TV SPEC Script Reading of RICK and MORTY TV Show, by Daniel Richardson

 

Genre: Comedy, Animation

After shooting Summer and Morty with a ray that forces them to spout their inner monologues, Rick takes Beth out on a space adventure for her birthday.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Rick: Scott McCulloch
Morty: Gabriel Darku
Beth: Val Cole
Summer: Ali Chappell
Jerry: Peter-Mark Raphael

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay based on RICK AND MORTY about?

My speculative script for Rick and Morty is about developing a tangible relationship between Rick and Beth. The sub-plot focuses on gender roles and how people perceive them. I thought it was really fun to explore reactions to people speaking their mind as well as gender stereotypes through Morty and Summer’s schooling.

How does the episode fit into the context of the television show?

In the context of the show, this episode would fit somewhere in season 2. I wrote the screenplay whilst waiting for season 3 and it felt like a natural continuation of what preceded it. With the release of season 3 and the character changes that have already occurred, I’d now definitely place my screenplay as a season 2 episode.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Heaven Burning.

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

Bob’s Burgers is my favourite show to binge-watch. It reminds me of the wholesome, family oriented, comedy that was so successful in early episodes of The Simpsons (another show I have watched over and over again).

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The original draft was written in around a month, when I wasn’t too busy with work. The re-drafts and edits took about two months because of a busy schedule. During that time, I’d spend a lot of time jotting down fresh thoughts for the show and tinkering with ideas.

How many stories have you written?

I have written around 9 television specs and pilots, some of which will never see the light of day (for good reason). In terms of stories, I have a lot of notes outlining beats in old notepads. I think it is always good to have a bunch of ideas to draw off, even if you leave parts of the story behind. The only problem is sifting through the bad ideas.

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

My favourite song, by some margin, is Millencolin – ‘No Cigar’. It’s a great punk-rock song and was one of the first tracks that introduced me to the genre. I think the message of the song is fantastic and its support of diversity has made it a track that has grown in significance, for me personally, as the years have passed.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I found two big obstacles in writing this screenplay and they were time management and re-reading. Time management is pretty self explanatory, I wanted to give more time to the script than I had. The issue of re-reading your own work is that it’s quite an insular process and so I find myself growing tired of my own writing and questioning my jokes. During this time, it was really helpful to get friends to read the script and tell me what they liked/ disliked.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m a big fan of music, particularly punk and metal. I feel these genres offer interesting ideological perspectives and also my joy of music introduced me to working with radio which was really gratifying. I also love soccer (or football as we call it here in the UK). Between football, music and writing I play video-games when I’m tired of being passionate for the day.

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

The main thing that influenced me to enter WILDsound’s festival was the fact that they gave feedback. So many competitions demand a large amount of money for feedback or give non at all, as someone who considers himself to be a developing writer, these kinds of competitions didn’t offer as much room for me to grow.

I always think feedback is incredibly useful, but it puts you on an emotional rollercoaster. Scripts take so long to put together, that you become reluctant to see its flaws. With that said, the feedback I received was very helpful. On my first effort, the script relied on meta humor rather than real motivation for the continuation of the story. I think this is a problem that the writers of Rick and Morty have now found in season 3.

Episodes like ‘Rickmancing the Stone’ and ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ both have moments where they outline the call to action or turn to the camera and skip to later in the story. These moments are too knowing and disrupt the story for a small comedic payoff. I like to think the final version of my screenplay avoided this disorientating style of humor and that’s thanks to the feedback I received.

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

Buy a notepad, pester any literate friends you have to read your work and plan your stories thoroughly before you write. Also, collaborations can be really helpful for developing your skills and getting out of an insular writing space!

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV THRILLER BEST SCENE Reading of CELTIC BLOOD, by Richard William Masterson

Crime Thriller

Logline: A young Irish criminal rebuilds his boss’s empire in the US, while becoming a target of a massive conspiracy within the FBI.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Teddy: Peter-Mark Raphael
Connelly/Fitzpatrick: Scott McCulloch
Michael: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

“Celtic Blood” is written in the vein of “24” meets “Sons of Anarchy”. The series is about Irish gangster Michael Mullan, who upon being released from prison, is sent to the U.S. to rebuild his boss’s empire there. He tries to renegotiate terms with the Boston and New York gangs but encounters difficulties due to his quick temper and hidden drug use. Meanwhile FBI Agent David Deere, seeking redemption for past mistakes, leads a task force to indict Michael’s boss but soon uncovers a vast conspiracy within the Bureau. Ultimately, I have plans for this to be similar to a Greek tragedy. In attempting to stay alive, Michael and his crew as his surrogate family will have to make deals with devils and form/break long standing alliances. Finally, Michael will have to sacrifice everything including his soul, to protect those he loves.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Organized crime and government conspiracy.

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

I believe the gripping story lines; well-rounded characters and realism of both the organized crime and FBI worlds in “Celtic Blood” will appeal to a very diverse audience. In addition to the Irish, there will be characters from all corners of organized crime with elements of each of those cultures. Originally, I envisioned this script as a TV pilot but would be open to discussions as a feature. I do however have a large scale and scope for the universe and mythology of the story that would span multiple years.

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

Gritty and gripping. Unlike “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos” which romanticized the gangster lifestyle, my goal is to portray these characters as they really are, with no holds barred and all the violence, betrayal and brutality of this life shown. While Michael and his crew are likable and have a code of honor amongst themselves, at the end of the day, they are still criminals living in a kill or be killed world.

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

12 Angry Men

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

12 years. I wrote the first draft in my sophomore year of college. I have written other scripts but this was the first to which I continually return to, tinker with and develop further. The original draft is radically different and has greatly improved as I’ve revised, retooled and tightened plot, characters and relationships. Massive ongoing research has drastically strengthened and sharpened my writing.

7. How many stories have you written?

As far as individual screenplays, I have one feature, two pilots and two spec scripts. I have multiple script ideas for features and other TV pilots, two of which I am in the beginning stages.

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

“Funky Ceili (Bridie’s Song)” by Black 47. I’m a big fan of Black 47 as well as classic rock

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

One of the obstacles I faced was creating the dialogue and character relationships to be authentic to the life of the underworld and the FBI. Developing the characters’ back stories really informed and helped grow and expand the mythology while avoiding cliches and stereotypes.

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

I’m very passionate about my family, protecting and spending time with them. With regarding to passion in film, I’m generally drawn to movies and TV series that deal with and explore true crime, Ireland and Irish culture, father/son and brother/brother relationships. As such, I frequently many of these themes and incorporate them into the stories I tell.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV COMEDY BEST SCENE Reading of FUNNY FARM, by Deshon Porter & Donnell Porter

Genre: Comedy, Political

A hotshot young politician pus his campaign on hold when he pleads insanity to escape jail time, but he spends more time trying to earn his career back than his sanity.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Jessica: Ali Chappell
Server: Scott McCulloch
Sam: Gabriel Darku
Cashier: Val Cole
Delivery Person: Peter-Mark Raphael

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Funny farm is about a couple who is just about to get married and want a change in their lives, they don’t want to live in the noise of the city. They want to be in the subs where it is a lot less noisier. this would be perfect for either a sitcom or a film.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

This is really good for TV sitcom but it can also be good for a funny movie.

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

This film should be made into a movie because a lot of people need to laugh in the theaters again, it will be fun to go see a funny movie.

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

Real fun

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

Titanic

7. How many stories have you written?

Fur

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

Hall of Fame

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

Getting tired at times when I really wanted to get it done.

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

I Love to host and produce my own online radio show the big d zone. I also enjoy helping the church get out to more places on the radio.

in memory of my late wife tresa donnell porter

Let me add that my late wife would have been proud to see this day for this is her work as well my only wish is she was here to see people enjoy the work .

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV HORROR BEST SCENE Reading of PEEL, by Matthew Torti

Genre: Horror

Logline: A struggling make-up artist is given the opportunity to work alongside the industry’s most successful actor, who is secretly a real life monster.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Jimmy:Peter-Mark Raphael
Creedance: Scott McCulloch

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?
PEEL is a television series about a struggling make-up artist that is gifted the opportunity to work alongside the industry’s most successful actor, who is secretly a real life monster.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Horror.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
PEEL focuses on people who wear masks, in both the literal and metaphorical sense, which I feel touches on some important current issues we are facing. But it also tells a story that is entertaining, fun, creepy and serious in equal measure, since horror is one of the most important genres in that, historically, it can adopt a variety of different tones without losing sight of its true identity.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Honest. Fantastical.

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

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
Seven months.

7. How many stories have you written?
7 features and 4 pilots.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
The Grand Finale by Danny Elfman (from EDWARD SCISSORHANDS)

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
It was a challenge to find where the characters wanted to go. Even though I write treatments, once I start writing a script I often let the character choose their own path. More often than not, the challenge is making sure they make decisions that serve them and the story.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Reading, playing music, spending as much time as I can with my son.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox