Category Archives: sitcom tv

TV Spec Screenplay – Modern Family by Chai Karve

Watch the September 2016 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay

Modern Family by Chai Karve

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
ALEX – Mandy Magnan
PHIL/CAMERON – Devin Upham
JAY/MITCHELL – Neil Kulin
LILY/HALEY – Lauren Toffan
LUKE/MANNY – Scott Beaudin
CLAIRE/GLORIA – Katelyn Vanier

Get to know the writer:

What is your spec screenplay based on the famous TV show about?

All of the characters that usually get what they want need help. On a mushy-gushy level, it’s about realizing everyone’s potential for contribution and using the talents of everyone around you to solve a problem.

A plots: Alex tries to land an internship. Jay tries to learn technology. Haley tries to maintain a long-distance relationship. Mitchell tries to engage with Lily.

B plots: Gloria uses idioms to a fault. Claire and Phil jockey to help Alex. Luke offers sage relationship advice. Lily and Cameron are football bros.

How does this screenplay fit into the context of the TV show?

Most viewers will be able to relate to at least one of the storylines. It’s difficult acknowledging our shortcomings, and this episode deals with that in several contexts.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fast & Relatable

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

Arrested Development and Veep. Both of these shows are so fast and terrifyingly witty. The number and diversity of jokes these shows have is staggering. I find new elements every time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The story was outlined in a week and I wrote a draft in 2 days. Once I locked down the story I knew I could crank it out relatively quickly.

How many stories have you written?

The spec is the longest piece I have written other than academic writing. I have and continue to write sketches, one-liners, and short films.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

My love for the show and the characters.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Modern Family has an uncanny ability to weave together wonderfully disjointed stories thematically and I did not feel comfortable putting pen to paper until I had that sense of interconnectivity locked down.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Improv comedy. Late night comedy. Comedy. Podcasts about politics and other useless intelligent jargon.

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

More than winning (which is pretty great), I wanted feedback. Every time you enter one of these things, it is a total gamble, and I this was the first one I entered because of the promise of feedback in a timely manner. I got solid feedback and was able to tweak my script to a point where I was happy with it, all thanks to the kind people at WILDsound.

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

Being busy is not an excuse. Make time. Outline the crap out of everything. Start with smaller pieces – success in brevity is absolutely scalable.

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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Mid Year Review: Watch 10 Winning TV PILOT Screenplays

Deadline to submit your TV screenplay to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch the Winning TV PILOT Screenplay Readings from January to June 2016 from the Writing Festival:

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – WILD MAGIC
June 2016 Reading
Written by Julie Nichols

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – CIVILIAN
June 2016 Reading
Written by Gina Scanlon

ACTORFAN FICTION Screenplay – SPACE 2099 (based on Space 1999)
June 2016 Reading
Written by Kevin D Story

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – THE REAPER: REBELLION “AFTERLIFE”
May 2016 Reading
Written by Mark S. MacDonald, Darsey Meredith

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – SMITHEREENS
May 2016 Reading
Written by Hershel D. Rephun

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – MAILROOMIES
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jacques Edeline

TV PILOT Screenplay – REC’D
March 2016 Reading
Written by Chris Courtney Martin

TV PILOT Screenplay – MINDWALKER
February 2016 Reading
Written by Thorsten Loos

ACTORTV PILOT – LACIE BIDWELL
January 2016 Reading
Written by Jameel Khan

ACTORTV PILOT – LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
January 2016 Reading
Written by Debi Calabro

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Deadline TODAY – Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival

TV Screenplay Readings performed in 2015:
15 – TV PILOTS Performed
16 – TV SPECS Performed
(Scroll down and watch winning performance videos)

      Get your TV script performed by professional actors at the Television Festival.

FULL FEEDBACK on your TV Scripts from our committee of Professional TV Writers, TV Production Heads and TV Script Consultants.

The #1 TV Screenplay Festival and Contest in the World today!

– 0ffers screenwriters at all levels the fantastic opportunity to hear their scripts read aloud using TOP PROFESSIONAL ACTORS to perform your work.

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– No matter what happens, you will receive full feedback on your script by our established Reading Committee. No other place in the world will you get coverage for the price you pay.

– Even if you’re just looking for feedback of your script, this is the festival for you.

It’s there for all to see. The proof is in the viewership. These videos garner 1000s of views online. Some of the screenplay readings are more popular than actual studio films made!

– We specialize in showcasing TV PILOT and TV SPECS from past shows and making sure that when the script is ready, the writer will benefit by at least obtaining a solid agent.

The RULES are simple:

1. Write a script. Edit the heck out of it. We accept original TV pilots and TV Spec scripts from existing shows.

2. Email your script to submission@tvfestival.org in .pdf, .doc, .wpd, .rtf, or .fdr format.

In the body in the email please add your:
– FULL NAME
– CITY AND COUNTRY
– TITLE OF SCRIPT
– TYPE OF SCRIPT (TV pilot, TV spec)
– (optional) and a 1-2 line synopsis of your screenplay.

OR if you like to mail us your script with a check, please email us and we’ll make arrangements.

PLEASE ADD YOUR FULL CONTACT INFO (especially email address) on the title page of your script!

3. Pay the $40 submission fee ($10 off the regular submission) via the button here:
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OR, Submit via FilmFreeway, the exclusive way our festival accepts submissions.:

WATCH Winning TV PILOT Readings:

WATCH Winning TV SPEC Readings:

Watch TV PILOT of I HEART MY DEMONS by Rebecca Scott

Watch the December 2015 winning TV Pilot Screenplay.

I HEART MY DEMONS by Rebecca Scott

CAST LIST: 
NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
EVAN – Robert Notman
ROCKY – Antosia Fiedur
RENE/CLAUDIA – Jane Smythe
CLEMANTINE/JUDITH – Jane Hailes
MATTHEW/FRED/BUSTER – Kari-Michael Helava
ANDREWS/JOE/THE KOREAN – Sean Ballantyne

Get to know writer Rebecca Scott:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

My TV pilot is about the plight of being human, having desires, urges and needs – that contradict society, health, convention, and common sense. Basically a young near-do well wakes up one morning to find his personal demons have come to life and are moving into make his life hell.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

I believe this screenplay should be made into a TV show because it’s audacious, provocative, and funny as hell. Most people can relate to a flawed anti hero protagonist, but having his struggles anthropomorphized by a cast of witty devious anti guardian angels is unique and a new spin on the dark comedy, internal life genre.

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

In two words – Audacious and hilarious.

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

A Clockwork Orange.

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

I wrote it in one day, and rewrote it for a year.

6. How many stories have you written?

How many script have I written? Good ones? LOL – hundreds, but most are not fit for human consumption. I’m proud of about a dozen of my screenplays and pilots.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was motivated to write this screenplay by the idea of morals, vs self. I Love watching a main character struggle to be “a good person” and “Make healthy choices” – when everything fun in life tends to arise from some kind of vice. Evan is surrounded by temptation, and must battle that to fix his life. I can relate to those struggles and dig seeing them manifested in TV.

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

What obstacles did I face to finish this screenplay? None. I wrote it in one day in the lobby of a Florida hotel when my ex boyfriend got mad at me and kicked me out of our suite.

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

Aside from writing, I am passionate about directing, production design (my day job) my family, friends, current “Non kicking me out of hotel rooms, boy friend”, travel, food and having a bloody good time in life – while possibly doing a bit of good along the way. The good is optional, as long as there’s fun.

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

I entered this festival a few years ago with a short script I’d written and I won and it was very exciting, so I thought why not go back for more. Plus I feel the adjudicators have very good taste and thoughtful, insightful feedback. I regret not doing much of a rewrite based on their notes, but I fully intend to as they were smart and useful.

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

My advice to other writers, is write every day even if it’s crap. Don’t put off putting down details and stories – you may think you’ll remember them but they’re never as fresh as in the moment. And fuck up. Fuck up hard. Life is never more interesting than when you’re looking at it from the bottom. People who aren’t out there living it, have no business writing about it.

WILDsound Announces its November 2015 Television Screenplay Winners

Watch winning screenplays performed by professional actors:

TV PILOT Winner – Hail Mary
November 2015 Reading
Written by Stan Williamson

http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/hail_mary.html

SYNOPSIS:

Named by her father after a football pass with little chance of success, a quick-witted former pro beach volleyball player takes on the exclusive boys club of professional sports by becoming a sports agent/attorney.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christina Santos
MARY SPARKS- Holly Sarchfield
JASON SPARKS – Jarrid Terrell
STEVEN CAMPBELL – Geoff Mays
JUDGE/PERKINS – David Occhipinti
VICKY/HANNA – Lorry Ayers

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TV SPEC Winner – Bob’s Burgers
November 2015 Reading
Written by Travis McMaster & Tony Interdonato

http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/bobs_burgers.html

SYNOPSIS:

A full family story. Mr. Fishodoer has extorted the Belcher family into using the rec. center.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
BOB – Allan Michael Brunet
LINDA – Erynn Brook
LOUISE – Lauren Toffan
GENE – Adam Martignetti
TINA – Devin Upham

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Deadline: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

 

TV PILOT Sitcom – WASHED UP by Leila Ben Abdallah

Watch the TV PILOT Reading of WASHED UP:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Matthew Lawrence
LENA – Reetu Bambrah
BARRIE/AMIR – Julian Ford
ADAM – Vince Jerad
CONSTANCE/NADIA – Victoria Murdoch

Get to know writer Leila Ben Abdallah:

1. What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

Washed-Up is about an Arab-American actress, Lena Hadid, who finds fame as a sexy, three-breasted alien queen on a hit sci-fi show with a devoted cult following. When she leaves the show, she finds herself too typecast to ever work again. Out of money and options, Lena moves home to the suburbs of Washington D.C. to share a condo with her metrosexual Arab father, and her hip-hop producer younger brother. In between running a successful bar, chasing women and picking out a tie, Amir supports Lena as she rebuilds her confidence, while Adam’s success as the most popular hip-hop producer in Washington D.C. inspires her to reinvent her career and her life.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV Show?

My favorite sitcoms are the ones centered around characters who are very different and prone to disagree, but are forced to exist together under some circumstance outside of their control. I like watching funny characters struggle to get along and get by with other characters who are diametrically opposed to them in lifestyle, beliefs, opinions, age, politics…The storyline possibilities feel endless among the Hadid family, and there is another wealth of humor to be mined from the setting of the suburbs. The thing that really ties everything together is how much the Hadid’s love each other despite their differences, and I think this is a story with a lot of heart and a lot of potential for longevity.

3. This Pilot has a lot going for it. It’s part inside the business, part comedy, part family, part social commentary, part family, part romance. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

Lena Hadid, a washed-up actress, loses her job starring as a sexy, three-breasted Alien queen on Spaceship: Neutrino, a popular sci-fi show and is forced to move home to the suburbs to share a bachelor pad-style condo with her metrosexual Arab father and rapper younger brother.

4. What is your all-time favorite TV show?

Arrested Development. It’s just so smart and the jokes are so complex, and the series as a whole is so intricately constructed, that whenever I re-watch the series, I catch jokes that had been set-up several episodes earlier that I never noticed before. And this was before the current trend of binge-watching, so that was risky. It also really epitomizes what I love about sitcoms, that idea of very opposing characters struggling to get along under circumstances outside of their control.

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

I have been sitting on the idea for years, but actually writing for about 6 months, and put up a private table reading and later a public reading here in NYC at The People’s Improv Theater.

6. How many stories have you written?

This is my second T.V. pilot, I’m currently working on a third, and I have written and performed two solo-shows, one of those solo-shows I performed in the NY International Fringe Festival last summer, and my first pilot, Eight-Sixed, is available for viewing on my website, http://www.leilaben-abdallah.com.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The brother and father characters in Washed-Up are loosely based on my own brother and father who actually do share a bachelor-pad style apartment in the suburbs of D.C. Those two are the funniest people I know, plus their relationship is so indicative of the times. It’s taking longer and longer for people of my generation to pass those benchmarks of adulthood that were set by previous generations (financial stability, marriage, kids) so it’s not unusual for fully functioning adults to live with their parents. My brother works, has a car, is a generally responsible adult; his roommate just happens to be his father. On top of that, interpersonally, they really epitomize what I love about sitcoms; they are two very different people, who are stuck together and working to get along. I have known for years that I wanted to write a sitcom about their living situation, but I also knew I wanted to insert a strong female protagonist, and after years of collecting ideas and getting inspired by my own dad and brother, I got the idea for the character of Lena, whose story is entirely fiction, but whose personality is a heightened version of mine (I think Lena is a little more self-important and pretentious than I am…but only a little!) and that is when I sat down and drew out the structure and wrote the dialogue.

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

The biggest obstacle I faced was how to take this amazing wealth of material I had to draw from (my dad and brother) and make it my own in a piece of fiction. This became easier when I came up with the character of Lena as the center of the story, as everything about her story is fiction. The characters of Amir and Adam are inspired by real people, but it was important to me that they not be verbatim presentations of my real family. In the end, the only thing I directly stole (with their blessing) is their ongoing game of hiding that gigantic teddy bear from each other around their apartment to try to scare the other. Credit where credit is due!

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

Improv, teaching, Middle Eastern/North African politics.

I practice and perform improv weekly on a house team (The Duke, Wednesdays at 9pm!) at The People’s Improv Theater here in New York City, and I occasionally teach and coach other improv teams whenever they let me. I recently fell completely in love with teaching, and it totally changed the way I look at improv.

I’m proudly half-Tunisian, and this has a way of creeping into everything I write. My dad always says you can’t understand politics until you understand history and geography, and once I started learning about those things, it opened my eyes to why exactly the region has suffered so much, and it also gives me hope that we will see some progress in my life time. I wish more people would take the time to look beyond what CNN chooses to broadcast, because there are pockets of progress (notably in Tunisia) and a lot of people who are fighting like hell for things like civil rights, freedom and democracy. History and geography has shown me that the ME/NA just has more to overcome in the pursuit of those goals, and I wish we here in the West were exposed more to the successes that have happened than just the same exhausting cycle of beheading, bombing, hijacking, kidnapping, beheading, bombing, hijacking…

If you weren’t sure whether I am passionate about Middle Eastern/North African politics or not, it’s worth mentioning that my original answer to this question was about three paragraphs long!

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

I was searching on FilmFreeway for screenwriting festivals and contests, and WILDsound was suggested to me. I love that this festival focuses on feedback, and celebrates the process. I seldom ever consider a piece done, and submitting to contests and festivals can sometimes feel like a big declaration of “FINISHED!” but it’s also important to me as a writer to share my work with the world, so this was a perfect balance between letting it loose, and allowing it to be a work in progress. When I first got word that my script would be included in WILDsound, my initial instinct was to send an email saying, “make sure you do it like this! Make sure you do it like that!”, not out of mistrust of the producers, just out of my own writerly self-doubt that the piece would not be able to speak for itself. In the end, the healthiest thing I could do would be to just let the piece go and trust the story to speak for itself and trust that WILDsound would honor the piece. So few festivals, maybe no other festival, serves writers on so many levels!

I was blown away by the thoughtful and detailed feedback. I really felt that I could incorporate the notes because I got the sense that they really got what I was trying to say. He even referenced Frasier in his notes, which I particularly appreciated as Frasier was one I turned to a lot when I was preparing the structure of Washed-Up as it is also a story of adult children co-habitating with a parent. They even took time to give a few tips on formatting, which I really appreciated.

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

If you are writing for the screen, produce your own work. If it’s a piece that is meant to be interpreted by actors, you won’t really know it’s potential or quality until it’s read by actors. I have not yet produced Washed-Up for the screen, but I adapted it and produced it onstage at The People’s Improv Theater, with the flashback sequences filmed in advance and projected between scenes. In the process of doing this, I was able to do a lot of editing, and got really in touch with areas where the story was not coming through clearly enough in the dialogue. I produced my first pilot, Eighty-Sixed, for the screen and it very much affected the way I wrote Washed-Up and helped me learn a lot very quickly about structure, since in production you have to break a script down to a really small level, and build it back up again in post. You will also really get in touch with what you are able to accomplish, and you will be constantly surprised by it. There is a film in Sundance this year that was shot on an iPhone. Everyone seems to have a DSLR these days. You can edit in iMovie, which comes on a Mac and YouTube tutorials will get you out of almost any problem. It’s not impossible; you have more resources at your disposal than you think.

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Deadline: SUBMIT TV PILOT/SPEC Script – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
http://www.wildsound.ca/wildsound_festival_review.html