DRAMA 1st Scene Script Reading of PREY FOR THE DAY, by by Richard M. Kjeldgaard

 

Genre: Drama

A financially successful couple, seeking a combination of passive income and early retirement, take a trip from California to Florida at the invite of Miami businessman who is seeking investors in the financial recovery of the local real estate markets. Their business trip soon turns into a fight for survival as there is more to this trip than meets the eye.

CAST LIST: 
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
John: Christopher Huron
Kathy: Carly Tisdall
Miguel: Peter Nelson
Jessica: Alicia Ryan
Driver: David Occhipinti

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

An early 30’s couple is flown from California to Florida by a Real Estate Investor with an opportunity that appears too good to be true. Once they arrive the couple soon realizes they have fallen into the hands of a con man and his “Henchmen”. They are robbed, taken hostage and beaten as their journey to financial security soon becomes a fight for survival and terrifying encounters in an abandoned home development out in the middle of nowhere.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Thriller

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

Preys on everyone’s fears of helplessness, out of contact and running out of options. A true roller coaster ride.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Page turner.

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

John Carpenter’s Halloween.

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

Four months with multiple rewrites until I felt the story came to a believable ending.

6. How many stories have you written?

Multiple spec screenplays – Two Horror, Five Suspense/Thrillers, Three character studies, One Sci-fi, and three short screenplays all falling under the Suspense/Thriller genre.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Years ago I was watching many news broadcasts on the home foreclosure years and the effects it has on people. I was watching one in particular about some of the areas in Florida that were hit hardest. Watching the news footage of abandoned, looted homes and the overgrown yards made me think how scary it would be to drive through those areas wondering if squatters or some kind of criminal element is hiding in that house or that house?. At that time my wife and I were working with a Real Estate investor and one of his hobbies is camping and hunting. One day I sat down with a note pad and wrote an outline for the story based on all these scenarios, took it to the extreme and wrote the screenplay.

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

Coming up with a credible backstory on the protagonists and giving the “Bad guy” more motivation to become the type of criminal has has. Then after I realized the original ending was too “Sugar coated” I rewrote the ending several times until I came up with one that provided the reader with an opportunity to feel vindicated.

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

Real Estate Investing, Photography, Travel and Music.

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

The genre of scripts I was working on. The feedback has been both positive and encouraging. By the synopsis at the beginning of the feedback stage, I can tell the reader truly does a thorough job of reading the script and comes up with good ideas to add and delete certain scenes as well as giving some characters a bit more background. Has truly benefited me as a writer.

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

Great. In October 2017 a Spec I’d written (Nowhere-Ville) won the Action/Adventure feature script and got a table reading on YouTube which was really a kick. My first experience in the rewrite and “Production” phase of screenwriting. Truly exciting to see actors performing your written material.

****

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Advertisements

Watch the January 2017 1st Scene Script Winners

Submit your First Scene to the Festival: http://firstscenescreenplay.com

Watch the January 2017 1st Scene Script Winners:

 

ACTOR1st SCENE Script – INT. CAR – NIGHT
January 2017 Reading
Written by Martin Keady

ACTOR1st SCENE Script – FAN SITE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Elisha Barnes

ACTOR1st SCENE Script – OCD
January 2017 Reading
Written by Quyen Tran

 

 

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PIOT 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!

Watch the November 2016 1st Scene Script Winners

Submit your First Scene to the Festival: http://firstscenescreenplay.com

Watch the November 2016 1st Scene Script Winners:

THE BURIED MOON AND HER DAUGHTERCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
SAL – Hugh Ritchie
BOB – Julian Ford
PRESIDENT – Peter Nelson
STEVE – Kheon Clarke
BEVERLY – Mallory Palmer
JENNY – Angelica Alejandro
MARY – Kelci Stephenson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Family, Fantasy, Drama

About a clairvoyant eight year old who strikes out with her ghost friend Debbie to save the buried moon.

_____

GOD’S LITTLE GAGCAST LIST:

RANDY – Hugh Ritchie
DUNCAN – Peter Nelson
DANNY – Kheon Clarke
MANDY – Mallory Palmer
NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure, Thriller, Mystery

Plays from the perspective of a bedridden patient who – in the beginning – is unable to communicate his thoughts to the world.

_____

20/20: SEARCH FOR INDEPENDENCECAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JEFF BEKK – Hugh Ritchie
DR. IVES – Julian Ford
FRANCOIS – Peter Nelson
CRAWFORD – Kheon Clarke
GRACE – Mallory Palmer
MADELEINE – Angelica Alejandro
KATLA – Kelci Stephenson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Political Drama

An inventor with a plan that would replace oil must survive while forces in China, Canada and the United States vie for the technology.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

1st Scene Script Reading – The Wedding Thief by Brett Bacon

Watch the April 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

The Wedding Thief
Written by Brett Bacon

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
JOEY – Michael Lake
LORENZO – Noah Casey
DOM – Dennis Barham

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Crime

A professional thief pilfers money from the super-rich at weddings until he is caught stealing from the Italian mob and then is forced to take a priceless work of art from the Russian mob or die trying.

Interview with Brett Bacon:

1. What is your screenplay about?

A disciplined thief who specializes in super-rich weddings must take on an unpredictable and madcap rival or else lose his criminal operation, get apprehended by the police and taken out by the mob.

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

It’s a fun blend of two popular movie genres: romantic comedy and the heist. And who doesn’t like weddings?

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

comedy heist

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

Enter the Dragon

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

1 year.

6. How many stories have you written?

6

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love the idea of combining the excitement and suspense of a heist with the fun and tension of a romantic comedy.

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

Making sure that each major character gets their due in terms of character development.

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

Family, travel, fly-fishing, movies and reading.

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

I am a big fan of the Wildsound Festival and they have a great reputation. The feedback was very constructive and helpful. I felt that it was tough love– but not so tough that I wanted to jump off a bridge!

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

Keep writing, never give up, don’t be afraid of taking risks and putting yourself out there.

***

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

1st Scene Script Reading – Man Seeking Monkey by Steve Mikals

Watch the April 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

Man Seeking Monkey
Written by Steve Mikals

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
MITCHELL – Michael Lake
DET. STRUMMER – Noah Casey
ARTHUR – Kiran Friesen
ARTHUR – Dennis Barham

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

Aided by their human friends, chimpanzees with typewriters try to climb the Evolutionary ladder.

Interview with Steve Mikals:

1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about the comedy of Evolution, how bigger forces than we realize are at work on this planet. It begins with a book shop putting a chimpanzee with a typewriter in the window, to see if he will type Shakespeare. It then follows that thread to some logically absurd conclusions. Along the way this will involve a secret program of one hundred typing chimpanzees and the canon of Western literature, spoofs of Mafia loan sharks and “going to the mattresses”, and the DNA of Custer’s scalps. Plural.

Trust me, it works.

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

It deserves to be a movie because it entertains AND challenges the audience to think beyond comfort zones. Two examples of this are the classic comedy Groundhog Day, and one of my current favorites, Lucy, Luc Bresson’s provocative look at human potential welded to a Hong Kong action flick.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

The Ruminant.

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

Annie Hall. It’s one of the all-time greats, especially for an ending that refuses to pull punches.

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

I recently wrote a novel, my first. It took me three years, on and off. It took only three months to adapt it into the rough draft of this screenplay, but it has been polish and edit ever since.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have two others in progress. One, a followup to MSM, set in the same book shop with a few of the same characters. It has a killer opening sequence, but I have yet to settle on the metaphysical instrument it revolves around. The second is a romantic comedy that follows the aftermath of a divorce, and I hope captures some of the poignancy as well as the comic possibilities. I will submit both of the openings to this festival.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

This screenplay began as a novel (my own), and as I watched the publishing world collapse in the Internet Age, I decided I had a better shot at success with a screenplay and film festivals like this one. Plus, I’ve given up reading novels, except for clean stylists that I find helpful in my writing, like Jonathan Franzen, Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard, and George Higgins,

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

I was working from a novel (my own) with TOO MANY funny plots, characters and scenes. I had to teach myself a great deal about editing and make tough but rewarding choices.

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

You can be passionate about more than one thing? 🙂

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

Critiquing the first ten pages is a great idea. That’s the easiest part to write, so it had better rock. The feedback is objective and helpful.

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

Accept all feedback in the constructive spirit it is given. Let it sink in over time. These people are now where you want to be.

***

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

 

1st Scene Screenplay – ELISSA OF TYRE by Alan Mehanna

Submit your First Scene to the Festival: http://firstscenescreenplay.com

Watch Table Reading of the March 2016 Winning First Scene Screenplay.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Fran Townend
ELISSA – Annie MacKay
BALTHAZAAR – Jonathan Robbins
PYGMALION – John Marcucci
LAZURUS/ACHERBUS – Sean Ballantyne

Get to know writer Alan Mehanna:

1. What is your screenplay about?

TYRE 820 BC – the death of the king causes ripples within the city as politics take over and the citizens fight over who between his two heirs should take the throne in his place. This is the origin story of Elissa, Princess of Tyre and how she rose to become the legendary Phoenician Queen.

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

“Films communicate information and ideas, and they show us places and ways of life we might not otherwise know.” One of my favorite quotes from Film Art by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson and I believe it truly answers this question. Too often now in cinema the Middle East is portrayed negatively and as a Lebanese American screenwriter I believe it is my job to bring about better portrayals of my culture and my world.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Historical Drama.

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

A tie between Empire Strikes Back and The Two Towers.

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

Three years.

6. How many stories have you written?

Around 10.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I have always had an interest in ancient history and being Lebanese, the Phoenicians are our ancestors. Elissa, before becoming Queen of Carthage, was a Phoenician princess and while
researching Phoenician history, I connected with her story. I lived in America for 13 years and in Lebanon for the same amount so I have always used that to tell tales that have universal
themes. I, also, loved the fact that she was a strong woman from the Middle East.

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

The Phoenicians never left records of their history, so I had to read Greek accounts, Roman accounts, as well as others to try and create a path for the film I was going to write. Nailing down the factual part of the screenplay was the hardest.

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

I love acting. My father is a known actor in Lebanon, so I guess I inherited this.

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

I wanted to finally start exposing myself as a screenwriter and nothing works better than taking a leap and throwing one’s work out there. I loved the initial feedback because it shed some light on what wasn’t working in the screenplay and once I applied what was said in the notes, I noticed the difference.

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

Always be open to listening to feedback and notes. It’s sometimes eye-opening. When you are writing you get so close to the characters, the conflict, and the world of your story that you can sometimes miss some opportunities that could strengthen the screenplay.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Watch 1st Scene Winner: JACK’S MERMAID, by Lois Wickstrom

Submit your First Scene to the Festival: http://firstscenescreenplay.com

JACK’S MERMAID, by Lois Wickstrom

SYNOPSIS:

When the mysterious toy store owner gives orphaned Jack a real mermaid, his aunt and uncle must learn the difference between real and imaginary, before the mermaid kidnaps him, and they never see him again.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Helen Kas
JACK – Andy Bridge
BUDDY – Vincent Marciano
BARSIN – David Schaap
DARA – Holly Sarchfield
DOLLY – Laura Kyswaty
GRANDMA – Joan Ban