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Friday, July 31, 2015

Trick of the Trade – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

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Trick of the Trade

When young Harry needs money to buy a gift, he learns that crime does pay, but in an unexpected way.

There’s something about scripts involving school boy crushes, and first loves.  Then again – who doesn’t like stories about disreputable (yet somehow charming) con men?  If you nodded to both of those statements, then Trick of the Trade is right for you.  Because this is a script that actually incorporates both of these elements into one package.

Little Harry Cartwright is a simple rural kid, growing up in Depression era Oklahoma.  The light of his life is Susie Clemons, a pretty little school girl and Harry’s first love.  Unfortunately for both, Susie’s family is moving to Texas. In just two weeks. A crestfallen Harry’s committed to getting her a school photo of himself as a keepsake.  Problem is, it costs a quarter.  And that’s way too expensive for him.

After his request is rebuffed by his father, Harry sets off to the local Pharmacy to see if he can steal the dough.  He’s stopped by Roscoe – a local con man and n’er do well – who tells him to leave the stealin’ to more capable folk.  Undeterred, Harry glues himself to Roscoe, determined to earn his pay… in addition to that damned quarter.

The result?  A combination of Ocean’s Eleven meets Mark Twain.  It’s a satisfying story with a lot of character… perfect for a director looking to prove their storytelling chops.

About the writer: Gary Howell is an attorney who has been writing as a hobby for years, and his short “The Family Man,” led to a connection with an Australian film director. The two collaborated on a feature film, “Broad Daylight,” which is currently in pre-production, with filming to begin in New Orleans in July. He is currently working on two new features.

Pages: 18

Budget: Moderate to Average.  Trick of the Trade is a period piece.  And there are a variety of locations, and characters. Despite that, there’s not much needed in the way of FX – this script is far more character/actor focused than anything else.

READ THIS SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Test – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by AnthonyCawood

The Test

In a futuristic society, life changes for a teenager who can’t pass the test.

In my humble but clearly infallible opinion, Ray Bradbury wrote some of the best short stories. Ever in the history of the world. Case closed; that is all.

And Bradbury’s novels aren’t too shabby either. Take for instance, Fahrenheit 451 – a story of censorship and social control echoed in Richard Russell’s SF short, The Test.

Fade in on the script. The time: the plausible near future. And the humble setting: a middle class home, with an almost 50’s domestic vibe.

Iola is the mother – tooling around the kitchen with her trusty tablet, preparing the family’s meals. Everything’s colored coded. For instance, today’s dinner is “green.” Which is probably just as well, because Iola doesn’t appear to be all there…

Husband Ron arrives from work moments later, dressed in a cop-like uniform. He regales his wife about his day (he’s some sort of ‘inspector librarian’) – and asks Iola about their son Josh’s test. Important scores came in today. But Iola’s unsure where they are; she’s forgotten already. A fact which doesn’t surprise Ron. And so he grabs a beer, and heads to Josh’s room…

…to be confronted with some cold, hard facts. Fourteen year old Josh failed his test miserably. And that means dire consquences – including “Educational Camp”. A prospect that Ron fears at all costs…

After dinner, Ron escorts Josh to “old man Granger’s” house. A thin old man with “wispy hair”, and dusty secrets in his basement. To save Josh from his mother’s fate, Ron’s arranged a special trip…

And that’s where my summary stops. No need to spoil a great script.

Instead, take a read for yourself – discover the multi-layered narrative and well-drawn characters; each with their distinct voice. Despite the SF setting, this is one cautionary tale that would be easy to produce. There’s no elaborate special effects – and a very human story at its core. It’d be a winner at festivals. And Ray Bradbury would be pleased.

Pages: 12

Budget: Relatively small, interior locations.

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with 4 short films produced and a bunch of other scripts optioned and/or purchased.

Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

About the Writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes.  He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine.  He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best.  They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future.  Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory.  Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Who Killed Rosa Morales – Legofied… - posted by wonkavite

There are lots of fun aspects to working at STS.  Reading quality scripts. The joy of seeing them optioned and/or sold.  And best of all, seeing the final result when they get produced!  One of the scripts that have gone ‘the distance’ is a cute gem by Manolis Froudarakis, which premiered on this site a little more than a month ago.  Who Killed Rosa Morales – a tongue in cheek satire with a twist.

And the production has a twist as well.  Rather than go with live actors, the director LEGOFIED the story – adding a extra  dimension to an already funny script. (We dare you to look at a Lego film and not smile!) See it here and brighten your day!

A note to indie comedy directors.  Who Killed Rosa Morales is still available for live action option.  So head on over and read the actual script (pdf format). We guarantee you’ll like what you see!

Who Killed Rosa MoralesThe man who knows the truth about a mysterious murder lies in an ambulance after a heart attack. Detective Sanchez needs to question him before it is too late.

About the writer: Relatively new in screenwriting, Manolis Froudarakis has won two awards in short screenplay competitions. His main focus is comedy – preferably, comedy with a little edge. You can contact him at: mfroudarakis@yahoo.gr

Talk about it on the discussion board

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Retrocausality – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Zupke

Retrocausality

Scientists probe the past to find the source of radiation affecting the present only to discover the surprising cause.

From “Terminator” to “Time Bandits,” “Back To The Future” and “Planet Of The Apes,” the cinema has always been fascinated with the “what ifs” of time travel. Just as mankind is intrigued by what is to come, we’re equally enthralled by what could have been. It’s human nature to want to undo what’s been done. To rewrite what’s been written.

What screenwriter Ian J. Courter has written is an inventive twist on the genre. His short, “Retrocausality,” starts with overzealous scientists* who have cornered the market not only on time travel, but time sensing (the ability to peek back in time) as well. Their current project: a look back to ancient Mongolia. They’ve captured data on an unexplained nuclear reaction, and plan to open a real-time probe portal to investigate its origin.

In order to get the real-time data feed, scientist Jacobs (a “thin and geeky” brainiac) tells his pudgy counterpart Mabry they’ll need to boost the power of their generator to 112%. The request sets off big-time alarms in Mabry’s mind.

MABRY

What?! You trying to fry us all?

JACOBS

We’re good… as long as the coolant flows. If it starts to over-clock too much…

MABRY

(overlapping)

You mean “melt down.”

Jacobs spins his chair towards his colleague.

JACOBS

Semantics.

Semantics, indeed. But it’s too late to call off orders, and so the investigation proceeds. The portal to 1227 is opened and the probe slides through in daylight… at ground level, no less. Yet another high risk play.

MABRY

The doorway is at ground level.
Stuff can get through.

JACOBS

These are the coordinates they gave me.
Besides, as if birds couldn’t get through before.

Mabry opens his mouth to retort… And his worst fears are quickly proven right.

Within seconds, hundreds of Mongolian warriors spot the probe and race toward it, a hostile force. The scientists scramble to get the probe back through the portal – the primitive horde in hot pursuit. With the already steaming generator close to melt-down, the situation becomes a heart pounding race both for survival and time. Will the team close the portal before it’s breached? And even if they do… will there be a present day world left to save?

Are you a SF director in search of an intelligent time-travel tale…? One that’s unique, not cliché? Then give Retrocausality a scientific look. Yes, you’ll need a solid FX budget to do this one right. But it’s a story that audiences won’t soon forget!

* Arrogant scientists pushing the boundaries of nature…. what time travel story would be complete without some of them?!

Pages: 11

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

About the writer: Ian J. Courter has an academic and technical-writing background, and is published in both fields, so a shift to another form of writing seemed natural. He strives to combine his writing skills with nearly two decades of military experience to develop screenplays with vivid locations and in-depth, realistic characters. What started as a hobby quickly became a passion.  In only a few short years, he has written three feature-length screenplays and nine short scripts.  He currently has several feature-length scripts in various stages of development and continually seeks inspiration for more. His email address is ian.j.courter “at” gmail.com.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Prodigy – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Prodigy

In his twilight years, a teacher reminisces about one special student

“And so it stood, a warm and vivid patch in his life, casting a radiance that glowed in a thousand recollections.” – From the novel “Goodbye Mr. Chips” by James Hilton.

Prodigy, a script by veteran screenwriter Bill Sarre, casts a glowing radiance of its own. In the same vein as Goodbye Mr. Chips (as well as Mr Holland’s Opus and others), it tells a sentimental story about a beloved teacher in his waning years. In this case, the beloved teacher, a man named Ernest, is beyond “waning.” He’s 90 years old, and when we meet him he’s on his deathbed, reminiscing with a nurse who listens attentively while she does her best to make the frail old man comfortable.

His room is brimming with photographs, student photographs, taken over a lifetime of teaching, and although it’s clear that Ernest had high regard and affection for all of them (“I didn’t have my own kids,” he says, “so in a way, they became my children”), there’s one he’s especially fond of, a boy named Virgil. A prodigy.

When Ernest met Virgil the boy had issues. Serious issues. Abuse. Violence. And, ultimately, murder. The details were sketchy, even at the time, but six-year-old Virgil was found hiding under the stairs in the aftermath of the grizzly murder of his parents, and he never spoke another word after that.

Ernest rescued Virgil from this wretched existence. He took the quiet, damaged boy under his wing, and in time he found a way to break through to him. Music. The boy was a natural talent. Unfortunately, Ernest was not. But over the years, Ernest found ways to stoke the flames of Virgil’s musical genius. He found teachers, helped him enter competitions, and allowed the boy to spread his musical wings.

As Ernest says, “In the end, a teacher should learn to be part of a story’s beginning, but not the middle or the end. Allow them all to…fly away.”

Virgil did fly away. He went on to become a virtuoso pianist, touring the country, filling concert halls, and making records. Ernest watched the boy’s growing success with pride, but always from the sidelines. And now, as he lays dying, he tells the nurse, “I can think of no better way to go than having my children around me, with his music filling the air… and remember the joy I felt knowing I had once made a real difference.”

And at the very end, Virgil repays Ernest’s kindness with one last gift, but surprisingly it’s not only a gift of music.

It’s also a gift of words.

Prodigy has the two basic elements every indie filmmaker is looking for (or at least ought to be): first, it would be a fairly easy and inexpensive film to make. Second, and more importantly, it’s a film worth making. A story worth telling. Sentimental and poignant, it’s sure to please all audiences.

 Pages: 5.

 Budget: Fairly low.

 About the reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

 About the writer: An award winning writer, Bill Sarre has had scripts place both finalist and quarter finalist with Page and Bluecat.  Another short of his, The Grieving Spell, was recently grand prize winner of the London Film Awards. Bill can be reached at Bill.sarre “AT” gmail.com

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Original Script Sunday for July 26th - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are thirty one original scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chemistry of Life – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

CHEMISTRY OF LIFE

 Maybe Timmy’s brilliant ten-year-old mind can fix the horrors of his life.  Right after he re-animates his dead gerbil.

 We’re all familiar with Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein – the mad doctor who creates a living, breathing monster by reanimating a corpse.   The film version starring Boris Karloff is an American classic that’s been scaring us for almost one hundred years.  In that time we’ve seen countless remakes and re-imaginings .  Not to mention merchandising, cartoons, and comics – the Frankenstein monster is an icon even preschoolers can identify.

With all that diluting, it’s easy to forget the truly horrific question posed by Shelley.   If it were possible, would you bring a dead person back to life?  And even more important: should you?

Chemistry of Life asks that very question, albeit on a smaller scale.

Timmy is the ten-year-old mad scientist from Jackson Heights Elementary School, with a home life that’s less than ideal.  He lives with his drug-addicted mother and her boyfriend Spider in the remnants of a dilapidated home.  His older brother recently died.  And if that isn’t depressing enough, his only friend in the world is a gerbil named Ralph.

One day after school, Timmy decides he must fix the horrors of his life – even if that means Ralphie has to take one for the team.  So little Timmy unpacks his back pack full of borrowed equipment from the school lab, assembles his Dr. Frankenstein Junior Starter Kit, and gets down to grisly work.

What happens to poor Ralphie? And what further horrors lie in store? Give this script a read, and you’ll see. We guarantee some shivers down your spine.

Decanted from the mind of scriptwriter David D. Debord, Chemistry of Life is a unique take on Frankenstein. A mini monster movie begging to be “brought to life”!

Pages: 5

Budget:  Low to Medium.   The biggest cost will be the gerbil brain dissection scene.  (I told you this script was awesome.)

About the reviewer:  David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No.2 pencil. In 2011 he began writing short films for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts.com. His produced short scripts include INSOMNIAC and THE DINER. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506@gmail.com.

About the writer: David D. DeBord has been a professional scriptwriter for twenty years. Recently he had three short film scripts produced, one in Fairfield, Iowa, a second in Houston, Texas and a third in Matulji, Croatia. In past years, his award winning scripts have been produced on radio, stage, television, and film. He is a past president and founding member of the Iowa Scriptwriters Alliance and lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, the best woman on the planet, Kris Sutton. Contact him at downtowndave “AT” att “DOT” net!

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Congratulations to Lee O’Connor – The Brightest Star Update (Part 2)! - posted by wonkavite

Back in November, STS was thrilled to announce the optioning of Lee O’Connor’s short, The Brightest Star.

Last month, we provided STS readers with a glimpse of the produced film (still available for viewing at https://vimeo.com/129374340).

But now we can add additional news to the mix. Brightest Star has been chosen as the Best Indie Film winner for the Top Shorts Online Film festival.

Congrats to both Lee and Grant. Well done!

About the writer, Lee O’Connor:

I am a writer from the UK for the screen and theatre. I have written several shorts which are in various stages of production. I am currently in the process of writing a feature film which will be shot in L.A early next year. Alongside that, I am in the process of working on two feature films which the genre and subject will remain a mystery.

I like to tackle subject matters that will pull on the heart strings, educate and open a your eyes. Although these genres are at the opposite ends of the spectrum I predominately write drama and sci-fi. I believe you write with what you know, so be yourself and don’t try to mimic another film or script you have read, create your own voice. I am reachable via email: lee.a.oconnor “AT” gmail

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time for Love – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by AnthonyCawood

Time for Love

An elderly lady discovers an old flame in her shed

Sometimes, a script engages you from the first couple of sentences; usually for a combination of reasons. Its introduction piques your interest.. hinting at mysteries to come. Its story beats stimulate an easy empathy – compelling one to root for a character, even before you know their name. Such tales flow from simple beginnings, weaving a subtle narrative that never lets one disengage. Cracking stuff. When done just right.

Time for Love is such a script. A super-short four page piece, TFL follows Marjorie Flanagan (86), confronting an interloper in her shed. Armed with a stick, she prepares for battle – only to be hit with the shock of her life instead. Sitting in the middle of the barn is her husband, George; a time-traveling inventor who disappeared sixty years ago – vanishing into thin air, without a trace. But now he’s back. And he’s hasn’t aged. A twenty seven year old wanderer, tethered to a tempermental steam-punk time machine (a huge jerry-rigged kings wing chair). It’s a moment of sweet reconciliation for two long lost lovers. But with a caveat that threatens to ruin all. You see, George can’t stay in one place for very long. If he does, he ages. Badly. After decades of trying, he’s finally found Marjorie. And has only minutes to make up for a lifetime of lost memories.

Science fiction at it’s finest, Time for Love isn’t about gadgets or FX.   It’s a psalm to love, aging and loss, and the fragility of the human condition. Mixing in echoes of Dr. Who and classic literature, Bowcott infuses TFL with a real sense of poignancy… one that resonates on a universal level. A limited location classic, TFL has only one setting – a shed – two actors and a time machine. It’s sure to be a festival favorite – grab this one before the flow of time snatches it away!

Budget: Low. And designing that time machine is going to be fun in and of itself!

About the reviewer:  Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with a bunch of short scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. He is currently trying to get someone to make one of his three feature scripts. Links to his films, scripts and other goodies can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk

About the writer: Dustin Bowcott is a self employed microbe retailer and father of four boys. He has enjoyed writing since the day he read his first novel. For Dustin, writing is something he has to do, when not writing, he’s thinking about writing and will absorb himself into multiple projects at one time. When he gets tired of writing one thing he moves onto another and has been known to work on three different stories in one day, writing for sometimes 12 hours straight and, on occasion, even longer. Dustin can turn his hand to any genre and has just finished first draft of a new children’s novel. Dustin is a BBC Writer’s Room finalist and a Shore Scripts finalist both in 2014. He is a produced and optioned writer, and has recently turned his hand to production, having produced his first short film with another in the pipeline that should be completed this year. Want to see what else he has in store? Give him a shout-out at dustin7375 “AT” gmail.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

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