After a huge number of submissions for London Lift-Off Film Festival, here are the 4 screenplays officially selected to go forward onto the Community platform. Congratulations all! In order to read the screenplays, sign up to the Lift-Off Community here:
The Duplicate – Victor Orel
SYNOPSIS: An average joe is implanted with the DNA of a dead spy in order to retrieve a hidden computer chip, then the genetic reversal process triggers a memory which sends him on a desperate race to deactivate explosives at a nuclear power plant.
Two things happened in 2010. Before leaving for the Ukraine, I had a farewell dinner with a friend of mine, Joe Liuzzi during which I shared the first few pages of my new book “The Fog”. Joe liked what he read and asked me if he could email those couple of pages to his friend James, I said sure. Two days later Joe called me and said that James liked my work. James also suggested that I start writing screenplays, ‘cause, he thinks, I have a knack for it. I asked Liuzzi, “Who is James?” He answered in one word, “Cameron”. After that I couldn’t stop thinking about going into screenwriting.
Soon after I left for Odessa, Ukraine, where for the next four years I wrote for and hosted a local TV show. There I met an American man from Wisconsin, who had lived in Odessa for seven years and hadn’t learned more than a few words in Russian. He was persistently looking for a Ukrainian girl to marry. Every girl he met, however, stiffed him for money and was gone, but he kept trying. I thought that he must have been incredibly stupid. Later I found out that he was shooting a movie about his journey for love in Odessa. A couple of times I watched him as an actor. He was a different man, talented, intelligent and full of inspiration. A split personality disorder? Around the same time, I came across an article about an amazing science called wave genetics. All of the above came together in my head and became “The Duplicate”.
Noteworthy – Jimmy Prosser
SYNOPSIS: Calvin wears a video camera to cope with Hyperthymesia, a mental disorder resulting in a super human autobiographical memory that inhibits his ability to live in the present. Calvin bonds with an old crush as he vividly recalls their childhood, until she finds him obsessively watching their recorded dates.
What was the inspiration behind this screenplay? I wrote Noteworthy after watching a 60 Minutes documentary about Hyperthymesia, a real but exceeding rare mental condition that afflicts my protagonist, Calvin. I was fascinated with the idea of someone with a hyperactive very long-term memory and wondered how that might impact daily life today. I wanted to use an unreliable narrator that the audience can witness in both present and past timelines. Writing this story in split screen, with the past on the left and the present on the right, seemed to be the best way to convey visually what was in my head. I also wanted to write something that could be shot for a lower budget with limited locations and characters.
What are you looking for to take this project to the next stage? I’d been thinking about how my protagonist’s story and affliction could be expanded into either a feature film or an episodic series. I’ve love to speak with producers who might be interested in being involved in those efforts.
What advice has helped you get where you are now? The best advice I’ve received came from a writing mentor who told me, “your real life isn’t that interesting.” Everyone believes they or their friend group are the exception, but that isn’t true. Many jokes or personal anecdotes only are interesting because they happen to you. Real life is great for idea making but not for actual dialogue or plot development. Screenwriting is about the extraordinary ‒ why not embellish or decorate your real life stories to make them more exhilarating?
The Orchard – Kathryn Carmichael
SYNOPSIS: Humanity has stopped listening, and is stripping the Earth bare. Widow Clara is tending her orchard, unaware that her rotting fruit carry the first wave of mutated spores.
Ambitious single mother Eve, is close to a breakthrough at the GM laboratories, that will unwittingly escalate our genetic breakdown.
While Clara is babysitting her grandson she is infected, triggering her bodies systematic breakdown. He watches terrified as a new species of human evolves.
The Earth has found a way to fight back. Humans will no longer be the dominate race. Nature will reclaim the earth, and our mutated genes will help secure our fate.
The Conductor – Jared Bentley
SYNOPSIS: An evil genius has developed a new technology that enables him to control all mechanical functions of another human, all the while, leaving them fully cognisant of the horror they are wreaking. Only one young detective recognises what is happening, but can she stop him before he initiates total chaos through thousands of powerless hosts.