Table Reading of BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO by Andrew Akler

BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO was the Fan Fiction November 2015 Screenplay Winner.

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

Watch BATMAN: PATIENT ZERO by Andrew Akler:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
BATMAN – Steve Shand
JOKER – Brett Kelly
RIDDLER/NIGMA – Scott Beaudin
SCARECROW – Kunal Jaggi
HARLEY – Aidan Black Allen

Get to know writer Andrew Akler:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Batman heads to Arkham Asylum when he hears that The Joker has escaped and staged a takeover. As he progresses through the asylum, Batman fights through a host of villains that challenge him in a different way. This forces Batman to examine parts of himself and eventually come to a shocking realization. My goal was to take the audience on an almost “standard” Batman crusade, while introducing the psychological elements until we land on that twist at the end. I wanted to give you the Batman we all know and then take all that away while keeping it all justified.

2. Why does this screenplay fit into the overall Batman series?

There’s always been suggestions to Batman being just as crazy as his Rouges Gallery. The Arkham Asylum graphic novel hints at this. I actually see my story fitting in well in the Arkham game series universe, as I envision the characters in a similar way. For me, Bruce’s sanity has always been the underlying question of Batman.

3. This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this Batman short in two words?

Wicked and Twisty.

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

I think it’s a tie between Inception and The Dark Knight. I’m a huge Nolan fan.

5. This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had the concept in my head for a while but only started writing it over the summer of 2015. I like creating the world in my head before putting it on paper.

6. Who is your favorite Batman universe character?

The Joker. He’s what I like to call a simple complex character. In that, I mean he has all these different layers and versions to his character but on occasion, he can become the extreme of one and embody that trait fully. He’s the ultimate king of mischief

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always loved how each of Batmans’ villains have psychological disorders. There have always been references to Bruce having some of his own which is what drives him to be Batman, but I wanted to take that idea to the extreme and explore what it would be like if Bruce actually had all these disorders that he sees in his villains.

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

I always tend to think a few steps ahead of what I’m doing so I kept thinking about budget and how on earth we would be able to make the story look convincing. That prevented me from writing certain sequences that I feel really made the story stronger. I had to learn to write for the story.

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

I love music. I started out composing for film and gradually moved into writing and then directing. I’ve directed three films since 2013 and plan to pursue that as well as composing.

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

I know it’s often hard to get fan fiction work recognized and when I found out about the festival I saw it is a wonderful opportunity. This was the first screenplay I have submitted to a festival and the quality of the feedback was amazing. I feel like it has helped me understand further into the screenwriting craft and will ultimately help me become a better writer.

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

Just write. Even if it sounds forced or stunted, just get the ideas on paper. Don’t worry about budget or shooting, otherwise it will distract you from crafting the best story possible. Always focus on the story first.

Watch DOCTOR WHO Fan Fiction Screenplay Reading by Mark Renshaw

Watch the Fan Fiction Reading of DOCTOR WHO “My Doctor”:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
MARK – Peter Nelson
MATT SMITH – Andrei Preda
DAVROS/THE MASTER – Jason Martorino
CUSHING/TROUGHTON/MCGANN DOCTORS – Scott Beaudin
TENNANT/PERTWEE/BAKER DOCTORS – Cole Reid
AMY – Meghan Allen
WENDY – Julie Burris

Get to know writer Mark Renshaw:

1. What is your screenplay about?

My Doctor is a special episode of Doctor Who starring almost every incarnation of the famous Time Lord; up to and including Matt Smith. It also features some of his most notorious adversaries, such as the Daleks, Cybermen and The Master.

It begins in a normal every day setting, with an average guy called Mark (me!) eating his breakfast. In bursts Matt Smith in character as the Doctor. Mark is a huge Doctor Who fan, so he thinks this is all a prank, until the Doctor shows him a very real and extremely impossible TARDIS.

Realisation soon hits home, this is no ordinary situation. Mark is in very real danger and the only person who can save him is a fictional mad man in a box.

2. Why should this Dr. Who fan script be made into a movie?

I think this would make the quintessential Whovian adventure. It celebrates everything about Who, both classic and modern. I poured every bit of my admiration, respect and enjoyment for the show into this script. I wanted to write something long-term fans would really appreciate but also people new to the show would enjoy.

I believe this would make a fantastic audio, animated or even live-action production.

3. How long have you been watching Dr. Who? Have you seen almost (or every) episode?

I started watching in the Tom Baker years and I’ve seen pretty much every episode since. I’ve also gone back to watch some of the earlier episodes starring Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell. I even love the old Doctor Who movies starring the legendary Peter Cushing.

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

Star Wars – A New hope. There was a point in my childhood I was watching it every day.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

I’d love to team up with Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies to co-write the ultimate Doctor Who movie. I’d also love to work with Joss Whedon. I really admire his writing and the characters he creates. Oh and yeah, If JJ Abrams wants any help with Star Wars or for me to take over Star Trek, tell him to gimme a call!

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

I’ve been writing as a hobby for many years, so I’ve written lots of short stories and scripts; some fan fiction but mostly original material. I’ve recently finished writing my first original feature called The 12 Step Killers and I’m currently working on a sequel to American Werewolf in London, just for fun and because the idea popped in my head. I have to write whatever pops in my head otherwise it drives me insane.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

When Steven Moffat produced the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, he said something about the fan’s desire to include every incarnation of the Doctor in the special episode was impractical and impossible. I took that as a challenge. I know he includes a shot of all the Doctors at the end of the anniversary special but I felt they could have done more.

Also, as a fan I wanted to take part in the celebrations and was disappointed the BBC didn’t offer any opportunities for fans to participate. So I decided to write this just for myself. It was my way of joining in the celebration of fifty years of my favourite TV show.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I have very little time to write, due to this annoying thing that keeps on getting in the way called life. So I have developed a process that works for me. Once I get an idea, I flesh it out in my head during the week. I have conversations with the characters and work on each scene mentally. I’ve found the best time for this is at the gym.

The idea is to have 10-15 pages worth of material ready to go. Then, when I get a few spare hours, I’ll seal myself off from the world, prepare an enormous cafetiere of coffee, fire up some inspirational soundtrack music, pound away at my keyboard and see how far I can get.

Some weeks I don’t get any time to write but as long as I keep on writing when I do, it all adds up and stops me going mental.

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

I love stories. I love hearing them, reading them, watching them. I love music and art, anything which touches me emotionally and spiritually. I’m passionate about anything which helps me appreciate the here and now more.

10. Who is your all-time favorite Dr. Who and why?

Just like in the script, Tom Baker is my Doctor. He’ll always have the most special place in my heart but I really grew attached to Matt Smith. I do like Peter Capaldi a lot, he’s becoming an epic Doctor but I still miss Matt Smith.

11. What influenced you to enter the Fan Fiction Festival? Was the feedback you received valuable?

I wrote My Doctor for myself. As unsolicited fan fiction I knew the BBC couldn’t entertain even reading it, so I never thought I could do anything with it until I came across this fabulous festival. I looked through the website and saw some of the fantastic TV episodes and movies from all sorts of famous franchises and thought, why not give it a go? I’m so glad I did.

The feedback I received was incredible. The guy reviewing seemed to really understand not only scripts but Doctor Who and good, well-rounded stories. The feedback really helped me to write a new draft.

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

Never stop writing. Never stop believing in yourself. Never stop challenging yourself. Write out of your comfort zone. Write things that scare you, write things that are difficult.

Write even if you only have one hour a month, never let excuses stop you. Never let that little demon that whispers in your ear ‘Why even try? Just give up!’ persuade you to stop.

Let your writing be your art, your message to the world, your legacy. Let your words cut deep, your dialogue speak volumes and make every single element of your script mean something; even if it only means something to you.

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Deadline: FAN FICTION FESTIVAL
Submit a classic TV show, movie series, or iconic franchise screenplay.
https://fanfictionfestival.com/

Watch sneak peak teaser of the DOCTOR WHO video on Instagram:
https://instagram.com/p/4zIURiOOio/

Interview with Sean Ballantyne, Batman Fan Fiction Screenplay Winner

Watch the Winning Fan Fiction Screenplay of Batman “Joker’s Vendetta”:

Interview with the winning writer Sean Ballantyne by Matthew Toffolo:

Matthew: What motivated you to write this Batman Fan Short Script?

Sean: Practice, and fun, really. I had an idea to write a fan-film and cram it with all the references I could to see how far I could go without derailing it. Ultimately it was a great exercise in scripting.

Matthew: What is this script about?

Sean: I was kind of going for a theme of duality. Each major character has two lives that they live, there are two angles to everything etc. It’s not entirely evident in the end result, but my ability to write thematic explorations wasn’t as evolved back then. (I first wrote it over ten years ago.) Plot wise, it’s about the Joker murdering mobsters, and no one really knows why.

Matthew: What Batman universe does this script fall under?

Sean: The Sean-iverse! =)

I didn’t place it in any specific existing continuity. Though, I did envision a late 40s- early 50s kind of feel in terms of look and style. I left any direct references out of the script itself, it was simply my thoughts for setting while writing it.

Matthew: The character of Penguin is dynamic but not what I was used to in a Penguin as many of us see the Danny DeVito – Batman Returns character. Who is the real Penguin in the Batman universe? Yours or the Tim Burton version?

Sean: Penguin has gone through a lot of changes over the years, many of them silly. I hated the Danny DeVito version. I prefer the Penguin as a criminal aristocrat – a gentleman of crime. Before the Dark Knight Rises went into production, I had this hope that Christopher Nolan was going to use the Penguin (Philip Seymour Hoffman was rumoured for the role at the time) as just that – a crime boss akin to Marvel’s Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) – outwardly a socially upstanding pillar of the community – but really a crimelord. This would be a great counterpoint to Bruce Wayne, who is outwardly a spoiled brat, living a playboy lifestyle but secretly risks his life to help the city.

Matthew: On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how badly do you want to turn this script into a movie?

Sean: Oh, I’d say a 7 or 8. If I had the expendable cash I’d totally try and make it. But I suspect that, in order to do it right, I’d need a lot more expendable cash than I currently have. A LOT more. Do you think a Kickstarter might work? Ha!

Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Sean: Likely a toss up between the original Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. As a kid I played them over and over.

Matthew: What year do you predict Warner Brothers to “rebrand” the Batman franchise?

Sean: That would be next year. The movie’s already made and coming out next Summer. Warner’s scrambling to catch up to Marvel on the whole ‘shared universe’ concept. They’re starting with the crossover event (Batman Vs Superman) and everyone’s getting a solo afterwards.

Matthew: What’s the process on writing a fan script? To just understand the universe you’re writing for backwards and forwards?

Sean: Absolutely – you definitely need to know the characters. At the same time, it’s a creative work, so there’s wiggle room to try something new. But having that understanding going in is really important if you want to be true to the story’s roots, I think. To paraphrase Picasso – know the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Matthew: If you could be a comic book character, who would you be?

Sean: Argh! Too many to choose from… my head’s going to explode with the possibilities!

Matthew: What comic book character needs to have their own movie franchise?

Sean: A lot of the ones I’d like to see are already in production – Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Wonder Woman (finally), Deadpool….

I’d love to see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen redone properly. Alas, Alan Moore has been so mistreated by various entities when it comes to his properties, he’s pretty much stated that none of is work will ever get a film treatment again if he can help it.

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