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

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TV PILOT Screenplay – Digital Natives by Adam Preston

Watch the August 2016 Winning TV PILOT screenplay.

Digital Natives  by Adam Preston

Genre: Comedy, Sitcom

When it all goes wrong for Phil Burrows he moves to London’s trendy Shoreditch district to reinvent himself as an on-the-pulse hipster in the place where it’s all happening. Not so hip or on-the-pulse is the fact that this involves moving in with his gran, Alice, who has lived there since year dot. To his horror Phil finds that a strange, vain, deluded twentysomething vlogger has wormed his way into her affections and now occupies the spare room. But horror turns to hope – could the technologically savvy Sam Fazackalee hold the secrets to his success?

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
PHIL – Lorne Hiro
ALICE – Susan Wilson
SAM – Rais Muoi
QUILLON – David Straus
GEORGE – Stephen Flett
JOHN – Adam McNamara
VERA – Laura Darby

Get to know the winning writer Adam Preston:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Three characters from three different generations are shacked up in a house in Shoreditch, East London, the UK’s hotbed of innovation and new-tech. There they try to pursue their various dreams by doing what everyone is doing around them – using technology and the internet – but for them it never quite works out…

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

There’s this assumption that everyone is comfortable with the rapid rate of technological development – but we’re human beings not robots and a lot of innovation leaves people feeling anxious or baffled. Digital Natives will be a release valve for all this pent up anxiety – meanwhile the age of robotics is only just getting started…

How would you describe this script in two words?

New-tech farce

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

Seinfeld

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About a year. I made a short in 2015 called The Last Post – you can watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/WjYFg1biT8Q This pilot expands on those themes

How many stories have you written?

Too many to count but I am very proud of a screenplay called The Second Coming which now has an Oscar nominated director attached.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

There’s this huge gulf between my parents generation with their total bafflement with new technology and people in their 20’s who don’t even think of themselves as living in an age of technological development – for them it is just life. Then stuck in the middle is the generation (now in their 30s) who saw all this stuff come in. They have one foot in and one foot out of it. These disparities struck me as offering that essential ‘comic gap’ where world views collide to create laughs. I wanted to write a comedy that enabled me to have fun with that disparity of experience and understanding.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It’s hard to justify spending time writing stuff on spec but I felt very inspired and just made the time.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m fiercely passionate about directing too.

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

The same organization selected my screenplay Misprints for a reading and the intelligent feedback I got from that was very valuable. Whatever you are writing you need feedback but with comedy it is absolutely essential. The LA TV Festival feedback on Digital Natives was right on the money – offering some great ideas and a wonderful boost of encouragement. The draft I did following the feedback was a substantial improvement.

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

I’m reluctant to give advice at this stage of my career but one thing I can say for sure is that it helps to network and develop good contacts in the indust

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

June 2016 TV Pilot/Spec Screenplay Winners

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for May 2016:

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

Watch the 3 TV Screenplay Winners for June 2016:

CIVILIAN  by Gina Scanlon – TV PILOT

Genre: Drama, Crime

Synopsis: A young marine returns to her small Texas town after a recent tour in the South Sudan to complete police academy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRANDI – Laura Darby
AMOS/STOKER – Christopher Huron
DR. BURNS – Tracey Beltrano
SHANE – Deney Forrest
MARCUS – Jeff Sinasic
MARCEL – John Lester Phillips

****

BROOKLYN NINE NINE  by Linsen Oyosa – TV SPEC

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

****

WILD MAGIC  by Julie Nichols – TVPILOT

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

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

 

 

TV PILOT Reading – CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN by Gina Scanlon

Watch the June 2016 Winning TV PILOT.

CIVILIAN  by Gina Scanlon

Genre: Drama, Crime

Synopsis: A young marine returns to her small Texas town after a recent tour in the South Sudan to complete police academy.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
BRANDI – Laura Darby
AMOS/STOKER – Christopher Huron
DR. BURNS – Tracey Beltrano
SHANE – Deney Forrest
MARCUS – Jeff Sinasic
MARCEL – John Lester Phillips

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

A young marine returns home to Texas after a traumatizing tour to reclaim her life as a rookie cop. Unfortunately more than a few unwelcome complications await her.

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

Female assault in the military, the challenges of combating PTSD, and the way these two issues trickle down and weave into American society I feel warrants more attention, and are topics I believe people are interested in. Plus, TV could use a few more badass, imperfect female protagonists!

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

questionable redemption

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

I can’t get enough of The Twilight Zone! I’ve also re-watched the first season of Jessica Jones a couple times.

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

For a couple of years now. I went through a near Page 1 rewrite about a year ago. I knew I loved the main character and topic, but needed to tackle it from a different angle and make it more exciting.

6. How many stories have you written?

Tons! I started writing fiction when I was in middle school, and plays towards the end of high school and never stopped. But as all writers know, most of them don’t stand out as very good.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

A documentary called “The Invisible War,” which is about how so many people (women in particular) have suffered sexual assault and find no justice in the US military made me so angry, I started writing this script. Though the pilot of “Civilian” doesn’t tackle that specific issue, its main character goes through similar turmoils and challenges, and that theme would continue to resonate throughout the series, should it ever get to that point!

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

I originally saw it as a feature, so I had to restructure it. I added characters and storylines in order to give it more of a setup for a potential series, and to give it more longevity in general. I definitely had people I trust read drafts along the way, which helped in turning it into a believable pilot format.

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

Kurt Vonnegut and his weird ideas. I’m obsessed with history, particularly the War of the Roses and both American and French Revolutions. International, and national women’s rights are up there, and so is supporting the preservation of journalism. I find it scary that the majority of people get their news from Twitter, celebrities, or websites like Buzzzfeed these days, and meanwhile reputable news sources are going bankrupt. On a lighter note, I’m also really into stand-up comedy and air hockey. haha

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

I wanted to start receiving professional feedback on the script, and heard positive things about the festival. The initial feedback was extremely helpful in improving my next draft, and brought to light certain things I hadn’t even thought could effect the salability of the script.

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

Trust your instincts, and never write something for superficial reasons (the current market trends, etc.). Do it because you really care about what you’re writing about, and I believe people will gravitate towards that authenticity.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

TV PILOT Reading: SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

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

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

May 2016 Winning TV Pilot

SMITHEREENS by Hershel D. Rephun

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HARRY – Abraham Asto
NAN – Aisha Evelyna
REG – Benjamin Harris
REB JOEY – Paul Falkowski
CARMEN/SARAH – Meggie McKinnon

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: 

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.

Get to know writer Hershel D. Rephun:

1. What is your TV screenplay about?

SMITHEREENS is about freedom of choice and the fact that sometimes we have to reboot and consider another path. In the case of Harry Doe, the reboot comes in the form of amnesia. Faced with pieces of a troubling past, and an uncertain future, he gets to choose the kind of man he wants to be.

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

With so much content out there, even greater respect must be paid to the viewer in order to win their time and attention. SMITHEREENS is fresh, thoughtful, funny and poignant. It challenges the creators, performers and the viewers, which is the best way to start that relationship.

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

Distinctive and entertaining.

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

Mad Men. I’m on my third viewing of the complete series now. Even with so much stuff to watch, I always come back to quality and depth.

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

In one form or another, I’ve been working on SMITHEREENS for three years at least. And the influences that have brought me to the project have been working on me since birth.

6. How many stories have you written?

I really don’t know. At least twenty screenplays, three of which have been produced as features. And I write stories every day in one form or another.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was moved to explore my own personality, and my ability to convincingly mimic virtually any person or dialect. I don’t just do impressions or voices, I create and inhabit characters. I wanted to figure out why I use that in real life and not just onstage. Is it an escape mechanism? Do I not like who I am? What’s the line between talent and self-deception and fantasy?

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

The challenge was to set up the story so that it could play out over several seasons. With a feature, you need three solid acts. A TV series needs much more.

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

My children and fighting climate change, which are related issues.

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

I loved the idea of the story being brought to life. I thought the feedback was wonderful. Very insightful and constructive!

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

Finish what you start, even if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Writing fiction is not about setting and meeting goals, other than to start and finish a story. The story comes from your muse…and if you don’t respect it and follow through, the muse will move on to someone else.

****
Director/Producer: 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