1st Scene Screenplay – CATCH! by Jerry Nield

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

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

CATCH! by Jerry Nield

Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: Could David really defeat Goliath?


ACTON – Dan Cristofori
OLD MAN – David Occhipinti
JIM – Michael Gaty
TOM – Mark Boutros
ELLEN – Judy Thrush

Get to know the winning writer: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

Amusingly indulging in the sports and pastimes of England in the Victorian age, the American Wild West and the show business flavour of the era. This is the true story of how an impoverished 10 year old Irish cross-eyed boy escapes the coal mines, saves what’s left of his family and delivers retribution by taking on history’s most brutal and deadly wrestler to become the Heavyweight Catch Wrestling Champion of the World!

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

It’s an amazing story that hits on many points of interest, which a wide audience would enjoy watching.

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

Unbelievable entertainment.

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

I watched Time Bandits many times as a teenager and have recently had the pleasure of watching it again with my wife and son, who’s 11.

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

I started with my first outline after I began researching the family history, 8 years ago.

6. How many stories have you written?

In writing, cutting and polishing, just this one screenplay, I have written countless short stories.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I thought of writing a film script after finding out Tom Connors, the cross-eyed, bow-legged, 5ft 6in and only 145lb wrestler, who managed to become the Heavy-weight Wrestling Champion of the World in 1887, was my great-grandfather.

But I was compelled to write when I discovered that he:

Worked the circus for P T Barnum.

Authored the first mail order wrestling/training instruction book.

Set up the “Tom Connors Athletic and Speciality Entertainment Company” which toured America, travelling from town to town, state to state and coast to coast, challenging any man of any size or weight to a wrestling match, offering $25 to anyone who could last just 15 minutes.

And that the entertainment included Farmer Burns, who before wrestling you, would drop 6 foot into the hangman’s noose and swing from the rope for 3 minutes whilst whistling “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. And the Glenroy brothers, a comedy boxing act whom Thomas Edison filmed in his earliest recordings.

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

Turning a rigid true story into an imaginative drama comedy, often meant running out of ideas and direction. Feedback has been an essential ingredient in keeping me on track.

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

My helpful and supportive family, growing fruit and veg, fishing, travel and local history, especially the local myths and legends that abound where I live in Wales.

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

The chance of having my script performed by professional actors, was an opportunity not to be missed. My initial feedback was to the point and very helpful in highlighting where improvement was needed.

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

Dive into your characters, leave yourself behind and try to be and act like that person, individual and if possible, unique.


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