Tag Archives: tv spec screenplay

Mike Miller – October 2016 TV SPEC Screenplay Winner “Kimmy Schmidt”

Watch the October 2016 Winning TV Screenplay.

TV SPEC of THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT “Kimmy is a VIP”CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
KIMMY – Erynn Brook
TITUS – Martin Huss
JACQUELINE – Viktoria Napoleonova
LILLIAN – Michelle Alexander
ULLR – Brogan Caulfield
DORMAN – Michael Lake

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

Kimmy and Titus go on a quest to get Jacqueline back on an exclusive VIP list for a restaurant opening and Kimmy seeks justice after being rejected on Tinder.

Get to know the winning writer Mike Miller: 

What is your Kimmy Schmidt screenplay about? 

The feeling of not being included as we explore Jacqueline’s fear of being pushed out of high society, plus a little satire about the idea of exclusivity and how badly some people feel the need to be “above” others, and Tinder. Most of us can relate to the awkwardness of online dating, relationships, or simply being vulnerable.

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

Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and the awesome cast created these great characters with such strong points of view. You can’t help but have fun writing in those voices. Kimmy is such an unbreakable fighter for justice, so I wanted to write a script with stories that fit her idealism and give us a chance to see what Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian want. TUKS does a great job making a parody on society, which is something I absolutely love to do.

How would you describe this script in two words?    

Kimmyfisticated Thinkystuff

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

Seinfeld

How long have you been working on this screenplay?  

I wrote the first draft in about 6 weeks after binge watching season one. I let it sit for a bit and then picked it up with fresh eyes for a few edits. Then season 2 came out and I spent a few more days editing to create this version. In my original script [Spoiler] Xanthippe was the culprit Kimmy confronts at ‘Excluse’.

How many stories have you written? 

I fell in love with comedy writing and Improv while studying at the Second City, then wrote and performed at our local comedy theater. Writing sketches every week was a great experience before I began writing for television and film. In addition to this Spec Script, I’ve written two original sitcom pilots and I have two more in process along with three feature screenplays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

I love the world of Kimmy Schmidt and her hopeful idealism. I’ve been called an elf for being so optimistic and happy, so maybe I’m a little like Kimmy. Kimmy is such a great fighter for justice, I couldn’t resist writing for her. I think it is important to write Spec scripts that show you can write on a team and contribute to a world other writers have created. I hope some showrunner out there might read this script, laugh, and give me a shot. Plus, I have a nerd crush on Tina’s writing so doing this was just plain fun.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 

You know the saying “Be careful what you wish for”. I wished for Season 2 to come out, then it did and I realized I had to change my script.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

My wife, family, friends, and dog on the top of that list. I’m passionate about learning, exploring the world, and fresh tracks on a ski day. I’m similar to Kimmy, so count on me to be passionate about fighting injustice and most other philosophies that boil down to treating everyone with respect and kindness.

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

I think it is magical when something I wrote is performed on stage or screen. I was influenced to enter the festival with the hope that some very talented actors would bring this script to life in a table read, and hopefully I’d make a few of them and some Kimmy fans laugh (or at least chuckle). The feedback made my day because, again, if I can make someone laugh I’m happy.

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

Write sketch comedy, take Improv classes, and play with creating characters. You’ll either learn a lot or just have a lot of fun…hopefully both. Carry a journal with you everywhere you go. Every time I feel awkward, uncomfortable, or something crazy happens I write it down. That moment might turn into a memorable scene, a storyline for an episode, or the premise of a film. It could also be that I just have a lot of awkward moments. Keep writing, stay hopeful, and as Han Solo said “Never tell me the odds”.

 

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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.

****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne