SHORT SCRIPT CONTEST Deadline February 18th

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

I was very impressed with the customer service at WILDsound. I had a question regarding my entry this year and I was contacted back immediately. I like that in a contest. Also, I was given feedback from WILDsound on my script and what I received was extremely helpful and detail oriented and it assisted me greatly in crafting my rewrite. The feedback from Wildsound strengthened my script to the point where it’s placing better in other contests as well.
-Robert Ward, The Final Job – Short Script

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

Being able to see the script performed by professionals. The feedback was very helpful and I highly recommend others enter the festival.

The Big Bang Theory was the February 2016 Winning TV Spec Screenplay

Watch THE BIG BANG THEORY by David Minaskanian

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
PENNY – Kelci Stephenson
SHELDON – Jarrid Terrell
LEONARD – Chris Reid-Geisler
WOLOWITZ – Sean Kaufmann
KOOTHRAPPALI – Sasha Rajamani
MARY COOPER/AMY – Allison Kampf

Get to know writer David Minaskanian:

1. What is your screenplay based on the TV show “Big Bang Theory” about?

Sheldon’s mom visits for his birthday and accidentally reveals that his grandmother Meemaw passed away. Needless to say, Sheldon does not take it well.

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

Sheldon’s grandmother had been mentioned for years but never made an appearance, so I wanted to keep in line with that. But now that she was just on the show, I think the script still works if you imagine it as a future episode.

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

Required reading

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

Saturday Night Live

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

I wrote the script in 2013. It took about three weeks, and I’ve been entering it in contests since then. It’s placed at the Austin Film Festival, the Final Draft Awards, and ScriptapaloozaTV, among others.

6. How many stories have you written?

Many sketches, screenplays, TV pilots, and spec episodes. One of my TV pilot scripts was recently optioned by producer John Murlowski.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve been a big fan of “The Big Bang Theory” since it started. This was the third “Big Bang” spec that I wrote. Sheldon is a very unique character and I enjoy writing in his voice.

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

I spent a lot of time on Sheldon’s speech at the end to make sure it was how I wanted it.

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

Mrs. Fields Cookies

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

Being able to see the script performed by professionals. The feedback was very helpful and I highly recommend others enter the festival.

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

For comedy, write what amuses you. If others like it, great. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.

 

***

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

 

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.

 

***

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

 

SHORT SCRIPT Table Reading – ANIMAL SKINS by Bryan Ott

WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

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 Writing and Film Festival Review

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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