NY Elite: What does your selection by ISC mean to you?
Andrew M Volpe: The ISC Screenwriting Contest is one of the world’s most prestigious events in the world. Being a finalist in the ISC Screenwriting Contest is validation of the quality of work we have produced. We are truly honored to be cited among all of the other great writers chosen.
NY Elite: What is the work and story about?
Michael Volpe: NYC La Familgia e Tutto: NYC Family is Everything, is a coming of age story about a college student torn between his devotion to family and taking part in the sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle of New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1970s.
NY Elite: Tell us about yourself and previous work.
Michael Volpe: My son, Andrew M Volpe, is a producer and director who‘s won numerous film and screenwriting awards with one of his films, The Free Agent Fan, a baseball dramedy, having been optioned. I am a native New Yorker and a former Washington, DC reporter and federal government official, who ‘s also won a handful of screenwriting awards.
NY Elite: What scripts have you written?
Andrew M Volpe: We have combined to write the Free Agent Fan, a baseball dramedy, NYC La Famiglia e Tutto: NYC Family is Everything, a coming of age in New York drama, which is our ISC screenwriting entry, and just completed THE DEDICATED PHYSICIAN, about a female doctor who overcomes personal tragedy and a failed marriage to stop a greedy board of directors from closing her inner city hospital.
NY Elite: 3 current and future favorite projects you are working on.
Michael Volpe: Aside from the 3 scripts we just named, Andrew and I are working on a WW II script, as well as a script about fraternity brothers who come together over a friend’s funeral – sort of Big Chill meets Animal House.
Andrew M Volpe: We are also working on a Christmas animation where Nutcrackers debate the meaning of Christmas, as well as a cartoon about brothers who happen to be sneakers.
NY Elite: How do you express yourself in other ways?
Michael Volpe: I like to volunteer to help others. I am involved in the government’s Secret Santa program where citizens get to respond to and provide gifts to needy families who send letters to the North Pole.
Andrew M Volpe: At work I like to mentor younger people about the pros and cons of the business of filmmaking and screenwriting – pay forward the knowledge that was passed on to me by my personal mentors.
NY Elite: How do you build a character in a story?
Michael Volpe: First, the character must be flawed to make him likeable and relatable to the audience. Secondly, the story surrounding the protagonist must be solid and have a clear beginning, middle and end. The character must have recognizable conflict and resolution or you lose your audience.
NY Elite: Advice to someone who wants a career in filmmaking.
Andrew M Volpe: First, recognize it is hard work, second, expect rejection, third, never stop learning and creating, and finally, when you have a finished project, submit it to contests like the ISC Screenwriting competition to see how you stack up against the pros.