Winning SHORT Screenplay – SUNFLOWER CARE, by Della Greenawalt

Winning Screenplay – SUNFLOWER CARE
Written by Della Greenawalt

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
DORIS – Cassandra Guthrie
GHOST – Dan Cristofori
DIRECTOR – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Feisty elderly Senior Doris is being taken into a nursing home, and boy is she not happy about it! But once settled in for the night, a ghostly figure awakens her, speaking to her from her bedroom Mirror, demanding to her that it is “time to go”.

 


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Doris is a hundred year old fighter who tries to stay out of a care facility for elders as well as outsmarting the Grim Reaper who has appeared yet again to take her from among the living. She beats the Reaper, but not the care center – yet.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Supernatural, Fantasy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

100 year old Doris is so popular with everyone who has read this script, and she could carry a movie with all her adventures. It would be in the vein of Fried Green Tomatoes. She is tough and funny.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bittersweet and funny.

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

The Princess Bride. It always makes me laugh.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote it in a day, spent a week tweaking it with the workshop members’ input. (I am a member of 5150, the Academy of Film Writing’s invitation only workshop run by Nicholls Fellow and working screenwriter Max Adams.)

How many stories have you written?

4 Screenplays (features) in various states of rewrite, half a dozen shorts, one comedy essay (that won my college’s humor contest) and a few more that got published (also during college) and some gathering dust in a drawer.

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

There are so many. “What a Wonderful Life” by Louie Armstrong is high up on that list.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

None. It was a class assignment at the Academy of Film Writing and was so popular that I developed it into a short script. Once Doris was fleshed out, her story wrote itself!

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I volunteer at an animal shelter walking dogs and bringing some home to give them a break from those concrete cages, posting photos to help get them adopted.

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

The feedback was fabulous! As for entering the contest, some of my peers in workshop had entered in the past, winning and getting read by actors. They enjoyed the experience and encouraged me to enter.

 

 

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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TV PILOT Screenplay Reading – ECHOES OF BONNIEVILLE by Simon Schneider

Watch the winning February 2017 TV PILOT screenplay.

Winning Screenplay – ECHOES OF BONNIEVILLE
Written by Simon Schneider

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
TULLY – Talia Price
WILLIX – Casey Estey
OFFICE HICKS – Philip Krusto
PETER – John Lester Phillips
JAMIE – Ursina Luther

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime

A small town is rocked by creepy deaths where the victims have willingly offered themselves as a sacrifice to some unknown dark force. Investigating the murders are Officer Hicks, Sherriff Healy and visiting expert on the occult Dylan Willix but with the two cops mistrusting Dylan, progress is slow. Meanwhile, bored checkout girl Tully begins to experience strange visions that may link to the force behind the deaths.

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

Echoes of Bonnieville follows Detective Dylan Willix, an investigator of the paranormal and occult, into the sleepy town of Bonnieville as he chases his Moby Dick: a serial killer with supernatural abilities. Meanwhile at the local convenience store, a disenfranchised customer service assistant named Tully Moorehead has the tedium of her life shaken up by otherworldly when she starts having gruesome visions.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I think my pilot would fit in nicely in the current trend of cinematic television and it offers a shade of horror audiences won’t get from anywhere else.

What TV show do you keep watching over and over?

I try to watch as much as I possibly can but my personal highlights include Fargo, Stranger Things and of course Breaking Bad.

How would you describe this script in two words?

I’m going to cheat and use three: Otherworldly detective drama.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

This script has been in the works since I read Uzumaki, which was shortly after university in 2015. When I discovered Lovercraftian horror and how paralysing and twisted it could be I had to write my own. That’s when I started brainstorming.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve lost count. This is probably my forth big project, where I’ve set everything aside to make it perfect.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The Lovecraft style of horror is so invasive and incomprehensible that I was compelled to give my version of it. When I researched how Lovecraft had been represented in recent times I felt that no one had quite done it justice, especially in television. It felt like an untapped market that audiences wanted to see and my confidence in that was what drove me.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I encountered the usual obstacles of procrastination, self-doubt and the inability to illustrate on the page what I had in my head. The more I rewrote the script the more distant these problems felt though.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about video games, especially the spectacularly gory ones. They’re something I grew up with and they offer an experience unlike any other medium.

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

I was influenced to submit to WILDsound because of a previous experience submitting work to their short film competition and receiving such thorough feedback. So far, I have received lots of feedback on Echoes of Bonnieville but by far WILDsound’s was the most astute as it highlighted issues which I entirely agreed with. Ironically however, the feedback suggested one of the characters being a little pantomime (which was a fair criticism) but his dialogue was mostly lifted from real life scenarios. Go figure.

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

My biggest advice to other writers out there is practice your craft. There’s always more you can learn and if people aren’t responding to your work, its because it needs refining somewhere. I remember being naively self-assured about some of my old work and I look back at it now and cringe. Truthfully, writing is a growing experience.

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

BEST SCENE Screenplay Reading – HEIDI, by Keith Makenas

Watch the February 2017 Winning Best Scene Screenplay.

Winning Screenplay – HEIDI
Written by Keith Makenas

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
HEIDI – Talia Price
DOCTOR SANDRA – Ursina Luther
CHIEF – John Lester Phillips

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime

She connived her way out of a mental hospital to get back into society and now has no shortage of victims to quench her serial killer cravings.

Get to know the writer:

What is your best scene screenplay about?

It’s about Heidi a beautiful blonde that connived her way out of a mental hospital to get back into society and now has no shortage of victims to quench her serial killer cravings.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thriller, Comedy, Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It gives a unique perspective of a serial killer that you’ll grow to love

How would you describe this script in two words?

Adorable Killer

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

Airplane

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Almost four years and a half dozen rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

At least ten.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

After pitching the concept to a producer/actress she liked it and I kept rewriting it till it met her standards

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Making a brutal serial killer likeable and funny, but in a cordial and tasteful way was challenging. Every scene went through many different versions until it worked.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Conducting interviews, doing movie reviews, and “Spotlights” that highlight industry professionals current and upcoming work.

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

I agreed with all the feedback comments. After rewriting so many times you can miss simple, but yet critical details that are easily fixable, so getting the feedback was invaluable! Knowing the festival provides great feedback was a main reason I submitted and with the opportunity to get it read was a huge plus.

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

Renee Michelle Christian – August 2016 SHORT STORY Winner Writer

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Geoff Mays

Along My Journey  by Renee Michelle Christian

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

A True Life Experience.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Biography/autobiography/essay/journalism

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

Surreal

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

I’ve watched No Escape 5 times in the last month.

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

5 Years

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Celestine Prophecy

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A Catharsis

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Tom Hanks or Tyler Perry

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

Music/Animals/Nature

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

A desire to tell this story and hopefully one day find that picture again!

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

If you have a revelation, write it down!

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

 

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Lionel Walfish – August 2016 SHORT STORY Winner Writer

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Geoff Mays

STANDING OVATION by Lionel Walfish

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Living life through a living fantasy.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?
Realty/fantasy

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

Two Lives

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

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train.’

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

Four hours

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN (Thomas Wolfe)

7. What motivated you to write this story?

This story is fashioned after an old acquaintance .

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Rembrandt (if he were still alive)

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

Theatre and music

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I enjoy entering writing contests

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

Always carry paper and pen.

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

 

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Buffy Sammons – August 2016 SHORT STORY Winner Writer

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Geoff Mays

The Storm  by Buffy Sammons

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Really life as I see it and why I feel my family’s and now my own devise are somehow a form of divine intervention and has distanced me from getting to close to others anymore.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?
I would say It’s definitely a twist on prose with a science fiction/ autobiography possibility

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

Beautiful storm

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

Older movies, comedies, action adventure, and some Science fiction…

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

I just wrote it in the middle of the night one night and after reading it to a few people still close to me and I got such a reaction it always helps me to know that a story or poem gets a reaction. Thats my true passion and I want others to see and feel what I do in my head

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Chasers of the light, poems from the Typewriter series by Tylers Knott Gregson is something I can listen too over and over again. Its a must read on my list..

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Loss in my life and commonality of all of our fascination with the storm..

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

All of them!! And in Hawaii of course Is that asking for too much!!!! I’m a 44 year old nurse diagnosed very late with numerous cancers. I often just shoot for the moon and go from there! Lol

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

poetry, art, paying it forward trying to start something called #Artfromtheheart which is about giving art supplies of all kinds to cancer centers, woman and children’s centers, and anyone with a disability that keeps them down. Art and writing saved my life.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

Its such a great site that helps amateur writers like me grow through critiques and exposure..

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

Write from your heart and deep down from your gut. I write dark, light, and whatever I FEEL at that moment in my day. Don’t be afraid to say what is in your head and put it on paper or paint or any medium! The experience has really opened my eyes and Im grateful for it..

*****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

 

 

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Aaron Dennis – August 2016 NOVEL Writing Winner

Watch the August 2016 Winning Novel Reading.

The Dragon of Time: Gods and Dragons by Aaron Dennis

Novel reading performed by actor Geoff Mays.

Get to know the novelist: 

1. What is your novel about?

Scar is an amnesiac, seeking only his origins, yet in the midst of the
religious wars broiling over the world of Tiamhaal, Zoltek, an evil king,
enlists the warrior’s services. After botching a mission, Zoltek makes an
attempt on Scar’s life, but the hero flees into the desert night,
whereupon he meets a knight, claiming that the Gods worshipped today are
actually the Dragons of ages past. After scuffling with the stranger, Scar
meets an enemy captain, who reveals that his king, Gilgamesh, knows of
Scar’s origins, that he is the rightful heir to the ancient kingdom of
Alduheim, where the Dragons were defeated ages ago.

2. Why should this novel be read by people?

This story is beyond a book; it is a work of art. On the surface, this
story is about a man, who tries to learn of his origins while the world
around him is engulfed by war, but it is actually much more. This story,
which is only the first of The Dragon of Time series, is about the duality
of man; his proclivity for peace, friendship, and love pitted against his
darkest desires for revenge, death, and sorrow. It is an instant classic,
which will redefine the fantasy genre.

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

Man’s resolve

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

Army of Darkness; literally over a thousand times.

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

Gods and Dragons took nearly two years to complete. I even hired Chuck
Sambuchino, and with his editing advice, I learned how to transform my
words on pages into a work of art. Readers won’t even know they’re
reading; it just assaults the senses.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda. My life is greatly influenced by
his work, though my work does not reflect his own reportage.

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

All my novels are motivated by the same idea; I have stories in my head,
and I enjoy committing them to paper, and sharing them with everyone.
That’s also why I’ve made the e-book version of Gods and Dragons free
through Smashwords, Barnes and Noble online, and iBooks. All I can add is
that I’m a very creative, imaginative person, and I have to complete one
story, so that I can move on to the next one. If I don’t, I think my mind
grapes will pop.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

If he’s buying, I guess DaVinci. We are counting dead people, right?

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

Peace and harmony.

10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?

Admittedly, I was just trolling my Twitter feed and saw the opportunity. I
know Gods and Dragons will make a great movie; there’s no doubt about
it–a big, strong, amnesiac warrior with healing abilities like Wolverine,
a brand, new world where the people who think they worship Gods are
actually worshipping Dragons, Dragons who bestow unique physical and
magical characteristics upon their followers–this is an instant hit.
Forget Harry Potter. Forget The Lord of the Rings. Forget A Song of Ice
and Fire. Gods and Dragons isn’t a little boy with a wand, it isn’t some
tiny man with a dagger, and it definitely isn’t a soap opera with swords
thrown into the mix; this is a real adventure.

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

Hire an editor. You guys are putting words on pages, and that’s great, but
editors transform those words, they coax the hidden emotions from between
the words, they paint a journey with those words. There’s a reason the
best writers have teams of editors combing through their mess; writers
write stories, but editors tell tales.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

 

SUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
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