2016 TV SPEC Winners (13)

ACTORTV SPEC of the show RICK & MORTY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Matthew Feldman
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
November 2016 Reading
Written by Sarah Cassell
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Kimmy is a VIP
October 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Miller
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay: MODERN FAMILY
September 2016 Reading
Written by Chai Karve
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – RICK & MORTY “The Rickgotiator”
August 2016 Reading
Written by David Cryan
ACTORFAN FICTION Screenplay – STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
July 2016 Reading
Written by Jennifer Renner
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
June 2016 Reading
Written by Linsen Oyosa
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – THE MINDY PROJECT “Culture Club”
May 2016 Reading
Written by Katie Bero
ACTORFan Fiction Screenplay – TWILIGHT ZONE “Punchline”
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jaime Medina
ACTORFan Fiction Screenplay – MAGNUM P.I.
March 2016 Reading
Written by Lew Ritter
ACTORFan Fiction – DOCTOR WHO “The Time Cuckoo”
February 2016 Reading
Written by David Gilbank & Paul Renhard
ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – THE BIG BANG THEORY
February 2016 Reading
Written by David Minaskanian
ACTORTV SPEC – UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
January 2016 Reading
Written by Jen Turriff

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.

 

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV SPEC Reading – BROOKLYN NINE NINE by Linsen Oyosa

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 SPEC Reading: THE MINDY PROJECT “Culture Club” by Katie Bero

May 2016 TV Spec Screenplay Winner. 

THE MINDY PROJECT “Culture Club” by Katie Bero

CAST LIST:

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

Genre: Comedy/Sitcom

Synopsis:

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

Get to know writer Katie Bero: 

1. What is your TV screenplay on the show “The Mindy Project” about?

Mindy and Danny clash when Mindy refuses to indulge in his new obsession with Indian culture. Meanwhile, Jeremy’s visa expires and Morgan is on a mission to help him avoid deportation. As you can see from this explanation, it’s a real barrel of laughs.

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

It takes place at the very beginning of Season 4. It starts to introduce Danny and Mindy to both the logical and illogical insecurities that await them as new parents.

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

Baby Bjork.

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

Broad City. There are so many visual jokes you pick up the second time around. Also I’m convinced if I watch it enough Abbi and Ilana will crawl out of the TV and eat Tostitos and cheese dip with me. I said that like we’re on a first name basis, but just to be clear, we are not.

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

It took me about a month to write from outline to billionth draft.

6. How many stories have you written?

Does my diary count? I’ve also written two original pilots. One on my own and one with a writing partner. Hi, Charlotte! Ok

that’s enough about her, this is about me.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I’ve always loved how strong, but distinct the character voices are on The Mindy Project. As a writer it gives you an arsenal of things to play with beyond just the main characters. Beverly’s one-liners. Tamra’s oddly insightful commentary. Also, Morgan is my spirit animal. I can really relate to wanting to live in an apartment with 40 dogs, but we’ll get into that later.

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

None. Just kidding. Honestly the toughest obstacle is everyday life. I have a really demanding job as a writer in advertising so I had to force myself not to make excuses and make time instead. Like, by not doing aforementioned real job. I’m kidding, it was mostly a lot of late nights and early mornings. That also happens to be when I do my best writing. If my boss is reading this, please know I’m always fully engaged and dedicated to my job. If a showrunner is reading this, please hire me. Mostly because I probably just got fired.

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

Production. I love being on set and watching the words you put on paper come to life. I’m also very passionate about golden retrievers. I wish this were a joke, but those who know me know that this is a very serious obsession.

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

Public displays of praise and adulation. But mostly because I’m a big fan of feedback. It’s tough to look at something you’ve spent hours and hours writing and re-writing with a fresh eye. It’s so helpful to get an outside perspective and I got a great one from Wildsound.

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

Stay true to your voice. Or stay true to the hit show The Voice and only rely on the feedback of Adam, Blake and Gwen / Christina. Whatever works for you. It’s all subjective, but at the end of the day if you don’t love your script then what’s the point? Write what you love and love what you write. How many of you want to punch me for saying that? Great, me too.

Also, please adopt a golden retriever and send me photos. That’s not really advice so much as a desperate plea.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV SPEC Reading UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT by Jen Turriff

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT is the January 2016 winning TV Spec. Watch the table reading performed by professional actors.

TV SPEC: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
by Jen Turriff

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christopher Huron
KIMMY – Mandy May Cheetham
TITUS – Kaleb Alexander
JACQUELINE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
BUCKLEY – Jovan Kocic
SALES WOMAN – Maya Woloszyn

 

Get to know writer Jen Turriff:

1. What is your screenplay on the Netflix show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” about?

Believe it or not, the idea of the spec of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” that I wrote, came from my experience with addiction to Peanut Butter M&Ms. It was a brief, but intense time in my life that caused me much anguish and inevitable weight gain. I always like to write from real life, after all, it’s what I know. So that’s why I chose to write about that particular experience; it was an innocent enough premise on the surface for Kimmy, with the ability to go much deeper.

The next step was figuring out how to translate my story into Kimmy’s. It took awhile, but I eventually found a way to make it work for a 30-something with the mindset of a preteen. In “Kimmy Gets Addicted!” Buckley shows Kimmy a gaming app on his iPad and she quickly becomes addicted. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize she’s spending loads of money on in-app purchases – worse, it’s linked to Jacqueline’s account. Kimmy has to figure out a way to make the money and pay her back. That’s where Titus comes in, who is in the meantime on a quest to purchase the fur coat of his dreams at a consignment shop. The duo have to work together to achieve their goals.

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

I think I found that the key to writing for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is finding that balance between Kimmy as a naive, sort of unaware of how the world works, and Kimmy as the brave, independent woman that would take on a city like New York. There are two sides to her, I think you have to kind of balance the story in the same way. I like to think that I did that with the surface story of Kimmy becoming addicted to an iPad app and racking up a big bill of those in-app purchases, but beyond that, if you look a little deeper, there’s a bigger story about addiction and how easy it is for someone to fall into a bad habit. Again, there’s that balance.

Also, I wrote it to fit into the first half of the first season sort of generically. It’s sort of got an ambiguous timeline, and at the same time uses all of the main characters in the show at that time.

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

(TWO WORDS? That’s impossible! It’s not going to be good…)

Kimmy’s addiction?

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

Seinfeld; never gets old.

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

This particular script took about two months to plan, write, rewrite, etc. It’s been a few months since I’ve “finished” it (i.e. the version you’re seeing read aloud), and I’m looking forward to feedback.

6. How many stories have you written?
Initially when I started writing comedy, I only wanted to be a late night show writer. I’ve written countless late night packets. It wasn’t until a fairly recent (within the year) chat with a manager in LA, that spurred me to try a spec script. That’s when this “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” came along. Since then I’ve also written a pilot.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was definitely a discussion I had with a manager in LA. I had initially just wanted to write for late night, but she encouraged me to try writing a spec, and then a pilot, to sort of round out my writing portfolio. I’m really glad she did. I enjoyed the spec script process so much.

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

I actually pitched this idea first, then withdrew it, pitched two others, and chose one of those. I pursued that one for a good couple of weeks and just really… struggled. I think when you’re struggling you have to ask yourself if it’s because you’re not inspired by the story. I knew wholeheartedly that it was the first pitch that I really wanted to do, so I went back. It took me a few steps backwards in the process, but I caught up. It was worth it, obviously. It was way more personal, it clearly resonated with others, and it fit within the scope of the show well. Sometimes you have to go with your initial instinct.

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

Lots of things! Family – my brother and future sister-in-law just asked me to officiate their wedding; I’m now ordained. You can call me Reverend. I have a tiny dog who’s almost eight-years-old. He’s like my son. He can also be a little jerk. Speaking of animals, fun fact: I live in an artists’ community and paint pet portraits as a side business.

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

I was looking for a festival or competition that accepted spec scripts and this is one of the few that does. My feedback was great. It was specific and totally understandable. I actually used to write feedback for a company called Bluecat Screenplay Competition. Very similar.

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

I would only suggest that if you’re having trouble starting or aren’t sure how to go about writing a spec script or a pilot, what’s always ALWAYS helped me is making two outlines. First, a page-by-page outline. Just start with page one, #1, and write just one sentence describing what happens. Next #2, one sentence description, etc. It’s kinda tough to limit it to just one sentence, but try to keep it simple. Second, a classic outline. This is more descriptive. You can add in your scene headings, then a paragraph describing what takes place.

Hopefully that makes sense! Seriously from there it’s SO easy to write, write, write!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Submit your TV Pilot to the Festival Today: https://tvfestival.org/

Watch the Winning 2015 Comedy TV Spec Screenplays

Submit your TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay to the Festival: http://tvfestival.org

Watch the 16 TV Spec Screenplay Winners for 2015:

ACTORTV SPEC – Modern Family
December 2015 Reading
Written by Debi Calabro
ACTORTV SPEC – Bob’s Burgers
November 2015 Reading
Written by Travis McMaster & Tony Interdonato
ACTORTV SPEC – Silicon Valley
October 2015 Reading
Written by Jennifer McAuliffe
ACTORTV SPEC Reading of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
September 2015 Reading
Written by Chris Agnew
ACTORTV SPEC SCRIPT – FAMILY GUY
June 2015 Reading
Written by Dave Chan
ACTORTV SPEC SCRIPT – IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA
June 2015 Reading
Written by Keith Black
ACTORTV SPEC: NEW GIRL “Career Day”
May 2015 Reading
Written by Melissa K. Willis
ACTORTV SPEC: GIRLS “Camping”
May 2015 Reading
Written by Yolanda R. Easiley
ACTORTV SPEC – JESSIE “We Don’t Have a Clooney”
April 2015 Reading
Written by Giuseppe LiMandri
ACTORTV SPEC – COUGAR TIME “Jammin Me”
April 2015 Reading
Written by Felicity Flesher
ACTORTV SPEC – CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
February 2015 Reading
Written by Mark Melara
ACTORTV SPEC – VEEP
January 2015 Reading
Written by Emily Cirillo

Watch TV Spec Reading of BOB’S BURGERS by Travis McMaster & Tony Interdonato

Watch the November 2015 Winning TV Spec Screenplay Table Read.

Watch BOB’S BURGERS “Wreck Center”

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
BOB – Allan Michael Brunet
LINDA – Erynn Brook
LOUISE – Lauren Toffan
GENE – Adam Martignetti
TINA – Devin Upham

Get to know writers Travis McMaster & Tony Interdonato:

1. What is your TV spec screenplay on Bob’s Burgers about?

We wanted to do a full family story. Mr. Fishodoer has extorted the Belcher family into using the rec. center.

2. Why should this screenplay fit into the context of the tv show?

In the previous seasons we’ve seen a lot of building of the town mythos, with the wharf arts center, the track, the convention center. We wanted to expand the town and also Bob and Linda’s history in it. We liked having a connection to Bob and Linda’s youth that they could (overbearingly) share with their kids.

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

Family Adventure.

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

Tony: Star Wars (A New Hope)
Travis: According to my mom, Dumbo.

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

We started this spec last November. So 8-10 months before submitting it here.

6. How many stories have you written?

Tony: About 10 specs, 5 originals (both comedy and drama), and 20 comic book scripts
Travis: 2 specs, 3 pilots, outlines for 8 more, and I got a feature rattling around in my head that I can’t quite pin down.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

We are both huge fans of Bob’s Burgers. The voice cast and writing team are so talented. In a lot of ways, it’s the spiritual successor to “The Simpsons” in terms of the family dynamic.

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

We struggled with Louise having enough purpose throughout, since Bob/Linda are teamed with Gene/Louise.
I struggled with maintaining and 80’s movie theme throughout, and then reconciling with the fact the the climax is a reference to ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ which is very much a 90s film.

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

Tony: I’m an avid gamer, both table top and video games. I DM weekly for our Dungeons & Dragons group. I’m also an obsessive comic book fan and spend most of my free time in L.A. going out to concerts
Travis: Dogs. Really into dogs. Also Disney World, I’m a big theme park guy. And there’s this bisque, every Tuesday I drive to Burbank to get it from the Ragin’ Cajun food truck. It haunts me.

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

A friend of mine who just moved to L.A. from Brooklyn read our script and recommend we enter it. The coverage and feedback were right-on and helped us tighten up and improve things after staring at it for so many months.

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

Just write all the time, every free moment you have. Don’t sandbag yourself. If a show or idea resonates with you, pursue it, even if it’s only for yourself.

* * * * *

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