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Writing a romantic comedy LIVE on YouTube

LOGLINE: When a luxury car salesman, moonlighting as a dating coach, goes viral for degrading Black women, two hopeful romantics partner to expose fraudulent relationship experts and fall in love.

kevin samuels as a villain in a Black-led romantic comedy by Onicia Muller

Hey, Friends!

I’m writing a feature-length movie script live on YouTube. Join me Mondays-Fridays between 5:00 am and 6:30 am Central. Enjoy all the cool ASMR vibes like birds chirping, early morning traffic, typing, me quietly explaining my creative process while wearing my mouth guard.

hit ‘like’. Say ‘hi’. It’s a chill, fun time.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell notification so you don’t have to hunt for the lastest live stream link.

This untitled black rom-com is a fun, radical feminist, romantic comedy. It’s a fresh take on the traditional rom-com. No dated tropes. No heavy-handed dialog that feels like an after-school special.

Singer Lizzo and actress Mariann Aalda as BFFs in a Black-led romantic comedy by Onicia Muller

Keep the words flowing; please buy me ice cream.

Questions? Feedback? Words of affirmation? HeyOnicia(at)OniciaMuller(dot)com

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Stories TV Scripts

Matched – Original TV Pilot by Onicia Muller

LOGLINE: The love algorithms predicted Pietre and Irene would be a 98% match. They’re equally smug, frugal jerks with radical politics and twisted fantasies. Together, they’ll learn that they are many things, but they are in love most of all.

If you enjoyed my original half-hour comedy pilot, ‘Matched,’ email me at HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller.com with feedback, collaboration requests, and ice cream donations.

Photo credit erica dreisbach. Note: Ziwe Fumudoh and Josh Dela Cruz are not associated with this project; erica and I just wish they were. Holla at me!

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Stories TV Scripts

The Wonderful Counsellor — Original TV pilot by Peter Sagnia and Onicia Muller

Logline: After his wife requests a divorce, a moralistic psychologist with a struggling practice learns to let go of perfection and relearn the life coping lessons usually reserved for his patients.

‘The Wonderful Counsellor’ was created, directed, and produced by Peter Sagnia. The pilot was written by Onicia Muller. Subsequent episodes were written by Diane De La Haye.

Cast: Edsel Monzon, Jenise Diaz, Shama Flurton, Denicia Liverpool, Frankie Pena, Ayana Mossell, and Adelicia Mossell.

Pilot synopsis

ACT I

Dr. Michael Williams, a moralistic psychologist, wraps up a team meeting with his wife, Chloe Williams, and his assistant, Amanda Thompson. The business is struggling and needs more clients. Amanda suggests beefing up their social media. Chloe is a bit distant. She says she’s more worried about getting the cafe ready for the day.

Later that morning, Michael has a session with Diane and her overbearing mother Sarah. This is Sarah’s first time sitting in on a session and she wants to know if Michael is making progress with convincing Diane to become a doctor or lawyer.

Over at the cafe, Cloe’s friend Vanessa comes to gush about her fabulous birthday present. Her husband Kenneth is taking her on an Alaskan cruise. Chloe is jealous and realizes she can never have that with Michael.

Back at the office, Michael is wrapping up his session with Diane and Sarah. Sarah is upset to learn that Micheal and Diane have been spending the time talking about Sarah’s inappropriate dating life instead of school options. 

Amanada is attempting to film a YouTube video. She’s very stiff on camera and decides it’s better to just encourage Michael to take on the task.

As Sarah and Diane leave, Sarah tells Amanda that she’s canceling all future sessions with Michael because he seems unreliable. They are going to a therapist with a larger social media following. Sarah likes what that therapist promotes.  Amanda interprets that as a sign that vlogging is a way to be more relatable.

ACT II

Michael overhears Sarah’s ranting from his office. He calls Chloe to lament about yet another client leaving. Chloe laments that they both work too much, have very little, and she’s running out of time to have kids. As Michael offers an apology, Chloe cuts him off to say she wants a divorce.

Before Michael can respond, Amanda enters. Amanda pressures Michael to start vlogging ASAP. He needs to share his feelings and be relatable or else they will be out of business. Chloe hangs up.

Distraught, Michael finally records the vlog Amanda has been nagging him about. The vlog turns personal and he decides to delete it. 

However, he’s interrupted when Chloe shows up with divorce papers.  Michael takes Chloe somewhere private to talk.

Moments later, Amanda enters and finds the vlog. She uploads it to YouTube without watching the full video.

ACT III

Chloe is about to serve a customer who is watching a video. She recognizes Michael’s voice. The customer reacts loudly and says they are going to share the video with their friends. 

Amanda and Sarah speak on the phone. Because Diane refuses to talk to the new doctor, Sarah is forced to return to Dr. Michael. The women discuss scheduling a new appointment.

As Michael enters, Amanda thanks him for the vlog. It’s going viral. Micheal has no idea what she’s talking about. By the time Amanda can explain, Chloe shows up to chew both of them out. Chloe tells Michael to delete the video and sign the divorce papers immediately. 

Instead of deleting the vlog Michael decides to continue on this path of radical vulnerability. Michael is determined to woo her back with this new life perspective. Michael assures Amanda that her job is still assured and that they’ll keep vlogging.  

About the team

Peter Sagnia – Creator/Director/Producer

Peter Sagnia is a Caribbean filmmaker with over 20 years of experience. His commercial video production clients include NBC, Masterclass, ABC, Telem, Government of U.S Virgin Islands and many more. He’s worked in the United Kingdom, United States, Sint Maarten, U.S Virgin Islands. Other cinematic works by Peter includes ‘Meltdown,’ ‘Family,’ ‘Preciosa,’ ‘That Which is Needful,’ and ‘Consumed.’

Diane De La Haye

Diane is Canadian-Jamaican Screenwriter who left the corporate world after 15 years to pursue a career in Film. After earning a “Writing for Film and TV” Diploma from the  Vancouver Film School, she worked in Script Development at Goldrush Entertainment in Montreal, and was a Judge with both ACTRA Toronto’s “Women of Color Creators Short Film challenge” as well as NYC Midnight Short Film Screenplay Competition.

Diane has been commissioned to write screenplays and pitch bibles for leading Canadian and Jamaican film producers/production companies and her Sketch Comedy “Fab 4” was featured at the NaSkeWriMo in Chicago.

In between all this, Diane feeds herself by freelancing as a Film Festival Promotions and Operations Manager in Toronto, Jamaica and Barbados.

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Stories TV Scripts

Counting On Kendra – Original TV Pilot by Maya Montrell and Onicia Muller

Logline: When a jaded accountant with a mysterious chronic illness and an extreme couponer go viral, her scam-obsessed best friend pushes them into the wacky world of private investigation.

Counting on Kendra advanced to round 2 of Sundance’s Episodic Lab (2020).

Pilot Synopsis

ACT 1

KENDRA watches finance videos in bed. AVON, calls to say that his nonprofit job agreed to have Kendra host a financial literacy workshop. Kendra fears committing because of her chronic health issues. She’s even too sick to buy toiletries.

With Avon’s support, a bedazzled cane, and a motorized shopping cart, Kendra makes it to the store. Kendra doesn’t see PATRICIA grabbing all the air fresheners in the household and cleaning supply aisle. She’s on a video call telling Avon about an alternative healing retreat. 

Kendra finally notices Patricia, her binder of coupons, and overflowing cart when she joins the check-out queue. Patricia says Kendra can livestream her ring up.

Kendra and Patricia politely to explain the difference between ‘per purchase’ and ‘per transaction.’ Unfortunately, the cashier and manager are convinced they’re committing coupon fraud.

ACT 2

Apparently, couponing while black is an arrestable offense, so Avon hops on Instagram live to raise awareness.

Dr. BIAGI shoots down any talk about alternative remedies and offers what Kendra considers is bullshit advice for her ailments.

While Avon is in the hospital’s bathroom confronting a man who refuses to wash his hands, Patricia calls Kendra with good news. She got them booked on Good Morning Chicago (GMC). Kendra ends the call when Avon enters chasing Mr. Dirty Hands.

VLAD (Kendra’s boss) tells REGINA from HR to set up a meeting to discuss Kendra’s extended medical leave. At this point, Kendra has been sick longer than she’s been employed.

Patricia tells her online community that her GMC appearance is uncertain because she hasn’t heard from Kendra.

In their meeting, Vlad and Regina tell Kendra to return to work full-time or lose her job. She has the weekend to think it over.

Upset that she lost a great PR opportunity for her couponing website, Patricia calls Avon to find out what’s up with Kendra.

ACT 3

Avon cleans Kendra’s apartment while reading comments and emails from fans.

Lupe knows Kendra is an accountant, not a lawyer. Still, the recently divorced mother of one hopes Kendra can help investigate her ex’s finances.

Kendra ain’t trying to be Harriette the Spy but Avon convinces her to at least do right by Patricia by contacting GMC. Also, if Kendra loses her job and ends up needing a GoFundMe, GMC is the perfect platform to get the word out.

MEL and AMIR, hosts of GMC, have differing opinions about couponing. Kendra snaps when Amir makes several indirect comments calling couponers moochers.

Couponers aren’t frugal jerk unwilling to pay full price. Sometimes you’re the only person in your family who “makes it ” and uses coupons to help your community. Sometimes your scumbag ex won’t pay their fair share of child support, so you’re stuck maintaining a household on a single income. Some people have invisible disabilities and can’t work a 40-hour week. Unlike Amir, Kendra won’t shame people for trying to survive or leave them hanging when they’re counting on her.

Maya Montrell - Chicago scriptwriter - Onion Features contributor - Counting on Kendra

Maya Montrell – Writer/Creator

Maya Montrell is a Chicago-based writer and improviser. This Southern Belle with a not-so-secret passion for floral arrangements once dreamed of a career in public health. Now she’s following her heart by pursuing the creative arts.

Maya is currently studying Anthropology and Linguistics. In 2019 she was a part of The Onion’s Diverse As F*ck writing workshop. This year she created and produced the five-week improvised medical drama, ‘Code Grey’ at The Annoyance Theater.

Her creative work centers around uncovering personal biases. She’s interested in exploring the intersection between linguistics and medicine. 

When Maya is not in class, she’s at the yoga studio or on Twitter impersonating Angela Bassett’s missing Oscar. She is equal parts carefree, careless, and careful.

If you enjoyed our original half-hour comedy pilot, ‘Counting on Kendra,’ email us at HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller.com with feedback, collaboration requests, and icecream donations.

Lead Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash