July 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 2 TV Screenplay Winners 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

*****

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Power Loss by Jennifer Renner

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action, Fantasy

Synopsis: Episode 32.5 of the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The station welcomes visitors from a planet in the Gamma Quadrant that allows only women to hold positions of authority.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Brandon Knox
BENNI – Susan Wilson
SORYA/KIRA – Meghan Allen
DAX/LELA – Courtney Keir
ODO – Julian Ford
BASHIR/QUARK – David Guthrie
SISKO/RISHTA – Sean Ballantyne

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TV PILOT Reading: WILD MAGIC by Julie Nichols

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

WILD MAGIC  by Julie Nichols

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Family, Fantasy, Drama, Comedy

A female teenager enters a typical High School and is immediately challenged by bully. Unbeknown to her she has the ability to do magic. It’s Buffy meets ABC Family.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRITTANY – Laura Darby
JILLIAN/LULU – Tracey Beltrano
ROSSALYN – Hannah Brenen
MARIO – Christopher Huron
SHANE – Deney Forrest
FERGUS – Jeff Sinasic
DOMINICK – John Lester Phillips

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

Wild Magic is a comedy-drama about a half-elf, half-human, 16-year old princess from an enchanted island off the coast of Scotland. Now on the run from a demon hoard seeking to destroy her, Rossalyn hides out with her family and best friend, the impish fairy Luella, in the sunny Mecca of beach bunnies and surfer dudes: Orange County, California.

It’s kind of Outlander meets The O.C.

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

This show is funny. I think that’s what makes it different from a lot of other contemporary teen fantasies which are predominantly dramas and thrillers. The target audience (12 – 26 year olds) has an unquenchable appetite for comedy, most of it found on YouTube. The characters in Rossalyn are really colorful and fun, especially Rossalyn’s punk fairy sidekick. And the market is really strong. Science fiction and fantasy TV shows just seems to be getting more and more popular.

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

Fresh magic

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

I’ve watched a lot of the Outlander episodes over and over again. I’m a fan of the books and love what Ron Moore has done with the story for the series. Flipping channels, old Star Trek TNG episodes tend to make me put down the remote. My last accidental binge watch was Arrow–one episode turned into seven before I surfaced. My latest find is the BBC show Poldark which stars Aidan Turner from The Hobbit films. Riveting.

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

I’m a fast writer. I wrote the first draft in about a week, then threw it in a drawer for a bit. When I took it out, I tore it up pretty ruthlessly and put back together again.

6. How many stories have you written?

Countless–from newspaper articles to screenplays. I have another finished pilot that’s very different, a procedural called Southern Comfort Zone that’s set in the Low Country of South Carolina. I’m finishing up a couple of full length screenplays now—a thriller and screwball comedy. And I’m working on a short play, too.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love fish-out-of-water-stories and slamming opposites together. As I was hiking on the Isle of Arran off the coast of Scotland one summer, I came across a little place called Fairy Dell which started me thinking about magic and fairies in the world today. Then, when I was driving in Orange County one afternoon, a perfectly-tanned blond passed me in a convertible, bubble gum pink jeep. Her license plate holder read, “Now all I need is Ken.” Bam. Scottish magic meets Barbie.

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

Originally, Rossalyn was an American teen who finds herself in Scotland. When I flipped it around so that she’s a Scottish teen living in America, everything changed. I threw out so much stuff that I loved, but it’s a better story this way.

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

Travel and cycling. Creativity and innovation. Global warming and the environment. And I’m a sucker for a great love story.

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

There’s no better way to know if your material works than hearing it read aloud by professional actors. I truly appreciate the feedback and will incorporate it into my next rewrite!

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

The biggest mistake I see writers make is working endlessly on one pet project to the exclusion of all else. You learn so much from building a body of work. You have to keep flexing your creative muscles by writing new stories. Not everything you write will win a contest or find a buyer, but you’ll learn so much just from working on and finishing each new story. So just keep writing!

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

 

 

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: 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

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 TV Spec Table Reading of VEEP

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

TV SPEC: VEEP “Town Hall”
by Emily Cirillo

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

TV SPEC: VEEP “Town Hall”
by Emily Cirillo

SYNOPSIS:

The episode, titled “Town Hall”, is about Selina trying to connect with millennial voters after disparaging poll numbers are released. Dan and Amy, fighting for the Campaign Manager position, have different ideas on how to win them over. And Jonah makes things more difficult for Selina and the staff after he accidentally opens a virus that crashes their office server. The episode culminates at a Town Hall event Selina attends at a local university, where she realizes winning the youth vote is easier said than done.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
Selina – Jacqueline Brown
Amy – Julia Vally
Sue – Alicia Payne
Mike – Charles Gordon
Ben – Neil Kulin
Adam – Kaleb Alexander
Dan – Rob Salerno
Jonah – Sean Ballantyne

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson