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.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson


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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

 

 

****

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

Feature Screenplay Reading: FIEND, by Jeff York

Watch the July 2016 Winning Feature Screenplay Reading.

FIEND, by Jeff York

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, History

When famed Jekyll & Hyde author Robert Louis Stevenson turns out himself to be a dangerous split personality, the only one who can save him and London from his fiendish alter ego is a maverick American psychiatrist with daring, unconventional methods.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Kaufmann
PRINCE – Michael Kazarian
STEVENSON/WOLFE – Robert Notman
BURKE – Devin Upham
CLAY/CARTLER – Neil Bennett
ANNE – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
FANNY – Mandy May Cheetham

Get to know the winning writer Jeff York: 

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s historical fiction, based upon two men who were contemporaries of each other in 19th century Europe. Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scotsman living in England who wrote the famous story about split personalities called “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” And Dr. Morton Prince was an American psychologist working in Salpetriere Hospital in Paris treating split personalities and other psychosis. The two never met, but with so much in common, I deemed that they should.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Fiend” would make for a elevated thriller that the Cineplex could use more of these days. It’s kind of a cross between “Sherlock Holmes” and “The King’s Speech” and it has a lot of smarts and a lot of heart.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Historical faction.

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

“Jaws” is one that I watch all the time, even when I come across it on TV, and see something new and amazing in it every time. It in itself is an elevated horror movie that has so many layers and nuance, in addition to being very primal.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

All told it took me about a year to get “Fiend” into tip-top shape to start entering it into contests, where it has done very well, but I still tinker with it here and there. One never really stops rewriting until it’s filmed and in the can. And even after that, there may still be reshoots and additional rewriting!

6. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 8 feature scripts, 3 television pilots, 1 short film script and a play.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I am a history buff and was drawn to Stevenson’s history as a man who was sick most of his life and longed for a life where he wasn’t hampered by his frailties. Hence, he wrote things like “Jekyll and Hyde”, as well as “Treasure Island.” His writing about mental illness and dissociative personality disorder (split personalities) in “Jekyll & Hyde” was incredibly insightful, such that there were those who wondered how he could grasp it all so well. Then, when I found out about Prince’s work in the same area and how Salpetriere wanted the rest of Europe to follow suit in bettering their treatment of the mentally ill, it struck me that there could be a entertaining juxtaposition in those two stories.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The balance of fact and fiction. Most movie bio’s take a ton of liberties with the real story, and because this one was clearly made up, I didn’t have to be quite so faithful. Still, I wanted to be true to the actual history known of the two men, and striking the right balance between reality and fantasy is what presented the biggest challenge.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love movies, theater, art, reading…most anything from the arts world. I have an orange tabby so I’m partial to cats. And I find current events and politics to be endlessly fascinating and spend a lot of time watching MSNBC. (I’m quite the liberal at heart.)

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

I love those that embrace horror, and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to connect with similar fans of the genre. The notes I received were superb, and I incorporated all the terrific suggestions into the rewrite of the script that was recorded. So thanks for making it better!

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

Breaking into Hollywood is very difficult, and you’ll run into a lot of pretenders and wannabe’s. Gravitate towards those who remain positive in their response to your work, or at least encouraging, and realize that not everyone is going to do cartwheels over what you’ve written. Still, if you really enjoy writing and want to be a cinematic storyteller, keep at it and you will find advocates. You just need to find that one who also has money to make your script into a movie. That is THE struggle, but if you’re good, write a lot, and remain persistent in learning, rewriting, writing more and more scripts, and keeping the faith, you’ll find yourself getting closer and closer. And hopefully that day when you get the dream call, you’re ready for it all.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

2016 June Horror Films, Screenplays & Stories

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

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – IX
June 2016 Reading
Written by Eric Irizarry
ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – LONG IN THE TOOTH
June 2016 Reading
Written by Mark Wasserman
ACTOR1st Scene Screenplay – EXISTENTIAL QUANDARY
June 2016 Reading
Written by Brandon Maline
ACTORBLACK BALLOON, 12min, Israel, Drama/Horror
Watch Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film from June 2016 Film Festival
ACTORMINE, 29min, Canada, Drama/Thriller
Watch Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film from June 2016 Film Festival
ACTORFEATURE Screenplay – INKED IN BLOOD
June 2016 Reading
Written by Paul Corricelli
ACTORShort Screenplay – DEATH’S LADY LOVE
June 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen M. Hunt

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

Horror Best Scene Screenplay Reading: LONG IN THE TOOTH, by Mark Wasserman

Watch the June 2016 Horror Best Scene Screenplay Reading

LONG IN THE TOOTH, by Mark Wasserman

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Drama

Lonesome, irritable widower Fred Pierce is a senior citizen with bad teeth who lives in a depressing retirement community in a small New England town. One evening, while conversing with his dead wife in the town cemetery he meets Goth kids Bo and Tana.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Kelci Stephenson
TANA – Tee Schneider
FRED – Julian Ford
BO – Nathan Bragg

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

The story involves an elderly man who gets tricked into believing that blood is the fountain of youth and then starts preying on the young people who befriended him.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

For me, the most effective horror films involve anxiety about something specific, whether it’s THE SHINING and alcoholism; ROSEMARY’S BABY and pregnancy, or more recently IT FOLLOWS and sexually transmitted diseases. Certainly those films are much more but still…I like to think that LONG IN THE TOOTH uses the fear of aging in a similar way.

The story features three-dimensional characters; an intriguing setting (Autumn in a small New England town) and a script that can be produced inexpensively.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Character-Driven Horror

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

Sunset Boulevard

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I have worked on it off and on for several years.

6. How many stories have you written?

I have written six feature scripts and eight short scripts.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I wanted to create an original villain with an unusual modus operandi.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Like a lot of people, I’m tired enough of vampire stories that I wasn’t particularly keen to write one of my own. Thus I had to remind myself it was an original take on the subject. I hope it is.

Another tough moment was when a wonderful, established actor “attached” and then “unattached” himself to the project. That was very disheartening.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Reading, traveling, teaching

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

I was curious about the “Horror scene” in Canada and wanted to visit if I won. I found the feedback very instructive and encouraging.

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

Give your scripts to several readers for feedback, then look for consensus. If enough people are saying the same thing about your work.

****

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

Read NEW HORROR Feature Movie Pitches:

Deadline to Submit your Screenplay to the Festival:http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html
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Read NEW HORROR Feature Movie Pitches:

CLICK the links and read the loglines.

THORNE, by Sean Williams

OPPRESSED, by Jeff Thompson

ROME OF THE DEAD, by Sherwin Allen

ROBOTOPIA, by Chad Bowman

SET FOR LIFE, by Jason Rist

LACUNA, by Steve Walters

A BOY AND HIS SOLDIER, by Spencer Guerrero

BLOODSPITE, by Fleurette M. Van Gulden

SURVIVING DESTINY, by Doris Lee

LUMP SUM, by Messan Amlon

Deadline TODAY (May 26th) for HORROR Screenplay Festival (Feature, Short, TV Pilot) Save $15

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2016 May Horror Films, Screenplays & Stories

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

ACTORFeature Screenplay – THE BOO
May 2016 Reading
Written by Scott McEntire

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

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

2016 April Horror Films, Screenplays & Stories

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

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

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

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

****

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

Horror/Zombie Feature Screenplay – DEAD NORTH by Alexander Nachaj

Watch the Horror Feature Screenplay Winner for April 2016.

DEAD NORTH by Alexander Nachaj

Genre: Horror, Comedy, Adventure

Synopsis: Survivors battle zombies and rival groups in post-apocalyptic Northern Canada

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
OWEN – Rob Notman
MAG – Christina Santos
PILOT – Kaleb Alexander
CAINE/STEIN – Jarrid Terrell
BARKER/REESE – David Occhipinti

Get to know winning writer Alexander Nachaj

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Alexander Nachaj: Dead North is a story about a group of survivors trying to, well, survive in a soon-to-be frigid zombie apocalypse in Northern Canada. Though I can’t help but think that the apocalyptic setting along with the monsters is largely a backdrop for where a story like this could take place, make sense and help build the tension and stakes. After all, the zombies aren’t the greatest threat in this world; it’s other people and the environment they navigate.

MT: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

AN: Because I think people will love it. It’s filled with the kinds of things people want to see in movies, especially those big summer blockbusters. It’s got plenty of action and exciting visuals, lots of tension and conflict, and hopefully some characters the viewer can care about and root for. Even though it’s an original story, with a few twists and spins on existing ideas and conventions, it’s not so different that people won’t know how to relate to what’s taking place on the screen. Also, I suppose who doesn’t want their screenplay to become a movie? These kinds of things are meant to be seen, not just read.

MT: How would you describe this script in two words?

AN: Bloody fun.

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

AN: There’s a handful of movies that I seem to re-watch constantly, but the winner for most viewed would have to be the original Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston. The number of times I’ve watched that movie as an adult has probably overtaken the number of times I watched Star Wars as a kid. I’m also only half-ashamed to say I’ve seen Apes’ wonderfully awful sequels (all four of them) almost as many times as the original movie.

MT: How long have you been working on this screenplay?

AN: I had the initial idea for the screenplay a few months before I sat down to write it, probably at the end of summer when that first autumn breeze rolled in through the windows. At the time it was just some ideas for scenes, visuals and possible character dynamics. When I finally sat down to write it, the whole story really just poured through like I had turned on a tap and it wouldn’t stop. I churned out the first draft during a somewhat sleep-deprived 72 hours in order to make the first deadline for this festival, actually.

MT: How many stories have you written?

AN: While I’ve written a few shorts, this was the first real feature-length screenplay I’ve completed. I’ve spent a lot of my creative time since then keeping track of ideas, scenes and characters that I’d like to incorporate in future, feature-length stories like this one. I’ve also been writing plenty of short horror stories. Since January, I’ve completed four stories and am in the process of adding two more to the list.

MT: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

AN: Definitely the thrill of putting together a complete, standalone story and potentially seeing it come to life. Though I’d be lying if I said having a festival deadline only a few days away didn’t help! Deadlines have a way of motivating me like few things do.

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

AN: Remarkably, not that many. When you have a story in mind, have the time and the motivation, I found that it was pretty easy to get it on paper and finish it. I suppose clearing up my weekends to write and then later edit was the largest challenge. Not everyone wants to keep seeing “busy, writing” every time they text and sometimes other projects have deadlines that can’t wait either. Fortunately, everything lined up perfectly for me.

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

AN: It might be an odd thing to hear coming from a guy who just wrote a screenplay that contains flesh-eating monsters, but I’m actually kind of passionate about my vegetarian lifestyle; that is to say, I’m thrilled that I live in a city where I can afford to be a vegetarian and know tons of other people who share my habits. It’s clearly not possible for everyone, so I definitely feel fortunate to live in a place like Montreal where it is.

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

AN: I found out about the festival only a few days before the initial deadline (which turned out to be for the best), so I was really motivated to try and finish something and enter it in time. When I received the feedback on my first draft I was honestly blown away not only by how positive it was, but also how helpful it turned out to be with ironing out the kinks and polishing up my story. Even just the little details and observations the festival reviewers sent me made a huge difference in helping me produce the screenplay it is today.

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

AN: Finish what you start, no matter how unpleasant it might feel at times. Just push through that wall. Also, deadlines really help. If there’s no room for procrastinating, you tend to do it less. Lastly, submit your work to festivals and competitions and have others read it. You’ll never realize how important feedback is until you receive it.

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson