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

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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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TV PILOT Best Scene Reading – WHAT THE HELL, by Melissa Willis

 

Genre: Comedy

A single-camera comedy that follows a free-spirited young woman who’s lost everything and her four friends who are all forced to recreate their lives and themselves one humiliating, semi-permanent situation at a time.

Cast List:

Jamie: James Dooley
Narrator: Val Cole
Amy: Kelci Stephenson
The Messenger: Gary Graham

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
It’s about a woman who has lost her faith in everything and is struggling to understand why she’s here. She’s still dealing with PTSD and has a lot of nightmares about her past when she’s visited by a man who’s trapped between worlds who desperately needs her help. She doesn’t seem to care or understand until it starts affecting her personally, some of it his doing, but mostly she resists everything about this process and she doesn’t quite believe that what’s happening is real. Until it becomes too real.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
This was such a fun project to work on and I have so many ideas about things that could happen in coming seasons if it were ever picked up. It could easily last 5-8 seasons. And I think that a lot of it could be very relatable to the audience.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?
Darkly funny? Comical misery? Ever evolving? Something like that.

4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
Impractical Jokers, The Goldbergs, The Mick, Togetherness, Pushing Daisies, Sex and the City, Scrubs, The Golden Girls, Martin, Chappelle’s Show

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The idea came to me sometime in early 2016, but I didn’t really start working on it until about April or May of 2017.

6. How many stories have you written?
Spec scripts? I think this is my 5th one. Two existing shows and three pilots.

7. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
It’s hard to pick just one because I love music so much, but probably “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson (Oh, come on – you know you love it, too) or anything by the Four Seasons because I just love them and have since I was little.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I’ve been struggling with resistance for several years now and it’s probably the single biggest annoyance/hindrance/frustration in my life. That was probably the biggest one. That and I had a different original concept that turned more into this (which I love), but I’d still like to explore that original concept maybe as part of a season or something.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Music – I’m also a singer/songwriter. Having a great performance or writing a new set of fantastic lyrics that make you go, “Damn, that’s good!” is Heaven on Earth.

Improv/Comedy – There’s no better feeling than getting that unexpected laugh, especially in improv when you don’t even know what’s going to come out.
Exercise – I love that high of finishing a good workout.

Personal Development – There’s so much good stuff out there and it feels so good. I hope to pay it forward sometime soon.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I’ve been using WildSound for a few years now and I’ve always found their service to be reasonably priced, their notes to be very helpful and tell me exactly what I need to do, and their promotion of our work to be fantastic.

The feedback I received was great! The reviewer was very friendly, too! (I’ve had some in the past that were a little less so, to put it gently.) I had already changed a lot by the time I got it back, but it was still very useful.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I think it’s pretty smooth and I haven’t had any issues with it.

12. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and keep going. Work hard and want it and you’ll get there.

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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 PILOT 1st Scene Reading – BY TOUCH, by Robert Cox

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

Anton Michaels is a college professor with a gift. To some people in the police force Anton is used to help catch criminals with his abnormal psychometric abilities. After an explosion at a nuclear power plant leaves one man as a prime suspect, Anton is called in by his friend Father John to help find his nephew David who he swears could not be involved with the rigged explosion but has mysteriously disappeared.

Cast List:

Jimmy: James Dooley
Woman: Kelci Stephenson
Narrator: Val Cole
Anton: John Fray
Father John: Gary Graham

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

The story concerns a man gifted with the ability to locate people by touching objects they own or able to pick up on events from surrounding objects. This ability has drawbacks and dangers that he struggles to overcome, and fears coming from what and how much he sees and feels. Plus, his activities have caught the interest of an unsavory character that has his every move watched and wants him for his own purposes.

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

It shows that even someone with an extraordinary ability, in this case, psychometry, is still human underneath. The main character has the same flaws, fears, errors of judgement, and emotional baggage as anyone else.

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

Psychic Mystery

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

– CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.

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

– 2 years

6. How many stories have you written?

– 5

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

– ‘The Dancing Bear’ – Mamas and the Papas

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

– trying to keep the main character human, less someone who knows all the answers to one that needs to bumble his way through the story on occasion.

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

Gardening, Art (painting, drawing), Anything sci-fi, reading.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival?

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? I had heard good reports on the Festival from the comments on FilmFreeway, and others in my circle of writer friends. As for the feedback, it was extremely helpful, and I could see exactly what the person was talking about, and how to fix it.

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

I have had no complaints about FF. It has been a great way to enter contests and be able to know where they’re going. They have been able to answer any question I have had.

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

Write what you would like to see or you are passionate about. It may not be the ‘show-de-jour’ now, but it could be next week. Know that any script can be improved, and any feedback you may receive is only meant to help make the script better. Most of all, just write.

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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 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.

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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 AMERICAN SCHOOL, by Michael Hager

Genre: Comedy, Sitcom

A fish out of water comedy whereby two expats cope with bugs and perils and other misfits while living in Latin America and working in a private school run by a bipolar-ish principal.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Matt Goddard: Peter-Mark Raphael
Pete Sanderson: Scott McCulloch
Gladys Sanderson: Val Cole
Sarah Goddard: Ali Chappell

 

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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 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.
 

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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

 

 

December 2017 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

 

ACTORPSI-COM 5 TV PILOT
December 2017 Reading
by
ACTORMINNIE NOIR TV PILOT
December 2017 Reading
by Katie Grotzinger

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox