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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gravel Heart – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by 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 (http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts) offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts “AT” gmail and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

About the writer: Michael Curtis is a writer/director living in the Atlanta area. “Gravel Heart
is his first screenplay. IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4950542/?ref_=pro_nm_visitcons (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

EMAIL THE WRITER TO REQUEST THE SCRIPT: mc “AT” editlab DOT com

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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Keeping it Fresh – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

Keeping it Fresh
Ken and Ruth have done it all. Except this.

What are you willing to do to keep things fresh? That’s a question many couples in their 60s dare to ask, and Ken and Ruth do their best to answer.

Does Fresh mean honest? Or just exciting? And when the stakes are ‘whatever needs to be done to share one’s life’, how can a couple truly know?

As veteran writer Rick Hansberry’s script opens, we meet Ken and Ruth in their well worn family car; tersely discussing their “action plan.” Ruth’s awash with nerves – her hands playing with a folded piece of paper. Ken tries to be sensitive to her concerns, but fails miserably at every attempt.

Where is this duo going? And why?

Their destination – a grocery store. What on Earth could be nerve racking there?

Soon, we discover Ken and Ruth are in… a race. Of what kind? The truth’s unclear. But what unfolds next is a comedy of errors – a wondrous blend of anxiety and charm. Imagine the slapstick as Ken and Ruth dodge obstacles, friends, enemies, wet floors, and – of course – time.

What will the finish line reveal? We won’t spoil the surprise (or the produce). But you will find a warm, sophisticated comedy – ala a young June Squibb or Seymour Cassell.

This is a script with tons of buy-one-get-two-free.  Including: a budget friendly tale, featuring characters of a “specific” (and underrepresented) age. All of which makes this story stand out – and write it’s way into even old and jaded hearts.

Need some older actors? Consider giving your parents’ “cool” friends something to do for a day. But regardless of who you cast, you’ll charm your way into festivals with this Fresh, young-at-heart gem!

Budget: All that’s needed are two good actors, and access to a deli or supermarket – at least a few aisles.

Pages: 6

About the reviewer: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science.

About the Writer: Rick Hansberry has written/produced several short films, including the SAG Foundation award-winning “Branches.” His first feature is set to be released in the summer of 2014. Trailer available here . He teaches screenwriting seminars and workshops in the Central Pennsylvania area and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.

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, April 11, 2016

Exclusive Interview – Matias Caruso: Proof that Nice Writers Sometimes Finish First! - posted by Anthony Cawood

Matias Caruso: Proof that Nice Writers Sometimes Finish First!

Interviewed byAnthony Cawood

You know how articles and interviews always make note of when someone in the “business” (be it actor, director or more) is genuine, nice and down to earth?

Well, that’s to be expected – because sitting down for a chat with “good peoples” is ALWAYS a breath of fresh air.

Which is why we are thrilled to be able to give you an *exclusive* interview today with writer Matias Caruso – Grand Prize Winner of 2014 Page. Born in Argentina – and a homegrown veteran of Simplyscripts – Matias has always been a joy to read and chat with, and a gentleman master of his craft.

Recently, things have gotten really exciting for Matias. Now signed to CAA, he’s got tons in the works – including a high concept thriller entitled Mayhem… starring Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead!

And yet we STILL managed to corral Matias long enough to have him sit down with Anthony Cawood (interviewer extraordinaire.)

So pour your strongest coffee and settle in for one terrific read. ‘Cause with anything regarding Matias Caruso (affectionately known by SS’ers as “Mr. Z”) – that’s never close to a surprise! ☺

Q: Could you give me a little bit of background on how you got into screenwriting?

A: I discovered my love for movies when I was a kid. Birthday party entertainers used to project movie clips and I was amazed when I first saw Indiana Jones trying to outrun the giant boulder, or Luke Skywalker using his light saber. I remember the feeling of being transported to new, exciting worlds… But when I grew up, my world turned out to be a sterile cubicle maze where I was trapped full-time working as a lawyer; a world that generated all the stress of trying to outrun the giant boulder… but without the excitement.

I could have stayed there forever, but things started to change when one day I wrote a short story. Showed it to a few lawyer friends and they dug it (allegedly). One of them is an entertainment attorney, so he works with production companies in my country and reads lots of scripts. He told me I had a very visual style and that maybe I should try writing a script.

So I said “Cool, what’s a script?” because, like most people in Argentina, I believed that the actors and the director were the ones who came up with all the cool stuff on set. But when my friend gave me a script to read, I soon discovered that movies were actually written first by people who, to quote Spielberg, “dream for a living”. And I was hooked.

Q: I’m assuming English is not your first language? What sort of challenges has this presented?

A: Right, it’s not. When I started writing 11 years ago, my English was very rusty; I could spend a full hour trying to figure out how to word a descriptive paragraph. It really slowed me down. But many scripts and years later, I got the hang of it and now it isn’t a problem. Every now and then I have to check online dictionaries/translators to check on a particular word or phrase, but not as much as before.

Q: For other writers facing this challenge, any tips or suggestions to get to your level where it isn’t evident at all?

A: English courses are key I think (I attended a bilingual school). I’d also advice reading in English (scripts, novels, comics, blogs, whatever) and writing in English every day in order to practice. Watching movies with subtitles in English or no subtitles at all also helps.

Q: I think you first appeared on SimplyScripts back in 2005, was this when you first started writing?

A: That sounds about right. And yes, that’s when I started writing.

Q: Your first credit, at least according to IMDB, is the 2008 short, Forgotten, did that get optioned and made?

A: I sold it to an indy filmmaker in Alaska I met online. And yes, he shot it.

Q: Did you learn anything from that experience and subsequent shorts?

A: You always hear that scripts are just a blueprint for the movie, but that really sinks in once you see for yourself how much scripts can change during production.

Q: Obviously you’ve written a lot of shorts, many of which have been on SimplyScripts, did you start out with shorts and then move to features?

A: I started with both at the same time more or less, but at first my English wasn’t polished enough to give a feature a try, so my first few features were written in Spanish and nobody at SS saw them.

Q: Of the filmed shorts which is your favourite and why?

A: “Numbers”, because of its great production value.

Q: And of those not filmed, which is your favourite?

A: Probably “The Tower of Wishes”. I love fantasy.

Q: Any other shorts in pre-production we should be looking out for?

A: An Irish filmmaker is trying to find financing for a supernatural thriller titled “The Touch”.

Q: Would you advocate writing short films, why do you think they are useful?

A: While I think features should be the main focus of those who aspire to write professionally, writing shorts on the side can definitely be useful. They can be completed in just a few days, which means the writer can get feedback from peers shortly after typing “fade out”. Objective feedback is key to identify sticking points and hone the craft, so it’s helpful to workshop short scripts on the side during the long months in which the writer works in isolation to finish a feature.

Also, if the short does well at film festivals and/or becomes viral, it can lead to working and networking opportunities.

Q: When it comes to Feature scripts, how do you approach structure in your scripts? Do you follow any particular method?

A: Yes, I follow a method which has been slowly evolving throughout the years. It’s a mix of advice I picked from books/articles about the craft, advice I got from working writers, tips I gathered from reading hot scripts, and a bit of my own half-baked theories about what works best.

The subject is too big for the scope of an interview but here are a few basics guidelines that help my process: The first act is roughly 25% of the script and sets up the conflict, the second act (50%) escalates the conflict, and the third act (25%) resolves the conflict. And conflict in my stories usually come from a character (protagonist) who must achieve something (goal) facing big resistance (obstacles/antagonist) or else something very bad will happen to him or someone he cares about (stakes).

Q: Same question for characters, yours are always vivid on the page, how do you go about these creations?

A: I do separate worksheets for the main characters where I write their bios, and defining traits. I also see if they fit any well known archetypes which I then research. I re-read these character worksheets a few times during the writing process, not to lose track of what makes them tick.

Q: What are your thoughts on structure models like Save the Cat and the like?

I’ve read lots of how-to books. Some were useful, some weren’t, but overall I think it’s a good habit to be an avid student of the craft.

Save the Cat is my favorite. While I don’t take everything Blake Snyder wrote as gospel (nor any other guru for that matter) he used to be a working writer so his advice comes from experience, and that’s a plus. Also, I write genre/popcorn movies so his method and my creative instincts align. A writer who, for example, likes European independent cinema might find Snyder’s method to be too formulaic and “hollywoody”. And that’s okay. It’s about finding what best works for you.

Q: What was the first feature you wrote and how did you get it out there? Did you query Producers, enter competitions, use Inktip, etc?

A: The first thing I ever wrote was a short story and my first feature was an adaptation/expansion of that story. It sucked big time so I didn’t shop it around. It was a learning experience, not an earning experience, but I’m okay with that.

Q: You are one of, if not the most, successful writers to use and contribute to SimplyScripts, how has the site helped you develop?

A: I think Pia has more produced credits than me, but thanks 🙂

SS and Moviepoet helped me a great deal. It’s hard for me to be objective about my own work, so getting objective feedback from peers has always been key in my learning process. Even more so when I was just starting out, and that’s when I discovered the site, which allowed me to get my work read and reap the benefits of joining a writers community.

Also, each time good news come my way, Don gives me a shout out on the site and that’s been helpful as well to make my work known (Thanks, Don!)

Q: There are a ton of people out there who offer coverage services, position themselves as guru’s etc, what your view on such services?

A: Nowadays these services are so many and varied that it’s hard to have one single view about all of them collectively. I’d say it’s a case by case basis and it depends of what’s being offered, at what price, and what are the credentials/experience of the guru. Based on that, I believe that some are helpful and some not.

Q: What are your thoughts on the business side of screenwriting, getting your scripts ‘out there’ and networking to make connections?

A: The most common pitfall (in which I fell into myself) is worrying about the business side of things prematurely. Networking and making connections becomes relevant only once the writer’s craft is polished enough to get industry people interested in his work. It usually takes many years and many scripts to reach that level, so until that happens, any time spent at networking events or sending out query letters is time better spent writing. There’s not much use in connecting with industry people, only to have them pass on the material because it’s not ready.

Once the writer can write at a professional level (or close), then I subscribe to the common view that he must be proactive in getting his scripts out there.

Q: If you’ve used services/sites like Inktip, SimplyScripts, The Blacklist, what’s your view on this type of model for screenwriters to get their scripts seen, and hopefully picked up?

A: I used Inktip and Simplyscripts for shorts and both sites helped me connect with filmmakers that responded to my work. So they’re definitely worth it. Never used them for features, though. And I’ve never used The Blacklist.

Q: Carnival ended up on the annual Blacklist as well, any interest since then/options etc?

A: The script was actually optioned before the Blacklist placement. By the time the list was published, there were already two producers on board collaborating with major agencies to try to find directors/financing. And I had already travelled to LA for a round of general meetings with industry people that had read the script. So the interest was already high and there wasn’t much room for the project to become hotter. Maybe the placement sped up some pending reads, but that’s hard go gauge. A couple of indy filmmakers did contact me to discuss potential projects, though.

Q: What are your thoughts on screenwriting competitions, obviously you’ve had a massive win with Page in 2014, but thoughts in general? Any other successes?

A: I think the contest route is a legitimate way in. I placed in Page and Trackingb and both helped my career in very meaningful ways. Some contests are solid and some don’t have industry relevance. A quick look at the success stories listed in a contest’s website, can let you know if their winners/finalists get traction with relevant industry players or not. I would advice entering only those that do, like Page and TrackingbThe Nicholl Fellowship is another one that’s definitely legit.

Q: Aside from the monetary prize from Page, what else has happened since?

A: Just in case, to avoid confusion, the Page script and the Blacklist script are one and the same (used to be titled “Three of Swords” but now is titled “Carnival”). Thanks to Page I met the producer who optioned the script. He had some interesting notes and I did like 10 drafts; the development process was very intense but also very rewarding because we ended up with a much stronger version. He then started sending out the script, another producer came on board and I had representation offers from 5 agencies.

Q: I believe that you were signed by CAA after winning Page, how has this been for you?

A: It’s been great. My agents circulated the script among production companies/studios and the script has gathered fans. I travelled to LA for a round of general meetings in which I got to know some wonderful people, and was offered the opportunity to pitch for writing assignments.

Q: I’ve always wondered, when you get asked to come to LA and do general meetings… who asks? And who pays for you to travel?

A: It’s usually the manager and/or the agent who tells the writer his work has had enough positive responses to warrant a trip and sets up the meetings. For a round of generals, it’s usually the writer who pays for the trip (that was my case). I heard of writers who were flown to LA by studios/production companies, but those were cases in which they had already been hired to write a specific project.

Q: So you have agents in CAA, do you have a manager as well and what’s the difference in your experience?

A: Yes, I have a manager as well.The manager gives general career advice, reads scripts and gives development notes, acting in general like a writing coach. The agent is more like a salesman; his job is to sell the writer’s material (not developing it) or put the writer in rooms where he can get hired for writing assignments. Also, managers can attach themselves as producers in their clients’ projects, while agents legally can’t.

Q: News broke in March that your script, Mayhem, is going into production. How did this script come about? Is it another spec or were you commissioned to write it?

A: It’s a spec I wrote back in 2010 which used to be titled “Rage”. Thanks to a contest placement back then, I signed with a couple of managers who then circulated the script to producers. It’s been a rollercoaster of good news/bad news ever since, and I had to do countless drafts to address notes from producers, director, actor, etc. But finally, everything came together recently and it’s happening.

Q: So what is Mayhem about and any idea when it’s likely to film?

A: It’s about a corporate law office that’s quarantined because of a virus that makes people act out their wildest impulses. Follows the story of a lawyer who is wrongfully fired on that day and must savagely fight for his job and his life.

It’s been shooting in Serbia for two weeks already. The director is posting cool updates on twitter (@TheJoeLynch) and instagram (thejoelynch).

Q: I think there’s a saying that you need to write something like seven feature scripts before one will be good enough to get sold, what was your golden number and do you agree with the sentiment?

A: Experience is a good indicator of skill, and the number of scripts written is a good indicator of experience. But I’d say it’s impossible to come up with a magic number because there are many other variables to factor in (like talent) which can’t be measured so easily. “Seven” doesn’t sound like a bad estimate, but in my case it was definitely more than “ten” (not sure about the exact number).

Q: What projects are you working on now and when can next expect to see your name on the credits?

A: I’ve recently completed a sci-fi/thriller script for director Marcel Sarmiento who’s working with producers to secure financing. Also working on an action/fantasy pitch with a production company and starting to outline my next spec. Don’t know if any of these will get to the screen one day, but let’s hope 🙂

Q: What’s the best and worse screenwriting advice you’ve been given?

A: The best: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”.

The worst: “Hollywood is too big and far away for you, focus on your country’s film industry instead”.

Now for a few ‘getting to know Matias’ questions

Q: What’s your favourite film? And favourite script, if they’re different.

A: Ha, it’s impossible to name just one. Can I cheat a little? “Avatar”, “The Matrix”, “The Dark Knight”.

Some unproduced scripts I really liked: “Medieval” and “Goliath

Q: Favourite author and book?

A: I think Stephen King is the author I read the most and liked most consistently.

Best book I’ve read in a while is “Ready Player One”.

Q: Beer or Wine (or something else)? And which variety?

A: Red Bull + Vodka 🙂

Q: Favourite food?

A: Burgers!

Q: Football team? Favourite player?

A: Not a football fan nowadays, but my favorite player is Messi. He’s a wizard.

Q: Any other interests and passions?

A: I used to play the electric guitar back in the day, maybe someday I’ll have time to get back to it. I like jogging/doing exercise, reading, videogames, and going out with friends.

Q: Born in Argentina, still living there? Any thoughts about moving to LA?

A: Yep, born and still living here. I think the next step for me is to start travelling to LA more often for meetings. Depending on how my career continues to evolve, I’ll decide about moving permanently.

Q: Any final thoughts for the screenwriters of SimplyScripts?

A: I still remember that day many years ago when I submitted my first script to the site. It was a short script written in broken English and everyone could tell right away I wasn’t a native speaker. Yet everyone was so helpful and encouraging, which helped me take the first step in a very long journey. So thanks SS friends, you’re good people (Except you, Bert. You’re pure evil).

About reviewer 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.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Original Script Sunday for April 10th - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are sixteen original works for our reading pleasure.

– Don

Friday, April 8, 2016

Congratulations to MJ Hermanny – Thicker Than Water Optioned! - posted by wonkavite

You’ve got to love success stories.  No matter who the writer is: any genre and every gender. Hailing from every corner of the world; if you’re a wordsmith, we love you all.

Though – we have to admit… there’s something *particularly* fun about hard-boiled tales coming from seasoned female writers.  You know, like Sue Grafton or Patricia Cornwell. Okay, maybe we’re biased.  But M.J.’s Hermanny’s a class act –  of the crime addled, film noir style.

So… STS is thrilled to announce that her reviewed short Thicker Than Water has now been optioned! That’s good news right there.  And you know what’s better?  That she’s got more available.

So – give My Life for Yours a fresh read.  It’s gritty, dark and packs a punch.  And missing THIS one for your next project would be a crime!

******

My Life for Yours

A man makes amends for leading an innocent astray.

Remember those anti-drug commercials in the eighties? Don’t do drugs? Crack is whack? Often more laughable than effective, the intent was to show kids the ugly side of drugs… scare them straight. A well meaning endeavor – even if it did devolve into a punchline.

Well, they ain’t got sh*t on this short gem.

As My Life opens, muscle bound jock Jason drags a drug-addled Mandy towards an abandoned house. A rotted shack in the middle of nowhere, no-one around for miles. There’s a stained bed in the corner, outfitted with chains. And a video camera set up for filming.

Readers will cringe as Jason shackles Mandy’s ankles. Whips out the drugs, and takes some hits. Because everyone knows what’s coming next. Kidnapping. Rape. Maybe worse…

Well, not exactly. Because Jason’s got other plans in mind – and a dark, gritty lesson for his girlfriend that’ll forever change both their lives.

Who is this couple – and why are they in this situation? As Mandy gets ever more frantic, a stoned Jason recalls the “Sid and Nancy” tale: a series of flashbacks about the innocent girl he met years ago… and the way he’s watched both of them change. And it sure ain’t for the better.

Though it wears the trappings of a thriller, My Life is at heart a romance: a clever, tautly written tale of how far someone will go to save the one they love the most.

Think you know where it’s going? Think again…

About the writer: Boasting an MA in Scriptwriting for Film, Theatre, TV & Radio, MJ is an award winning writer, with shorts optioned and produced in countries as diverse as Croatia and Norway. Residing in sunny England, she is currently hard at work developing a series with the BBC Writersroom – as well as working on a number of features (including one low-budget horror and a fantasy adventure script.) Her website is available here: redcatwriter.wordpress.com/. MJ herself can be reached via mjhermanny – AT – gmail!

Pages: 6

Budget: Low – 2 primary characters, unnamed partygoers, one vehicle and a dingy house that no-one has a use for, anyway…

About the guest reviewer: A writer himself, Leegion’s works can be found on www.simplyscripts.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.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Last Nerd – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

The Last Nerd
A storyteller performs an epic adventure for kids.

Which films would you consider timeless? The Wizard of OzCasablancaCitizen Kane, and Gone With The Wind are surely worthy of that name. While such tales may be wildly diverse, classic movies share one enduring trait: the ability to find new audiences and fans – generation after adoring generation – for practically one hundred years.

Let’s take that concept even further. What film might be remembered far into the future? Will it still be Citizen Kane? Or another celluloid classic: a story that’s more than timeless. One that’s legendary, in fact.

Written by veteran screenwriter Brett Martin, The Last Nerd opens in a makeshift theatre full of anxious children – awaiting a show by master storyteller “Patton”.

As the curtain opens, Patton and his trusty dog (yes, you read that right. Patton’s co-actor is a dog) take to the stage to perform an epic saga that’s been passed down for eons… Ear to ear. Word by word.

And when Patton opens HIS mouth, the crucial teaser is revealed. He recites the opening lines from a film we’re intimately familiar with. But the children in THIS audience are hearing it for the very first time.

The film in question? Star Wars!

Yep, the heroic derring do of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia – acted out scene by scene by Patton, his trusty dog R2-K9, some crude action figures, and a few eager volunteers from the audience. The tension mounts inevitably – until the Rebels reign victorious. And every child in the theater cheers! Because for a few precious hours, Patton’s weaved together a magical story that allows a rag-tag group of children to escape their reality – and travel back a long time ago. To a galaxy far, far away.

But eventually, even the best adventures must end. After the Death Star dissipates in a brilliant blossom of fire and space dust, Patton packs up his wares and ventures off towards his next show. After all, not every child on Earth has heard the saga of the Jedi. And Patton vows he’ll never rest – until the Force is with them all.

A script with more twists than a Death Star corridor, The Last Nerd requires a director who possesses good rapport with child actors and has experience in the theatre. The part of Patton himself? A role any scenery chewing, spotlight stealing theatre actor would love to add to their resume.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Star Wars is your favorite film.

Either way, make sure you give this one a read. Because whatever Director pulls this homage off will have audiences howling in their seats!

Pages: 7

Budget: Moderate. A make-shift theatre and some talented child actors. Doggie treats for R2-K9.

About the Reviewer: David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus. Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced. Dave would like to make it three. He is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com. 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.

About the Author: Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles. He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Productions, which is owned by Brett Stimely (WatchmenTransformers 3). Destiny Pictures recently hired Brett to develop an inspirational sports drama. CineVita Films is currently in pre-production on a proof of concept teaser for Brett’s new contained thriller, which is a modern take on a classic public domain fairy tale. Contact him at LinkedIn here! https://www.linkedin.com/in/brett-martin-07270252

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, April 6, 2016

Filthy Animal – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Filthy Animal
A mysterious control officer shows an abusive dog owner what it’s like to be an animal.

Dogs are known as Man’s Best Friend for good reason.

Rather than just pets, they’re companions, crime solvers, guiders, and protectors. Every so often, they may give us the slightest of grievances – but for caring and amiable people, one glance at those inexpressibly sentimental eyes and all our fears just float away.

Unfortunately Dwight, the lead in Michael Kospiah’s Filthy Animal, isn’t a “caring person” at all. More like a pugnacious, cold-hearted thing. One who sees his long suffering pit bull as a source of exasperation and disobedience. After one smelly misdemeanor too many, Dwight’s had enough. His hound is getting punished. Hard. Chained up and abandoned in a mud puddle, it’s a despondent situation for the pup.

At least until the mysterious Fritzinger arrives on the scene. Though he claims to be an “animal control worker,” Frizinger’s outfit and demeanor are incongruous for his career.

Perhaps the beast he’s been sent to neutralize isn’t the poor pooch, but Dwight himself… in evil ways.

Following a swift and drastic confrontation, Fritzinger turns the tables on the human monster. Soon Dwight’s the one being abused and treated like an animal – with no end in sight!

Chained up in his muddy back yard and crying for help, Dwight soon attracts the attention of a new group of “rescuers”. A group of good Samaritans who supposedly take pity on him and transport him to…

…the animal shelter? What on Earth is happening here?

The shelter workers attempt to find a loving home for their latest “mutt”, but no dice. Soon, they’ll have no choice but to put mongrel Dwight out of his misery. That is, unless he finds a ‘forever home.’ But what sensible family would choose him?

Much like the pit bull, Dwight desperately hopes for a guardian angel…and one does miraculously appear. But, similar to Fritzinger’s shocking arrival, something doesn’t seem quite right.

Is Dwight being led towards redemption as a person? Or some unspeakable fate – one you wouldn’t wish on a beast?

A fast-paced short that hugs its twists close to its chest, Filthy is acutely paradoxical: offering up satisfying moments of justice being served cold (an eye for an eye.) Not to mention a touching and difficult-to-stomach commentary on animal abuse – asking us to walk a few pages through an animal’s life; in the “paws” of an unloved, battered pet.

Needless to say, any potential audience is sure to ride (and love) the roller coaster of emotions with this one; including the surreal flipping of roles. And if you miss out on the chance to direct Filthy Animal, you’ll be thrown in the doghouse yourself!

Pages: 17

Budget: Moderate. Not too expensive – but don’t cheap out on this one!

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp “AT” gmail.com. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

About the writer: Michael J. Kospiah is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright who began his career as a sports columnist for several newspapers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. With 15 years experience, he has worked as a ghostwriter, script consultant, script doctor and has collaborated with filmmakers from all over the world. His first-produced feature film “The Suicide Theory” had its world premiere at the prestigious TCL Chinese Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California in 2014. After winning several awards on the festival circuit (Dances With Films Festival – Grand Jury Prize, Austin Film Festival – Audience Award, Melbourne Underground FF – Special Jury Prize), the film was picked up for distribution in U.S. and Canada via Freestyle Releasing and received a brief run in select theaters while available (and still available) On Demand through most major cable outlets (also on Netflix). The film was listed #5 on theguardian.com’s Top 10 Australian Films list for 2015 and is currently rated 76% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Roadside Attractions is getting made - posted by Don

Help RoadSide Attractions get made
Roadside Attraction (Short, Mystery, 8 pages in pdf format) by Gary Howell (Hawkeye) .

A young man finds that a woman he rescues from an automobile accident is hiding a terrible secret.

It’s getting made. This is from the Febuary 2015 One Week Challenge. It appears that principle photography is finished and they are looking for some help in funding the post production work.

Maybe throw them a little coin? Check them out on Facebook, GoFUndMe, IMDB

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Safe Keeping – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

Safe Keeping
The host of a reality show discovers some storage units should never be opened.

TV and film eras are defined by trends. Westerns, crime investigation, and more recently, superheroes have been shoved down the throats of viewers without a care for the potential of oversaturation. Reality TV is no exception. A current craze is storage shows, where overly colorful people bid for the contents of units that house almost anything you could think of in the hope that they can make a tidy profit from whatever lies within. Storage HuntersAuction HuntersStorage Wars, and countless other shows have sprung up to cash in on this newest fad.

Mitch Smith’s Safe Keeping adds another show to that ever-growing list. Rico and Jackson are two veterans of the storage circuit, and the hosts of Storage Seeker, a show in which they document their adventures at auctions. At today’s auction, the expertise is shining through. They’re winning bins that look good, pulling tricks to take them from the unsuspecting at the last minute, and avoiding the duds, leaving them to the suckers. To Jackson, it’s just:

JACKSON
(to camera)
Another day, another dollar.

But then they come to the final bin of the day, where they’re thrown off course as both struggle to figure out exactly what is in the most mysterious unit they’ve seen in a while. After the most intense bidding war of the day, our hosts come out on top, and Jackson is jubilant at winning one of those units that has the potential to house something unexpected and valuable.

Unfortunately, the contents can only be described as one of those two words, and as the seekers explore their winnings further, they discover clues and objects that hint to something sick and sinister being hidden at this storage facility. Jackson is skeptical and disinterested; if it’s not worth $, he doesn’t care, but Rico’s curiosity gets the better of Jackson’s doubt and they embark on a hunt that could take Storage Seeker off the air…for good.

Can the duo unlock the secrets that the facility hides behind certain doors and return for another season? Or will this be the dramatic finale that wraps up the show and ties up all loose ends? As a script that hilariously parodies “trash TV” tropes yet has a bitterly frightening and ironic twist, it’s safe to say that Safe Keeping is a great unit for any potential director to win. Get your bids in for this one fast!

Budget: Hey, this is Found Footage! Spend enough to make this a quality production – but keep that wonderful gritty look.

Pages: 13

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp “AT” gmail.com. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

About the writer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter whose website (http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts) offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts “AT” gmail and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

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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