1st Scene Screenplay – THE LEGEND OF JAMESTOWN by Sherwin Allen

Genre: Drama, History, Sci-FI

When a white slave owner suddenly turns black, and becomes enslaved, as he fights for his life and freedom, he learns that one cannot be judged by the color of their skin alone.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Martha: Mandy May Cheetham
Oliver James: Ryan Yusep
Knox: Allan Michael Brunet
Betsy Walker: Angelica Alejandro

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The Legend of Jamestown is about a white slave owner in America during the 1800s, who turns black mysteriously, and in turn becomes a victim of his once profitable situation.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama and Sci-fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screen play should be made into a movie, because right now America is going thru a very racial period, with movements like Black Lives Matter and White Supremacy groups that are marching in the street, and in reality its sometimes hard for one person to understand another person’s struggle until they are in that person shoes, and this screen play reflects heavily on that.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Racial Awareness

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

Saving Private Ryan.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

7 months.

How many stories have you written?

7 screenplays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The racial tension in America at present.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Focusing on only this script, I tend to write multiple scripts at a time.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about directing movies, I love being on a film set and being able to create imaginary worlds.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

FilmFreeway is a great platform I use them for all of my screen plays and movies. It’s user friendly and if I have any issues they get back to me quickly.

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

I was influenced to enter this festival because I love to see actors reading the script it helps me to see which lines actually work and which lines don’t work. I was excited to see a project with a very tense subject matter, received well by the festival. It can be a tender process writing about real life matters and getting a negative feedback, so it was nice to get good feedback on such a screenplay.

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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1st Scene Screenplay – THE GATE by Della Vance Greenawalt

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The Gate is an action/adventure about two boat rental operators who go hunting for their missing boat and get sucked through a magical gate and must find their way out before the predators there eat them.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Brian: Ryan Yusep
Hiram: Peter Mark Raphael
Officer Dees: Allan Michael Brunet

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Two regular guys get sucked under a sandstone arch that is actually a time gate. They land 150,000 years ago in Pleistocene North America where they must stop the maniac who rented their boat from wiping out our hominid ancestors.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy and Action/Adventure.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It is such a fun movie, entertaining and funny, along the lines of Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park (although it is after the dinosaur extinction when mammals became giants and man first appeared.)

How would you describe this script in two words?

Prehistoric safari!

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

Probably the Princess Bride.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About a year. Many revisions later…

How many stories have you written?

Lots. More than I can count.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It has changed directions with suggestions from the writers’ workshop I am in, 5150 at The Academy of Film Writing. Peer reviews have been invaluable.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I volunteer at an animal shelter rescuing dogs. I have three at home presently.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

FilmFreeway is such a great way to enter contests, so easy and they let the writer know the status of each entry!

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

I had never heard of a first scenes festival and was immediately interested. I like the idea that you must hook your audience in the first 10 minutes.

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning 1st Scene Screenplay – THE BIRTHING FIELD by Robert Thorpe

Watch the Winning August 2017 1st Scene Screenplay:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Jonah: Allan Michael Brunet
Hank: Ryan Yusep

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The story is about two people from opposite ends of the spectrum; ones from money and the other has struggled. They absolutely love each other but that love gets tested when they are both abducted and forced to procreate knowing that their baby will be sold on the black market. This time held captive will test their resolve, their love and their understanding of one another. It is more about them, than the situation they are in.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama and Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because so few “horror” films take the time to focus on the characters. Usually in dark thrillers or horror it is about the killer, and how he will kill next and how shocking that can be. We never really get to know anything about those that are the ones going through the ordeal. I want to make something that people will say that is messed up, but at the same time know, that this happens in real life. Human Trafficking is a billion dollar industry.

How would you describe this script in two words?

In-Tense!

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

Probably Goonies. I grew up on that and it will forever stand the test of time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

After I wrote and directed the short film and won some festivals, I was asked if there is a feature version of this and at that time, there wasn’t. So, I hunkered down and went into it and so, its been about 4 years now that I have been working on it.

How many stories have you written?

That is an odd question, I mean, I have been writing short stories, and poems and lyrics my whole life. So, not sure how many. Screenplays though, I have written 4 and currently on my fifth.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Wow, um, there are so many and to me music is mood, so depending on my mood. Gosh! Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi to Proud Mary by CCR. Um, lately I have been on a Rush kick, anything Rush is amazing. Temples of Syrnx is a masterpiece.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest was writing it so that it is a character study and still horror which is what I like to write the most, or very dark dramas/thrillers. Trying not to give into what society/studios wants in horror films now, the high speed, Paranormal, Insidious and Annabelle’s. Those are fun, and all, but they are built for the scare moment. That thing that makes you jump, which is fun, but I want people to walk out of the theater going, that is F’ed up man, but also feel like there is more to life than what we are currently doing. The will to survive through adversity is amazing and the only way you can really get down to that, is writing characters that people can identify with, watch them go through something horrific and come out better people for it.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Love travel, during my 14 years in the military I travelled everywhere, even places I didnt really particularly want to go, but I still made the best of it. Since I got out, I continue to travel whenever I can. Trying new foods, and seeing what this amazing world has to offer. It is a shame there is so much violence that doesn’t allow for the freedom of travel everywhere. One day maybe, I have hope.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Its ease. Withoutabox required way to much work for a short film or a screenplay. Its good to have all that other works done, like pictures, sketches and a look book, but that should be shown if your script or short film gets some looks by a potential investor or purchaser of your script.

What influenced you to enter the festival?

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? It’s true, the first 10 to 15 pages are the make or break of a script, if it doesn’t grab the reader, by page 20 they are already not interested so, submitting to something like this to see if the opening grabs a reader is so important. I am surprised there are not more festivals that do this. About the feedback, some good notes. All notes are good, even the ones you don’t quite understand, because it is the note behind the note which is, something about a particular area took the reader out of it and you don’t want that. You just have to learn which notes to implement and which ones to really think about. All of them should be looked at. Being so close to your story, outside eyes always see something that you cannot see.

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning 1st SCENE Screenplay – THE COURIER, by Michael D’Ambrosio

Winning Screenplay – THE COURIER
Written by Michael D’Ambrosio

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
VICTOR – Dan Cristofori
FIONA – Cassandra Guthrie
CHARISSE – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

A (female) black market courier is hunted by a powerful militia commander and his mercenary lover over her true identity. One wants her alive; the other wants her dead.

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Marina, a violent courier in the black market with a drug addiction is the last of a royal bloodline. Believing her parents abandoned her as a child, she despises them and anything they represented. When a delivery goes bad, she keeps a valuable data chip that has everyone hunting her – both good and bad. Reluctantly she takes on two friends who help her to overcome her addiction. One becomes her lover; the other becomes a mentor urging her to assume her true title as princess and lead her people. She has no intention of doing so until she learns that her parents were murdered and plots to avenge their deaths. Realizing that her life as a reclusive courier was based on a lie, she accepts her role as princess with a lot of help from her friends.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

sci-fi/thriller

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Lead character Marina is a flawed Lara Croft character with a John Wick attitude. I believe the actions, emotions and plot revolving around Marina make this an exciting, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bad ass

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

Underworld

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A little over two years

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written eleven sci-fi/fantasy/horror novels through small presses. I’ve adapted five of them to scripts and one to a TV series. None have been sold yet but are represented.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

If you could read my mind by Gordon Lightfoot

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I wasn’t sure whether or not Marina should take the throne or go her own way with a new take on life.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Space travel. Many of my stories are based on this topic including my new script Space Truckers. I know one day, we’ll inhabit the cosmos.

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

I had faith that, if read, the first scene would hook the reader.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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1st Scene Screenplay – SENIOR PRANK by Shiv Sudhakar

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

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