SCI-FI Best Scene Reading: Ray in Space, by John Celona

Extraterrestrials stranded on Earth live in people’s pools.


Vikki – 19 – DIANA FRANZ


Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

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


Genre: Sci-Fi,

Extraterrestrials stranded on Earth live in people’s pools.


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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox