1st Scene Screenplay – Kabul by Vince Masson

Watch the August 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Festival.

Kabul  by Vince Masson

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Julian Ford
FAHRAN – Shelly Antony
KOSHAN – Jonathan Shaboo
HASRA – Mark Sparks
KASTI – Kayla Lakhani

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay is about two young boys growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan, during the early days of the American occupation. When they grow up, their lives take two very different paths when one becomes a Taliban fighter, and the other, an Afghan Army soldier.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

In addition to being simply entertaining, I think it offers a perspective that hasn’t been portrayed in mainstream American cinema before. This is important because it allows us to connect and empathize with people we may have pre-conceived notions about, or

How would you describe this script in two words?

Tough sell.

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

City of God. It changed my life.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took just under a year to write, with some small revisions here and there for about a year or two after.

How many stories have you written?

Stories? Hundreds. Screenplays? Maybe a dozen.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The desire to express a point of view of this conflict that’s different than the one that’s been presented to us by large studios.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The research involved, i.e.: Afghan customs and traditions, politics, and Military accuracy.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

History, Movies, Psychology.

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

I submitted on a whim, actually. I had all but moved on from Kabul, and had no intentions of submitting it anywhere, but something about the reception of WILDsound captured my attention.

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

I’m in no position to be offering advice. Sorry.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Watch the June 2016 1st Scene Script Winners

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

Watch the June 2016 1st Scene Script Winners:

Watch WHEN THERE WAS TIME  by James Gillard, Kevin McGruder

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis: When a drug dealer is killed in Harlem, NY, a corrupt cop is ordered to solve the case. A conscious witness in the community steps forward.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
DIX – Deney Forrest
MURDOCH – John Lester Phillips
CARL – Christopher Huron
REVEREND – Jeff Sinasic
ANGELA – Tracey Beltrano

******

STARBOUND, by Alex A  Kecskes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action

Ancient, alien DNA turns a retarded teen into a powerful, gifted emissary to an advanced civilization that visited earth millennia ago.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Tee Schneider
HECTOR – Geoff Mays
CHRISTINA – Kelci Stephenson
NAVARRO – Nathan Bragg
PRIEST – Julian Ford

******

EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY, by Brandon Maline

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime

A serial killer who turns his victims bodies into works of art becomesfixated on a little girl. She has dreams of him and thinks he is her angel, her mother pays little attention to it until the girl makes a model of the murderer.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
CAROLINE – Tee Schneider
CINDY – Kelci Stephenson
LUMBERJACK JOE – Nathan Bragg
PRINCIPAL – Julian Ford

****

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

1st Scene Script Reading: EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY, by Brandon Maline

Watch the June 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay

EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY, by Brandon Maline

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime

A serial killer who turns his victims bodies into works of art becomesfixated on a little girl. She has dreams of him and thinks he is her angel, her mother pays little attention to it until the girl makes a model of the murderer.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
CAROLINE – Tee Schneider
CINDY – Kelci Stephenson
LUMBERJACK JOE – Nathan Bragg
PRINCIPAL – Julian Ford

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s a supernatural thriller slasher film where a new killer has come to wreak havoc and mystery in a quiet town by placing atrocious “totems” around. The story soon discovers that a single-mother and her child have some sort of connection to this killer; but why and in what way? As they scramble to unravel the mystery, the killer himself is dealing with his own EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY as to his own purpose.

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

I feel as if this particular story is unique in its set up and its layout, and hasn’t ever really been done. I like to think I take influence from Wes Craven and revitalizing and breathing new life into what is known as a drawn out subject matter. When I write, I try to imagine a film I haven’t seen, or a film I would want to see as a full fledged idea. This is why I feel a new, original (in my eyes) story is one to be seen.

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

Slowly intensifying.

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

Quite a few: probably Nightmare on Elm Street (original) over 25-30 times, Scream about 20+, and Hocus Pocus about 40+ times since 1993.

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

I started the first draft in my screenwriting class in Dec ’13, and it has slowly evolved over the years little by little-it still isn’t even fully complete.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written about 5-7 short scripts, and 2-3 partial full features. Also, I’ve written quite a few short stories, not scripts, for various fiction/creative writing classes and 3/4ths of a novella.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It actually came to me as I was reading a comic book that involved a former serial killer helping to analyze new crime scenes to help the police, yet he slowly starts to slip back to his ways—I’ll keep the title out to avoid copyrights. And I wanted to, in a sense, explore the psychological aspects of serial killings.

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

Still current. I was able to write the first 10 pages fairly quickly, but I am now only up to about 47 pages and haven’t finished.

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

Film studies/analyzing films. Or just general film viewing and collecting.

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

I’ve always been curious as to the start of this since it does involve dark subject matter and a child and her mother, so when I came across this festival through one of my many script sources I wanted to see if I was heading in a possible right direction and wasn’t too taboo or obscene. I was interested in grabbing the reader quick and taking a thrill ride through a killer’s psyche.

At first I was shocked that they actually understood where I was taking this and that I did a great job to convey the feeling of the story and leave questions for the reader to be wanting more. It felt good to know the script that is my most questionable actually is off to a great start.

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

Keep at it; collect stories, watch the world, write what you know and write what you want, not want the majority wants. Know what your specific audience you are writing for will be and don’t try to cater to everyone. Find your voice.

****

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

 

 

Watch the May 2016 1st Scene Script Winners

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

Watch the May 2016 1st Scene Script Winners:

Watch PUPPETS, by James Griffiths:

Genre: Sci FI, Thriller, Noir

Synopsis: A rebellious New Yorker suspects his warehouse retail employer is controlling the minds of it’s staff and causing them to commit suicide.
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
LADY – Jennifer Ferris
ANNOUNCER – Moui Nene

***

RORSCHACH, by Federico Franchi, Filippo Pierangelini

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: TV series pilot, sitcom

Lawrence Maietti, 22 years old, is in serious troubles and now has to quickly find some money. Unable to find work, he has an idea: trying to get the government subsidy by reason of insanity.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
LAWRENCE – Moui Nene
CLAIRE – Jennifer Ferris
CLAUDE – Zack Amzallag
MAN/PRIEST – Sean Kaufmann

**

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

1st Scene Screenplay: RORSCHACH, by Federico Franchi, Filippo Pierangelini

Watch the May 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay

RORSCHACH, by Federico Franchi, Filippo Pierangelini

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: TV series pilot, sitcom

Lawrence Maietti, 22 years old, is in serious troubles and now has to quickly find some money. Unable to find work, he has an idea: trying to get the government subsidy by reason of insanity.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
LAWRENCE – Moui Nene
CLAIRE – Jennifer Ferris
CLAUDE – Zack Amzallag
MAN/PRIEST – Sean Kaufmann

Get to know writers Federico Franchi, Filippo Pierangelini:

1. What is your screenplay about?

FF: The screenplay is about a guy who struggles to achieve his results. To do that, he takes questionable choices that led him in kind of a different world, a brand new mental hospital, Here, he’ll learn something about himself.

FP: Is the story of a young man that, for necessity, finds himself in something bigger than him and, through that, he grows.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

FF: We think that this story could work very well as a TV Series because it’s funny and the characters can be seen in many different circumstances that will make people laugh. A lot. But the most important thing about it, is that there is an actual story behind the laughing, and is about decisions, growth and, in some ways, social, common, issues.

FP: Our idea is to do 20-25 minutes length episodes because we have so much material and there are so many potentialities that a movie would be too short.

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

FF: Funny, crazy.

FP: Fresh, strong.

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

FF: Star Wars Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, no doubt about that!

FP: Robin Hood: Men in Tights

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

FF: We’ve been working for three weeks to write this first scene and to create the whole concept of the series.

FP: Yes, three weeks.

6. How many stories have you written?

FF: This is my third story, but there are many more in my mind.

FP: Is my very first time writing something.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

FF: I think that I really wanted to see how far this story could go and how the characters would react in all the situations, because I think that, even if is written as a comedy, this story is deeper than it may seem at a first look.

FP: Curiosity in first place, but also the fact that, even if it started as a thing just for fun, word after word it became more interesting and I see the potential of that story growing.

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

FF: We didn’t wanted to write down just some sketches, we wanted an actual story. And to make that we had to think about the motivations of the characters and how to make the events funny but also real.

FP: The fact that we had a beginning, a triggering event, and a sort of ending but we didn’t have any idea of how to connect these two parts.

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

FF: I love music and sports, but most of all I read a lot. I’m always looking for good stories.

FP: Rugby, reading and politics.

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

FF: We wanted a feedback, because we really believe in this project but you never know how really good it is.

FP: We discovered the festival casually and we wanted to try.

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

FF: I suggest to study as much as possible, read every script and to always believe in themselves. Be humble, but aware of their own abilities.

FP: Don’t be afraid of telling every story that pops up in your mind. I think that you’ll grow up through this job, whatever happens.

*****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballatyne

Editor: John Johnson

1st Scene Screenplay: PUPPETS, by James Griffiths

May 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay

Watch PUPPETS, by James Griffiths:

Genre: Sci FI, Thriller, Noir

Synopsis: A rebellious New Yorker suspects his warehouse retail employer is controlling the minds of it’s staff and causing them to commit suicide.
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
LADY – Jennifer Ferris
ANNOUNCER – Moui Nene

Get to know writer James Griffiths:

1. What is your screenplay about?

A rebellious New Yorker begins to suspect his employer is brainwashing their staff, and the only antidote is to continually eat small doses of rat poison.

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

Puppets strives to be an entertaining, dark satire of our consumerist society. The neo noir elements give cinematic potential to this mature narrative. I believe this story does not patronize it’s audience with cheap sentimentality, and provides a rewarding escape from our lives.

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

Dystopian Satire.

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

Withnail and I

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

It took about 3 months writing characters, preparing story, then another couple of weeks writing and revising.

6. How many stories have you written?

3 features and 1 short.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I am interested in how much we are often defined by our job, and as is often the case in New York, our work becomes the only source of meaning in our lives. I became interested in a character who realizes this and becomes a negation in the work model.

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

My main obstacle I always face with my scripts and films is finding the energy and time to dedicate to these projects around my day job. My hope is that at some point these projects will generate money to pay bills, but until then I must keep on grinding!

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

I am about to begin shooting a short film this coming June, which actually a short form version of the Puppets idea.

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

The opportunity to get professional feedback was appealing, and provided me with an informed opinion on how I should improve the next draft of my script.

I did, however, receive feedback on another screenplay I’d submitted entitled The Great Suburban Showdown. Generally I’m rather appreciative of feedback, and I often will make changes based upon it.

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

Keep writing. Keep reading.

***
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