TV PILOT – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MIDLIFE CRISIS by Erica Barfield Peterson

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MIDLIFE CRISIS TV Pilot
Written by Erica Peterson
Read 10 Questions with the writer

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Michelle Alexander
MARK – Ucal Shillingford
LEATHERFACE – Noah Casey
JANICE/ALEXIS – Angela Cavallin
MADISON/CHRISSY – Dana Thody
PHARMACIST – Sean Ballantyne
BETT – Chris Reid Geisler

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Horror

On his 40th birthday, Leatherface has decided it’s time to “find his truth,” so he reaches out to the one person who can help him… his only victim that got away.

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s the story of Leatherface (from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) turning 40 and realizing the life he’s been living may not be the life he wants. Maybe he doesn’t want to hack people to death. Maybe he doesn’t want to eat people at every meal. Maybe he loves candle making but will never know until he goes on a journey to find his truth, and the only way he knows how to do that is with the aid of his one victim who got away – Mark. Mark survived, lived to tell the tale and even wrote a book about how he learned to live his truth because of what he went through. It’s an Odd Couple story in which both Mark and Leatherface realize how much they can truly help each other find their truths.

2. How does this episode fit into the context of the series?

I think it makes a great buddy comedy. You have two people trying to figure out how they want to live their lives and can only do so with the help of the other. One being a semi-successful self-help author and the other is a murderous psychopath. Each episode the two characters can have new goals of things they either will or won’t want as a part of their new lives. Leatherface has never dated before, never driven — basically never done much other than kill people, so there’s definitely an engine for plenty of stories. Mark is scared of life and wants to learn how to live it to the fullest which is also a great engine for many stories. I think it’s something we’ve never seen before in terms of pairing comedy and horror in the odd couple sense for a TV series.

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

Delightfully Psycho.

4. What TV show do you watch over and over again?

Arrested Development is by far my favorite. That and anything that profiles serial killers.

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

I worked on this particular pilot for three months.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 10 specs and 7 pilots.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’m obsessed with the genre blend of horror and comedy. I had just seen “What We Do In The Shadows” and was like, “That’s what I want to do!” I kind of knew that all along because my favorite movie is “Young Frankenstein,” and I adore “Shaun of the Dead” but it just clicked that day, and I knew I had found my niche. I’m also so fascinated by Leatherface because we never hear him speak and I always wondered — would his life be different if he was taken in by a more “normal” family. Does he ever want to tell his mama to shove off cause he just wants to listen to music or kiss a girl? — so I wanted to explore the question of what would he be like if he came to that realization himself.

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

None, really. This was one of those times where I loved every moment of writing this because it’s something I am passionate about so it made it fun. I couldn’t wait to finish to get feedback and make it better and better.

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

I love to dance (was a semi-professional football cheerleader — will not tell you the team name because there are embarrassing photos out there), animals, fighting for the rights of others, making people laugh, sleep and donuts (GOD I LOVE DONUTS).

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

I wanted to see what people thought of my script. Sometimes you give your writing to people and worry that they’re just being nice because they know you — with this — you didn’t have to be nice, and you were wonderful! The feedback was great and encouraging. Now I just gotta get those rights from Tobe Hooper!

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

Just keep writing and always write. Write what you’re passionate about – not what you think other people want to read. Read scripts – lots of them. Nail down structure and story — if you can get those two things done well then the rest is a piece of cake. Also, forget doubting yourself. You’re not here to please anyone but yourself. If you’re writing to make money and wouldn’t write if you couldn’t make money — maybe you shouldn’t be a writer. And always be willing to take feedback — especially if you get the same note from several people. The goal is to get better and not think that you are already the best.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson


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October 2016 Comedy Films/Screenplays/Stories

Submit your Comedy Screenplay or Film to the Festival Today:http://festivalforcomedy.com

See the October 2016 Comedy Stories. Click the link and watch the winning videos:
 

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – I NEVER KNOCK
October 2016 Reading
Written by John Ervin

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – THE MIGHTY BIRD
October 2016 Reading
Written by Brian Gililland

ACTORSHORT Story – WATERMELON EATING CONTEST
October 2016 Reading
Written by Teri B. Clark

ACTORSHORT Story – DEAD END JOB
October 2016 Reading
Written by Alice Lacey

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Kimmy is a VIP
October 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Miller

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – SYMPATHY
October 2016 Reading
Written by Steven Sinnenberg

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE STRUGGLE
October 2016 Reading
Written by Janice Kennedy

ACTORSHORT Story – TRUE NORTH
October 2016 Reading
Written by Hal Ackerman


festival posterTHE APOLOGY, 7min, UK, Mystery/Crime
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay: WILLOWWOOD
October 2016 Reading
Written by Christopher Locke

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay: THE VISA
October 2016 Reading
Written by Conrad Haynes

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – WHAT’S IN A NAME
October 2016 Reading
Written by Ted Stanley

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay: EMMETT IN PEOPLELAND
October 2016 Reading
Written by Larry Hankin

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

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

 

 

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 Best Scene from THE HOOPLA Screenplay by Thomas Nesti

Submit your Comedy Screenplay or Film to the Festival Today: http://festivalforcomedy.com

Best Scene from THE HOOPLA Screenplay
Written by Thomas Nesti
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre; Drama, Comedy

An abused teenager risks his life to save the world’s last movie theater from the cutthroat nightclub owner next door.
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
GRACE – Nadia Gigi Inara
ASHER – Steve Rizzo

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

Today’s Comedy Screenplay Festival: SYMPOSIUM by Tom Grady

Submit your Comedy Screenplay to the Festival Today: http://festivalforcomedy.com

SYMPOSIUM
Written by Tom Grady
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

A roving appliance raises the eyebrows of a Central Park West resident and the service man she calls to make sense of it.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
WOMAN – Fran Townend
SERVICE MAN – Sean Ballantyne

Today’s Screenplay Reading: Death Don’t Us Part by Olaf Baumann

Submit your Comedy Screenplay to the Festival Today: http://festivalforcomedy.com

DEATH DON’T US PART
Written by Olaf Baumann
Read 10 Questions with the writers

SYNOPSIS:

A feature film about the quest for true love and the intricacies of being dead.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Fran Townend
CHARLEY – Bubba
EMMA – Jane Smythe
DINA – Kiran Friesen
ROSCOE/NAPOLEAN – Peter Nelson
HELEN – Becky Shrimpton
STEVE – Sean Ballantyne