November 2018 – Read the best of Screenwriter Interviews

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 22 different interviews with the best of new screenwriters from around the world.

Louric Rankine (SQUAD)
Interview with Screenwriter Louric Rankine (SQUAD)

Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)
Interview with Screenwriter Nicholas Julius (MYTHATANIA)

Interview with Screenwriter Stephen Witty (Whittaker, Alger, and Dick)

Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)
Interview with Screenwriter Marc Gatschner (OF THE SEA)

Michael Preston (INHERIT-LY GAY)
Interview with Screenwriter Michael Preston (Inherit-ly Gay)

Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)
Interview with Screenwriter Alexander Stathis (HOMEFRONT)

Interview with Screenwriter Joel Stern (THE WAITING ROOM)

Chima Idigo (MEAT)
Interview with Screenwriter Chima Idigo (MEAT)

Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)
Interview with Screenwriter Anthony Cicchelli (MILE HIGH ROOM)

Karen Matthews (PANDORA)
Interview with Screenwriter Karen Matthews (PANDORA)

Interview with Screenwriter Suzanne Lutas (The Dead Ringer, The Grand Jury)

Interview with Screenwriter Brandon Gillum (CADENCE OF THE BATTLE CRY)

James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)
Interview with Screenwriter James Grayford (THE FRANCHISE)

Interview with Screenwriter Joshua Ashburn (A Brief Word on Hypersleep Studies: Chiliagon)

Interview with Writer Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (CONFESSIONS OF AN APOTEMNOPHILE: I THINK I AM)

Interview with Screenwriter Michael De Sapio (Incredible Life of Joey Coletta)

Interview with Screenwriter Paul Watkins (Kenobi: A Star Wars Story)

Rodgers Wilson (ELLA WITNESSING)
Interview with Screenwriter Rodgers Wilson (ELLA, WITNESSING)

John Renney (THE CULTISTS)
Interview with Screenwriter John Renney (THE CULTISTS)

Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)
Interview with Screenwriter Isaac Sweeney (SHOOTING)

Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)
Interview with Screenwriter Peter Lloyd (STREET LAW)

Interview with Screenwriter Michael Head (LIGHTKEEPERS)


October 2018 – Read Interviews with the best of NEW Poetry and Writers

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Touch the link and read 9 different interviews with the best of new writers and poets from around the world.

Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)
Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)

Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)
Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)

Interview with Poet Sam Allen (Viola’s Rebellion)
Interview with Poet Sam Allen (Viola’s Rebellion)

Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)
Interview with Writer Pat Jourdan (DECEMBER)

Interview with Writer Peter Inson (HATS OFF TO THE TEACHERS, SMASHED)
Interview with Writer Peter Inson (HATS OFF TO THE TEACHERS, SMASHED)

Interview with Writer Diane Elliott (Remembering Momma)
Interview with Writer Diane Elliott (Remembering Momma)

Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)
Interview with Nia Markos (ELEMENTS: BOOK ONE)

Interview with Novelist James Charles (Spirit Of The Amaroq)
Interview with Novelist James Charles (Spirit Of The Amaroq)

Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)
Interview with Novelist Bogdan Dzakovic (FORTRESS OF DECEIT)

Muhammad Ali’s 10 best quotes

In a tribute to Muhammad Ali passing away today at the age of 74, here are his 10 best quotes:

“I don’t count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.”

“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

“Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

“Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. You can’t hit what your eyes don’t see.”

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I was really the greatest.”

“The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”

“The will must be stronger than the skill.”

“It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.”

“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.”


Watch World Premiere GHOSTBUSTERS Movie Trailer

Why do people hate this movie trailer?  Perhaps they are right.

Take a look;

Here’s what people are saying about the trailer:

As much as I love the idea of the all girl Ghostbuster team.. I much prefer the idea of talented writers.


the monsters looks like they are from the scooby doo movie. it sucks

This actually looks pretty good… And I just love Kate Mckinnon and Kristen Wiig, two of the funniest women around.

This is what I was afraid of. Too loud and in your face the original ghostbusters wasn’t like that

I love the original so much and I had doubts about this one but man I’m defiantly going to watch! I love the idea of an all girl ghostbuster team!

Hm… What if… Yes! We need remake of “Saving Private Ryan” where all cast would be females. Or! Even better, All Nazis must be played by male actors, because males are sexists. Yes. That would be Politically correct movie!

There’s nothing wrong with an all female leading cast.
What’s wrong is that it looks like shit and sounds like it was written by monkeys.

This movie looks horrible. And it has nothing to do with its cast.

Girls? Ruined the movie. Shame on you.

All in all, this is a trailer that doesn’t have the comedy snarkiness that made the original so good. And where is the romance? Where is the sexiness?

Movie Review: SVENGALI (UK 2015)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

svengali_posterSVENGALI (UK 2013) **1/2
Directed by John Hardwick

Review by Gilbert Seah

The story of this straight to Video on demand British film is as simple the mind of the lead character who nicknames himself Dixie (Jonny Owen). Dixie leaves his small Welsh mining town for the big city of London. He intends to become the manager of what he thinks is the best band in the world. This he thinks after watching them on Youtube. He brings along to London his long-suffering girlfriend, Shell (Vicky McClure). Things are not that straightforward in the big city but Dixie and Shell manage somehow.

As the ads ask, can Dixie manage a relationship, a band and his life? That is what director Hardwick (mostly British TV stuff) intends his audience to find out.

Hardwick’s film has several charms. For one, the lead character, though annoying that he may be at times, wearing the same old disgusting vintage parka and carrying around a Tesco plastic bag, is a loveable lug who always means well. His favourite words are: “I am sorry” uttered with his Welsh accent. It is hard not to feel for a small town boy (big though he may be) moving to London in search of his big dream.

Newcomer Jonny Owen isn’t half bad as Dixie. He basically plays himself, a music enthusiast, star and producer of his own internet-based sketches of the same title in real life, which he has expanded for the big screen. But running at 90 minutes, the task becomes massive and different from the execution of short skits on the net. The little jokes and humour fail to sustain, and the one idea film soon runs out of steam. The story is also too predictable but there are a few prize characters such as the fat pop drinking Russian landlady. The camera is fond of showing her ass.

It would be an additional bonus if the band did put out some good songs on film. As it is, the band members are all shown as a lot of arguing misfits.

The word Svengali, the film title, refers to a person who manipulates or exerts excessive force over another. It also refers to a character in the George Du Maurier’s 1895 novel made into a film several times called Svengali who hypnotizes and brings to fame a young singer. It is not clear which of the three director Hardwick or writer Owen has fashioned his title from. Dixie manipulates his girlfriend and the band to stardom, though not with excessive force.

The film contains cameos from several TV personalities that North Americans will not be familiar with. Martin Freeman from the three Lord of the Rings HOBBIT films is perhaps the only one recognizable.

It is difficult to envisage huge North American audiences getting too excited about this small British export. Unless one is ex-British staying in North America, in the music business industry, in a struggling band or have Welsh roots, SVENGALI will have little appeal. This film therefore goes straight to VOD (video on demand) skipping the theatres on January the 10th. Myself, I visited Wales 2 years back, which is the main reason this little film attracted me to review.

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
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Movie Review: HOUSEBOUND (New Zealand 2014) ***** Top 10

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

housebound_posterHOUSEBOUND (New Zealand 2014) ***** Top 10
Directed by Gerard Johnstone

Review by Gilbert Seah

It is not often that a film comes out of nowhere that turns out to be the biggest surprise of the year. HOUSEBOUND might be that film for 2015.

This is the story of story of Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O’Reilly), an ill-tempered delinquent forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her crazed mother Miriam (Rima Te Wiata) – a well- intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. They do not get along. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small-town gossip. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return. Nothing more should be said about the story as surprises are around every corner.

The film contains priceless stereotyped characters everyone would love to laugh at. These include stupid follow-the-book police officers, a therapist that offers the most obvious observations and a parole officer that asks the silliest questions. But the supporting characters are also priceless. The best is the gossiping, superstitious mother who can believe that the ouse is haunted but not what her daughter tells her.

The horror comedic set-us are equally brilliantly staged from the climatic fight on the roof to the exploding head scene. As far as predictability goes, Johnstone parodies the familiar in horror films but the joked and set-ups are genuinely fresh.

HOUSEBOUND is the best horror comedy surprise coming from New Zealand since Peter Jackson stunned the world with BRAINDEAD (banned in Canada and released straight to video under the title DEAD ALIVE). Hollywood rewarded Jackson with THE FRIGHTENERS and the rest is Tolkien history. Who knows? The same may follow suit for Gerard Johnstone.

But what the film overlooks in explanation is the possessed stuffed bear. If all the noise and moving objects were due to the stranger living behind the walls, how did the bear come alive?

The film may be considered violent depending how one looks at it. Harmless fun perhaps? But funny, nevertheless. Scenes such as the one in which Kylie uses a grater to her attacker’s face could go wither way. But there are also nice touches such as Kylie finally protecting and bonding with her annoying mother.

O’Reilly is winning as the attention deficit Kylie. But Te Wiata ias the mother is completely unforgettable.

The film has had a super successful international festival run that included premieres at SXSW, Toronto After Dark, Vancouver International Film Festival, and Neuchâtel International Fantasy Film Festival 2014 where Housebound won the HR Giger ‘Narcisse’ Award for Best Feature Film, and the Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival in Scotland where it landed an Audience Award.

Peter Jackson has seen HOUSEBOUND and calls the film: “Bloody Brilliant!” It certainly is!

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
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Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

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Movie Review: ANOMALISA (USA 2015) ***** TOP 10

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

ANOMALISA_posterANOMALISA (USA 2015) ***** TOP 10
Directed Charlie Kauffman, Duke Johnson

Review by Gilbert Seah

Charlie Kauffman outdid himself and almost everyone else for that matter with the script of FINDING JOHN MALKOVICH, made into a film so inventive, entertaining and fascinating, that one can hardly imagine anything topping that. ANOMALISA comes close if not succeeding.

As the stop-motion animated adult comedy drama unfolds, slow enough to allow the audience to think over many of the film’s details, the immediate question that comes to mind is why animate this story. The question seems more relevant since the animation appears to copy the actual human being and their everyday work as accurately as possible. The characters are animated but the settings like hotel room, cab and props are not. A non-animated film could have served the identical purpose. The answer to the question might be that the story could have been told in either format, but the stop-motion animation serves to highlight certain aspects of Kauufman’s ingenious story. For one, the story has surreal elements that are best highlighted in a surreal looking animated film resembling the real thing. Secondly, the artificiality of life is emphasized. And thirdly, the whole enterprise looks like a dream – a Kafka-ish world like an animated cartoon.

The apparently ‘normal’ story concerns Michael Stone (David Thewlis), an author of books on the subject of customer service, struggling with his inability to connect to people. Michael, born in England and married with a son lands in Cincinnati on a routine business trip. He meets a stranger, Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who changes his world view as he falls in love with her.

The film appears really odd at the start. All the female characters are voiced by males (except for Lisa) and soon it becomes apparent that all the voices are done by one male actor – Tom Noonan. The reason becomes clear later on in the film.

Kauufman’s film works on various levels. It is one of the most human films that is animated. The world as seen by its protagonist is exactly the way it actually is. The most important person is oneself and everything else is secondary. In the same way, to Michael Stone, the only person that matters is himself, which he realizes and that there is only one other person in the world that matters, the one he has fallen in love with and the one that really would make a difference. This is the one that will de-normalize his life and hence he renames her ANOMALISA from Lisa. The film also captures the boredom or everyday life in a most exciting way – a feat Kauffamn achieves, at apparent ease.

The stop animation is a marvel – complete with its accuracy in details. The animated sex scene complete with gentials should be seen to be unforgotten. An old movie seen on TV by the characters is also animated ANOMALISA has won accolades and prizes where it has been shown. It currently, at the time of writing, hold a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

ANOMALISA is an almost perfect film in every way, down to the closing song and music. The film is a rare treat that celebrates life and the best of what it has to offer, ironically, without having a happy ending. Not occasionally but frequently brilliant, ANOMALISA is that rare movie, yes out of the ordinary that is definitely a must-see, a near-masterpiece of originality!

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
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Movie Review: JOY (2015)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:

JOY (USA 2015) ***** TOP 10
Directed by David O. Russell
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, Donna Mills, Elisabeth Röhm, Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd

Writer/director David O. Russell has been known to made films with strong family content like SPANKING THE MONKEY, THE FIGHTER and. His last movie AMERICAN HUSTLE shows him successful in a completely different genre – business. JOY, a film about a housewife named Joy Mongano (Jennifer Lawrence), a struggling single mother who with the help of family and friends succeeds in inventing and marking her miracle mop invention combines the best of the two genres.

Joy has not the typical family. Her grandmother (Dianne West) who narrates the story, her TV-addicted mother, Terry (Virginian Madsen), two children live with her in her house together with her divorced husband (Edgar Ramirez) who lives in her basement. Her dad (Robert de Niro) suddenly moves in, and causes some havoc. But to survive, Joy decides to manufacture and sell her magical mop, going all out – to make it or go completely broke. This is a film about mending broken dreams and making them finally come true. JOY is a true joy to watch, a feel-good Christmas film with all the peers and quirkiness found in a Russell movie. The film moves at a manic pace, especially in the beginning, capturing the spirit of AMERICAN HUSTLE.

Jennifer Lawrence (MOCKINGJAY) delivers another knock-out performance capable of winning her another Oscar nomination for Best actress. Her two memorable segments especially the one where she freaks out in front of her daughters is enough to make one cry. The other has her telling her stepsister in words that will eventually go into movie history: “Never ever speak on behalf about my business … again!” Bradley Cooper has a smaller supporting role but one cannot get enough of his character on screen. Ramirez as the divorced husband is surprisingly good and truly as in the words of the film, they make ‘the most awesome couple in America”, despite not being married.

There is also some neat words in the script. In one scene, Joy’s father tells Joy that it is to possible to have the same dream, to which she replies she has had the same dream twice. If one has the same dream, that means having that dream twice, so how may times is the dream dreamt if one has the same dream twice. Funnier still, is the fact that what that dream is, is never revealed in the film. Also, Joy’s business financier and father’s girlfriend, Trudy’s (Isabella Rossellini) four rules of business success is a real hoot.

The trailer has a scene with Joy blasting off a rifle. In the film, she is upset and blasts the file taken in a rifle range next to the father’s shop. The trailer leads the audience to think Joy has shot someone, especially with anther scene with two cops handcuffing her and taking her away. But tis is not really what transpires in the film. It is a clever editing of the film to form a trailer to look more exciting with events imagined by the audience. Thought his to be a brilliant touch.

JOY has got mixed reviews so far from critics. I have read a few but am unconvinced of the reasons that JOY is faulted with. JOY to me, is a smart fell-good movie, appropriate for Christmas
and shows director Russell in top form.

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Today’s Top Twitter Posts: Sunday October 31 2015

Today’s Top Twitter Posts: Writing Festival Deadlines for POETRY, NOVELS, TV PILOT, FEATURE SCREENPLAYS. Click and submit by the end of the day:

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out:

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Watch the September 2015 Best Scene Screenplay Readings

DEADLINE: Submit your best scene from your screenplay. Have it performed using professional actors:

Best Scene Reading of AMONG US
September 2015 Reading

Written by Renana Hancock


NARRATOR – Allison Kampf
EDDIE – Ben Hur
MERAZURE – Angelica Alejandro
VEE – Holly Sarchfield

Best Scene Reading of FEI JI
September 2015 Reading

Written by James C. Peters


NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty
TOM – Ben Hur
HUNG BO – Chris Reid-Geisler
COLONEL PAO – Gabriel Darku
JOAN – Angelica Alejandro

September 2015 Reading
Written by Carolyn Reese


NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
THE DUKE – Ben Hur
MARSHALL – Laura Kyswaty
CONTESTANT 1 – Gabriel Darku
CONTESTANT 2 – Chris Reid-Geisler
CONTESTANT 3 – Angelica Alejandr