Winning 1st Scene Screenplay – INT. CAR – NIGHT by Martin Keady

Watch the January 2017 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay INT. CAR – NIGHT Screenplay
Written by Martin Keady
CAST LIST:NARRATOR – Julie Sheppard
PATRICK – Hugh Ritchie
YOUNG MAN – David Occhipinti

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Thriller

A middle-aged accountant has to drive home from work because there is a tube strike. When he stops at a traffic light, a young man taps on his windscreen – with a gun – and orders him to let him in.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The enforced meeting of absolute opposites, as a middle-aged accountant is carjacked by a crazed, gun-wielding drug addict.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thriller and road movie.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because (I hope!) it takes the viewer on the same mad, uncontrollable journey that the hero (the middle-aged accountant) is taken on.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Carjacking vérité.

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

Withnail & I.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I must confess that this is one of the quickest scripts I have ever written – about a week, including a few all-nighters (fittingly, for a film about a carjacking that lasts a whole night).

How many stories have you written?

About 10 feature-length screenplays, including The Shakespeare Plays, a biopic of Shakespeare (http://theshakespeareplays.com/); about 20 to 30 short films; and about a further 10 stage plays and radio plays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was originally commissioned to adapt a novel about a carjacking that was so utterly unbelievable, implausible and plain atrocious that I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I was inspired to write an original screenplay about a REAL carjacking, which happened to a friend of mine and was utterly terrifying. She survived – just – and I thought that if I could take an audience on that journey I would have a great movie script.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Like all writers, a shortage of time. I was working during the day at the time, which is why I had to write it at night, which, of course, is the best time to write: no phone calls (or tweets, emails, etc.); no interruptions of any kind; and in addition your brain is naturally attuned to being halfway between sleep and waking, which is probably the best place to be as a writer.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Shakespeare (hence the Shakespeare biopic); sport (especially football and tennis, which I write about for LastWordOnSports.com); and (writing about and thus fighting in my own small way) injustice!

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

After years (indeed, decades) of hiding my light under a bushel, as it were, I am finally determined to get my writing “out there” – whatever the response (good or bad, but hopefully not indifferent). The most useful part of the feedback was a comment about the title, “INT. CAR. NIGHT.”, saying that it did not really “fit” the story, as it was “too meta”. I understand and appreciate that, which is why, having thought about it, I would now switch the title back to one of the original two titles I had – either just “CARJACK” or “HIT THE NORTH”, a title borrowed from a great Fall song and utterly fitting for this story.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson


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1st Scene Screenplay – SENIOR PRANK by Shiv Sudhakar

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

SENIOR PRANK by Shiv Sudhakar

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

A group of cunning high school seniors must outwit their principal in order to pull off the ultimate senior class prank.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
AL – Dan Cristofori
CARL – David Occhipinti
FRAN – Viktoria Napolenova
ALFRED – Michael Gaty
GUS – Mark Boutros

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s about a group of cunning high school seniors who try to outwit their wary principal in order to pull off the ultimate senior prank.

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

Whether we happen to be in high school or not, I think it speaks to the high school kid in all of us who secretly want to pull off the ultimate senior prank without having to face the consequences. It’s about rules and how some rules are meant to be broken sometimes. It reminds us that having good friends is important in life–even as we get older and you can never go wrong following your instinct.

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

Funny and Original.

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

Way too many to count. Titanic. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

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

About 2 years.

6. How many stories have you written?

About 5-6.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The most impactful experiences in my life were in high school. My teachers and friends taught me a lot about life and how to be a good person. I wanted to give back, so I decided to volunteer my time and tutor students struggling in the high school I went to. This script came out my own positive experience in high school and tutoring the students.

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

I work full time as a physician and take classes part-time at Academy of Art to complete my MFA. I wrote this script on my own time, so I would say the biggest obstacle was time, but like anything in life, you find time for what you love to do.

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

Teaching. I really like teaching high school students. I don’t get paid for it, but it is a real treat to go back to my own high school and teach in the same classrooms to the new generation of students. I also love to run!

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

Like any writer, I go through extremes of what I think my script could become–the next oscar winning screenplay or the worst screenplay written…like ever. I entered to see if anyone else besides myself would actually like it! The feedback was really positive and motivating. It made me feel it could go somewhere. I started pitching it and got a request last week (which I know does not mean anything–the executive may not like it and then I’m back to sqaure one, but still it was fun to send it to him since I have never been able to get any of the scripts I have written in an executive’s hands…until now!)

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

Everyone says write what you know, but I would say weave in what you know with what you want to see on the movie screen. Find a mentor and listen to him or her. Write as much as you can and read as many scripts as you can. Get coverage. Don’t ever send out your first draft. If you look at the success stories of many professional screenwriters, almost everyone has a unique journey which lead them to the big break. Professional screenwriters exist–so why can’t it be you? Life’s not a spectator sport–like my favorite high school teacher taught me–you have to go after what you want.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

1st Scene Screenplay – NINE SCARS by Kelly Crawford

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

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

NINE SCARS by Kelly Crawford

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller

A teen romance thriller that takes place in a world in which everyone has nine lives. In this world of nine lives, an aspiring football player must risk all of his lives to rescue his girlfriend from the ruthless leader of a gambling syndicate who’s trying to fix the college football championship game.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
KEITH – Dan Cristofori
PRINCIPAL – David Occhipinti
ROBBIE – Michael Gaty
MATT – Mark Boutros
JAMIE – Viktoria Napolenova

Get to know the winning writer Kelly Crawford:

1. What is your screenplay about?

IN A WORLD IN WHICH EVERYONE HAS NINE LIVES, AN ASPIRING FOOTBALL PLAYER MUST RISK ALL OF HIS LIVES TO RESCUE HIS GIRLFRIEND FROM THE RUTHLESS LEADER OF A GAMBLING SYNDICATE WHO’S TRYING TO FIX THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

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

IT’S ORIGINAL, WITH A COMPELLING REMINDER THAT WE HAVE ONLY ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

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

ACTION PACKED!

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

THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT

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

ONE YEAR.

6. How many stories have you written?

TWO SO FAR.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

FIVE YEARS AGO I SURVIVED A BRAIN HEMORRHAGE AND BEGAN CONTEMPLATING MY MORTALITY. IN DOING SO I THOUGHT ABOUT A WORLD IN WHICH EVERYONE HAS MULTIPLE LIVES AND THAT LED ME TO CREATE “NINE SCARS”.

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

GETTING CONFLICTING FEEDBACK ON STORY IDEAS.

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

SHARING THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST.

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

THE FEEDBACK WAS EXCELLENT. VERY CONSTRUCTIVE AND HELPFUL. I ENTERED THE FESTIVAL BASED UPON THE NUMEROUS POSITIVE REVIEWS I READ ABOUT THE FESTIVAL.

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

WRITING IS A CONTINUAL LEARNING PROCESS.

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

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?

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
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.

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

Watch 1st Scene Winner: LITTLE PROFESSOR by Monte Light & Cooper Holmes

 

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LITTLE PROFESSOR by Monte Light & Cooper Holmes

SYNOPSIS:

It’s a surreal crime thriller about three Las Vegas college students saddled with crippling debt. They break some laws, raise havoc. But when their friend overdoses on drugs, they take it on themselves to pay his out-of-control medical bills, which means they have to rob a very ruthless bank. Finally they must seek revenge against a manipulative drug dealer.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Angelica Alejandro
SAM – Steve Rizzo
JACK STROOP – Craig Estrella
ZEBRA – David Occhipinti
DANNY – Sean Ballantyne
PRETTY WOMAN – Holly Sarchfield

Watch 1st Scene Winner: THE MANTLE by Frank Edward Kelly

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

THE MANTLE by Frank Edward Kelly

SYNOPSIS:

The Mantle is about an FBI agent trapped in a mysterious, snowbound town who stumbles on a series of unearthly deaths that mirror a tragedy from his past.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Megan Leach
THERON – Rob Salerno
NINA – Maya Woloszyn
WEATHERMAN – Troy Patterson
WOMAN’S VOICE – Rachel Rain Packota
STATE TROOPER – David Occhipinti