When a cantankerous woman is given only months to live, the town scrambles to see who will write her Eulogy – and inherit her vast fortune.
When I was given this script to read, I was told it’s based on a feature length. As friends and foes will tell you, I’m not the easiest reviewer to impress. Yet – having read this – I can honestly say I’m eager to read the long version, as well.
In both it’s long and short forms, Eulogy tells the story of Ruby Mae Morgan – a well-to-do spinster with no family of her own. The closest thing she has to a friend is the granddaughter of her gardener; a seven year old girl nicknamed Tadpole. Even reading it cold off the page, the relationship between these two is incredible. Tadpole’s innocence and childlife wisdom proves the perfect foil for Ruby’s cranky personality. (It’s just so easy to imagine the late Jessica Tandy in this role.)
When Ruby learns she’s dying, she issues a proclamation in the town paper: whoever can give her the best eulogy (while she’s living and able to judge) will inherit the vast fortune she owns. Needless to say, the town goes crazy! People who barely know her, people who hate her – all sharpen their bullshit pencils and get writing.
There’s no real surprise as to who wins this competition. But the simplicity and grace of the story – and the authentic chemistry of the characters – makes reading this script supremely worth-while.
If you’re a director interested in quality drama, look absolutely no further. Eulogy’s the tale to tell.
And if you’re looking for a feature length film (available for viewing here), then snap up this gem while you can. Because there’s bound to be some Sundance creds in your future…
About the writer: As a new writer, Dena McKinnon has had her share of luck (her word). She has had four shorts produced. One of her shorts, The Box, directed by Sascha Zimmermann, has racked up numerous awards and will screen at Comic-Con this month in San Diego. Dena has optioned one feature, Doggone, a buddy script cowritten with Kevin Lenihan. Currently, Dena has one feature in production, The Last Call, with Leo-PR, and is writing on assignment for an undisclosed TV producer. Dena’s IMDB Credits and Website are available at the following links:
Budget: I don’t see this script as being expensive to produce. Locations include a plantation/southern mansion and many locations (which can be easily substituted.) The cast includes ten or fifteen people. Most have small background parts. Two main characters: an old woman who pushes people from her. And the little girl who insists on getting closer.
About the reviewer: Phil Clarke, Jr. is a contest winning writer who has had multiple feature films optioned. Produced shorts of Phil’s have been featured at Cannes and Clermont Ferrand. More of his work is available at his website: www.philclarkejr.com. (IMDB Credits listed here.)
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