Sept. 2016 Winner: Feature Screenplay – LAWN BOYS by Steve Cleary

Watch the September 2016 Winning Comedy Screenplay. 

LAWN BOYS
Written by Steve Cleary

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Screwball Comedy

When a pretentious ad man levels down to work on his best friend’s landscaping crew, he must sharpen his new skills in order to prevent a rival lawn service from ruining their hometown’s natural beauty with artificial grass.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Steve Rizzo
STEVE – Kaleb Alexander
SUNNY – Heather Dicke
MIKE/BRIAN – Steve Mitchell
MUNGO – John Fray
HEIKO – Dan Cristofori
RIPPY – Randy Baumer
VARIOUS – Norma Dawn Dunphy

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

‘Lawn Boys’ is about a city guy who learns to bloom where he’s planted by taking a job on his buddy’s landscaping crew back in his South Jersey hometown.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

‘Lawn Boys’ is a broad comedy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

‘Lawn Boys’ is outrageously funny, while being grounded in reality and has a lot of heart. It’s refreshingly original and sure to leave anyone who watches it with a smile.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Outrageously Funny!

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

That would have to be ‘A Christmas Story’, by default.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I first came up with the idea way back in 2009 and picked at it over the years since. I fully committed to writing it last fall and it took me about six months to get it fully polished.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written a couple dozen or so, but only six have made it into fully realized screenplays. I’m currently working on two other screenplay ideas and have several more in the pipeline.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I kept having situations and lines of dialogue coming to mind as if they were from a movie I’ve seen several times. This is the comedy movie I’ve always wanted to have playing on a lazy hungover Saturday afternoon.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The ideal being to write full-time, I had to tear myself away from it in order to find freelance work to pay the bills.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about living a life of radical self-expression and freedom to explore the wonders of nature and mankind.

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

Yes! Get coverage wherever you can find it. When I posted an early draft of ‘Lawn Boys’ to a couple of listing sites, the feedback from reviewers and other writers helped me improve the script immeasurably.
***

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

 

 

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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 Comedy TV SPEC Table Read: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT by Jen Turriff

Deadline March 24th for Comedy Film and Writing Festival (Save $15)
https://festivalforcomedy.com/

TV SPEC: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
by Jen Turriff

SYNOPSIS:

In this spec of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ Kimmy quickly becomes addicted to an iPad game. As she discovers she unknowingly made in-app purchases, she has to find a creative way to pay her debts. Meanwhile, Titus battles his own obsession and Jacqueline struggles with her need to be accepted by Xan.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christopher Huron
KIMMY – Mandy May Cheetham
TITUS – Kaleb Alexander
JACQUELINE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
BUCKLEY – Jovan Kocic
SALES WOMAN – Maya Woloszyn

***
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

Watch TV Comedy Spec – UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

Submit your TV Pilot or TV Spec to the Festival Today: www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

 

TV SPEC – UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Written by Jen Turriff

SYNOPSIS:

In this spec of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ Kimmy quickly becomes addicted to an iPad game. As she discovers she unknowingly made in-app purchases, she has to find a creative way to pay her debts. Meanwhile, Titus battles his own obsession and Jacqueline struggles with her need to be accepted by Xan.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christopher Huron
KIMMY – Mandy May Cheetham
TITUS – Kaleb Alexander
JACQUELINE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
BUCKLEY – Jovan Kocic
SALES WOMAN – Maya Woloszyn

____

Director/Producer – Matthew Toffolo

Editor – John Johnson

Casting Director – Sean Ballantyne

Watch Comedy 1st Scene Script Reading: SPARKS by Megan K. Bickel

Deadline October 5th: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get it performed at the festival. Full feedback
http://www.wildsound.ca/firstscenescreenplaycontest.html

Watch the First Scene Reading of SPARKS:

SYNOPSIS:

A romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist. Dr. Emma Spegal stumbles upon a stranger who reactivates the effects of an old laboratory accident, which sends lightning shooting from her hand. She drags him to her lab to find answers, but instead they find secret plots, hidden agendas, and high-voltage reasons to stick together..

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
Charlie – Kaleb Alexander
Emma – Alicia Payne
Barista – Jacqueline Brown