MYSTERY Best Scene Reading of UNDER THE WELL, by Max J. Eber




Erecura – Lada Darewych
Hero – Victoria Urquhart
Narration – Sean Ballantyne
Rémy – Hugh Ritchie
Martin – Geoff Mays
Rémy’s mother – Julie C. Sheppard

Get to know the writer:

  1. What is your screenplay about?

Under The Well is about loss and healing. Set in France circa 1920, it focuses on Martin, a young boy still reeling from World War I and the recent death of his best friend from a car accident, an accident that he himself survived. Traumatized, he encounters a thin barrier between reality and the supernatural and soon succumbs to the influence of a mysterious enchantress who claims to know him. Hero, his equally troubled older sister, torn by her own insecurities and stalked by another eerie force, must then find the courage to rescue Martin from the otherworldly machinations bent on taking him away forever.

  1. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy, Family Drama, and Horror.

  1. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because everyone has felt loss or mourned for something in their lives, be it someone or something literal or an intangible thing, maybe a passing of an era, of a time. Because of that, I feel it would resonate with a lot of viewers. I believe boys in film are frequently the hero but are not often allowed much room for displaying true grief, depression and heartache; it’s often shown through anger or used for motivation to be a better hero rather than a true obstacle to overcome. Martin and Hero being multiracial children and not white schoolchildren (often at the center of these type of fantasy stories) is also an important reason for it to be made, since the world was and is a diverse place and all children are owed representation across media genres.

  1. How would you describe this script in two words?

Impressionistic, Cathartic.

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

I’d say The Wizard of Oz.


  1. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Roots of the project stretch twelve years back to 2006, when I was sixteen. This iteration’s draft didn’t truly emerge until 2013. So this version is about five-ish years old.

  1. How many stories have you written?

I have about twenty floating around. A bulk of those are stories that could be either screenplays or used for graphic novel concepts,but I’ve also written and adapted a few plays, a ballet narrative, two picture book texts, and a middle-grade children’s novel. I love storytelling more than anything.


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

I have a lot of favorites but I’m pretty big on Amy Winehouse’s “Help Yourself” which sampled Les Brown and Doris Day’s “You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)” from 1946, I found that pretty cool.


  1. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The content; the very strong emotions in the piece and what I did to the main characters was pretty daunting. Stylistically I am more apt to write sort of frothy comedies so, as my first drama piece with little to no humor, it required a lot of effort to stay in the right tone. My own family was going through a lot at the time, so I was able to channel a lot of my frustration and my own grief into the story. However that required acknowledging it and that was a pretty involved process too.

  1. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love design and illustration. I sometimes design textile prints and illustrated one of my current two picture book texts in my free time. It’s all about apples (and how much I love to eat them). I really enjoy horticulture and gardening and will do that outside when the weather is nice. I also try to do my part and stay on top of politics to push for progressive, inclusionary, and environmentally minded initiatives and policies from my senators and representatives. I think it’s pretty important to try to make the world a better place, it’s not a fool’s errand.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

By crimemysteryfestival

Showcasing the best of Crime and Mystery Stories and Films from around the world.

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