Genre: Comedy, Family
With a new roller coaster coming to the wharf (the monstrapolis) Louise becomes enamored with it and wants to ride it, even though she’s too short. Luckily though, after Tina asks Bob for a raise and gets denied, Louise manages to get Tina a paying job at the wharf.
Get to know the writer:
What is your TV spec screenplay of the show about?
The spec is based on one of my favorite television shows, Bob’s Burgers. The episode is called “Monstrapolis.” Tina wants to prove her maturity to her family and accepts a job at Wonder Wharf, where the new thrill roller coaster, Monstrapolis, has just opened, but Louise seizes the opportunity to use her sister’s new employment to make Wonder Wharf her personal playground. This all comes to an unexpected climax when Louise manipulates her sister to allow her onto Monstrapolis, which gets stuck in the middle of the ride. Bob and Linda are forced to rely on Gene to pick up the slack Tina, and Louise, left behind.
Why does this episode spec fit into the context of the series?
The characters are true to their voices and the humor fits perfectly in one of their seasons. The jokes are specific to their characters (ex. Gene’s buffoonery and Louise’s ability to manipulate Tina). The show ends on a familiar note of their strength as a family.
Tina proves herself as a worker and gets everyone, on the ride, to work together to get off Monstrapolis. In true Bob’s Burger fashion, Tina’s plan doesn’t work, but it shows her maturity through out the episode. Louise sees the error of her ways and apologizes for taken advantage of Tina, even admiring her strength when others doubted her.
The episode also features some of the series regulars, and favorites, like Mr. Fischoeder and Teddy.
How would you describe this script in two words?
Hilarious and fun.
What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
Besides Bob’s Burger, It’s a toss up between Rick and Morty and The Office, both different comedies, but strong and rich with flavor and style.
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I have been working about three months on this spec. It took me a few weeks to get the first draft written, and then I set it down for a bit. I did a couple of rewrites a few days later.
How many stories have you written?
In terms of screenplays, I have one featured screenplay, two pilots, three spec scripts, and about ten short screenplays that I plan to shoot in the future.
What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
“California Dreamin’” by Bobby Womack. Such a smooth song with a nice rhythm. It’s one of those songs you can play and lose yourself within the song. I don’t constantly listen to it, but it’s probably the only song I never skipped on my playlist.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Getting the humor right. I love the show and the characters, but making the humor believable within the world of Bob’s Burgers was a fun challenge. This is the reason I love writing comedies. It’s not just that Tina says “Uhhhh” or Bob’s moments of desperation whenever the kids do something wrong. The humor is deeply rooted in the series and some jokes are brilliantly layered that viewers may not see it until a second viewing, I argue to rewatch the episode “The Belchies” to see what I’m referring too. Again, I wouldn’t call it difficult, but it definitely took a great amount studying scripts and episodes.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m a filmmaker. I love getting my hands on a camera, getting actors together, and creating movie magic. The whole process is intriguing to me, from shooting to editing. The creative process doesn’t stop at the script. To this date I have shot four short films, in which I wrote, edited, and directed.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I believed in my episode “Monstrapolis.” It was funny and it felt authentic to the series, plus I had a blast working on it. I wanted to see if my spec had a chance, and graciously, the fine people at the Festival for Comedy thought so.
The reception was great. Obviously hearing positive feedback is always a joy, but the criticism was key to me. This is what makes me into a better writer. I definitely absorbed the information and applied it, not only to any further rewrites of “Monstrapolis,” but in all of my works.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
It’s cliché to say keep writing, but believe in you and always looks at everything subject in different angles. If you’re writing something original, then show the viewers a different side of a subject. We are in the golden age of television and many people actually want to hear what others have to say. Use this medium and further extend your divergent voice. I write comedies, because the world can pretty dark. It could use a laugh once and awhile
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Editor: John Johnson
Camera Operator: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne