Winning TV PILOT Reading – WHEN THE WORLD WAS SQUARE, by Irwin Greenstein

Winning Screenplay – WHEN THE WORLD WAS SQUARE
Written by Irwin Greenstein

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
NEAL – Peter Mark Raphael
ALLEN – Jonah Akler-Silliman
JACK – Christopher Huron
CAROLYN – Vanessa Quagliara
HENRY – Charles Gordon
SHEILA Kayla Farris

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama, LGBT

A moody, intense drama about the Beat Generation of writers during their time in San Francisco. Focusing on Allen Ginsberg, this pilot tells the story of their tragically entwined lives as they struggle with the responsibility and tediumof a “normal” life and try to recapture their identity.

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Their fierce appetites for sex, drugs and freedom of expression push Beat icons Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady to defy taboos of repressive 1950s America and ignite the anti-establishment insurgence that still makes headlines today.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Commercially, “When the World was Square” presents the flip-side of Mad Men — the unrefined and raw sexuality and hipster fashions that have been largely ignored. Creatively, it presents and birth of America’s gay rights movement and pivot point toward the individual freedoms of expression we now enjoy.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Sexy and addictive.

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

Black Sails

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About 2 years.

How many stories have you written?

In terms of fiction, I’ve written my fair share of unproduced screenplays and unpublished novels — combined I would say about 10. But I’m a professional writer and I write non-fiction every day that’s available to me, so my output is very high.

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

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Facing the challenge of integrating the research and history of the Beats into a compelling, structured narrative. You want to remain true to the original souls but at the same time portray their lives in a commercial and prescribed format.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Sports cars. It’s an expensive habit. Right now I have an old Porsche. Don’t ask about the repair bills. But drop the top on a beautiful day here in South Georgia and the experience is all worth it.

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

I would say it’s the dream of every aspiring screenwriter to see their work performed by people passionate about their craft, and short of a full-blown production a table read is really inspiring. The feedback was great. I took it all to heart and a few weeks laters ended up with a much-improved version.

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

In retrospect, I would urge you all to stay in medical school. Short of that, strive for originality because even if you find yourself eventually drifting into commercial trends at least you would have started in place that’s true to yourself.


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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

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SHORT SCREENPLAY – PROTEST SEEN by Donald J. Bingle

Watch the Winning January 2017 Short Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay PROTEST SEEN Screenplay
Written by Donald J Bingle

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
PROTESTER – David Straus
YOUNG MAN – Gabriel Darku
FLAME BOY – Nick Wicht
GIVER – Charles Gordon
BUSINESS WOMAN – Shannon McNally

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama

What if they held a protest and nobody paid attention?


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about how America reacts to protest.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Dark humor; drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

In just a few pages, it touches on the commitment of protesters, the importance of protest movements, the futility of protest movements, and the apathy of the American public.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Protesting apathy.

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

Hard to say. No VCRs or DVRs when I was a kid. Probably something like the original Journey to the Center of the Earth (with Pat Boone) or Harvey (Jimmy Stewart) or Princess Bride.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote it many years ago, but the process of actually writing it wasn’t that extended. It’s only a few pages.

How many stories have you written?

I have five books and fifty or so shorter stories published in the thriller, mystery, science fiction, horror, steampunk, comedy, romance, and memoir genres, along with a couple screenplays and a dozen or so adventures for role-playing game systems. More about me and my writing at http://www.donaldjbingle.com.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was a creativity exercise triggered by a prompt.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Screenplay formatting is a challenge for those who primarily write short stories.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Causation. People don’t think about both the intended and unintended consequences of their actions and they don’t seem to care about the reasons why people may disagree with them about all sorts of important subjects.

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

The feedback was specific, helpful, and good. I entered because I believe Protest Seen would make a good, limited budget, limit cast, limited location project for a film student to tackle and submit to film festivals, but I don’t have ready access to people who might be looking for that kind of project.

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

Understand not only your strengths, but your weaknesses, and challenge yourself to write things you never would have imagined yourself writing to develop your craft and expand your skill sets.

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

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TV SPEC Reading of MODERN FAMILY “Relax, I Got This” by Edward Pronley

Watch the January 2017 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay Reading.

Best Scene from the screenplay MODERN FAMILY Screenplay
Written by Edward Pronley

CAST 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

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
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Ambert Epling – December 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Winner

Watch the December 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

UNSPOKEN
Written by Amber Epling

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
GABRIEL – Craig Estrella
CELESTE – Rachel Salsberg
DOCTOR WATERS – Georgia Grant
RUSS – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Celeste Grey, a mentally-challenged 20-something girl, who has no ability to speak escapes from an institution after being raped by an associate of the institute. By fate, she ends up on a ranch with 50-something RUSS, whose wife had been institutionalized before committing suicide, and his handsome, self-centered adult son (GABE).

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Unspoken is about a young woman who is mentally disabled and she finds her way to a ranch, where a man and his son take her in and care for her and her soon to be unborn child. While they are trying to hang onto their ranch, they come to realize that, while they thought they were helping her, she actually winds up helping them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genre is a drama.

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

This movie is very inspiring to a lot of people in this world. This woman who is lost, alone, deaf and is pregnant has no hope in the world. The hope she finds is in two people who would be the most unlikely candidates to take care of her. It goes to show that just because people have disabilities and can’t speak for themselves doesn’t mean that they are voiceless and that they don’t have a heart. They just might be the ones to save you, not the other way around.

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

Dramatic and Uplifting

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

The Man In The Iron Mask and The American President

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

This film has been completed for several years now, just waiting for the right opportunity.

6. How many stories have you written?

Over the course of 15 years I have written 20 films.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

This story came about in regards to a family member who suffered a tragedy that resulted in her having extreme handicaps after giving birth to her second daughter. She can’t speak, she can’t feed herself or walk, but she is bright and very intelligent. She still has her mind and uses it to communicate to her family by using a letter board. Much like the main character, she suffers deafness and has to be treated much like a child. That is kind of what brought the story to a head.

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

The only obstacles that I faced while writing this, was the obstacles that I have faced with all of my films. I have been trying my best to get my work publicized and at times I felt like I was in a stalemate and that my films could never make it, but I realized that I was good enough and I knew this was a film that had a great message and it needed to be told, so I finished it. Along with the personal story that comes along with this story, I knew I had to do this, so I gathered all my courage and strength and told myself that this was one that will mean the most.

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

Photography

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

I was on Twitter and the account for the festival came up and I checked it out and decided to give it a try.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Watch TV PILOT Reading of WESTBOUND by Jeff Alulis

Watch WESTBOUND, TV Pilot by Jeff Alulis:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
Termite/Doughboy/Pennwise – Jerald Bezener
Uranium/Caboose – Rob Salerno
Emily/V-Switch – Misha Harding
Ozarks – Charles Gordon
Trails – Katelyn Cooper

Get to know writer Jeff Alulis:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

“Westbound” is an ensemble show about modern-day freight train riders. In the shadows of your local train yard there exists a whole subculture of people who hop trains as a lifestyle. This show explores the lives of a dozen characters whose lives intersect while riding the rails.

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

Modern train hopping is a world that has never been explored dramatically. The constantly changing environment and the vast array of characters involved in that world make it perfectly suited for an episodic format, and the gritty stories and fascinating personalities would keep viewers riveted.

3. This pilot has a lot going for it. It’s part adventure. Part drama. Part thriller. Part mystery. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

The lives of criminals, hippies, addicts, and misfits intersect as they search for freedom and adventure by hopping freight trains across America.

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

That’s a tough one…I know I’ve seen “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “The Goonies” enough to practically quote their entire scripts. I actually recently went to the 30th anniversary celebration of “The Goonies” in Oregon and won a “Goonies” trivia contest while I was there!

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

I wrote it over the course of about a year, from when I first started brainstorming to the point where I had a draft that was ready to send out to competitions. But a lot of that time was spent researching the world of train-hopping and fleshing out the characters before I started outlining.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written eight feature-length screenplays and a couple of spec TV scripts, but this was my first attempt at an original pilot, so I’m very humbled by the fact that it has earned some attention.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve been fascinated by the world of train-hopping for a long time. It has its own rules, its own language, and it seems like every ride generates a unique story. Some people have made documentaries about it, but it’s never been explored in a fictional context so I thought I would give it a shot.

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

When I was in film school we all read each other’s scripts regularly and gave each other feedback, but these days we’re all busy and I feel bad bothering my former classmates to regularly read my stuff. I’ve joined writing groups but they come and go. So the hardest thing about writing this script was doing it alone, with very little help, notes, or guidance.

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

I love music, which has been reflected in my documentary work and my involvement with various bands. And I love to travel, which I do whenever I get the opportunity, whether it’s to a new continent or a new corner of my home city.

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

I was submitting a separate documentary project to competitions via Withoutabox and when I decided to enter my script in competitions the same way WILDsound popped up in my search and it seemed like a perfect fit. The initial feedback was very thorough; it was evident that my script had actually been read all the way through rather than skimmed. I was pleasantly surprised at how in-depth and thoughtful the notes were.

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

Keep writing!

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Deadline October 15th: 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

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
http://tvfestival.org/2015/06/18/tv-screenplay-testimonials/

Watch Best Scene Reading of UNLIKELY ANGELS by Anne Nemes

Watch the Reading of UNLIKELY ANGELS by Anne Nemes:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Charles Gordon
PETE – Rob Salerno
MIKE – Jerald Bezener
MARGOT – Julie Burris

Get to know writer Anne Nemes:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Its a story of a corrupt cop who has his life upended when he meets a strong and independent woman – and finds himself haunted by the ghost of the young man he killed.

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

It is a fun and moving play. The combination of elements should have something that appeals to everyone, and possibly make people consider their own lives.

3. This best scene has a lot going for it. It’s funny. It’s sexy. It’s supernatural! How would you describe this script in one sentence?

It is an emotional roller coaster ride as the lives of a bitter middle-aged man, a hardened teenage street punk, and a five-foot tall lady Taekwondo instructor entwine on the streets of Brooklyn .

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

I am an avid movie fan. My favorites involve the imagination, whether sci fi, supernatural or fantasy.

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

I actually wrote the script twenty-two years ago. Then I got involved in college, then tech school and a new career so I didn’t really have the time to work on it further. I am recently retired now, and decided it was time to finish it.

6. How many stories have you written?

Mostly compositions and research papers in college.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

My life. Mike is actually a combination of my husband and I. Me in that I spent a good part of my life trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be and it nearly ended me. My husband, in that he was raised in the old world ways. Gabrielle, the five-foot tall Taekwondo instructor is me, except for the street fights and dead husband. Most of what she says and does is me speaking from experience. I hoped that if I could get my message in a movie, maybe it could help others.

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

I haven’t had any formal training in script writing, so turning my story into a professional level screenplay was my greatest challenge.

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

Pretty much anything creative or inventive.

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

Write from your heart.

Watch Feature Script Reading of PONTIFF NO RETURN by Eric Boyd

Watch the October Winning Feature Screenplay Winner.

PONTIFF OF NO RETURN by Eric Boyd:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Misha Harding
THE POPE – Charles Gordon
MASSIMO/HOLMES – Jerald Bezener
ATWATER/DA LA CRUZ – Rob Salerno
MARY – Katelyn Cooper
PRESIDENT UTLEY – Julie Burris

Get to know writer Eric Boyd:

1. What is your screenplay about?

The Pope, a former soldier, goes on the run, to thwart the American President’s evil plan to stoke a holy war in the Middle East; and gets some help along the way from a bad-ass Virgin Mary.

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

I just think people would enjoy it.

3. This story has a lot going for it. It’s a satire, with a religious nod with a lot of Pope-ACTION! How did you come up with this brilliant and crazy story?

I was watching an episode of the Simpsons where during a soccer-riot a statue of the Virgin Mary comes to life and starts kung-fu fighting all the hooligans and just fell in love with the idea of an action-hero Virgin Mary.

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

Star Wars, because… you know, Star Wars.

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

I started brainstorming it last summer. In December I thought I had everything and convinced myself it wasn’t the stupidest idea ever. I then banged out the first draft right before Christmas, and I’ve just been tinkering with it ever since.

6. How many stories have you written?

This is my 14th screenplay and I’ve since written another. I’ve been writing on and off since I was in college. I’ve only written screenplays and feel like I’m more dedicated to it now than ever.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I just had this really fun idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about and the more I thought about it the more I fell in love with it. The only way I could get it out of my brain was by putting it on paper.

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

At first, I was pretty hesitant to write this because I thought the premise was too “out there”. It really forced me to think about what was happening and why it was happening until I could present it in a way to the audience that was believable instead of asking them to just believe. Ultimately, I think the story benefited from those obstacles rather than the idea being so good that it just writes itself.

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

Star Wars because…you know, Star Wars.

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

It was recommended to me by another writer who had lots of good things to say about it and after entering two screenplays, I have to say I agree. The feedback was great. The reviewer told me what they thought worked and didn’t work and even offered some suggestions to fix the stuff that didn’t work. I’m definitely entering my new screenplay as soon as I finish my next rewrite.

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

Since I’ve never attempted to dispense generic writing advice before, I decided to google “how to write a screenplay”. As I was going through the results, I realized what I was doing was stupid and felt like an idiot, so I decided to google “how to write a good screenplay” and I felt much better. I guess the moral of the story is if you set out to write a screenplay, your first priority should be to make it good.

    * * * * *

Deadline: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review