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
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!

 

Stage Play Reading – TWO MERCHANTS OF VENICE by Stephen M Hunt

Watch the August 2016 Winning Stage Play Winner.

TWO MERCHANTS OF VENICE  by Stephen M  Hunt

 

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
SHYLOCK – Lorne_Hiro
PORTIA – Susan Wilson
ANTONIO – Stephen Flett
BASSANIO – David Strauss
GRATIANO – Rais Muoi
LORENZO/LANCELOT – Adam McNamara
NERISSA/SALLY – Laura Darby
JESSICA/SOPHIE – Victoria Urquhart

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your stage play about?

Two Merchants is a radical adaptation of The Merchant of Venice

2. Why should this play be produced?

This adaptation is unique and groundbreaking because switching around the lines of the original delivers a story with real bite for 21st century audiences that deals with feminism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

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

Promotes inclusiveness.

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

“Lie To Me” starring Tim Roth.

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

I wrote the first version in 1998 and have striven ever since to improve it.

6. How many stories have you written?

6 plays, 5 feature screenplays and 10 short screenplays.

7. What motivated you to write this play?

I’ve seen many productions (films and stage plays) of The Merchant of Venice and found them all hugely dissatisfying because they’re always an Elizabethan mish-mash of not very funny comedy that clashes with crucially important social themes.

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

The biggest and most enjoyable challenge was an extremely close study of The Merchant of Venice to select lines that I could take from one character and give to another to tell a seamless, familiar yet radically different story.

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

Family.

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

Not every piece I’ve submitted to WildSound has met with their ecstatic acclaim but their inspirational feedback has been really beneficial. Consequently, they’ve produced for me readings of (1) this Shakespeare adaptation, (2) a short WWII screenplay, (3) a short screenplay about Death falling in love and (4) a one-page comedy screenplay.

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

Enter competitions like WildSound that will put your work “out there”. After the WildSound reading of my fantasy about Death falling in love, that screenplay was selected for production and begins filming on location in Maine, later this year.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

WILDsound Announces its June 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay

Submit your Feature Screenplay to the Festival Today: http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch the Winning Feature Screenplay Reading from June 2016. All screenplays performed by professional actors. Get to know the writer.

Feature Screenplay Reading: INKED IN BLOOD, by Paul Corricelli

 

Genre: Horror, Crime, Thriller

Synopsis:

A young man with a tortured past discovers that you really can go home again. To kill.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
AESOP – Alan Shonfield
EDSALL/DW – Allan Michael Brunet
JASON/SEYMOUR – David Strauss
CANDICE – Roselie Williamson

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Short Screenplay Reading: DEATH’S LADY LOVE, by Stephen M Hunt

Watch the June 2016 Winning Short Screenplay.

DEATH’S LADY LOVE, by Stephen M  Hunt

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror

Death falls in love only to find that love is a killer.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
DEATH – David Strauss
BELINDA – Roselie Williamson

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Death was originally the arc angel Michael who gently swept away those whose time had come. This script embraces the idea of death as a gentle soul with a job to do but who longs for a human life of fulfillment through earthly love. Suddenly, death falls for a woman and then finds out that love is a killer.

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

The idea of humanizing death as a gentle soul yearning for human love is at the heart of the film “Meet Joe Black”. But in my version death has to fight for his love against overwhelming odds and that makes for a different story that needs to be filmed.

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

Inspiring, heart-warming.

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

Charles Laughton’s version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

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

About four months.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 19 screenplays and 5 stage plays.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

A good screenplay must have a powerful concept at its core and the idea of death living like the man next door is a powerful, motivating concept.

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

Good formatting is essential so as usual, I had to spend a lot of time ensuring I had properly formatted work before I presented it to professional eyes.

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

Family, not least my two grandchildren.

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

WILDsound is a prestigious, well-respected festival so is one worth winning. Bad feedback is when the feedback author presents him/her self as an all-knowing guru. Good feedback inspires, which is what my WildSound feedback has always done.

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

Win screenplay competitions then go to film festivals and network by presenting yourself as a credible screenwriter with a unique own voice.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

June 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay Reading: INKED IN BLOOD, by Paul Corricelli

Watch the June 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay

INKED IN BLOOD, by Paul Corricelli

Genre: Horror

Synopsis:

A young man with a tortured past discovers that you really can go home again. To kill.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
AESOP – Alan Shonfield
EDSALL/DW – Allan Michael Brunet
JASON/SEYMOUR – David Strauss
CANDICE – Roselie Williamson

Get to know writer Paul Corricelli:

1. What is your screenplay about?

INKED IN BLOOD is the story of a tortured, tattooed albino named Aesop Quarrels. Seventeen years after escaping from a living hell, he has returned to exact his revenge on all those who wronged him. One by one he will make them pay. Not only to mend the shattered pieces of his own life, but for his mother’s suffering as well.

Past horrors begin to unfold as he embarks on a twisting trail of carnage that will ultimately lead to Aesop facing the one man responsible for their suffering – his father, and in the process he will uncover a hidden family secret that threatens to tear him apart.

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

Inked In Blood has a memorable cast of characters that keep the story moving. It’s the kind of film that could develop a strong cult following. It also lends itself to a sequel and a continuing franchise.

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

Quirky and dark.

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

The Big Lebowski.

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

I actually wrote this screenplay several years ago, but wasn’t able to generate any interest in it. After letting it sit for a year and a half, I spent about four months rewriting it, and made some major changes. After entering it in a few contests I started placing in the finals of several contests, and then won a few.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have three completed screenplays, and a fourth that I’m currently rewriting. I also have a couple of shorts, and a new screenplay idea that I’m fleshing out.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

While writing random scenes as a writing exercise, It was the image and character of a tattooed Albino seeking revenge for the terrible things done to him in his youth that I first created. I wrote the scene with Aesop and Kim in the diner first, and felt like I had more story to tell with this character.

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

Because the story jumps around the timeline quite a bit, the biggest challenge was to keep the continuity correct. I also made an effort to keep the flashbacks to only those I felt were necessary to the story, since there are so many of them.

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

Photography. I do fine art photography on the side. I am also very interested in directing because of the photography.

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

I heard of the festival through friends and was intrigued by the live performance aspect. I was really thrilled with the feedback I received. I am always open to constructive feedback, and I’m always looking for ways to make my writing better. The feedback I got was extremely helpful and helped me to polish my story.

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

I think it’s important to have people who’s opinion you trust, and contests like this one, read your script and give you feedback. You also have to be open to new ideas and feedback. Don’t fall in love with your writing. You have to be willing to change, or cut things that don’t work. You may not always agree with the feedback you get, but it can often lead to new ideas as you work through it.

(It was feedback from a producer – who didn’t deal with my genre, that inspired me to rewrite Inked In Blood after setting it aside for far too long)

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene Screenplay: QUEST FOR MIHTE LUGH, by Ray Whittinger

Watch the June 2016 Winning Best Scene Fantasy Reading.

QUEST FOR MIHTE LUGH, by Ray Whittinger

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

Jack was thought a dreamer and a fool, until he was abducted into the Balor’s wintery kingdom. Through trial and wit he is recognised as the prophesied Fairy King returning to revive the world.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
ORACLE – Allan Michael Brunet
JAMIE – Alan Shonfield
ELLIE – Roselie Williamson
JACK – David Strauss

Get to know writer Ray Whittinger:

1. What is your screenplay about?

A confused fairy changeling born at the winter solstice is abducted with siblings and secretly returned to the fairy world. Then discover they are Lugh, the heir to the Fairy Kingdom, the prophesied Saviour of the Universe. The siblings collide into a magical world of tricks, where monsters contend with angels, good meets evil and the last war to end all wars is in progress. Can the siblings complete their quest in time and find the pearls, before the vestiges of last summer’s light runs out?

“Quest for Mihte Lugh” is an exciting lost fairy story surviving from the Druid bards. As is the oldest fairy tale it reflects a pre-historic view of the world.

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

We are already in negotiations to make “Quest for Mihte Lugh” into a movie. If funding and other elements come together, you may be able to see this film at the cinema in a few years. This is only the beginning; we have two sequels in hand and another book to extend the films life.

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

Epic, fantasy

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

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is among the movies I have seen most times.

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

I started working on this project about six years ago as a Children’s animated TV pilot based on the first book I published in 2008. The pilot stirred a lot of interest from European broadcasters and international co-producers, but I could not get the deal I wanted. Knowing the significance of the brand, three years ago I started writing the film script.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written eight books many of them as series, a short film, five screenplay, and three five-minute plays for BBC local radio.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Nearly twenty years ago, I research material for a book called Naissance about millennial prophecies. I never completed it on time. In the process, I researched Celtic myths and prophecies only to discover I could link together the fragmentary stories into a more complex narrative describing the solar cycle. This became the basis of Mihte Lugh – the real story of the fairy king. It is the base legend for the medieval romances such as Mort De’Arthur and Merlin.

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

Book narratives are very different from screenplays in many ways. Books are about personal emotions and feelings, while films are about the visuality and drama. Mihte Lugh is particularly difficult because it has a specific world setting like Lord of the Rings and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter. Characters and narratives have to be consistent throughout a series.

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

I love studying history, family history and experiencing nature.

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

Wildsound is a great festival to develop and get feedback to further develop screenplays. The interludes between allow one to work on other project and be fresh to optimize one’s script.

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

William Nicholson told me screen writing was about story, but it is also about telling the right story, believing in it and making it happen.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson