Watch the Feature Script Performance Reading of THREE PLAY:
NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty
OLIVER – Gabriel Darku
SILVIA – Holly Sarchfield
BLAKE – Chris Reid-Geisler
MAGGIE – Allison Kampf
MARCO – Ben Hur
JOSEPHINE/PARKER – Angelica Alejandro
Get to know writer John-Arthur Ingram:
1. What is your screenplay about?
It’s a romantic comedy about being loved for who you really are.
Logline: Oliver, a neurotic who’s hopelessly in love with his best friend Blake, finally comes out to both his shameless girlfriend, Silvia, and Blake. This revelation backfires when Oliver discovers Silvia and Blake are in madly in love. As a final act of desperation, Oliver magically switches bodies with Silvia days before her wedding to Blake.
(My Best Friend’s Wedding meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Oliver is planning to come out to Blake and Silvia at a production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in a city park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. What he doesn’t realize is that Blake and Silvia have been sleeping together. This becomes evident when he catches them having sex backstage. After all the secrets spill out over a confrontation, Oliver moves to LA and cuts them out of his life.
One year later, Blake and Silvia are getting married Tulsa. Blake wants Oliver there for a chance to reconcile their friendship before the wedding day. Silvia doesn’t. It takes a guilt trip from Oliver’s mother to persuade him to come back to Tulsa. Under Blake’s insistence, Oliver and Silvia attempt to resolve their friendship. This is done over pot brownies and wine at a theater production in the SAME city park as before. Oliver confesses his long time crush on Blake and desire to be Silvia. She confesses guilt about the past and cold feet about the future. And with a wish, Oliver and Silvia switch bodies.
Now, it’s two days before the wedding and the duo scramble to keep the switch a secret while looking for a way to fix their problems.
First things first. The rules: Oliver cannot sleep with Blake. Silvia cannot out Oliver to his mom, Josephine.
Meanwhile, Josephine is refusing the advances of a handsome suitor. She’s struggling to move on with her life after divorce; believing her husband is coming back. .
From a trip to the gun club, indoor soccer bachelor party, and hotel after party, Oliver and Silvia navigate the bachelor/bachelorette party in their new bodies. However, things gets crazy when, Marco, an old college friend, comes out to Oliver as Silvia and announces his love for Oliver. Blake questions his sexuality when Silvia as Oliver tries to seduce him. Everything unravels at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding forcing Oliver and Silvia to confront a decision about the future.
Ultimately, Oliver has to take ownership of his sexual identity and forgive Silvia by letting go of Blake. Silvia has to overcome her guilt and cold feet. Both have to stop being selfish. But will they switch back?
In the course of three days, we get a body swapping comedy that explores the theme: Being you is a constant you can never escape.
2. Why should this script be made into a movie?
Because I want to see these diverse group of characters represented in a story like this. Because this damn script won’t leave alone. Because I’m afraid of seeing too much of myself in this story. Because this script was one of the most fun I had writing and it helped shape my artistic goals.
3. How would describe this story in one sentence?
It’s a cautionary tale about stealing your ex’s body to bang your best friend.
4. What movie have I seen the most in my life?
Let’s just say the original Star Wars trilogy and Indiana Jones are a given. With that in mind, it’s tie between The Rocketeer and Home Alone.
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
3 years. 3 complete rewrites. 6 revised drafts.
6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?
— 4 original TV pilots
— 3 TV specs
— 3 co-written feature specs
— 2 writer for hire feature scripts
— 1 solo feature specs so far…Three Play!
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
John, your problem is you feel like you need to actually be a woman to get the men you want. Stop using your anatomy as an excuse for not meeting guys. Own your identity. The men will come…in that way. —From a patient friend
This prompted my story premise: What if a 6’5 gay male became a short straight woman—better yet, his ex-girlfriend? Would that cure the insecurity? What would that teach him? I wrote this screenplay to find out. That was three years ago.
I took a little nostalgia from living in Tulsa, a little unresolved ex-girlfriend issues, a high school crush on one of my guy best friends, and mixed them in a body swapping rom-com blender.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
A) The body swap. Where and how to do it. The earliest drafts of the story had a very different mythology about the swap that led me off a cliff. There was a transgender fairy, a dance sequence, and an alternate reality. I lost myself.
B) Their names. How to label them in the script after the swap. Nobody who read the script could agree on what to label Oliver and Silvia when they swapped. I read the scripts for Face Off and The Change Up. Neither changed the names and I thought made it easier on the eyes to read in the text. So I kept the names consistent which leads to…
C) Making sure Oliver and Silvia had distinct voices and attitudes that could be followed/identified in dialogue during the switch.
9. Apart from writing, what else are passionate about?
English Football. I’ve been a Liverpool FC fan since I was nine years old! YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
This is the 5th or 6th time I’ve submitted a script to WILDsound over the past few years. But this is the first time I’ve actually broken through to the next round and will have something read. Haha. So thank you for that.
I think it’s the timely and respectful feedback that has influenced me to enter the festival. For a reasonable price, I can get insightful feedback and a chance to have it read aloud. And it’s a chance you get monthly, which is cool.
Feelings on the initial feedback: relief.
11.Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
“Never tell me the odds.” Seriously, they’re frightening in this industry.
Just write the movie you want to see the best way you can. Over and over and over til you’re dead… then write some more. Writing is the only thing we have control of.
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