Winning COMEDY Short Screenplay – TWITS, by Alison McGrath,

 

Genre: Comedy

How one community deals with life when technology goes dark for a brief moment in time.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Paul: Nick Wicht
Demi: Carina Cojeen
Emergency Alert: Peter Nelson
Barista: Shania Belton
Cheryl: Katelyn Varadi

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

TWITS is a satirical look at humanity’s addiction to technology, and what happens to people when their (de)vices are taken away from them.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Satire

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think in this “game of life” we need to laugh at ourselves a little bit, and take a look in the mirror to see the real person–the one without the snapchat or iPhone filter–staring back at us. Films help us do this. TWITS in particular sheds light on our addiction to technology and how it’s shaping everything from our sex lives and our relationships with our kids, to how we navigate–literally–through life. To me, TWITS lends itself to some personal exploration: Do I see a little bit of myself in these characters? How do I feel about that? Am I OK with the real-life role I’m playing and where we’re headed as a society? There is no wrong answer, as long as you think about it and be honest with yourself. That’s what’s so magical about film, and comedy in particular. There is no pressure, and you’re supposed to laugh. Humor is a great way to half-ass explore your emotions without feeling too much! I think many people will be able to identify with TWITS and I really hope it gets made into a movie.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Scary. Outrageous.

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

Bridesmaids

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A few months

How many stories have you written?

Ten. Eleven if you count the one I wrote when I was 9 years old about a rotten banana named Eachanonie who was finally happy once he was made into banana bread. Even bruised bananas can find their place in this world.

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

Jump in the Line, Harry Belafonte. Every time hear it, I become Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I didn’t face obstacles with this one, which is a crazy thing for me to say. I’m usually stumbling, breathless, army crawling to the finish line. TWITS had been swirling in my head for quite some time. I’d been taking notes for a couple months and then when I sat down, it just flowed. It was really fun to write.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love being a mom. I love to boogie board, ski, and travel. I am especially passionate about jalapeño margaritas. No salt. I feel like this should be on Tinder. Please swipe right.

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

It’s been amazing. I love how organized and easy it is.

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

I feel so passionate about TWITS coming to life on screen, and the thought of having it read at your festival seemed like an awesome next step. I can’t wait to hear it!

The feedback I received was encouraging, very helpful and respectful. Being kind goes a long way, and I thank you so much for that!

****

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 SHORT SCREENPLAY – MODERN LOVE by Hannah Dillon

Watch the January 2017 Winning Comedy Short Screenplay Reading.

Best Scene from the screenplay MODERN LOVE Screenplay
Written by Hannah Dillon

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Charles Gordon
BONNIE – Shannon McNally
GRANDMA – Val Cole
SANDRA – Catherine D’Angelo
JOEL – Nick Wicht
BILL – David Straus
NOAH – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Comedy, Romance, Family

In 2065, Sandra brings her Artificially Intelligent boyfriend home to meet her grandmother, who struggles to accept him.


Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

When Sandra brings her Artificially Intelligent boyfriend home for dinner, her family struggles to accept him. In addition to the nerves that come with meeting a significant other’s family, this boyfriend has to overcome a deep-rooted prejudice against robots. Great. Let’s see how Sandra’s overbearing, Jewish grandmother reacts.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Sci-Fi, Comedy, Family

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This story exposes an important social issue in an engaging, digestible way. It’s really about the struggles of any “unconventional” couple (LGBTQ, interracial, etc.), and the cyclical nature of social progress from generation to generation. Anyone who has ever been rejected by his or her significant other’s family will relate to this story. More importantly, people who feel you should only date “your own,” may even be able to take a step back and question that impulse. I believe this story could have a great impact if made into a film.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Provocative and silly.

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

When Harry Met Sally.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on various iterations of this story for about eight months. I am currently working on a pilot inspired by the two main characters and their relationship.

How many stories have you written?

I have written three feature screenplays, many more short screenplays, short stories, poems, and songs. I am constantly writing.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Years ago, a family member of mine did not approve of my former partner, and it stuck with me. I was very close with that family member, and was not expecting his negative reaction. Others told me to “let it go,” because he was old, and from “a different time.” I tried to imagine: If I was very old, and my granddaughter brought home a lover, is there any kind of person I would find unsuitable? Any kind of religion? Race? Sexual identity? As I wracked my brain, the only thing I could think was, “as long as it’s human.” That’s when it clicked: if my hypothetical granddaughter were to bring home a robot, I would, in fact, question that love, and my hate would sound all too familiar. It also sounded ridiculous when aimed at a robot. I thought, what a perfectly absurd metaphor to use to expose the idiocy of real prejudice. At the end of the day, it’s just fear of the unfamiliar.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

There are a lot of big themes at play here, and a lot of different ways to tell this story. I had to explore several avenues before I found the one that felt right.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love music (which I also write) and comedy, and care deeply about social justice.

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

I saw a few videos of previous readings, and I loved the idea. The initial feedback was very helpful.

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

My only advice is to write what’s in your gut. It’s the only thing worth reading, and the only voice nobody else has. Plus, it’s in your gut—don’t let that fester.

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

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