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.

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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Watch the December 2017 1st Scene Script Winners


ACTORAMERICAN SNAKE PIT – CRIME 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by Dan Tomasulo
ACTORDRAGONSONG – FANTASY 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by
ACTORFRAMER – THRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by Joann Hess
ACTORSWIPE – TV 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by Jeff D. Opdyke
ACTORLONG WAY HOME – COMEDY 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by Patrick McGrath
ACTORTOE TAG MURDERS – CRIME 1st Scene Screenplay
December 2017 Reading
by Carl F. Zimmerman

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Watch the November 2017 1st Scene Script Winners

 

ACTORROMANCE 1st Scene Screenplay – RED RIBBONS
November 2017 Reading
by Zach Closs
ACTORACTION 1st Scene Screenplay – THE SNOWMEN
November 2017 Reading
by Jeff Swanson
ACTORFAMILY 1st Scene Screenplay – AS AN ACTRESS
November 2017 Reading
by Maria Hinterkoerner
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – LURE
November 2017 Reading
by Clark Moriarty
ACTORSCI-FI 1st Scene Screenplay – BUCCANEERS OF THE ASTEROID BELT
November 2017 Reading
by Jeff Racho

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

TELEVISION 1st Scene Screenplay Reading of SWIPE, by Jeff D. Opdyke & A. Katie Main

Genre: Comedy, Romance

What began as private, social-media posts to her closest friends explodes into the Bumble-age equivalent of Dear Abby for New York City’s app-centric singles. But now Jaq Newsome, the anonymous girl behind Swipe, must recreate her magic (and her online dating hookups and heartbreaks) in a new city, even as an old flame hints at the real relationship she has craved for years.

 

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR: Rachel Rain Packota

Jaq: Vanessa Burns
Erwin: Jason Gray
Riki: Stephanie Haines
Gabby: Olivia Jon
Wall Street Guy: Julian Ford

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

1st Scene Screenplay Reading of AMERICAN SNAKE PIT, by Dan Tomasulo

Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery

Based on a true story a young doctor takes over an experimental program the government is trying to shut down to help save the most troubled patients out of Willowbrook, the worst asylum in American history

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR: Rachel Rain Packota

Kate: Vanessa Burns
Dr. Dan: Isaiah Kolundzic
Mrs. Grimp: Stephanie Haines
Jack: Jason Gray

Get to know the writer: 

  1. What is your screenplay about?

Based on a true story of a young doctor who takes over and attempts to save a group home comprised of the most troubled patients from Willowbrook, the worst asylum in American history

 

 

  1. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical / Drama (Although it recently won the category for best comedy / drama)

 

 

 

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

American Snake Pit is in the vein of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  The true story aspect makes this the first movie of its kind concerning the treatment of psychologically-disturbed patients coming from the infamous Willowbrook Institute, a hell on earth Bobby Kennedy called a “snake pit” in 1965. The movie is a heart-warming and surprisingly funny story of patients not just surviving, but flourishing for the first time in their lives, proving the resilience and hope of the human spirit.

 

 

 

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

Disturbingly hopeful.

 

 

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

All of Me

 

 

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

One year—but the memoir it is based on—10 years.

 

 

 

  1. How many stories have you written?

Over 50.  A little over half of them have been published.

 

 

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

Born in the USA.  I live in Jersey.  I live in Asbury Park—You got a problem with that? J

 

 

 

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

Moving from the book toward the screen required changes.  I originally thought it would be more documentary style—but ends up it is more “inspired by” as these changes were introduced.

 

 

  1. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? I am a psychologist and teach at UPenn in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (MAPP) and designed and teach the Optimal Well-being program at Columbia’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute. My deep interest is the intersection of positive psychology and storytelling as an agent means

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Watch the October 2017 1st Scene Script Winners

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

Watch the October 2017 1st Scene Script Winners:

 

ACTORADVENTURE 1st SCENE Screenplay – THE MONSTER HUNTERS CODE
October 2017 Reading
by Ryan Brannan

ACTORFAMILY 1st SCENE Screenplay – MY ATARI CHRISTMAS
October 2017 Reading
by Chris Parrish

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – DEFYING THE TIDE
October 2017 Reading
by Anna Bamberger

ACTORTHRILLER 1st Scene Screenplay – BUNNYMAN BRIDGE
October 2017 Reading
by Colin K. Stewart

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning 1st Scene of DEFYING THE TIDE, by Anna Bamberger

Watch the October 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

A gripping history of a young Jewish mother and her baby desperately hiding from Hitler, and a courageous German woman who offered her help.

Genre: History, Drama

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Meyer Fromm: Brandon Knox
Frieda: Premika Leo
Ruth Abraham: Julie McCarthy
Ruth’s Rabbi: James Boutcher
Old Man: Luke Robinson
Walter Abraham: Rob Notman
Housekeeper: Lindsay Rolland Mills

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox