Tag Archives: Victoria Murdoch

Winning Feature Screenplay: CHANGES, by Neal Doran

Toby is a typical gamer kid approaching the woes of puberty. The after school routine with his bookish friend Nic is spent navigating the London tube line trying to figure the most efficient route to make the infamous 1609 train. However, when one of the popular kids start riding the tube with them they become increasingly involved with a group of girls from another school travelling the same way.

CAST LIST:

Various: Sean Ballantyne
Clare: Leanne Hoffman
Nik: Caleb Jaques
Chris: Ross Cummings
Narration: Carina Cojeen
Toby: Aaron Williams
Jen: Victoria Murdoch
Mandy/Smiley: Natalie Morgan

****

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

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Fraser, Andy Camp, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

WILDsound Performer: Victoria Murdoch

See the 100s of actors who performed at the Writing Festival in 2015:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/wildsound_performers.html

VICTORIA MURDOCHhttp://www.wildsoundfestival.com/victoria_murdoch.html

Height: 5’5

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown

Victoria did some amazing work performing at the Writing Festival in August of 2015.

CLICK the links and watch Victoria’s perform in the screenplays:

ACTORFeature SCRIPT – THE LAST ADVENTURES OF SHAY BLAZE
August 2015 Reading
Written by Howard Fridkin

ACTORTV PILOT SCRIPT – WASHED UP
August 2015 Reading
Written by Leila Ben-Abdallah

SCREENPLAY1st Scene Script: THE TEST
August 2015 Reading
by Loris Simon Salum

SCREENPLAY1st Scene Script: REDNECK CHRISTAS
August 2015 Reading
by JC Mercer Jr.

* * * *
Deadline: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review

TV PILOT Sitcom – WASHED UP by Leila Ben Abdallah

Watch the TV PILOT Reading of WASHED UP:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Matthew Lawrence
LENA – Reetu Bambrah
BARRIE/AMIR – Julian Ford
ADAM – Vince Jerad
CONSTANCE/NADIA – Victoria Murdoch

Get to know writer Leila Ben Abdallah:

1. What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

Washed-Up is about an Arab-American actress, Lena Hadid, who finds fame as a sexy, three-breasted alien queen on a hit sci-fi show with a devoted cult following. When she leaves the show, she finds herself too typecast to ever work again. Out of money and options, Lena moves home to the suburbs of Washington D.C. to share a condo with her metrosexual Arab father, and her hip-hop producer younger brother. In between running a successful bar, chasing women and picking out a tie, Amir supports Lena as she rebuilds her confidence, while Adam’s success as the most popular hip-hop producer in Washington D.C. inspires her to reinvent her career and her life.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV Show?

My favorite sitcoms are the ones centered around characters who are very different and prone to disagree, but are forced to exist together under some circumstance outside of their control. I like watching funny characters struggle to get along and get by with other characters who are diametrically opposed to them in lifestyle, beliefs, opinions, age, politics…The storyline possibilities feel endless among the Hadid family, and there is another wealth of humor to be mined from the setting of the suburbs. The thing that really ties everything together is how much the Hadid’s love each other despite their differences, and I think this is a story with a lot of heart and a lot of potential for longevity.

3. This Pilot has a lot going for it. It’s part inside the business, part comedy, part family, part social commentary, part family, part romance. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

Lena Hadid, a washed-up actress, loses her job starring as a sexy, three-breasted Alien queen on Spaceship: Neutrino, a popular sci-fi show and is forced to move home to the suburbs to share a bachelor pad-style condo with her metrosexual Arab father and rapper younger brother.

4. What is your all-time favorite TV show?

Arrested Development. It’s just so smart and the jokes are so complex, and the series as a whole is so intricately constructed, that whenever I re-watch the series, I catch jokes that had been set-up several episodes earlier that I never noticed before. And this was before the current trend of binge-watching, so that was risky. It also really epitomizes what I love about sitcoms, that idea of very opposing characters struggling to get along under circumstances outside of their control.

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

I have been sitting on the idea for years, but actually writing for about 6 months, and put up a private table reading and later a public reading here in NYC at The People’s Improv Theater.

6. How many stories have you written?

This is my second T.V. pilot, I’m currently working on a third, and I have written and performed two solo-shows, one of those solo-shows I performed in the NY International Fringe Festival last summer, and my first pilot, Eight-Sixed, is available for viewing on my website, http://www.leilaben-abdallah.com.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The brother and father characters in Washed-Up are loosely based on my own brother and father who actually do share a bachelor-pad style apartment in the suburbs of D.C. Those two are the funniest people I know, plus their relationship is so indicative of the times. It’s taking longer and longer for people of my generation to pass those benchmarks of adulthood that were set by previous generations (financial stability, marriage, kids) so it’s not unusual for fully functioning adults to live with their parents. My brother works, has a car, is a generally responsible adult; his roommate just happens to be his father. On top of that, interpersonally, they really epitomize what I love about sitcoms; they are two very different people, who are stuck together and working to get along. I have known for years that I wanted to write a sitcom about their living situation, but I also knew I wanted to insert a strong female protagonist, and after years of collecting ideas and getting inspired by my own dad and brother, I got the idea for the character of Lena, whose story is entirely fiction, but whose personality is a heightened version of mine (I think Lena is a little more self-important and pretentious than I am…but only a little!) and that is when I sat down and drew out the structure and wrote the dialogue.

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

The biggest obstacle I faced was how to take this amazing wealth of material I had to draw from (my dad and brother) and make it my own in a piece of fiction. This became easier when I came up with the character of Lena as the center of the story, as everything about her story is fiction. The characters of Amir and Adam are inspired by real people, but it was important to me that they not be verbatim presentations of my real family. In the end, the only thing I directly stole (with their blessing) is their ongoing game of hiding that gigantic teddy bear from each other around their apartment to try to scare the other. Credit where credit is due!

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

Improv, teaching, Middle Eastern/North African politics.

I practice and perform improv weekly on a house team (The Duke, Wednesdays at 9pm!) at The People’s Improv Theater here in New York City, and I occasionally teach and coach other improv teams whenever they let me. I recently fell completely in love with teaching, and it totally changed the way I look at improv.

I’m proudly half-Tunisian, and this has a way of creeping into everything I write. My dad always says you can’t understand politics until you understand history and geography, and once I started learning about those things, it opened my eyes to why exactly the region has suffered so much, and it also gives me hope that we will see some progress in my life time. I wish more people would take the time to look beyond what CNN chooses to broadcast, because there are pockets of progress (notably in Tunisia) and a lot of people who are fighting like hell for things like civil rights, freedom and democracy. History and geography has shown me that the ME/NA just has more to overcome in the pursuit of those goals, and I wish we here in the West were exposed more to the successes that have happened than just the same exhausting cycle of beheading, bombing, hijacking, kidnapping, beheading, bombing, hijacking…

If you weren’t sure whether I am passionate about Middle Eastern/North African politics or not, it’s worth mentioning that my original answer to this question was about three paragraphs long!

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

I was searching on FilmFreeway for screenwriting festivals and contests, and WILDsound was suggested to me. I love that this festival focuses on feedback, and celebrates the process. I seldom ever consider a piece done, and submitting to contests and festivals can sometimes feel like a big declaration of “FINISHED!” but it’s also important to me as a writer to share my work with the world, so this was a perfect balance between letting it loose, and allowing it to be a work in progress. When I first got word that my script would be included in WILDsound, my initial instinct was to send an email saying, “make sure you do it like this! Make sure you do it like that!”, not out of mistrust of the producers, just out of my own writerly self-doubt that the piece would not be able to speak for itself. In the end, the healthiest thing I could do would be to just let the piece go and trust the story to speak for itself and trust that WILDsound would honor the piece. So few festivals, maybe no other festival, serves writers on so many levels!

I was blown away by the thoughtful and detailed feedback. I really felt that I could incorporate the notes because I got the sense that they really got what I was trying to say. He even referenced Frasier in his notes, which I particularly appreciated as Frasier was one I turned to a lot when I was preparing the structure of Washed-Up as it is also a story of adult children co-habitating with a parent. They even took time to give a few tips on formatting, which I really appreciated.

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

If you are writing for the screen, produce your own work. If it’s a piece that is meant to be interpreted by actors, you won’t really know it’s potential or quality until it’s read by actors. I have not yet produced Washed-Up for the screen, but I adapted it and produced it onstage at The People’s Improv Theater, with the flashback sequences filmed in advance and projected between scenes. In the process of doing this, I was able to do a lot of editing, and got really in touch with areas where the story was not coming through clearly enough in the dialogue. I produced my first pilot, Eighty-Sixed, for the screen and it very much affected the way I wrote Washed-Up and helped me learn a lot very quickly about structure, since in production you have to break a script down to a really small level, and build it back up again in post. You will also really get in touch with what you are able to accomplish, and you will be constantly surprised by it. There is a film in Sundance this year that was shot on an iPhone. Everyone seems to have a DSLR these days. You can edit in iMovie, which comes on a Mac and YouTube tutorials will get you out of almost any problem. It’s not impossible; you have more resources at your disposal than you think.

    * * * * *

Deadline: SUBMIT TV PILOT/SPEC Script – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
http://www.wildsound.ca/wildsound_festival_review.html

Watch 1st Scene Screenplay Reading – THE TEST by Lorís Simón Salum (plus interview)

Watch THE TEST Screenplay Performance Reading:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Victoria Murdoch
MELISSA – Reetu Bambrah

Get to know writer Lorís Simón Salum:

1. What is your screenplay about?

I think this screenplay came from a point of frustration after hearing many of my peers in their 20’s and 30’s share their painful stories about dating and relationships. Everyone likes to think they are doing the right thing. We all like to believe we do what is best in difficult situations. This screenplay is about a woman, Melissa, who makes a choice she believes is right for her relationship with Gerard. Even though it is a decision which society has shunned into a negative light, it is one of many examples of how we continue to repeat our ourselves throughout time.

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

It should be made into a movie because I think many people (including myself) connect most to ideas that are transmitted visually. When you watch a movie, for an instant, your brain does not know the difference between what is real and what is an illusion. You feel what the actors feel and you move through their life as if it were your own. That is what I want for my script!

3. This story has a lot going for it in just the first 10 pages. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

The Test is a story about how a woman redefines her personal limits after she fears she is about to lose someone she loves.

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

Probably The Matrix trilogy and A Night at the Roxbury.

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

7 months!

6. How many stories have you written?

A lot! Perhaps many of them remain unfinished…

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was part of a school assignment. It started out as something silly and then it grew into much more.

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

The most difficult part of finishing this screenplay was selecting which ending worked best for it. I also had a hard time deciding on whether it should remain silent or not.

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

Psychology and dogs

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

I thought it was a really refreshing idea to have a festival interpret a piece you have written in their own way. It takes on a new life the moment it leaves your hands. When I heard feedback from WILDsound, I felt excited at first, but most of all curious to see what someone I had never met before thought of what I had made. It’s a very cool experience.

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

Don’t judge yourself in a way that will keep you from writing more. Everything is a work in progress, it can only get better! Just keep doing it!

    * * * * *

Deadline: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get it performed at the festival. Full feedback
http://www.wildsound.ca/firstscenescreenplaycontest.html

– Submit the first stages of your film, get it performed at the festival, and get full feedback!

WATCH past 1st Scene Festival readings:

Watch 1st Scene Screenplay Reading – REDNECK CHRISTMAS by JC Mercer Jr (plus interview)

Watch the 1st Scene Script Reading of REDNECK CHRISTMAS:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Victoria Murdoch
ERNIE – Matthew Lawrence
BUCKSHOT – Julian Ford
SHERIFF MAGNUM – Vince Jerad

Get to know writer JC Mercer Jr.:

1. What is the story about?

BANG! REDNECK CHRISTMAS explodes like a shotgun blast straight from the North Pole! This magically insane tale, introduces a likeable underdog with a zany quest to find his self-worth, kidnaped girlfriend and a multi-million dollar ornament before its to late.

2. Why should this movie be made?

This screenplay was written with a modest budget in mind and high market value targeting a wide range audience.

3. Describe this story in one sentence.

Likeable underdog finds self-worth, while risking his life for another.

4. What movie have you seen the most?

Rocky 4, talk about an underdog story.

5. How long have you worked on this screenplay?

This adaption of my own original story; Bigfoot in the Trailerhood took me about 3 months.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have completed 2 comedy features, 1 TV script and 5 short stories in my 4 1/2 years of writing. I’m currently working on an outline for my 3rd comedy feature.

7. What motivated you to write this?

I thought it would be cool to merge Duck Dynasty, Harry and the Hendersons, Ghost Hunters and Joe Dirt into the next absurd holiday favorite.

8. What obstacles did you face?

While juggling a full-time job, being a husband, step-dad and a home owner…yep, there were some obstacles.

9. What are other things you are passionate about?

I’m passionate about my personable friendship with God. I love that he has given and shared his humor with me. I also am passionate about my wife Katrina, with out her, I would be just another ugly duck in the pond — trying to keep float!

10. Why Wildsound?

After reading great reviews I thought it would be a great fit for me.

* * * * *
Deadline: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get it performed at the festival. Full feedback
http://www.wildsound.ca/firstscenescreenplaycontest.html

– Submit the first stages of your film, get it performed at the festival, and get full feedback!

WATCH past 1st Scene Festival readings:

Watch Feature Screenplay Reading: THE LAST ADVENTURE OF SHAY BLAZE by Howard Fridkin ( plus interview)

Watch THE LAST ADVENTURE OF SHAY BLAZE

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Reetu Bambrah
BEN – Matthew Lawrence
RUFUS – Cameron LeRoy
HUXTON/WELDING – Julian Ford
VISITOR – Vince Jerad
SHIELA – Victoria Murdoch

Get to know writer Howard Fridkin:

1. What is your feature film screenplay about?

It’s 1874. A UFO lands in the outskirts of the peaceful town of Sea Meadow City. The lives of everyone are now threatened by a vastly intelligent 10-year-old boy from another world. His mission is to hunt down and kill his fugitive father, an important scientist, who defected from their planet with the means of annihilating their entire tyrannical civilization. The boy’s father teams up with a mysterious gunfighter in a last-ditch effort to rescue the town from the adolescent enemy, then return to his home planet to prevent any future genocidal attacks on Sea Meadow.

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

It’s a fresh twist on a variety of combined genres that doesn’t sacrifice logic for incredulous story telling in an adventure not seen before.

3. This story has a lot going for it. It’s part Family, part Western, part Sci-Fi, part Drama, part Action, part Comedy, part Fantasy. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

“SHANE” meets “INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS”

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

“The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”

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

Unfortunately, you never stop tweaking until its sale. But the first few crucial drafts took a solid year to perfect.

6. How many stories have you written?

10 screenplays.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love westerns! And I love science fiction! I always wanted to write a classic John Ford-style adventure with heart, heroics, sacrifice, redemption and a showdown. And I always wanted to write a classic 50’s-style sci-fi thriller where mankind faces extinction.

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

Achieving credibility in the characters after weaving together a western folklore tale into a terrifying sci-fi twist.

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

If it’s not movie related…it doesn’t hold my interest. I own my own film rating consulting company (www.filmratingadvisors.com) which I founded after my tour of duty on the MPAA ratings board. I’m also a renowned film memorabilia and classic toy collector.

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

WildSound feedback is always on target and helps me decide on what to cut, improve, develop and streamline.

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

SUBJECTIVITY!! So long as the script isn’t schlock, there is a set of eyes waiting to discover your work. Remember, Hollywood is like Alice in Wonderland, “up is down and down is up.” Keep writing. Your script is the football and you’re the quarterback…you have to make the touchdown no matter how many times they try to tackle you.

    * * * * *

Deadline: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review