Interview with Graphic Designer Tina Charad (Maleficent, Fifty Shades of Grey)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

Graphic Designer creates the props and set-pieces for film productions and works directly with the Production Designer. Depending on the period and genre, these can be newspapers, love letters, shop signs, posters, cigarette boxes, logos. Basically, they create the original materials needed for a film that haven’t yet been invented.  

I was fortunate enough to interview the extremely talented Graphic Designer Tina Charad. In the last 10 years she has worked on over 30 productions including the films “Robin Hood”, “Edge of Tomorrow”, “World War Z”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Fifth Wave”, and “RocknRolla”.

Matthew Toffolo: Is there a film or two that you’re most proud of?

Tina: Well, in terms of pure indulgence, of being spoilt and designing beauty day after day, it would be 47 Ronin. Perhaps Maleficent too – for the same reasons.

Tina created images in the film “47 Ronin”:
47_ronin_imageMatthew: How long…

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TV Logline of the Day: FRONTAL BROTHERS, by Adam Santa Maria

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

LOGLINE PITCH:

ACTORTitle: Frontal Brothers

Written by: Adam Santa Maria

Type: TV PILOT

Genre: animated comedy

Logline: Frontal Brothers is an animated comedy series where the two heads of the brain’s Decision Department work with the erratic Sensory and Emotion departments so that they can guide their human to success.

WGA REGISTRATION: 1797274

Interested in this logline, please email us at info@wildsound.ca and we’ll forward your email to the writer.

Have a logline? Submit your logline to the monthly logline contest.

TV Festival Announces its January 2016 Screenplay Winners

WILDsound Festival

Watch each winning screenplay performed by professional actors. 

Deadline to Submit your TV PILOT/SPEC to the Festival: http://tvfestival.org

ACTORTV PILOT – LACIE BIDWELL
January 2016 Reading
Written by Jameel Khan

http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/lacie_bidwell.html

SYNOPSIS:

LACIE BIDWELL is about a girl who’s father created a zombie virus that killed thousands. It’s twelve years later and she’s in college and still has to deal with being the daughter of one of the most hated men in the world.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
LACIE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
CHALMERS – Nick Baillie
HOPE – Maya Woloszyn
JEFF/BEN – Jovan Kocic
DAVID/OMAR – Christopher Huron
SAITO – Mandy May Cheetham

—-

ACTORTV PILOT – LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
January 2016 Reading
Written by Debi Calabro

http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/life_in_the_fast_lane.html

SYNOPSIS:

Life in the Fast Lane is about three very different families and how their involvement in the sport of horse racing brings them together.

CAST LIST:

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Drama Logline of the day: Novel COME AND TAKE IT, by Landon Wallace

Festival for Drama in Film, Screenplays, Novels

Submit your Drama Screenplay to the Festival: http://festivalfordrama.com

LOGLINE PITCH:

ACTORTitle: Come and Take It – Search for the Treasure of the Alamo

Written by: Landon Wallace

Type: Novel

Genre: Biography. Drama. Adventure.

Logline: Come and Take It – Search for the Treasure of the Alamo is a work of historical fiction in which the murder of an aging black man propels his grandson on a winding search that leads to the trail of the lost treasure of the Alamo.

Interested in this logline, please email us at info@wildsound.ca and we’ll forward your email to the writer.

Have a logline? Submit your logline to the monthly logline contest.

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TV PILOT Reading – LACIE BIDWELL by Jameel Khan

I really liked the idea of having a reading of the pilot. There is no substitute to hearing the words out loud. I plan to make several adjustments based on what I hear. As for the initial feedback, I thought it was solid. I don’t take one source of feedback at a time, but collect from several people and try to balance out personal tastes. Any piece of professional feedback is valuable to me.

Watch TV Pilot: LACIE BIDWELL:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
LACIE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
CHALMERS – Nick Baillie
HOPE – Maya Woloszyn
JEFF/BEN – Jovan Kocic
DAVID/OMAR – Christopher Huron
SAITO – Mandy May Cheetham

Get to know writer Jameel Khan:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Jameel Khan: It’s about a girl who’s father created a zombie virus that killed thousands. It’s twelve years later and she’s in college and still has to deal with being the daughter of one of the most hated men in the world. She tries to move on an live a relatively normal life. But when a mysterious USB drive shows up in her dorm room, she learns that her father may have been setup. Lacie must try to balance her college life while uncovering a mystery that leads her into a far more dangerous and stranger world than she ever imagined.

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

Jameel: There is a rich world with compelling characters allowing for long format storytelling. I believe the themes of identity and finding our place in this world are universal. And it’s just plain fun.

Matthew: How would you describe this script in two words?

Jameel: Mutant fun.

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

Jameel: Lost, Battlestar, Buffy, Parks and Rec, really so many. I might have a problem.

Matthew: How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Jameel: 3 months.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Jameel: Dozens if you count short stories.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Jameel: The initial seed that compelled me was to tell a story of what it would be like to be the child of a Hitler, or any infamous bad guy.

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

Jameel: My biggest obstacle is always the same. It’s the letting it go and releasing it out into the world. At some point you got to stop tinkering.

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

Jameel: Pretty much anything geek.

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

Jameel: I really liked the idea of having a reading of the pilot. There is no substitute to hearing the words out loud. I plan to make several adjustments based on what I hear. As for the initial feedback, I thought it was solid. I don’t take one source of feedback at a time, but collect from several people and try to balance out personal tastes. Any piece of professional feedback is valuable to me.

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

Jameel: Do the work.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/

Best Scene Reading of the TV Pilot ABSYNTHIA by Seregon O’Dassey

Logline: An attack on a mercenary airship, while on a seemingly innocent cargo run sends the lives of the Captain and her crew into their not so innocent pasts. Will the events that unfold destroy the future for everyone that the government has carefully and deliberately planned?

The crew (of the airship, The Absynthian) is five mercenaries operating under the direction of a secret Organization known as Tri-Aengle. They are on a random cargo run when they are attacked by a rival ship. After each crew member suffers par amnesia – to varying degrees – their random memories and experiences complicate their relationships

Watch the Best Scene Reading of ABSYNTHIA:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Nick Baillie
SYNTHIA – Mandy May Cheetham
JULES – Christopher Huron
RIVEN – Kaleb Alexander
VAJA – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
TEA – Maya Woloszyn

Get to know writer Seregon O’Dassey:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about? 

Seregon: Logline: An attack on a mercenary airship, while on a seemingly innocent cargo run sends the lives of the Captain and her crew into their not so innocent pasts. Will the events that unfold destroy the future for everyone that the government has carefully and deliberately planned?

The crew (of the airship, The Absynthian) is five mercenaries operating under the direction of a secret Organization known as Tri-Aengle. They are on a random cargo run when they are attacked by a rival ship. After each crew member suffers par amnesia – to varying degrees – their random memories and experiences complicate their relationships.

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

Seregon: This screenplay addresses situations from all sides of the same story. Who is the hero/villain, and who gets to make the rules and why? It has strong female characters in roles that are anything but traditional: these women as smart, strong, fighting their own battles (both physically and emotionally), and the fact that they are beautiful is just a bonus.

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

Seregon: Emotional roller coaster

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

Seregon: Star Trek: TNG. I’m also hooked on The Expanse right now.

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

Seregon: Several months. I wrote the first draft in 3 weeks in February of 2015. I spent a couple of months doing revisions and then decided to start entering it into festivals. The story kept going in my head, so I kept writing.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

Seregon: I have written a novella (not yet published), several short stories and poems, 4 episodes total of Absynthia (3 in addition to the pilot) and a short film that I am directing in a couple of weeks.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

Seregon: I tend to write what I see and hear, and I always write down vivid or crazy dreams. I like to philosophize about society and behavior, and I often take the side of the underdog. I like to question who the real protagonists/antagonists of stories are, and why we (as a society) are conditioned to champion one over the other. Most things are not quite that absolute: even the “villain” has a story…

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

Seregon: To finish the first draft? None. It just flowed. The challenges were in the editing and the three subsequent episodes I also wrote. I had to remember what happened when and to whom. When it’s an episodic one has to think ahead, remember what they already came up with, and be careful they don’t write themselves into a corner.

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

Seregon: Reading and exploration of nature vs nurture. I’m a strong believer in breaking the “boxes” that society has created for people. I encourage everyone to question everything they’ve ever read, heard, or been told.  That’s why I love Science fiction: it’s a great avenue to explore sociology and psychology. Anything goes: It’s literally science and fiction meshed together to create philosophy.

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

Seregon:  At first I entered a couple of festivals that had general screenplay categories, but I thought it best to concentrate on festivals that had a specific category for TV pilots, as this would provide the best feedback and advice. After researching several festivals I found this one to have a high amount of recognition. Receiving feedback from this festival has not only helped me significantly in becoming a better writer, but it’s helped me to learn how to write in the industry. Coming from an avid reader background, I used to write how I read: very novel-esque. I now feel I have a better handle on screenwriting vs. novel writing.

The initial feedback I received from this festival made me think creatively, but also keeping in mind the marketability of my material. I had pretty thick skin to begin with, being an actor for several years, but I had to learn how to take advice and apply it to what I had. That constructive criticism was priceless information.

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

Seregon: On a creative level: READ! Read everything – stuff you love, stuff you hate, and all subjects. If you only read one thing, you only think one way. Listen to people. Don’t just hear, but really listen. Watch people. Learn. Life, even in the fiction word, is happening all around. When you create your own world anything goes, so don’t limit yourself.

On a practical level: Don’t stop doing your thing. Don’t compare yourself to anyone except the person you were yesterday. Don’t listen to haters or naysayers, and don’t get caught in the net of other people who are too afraid to try. Remember the saying that those too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours. In the Labyrinth, you get a lot of false alarms, especially when you’re on the right track.

On an emotional level: There are going to be days that you just want to sulk, cry, and not want to get out of bed, particularly after you get a rejection. Remember that the best people in history suffered setbacks. Go ahead and cry if you want. Just dry your tears and get up. Try again. And again. And again.

Express gratitude. Always.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/

TV SPEC Reading UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT by Jen Turriff

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.

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

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/

Today’s Twitter Posts: Sunday January 24 2016

WILDsound Festival

Today’s Twitter Posts from around the world: Best of stories and writings

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Read Today’s NEW TV Pilot/Webseries Pitches

WILDsound Festival

Deadline: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors:
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Read the best of today’s TV PILOT Loglines and Pitches:

Title: Acewater
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/acewater_by_christian_ched…
Written by: Christian Chedrawi
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Drama

Title: CHATTER BOX/YOUR RAP IS PLAYED OUT
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/chatter_box_your_rap_is_pl…
Written by: Denise Coopersmith
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Comedy

Title: Mission Of A Dream
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/mission_of_a_dream_by_gr_w…
Written by: GR Writer
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Drama

Title: Beta by Blood
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/beta_by_blood_by_sharon_gr…
Written by: Sharon Grice
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Fantasy, Political

Title: Party Animals
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/party_animals_by_kurt_jack…
Written by: Kurt Jackson
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Comedy

Title: Hotel HuLaLa
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/hotel_hulala_by_sally_jack…
Written by: Sally Jackson
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Comedy

Title: TAO: THE WAY OF HEAVEN
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tao_the_way_of_heaven_by_y…
Written by: Youlanda Brewster
Type: TV Show/Webseries
Genre: Comicbook/Supernatural/Paranormal/Action/Martial Arts

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TV PILOT Reading – LIFE IN THE FAST LANE by Debi Calabro

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE is the January 2016 winning TV Pilot. Watch the table reading performed by professional actors.

TV PILOT: LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
by Debi Calabro

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JESSIE – Maya Woloszyn
SAL – Christopher Huron
MARIA/SONIA – Mandy May Cheetham
JAMES/RYAN – Nick Baillie
SCARECROW/MICHAEL – Kaleb Alexander
YOUNG SAL – Jovan Kocic

Get to know writer Debi Calabro:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Debi Calabro: It’s about three very different families and how their involvement in the sport of horse racing brings them together.

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

Debi: The series would focus on these three families and their trials and tribulations on and off the racetrack. Their situations are all very unique and it will be compelling to see how they solve (or try to solve) their own issues as well as how they intermingle which usually causes more turmoil than not.

Racetrack attendees are a rare breed and this group is no different which will make the show interesting and entertaining to watch.

Matthew: How would you describe this script in two words?

Debi: Unique, entertaining.

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

Debi: Rescue Me, Modern Family, Seinfeld,

Matthew: How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Debi: About eight months.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Debi: Lost count.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Debi: As a racehorse owner I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about the characters that attend the track on a daily basis. From the down and out gambler who would spend their last two bucks on a bet to the wealthiest thoroughbred owners, they all have one thing in common, to win

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

Debi: None.

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

Debi: Being a racehorse owner.

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

Debi: I really liked the idea of the reading and the feedback was priceless.

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

Debi: Always get your work critiqued before sending it out. When you receive the critique back read it a couple of times to really understand what your consultant is trying to say because when you first read it one would perhaps try to dismiss it since, as the writer, you might not be able to comprehend how “your” story could be any other way. But someone else’s opinion, especially a professional, can most often than not, open the writers eyes for a new perspective.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/