Watch the winning February 2017 TV PILOT screenplay.
|Winning Screenplay – ECHOES OF BONNIEVILLE
Written by Simon Schneider
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