Winning 1st Scene Reading – EVEN HERE I EXIST, by Dylan Stump

Winning Screenplay – EVEN HERE I EXIST
Written by Dylan Stump


NARRATOR – Frances Townend
ANDRE – Peter Mark Raphael
WILLIAM – Jonah Akler-Silliman
HARRY – Christopher Huron
FRANK – Charles Gordon


Genre: Thriller, Crime, Horror

Five unstable gangsters descend upon a decaying coastal town with a mission to find a missing woman and kill her abductors. They instead become embroiled in strange and otherworldly occurrences.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s a story dealing with a group of violent men taken out of their element and forced to consider their place in a broader world. I also see it as being about the conflict between the natural and the modern world.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

A combination of mobster crime story and folk horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I feel that this script offers a unique approach to an underutilized genre. Films in the folk horror category, especially American folk horror, aren’t exactly common despite the success of films like “THE WITCH”. So I believe my script offers something of at least some interest.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Ethereal / Violent

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

David Cronenberg’s 1986 tragic, romantic, and horrific remake of THE FLY. It takes the basic idea from the original film and creates something entirely new. I’m also a big fan of Steve de Jarnatt’s MIRACLE MILE and Ken Russel’s THE DEVILS. THE FLY wins because I once did a presentation on it and, in order to prepare, I watched the film once a night for a week.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A little under a year. Though the idea for it has been with me for well over that.

How many stories have you written?

I have two other “finished” feature scripts that are in desperate need of rewrites, one finished short, and several unfinished scripts of varying lengths.

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

Probably “As I Sat Sadly By Her Side” by Nick Cave. Though the story of EVEN HERE I EXIST was partly inspired by the songs “King Henry” and “Long Lankin” by Steeleye Span.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The same obstacle I’m facing answering these questions, my overwhelming fear of writing something bad. While writing I had to continuously remind myself that it’s alright if the first draft was terrible because I could always make it less terrible in the next draft.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Literature, mostly horror and Gothic but I try to keep an open mind when looking for something to read. I also enjoy reading up on folklore from all over the world.

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

I was referred to this festival after submitting to a different festival. I was mostly intrigued by the opportunity to hear someone read my work out loud. I knew that this would help me to get a new perspective on this script but also on my overall writing style.

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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne


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