Winning TV PILOT Screenplay – WILLOWWOOD by Christopher Locke

Watch the October 2016 Winning TV PILOT Screenplay.

WILLOWWOOD TV Pilot
Written by Christopher Locke

SYNOPSIS:

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.

CAST LIST:

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?

Meta Insanity.

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

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TV Sitcom Pilot Screenplay Reading – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

TV Sitcom Pilot – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

TV Sitcom Pilot – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Synopsis: A gay couple deals with two life-changing events on Mother’s Day.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
ANDREW – Michael Lake
ANTHONY – Noah Casey
STACY/ANDREW – Sandra Krstin
JUDY – Kiran Friesen
DAD – Dennis Barham

Interview with Jamie Pierce:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

“Marriage Equality” centers on Anthony and Andrew, a bookend-pair of husbands, as they attempt to navigate the chaos that is their unpredictable family. In the pilot, it’s Mother’s Day and as the husbands dutifully make the rounds visiting the various mothers in their life, they are met by a series of unexpected familial revelations.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

To offer a comparison, in many ways the premise is similar to the relationship created by the TV sitcom characters of Frasier and Lilith (and then later Niles) in that we have two people who are more or less carbon copies of one another, which creates its own unique comic situation. Add to that the wildly different and varying personalities that surrounds them. This creates two unique dynamics that can be explored both individually and as a whole.

This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?

Funny jokes.

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

My favorite sitcom has always been Night Court. I’ve seen every episode multiples times and can recite many of them from memory. Great writing and a great premise that keeps things fresh. That show never gets old.

This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The pilot is based on my act as a stand-up comic. So in that sense, I’ve been developing this material for over a decade. Fashioning it into a teleplay was a slightly swifter process.

How many stories have you written?

This is my first for the screen. Previously, I’ve written novels, essays and stage plays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

In the classic tradition of stand-up comedy becoming situation comedy, I wanted to see how my particular act and brand would translate to that medium.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I kept questioning the ending I wanted to create a situation that would allow for trying to create a situation while also avoiding tropes.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for over 10 years and I really enjoy that. It’s creatively fulfilling as not only a writer but also performer, director and producer.

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

I really welcomed the feedback and found all of it very insightful and constructive. That’s not always the case with feedback from festival submissions!

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

Specificity is good in comedy. Offering something distinctive also helps to avoid the risk of coming across as derivative. In other words, different is good!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson