Watch the June 2016 Winning Horror Best Scene Reading.
IX, by Eric Irizarry
Genre: Horror, Thriller
A group of kidnap victims endure a sick game by nine killers of a death cult: Leave the room and you die. Stay and live through the fear.
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
The screenplay is about the survival of eight kidnap victims by a group of nine killers who play an evil game as part of their ritual for a death cult. However, one of the victims is the undercover “IX” :the best killer of the cult. The rules are: Stay in the room…you endure the fear. Leave…and be massacred.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
IX is a dark and chilling take on an “escape the room” scenario. It’s filled with an intriguing backstory on the cult’s motives followed by the harsh survival methods one has to use is desperation. It’s variety of characters with ranging personalities make you root for some but hate others. There are a mix of horror elements from slow creepiness to shocking jump scares to frantic chase scenes and also tense torture sequences. The surprise ending takes on a supernatural tone while the audience is left wondering the entire movie of who the “IX” is. I feel it will bring big scares and tension on the big screen.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
At least six months
6. How many stories have you written?
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
I love the horror genre because you can get away with anything creatively and suspend some form of reality. I wanted to mix different elements from movies I love from: Saw to Cabin in the Woods to Scream.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Trying to keep track of eight main characters in a single room and nine killers while sometimes mixing them by mistake became an obstacle. Also, trying not to seem like another movie’s rip-off was a huge goal of mine.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Working with people for physical rehabilitation, video games, fantasy, science.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I love the fact that the winners would have the scene or movie acted out and read by professional actors. To see it come to life like that was a big draw. The feedback is always helpful even if you don’t agree with it initially. Sometimes you get tunnel vision and miss things that are obvious to others. I always take feedback on the notion that someone is trying to help you and you must see it from their perspective.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Never stop writing no matter what someone says about your writing. Take feedback with an open mind. You will get a thousand “Nos” but only need one “Yes” to make it.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson