An abusive boyfriend gets his comeuppance when he has a new tattoo inked.
We’ve all seen them. Hell, most of us have been in them. Relationships that just make absolutely no sense. When you’re on the outside, it’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion. You’re there on the corner, watching them scream toward the center of the intersection from opposite directions. You know the outcome is going to be gruesome, but you can’t look away.
Screenwriter Anthony Cawood’s “Tattooji” is just such a screenplay, one readers (and soon, viewers) cannot look away from. He expertly gets us into the story late, after much of the damage has been done by 20-something Ben, who has a propensity for poor decisions and excessive drinking.
Ben’s excess is on full display as he exits a tattoo parlor and heads to the bar. It’s a brilliant intro quickly painting his shortcomings: usually the tattoo parlor comes AFTER you’ve had too much to drink. This guy’s such a mess, he doesn’t need booze to make bad choices.
After he gets on a good drunk, he makes an awful choice: arrives home bragging to his girlfriend about his new purchase.
… newest bloody thing they’d got.
He’s clearly drunk.
Which is good?
Course, it’s fucking amazing.
He reveals he paid 400 quid for the tattoo, which is a one-inch emoji that changes and becomes different emojis. His admission accelerates her anger and the tension quickly builds as she needles him for not only this decision, but many he’s made in their relationship. And the fact she’s not been able to treat herself to anything.
I worked forty six hours this week,
taking shit from idiot punters for
every single minute of every hour.
She pulls on her unkempt hair.
Not had my hair done in six months.
Or been out with my mates.
Or had any type of treat, you whining little shit!
That gets Ben to his feet and the chase is on toward their violent ending. Again, you knew it wasn’t going to end well. And it doesn’t.
With a deft director guiding two strong and fearless actors, this short will definitely play well. And the extremely-limited budget (an apartment and a temporary emoji or five) will give all a smiley face – despite the eventual crash.
Budget: Minimal. And a tiny amount of makeup (or animation done in post.)
About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. Zack was a latch-key kid (insert “awww” here) whose best friend was a 19-inch color television (horrific, he knows). His early education (1st grade on) included watching countless hours of shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” and “The Odd Couple” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall.” Flash forward to present day and his short “The Confession” was recently produced by Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. He’s currently working on a futuristic hitman thriller with a partner and refining a dramedy pilot perfect for the likes of FX. You can reach Zack at zzupke “at” yahoo.
About the writer, Anthony Cawood: I’m an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of my screenwriting career, I’m also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Links to my films and details of my scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.
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