TV PILOT Table Reading – MINDWALKER by Thorsten Loos

Andrew Kinderman, a loner and scifi geek without any friends, witnesses the murder of his neurobiology professor and is shot by the killers as well. His mind is catapulted out of his now comatose body and is ‘anchored’ to the only person he really cares about: The actress of his favourite mystery TV show, Australian beauty Anna Chastings. She is terrified when Andrew’s spirit manifests in her villa and thinks he’s a hallucination caused by too much work, but soon realizes this guy is really in trouble. When he accidentially overhears her boyfriend who is cheating on her, he manages to convince her that he is real by telling her about it. She starts to feel sympathy for him and agrees to fly back to New York to help Andrew return back to his body. As soon as they start to call hospitals in order to find Andrew’s body, they catch the attention of the FBI which is investigating the case and Anna ends up as a major suspect. Meanwhile, we learn Andrew’s professor had been working on some kind of mind control / precognition technology. A mysterious organization has stolen his research and is trying it on test persons. Part of the conspiracy is senior FBI agent William Curtis who doesn’t like the extra attention caused by a celebrity involved in the case he is trying to cover up.

MINDWALKER is the winning TV Pilot screenplay from February 2016.

MINDWALKER by Thorsten Loos

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
ANNA – Allison Kampf
ANDREW – Sean Kaufmann
SAMANTHA – Kelci Stephenson
WILLIAM – Sasha Rajamani
LEROY – Chris Reid-Geisler
ETHAN/THOMAS – Jarrid Terrell

Get to know writer Thorsten Loos:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Andrew Kinderman, a loner and scifi geek without any friends, witnesses the murder of his neurobiology professor and is shot by the killers as well. His mind is catapulted out of his now comatose body and is ‘anchored’ to the only person he really cares about: The actress of his favourite mystery TV show, Australian beauty Anna Chastings. She is terrified when Andrew’s spirit manifests in her villa and thinks he’s a hallucination caused by too much work, but soon realizes this guy is really in trouble. When he accidentially overhears her boyfriend who is cheating on her, he manages to convince her that he is real by telling her about it. She starts to feel sympathy for him and agrees to fly back to New York to help Andrew return back to his body. As soon as they start to call hospitals in order to find Andrew’s body, they catch the attention of the FBI which is investigating the case and Anna ends up as a major suspect. Meanwhile, we learn Andrew’s professor had been working on some kind of mind control / precognition technology. A mysterious organization has stolen his research and is trying it on test persons. Part of the conspiracy is senior FBI agent William Curtis who doesn’t like the extra attention caused by a celebrity involved in the case he is trying to cover up.

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

Because I’d love to watch it! Seriously, I think my screenplay provides a lot of opportunities for a long running TV show. Andrew’s character development from a zero to a hero, the development of his relationship with Anna which should be both funny – given their entirely different backgrounds, as well as conflict-driven as Anna is a celebrity with a lot of liabilities which stand in conflict to Andrew’s need of her help. There is the mystery part of the story, circling around that mysterious organization which is doing all kinds of borderline-tech experiments to people which will make a good bunch of investigation cases for Anna, Andrew and their FBI allies and the more they progress towards the root of the evil, the stakes are constantly rising as they slowly begin to realize the extent of the conspiracy behind all that.

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

unlikely allies

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

There are quite a few, I love rewatching old 80ies / 90ies scifi series like for example (list is not intended to be exhaustive):
Quantum Leap, Star Trek – TNG, The X-Files, Earth2, Sliders, Seven Days, Farscape, Earth Final Conflict, Roswell, Stargate SG-1.

Most recent shows I loved and watched every episode at least once were Fringe and Haven.

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

I got the first draft down in about four weeks and kept rewriting, submitting, taking feedback and rewriting again for at least about a year.

6. How many stories have you written?

Three of my own, original TV show pilots, a good bunch of shorts and a sci-fi / horror feature. Besides that I’m currently writing parts of episodes for an independent TV show project.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I guess the initial motivation / kick-off idea was to have a team of protagonists with completely contrary characters and backgrounds. Combine that with a scifi-plot, a lurking conspiracy and a bag full of ideas for supernatural / paranormal phenomena-like cases Mulder and Scully would have loved to investigate, and at the end of the day, I had Mindwalker in my hands.

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

As I’m a non-native english speaker (and writer), language details, nuances in the usage of the language, are always an obstacle I have to overcome. Hopefully you come to the conclusion I finally made it with this draft. Another obstacle and big part of the work is research. For example: You think you can just write a hospital scene with a realistic dialogue between an emergency doc and the clinic staff without researching? Good luck.

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

Unlikely for a German, I’m a big fan of the Major League Baseball. Maybe it’s the prejudice about Germans which says they love statistics which sticks here, I don’t know. Besides that, I’ve been studying computer science in my earlier life, so I’m a natural tech geek and still do some coding here and there.

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

I don’t really remember how I ended up on the Wildsound page, but once I’ve been there, I watched some of the table reads and thought about how cool it would be to see my own scripts performed by those actors. My feelings about the initial feedback I received were devastating – I had just completed the early 5th or 6th draft of Mindwalker and was really happy with it, and then these people tell me it wasn’t ready yet.

Thankfully, the feedback included loads of helpful notes, and when I read through them I wondered how I could have missed these flaws in the first place. Numerous drafts later, I decided to resubmit the script and Wildsound accepted it. That was a great feeling, similar to placing in a contest. It’s a very rewarding feeling to get positive feedback and the acknowledgement.

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

The best advice I can give is to never take any feedback personal, be honest to yourself, read as many scripts as possible and most important: Always keep writing.

 

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

 

SHORT SCRIPT Table Reading – ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott

WILDsound Festival

ANIMALS SKINS was the February 2016 Winning Short Screenplay. 

Watch ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
HUNTER – Sasha Rajamani
PIM – Kelci Stephenson
SCARBOY – Chris Reid-Geisler
WILD BOY – Jarrid Terrell

Get to know writer Bryan Ott:

1. What is your short screenplay about?

In writing Animal Skins, I didn’t consciously start with any specific theme in mind and attempt to explore that idea through the narrative and characters. I usually uncover the central idea as the story is evolving and the threads and connective areas surface and I begin to pull them out. The ideas and areas of human experience that I am interested in and most affected by myself in my own life are in the flaws and shortcomings on the central characters that I am developing through the natural progression of the world of the story and the structure. My…

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SHORT SCRIPT Table Reading – COMPLICIT by Andrew L Schwartz

WILDsound Festival

COMPLICIT was the February 2016 Winning Short Screenplay. 

Watch COMPLICIT by Andrew L  Schwartz:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
LT. HAMMELSTEIN – Sean Kaufmann
CLARITA/MARIE – Kelci Stephenson
SCHEINBERG – Chris Reid-Geisler
SGT. SACCO – Jarrid Terrell
PAP PAP – Sasha Rajamani

Get to know writer Andrew L  Schwartz:

1. What is your short screenplay about?

Complicit is about a former Nazi who goes on the run after he learns he may have to stand trial for his past transgressions.

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

This story focuses on a very real and relevant question that we as human beings need to face: has too much time passed for these men to be held accountable for their actions?

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

Morally challenging.

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

The Return of the…

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How to Write a Screenplay. Tips for everyone

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY
FILMMAKING NOTES

SCREENPLAY WRITING

When writing a SCREENPLAY, it’s all about CHARACTER, PLOT, and THEME – the three cornerstones to telling a great story.

Below is Part One of NOTES you need to think about when writing a script. Whether you’re a seasoned script writer or just a beginner, these notes should be insightful for all – and it beats reading those long drawn-out books on the subject.

“A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.”-David Mamet

FOUR STAGES OF ANY SCREENPLAY.

1. THE STORY CONCEPT – A single sentence telling who the hero of the story is and what he/she wants to accomplish
2. THE CHARACTERS – The people who populate the story
3. PLOT STRUCTURE – The events of the story and the relationship of the characters; determines what happens in the story and when it happens
4. THE…

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Best Scene Reading – TV Pilot “My Life with Stella” by Linda Morganstein

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.

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

 

Interview with Music Editor/Composer John M. Davis (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

The music editor is a type of sound editor in film responsible for compiling, editing, and syncing music during the production of a soundtrack. Among the music editor’s roles is creating a “temp track”, which is a “mock-up” of the film’s soundtrack using pre-existing elements to use for editing, audience previews, and other purposes while the film’s commissioned score is being composed.

John M. Davis is one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure to interview. Just go to this website http://www.johnmdavis.com and explore his world of music.

Matthew Toffolo: I love the photo of you on your website. It describes who you are in one picture. Composing attire. The dog you obviously love. Cup of coffee. Piano. A rocking chair for thinking. Art Work. And a relaxed but determined look on your face. As they say, a picture says a 1000 words, or in your case a 1,000,000 words! 

John…

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February 7 2016 Writing Festival

WILDsound Festival

It’s a matinee festival this week as we will be the pre-game show event for Super Bowl 50. This week the showcase is the best of TV screenplays, plus the February 1st Scene and Short screenplay winners.

Here are the details of the screenplays that will be performed. 

#1 – TV PILOT – MINDWALKER by Thorsten Loos

Genre: Crime, Fantasy/Supernatural, Conspiracy

SYNOPSIS:

When a grad student gets caught in the crossfire of a murder on campus, he finds himself able to travel outside his body, enlisting the help of an unlikely ally to find his way back home.

#2 – TV SPEC of the show THE BIG BANG THEORY by David Minaskanian

Genre: Comedy

SYNOPSIS:

The gang tries to lift Sheldon’s spirits after he suffers a devastating loss.

#3 – SHORT SCRIPT – ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott

Genre: Drama, Science Fiction,

SYNOPSIS:

Vicious wind howls, pelting snow that rips both forest and flesh, as Pim…

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Read interviews from the top film crew members working in Hollywood today.

WILDsound Festival

Read the best of Interviews this week. 

Interviews from Matthew Toffolo  from WILDsound

Interview with 1st AD Mathew Dunne (War for the Planet of the Apes)

Interview with 1st AD Mathew Dunne (War for the Planet of the Apes)

Interview with Storyboard Artist Kurt Van der Basch (Star Wars Episodes VII and VIII)

Interview with Storyboard Artist Kurt Van der Basch (Star Wars Episodes VII and VIII)

Interview with Foley Artist Marko Costanzo (Silence of the Lambs, The Departed, Life of Pi)

Interview with Foley Artist Marko Costanzo (Silence of the Lambs, The Departed, Life of Pi)

Interview with Art Director Jeremy Woolsey (Pitch Perfect, Million Dollar Arm, Dirty Grandpa)

Interview with Art Director Jeremy Woolsey (Pitch Perfect, Million Dollar Arm, Dirty Grandpa)

Interview with Kami Asgar, Oscar Nominated Sound Editor

Interview with Kami Asgar, Oscar Nominated Sound Editor

Interview with Glen Gauthier, Sound Mixer (Spotlight, Pacific Rim, Kick-Ass)

Interview with Glen Gauthier, Sound Mixer (Spotlight, Pacific Rim, Kick-Ass)

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Interviewer Matthew…

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Deadline Feb. 5th – First Scene Screenplay Festival

WILDsound Festival

FIRST SCENE SCREENPLAY CONTEST

New Years Special Deadline February 5th. Submit and get your first 10 pages performed!

Go to: http://firstscenescreenplay.com/ and submit

Watch over 50 1st Scene Screenplay Festival Winners:

FULL FEEDBACK on your screenplay from our committee of Professional Screenwriters, Production Heads and Script Consultants.

Are you just starting off your screenplay and want immediate feedback on your first scenes/first moments of your script?

Send your first scene (or first moments – 10pg. limit) and get feedback. Winners (at least 40 a year) get their first scene read at the MONTHLY WILDsound Screenplay Festival (see video on right for example of what you’ll get when you win).

Great way to promote your script!

Submissions take 3-5 weeks for evaluation. Looking for screenplays

Go to: http://firstscenescreenplay.com/ and submit

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