Interview with First Scene Winner Jacob F. Keller, (The Curse of Sam Hain)

It was the first contest I’ve come across that didn’t require an entire screenplay to be submitted. A first scene allows for a much more focused effort on polishing a really good sample. Getting those 5-10 pages right takes a few days to a week while an entire screenplay can take many weeks or months to get right. Plus, the price of submission made it much more appealing. Really, there was nothing to lose.

– Jacoob F. Keller, on why he submitted to the WILDsound Festival (Review)

    Watch the 1st Scene Reading THE CURSE OF SAM HAIN:


NARRATOR – Frances Townend
Belenus – Sean Ballantyne
Sam Hain- Neil Kulin
Daughter – Julia Vally
Rider – Kaleb Alexander
Wife – Jacqueline Brown
Man #1 – Charles Gordon
Man #1 – Rob Salerno

Submit your First Scene Screenplay:

Matthew Toffolo interviews Jacob F. Keller:

Matthew: What is your screenplay about?

Jacob: The lone survivor of a crash landing on a distant world becomes the surprising savior to the aborigines facing genocide.

Matthew: Why should this script be made into a movie?

Jacob: It’s Cast Away meets Alien. It is a story that is can be both visually and metaphorically engaging with its strong ties to Dante’s Inferno. It is also a role that a lot of actors fight over. It has a lot going for it.

Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?

Jacob: It started in junior high. So, 20 years? Yeah, that’s about right.

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

Jacob: Easy, Ghostbusters. Probably watched it 30-40 times. I can almost quote the whole thing.

Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?

Jacob: It’s not so much about who I work with but what kind of projects I would want if I could choose. There are properties I would love a shot at, things nobody has thought about developing or projects that haven’t gone anywhere. I’ll work with anyone that has the same passions I do.

Matthew: How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Jacob: Last I counted 7 finished, and another 4-5 in various stages of development.

Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

Jacob: Ideally, still living and working in Hollywood developing any number of projects in various forms.

Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Jacob: I try to get an early start and save personal errands and such for the afternoon and evening. If I flip it, I’m usually too worn out to sit in front of a computer for 3-4 hours. I also try to break it down in chunks. If I write one scene or get a problem figured out, I’l reward myself with some Netflix or playing one of my video games. And I always walk away mid-scene so I know exactly where to start the next day.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Jacob: Old school, 8-bit video games. I play almost every day as a break between projects. And my family. I have one brother but many, many cousins all across the country and we try to stay in touch as best we can over Facebook.

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

Jacob: Don’t follow trends or write what you think a producer or executive wants to read. Write what you want to write. Your passion will shine through and the right audience will find you.

By WILDsound Festival

Submitters reactions to their feedback on their stories. New testimonials coming each month! Watch this month's winning readings. At least 15 performances a month: Submit your script, story, poem, or film to the festival today:


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