Winning FAN FICTION SHORT – LIVING IN CRIME ALLEY (BATMAN), by Rob Ayling

Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Thriller

A single father struggles to live and provide for his young son in downtown Gotham City.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Father: Nick Baillie

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Living in Crime Alley is about a single father in downtown Gotham City struggling to live and provide for his young son. The son is a huge fan of Batman. Living in Crime Alley raises questions of morality and justice from the points of view of a father, the child and the dark knight himself.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama/Crime.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay should be made into movie because it brings the dark knight and
everything that he brings with him into the sharp focus of todays recession and the reality of everyday struggle. The perspective of a ground level citizen living in Gotham City is something that hasn’t been fully explored in film. Despite Batman having been created in the late 1930s, Living in Crime Alley shows that his character has a resonance with the life that people live today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Conflicted, Justice.

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

Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Its simply one of the best movies ever made. Great
writing, great direction and masterclass acting from Jack Lemmon. A funny, dramatic,timeless movie that I’ve re-watched many times for inspiration and entertainment. But Hitchcock’s Rear Window runs at a close second.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on Living in Crime Alley for the the last 6 months. I started writing the screenplay after having gone through one the worst financial periods in my life. Instead of sitting around helplessly, I wrote Living in Crime Alley not only as a way to escape my own problems, but also to express my frustrations in a creative way.

How many stories have you written?

I have written several original short stories for films, but this is my first fan fiction short screenplay. I’m a huge fan of the Batman character and I’ve always wanted to write or direct a Batman story.

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

One of my favourite songs and one I listen to all the time is Sinnerman by Nina Simone. Or any Nina Simone songs in truth.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle I had to finishing the screenplay was the ending. As a writer, I think its important to raise questions within your work. The final moments of Living in Crime Alley is very much a question on justice and morality. From another perspective, the ending could’ve gone for a more sympathetic route or perhaps an even more darker turn. I leave it to the audience to make their own judgement.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Besides from writing, I’m passionate about making films. I have directed several short films, some of which have had screenings at BAFTA recognised film festivals. I also love to draw, read, travel and eat good food.

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

This is the first time I’ve entered a screenplay on FilmFreeway. In my experience, it’s by far, the easiest way to submit your work to festivals.

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

I submitted Living in Crime Alley to Fan Fiction Festival to gain constructive feedback on my work and progress as a writer. I never expected the screenplay to be a winner and for that I am very grateful. The feedback was extremely valuable in helping me hone my craft. They pointed out particular screenplay formatting issues I had made, in terms of introducing characters, dialogue etc. As well as making creative suggestions on how to improve the story. I’ve never really been a confident writer, but the feedback they gave me on my screenplay was a validation on my skills.

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

FAN FICTION BEST SCENE Reading of BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE,, by Brooke Elowe

 

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is on the run. Branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha tries to keep her head down and lay low, but there’s no rest for the world’s greatest spy…

CAST LIST:

Narrator: David Occhipinti
Natasha: Lindsay Gerro
Tori: Norma Dunphy
Ava: Carina Cojeen
Waiter: Nick Baillie

Get to know the writer: 

 What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Natasha Romanoff, better known as the Black Widow, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, so it’s set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Natasha was branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords and is currently being hunted from all sides. She must not only protect herself but also a young girl from her past: Ava Orlova.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Superhero fiction, Action, Sci-Fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Not only have fans wanted to see Natasha Romanoff shine in her own standalone franchise for years, it’s also a ripe time in the industry to make female-lead superhero films. I think this story serves as a unique take on the genre, focusing on a duel-protagonist, sisterly dynamic between Natasha and Ava. That, combined with Marvel’s winning formula for making superhero films, would make for a successful movie of an iconic character.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Dynamic Duo

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

Definitely Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Also Stepbrothers.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Start to finish, I’d say about a year. The process was broken up by my college courses and job, so I worked on it whenever I had time.

How many stories have you written?

This is actually the first screenplay I’ve ever written, which is why the writing process took a bit longer than normal. I first had to learn how to construct an actual script, with regards to formatting, editing, etc.

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

That’s definitely a tough one. I’d say “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit or “You Need Me I Don’t Need You” by Ed Sheeran.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I think deciding which characters to include in Natasha’s story was a challenge, considering the extensive line-up of heroes in the MCU. Also, mapping out the script and making sure it was coherent, with regards to plot holes and character arcs, was another challenge as well. However, I really enjoyed the process of constructing Natasha’s story. I have a large amount of material that either changed or didn’t make the final draft, which enriched the editing process and added to the overall satisfaction of completing the script.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Most definitely music. I’m a songwriter and am hoping to get into Music Supervision after college. I love reading, travelling, and video games and am also working on a sequel to this screenplay.

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

It was a very seamless process. I had no trouble submitting my script or payment.

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

Seeing as this was a passion project of mine, I really wanted to have an industry professional’s point of view, as having a knowledgeable set of eyes reading the script would benefit the story. The feedback was fantastic. It was critical without being negative, bettered the script overall, and increased my confidence as a screenwriter.

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay: WELCOME TO CRYSTAL LAKE (Friday the 13th), by Mike Meade

Genre: Horror, Crime, Thriller

When corrupt developers come to Crystal Lake with plans to build a new lakeside resort they run into one unexpected problem, Jason Voorhees.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole

Frank: Kris Hagen
Elias: Peter Nelson
Sean: Nick Wicht
Tom: Mike Ruderman
Marta: Carina Cojeen

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Welcome to Crystal Lake is about a group of corrupt developers that come to town with plans to build a new lakeside resort, but when they take things too far by trying to force Elias Voorhees off of his property, his son Jason violently intervenes.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say it falls firmly into the slasher sub-genre of horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because the Friday the 13th fans (including myself) are dying for the next film to be made, but we want it done right. To me, that means creating a story that is new and fresh, while keeping the same tone and feel of the original films. I think Welcome to Crystal Lake succeeds in doing that and also has the potential to be expanded into an even better feature film.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Classic Jason.

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

That’s a hard one, but if I had to say which Friday the 13th movie I’ve seen the most times it would have to be Part 6, followed closely by Parts 4, 5, and 7.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had the original idea almost two years ago, but didn’t actually write it until recently. By that time the story was so clear in my head it didn’t take long to finish once I got started.

How many stories have you written?

I couldn’t say for sure since I’ve been writing since I was a kid. But as far as screenplays go, I’ve written six shorts (including one I co-wrote) and am working on my third feature right now.

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

Fade to Black by Metallica. It never gets old no matter how many times I listen to it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Just finding the time to actually write it since I was already working on other projects.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve been into martial arts since I was about ten years old, so that’s probably the biggest thing. I also like taking my Jeep up into mountains while my hound dog rides shotgun and going camping.

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

I’ve had a great experience with FilmFreeway. Before I started submitting my stuff through them, I’d have to email each individual contest or festival, attach whatever file I needed, didn’t have my payment info saved, etc… Basically, it was a big hassle. With FilmFreeway it really just takes a few clicks and I’m done, plus it makes it super easy to keep track of all my submissions in one place. +

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

I really wanted to write a Friday the 13th script, but was afraid it might never be seen or read by anybody, especially since I couldn’t sell the finished product. But then when I discovered this festival I thought I’d go ahead and give it a shot and I’m glad I did. When I received the initial feedback I was mainly impressed with how in depth it was. They had obviously taken the time to really read it and understand what I was going for.

 

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay of D FOR DEXTER, by Jessi Thind

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Drama

A new Dexter spin-off series: Dexter’s now in Canada running
a private forensics agency looking for missing persons; their
captors his new target. When an annoying teenager keeps
pestering him for a job, Dexter gets distracted and misses
his chance on a kill, but when his biggest fan intercepts and
does the kill for him.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Dexter: Christopher Huron
Gabe: Brandon Nicoletti
Roop: Rais Moui
Arty: Neil Bennett
Yuri: Daniella Zappala
Mae Ling: Connie Wang

 Get to know the winning writer:

What is your TV spec screenplay about?

D for Dexter, originally titled ‘D’, is a spin-off on the original Dexter series, which has Dexter living in Vancouver, Canada, ten years after the events of the season finale. Dexter’s now running a private detective/forensics agency looking for missing persons while hunting ‘monsters’ to satiate his Dark Passenger. In the pilot, an annoying teenager keeps pestering him for a job, constantly distracting Dexter from his target. When he suspects the teenager of knowing his secret, of knowing his past life in Miami, he zeros in on the teenager… but is shocked to discover the teenager is his son Harrison—a chip off the old block.

How does this spin-off fit into the context of the Dexter character and series?

As mentioned it’s about ten years after the events of the season finale. It has Dexter hiding in Canada under an alias doing what he does best. Vancouver’s cold, and rainy, unlike Miami, but it’s still got the water which is a Dexter motif, and Dexter’s back in the mix with a new cast of RCMP officers and forensics investigators. What’s more, I brought back Deb, who is now a figment of Dexter’s imagination. Talking or debating with Deb is Dexter’s way of working through his guilt for what happened to her as well as reconciling his actions toward Harrison. Dexter thinks about Deb so much that he even begins to curse like her now and then in his inner monologue. It’s a subtle tweak to his voice, but it clearly illustrates Dexter had a human side beyond his Dark Passenger. It shows Dexter was an empathetic human being before a traumatic experience gave psychic birth to his Dark Passenger. Throughout the seasons Dexter constantly struggles with his Dark Passenger using Harry’s code to help him. The thing Dexter needed to do was overcome his Dark Passenger or in the very least create his own code. That never really materialized in the series. In fact, it seemed like the opposite happened in the season finale which was confusing in a series that seemed to be about Dexter’s conscious or unconscious need to rebel against his father’s teachings and seize control of his Dark Passenger to reconnect with his humanity. The ending of the Dexter series was a little bit like watching Pinocchio with the alternate ending where Pinocchio never becomes real and dies. In this spin-off, we are dealing with a new Dexter. Dexter has now officially developed his own code and is in control of his Dark Passenger. The only thing missing in his life now is an authentic human relationship. His life drastically changes when teenage Harrison seeks Dexter out and Dexter discovers Harrison is carrying his own Dark Passenger as a result of the trauma he experienced as a child. The spin-off respects what fans loved about the original format yet it has its own approach and tone as we follow an evolved Dexter in the role of an absentee father who is given a second chance. In this series, Dexter ultimately becomes ‘Harry’ which raises the question: Will Dexter be any different than his father? Will he define his son as a monster through a code that robs him of his humanity and individuality and turns him into an instrument of vigilante justice? Or will he do something else altogether? All good questions.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Character Focused. The spin-off is much less about the gore and spectacle and much more about how Dexter reconnects with his human side through his son.

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

There are countless shows but if I had to pick one I’d say: Six Feet Under.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Three months off and on during the twilight hours when my kids are asleep.

How many stories have you written?

Several. I actually started writing in high school. Way back in the nineties I wrote my first novella, Lions of the Sea, based on the story of the Komagata Maru. I adapted it for the big screen in 2005 and now it’s actually winning awards in the festival circuit including Best Feature. That’s always a good feeling. Truth is, I love storytelling, and I love storytelling in multiple mediums such as the novel, film, and games. Each medium brings to the story unique strengths, advantages, and opportunities. To my mind, the most challenging and rewarding is the interactive medium of video games. I have been a designer and ‘Show-runner’ for some of the best games ever produced including Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia and Batman. There is nothing like designing interactive narrative systems and leading a team of writers on a game project. One game project could take up to five years to complete with over thirty thousand script pages depending on how systemic the game is. The almost endless possibilities of story and story permutations within a game are what make this medium so attractive and challenging. It’s just too bad game writers like comic book writers of the sixties and seventies still have to prove their medium is a valid one.

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

It’s a tie between Violetta Parra’s ‘Gracias a La Vida’ and Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Choosing the vehicle character. I had a lot of friends suggesting I do the spin-off from Harrison’s point-of-view to create a greater separation from the original series. I didn’t think that was necessary. True, spin-offs generally deal with other characters and new situations. But this has both, just not blatantly. This is an evolved Dexter whose humanity seems to have taken control of his Dark Passenger. He’s Harry to Harrison and that is a new situation unlike anything we’ve seen before. How does Dexter take the lessons he learned with his Dark Passenger and pass it on to Harrison? My friends all had their own take on a Dexter spin-off series. Some didn’t think one was necessary and liked the way the original series ended. I personally felt a little cheated and disappointed. Audiences deserved epic, memorable and meaningful after that huge investment of time in Dexter. I don’t feel that happened. A show’s climax is usually the ultimate expression of its main theme. I’m not sure that by Season 8 all writers were aligned on Dexter’s main theme. For me, the main theme was always the struggle between Dexter’s humanity and his Dark Passenger and that theme seemed flawlessly respected up to Season 4. After that the show seemed to be pulling the thematic chariot in multiple directions. Truth is, I’ve got ‘D for Dexter’ planned as a Daedalus and Icarus tragedy. Harrison will get way over his head with a cult of high society killers. The climatic finale will have killers, plural, closing in on father and son with a massive manhunt led by corrupt cops. The climax will be a moment that will unequivocally express Dexter’s humanity and therefore his triumph over his Dark Passenger and it will also express the new theme of ‘D for Dexter’. Namely: a parent’s love defies all even death. Killers. Corrupt Cops. Sacrifice. That’s the way to close the book on a character like Dexter.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Films, games, teaching Tae Kwon Do and raising my children.

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

A friend sent me a link to the festival because he knew I had written several spec scripts in the past. I tapped into the link and enjoyed the productions and thought I’d try my luck with my Dexter spin-off. The feedback like all feedback is invaluable. Even if you just get one good suggestion that improves the script it is worth the investment. A few minor adjustments are often the difference between good and great. I often submit scripts to several editors or readers for feedback in order to take my scripts to the next level of polish.

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

Write what you are passionate about. If you’re not sure what that is, then take your favorite TV series or game and write a spec script within the series. You may not be able to sell it but it shows skills in storytelling and displays knowledge of the characters, format, and tone.

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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 TV PILOT – THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR, by Richard Mueller

Winning Screenplay – THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR
Written by Richard Mueller

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Elizabeth Morriss
LUCY – Olivia Jon
CONNOR/MARTY – Daniel Chung
DELLA – Tea Nguyen
GREGG – David Occhipinti
NASH – John Fray
SUNSHINE – Georgia Grant
TARA – Cora Matheson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Romance

A reboot of the 1960s TV show (and 1945 movie) based on the R.A. Dick novel. A young widow and her two teenage children discover that the seaside house they have moved into is haunted. .

 Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

A single mom and her kids struggle with a failing career, adjusting to small town life and romantic entanglements with a sea captain who’s been dead for a hundred years.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Because it’s an entrancing world, filled with lovable, beguiling people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Spooky Romance

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

Gilmore Girls and Burn Notice

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About five months from start to submission in Fan Fiction Festival.

How many stories have you written?

Four competed scripts, one half of a novel and 7.4 bizillion ideas.

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

OMG. Just one? Okay then: Ruth Brown – Cabbage Head

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Getting past my own ideas of what it was “OK” to write and allowing myself to wantonly follow my inspiration. I’m glad I did it too, because now I am writing more, better and with increased enjoyment.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My passion is for storytelling. I’m a professional artist and designer with experience in a wide variety of media and I’ve found that regardless of whether I am creating an ad campaign, an interior design, a virtual world or writing a narrative, it is story that is the structure everything else hangs on. And that is something I just can’t get enough of.

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

I have no writing group and needed an outside eye. I got exactly what I’d hoped for in the feedback, it was perfectly professional, spot on and taught me things that influenced my subsequent project and made me better as a writer.

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

Follow your inspiration fearlessly and remember there is always more than one reward to creative expression.

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


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Winning FAN FICTION SPEC of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, by Marc Mulcahy

Winning Screenplay – EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
Written by Marc Mulcahy

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
MARIE – Frances Townend
RAY – Peter Mark Raphael
DEBRA – Kayla Farris
JEFFREY – Jonah Akler-Silliman
ROBERT – Christopher Huron
AMY – Vanessa Quagliara
FRANK – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Family

It’s Marie vs Debra in a cat & mouse game for control of who’s cleaning the house.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay based on the TV SERIES “Everybody Loves Raymond” about?

It’s about seeing what we all figured would happen eventually; that Marie’s constant meddling and being a nuisance in general, would lead to Debra’s insanity.

How does this episode fit into the context of the series?

I actually thought this plot line was a no-brainer for Debra. I would have done this myself given the same situation.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Sweet revenge

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

Seinfeld

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Initially, it took a few days but I’ve tweaked it several times over the past several years.

How many stories have you written?

Three sit coms and one film.

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

That’s a tough one. Sometimes I’ll be in a certain mood and one song fits it perfectly so I just keep playing it for hours. Once, during a late, dark night on a long and empty stretch of I99 in California, I listened to Chris Isack’s, Wicked Game for 6 hours.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Still not happy with a couple lines.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Animals, justice, cooking and dining out, creating fun and innovative entertainment, growth, experiencing unforgettable moments (CORRR-ny)

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

I wanted to get some feedback on it and I thought people would enjoy it. Great feedback, thanks.

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

In the words of Rodney Dangerfield as Thorton Melon, “Don’t go. It’s rough out there. Move back in with your parents. Let them worry about it.”

But if you insist, get your work out there, everywhere. Listen to criticism and learn what you can from it but don’t let it get to you. Remember, your writing is YOUR view on the subject so don’t compromise that. Go back to your earliest stuff and make it better. If you can’t do that, you either have the rare early masterpiece, or maybe you should consider another dream job. I’m sure every writer has heard to write what you know and what you care about. When you do, your writing becomes interesting, and for me, this is the the most important thing about a script. You can follow all the formulas you want but if it isn’t interesting then what’s the point. Conversely, if you have a very interesting story, you can break many, if not most formula rules–as long as you keep it interesting. Oh, and a very good agent wouldn’t hurt, either. The reality is you can be the best unknown writer since Shakespeare, but to be successful at this gig you will also need some luck and there’s a decent chance that some of your success will come from the old “who you know” variety. The fact that every year sharp, really well written shows get dropped while 2 Broke Girls remains on the air (I’m still convinced there’s serious network blackmail going on there) proves this point.

Lastly, A famous script doctor–who’s services I wasted $6,000 on–said that most writers better be prepared to stick it out for 10 years before they can make a living from writing. This Debby Downer also told the auditorium of almost 900 wanna-be writers that only a handful present would probably be successful and that many would lose friends and family because of their failures. In retrospect, I guess I should have waited until AFTER the 3 day seminar to quit my day job. The good news is that with webtv and all the new platforms, there are more opportunities than ever for writers. Just keep looking for these different avenues to showcase your work.


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Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne