Winning THRILLER Short Screenplay – COLD COMFORT, by Mick Sims

Winning Screenplay – COLD COMFORT
Written by Mick Sims

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Elizabeth Morriss
WOMAN – David Occhipinti
MAN – John Fray
WOMAN – Cora Matheson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Horror

A serial killer confesses to a random call center caller about his murders.


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Winning THRILLER Feature Screenplay – NEMESIS, by Carl Joglar

Winning Screenplay – NEMESIS
Written by Carl Joglar

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
STROUD – Cassandra Guthrie
BURNHAM – Dan Cristofori
MONTERO – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action

A car wreck allows a fugitive recovery agent’s prisoner to escape into the woods where she’s forced to pursue the killer, but when the other driver finds her in the wilderness, the hunt becomes complicated and the agent begins to suspect the woman’s involvement was not by chance.

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

NEMESIS is about a fugitive recovery agent who, after being disgraced and fired from the U.S. Marshals, attempts to cover legal fees in a custody battle for her son by cashing in on the capture of an elusive killer. Unfortunately, she gets into a car wreck, her prisoner escapes into a vast wilderness and she’s forced to hunt him down again. But (without giving too much away), when the driver of the other vehicle finds her in the woods, the situation becomes increasingly complicated because of some hidden agendas.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say it could fall under drama, thriller and action because there are elements of all three, but if I had to categorize it, I would call it a dramatic thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Just thinking about this, it occurs to me that no answer could sound very humble. I do feel very strongly about its merits, but even moreso after I started receiving so much positive feedback. People would say, “Wow, this is insane”, which I take as a compliment because you want to shake people up. I think the fact that three characters that are so different from each other are basically trapped in this environment together makes for a really curious situation. I feel like people might say, “I’ve got to see what happens when you put THESE three together.” But more than that, the main character’s journey is heart-breaking and relatable. I tried to make the ultimate example out of her. The moral of the story is “Don’t let your situation change who you are”. And who hasn’t been tempted at least once to step over that line?

How would you describe this script in two words?

“Intense” and “fast-paced”. As a writer, I have an unhealthy yet productive fear of being boring, so in a story, I’m obsessed with something either always happening or about to happen.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Jaws. It’s so amazing on so many levels. Story, acting, editing, etc. But Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl is a close second. That main character is the most charmingly hilarious train wreck I’ve ever seen. Great stuff.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve worked longer on this script than I have on my marriage. I’m kidding. I actually wrote the first draft in less than a month, but of course, I’ve been making changes ever since, so it’s going on six months now and one draft kind of melds into the next, so who knows how many.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve been doing this since 1996 so I’ve lost count. If I included short scripts and commissioned scripts, the number would be ridiculous, but as far as strictly original speculative full-length screenplays.. probably 24 that I can remember. Oh! And a book. I wrote a contemporary sci-fi YA novel called THE PERILS OF QUAD. Right now I’m trying to find a home for it at a traditional publishing house.

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

Wow, that’s tough. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but ever since I was little, there’s been something about Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Fantasy”. I love it to this day and I really have no clue why. Maybe it was playing in the background the first time a girl kissed me or something. ..Right now, though, I’m addicted to Disturbed’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Writers are going to hate me for this: There were no obstacles. There never are. I’ve never had writer’s block. If I did, I never realized it. I mean, I always get nervous when I start but once I’m off and running, that’s it. The pages start to pile up. Obviously, they don’t come out perfectly but they always come out.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My wife and child, of course. They’re my world. But the weird answer to that would be Vintage Marvel comic books. I’m not a collector, by any means. I just love the look, the feel, the simplicity, even the smell of a dog-eared silver age Marvel Comic. I guess because it brings me back to the days when my biggest problem in the world was deciding between Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops. Man, if life could always be like that. Good times.

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

I have to credit my best friend and producer, Alex Torres for that. He found out about the festival and immediately entered the screenplay. He’s the best. When I first read the feedback I received, I was pleasantly shocked because it was immediately apparent that this was a festival run by experienced and competent professionals and they clearly took the proper time to analyze the material. As a writer, you really deeply appreciate when people like this give you credit where it’s due, but also make a fair and efficient effort to help you develop the best story you can put forward.

 

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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THRILLER BEST SCENE Screenplay Reading – BEDLAM ON THE RAILS by Wayne E Johnson

Watch the Winning Best Scene Screenplay Reading for February 2017.

Winning Screenplay – BEDLAM ON THE RAILS
Written by Wayne E. Johnson

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Geoff Mays
LUMAN – Philip Krusto
DUKE – Casey Estey
PORTER – John Lester Phillips

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action

Two armed, down-on-their-luck young hoods, a speeding streamliner, and a bad idea result in railway pandemonium not seen since the days of Butch Cassidy.

Get to know the writer:

What is your best scene screenplay about?

Bedlam on the Rails is the true story of the last two moving train robbers in America. In 1949, Luman Ramsdell, 23, and Duke Ashton, 20, made a snap decision to rob the B&O Ambassador, the streamliner taking them to Ohio from Florida.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

True story, true crime

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It is a unique, historical event. When asked, the average person and even historians will say that the last moving train robbery was performed by Butch Cassidy’s gang. Bedlam has two main characters that, even though they are on the wrong side of the law, the audience can relate to them. I would set the tone of this film somewhere between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Bonnie and Clyde.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bad idea

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Kelly’s Heroes

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About a year ago I was contacted by Wilson Casey, the author of the book Bedlam on the West Virginia Rails, interested in the possibility of turning his book into a movie. I read his book and finished a draft in a couple of weeks. After sending it to a few producers, and making revisions, this final version was completed in November of 2016. I’d say I’ve worked on it for nine months.

How many stories have you written?

My novel, The Militarized Zone: What Did You Do in the Army, Grandpa? was published in November. Ive had eight or nine short stories published in print and online. In 2015, one of my screenplays won an award from Writer’s Digest. Others have been runners-up, semifinalists and quarter finalists in various screenwriting contests.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

As I read the book, it seemed like a natural for the screen. It was an interesting story with colorful characters, and, for a true story, a good plot and resolution.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Along with his own research, author Wilson Casey interviewed Luman Ramsdell over a period of about three years and wrote his story in Luman’s words, which were great for the book. But in many instances the dialogue in conversations had to be modified to be acceptable for a screenplay. I’d say dialogue was the biggest challenge, since the events are written as they actually happened.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m a member of a veteran’s group and help our older vets when we go on field trips. We’re bringing the Moving Vietnam Wall to our area later this year. I volunteer in art classes at our local elementary school and I donate to animal protection charities.

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

You were open and willing to look at my material and your feedback was invaluable. I always wonder if my scripts hit the right points and by what you indicated in the feedback, I succeeded and I’m on the right track.

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

2016 Novels & Short Stories

Watch the 2016 Winning Thriller/Suspense Winners performed by professional actors.

Submit your Thriller/Suspense Screenplay to the Festival: https://thrillersuspensefestival.com/

 

ACTORNOVEL Transcript Reading – GUARDING SHAKESPEARE
December 2016 Reading
Written by Quintin Peterson
ACTORSHORT Story – THE GRAVE DIGGERS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Joseph Tsujimoto

ACTORSHORT Story – DUALITY
September 2016 Reading
Written by Devin Klos

ACTORSHORT Story – COLORED TIES
August 2016 Reading
Written by Oz Greek

ACTORSHORT Story – A DANGEROUS OCCUPATION
August 2016 Reading
Written by Randall Krzak

ACTORSHORT Story – CELIA’S NIGHT OUT
August 2016 Reading
Written by Agata Zema

ACTORCHAPTER 1 Novel – OBITER DICTA
August 2016 Reading
Written by Lucian M.

ACTORShort Story Reading – CULT FAN
June 2016 Reading
Written by Gina Lee Ronhovde
ACTORNOVEL Reading – OBITER DICTA
June 2016 Reading
Written by Lucien M.

ACTORShort Story Reading – LORNA’S ISLAND
May 2016 Reading
Written by Louise Johnson

ACTOR1st Ch. Novel Transcript – WATER FOR BLOOD
May 2016 Reading
Written by Brett Bacon

ACTORNovel Transcript Reading – INTO THE SHADOWS
March 2016 Reading
Written by Marie Jones

ACTOR1st Chapter Reading – LIZARDIAN
March 2016 Reading
Written by Melissa R. Mendelson

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

2016 1st SCENE Screenplays

Watch the 2016 Winning Thriller/Suspense Winners performed by professional actors.

Submit your Thriller/Suspense Screenplay to the Festival: https://thrillersuspensefestival.com/

 

 

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – MALICIOUS INTENT
December 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Briock
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – 20/20: SEARCH FOR INDEPENDENCE
November 2016 Reading
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – GOD’S LITTLE GAG
November 2016 Reading

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: NIGHT WIND TO BAHIA
October 2016 Reading
Written by Thomas Thorpe

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: CRIME CYCLE
October 2016 Reading
Written by Donald R. Brown

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: CHASING THE WIND
September 2016 Reading
Written by Corean Strong

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – NINE SCARS
July 2016 Reading
Written by Kelly Crawford

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY
June 2016 Reading
Written by Brandon Maline
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – WHEN THERE WAS TIME
June 2016 Reading
Written by James Gillard, Kevin McGruder

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – PUPPETS
May 2016 Reading
Written by James Griffiths

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – MONSTER BENEATH THE ICE
April 2016 Reading
Written by Jerry Kokich

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – BEFORE GOD
March 2016 Reading
Written by Stuart Wright

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – THE SHOT
February 2016 Reading
Written by Michael DeMattia

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – ROAD TO TEXAS
February 2016 Reading
Written by Emanuel Ruggeri

ACTOR1st Scene -GUNNISON
January 2016 Reading
Written by Daniel Duane

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

2016 Short Screenplays

Watch the 2016 Winning Thriller/Suspense Winners performed by professional actors.

Submit your Thriller/Suspense Screenplay to the Festival: https://thrillersuspensefestival.com/

 

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BLOOD DRIVE
December 2016 Reading
Written by Myka J. Friscia
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – HANGING OUT IN MALAYSIA
December 2016 Reading
Written by Wolfgang Schuler
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – VERONICA
December 2016 Reading
Written by Craig Griffiths
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – SAY YOU’RE SORRY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Despina Moraitou
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – CURIOUS BUDDIES
December 2016 Reading
Written by Janet Caulfied
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – COLLAPSE
December 2016 Reading
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – PRIME SUSPECT
October 2016 Reading
Written by Adam Dwyer

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – THE SON, THE FATHER
October 2016 Reading
Written by Lukas Hass

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – CUCKOLD PICASSO
October 2016 Reading
Written by James R. Adams II and Lance Larson

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – NOTE TO SELF
October 2016 Reading
Written by Humayun Mirza

ACTORLONG SHORT Screenplay – TOGETHER
October 2016 Reading
Written by Jade Syed-Bokhari

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – IF I DIE
September 2016 Reading
Written by Jean Nicole Rivers

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – SOMETHING UNDER THE BED
August 2016 Reading
Written by Scott Pittock

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – DESPERATE CROSSING
August 2016 Reading
Written by Thomas Thorpe

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – RED DOT
August 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Richards

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATCHSTICK
August 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Fardy

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATERNAL FEAR
July 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen Milek

ACTORShort Screenplay – FIFTY FIVE SECONDS
May 2016 Reading
Written by Kwasi Mensah

ACTORShort Screenplay – TURN ON DESIRE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Lauren Hoekstra

ACTORShort Screenplay – FOR HOPE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Cindy Lee

ACTORShort Screenplay – THE NEW NEIGHBORS
January 2016 Reading
Written by Filippo Santaniello

ACTORShort Screenplay – US NAVY CINE-KODAK
January 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen M. Hunt

 

 

 

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

1st Scene Reading of 20/20: SEARCH FOR INDEPENDENCE by Harold L Brown

20/20: SEARCH FOR INDEPENDENCE

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
JEFF BEKK – Hugh Ritchie
DR. IVES – Julian Ford
FRANCOIS – Peter Nelson
CRAWFORD – Kheon Clarke
GRACE – Mallory Palmer
MADELEINE – Angelica Alejandro
KATLA – Kelci Stephenson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Political Drama

An inventor with a plan that would replace oil must survive while forces in China, Canada and the United States vie for the technology.

What is your screenplay about?

The world is becoming a much more complex place. 20/20: Search for Independence is the story about Jeff Bekk, a young inventor who’s searching for his own validation by developing software to drive a project known as SEATech. Suddenly he’s left to finish the ICCCE invention started by his grandfather and search for the truth about his Icelandic grandfathers death.

Meanwhile, relying on Jeff’s SEATech software, China and Canada covertly prepare to eliminate oil sands greenhouse gas emissions undermining the future of major U.S. oil refineries and an unsuspecting U.S. government in the middle of a Presidential election.

As Jeff works on the SEATech project he “secretly” works on finishing the ICCCE prototype that can replace oil. His gambles to honour his grandfather put his grandfather’s legacy and ranch at risk. The deeper he gets, the more he realizes he must reassess who he can trust as he struggles to survive as global forces vying to steal “his” technology, guaranteeing their global energy dominance.

On a personal note, my grandparents are Scandinavian. I have always been fascinated by what countries with the climate changes they face, have, and continue to achieve. Maybe, colder air is better for the braincells.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

20/20 is a techno thriller with strong political elements as major super powers fight for Jeff’s invention to achieve national security interests and energy dominance. Some have said it could be a political thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This story is about the unintended consequences of well intended actions. We live in an increasing interconnected world where decisions or interests in an isolated desert are communicated as timely as decisions or demands on Wall Street. This is a world where you can push a button in a downtown village in Alberta that has catastrophic effects in Africa.

Jeff wants to see his grandfather’s invention realized and his obsession to realize his grandfather’s legacy nearly costs him his grandfather’s ranch. Worse yet, without a serious assessment, the invention in Alberta, could destroy an economy and a country half way around the globe.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Do Right. Be Selfless. Or in a few more words, do the right thing.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Early on – The Firm; when I started to more seriously study story there was Casablanca, Schindler’s List, In the Heat of the Night, A Time to Kill, A Bronx Tale and Thunderheart. And, I have been lucky enough to meet Norman Jewison, one of the world’s greatest storyteller directors.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Total elapsed time, is more than a couple of years. It started as a germ of an idea and grew from there. Very few of my stories are short term ventures and they become deep stories of thought and reflection about me and the world I live in.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve lost count. I do know I have two techno thriller novels published, Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil in the Air and Deadly Invisible Enemies: Hunt for Evil, and I’ve just finished the first draft of the third novel, Deadly Invisible Enemies: Evil Resurrection. I’ve also written a multi award winning miniseries, a web-digital series, two tv pilots including a project pitch/bible with 5 season and character arcs and at least eight award wining screenplays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I wanted to explore the consequences a decision or special interest in one part of the world has on another part of the world. I landed on the idea of the impact an invention could have on the world. I wanted to move beyond a story that focus on one dimension, like the environment vs oil. As I already said, the world is increasingly interconnected. What is good for one region or group in a community or country may be catastrophic to another. In this story Jeff slowly begins to realize ICCCE is catastrophic—even destroying his girlfriend’s country. He realizes he cannot rely on anyone to figure out what to do—he must discover the facts, his truths and make a decision.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Unintended consequences is a tough thing to make personal and yet globally catastrophic. As for the subject matter of oil/energy markets, that is also a complex matter as others who have attempted it, such as Syriana have found out. People line up at the gas pumps and rage about the price of gas as they watch prices plummet half way around the world. It is a world of unintended consequences. Efforts to lower the price of gas, lead to an unexplained increase. That even made the story more compelling for me.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the study of the human condition. Why do people or countries do what they do? Why I react in a certain way to a situation? Often these worlds intersect at some point and the germ of a story is formed. That is what becomes my next potential quest or project. The journey of self discovery and a potential revelation I can share through a story.

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

I like writing. And I like writing thrillers. I would love to see one of my stories up on the big screen but hearing the story performed has also been a great experience for me and industry associates I work with. I have entered this festival several times and received feedback that has helped me improve the story I want to tell. I have also entered other competitions, like WILDSound many times, received incredible feedback that raised the quality of the story – to the point I garnered a professional reading of my racial drama screenplay titled “Hope is Not a Black and White Rainbow.”

SUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
Screenplay CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) Screenplay CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson