Best Scene Reading – TV Pilot “My Life with Stella” by Linda Morganstein

I was thrilled with the possibility of hearing my script read by professional actors. The initial feedback from WILDsound helped me to make my scenes tighter, shorter and more visual. I also turned my actress (Stella) into a point of view character, which she was not in the novel.

Watch the Best Scene Reading from February 2016.

“My Life with Stella”  by Linda Morganstein

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
STELLA – Amanda Pereira
MURRAY – Mark Sparks
KUBICEK – Gabriel Darku

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Get to know writer Linda Morganstein:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Linda Morganstein: “My Life with Stella Kane” is the story of a lesbian actress in forties and fifties Hollywood, her sham marriage to a gay male star, and her secret love relationship with the female publicist who arranged the marriage. An ensemble of characters, including the actress’s deaf sister and a black-balled iconic actress, struggle with the repressive times.

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

Linda: Like “Mad Men,” “My Life with Stella Kane” portrays a fascinating segment of the recent past and its cultural influence on us, as well as provoking questions about our current attitudes, especially about diversity in the entertainment industry.

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

Linda: Bewitching. Sexy.

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

Linda: “The Good Wife,” for its strong female characters and its willingness to explore the not always so pleasant complexities of human nature. And its humor, which is essential for me.

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

Linda: Approximately a year and a number of drafts.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Linda: I have five published novels, numerous published poems and short stories, and a number of produced medical video scripts.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Linda: I wanted to adapt my novel, “My Life with Stella Kane.” My original motivation for the novel was wondering what it would be like for a trio of gay characters to “beat the Hollywood system” from within and what sacrifices they’d need to make.

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

Linda: The struggle to adapt a novel–especially my own–to the visual medium of film.

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

Linda: My family and friends, gardening, sourdough bread baking and golf.

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

Linda: I was thrilled with the possibility of hearing my script read by professional actors. The initial feedback from WILDsound helped me to make my scenes tighter, shorter and more visual. I also turned my actress (Stella) into a point of view character, which she was not in the novel.

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

Linda: All writers develop their scripts in different ways, but in the end, really know your characters and their story. I have many characters from my projects that I think of as real people.

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/

Holiday Special Deadline TODAY: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival

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Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings 

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings

Today’s TV Screenplay Reading: WESTBOUND by Jeff Alulis

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

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

WESTBOUND TV Pilot
Written by Jeff Alulis
Read 10 Questions with the writers

SYNOPSIS:

Follows a group of individuals who live the world of “Train Hopping” and move from city to city around the United States.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
Termite/Doughboy/Pennwise – Jerald Bezener
Uranium/Caboose – Rob Salerno
Emily/V-Switch – Misha Harding
Ozarks – Charles Gordon
Trails – Katelyn Cooper

 

Watch the Winning TV Pilot Comedy Table Readings for 2015

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

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

Watch the 5 Comedy TV Sitcom Pilot Winners for 2015:

TV PILOT – Vincent Locke: Villain at Law
December 2015 Reading
Written by Christiaan Alexander Kutlik
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/vincent_locke_villain_at_law.html

TV PILOT – Max Cobra
October 2015 Reading
Written by Brad Heisler
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/max_cobra.html

TV PILOT Reading of HOT FLASH HIGH
September 2015 Reading
Written by Molly Driscoll
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/hot_flash_high.html

TV PILOT SCRIPT – WASHED UP
August 2015 Reading
Written by Leila Ben-Abdallah
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/washed_up.html

TV PILOT SCRIPT – SEX THERAPY
June 2015 Reading
Written by Michelle J Brezinski
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/sex_therapy.html

TV COMEDY SPEC and TV SITCOM PILOT FESTIVAL – SAVE $10 Submit by June 20th

FULL FEEDBACK on your TV Scripts from our committee of Professional TV Writers, TV Production Heads and TV Script Consultants. Get your TV script performed by professional actors at the festival.
SUBMIT your COMEDY SCREENPLAY TODAY and SAVE $10

http://www.wildsound.ca/tv_comedy_festival.html

FULL FEEDBACK on your TV Scripts from our committee of Professional TV Writers, TV Production Heads and TV Script Consultants. Get your TV script performed by professional actors at the festival.

SUBMIT your COMEDY SCREENPLAY TODAY and SAVE $10

http://www.wildsound.ca/tv_comedy_festival.html

Watch Winning TV PILOT Performance Readings:
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Watch Winning TV SPEC Performance Readings:
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Watch Past Winning TV PILOT Reading: UP COUNTRY MOTORS:

Watch Past Winning TV SPEC Reading from NEW GIRL TV Show:

Watch Past Winning TV SPEC Reading from MODERN FAMILY TV Show: