Winning ROMANCE 1st Scene – WAITING TO CRUMBLE, by John Ott

Genre: Romance, Comedy

Two elderly men, one divorced, the other whose wife has dementia, find love with each other in a nursing home in this humorous, yet moving, story of romance with a twist.


Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Stu: Neil Bennett
Doctor: Rais Moui
Barbara: Daniella Zappala
Nurse: Connie Wang

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Love amongst the geriatric set–between two men.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Probably comedy, but it could be considered a drama with humor.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It’s a timely subject matter which will become more timely as the baby boomers age. There is a strong market for films dealing with LGBT themes, but this is also a story about friendship and aging and love and family relationships. On a practical note, it would not be an expensive movie to film, so the profit potential is considerable whether as a mainstream film or in a niche market.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bittersweet comedy

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Hard question. Growing up, it would be my parents’ favorite film, “Gone With the Wind.” While somewhat controversial today, it’s still an entertaining film with some strong performances. When my children were young, it was whatever movie they were into which we watched over and over, whether I wanted to or not. For my son, it was “Nightmare Before Christmas.” My daughters liked “Tornado” and “Watcher in the Woods.” I enjoy watching musicals multiple times and have seen “Jesus Christ Superstar” many times.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on it for about a year, on and off.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve completed three other screenplays, started numerous others, and I’ve written short stories since childhood. I’ve begun several stage plays and am thinking about writing a stage version of “Waiting to Crumble.”

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

I don’t really have a favorite song, but there are several artists whose work I admire very much. One of my all-time favorites is Tina Turner, who made aging irrelevant. If “Proud Mary” doesn’t make you want to move, you’re probably already dead.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time and the changing society. Not long after I finished the screenplay, gay marriage was legalized nationwide.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love acting, having played wonderful parts in the local community theatre. I did a bit of professional acting in my youth, but not in a very long time. But I’ve been allowed to play such varied characters as Willie Loman in”Death of a Salesman”, Ernest in “The Importance of Being Ernest”, Felix in “The Odd Couple,” Norman in “On Golden Pond,” Barney in “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” Vince Lombardi in “Lombardi,” and many more. These are the kind of parts, the range of parts, I wouldn’t have gotten if I had been a successful Broadway star.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I read about this festival and liked what I read. I liked the idea of having an audience, which is what every screenwriter wants. I appreciated the positive feedback, which is always encouraging and very rare. Writers become calloused to rejection, and it’s wonderful to feel like someone appreciates your hard work because writing is a hard task that is often lonely and underappreciated. I appreciate the affirmation you’ve given me.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

By festivalforromance

Festival driven to showcase the best of romance films and screenplays from around the world. Submit your romance genre screenplay or short film and get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Film Festival

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