Tag Archives: David Strauss

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.

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

 

Best Scene Screenplay: AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, by Philip Naiman

Watch the June 2016 Winning Best Scene Comedy Reading.

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, by Philip Naiman

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis:

After being saddled with the care of a niece he has never met a gambler’s life becomes further complicated when he is unable to pay off his kid brother’s bad debt to a Vegas hood.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
CRYSTAL – Roselie Williamson
PUNTER – David Strauss
BOY – Alan Shonfield

Get to know the writer Philip Naiman:

1. What is your screenplay about?

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT is a comedy about a gambler whose apparent carefree world is challenged when he is reluctantly awarded custody of an orphaned niece he has never met while at the same time he tries to bail his kid brother out of a debt to Las Vegas hoods.

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

This is a comedy that relies on situations and character interaction. While the colourful characters are important it is the story that makes this screenplay. It is a story about family responsibility told in a humorous manner that I hope would appeal to a wide audience.

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

Two words kind of over simplifies one’s hard work but if pressed then I would say Luck and Responsibility.

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

I have watched several films over and over in all genres but for a comedy I never get tired of watching Abbott and Costello in THE NAUGHT NINETIES.

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

This screenplay has undergone several reincarnations but I started writing it in 2010 with another title and plot line, left it and came back to it about a year ago to bring it to its current state.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written 5 stories. The others are:
CROSSFIRE – an action drama set in 1992 Canada that was a Wildsound finalist and achieved an Award of Excellence at the 2011 Canadian Film Festival.
DOUBLE SHIFT – about twin hockey players who switch places when the superstar gets injured.
MY GUARDIAN ANGEL – about a father who tries to ensure that his family is taken care of – after he is fatally struck by lightning.
ANTHONY’S GIFT – (co-writer) about a recently invalid uncle who looks for divine intervention to give a most special gift to his nephew and best friend on his wedding day.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I enjoy comedy’s that take humorous looks at serious situations – good stories with good characters. I also enjoy horseracing. What would happen if a gambler’s world was forced to change?

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

The major obstacle was to create a screenplay where there were essentially two stories going on at the same time with one central character.

The Punter /Crystal story line is just as important as the Punter / Garrett story line, with the two stories coming together at the end. In workshops the feedback was quite favourable but in competitions the feedback was more about how the story should focus more on the Punter/Crystal plot line which was not the direction I wanted. So in the end I think I came up with a story that should satisfy competition judges and still be true to the tale that I wanted to tell.

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

I have a number of interests. Apart being in the field of physical rehabilitation for 35 years which I truly enjoy I also enjoy making videos of trips and events. Using photos , video clips and music to make DVD’s about events or vacations that I have been to. I have people ask me to do such projects for them. It’s something I really have a lot of fun with and people seem to enjoy.

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

I enter competitions that offer feedback. This is something that is important to me. This festival not only offers feedback but offers the author the chance to see scenes actually acted out. This is worth the price alone. It is also local which is quite unique. I did well the first time I entered a screenplay and was quite impressed with the process. The feedback is useful and helped me to understand what the industry is looking for.

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

. Since I have not sold anything it is difficult to tell another writer what works and what doesn’t. I would suggest that they try to get as much feedback as possible whether it be through workshops or competitions. If something consistently comes up, good or bad, then work with it. Don’t just take one person’s opinion but if the same critique occurs then at least you know that there may be something worth working on. As to how to get your screenplay into the hands of producers or directors and actually sell your product – I’m still working on that.

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