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. 

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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

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2017 – Read the best of ADVENTURE TELEVISION Shows loglines

Read the best of ADVENTURE TV Show ideas and synsopsis’ from around the world.

SPROUTS, by Dustin Pinney

POPULATION O, by Fritz Moise

MINAS TEAM, by William Stromain

SUITE U, by Matthew Lazin & Kelli Allan

THE INVISIBLE VOICE OF CENTAUR, by Lydia Torres

HARROW, by Alex Price-Wirth

DARK POWDER, by Eric Irizar

QUITE FRANKLY, by Louis Moore

THE WORLD ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAAS & PIETER SPAIN, by Betty David

ORACLE, by Nick Roth

THE GREEN OAK BOYS, by Herbert Ray Pitre

ALREADY OVER, by Justin K. Kazmierczak

FOR WANT OF A HORSE, by E. Kaiser Writes

ZUG THE FRIENDLY ORC, by Ian Fults

THE FRUROOT PRODUCERS, by Ezrael James

ALTERED EGOS, by Lindsay Miernicke & Alyssa Carter

2017 – Read the best of ACTION TELEVISION Shows loglines

Read the best of ACTION TV Show ideas and synsopsis’ from around the world.

AMRISTRE, by Obinna Ejike

JOHNNY WHOOP AND THE BRAIN MACHINE, by Peter Steinberg

TRAFFIK, by Diana Djurcinovska

ENFORCER, by Ronnie Thibodeaux

IDOLATRY, by MK McFadden

SOUL OF A WARRIOR, by Jerrica Houston

THE REMNANT, by Shelly Taylor

WITHIN, by Henry Boyd and Burnell Bowie

TAO: THE WAY OF HEAVEN, by Youlanda Brewster

MASTERS OF THE 9 KWAN, by Sam Bass

MIAMI NIGHTS, by Kevin Wesley Goodson

THE LIFE OF THE LIVING WHEN THE WORLD ENDS, by Various Writers

AVALON, by Ed Vaughan

PARAMOUNT, by Frankey Nelson

NIGHT REAPER: BLOOD LUST STORIES, by Nelson Amador

MARTYRS CAN NOT BE SILENCED, by Armin Narro

LONE WOLF UNIT, by William H. Holla

NO LOVE DOVES, by Alexandre Kounde

LOTT, by Bradley Brown

REDEEMING GRACE, by WL Gorman

ENTITLEMENT, by Carlos Burley

MARA, by Jonas Labao

REAPER, by Mark “Spary” MacDonald and Darsey Meredith

LEGENDARY, by Patrick G. Emralino

VIDEO PITCH: The Letter, by Hannah Hightower

SLAYERS, by Jeanelle Gordon

MARS, by Laura Quigley
FUTURE TENSE, by Kyle Williamson

PROJECT HERO, by David Levy

VIDEO PITCH: EXPLORERS PILOT by Christopher Andre

CRYSTAL UPRISING THE AWAKENING, by Addie Anthony

THE GLITCH, by Greg Wessman

ESCAPE TO HOLLYWOOD, by Robert Herold

SMOKE EATERS, by Kim Patterson and Kirsten C. Brown

SOUL TO SOUL, by Amandah Taylor Blackwell

GREY WOLF, by Ed Vaughan

THE JOKER, by Joe Smith

THE LAST MUSKETEER by Ed Vaughn

EMPOWERED, by Leo Zambrano

END TITUS, by Delmar Burkett

EXPOSE, by Stephen Paul Blanchard

ROGUE GROUP, by Christopher Andre

LAYLA’S WORLD, by Kristal Bain and Joe E. Hitchen

SUPERHEROES IN TRAINING, by David Caffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2017 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for October 2017:

ACTORCRIME TV PILOT Screenplay – THE BIGGEST LITTLE
October 2017 Reading
by Craig Page
ACTORLGBT TV PILOT Screenplay – THE UPSIDE OF OVER
October 2017 Reading
by Dan Hass
ACTORBEST SCENE TV Screenplay – DARK HEROES
October 2017 Reading
by Peter Sims

 
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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
 

September 2017 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for September 2017:

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – QUANTICO Show
September 2017 Reading
by Leslie Lyshkob

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – BOJACK HORSEMAN show
September 2017 Reading
by Cameron Chapman

ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – KODAK MOMENT
September 2017 Reading
by John Cruz Alarid

ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – CELTIC BLOOD
September 2017 Reading
by Richard William Masterson

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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

Part 2: 2017 – Best of DRAMA TV Show Pitches and Loglines

Browse the best of DRAMA Television show loglines and story pitches from around the world. 

THE LIQUIDATORS, by Kevin Mejia

THORNS ON A VINE, by Brianna Smith

XO10, by Barry English

THE JUSTICE CLUB, by Jennifer Lang

MULLIGANS, by Chris Jacobs

HACKERS LAMENT, by Douglas G Cala

THE LAST SUPPER, by Giovani Ginnetti & Garry Hicks

HARCO, by Frank Reynolds

THE E2’s, by Ade Craig

HOTEL CARTEL, by Courtney Michael

RESTART, by Sunday Banks

BLIND WORLD, by Dayna Vonthaer

ABSYNTHIA, by Seregon O’Dassey

LEGION 16, by LIndsey M. Foulkes

EARTH NOW INC, by Wendy Henson

TWENTYSOMETHING, by Hannah Grombol

DMITRY, by Mark Nadratowski

IRON SEEDS, by Tesh Hitman

LONEWOLF, by Amity Poglajen

THE FIFTH POSTULATE, by Leonardo Valenti Filippo Kalomenidis

AXIOM, by Rochelle Blissett-Miller

SPEAK, by Cosmo Iannopollo

REVERSE CITY, by Annaluisa De Socchieri

BALANCE, by Margaret Walton

HAIL MARY, by Stan Williamson

SUFFRAGETTES, by Christina Klessig

PORN AGAINST KRISTEN, by Tania Penn

SUNSET, by Valerio Carta

RAIN ON THE BRIDGE, by Ivana Tucak

THE HURLANT STRAND, by William L. Glover

NATIVE SONG, by Naomi S. Burell

LASSITER, by Walter Harris

HENRY, by Frank Muisenga

AGE OF SILENCE, by Vasileio Papatheocharis

DRUID, by Michael David Layne

SOURCE, by Jessica Waters

HANDS OF THE BAYOU, by Nichelle Walker

ENFORCEMENT, by Kevin Cantor

SAVE FACE, by Cameron McAtasney

WHEN THE WORLD WAS SQUARE, by Irwin Greenstein

BRUTA, by Eric Irizarry

CRAZY DESPERATION, by Curtis Ellison

ASAP, by Leon E. Connell

SEXY VEGAN FREAK, by Racine Hiet

TRAPPED, by Rachel Kantor

WE’RE ALL A LIL MAD, by Kamala Thompson

LIFE OF LIE, by Ankana Joshi

A RECIPE FOR DISASTER, by Gary Brennan

SUITE U, by Matthew Lazin & Kelli Allan

CITY NIGHTS, by Antonio Brewer

Original Script Reading of BOJACK HORSEMAN TV Show, by Cameron Chapman

Set at the end of Season Three, BoJack takes his new philosophy of isolation literally when he’s accidentally kidnapped by a health and wellness cult.

Genre: Comedy, Animation

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
BoJack: Rob Notman
Kevin Spacey: James Boutcher
Buzz: Luke Robinson
Ethan: Brandon Knox
Olivia: Lindsay Rolland Mills
Sabrina: Premika Leo
Lizzie: Julie McCarthy

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay based on the TV show about?

This BoJack Horseman Spec Script picks up right at the end of Season Three when BoJack is accidentally kidnapped by a health and wellness cult and their charismatic leader, Kevin Spacey. While unknowingly trapped in their desert compound he explores his newfound philosophy of isolation while deep-diving into an old episode of his former sitcom “Horsin’ Around”.

I tried to connect BoJack closer with his character from “Horsin’ Around” through the idea that they both manage to surround themselves with a supporting cast, mainly, to not allow themselves to be truly alone. When he flees to the desert at the end of the third season I think there’s this notion that BoJack needs to work on breaking down all the emotional barriers he’s built up over the years but I liked the idea that, in true BoJack self destructive style, he decides what he needs is the opposite. That he needs the isolation and maybe in his own BoJack way, he’s not wrong?

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

When I wrote this I envisioned it as essentially Episode 13 of Season 3 of the series, picking up right where we left off, BoJack in the desert, alone, watching the herd of wild horses running off in the distance. Of course since then Season 4 has been released so I would have assumed it’s context within the full arc of the series would be obliterated, however with a couple tiny tweaks I can still see it slipping in quite nicely between the first and second episodes of Season 4 which starts off with BoJack still AWOL.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Alone together, (question mark)…

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

Obviously BoJack Horseman, I usually crush it in a hurry the day it’s released but they created such a rich, fast paced show and it’s wall to wall jokes so it’s always worth going back over again and again to pick up more details. I also love Man Seeking Woman, Rick & Morty and Silicon Valley. This past year Search Party, Fleabag and Catastrophe were especially great. There’s so much great TV on right now in all genres, on so many platforms, I’m just devouring it all!

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote this in 14 days, start to finish. Hahaha! I received an email about applying to a writing program at an animation studio and part of the application process was to write a Spec Script off their list of approved shows. I saw BoJack on there and thought, yup, this is happening! Unfortunately the deadline to apply was in 14 days but somehow I finished and submitted in time. It was the first Spec I’ve ever written but it all came together fairly quickly.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written several short and full length screenplays and am currently about six episodes into a Series that, I suppose, would fall into the 1 hour drama category. I work full time in the Film Industry mainly as a Production Coordinator so I try to write as much as I can. Of course, anyone familiar with the hours we work in film might question my sanity but this is why we do it. Right?! We’re here to tell stories no matter how self destructive, Hahaha!

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

I’ve always said that “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog is my favourite song of all time. There’s a beautiful cover by Willie Nelson too.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Well as I said above, I was working full time, 12-14 hour days on a Series for SyFy called Wynonna Earp when I wrote this and I remember being on the ice at hockey one night thinking, “Oh what if this happened in BoJack or what if that happened” or whatever. Hahaha! I also have an amazing Wife and two incredible Children so I would say the hardest part was not sleeping for two weeks.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m Canadian so naturally I’m a huge Hockey fan but I love Baseball, Music and Film, anything Star Wars… I love Comedy and Animation. My Family is the most important thing in the world to me so every chance I get to share one of my passions, including my writing, with them is very special.

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

I had entered this same Spec Script into a different contest and it luckily performed quite well, making it to the semi-finals. There was only one other Spec in that group of scripts and I noticed it was one that had previously won this Festival. When I saw that the reward for winning was a live reading I couldn’t not enter it. The value as a writer of hearing your script read aloud in the hands of professional actors is too immense and can’t be overstated. It was a no brainer. Plus I was really looking forward to seeing who got cast as a man with the head of a horse.

The feedback was unexpectedly thoughtful. I was bracing to get raked a bit for writing such a BoJack-centric BoJack episode which I assume is not the best way to tackle a Spec Script but I feel like the feedback I received understood most of the themes and what I was going for. That was a pleasant surprise which really helped me to push forward on some other projects I’m working on and to trust myself going forward.

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

Share! Don’t be overprotective of your ideas or your writing. You’re not alone in the universe, you’re not the only one scratching out crappy dialogue at 3:00am on a Sunday. Find like minded people either in your hometown or online and share, work together, go away and write, come back together and give feedback. Talk about it, work it, be open, make it better.

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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