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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Award Season Has Begun! - post author Don

First out of the gate is Bleeker Street Studios. Thanks to “John” and “Barksid” for the heads up.

As with years past, I’ll be tracking Scripts Studios Post For Award Consideration.

Head over and check out the Shooting script of of Collette and three screenplays, Disobedience, Leave No Trace, and What They Had.

– Don

Monday, September 17, 2018

Zombie Romance by Oksana Shafetova – short script review (available for production) - post author LC

Zombie Romance by Oksana Shafetova

On the eve of a zombie apocalypse a young wife has to make a life or death choice in the name of love.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the horror staple of Zombies has reached saturation point and that our appetite and continuing hunger for the lumbering, rampaging, bloodthirsty undead has waned.

Future Box Office however, tells a different story.

There are some twenty Zombie horror flicks already slated for 2018/19 with titles such as The Cured, Little Monsters, Cargo, Patient Zero, An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted), Breathers, and Inherit The Earth, to name just some of the titles already released or awaiting release. These movies have big-name stars attached: Lupita Nyong’o, Ellen Page, Martin Freeman, Stanley Tucci, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Brad Pitt is returning in the sequel to World War Z 2, and the original cast of Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisennberg make their return in Zombieland 2.

Chances are if you’re reading this blog you fancy yourself as the next George Romero, Jennifer Kent, Mike Flanagan, Julia Ducournau, or James Wan. You want to make a short film with maximum impact, which means you need good material with broad audience appeal.

Want something with a little horror, a little romance, and a good dose of humour? Not to mention blood, gore, and a decent dose of foreboding and suspense? Oksana Shafetova’s, Zombie Romance, has all these ingredients and more.

We open on Barbara, a young woman lying on a bed in a darkened room. Anyone who’s ever suffered a migraine knows the benefits of quiet and darkness. Only trouble is there’s some weird screaming and carrying on going on outside Barbara’s bedroom window. Rest and recuperation is not going according to plan.

We hear the fumbling of the key in the lock of the front door. Thank God, her loving husband Harry, is home. He can take Max, the dog, out for a walk. He might even be able to explain the weird auditory hallucinations Barbara is hearing from outside.

Maybe it’s all in her head.
Or maybe it isn’t…

One thing’s for sure. The words: ‘for better or worse’ and ‘in sickness and health’, are just about to be sorely tested.

Filmmakers: Zombie Romance is a killer script. One you’ll be dying to get your hands on. There’ll be a lot of clamouring for this one, so best set yourself apart from the hordes and get on it fast.

Contained Horror. One location, two leads, a mutt, minimal SFX, Zombie makeup… And you’re set to go.

About the Writer: Oksana Shafetova has always been fascinated with storytelling, but discovered her inner voice only a couple years ago. Graduated as an editor, she has worked in the fields of journalism and video game narrative, until she finally found her true passion in script writing. Oksana gets inspiration from cinematography, and empathizes with an audience to think up riveting plot twists in her own works. She currently lives with her husband, an illustrator, in Dusseldorf, Germany. SHe can be reached at: oshafetova (a)

Read Zombie Romance (4 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Original Script Sunday for September 16, 2018 - post author Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are sixteen original scripts for your reading pleasure.

And, The Night Gallery 7 Week Challenge has begun.

– Don

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Concept Starts to Take Shape – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

In the last post, we talked about how Rick and I started out in planning our script.  and how it was going to be set around a lake house.  I asked, what’s so interesting about that?

Here’s Rick: “I’ve always been inspired by ‘little movies.’ Tales of the everyman. Things we’ve all been through and can relate to. One of my earliest ‘all-time favorite’ movies was “Diner” by Barry Levinson. I didn’t grow up in the 50’s and I’m not from Baltimore but those characters — the nuances of a tight group of friends from high school and college resonated with me. I saw glimpses of each part of my own group in each of them. I tried to replicate those types of friends in my holiday short, “Branches.” It’s that kind of connection to the everyman that drew me to this particular project. Our lives are filled with friends and influences and there’s life-lessons in the everyday events of our lives that shape our connections to friends. I wanted to create something that was completely relatable on a human scale. Not with special effects or wild action stunts but with scenes where people could equate an experience from their own lives and feel empathy for the way it changes the course of fate.”

Rick nails it.  I too wanted to tell a story that resonated, that made you feel something.  So in this case, we came up with a story of a high school senior that has done something he feels has made him a pariah in the small town in which he grew up, and desperately wants to escape, forever.  But there are forces at work that may keep him tied to this place, and such a thought is unbearable to him.  This irony is what we hope will make the story compelling to those who read the script and (hopefully!) watch it unfold on the screen.  In the next few posts, we’ll share the logline and how we’re proceeding through the outlining process, and how we’ve already had to compromise on a couple of areas of disagreement with the storyline.

We hope you’re enjoying this blog, and please feel free to share with your friends and fellow writers!


The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry's screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

Friday, September 14, 2018

Warning Shot is out in theatres and video on demand! - post author Don

Warning Shot is out in select theaters.

Also available on demand on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Living Nightmare by Warren Duncan filmed as Insomnia - post author Don

Living Nightmare ( 10 page horror in pdf format) by Warren Duncan

A woman with severe Insomnia finally gets some rest, but it comes with horrific consequences.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Original Script Sunday - post author Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are sixteen original scripts for your reading pleasure.


Submit to The Lab at the Athena Film Festival

The Athena IRIS Screenwriting Lab is designed for female writers who have not yet had a feature-length fictional script produced. The lab is a two day intensive devoted to script development.

Screenplays must include one or more strong female characters in a leadership role at the center of the story and must be feature-length narratives.

Submissions are open September 6-November 7th, after which eight to ten finalists will be chosen by a committee. Four winners will be notified in January 2019.

Visit: Film Freeway to submit.

Any current (as of 9/7/2018 ) member of the discussion board who meets the criteria and submits to this will be reimbursed the cost of the submission ($65) by SimplyScripts. Just forward the submission confirmation email to webmaster @

Saturday, September 8, 2018

It starts with a concept – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

Every movie script ever written started with an idea or a concept.  They’re not the same thing, by the way.  An idea is just a short fragment of the larger picture.  “Guys capture ghosts” is an idea for “Ghostbusters”, but beyond that, it doesn’t tell you what the story is about. “A girl gets transported by a tornado to a magical land, but the only way to return home is to kill a wicked witch” is more of a concept (and turned out to be a great movie!).  This article, if you’re interested in the differences, gives you more details about what constitutes an idea and what makes up a concept: The Ten Greatest Movie Concepts of All Time.

In this case, Rick Hansberry and I shared ideas and concepts, and in some cases, full outlines, to try and land on a story that we would both buy into.  After some back and forth, we settled on what we have started calling “Lake Regret.”

“Lake Regret” started as an idea I had a few months back.  It was a crazy idea, one that would probably be laughed out of any pitch session.  Basically, I wondered if you could create a movie that could be filmed entirely in one day.  Craziness, I know, but it arose from a second viewing of “Birdman”, the Michael Keaton film. The original thought was, could you come up with a script that could be filmed in one continuous shot in one location, almost like you were watching a play.  The trick would be in making it interesting enough that it would hold your attention, as well as not be entirely dialogue driven.  Some other factors playing into my idea were doing something on a shoestring budget — i.e., it I had to film it myself, could I make it happen easily and quickly (I can hear you all vigorously shaking your head “NO, YOU CAN’T”).

With that as my guideline, I started generating places where this could happen.  I had some general locales I played with — a courtroom, a radio station, a bowling alley, and then I settled on a house, looking out over a this beautiful lake.  Nice, peaceful and picture perfect, located in a small town where parents would love to raise their kids.

Hold on, you say, what’s so interesting about that?  Well, that’s a post for another day. Read the link above, and in the next post, we’ll talk about how Rick and I are going to try and find something compelling in this little part of the world.


The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry's screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Original Script Sunday has come… - post author Don

… on a Sunday!

Over on the Original Scripts page are twenty five original scripts for your reading pleasure.

If you have a chance and are interested in the screenwriting and marketing process, take a look at wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry’s screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script.

– Don

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September 22, 2018

    Gluten Free Cereal by Cam Grey

    Noam Chomsky is not dead, but try telling that to the hipsters or the socialist drone with a sexy surprise. 10 pages
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