Watch the December 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay.
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Family
Feeling verklempt? Meet Maurie. A widower lawyer juggles his kids, an impending make-or-break trial, his daughter’s bar mitzvah and the arrival of a lovely young woman who might represent a new start for him.
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
A widower attorney preparing for a make-or-break trial falls in love with his adversary’s girlfriend.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
This is an old-school rom-com.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
The story appeals to all age groups. It also tries to break down racial stereotypes. The protagonist is a loveable klutz who finds himself overwhelmed by work, family and the death of his wife, whom he describes as not so much as his soul mate, but his “coffee mate” – “you know how much you need the cup of coffee to start the day? And how you pour in the cream and it dances and swirls and the coffee transforms from this non-descript dark color to this beautiful caramel color. And you take that first sip and you feel like you’re going to have a great day and nothing can get in your way. That’s what Beth did to me. Every day.” It is really easy to root for him and jeer his opponent. Plus the story if full of court room hijinks fun.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I finished the most recent version in the spring.
6. How many stories have you written?
I am working with a producer on a buddy script I wrote that involves three Springsteen die-hard who would do anything to meet their hero. I also have written a sports comedy that I’m excited about. I’ve recently finished a computer thriller. I’m working on two more – one involves a judge who finds herself presiding over a case in which she has a serious conflict interest she can’t reveal and the other deals with a cop who encounters unforeseen problems when he adopts a baby.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I had written a humorous article for a local magazine about how I couldn’t generate interest in a script with a similar plot like as Trial and Erin. Two weeks later a assistant producer at a major production company called and said he loved the idea and asked if he could read the script. Problem was that I hadn’t written a word of it. By the time I finished the screenplay my contact had left the film business.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Everyone knows how a rom-com is going to end from pretty much page 10. Finding an out-of-the-ordinary ending that is romantic – and funny – was a challenge.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m a trial lawyer during the day. I love the drama and excitement of trial work. It is hard but exhilarating work. And let’s not forget the Chicago Cubs – winner of the 2016 World Series!
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Keep writing even when your thought process becomes cramped. Also, find a trusted scribe who can read your material and offer guidance.