Best Scene Reading of ATHENS, by M. Lee Brutsche

Winning Screenplay – ATHENS
Written by M. Lee Brutsche

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
FBI TASK – Peter Mark Raphael
NICK – Jonah Akler-Silliman
KIRK – Christopher Huron
LEAD MEDIC – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Thriller

After disappearing at the end of the second world war and being sent to Ohio to help in the treatment of psychopathy, two Nazi scientists mysteriously disappear, only to start an elaborate plot against Senator Church of Ohio and by extension, America.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s in the late ’50s, and the FBI and CIA have opposing views with confronting communism.

To the point, they fight each other.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense, psyop thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Utterly original. Nothing about this script has been explored before such as –

– The MK-Ultra program.

– The “Paperclip” Op that brought the Nazis over to help with the
Manhattan project.

– The Odessa ratline they escaped through, etc

How would you describe this script in two words?

Saddle up

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Goodfellas

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

6 months (I have two different versions since completing this one)

How many stories have you written?

On this one, four

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Blue October, Fear

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Still am – the story is three scripts. There’s one version that should be Shutter Island meets Jacobs Ladder.

Another version should be character based on the Nazi Scientist and the FBI agent (one dealing with tragedy, the other dealing with a tragic past). The third version should take a direct and simple plot placing the CIA and FBI on a collision course, in the realm of “Sicario.”

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Nothing

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

The imagination, premise, and cinematic originality is unrivaled…to the point, only a Tarrantino could appreciate it.

It’s nailing the three act structure I appear to not be good at. For example, on the Black list, half my scores are 10’s, and the other half are 6’s. The tens are on premise, setting, dialogue, structure, while the 6s are on plot and pacing.


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!

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Advertisements

Best Scene Reading of My Life With Stella Kane by Linda Morganstein

Best Scene from the screenplay MY LIFE WITH STELLA KANE Screenplay
Written by Linda Morganstein

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelly Daly
LOLLY – Laura Kyswaty
STELLA – Megan Allen
NINA – Kiran Friesen
NILS – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Comedy

“My Life with Stella Kane” is a four-part mini-series movie about a lesbian actress in forties and fifties Hollywood, her sham marriage to a gay male star, and her secret love relationship with the female publicist who arranged the marriage. An ensemble of characters, including the actress’s deaf sister and a black-balled iconic actress, struggle with the repressive times.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

“My Life with Stella Kane” is a four-part mini-series movie about a lesbian actress in forties and fifties Hollywood, her sham marriage to a gay male star, and her secret love relationship with the female publicist who arranged the marriage. An ensemble of characters, including the actress’s deaf sister and a black-balled iconic actress, struggle with the repressive times.

What genres does your screenplay under?

“Dramedy,” that is, comedy-drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“My Life with Stella Kane” portrays a fascinating segment of the recent past and its cultural influence on us, as well as provoking questions about our current attitudes, especially about diversity in the entertainment industry.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bewitching. Sexy.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

“The Wizard of Oz,” starting when I was a child and ever since.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Approximately two years and a number of drafts

How many stories have you written?

I have five published novels, numerous published poems and short stories, and several produced medical video scripts.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I have five published novels, numerous published poems and short stories, and several produced medical video scripts.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The struggle to adapt a novel–especially my own–to the visual medium of film.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My family and friends, gardening, sourdough bread baking and golf. And a good vodka martini with three olives.

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

All writers develop their scripts in different ways, but in the end, know your characters and their story. I have many characters from my projects whom I think of as real people. Be open to the world and, as you write ever better drafts, accept what the world and critics offer you. Some of your most inspired finished products will be the result of clashing with what appears at first as obstacles.

****

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!

 

Best Scene Screenplay – WHO KILLED HONOR BRIGHT by Patricia Hughes

Best Scene from the screenplay WHO KILLED HONOR BRIGHT Screenplay
Written by Patricia Hughes

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Dan Thody
YEATS – Noah Casey
JOHN – Brian Carleton

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, History, Biography, Action

In 1925 Honor Bright’s murder set Dublin on fire.

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Answers to old riddles: who was my father’s father? Why was my
grandmother murdered and who killed her? Why was Yeats so ill and
depressed from 1925 onwards?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It’s been called a thriller, espionage, crime, or murder novel. It’s also a story about love, Irish history, and William Butler Yeats’s up-dated biography.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This true story is a blockbuster – and it’s never been told before.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Fast moving; unforgettable.

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

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy; both versions are brilliant.

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

Nine months – the book took me two years – or eleven if you include the

6. How many stories have you written?

Five stories, all non-fiction. Truth is stranger than fiction.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Finding answers to riddles about my father’s family and my grandmother – and clear her name, we always knew she wasn’t a prostitute. When I found out the truth I wanted to tell the whole world.

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

Putting the right words into the mouths of the characters. As far as possible they speak their own words.

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

Cooking, travel, dancing, music and wine. And people to enjoy them with.

10. What advice to you have for other writers?

Everybody’s different, and you are as good as everybody else.

***

Producer/Director: 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!

Susan Lambert Hatem – November 2016 BEST SCENE Screenplay Winner

Best Scene from FAMILY OF SPIES Screenplay
Written by Susan Lambert HatemCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BEN – Matthew Lawrence
SPENCER – Cory Bertrand
AMY – Cassandra Guthrie
GUARD – Peter-Mark Raphael
SEAN – Vince Jerad

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Family, Crime, Drama

Mom and former-police-officer-turned-lawyer Julia Molina is trying to have it all, but all she’s feeling is stuck in the middle of a boring job and chaotic home life. When an old friend with a mysterious past shows up to ask for her help, Julia suddenly finds herself drawn into a web of lies, spies and intrigue.


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The official synopsis is this:

Mom and former-police-officer-turned-lawyer Celeste Harper is stuck in the middle of a boring job and chaotic home life. When an old friend with a mysterious past shows up to ask for her help, Celeste suddenly finds herself drawn into a web of lies, spies and intrigue. Soon, her husband, Ben, who has a hidden past of his own, and her precocious kids, Sean and Darby are called into action as well. In the process of saving the world, they may also wind up saving their family.

But for me, this story is really about:

The desire to make a difference with your work and how that may clash with the responsibilities of raising a family. It’s been my challenge as a writer, a producer and mom. This story is a fun and intriguing metaphor for every parent’s challenge in the world: Can you raise a family and save the world*?

*aka – Get your very important work done before it’s time to pick up your kids from school.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Family, Action-Thriller

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I haven’t seen anything quite like my version. There is of course Spy Kids and Mr and Mrs. Smith and The Incredibles, all of which were inspirations, as was the 80s TV show, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and the TV show Chuck (basically the reverse Scarecrow and Mrs. King). I wanted to create a live-action action thriller that I can watch with my kids and I would enjoy as much as them. I think we’re clamoring as audiences for something that is exciting, but not too dark. Adventurous, but aspirational and that has heart. I know I am.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fun. Intriguing.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I was always interested in the arts, music, theatre. But it was seeing the original Star Wars at a young age that took my creative breath away. I just had never seen anything like it. I saw it 32 times in a theatre the first year it came out (and it stayed in theaters for a year!).

As an adult, it’s probably a three-way tie between Jaws, Die Hard and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, mostly because if they show up on TV/in my que, I just can’t stop watching them. I produced the website for Finding Nemo, so I saw that a lot when I was at Disney and then on top of that, my son was obsessed with it as a 4-yr old. I may have seen that movie 40 times!

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had the shape of the idea almost 3 years ago. Because of other projects, it took a two years before I could even begin to write it. Then it took about 5 months to write the first draft. Various revisions and feedback took about six months, getting me to the version I submitted to Festival for Family. I have since revised it more based on feedback from Festival for Family and friends. And that I now think it’s better as a TV pilot.

How many stories have you written?

A lot. I have been writing most of my life: short stories, screenplays, plays. I went to USC Film School and have been an independent filmmaker, theatre maker and producer. I like wearing many hats. I like to make most of my stuff independently. Since I also direct, produce, consult in digital marketing and have a family, I go in spurts with my writing. I was doing a lot of producing and directing for a number of years, so I didn’t write screenplays for about five years. Then this last two years, I’ve been writing a plethora of material. I’ve never written like this before. It’s like planes circling an airport, trying to come in for a landing. Much of my stuff, I produce independently. But some ideas, like Family of Spies, I feel have more commercial potential and I’m interested in getting them out to a wider audience.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The first spark came one Christmas Eve with my husband, putting a trampoline together in our backyard. In the dark. Right outside our kids’ window. I loved the idea of the secret, quiet conversations/arguments parents have together in the dark of the night when they’re trying to make the world happen for their kids.

I also love action thrillers and spy movies and television. As my youngest kid moved away from watching animated and “children’s” films, there was a lack of what I felt was appropriate movies and television to watch together. Those transition films. I wanted that. So I wrote it. I was fascinated by the challenge I personally feel trying to balance work with family. It’s a pull that I feel (mostly) women have, but in this work-constantly, fear-driven culture, I think everyone feels that pull to come together and connect with each other in a scary world.

I’m interested how women and men, parents and families, can try to affect real change. This story is a metaphor for acting on that instinct to step up: to volunteer, become an activist, get outside your comfort zone and do something real to help people. To change the world. And I want us to bring our kids along. Let them see us be leaders and heroes and they will be leaders and heroes.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time. And structure. It started as a screenplay and then I realized pretty much around the draft I submitted to Festival for Family, I really want it to be a TV show. I think the world and the characters became bigger to me. I want them to go on and on. So the structure changed a lot. Also, world events and changing times made me try to be very careful about what I was saying about violence and about power structures. That is an ongoing challenge.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love my family and friends. I am passionate about diversity, science, technology, music, justice and protecting the environment. I like to walk, hike and ride my bike. I love good stories and good, independent entertainment. In addition to writing, I produce (and write and sometimes direct) plays, musicals, web shows, music albums. I am passionate about responsible digital marketing for entertainment and worked with Disney (for years) and Dreamworks (as a consultant).

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

Keep writing. And make stuff. Work together. Find your people and make stuff with them. Technology gives us exciting tools we need to put stories we love out into the world. Don’t rely on gatekeepers.

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!

****
Matthew Toffolo: http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

Best Scene Screenplay Reading of REACH FOR THE SKY by Eric Carlson

Watch the November 2016 Winning Best Scene Screenplay.

Best Scene from REACH FOR THE SKY Screenplay

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Andrea Lawrence
BUCK – Cory Bertrand
JONES – Vince Jerad
GHAN – Peter-Mark Raphael
LIZZY – Cassandra Guthrie

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Family, Drama, Biography

In 1964, a young idealistic industrial arts teacher accepts a teaching job in a small rural Missouri high school where he defies the status quo and motivates a group of poor performing students to build an airplane that he promises to fly.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Based on a true story: In 1964, a young idealistic industrial arts teacher (Bill Ghan) accepts a teaching job in a small rural Missouri high school where he defies the status quo and motivates a group of poor performing students to build an airplane that he promises to fly.

As a footnote, Bill Ghan still lives in Missouri, and although he has retired from teaching, he still inspires young people through his participation in his local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter where he continues to build and restore airplanes.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Inspirational True Story/Biopic/Drama/Family

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I believe this story shows there are heroes in all walks of life. A young school teacher – Bill Ghan – challenges his students to do something they did not believe possible – build a fully functional airplane – and then he showed his absolute faith in their efforts by flying it.

And 50 years later over 100 high schools nationwide have an aviation program like the one he started. That was never his original intent, but his efforts turned out to be a great catalyst to create greater opportunities for high school students. His success was then discovered by others and emulated throughout the country.

Bill Ghan’s story needs to be told to show us ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Quietly inspirational

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

To Kill a Mockingbird – an extraordinary film

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I began this project in October 2015. The editing continues to this day.

How many stories have you written?

About 30 screenplays. Some have done very well, others were quietly placed on the shelf because the promise of the premise wasn’t quite achieved.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I believe the stories of what I call “quiet heroes” like Bill Ghan need to be told to show others that success does not have to be measured in epic proportions. Throughout his career, Mr. Ghan made a difference in thousands of high school student’s lives, one student at a time. And it started with one bold idea, implemented back in 1964; that idea later changed the course of high school curricula throughout the country.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The initial draft was relatively easy. The editing has been the most challenging – trying to tighten the story and ensure the story-line flowed seamlessly from start to finish. It goes on to this day.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music and travel. I play the drums, which is my other creative release.

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

First, keep writing. Producers will inevitably ask “what else do you have?”, so you need a stack of completed, polished scripts you can offer. Personally, my goal has been to develop and write at least one new script a year – and I have been able to stick with my goal for the past ten years.

Second, enter contests to measure your script against others – especially ones with feedback. If your script does well, then you are probably on to something good. If not, rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite. If it still doesn’t work, move on. Accept the fact your premise isn’t working.

Keep a list of projects you’d like to develop. That way you’re never worried about what you will do next. (So many stories, so little time is my motto.)

Join a screenwriting group, or start one. You’d be surprised how feedback and interaction with fellow writers helps your own writing. I have been a member of the Virginia Screenwriting Forum for over 10 years, and I credit any success I have achieved to my fellow VSF writers who provide inspiration and encouragement.

****

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!

Oren Weitz – October 2016 Best Scene Screenplay Winner

Best Scene from THE ACCIDENTAL ANGEL Screenplay
Written by Oren Weitz
Read 10 Questions with the writer

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
DANIEL – Benjamin Camenzuli
RIONA – Cass Van Wyck
MOLLY – Becky Shrimpton

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action

Daniel is about to learn the truth about his childhood, and find the strength to grow back his wings. All but to realize he was predestined to save the world from a new world war, and to reveal some even darker truths about himself.


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!

WATCH Best Scene Readings

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – 3 FAMILIES
September 2016 Reading
Written by JD Poland
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay: LOONATOONA
September 2016 Reading
Written by Shockadelic
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – ELAN VITAL
July 2016 Reading
Written by Maroun Rached
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – DUE SOUTH
July 2016 Reading
Written by Evan Schullery
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT
June 2016 Reading
Written by Philip Naiman
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – QUEST FOR MIHTE LUGH
June 2016 Reading
Written by Ray Whittinger
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – SEED OF THE WOMAN
June 2016 Reading
Written by Gary R. Billings
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – THE MESSIAH PROJECT
June 2016 Reading
Written by David E. Baugnon
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – MATSQUI MASSACRE
April 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Curtis Dunn & Pamela C. Royal
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – IX
April 2016 Reading
Written by Oren Weitz
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – SCREAMING MY HEART OUT
March 2016 Reading
Written by Janyce Lapore
ACTORBest Scene TV Pilot – MY LIFE WITH STELLA KANE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Linda Morganstein

 

Barry Brennessel – October 2016 Best Scene Screenplay Winner

Best Scene from PARADISE AT MAIN AND ELM Screenplay
Written by Barry Brennessel
Read 10 Questions with the writer

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
EZRA – Hugh Ritchie
HARTWICKE – Percy Alexander Harris
ADRIAN – Benjamin Camenzuli
DR. DURSCHLAG – Paul Whitaker
STUDENT – Cass Van Wyck
WAITRESS – SECOND WOMAN WOMAN – Jane Smythe

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama

Adrian Stockwell and Ezra Cherevin both battle the fallout from their broken families. The written word becomes their therapy, their escape. With this shared passion, they learn to navigate a sea of challenges.


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!

WATCH Best Scene Readings

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – 3 FAMILIES
September 2016 Reading
Written by JD Poland
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay: LOONATOONA
September 2016 Reading
Written by Shockadelic
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – ELAN VITAL
July 2016 Reading
Written by Maroun Rached
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – DUE SOUTH
July 2016 Reading
Written by Evan Schullery
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT
June 2016 Reading
Written by Philip Naiman
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – QUEST FOR MIHTE LUGH
June 2016 Reading
Written by Ray Whittinger
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – SEED OF THE WOMAN
June 2016 Reading
Written by Gary R. Billings
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – THE MESSIAH PROJECT
June 2016 Reading
Written by David E. Baugnon
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – MATSQUI MASSACRE
April 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Curtis Dunn & Pamela C. Royal