A down-on-his-luck gay man looks back on his former relationship with the love of his life... which just so happened to coincide with the Martian invasion of Earth.
Narrator: Kyana Teresa
Topher: Sean Devlin
Nate: Allan Michael
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
Topher & Nate & The Invaders from Mars tells the story of Nate, a gay delivery driver looking back on his relationship with Topher, the love of his life, which coincided with the Martian invasion of Earth.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
The screenplay is, on one hand, a sort of "Relationship post-mortem" romantic comedy (Think 500 Days of Summer, Annie Hall, High Fidelity...) where a character is reminiscing or reliving a past relationship. On the other hand, it's a 90s-era Spielbergian action blockbuster.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
As a gay man, I've found it occasionally frustrating that our representation in movies can be boiled down into either tragedies or Hallmark cards. I was interested in writing a story that reflected the kinds of relationships that I and many of my friends have had, falling somewhere in the middle, which I haven't really seen in a movie yet. On top of that, I think the mashup of sci-fi action and romantic comedy would make for a very fun movie that a lot of people would enjoy!
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Okay, but the real answer is "Romantic and quirky".
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Ooo, this is a tough one. The movie I've seen in theaters most was The Dark Knight (7 times; I'd just graduated high school and had nothing to do), but the movie I've seen the most, period, may be Clue, which I saw as a kid. I played the tape from Blockbuster so much that it broke and we had to buy it off them.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I got the idea for Topher & Nate on Easter Sunday 2022, so I've been working on it for just over a year!
7. How many stories have you written?
I've written a bunch of different plays, pilots and long form stories, but this is my first feature screenplay! I'd say the number of stories I've written may be in the high teens.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
I've always been a big fan of musical theater, so it's probably something by Stephen Sondheim. Probably "Finishing The Hat" from his show Sunday In The Park With George
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Trying to juggle writing the rough draft of Topher & Nate with shooting my thesis film from film school at the same time was a challenge for sure!
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Consuming pop culture of all kinds (Movies, tv, theater, comics), especially older movies! Also comedy; I graduated from The Second City Film School last fall and that filled me with a love for improv, and the Chicago comedy community in particular.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I've enjoyed it so far! They definitely make it a lot easier and more accessible to submit work!
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I loved the idea of having a festival that was entirely focused on both telling romantic stories but also providing feedback to aspiring writers to make their stories better! And I found the initial feedback I received very helpful! It's definitely going to help me as I go into crafting future drafts!