Watch the October 2016 Winning TV PILOT Screenplay.
WILLOWWOOD TV Pilot
Written by Christopher Locke
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
When two aimless slackers discover their entire reality is a TV show and they are merely background characters in a mediocre family sitcom, they attempt to inject some much needed conflict into the lives of the family in order to save the show (and their reality) from cancellation.
NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JASMINE – Michelle Alexander
SHELDON – Brogan Caulfield
RUSS – Martin Huss
BARBARA – Viktoria Napoleonova
DERRICK – Michael Lake
WOMAN – Erynn Brook
Get to know the winning writer:
What is your TV series about?
Former best friends, Jasmine and Sheldon, discover their entire reality is a TV show and that they are actually background characters in a family sitcom entitled Willowwood. Upon learning that the show is on the verge of being cancelled, they take it upon themselves to inject come conflict into the lives of the sitcom family, in order to boost the ratings to prevent the show (and their reality) from being cancelled.
Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
Because it is something that I have yet to see. While many television shows today could be described as “meta”, none are to the extent that this show has the potential to be. Toying with TV tropes, sitcom clichés and even employing both single camera and multi-camera formats, this show has the potential to be something that no one has ever seen before.
How would you describe this script in two words?
What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
Spongebob Squarepants. What else?
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The idea has been floating around my head for the last two years, but only recently have I felt that I was able to fully develop the idea into a script.
How many stories have you written?
Somewhere between 10-15. Most are film treatments or ideas, while I have 3 or 4 other scripts either completed or in development
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
About a year and a half ago, I suffered from a condition called de-personalization. It is a symptom of anxiety that makes you feel as if your world isn’t real or you have no control over your actions or decisions. It is not dangerous, but very disturbing and can lead to more serious mental issues. That experience helped me develop the story in that, like the characters, I felt as if I had no control over my life and everything around me wasn’t real. Jasmine, even before learning her reality was a TV show, was worried that she had no control over where her life was going. Writing Jasmine and her ability to take control of her situation and her life was very therapeutic for me.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Constant writer’s block. I usually have the ideas in my head all day every day, but the writing occurs in 20-page writing sessions once every couple of months.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’ve played guitar for 12 years now. Performing as well as music in general.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Particularly the reading portion. Before, most of my writing existed in my head or in the heads of others. It is a completely different experience to have it read out loud, especially from a dialogue perspective.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
You know that crazy idea in your head that you know everyone else will think is stupid or has no marketability whatsoever?
Write it. Don’t settle for safe.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Editor: John Johnson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne