Watch the June 2016 Sci-Fi Best Scene Screenplay Winner.
FOR ALL MANKIND by Matthew O’Connell
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
In this high concept, atomic-era, sci-fi adventure, a brilliant WWII veteran and his determined daughter lead a team of mercenaries across the globe in a race to recover a mysterious, supernatural artifact with the power to permanently alter the future of humanity.
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
For All Mankind follows a brilliant, British WWII veteran and his daughter during the height of the Cold War as they attempt to solve an ancient mystery. They recruit an international team of mercenaries to travel to the ruins of Maya to recover a powerful, supernatural artifact before their Russian nemesis can claim it.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
This movie is just plain fun. It’s envisioned to be seen on a big screen surrounded by fanfare. It’s a classic, old-fashioned adventure that mixes in fresh, original sci-fi elements. I love each and every character in here, and it’s an escalating journey filled with surprise and action with plenty of levity. It captures the spirit of films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong, Stargate, Jurassic Park, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think fans of smart science fiction and big action will enjoy the ride.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Back to the Future.
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I’ve been working on this for about 1-2 years. It’s been through a lot of drafts!
6. How many stories have you written?
From shorts to features, probably dozens. For polished, marketable work, I have three features and two pilots.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I wanted to write something that I would get excited about seeing in the theater if I heard about or saw a trailer for. I wanted it to be a big, fun, exciting movie that was also intelligent and emotional. I wanted to challenge myself to write something big, since most of my work is more contained.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The first draft was over 160 pages and included a lot more mythology and locations and set pieces. I did a lot of research on the ancient civilizations mentioned in the script in order to make the mythology real and organic, and a lot more research on celestial and geographic events to make sure this story had a real, historical foundation. But I got consistent feedback that the deeper science and mythology were slowing the story down, so I had to cut a lot of it out. Maybe it’ll make the sequel!
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I have also produced and shot movies, so anything relevant to film/TV production is of interest to me. I’m interested in technology too, and write for a technology publishing company.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
The affordable entry rate and quick turnaround were appealing. But more than that, I appreciate how the festival supports a wide range of written work, including fan fiction, shorts, and more. It’s great to see that. And everyone involved has been genuinely interested in making the work better and increasing its exposure.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Every writer is nervous about showing their work. Every writer also knows that they can revise and polish their work endlessly. The toughest part about being a writer is knowing when your work is strong enough to show to people without revising it for eternity. The more you write, the better those instincts get.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson