1st SCENE Screenplay Table Reading – THE SHOT by Michael DeMattia

THE SHOT is the February 2016 1st Scene Screenplay Winner.

THE SHOT by Michael DeMattia


NARRATOR – Jarrid Terrell
HUNTER – Sasha Rajamani

Get to know writer Michael DeMattia:

1. What is your screenplay about?

One hunter, who never speaks, journeys through a unique forest to discover its mystery.

“The Shot” is a science-fiction fantasy in line with “2001: A Space Odyssey”, in that it forces the viewer to make interpretations for themselves while utilizing time in a unique way. Because time is perceived differently by everyone, if executed properly, each person that watches this story unfold will see a *different film entirely*.

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

“The Shot” should be made into a film because cinema, especially from a digital perspective, has never seen something that utilizes time in quite the same way. From a marketing standpoint, people have already proven with “The Revenant” for instance, that they will be willing to pay to see a philosophical story set inside a forest, away from technology.  This is perhaps, the anti-version.
The academy has also shown love for these types of stories, and the twist on the end is bound to land, at the very least, a nomination for best actress.

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

Digital Poetry.

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


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

About five years.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written countless scripts since dropping out of Emerson, ever trying to hone my craft and teach myself knew techniques, but officially? Three. My next one for instance takes the opposite approach, being a dialogue-heavy, horror masterpiece that will scare the $%&! out of you.  You have my word on that.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The biggest influence on why this film was created was how much an enthusiast I for the whole “Film vs. Digital” war. Tarantino himself has made comments regarding how, if you wanted to write a poem, that you wouldn’t type it… you’d write it with ink instead. While his films are also part novels, mine is part video game. I really wonder what some of the film lovers out there would think of this “movie”.

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

While I’ve been toying with the outline and concept for some years, it wasn’t until a freak accident that got me to sit down and actually figure out how the hell to execute a film that would make everyone who watches it, perceive it differently, from a time standpoint. One day I was just playing basketball with my brother, and somehow in going for a rebound at the same time, his finger went *through* the right side of my nose. I didn’t know the laws of physics worked that way, must have missed that class. So I’ve been suffering from this severed nerve, confined to the indoors, and just dealing with the most unbearable, excruciating agony. I’m not a complainer though, and just used it to create a journey through self-discovery, about struggle in its purest form.

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

Battlestar Galactica, Eminem, and Metal Gear Solid.
So say we all.

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

I’ve entered a few contests before, never to win but simply because I love constructible criticism. When I saw this contest, it stood out to me more than most because of the 10-page structure. I immediately understood what they were going for with it, and I wanted their feedback. The funny part is, when I received the email, I went straight to the criticism, completely oblivious to the fact that I won. Took me an extra day. Good thing I went back and checked.

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

Love what you do. It might sound cliche, but I’m a firm believer that people simply do what they want. If you want to make a good film, you will. Practice. Practice. Practice. And that goes for any art form or life pursuit.


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson