Winning 1st Scene – Sandstorm by Neil Chase

Winning Screenplay – SANDSTORM
Written by Neil Chase

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Cora Matheson
MITCH – Daniel Chung
ROY – John Fray

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Action, Thriller

Sandstorm is a disaster film about a single mom and her deadbeat ex who race to save their daughter as a massive sandstorm devastates their hometown.


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Sandstorm is a disaster film about a single mom and her deadbeat ex who race to save their daughter as a massive sandstorm devastates their hometown.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action, thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It’s unlike other disaster films in that it’s written with a smaller budget in mind, and centers around the relationships and dysfunctional family dynamics of our lead characters more than on the spectacle of the devastation. That said, there’s something here for everyone – action, comedy, drama, and most of all, heart.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Fun ride.

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

Star Wars.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The first draft took two weeks. Then a few months more for feedback and rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, so it’s hard to say how many short stories there have been. That said, I’ve written thirteen feature screenplays, numerous short screenplays, and my debut novel is about to get published.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I always wanted to write a disaster film. So I picked one that I haven’t seen before.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

None that I can think of. It was a fun experience from start to finish.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My other passion is acting, which actually helps me to be a better screenwriter, as I’ve learned where to focus in terms of dialogue, action lines, and so on. I try to write the kinds of scripts I would want to read as an actor.

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

The First Scene Screenplay Festival seemed like a great way to test the waters with this script. I’m grateful for the win.

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*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


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1st Scene of SPARKS by Jon Freda

Winning Screenplay – SPARKS
Written by Jon Freda

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
FRANK – Devin Upham
MONICA – Amaka Umeh
NICHOLS – David Straus
GUARD – Mark Sparks

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery

A sheriff hunts a killer targeting both innocents and other criminals alike, but soon finds himself tangled in a conspiracy tied to the gruesome, deliberately botched execution of a former death row inmate as well the mysterious, four-legged witness that seems to connect them all.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The marketing calls we all receive over the phone – the cold calls – and which we all hate. Yet the results of this particular one have far reaching effects.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It is a drama about human relationships – and murder.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Human drama.

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

Same Time Next Year

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It started as a short story – which has been published – and evolved into the screenplay.

How many stories have you written?

Over 200.

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

Slightly All The Time by Soft Machine

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time, family commitments.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Family, reading and gardening.

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

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


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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 – SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY by Elisha Barnes

Watch the December 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY
Written by Elisha Barnes

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
MAN – Christopher Huron
JOAN – Rachel Salsberg
TERRI – Georgia Grant
PETE – Rais Moui

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance

Sexy lesbian Danni Montgomery is living with her ex in abstinence – an ex who still carries a torch for her. Meanwhile Danni is eyeing up a bisexual movie star and attempts to woo her by building her the hottest fan site on the web.

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s about a woman who works in a doctor’s office who finds herself in a boring marriage – until she meets a handsome stranger at a supermarket. Now this woman – who is a maniacal driver – soon falls in love with the stranger and finds herself plotting her husband’s death. And it isn’t the first time she sought this solution to an unsatisfactory marriage.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark Comedy and Rom-Com.

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

Because it’s a very timely subject with all the road rage out there and it’s very funny, too. Memorable characters.

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

Darkly funny

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

Wizard of Oz – can’t get enough of those munchkins.

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

One year

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve completed five screenplays, 14 short stories and two novels.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Some jerk cut me off and I found myself fantasizing about all the ways I could get back at him.

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

Periods of writer’s block.

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

Garage sales, flea markets, the jersey shore, and, most of all, going to the movies.

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

Someone told me about it and I thought “Hmmmm, that sounds interesting.”


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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st Scene Screenplay – UNSPOKEN, by Amber Epling

Watch the December 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

UNSPOKEN
Written by Amber Epling

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
GABRIEL – Craig Estrella
CELESTE – Rachel Salsberg
DOCTOR WATERS – Georgia Grant
RUSS – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Celeste Grey, a mentally-challenged 20-something girl, who has no ability to speak escapes from an institution after being raped by an associate of the institute. By fate, she ends up on a ranch with 50-something RUSS, whose wife had been institutionalized before committing suicide, and his handsome, self-centered adult son (GABE).

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Unspoken is about a young woman who is mentally disabled and she finds her way to a ranch, where a man and his son take her in and care for her and her soon to be unborn child. While they are trying to hang onto their ranch, they come to realize that, while they thought they were helping her, she actually winds up helping them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The genre is a drama.

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

This movie is very inspiring to a lot of people in this world. This woman who is lost, alone, deaf and is pregnant has no hope in the world. The hope she finds is in two people who would be the most unlikely candidates to take care of her. It goes to show that just because people have disabilities and can’t speak for themselves doesn’t mean that they are voiceless and that they don’t have a heart. They just might be the ones to save you, not the other way around.

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

Dramatic and Uplifting

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

The Man In The Iron Mask and The American President

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

This film has been completed for several years now, just waiting for the right opportunity.

6. How many stories have you written?

Over the course of 15 years I have written 20 films.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

This story came about in regards to a family member who suffered a tragedy that resulted in her having extreme handicaps after giving birth to her second daughter. She can’t speak, she can’t feed herself or walk, but she is bright and very intelligent. She still has her mind and uses it to communicate to her family by using a letter board. Much like the main character, she suffers deafness and has to be treated much like a child. That is kind of what brought the story to a head.

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

The only obstacles that I faced while writing this, was the obstacles that I have faced with all of my films. I have been trying my best to get my work publicized and at times I felt like I was in a stalemate and that my films could never make it, but I realized that I was good enough and I knew this was a film that had a great message and it needed to be told, so I finished it. Along with the personal story that comes along with this story, I knew I had to do this, so I gathered all my courage and strength and told myself that this was one that will mean the most.

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

Photography

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

I was on Twitter and the account for the festival came up and I checked it out and decided to give it a try.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
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****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st Scene Screenplay – YOU’VE CHANGED, by Sam Sexton

Watch the December 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

YOU’VE CHANGED
Written by Sam Sexton

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
BRAD – Craig Estrella
RITA – Rachel Salsberg
GLORIA – Georgia Grant
HOST – Christopher Huron
OFFICER – Rais Moui
ALICE – Petra O’Toole
HUSBAND – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Horror

About a mental health nurse, Alice, who is bitten by one of her patience and begins to change into a werewolf.

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

You’ve Changed is about a mental health nurse who is bitten by a patent and begin to change into a werewolf.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror / Comedy

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

You’ve Changed deserves to be made into a movie for the following reasons 1. It uses the werewolf as a means to explore themes of mental health and relationships. 2. It is about a rational person trying to understand the supernatural change that they are going though. 3. You’ve Changed more then anything else is an entertaining, action packed, horror comedy, set in rural Australia, that follows in the footsteps of American Werewolf in London.

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

Werewolf Nurse

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

The Big Lebowski

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

You’ve Changed has taken about a year to write.

6. How many stories have you written?

This is the first complete feature draft I have written, I am currently in the process of writing my second and I have written a number of short films as well.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Part of it was just to develop the discipline of sitting down, writing and finishing a screenplay. I have also always been a big fan of classic horror monsters and I wanted to write something that paid homage to those monsters.

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

The part I spent the most time on was the structure and making sure that the logic was sound.

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

Appart from writing I am passionate about film making as a complete process, I recently made a short film which got into a number of festivals around Australia including the Perth Revelation International film festival.

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

I wrote this script as part of an honours year at Griffith University and generally the feedback I got was positive, the screenplay it’s self as awarded a Distinction. However this is only a first draft and there are things I do want to change about it.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st Scene Screenplay – MALICIOUS INTENT, by Mike Briock

Watch the December 2016 Winning 1st Scene Screenplay.

MALICIOUS INTENT
Written by Mike Briock

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JOHNNIE – Craig Estrella
VANESSA – Rachel Salsberg
ERIN – Georgia Grant
SPIDER – Christopher Huron
BENNY – Rais Moui

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery

The manhunt for a violent parole violator takes a deadly and harrowing turn when he turns the table on his pursuers (female Deputy Parole Officer and two Detectives) and comes after them instead with no mercy.

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Malicious Intent is about New York Deputy Parole Officer Erin Green and a team of NYPD Detectives are on a manhunt for vicious, vile, and ultra-violent parole violator Johnnie Carrillo, who has an Armani exterior with the personality of an automatic shotgun. Johnnie’s name strikes fear into anyone living in the seedy underbelly of New York City. Things take a very chilling, deadly, incredibly harrowing, and suspenseful turn when Johnnie unexpectedly turns the table on his pursuers… and comes after them without mercy.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama. Suspense. Thriller.

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

It has an independent vibe and budget. It is a believable, dramatic, intense, suspenseful, edge of your seat unrelenting thriller. Straightforward. Johnnie Carrillo is an intense and memorable character whom people will certainly talk about. Very strong female lead and supporting roles. It is a story that keeps you locked in from FADE IN to FADE OUT.

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

Harrowing. Suspenseful.

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

This question is very tough to answer. Hard to limit to a single film. I would say Mean Streets. The Fugitive. Goodfellas.

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

16 months.

6. How many stories have you written?

6 screenplays (completed). Currently working on 3 more, which are in various stages of completion.. I have another 8 screenplays plotted and ready to write.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I really wanted to write something gritty, intense, and suspenseful with an independent feel and vibe. I wanted it to be strong female protagonists in great peril against the most vile and vicious bad maIe antagonist I could dream up. Someone so badass and cold that he is seemingly unstoppable and thoroughly grips the audience. I wanted it to feel “real” and “believable”, but at the same time keep you on the edge of your seat.

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

Editing. Making hard decisions to delete a few good scenes to maximize flow. Also, the ending. I had two very good endings. I went with the ending I felt is more believable. In the other ending, the lead female protagonist makes a decision that the audience would love, but that she really wouldn’t make in real life. So, in the end, I kept it real.

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

Photography.

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

I was actually contacted by the festival and asked to enter. I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne