Sci-Fi Winning Short Screenplay – THE VOLUNTEER, by Christopher Michaels

Winning Screenplay – THE VOLUNTEER
Written by Christopher Michaels


NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
JASON – Jason Martorino
WADE – Brogan Caulfield
BLONDE – Kelci Stephenson


Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Mystery

The Volunteer is about a man, who witnesses the beginning of the end for man kind.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The Volunteer is about a man, who witnesses the beginning of the end for man kind. After he is grown up and lives underground with a totalitarianism rule he decides that his group needs to fight back, so he heads up to the surface for the first time not knowing what he will find, to help him fight.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Science Fiction/Action/Adventure/Mystery.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This screenplay not only introduces elements that have been seen before, but a brand new world of mystery, and the unknown. It forces audiences to wonder what is going to happen next. It also pulls audiences in within the first 5 minutes.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Frozen Unknown.

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

There are actually two that I’ve seen the most throughout my life. 12 Monkeys and Back to the Future. Both stories involve mystery, ask question and are trying to prevent a dangerous life changing event. Both use humor, and fear of what lies out there to hook the audience in.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

This particular screenplay was written on a rainy day. I was sitting down to watch 12 monkeys again when it hit me about a frozen tundra.

How many stories have you written?

Right now I have written 2 pilots, 3 short screenplays, and I am working on a third pilot.

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

I have a few songs that I really love.

U2 – Beautiful Day
Train – All American Girl
Imagine Dragon – Radioactive.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This was the first time I wrote a short without having anything really planned out. I just sat down and started to write the script. Part of it came to me because of the experience of going on a cruise line (in the very first part of the script). The other parts of the script came to me from my own experiences of camping. I would always run into the most interesting creatures when I camped in Wisconsin. Plus being out in the wilderness you never know what you are going to run into. Part of it also came from playing video games and the experiences of the creatures.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am a big movie lover… I get out with my friends on $5.00 Tuesday to see lots of movies. On the side I partially run a meetup group called the Cineaphiles, music lover, bookworms. We go to movies a lot, especially with summer coming up. The next one up is Alien: Covenant looking very forward to this one.

Video Games is another thing, that I love to do. My younger brother is graduating with a degree in video game programming and I love to play them. The most recent one being Zelda: Breath of the wild. It also helps fuel my imagination.

The outdoors. Being in Chicago when the weather is nice I try to get outside as much as I can, it helps me think, and just enjoy and clear my mind. Plus the weather fascinates me. It can be sunny here one minute and literally as I was writing this it clouded up. It’s now sunny again.

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

I had been entering other scripts in this festival in the past. I love getting the feedback plus you guys have always been wonderful. You are well known and I look forward to see what comes of this.


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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