TV Spec of TRANSPARENT “The Board Shorts”, by Marissa Lessman

 

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Maura is haunted by her old life as Josh and Ali set up a garage sale while Sarah and Shelley try to throw the perfect Purim party resulting in an unexpected outcome.

CAST LIST:

Gary:  Allan Cooke
Ali: Rachel Rain Packota
Josh: Geoff Mays
Narrator: Olivia Jon
Maura: Shawn Devlin
Shelley: Lesley Ballantyne
Sarah: Jennifer Vallance

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your TV SPEC screenplay about?

*This is an episode of the most beloved Transparent. The episode centers around Sarah and Len having people over for Purim while Ally, Josh and Maura attempt to have a garage sale to sell Maura’s old possessions.

2. How does this episode fit into the context of the rest of the series?

*I foresaw this episode being at the beginning of Season 3, as Sarah is fighting to get involved in the Temple.

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

Dysfunctional and Endearing.

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

Several. Transparent, FRIENDS, New Girl, GIRLS and Top Chef: Just Desserts.

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

I had worked on it for 9 months from conception until the draft I sent in for consideration.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written over 30 screenplays, many more plays, and I make up stories in head about every 3 seconds.

7. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Tough one. I think “Learn to Fly” by The Foo Fighters is the song I ALWAYS come back to.

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

I am absolutely terrible with spelling and grammar. Terrible. So I always find polishing a script difficult without the outside eye of my production partner and my editor.

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

Helping others, laughing, eating, and my little dog.

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

I have been trying to continue to get my work to any and all audience, and a live reading seemed like a great way to do so. I have enjoyed working with wild sound and I think the feedback I received was apt and helpful.

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

As a wonderful teacher of mine said ,” heart over big jokes,” Meaning, if every word you write is coming from the heart of the character, it WILL work. If the joke is not, it just becomes too hard.

AND DONT EVER GIVE UP. IT WILL BREAK BEFORE YOU DO.

 

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

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January 2018 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay of RICK & MORTY TV Show
January 2018 Reading
by Daniel Richardson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – PEEL
January 2018 Reading
by Matthew Torti
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – FUNNY FARM
January 2018 Reading
by Deshon Porter
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – CELTIC BLOOD
January 2018 Reading
by Richard William Masterson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – NOVEMBER OF MY SOUL
January 2018 Reading
by Jack Trammell
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – A MATTER OF BAD TASTE
January 2018 Reading
by Gene Gwynne
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – CRUDE INVESTIGATIONS
January 2018 Reading
by Chris Roberts
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – FUTRE TENSE
January 2018 Reading
by Kyle Williamson
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – MOISH’S MOB
January 2018 Reading
by David R. Weinraub
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – LASTVIEW
January 2018 Reading
by Taylor Johnson
ACTOR TV Best Scene Screenplay – ED’S DOOR AND WINDOW CO.
January 2018 Reading
by Parker Cross Jr.
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – AMERICAN SCHOOL
January 2018 Reading
by Michael Hager

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning TV PILOT Reading of PSI-COM 5, by Ed Vela

 

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR: Becky Shrimpton
Lynx: Merlin Simard
Lucien: Allan Brunet
Joselyn: Mahtab Sabet
Liticia: Kate Varadi
Titansor: Anthony Tran
Hadley: Scott Beaudin
Cho: Salma Dharsee

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

At a secret government facility, young psychics are being trained and their psychic gifts developed but when one group: Psi-Com 5, finds out about an enhancement program that is killing and maiming some of the younger less powerful psychics, while at the same time discovering a powerful young psychic on the outside being used as a pawn, they decide to try to escape the confines of the Clinic.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Psi-Com 5 has at its core a few elements that make it very appealing for episodic television or platform viewing: it has well drawn characters relatable for who they are and who they aren’t, it has a basic “chase” plot element as PC5 works to stay hidden from society at large while staying one step ahead of the Clinic as they relentlessly pursue them, and it combines both a sci-fi and thriller element as it deals with both psychic powers and the danger of the pursuit.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Super Psychics.

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

Game of Thrones.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A few years.

How many stories have you written?

About 60, if you count stage plays, screenplays and teleplays.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

The Longest Time by Billy Joel.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Firstly, the framing device, it seemed natural once I realized that Lynx is such a acerbic character that if you didn’t know what he was thinking he wouldn’t be near as likeable as he ended up being, so I told it thru his eyes. Secondly, the age old dilemma in a pilot: making sure ask more questions than you answer.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love producing, directing and acting in my own short films, and web series. It offers me a creative smorgasbord.

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

As a TV pilot there aren’t that many festivals to enter a script like: Psi-Com 5, and this is the 1st contest I have entered it. I found the feedback thorough and helpful.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

I find FilmFreeway a fantastic way to search, find and enter festivals all over the country and the world.

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

If its not a story that you feel you have to write… Don’t write it. If you think it’s interesting… The audience will too.

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

2017 – Read the best of HORROR TELEVISION Shows loglines

Read the best of HORROR TV Show ideas and synsopsis’ from around the world.

MENTAL, by Tristan J. Shuler

PATRONYMIC, by Manmohan Kumar Rana

TATTOO, by David Wise

BLAZED AMBUSH, by Craig Smith

ENENRA, by Aaron Wroblewski

PEEL, by Matthew Torti

THE BLACK MARIA, by Michael Cala

VIRUS K, by Michael Freeman

FIRESTORM, by Clayton Emery

THE EXPERIENCER, by Kevin Taft

SYLVESTER, by Michael Aanu

EIDOLA, by Robert Herold

THE SHOP OF THE UNKNOWN by G. Alex Alvarado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2017 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for October 2017:

ACTORCRIME TV PILOT Screenplay – THE BIGGEST LITTLE
October 2017 Reading
by Craig Page
ACTORLGBT TV PILOT Screenplay – THE UPSIDE OF OVER
October 2017 Reading
by Dan Hass
ACTORBEST SCENE TV Screenplay – DARK HEROES
October 2017 Reading
by Peter Sims

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox
 

September 2017 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 4 TV Screenplay Winners for September 2017:

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – QUANTICO Show
September 2017 Reading
by Leslie Lyshkob

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – BOJACK HORSEMAN show
September 2017 Reading
by Cameron Chapman

ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – KODAK MOMENT
September 2017 Reading
by John Cruz Alarid

ACTORTV 1st Scene Screenplay – CELTIC BLOOD
September 2017 Reading
by Richard William Masterson

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Original Script Reading of BOJACK HORSEMAN TV Show, by Cameron Chapman

Set at the end of Season Three, BoJack takes his new philosophy of isolation literally when he’s accidentally kidnapped by a health and wellness cult.

Genre: Comedy, Animation

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
BoJack: Rob Notman
Kevin Spacey: James Boutcher
Buzz: Luke Robinson
Ethan: Brandon Knox
Olivia: Lindsay Rolland Mills
Sabrina: Premika Leo
Lizzie: Julie McCarthy

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay based on the TV show about?

This BoJack Horseman Spec Script picks up right at the end of Season Three when BoJack is accidentally kidnapped by a health and wellness cult and their charismatic leader, Kevin Spacey. While unknowingly trapped in their desert compound he explores his newfound philosophy of isolation while deep-diving into an old episode of his former sitcom “Horsin’ Around”.

I tried to connect BoJack closer with his character from “Horsin’ Around” through the idea that they both manage to surround themselves with a supporting cast, mainly, to not allow themselves to be truly alone. When he flees to the desert at the end of the third season I think there’s this notion that BoJack needs to work on breaking down all the emotional barriers he’s built up over the years but I liked the idea that, in true BoJack self destructive style, he decides what he needs is the opposite. That he needs the isolation and maybe in his own BoJack way, he’s not wrong?

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

When I wrote this I envisioned it as essentially Episode 13 of Season 3 of the series, picking up right where we left off, BoJack in the desert, alone, watching the herd of wild horses running off in the distance. Of course since then Season 4 has been released so I would have assumed it’s context within the full arc of the series would be obliterated, however with a couple tiny tweaks I can still see it slipping in quite nicely between the first and second episodes of Season 4 which starts off with BoJack still AWOL.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Alone together, (question mark)…

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

Obviously BoJack Horseman, I usually crush it in a hurry the day it’s released but they created such a rich, fast paced show and it’s wall to wall jokes so it’s always worth going back over again and again to pick up more details. I also love Man Seeking Woman, Rick & Morty and Silicon Valley. This past year Search Party, Fleabag and Catastrophe were especially great. There’s so much great TV on right now in all genres, on so many platforms, I’m just devouring it all!

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote this in 14 days, start to finish. Hahaha! I received an email about applying to a writing program at an animation studio and part of the application process was to write a Spec Script off their list of approved shows. I saw BoJack on there and thought, yup, this is happening! Unfortunately the deadline to apply was in 14 days but somehow I finished and submitted in time. It was the first Spec I’ve ever written but it all came together fairly quickly.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written several short and full length screenplays and am currently about six episodes into a Series that, I suppose, would fall into the 1 hour drama category. I work full time in the Film Industry mainly as a Production Coordinator so I try to write as much as I can. Of course, anyone familiar with the hours we work in film might question my sanity but this is why we do it. Right?! We’re here to tell stories no matter how self destructive, Hahaha!

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

I’ve always said that “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog is my favourite song of all time. There’s a beautiful cover by Willie Nelson too.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Well as I said above, I was working full time, 12-14 hour days on a Series for SyFy called Wynonna Earp when I wrote this and I remember being on the ice at hockey one night thinking, “Oh what if this happened in BoJack or what if that happened” or whatever. Hahaha! I also have an amazing Wife and two incredible Children so I would say the hardest part was not sleeping for two weeks.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m Canadian so naturally I’m a huge Hockey fan but I love Baseball, Music and Film, anything Star Wars… I love Comedy and Animation. My Family is the most important thing in the world to me so every chance I get to share one of my passions, including my writing, with them is very special.

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

I had entered this same Spec Script into a different contest and it luckily performed quite well, making it to the semi-finals. There was only one other Spec in that group of scripts and I noticed it was one that had previously won this Festival. When I saw that the reward for winning was a live reading I couldn’t not enter it. The value as a writer of hearing your script read aloud in the hands of professional actors is too immense and can’t be overstated. It was a no brainer. Plus I was really looking forward to seeing who got cast as a man with the head of a horse.

The feedback was unexpectedly thoughtful. I was bracing to get raked a bit for writing such a BoJack-centric BoJack episode which I assume is not the best way to tackle a Spec Script but I feel like the feedback I received understood most of the themes and what I was going for. That was a pleasant surprise which really helped me to push forward on some other projects I’m working on and to trust myself going forward.

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

Share! Don’t be overprotective of your ideas or your writing. You’re not alone in the universe, you’re not the only one scratching out crappy dialogue at 3:00am on a Sunday. Find like minded people either in your hometown or online and share, work together, go away and write, come back together and give feedback. Talk about it, work it, be open, make it better.

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox