SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: THE CUT, by Christopher Kerr

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Two young men must find their passage through the canals of post-apocalyptic London, to peace and freedom, in the “promised land” beyond: Bristol.

CAST LIST:

Junior: Allan Michael Brunet
Alex: Salma Dharsee
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Spencer: Hugh Ritchie
Jessica: Courtney Keir
Toovey: Zazu Oke

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Two young men have to find passage through the canals of post-apocalyptic London, to peace and freedom in the “promised land” beyond – Bristol.

Ostensibly a coming of age tale, in the guise of a zombie, road-trip, buddy-movie, canal tour; a genre much under-represented in mainstream cinema to date.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi / black comedy – somewhat akin to A BOY AND HIS DOG (1975) in tone.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Though an engaging story on its own merit – balancing hubris and heart as it does – this script was always penned, in part, as a love-letter to the hidden beauty of London. It’s a landscape and pace one has to see on-screen to truly appreciate. To this end, the screenplay has wonderful cinematic potential in the hands of a suitably talented / adventurous crew.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Subversive Indie.

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

When I was a kid, my Dad used to get a half-day off work on Wednesdays. This meant that once I’d finished school, and walked the dog, we’d sometimes have time for a movie together before Mum got in. We must have watched OUTLAND (1981) countless times, then; simultaneously enjoying it for everything it does right in its Sci-fi adaptation of the Western, whilst lambasting the science myths it perpetuates, and Sean’s typical post-MARNIE performance. Perhaps having a mouthful of scenery, still, explains away the accent, Sean? Anyway, it is an absolute gem of a film and well worth checking out.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I deliberately set out to pen an indie-budget Feature – one I could potentially even self-finance somewhere down the road a bit! – and gave myself a month to achieve it. Researched. Plotted. Written. Edited: 4 weeks.

7. How many stories have you written?

Depends on *your* definition of a story! I like to make every e-mail typed, anecdote told, Tweet sent, or Facebook comment posted, a story in its own right. Well, maybe not Twitter – that forum is, really, more just the local crazy person shouting into the void, isn’t it?

Discounting those particular narratives – as well as some ghost-writing I’ve done, and script-consultation work? – I have something in the order of a dozen stories I consider ‘complete’; with another 3 or 4 on my development slate at the moment. The dozen range from original Feature, to TV pilot (plus series outline), to Short Film, One-Act Play, and even some Spec TV episodes.

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

Checking against Spotify, and that seems to think “Revolution” by The Score. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a splendid track and all, but I fear this statistic may be somewhat skewed. (I wrote a Rick & Morty spec recently which referenced that track in a musical montage… so it’s been looping away on repeat in the background.)

Always query statistics!

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Portraying the mechanics of canal travel necessary for the final Act to work in an economical way, as well as capturing the essence of specific key geographic locations en-route, for a reader who may (or may not) be familiar with some aspects already – all the while avoiding heavy exposition – was a bit of a challenge. Not so sure I entirely achieved it, in fact!

Written with a practical Indie budget in mind, I was also very conscious of ‘bang-for-the-buck’. This led to a couple of potential sub-plots being dropped (though they remain viable as a tie-in, sequel, or in a higher-budget redraft).

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I remain fascinated by, and occasionally even active in, aviation; with a particular passion for rotary-wing aircraft in the experimental classes.

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

I’m a big fan of FilmFreeway, and use it – rather than my own website these days – as my primary online folio host. Super-easy to find interesting festivals / competitions through it, and submitting projects into those is as simple as a couple of clicks. I’ve recommended the platform not only to fellow writers, but also some Directors and festival organisers I know.

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

Sci-fi, innit? Though I’m versed working in other genres, sci-fi is where my own original works tend to naturally gravitate. Via FilmFreeway it was easy to find the Fantasy Sci-Fi Festival, and submit my project. Ultimately, I was hoping to rally a bit of PR, some industry recognition, maybe even an extra award under my belt for the CV; it all helps when it comes to selling a spec, landing a commission, or a foot-in-the-door for a staff gig.

With regard to feedback as a service, I feel in general it can be something of a double-edged sword. Primarily, of course, feedback is a subjective thing: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Furthermore, it’s very easy for feedback to deflect unique, experimental, or even subversive projects back into just routine, formulaic, fare. With this in mind, I didn’t order any additional feedback, and only took the default offered. Happily, I can report that what I did receive was fair, professional – even somewhat encouraging. Thanks for that!

 

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

 

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SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: M – DEMON KILLER, by Mark Hammond

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

A young Asian waitress discovers she is the last in a long line of Demon Killers when a billionaire/sorcerer opens a portal to Hell under City Hall in New York City. Local Native American demons hunt in the tunnels and, even more strangely, powerful Chinese warrior demons are sent to slaughter her before she can stop the invasion from hell. M is a New York City waitress but this may be asking too much.

CAST LIST:

Liana: Marissa Otto
Louise Ricci: Courtney Keir
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Det. DeAngelo: Allan Michael Brunet
Emma: Salma Dharsee

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

A young waitress discovers that she is the last in an ancient line of Demon Killers and Hell Gate Closers, as a portal to hell opens under City Hall. Worse, legend holds that this warrior of the Light always dies. M is a New York City waitress, but this may be asking too much.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Urban Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural Action, Female Hero, Asian Martial Arts

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

M’s journey of blood and loss to become a demon killer and fulfill her destiny mirrors every person’s battle to overcome their own fears to fully become everything they can be in the world. Also this story has big international appeal with an Asian heroine and her loyal hell hound, Native American demons and classical Chinese demons, plus settings in New York City and China. The next two stories are completed: M in the Empire of the Dead – set in NYC, China, Paris and its catacombs; M and the Last Hell gate – set in NYC, China and the High Plateau of Tibet.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

International Franchise

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

Ghost in the Shell, Dir. Mamoru Oshii, writer Shirow Masamune

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

4yrs+ for the script and the 3 ‘M’ books

7. How many stories have you written?

Many. M – Demon Killer is based on the first book of the completed M in the Demon Realm Trilogy avail. Amazon/Kindle. Assorted shorts, pitches, screenplays and stories.

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

RISE by Origa from the Ghost in the Shell series theme. Japanese composer, lyrics in Russian and English, sung by a Russian soprano.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Other than life, the city, and my job, it was me. I was afraid about not doing justice to these great characters, particularly M, who showed up to have their amazing story told. I had to overcome my harsh inner critic, let the characters show me and just write it anyway.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Family, friends, mythology, religion, the supernatural, action movies like Deadpool, Underworld; early films like Nosferatu, Vampyr and Metropolis; classic Japanese horror movies like Ringu and Ju-on. Korean films such as Old Boy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance; noir detective fiction, cyber-punk fiction, urban fantasy; working out and classical dance. Currently, I’m crazy about Lawrence Kasdan’s script for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Caffeine, sugar and carbs are an abiding passion.

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

FilmFreeway makes submissions effortless.

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

That it’s specifically a Fantasy festival and international in scope. The feedback I received was incredibly thoughtful and clear.
******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: MAGIC MAN, by Norma Hickox

 

Genre: Action, Drama

A musical 2 act play. This futuristic musical takes place in the year 2099 in a town called Grand Beach, Colorado. An engaged couple enter college and the guy meets another girl that he feels a very strong attraction for.

CAST LIST:

Lisan: Salma Dharsee
Sarah: Marissa Otto
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Hara: Zazu Oke
Jasek: Isaiah Kolundzic
Minister: Allan Michael Brunet

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Hara, engaged to Minta, meets Lisan, with whom he has had several previous lives. Can he break the bond of previous lifetimes and move on? Who does he marry in the Valentine’s Day 2300 wedding? A musical play with futuristic dress, flashbacks to 1990’s and a robot.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi Romance

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It brings to people’s attention the fact of reincarnation and shows what life may be like in the future with futuristic costumes and jewelry and hairstyles and also with mock-ups of all the new technology.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Lighthearted entertainment

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

Gone with the Wind

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

10 years

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve published over 15 books (Merging Science and Spirituality) plus two stage musicals and I have a storyboard script for The TimeLine of Eternity – The TimeTraveler goes to different TimeSpots to show how spaceships landed on the cooling earth and impregnated the life forms found there. After many experiments to refine the forms, the divine spirits enter these forms to experience earth and we now have humans!

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

“Imagine” by Jon Lennon

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time to write the play and the music and still work to support myself.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music

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

It was fine.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? Wanted to see how it stacked up in competition with other plays. I felt the feedback was fair and truthful.

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: DRAGONS & WOLVES by Drew Henriksen

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Dragons & Wolves is a serialized, character driven drama based on, but not limited to, the Dragon Tales & Stories trilogy written by Drew Henriksen and published by ArcheBooks, Italian publisher Armenia, Draghi E Lupi. It tells the story of a mythical family through four hundred years. Told in the form of a western, viewers may not realize it takes place a few centuries after a plague wiped out most of humanity. With different supernatural beings such as dragons, warlocks, and werewolves it follows the character of Randy on his quest to save mankind. The focus is on well-developed characters reacting to situations as we would with flashbacks to the 1970s & 2000s.

CAST LIST:

Jergon: Zazu Oke
Carmon: Salma Dharsee
Kaitlin: Marissa Otto
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Captain: Allan Michael Brunet
Randy: Isaiah Kolundzic
Kyle: Hugh Ritchie

Get to know the writer: 

 What is your TV PILOT screenplay about? The events that lead to an apocalypses when mythical dragons battle genetically infected werewolves in a Mad Max style Western. What happens 400 years in the future, started 40 years in the past, and is taking form today.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Western/Crime

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

It incorporates the different type of genres popular today with character driven story lines.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Badass fun.

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

Wizard of Oz.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The novels it’s based on was three years. The pilot script took two months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three novels, About two dozen screenplays.

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

System of a Down: Toxicity

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

How to compact the premise of all three novels in one hour long script.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Forensics, I teach it for Syracuse University.

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

It’s worked out very well for me.

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

I was drawn to the sci-fi element and entered the pilot. I disagreed with a portion of the feedback.

http://www.DrewHenriksen.com

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2199633/

 

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: ESC.(APE) ONLINE, by Christopher Kerr

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

A ragtag ensemble meet up in a Virtual universe – becoming the people they want to be, experiencing risk and adventure there. But their leader’s all-consuming thirst for revenge threatens dire consequences upon both their online, and real-world, personas.

CAST LIST:

Man: Zazu Oke
Kestry: Courtney Keir
Ezra: Marissa Otto
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Kieran: Isaiah Kolundzic
Payton: Allan Michael Brunet
Jay Gee: Hugh Ritchie

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

This pilot episode is a high-impact, action-adventure – swiftly setting up its unique dual-universe premise; introducing the ensemble cast, and demonstrating, in particular, the ace skills of protagonist Kieran; a natural *PILOT*. See what I did, eh? Pilot.

The series itself goes on to reveal the importance of Communication – tackling along the way topics such as the duality of man, online misogyny, substance abuse – as we follow one character’s plunge into dark, all-consuming, vengeance, and another pair’s chance at finding genuine happiness together: all to the backdrop of big kick-ass space battles.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Set in both an in-game sci-fi universe, and a near-future real-world, ESC.(APE) ONLINE was envisioned as multi-genre from the off. Obviously, there’s action / sci-fi, and drama. But digging deeper into the themes of even merely the first season, there’s clearly romance, and comedy, to counterpoint those darker elements, as well.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

The premise is an engaging one, giving modern audiences the sort of entertainment and layered intrigue they’ve come to expect from quality TV shows today. However, there’s more than just that. January 2018 saw the first $1m (real-world money) Massively-multi-player-online-role-playing-game [MMORPG] battle in history. And May will see EVE Online celebrate its 15th birthday.

ESC.(APE) ONLINE offers a window into this phenomenon just as it’s on the cusp of hitting the mainstream audiences, as well as simultaneously providing a mirror into our contemporary lives and socio-politics.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Game. Changer.

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

Back when ‘home-theatre’ meant whatever analogue signals one could temporarily apprehend on what was essentially a piece of sticky-tape-and-rust, I had a fantastic transfer of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968) on VHS. Wore it out completely.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Initially ESC.(APE) ONLINE was a Feature idea; based on two acquaintances who, some years apart, let MMORPG addiction wreak devastation upon both their personal and professional lives. The idea buzzed about in my head for a few months in that form. It just didn’t seem to click for me, though; the multi-genre concept, and intended narrative, too restricted – and possibly even too obvious – as a film.

When a Production Company I was developing an early relationship with passed on a different Feature of mine, stating they were currently more interested in TV series, I thought I’d push my luck. Came up with the series outline and drafted this pilot episode in around 10 days, asking them would they be interested in that instead.

They weren’t. But, you know… even with mainstream appeal, it’s not going to be for *absolutely* everyone.

7. How many stories have you written?

Depends on *your* definition of a story! I like to make every e-mail typed, anecdote told, Tweet sent, or Facebook comment posted, a story in its own right. Well, maybe not Twitter – that forum is, really, more just the local crazy person shouting into the void, isn’t it?

Discounting those particular narratives – as well as some ghost-writing I’ve done, and script-consultation work? – I have something in the order of a dozen stories I consider ‘complete’; with another 3 or 4 on my development slate at the moment. The dozen range from original Feature, to TV pilot (plus series outline), to Short Film, One-Act Play, and even some Spec TV episodes.

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

‘2017 Wrapped’ suggests that would be “You And I” by Ingrid Michaelson. Knowing me, this seems unlikely. Though not for the first time this week, I will have to admit, “life is always better with a uke”.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It was always going to be difficult to instill a sense of threat, or risk, to the characters in a setting which is – after all – just a computer game. This is, potentially, why no-one has cracked the MMORPG TV series format as of yet! The solution I elected to apply became an integral part of this unique premise, but added additional hurdles to the mix, too. Foremost was plotting out each of the main character’s arcs (and secrets), so they behaved consistently throughout in their actions / relationships, but clues could start to be planted from the get-go as to where this was all heading. I ended up with a full eight-episode outline just in order to weave together a basic narrative for the journey I wanted the audience to join along in….

And, along the way, I fell totally in love with one of the characters. A character initially concocted as little more than a cheap foil to the protagonist ensemble. The entire season arc was adapted to incorporate her story, now, also (and set her up as a season two antagonist).

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My dogs: two little mini-schnauzers. Actually, I tend to write at least one of them in to just about every original work I pen, even if it’s just as a character name.

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

I’m a big fan of FilmFreeway, and use it – rather than my own website these days – as my primary online folio host. Super-easy to find interesting festivals / competitions through it, and submitting projects into those is as simple as a couple of clicks. I’ve recommended the platform not only to fellow writers, but also some Directors and festival organisers I know.

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

Sci-fi, innit? Though I’m versed working in other genres, sci-fi is where my own original works tend to naturally gravitate. Via FilmFreeway it was easy to find the Fantasy Sci-Fi Festival, and submit my project. Ultimately, I was hoping to rally a bit of PR, some industry recognition, maybe even an extra award under my belt for the CV; it all helps when it comes to selling a spec, landing a commission, or a foot-in-the-door for a staff gig.

With regard to feedback as a service, I feel in general it can be something of a double-edged sword. Primarily, of course, feedback is a subjective thing: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Furthermore, it’s very easy for feedback to deflect unique, experimental, or even subversive projects back into just routine, formulaic, fare. With this in mind, I didn’t order any additional feedback, and only took the default offered. Happily, I can report that what I did receive was fair, professional – even somewhat encouraging. Thanks for that!

 

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

SCI-FI Best Scene Screenplay – WILD MIND, by Fujio Torikai

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

In the year 20XX, a town regarded as a so-called “paradise for the disabled” is realized through the use of a cell-phone application. However the origins of that town lay in the misappropriation of a large-scale scientific experiment.

CAST LIST:

Man: Dan Fox
Kate: Cassandra Sirois
Narrator: Val Cole
Patrick: Fabio Abreu
Watson: James Murray

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

1In the year 20XX,a town regarded as a so-called”paradise for the disabled” is realized through the use of a cell-phone application.However,the origins of that town,planed in 2017,lay in the misappropriation of a large-scale scientific experiment

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

There is no especially deep meaning.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Near-future,cell-phone

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

Taxi driver

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

One hour.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three

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

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Languages

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music.

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

High evaluation.I was very instructive.

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

SCI-FI SHORT Screenplay – RAY IN SPACE, by John Celona

 

Genre: Sci-Fi,

Extraterrestrials stranded on Earth live in people’s pools.

CAST LIST:

Crosby: James Murray
Narrator: Val Cole
Ray: Fabio Abreu
Vikki: Vanessa Quaglaira
Colonel: Nick Wicht

Get to know the writer:
 
1. What is your screenplay about?

Extraterrestrials stranded on Earth live in people’s pools. A routine mission to the planet goes awry when an alien shuttlecraft mistakenly lands in the financial district during a busy day, creating havoc. Three extraterrestrials escape the ship and take refuge in pools where they can exist as pure atmospheric air is deadly and harmful. Contact is attempted with the mothership yet this transmission causes a power grid blackout and now the Pentagon and CIA become involved. The male alien Ray who has been beamed onto the planet from the mothership is sweet on the female alien Vikki who seems to prefer the comforts of people’s pools and water tanks over returning to her home planet, thus ignoring Ray’s warning that time is running out.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The movie is an exciting adventure, full of intrigue, romance and desire as well as current thoughts and ideas about alien visitation, abduction and the future of mankind. We identify with the principal characters and hope for their safe departure while rooting against the CIA operatives trying to capture and contain them. The budget is mid-range, approx. 10 million tops as the CGI demands are kept to a minimal.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Action and the unknown future.

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

Tarkovsky’s Solaris, followed by the Soderbergh remake with G. Clooney.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

One year. This short screenplay uses tropes from my award-winning feature-length screenplay Lady Smoke (California Film Awards, Oregon Film Awards and more). Ray in Space is considered from an idea to create a TV series of numerous episodes. The basic backbone for the screenplay comes from the John Cheever story The Swimmer, made into a film with Burt Lancaster. The metaphor of using swimming pools to denote steps to home is a premise.

7. How many stories have you written?

About 12.

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

Any music by James Brown, incl. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time. Always time.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Creating music-compositional software, producing live electronic music with my trio The Krells, authoring graphic novels and audiobooks.

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

Very Good. No issues.

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

Good meaningful feedback. And I was hoping my work would be selected for one of the readings, something I am very, very enthusiastic about!

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox