Visual Design by Kimberly Villarruel
Produced by Matthew Toffolo
They want our garbage. They can’t have it.
Deep within the icy cloud layers of Neptune live the X-tonians: a mighty race of silicone-based lifeforms who regularly breathe a toxic mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. However, their world is dying. The factories of their highly industrialized society continually belch great plumes of clean air into the atmosphere bringing the X-Tonian race to the brink of extinction. In desperation, His Majesty King XYY9Z3 dispatches his horde of Receptacle Robots to Earth. Their mission: to liberate and harvest all of our garbage, toxic waste, and pollution, leaving a wake of clean destruction behind. And you might think we’d be okay with all that.
Elementary school principal living in Texas. Working on several novels and short stories. Published in The First Line Literary Journal.
It occurred to me about five years ago that we really needed a new robot invasion movie, but not one that was in any way believable. The golden age of science fiction was a time when we still believed that the solar system might actually harbor advanced civilizations. We transferred our Red Scare paranoia over to the safer alien and/or robot invasions scenarios in order to vent pent-up anxiety–much like today’s zombie apocalypse phenomenon acts as a somewhat silly substitute for the very real fear of total societal collapse underpinning its appeal.
Put another way, I miss the silly robot invasion genre. I wanted to write a script that harkens back to that time, and I failed. I ended up writing something else instead. I wasn’t even setting out to make an animated film, but that is clearly what ROBOTS FROM NEPTUNE is. Two more scripts are also underway: RFN2: The Venus Casino and RFN3: Pax Neptunia. I hope you enjoy the first installment.
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Deep within the icy cloud layers of Neptune live the X-tonians: a mighty race of silicone-based lifeforms who regularly breathe a toxic mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. However, their world is dying.
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
The ROBOBTS FROM NEPTUNE film trilogy is an animated scieince fiction comedy. This scene is from the epymonous first film, and films two and three are entitiled RFN2:The Venus Casino, and RFN3: Pax Neptunia.
In the first film, we learn of a race of people called the X-Tonians. They live deep within the icy layers of Neptune on a floating chunk of ore called The X-Tonian Subcontent. X-Tonians each have six eyes, no mouths, and they communicate exclusively through telepathy. They also telepathically control a set of disembodied hands, and they move around atop a single slug-like foot. As we join them in our story, X-Tonia is on the brink of suffocation. They are silicone-based creatures, and they metabolize in reverse from humans–which is to say they breathe pollution and exhale clean air. Centuries of over industrialization have cleaned their atmosphere to the point of catastrophy, but they have one last hope for survival. One thousand years ago, X-Tonians visited Earth through an ancient portal, and seeded early civilizations with the technologies necesssary to pollute our planet. In so doing, the X-Tonians would have a limitless supply of vital greenhouse gasses in reserve, should the ever the need arise. However, the portal was closed long ago, and the X-Tonians have been unable to open it and harvest. Each day, His Majesty King XYY9ZE (King YY) is briefed by his conjoined advisors, The Clerics, with real-time updates of ever-worsening conditions! But with the portal closed, there is nothing King YY can do to fix the problem.
Meanwhile on Earth, high school science teacher Roy Hermus has been building a miniaturized version of the Large Hadron Collider on his from lawn. Using whatever bits of obsolete tech he can scrounge and a large hoop of PVC, he believes he can power airsoft BBs at high enough speeds to conduct quantum experiements and earn the respect of the global science community. What he earns instead, is the attention of the X-Tonians. During a test of his SHC (Small Hadron Collider), the X-Tonians hack his crude sustem, seize control of the machine, and use it to successfully reopen the ancient portal connecting the two worlds. In an instant, Colonel 2-2 at the Receptacle Robot factory on Triton unleashes his robot horde on Earth to collect every bit of toxin and pollution they can siphon. Robots by the millions pour into Earth via a hole in the ground in Missouri. Nothing can stop them. And the world governments are not okay with this. Whether losing pollution would ultimately be a good thing for everyone on Earth is revelevant; the point it, they didn’t ask. You don’t just show up on another planet with an army of robots and start cleaning. That’s against the rules. The UN joint forces dispatch Field Marshal Henry Hardcastle to Hazzlerig, MO, in hopes of defeating the invasion at its source. But the robot horde, led by Princess QQ10LZ (Princess QQ), will not be easily defeated. War is brewing!
But out of this chaos and danger, an unusual romance is born–and aren’t they always born that way? Love finds its way into the hearts of Roy and QQ, and together, they must find a way to end this war before it’s too late! Luckily, Roy has a plan in his back pocket. And this is pretty much where our story picks up in the scene I have submitted.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Well, it’s an animated science fiction romantic comedy, so it sort of fits in several.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
I think it is exceptionally fun! The characters are a whoot; the premise is too ridiculous for words, and there are great lines peppered throughout. It’s the sort of thing that, I think, could become really huge. In the right hands. I mean, if you don’t want a King YY plush toy, I’m not sure there’s hope for you.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The screenplay itself I started writing maybe three years ago. I just looked around one day and noticed “We don’t have any great robot invasion films anymore; that would be really fun to write!” We have lots of good films about sentient androids, but none involving armies of mindless automatons, like those great films of the 1950s and 60s. That was what I set out to write, but over time, it turned into something a bit different. Since then, I’ve been plugging away at learning 2D animation.
7. How many stories have you written?
I suppose it depends on how this question is framed, but I have about twenty-five stories that are finished (or nearly so).
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Bad Fun by The Cult
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I work an extremely fulltime job. That gets in line first, and rightfully so. Additionally, this is my first attempt at writing a screneplay of any kind. I just read a bunch of samples I found on line, bought a $50 formatting software, and jumped in head first. But I couldn’t help feeling like I was groping in the dark half the time. That said, wow. It was so much fun to draft and finish!
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Deep sea fishing! Just came in from a 30-hour tuna fishing trip with my 16-year-old son yesterday. It was fantastic! I also enjoy pen & ink drawing and songwriting.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
Extremely user friendly and helpful! That whole “groping in the dark feeling” I had during the writing process: not so the submission process. There were plenty of options to consider, and I really enjoyed it.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Well, considering what an odd bird my script really is, I knew I needed to take some time and really select festivals that would give the work a chance. Fantasy Sci-Fi Festival certainly did that. I was extremely pleased with my feedback! And encouraged, besides! Not too bad for a first attempt, I’d have to say. I’ll keep at it and keep trying to get better.
Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Director: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel
Camera Op: Mary Cox