First Scene Reading of TV SPEC: RICK and MORTY TV Show, by Daniel Richardson

Watch the August 2017 TV SPEC Screenplay Winner.

Genre: Comedy, Animation

After shooting Summer and Morty with a ray that forces them to spout their inner monologues, Rick takes Beth out on a space adventure for her birthday.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Rick: Scott McCulloch
Morty: Brogan Caulfield
Beth: Julie Sheppard
Summer: Sandra Krstin
Jerry: Peter-Mark Raphael

 Get to know the writer:

What is your TV Pilot screenplay based on RICK AND MORTY about?

My speculative script for Rick and Morty is about developing a tangible relationship between Rick and Beth. The sub-plot focuses on gender roles and how people perceive them. I thought it was really fun to explore reactions to people speaking their mind as well as gender stereotypes through Morty and Summer’s schooling.

How does the episode fit into the context of the television show?

In the context of the show, this episode would fit somewhere in season 2. I wrote the screenplay whilst waiting for season 3 and it felt like a natural continuation of what preceded it. With the release of season 3 and the character changes that have already occurred, I’d now definitely place my screenplay as a season 2 episode.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Heaven Burning.

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

Bob’s Burgers is my favourite show to binge-watch. It reminds me of the wholesome, family oriented, comedy that was so successful in early episodes of The Simpsons (another show I have watched over and over again).

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The original draft was written in around a month, when I wasn’t too busy with work. The re-drafts and edits took about two months because of a busy schedule. During that time, I’d spend a lot of time jotting down fresh thoughts for the show and tinkering with ideas.

How many stories have you written?

I have written around 9 television specs and pilots, some of which will never see the light of day (for good reason). In terms of stories, I have a lot of notes outlining beats in old notepads. I think it is always good to have a bunch of ideas to draw off, even if you leave parts of the story behind. The only problem is sifting through the bad ideas.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

My favourite song, by some margin, is Millencolin – ‘No Cigar’. It’s a great punk-rock song and was one of the first tracks that introduced me to the genre. I think the message of the song is fantastic and its support of diversity has made it a track that has grown in significance, for me personally, as the years have passed.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I found two big obstacles in writing this screenplay and they were time management and re-reading. Time management is pretty self explanatory, I wanted to give more time to the script than I had. The issue of re-reading your own work is that it’s quite an insular process and so I find myself growing tired of my own writing and questioning my jokes. During this time, it was really helpful to get friends to read the script and tell me what they liked/ disliked.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m a big fan of music, particularly punk and metal. I feel these genres offer interesting ideological perspectives and also my joy of music introduced me to working with radio which was really gratifying. I also love soccer (or football as we call it here in the UK). Between football, music and writing I play video-games when I’m tired of being passionate for the day.

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

The main thing that influenced me to enter WILDsound’s festival was the fact that they gave feedback. So many competitions demand a large amount of money for feedback or give non at all, as someone who considers himself to be a developing writer, these kinds of competitions didn’t offer as much room for me to grow.

I always think feedback is incredibly useful, but it puts you on an emotional rollercoaster. Scripts take so long to put together, that you become reluctant to see its flaws. With that said, the feedback I received was very helpful. On my first effort, the script relied on meta humor rather than real motivation for the continuation of the story. I think this is a problem that the writers of Rick and Morty have now found in season 3.

Episodes like ‘Rickmancing the Stone’ and ‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ both have moments where they outline the call to action or turn to the camera and skip to later in the story. These moments are too knowing and disrupt the story for a small comedic payoff. I like to think the final version of my screenplay avoided this disorientating style of humor and that’s thanks to the feedback I received.

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

Buy a notepad, pester any literate friends you have to read your work and plan your stories thoroughly before you write. Also, collaborations can be really helpful for developing your skills and getting out of an insular writing space!

****

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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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

TWO EMPERORS, Best Scene TV PILOT Reading by Paul Gross

The six-part miniseries traces the parallel lives of Beethoven and Napoleon, their formative years, their loves, their interrelationships via music and their passages to their final years.

Watch the Best Scene Reading of TWO EMPERORS:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Amaka Umeh
LUDWIG – Isaac Alfie
NEEFE – Julian Ford

Get to know the writer Paul Gross:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Paul: The six-part miniseries traces the parallel lives of Beethoven and Napoleon, their formative years, their loves, their interrelationships via music and their passages to their final years. 

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

Paul: The two lives have been the subject of many feature films and TV productions. This is the first six-part series that attempts to link their lives in a dramatic fashion. It is also the first to show the genius of the two men, their flaws and their attempts to deal with love and adversity.

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

Paul: Scrutinising greatness.

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

Paul: House of Cards

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

Paul: Two years

Matthew:  How many stories have you written?

Paul: Four books, one feature screenplay, one TV miniseries, one thriller.

Matthew:  What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

Paul: The music of a flawed genius, the flaws of a powerful ruler and the possibility that they might have met and liked one another fleetingly.

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

Paul: Converting  dry accounts of two histories into a drama that reveals motivations, passions and tragedies.

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

Paul: Classical music

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

Paul: I like competition and I am very happy with all feedback, particularly negatives that I can turn into a better script.

The feedback in this festival was valid and had the desired impact as the revised script is now short-listed in four festivals or competitions

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

Paul: Scriptwriting is hard, even when you love it.

Stepping back from many beloved drafts and ditching them is the price of acceptance by those who read them.

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

 

 

 

2015 TV Spec Screenplay Winners

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

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

Watch the 16 TV Spec Screenplay Winners for 2015:

ACTORTV SPEC – Modern Family
December 2015 Reading
Written by Debi Calabro
ACTORTV SPEC – The Americans
December 2015 Reading
Written by Addison A.A. Bhuyan
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
ACTORFAN FICTION – DOCTOR WHO
August 2015 Reading
Written by Mark Renshaw

ACTORTV SPEC – ORPHAN BLACK
July 2015 Reading
Written by Jacqueline Bircher
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 – ARROW “Second Chances”
March 2015 Reading
Written by Molly Driscoll
ACTORTV SPEC – CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
February 2015 Reading
Written by Mark Melara
ACTORTV SPEC – VEEP
January 2015 Reading
Written by Emily Cirillo