TV SPEC Screenplay – RICK & MORTY “The Rickgotiator” by David Cryan

Watch the August 2016 Winning TV PILOT screenplay.

RICK & MORTY “The Rickgotiator” by David Cryan

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Animation

When Morty accidentally gets his family kidnapped while trying to stop an alien war, he and Rick must execute an elaborate plan to rescue their family and trick the aliens into calling a truce.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
RICK – Stephen Flett
MORTY – Adam McNamara
BETH – Laura Darby
JERRY – David Straus
BLECKAR – Lorne Hiro
GARY – Rais Muoi
SUMMER – Victoria Urquhart

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your Rick & Morty TV SPEC screenplay about?

My Spec is about Rick learning where he can get some Chromosome Infinity, an elusive and rare substance he’s been after for a while. Rick finds out that it is located in the neutral zone, and if he tries to get it, it could spark an alien war, but he’s selfish. Meanwhile, Jerry tries to get a job and deals with his overall lack of confidence.

How does this screenplay fit into the context of the TV show?

It fits well into the context of the show because it has the big high concept sci-fi A story and a low key down to earth B story that collide at the halfway point.

How would you describe this script in two words?

I wouldn’t.

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

Oh boy, one? I have an obnoxiously long list including: The Simpsons, Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Veep, Futurama, The Critic, Frasier, Community, The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and of course Rick and Morty. That’s me cutting my list short. Like I said it’s obnoxiously long.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I spent roughly two weeks on the outline, another two weeks on a first draft, and then did periodic rewrites over the course of a couple months.

How many stories have you written?

I have written lots of sketches. Two pilots, one of which goes in drawer marked as a learning experience and is to never see the light of day. As well as three specs of existing shows, including Veep, Rick and Morty and an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which I just finished a first draft of and am beginning to rewrite.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Fear of failure.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Also fear of failure.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Personal privacy.

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

I’m at a point where I have enough writing samples that I’m happy with. So I’ve begun actively trying to get my stuff read, be that by submitting to agencies or entering contests. As far as the feedback, some of it I agreed with some of it I didn’t, but it definitely helped make my next draft stronger.

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

No.

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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TV PILOT Screenplay – Digital Natives by Adam Preston

Watch the August 2016 Winning TV PILOT screenplay.

Digital Natives  by Adam Preston

Genre: Comedy, Sitcom

When it all goes wrong for Phil Burrows he moves to London’s trendy Shoreditch district to reinvent himself as an on-the-pulse hipster in the place where it’s all happening. Not so hip or on-the-pulse is the fact that this involves moving in with his gran, Alice, who has lived there since year dot. To his horror Phil finds that a strange, vain, deluded twentysomething vlogger has wormed his way into her affections and now occupies the spare room. But horror turns to hope – could the technologically savvy Sam Fazackalee hold the secrets to his success?

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
PHIL – Lorne Hiro
ALICE – Susan Wilson
SAM – Rais Muoi
QUILLON – David Straus
GEORGE – Stephen Flett
JOHN – Adam McNamara
VERA – Laura Darby

Get to know the winning writer Adam Preston:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Three characters from three different generations are shacked up in a house in Shoreditch, East London, the UK’s hotbed of innovation and new-tech. There they try to pursue their various dreams by doing what everyone is doing around them – using technology and the internet – but for them it never quite works out…

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

There’s this assumption that everyone is comfortable with the rapid rate of technological development – but we’re human beings not robots and a lot of innovation leaves people feeling anxious or baffled. Digital Natives will be a release valve for all this pent up anxiety – meanwhile the age of robotics is only just getting started…

How would you describe this script in two words?

New-tech farce

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

Seinfeld

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About a year. I made a short in 2015 called The Last Post – you can watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/WjYFg1biT8Q This pilot expands on those themes

How many stories have you written?

Too many to count but I am very proud of a screenplay called The Second Coming which now has an Oscar nominated director attached.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

There’s this huge gulf between my parents generation with their total bafflement with new technology and people in their 20’s who don’t even think of themselves as living in an age of technological development – for them it is just life. Then stuck in the middle is the generation (now in their 30s) who saw all this stuff come in. They have one foot in and one foot out of it. These disparities struck me as offering that essential ‘comic gap’ where world views collide to create laughs. I wanted to write a comedy that enabled me to have fun with that disparity of experience and understanding.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It’s hard to justify spending time writing stuff on spec but I felt very inspired and just made the time.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m fiercely passionate about directing too.

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

The same organization selected my screenplay Misprints for a reading and the intelligent feedback I got from that was very valuable. Whatever you are writing you need feedback but with comedy it is absolutely essential. The LA TV Festival feedback on Digital Natives was right on the money – offering some great ideas and a wonderful boost of encouragement. The draft I did following the feedback was a substantial improvement.

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

I’m reluctant to give advice at this stage of my career but one thing I can say for sure is that it helps to network and develop good contacts in the indust

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV SPEC Reading – BROOKLYN NINE NINE by Linsen Oyosa

I was searching for festivals to which I could present my work. I had no idea that my script would even be good enough. I just wanted to hear some feedback. When I got the feedback, I was extremely happy because it was very detailed and helped me improve my work and of course, I was accepted into the festival.

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV Spec Screenplay. 

BROOKLYN NINE NINE  by Linsen Oyosa

Genre: Sitcom, Comedy, Crime

Synopsis: Jake and Charles try to take down a drug dealer. Meanwhile, Terry deals with inter-precinct theft and Holt helps Rosa deal with her recent politeness.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
JAKE – Christopher Huron
ROSA – Tracey Beltrano
CHARLES – Jeff Sinasic
TERRY – Deney Forrest
HOLT – John Lester Phillips
GINA – Laura Darby
AMY – Hannah Brenen

Get to know the winning writer: 

1. What is your screenplay based on the TV show “Brooklyn 99” about?

Jake and Charles try to take down a drug dealer. Meanwhile, in the precinct, Terry must find out who stole his yogurt and Holt helps Rosa deal with her recent politeness.

2. How does this episode fit into the context of the television show?

This episode fits into the context of the show because it stays true to the tone and nature of the show. It also shows these characters dealing with situations that would make the most of their personalities.

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

Funny, witty

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

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Friends, Parks and Recreation and Family Guy.

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

I worked on this screenplay for about two months, taking minor breaks during that period.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written two stories including this one. The other is a feature screenplay. I am currently working on a second feature screenplay.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love comedy as a genre for TV more than any other and I love this show in particular. I had been studying screenwriting for awhile and wanted to test my skills. Since this was a show I loved and watched religiously, I decided to start by writing a spec for it. I also felt that I understood the characters more than I did for any other show. This helped a lot.

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

Coming up with the different storylines was a bit of an obstacle at first. Making sure the character voices were accurate was another obstacle.

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

Apart from writing, I am passionate about Mathematics. Maybe one day I’ll create a show about Maths.

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

I was searching for festivals to which I could present my work. I had no idea that my script would even be good enough. I just wanted to hear some feedback. When I got the feedback, I was extremely happy because it was very detailed and helped me improve my work and of course, I was accepted into the festival.

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

If you are just beginning to write, I would suggest you find a genre you are truly passionate about. Study the shows or movies that you love in that genre. Focus on the types of characters within that universe and how you can use them to help create your own. Don’t give up. It’s a long journey but it’s certainly one worth taking.

****

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

 

TV Sitcom Pilot Reading – MAILROOMIES by Jacques Edeline

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

MAILROOMIES by Jacques Edeline

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: Pilot about a young man (Charlie) who starts at the bottom of the food chain in the Hollywood industry.

CAST LIST:

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

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/

TV SPEC of the show THE BIG BANG THEORY by David Minaskanian

Being able to see the script performed by professionals. The feedback was very helpful and I highly recommend others enter the festival.

The Big Bang Theory was the February 2016 Winning TV Spec Screenplay

Watch THE BIG BANG THEORY by David Minaskanian

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
PENNY – Kelci Stephenson
SHELDON – Jarrid Terrell
LEONARD – Chris Reid-Geisler
WOLOWITZ – Sean Kaufmann
KOOTHRAPPALI – Sasha Rajamani
MARY COOPER/AMY – Allison Kampf

Get to know writer David Minaskanian:

1. What is your screenplay based on the TV show “Big Bang Theory” about?

Sheldon’s mom visits for his birthday and accidentally reveals that his grandmother Meemaw passed away. Needless to say, Sheldon does not take it well.

2. How does this screenplay fit into the context of the TV show?

Sheldon’s grandmother had been mentioned for years but never made an appearance, so I wanted to keep in line with that. But now that she was just on the show, I think the script still works if you imagine it as a future episode.

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

Required reading

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

Saturday Night Live

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

I wrote the script in 2013. It took about three weeks, and I’ve been entering it in contests since then. It’s placed at the Austin Film Festival, the Final Draft Awards, and ScriptapaloozaTV, among others.

6. How many stories have you written?

Many sketches, screenplays, TV pilots, and spec episodes. One of my TV pilot scripts was recently optioned by producer John Murlowski.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve been a big fan of “The Big Bang Theory” since it started. This was the third “Big Bang” spec that I wrote. Sheldon is a very unique character and I enjoy writing in his voice.

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

I spent a lot of time on Sheldon’s speech at the end to make sure it was how I wanted it.

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

Mrs. Fields Cookies

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

Being able to see the script performed by professionals. The feedback was very helpful and I highly recommend others enter the festival.

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

For comedy, write what amuses you. If others like it, great. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.

 

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

 

Watch the October 2015 Winning TV SPEC Screenplay

Deadline November 15th for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival
https://tvfestival.org/

Deadline November 15th for Television Pilot/Spec Screenplay Festival
https://tvfestival.org/

TV SPEC – Silicon Valley
October 2015 Reading
Written by Jennifer McAuliffe

SYNOPSIS:

This spec script is about how Richard and the Pied Piper team try to dig their way out of the recent bad luck with funding, by raising their profile and networking.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
RICHARD – Geoff Mays
JARED/GILFOYLE – Jarrid Terrell
DINESH – David Occhipinti
MONICA – Christina Santos
ERLICH – Sean Ballantyne
MARISSA – Lorry Ayers