PIXER KNOWS! The Story so far…

PIXER KNOWS! Caroline Farrell.2015

The classic Wizard of Oz meets myths and legends from the Celtic Tradition, PIXER KNOWS! tells the fantastical tale of young Irish Traveller boy, Mikey Joyce, 11, and his two best friends, Jaybee [Jacinta] and Paulie, whom together, enter the Otherworld of Pisreóga to track down an ancient Celtic warrior, Fionn MacCumhaill.

Their quest – to persuade the reluctant hero to help them rescue a displaced princess, free the children of Pisreóga from the evil druid Dowan, and in so doing, realize Mikey’s dream to become a great storyteller.

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“A lovely story, beautifully told – and well written.”

Nick Willing, Film Director

[Neverland, The River King, Tin Man, Alice in Wonderland]

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FOURTH PLACE

London Film Awards 2015

London Film Awards 2015

FINALIST

Hollywood Screenplay Contest 2015

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[Honourable Mention]

Fantasmagorical Film Festival 2015

2015-LAURELS-NON2

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(FINALIST)

New York Screenplay Contest, 2015

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Screenwriting Goldmine 2013 QF

Screenwriting Goldmine, 2013

Quarter Finalist

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(WINNER)

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Moondance Film Festival, 2011

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FINALIST

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PAGE International Screenplay Awards, 2010

“Pixer Knows” is a visually stunning, beautifully written screenplay. The symbolically charged journey taken by the three young friends will appeal to a very wide audience.

“Pixer Knows” is a beautifully written, utterly original screenplay which will attract younger and older audiences.”

“The non-stop action, visually stunning special effects and touching story of childhood friendship is a treasure which could be a very successful film.”

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“This script offers a wonderfully original, fun and creative adventure story.”

Bluecat Screenplay Competition 2010. [Semi-Finals]

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“What a wonderfully engaging and entertaining tale you’ve woven here! Your script has all the elements of a classic children’s fantasy: an unlikely hero, a cruel and heartless villain, a colorful cast of anthropomorphized animals, and a legendary warrior who has to be reminded of what’s worth fighting for. I think you’ve crafted a story that children will truly love, and I especially liked the hilariously whimsical name that Mikey chose for Pixer.”

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition 2010. [Quarter Finals]

*Cover Image is created as an inspirational mood board, with no claim to copyright.

 

Journey of a Storyteller 4: How do I get my fantasy script made?

This ain’t no rant…but….

I have a feature screenplay that I would dearly like to see produced for the silver screen. The Irish silver screen, preferably, but the script, Pixer Knows, being a universally themed story of a boy’s quest to find his place in the world, and to express himself through imaginative storytelling, would surely appeal to all…

So what’s your problem? You might ask: a trillion and then some scribblers out there would also like their screenplays made. What makes your script any different from theirs?

Probably nothing…though it has won The Atlantis Award at the Moondance Film Festival, USA in 2011, and it did reach the finals of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, 2010, [top 1% of over 5,000 scripts!]

So what exactly is your problem,  you might ask again. Why don’t you just send it out to producers and wait for the phone to ring?

My problem, is this: My script is a big-budget, family fantasy feature, with a main character who is 11 years old, and from the Irish Travelling Community. And while I have had no problem in getting a Development Executive from a major Hollywood studio to read it…his response left me with a conundrum…the market, apparently, is looking for another Harry Potter…in other words, a character already known to the targeted audience, via the novels, the merchandise, the recognizable branding…my characters, most of them unique, but some from Irish Myth and Legend…are not globally recognizable…

I could argue with that last bit…Fionn McCumhaill makes an appearance. Is he not globally recognizable? Okay, maybe not…

Anyway, the script submission journey so far has not been an easy one. In Ireland, I have found it difficult to even get a response from certain Irish Producers, while others have gotten back to say that they are not reading unsolicited scripts. I sent it to one of the bigger, more prolific production companies we have in this country right now…a well-oiled machine, I would have thought…and I waited, and I am still waiting…FIVE months later!

The thing is, I KNOW that it would be difficult to fund this as a feature script…it is suitable for animation, which would obviously be very expensive to produce, though it would also work as part live-action, and part animation. Recently, the CEO of a wonderfully productive organisation…an Irish animation company doing great work on a global scale, whom I wrote to out of sheer frustration…responded promptly, suggesting a couple of companies to try…his company’s business is primarily TV and while they have an LA office, they have a very specific niche that they target, so therefore, don’t review spec feature scripts. He did suggest a couple of companies that I should try…but I didn’t have the heart to tell him that neither had even responded to my initial emails of inquiry.

So there it is…a script that has received the following praise…

“Pixer Knows” is a visually stunning, beautifully written screenplay. The symbolically charged journey taken by the three young friends will appeal to a very wide audience.

“Pixer Knows” is a beautifully written, utterly original screenplay which will attract younger and older audiences.

The non-stop action, visually stunning special effects and touching story of childhood friendship is a treasure which could be a very successful film. All Judging comments from the PAGE International Screenplay Awards 2010.

“This script offers a wonderfully original, fun and creative adventure story.” Judging comments from Bluecat Screenplay Competition 2010. Pixer Knows reached Semi-Finals

“What a wonderfully engaging and entertaining tale you’ve woven here! Your script has all the elements of a classic children’s fantasy: an unlikely hero, a cruel and heartless villain, a colorful cast of anthropomorphized animals, and a legendary warrior who has to be reminded of what’s worth fighting for. I think you’ve crafted a story that children will truly love, and I especially liked the hilariously whimsical name that Mikey chose for Pixer.” Judging comments from the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition 2010. Pixer Knows reached the Quarter Finals.

And there it sits, in the dark…and while I may very well put the novel version into the queue of work that needs to be done…time is passing, but my frustration is not…so any advice is gratefully appreciated!

HELP!!!

On Reflection 2011…

Last post of 2011, and like all seriously driven writers and artists should, time to reflect on work done and results of same that will hopefully lead to bigger and better for 2012.

Most of us can be rather critical of our offerings, and I am no exception, so this exercise is really about savouring the good stuff that has been generated this year, acknowledging the talent that I am collaborating with, and also those who have inspired and encouraged me to move forward, do better and most importantly, to keep the faith!

So, the year kicked off with a meeting with Irish/Italian Director, Vittoria Colonna, a powerhouse of talent, beauty and creative energy, and between us, our collaborative project The Captives, which is set in Florence, Italy, has emerged. The first draft was longlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, Edinburgh 2011, and though there is still some way to go with it, we are getting there…

The Literary Journal, REVIVAL, published an extract from my as yet, unfinished novel, LADY BETH. This is also a screenplay that continues to be close to my heart, and one that I intend to keep pushing towards development. In July, IFTA, in collaboration with the Galway Film Festival, awarded the screenplay a one-to-one consultation with Gill Dennis, Master of the American Film Institute and screenwriter of Walk The Line, amongst others. He has mentored a new  generation of filmmakers, including Jonathan Levine (The Wackness), Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) and Goran Dukic (Wristcutters). A true professional and a gentleman, Gill was highly supportive of LADY BETH, and subsequently put me in touch with a very talented, emerging director, whom Gill has also mentored through the AFI. I am very grateful to Gill for his encouragement, and for making those connections with great people and their continuing work to bring the project forward…exciting stuff…

I have still to master the art of the pitch document, so when two of my projects, Arkyne and Lady Beth, were longlisted for the Fresh Voices Pitch Awards, I was pretty chuffed. Particularly with Arkyne, which was the first screenplay I wrote, and began as such an epic tale, I have decided to finally stop faffing around and complete the novel version, Vampire of Arkyne. I should have the draft ready sometime in 2012…

In August, you can just picture the happy gig when my family fantasy script, PIXER KNOWS!, was awarded the Altantis Prize at the Moondance International Film Festival. Another labour of love, it is a big-budget concept, but so far, despite the win, it has been difficult to get the attention of producers, but, I shall persevere…

Two of my screenplays, both of the horror genre, were placed in international competitions, The Lupii, a quarter-finalist in Write Movies Competition, and Evanescence, a second round qualifier of the PAGE International Screenplay awards. Both are early drafts, so I will be doing some work on them in 2012. For whatever reason, I get a real kick out of writing the horror stuff…for those who know me well, that ain’t no surprise at all…

My blog post on Irish Director Terry McMahon’s abrasively brilliant indie film, Charlie Casanova, went far and wide, mainly due to the fact that Terry posted it on his facebook page…great comments on the post, and indeed, the film, of which praise is certainly well deserved!

Also, I need to give a shout out to the members of my Screenwriting Group for their support and endurance of my meanderings, and to Dermot Tynan of Claddagh Films, for his positive actions, as opposed to just talking encouragement…much appreciated…

So, all and all, on the writing front, it has been a positively productive year, which generated work and new relationships that I hope, will carry on into 2012…and as I contemplate the beginnings of, as yet, undreamed worlds, I will end on the wisdom of Shakespeare…

To unpathed waters, undreamed shores.

Moondancing!

PIXER KNOWS!…my family fantasy feature screenplay, has won the Atlantis Award at the 2011 Moondance International Film Festival.

The script is about Mikey Joyce, an eleven year old boy, who together with his two best friends, Paulie and Jacinta,  enter a fantastical otherworld, Pisreóga, to track down an ancient Celtic warrior, Fionn McCumhaill. The children need to convince the reluctant and embittered Fionn to help them in their quest to rescue a displaced princess, Pixer, to free the children of Pisreóga from the evil druid Dowan, and in so doing, realize Mikey’s dream to become a great storyteller.