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Feature Screenplay Table Reading: HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY by L R Whittinger

Henrietta’s Odyssey is the February 2016 Feature Screenplay Winner

Watch HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY by L R  Whittinger:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
HENRI – Amanda Pereira
EANIE/ARTHUR – Gabriel Darku
GEEGLE – Mark Sparks
ADA/MRS. STRICT – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
VARIOUS – Neil Kulin

Get to know winning writer L R  Whittinger:

1. What is your feature screenplay about? 
To save her Henrietta’s life, she is left on an earthling’s doorstep by Geegle one of the most untrustworthy characters in the plot. It so happens she is left on the wrong doorstep. She falls into the hands of the greedy Fritzgrumpy’s and becomes their slave. After Henri discovers she is a foundling and her supposed parents were only interested in being paid for looking after her. Her life turns upside down. Eanie Meanie saves Henri aided by with Geegle. So she can to find her way back to her real place in time and space.  However, the Black Cardinal who has taken her rights away wants her dead.
 
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 
This is a rare comedy script, as weird as Edward Scissorhands and as compulsive as Time Bandits. The story is told in the style of Alice in Wonderland with animated sequences. 
 
3. This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    
Humungously funny
 
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life? 
City of Ember (2008). It is always on TV and has a deep interesting plot.
 
5.  This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?  
This story began as a manuscript around 2006. It was published as Henri and the Alien (2008) and one London publisher immediately said it should be a film. Within a few years, I had developed a children’s TV series. I had interest at MIPCOM, Kidscreen, and CMC, but thought a feature film would allow me to build a stronger brand. I have been working on the screenplay with other projects for two years. 
 
6. How many stories have you written? 
I have written nine stories if one does not include different versions of the same story for different media. 
 
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay? 
I think taking this story from novella to TV series, to Screenplay has been an enjoyable experience. I laughed and cried along with it. I had another screenplay on my PC about dolphins at the same time, which is now in pre-production under another writer’s name. It taught me how to write in multiple mediums for different audiences. 
 
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 
Writing screenplays is like learning a language, very different from novels and literary fiction. It has a different grammar and tense. This problem is common to all writers, who switch from TV to films, or to books. One obstacle is always the problem, what to cut and what to keep, and which character leads and when. Another problem with a visual medium is leaving the right clues, for an actor to pick up the character’s emotional state. How many films have you watched, where a dialogue line can be interpreted many different ways with, pauses, expressions, etc. 
 
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 
I love history and am sad that many writers do not use authentic situations in historic films. The past is very intriguing and can offer enormous opportunities emotionally. I tend to be a workaholic because I was born on Saturday. I love the irony of politics, sport, and religion and wonder how they can subsume people. That is the novelist and thinker coming out. I think everyone should study anthropology, so they, can see how ridiculous humans are.  
 
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I feel WILDsound is a great way to develop a screenplay and get friendly feedback. It can be slow, but that has advantages, as every writer needs, at least, three projects underway at a time. You cannot keep reading the same thing repeatedly without a break. You need to be on the ball and creative.   
 
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers? 
As William Nicholson (Gladiator, 2000) told me screenplays are about story. Never be possessive about you work. If you are, no one will want to work with you. The real trick for someone like me who writes book to film screenplays is, think out of the box and remember films are about seeing not feeling. Lastly, unless you are also a director or producer you will likely be undervalued for your contribution. The industry is geared to publicizing a few directors or actors to attract audiences. Thankfully, WILDsound is giving screenwriters the place they deserve. 
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
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Watch the January 2016 Feature Screenplay Winner

CRIME EXTRAORDINAIRE
Written by Howard Fridkin

SYNOPSIS:

Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Crime

For the ultimate revenge, an internationally renowned mystery writer uses his latest novel as a blueprint to steal the Eiffel Tower.
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
MONIER – Lorne Hiro
LAMADOUR – Peter Nelson
MANDRELL – Dan Cristofori
WORCHEV/FELICE – Geoff Mays
LORRAINE – Katelyn Vanier

Get to know writer Howard Fridkin:

1. What is your screenplay about?

For the ultimate revenge, an eccentric Parisian crime novelist financially persuades the world’s greatest detective, scientist and architect into helping him execute the greatest heist of all-time: stealing the Eiffel Tower.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It brings back to the cinema a more mature high action/adventure thriller in the tradition of such eventful classics as “The Guns of Navarone,” Where Eagles Dare,” “The Towering Inferno” and Goldfinger,” which were all box office giants. With nothing but Marvel and DC comic book movies flooding the theatres, I thought this would be something challengingly fresh to excite audiences with…in other words, “Mission Impossible meets “Ocean’s eleven.”

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

Unprecedented concept.

4. You are the first writer to have ever had three feature screenplays read at our festival. Two of them high concept scripts that the actors LOVED performing. You can’t possibly have more feature screenplays completed….do you?

Unless I’m retiring, there’s always another in the pipeline.

5. What makes this screenplay and your previous script (The Last Adventure of Shay Blaze) stand out from the pack is your ability to mix genres. Crime Extraordinaire can be categorized as a “Crime meets Mystery meets Adventure meets Action, with a little bit of Romance mixed in!” Is mixing so many genres into one completed story a calculated decision in prep?

To help make my mark, I tend to take big risks with extravagant concepts and that usually means fusing different genres together, which I always love experimenting with. But the real trick is to ground them in some basis of reality so your audience will trust you to win them over with an exciting, new approach to your story and not something that eventually turns incredulous.

6. You make it very convincing that the Eiffel Tower could be stolen in your screenplay. Can it really happen? (AKA – Is your engineering and math realistic in the script, or did you make it all up?)

No. I really had to do my homework on this one. I researched ad nauseam all the mechanics of the operation in order to keep things credible. However, for the sake of pure entertainment, some suspension of disbelief is camouflaged by reality based information.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

As a kid, I was always infatuated with two historical landmarks: the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China. One of my favorite films is the original“The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. For some reason its title inspired me to come up with a plot about taking something big, so since I was preoccupied with the Tower, it seemed like a logical choice to marry the two ideas together and see what happens with it in a screenplay. And who knows…maybe one day the Great Wall will be a sequel.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The most demanding challenge, of course, was creating convincing characters that would eliminate the reader’s skepticism that an operation of this magnitude could actually be accomplished, and not to drop the ball in its execution; otherwise, the script would have just been a house of cards.

9. The hero/anti-hero/smartest guy in the room in your story is a writer himself. A man who figures out all the pieces of the complicated puzzle to make this ultimate caper happen. Do you really think the great & successful crime writers have the ability to use their past research in prepping their stories, plus their imagination to pull off something like stealing the Eiffel Tower?

Well, you just can’t go around every day stealing any national monument you want and get away with it. You must become an expert on the subject you’re writing about to be taken seriously. Anything is possible so long as you’re willing to do the homework and back up your imaginative ideas with a set of logical rules to abide by.

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

I’ve been extraordinarily lucky with WILDsound’s feedback over the years. It helped me achieve three table reads, which are so important to improve on what I thought was my final draft. You can drive yourself nuts reading your material over and over again, trying to reach perfection. But until you actually hear the dialogue and scene descriptions being read by other voices, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. These table reads have helped me catch overlooked errors that I never saw with my own two eyes on the pages.

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

Giving someone advice is like telling them how to dress. Everyone has their own style (voice) and wardrobe (scripts). Rather than giving advice, I’ll take my own: “I write every screenplay as if it were my last, so it has to be the best.

Today’s Instagram Photos: Tuesday December 23 2015

Today’s Instagram Posts: The Nutcracker Ballet, Screenplay Table Reading, 2015 1st Scene Screenplay Winners.

Today’s Instagram Posts: Sunday November 29 2015

Today’s Instagram Posts: Professional Table Read Screenplay Readings

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

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

Watch the 4 Best Scene Screenplay Table Readings for November 2015

DEADLINE: Submit your best scene from your screenplay. Have it performed using professional actors:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submit_your_favorite_scene.html

Watch the Winning Best Scene Readings for November 2015:

BEST SCENE- Coyote and the Dust Devil
November 2015 Reading
Written by Jonah Jones
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_coyote_and_the_dust_devil.html

BEST SCENE- Gonies
November 2015 Reading
Written by Phil Stokes
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_gonies.html

BEST SCENE – No Hope For Gomez
November 2015 Reading
Written by Graham Parke
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_no_hope_for_gomez.html

BEST SCENE – The Charlottetown Jackhammer Imbroglio
November 2015 Reading
Written by Marc Lalonde
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_the_charlottetown_jackhammer_imbroglio.html

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WATCH the past best scene readings and see what happens when you submit:

Feature Script Reading of YELLOW TOUCH RED, YOU’RE DEAD by Lauren Hoekstra

YELLOW TOUCH RED, YOU’RE DEAD was the WILDsound November 2015 Winning Feature Screenplay.

Watch the Table Reading of YELLOW TOUCH RED, YOU’RE DEAD

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
BAHRI- Kunal Jaggi
TYLER – Scott Beaudin
KIRA – Aidan Black Allen
DENVER – Brett Kelly
JEFF – Steve Shand

Get to know writer Lauren Hoekstra:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Yellow Touch Red, You’re Dead is the story of an impulsive high-school girl who gets accidentally caught up in a guns-for-drugs deal gone wrong. Trapped with the drug-runners fleeing the cartel, she plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the leader, who’s keeping her till she sleeps with him, no matter the cost.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The story is novel in the way it takes a traditionally male-oriented genre – the chase – and injects it with a dose of young-adult romance and erotica. So it opens the genre up to a different audience. Apart from this, it does address some topical issues.

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

Gritty. Edgy.

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

Cinema Paradiso – I grew up in Italy, so it’s very nostalgic for me. Plus all those wonderful movie clips….

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

Eighteen months, on and off.

6. How many stories have you written?

This is my first completed feature script. I have a short script I’m going to produce soon. Other than that, outlines and concepts.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love romance, but it has to be edgy, not sentimental. And I love action, too, so I wanted to combine these elements.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The learning curve!

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

Filmmaking, especially alternative storytelling methods. I recently made a first-person interactive short starring Tyler Shields, the celebrity photographer. He’s filming a model clinging onto the hood of his car as they race through the Mojave. The viewer can switch perspectives and see what it’s like from her point of view. It’s great fun to film this way, and to watch.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I loved the idea of actors reading my story. Apart from the potential publicity, this seemed like such a privilege. And I really appreciated the feedback. It was encouraging, but also spot-on as far as weaknesses.

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

I’ve found the feedback from competitions that give coverage, like WILDsound, to be invaluable.

Upcoming Writing Festival Details: Sunday November 15 2015

This weekend’s Writing Festival Table Read Screenplay event is proud to be presenting the following:

5 Screenplay Readings in Total

TV Pilot Winner:
VINCENT LOCKE: VILLAIN-AT-LAW
by Christiaan Alexander Kutlik

TV Spec Winner:
BOB’S BURGERS “Wreck Center”
by Travis McMaster & Tony Interdonato

TV Spec Winner:
THE AMERICANS “Revolution and Resolution”
by Addison A.A. Bhuyan

Short Screenplay Winner:
On Three
by Ed Vassie

Best Scene Winner:
SEEKING WILL FERRELL
by Rob Ingalls

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

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

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