Winning FANTASY TV PILOT Screenplay – ÉIRE’S SONG, by Kristen Nedopak

 

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, History

1845—An aggrieved young Irish-English woman must harness Celtic magic to fulfill prophecy, with the help of two men, to defeat an ancient cult before they destroy Ireland, all the while struggling to find her own self-power.

Narrator: Val Cole
Mary: Clare Blackwood
Connor/William: Gabriel Darku
Hurst: David Schaap
Alford: Noah Casey
Fuller: Neil Bennett
Josephine: Lauren Toffan

Get to know the writer:

  What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

The Irish Celtic goddess of war The Morrígan gives a prophecy that rules our series that an ancient cult—The Fir Dorcha (The Dark Men)—will unleash a “storm of death” on Ireland (endless blights), but that three heroes could connect to the old magic to defeat the enemy, heal the land and save her people. Should our heroes accept their fate. Mary Beaumont, a 21-year-old daughter of a wealthy English landowner, an Irish witch and a descendant of the Druid bloodline is one of the three, along with a poor, spiritual Irishman Connor Ryan and a rebellious-yet-broken English nobleman William Stewart. This series takes place during the Great Famine (1845-9) and uses real history as a backdrop for a story about abuse of power, specifically England’s oppressive rule over Ireland during that time. I’ve combined facts with Irish mythology, a dark cult and magic to tell the tale. At it’s heart though, this is a story about a young woman who has to find her self-power, her magic, to save the Irish from extinction. It’s her spiritual journey to reconnect to the Old Ways that we follow. The series has so many complex characters; side stories, including parent/child relationships and love; and powerful themes, there’s so much more!

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

This series is an allegorical piece of literature that comments on our current political climate today, and how human beings still feel the only way to survive is through fear, domination and greed. Mary is a young woman who doesn’t fit into “normal” society and is trying to find her place in that world. I think many people can relate to that feeling of helplessness and will connect, and hopefully be inspired by, her journey. Plus… magic and Irish mythology! I truly feel this series is unlike any other I’ve seen before, so it’ll be unique and fresh. Let’s not forget all of those English and Irish accents. *wink*

How would you describe this script in two words?

An enchanting page-turner. Or so I’ve been told. 🙂

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Game of Thrones! That series did a lot for the fantasy genre by showing the world what fantasy fans already know. That our beloved genre is not cheesy! It’s dark, dramatic, political, mysterious, complex and the characters are always incredibly real and flawed human beings trying to survive, just like us. On that same note, I also loved Handmaid’s Tale. Especially considering every disturbing moment is based on something that really happened or is happening to women. Reality is scary, isn’t it? Oh, and you can’t say no to Stranger Things! So many shows…

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

As soon as I returned from my trip to Ireland in April 2016, I knew I had a story in me. It took me a few months of fiddling around with the plot (which was very different in the beginning!). Then the characters started coming to me. I actually wrote what now looks like an outline for the first season as a film, and as soon as it was complete, I knew it wasn’t working. I didn’t have enough pages to tell the vast story I wanted to. Around February 2017, I began transforming it into a TV pilot.

How many stories have you written?

Though I’ve worked in film and digital for some time (and technically wrote a play in 4th grade that my class performed!), this is my first television pilot. What. A. Challenge! This is the most complex piece of writing I’ve ever done. I honestly had no idea how complex television was until I sat down to write it. The structure of the pilot alone is harrowing.

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

I listen to music that fits my mood, and I’ll get obsessed with a song for some time while I’m writing, letting it drive the story. If I had to choose, I’m a huge fan of Loreena McKennitt and I love The Dark Night of the Soul (one of my episode is named after this, very personal, experience). Though, if I’m doing karaoke, it’s definitely Journey Don’t Stop Believin’! I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The emotional roller coaster this story took me on. There were many times during my writing sessions where I would uncover my own personal wounds (this story is based on my journey set in another time). I would break down in tears and want to set the story aside in the beginning. Then I learned to just sit with it to see where it led me. Without fail, the scenes that came out of those sessions were the most powerful, and also healing to me personally. Mind you, I’ve written well beyond the pilot. I have many scenes already written for seasons 1-4, including the ending. There is one scene in season one in particular that makes me bawl like a baby every time I think about it. It’s about Mary and her father. Kleenex would be wise to sponsor this series!

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Traveling. I’m addicted to exploring other cultures and in particular, sacred places. I’m writing this while in Ireland! I’ve got a huge bucket list I’m working through with Peru and Tibet on the top of that list. I’m also passionate about good whiskey. Can I say that?

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

Though I entered quite a few festivals, I was specifically looking for those celebrating sci-fi and fantasy. The feedback was incredibly thorough and inspiring. I’ve gotten some ridiculous notes before that were clearly opinions, like my female lead being “too smart;” however, the feedback for this festival was professional, insightful and related more to how I could make a bigger impact with some of my plot points. I took a lot of the notes and and it made a huge difference. Thank you!

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

FilmFreeway is… the… best. Zero hassle. I literally uploaded one file and I was done. I use it for everything.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

First, I always tell stories that are tied to my life experiences and are connected to me emotionally because that is what I’m passionate about. Write something you’re REALLY passionate about. Something you need to tell. If it’s a story that you can relate to and have lived through, it will be that much more real. The material will just flow out of you. It’s passion that will keep you going.

Second, use that voice of yours and make a statement. Whether it be political or just a great story that moves us, that what art is all about. Art is an experience we are meant to feel. It creates an emotional bond that connects us. Strong voices create powerful art that influences people and changes the world.

Lastly, and most importantly. When you’re tired, beaten, rejected and ready to give up, remember these words: it is not about you. Your story came to you for a reason, and it is your gift to share because the world needs to hear it. When you get stuck thinking only of you and your success, your failures and your ego, you’re blocking the power needed to manifest. Consider all of the people who are relying on you to change their lives. They need you to believe in yourself. If you don’t, who else will? Then tell your ego to pipe it and get back to writing!

***

Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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Winning SCI-FI Short Screenplay – A DAY IN A CONNECTED LIFE, by Michael E. Lucas

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Comedy

Mark wants a nice snack and a beer but his kitchen has other ideas.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Julian Ford
Mark: Steve Rizzo
Amicus: Dan Cristofori
Toilet/Beautiful Face: Emily Weir
Mistress: Penelope Corrin
The Phone: Rachel Salsberg

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A Day In A Connected Life is a dark SciFi comedy set in the near future in the smart house of a 36-year-old Silicon Valley techie. After a long run, Mark comes home with a strained heart and a need to have a cold beer. His house won’t listen to his irrational needs; they would disrupt his diet and endanger his heart. The refrigerator, toilet, and phone gang up on him to ensure he does what’s best for him. His hilarious argument with the refrigerator (to give him a beer) only encourages his artificially intelligent house to parent Mark toward rational decisions. But, Mark’s emotions just continue to drive him. He ignores their rational choices and they don’t understand his emotions

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Humor and SciFi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) will be predominant in our lives before 2030. Our current attitude, that machines are to serve us, must change. We will be interacting not with machines, but reflections of our own consciousness

How would you describe this script in two words?

Hilariously Plausible

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

The movie is The Matrix and the TV series is the 2004 version of Battle Star Galactica.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I first started it in 2014 and then I put it down for 21/2 years. I finished it in March 2017

How many stories have you written?

I have written 3 stories.

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

I like the blues. Robert Cray is my go to man.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time and responsibilities were ever present through the process. Writing the back story first, helped me to trim a 23 page script to 13 pages.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Poetry

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

I was looking for professional feed back. I also am looking for recognition. The first feeling was happiness. My craftsmanship was validated. I knew I was at least on the right track. The feedback also helped with a script problem that had eluded me.

****

Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning SCI-FI 1st Scene – THE FLUTE OF PEACE, by Gunel Asgarova

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure

After the break of the balance between the Light and Dark Powers, enforced by Dark Lord Erk, Mother Universe sends a child of Light – Lanaia to embark on a dangerous journey chasing the magic flute, as only its melody could save the world from disaster.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Nabi: Rais Moui
Teli: Connie Wang
Guli: Daniella Zappala

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about a bullied village girl with the supernatural power, Lanaia, who accepts her destiny of the World Savior.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because this original screenplay has the most important ingredients of the successful fantasy movie: universal issues, good vs. evil, mythology, human psychology which are fully presented through the breathtaking adventures, unexpected twists and catchy characters. Likewise, the significant reason of its competitiveness is a key hero, a young woman, tender, yet strong enough to take the lead in life-changing events winning the battle in the end. This movie will be an inspiration for millions of girls and women all over the world.

How would you describe this script in two words?

The future blockbuster, which will hold its brand for the next five to ten years.

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

I like to watch fantasy/adventure genre movies, but according to calculation, the movie that I’ve seen the most times in my life is Harry Potter film series (first watched as a teenager, then together with my kids).

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

11 months

How many stories have you written?

I have written 6 stories (epic-fantasy, animation, fairy tale and short screenplays) and constantly working on new projects.

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

“Canto della Terra” by Andrea Bocelli

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The most obstacles were connected to the proper formatting issues.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am also passionate about storytelling, psychology, mythology, and anthropology. Thus, besides of my own imagination, this story is also based on the years’ long research analysis of world mythology and anthropology (including the Paracelsian concept of four elements of nature).

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

Despite the positive feedback from more than four hundred potential viewers, I was eager to get the professional opinion.

I am very grateful for the detailed and sincere feedback, which helped me to properly polish my script. I am very satisfied with the feedback, special THANKS to my reader!

****

Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

June 2017 SCI-FI/FANTASY Stories, Screenplay, and Short Films

Submit your Fantasy/Sci-Fi Screenplay & Film to the Festival: http://fantasyscififestival.com

 

ACTORNOVEL Transcript Reading – A POOR MAN’S TRUCE
June 2017 Reading
by H.E. Scott

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – CONTINENTALIS
June 2017 Reading
by Aurele Ndja
ACTORSCI-FI SHORT Screenplay – SWITCHMAN
June 2017 Reading
by Henry Leeker

ACTORFAMILY SHORT Screenplay – GIRL IN THE PAINTING
June 2017 Reading
by Scott Williamson
ACTORFANTASY SHORT Screenplay – NOTHING IS FREE
June 2017 Reading
by Terry Milner & Rebecca Brillhart

ACTORFAN FICTION TV SPEC Screenplay – DOCTOR WHO
June 2017 Reading
by Paul Hewitt

festival posterDEVIL WEARS A SUIT, 20min, Australia, LGBT, Sci-Fi
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterCRADLE, 11min, USA, Sci-Fi/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival poster1950 DA, 7min, France, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterON SUNDAY, 6min, UK, Sci-Fi/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE EARTH SURVIVAL CODE, 10min, China, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterMISIEK AND EVE FROM OUTER SPACE, 2min, Poland, Animation/Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterI & MYSELF, 5min, Japan, Drama/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Get to know the short film: ECSTASY BOULEVARD, 5min, USA, Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Playing at the July 27, 2017 FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival

Ecstasyboulevard mexican

When an illegal alien lands his spacecraft on Earth, the assassin known as Kn1ght powers up to hunt the reptile down.

Benjamin Allen
Director
Director
Project Links
  • Film Type:
    Animation, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 29, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

FANTASY Short Screenplay – SWITCHMAN by Henry Leeker

Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

A small boy in a rural town with no authority figures questions the bizarre system in place where justice & judgement is carried out by a forest-dwelling creature known as the “Switchman.”

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Switchman: Brian Carleton
Tony: Jordy Kieto
Melissa: Andrea Meister
Children: Konstantina Mantelos
McCabe: Anthony Botelho
George: Jack Comerford
*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

HIGHLIGHTS, WINNERS & VIDEOS: June 2017 SCI-FI FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE FESTIVAL AWARDS

Best Film: CRADLE

Best Performances: 1950 AD

Best Cinematography: ON SUNDAY

Best Effects: ON SUNDAY

Best Music: The music from THE EARTH SURVIVAL CODE

Take a look at the Audience Feedback Videos from the LA Sci-Fi Film Festival. Some of the best short films in the world today were showcased.

festival posterCRADLE, 11min, USA, Sci-Fi/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival poster1950 DA, 7min, France, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterON SUNDAY, 6min, UK, Sci-Fi/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterTHE EARTH SURVIVAL CODE, 10min, China, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
 
festival posterMISIEK AND EVE FROM OUTER SPACE, 2min, Poland, Animation/Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

The SCI-FI LOS ANGELES JUNE 2017 FEEDBACK Film Festival gave our audiences the best of sci-fi short movies from around the world.

The theme of the festival was “OUTER LIMITS”.

Every film showcased what about a situation that was about an ‘outside being’ other than earth.

Sci-Fi short films sure have made a great leap into superstardom in the 21st century!

In the last 15 years I’ve watched over 10,000 short films from over 100 countries around the world, being a part of the film festival scene. Only in the last 5 years have I witnessed a gigantic surge in Sci-Fi shorts being made. The technology just wasn’t there for this medium 10-15 year ago: cost-wise and accessibility of the actual tools needed to pull off the desires for the film. So filmmakers working in the short film world just didn’t go there.

But now technology is there for almost everyone.

During the moderation of the film ON SUNDAY, an audience member asked the question of how much the budget was for the film. Without giving anything away, there is a “big” moment near the end of the film, not to mention it having what my programmers call “high production value”. It’s a common question that people ask and I never know how to answer it. And I get why they are asking it because most likely they are filmmakers themselves and want to make a film like that.

The art of short film for me is to be a magician with the budget. 99.5% of shorts made have a limited budget. So it’s what you can do with it that counts. ON SUNDAY for example, if made on a Hollywood produced format with their production schedule, union crew costs, CGI costs etc…, would be about a $100,000 budget. And I can guarantee that this filmmaker didn’t spend 100K on this film. But it sure looks like one.

THE EARTH SURVIVAL CODE, a film out of China, has gun fights, choreographed fight scenes, a transportation of an alien from a spaceship to earth, and much more. That film I’m sure was also done on a small budget even though it looks to be another 100K budgeted film.

What I’m getting at is these filmmakers know how to use today’s technology in the context of their film. Before they even start the development stage, they know what they are able to do. So they can work within their expertise and accessibility. Then go from there. And that is why the Sci-Fi genre has taken off in the short film market. There are AMAZING films being made – and we were lucky to show 5 films from 5 different countries to our Los Angeles audience.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo