Winning TV PILOT Reading of DOWN WITH THE BUREAUCRACY by Dimitry Pompée

Watch the January 2017 Winning TV PILOT Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay DOWN WITH THE BUREAUCRACY Screenplay
Written by Dimitry Pompee

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
NATHAN – Gabriel Darku
KAREN/PAULA – Val Cole
LUKE – Nick Wicht
MYLES – Charles Gordon
ALLIE/NORA – Shannon McNally
QUINN – Catherine D’Angelo
BARLOWE – David Straus

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Political

After being framed for treason and losing his job at a prestigious DC lobbying firm, an arrogant grad student finds himself forced to take an entry-level position at the second-worst federal agency in America.

 Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

My pilot, Down With The Bureaucracy, is about an arrogant graduate student named Nathan who is forced to take an entry-level position at the second-worst federal agency in America in order to keep his academic scholarship. While Nathan is hostile to all of his coworkers at first, he finds he must convince them to help him save his job when his spiteful manager tries to fire him on the first day.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Aside from the fact that I think it would be a pretty funny show, I think there’s a huge audience for a sitcom about how ridiculous it can be working at the lower rungs of the federal government. We certainly have some amazing shows like Veep that mock the people in the corridors of power, but there are plenty of people in the lesser-known agencies who could use the same treatment.

At the same time, I also want to create a show that demonstrates the good that the federal workforce can do. Not only could this show derive material from the incompetence of the federal bureaucracy, it can show that there are plenty of talented and dedicated federal employees who are keeping this country afloat. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to endear people to their government than through a show about a group of bumbling coworkers who occasionally manage to do a decent job. Well, aside from a civics class.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Utterly rewarding.

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

It’s only rounding out its second season, but I think I’ve watched every episode of NBC’s Superstore about seventeen times each. It’s an excellent example of how to use an ensemble cast full of absurd characters to create a compelling and hilarious sitcom. The same can be said of The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, and all the other shows I find myself watching again and again.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve been working on this one for about two years and a half now. I recently compared the first draft from May 2014 with this current draft, and while many of the core pieces remain intact, it is radically different than it used to be. Hopefully, it’s better too!

How many stories have you written?

This is a difficult question to answer, because I have several scripts in various stages of “completion.” I would say that I have four scripts in what you might call late-stage drafts, and many others that are in earlier stages of editing, drafting, outlining, or nascent, amorphous chaos.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

When I was in grad school, I was also working full-time and I was very unhappy with my employment situation. I was bored and frustrated, and all of my job applications were met with silence, so I felt like I was stuck. I can’t even remember what the situation was, but one day, some nonsense happened at work and I said something to the effect of, “That is so stupid, it could be in a sitcom.” I started writing that very night. And I did end up leaving that job for something much better soon after, but not before taking extensive notes about working there that I’ve used in my pilot.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I don’t believe it’s done yet, but there have been some obstacles in getting it to this point. The most vexing obstacle for me was and remains developing a consistent writing habit, then sticking to it. I try do some writing during lunch at work, and then after coming home and foraging through the fridge for a somewhat healthy dinner, I write some more. Some days are better than others, but I figure as long as I can get SOMETHING down every day, I can count it as a success.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Video games, a free and open internet, and naps. Pretty much anything I can do on my couch.

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

I entered the festival precisely because of the reputation of the feedback. It can be challenging to find sources for insightful feedback when you’re outside of an academic or professional setting, especially if you’re just starting out and you have no connections. Several friends of mine who had previously entered the festival told me that the feedback they received was incredibly helpful, and I absolutely agree. After digesting and utilizing the notes I received, I can say with utmost certainty that my script is leagues ahead of where it was before the festival.

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

Many people have said this in much more insightful ways, but I’d advise other writers to always be open to receiving constructive feedback, and to seek it out specifically. It’s not easy hearing something you’ve been working on for a long time isn’t as good as you think it is, but receiving that type of criticism is essential to developing your skills as a writer. Don’t take it personally, don’t ignore it, and use it to improve your work.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson


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Best Scene TV Screenplay: THE MESSIAH PROJECT, by David E. Baugnon

I was very curious to see how far it might advance and if there was anything in particular that’s been keeping this from actually getting made. The feedback was great and encouraging.

Watch the June 2016 Best Scene TV Screenplay Winner.

THE MESSIAH PROJECT, by David E. Baugnon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: TV Pilot, Drama, War

Hour long TV Pilot transcript reading. Scene begins as Bruce wakes up in the hospital not to happy about what has just transpired.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Marsha Mason
KELLY – Roselie Williamson
JAMES – David Strauss
BRUCE/GRADY – Allan Michael Brunet
NURSE – Alan Shonfield

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

The Messiah Project is about an Army scientist who’s working on a rapid healing serum, but doesn’t create it in time to save her own husband. The serum works so well in the field, the Army’s not even sure these guys can be killed, and of course, chaos ensues.

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

This is character-driven story about the cost of war, as well as an exploration of what would you do if you couldn’t be killed: Work for the center of disease control? Rob a bank? Topple a government? Become a Messianic figure? Some great terrain to explore a multitude of possibilities.

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

I think the title does a good job but “unchained ego” works.

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

Fargo. (1st season of True Detective close second)

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

Originally, it was a feature length script completed about 12 years ago. In 2007, i adapted it to TV and continued rewriting it until i felt it was ready to submit. The Messiah Project, was one of two winners of the International Screenwriters Association Fast Track Fellowship program in 2015 and won the 2013 Showtime’s Tony Cox Television Pilot (Hour ­Long) Competition at the Nantucket Film Festival, the Silver Medal in the Television Drama category for the 2013 Page International Screenwriting Awards.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have 3 completed TV pilots and 7 features with numerous ideas in development.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of healing (I was pre-med for a year) and technological advances made in that pursuit. I was also drawn to explore this idea in the military arena where so much is lost and sacrificed. Seemed like a perfect fit and many new technologies are discovered in war time.

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

The biggest obstacle is knowing when the script is good enough. William Goldman once wrote that screenplays are never finished, but abandoned, meaning a writer is never completely satisfied and can overwork a script. I’ve been guilty of that.

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

I consider myself a writer/filmmaker but I also love photography, art, hiking and a damn good meal.

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

I was very curious to see how far it might advance and if there was anything in particular that’s been keeping this from actually getting made. The feedback was great and encouraging.

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

I believe writing should be enjoyable. You know you’re hitting your stride when you love what you’re working on, even at the first draft stages. It’s very easy to let your inner critic ruin the process, so I do whatever i can to remember that.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson