Winning TV Screenplays for April 2018

Watch readings of the winning screenplays performed by professional actors:

ACTORTV FAN FICTION PILOT: SCOOBY DOO: AGE OF AQUARIUS
April 2018 Reading
by Katie Grotzinger
ACTORJOHN Q TV Best Scene Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by Jason Jung
ACTORESC(APE) ONLINE TV Best Scene Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by Christopher Kerr
ACTORDRAGONS AND WOLVES – TV Best Scene Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by Drew Henriksen
ACTORGLOBAL FUND – TV Best Scene Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by

****

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel
Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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Winning TV Screenplays for March 2018

Watch readings of the winning screenplays performed by professional actors:

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay of the show TRANSPARENT
March 2018 Reading
by Marisaa Lessman
ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – JAKOB’S COVE
March 2018 Reading
by Travis Darkow
ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – TOUCH
March 2018 Reading
by Robert Cox
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – WHAT THE HELL
March 2018 Reading
by Melissa Willis

****

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel
Camera Operator: Mary Cox

TV PILOT 1st Scene Script – JAKOB’S COVE, by Travis Darkow

 

Genre: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense

A crazy mash up of The X-Files and Supernatural, but with more violence, old school noir detective movies like The Maltese Falcon, and the soundtrack style of Stranger Things or It Follows, 80’s synthesizer and all.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Peter Nelson
Det. Jameson: Neil Bennett

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

A seasoned detective is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate an increasing number of disappearances. As he digs into the town and the locals, he soon discovers that the reasons for these disappearances begin to point to the paranormal, and the seemingly quiet Jakob’s Cove is a mere facade for a much darker reality that brews within the town. Detective Jameson doesn’t learn it in the pilot, but the audience sees that Scarlett has some sort of “abilities” and turns out soon thereafter to be a witch. Scarlett along with two other witches, and a cloaked group of mysterious figures from the community known in secret as The Order of the Blood Raven control some sort of inter-dimensional rift that is a gateway to tangent realms where thought-to-be mythical creatures and monsters exist. The witches, in a pact with a family of vampires, are the ones taking the missing people, and sacrificing them to an overlord of these realms in exchange for power. The pilot sets up the horror/supernatural aspect, as well as introducing the main characters, all while leaving enough mystery as to what’s to come, that I think is really exciting.

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

I truly believe this world I’ve begun to create would make a wonderfully strange canvas on which to paint a compelling horror/supernatural mystery tale. I have spent so many hundreds of hours working on developing Jakob’s Cove, not just as a script, but as a “real” place. Mainly for my own sake, I have worked out and outlined potentially where the entire show could go as a series, and I have found myself in some very interesting places creatively in doing so. I have outlined multiple seasons to see what types of obstacles our ragtag group of protagonists could face. Each season would present a new creature or two (werewolves, extraterrestrials etc.) that have been summoned through the space-time rift that lies in the crypts beneath the cemetery, that is controlled by the group of witches. I visualized Jakob’s Cove as a series that starts off strange and doesn’t let up. I imagine each episode as no nonsense, fast paced horror, mystery and suspense, always leaving the viewer craving the next episode, as Jameson transforms from stern detective to monster hunting badass who has to expel these beasts back into the void. I think this blend of supernatural horror, mystery, and everyday people becoming the heroes over this dark little town would be an intense, strange and satisfying watch for audiences to keep coming back to, as the possibilities of what could happen and where it could go are potentially limitless.

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

Cosmic and Frenetic

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

I am currently watching Sons of Anarchy for the third time now, I can’t get enough of Kurt Sutter’s writing and character development. I’ve seen Breaking Bad in it’s entirety three times so far, and Firefly I’ve seen probably five or six times now.

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

I originally outlined the overall idea for Jakob’s Cove 4 years ago, back then it was only going to be a short story, until I saw the potential for expanding this world. I wrote the first draft about 7 or 8 months ago, then sat on it for a while as I continued with the handful of other projects I’m working on. I wrote the 2nd draft maybe 4 months ago, and the 3rd and most current draft the very next day after receiving my feedback from you guys.

6. How many stories have you written?

I am constantly writing stories and outlining ideas for future projects. Currently I have 4 other screenplays I’m developing that range from a heist film, to a zombie-western, a horror-comedy and another horror movie. I have written and shot around 10 or so no budget short films since high school, and recently finished the script for another short film that I plan to shoot this summer. I have written 9 children’s books so far, and have another handful that I’m currently rotating between working on as well as trying to get them published. I also have a large collection of poetry I write, and about 5 other short stories I’m also working on.

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

It’s too hard to choose, so I would just have to say currently that it’s probably Misery by Creeper.

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

The biggest obstacle I think was that initially I started to visualize Jakob’s Cove as a short story, so when my wife threw out the idea of turning it into a television pilot I thought it was perfect, I just had to rework it a lot and expand a massive amount. From there I outlined where the entire series could potentially go as well as each season, and the story arcs of each character to better understand the world itself before tackling the pilot.

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

I am very passionate about my wife Kelsey and our dog Jax. I love more than anything to spend time with them. Aside from that I love video games, as well as writing and creating music

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

I have always been passionate about writing from a very young age. After so many years of only getting to write in my spare time between working a job I have close to zero passion for, I put one thought into my head and made myself a promise. That promise was that I am not going to rest until my writing is how I support my family. I thought that the feedback I received was very insightful and I appreciated it greatly. It showed that my script was actually read and thought about, and it was definitely useful in how I approached the 3rd draft of my script.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I love FilmFreeway, I think it’s an extremely helpful tool for writers of any experience level. It’s very easy to search festivals that are specifically catered to what you’re looking for, and I love having all my screenwriting submissions available in one spot, it makes them much easier to manage.

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

Any advice I would give to other writers would be to never ever give up, no matter how hard it seems to get your work seen, or how unrewarding it feels at times. If you were meant to write then you will find a way to just do it. Also, connecting with people and networking is crucial I believe. Get your work out there, keep writing, and never let anyone or anything deter you from what you love to do.

******

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV PILOT 1st Scene Script – JAKOB’S COVE, by Travis Darkow

 

Genre: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense

A crazy mash up of The X-Files and Supernatural, but with more violence, old school noir detective movies like The Maltese Falcon, and the soundtrack style of Stranger Things or It Follows, 80’s synthesizer and all.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Det. Jameson: Charles Gordon

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

A seasoned detective is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate an increasing number of disappearances. As he digs into the town and the locals, he soon discovers that the reasons for these disappearances begin to point to the paranormal, and the seemingly quiet Jakob’s Cove is a mere facade for a much darker reality that brews within the town. Detective Jameson doesn’t learn it in the pilot, but the audience sees that Scarlett has some sort of “abilities” and turns out soon thereafter to be a witch. Scarlett along with two other witches, and a cloaked group of mysterious figures from the community known in secret as The Order of the Blood Raven control some sort of interdimensional rift that is a gateway to tangent realms where thought-to-be mythical creatures and monsters exist. The witches, in a pact with a family of vampires, are the ones taking the missing people, and sacrificing them to an overlord of these realms in exchange for power. The pilot sets up the horror/supernatural aspect, as well as introducing the main characters, all while leaving enough mystery as to what’s to come, that I think is really exciting.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say first and foremost it falls under Mystery/Horror, with elements of thriller and suspense, as well as some nods to old school detective movies, and bits of humor sprinkled throughout, mostly from Elliot, and even Jameson, albeit unintentionally.

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

I truly believe this world I’ve begun to create would make a wonderfully strange canvas on which to paint a compelling horror/supernatural mystery tale. I have spent so many hundreds of hours working on developing Jakob’s Cove, not just as a script, but as a “real” place. Mainly for my own sake, I have worked out and outlined potentially where the entire show could go as a series, and I have found myself in some very interesting places creatively in doing so. I have outlined multiple seasons to see what types of obstacles our ragtag group of protagonists could face. Each season would present a new creature or two (werewolves, extraterrestrials etc.) that have been summoned through the space-time rift that lies in the crypts beneath the cemetery, that is controlled by the group of witches. I visualized Jakob’s Cove as a series that starts off strange and doesn’t let up. I imagine each episode as no nonsense, fast paced horror, mystery and suspense, always leaving the viewer craving the next episode, as Jameson transforms from stern detective to monster hunting badass who has to expel these beasts back into the void. I think this blend of supernatural horror, mystery, and everyday people becoming the heroes over this dark little town would be an intense, strange and satisfying watch for audiences to keep coming back to, as the possibilities of what could happen and where it could go are potentially limitless.

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

Cosmic and frenetic

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

It would probably be a close one between The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Sandlot.

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

I originally outlined the overall idea for Jakob’s Cove 3 years ago, back then it was only going to be a short story, until I saw the potential for expanding this world. I wrote the first draft about 7 or 8 months ago, then sat on it for a while as I continued with the handful of other projects I’m working on. I wrote the 2nd draft maybe 4 months ago, and the 3rd and most current draft the very next day after receiving my feedback from you guys.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am constantly writing stories and outlining ideas for future projects. Currently I have 4 other screenplays I’m developing that range from a heist film, to a zombie-western, a horror-comedy and another horror movie. I have written and shot around 10 or so no budget short films since high school, and recently finished the script for another short film that I plan to shoot this summer. I have written 9 children’s books so far, and have another handful that I’m currently rotating between working on as well as trying to get them published. I also have a large collection of poetry I write, and about 5 other short stories I’m also working on.

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

It’s way too hard to pick just one favorite song, but close to the top of the list would have to be Everlong by Foo Fighters or any song by Angels and Airwaves.

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

The biggest obstacle I think was that initially I started to visualize Jakob’s Cove as a short story, so when my wife threw out the idea of turning it into a television format I thought it was perfect, I just had to rework it a lot and expand a massive amount. From there I outlined where the entire series could potentially go as well as each season, and the story arcs of each character to better understand the world itself before tackling the pilot. All that, and the longs hours spent hunched over on the hard dining room chair on the laptop.

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

I am very passionate about my wife Kelsey and our dog Jax. I love more than anything to spend time with them. Aside from that I love video games, as well as writing and creating music.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I love FilmFreeway, I think it’s an extremely helpful tool for writers of any experience level. It’s very easy to search festivals that are specifically catered to what you’re looking for, and I love having all my screenwriting submissions available in one spot, it makes them much easier to manage.

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

I have always been passionate about writing from a very young age. After so many years of only getting to write in my spare time between working a job I have close to zero passion for, I put one thought into my head and made myself a promise. That promise was that I am not going to rest until my writing is how I support my family. I thought that the feedback I received was very insightful and I appreciated it greatly. It showed that my script was actually read and thought about, and it was definitely useful in how I approached the 3rd draft of my script.

*****

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

TV ADVENTURE BEST SCENE Reading of FUTURE TENSE, by Kyle Williamson

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

Young, Rogue James Bond attempts to save the world from an extinction level event.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Val Cole
Max: Peter-Mark Raphael
Unnamed Woman: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Garrison: Scott McCulloch
Rob Lucas: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

FUTURE TENSE is about being forced to grow up too quickly and see the world for what it is. To see what happens when over eager manipulative people try to destroy everything through greed and corruptive power. Be it government or family. Rob’s family frame him for the murder of his own parents because of their own greed then he must try to stop a extinction level event brought on because of government greed.

It stems mainly because of the fact of sometimes people are forced to grow up

too quickly in society.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/thriller

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

FUTURE TENSE should be made into a movie because is captures the passion and humanity of everyone and everything within us all. From the couch potato to the sports enthusiast to the senior citizen. This gripping screenplay screams watch me, feel me, it has the passion and desire within the pages. The depth of characters, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be on the edges of your seats you may even beat your head against the proverbial wall in frustration at why some characters do some things…until you figure out why they do them.

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

Cataclysmic wonder

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

I watch several however the one watched most is Dream A Little Dream

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

Just over three months

7. How many stories have you written?

36 and counting

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

I listen to several but the one most listened to is Enter Sandman by Metallica

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

Writing flows pretty well with me. Many obstacles that I observe involves the following. Some things I take in many screenplays FUTURE TENSE being among them are parts of my own life, as I base some aspects of myself on my main characters. It adds a sense of depths. It also allows me to add or invest more emotion into them. Therefore it also makes it so I can add too much emotion too them. It makes it difficult to detach myself, especially when editing. I never want to take anything away, then I work odd hours, my social life gets strained. Then with all screenplay writers and authors research is a major key and becomes a obvious obstacle. As it takes time to read, and gather material, sort through and corroborate.

The single biggest issue with FUTURE TENSE I had was the conclusion. I spent two weeks on the conclusion itself and five different conclusions. Finally decision on leaving it fairly open for a potential sequel. Where the first few conclusions I made were disastrous for everyone.

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

Apart from writing my passions are sports both playing and watching…mainly baseball. I love music, watching and collecting movies almost all kinds except war or westerns. Also I spend time with family and friends.
 

******

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

 

 

Winning TV SPEC Screenplay – BETTER CALL SAUL, by Jimmy Prosser

Genre: Crime, Drama

Suspended lawyer Jimmy McGill endures community service at a high school where he meets an accused teen, while Mike searches for the distributor of Cheese, a popular new drug.

Narrator: Val Cole
Jimmy: Noah Casey
Mike: David Schaap
Bobby/Nacho: Gabriel Darku
Talbot/Hector: Neil Bennett
Secretary: Clare Blackwood
Kim: Lauren Toffan

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Spec screenplay about?

The logline is “Suspended lawyer Jimmy McGill endures community service at a high school where he meets an accused teen, while Mike searches for the distributor of Cheese, a popular new drug.” Going deeper, this episode provides viewers a better understanding of why Jimmy McGill cares about his clients, and particularly those over their head and in situations they did not anticipate. In a flashback, we see teen Jimmy (along with young buddy Marco) devising a clever money making scam but abandoned by older brother Chuck once caught. In present day, Jimmy identifies too closely with an accused teen as he struggles to find a way to defend him. We also learn more about the Hector/Gus rivalry as they make moves to expand from meth to a new heroin derivative that became very hot in this time frame.

How does this episode fit into the context of the TV series?

“QUESO” would be Episode 26 ½ (during Season 3 between episodes 6/7) and opens on Jimmy’s first attempt to satisfy his community service requirements following his suspension by the New Mexico Bar Association.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Achilles heal

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

The show I’ve watched repeatedly over the years is “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Each of the characters are perfectly drawn and I admire the writers’ willingness to really push boundaries. However, the show that I currently admire most is “Black Mirror.” I have been focusing on one-hour drama and, as I work on my own pilot and series bible, the tone and structure of “Black Mirror” is what keeps coming to mind. If I could write for one show, it’s “Black Mirror.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I will be graduating in a few months from New York University’s (NYU), Tisch School of the Arts, where I study Dramatic Writing and Producing in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. I’ve written plays, screenplays and sitcoms, but this script, QUESO, is my first one hour drama spec, which I wrote over 12 weeks this past summer.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve always liked to tell stories – but mostly orally to my family and friends. About 4 years ago, I began dramatic writing in earnest so over that time I must have written 20-30 short stories, plays, screenplays, sitcoms and now television drama scripts.

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

Being a kid growing up in San Diego during the 2000s, I have to say “I Miss You” by Blink-182.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I believe I’ve been able to capture the characters/dialogue and tone of “Better Call Saul” pretty well so the toughest part for me is to formulate the proper four act structure in a way that really communicates the right arc for the A, B and C stories.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, definitely. My favorite escapes are listening to music alone or grabbing instruments to play with my buddies as loudly as we can. When I write, a soundtrack always is in my head.

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

As I mentioned before, I’ve written a lot but this is my first drama spec so I was anxious to hear objective feedback. Some of the feedback I received was right on; some I think missed aspects of the script, especially when it comes to Jimmy’s motivation to help Bobby.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

FilmFreeway has been great. My first experience with it was submitting a short screenplay, “NOTEWORTHY,” which won several festivals and is going to be shot in January. We hope to submit that completed short film to several of the best festivals next year via FilmFreeway because it is very easy to use.

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

As painful as it is, I feel that you must create a full beat sheet before trying to write the script! Once that solid outline is in place, the writing comes much easier. It is tempting to write a fun standalone scene as soon as you think of it, but if you don’t have your structure in place you may find yourself spending too much time trying to wedge that scene into the overall story. 

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Original Script Reading of QUANTICO TV Show, by Leslie Lyshkov

Watch the September 2017 Winning Screenplay:

In the present day, both Alex and Ryan are assigned to the American Southwest. Alex to offer security to a fringe gubernatorial candidate. Booth to infiltrate a dangerous alt-right militia. In the flashback, Owen’s CIA trainees are assigned to launder money out of foreign country back to the United States.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Alex Parrish: Premika Leo
Ryan: James Boutcher
Harry/Putin: Rob Notman
Eddie: Brandon Knox
Popeye: Luke Robinson
Abigail Torres: Julie McCarthy
Shelby: Lindsay Rolland Mills

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay based on the TV show about?

Because my teleplay uses the flashback/flash-forward format of season one and two Quantico, my A-story and B-story occupy separate time lines. The flashback B-story is a “typical” episode at The Farm where Owen Hall tasks the CIA trainees to complete a training mission within a single episode. The A-story conforms to the series multi-episodic format for the flash-forward sequence. In this case, a new setup for a new flash-forward sequence. I saw no other way to write a Quantico spec within the second season format.

How does this screenplay fit into the context of the TV series?

Quantico’s format and principal cast are expected to change for Season 3. However this spec remains a continuation of Season 2. Because no Season 3 episodes have aired yet, I have no idea how this spec will fit within the series after (S3:E1) airs.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Documentary-Fiction. Fictional setups written months earlier are being caught up by current events. The WILDsound Festival can attested to this. This teleplay was submitted in May and Charlottesville occurred the month AFTER the teleplay was selected by WILDsound.

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

I like the original UK version of Life on Mars for its over-the-top characters. At present, I am binge-watching The Wire in preparation of tackling my first pilot teleplay.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months total. I began to binge-watch Quantico a year-ago because it seemed a good prospect for a spec teleplay. I spent two months outlining a story, three months writing the teleplay’s first draft, and one month rewriting and polishing its second draft. All writing was done in spare time. The script reflects somewhat under 200 actual hours labor. It could’ve been finished in four weeks if it had been a full-time project.

How many stories have you written?

Not enough. My portfolio consists of two feature length screenplays, an under-feature length 60-some page thriller, and this spec episodic. My goal for 2018 is to write a pair of 1-hour television pilots.

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

George Gershwin’s Summertime. It’s not my all time favorite song but I do like it a lot and I’ve heard so many cover versions by so many artists that there couldn’t be a song I’ve heard more often. For anybody unfamiliar with jazz, the rock band Sublime’s Doin’ Time is a cover of Gershwin’s Summertime.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This was easy. Character and tone are the toughest things for me to write. In this episodic spec, rather than create characters and create a tone, I mimicked Quantico’s characters and its tone. Regrettably, my talent for mimicry clearly exceeds that for creativity.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Bicycling and swimming. I am not particularly passionate about what a writer should be passionate about such as: reading, film, or television. My favorite part of writing is typing THE END at the very bottom of the last page.

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

I figure that a spec teleplay exists only to get exposure and that WILDsound’s table reading is that kind of exposure.

You entered your screenplay via Withoutabox. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Withoutabox is the easiest-to-navigate submission platform for the technically challenged, such as myself.

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

I’m convinced that, for the vast majority of us, writing a feature script is an exercise in futility. Although I don’t share the same pessimism toward television writing at this moment, I have no idea how ‘ll feel about it a year from now.
Don’t be in too big a hurry and wait until you have a polished draft before submitting to a writing competition. The worst thing that can happen with a script is to have a rough-draft make the finals or place third when a polished draft might have actually won.

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox