Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.
WILD MAGIC by Julie Nichols
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy
A female teenager enters a typical High School and is immediately challenged by bully. Unbeknown to her she has the ability to do magic. It’s Buffy meets ABC Family.
NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRITTANY – Laura Darby
JILLIAN/LULU – Tracey Beltrano
ROSSALYN – Hannah Brenen
MARIO – Christopher Huron
SHANE – Deney Forrest
FERGUS – Jeff Sinasic
DOMINICK – John Lester Phillips
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your TV PILOT about?
Wild Magic is a comedy-drama about a half-elf, half-human, 16-year old princess from an enchanted island off the coast of Scotland. Now on the run from a demon hoard seeking to destroy her, Rossalyn hides out with her family and best friend, the impish fairy Luella, in the sunny Mecca of beach bunnies and surfer dudes: Orange County, California.
It’s kind of Outlander meets The O.C.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
This show is funny. I think that’s what makes it different from a lot of other contemporary teen fantasies which are predominantly dramas and thrillers. The target audience (12 – 26 year olds) has an unquenchable appetite for comedy, most of it found on YouTube. The characters in Rossalyn are really colorful and fun, especially Rossalyn’s punk fairy sidekick. And the market is really strong. Science fiction and fantasy TV shows just seems to be getting more and more popular.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What TV show do you watch over and over again?
I’ve watched a lot of the Outlander episodes over and over again. I’m a fan of the books and love what Ron Moore has done with the story for the series. Flipping channels, old Star Trek TNG episodes tend to make me put down the remote. My last accidental binge watch was Arrow–one episode turned into seven before I surfaced. My latest find is the BBC show Poldark which stars Aidan Turner from The Hobbit films. Riveting.
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I’m a fast writer. I wrote the first draft in about a week, then threw it in a drawer for a bit. When I took it out, I tore it up pretty ruthlessly and put back together again.
6. How many stories have you written?
Countless–from newspaper articles to screenplays. I have another finished pilot that’s very different, a procedural called Southern Comfort Zone that’s set in the Low Country of South Carolina. I’m finishing up a couple of full length screenplays now—a thriller and screwball comedy. And I’m working on a short play, too.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I love fish-out-of-water-stories and slamming opposites together. As I was hiking on the Isle of Arran off the coast of Scotland one summer, I came across a little place called Fairy Dell which started me thinking about magic and fairies in the world today. Then, when I was driving in Orange County one afternoon, a perfectly-tanned blond passed me in a convertible, bubble gum pink jeep. Her license plate holder read, “Now all I need is Ken.” Bam. Scottish magic meets Barbie.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Originally, Rossalyn was an American teen who finds herself in Scotland. When I flipped it around so that she’s a Scottish teen living in America, everything changed. I threw out so much stuff that I loved, but it’s a better story this way.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Travel and cycling. Creativity and innovation. Global warming and the environment. And I’m a sucker for a great love story.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
There’s no better way to know if your material works than hearing it read aloud by professional actors. I truly appreciate the feedback and will incorporate it into my next rewrite!
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
The biggest mistake I see writers make is working endlessly on one pet project to the exclusion of all else. You learn so much from building a body of work. You have to keep flexing your creative muscles by writing new stories. Not everything you write will win a contest or find a buyer, but you’ll learn so much just from working on and finishing each new story. So just keep writing!
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Editor: John Johnson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne