Watch the September 2016 Winning TV PILOT Screenplay.
OLYMPUS RISING by C M Landrus
Get to know the writer:
What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
The gods of Mt. Olympus awaken as human teenagers to struggle with the immortal bonds of kinship while reclaiming their rightful places as rulers of humankind.
Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
As a high concept genre show that employs Greek mythology as a backdrop to tell human stories, Olympus Rising is highly marketable and will have no problems finding an audience. It is also set up to generate many seasons of adventure and potential spinoffs. With a diverse cast that speaks to the modern era, the characters of Olympus Rising will keep audiences hooked with their relatable struggles loosely veiled under a fantasy umbrella.
How would you describe this script in two words?
What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
The Twilight Zone (the original)
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
As of fall 2016, Olympus Rising will be three years in the works.
How many stories have you written?
I wrote my first short story when I was nine years old. After that I lost count.
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
In 2013 I crashed and burn on a major project that I had been preparing for for over six months. Frustrated and depressed, I shut myself away in my little apartment and binged on zinfandel, dark chocolate, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Heroes. Then I decided to write my own TV pilot where the protagonist was a total loser. I wanted to do something that was fantasy but didn’t want vampires, werewolves, or witches. I decided to use Greek mythology because, even though it’s prevalent in storytelling, I hadn’t seen anything that really used it directly in a while. The line, “Olympus rising” just popped in my head, and I started to develop ideas from that. Within a few days I had an outline, and it took about two or three days to pound out the first draft.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Compared to other writing projects, Olympus Rising, has gone really smoothly. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted from the beginning and have had tons of great feedback from people I trust. Every time I got feedback, I would take the time to rewrite it and tried to be flexible yet true to the characters and stories I had envisioned, and I didn’t worry about the time it would take me. I just set my own timelines by which I wanted to have this project polished.
One of the issues that kept coming up was making sure my protagonist was strong enough in the pilot to lead the whole show even though it has an ensemble cast, and in the pilot, Asher shares much of the main story with Micah. Plus Asher is supposed to be kind of a loser (by unfair societal standards), and it can be hard to make a loser engaging and strong.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love learning languages and practicing martial arts.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your
feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I wanted to start submitting my pilot to festivals just to get some initial feedback and see how it played out to give me a better idea of what to do next. I also wanted to start small and work my way up to bigger festivals. Fantasy Sci-fi seemed like a very supportive group that would enjoy reading a fantasy pilot. The feedback was encouraging.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
I’m not a big fan of advice, especially from other people. Just do what works best for you, and don’t let other people (including me) tell you how it should be done.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Editor: John Johnson
Casting Director: Sean Ballatyne