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 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.

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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 SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading of MORPH, by Christine Davis

Genre: Sci-Fi, Crime

Logline: “Morph” is a Sci-Fi story in which Jack Oberman is a Los Angeles homicide detective who gets captured by the killers he pursues, mad scientists who alter his DNA and turn him into a monster.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Morty: Allan Michael Brunet
Jack: Nick Baillie

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Morph is about a slightly bromantic pairing of two cops, one of whom is a former accountant from the East Coast. As LA homicide detectives, their first case brings them up against a mad scientist who captures Detective Jack Oberman and alters his DNA so he turns into a strange nonhuman but still vaguely recognizable creature. Reminiscent of the fun of Season 1’s Hawaii Five-O pairing of Steve and Danny, fused with the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno The Incredible Hulk TV show from the 1970s, Morph brings procedural cop television into the sci-fi/creature genre, creating opportunities for individual episode arcs and one single overarching goal for the protagonist: finding a cure that’ll keep him from turning into the monster he becomes, even as he has to keep his day job of being a cop, solving mysteries and saving lives. All with his somewhat annoying partner – the only other person who knows his secret (or so he thinks) – along for the ride.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Broadly, it’s Science Fiction. It could also be called Superhero Fiction because technically the creature Jack morphs into acts much like the Hulk, and is therefore an unwilling superhero. It’s a Crime Drama with a focus on being a Detective Story and could fit into any number of Fantasy sub-genres. In other words, this TV show has the potential to draw in a lot of viewers from a lot of different genres!

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

Broad appeal. Superheroes are all the rage these days, you need only check out the numbers from Marvel and DC Comics offerings at the box office. In addition, procedurals such as the aforementioned Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, Criminal Minds and the multiple Law & Order and CSI spinoffs have proven that fans continue to have a huge appetite for episodic catch-the-bad-guy shows. There will also always be a large fan base for Creature Features. A lot of the Hammer Horror movies still have a rabid cult following, and bringing the heart into those in the way that Bixby’s David Banner/Hulk transformation did brings in a side to the audience you may not get if you go straight horror or hard-boiled detective. What I used to call “the CBS side of things.” 

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

Fresh, fun

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

Setting aside Disney movies (it doesn’t count if you see a move nonstop because of your child viewing it repeatedly!), probably Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or White Christmas. It’s really a toss-up because if I get obsessed with something I will watch it repeatedly for a period of time and then suddenly I’ll be over it and move on to the next thing!

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

I worked on it for approximately six months, including heavy revisions after some feedback I received via a different screenplay competition.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written hundreds of fan fiction stories, five completed screenplays and two original novel series. Never mind the ones I’ve written that haven’t yet seen the light of day. So a lot!

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

Instrumental: A River Runs Through It by Yiruma; Vocal (general): The Sound of Silence by Disturbed; Vocal (romantic): Per Te by Josh Groban and Bound by Christina Aguilera; Pop: Thunder by Imagine Dragons

Sorry. I listen to a LOT of music and MANY different genres!

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

Morphing (ha-ha) what began as a work of fan fiction into a screenplay and a novel series. It’s not easy to go from a world your reader already knows to creating one out of whole cloth. I also had to weigh my own vision against some feedback that tried to veer it away from the slightly campy/comic book feel I purposely gave it. It’s not always easy to take a stance and stick to it because it’s what feels right versus what’s popular.

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

My home, Oahu, Hawaii…specifically the Ko’olau Range and historic and ancient Hawaiian sites. Homeless pets and homeless people. Helping people learn how to help themselves and tackle their Overwhelm. My ImpCat, Ramses, who’s an insane feline.

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

I think it’s fantastic. Had no troubles whatsoever. It’s nice having so much in one place like that.

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

I’ve entered before with other screenplays, but I don’t think I’d ever entered a logline competition. I wanted to give it a try because I thought I had a really good logline for this TV pilot! In spite of that self-assuredness, I actually am thrilled and quite surprised that I made the top twenty! Thank you!

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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

January 2018 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay of RICK & MORTY TV Show
January 2018 Reading
by Daniel Richardson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – PEEL
January 2018 Reading
by Matthew Torti
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – FUNNY FARM
January 2018 Reading
by Deshon Porter
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – CELTIC BLOOD
January 2018 Reading
by Richard William Masterson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – NOVEMBER OF MY SOUL
January 2018 Reading
by Jack Trammell
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – A MATTER OF BAD TASTE
January 2018 Reading
by Gene Gwynne
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – CRUDE INVESTIGATIONS
January 2018 Reading
by Chris Roberts
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – FUTRE TENSE
January 2018 Reading
by Kyle Williamson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – MOISH’S MOB
January 2018 Reading
by David R. Weinraub
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – LASTVIEW
January 2018 Reading
by Taylor Johnson
ACTOR TV Best Scene Screenplay – ED’S DOOR AND WINDOW CO.
January 2018 Reading
by Parker Cross Jr.
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – AMERICAN SCHOOL
January 2018 Reading
by Michael Hager

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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

TV THRILLER BEST SCENE Reading of MOISH’S MOB, by David R. Weinraub

Genre: Crime, Mob, Thriller

Partnering with the Israeli Mossad, brilliant, bisexual and manipulative Saul Cohen leads five neighborhood friends from Moish’s Luncheonette in North Philly, on a takeover of the South Philly mob, and into the world of international intrigue.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Saul: Peter-Mark Raphael
Don: Scott McCulloch

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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