Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.
MAILROOMIES by Jacques Edeline
Synopsis: Pilot about a young man (Charlie) who starts at the bottom of the food chain in the Hollywood industry.
NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
CHARLIE – Dennis Barham
PAT – Noah Casey
ZOE – Sandra Krstin
MEG/TIA – Kiran Friesen
WILL – Michael Lake
Get to know writer Jacques Edeline (with Producers Dhia Rabiai, Dan Pastewka):
1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?
Hollywood dreamers attempt to grind their way into “the Industry,” starting in the mailroom at a notorious talent agency, and experiencing the real and the unreal of Los Angeles along the way.
Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?
The show explores the dynamic, cutthroat jockeying for advancement, recognition and status that the entertainment industry so naturally encourages, and forces our heroes to question their values, goals and relationships in the pursuit of “success.” We believe these themes are universal and relatable to audiences from all different walks of life. You don’t need to understand the intricacies of entertainment to appreciate the struggle and moral dilemmas that the characters must go through on their journeys towards perceived success.
This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?
Fantasy vs. Reality.
What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
We are big Entourage fans and re-watch the show regularly. Every episode gives the audience a taste of how the 1% live and the characters are just fun to watch. With that being said, we recognize that for the vast majority of the people living in Hollywood, that world is a fantasy. So, we decided to flip that idea around and create a show about the 99% instead. Our characters get glimpses of the good life, but they are ultimately still struggling and fighting to make a name for themselves and get recognized. The world is an intricate depiction of a much larger common experience.
This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
The idea has been in the works for awhile, but it took about six months to really conceptualize the world, create the characters, and bring in a writer who we thought could execute our vision.
How many stories have you written?
Our writer has written numerous screenplays. He’s smart, efficient, and really really good.
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
We wanted to bring this idea to life because of our own personal experiences. I think we intuitively understood that Los Angeles and entertainment is really a larger than life representation of a wider struggle that many millennials are going through in many different fields. We have met a lot of people who are in this city hoping to “make it big,” but the question remains, are they willing to put in the work? Are they willing to make sacrifices to see their dreams become a reality? We come from the school of thought that hard work creates a certain amount of luck breaks, and that’s really what this show is about.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle has been convincing people that this isn’t just another story about Hollywood. We are fully aware that many other shows take place in this city and that entertainment is generally a really “tough sell.” At the end of the day though, we can only create a world that we honestly and authentically understand. We, the producers, are both from different countries. We bring a fresh perspective to this story and see Los Angeles differently than perhaps others do. We have a dream and wholeheartedly believe in the idea. And isn’t that what this city is all about?
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
We read a ton, as well as watch a lot of TV and films. We are both very entrepreneurial, so we enjoy brainstorming ideas and problem solving. Also, one of us digs the sport of badminton and hiking…so there’s that.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
We did a quick Google search and found this festival pretty quickly. The feedback we received was comprehensive and very informative. We appreciate it.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Whether you’re a writer, director, producer, the best advice we can give is to keep at it. It takes awhile to become really good at something, and storytelling is no different. Put in the time, have fun, and you’ll have a much better shot of getting your work out there. It sounds cliche, but it’s persistence.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson