Winning COMEDY SHORT Screenplay – ALMOST NEVER TOO LATE, by Jeffrey Howe

Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Adventure

In suburbia, a toddler plays innocently in a sandpit. Meanwhile next door, an android called Steve has arrived from the future with a mission to kill the child before it grows into an evil tyrant. But before he can do so, he is caught up in a fight with Beth, another time traveller, who claims that Steve’s actions will cause the future timeline.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Steve: David Occhipinti
Beth: Norma Dunphy
Evil Imperion: Dennis Barham
Ajax One: Fabio Abreu

Get to know the writer: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

A succession of time travelers attempts to change history–or to stop each others’ attempts–until their original target takes matters into his own three-year-old hands.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi (parody), comedy

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

Principal photography would take a day, tops. A fourteen-year old could *probably* do the simulated computer graphics. 
*double checks with fourteen-year old son* 
Make that *definitely*.

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

Briefly amusing. 

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

“The Little Mermaid.” Don’t judge me, it was a weird time in my life. 

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

About a day and a half. I wrote it mostly to stay limber waiting for the NYCMidnight finals (a timed scriptwriting contest), since I had never written short-short comedy. Well, not since high school.

7. How many stories have you written?

If we’re including novels and short stories along with various length scripts…thirty-something that I’ve finished. Maybe forty.

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

At the moment, “The Hell of It,” off the “Phantom of the Paradise” soundtrack. An underappreciated Paul Williams classic. Later today, who knows?

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

Self-imposed: I wanted to finish a workable draft in one sitting (see number 6 above).

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

Dissecting other people’s writing. You may know this as “reading” or “watching stuff.”

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

Generally good. The one time a festival contest turned out to be a scam, FF refunded the entry fee. Same for contests that canceled. The review system needs some tweaks, though–right now a festival or contest can kind of be held hostage by a hostile reviewer.

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

The working screenwriter in my writers’ group said the script was good enough for a comedy-centric contest. I guess that counts as initial feedback? In any case, it was reassuring. Writing comedy scares the crap out of me.

****

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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COMEDY Best Scene Screenplay of BRENDA IN DHARMALAND, by Anne M Robinson

 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

A softball coach with anger management issues becomes entranced by the benefits of meditative yoga.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Edwina: Norma Dunphy
Announcer: David Occhipinti
Edgar: Nick Baillie
Pete: Dennis Barham
Ted: Fabio Abreu

Get to know the writer: 

What is your screenplay about?

A woman with anger issues seeks inner peace.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Enlightening entertainment! The audience will identify with the feelings of the characters, if not their actions.  If Brenda can have an epiphany and find inner peace, then anyone can.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Quirky. Offbeat.

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

Maybe SOME LIKE IT HOT

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

3 lifetimes

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 4 screenplays and 1 pilot.

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

Dancing in the Moonlight

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It’s not the finishing, it’s the rewriting…..

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love to tango, ride my motorcycle, hang with my cats, practice yoga, hit the beach with my husband…

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

It’s a comedy festival. I write comedy.  My initial reaction to the feedback was that it was well thought out, clear, objective and rang true. I do get derailed from the plot. All the time. I need a leash.

****

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Watch Winning Comedy Short Screenplay: BOWLING FOR CONCUBINES by Vanessa Marlowe

BOWLING FOR CONCUBINES
Written by Vanessa Marlowe
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mockumentary, Comedy

Investigative reporters, Jean Burbank and Robert Ibsen, explore the highly controversial game of Bowling for Concubines in this satirical mockumentary. Involving bowling balls and actual human concubines as pins, B.F.C. forces a nation to question its own morals. Should fun come at any cost? Some say yes. These questions and more will be answered via variously dubious testimonies.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
MAN – Michael Gaty
NATASHA – Kiran Friesen
BORIS – David Occhipinti
MISS WINDIG – Judy Thrush
TALL LANKY GUY – Dan Cristofori
CLERK – Mark Boutros
KOYLA – Sean Ballantyne
CAROL – Viktoria Napolenova

 

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

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Short Screenplay – Bowling for Concubines by Vanessa Marlowe

Watch the July 2016 Comedy Short Screenplay Winner.

Bowling for Concubines by Vanessa Marlowe

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mockumentary, Comedy

Investigative reporters, Jean Burbank and Robert Ibsen, explore the highly controversial game of Bowling for Concubines in this satirical mockumentary. Involving bowling balls and actual human concubines as pins, B.F.C. forces a nation to question its own morals. Should fun come at any cost? Some say yes. These questions and more will be answered via variously dubious testimonies.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
MAN – Michael Gaty
NATASHA – Kiran Friesen
BORIS – David Occhipinti
MISS WINDIG – Judy Thrush
TALL LANKY GUY – Dan Cristofori
CLERK – Mark Boutros
KOYLA – Sean Ballantyne
CAROL – Viktoria Napolenova

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s about people’s fascination with violence and sex – somethings some of us can’t get enough of – expressed in the form of a violent game that releases humanity’s own repressed and erratic nature by breaking all the rules.

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

“Bowling for Concubines” would make a very compelling film because the issues addressed – violence, sex, religion and our very own moral values – are forever relevant. Also, the story expressed as a satire helps us to not only evaluate the absurdity of our own warped behavior, but hopefully, laugh at it as well.

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

Sexual Revolution!!

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

It’s a tie between Back To The Future and Wizard of Oz.

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

I worked on it for six months.

6. How many stories have you written?

Many short stories…one feature screenplay and 3 features in-process, two unpublished novels that I’m adapting into additional screenplays… A handful of short films, and a few sketches as well. The hope is the writer finishes his/her projects and doesn’t let them all collect dust! 😛

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The film “Bowling for Columbine” had such a unique title when I first heard it that I immediately went to “Bowling for Concubines” (As the comedic mind corrupts all.) which I thought was a strange notion, then feeling passionately about the topic of sex trafficking, women’s rights, violence and sexual abuse, decided to tie it in there somehow.

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

Just trying to end it. A strong ending is very challenging for me.

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

Creatively speaking…acting. Comedy. Dancing. Filmmaking. Art. Interior Design. Colors. Textures…Personally…Exercise. Nature. Meditation. Nutrition. Love. Globally…Women and children’s rights. Water access, health care access, education. Treating the earth with respect and helping to heal it and ourselves in the process. World peace.

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

Just trying to get my work out there. I think the concern is always wanting it to be polished as possible but sometimes you just gotta put it out there and hope for the best. I will always continue to work on my material as best I can in the time that I can focus on it. The feedback was helpful, constructive. I always feel like everyone has a different perception of what can be interpreted as offensive. Writing comedy you’re going to offend people at some point but comedy doesn’t apologize, so neither can I. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can try to convey a solid message and make some people laugh, and maybe give them food for thought as they get into bed at night or as they criticize some aspect in irritation. I’d rather my work made people angry than inspired them to just go home and eat potato chips and completely forget about what they just saw or read. I mean if I’m not moving someone to feeling something, than I’m not doing my job.

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

Get yourself into a quiet, peaceful place of rigid discipline and routine when it comes to writing. If your mind isn’t at peace, than it’s hard to concentrate. Finding the discipline I think to do it is easier than being able to concentrate if, as most writers and artists at some point have experienced, times are tough and you’re struggling financially or whatever. But, as Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of the times, it was the worst of times…” Through it all, the truly dedicated, determined prevail in completing their work and seeing it through. If you want to start a revolution, it starts with that first word on that magical paper.

Find what inspires you and light that fire I say! 🙂

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Comedy Feature Screenplay – MISPRINTS by Adam Preston

Watch the April 2016 winning comedy feature screenplay.

MISPRINTS by Adam Preston

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis:  An emotionally shredded proof reader shares an apartment with a naive intern at a publishing house. When they decide to publish a rejected manuscript by an uncontrollable, priapic, egotistical and superannuated author their little island of dissatisfaction is blown apart.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
RICHARD – Kaleb Alexander
OLLIE – Jarrid Terrell
DR. ZAHN – David Occhipinti
SARAH – Erynn Brook
JESSICA/FI – Christina Santos
NICK – Rob Notman

Get to writer Adam Preston: 

Matthew Toffolo: The two main leads – who are the inspirations for these characters?

Adam Preston: Richard is a combination of two people I know – one who is very amusing and has a tendency to revel in his own failure and another who is very over-sensitive and damaged. Ollie comes partly from my cousin who escaped London and went to live in a tipi in a Scottish forest.

MT: Dr. Zahn is an actor’s dream. Was there a particular actor you had in mind when writing him?

AP: I don’t believe in writing for a particular actor because I want to create original characters and I think great actors want to do something new each time rather than repeat themselves. There is a rich treasure trove of actors who are the right age to play Zahn. He could be anywhere between 60 and 80 years old. My dream Zahns include Bill Murray, Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, Robert DeNero, Ben Kingsley, John Malcovich, Dustin Hoffman, Danny DeVito, Harvey Keitel, Bill Nighy, Patrick Stewart – they all have incredible charisma and each would bring something amazing and different to the part – but how do I get the script into these guys hands?

MT: How would you describe this script in one sentence?

AP: It’s a comedy about two prematurely washed up young guys who are changed by an old egomaniacal over-sexed author who refuses to accept he is old.

MT: What is your favorite all-time comedy film?

AP: Some Like It Hot
I recently wrote a blog post about it: http://wordsontoast.weebly.com/blog

MT: Was it important for this screenplay to have a happy ending?

AP: I tried different endings. Some where I gave the protagonists too much glory and some where I risked leaving the audience on a downer. I feel this ending gets the balance right – their book is a bit of a joke but there’s an eccentric readership out there who are going to find it – and they both get their love lives sorted out and Ollie escapes the big city.

MT: You’ve directed in the past. Do you see yourself directing MISPRINTS too?

AP: If the right director came along I would not stand in their way but I have been developing my directing career in parallel. Last year I made a short called The Last Post which has been showing at festivals all over the world and particularly in the States. Shorts TV have just picked it up for distribution and will be broadcasting it. You can watch the trailer for the short here:

MT: What inspired you to become a writer/director?

AP: I loved movies from an early age but I was a very dreamy kid and lived in my own world. I never thought about where movies came from. When I was at university I suddenly stumbled on the idea that you could make them- I was walking up stairs and a friend (Alex Michaelis – now a very successful architect) said “why not make a film?” It hit me like a thunderbolt. I persuaded my tutor to let me make a movie as my literature dissertation.

MT: Who would you love to have dinner with (dead or alive)?

AP: Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, John Huston, John Schlesinger, Carol Reed, Woody Allen, Alexander Payne, I could go on…

MT: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

AP: I have worked as a portrait and mural artist and a cartoonist so I guess I’d be doing a combination of those.

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

AP: I’m looking for opportunities to both improve the script and get some exposure for the project so this ticks both boxes. The quality of the feedback was excellent – you could immediately see that it was written by someone who both loves and understands movies, and more specifically they immediately understood what kind of film I’m trying to make.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

AP: I probably need to prove myself a bit more before I start dishing out advice!

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

Watch a Table Read Performance Reading of an episode of the TV Sitcom “Silicon Valley”

Writing Festival’s TV Spec Screenplay Winning for October 2015.

Watch SILICON VALLEY, by Jennifer McAuliffe

SYNOPSIS:

This spec script is about how Richard and the Pied Piper team try to dig their way out of the recent bad luck with funding, by raising their profile and networking.

Get to know the writer:
http://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/10/25/watch-tv-spec-reading-of-the-silicon-valley-tv-show-by-jennifer-mcauliffe/

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
RICHARD – Geoff Mays
JARED/GILFOYLE – Jarrid Terrell
DINESH – David Occhipinti
MONICA – Christina Santos
ERLICH – Sean Ballantyne
MARISSA – Lorry Ayers

    * * * * *

Deadline November 5th for Comedy Film and Writing Festival
https://festivalforcomedy.com/

Deadline: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
http://tvfestival.org/2015/06/18/tv-screenplay-testimonials/

Watch the Winning Short Comedy Script Reading of THE WRITER’S DUEL

Deadline November 5th for Comedy Film and Writing Festival
https://festivalforcomedy.com/

Watch THE WRITER’S DUEL by by Ellery VanDooyeweert

SYNOPSIS:

A short script is all about the magic we can create when working in the movies. We can make things appear and disappear, literally make characters do and say stuff and have fun with it!

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – David Occhipinti
WRITER #1 – Steve Rizzo
ADDISON PALMER – Holly Sarchfield
MIKE DEXTER – Craig Estrella
WRITER #2 – Sean Ballantyne
WRITER #3 – Angelica Alejandro