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.

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


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TV PILOT Winning Reading – The Spectral City by Arthur Vincie

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

Watch the TV Pilot Screenplay Winner for July 2016:

The Spectral City by Arthur Vincie

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, War, Supernatural

Three refugees, thrown together by chance, flee a modern-day civil war set in an unspecified country. Evading the army, rebels, bandits, gods, and demons, they head to the one place no one dares go to the Haunted City at the heart of the country. There they seek out the White Witch, who rules the City and who’s either their ticket out or their worst nightmare.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
JULIET – Courtney Keir
ISHMAEL – Brandon Knox
THEO/MATTHEW – Julian Ford
STEVEN/ADJAI – Sean Ballantyne
JIM – David Guthrie
NURIYAH – Meghan Allen

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

“The Spectral City” is a war/supernatural story, about six refugees trying to flee a modern-day civil war. Thrown together by chance, and pursued by the army, rebels, bandits, monsters, and gods, they head for the one place no one dares go – the Haunted City in the heart of the country. Will it be the key to their salvation, or the beginning of an even worse fate?

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

“The Spectral City” is about the people who are usually left out of war stories – the civilians. By focusing on their struggles for survival, redemption, and healing, we can avoid the usual war story cliches. It’s about ordinary people finding extraordinary grit in the face of adversity. By combining the war and supernatural/horror genres, the story brings out the inner as well as outer conflicts of the characters. This keeps the scale human-sized while also delivering an epic tale. The story aims to humanize refugees and those who are caught in the gears of war.

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

Surviving warfare

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

“Firefly” for its imaginative use of dialog, its balance of humor, and its blending of genres.

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

Two years.

6. How many stories have you written?

In addition to “Spectral City,” I’ve written several spec scripts, and wrote and directed two features, “Caleb’s Door” and “Found In Time.” I’m currently writing and directing a webseries, “Three Trembling Cities.”

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was interested in exploring the stories of people who’ve been caught up in civil wars. I was “inspired” by the stories of the child soldiers who were conscripted into both sides of the Sierra Leone civil war. Later I read up on the civilians who fled or who are currently fleeing the wars in Mali, Sudan, Libya, Georgia, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Syria, the border wars in Assam (India), and other recent (and in some cases ongoing) conflicts.

I also wanted to write something a little more grounded in “reality” (my last project was a sci-fi film, “Found In Time.”)

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

Finding the right balance between natural and supernatural elements. The supernatural part of the story reflects how people fall back into superstition when confronted with extreme chaos (soldiers are extremely superstitious). I also wanted the country depicted in the story to be a “blend” of real-world places and cultures, so that it felt alive and complex; but I didn’t want the reader to pin the country to a specific location.

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

Directing, still photography, reading. I’m a science and history nerd. I’m a closet drummer.

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

I thought the festival was a good fit for the material, and I was excited at the prospect of having the project read aloud. I thought the initial feedback was terrific and it helped me quite a bit.

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

Your first script (and maybe the one after that) is probably going to suck, but that’s okay – you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. It’s all about practice, and developing a discipline of some kind, so that you’re always writing, rewriting, researching, or recharging (so you can write again).

Don’t get too bogged down in details that you can work out later. Don’t get obsessed with perfection. Those are great ways to keep from ever finishing a draft.

It’s good to get a basic grasp of screenplay formatting and structure, and outlining is helpful, but memorable characters make or break the script. Don’t be afraid of not knowing where a scene is going – sometimes the best stuff comes up when you’re in a corner and you don’t know what you’re supposed to write next.

Jealousy, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and outrage can be your best friends as long as they don’t cripple you. Those “negative” emotions can keep you at the keyboard typing away or rewriting.

Find creative partnerships (with actors, producers, directors, other writers) – it’s too hard to go it alone in this field. These folks can give you honest feedback, help you get things off the ground, support you when you’re down. And you’ll do the same for them.

****

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

TV PILOT Reading – CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN  by Gina Scanlon

Genre: Drama, Crime

Synopsis: A young marine returns to her small Texas town after a recent tour in the South Sudan to complete police academy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRANDI – Laura Darby
AMOS/STOKER – Christopher Huron
DR. BURNS – Tracey Beltrano
SHANE – Deney Forrest
MARCUS – Jeff Sinasic
MARCEL – John Lester Phillips

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

A young marine returns home to Texas after a traumatizing tour to reclaim her life as a rookie cop. Unfortunately more than a few unwelcome complications await her.

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

Female assault in the military, the challenges of combating PTSD, and the way these two issues trickle down and weave into American society I feel warrants more attention, and are topics I believe people are interested in. Plus, TV could use a few more badass, imperfect female protagonists!

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

questionable redemption

4. What TV show do you watch over and over again?

I can’t get enough of The Twilight Zone! I’ve also re-watched the first season of Jessica Jones a couple times.

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

For a couple of years now. I went through a near Page 1 rewrite about a year ago. I knew I loved the main character and topic, but needed to tackle it from a different angle and make it more exciting.

6. How many stories have you written?

Tons! I started writing fiction when I was in middle school, and plays towards the end of high school and never stopped. But as all writers know, most of them don’t stand out as very good.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

A documentary called “The Invisible War,” which is about how so many people (women in particular) have suffered sexual assault and find no justice in the US military made me so angry, I started writing this script. Though the pilot of “Civilian” doesn’t tackle that specific issue, its main character goes through similar turmoils and challenges, and that theme would continue to resonate throughout the series, should it ever get to that point!

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

I originally saw it as a feature, so I had to restructure it. I added characters and storylines in order to give it more of a setup for a potential series, and to give it more longevity in general. I definitely had people I trust read drafts along the way, which helped in turning it into a believable pilot format.

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

Kurt Vonnegut and his weird ideas. I’m obsessed with history, particularly the War of the Roses and both American and French Revolutions. International, and national women’s rights are up there, and so is supporting the preservation of journalism. I find it scary that the majority of people get their news from Twitter, celebrities, or websites like Buzzzfeed these days, and meanwhile reputable news sources are going bankrupt. On a lighter note, I’m also really into stand-up comedy and air hockey. haha

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

I wanted to start receiving professional feedback on the script, and heard positive things about the festival. The initial feedback was extremely helpful in improving my next draft, and brought to light certain things I hadn’t even thought could effect the salability of the script.

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

Trust your instincts, and never write something for superficial reasons (the current market trends, etc.). Do it because you really care about what you’re writing about, and I believe people will gravitate towards that authenticity.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

TV PILOT Reading: THE REAPER REBELLION “AFTERLIFE” by Mark S MacDonald and Darsey Meredith

Eva, who may or may not be Eve from the Book of Genesis, inadvertently creates Death in the world by inciting her siblings and lover to eat the Divine Apple from the Tree of Life. It’s an interesting spin on the immortal story about how the humans lost paradise and incurred the wrath of God.

May 2016 Winning TV Pilot

THE REAPER REBELLION “AFTERLIFE” by Mark S MacDonald and Darsey Meredith

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
RHODA/DEATH – Meggie McKinnon
LAILAH – Aisha Evelyna
MAALIK – Sean Ballantyne
AZRAEL – Benjamin Harris
GOD/DRAVEN – Paul Falkowski
HANNAH – Kayla Lakhani

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Eva, who may or may not be Eve from the Book of Genesis, inadvertently creates Death in the world by inciting her siblings and lover to eat the Divine Apple from the Tree of Life. It’s an interesting spin on the immortal story about how the humans lost paradise and incurred the wrath of God.


Get to know writers Mark S MacDonald:

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

My TV pilot is a fantasy/adventure series loosely based off Christian mythology about The Grim Reaper, or Death, invading the afterlife in order to confront God and his tyrannical legions, and ultimately find a way to die.

2. How should this Pilot be made into a TV show?

I feel that The Reaper should be made into a TV show because it has a strong female lead that gradually learns to trust and love others again throughout the series, as well as come to terms with thoughts and feelings she’s had to bury deep down just to keep herself together. It also has action, a world full to bursting with history and lore, a story and a diverse cast of characters that would appeal to variety of viewers from teenagers to adults. Not to mention numerous thought provoking themes like the concept of free will and whether or not there ought to be boundaries to it.

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

Epic and intense.

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

The Legend of Korra. While it may not be as violent and gritty as the other shows I watch (Game Of Thrones chief among them), it has great animation, it’s well written, it’s full of well developed characters, and it handles mature themes and subject matter like regicide, betrayal, and totalitarianism in a way that younger audiences can handle, yet respects the intelligence of older viewers.

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

Nearly three years.

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written numerous short scripts and a feature during my time at Vancouver Film School, plus several other short scripts prior, an animated pilot, part of the script of an independent video game, and I’ve worked as an ADR Writer for Ocean Productions in Vancouver, BC.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always wondered where the being Death came from, what if anything would such an entity want, and what kind of story could I make based off that. One day when I was having coffee with my friend/co-writer Darsey, we were talking about story ideas we had, I told her about my take on such a story, she was immediately hooked, and we spent the rest of our get together just talking about the possibilities of where the story could go. In the years since, I’ve spent countless hours of my downtime working on it, meeting with her periodically to discuss and enrich what I had. Before long, the pilot was done alongside a hundred some odd page document describing the world and the characters in it.

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

Finding a balance between the action scenes and the story was tricky, but my biggest challenges were the characters Death and Maalik. Death was hard because I wanted to make a character that stood out from the other interpretations of The Grim Reaper. I didn’t want her to be just another ominously enigmatic entity or a literally unstoppable badass (at least not entirely). I wanted her to be a character that people can connect to and sympathize, even if only in a metaphorical sense. Maalik’s challenge was more to do with how to establish the sub-plot that he’s persecuted at the hands of his subordinates due to his ethnicity, yet not be obnoxious about it and have dialogue that’s straight up xenophobic. Thankfully, Darsey was there to help.

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

I’ve been acting for about 16 years, and part of my journey into acting on film led to me discovering my love of writing as well. Aside from that, I love collaborating on projects with people I’ve met on set and off, and I rediscovered my love of theatre through a play I was recently a part of: Comic Potential by Alan Ayckbourn.

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

When I initially submitted, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when I got the email saying that I had it was selected along with my feedback, I was ecstatic! The feedback was very helpful and I couldn’t be happier. It was constructive and pointed out the importance of simmering down the profanity I originally used so that it’s not immediately written off as too vulgar for TV, as well as pointing out little things I didn’t notice or consider the first time around.

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

My advice to other writers is to have an open mind, never take feedback personally, never stop writing, never, EVER spend your days wondering what might have been, be nice to your body, get plenty of sleep, take a breather if you’re stuck, and if you have an idea that excites you, WRITE IT DOWN!!!.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

POWER – Watch TV Pilot Reading by Hisonni Johnson (Green Lantern Pilot)

Watch the May 2016 WInning TV Pilot Reading.

Watch POWER TV PILOT:

Watch the May 2016 WInning TV Pilot Reading. 

Watch POWER TV PILOT: 

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comic book, Drama, Sci Fi, Action, Superhero

Synopsis: A tragic turns of events leaves one of the world’s greatest heroes injured, without his powers and public enemy number one.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JOHN – Mark Sparks
SANDRA – Lavinia Latham
SHIERA – Isabella Bontorin
DENNIS – Neil Kulin
LAWTON – Dan Cristofori

Get to know writer Hisonni Johnson: 

What is your screenplay about?

This screenplay is based on DC comic’s character John Stewart AKA The Green Lantern. It’s an original take on the character within a story that very cleverly introduces John Stewart to an audience that may not be familiar with him (Without doing a traditional origin story). This script was a great way for me to explore some relationship dynamics and themes that I do not feel have been explored enough in comic books or comic book films.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV Show?

The drama and mystery is pretty appealing. The characters are well developed. Our main character has lost something that could take several season for him to regain. A major theme of this show is trust. Who can I trust and who can I not. There is a lot of stuff to play with in there.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Suspenseful and Exciting.

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

Batman Begins. It’s the only film I’ve ever seen that just never gets old.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A week.

How much research did you do to write within the world of “Green Lantern”? Did you take any liberties from the original content?

Comic book are in my blood. My mother introduced me to comic books and was arguably a bigger DC fan than I am. So the research part was kind of built in. My strength as a writer is my sense of empathy. When I write, I am genuinely in the shoes of the main character and when I’m in those shoes… I focus on being as emotionally authentic as I can. because of this, I’m often times sad to finish a script. Because, in my mind… It wasn’t a script. I was there! Life afterward can’t compare to the adventures I experience when I write stuff like this. I know that becoming sad at the end of the script means that I’ve written something decent.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I want to be a talented filmmaker across the board. So, I cycle between directing films, shooting films, editing films and writing films. During each phase I put tremendous pressure on myself to get better than the year before. This script is the result of wanting to put a sci fi/fantasy story out there that felt emotionally grounded and plausible.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I didn’t really. This was a fun process.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Directing, cinematography, editing, VFX and pitching projects.

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

I’ve been on the festival circuit nonstop for the past 5 years competiting my films and web series. But, I want to prove to myself that I can be well rounded. So the next logical step is to try and gain recognition for my screenplays. And here I am. In the future, nothing will make me feel better about directing my films than knowing that I’m a stand out writer and that the story i’m about to shoot is good to go.

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

Be authentic. Write stories that mean so much to you that you’re sad when you’re done writing them. Have goals for your scripts once you’ve finished them. I wrote this script intending to shoot a trailer for it and luckily I was able to. Since then, the trailer has won me many accolades and gotten the attention of people I hope will help me get some of my work made.

***

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

March 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for 2016:

 

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

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners for  2016:

TV PILOT: REC’D
by Chris Courtney Martin

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama

n the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
RYAN – Rob Notman
LEYA/PETEY – Alicia Payne
LINDA – Val Cole
DAMIAN – Kari-Michael Helava
GUY – Ucal Shillingford

—-

TV SPEC: MAGNUM P.I.
by Lew Ritter

SYNOPSIS:

Script Titled: Chrysanthemum. In the 80’s a computer whiz and former army buddy of Magnum’s, fakes his own death to stop the theft of a then state of he art super computer. .

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
MAGNUM – Rob Notman
ALLISON – Alicia Payne
T.C./SIMONSEN – Ucal Shillingford
HIGGINS/RICK – Kari-Michael Helava

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV Pilot Sitcom Reading – REC’D by Chris Courtney Martin

In the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world. We also get to see Petey make an adult decision in how she handles Ryan, this guy she slept with last year. She can be petty or she can be professional, that’s where this decision-making comes into play again.

Watch the March 2016 TV Festival Winner

Watch REC’D TV PILOT:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
RYAN – Rob Notman
LEYA/PETEY – Alicia Payne
LINDA – Val Cole
DAMIAN – Kari-Michael Helava
GUY – Ucal Shillingford

Get to know writer Chris Courtney Martin:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

In the pilot, we meet our hero Petey and her friends. Petey has to deal with training this guy who broke her heart. Her best friend, Leya, has to prepare an assignment while on her shift. We get sucked into this bizarre Twilight Zone that is work-study. It’s like a half-step between being a kid and an adult because you’re balancing school and work. When you’re a kid, school is always supposed to come first. When you’re an adult, other than your family, work is top priority. The pilot introduces us to that world. We also get to see Petey make an adult decision in how she handles Ryan, this guy she slept with last year. She can be petty or she can be professional, that’s where this decision-making comes into play again.

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

I think it’s important to show black girls getting to be silly and have fun. Just about all the media surrounding black women is very serious and intense. It feels like we’re expected to grow up faster than everyone else. There really is no Broad City or Two Broke Girls for us. Why can’t we have crazy shenanigans and learn from our stupid mistakes? I feel like it would be refreshing and maybe a little therapeutic for us to get a show where we’re just living life and no one is getting murdered or having extramarital affairs and all that other heavy stuff.

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

Millennial shenanigans.

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

There are very few shows I can watch over and over but Bob’s Burgers is so fun that I can just chill out and watch it while I’m having a meal, even if I’ve seen the episode before. I can’t even do that with some of my other favorite shows because I usually can’t stand seeing re-runs.

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

Conceptually? Since my first year of college, which started in 2010. This is semi-autobiographical and some of the characters really aren’t too far off base from the people who inspired them. My Freshman year roommate and I both worked at the Rec Center and there were so many unique personalities we loved to lampoon that we were like, “This could be a show!” The first time I put anything down on the page was last year.

6. How many stories have you written?

So many. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. As far screenplays that I consider ready-to-sell, I have one pilot, two features and a short. But I’ve got countless other things in various stages of completion.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

This was actually meant to be my entry for the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship last year, but the submissions capped before I could send it in.

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

Time. Before I decided to move to California to pursue screenwriting full-time, I was emotionally sapped from my day job. Finding the energy to get something on the page was the hardest part.

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

I care a lot about activism, social justice. I really enjoy any opportunity to mentor and teach people, especially when it comes to screenwriting.

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

I actually did the First Scene festival not too long and my scene got picked. I loved the festival’s style of feedback, and the entry fees are very reasonable. I figured I’d try my luck again.

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

I like to say, “Write a script you could marry.” That’s how I answered this question when Loveless was picked, but I realized that was extremely vague. What I meant was, find a story that means so much to you that you have to tell it no matter what. No matter how many re-writes, no matter how long you’ve had writer’s block. Write a story that you’ll be willing to work on as long as it takes.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/