Winning FEMALE Best Scene – REARRANGING ROXY, by Bridget Bell McMahon

Winning Screenplay – REARRANGING ROXY
Written by Bridget Bell McMahon

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
WAITRESS – Cassandra Guthrie
TEDDY – Dan Cristofori
ALICE – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musician

A self-centered rocker must revive her estranged father’s holiday musical to fund her band’s last chance for a tour and to save her hometown from developers, finding love and redemption along the way.

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A woman desperate to keep her rock-star dreams alive, and the one person standing in the way, her estranged father.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dramedy, with a music-themed subgenre

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Rearranging Roxy is a story every family can relate to, passionate people following their hearts while learning about themselves and each other along the way. Low budget with female leads, a quirky cast that includes rockers and senior citizens, and set during the run-up to Christmas, this screenplay has something for everyone.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Unexpected growth

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

Chinatown. No matter how many times I watch it, I always discover something “new.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About two years with tons of rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

In addition to a novel, “McLeary’s Mulligan,” I have written four feature screenplays.

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

Wow. I grew up in Woodstock, New York, where music is practically a religion, I played classical piano for a decade, sang in a rock band and a choir, and my older son is a musician and deejay. I can’t pick just one!

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

For this screenplay, time management was tough. In addition to a full-time job, I’m a married mom to two teens, one with a disability, and I volunteer time to help women with tax and financial problems. I carve out time every day to write, read and study the craft, but it’s a challenge.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Live music in any form, practicing yoga and compassion, and finding the perfect key lime pie.

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

I want to see more movies made with amazing leads who happen to be women. This festival is perfect for me. The feedback I received was thorough, thoughtful and definitely enriched the script’s depth without trying to “change” it.

 

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February 2017 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Female Story, Screenplay, or Short Film to the Festival today: https://femalefilmfestival.com/

 


festival posterSUNDAY AFTER, 3min. Canada, Romance/Experimental
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterFOUR DAY WEEKEND, 20min, USA, Romance/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterPUMPKIN, 15min., USA, Romance/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterTRUE COPY, 11min, Russia, Thriller/Sci-Fi
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – LATE NIGHT
February 2017 Reading
Written by Deepa Dharmaraj

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – TWO GEESE AND A LADY GIRAFFE
February 2017 Reading
Written by Chanda Walker
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BREW MASTER
February 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly Jean Karam

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – WORMHOLE 276
February 2017 Reading
Written by Veronica R. Tabares
ACTORNOVEL Transcript – SIMULATION
February 2017 Reading
Written by Ami Blackwelder

 

 

 

January 2017 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Female Story, Screenplay, or Short Film to the Festival today: https://femalefilmfestival.com/


festival posterIM PERFEKT, 7min, Hungray, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

BEST Scene – KIDICIDE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly Karam
ACTORBEST Scene – NO MORE GOODYBES
January 2017 Reading
Written by Rebekah R. Ganiere

ACTORBEST Scene – SANDWICH
January 2017 Reading
Written by Deborah Klika
ACTOR1st SCENE Script – FAN SITE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Elisha Barnes

ACTOR1st SCENE Script – OCD
January 2017 Reading
Written by Quyen Tran
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MODERN LOVE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Hannah Dillon

ACTORSHORT Story – MURDER IS A BREEZE
January 2017 Reading
Written by M Maureen Skahan
ACTORSHORT Story – MARIONETTE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Melissa R. Mendelson

ACTORSHORT Story – SHADOWS
January 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly J. Kratz

Winning SHORT Screenplay – BREW MASTER by Kelly Jean Karam

Winning Screenplay – BREW MASTER
Written by Kelly Jean Karam

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – John Fray
SARA – Victoria Urquhart
GINA – Andrea Meister
DOUGLAS – Gabriel Cameron
JUSTIN – Peter Mark Raphael
MAE – Cynthia Crofoot
TIMMY – Brian Carleton

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Horror

The principled wife of a brewery redefines ethics when her business begins to die.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The principled wife of a brewery redefines ethics when she catches her husband cheating and her business begins to die.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Horror.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Brew. Bitch.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

For the same reason one should have a drink after a hard day of work. It’s fun to escape your problems by watching another person’s drama. And it’s deliciously wicked fun to view a scorned spouse.

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

The Birds.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months.

How many stories have you written?

Too many to tell.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

After coming off of a win in South Carolina, my girlfriend PATTY brought me to several breweries. As the owner of Brown Iron Brewery in Michigan, she droned on and on about hops, barley, fermenters and the business. After a twelve flight of beer, I fell asleep and dreamt she killed her husband by throwing him into the fermentor.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Not getting too trashed while writing the story.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love to listen to women tell their stories.

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

This fabulous festival renders a phenomenal opportunity for aspiring writers to receive copious notes from a team of professionals whose goal is to have you and your story rise to a level worthy of being read by actors and eventually brought to the screen.

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


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

 

Watching Winning Short Screenplay: TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

TURN ON DESIRE is the February 2016 Short Screenplay Winner.

Watch TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
LUKE – Mark Sparks
PIMP – Neil Kulin
BOY – Gabriel Darku
LOUDSPEAKER – Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Get to know writer Lauren Hoekstra:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short screenplay about? 

It’s set in a not-too-distant future where the proliferation of virtual sex has killed meaningful relationships and created a society in search of ever-more extreme forms of gratification. Luke, the protagonist, is caught in this vicious circle of gratification and craving. Until he discovers he’s yearning for something long since forgotten.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 

Everyone wonders where we’re headed in the future and this story takes a trajectory of something we’re experimenting with today and shows a potential consequence.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    

A surreal romance

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

 Cinema Paradiso

Matthew: This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 I wrote it very quickly as a short story a couple of years ago, then tried, and failed to turn it into a short screenplay. After that, I abandoned it for a few years, until recently. This time, the screenplay flew.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

 Not that many. I’m a director first, writer second.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

I was about fifteen when internet became a standard household item. Over the next decade, I personally felt the effect it had on relationships and it made me want to capture what I think we might be losing.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main obstacle was the fact that the protagonist and antagonist never meet, so I had to create secondary characters to explain the story.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

 I love directing and producing.

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

I’ve had another work featured and it’s amazing to hear your screenplay performed. I’ve found the feedback to be very helpful and I’ve incorporated nearly all the recommendations.

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

Contests that give feedback, like WILDsound, are invaluable.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene from MY LIFE WITH STELLA KANE Screenplay by Linda Morganstein

Watch the Best Scene Reading from February 2016.

“My Life with Stella”  by Linda Morganstein

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
STELLA – Amanda Pereira
MURRAY – Mark Sparks
KUBICEK – Gabriel Darku

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Get to know writer Linda Morganstein:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Linda Morganstein: “My Life with Stella Kane” is the story of a lesbian actress in forties and fifties Hollywood, her sham marriage to a gay male star, and her secret love relationship with the female publicist who arranged the marriage. An ensemble of characters, including the actress’s deaf sister and a black-balled iconic actress, struggle with the repressive times.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Linda: Like “Mad Men,” “My Life with Stella Kane” portrays a fascinating segment of the recent past and its cultural influence on us, as well as provoking questions about our current attitudes, especially about diversity in the entertainment industry.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?

Linda: Bewitching. Sexy.

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

Linda: “The Good Wife,” for its strong female characters and its willingness to explore the not always so pleasant complexities of human nature. And its humor, which is essential for me.

Matthew: This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Linda: Approximately a year and a number of drafts.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Linda: I have five published novels, numerous published poems and short stories, and a number of produced medical video scripts.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Linda: I wanted to adapt my novel, “My Life with Stella Kane.” My original motivation for the novel was wondering what it would be like for a trio of gay characters to “beat the Hollywood system” from within and what sacrifices they’d need to make.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Linda: The struggle to adapt a novel–especially my own–to the visual medium of film.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Linda: My family and friends, gardening, sourdough bread baking and golf.

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

Linda: I was thrilled with the possibility of hearing my script read by professional actors. The initial feedback from WILDsound helped me to make my scenes tighter, shorter and more visual. I also turned my actress (Stella) into a point of view character, which she was not in the novel.

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

Linda: All writers develop their scripts in different ways, but in the end, really know your characters and their story. I have many characters from my projects that I think of as real people.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Watch Winning TV SPEC Reading: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT by Jen Turriff

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT is the January 2016 winning TV Spec. Watch the table reading performed by professional actors.

TV SPEC: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
by Jen Turriff

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christopher Huron
KIMMY – Mandy May Cheetham
TITUS – Kaleb Alexander
JACQUELINE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
BUCKLEY – Jovan Kocic
SALES WOMAN – Maya Woloszyn

 

Get to know writer Jen Turriff:

1. What is your screenplay on the Netflix show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” about?

Believe it or not, the idea of the spec of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” that I wrote, came from my experience with addiction to Peanut Butter M&Ms. It was a brief, but intense time in my life that caused me much anguish and inevitable weight gain. I always like to write from real life, after all, it’s what I know. So that’s why I chose to write about that particular experience; it was an innocent enough premise on the surface for Kimmy, with the ability to go much deeper.

The next step was figuring out how to translate my story into Kimmy’s. It took awhile, but I eventually found a way to make it work for a 30-something with the mindset of a preteen. In “Kimmy Gets Addicted!” Buckley shows Kimmy a gaming app on his iPad and she quickly becomes addicted. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize she’s spending loads of money on in-app purchases – worse, it’s linked to Jacqueline’s account. Kimmy has to figure out a way to make the money and pay her back. That’s where Titus comes in, who is in the meantime on a quest to purchase the fur coat of his dreams at a consignment shop. The duo have to work together to achieve their goals.

2. Why does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

I think I found that the key to writing for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is finding that balance between Kimmy as a naive, sort of unaware of how the world works, and Kimmy as the brave, independent woman that would take on a city like New York. There are two sides to her, I think you have to kind of balance the story in the same way. I like to think that I did that with the surface story of Kimmy becoming addicted to an iPad app and racking up a big bill of those in-app purchases, but beyond that, if you look a little deeper, there’s a bigger story about addiction and how easy it is for someone to fall into a bad habit. Again, there’s that balance.

Also, I wrote it to fit into the first half of the first season sort of generically. It’s sort of got an ambiguous timeline, and at the same time uses all of the main characters in the show at that time.

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

(TWO WORDS? That’s impossible! It’s not going to be good…)

Kimmy’s addiction?

4. What TV show(s) do you keep watching over and over again?

Seinfeld; never gets old.

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

This particular script took about two months to plan, write, rewrite, etc. It’s been a few months since I’ve “finished” it (i.e. the version you’re seeing read aloud), and I’m looking forward to feedback.

6. How many stories have you written?
Initially when I started writing comedy, I only wanted to be a late night show writer. I’ve written countless late night packets. It wasn’t until a fairly recent (within the year) chat with a manager in LA, that spurred me to try a spec script. That’s when this “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” came along. Since then I’ve also written a pilot.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was definitely a discussion I had with a manager in LA. I had initially just wanted to write for late night, but she encouraged me to try writing a spec, and then a pilot, to sort of round out my writing portfolio. I’m really glad she did. I enjoyed the spec script process so much.

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

I actually pitched this idea first, then withdrew it, pitched two others, and chose one of those. I pursued that one for a good couple of weeks and just really… struggled. I think when you’re struggling you have to ask yourself if it’s because you’re not inspired by the story. I knew wholeheartedly that it was the first pitch that I really wanted to do, so I went back. It took me a few steps backwards in the process, but I caught up. It was worth it, obviously. It was way more personal, it clearly resonated with others, and it fit within the scope of the show well. Sometimes you have to go with your initial instinct.

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

Lots of things! Family – my brother and future sister-in-law just asked me to officiate their wedding; I’m now ordained. You can call me Reverend. I have a tiny dog who’s almost eight-years-old. He’s like my son. He can also be a little jerk. Speaking of animals, fun fact: I live in an artists’ community and paint pet portraits as a side business.

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

I was looking for a festival or competition that accepted spec scripts and this is one of the few that does. My feedback was great. It was specific and totally understandable. I actually used to write feedback for a company called Bluecat Screenplay Competition. Very similar.

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

I would only suggest that if you’re having trouble starting or aren’t sure how to go about writing a spec script or a pilot, what’s always ALWAYS helped me is making two outlines. First, a page-by-page outline. Just start with page one, #1, and write just one sentence describing what happens. Next #2, one sentence description, etc. It’s kinda tough to limit it to just one sentence, but try to keep it simple. Second, a classic outline. This is more descriptive. You can add in your scene headings, then a paragraph describing what takes place.

Hopefully that makes sense! Seriously from there it’s SO easy to write, write, write!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
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