TV Sitcom Pilot Screenplay Reading – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

TV Sitcom Pilot – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

TV Sitcom Pilot – MARRIAGE EQUALITY by Jamie Pierce

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Synopsis: 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

Interview with Jamie Pierce:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

“Marriage Equality” centers on Anthony and Andrew, a bookend-pair of husbands, as they attempt to navigate the chaos that is their unpredictable family. In the pilot, it’s Mother’s Day and as the husbands dutifully make the rounds visiting the various mothers in their life, they are met by a series of unexpected familial revelations.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

To offer a comparison, in many ways the premise is similar to the relationship created by the TV sitcom characters of Frasier and Lilith (and then later Niles) in that we have two people who are more or less carbon copies of one another, which creates its own unique comic situation. Add to that the wildly different and varying personalities that surrounds them. This creates two unique dynamics that can be explored both individually and as a whole.

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

Funny jokes.

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

My favorite sitcom has always been Night Court. I’ve seen every episode multiples times and can recite many of them from memory. Great writing and a great premise that keeps things fresh. That show never gets old.

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

The pilot is based on my act as a stand-up comic. So in that sense, I’ve been developing this material for over a decade. Fashioning it into a teleplay was a slightly swifter process.

How many stories have you written?

This is my first for the screen. Previously, I’ve written novels, essays and stage plays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

In the classic tradition of stand-up comedy becoming situation comedy, I wanted to see how my particular act and brand would translate to that medium.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I kept questioning the ending I wanted to create a situation that would allow for trying to create a situation while also avoiding tropes.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for over 10 years and I really enjoy that. It’s creatively fulfilling as not only a writer but also performer, director and producer.

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

I really welcomed the feedback and found all of it very insightful and constructive. That’s not always the case with feedback from festival submissions!

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

Specificity is good in comedy. Offering something distinctive also helps to avoid the risk of coming across as derivative. In other words, different is good!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV Sitcom Pilot Reading – MAILROOMIES by Jacques Edeline

Watch the April 2016 TV PILOT Screenplay Winner.

MAILROOMIES by Jacques Edeline

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: 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

Get to know writer Jacques Edeline (with Producers Dhia Rabiai, Dan Pastewka):

1. What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Hollywood dreamers attempt to grind their way into “the Industry,” starting in the mailroom at a notorious talent agency, and experiencing the real and the unreal of Los Angeles along the way.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

The show explores the dynamic, cutthroat jockeying for advancement, recognition and status that the entertainment industry so naturally encourages, and forces our heroes to question their values, goals and relationships in the pursuit of “success.” We believe these themes are universal and relatable to audiences from all different walks of life. You don’t need to understand the intricacies of entertainment to appreciate the struggle and moral dilemmas that the characters must go through on their journeys towards perceived success.

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

Fantasy vs. Reality.

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

We are big Entourage fans and re-watch the show regularly. Every episode gives the audience a taste of how the 1% live and the characters are just fun to watch. With that being said, we recognize that for the vast majority of the people living in Hollywood, that world is a fantasy. So, we decided to flip that idea around and create a show about the 99% instead. Our characters get glimpses of the good life, but they are ultimately still struggling and fighting to make a name for themselves and get recognized. The world is an intricate depiction of a much larger common experience.

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

The idea has been in the works for awhile, but it took about six months to really conceptualize the world, create the characters, and bring in a writer who we thought could execute our vision.

How many stories have you written?

Our writer has written numerous screenplays. He’s smart, efficient, and really really good.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

We wanted to bring this idea to life because of our own personal experiences. I think we intuitively understood that Los Angeles and entertainment is really a larger than life representation of a wider struggle that many millennials are going through in many different fields. We have met a lot of people who are in this city hoping to “make it big,” but the question remains, are they willing to put in the work? Are they willing to make sacrifices to see their dreams become a reality? We come from the school of thought that hard work creates a certain amount of luck breaks, and that’s really what this show is about.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The biggest obstacle has been convincing people that this isn’t just another story about Hollywood. We are fully aware that many other shows take place in this city and that entertainment is generally a really “tough sell.” At the end of the day though, we can only create a world that we honestly and authentically understand. We, the producers, are both from different countries. We bring a fresh perspective to this story and see Los Angeles differently than perhaps others do. We have a dream and wholeheartedly believe in the idea. And isn’t that what this city is all about?

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

We read a ton, as well as watch a lot of TV and films. We are both very entrepreneurial, so we enjoy brainstorming ideas and problem solving. Also, one of us digs the sport of badminton and hiking…so there’s that.

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

We did a quick Google search and found this festival pretty quickly. The feedback we received was comprehensive and very informative. We appreciate it.

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

Whether you’re a writer, director, producer, the best advice we can give is to keep at it. It takes awhile to become really good at something, and storytelling is no different. Put in the time, have fun, and you’ll have a much better shot of getting your work out there. It sounds cliche, but it’s persistence.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson