TV PILOT 1st Scene Script – JAKOB’S COVE, by Travis Darkow

 

Genre: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense

A crazy mash up of The X-Files and Supernatural, but with more violence, old school noir detective movies like The Maltese Falcon, and the soundtrack style of Stranger Things or It Follows, 80’s synthesizer and all.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Det. Jameson: Charles Gordon

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

A seasoned detective is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate an increasing number of disappearances. As he digs into the town and the locals, he soon discovers that the reasons for these disappearances begin to point to the paranormal, and the seemingly quiet Jakob’s Cove is a mere facade for a much darker reality that brews within the town. Detective Jameson doesn’t learn it in the pilot, but the audience sees that Scarlett has some sort of “abilities” and turns out soon thereafter to be a witch. Scarlett along with two other witches, and a cloaked group of mysterious figures from the community known in secret as The Order of the Blood Raven control some sort of interdimensional rift that is a gateway to tangent realms where thought-to-be mythical creatures and monsters exist. The witches, in a pact with a family of vampires, are the ones taking the missing people, and sacrificing them to an overlord of these realms in exchange for power. The pilot sets up the horror/supernatural aspect, as well as introducing the main characters, all while leaving enough mystery as to what’s to come, that I think is really exciting.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say first and foremost it falls under Mystery/Horror, with elements of thriller and suspense, as well as some nods to old school detective movies, and bits of humor sprinkled throughout, mostly from Elliot, and even Jameson, albeit unintentionally.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I truly believe this world I’ve begun to create would make a wonderfully strange canvas on which to paint a compelling horror/supernatural mystery tale. I have spent so many hundreds of hours working on developing Jakob’s Cove, not just as a script, but as a “real” place. Mainly for my own sake, I have worked out and outlined potentially where the entire show could go as a series, and I have found myself in some very interesting places creatively in doing so. I have outlined multiple seasons to see what types of obstacles our ragtag group of protagonists could face. Each season would present a new creature or two (werewolves, extraterrestrials etc.) that have been summoned through the space-time rift that lies in the crypts beneath the cemetery, that is controlled by the group of witches. I visualized Jakob’s Cove as a series that starts off strange and doesn’t let up. I imagine each episode as no nonsense, fast paced horror, mystery and suspense, always leaving the viewer craving the next episode, as Jameson transforms from stern detective to monster hunting badass who has to expel these beasts back into the void. I think this blend of supernatural horror, mystery, and everyday people becoming the heroes over this dark little town would be an intense, strange and satisfying watch for audiences to keep coming back to, as the possibilities of what could happen and where it could go are potentially limitless.

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

Cosmic and frenetic

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

It would probably be a close one between The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Sandlot.

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

I originally outlined the overall idea for Jakob’s Cove 3 years ago, back then it was only going to be a short story, until I saw the potential for expanding this world. I wrote the first draft about 7 or 8 months ago, then sat on it for a while as I continued with the handful of other projects I’m working on. I wrote the 2nd draft maybe 4 months ago, and the 3rd and most current draft the very next day after receiving my feedback from you guys.

7. How many stories have you written?

I am constantly writing stories and outlining ideas for future projects. Currently I have 4 other screenplays I’m developing that range from a heist film, to a zombie-western, a horror-comedy and another horror movie. I have written and shot around 10 or so no budget short films since high school, and recently finished the script for another short film that I plan to shoot this summer. I have written 9 children’s books so far, and have another handful that I’m currently rotating between working on as well as trying to get them published. I also have a large collection of poetry I write, and about 5 other short stories I’m also working on.

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

It’s way too hard to pick just one favorite song, but close to the top of the list would have to be Everlong by Foo Fighters or any song by Angels and Airwaves.

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

The biggest obstacle I think was that initially I started to visualize Jakob’s Cove as a short story, so when my wife threw out the idea of turning it into a television format I thought it was perfect, I just had to rework it a lot and expand a massive amount. From there I outlined where the entire series could potentially go as well as each season, and the story arcs of each character to better understand the world itself before tackling the pilot. All that, and the longs hours spent hunched over on the hard dining room chair on the laptop.

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

I am very passionate about my wife Kelsey and our dog Jax. I love more than anything to spend time with them. Aside from that I love video games, as well as writing and creating music.

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

I love FilmFreeway, I think it’s an extremely helpful tool for writers of any experience level. It’s very easy to search festivals that are specifically catered to what you’re looking for, and I love having all my screenwriting submissions available in one spot, it makes them much easier to manage.

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

I have always been passionate about writing from a very young age. After so many years of only getting to write in my spare time between working a job I have close to zero passion for, I put one thought into my head and made myself a promise. That promise was that I am not going to rest until my writing is how I support my family. I thought that the feedback I received was very insightful and I appreciated it greatly. It showed that my script was actually read and thought about, and it was definitely useful in how I approached the 3rd draft of my script.

*****

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

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2017 – Best TELEVISION Pilot Loglines of the year!

Read the top TV PILOT pitches of the year: 

THE DARK SECRET, by Denise Buckley

WILD ONES, by Victor Mwamburi

A FAMILY’S WEB OF LOVE, by Nicole Gray

MINIGOLF CHASE, by Emir Zukic

THE PUPPETEERS, by Tracey Maye

THE MONSTER JUNKIES, by Erik Daniel Shein

THE GIFTED, by Barry Brennessel

THE PILLAGERS, by Bernard Cecire

MINDWALKER, by Thorsten Loos

BETA BY BLOOD, by Sharon Grice

AMERICANA, by Neto Depaula

RUST, by Cody Carson

LASTVIEW, by Candace Taylor Johnson

FISHNETS, by Shelli Wright

THIS IS MY DAY, by Amin Elhag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 – Read the best of DRAMA TELEVISION Shows loglines

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

SINS OF THE DAUGHTER, by Michael Atkinson

ATASCOSA COUNTY, by Mark A. Valdez
EPIC MOMENT, by Regine Cherry

THE WIG, by Renata Suerth

THE HUMAN DRESS, by Rona Walter

CLEVER GIRL, by Sahil Sharma, Joe Zappa, Kip Bennett

COMMUNITY SERVICE, by Anica Moore

URBAN WILDLIFE, by Kathy Myers

WILD MIND 1, by Fujio Torikai

CHICAGO: AFTER THE FIRE, by Susan Kelly

GESTURES, by Drew Pittock

SUCCESSION, by Cordell Garrett

A STITCH IN TIME, by Julie Winters

FATHER FLANAGAN, by Chris Beatty

THE EASY WAY, by Meredith Post
OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE, by Matthew Greco and Patrick Espinoza 

31:10, by Christina Bevan & Rhianne Williams

CORPOREAL, by Pamela Rios

TEARS OF AN ANGEL, by Szand Haris-Weldin

HARMONY PI, by Ted Sterns

GROWING UP, by Cynthia Garbutt

A PORTRAIT OF A SOLDIER, by Julia Zellie

THE SQUARED CIRCLE, by Buddy Chambers

THE BLUE CIRCUS, by Dennis Foley

CACTUS SURFING, by Doctor Lisa Cohen

LOOSE CANNON, by Jennifer Bouani
LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, by Tawanda Le Saine

INCENDIARY, by Shadrach Michaels

BATTLE OF THE LOST, by Patrick S. Selitrenny

BRIDES OF EDEN, by Denise Martin

G.U.N.S., by Jermaine M. Vanderhorst and Kim N. Polite

DIRTY GIRLS, by Sunday Sabbath

TBAIMS, by Jon Landers

KODAK MOMENT, by John Cruz Alarid
VIDEO PITCH: SHRINK PROOF, by Stephen Potts

VIDEO PITCH: THE IRISH RETRIBUTION, by Bruce Cooke

ORTUS, by Heather Wallace-Brown

MARIE’S WORLD, by Kristal McKerrington

IDLE WOMEN, by Graham Smith

HOMELESS, by WL Gorman

MIDDLERIDGE, by Tomas Xavier Diaz

THE 27 CONSPIRACY by Robert Beedham

SHRINK PROOF, by Stephen Potts

TURBULENCE, by Lewis Ritter

JERSEY, by Shahid Manning

BLIND JUSTICE, by Alex Carson

GASLAND, by Augusto Amador
LUCENT SOUNDS, by Waldemar de Boer

FREE NORTH, by Ray-Alan Cameron

GHOST EYES, by Maurice Blocker

THE LONG WINTER, by Liam Kavanagh

TONGUE TIED, by Steven M. Cross

BRITHOP, by Minka Wiltz

5N, by Nicole J. Barrett

Winning TV PILOT Reading of THE MYSTERIOUS LIFE OF MADELEINE by Eve Noel

THE MYSTERIOUS LIFE OF MADELEINE TV Pilot
Written by Eve Noel
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
JW – Julian Ford
EVELYN – Mallory Palmer
ANDREAS – Kheon Clarke
ABDUL – Hugh Ritchie

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Fantasy, Horror

An archeologist finds out that she was born as a result of her mother’s encounter with a demon, which seeks to mate with her directly so that she bears a child from the demon as well.

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

A woman’s surprising revelation about her past and her fight to save herself and humanity from a satanic Second Coming.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

The screenplay has long story lines and it can take you into Madeleine’s life after the revelation, into webs of future occurrences when Madeleine bears her own child, the rise of another Second Coming and the battles for the soul of earth with biblical implications.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Horror-Romance

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

Star Trek originals from 1960’s.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on the screenplay for approximately one year.

How many stories have you written?

I have written four features and four shorts. The first script was titled The Outcasts which received a quarter-finalist status with the We Screenplay Intl’ Competition. The second script was titled Dangerous Triangle, which was a finalist in the Massiff (Massachusetts Int’ Film Festival), a 4th place finish in the Indie Gathering Festival, and a finalist in the Neo Noir Film Festival. In the shorts category, a screenplay titled The Secret was a finalist in the 2016 Artists Alliance Short Screenplay Comp., and a screenplay titled Love in a Dungeon, received a finalist award in the Courier Award 2015.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

As a teenager, I was always fascinated with movies like the Wolfman with Lon Chaney, vampire movies with Bela Lugosi, Frankenstein movies, Star Trek and all other forms of thriller and sci-fi adventures.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I have come to face obstacles with all my scripts I have written. The obstacles are the re-writes which constantly change the direction of the scripts.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My other passions are few. Watching the politics on television has hijacked my life and has consumed my everyday life, as I am very passionate about the direction that this country will travel.

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

The initial feedback opened my eyes as to how my writing skills needed major improvement. Being long-winded, the reviewer showed me the proper way to shorten my action descriptions into a more compact way, which I am able to use in my future writings.

The reason for entering the festival was to receive feedback to improve my writing skills.

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

My advice: Never stop re-writing. It is a love of mine, not a chore.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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

TV PILOT Winning Reading – The Spectral City by Arthur Vincie

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

Watch the TV Pilot Screenplay Winner 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

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

“The Spectral City” is a war/supernatural story, about six refugees trying to flee a modern-day civil war. Thrown together by chance, and pursued by the army, rebels, bandits, monsters, and gods, they head for the one place no one dares go – the Haunted City in the heart of the country. Will it be the key to their salvation, or the beginning of an even worse fate?

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

“The Spectral City” is about the people who are usually left out of war stories – the civilians. By focusing on their struggles for survival, redemption, and healing, we can avoid the usual war story cliches. It’s about ordinary people finding extraordinary grit in the face of adversity. By combining the war and supernatural/horror genres, the story brings out the inner as well as outer conflicts of the characters. This keeps the scale human-sized while also delivering an epic tale. The story aims to humanize refugees and those who are caught in the gears of war.

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

Surviving warfare

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

“Firefly” for its imaginative use of dialog, its balance of humor, and its blending of genres.

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

Two years.

6. How many stories have you written?

In addition to “Spectral City,” I’ve written several spec scripts, and wrote and directed two features, “Caleb’s Door” and “Found In Time.” I’m currently writing and directing a webseries, “Three Trembling Cities.”

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was interested in exploring the stories of people who’ve been caught up in civil wars. I was “inspired” by the stories of the child soldiers who were conscripted into both sides of the Sierra Leone civil war. Later I read up on the civilians who fled or who are currently fleeing the wars in Mali, Sudan, Libya, Georgia, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Syria, the border wars in Assam (India), and other recent (and in some cases ongoing) conflicts.

I also wanted to write something a little more grounded in “reality” (my last project was a sci-fi film, “Found In Time.”)

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

Finding the right balance between natural and supernatural elements. The supernatural part of the story reflects how people fall back into superstition when confronted with extreme chaos (soldiers are extremely superstitious). I also wanted the country depicted in the story to be a “blend” of real-world places and cultures, so that it felt alive and complex; but I didn’t want the reader to pin the country to a specific location.

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

Directing, still photography, reading. I’m a science and history nerd. I’m a closet drummer.

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

I thought the festival was a good fit for the material, and I was excited at the prospect of having the project read aloud. I thought the initial feedback was terrific and it helped me quite a bit.

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

Your first script (and maybe the one after that) is probably going to suck, but that’s okay – you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. It’s all about practice, and developing a discipline of some kind, so that you’re always writing, rewriting, researching, or recharging (so you can write again).

Don’t get too bogged down in details that you can work out later. Don’t get obsessed with perfection. Those are great ways to keep from ever finishing a draft.

It’s good to get a basic grasp of screenplay formatting and structure, and outlining is helpful, but memorable characters make or break the script. Don’t be afraid of not knowing where a scene is going – sometimes the best stuff comes up when you’re in a corner and you don’t know what you’re supposed to write next.

Jealousy, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and outrage can be your best friends as long as they don’t cripple you. Those “negative” emotions can keep you at the keyboard typing away or rewriting.

Find creative partnerships (with actors, producers, directors, other writers) – it’s too hard to go it alone in this field. These folks can give you honest feedback, help you get things off the ground, support you when you’re down. And you’ll do the same for them.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson