Winning Feature Screenplay – THE LAST PRISON by Richard Geiwitz

Watch the Winning AUGUST 2017 Screenplay. 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy,

Judith, known as the “Mother Creator” by her robots, faces a takeover when the robots feel they are not being treated fairly.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Judith: Mandy May Cheetham
R-14: Angelica Alejandro
Reeve: Ryan Yusep
Alain: Peter Mark Raphael
Joshua: Allan Michael Brunet

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Judith, a robotics genius who designed and programmed robots to mine a moon of Saturn, which is uninhabitable to man. The bots are designed to think independently and problem-solve. There are three series: administrative, worker and repair. The workers begin to resent their assigned role. They want more input into running the colony. The administrators disagree, citing their assigned programs. There’s a worker’s strike, exports stop and Judith is sent to face her creations, wondering if they are now smarter than she.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The main genre is Sci-Fi, but social and political as well.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

 This screenplay should be made into a movie because it will be an entertaining drama set in another world, while also being thought-provoking. It looks into the future of man versus machine, creator versus creation, but also takes a look at society today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

 Frighteningly possible.

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

 “Network,” the most visionary film of all time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 It was written in the mid-eighties. If I recall correctly, it took about 6-8 months. My inability to land an agent put it on the shelf for a long time. I converted it into a novella, but didn’t sell it. I recently turned it back into a screenplay, updating certain technical aspects and reworking dialogue. Maybe the third time is the charm.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written ten feature screenplays, three short scripts and two treatments. So, far, they’ve won or placed in 71 contests. There are a few other scripts from the past I might update along with new projects in the works.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

 “Pride” – U2

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

 Technical issues. Computers, programs and robotics were different in the 1980s when this was first written. Researching the recent rewrite was fascinating. Also, creating the future as envisioned today. Of course, this is a more social issue story than scientific. So putting the Bible and Plato’s Republic into outer space was interesting.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love Asian culture, philosophy and architecture. I’m fascinated by the Feng Shui design of ancient cities in China and Japan. I love watching movies and TV series from around the world, stories you can’t find in Hollywood.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It’s easy to use and actually fun, like shopping on Amazon. There are a lot of festivals to choose from. It’s easy to search for festivals and the many filters save a lot of time.

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

I’ve always liked the feedback. It really points out what needs another look. Other scripts I’ve entered haven’t won, so I was completely shocked when this one did. I had to read the email a couple extra times before I believed it.

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Advertisements

BEST SCENE Screenplay – ESCAPE TO PLANET B346, by Thomas Thorpe

Winning Screenplay – ESCAPE TO PLANET B346
Written by Thomas Thorpe

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
WILLIAM – Dan Cristofori
SIMONE – Jane Hailes
COE – Sean Ballantynea>

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama, LGBT

Attempting the precise flyby of a black hole, untrained survivors of a lethal virus arrive in an uncharted region of our galaxy searching for refuge, but encounter an ancient race intent on eliminating outsiders.

What is your screenplay about?

A transport ship carrying settlers to a distant planet heads towards a black hole. A virus contracted in the Centauri System has wiped out the crew and most of the passengers. Two survivors attempt to navigate the ship, but miss the planned flyby trajectory and end up in an uncharted part of the galaxy. Finally arriving at a habitable planet, William and Elizabeth land in separate escape pods far apart.

William tracks his missing wife, but discovers glucose processing plant run by Coel, one of a few remaining overseers left by an ancient race.William is drugged and wakes up next to the owner’s dead body. Accused of the killing, William is held hostage by the notorious overseer, Afon and learns that his wife may have been taken to the capital city Ronna to participate in a blood transfusion purported to save Domed, young leader of the planet’s native race and who has contracted a similar virus.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci fy, adventure, thriller, suspense

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Truely unique story, with the subtext of finding one’s place in the universe and making the choice between health, wealth or happiness.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Life prevails

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

Jaws, Star Wars, Jurassic Park

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Two years, adapting from my novel which was written ten years ago.

How many stories have you written?

Eight published novels, four feature screenplays

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Star Wars theme

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Adapting novel to the visual medium.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Astronomy, space exploration, golf, movies

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

Hearing the reading, receiving excellent feedback.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Winning SHORT Screenplay – MILKSHAKE, by Max Thackara

Winning Screenplay – MILKSHAKE
Written by Max Thackara

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
TEDDY – Dan Cristofori
WAITRESS – Cassandra Guthrie
ALICE – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama

A young couple have an awkward meet in a 50s diner.

 
Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It is a short script about a relationship between two young lovers, very much a cliché!

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This short script I believe would make an excellent and very emphatic short film for its use of music and soft tone.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bitter sweet.

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

Probably ‘Step Brothers’

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote this short script over a few days after having the idea/setting in mind for a while.

How many stories have you written?

As I haven’t been writing for long I am working on a number of scripts ideas at the moment, but have also written probably 3 or 4 short stories I’m proud of.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Starman (David Bowie)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I was unsure of the ending and how I wanted the story to unfold, but I have since changed it rather a lot with an ending I now feel is much more appropriate.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I was unsure of the ending and how I wanted the story to unfold, but I have since changed it rather a lot with an ending I now feel is much more appropriate.

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

I entered the festival as I believed this was one of my best short scripts. The feedback was brilliant and influenced me in the rewrite I completed recently. I was thrilled to be selected as obviously a lot of this is subjective, also it hopefully confirmed that my writing isn’t as awful as it was 6 months ago!

—-

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

SHORT SCREENPLAY – PROTEST SEEN by Donald J. Bingle

Watch the Winning January 2017 Short Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay PROTEST SEEN Screenplay
Written by Donald J Bingle

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
PROTESTER – David Straus
YOUNG MAN – Gabriel Darku
FLAME BOY – Nick Wicht
GIVER – Charles Gordon
BUSINESS WOMAN – Shannon McNally

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama

What if they held a protest and nobody paid attention?


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about how America reacts to protest.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Dark humor; drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

In just a few pages, it touches on the commitment of protesters, the importance of protest movements, the futility of protest movements, and the apathy of the American public.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Protesting apathy.

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

Hard to say. No VCRs or DVRs when I was a kid. Probably something like the original Journey to the Center of the Earth (with Pat Boone) or Harvey (Jimmy Stewart) or Princess Bride.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote it many years ago, but the process of actually writing it wasn’t that extended. It’s only a few pages.

How many stories have you written?

I have five books and fifty or so shorter stories published in the thriller, mystery, science fiction, horror, steampunk, comedy, romance, and memoir genres, along with a couple screenplays and a dozen or so adventures for role-playing game systems. More about me and my writing at http://www.donaldjbingle.com.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was a creativity exercise triggered by a prompt.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Screenplay formatting is a challenge for those who primarily write short stories.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Causation. People don’t think about both the intended and unintended consequences of their actions and they don’t seem to care about the reasons why people may disagree with them about all sorts of important subjects.

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

The feedback was specific, helpful, and good. I entered because I believe Protest Seen would make a good, limited budget, limit cast, limited location project for a film student to tackle and submit to film festivals, but I don’t have ready access to people who might be looking for that kind of project.

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

Understand not only your strengths, but your weaknesses, and challenge yourself to write things you never would have imagined yourself writing to develop your craft and expand your skill sets.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

 

TV SPEC Reading of MODERN FAMILY “Relax, I Got This” by Edward Pronley

Watch the January 2017 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay Reading.

Best Scene from the screenplay MODERN FAMILY Screenplay
Written by Edward Pronley

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
CLAIRE – Val Cole
MITCHELL/LUKE – Nick Wicht
GLORIA/ALEX – Shannon McNally
HALEY/LILY – Catherine D’Angelo
PHIL – David Straus
CAMERON/JAY – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Family

After refusing to fulfill Claire’s request to hire tree trimmers, Phil, with Luke’s help, takes matters into his own hands; Claire and Mitchell attempt to have a relaxing getaway; Gloria has problems trusting the Dunphys.


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

When the idea for this story came to me, I knew it would be able to fit in nicely with the rest of the series. The conflict that arises from the three separate storylines converge in a way that I have definitely witnessed on the show before.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Trust family.

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

I have a problem with continuously re-watching, not only Modern Family, but also How I Met Your Mother. These two shows have great strengths in both writing comedy, and in writing characters we care about. I love seeing that in a comedy and hope to create something similar in my own writing.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started this screenplay in the Summer of 2016 while pursuing a Screenwriting Certificate from NYU. It took me about the entire summer, with the help of my professor and my fellow classmates, to establish a good first draft. From there it went through many revisions until it was in it’s strongest form by around the end of December.

How many stories have you written?

Although this is my first spec script that I have written, I’ve written and produced a number short films (one that has gone on to be nominated for Best Screenplay at some festivals), I’ve written a feature, and most recently I finished a Two-Act comedy play that will be produced and performed around the end of April.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Last Summer, before I even thought about writing this spec, I had been helping my father cut down trees around the yard. My mother begged him to hire professionals instead of doing it himself, but he thought it would save time and money. Well, a few days later as I was helping him cut down a rather large tree in our front yard, we miscalculated where it would fall and it ended up crashing into the top of our house. The A story of my script follows, almost exactly, this chain of events. After this occurred during the Summer, I had so many people telling that it would fit very well into an episode of Modern Family, so I decided to bring it to life.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

There were numerous obstacles that I faced when finishing this screenplay. It went through so many changes during my revision process and before even sending it to festivals, there was a point where I basically scrapped half of it and started over. The reason for this was due to the three complex storylines that intertwine throughout the script. I knew where I wanted them to go and how I wanted it all to end, however, it was getting them all to that point that had me scratching my head and scrapping rewrite after rewrite. In the end though, I feel that it came together very nicely.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I really enjoy doing anything that has to do with music. I play a number of instruments, including guitar and a little bit of piano, but I have recently got into the habit of trying to learn even more instruments. Most recently, I have picked up the drums and the trumpet.

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

Initially the biggest thing that made me want to enter this festival was the recorded performance of our written scripts if we were to win. After receiving my notes from the festival though, I would say that I now have two big reasons to submit to this festival again in the future. The notes I received were very well thought out and helped me immensely during my most recent revision of the script. The festival put a lot of effort into making the notes as thorough and helpful as possible.

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

The best advice I could give other writers would be to power through. There are times where you might think that you need to take a break from your writing and step back, maybe giving yourself an hour or a week to think about the story and your characters before you continue. I know in my experience though, that an hour turns into five and a week can turn into a month. If you sit down and write out your story, no matter how terrible it might seem to you, just know that the revision will always be better. Revisions can’t happen though, unless you actually write the script.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

 

Alice Lacey – October 2016 Short Story Winner

Performed by Val Cole

October 2016 Winning Short Story

Dead End Job  by Alice Lacey

What is your short story about?

For as long as he could remember, he’d driven a hearse. Freddie was fed up with the whole business…

What genres would you say this story story is in?

Dark comedy

How would you describe this story in two words?

Everyone’s fantasy

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

How long have you been working on this story?

3 years

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What motivated you to write this story?

The idea came to me as I was in my car waiting for other cars to get in line for a funeral procession

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Rothko

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Teaching, tennis, jazz; rock & roll; the Ramones; theater; poetry; my family; politics

What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to have my protagonist, Freddie, brought to life, and also to have a way for Freddie’s story to be shared widely

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

Be yourself when you write and write for yourself

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