TV PILOT BEST SCENE: TWEED by Christopher Scott McClure, PhD.

 

Genre: Drama

A one hour televison drama.

CAST LIST:

Liya: Salma Dharsee
Longfellow: Allan Michael Brunet
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Victoria: Courtney Keir
Ashley: Marissa Otto
Sebastian: Zazu Oke

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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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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.

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

Best Scene Reading of the TV Pilot ABSYNTHIA by Seregon O’Dassey

Logline: An attack on a mercenary airship, while on a seemingly innocent cargo run sends the lives of the Captain and her crew into their not so innocent pasts. Will the events that unfold destroy the future for everyone that the government has carefully and deliberately planned?

The crew (of the airship, The Absynthian) is five mercenaries operating under the direction of a secret Organization known as Tri-Aengle. They are on a random cargo run when they are attacked by a rival ship. After each crew member suffers par amnesia – to varying degrees – their random memories and experiences complicate their relationships

Watch the Best Scene Reading of ABSYNTHIA:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Nick Baillie
SYNTHIA – Mandy May Cheetham
JULES – Christopher Huron
RIVEN – Kaleb Alexander
VAJA – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
TEA – Maya Woloszyn

Get to know writer Seregon O’Dassey:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about? 

Seregon: Logline: An attack on a mercenary airship, while on a seemingly innocent cargo run sends the lives of the Captain and her crew into their not so innocent pasts. Will the events that unfold destroy the future for everyone that the government has carefully and deliberately planned?

The crew (of the airship, The Absynthian) is five mercenaries operating under the direction of a secret Organization known as Tri-Aengle. They are on a random cargo run when they are attacked by a rival ship. After each crew member suffers par amnesia – to varying degrees – their random memories and experiences complicate their relationships.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show? 

Seregon: This screenplay addresses situations from all sides of the same story. Who is the hero/villain, and who gets to make the rules and why? It has strong female characters in roles that are anything but traditional: these women as smart, strong, fighting their own battles (both physically and emotionally), and the fact that they are beautiful is just a bonus.

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

Seregon: Emotional roller coaster

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

Seregon: Star Trek: TNG. I’m also hooked on The Expanse right now.

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

Seregon: Several months. I wrote the first draft in 3 weeks in February of 2015. I spent a couple of months doing revisions and then decided to start entering it into festivals. The story kept going in my head, so I kept writing.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

Seregon: I have written a novella (not yet published), several short stories and poems, 4 episodes total of Absynthia (3 in addition to the pilot) and a short film that I am directing in a couple of weeks.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

Seregon: I tend to write what I see and hear, and I always write down vivid or crazy dreams. I like to philosophize about society and behavior, and I often take the side of the underdog. I like to question who the real protagonists/antagonists of stories are, and why we (as a society) are conditioned to champion one over the other. Most things are not quite that absolute: even the “villain” has a story…

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 

Seregon: To finish the first draft? None. It just flowed. The challenges were in the editing and the three subsequent episodes I also wrote. I had to remember what happened when and to whom. When it’s an episodic one has to think ahead, remember what they already came up with, and be careful they don’t write themselves into a corner.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

Seregon: Reading and exploration of nature vs nurture. I’m a strong believer in breaking the “boxes” that society has created for people. I encourage everyone to question everything they’ve ever read, heard, or been told.  That’s why I love Science fiction: it’s a great avenue to explore sociology and psychology. Anything goes: It’s literally science and fiction meshed together to create philosophy.

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

Seregon:  At first I entered a couple of festivals that had general screenplay categories, but I thought it best to concentrate on festivals that had a specific category for TV pilots, as this would provide the best feedback and advice. After researching several festivals I found this one to have a high amount of recognition. Receiving feedback from this festival has not only helped me significantly in becoming a better writer, but it’s helped me to learn how to write in the industry. Coming from an avid reader background, I used to write how I read: very novel-esque. I now feel I have a better handle on screenwriting vs. novel writing.

The initial feedback I received from this festival made me think creatively, but also keeping in mind the marketability of my material. I had pretty thick skin to begin with, being an actor for several years, but I had to learn how to take advice and apply it to what I had. That constructive criticism was priceless information.

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

Seregon: On a creative level: READ! Read everything – stuff you love, stuff you hate, and all subjects. If you only read one thing, you only think one way. Listen to people. Don’t just hear, but really listen. Watch people. Learn. Life, even in the fiction word, is happening all around. When you create your own world anything goes, so don’t limit yourself.

On a practical level: Don’t stop doing your thing. Don’t compare yourself to anyone except the person you were yesterday. Don’t listen to haters or naysayers, and don’t get caught in the net of other people who are too afraid to try. Remember the saying that those too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours. In the Labyrinth, you get a lot of false alarms, especially when you’re on the right track.

On an emotional level: There are going to be days that you just want to sulk, cry, and not want to get out of bed, particularly after you get a rejection. Remember that the best people in history suffered setbacks. Go ahead and cry if you want. Just dry your tears and get up. Try again. And again. And again.

Express gratitude. Always.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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

Watch Best Scene of the TV PILOT: A THEATRE NEAR YOU

DEADLINE TODAY: Submit your best scene from your screenplay. Have it performed using professional actors:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submit_your_favorite_scene.html

Watch Best Scene Reading of A THEATRE NEAR YOU, by Jason Reeves:

SYNOPSIS:

We follow Dany and his conflicts and struggles running a movie cinema.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
DANNY – Neil Kulin
CILLIAN – Adam McNamara
SABRINA – Kerstin Bradler
BITCHY FEMALE – Elitsa Bako
STELLA – Val Cole
MARIA – Melinda Michael

Get to know writer Jason Reeves:

1. What is your TV PILOT screenplay about?

A Theatre Near You is about Danny Stright, an associate manager of a movie theatre, who transfers from a theatre he’s been at way too long to another in hopes for a promotion. When at this new theatre, he finds out the possible promotion was a ploy to get him to transfer to a theatre in need of help before the upcoming winter season.

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

Clerks was a movie about working at a convenience store. Waiting was about working in a restaurant. I thought it would be cool to write a movie about life working at a movie theatre. After writing a draft of a feature, I thought there could be more to it. New movies are released every week. Why not have weekly shows about what goes on in that environment?

3. What is your all-time favorite TV show?

I can’t say I have an all-time favorite show, but Doctor Who and Sherlock have brilliant minds writing for them and Firefly was great while it lasted. Over the years I’ve watched so many shows that were entertaining, some half hour and others hour long shows, but I can’t think of just one to take the top.

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

This is another difficult question. I can’t say there’s a movie that I’ve seen more than another, but some of top movies include: Jaws, Memento, Mallrats, The Dark Knight, and Skyfall.

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Kevin Smith, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, and James Cameron are a few off the top of my head.

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

I’ve written close to a dozen screenplays. Years ago I decided that all of my stories would be connected in some subtle way, whether it is two characters related to one another or a hand-me-down prop. For instance, in one script one character admires a fancy truck that happens to belong to another character in a completely different story. In a nerdy comic book kind of way I call it the Seveer Universe. Seveer being my last name backwards sounded cool, so I stuck with it.

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

I would like to have at least one of my screenplays made into a feature and have A Theatre Near You have a successful run on a network.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

My routine tends to change quite often. I’d like to think I start with a simple idea or incident as a seed that grows into something beautiful, but most of the time it grows lopsided. My most recent work is a feature titled Exigence. It’s about a kid who comes home from school one day to find his mother and sister lying in pools of their own blood and the kid is forced to become a fugitive. It developed into a thriller I loved to write. The funny thing is the original idea of it came from two words: road trip. I still have that file on my computer from the first ideas.

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

A hobby of mine is building computers. I’ve built computers for myself and for friends and family. I’m a bit of a tech junky.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

I did some research into different contests and WILDsound had the best turnaround time for getting feedback of the ones I looked into. The feedback has helped with several of my projects.

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

Don’t stick to one project for four years of rewrites. Write a draft, fix it a few times and move on to something different. Try something new each time, like a different genre. Challenge yourself. If and when you read a piece of your work and there’s a moment where you stand back surprised by even a sentence you wrote, you got something. I have a note to myself I see every time I sit down at my computer. “You know what you have to do.. Don’t stop writing.”

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WATCH the past best scene readings and see what happens when you submit:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_readings.html