“Family Tree” by novelist Andrea N. Carr with a family saga where an incarcerated woman gains a four-day release to attend the funeral after, her sister’s suicide while babysitting her 13 year old son. Story uncovers dark secrets with suspense and pacing that is in comparison to Raymond Carver. I conducted an interview with the author on the power of storytelling to create empathy and change. Cristina Deptula, Literary Publicist
Church Rep – 2 – PAOLA SCATTOLON
Secretary (m) – 4 – ADRIAN CARLOS CARTER
Narration – NICK DOLAN
Angel (f) – 20 – KYANA TERESA
Mary – 6 – KATELYN VARADI
Mr. Seinfeld – 3 – PETER NELSON
The Seeker is a story about a young girl who struggles to find the balance between helping her family and actually doing the right thing.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
I would consider The Seeker to be a drama.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Personally, I think this story is just flat out entertaining. I love a story with a smart twist and The Seeker definitely has one. It is filled with tender visuals and I think it would be a fun movie to direct. It would be challenging, but rewarding.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Hmm… wow that’s a tough one. It’s probably a toss up between The Never Ending Story and No Country For Old Men… don’t judge!!
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
Funny enough, I’ve been working on this script since I was a sophomore in college, 2011. I’d forgotten that I’d written it, but found an old PDF and fell in love with the idea again. It was cool to see how I’ve progressed as a writer from one of the first screenplays I’d ever written.
7. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written probably 50 short films & sketches since 2011 when I started and I’ve gotten to 1/2 of a feature!
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
I used to have a big crush on a guy who was seriously into Gerry Raferty so I’ve probably listened to “Right Down The Line” over 1,000 times. Ha!
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I had a certain story in my head and when I thought it was finished, I got critiques from a couple of people wanting more. I still get them. It’s hard to get suggestions from other people and still stay true to the story you want to tell. Overall, I think the changes I made based on their suggestions made for a stronger story. It’s always good to get a fresh set of eyes.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love working with children. They are so unafraid to express how they feel, but may not always know how to articulate it. They taught me how to be a better instructor and a better director.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
Working via Film Freeway makes submitting to festivals extremely easy!! There are so many festivals to submit to right at your fingertips.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I read the title of the festival and knew I needed feedback on The Seeker and thought, could this get anymore perfect? The Seeker is a troubling story about a family, and it’s so hard to get friends to read anything so it just seemed like fate was saying “Enter this one Kaitlyn!”. It was an entry fee well spent!
I felt like the feedback was incredibly insightful. I really felt like the feedback giver was invested in the success of my story and did what they could to have made it stronger. I thank you for that!
After losing her mother, a vexed 8 y.o. girl discovers a dream machine hidden in her deaf father’s workshop, but an unexpected friendship with a quirky boy becomes the real cure to her loneliness.
What genres does your screenplay under?
Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
Everyone experiences grief and everyone needs love to heal. This film is one that can speak to all ages and will bring audiences on an adventure while making them laugh and cry, but most importantly – feel.
How would you describe this script in two words?
Quirky and endearing
What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Liar Liar, Forrest Gump and either the Die Hard series or Lethal Weapon series. This is a very tough question.
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
How many stories have you written?
Probably around 10
What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I heard of someone named Charlotte Sometimes, fell in love with it and built a character and story around it.
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Making sure the whimsical fantasy elements aligned well with the real world. Making sure everything had a purpose. I was grateful for the extensive feedback from this festival because it helped me more critically analyze and fix this portion of my screenplay.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I am also a director, actor and producer. I own a company called Sensorium Pictures. Besides film I love creating other types of art, photography, the outdoors and am passionate about finding my place as a humanitarian. I have always wanted to help people and telling their stories is only one avenue for doing that.
Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Write and keep writing. Try to show your work to people who are better than you. There will always be someone with value to add. Submitting to a few festivals with script feedback can be a tremendous help – especially after you have exhausted your inner circle and want fresh eyes. Your friends and family count only if they know what they’re talking about.
Rebecca, 12 years old, learns that her Uncle Wallace, a cattle baron from Texas, is coming to visit. Rebecca doesn’t like her uncle and her only hope is that he will bring her a birthstone ring like the one he bought for her cousin the year before. After dinner, Uncle Wallace gives Rebecca her gift: a blue dress once owned by his wife Vera who has remained in Texas. When Rebecca’s mother asks her to try on the dress, Rebecca, bitterly disappointed, runs to her room in tears.
Rebecca soon suspects that her father and Uncle Wallace have reached an agreement that she won’t like. When her suspicions become true, Rebecca finds a way to exact a fitting revenge in return for the adults’ betrayal.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
With the classic theme of a child against adults, this film can be enjoyed by preteens to eighty year olds. The central character of the child is not the usual heroine. The childish perspective of Rebecca contrasts with the reality facing the adults. The number of characters is limited to five; most of the action takes place in a house, its porch, and front yard. A street sidewalk is the only other location. The short story takes place just after WWII in Montreal, but this time frame can be pushed up 10-20 years, if necessary; the location can be moved to the US. A new car from the period is the main object that much reflect the period.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
It’s hard to say. It’s a toss-up between Psycho, Citizen Kane, Wizard of Oz, and North by Northwest. All the while I’m watching, I’m telling myself, “You’ve seen this hundred times. You know every scene and most of the dialogue. Go do something else.” But I can’t tear myself away.
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I’ve been working on this screenplay off and on for six months.
6. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written about 20 stories and a novel, published last year, called Echo from Mount Royal
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I wanted to try my hand at writing a screenplay. My short story called The Blue Dress seemed to offer a good combination of dialogue and conflict. I was also intrigued by the young girl who struggles against the adults. Her perspective offered the opportunity to combine humor with sympathy. Her relationship with her mother vs her father undergoes a reversal that provides a satisfying conclusion.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Adapting a short story taught me how to externalize the interior thoughts of the characters. For example, the friend, Jackie, was created to help us understand, more clearly, the motivations of Rebecca. Several scenes of backstory in the prose work was dropped for time reasons and to make the plot line more streamlined. The criticism I received from the judge at the festival pertained to the length of time before the uncle arrives at Rebecca’s home. His arrival propels the plot into Act Two and must come sooner. Act One of the screenplay was shortened by 25% in the next revision.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
My wife and I enjoy travelling throughout the world. I enjoy gardening and spending time with our grandchildren. Reading is the center of my life.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I joined FilmFreeway and began searching for festivals that accepted short screenplays. I chose this festival because I got a down-to-earth vibe from the website. I expect that hearing the screenplay will help me hear what dialogue works and what doesn’t. Also the judge’s criticism was exactly what had to be changed.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Join a critique group where you have the opportunity to workshop your script. Revise the script over and over to tighten the dialogue. Try to find place where a single word or sentence or action defines a character. Watch lots of films and study screenplays to see how professionals solve the problems we all face.
“The Paper Route” is the story of Paul, an almost-sixteen-year-old who discovers a chance to escape a world very few people really get away from: the mean poverty of a small town in the hill country of Indiana, where every day is a struglgle to survive, between his harsh family life and a town full of dangerous characters. The rub is that the price of escape is leaving behind Paul’s little brother, Brian, who worships him and depends on him for safety and love.
Feature Script: HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY
by L.R. Whittinger
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
To save her Henrietta’s life, she is left on an earthling’s doorstep by Geegle one of the most untrustworthy characters in the plot. It so happens she is left on the wrong doorstep. She falls into the hands of the greedy Fritzgrumpy’s and becomes their slave. After Henri discovers she is a foundling and her supposed parents were only interested in being paid for looking after her. Her life turns upside down. Eanie Meanie saves Henri aided by with Geegle. So she can to find her way back to her real place in time and space. However, the Black Cardinal who has taken her rights away wants her dead.