Sci-Fi 1st Scene Screenplay of BUCCANEERS OF THE ASTEROID BELT, by Jeff Racho


Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure

After a disruptive technology from a rival entrepreneur destroys a once-prosperous asteroid mining business, the former owner and his crew are forced to steal a spaceship to return home—but the trip doesn’t go according to plan.


Narration: Xavier de Guzman
Jackson: Isai Rivera Blas
Jessie: Angelica Alejandro
Eva: Carina Cojeen

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It tells the story of a once-prosperous asteroid mining business driven to the point of bankruptcy after a disruptive technology from a rival entrepreneur crashes the market for space metals. The former owner and his crew are faced with a decision: eke out a substance-level life in the asteroid belt or steal a spaceship to return home.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama and science fiction

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It hits on a lot of themes pertinent to the present: economic dislocation, worker anxiety, automation, “creative destruction” in the economy. A lot of present-day influences—such as behavioral economics and the author Matthew Crawford—are in the script but there are some hints of John Steinbeck and Richard Llewellyn too. So it’s taking some themes from classic works and seeing how they apply to the present. Plus I think it’s an interesting story and people seem to like the plot.

How would you describe this script in two words?

“Endowment Effect.” The endowment effect is a concept from behavioral economics and it’s a big theme in the script. It’s one of the causes of the protagonist’s conflicts.

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

Probably “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It began as a completely different short story draft in early 2016. I shelved it and came back to it in late 2016 and that’s when the final plot began to develop. I realized it would be too long for a short story so I decided to turn it into a screenplay. I spent a few weeks doing research to get the “science/engineering” aspects correct and had the first draft finished in a few months.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve had four short stories published and am trying to finish up a few more.

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

Tough one – “most times” is probably the album “Led Zeppelin IV” (I used to play the drums) but my favorite piece is probably Beethoven’s 9th.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I’m a horrible proofreader of my own work. Luckily I have a friend who owns a ghostwriting company and she’s also a novelist. She provided invaluable help with finding errors and feedback.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

In my day job I do legal and finance work for start-up companies. It’s a lot like writing: start with an idea and try to bring it to reality. Some of the things I’ve seen in the day job influenced the script.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I think it’s a great system. It was a great help finding appropriate contests & festivals and seamlessly handled the submissions.

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

I found out about you through a FilmFreeway search. When I wrote the script I kept thinking of Harrison Ford’s “you can type this – but you sure can’t say it” remark and tried to picture the various characters saying their lines so I like the “recorded performance” aspect.

The feedback was excellent and I really like this aspect of the festival. Good constructive (and honest) feedback is essential to make authors better but many contests and festivals don’t offer any! Your feedback definitely improved the latest draft of the script.



Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox


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