Tag Archives: neil kulin

TV Spec Screenplay – Modern Family by Chai Karve

Watch the September 2016 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay

Modern Family by Chai Karve

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
ALEX – Mandy Magnan
PHIL/CAMERON – Devin Upham
JAY/MITCHELL – Neil Kulin
LILY/HALEY – Lauren Toffan
LUKE/MANNY – Scott Beaudin
CLAIRE/GLORIA – Katelyn Vanier

Get to know the writer:

What is your spec screenplay based on the famous TV show about?

All of the characters that usually get what they want need help. On a mushy-gushy level, it’s about realizing everyone’s potential for contribution and using the talents of everyone around you to solve a problem.

A plots: Alex tries to land an internship. Jay tries to learn technology. Haley tries to maintain a long-distance relationship. Mitchell tries to engage with Lily.

B plots: Gloria uses idioms to a fault. Claire and Phil jockey to help Alex. Luke offers sage relationship advice. Lily and Cameron are football bros.

How does this screenplay fit into the context of the TV show?

Most viewers will be able to relate to at least one of the storylines. It’s difficult acknowledging our shortcomings, and this episode deals with that in several contexts.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fast & Relatable

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Arrested Development and Veep. Both of these shows are so fast and terrifyingly witty. The number and diversity of jokes these shows have is staggering. I find new elements every time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The story was outlined in a week and I wrote a draft in 2 days. Once I locked down the story I knew I could crank it out relatively quickly.

How many stories have you written?

The spec is the longest piece I have written other than academic writing. I have and continue to write sketches, one-liners, and short films.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

My love for the show and the characters.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Modern Family has an uncanny ability to weave together wonderfully disjointed stories thematically and I did not feel comfortable putting pen to paper until I had that sense of interconnectivity locked down.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Improv comedy. Late night comedy. Comedy. Podcasts about politics and other useless intelligent jargon.

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

More than winning (which is pretty great), I wanted feedback. Every time you enter one of these things, it is a total gamble, and I this was the first one I entered because of the promise of feedback in a timely manner. I got solid feedback and was able to tweak my script to a point where I was happy with it, all thanks to the kind people at WILDsound.

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

Being busy is not an excuse. Make time. Outline the crap out of everything. Start with smaller pieces – success in brevity is absolutely scalable.

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Short Screenplay Table Reading – TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

TURN ON DESIRE is the February 2016 Short Screenplay Winner.

Watch TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
LUKE – Mark Sparks
PIMP – Neil Kulin
BOY – Gabriel Darku
LOUDSPEAKER – Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Get to know writer Lauren Hoekstra:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short screenplay about? 

It’s set in a not-too-distant future where the proliferation of virtual sex has killed meaningful relationships and created a society in search of ever-more extreme forms of gratification. Luke, the protagonist, is caught in this vicious circle of gratification and craving. Until he discovers he’s yearning for something long since forgotten.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 

Everyone wonders where we’re headed in the future and this story takes a trajectory of something we’re experimenting with today and shows a potential consequence.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    

A surreal romance

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

 Cinema Paradiso

Matthew: This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 I wrote it very quickly as a short story a couple of years ago, then tried, and failed to turn it into a short screenplay. After that, I abandoned it for a few years, until recently. This time, the screenplay flew.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

 Not that many. I’m a director first, writer second.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

I was about fifteen when internet became a standard household item. Over the next decade, I personally felt the effect it had on relationships and it made me want to capture what I think we might be losing.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main obstacle was the fact that the protagonist and antagonist never meet, so I had to create secondary characters to explain the story.

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

 I love directing and producing.

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

I’ve had another work featured and it’s amazing to hear your screenplay performed. I’ve found the feedback to be very helpful and I’ve incorporated nearly all the recommendations.

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

Contests that give feedback, like WILDsound, are invaluable.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson