasurer and eventually Head Coach of the team.

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

FilmFreeway has been an excellent resource. It is extremely easy to use and offers a wide variety of festivals and contests. I try to submit scripts through it a few times a month, and it has been instrumental in developing my career in screenwriting.

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

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I was drawn to this festival because of the opportunity for prompt, affordable feedback. Most screenplay contests I know charge extremely high costs for feedback with submissions and often take several months to respond, by which point many of their suggestions are made obsolete by updated drafts and changes to the script. I have submitted to this festival several times with multiple projects and have always been satisfied and informed by the feedback I receive.

 

CAST LIST:

Narration – Salma Dharsee
Bill/Vasile – Shawn Devlin
Damien – Zain Warraich

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 Screenwriter Kris Bauske (THE BOOK WRITER)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kris Bauske: The script is the story of a divorced woman who knows she can write a terrific book for a musical, but no one will give her a chance until an old friend arranges for her to work with platinum 80’s rock star Larry Limpet. The only problem is that Larry is a chauvinist and is determined to be rid of the woman. She refuses to be dumped, and they go head to head while creating a hit musical until Larry realizes he’s been a terrible ass and maybe he even likes this feisty book writer. Through conflict and difficulty they both grow and realize life isn’t over because you’re over 50, and they might even have one last chance at love.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy
Romance
Romantic Comedy

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

There are a lot of men in the world who don’t realize they limit the number of opportunities available to women. Many of them even think they support women, but when they’re faced with the truth, they’d have to admit they prefer to work with other men and do all they can to make that happen. This movie shows guys how pervasive the problem really is while setting it up in a relatable, hilarious comedy so the moral of the story isn’t too hard to take. The film also allows women a chance to show the men in their life just how accepted the problem really is while watching one woman prove women really can do anything they set their minds to.

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

Painful Truth

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

To Catch a Thief

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

I wrote it in 3 days. I have rewritten it four times since then, adding a little more depth each time. I started in late March 2018.

7. How many stories have you written?

Dozens. I started as an internationally published and produced playwright and migrated to screenplays.

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

In The Air Tonight, Phil Collins

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

None. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had just faced a similar experience in my own life, and I find it therapeutic to write it out when I’m really angry. The more angry I am, the faster the story comes, and this time I was pretty hot.

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

I have two adult children who still come to me for advice and guidance, so I am passionate about letting them know they are my highest priority. Aside from that, I spend a lot of time working with animals and trying to explain to people why they should adopt shelter animals and forego pet stores. Animals need advocates because they can’t speak for themselves.

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

It has been immensely satisfying. I have learned about festivals and competitions I never knew existed because of my membership with FilmFreeway. I have received thoughtful feedback, and this particular script has won at five different festivals this year, so it’s been mostly very positive. Of course, you always scratch your head when it wins at multiple festivals and then is completely ignored by others, but that’s the way in this business.

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

I love to write comedy, and much of my published work is humorous, so I wanted to participate in a festival that only considers comedies. I was delighted to learn the script would get a reading. There is no better tool for honing a script than hearing it read by talented actors, especially a comedy. I can’t wait to see the video!
 

Doyle Tipton is a successful playwright and author, but her name causes most people to think she’s a man. She has the chops to make it as a bigtime book writer for stage musicals, but she’s never actually had a success in this area. Every time she proposes a concept to a band, they hem and haw and steal the idea without including the woman book writer. Finally, Doyle calls in a favor and gets hired, sight unseen, to write the book for a musical based on the catalog of Larry Limpet and the Lizards, a multi-platinum band that hit huge in the eighties. The only problem is, Larry Limpet is a male chauvinist in the truest style, and Doyle Tipton isn’t taking any of his shit.

CAST LIST: 

Narration – Katelyn Varadi
Larry – Sean Ballantyne
Doyle – Norma Dawn Dunphy

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 Writer Ed Kulzer (Twitter Short Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Ed Kulzer: The story is about a standard, carbon copy, cardigan-wearing office worker, a woman becoming aware of how suffocating the lack of fulfillment in her monotonous life has become. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”, opined Thoreau, presciently foretelling the gargantuan army of spiritual malaise masquerading as a society marching on the belly of numbed clockwatchers cruising on autopilot. But for this office worker, this woman, today is a line crossed in the sand, a demarcation of radical departure. The exact nature of that change is left vague. Quitting? Vacation? A whirlwind of workplace violence? Even I don’t know.

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

urban contemporary fiction

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

Life Actualization

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

Frozen. And no, I’m not happy about that.

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

“Let it Go”, may God save my aching soul. I’m a dad of an 8 year old.

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

Dune

7. What motivated you to write this story?

The news reports of the latest office-place mass shooting which aired while I was listening to Radiohead’s “Spinning Plates”.

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

My daughter. I all too often am kept late editing at Sesame Street & rarely get the chance.

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

Art, reading, politics, crafting the machinery of motivation to try to lighten the load of a burdened blighted world.

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

Just the opportunity presented.

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

Be mindful of advice or tips you receive and heed from other writers.

 

performed by Kate Fenton

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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 Christopher K. Jones (TV Pilot – Headcase)

July 2018 Winning Television Screenplay Winner.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Christopher K. Jones: Headcase is a one-hour drama. The overall show is about a Dr. Andrew Beck who is the “go-to” sports phycologists for elite but troubled pro athletes, otherwise know as HEADCASES. There isn’t a head he can’t fix…except his own. Andrew has a deadly secret harbors a dark side with a gambling addiction that gets him deep in debt to a psychotic Scottish gangster. Andrew is blackmailed into manipulating his clients mind states to produce the results the gangster wants. So sometimes he takes the demons out and sometimes he puts them back in.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

There is something in it for everyone, although the themes of sports and gambling are usually considered male genres, there are deep and complicated relationships that everyone can related with. This is the story of people wrestling with their demons. Everyone approaches it differently. I’ve created a world where we get to be a fly on the wall and observe people, who from the outside seem extremely successful and famous, but on the inside, they have the same insecurities, phobias, and emotional damage as you and me.

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

Mind F**k

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

I love Billions. Anything by Bruno Heller, Rome and Gotham are excellent. Bruno has such great way of ending each episode that I can get easily sucked in to click on “next episode” and next thing you know, I’ve binge watched 4 or 5 in a row.

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

To be exact, I started working on it October of 2016, but with a busy “day job” as an entrepreneur running a hyper-growth company, I’ve put in to date around 350 hours. Yes, I’m a bit of a nut, and I track my time. I track my times because when I do this again for my next show or movie I want to know how much time it takes me. Also, I should add, this wasn’t just to work on the script, I spent a lot of time practicing pitching when I went to a pitch fest in LA in 2017. I also have been working on the bible and that takes an incredible amount of time. I finished the pilot (although based on the feedback from FOD I went back and took another crack at editing…twice) in 286 hours, the rest of the time has been on the bible.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have a full length four act play called Twisted Metal, about two Marines, the impact of war and their road to healing their PTSD. It’s had several acts of the play performed in a “book reading” which the actors have the script but it is rehearsed. I have a children’s book that is almost finished, and several other shows in outline and some scripting done.

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

I’m going to call an audible on this question and go off-script. When, I heard the song “Off the Ground” from the Record Company and I knew immediately it was the right song for my show. I have a sizzle reel that plays to the song and it works out great. Other than that, it may sound goofy, but probably the most often played songs would be my meditation music, which I meditate every day and have been for over 20 years.

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

How many can you name? 😉 You name it, it hit me. But luckily, I have meditation and mindfulness techniques I can use to help break through barriers. The most interesting one I found was recently I took the day off just to work on my bible and I struggled and struggled all day long. I felt the pressure of, “Of my god I took the day off and I got nothing done. I suck at this!” So, after stopping the negative egocentric self-talk, I took a break, took a walk and came back to my desk. Now it was after 6 pm, but then it happened, and for the next 3 hours I crushed it. I am pretty aware about my mind and body processes, and then I came to a realization. At my day job I spend all day at work using my analytical left brain and then at night when I come home I use my creative right brain. Much like how your body gets used to a work out regimen time, your mind works the same way. I was able to go right into right brain activity after my walk because that is when my mind usually releases the managing, analytics, and stresses of the day job so I can focus on creative work in the evening. For the past several years I spend a couple of nights per week writing, and so my mind just had “muscle memory” and as soon evening came around, my left brain switched off and right brain turned on. I found it very liberating to realize I don’t suck at this, my biorhythm just needed some adjusting. The next time I take a week day to write, I devised some creative exercises using free writing or a meditation focused on a mandala to activate the creative senses. The mind is an amazing thing.

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

I have three main passions: in no particular order: physical training, entrepreneurism and meditation. Physical activity: I push my body very hard, I’m retired from competitive Judo, but I train at Crossfit and I find physical activity very important to maintain a creative mind. Entrepreneurship: I’m a lifelong entrepreneur and have had failures and successes in my business ventures and those experiences have helped me pushing myself when I’m tired and don’t “feel like writing” to sit my ass at my desk and just write, write anything! That usually stimulates creativity. Meditation: I have been meditating since my early 20’s and it helps me be calm, control my ego, and also push the reaches of my imagination to find new stories in mundane places. I have special meditations just to stimulate creativity. Also, it helps me maintain an open mind to when people give me suggestions and criticisms I try to get past my own ego or insecurities and find the gold nuggets of the advice not only is good, but makes my story better and then happily accept, implement, and show gratitude for the advice.

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

I’ve entered quite a few festivals, and many times I get coverage. I had a reading done before which I paid the actors. It was amazing and helped me really evolve the script. I think having the FOD table read is better than a cash prize because now I have something to show people. And I just love seeing actors interpret my work. I think it is an awesome prize and I am honored to have been chosen and I loved the reading. The coverage has ranged from really good, poignant, and cuttingly accurate, to way-off and the person just breezed through it and was just on their own trip. I thought the feedback received from FOD was spot on and I made some changes accordingly. The biggest one was that my ACTIONS were too wordy. I struggle with conciseness. It’s really an amazing skill. Since I was under the gun to get some of their revisions done so FOD could do the reading and I didn’t do the best job. But I’ve since gone back and did a really hard look at the script and did more editing based on FOD’s advice. It’s definitely much tighter now.

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

I think to succeed in anything writing, sports, business, you have to have not only passion but discipline. As well I believe one must have a “relentless pursuit” of your goal or objective. To me a relentless pursuit provides me the energy and motivation to break through my comfort zones and reach higher levels in my craft, as well, and perhaps more importantly to evolve as a human being.

Genre: Drama, Sports

Dr. Andrew Beck, is the goto Sports Psychologist for pro athletes. But he has a gambling problem, and he gets deep in debt with Fergus McKenzie, a psychotic Scottish gangster. To get out of trouble with his skull intact, Andrew is forced to trade on his patients’ state of mind.

CAST LIST:

Lorry: Lauren Kristina Maykut
Sandra: Meghan Allen
Marcus: Jarrod Terrell
Narrator: Matt Barnes
Andrew: Rob Notman
Fergus: Allan Michael Brunet
Gina: Kyra Weichert

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.