Category Archives: tv festival

Edward Pronley – January 2017 TV Spec (MODERN FAMILY) Screenplay Winner

Watch the January 2017 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay Reading.

Best Scene from the screenplay MODERN FAMILY Screenplay
Written by Edward PronleyCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
CLAIRE – Val Cole
MITCHELL/LUKE – Nick Wicht
GLORIA/ALEX – Shannon McNally
HALEY/LILY – Catherine D’Angelo
PHIL – David Straus
CAMERON/JAY – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Family

After refusing to fulfill Claire’s request to hire tree trimmers, Phil, with Luke’s help, takes matters into his own hands; Claire and Mitchell attempt to have a relaxing getaway; Gloria has problems trusting the Dunphys.


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

When the idea for this story came to me, I knew it would be able to fit in nicely with the rest of the series. The conflict that arises from the three separate storylines converge in a way that I have definitely witnessed on the show before.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Trust family.

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

I have a problem with continuously re-watching, not only Modern Family, but also How I Met Your Mother. These two shows have great strengths in both writing comedy, and in writing characters we care about. I love seeing that in a comedy and hope to create something similar in my own writing.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started this screenplay in the Summer of 2016 while pursuing a Screenwriting Certificate from NYU. It took me about the entire summer, with the help of my professor and my fellow classmates, to establish a good first draft. From there it went through many revisions until it was in it’s strongest form by around the end of December.

How many stories have you written?

Although this is my first spec script that I have written, I’ve written and produced a number short films (one that has gone on to be nominated for Best Screenplay at some festivals), I’ve written a feature, and most recently I finished a Two-Act comedy play that will be produced and performed around the end of April.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Last Summer, before I even thought about writing this spec, I had been helping my father cut down trees around the yard. My mother begged him to hire professionals instead of doing it himself, but he thought it would save time and money. Well, a few days later as I was helping him cut down a rather large tree in our front yard, we miscalculated where it would fall and it ended up crashing into the top of our house. The A story of my script follows, almost exactly, this chain of events. After this occurred during the Summer, I had so many people telling that it would fit very well into an episode of Modern Family, so I decided to bring it to life.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

There were numerous obstacles that I faced when finishing this screenplay. It went through so many changes during my revision process and before even sending it to festivals, there was a point where I basically scrapped half of it and started over. The reason for this was due to the three complex storylines that intertwine throughout the script. I knew where I wanted them to go and how I wanted it all to end, however, it was getting them all to that point that had me scratching my head and scrapping rewrite after rewrite. In the end though, I feel that it came together very nicely.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I really enjoy doing anything that has to do with music. I play a number of instruments, including guitar and a little bit of piano, but I have recently got into the habit of trying to learn even more instruments. Most recently, I have picked up the drums and the trumpet.

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

Initially the biggest thing that made me want to enter this festival was the recorded performance of our written scripts if we were to win. After receiving my notes from the festival though, I would say that I now have two big reasons to submit to this festival again in the future. The notes I received were very well thought out and helped me immensely during my most recent revision of the script. The festival put a lot of effort into making the notes as thorough and helpful as possible.

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

The best advice I could give other writers would be to power through. There are times where you might think that you need to take a break from your writing and step back, maybe giving yourself an hour or a week to think about the story and your characters before you continue. I know in my experience though, that an hour turns into five and a week can turn into a month. If you sit down and write out your story, no matter how terrible it might seem to you, just know that the revision will always be better. Revisions can’t happen though, unless you actually write the script.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

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Dimitry Pompée – January 2017 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner

Watch the January 2017 Winning TV PILOT Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay DOWN WITH THE BUREAUCRACY Screenplay
Written by Dimitry PompeeCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
NATHAN – Gabriel Darku
KAREN/PAULA – Val Cole
LUKE – Nick Wicht
MYLES – Charles Gordon
ALLIE/NORA – Shannon McNally
QUINN – Catherine D’Angelo
BARLOWE – David Straus

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Political

After being framed for treason and losing his job at a prestigious DC lobbying firm, an arrogant grad student finds himself forced to take an entry-level position at the second-worst federal agency in America.

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

My pilot, Down With The Bureaucracy, is about an arrogant graduate student named Nathan who is forced to take an entry-level position at the second-worst federal agency in America in order to keep his academic scholarship. While Nathan is hostile to all of his coworkers at first, he finds he must convince them to help him save his job when his spiteful manager tries to fire him on the first day.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Aside from the fact that I think it would be a pretty funny show, I think there’s a huge audience for a sitcom about how ridiculous it can be working at the lower rungs of the federal government. We certainly have some amazing shows like Veep that mock the people in the corridors of power, but there are plenty of people in the lesser-known agencies who could use the same treatment.

At the same time, I also want to create a show that demonstrates the good that the federal workforce can do. Not only could this show derive material from the incompetence of the federal bureaucracy, it can show that there are plenty of talented and dedicated federal employees who are keeping this country afloat. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to endear people to their government than through a show about a group of bumbling coworkers who occasionally manage to do a decent job. Well, aside from a civics class.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Utterly rewarding.

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

It’s only rounding out its second season, but I think I’ve watched every episode of NBC’s Superstore about seventeen times each. It’s an excellent example of how to use an ensemble cast full of absurd characters to create a compelling and hilarious sitcom. The same can be said of The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and all the other shows I find myself watching again and again.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on this one for about two years and a half now. I recently compared the first draft from May 2014 with this current draft, and while many of the core pieces remain intact, it is radically different than it used to be. Hopefully, it’s better too!

How many stories have you written?

This is a difficult question to answer, because I have several scripts in various stages of “completion.” I would say that I have four scripts in what you might call late-stage drafts, and many others that are in earlier stages of editing, drafting, outlining, or nascent, amorphous chaos.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

When I was in grad school, I was also working full-time and I was very unhappy with my employment situation. I was bored and frustrated, and all of my job applications were met with silence, so I felt like I was stuck. I can’t even remember what the situation was, but one day, some nonsense happened at work and I said something to the effect of, “That is so stupid, it could be in a sitcom.” I started writing that very night. And I did end up leaving that job for something much better soon after, but not before taking extensive notes about working there that I’ve used in my pilot.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I don’t believe it’s done yet, but there have been some obstacles in getting it to this point. The most vexing obstacle for me was and remains developing a consistent writing habit, then sticking to it. I try do some writing during lunch at work, and then after coming home and foraging through the fridge for a somewhat healthy dinner, I write some more. Some days are better than others, but I figure as long as I can get SOMETHING down every day, I can count it as a success.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Video games, a free and open internet, and naps. Pretty much anything I can do on my couch.

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

I entered the festival precisely because of the reputation of the feedback. It can be challenging to find sources for insightful feedback when you’re outside of an academic or professional setting, especially if you’re just starting out and you have no connections. Several friends of mine who had previously entered the festival told me that the feedback they received was incredibly helpful, and I absolutely agree. After digesting and utilizing the notes I received, I can say with utmost certainty that my script is leagues ahead of where it was before the festival.

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

Many people have said this in much more insightful ways, but I’d advise other writers to always be open to receiving constructive feedback, and to seek it out specifically. It’s not easy hearing something you’ve been working on for a long time isn’t as good as you think it is, but receiving that type of criticism is essential to developing your skills as a writer. Don’t take it personally, don’t ignore it, and use it to improve your work.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!