TV PILOT Reading: WILD MAGIC by Julie Nichols

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

WILD MAGIC  by Julie Nichols

SYNOPSIS:

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.

CAST LIST:

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?

Fresh magic

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

 

 

TV PILOT Reading – CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN  by Gina Scanlon

Genre: Drama, Crime

Synopsis: A young marine returns to her small Texas town after a recent tour in the South Sudan to complete police academy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRANDI – Laura Darby
AMOS/STOKER – Christopher Huron
DR. BURNS – Tracey Beltrano
SHANE – Deney Forrest
MARCUS – Jeff Sinasic
MARCEL – John Lester Phillips

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

A young marine returns home to Texas after a traumatizing tour to reclaim her life as a rookie cop. Unfortunately more than a few unwelcome complications await her.

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

Female assault in the military, the challenges of combating PTSD, and the way these two issues trickle down and weave into American society I feel warrants more attention, and are topics I believe people are interested in. Plus, TV could use a few more badass, imperfect female protagonists!

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

questionable redemption

4. What TV show do you watch over and over again?

I can’t get enough of The Twilight Zone! I’ve also re-watched the first season of Jessica Jones a couple times.

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

For a couple of years now. I went through a near Page 1 rewrite about a year ago. I knew I loved the main character and topic, but needed to tackle it from a different angle and make it more exciting.

6. How many stories have you written?

Tons! I started writing fiction when I was in middle school, and plays towards the end of high school and never stopped. But as all writers know, most of them don’t stand out as very good.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

A documentary called “The Invisible War,” which is about how so many people (women in particular) have suffered sexual assault and find no justice in the US military made me so angry, I started writing this script. Though the pilot of “Civilian” doesn’t tackle that specific issue, its main character goes through similar turmoils and challenges, and that theme would continue to resonate throughout the series, should it ever get to that point!

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

I originally saw it as a feature, so I had to restructure it. I added characters and storylines in order to give it more of a setup for a potential series, and to give it more longevity in general. I definitely had people I trust read drafts along the way, which helped in turning it into a believable pilot format.

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

Kurt Vonnegut and his weird ideas. I’m obsessed with history, particularly the War of the Roses and both American and French Revolutions. International, and national women’s rights are up there, and so is supporting the preservation of journalism. I find it scary that the majority of people get their news from Twitter, celebrities, or websites like Buzzzfeed these days, and meanwhile reputable news sources are going bankrupt. On a lighter note, I’m also really into stand-up comedy and air hockey. haha

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

I wanted to start receiving professional feedback on the script, and heard positive things about the festival. The initial feedback was extremely helpful in improving my next draft, and brought to light certain things I hadn’t even thought could effect the salability of the script.

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

Trust your instincts, and never write something for superficial reasons (the current market trends, etc.). Do it because you really care about what you’re writing about, and I believe people will gravitate towards that authenticity.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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

May 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for May 2016:

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for May 2016:

THE REAPER: REBELLION “AFTERLIFE” TV Pilot
Written by Mark S. MacDonald and Darsey Meredith
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Eva, who may or may not be Eve from the Book of Genesis, inadvertently creates Death in the world by inciting her siblings and lover to eat the Divine Apple from the Tree of Life. It’s an interesting spin on the immortal story about how the humans lost paradise and incurred the wrath of God.
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
RHODA/DEATH – Meggie McKinnon
LAILAH – Aisha Evelyna
MAALIK – Sean Ballantyne
AZRAEL – Benjamin Harris
GOD/DRAVEN – Paul Falkowski
HANNAH – Kayla Lakhani

**
THE MINDY PROJECT “Culture Club” TV SPEC
Written by Katie Bero
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Sitcom

Mindy and Danny clash over how culturally aware to raise their child. Meanwhile Morgan tries to help Jeremy avoid deportation.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
MINDY – Kayla Lakhani
DANNY – Paul Falkowski
MORGAN – Abraham Asto
TAMRA – Aisha Evelyna
JEREMY/RISHI – Benjamin Harris
BEVERLY – Meggie McKinnon

**

SMITHEREENS TV Pilot
Written by Hershel D. Rephun
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Drama

The story of a man, in pieces: This one-hour episodic dramedy series chronicles the journey of a man fished out of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. He remembers only his first name (Harry) and his mother tongue (Cockney). Flashbacks paint a complicated picture of a man battling alcoholism and engaged in some dark pursuits.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HARRY – Abraham Asto
NAN – Aisha Evelyna
REG – Benjamin Harris
REB JOEY – Paul Falkowski
CARMEN/SARAH – Meggie McKinnon

**

POWER TV Pilot
Written by Hisonni Johnson
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comic book, Drama, Sci Fi, Action, Superhero

Synopsis: A tragic turns of events leaves one of the world’s greatest heroes injured, without his powers and public enemy number one.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JOHN – Mark Sparks
SANDRA – Lavinia Latham
SHIERA – Isabella Bontorin
DENNIS – Neil Kulin
LAWTON – Dan Cristofori

**

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

TV PILOT Reading: SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

2. How should this Pilot be made into a TV show?

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

May 2016 Winning TV Pilot

SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HARRY – Abraham Asto
NAN – Aisha Evelyna
REG – Benjamin Harris
REB JOEY – Paul Falkowski
CARMEN/SARAH – Meggie McKinnon

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: 

The story of a man, in pieces: This one-hour episodic dramedy series chronicles the journey of a man fished out of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. He remembers only his first name (Harry) and his mother tongue (Cockney). Flashbacks paint a complicated picture of a man battling alcoholism and engaged in some dark pursuits.

Get to know writer Hershel D. Rephun:

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

2. How should this Pilot be made into a TV show?

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

April 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for April 2016:

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for April 2016:

TV PILOT Screenplay – MAILROOMIES
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jacques Edeline

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

Pilot about a young man (Charlie) who starts at the bottom of the food chain in the Hollywood industry.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
CHARLIE – Dennis Barham
PAT – Noah Casey
ZOE – Sandra Krstin
MEG/TIA – Kiran Friesen
WILL – Michael Lake


TV PILOT Screenplay – MARRIAGE EQUALITY
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jamie Pierce

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Romance

A gay couple deals with two life-changing events on Mother’s Day.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
ANDREW – Michael Lake
ANTHONY – Noah Casey
STACY/ANDREW – Sandra Krstin
JUDY – Kiran Friesen
DAD – Dennis Barham


Fan Fiction Screenplay – TWILIGHT ZONE “Punchline”
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jaime Medina

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

A failed comedian makes a deal with the Devil to switch places with the Vegas star who stole his act!.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
VIC – Michael Lake
SCRATCH – Noah Casey
TRIXIE – Kiran Friesen
LITA – Sandra Krstin
BENNY – Dennis Barham

March 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for 2016:

 

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for  2016:

TV PILOT: REC’D
by Chris Courtney Martin

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama

n the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
RYAN – Rob Notman
LEYA/PETEY – Alicia Payne
LINDA – Val Cole
DAMIAN – Kari-Michael Helava
GUY – Ucal Shillingford

—-

TV SPEC: MAGNUM P.I.
by Lew Ritter

SYNOPSIS:

Script Titled: Chrysanthemum. In the 80’s a computer whiz and former army buddy of Magnum’s, fakes his own death to stop the theft of a then state of he art super computer. .

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
MAGNUM – Rob Notman
ALLISON – Alicia Payne
T.C./SIMONSEN – Ucal Shillingford
HIGGINS/RICK – Kari-Michael Helava

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV Pilot Sitcom Reading – REC’D by Chris Courtney Martin

In the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world. We also get to see Petey make an adult decision in how she handles Ryan, this guy she slept with last year. She can be petty or she can be professional, that’s where this decision-making comes into play again.

Watch the March 2016 TV Festival Winner

Watch REC’D TV PILOT:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
RYAN – Rob Notman
LEYA/PETEY – Alicia Payne
LINDA – Val Cole
DAMIAN – Kari-Michael Helava
GUY – Ucal Shillingford

Get to know writer Chris Courtney Martin:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

In the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world. We also get to see Petey make an adult decision in how she handles Ryan, this guy she slept with last year. She can be petty or she can be professional, that’s where this decision-making comes into play again.

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

I think it’s important to show black girls getting to be silly and have fun. Just about all the media surrounding black women is very serious and intense. It feels like we’re expected to grow up faster than everyone else. There really is no Broad City or Two Broke Girls for us. Why can’t we have crazy shenanigans and learn from our stupid mistakes? I feel like it would be refreshing and maybe a little therapeutic for us to get a show where we’re just living life and no one is getting murdered or having extramarital affairs and all that other heavy stuff.

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

Millennial shenanigans.

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

There are very few shows I can watch over and over but Bob’s Burgers is so fun that I can just chill out and watch it while I’m having a meal, even if I’ve seen the episode before. I can’t even do that with some of my other favorite shows because I usually can’t stand seeing re-runs.

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

Conceptually? Since my first year of college, which started in 2010. This is semi-autobiographical and some of the characters really aren’t too far off base from the people who inspired them. My Freshman year roommate and I both worked at the Rec Center and there were so many unique personalities we loved to lampoon that we were like, “This could be a show!” The first time I put anything down on the page was last year.

6. How many stories have you written?

So many. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. As far screenplays that I consider ready-to-sell, I have one pilot, two features and a short. But I’ve got countless other things in various stages of completion.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

This was actually meant to be my entry for the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship last year, but the submissions capped before I could send it in.

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

Time. Before I decided to move to California to pursue screenwriting full-time, I was emotionally sapped from my day job. Finding the energy to get something on the page was the hardest part.

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

I care a lot about activism, social justice. I really enjoy any opportunity to mentor and teach people, especially when it comes to screenwriting.

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

I actually did the First Scene festival not too long and my scene got picked. I loved the festival’s style of feedback, and the entry fees are very reasonable. I figured I’d try my luck again.

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

I like to say, “Write a script you could marry.” That’s how I answered this question when Loveless was picked, but I realized that was extremely vague. What I meant was, find a story that means so much to you that you have to tell it no matter what. No matter how many re-writes, no matter how long you’ve had writer’s block. Write a story that you’ll be willing to work on as long as it takes.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/

February 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for February 2016:

Deadline for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for February 2016:

TV PILOT Screenplay – MINDWALKER
February 2016 Reading
Written by Thorsten Loos

SYNOPSIS:

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.

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

TV SPEC Screenplay – THE BIG BANG THEORY
February 2016 Reading
Written by David Minaskanian

SYNOPSIS:

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.

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

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