Watch the April 2016 winning comedy feature screenplay.
MISPRINTS by Adam Preston
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.
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