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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gravel Heart – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author wonkavite

Gravel Heart
A devastated fourteen year old confronts the violent neighbor who killed his dog

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read these two words: Old Yeller? Right, sadness, maybe anger. Maybe gas, depending on what you ate today.

The point is, everyone is familiar with the tragic story of Mr. Yeller and (almost 60 year old spoiler warning here) knows why he had to be put down.

But what if Old Yeller didn’t get rabies? What if, instead, he was killed by a stranger in a random act of violence? What would you do if someone killed your best friend?

That is the exact question that faces Tommy in the compelling drama Gravel Heart, written by talented scribe Michael Curtis.

And Tommy is no pushover. He grabs a shotgun and heads out to extract revenge on the man who took his best friend, a yellow mutt, away forever. And really – who can blame him?

What will Tommy ultimately decide? Will he indulge his darker side? Or learn that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind?”

Without giving anything away, Gravel Heart is a tragic story, but also a great meditation on pain, loss and how revenge will never fill the void… no matter how tempting it may be.

The wonderful thing about this script (besides the top notch writing) is how ideal it would be for an experienced director – especially if you partner with a young actor who likes to chew scenery.

Pages: 12

Budget: Moderate. A few actors – two animals – a couple of settings (gas station, home, another home with a garage). You may also want to save a little bit of the budget for effects/props. Or if you happen to have an old truck you don’t mind destroying, you’re set. However, if you happen to be a director who lives – or knows someone who lives – in the country and can find two homes ready for filming, you have most of the locations squared away.

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter whose website ( offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts “AT” gmail and follow Mitch at

About the writer: Michael Curtis is a writer/director living in the Atlanta area. “Gravel Heart
is his first screenplay. IMDB: (email mc “AT” edit lab DOT com.)

Accolades for “Gravel Heart:

WINNER – 2015 Best Short Screenplay – WILDsound Writer’s Festival, Toronto
WINNER – 2015 Script to Screen Competition – Sanford Int’l Film Festival
WINNER – 2nd Prize – 2015 Emerging Screenwriters Short Film Competition
WINNER – 2nd Prize – 2015 Reel Writers Screenwriting Competition
WINNER – Silver Prize – Hollywood Screenplay Contest 
Finalist – 2015 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards
Finalist – 2015 New York Screenplay Contest
Finalist – 2015 DC Shorts Film Festival Screenplay Competition
Finalist – 2015 Stowe Story Labs Screenwriting Fellowship
Finalist – 2015 Artists Alliance Short Screenplay Competition
Semi-Finalist – 2015 ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Competition
Official Selection – 2015 Manhattan Short Film Festival





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.

3 Comments so far


KP Mackie
April 14th, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Amazing list of accolades. Something needs to grab this one quick! 🙂


Mitch Smith
April 14th, 2016 at 3:11 pm

I agree! It’s a great script and I think it’s just a matter of time before someone grabs this one.


Michael Curtis
May 3rd, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Mitch & KP. I’ll be happy to discuss option or sale with interested filmmakers. The story is universal enough to work in almost any part of the world.

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