May 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay
Watch PUPPETS, by James Griffiths:
Genre: Sci FI, Thriller, Noir
Synopsis: A rebellious New Yorker suspects his warehouse retail employer is controlling the minds of it’s staff and causing them to commit suicide.
Get to know writer James Griffiths:
1. What is your screenplay about?
A rebellious New Yorker begins to suspect his employer is brainwashing their staff, and the only antidote is to continually eat small doses of rat poison.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Puppets strives to be an entertaining, dark satire of our consumerist society. The neo noir elements give cinematic potential to this mature narrative. I believe this story does not patronize it’s audience with cheap sentimentality, and provides a rewarding escape from our lives.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Withnail and I
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
It took about 3 months writing characters, preparing story, then another couple of weeks writing and revising.
6. How many stories have you written?
3 features and 1 short.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I am interested in how much we are often defined by our job, and as is often the case in New York, our work becomes the only source of meaning in our lives. I became interested in a character who realizes this and becomes a negation in the work model.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
My main obstacle I always face with my scripts and films is finding the energy and time to dedicate to these projects around my day job. My hope is that at some point these projects will generate money to pay bills, but until then I must keep on grinding!
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I am about to begin shooting a short film this coming June, which actually a short form version of the Puppets idea.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
The opportunity to get professional feedback was appealing, and provided me with an informed opinion on how I should improve the next draft of my script.
I did, however, receive feedback on another screenplay I’d submitted entitled The Great Suburban Showdown. Generally I’m rather appreciative of feedback, and I often will make changes based upon it.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Keep writing. Keep reading.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson