Winning June 2017 FAN FICTION Screenplay – DOCTOR WHO “The Kingdom of the Mara” by Paul Hewitt

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

The Doctor accidentally picks up Shona and the two investigate a red comet that lands on Earth. The Doctor discovers the Mara are back, and must use their technology against them to defeat them once more.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
The Doctor: Brian Carleton
Shona: Konstantina Mantelos
Solomon: Anthony Botelho
Vladislav: Jack Comerford
Mila: Andrea Meister
Enok: Jordy Kieto

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV spec screenplay about DOCTOR WHO about?

The Doctor and Shona (last seen in the episode “Last Christmas”), find themselves in Bohemia during the Dark Ages. A tyrant, Lord Ivan, hoards a peculiar red crystal with telepathic powers called the Crimson. Wearing jewels made of Crimson, Lord Ivan and his followers collectively conjure a serpentine gestalt being from the darkest recesses of their minds: The Mara.

Possessed by The Mara, Lord Ivan quickly conquers all before him. He besieges the largest castle (and only cathedral) in the rival kingdom of Vladislav. The Doctor knows that walls, warriors and weapons are no match for the insidious, seductive spell of The Mara.

The Doctor and Shona rouse King Vladislav and his people to fight The Mara through very unconventional means – particularly for The Doctor. The world’s future truly rests on a hope and a prayer.

Why does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

It’s a traditional good versus evil story with the odd bits of comedy and horror that you’d expect from Dr. Who. I wrote it for the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi – who I think is fabulous – a throwback to the 70’s Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

This story is very much in the mold of classic Doctor Who. You have a historic setting that is disrupted by the presence of a perfidious alien – oh, and then there’s The Mara and a mysterious red crystal. Seriously though, The Mara was one of my favourite Who monsters from the 80’s and I am surprised it has not reappeared on TV (yet). The companion Tegan’s experience with the “evil dream snake” is what made her my favourite during the Peter Davison years.

We all know The Doctor’s companion is a surrogate for the audience and a great companion makes for a great Who story. I chose a character from a recent Christmas special – Shona McCullough (played wonderfully by actor Faye Marsay)– because I immediately saw in her the potential for a long term TARDIS traveller.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Faith Wins

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

Doctor Who
(also Game of Thrones, Mad Men…)

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months (Off and On). So maybe 6 weeks’ worth of an actual research and writing (and rewriting).

How many stories have you written?

Two Features (Housesitting, Guttersnipe)
One Documentary (All About Me)
One Short (co-wrote) (Saved From The Grave)

Next up is my own TV series and this TV spec script was an excellent exercise in writing for this genre.

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

In My Life (The Beatles)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time was my biggest obstacle… finding the time.

The second challenge was how to portray The Mara. It is obviously not my own creation, so I wanted to do justice to the original Mara stories with my version.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Acting, films, politics, history, rugby and beer (not necessarily in that order)

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

I had my first feature screenplay analyzed not once, but twice. I was impressed by the depth and value of the criticism. So I did not hesitate to submit my Doctor Who script for analysis and I am pleasantly surprised in the end to have it recognized here. Thank you.

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

It’s an old cliché but true: Write what you know. That’s why I picked Doctor Who for my first TV screenplay.

Be prepared to take a lot of criticism along the way. Your story (and your skills) will benefit from it.

Procrastination is thine worst enemy.

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Winning Fan Fiction Feature Screenplay – MARVEL ZOMBIES, by Christopher J. Valin

Watch the May 2017 Winning Fan Fiction Screenplay.

Winning Screenplay – ALL OF THEIR COLORS
Written by Wendy Appelbaum

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
NICK FURY – Peter Nelson
IRON MAN – Rob Notman
HULK/DR.REED – Michael Pearson
THUNDERBALL – Twaine Ward
KELLY RIDGE – Penelope Park
MINDY – Ali Chappell

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Action

In an alternate Marvel Universe, the world’s superheroes are infected by a virus brought by a powerful being from another dimension. Can the undead former heroes be stopped before they devour the entire world?

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Marvel Zombies is based on several Marvel comic book series that take place in an alternate universe where most of the Marvel superheroes and villains have been infected with a virus that makes them undead and hungry for human brains.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say it’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi plus horror, and if you count superhero films as a genre, it obviously falls into that category also. Believe it or not, there’s some humor in there as well.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Marvel movies and TV series are among the hottest properties around, and so are zombie shows such as The Walking Dead. Add in the fact that there’s a trend to make ‘R’ versions of their properties, such as Deadpool and Logan, and I think there’s an undeniable recipe for success.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Nightmare Scenario

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

The original Star Wars (A New Hope), with Blade Runner as a close second.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I originally wrote it two years ago, then put it aside for a long time. I recently spent a few weeks on a rewrite.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written around twenty screenplays, TV pilots and specs, two novels, a history book, and had quite a few short stories published in science fiction anthologies.

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

That is an extremely difficult question, and the answer changes over time. Right now, I’d say “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel is something I’ve listened to and enjoyed a lot.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I wanted to make this screenplay work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also base it fairly closely on the comic books. That meant I had to replace some of the characters who were important in the comic story, such as Magneto, with characters that Disney/Marvel owns the film rights to. Originally I left Spider-Man out, but now that he’s part of the MCU, I added him in the latest draft. I also had to figure out how to write the script without making the zombies the main characters, so I chose a few ordinary people who were in the first Marvel Zombies story in (Fantastic Four Unlimited), and made it mostly from their POV.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m a social studies teacher, and I love history and government. I also love music, movies, drawing, and video games.

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

A friend of mine won a few months ago with his How I Met Your Mother script, and that’s when I first heard about it. I immediately decided to enter this script after I read the rules. And the feedback was fantastic. Critical where it needed to be, but not negative at all. I really appreciated it.

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


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Fan Fiction Festival Announces its 2016 Screenplay Winners

Fan Fiction Screenplay has announced its 2016 winning screenplays.

All winning screenplays were performed by professional actors and brought to life.

Watch all the winning works at http://www.fanfictionfestival.com

12 Winners for 2016:

1. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER TV Spec
by Eugene Ramos

2. THERESE (Sequel to 2016 Film CAROL) Feature Script
by Heidi Scott

3. GILLIGAN’S ISLAND OF THE DEATH TV Show
by Jerry Kokich

4. VIGILANTE: THE ORIGINS OF CASEY JONES TV Pilot
(From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
by Justin Prince

5. THE MASK OF LEIA Short Script
(From Star Wars universe)
by Ian Wilson

6. STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE TV Spec
by Jennifer Renner

7. SPACE 2099 TV Pilot
(From TV show Space 1999)
by Kevin D. Story

8. STAR WARS Episode 1 Feature Script
(From Star Wars universe)
by Bryan O’Flaherty

9. THE TWILIGHT ZONE TV Spec
by Jaime Medina

10. MAGNUM P.I. TV Spec
by Lew Ritter

11. THE TIME CUCKOO Short Script
(From Doctor Who universe)
by David Gilbank & Paul Renhard

12. US NAVY CINE KODAK Short Script
(From WWII era stories)
by Stephen M. Hunt

December 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winners

Watch the Winning Fan Fiction Screenplays for December 2016.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Fan Fiction TV Series
Written by Eugene RamosCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Michelle Alexander
DIRK – Ucal Shillingford
TED – Noah Casey
LILY – Angela Cavallin
ROBIN – Dana Thody
MARSHALL – Brian Carleton
BETT – Chris Reid Geisler

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Romance

When a college crush visits New York, Ted is determined to chip away at her until she dumps her boyfriend, a play the gang refers to as “Shawshanking”

******

Best Scene from the screenplay THERESE (Sequel to 2015 Film CAROL) Screenplay
Written by Heidi ScottCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Gabriel Darku
CAROL – Kiran Friesen
Kelly Daly

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Romance

The story takes place 5 years later in 1958, when their relationship has had time to ripen and gain complexity within the homophobic era. They have to be closeted, so their public and professional lives are discontinuous with who they are with each other. This causes high stakes, tension, and great potential for drama and character development.

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean BallantyneEugene Ramos

July 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner

Watch the July 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner. 

Submit your Fan Fiction Screenplay to the Festival: https://fanfictionfestival.com/

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Power Loss by Jennifer Renner

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Synopsis: Episode 32.5 of the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The station welcomes visitors from a planet in the Gamma Quadrant that allows only women to hold positions of authority.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Brandon Knox
BENNI – Susan Wilson
SORYA/KIRA – Meghan Allen
DAX/LELA – Courtney Keir
ODO – Julian Ford
BASHIR/QUARK – David Guthrie
SISKO/RISHTA – Sean Ballantyne

Get to know the winning writer Jennifer Renner

1. What is your TV Fan Fiction screenplay about?

Deep Space 9 welcomes visitors from a planet in the Gamma Quadrant that only allows women to hold positions of authority.

2. Why does this episode fit into the context of the show?

The episode uses a futuristic setting and the unique perspectives of the characters to discuss a social issue. One of my favorite things about the whole Star Trek phenomenon was the ability to look at potentially controversial issues under a new and intriguing light.

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

Existential exploration.

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

Star Trek: TNG

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

I worked on this screenplay for about three months.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written many short screenplays and three feature length screenplays.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love the different personalities in DS9. The topic of gender has been in the spotlight recently and using the voices of DS9 seemed a good way to explore this issue.

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

I don’t have much experience writing for TV, so that was fairly new to me. I also wanted to do justice to the Star Trek universe and it is a complex place to navigate. Use the term “warp coil” when you specifically mean “warp nacelle” and you’ve lost all credibility.

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

All things film! From theory to shooting and editing, to just a lot of viewing, I enjoy it all.

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

I was excited about the prospect of receiving feedback to improve my writing. The feedback I received offered many helpful suggestions, both in terms of my writing in general and as a piece in the DS9 universe. I’m definitely glad I entered this festival.

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

Although I don’t feel qualified to give advice, I would say to try writing as many different types of works as you can. From one-act plays to feature screenplays to poetry to just a really well-written email, there are so many ways to express yourself well through writing.

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

May 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winners

Watch the May 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winners. 

STAR WARS Episode 1: The Redemption of Skywalker Feature Screenplay
Written by Bryan O’Flaherty
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Synopsis: Some stories are too important, some stories must be retold. The story of Anakin Skywalker will be molded between the pressure of separate forces vying for his soul, which will determine the fate of the galaxy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
ANAKIN – Chris Ormrod
SHALI/MARA – Isabella Bontorin
OWEN/VARIOUS – Neil Kulin
ADMIRAL LEOPOLD/VARIOUS – Mark Sparks
OBI-WAN – Dan Cristofori

*****

POWER TV Pilot  (Green Lantern Pilot)
Written by Hisonni Johnson
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comic book, Drama, Sci Fi, Action, Superhero

Synopsis: A tragic turns of events leaves one of the world’s greatest heroes injured, without his powers and public enemy number one.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JOHN – Mark Sparks
SANDRA – Lavinia Latham
SHIERA – Isabella Bontorin
DENNIS – Neil Kulin
LAWTON – Dan Cristofori

***

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

STAR WARS Episode I: THE REDEMPTION OF SKYWALKER by Brian O’Flaherty

Watch the May 2016 Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner.

STAR WARS Episode I: THE REDEMPTION OF SKYWALKER

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Synopsis: Some stories are too important, some stories must be retold. The story of Anakin Skywalker will be molded between the pressure of separate forces vying for his soul, which will determine the fate of the galaxy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
ANAKIN – Chris Ormrod
SHALI/MARA – Isabella Bontorin
OWEN/VARIOUS – Neil Kulin
ADMIRAL LEOPOLD/VARIOUS – Mark Sparks
OBI-WAN – Dan Cristofori

Get to know writer Brian O’Flaherty:

What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay is about the events that took place prior to Star Wars, A New Hope. It is the first part of a trilogy, that tells the story of these events.

How is this origin story different than the original episode 1? What makes it better/different?

There is no argument that can be made, to convince someone on the merit of the original prequel movies, and “better” is a subjective idea anyway. However, many Star Wars fans were disappointed with the original prequel movies, and I believe there are a multitude of reasons for this, but I will only touch on what I believe to be the main reason for this disappointment.

The main reason for this disappointment, relates to the question of “what” Star Wars is, and/or what it has become.

The original Star Wars was one of the most popular movies to ever come out. It redefined so much, relating with not only how to technically create a sci-fi movie, but in how to create the elements of the story, the characters, the pacing, the comedy, etc.

It was a perfect storm of creative vision (Lucas), comedic writing, pacing, editing, and of course musical masterpieces.

It was created as a team effort, like a well tuned sports car, and I believe, if any element was out of place, it would have turned into the flop that they initially feared it to be.

The original intention was to create a “space adventure film,” and although technically, one could define Star Wars in this context, it became something much greater than this simple idea.

The reason it became something much greater than a “space adventure film” is because of the idea of “the force.” The force turned Star Wars from just another “fun sci-fi movie” into something special. It quite literally, gave it “soul.” Star Wars became a narrative about the human condition, asking the ultimate philosophical questions about what it means to be human, and how our choices and thoughts effect us, not just in the physical world, but also in the “spiritual.”

No matter what one’s personal beliefs, this philosophical narrative is compelling, and it’s at the heart of Star Wars.

Without getting into detail, my screenplay attempts to bring back the “soul” of Star Wars, because I believe this is what made people fall in love with it, on a deep, emotional level.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Skywalker redemption.

One of the main plot point differences with this Star Wars script and the 7 produced films is that the story is not continuous. We jump from timeframes in Anakin’s development years. Some will argue that this isn’t Star Wars and the films need to a seamless adventure set in the same time. Why did you diverge from the original structure? And what makes this version still in the Star Wars universe vain?

Good question. First of all, you can’t (or shouldn’t) make a new Star Wars film by copying the last films. The original Star Wars cannot be recreated. It is not possible. Any attempt to do so, will not create something original, it will simply “ride the wave” of what people think “Star Wars” is, but any attempt at doing this is intrinsically flawed and will fall flat.

For example, although I liked the new movie, because it had many original elements, and was well crafted, fundamentally, it was a copy of the story from A New Hope. For example, the destruction of the “Death Star” fell flat and emotionless, because it was simply a copy from something we had already seen before, and the audience was not emotionally involved with it, for it was a fairly obvious retread.

Also, The Empire Strikes Back, was a very different movie from A New Hope. It added very strong elements of romance, elements of philosophy, and elements of “family.” This is one of the reasons people believe it to be the “best” Star Wars movie, because it laid the foundation for the “soul” of Star Wars, which I discussed previously.

People could have argued that The Empire Strikes Back was not “Star Wars,” for these reasons. However, it maintained similar comedic undertones, philosophical ideas, musical and pacing elements as the first movie.

To further that point, The Return of The Jedi, was again, a very different movie from the previous two. It was more dialogue heavy, had a slower pacing, and actually had a story structure that was broken up between the two unrelated story locations of Jabba’s palace and the Endor moon. Jabba’s palace did not lead to the Endor moon. People could argue that Return of The Jedi wasn’t “Star Wars.”

On the final point, about continuity. I feel that Stars Wars has so many crucial elements that are vastly more important than timeframe continuity in a single film. Although I would have preferred to have a relatively continuous timeframe, I feel it was more important to create a structure that follows the entirety of the character study of Anakin Skywalker.

I feel the character study of Anakin Skywalker is too complex, to devote an entire film to his time as a child. There is simply too much ground to cover.

On the flip side, Anakin’s story as a child is too important to leave out entirely. The size and scope of the trilogy requires a timeframe jump. This is likely to be the only timeframe jump in the trilogy.

To say it is not “Star Wars” because it contains a timeframe jump, seems silly to me, because the elements of Star Wars are there, and missing a single stylistic element, doesn’t seem to contradict anything about the originals.

In addition to this, The Empire Strikes Back has a slight timeframe jump as well. A jump that is not clearly explained, but is there. The time Luke spends training with Yoda is not explained, relating to how much time has passed. It is clear that a significant amount of time had passed (I believe the writer said “months”) and I doubt people would consider this lack of pure timeframe continuity to “not be Star Wars.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

For the version read at your festival, I spent about fourteen months. Although there was plenty of note taking before I even started writing.

How many stories have you written?

This is my first complete screenplay, although there are several versions. You have read the “abridged” version.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It has been a fire burning in my belly for years. I never intended to send it to a festival however. I found out about several “fan fiction” festivals after I had nearly finished writing it.

Ultimately, the reason I wrote it, was to somehow, someway, make it into a movie, because that is what screenplays are for, and that it how I wrote it. I didn’t write it to be an entertaining read. I wrote it to be an entertaining movie.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle is feedback. You must get some feedback. I have a friend who was willing to read it, and provide feedback. I took some of his advice, but stuck to my heart where I disagreed with him.

The ability to receive feedback, and use it to your advantage, is a critical part of writing, I believe, because when you’re writing, you don’t know if what you are doing is making any sense or not. It’s easy to get into your own head and think something is working when it is not, or think something is not working, when it is.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Star Wars and Shakira.

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

The feedback was priceless. Again, feedback is crucial. You must hear what someone thinks about the script. The next thing that is crucial, is to stick with what you believe in, and make changes where you feel the criticism has found something worthwhile.

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

Thinking is the most important part. Have a notepad, where you can write down ideas when they come into your head. You will NOT remember them later. You must write down the thoughts that come into your head. I use my smart phone for this. I write notes down all the time, some of it is never used, but most of it is what makes the foundation for the screenplay.

Second, you need as much feedback as you can get. They don’t have to be professional readers, but they MUST find some sort of criticism with your work.

Worthless feedback is when you are told something is “good” or “bad.” Anything else is valuable and necessary.

Equally important to receiving feedback, is your ability to use it for YOUR BENEFIT. Use it like a tool. Don’t use it to satisfy somebody else’s idea of how things should be, unless you absolutely have to as a requirement.

***

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson