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.

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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 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

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.

****

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

May 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for May 2016:

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

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for May 2016:

THE REAPER: REBELLION “AFTERLIFE” TV Pilot
Written by Mark S. MacDonald and Darsey Meredith
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

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.
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

**
THE MINDY PROJECT “Culture Club” TV SPEC
Written by Katie Bero
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Sitcom

Mindy and Danny clash over how culturally aware to raise their child. Meanwhile Morgan tries to help Jeremy avoid deportation.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
MINDY – Kayla Lakhani
DANNY – Paul Falkowski
MORGAN – Abraham Asto
TAMRA – Aisha Evelyna
JEREMY/RISHI – Benjamin Harris
BEVERLY – Meggie McKinnon

**

SMITHEREENS TV Pilot
Written by Hershel D. Rephun
Read 10 Questions with the writer

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Drama

The story of a man, in pieces: This one-hour episodic dramedy series chronicles the journey of a man fished out of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. He remembers only his first name (Harry) and his mother tongue (Cockney). Flashbacks paint a complicated picture of a man battling alcoholism and engaged in some dark pursuits.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HARRY – Abraham Asto
NAN – Aisha Evelyna
REG – Benjamin Harris
REB JOEY – Paul Falkowski
CARMEN/SARAH – Meggie McKinnon

**

POWER TV Pilot
Written by Hisonni Johnson
Read 10 Questions with the writer

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

**

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

TV PILOT Reading: SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

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

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

May 2016 Winning TV Pilot

SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HARRY – Abraham Asto
NAN – Aisha Evelyna
REG – Benjamin Harris
REB JOEY – Paul Falkowski
CARMEN/SARAH – Meggie McKinnon

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: 

The story of a man, in pieces: This one-hour episodic dramedy series chronicles the journey of a man fished out of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. He remembers only his first name (Harry) and his mother tongue (Cockney). Flashbacks paint a complicated picture of a man battling alcoholism and engaged in some dark pursuits.

Get to know writer Hershel D. Rephun:

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

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

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

April 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for April 2016:

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for April 2016:

TV PILOT Screenplay – MAILROOMIES
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jacques Edeline

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy

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


TV PILOT Screenplay – MARRIAGE EQUALITY
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jamie Pierce

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Romance

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


Fan Fiction Screenplay – TWILIGHT ZONE “Punchline”
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jaime Medina

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

A failed comedian makes a deal with the Devil to switch places with the Vegas star who stole his act!.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
VIC – Michael Lake
SCRATCH – Noah Casey
TRIXIE – Kiran Friesen
LITA – Sandra Krstin
BENNY – Dennis Barham

Watch the Winning TV PILOT Table Read of HOT FLASH HIGH

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 PILOT: HOT FLASH HIGH
by Molly Driscoll

SYNOPSIS:

After a medical crisis, 16 year-old GRACE’S perfect high school life is threatened when she undergoes “medically induced menopause,” effectively draining her of hormones. Determined to keep her idyllic life, Grace tries to hide her new condition, but her body might not be so willing.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
GRACE – Antosia Fiedur
RILEY – Rochelle Burke
DIANE – Maya Woloszyn
ALEX/BRANDON – Paul Falkowski
TREVOR – Aieron Munro
CHARLIE – Robert Notman
DR. BROWNSTEIN – Charles Gordon