Screenplay Reading · Short Film · Uncategorized

Winning STUDENT Short Screenplay – BRANCHES by Holyn Thigpen

Genre: Drama, Romance

A recently divorced man tries selling Christmas trees in order to clear his head, but his overeager attitude causes friction.


Narrator: Julian Ford
Garry: Dan Cristofori
Michelle: Penelope Corrin
Stewart: Steve Rizzo

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The screenplay concerns a man named Garry who, after experiencing a great loss in his life, decides to focus his energy on something a bit unusual: Christmas tree sales. The story explores a day in his life at a run-down tree stand and the good that can show up unexpectedly.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would consider it a drama, but it certainly has some comedic elements.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I would love for this screenplay to be made, mainly because it is strongly based around character and mood as opposed to action, complex plot, etc. and I think that in general we lack films of that nature today. When writing it, I had in mind some of the great character studies of the 60’s and 70’s, and I would love for audiences today to become acquainted (or reacquainted) with that type of film. I also think it tells a beautiful story despite its short length; we see a broken man try to pull himself up and eventually find a bit of hope left in the world.

How would you describe this script in two words?

optimism and beauty

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

The Truman Show

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on it sporadically over the course of a couple weeks. Sometimes I would just pull out my laptop when I was bored in class and add bits and pieces.

How many stories have you written?

So many! Probably somewhere in the 20s.

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

Help! by The Beatles

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I had some trouble deciding how I wanted to structure the script and show the passage of time. I knew I wanted the entire plot to only span a few hours, but pacing that proved to be somewhat difficult. It took a while to figure out what instances and interactions I wanted to show, how much I should throw into the montage, and how long the resolution should last.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am extremely passionate about the film industry as a whole; in fact, I would love to be a producer or director some day. I’m also a major history buff, and I love anthropology.

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

I had always been interested in screenwriting but never really given it a try, so I thought I would just go for it. I wanted to try something new and challenge myself (which I think I succeeded in). I found the criticism I received incredibly helpful, and I went back and edited my script after I received it.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s