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

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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 – RENAISSANCE MAN by Robert Tolz

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 Robert Tolz: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

A renaissance faire actress, formerly a Wall Street occupier, and an apparently regular guy visiting the faire fall in love – until she finds out he’s her incredibly rich undercover boss.

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

Because it’s funny, colorful, romantic and engaging, and because it has more on its mind than your standard rom-com.

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

Love transcends

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

Groundhog Day

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

Gestation- 3 to 4 years; Labor- about 6 months.

6. How many stories have you written?

Half a dozen.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I wanted to tell a fun story about people crossing conventional economic lines, dogmas and expectations – Joseph Campbell in sheep’s clothing.

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

None.

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

The evolution of the human race.

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

I understand that the first few pages of a screenplay are critical to getting the story past the gatekeepers, and I wanted to see whether I was successful. Initial feedback was encouraging and it also appropriately threw light on some needs of the script.

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

You will no doubt be receiving lots of feedback and some of it will be conflicting. It’s your job to separate the wheat from the chaff. You are the ultimate architect of your story.

****
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 the February 2016 1st Scene Script Winners:

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

Watch the February 2016 1st Scene Script Winners:

Watch THE SHOT by Michael DeMattia

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Jarrid Terrell
HUNTER – Sasha Rajamani

Watch ROAD TO TEXAS by Emanuel Ruggeri

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
ANGEL/DIANE – Kelci Stephenson
SIDNEY – Sasha Rajamani
FRANK – Sean Kaufmann

 

1st SCENE Screenplay Reading – ROAD TO TEXAS by Emanuel Ruggeri

Winner of the February 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Contest.

Watch ROAD TO TEXAS by Emanuel Ruggeri

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
ANGEL/DIANE – Kelci Stephenson
SIDNEY – Sasha Rajamani
FRANK – Sean Kaufmann

Get to know writer Emanuel Ruggeri:

1. What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay is about one’s redemption and the dynamics of a broken family’s relationship through the guise of a haunting thriller that touches on many genres through the protagonist’s hellish journey.

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

The screenplay deals with issues that concern us all in one way or another, and sometimes without us realising it. It makes a connection to the way we deal with relationships via modern technology, either good or bad. So the subject matters in this screenplay will touch a nerve with the audience who will be able to make a connection with it, and also open their eyes to an unknown World right under their noses.

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

FORGIVENESS. REDEMPTION.

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

As a child I was crazy about STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. But as an adult, I keep revisiting these movies that help me to understand the language of cinema; THE SEVEN SAMURAI, TAXI DRIVER, ALL THAT JAZZ and APOCALYPSE NOW.

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

I’ve been at this script on and off for about ten years. And I still think I’ve got another ten years to go. But one can keep on writing the same script forever. It takes a great writer to know when to stop and accept their limitations. I’m almost fifty and a late starter, so I’m still learning the craft.

6. How many stories have you written?

Since my early childhood I’ve written over twenty screenplays, but nothing seriously. It’s only in the last five years (now that my children have grown and left home) that I’ve decided to improve on my writing craft and start revisiting these old scripts that have been hidden away.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

My motivation was based on a challenge, to see if a could write a genre screenplay that also deals with social issues such as a dysfunctional family and how the internet influences our lives. But you would always find that you may go in different directions as you write, and the challenge is to discipline yourself and maintain your purpose and goal.

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

The length of the script was a main concern. In the end I had to break the script into two parts and then found that the first half had no real ending as such. So I decided to create myself a challenge and began the story midway through the original script. So now I have a script for a prequel, delving back to the roots of the cause that the protagonist finds himself in this script.

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

I love my music. I collect vinyl (the LP 33rpm record kind), and sometimes create my own movie-influenced music under the guise of D’bach which you can find on Soundcloud. I have created tracks that pay homage to filmmakers and movies. It is mostly experimental music, with a few attempts of dance music, but I get as kick out of it.

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

Sooner or later I had to let the script go and I thought this festival would be a perfect way to showcase it. And to have it read by a group of actors is a bonus and a pleasure.

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

Watch as many diverse films as you can, and read all about the craft. Most importantly, understand the powerful language of film. And don’t be scared to be a ruthless editor of your own script!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Watch 1st Scene Winner: THE CURSE OF SAM HAIN by Jacob F. Keller

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

THE CURSE OF SAM HAIN by Jacob F. Keller

SYNOPSIS:

The long survivor of a crash landing on a distant world becomes the surprising savior to the aborigines facing genocide.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
Belenus – Sean Ballantyne
Sam Hain- Neil Kulin
Daughter – Julia Vally
Rider – Kaleb Alexander
Wife – Jacqueline Brown
Man #1 – Charles Gordon
Man #1 – Rob Salerno