Winning Feature Screenplay Reading – INCURABLE, by Jeff York

Winning HORROR Feature Screenplay for January 2017.

INCURABLE
Written by Jeff York
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
JIM – Robert Notman
CATHERINE – Victoria Kucher
SARAH – Olivia Jon
DR. NEUBER – Julie Sheppard
GABRIEL – David Occhipinti

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Romance

Jim has ALS. Feeling he has no hope, he wants to end it all. Then he meets Catherine – who is a Vampire!

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

INCURABLE is about Jim Reed, a man in his early 30’s, with his whole life ahead of him, who is stricken with ALS. He contemplates suicide to avoid the painful death sentence that the disease usually is, but then he meets Catherine Adler, a woman whom he will soon discover is a vampire. They fall for each other and then Jim decides to let Catherine bite him to give eternal life and thwart his ALS forever. Of course, becoming a vampire is not that easy and that’s where the drama ensues. Jim discovers that there’s a whole helluva lot more to his new lease on life, as well as his relationship with Catherine.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Because it deals with vampires it readily falls into the horror category, but it is also a romantic drama as it really examines the relationship that develops between Jim and Catherine. I’d also argue that it has an indie character study feel to it as it is far from the typical violence and gore found in the horror genre. INCURABLE is more head and heart than than blood and guts.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

INCURABLE is a more unique horror tale for the reasons I listed previously, but also because of the unique proposition that enables Jim to accept Catherine’s offer to turn him. Because she’s rich and gets her blood supply from the black market, Jim will not have to kill anyone to sustain his vampirism. I’ve never encountered the idea of murder taken off the table in a vampire tale.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Character-driven horror.

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

“Jaws” is my favorite film of all time, and truly set the template for INCURABLE in that it too was a character-driven piece that had thrills and chills, yes, but it never lost sight of the complex humans in battle with the shark.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took three months to write originally, with a few months of rewrites after that incorporating reader’s notes, friends’ opinions, contest feedback, etc. From there, it did very well in contests, but I’ve always tweaked it along the way. As the saying goes, you’re never really done rewriting until the film is in the can!

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written nine movie screenplays, two TV series pilots and pitches, and a theatrical play. (I also write a movie blog and am a film critic, but those are different stories!)

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love horror but often found myself cheering for the monster to defeat the stupid characters being pursued. It occurred to me that the genre needed more complex storytelling as well as characters. I’ve always been a fan of vampire lore as well, and wondered if one could be a vampire without killing. The idea of a rich vampire who didn’t have to kill for blood, who could buy it on the black market instead, came to me shortly after that.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Editing. Writing isn’t difficult for me, but honing, polishing, editing, really examining every word – that is a lot of work. And it’s a challenging and incredibly detailed kind of intricate surgery as well.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about movies, the arts, cats, animal rights, and politics, those less so these days with Trump’s victory. I worry we’re going into some very dark days ahead.

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

I loved that such an organization felt a similar passion for horror. And that winning entries would be read by actors and filmed for all to see! I’ve always loved table reads. Also, the feedback I received from the festival was terrific. And I rewrote INCURABLE to reflect the terrific suggestions.

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

Be patient. Writing takes time. Connecting with people who can help you with your scripts takes time. Waiting for someone to find the money to greenlight your script will likely take a lot of time. Thus, enjoy being a writer no matter what the outcome, and if you’re lucky to get your work on the big screen remember that’s the icing on the cake, not the whole cake.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson


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Horror Best Scene Reading – THE LEGEND OF YAKATUTCH by Sean Francis Ellis

Watch the winning January 2017 Horror Best Scene Screenplay Reading.

Best Scene from the screenplay THE LEGEND OF YAKATUTCH Screenplay
Written by Sean Francis Ellis

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Action, Sci-Fi

In the Canadian wilderness, a snowboarding champion must embrace his indigenous legacy to save his girlfriend from a legendary creature, which has kidnapped her in order to become human once more.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Julie Sheppard
CLAUDE – Hugh Ritchie
ELDER – David Occhipinti
THOMAS – Robert Notman

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A young man, the descendant of a First Nations warrior, must embrace his destiny in order to save his girlfriend from a legendary creature, which has escaped its icy prison and threatens his small Canadian town.

The story explores our relationship with nature and the loss of traditions that once kept us in balance with it. It is a redemption story, and a coming-of-age story, about the passing of traditional values from one generation to the next.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action, Adventure, Horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“The Legend of Yakatutch” is inspired by a long tradition of ‘Creature-Features’, which includes blockbuster franchises “Jurassic Park”, “Jaws” and “The Mummy”. Recent hits like “Godzilla”, “Pacific Rim”, The “Twilight” Series and “Snow White and the Huntsman” prove the genre remains popular internationally, with many more examples on TV, like “The Walking Dead”, “True Blood”, “Grimm”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Roswell”, “Smallville”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Supernatural”, “Hemlock Grove”, “Haven” and “The X Files”. These hit movies and TV shows all bring to life incredible monsters that excite our imagination, and take us to the fascinating worlds they inhabit.

The mystery of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, and the creature’s Asian relative, Yeti, have always fascinated the public. Thousands of stories and reported sightings have spawned a culture of pseudo-scientific research, known as ‘cryptozoology’. The character of Yakatutch combines elements of this legendary ‘cryptid’, with Canadian First Nations mythology. But unlike Bigfoot, Yakatutch is a creature that was once an ordinary man.

As humanity faces the threat of extinction caused by our lack of respect for the environment, the conflict between modern man and a creature that represents our primal nature, is a timely one, reminding us that we need to respect the natural environment and learn from the past, if we are to survive. But it also tells a coming-of-age story, about a young hero embracing his destiny through rites of passage that connect him to his heritage and First Nations identity. He must embrace the past to save the future.

The outdoor, ‘filmed on-location’ visual elements of the script would be compelling on the cinema screen. The spectacular frozen wilderness is a dramatic backdrop to the action-adventure elements in the film, with sequences on glaciers and mountains, and within the forests and small towns of the Yukon Territory. Action elements such as snowboard chases, helicopters, airplanes, and off-road vehicles, combined with ancient threats, such as the mysterious curse that created Yakatutch, and his journey to redemption, would produce an exciting and emotionally engaging movie. The mix of First Nations and European/Canadian culture found in the Yukon will also set “The Legend of Yakatutch” apart from recent films in the genre, and give the film broader audience appeal.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Nature triumphs.

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

Hard to say for sure, but probably “Superman: The Movie”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, or “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started writing a version of this script in 2004. It had many of the same elements, but has evolved significantly. I’ve reworked the story several times, with various titles, including “Out of Bounds”, “Prey”, and “Claws”. I’ve also worked on several other feature and short screenplays during that time, but mostly this one.

How many stories have you written?

Dozens since I started writing short stories in school, but there are many more I haven’t written down.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

When I started this one, I’d written two screenplays in very different genres. The first was a sort of Romantic Comedy with Action, the second was a Crime-Drama with Comedy. So, I wanted to write something closer to what I love watching most, which are movies with lots of suspense, action, and elements of sci-fi or horror. As a nine year old, I was inspired by the Wampa Snow Monster from “The Empire Strikes Back”, and always thought that creature deserved a movie all its own. I felt sympathy for it, living in isolation inside its cave. It was frightening, and Luke killed it to save himself, but it wasn’t a monster in the usual sense. It was just an animal. So I thought it deserved to have its story told.

I was also motivated by my interest in extreme sports like snowboarding, my love of snow-capped mountains, and the cinematic potential that goes with a creature stalking people in the frozen wilderness. As I did research into the Yukon Territory, I became fascinated with the history of the area, the protected wildlife parks and the First Nations who live there. I added these elements to the story and built them into the creature’s backstory.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Many years worth! The obstacles were mostly about making time and finding a space where I could write, and sacrificing other things to make time (like a steady income!). After spending a year or so on the script, I went to the US and stayed for several months at a time in Los Angeles, for about 5 years. I survived on a very tight budget, and after interning and finding a short-lived assistant job, I decided to live as a struggling writer, writing in cafes and libraries. It was lonely, exhausting work. I spent most of 2007 & 2009 writing in LA, then from 2012 to 2015 (back in Australia), writing either part time or full time. At times I had no money, no social life, and my relationships suffered. I invested a lot of savings in the process. I pitched regularly, paid for professional coverage and sought feedback as often as possible, to improve my writing. I had help from a producer in Australia, who was a sounding board for several years, helping me edit and tighten the story. The feedback improved over time, and I believed I had something with potential, so I pressed on. It was a lot of sacrifice, but I learned a lot about writing and myself.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love everything about film and have been making films since I was 10, using super 8 equipment, then video, to shoot, direct, edit and produce short films. I love history, sociology, art, design, architecture, dance, choreography, music and language, as well as travel and great food. I’m also passionate about social justice, environmentalism, conservation, and the preservation of art for educational purposes.

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

I have entered the festival and received feedback before, which was helpful, so I knew the contest and the services they offer. The feedback I received was encouraging and gave me something new to think about, which I hadn’t really considered before. But I felt some frustration too. It’s always hard to be told what is lacking, or not working, after so much hard work. Feedback is a great way to start you thinking, and to make you look at your story from a new viewpoint. That’s always valuable. I think it helps to get several viewpoints and find a consensus.

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

While developing your abilities as a writer, develop other skills and passions as well, whatever they are. Balance is key to productivity. Along with good health and plenty of sleep. Observation is a crucial aspect of good writing, and so much of writing is done when you aren’t at your desk. Once you know the concept and the dramatic need of your characters, play the movie in your head whenever you can, so the pacing becomes clearer. Then, you’ll be prepared to drop something if it doesn’t move the story forward. Outlining is so important, and I think the more time you put into plotting the story first, the easier it is to write scenes that will stay in the script.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson


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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!

2016 Horror Novels & Short Stories from the Festival

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

 

ACTORNovel Transcript – GUARDIAN
November 2016 Reading
Written by Marc W Johnson
ACTORSHORT Story – GOBLIN
October 2016 Reading
Written by J.F. Capps

ACTORSHORT Story – THE GRAVE DIGGERS
September 2016 Reading
Written by Joseph Tsujimoto

ACTORSHORT Story – DUALITY
September 2016 Reading
Written by Devin Klos

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

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

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 Horror Short Films from the Festival

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/


festival posterO, 29min, Norway, Horror/Mystery
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterBURNT, 13min., UK, Thriller/Crime
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterGILT, 22min, UK, Thriller/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival poster
LE PARDON, 5min, USA, Thriller/Mystery

WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterSAVE, 4min, Germany, Horror/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterMAYDAY, 13min. France, Horror/Fantasy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival poster
DRAWN TO FEAR, 7min, USA

WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterFOOTPRINTS, 13min, Canada
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK



festival poster
KADDISH!, 6min, France

WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterDON’T LET THEM IN, 13min, USA
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterPREFERENTIAL OPERATION, 20min, Spain
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterA FILM BY VERA VAUGHN, 10min, USA
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterDO NOT DISTURB, 13min, UK
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

ACTORHOWELL, 4min, UK, Horror/Comedy
Short Film from July 2016 Film Festival

ACTORMINE, 29min, Canada, Drama/Thriller
Watch Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film from June 2016 Film Festival

ACTORBLACK BALLOON, 12min, Israel, Drama/Horror
Watch Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film from June 2016 Film Festival

festival posterTHE ART OF GESTURE
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


16min, France, Horror/Thriller


festival posterVICIOUS
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


12min, UK, Horror


festival posterCHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


13min, USA, Horror/Family


festival posterSILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video


14min, UK, Horror/Thriller


festival posterBALLERINA
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


5min, USA, Horror/Thriller


festival posterCANTATA IN C MAJOR
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


7min, USA, Horror/Musical


festival posterTIME TO EAT
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video


4min, USA, Horror/Comedy

2016 Horror Screenplays from the Festival

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

ACTORTV PILOT – MIDLIFE CRISIS
December 2016 Reading
Written by Erica Barfield Peterson
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BLOOD DRIVE
December 2016 Reading
Written by Myka J. Friscia
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – THE WORK OF ZOMBIES
December 2016 Reading
Written by Patricia Semler
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – YOU’VE CHANGED
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sam Sexton
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE SAND AND WATER OF STYX
December 2016 Reading
Written by Peer Ynt
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BUREAUCRACY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sharmini Kumar
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE SAND AND WATER OF STYX
December 2016 Reading
Written by Peer Ynt
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BUREAUCRACY
December 2016 Reading
Written by Sharmini Kumar
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE PROVING GROUNDS
December 2016 Reading
Written by Michael Boyd
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – COLLAPSE
December 2016 Reading
Written by David Sweet
ACTORFAN FICTION Screenplay – GILLIGAN’S ISLAND OF THE DEAD
November 2016 Reading
Written by Jerry Kokich
ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – THE MYSTERIOUS LIFE OF MADELEINE
November 2016 Reading
Written by Eve Noel
ACTORSHORT Screenplay (Under 5pg.) – EXORCISE
November 2016 Reading
Written by Matt Holland
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: CRIME CYCLE
October 2016 Reading
Written by Donald R. Brown

ACTORSHORT Story – GOBLIN
October 2016 Reading
Written by J.F. Capps

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 – TOGETHER
October 2016 Reading
Written by Jade Syed-Bokhari

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

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay: OLD BONES
September 2016 Reading
Written by Dermott Hayes

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATCHSTICK
August 2016 Reading
Written by Mike Fardy

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – ELAN VITAL
July 2016 Reading
Written by Maroun Rached

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

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

ACTORFEATURE Screenplay – FIEND
July 2016 Reading
Written by Jeff York

ACTORShort Screenplay – DEATH’S LADY LOVE
June 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen M. Hunt
ACTORFEATURE Screenplay – INKED IN BLOOD
June 2016 Reading
Written by Paul Corricelli

ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY
June 2016 Reading
Written by Brandon Maline
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – LONG IN THE TOOTH
June 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Wasserman

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – IX
June 2016 Reading
Written by Eric Irizarry
ACTORFeature Screenplay – THE BOO
May 2016 Reading
Written by Scott McEntire

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – MATSQUI MASSACRE
April 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Curtis Dunn & Pamela C. Royal

ACTORShort Screenplay Screenplay – WALL IN THE GARDEN
April 2016 Reading
Written by Thorsten Loos

ACTORFeature Screenplay – DEAD NORTH
April 2016 Reading
Written by Alexander Nachaj

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

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

ACTORFeature Screenplay – MOTHS TO FLAME
March 2016 Reading
Written by Fredric Maffei

 

 

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