TV SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading of NOVEMBER OF MY SOUL, by Jack Trammell

Genre: Paranormal, Drama, Sci-Fi

November of My Soul is a paranormal TV pilot that chronicles a team of investigative misfits. Penny Walsh typifies them, working with children with profound disabilities by day, but chasing ghosts by night. Their cases take them to places where many unexplained things happen and are documented, but most importantly, to places where human behavior can’t be explained, and is the most paranormal activity of all.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Michael: Scott McCulloch
Margaret: Val Cole
Josh: Gabriel Darku

 Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

November of My Soul is about a group of friends who share a curiosity about where the physical and the spiritual worlds intersect. They use science and technology to quantify what they see and hear, although often science fails them.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Supernatural/Adventure/Drama

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

The topic of ghosts, ghost hunting, and sticky physics is everywhere in pop culture. People are using technology and science to explore places that have never been accessible before. But the big questions still remain (what happens to us when we die? Etc.) and inquring minds want to know.

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

Ghosts People

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

The Matrix (11 times)

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

Over a year or so.

7. How many stories have you written?

Hundreds (dozens published)/

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

I want to hold your hand

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

People are curious about how you can normalize the supernatural.

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

My wife, my family, and sports!

******

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.

******

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 .

******

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.

******

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Best Scene TV Screenplay: THE MESSIAH PROJECT, by David E. Baugnon

I was very curious to see how far it might advance and if there was anything in particular that’s been keeping this from actually getting made. The feedback was great and encouraging.

Watch the June 2016 Best Scene TV Screenplay Winner.

THE MESSIAH PROJECT, by David E. Baugnon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: TV Pilot, Drama, War

Hour long TV Pilot transcript reading. Scene begins as Bruce wakes up in the hospital not to happy about what has just transpired.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
KELLY – Roselie Williamson
JAMES – David Strauss
BRUCE/GRADY – Allan Michael Brunet
NURSE – Alan Shonfield

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

The Messiah Project is about an Army scientist who’s working on a rapid healing serum, but doesn’t create it in time to save her own husband. The serum works so well in the field, the Army’s not even sure these guys can be killed, and of course, chaos ensues.

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

This is character-driven story about the cost of war, as well as an exploration of what would you do if you couldn’t be killed: Work for the center of disease control? Rob a bank? Topple a government? Become a Messianic figure? Some great terrain to explore a multitude of possibilities.

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

I think the title does a good job but “unchained ego” works.

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

Fargo. (1st season of True Detective close second)

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

Originally, it was a feature length script completed about 12 years ago. In 2007, i adapted it to TV and continued rewriting it until i felt it was ready to submit. The Messiah Project, was one of two winners of the International Screenwriters Association Fast Track Fellowship program in 2015 and won the 2013 Showtime’s Tony Cox Television Pilot (Hour ­Long) Competition at the Nantucket Film Festival, the Silver Medal in the Television Drama category for the 2013 Page International Screenwriting Awards.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have 3 completed TV pilots and 7 features with numerous ideas in development.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of healing (I was pre-med for a year) and technological advances made in that pursuit. I was also drawn to explore this idea in the military arena where so much is lost and sacrificed. Seemed like a perfect fit and many new technologies are discovered in war time.

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

The biggest obstacle is knowing when the script is good enough. William Goldman once wrote that screenplays are never finished, but abandoned, meaning a writer is never completely satisfied and can overwork a script. I’ve been guilty of that.

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

I consider myself a writer/filmmaker but I also love photography, art, hiking and a damn good meal.

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

I was very curious to see how far it might advance and if there was anything in particular that’s been keeping this from actually getting made. The feedback was great and encouraging.

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

I believe writing should be enjoyable. You know you’re hitting your stride when you love what you’re working on, even at the first draft stages. It’s very easy to let your inner critic ruin the process, so I do whatever i can to remember that.

****

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

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

 

TWO EMPERORS, Best Scene TV PILOT Reading by Paul Gross

The six-part miniseries traces the parallel lives of Beethoven and Napoleon, their formative years, their loves, their interrelationships via music and their passages to their final years.

Watch the Best Scene Reading of TWO EMPERORS:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Amaka Umeh
LUDWIG – Isaac Alfie
NEEFE – Julian Ford

Get to know the writer Paul Gross:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Paul: The six-part miniseries traces the parallel lives of Beethoven and Napoleon, their formative years, their loves, their interrelationships via music and their passages to their final years. 

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

Paul: The two lives have been the subject of many feature films and TV productions. This is the first six-part series that attempts to link their lives in a dramatic fashion. It is also the first to show the genius of the two men, their flaws and their attempts to deal with love and adversity.

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

Paul: Scrutinising greatness.

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

Paul: House of Cards

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

Paul: Two years

Matthew:  How many stories have you written?

Paul: Four books, one feature screenplay, one TV miniseries, one thriller.

Matthew:  What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

Paul: The music of a flawed genius, the flaws of a powerful ruler and the possibility that they might have met and liked one another fleetingly.

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

Paul: Converting  dry accounts of two histories into a drama that reveals motivations, passions and tragedies.

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

Paul: Classical music

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

Paul: I like competition and I am very happy with all feedback, particularly negatives that I can turn into a better script.

The feedback in this festival was valid and had the desired impact as the revised script is now short-listed in four festivals or competitions

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

Paul: Scriptwriting is hard, even when you love it.

Stepping back from many beloved drafts and ditching them is the price of acceptance by those who read them.

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