WILDsound have a fantastic record for getting writers noticed and have an enormous community that’s still growing. It seemed like far too good an opportunity to miss.
– Grant Reid on why he submitted (and won!) to the WILDsound Screenplay Festival (Review)
WATCH the 1st Scene Reading of MY LAST DUCHESS performed by professional actors:
NARRATOR – Susan Q Wilson
Catherine – Alissa DeGrazia
Thomas – Jacob Klick
Alexander – Rob Young
Duke – Todd Dulmage
When recently single Thomas moves next door and strikes a friendship with Catherine, Alexander spirals into a dark paranoia. With his sanity at stake Alexander is on the brink of losing everything.
Interview with Grant Reid:
Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
‘My Last Duchess’ focuses on the fallible transformation that happens in humans when jealousy turns their love for someone into possession. It centralises on a paranoid husband (Alexander) who believes his recently available neighbour (Thomas) is stealing his wife (Catherine)– and that she is letting him do so. Alexander spirals into a dark abyss of assumptions and foregone conclusions.
Matthew: Why should this script be made into a movie?
Why shouldn’t it? Nine out of ten people will admit to being paranoid about a relationship once in their lives, maybe because they think they love the person. Think Gone Girl, Headhunters, Blue Valentine… Great stories about relationships. ‘My Last Duchess’ is more personal, and it has a fantastic twist.
Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?
I’ve been writing stories consistently as a hobby for about two and a half years, having been introduced to scriptwriting at university. However I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember! Not all of them were true, but screened drama never reflects truth. There’s just something satisfying about telling a story to someone and having them listen and experience the story themselves.
Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Dumb And Dumber. It’s an absolute classic of a comedy. Closely following is Forrest Gump, Drive and anything made by Stanley Kubrick.
Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?
Ryan Gosling and Jake Gyllenhaal are the leading men of the new generation, and I think they’d be any writer/director/producer’s dream pairing. I had Garrett Hedlund in mind for the role of Thomas here with Bennett Miller to direct.
Matthew: How many stories/screenplays have you written?
I have two computers and lots of USB drives filled with scripts and story ideas. I have even more notebooks and scrap paper…
Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?
Accepting an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay isn’t likely to happen in five years. I’d love to have had a serial commissioned for a second season, whether that be on TV or on-demand streaming outlets.
Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
I like to write my key scenes– where the audience are going to feel most gripped. After that I can plot my build-up. I write mostly at night when I can’t sleep, or when I have a long period of uninterrupted time. Then I go back and rewrite about 85% of it! Everything’s carefully planned, I just know the first draft is never as good as the second.
Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
My main hobby at the moment is digital photography, as I see it as the primitive steps into filmmaking. I’ve always been a gamer as well, playing pretty every Final Fantasy game that’s ever been released. That’s probably where my affection for story-telling began. I’m also very much a family man. They will always come first.
Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Don’t waste a single line of script. If you can condense 3-4 lines of text into a sentence do it everywhere you can. And keep re-reading and re-writing. Network with as many people as you can as well. They don’t have to be industry professionals, as long as you can say, “I have this idea for a script, what do you think?”, they’re a useful contact.
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