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

Advertisements

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

 

Watch 1st Scene Winner: THE ACE MESSIAH, by Christopher E. Marchant

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

THE ACE MESSIAH, by Christopher E. Marchant

SYNOPSIS:

A shop assistant in the world’s most violent city is offered a million dollars by his company bosses in return for taking the lead role in their moneymaking scheme; faking the Second Coming of Christ.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Helen Kas
MIGUEL – Vincent Marciano
FELIPE/JACK – Andy Bridge
FRED/EL GRECO – David Schaap

Watch 1st Scene Winner: THE SINGING TREE by Marilyn Pesola & Peter Moss

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

THE SINGING TREE by Marilyn Pesola & Peter Moss

SYNOPSIS:

From the darkness of war comes the need for one man’s salvation. Civilian stationmaster Kurt Hellmann can’t reconcile the atrocities of war. He blames himself for the death of 123 Jews due to a prank telephone call and, later on, envisions himself as the last Nazi mass murderer. The last straw is when the Nazis shoot the woman he loved, a Jew he had been hiding in his quarters until he could smuggle her out of the country. Too cowardly to stop Rachel’s execution lest he sign his own death warrant, he carves a swastika into his chest as a reminder that he couldn’t save her, then flees the war to seek salvation for all the wrong reasons. In the jungles of Brazil, blinded by the deep void in the center of what he thought were his values, he longs for punishment but does nothing when an opportunity presents itself – until the Nazi hunter of his nightmares shows up with his name on her list, the irony of which is that they become friends. Hellmann’s salvation finally comes from an unexpected source that reunites him with Rachel forever.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sedina Fiati
Hellman – Jarrid Terrell
Colonel Richter – Robert Notman
Lt. Becker – Steve Rizzo
Voice on Phone – Roman Spera
Soldier – Peter Nelson
Mother – Erynn Brook

Watch 1st Scene Winner: THE UMPIRE HAS NO BALLS by Debbie Bolsky

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

 

THE UMPIRE HAS NO BALLS by Debbie Bolsky

SYNOPSIS:

“The Umpire Has No Balls” is the story of a young woman as she works her way through the umpire ranks to achieve her one goal in life – becoming a major league baseball umpire. Her problem? No woman’s ever broke through the stainless-steel ceiling of the MLB.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Ashley Arnett
Jessie – Melinda Michael
Dutch – John Goodrich
Catcher – Lucas James
Ken Griffrey Jr./Sr. – Andrew Tite