HORROR Festival Best Scene: THE UNINVITED, by Matthew Domingos (writer int.)
BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY READINGS • 5m 50s
When two American soldiers go on a mission to an abandoned house in the Iraqi desert, what they find there makes them question reality itself.
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Sonny: Sean Ballatyne
The Chief: Geoff Mays
Get to know the screenwriter:
1. What is your screenplay about?
My screenplay is essentially about human conflict. I wanted to express how uniquely strange and traumatic the experience of being in a warzone is for all those involved. It is an environment of extremes and one that, in my opinion at least, can only be expressed visually.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Horror. I see now that I wrote in surrealistic aspects also that I hadn't intended to. But what better way to express the horrors of war than to merge horror and surrealism?
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
At the moment, "The Uninvited" serves as the pilot for my horror anthology series concept I call "In the Pines." That said, I made sure the narrative arcs in "The Uninvited" were flexible enough to allow for its expansion into a full-length feature film. Surprisingly, there are very few horror war movies. I've created a pretty extensive backstory to that small Iraqi farmhouse. Its land and the many people associated with it go back a dozen millennia in my mind. All of it is just itching to be used. Sky's the limit.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
That's a hard one! I'm actually the type of person that doesn't like to watch or read the same thing twice. Or at least not very often. I have a thing for '80s films though, and so when I was a kid I watched "Sixteen Candles" way too many times.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started the screenplay in August 2022, but it's based on a short story of mine that I had written before that.
7. How many stories have you written?
Too many to count. Many others, still in my head.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Another hard question! I've obsessed over the Fleet Foxes for the last few years. So probably, at least recently, I would say the first track off of their album "Crack-up" called "I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar."
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
My brain can get overwhelmed. Often I make myself just write. Then it all flows. I've discovered that the screenplay format has opened the floodgates to all those stories and narratives that have always bounced in my head. It translates it all for me. It has been very liberating.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I'm fortunate enough to have an incredible partner in life and awesome kids. Family. I love the Earth and all life on it, both plant and animal.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
FilmFreeway is an incredible site and a fantastic way to get your work out there. I highly recommend it to anyone who asks. It's easy and very versatile.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I wanted to enter a festival that appreciated the power of the horror genre. My initial reaction was profound appreciation. It is an incredible feeling to put all that work into something and it receive positive but also very helpful feedback. The whole point of art, in my opinion, is to illicit a reaction--any reaction--from an audience. It's always an amazing feeling when that happens.
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