Tag Archives: Harold L. Brown

Harold L. Brown – November 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Winner

20/20: SEARCH FOR INDEPENDENCECAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JEFF BEKK – Hugh Ritchie
DR. IVES – Julian Ford
FRANCOIS – Peter Nelson
CRAWFORD – Kheon Clarke
GRACE – Mallory Palmer
MADELEINE – Angelica Alejandro
KATLA – Kelci Stephenson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Political Drama

An inventor with a plan that would replace oil must survive while forces in China, Canada and the United States vie for the technology.

What is your screenplay about?

The world is becoming a much more complex place. 20/20: Search for Independence is the story about Jeff Bekk, a young inventor who’s searching for his own validation by developing software to drive a project known as SEATech. Suddenly he’s left to finish the ICCCE invention started by his grandfather and search for the truth about his Icelandic grandfathers death.

Meanwhile, relying on Jeff’s SEATech software, China and Canada covertly prepare to eliminate oil sands greenhouse gas emissions undermining the future of major U.S. oil refineries and an unsuspecting U.S. government in the middle of a Presidential election.

As Jeff works on the SEATech project he “secretly” works on finishing the ICCCE prototype that can replace oil. His gambles to honour his grandfather put his grandfather’s legacy and ranch at risk. The deeper he gets, the more he realizes he must reassess who he can trust as he struggles to survive as global forces vying to steal “his” technology, guaranteeing their global energy dominance.

On a personal note, my grandparents are Scandinavian. I have always been fascinated by what countries with the climate changes they face, have, and continue to achieve. Maybe, colder air is better for the braincells.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

20/20 is a techno thriller with strong political elements as major super powers fight for Jeff’s invention to achieve national security interests and energy dominance. Some have said it could be a political thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This story is about the unintended consequences of well intended actions. We live in an increasing interconnected world where decisions or interests in an isolated desert are communicated as timely as decisions or demands on Wall Street. This is a world where you can push a button in a downtown village in Alberta that has catastrophic effects in Africa.

Jeff wants to see his grandfather’s invention realized and his obsession to realize his grandfather’s legacy nearly costs him his grandfather’s ranch. Worse yet, without a serious assessment, the invention in Alberta, could destroy an economy and a country half way around the globe.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Do Right. Be Selfless. Or in a few more words, do the right thing.

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

Early on – The Firm; when I started to more seriously study story there was Casablanca, Schindler’s List, In the Heat of the Night, A Time to Kill, A Bronx Tale and Thunderheart. And, I have been lucky enough to meet Norman Jewison, one of the world’s greatest storyteller directors.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Total elapsed time, is more than a couple of years. It started as a germ of an idea and grew from there. Very few of my stories are short term ventures and they become deep stories of thought and reflection about me and the world I live in.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve lost count. I do know I have two techno thriller novels published, Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil in the Air and Deadly Invisible Enemies: Hunt for Evil, and I’ve just finished the first draft of the third novel, Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil Resurrection. I’ve also written a multi award winning miniseries, a web-digital series, two tv pilots including a project pitch/bible with 5 season and character arcs and at least eight award wining screenplays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I wanted to explore the consequences a decision or special interest in one part of the world has on another part of the world. I landed on the idea of the impact an invention could have on the world. I wanted to move beyond a story that focus on one dimension, like the environment vs oil. As I already said, the world is increasingly interconnected. What is good for one region or group in a community or country may be catastrophic to another. In this story Jeff slowly begins to realize ICCCE is catastrophic—even destroying his girlfriend’s country. He realizes he cannot rely on anyone to figure out what to do—he must discover the facts, his truths and make a decision.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Unintended consequences is a tough thing to make personal and yet globally catastrophic. As for the subject matter of oil/energy markets, that is also a complex matter as others who have attempted it, such as Syriana have found out. People line up at the gas pumps and rage about the price of gas as they watch prices plummet half way around the world. It is a world of unintended consequences. Efforts to lower the price of gas, lead to an unexplained increase. That even made the story more compelling for me.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the study of the human condition. Why do people or countries do what they do? Why I react in a certain way to a situation? Often these worlds intersect at some point and the germ of a story is formed. That is what becomes my next potential quest or project. The journey of self discovery and a potential revelation I can share through a story.

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

I like writing. And I like writing thrillers. I would love to see one of my stories up on the big screen but hearing the story performed has also been a great experience for me and industry associates I work with. I have entered this festival several times and received feedback that has helped me improve the story I want to tell. I have also entered other competitions, like WILDSound many times, received incredible feedback that raised the quality of the story – to the point I garnered a professional reading of my racial drama screenplay titled “Hope is Not a Black and White Rainbow.”

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Part 3 – Read CRIME Novel Loglines

Deadline June 25th – CRIME Novel Festival – Submit your crime book for a performance reading:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/crime_novel_festival.html

Read Part 3 – CRIME NOVELS

Title: DEADLY INVISIBLE ENEMIES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/deadly_invisible_enemies_by_harold_l_brown.html
Written by: Harold L. Brown
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Conspiracy Thriller, Action, Adventure, Crime

Title: CLAIMING LIVES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/claiming_lives_by_stuart_land.html
Written by: Stuart Land
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Title: A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/a_chick_in_the_cockpit_by_erika_armstrong.html
Written by: Erika Armstrong
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Drama/Chick Lit

Title: SECRET KEEPERS AND SKINNY SHADOWS
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/secret_keepers_and_skinny_shadows_by_mary_a_russell.html
Written by: Mary A Russell
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Family

Title: PLAYED TO DEATH
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/played_to_death_by_bv_lawson.html
Written by: BV Lawson
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Mystery/Crime

Title: ETERNAL WISH
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/eternal_wish_by_dana_cariola.html
Written by: Dana Cariola
Genre: Murder/Drama
Type: NOVEL

Title: TAKING LIVES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/taking_lives_by_joseph_lewis.html
Written by: Joseph Lewis
Genre: Thriller
Type: NOVEL

Title: MURDER IMPOSSIBLE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/murder_impossible_by_jack_fitzgerald.html
Written by: Jack Fitzgerald
Genre: Mystery
Type: NOVEL

Title: VENGEANCE IS MINE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/vengeance_is_mine_by_leon_opio.html
Written by: Leon Opio
Genre: Suspenseful/Thriller
Type: Novel

Title: GERM LINE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/germ_line_by_stephen_carter.html
Written by: Stephen Carter
Genre: Paranormal, Crime, Sci-Fi
Type: Novel

Title: THE TARNISHED SHOOTER
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_tarnished_shooter_by_charles_james.html
Written by: CHARLES JAMES
Genre: BIOGRAPHY
Type: NOVEL

Title: BOUND
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/bound_by_belinda_j_rossetti.html
Written by: Belinda J. Rossetti
Genre: True Crime
Type: NOVEL

Title: BROKEN LIGHTNING: THE CURSE OF GODFALL GOLDEN
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/broken_lightning_the_curse_of_godfall_golden_by_jonathan_v_cann.html
Written by: Jonathan V. Cann
Genre: Sci-Fi, Gay and Lesbian
Type: Novel

Title: DEATH IN DISGUISE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/death_in_disguise_by_lewis_j_cooke.html
Written by: Lewis J. Cooke
Genre: Crime | Horror | Thriller | Mystery
Type: Novel

    * * * * *

FREE – TWITTER SHORT STORY FESTIVAL
Submit your 140 character story and have it performed by a professional actor
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/140_characters.html

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Submit your Film, Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem anytime to the festival today: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Part 1: Today’s NOVEL Story Pitches and Loglines

Submit your logline for FREE today (Any type. Any genre)

http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

READ Novel Pitches:

Title: TIARA
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tiara_by_john_reinhard_dizon.html
Written by: John Reinhard Dizon
Genre: Action, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Type: NOVEL

Title: TEN BILLION PEOPLE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/ten_billion_people_by_lorraine_courtney.html
Written by: Lorraine Courtney
Genre: Eco-thriller
Type: NOVEL

Title: THE DEAD – COLONIES BOOK ONE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_dead_colonies_book_one_by_robert_tozer.html
Written by: Robert Tozer
Genre: Survival, Horror, Adventure, Thriller
Type: NOVEL

Title: WHEREWOLVES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/wherewolves_by_john_vamvas_and_olga_montes.html
Written by: John Vamvas and Olga Montes
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Action

Title: THE IRISH CODE
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_irish_code_by_bob_chapman.html
Written by: Bob Chapman
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Title: CLAIMING LIVES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/claiming_lives_by_stuart_land.html
Written by: Stuart Land
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Title: DEADLY INVISIBLE ENEMIES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/deadly_invisible_enemies_by_harold_l_brown.html
Written by: Harold L. Brown
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Conspiracy Thriller, Action, Adventure, Crime

Title: COLD BLOODIED
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/cold_bloodied_by_diane_otoole.html
Written by: Diane O’Toole
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Crime Thriller

Title: THE PLAYROOM
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_playroom_by_amy_leo.html
Written by: AMY LEO
Type: NOVEL
Genre: PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Title: AGGI
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/aggi_by_linda_scarlett.html
Written by: Linda Scarlett
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Thriller

Title: BLOOMING FROM ROOTS
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/blooming_from_roots_by_louis_gander.html
Written by: Louis Gander
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography, Horror, Thriller

Title: THE LAST SONG OF WILDERNESS
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_last_song_of_wilderness_by_cleber_pacheco.html
Written by: CLEBER PACHECO
Type: NOVEL
Genre: FANTASY AND THRILLER

Title: THE PITS
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_pits_by_greg_smith.html
Written by: Greg Smith
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Action-Crime-Thriller.

Title: THE CULL – Bloodline (Book 1 of series)
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_cull_bloodline_by_eric_j_gates.html
Written by: Eric J. Gates
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Suspense Thriller

Title: LOST CAUSES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/lost_causes_by_donna_j_thompson.html
Written by: Donna J. Thompson
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Suspense

Title: ME AND MR. MEPHISTOPHELES
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/me_and_mr_mephistopheles_by_dd_cross.html
Written by: DD Cross
Type: NOVEL
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Humor, Horror

    * * * * *

DEADLINE March 31st: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

Watch NOVEL made into a Feature Film – Sandro’s Notebook
An historical/adventure series of a man’s travels through Africa in the mid-1900s

Deadline March 31st: SUBMIT your NOVEL (both your 1st chapter or full novel accepted)
And we’ll make it into a MOVIE
http://www.wildsound.ca/audio_video_book.html

Feature Screenplay Winning Readings 2014

WILDsound is a screenwriter’s treasure! They take enormous time to provide the most expert, detailed feedback, even allowing my choice to incorporate all the Committee’s ideas or stay with my draft. With caring support, they’ve honored each deadline and every award they promised, and I’m forever grateful for their industry professional’s right-on insightful niggles to enhance my story. Matthew Toffolo and WILDsound provide everything a screenwriter needs to find the way to a story’s successful completion. I’m forever grateful!

– Writing Elan Carlson on the WILDsound Screenplay Festival (Review)

What a diverse and interesting year for the feature scripts we performed in 2014. In total, we had 8 readings of entire screenplays performed by professional actors. And in 2015, WILDsound will perform at least 15 feature screenplay readings.

    Watch the FEATURE SCREENPLAY Readings from the WILDsound Writing Festival

Here are the 2014 Feature Script Winners:

FLEET WEEK: EVANESCENCE
December 2014 Reading
Written by David Redstone

CAHOOTS
November 2014 Reading
Written by Elan Carlson

THE FIX FACTORY
October 2014 Reading
Written by Kyle Jenkins

SHOOTING STAR
September 2014 Reading
Written by Richard Harrison

SHAPESHIFTERS
June 2014 Reading
Written by Andrew Fisk

THE DEVIL’S LARCENY
May 2014 Reading
Written by Howard Fridkin

HOPE IS NOT A BLACK & WHITE RAINBOW
March 2014 Reading
Written by Harold L. Brown

RUM HOUSE
January 2014 Reading
Written by Michael Sieve

Watch all the feature scripts performed at the festival:

http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

Submit your own feature script to the festival and get it performed. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries:

http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Chatting with Harold L. Brown, WILDsound Feature Screenplay Winner

I like the idea of breathing life into a story and short of seeing it performed on the big screen I like the idea of actors doing live readings. There is nothing more humbling then having your work read by professionals or performed in front of an audience – and WILDsound has done this and so much more. WILDsound has provided invaluable insights into my screenplays and my novel, offering advice that has strengthened my scripts and novel; and made me a better writer.

– Harold L. Brown, on what influenced him to submit to the WILDsound Screenplay Festival (Review)

Harold was one of the early 2014 feature screenplay winners. We performed his entire script HOPE IS NOT A BLACK & WHITE RAINBOW back in March. Watch it here now:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
NIC BARRE – Odain Bailey
ISAAC/BEM – Mel White
GEORGE/ROBERT – Barry Minshull
NYA – Alicia Payne
ZAC/LLOYD – Sean Ballantyne
HELEN/KIM – Diane Tomaszewksi
CHERYL – Dorcas MacKenzie

WILDsound’s Matthew Toffolo chatted with Harold about his screenplay and writing career:

Matthew Toffolo: Why should your script be made into a film?

HB: I believe “Hope is Not a Black and White Rainbow” speaks to a global shift that has been slowly transforming the makeup of individuals, families and communities, and the struggle to embrace a new world and release the old world beliefs and values that have outlived their usefulness. The story explores the growing global village of interracial/mixed heritage families and the blurred lines of long held beliefs that we live in a very black and white world. Racism is man-made, while a world rich in diversity is God-given, as is free-will – the ability to choose the kind of world we want to live in.

The story speaks of the devastating affects racism has on the lives of individuals, families and communities. I hope audiences will immerse themselves in the shoes of Nic and Nya, individuals from two different worlds, who are brought together to tackle a universal problem – adapt or parish.

This is a story about overcoming racial obstacles, a story of humanity at its worst and best – a story about the human condition which at its core is blind to colour when the stakes are about survival. It is a personal journey of realization of how deficient the world is if everything was viewed as black and white, rather than as a world with an entire spectrum of colours, like a rainbow. It is a story of hope – the essence and reason to live – regardless of our cultural background and heritage.

MT: How long have you been writing screenplays?

HB: While I did not realize it at the time, storytelling has been in my blood since I was a kid and I got my first guitar. I used music to express what I was feeling. For much of my adult life technical and business writing has been an essential part of my working life. About fifteen years ago, in addition to my fulltime executive job, I started carving out time to more seriously explore storytelling through film and television. In order to more fully understand the industry and gain a better insight as a writer, I took some acting classes with a Los Angeles film director, got some time in front of the camera and pursued training and gained experience on the producer end of things.

All that being said I finished my first screenplay around 2000. When I look back at it, I realize how little I really understood about storytelling at the time, and how much I have learned and am still learning.

MT: What films have you seen the most in your life?

HB: While I enjoy a good thriller and mystery, when I look back at the films that have stuck with me, it is the stories of people overcoming adversity while dealing with their own “personal obstacles” or inner demons that have left a lasting impact. These are the stories that cause me to pause and reflect – to think. Racism has been a theme in several of the movies, such as “In the Heat of the Night” directed by Norman Jewison, “A Time to Kill,” “A Bronx Tale,” and “Thunderheart.”

While I did not realize it at the time, in looking back, two of my screenplays deal with racism – “Destiny of Tar and Feathers,” a story of one man’s struggle with his Metis heritage, and “Hope is Not a Black and White Rainbow,” a story of a man coming to grips with being born into a mix-marriage and the consequences.

I think it is part of my ongoing thirst to better understand humanity and why I have certain immediate responses to things. As someone once said, “If you go back far enough, we are all related.”

MT: What artists in the film industry would you love to work with?

HB: I had the good fortune of meeting Arthur Miller and Norman Jewison at the Edmonton Film Festival a number of years ago. They have told some fantastic stories and they are Canadian. I realize Norman Jewison is not as active now, but given the racial setting, I would love to collaborate with him on “Hope is Not a Black and White Rainbow.” Others would include David Cronenberg, Anne Wheeler, Sarah Polley and Deepa Mehta. In terms of actors that I would love to work with, it is really more about who is drawn to the stories I have written. I want to work with artists that feel the pain, joy and struggles of the characters in my stories. That being said one does not have to look too far to see that in terms of actors in Canada, the well is deep with talent.

MT: How many screenplays have you written?

HB: I have completed seven feature length screenplays that I have felt satisfied with and shared with a wider audience, including screenwriting competitions at film festivals.

MT: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

HB: Every day I get to write is a gift, and while I am unproduced at the moment, I get to pursue my passion for writing stories every day. What more does a guy really need? Now, as for wants, well… film and television is a very tough business to distinguish ones self and get a screenplay read, let alone produced, so to be realistic in 5 years I would like to have one screenplay produced on the big screen, and another at least in development – perhaps as a television series.

At the moment I am working on my eighth screenplay which is a story set in the not too distant future. I have also just completed my first novel and signed a book publisher deal and hope to begin work on my second novel in 2014.

MT: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

HB: With each screenplay I write, my process continues to evolve. Usually I have a germ of an idea that bounces around in my head for a period of time. If it continues to resonate with me I start jotting down thoughts about what the story might be. If it still is resonating perhaps a few months or even years later, I start to flesh out the idea and begin more serious research. I usually find that some aspect of the idea links back to a desire to grow and increase my knowledge about the subject. The writing process for me is also a learning process about myself and the world around me. I find that as the research process continues, I continually fight the temptation to jump in and begin writing the story. I usually try to outline at least the major aspects of what the story is, or is becoming, and once I have a solid sense of the major pieces of the story, I begin to write the screenplay. Writing the screenplay always provides some real surprises and new insights which add layers to the story.

When I first started writing, the results-driven part of me wanted to know how long it would take to write a screenplay. I would ask other writers how long it took them to write a screenplay, trying to apply it to my creative endeavors. I have written screenplays in as little as two-three months, and on the other end of the spectrum have taken up to two years. Now, I realize that the creative process takes as long as it takes to complete a screenplay.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

HB: I am a people watcher and information junkie. I am constantly viewing people and world events through my “storychaser” lens, looking for kernels of insight into why people do what they do, why things happen and things that surprise me. I love music, spending time in the outdoors shooting video of wildlife, especially in the spring and fall; and spending time in Hawaii – all of which I am blessed to share with my soul mate.

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

I have been fortunate to meet a few people in the business who offered some sage advice which I apply in my writing. Norman Jewison told me, “Harold just keep writing.” I do write – daily, some days I write a lot, other days I write very little. Some days it is a real struggle, other days the words just flow. Some days I write garbage, some days I don’t. One thing for certain I will sit down and write or type something daily.

Robert McKee told me, “Write the truth.” A simple statement with a very complex meaning. Stay true to the character(s), true to the story and true to the audience’s expectations – no gimmicks, no shortcuts. Robert McKee also told me that writer’s block might just mean that I have not done enough research in preparing to tell my story. Research that is rich in the right kind of detail gives a writer a lot to work with, and the challenge then becomes whittling down and selecting only the relevant (to the audience) details, and determining the order of revealing them to your audience. Don’t get me wrong, research is not everything to writing, but it makes it easier to focus on the writing.

Develop a thick skin and courage to stick to your guns. Honest feedback, brutally honest feedback is better, is the only way to improve a story and get better as a writer. That being said, only you the writer intimately know the story you are trying to tell. In the early going I found myself trying to assimilate all the feedback I was getting into the story I was trying to tell. In the end I lost focus and I lost the story I was trying to tell. What I have learned is that feedback helps me ensure I have a well-grounded understanding of my story, and it can help me refine my story.

One last thing, pay attention to details – grammar, punctuation, spelling and story details. A screenwriters’ calling card is their screenplay.