|Best Scene from the screenplay TALATRICS Screenplay
Written by Cecilia Copeland
Genre: Sci-Fi, Teen, Adventure, Comedy
A precocious teenager begins her first day at school in outer space, and must navigate her classmates and teachers, while learning to control her special powers.
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
It’s set far in the future, 5515 when a young woman goes off to a special college for students with certain abilities. Her older brother is already there one year ahead of her. When she arrives she enters a world of intrigue, double crossing, and fights for supremacy all while trying to learn how to harness her powers. Both RT and her brother are from the family that rules Mars, and most of the other students are from families who have their own planets, but unlike the other students RT’s father is in jail and he is the cause of a war that pitted two regions of space against one another. The school, TALATRICS is supposed to be neutral territory, but because of an old prophecy everyone has a stake in whether RT graduates or not. My screenplay in WildSound Festival is the Pilot Ep of the TALATRICS, which is a long arch series.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Mystery, Strong Female Protagonist
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
TALATRICS is a great way for us to understand our current political and emotional impulses by looking at them at a distance in the future. It allows us to investigate the thorny territory of otherness, while emboldening us to take heart in what is good in our humanity. TALATRICS is an exciting rush of a show that resembles our own world closely enough so that we can identify with it, but is far enough in the future that we aren’t pointing fingers at anyone so much as throwing light on certain subjects that inherently casts shadows on others. TALATRICS is the kind of escape from reality that is inspiring and smart enough for us to feel like the time away from our troubles was not just well-spent, but that we come back shaper and refreshed, ready to keep fighting the good fight in our own lives.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I’ve been working on the story since about 2004. It’s based on an idea I had for a novel, which when I started writing I quickly realized that the world of this story was much bigger than one book. I fell in love with the idea of seeing it brought to life as a series so I could follow the lives of these characters over many years and through lots of adventures.
6. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written over two hundred short plays, five short films, fourteen full length plays, one screenplay, one novel, and three TV pilots.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
As strange as it seems the story is somewhat close to my own life history. No I do not have any magical powers, but the big divorce, the kidnapping, the pressure of living in the public as a family of infamy, and the warring factions of a community are all things that I grew up around. For me, being able to put all that stuff in the context of science fiction and fantasy was a way to normalize it so others to also identify with that experience. And I just love science fiction and fantasy. I think those imaginative genres are the places where our darkest fears and our best hopes for humanity can be voiced.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Mostly just finding the time to work on it. I have several different projects that I’m working on, as well as my own theatre company, and another full time job. But any writer can tell you that a writer writes. If you want to write, if it’s burning in you, if you have to do it, then you’ll find a way. Years ago when I was a bartending I used to write scenes on the receipt tape from the cash register, then take home and transcribe long reams of cash register paper onto my laptop to add new scenes into whatever I was working on at the time. Now it’s not quite so challenging. I just email myself a copy of the file from my office and keep working on it at home.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m a big card carrying feminist. I believe in gender, religious, racial and LGBTQ equality. I’m also a champion for a living wage. The biggest problem in our country is that so many people here are working thirty or forty hours a week and don’t earn a living wage. My grandfather worked in a Wonder Bread factory for a while and my grandmother served food in a hospital cafeteria. They had five kids. They also had a big house in the nice neighborhood and a car and a house boat, and they took vacations every year. There is no way a family today with two parents in blue collar jobs, like Walmart and Mcdonalds, having five kids to take care of would earn enough to live in a large house with a new car and a house boat. That’s horribly sad. To me, that’s the death of the American dream and until that living wage, a good wage for anybody working full time is brought back to our country we will be a country with an ever shrinking middle class. So, I’m passionate about a living wage and equity of opportunity for all.
10. What advice to you have for other writers?
My advice is to sit down and write. Write ten scripts and then write then more. I know sometimes after you write one you think, ‘that’s all I have inside me.’ but just pick up the newspaper, look around, kiss someone you love, be present… you have more inside you. Keep writing and never give up.
Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
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