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Friday, June 10, 2016

Congratulations (and a Double Hitter) for Steven Clark! - posted by wonkavite

Please join STS in congratulating Steven Clark for not one, but TWO recent options! How’s that for good news, folks?

And it’s even better news for audiences raring to see the future short films now in store:

Midnight Clear – optioned by Martin Malone of Menapia Productions
Heroes – grabbed off the market by Richard Sykes of Skyline Motion Pictures.

Want even more good news? Then keep in mind that Steven’s got other shorts – ones you should grab before they’re gone. So give one (or more) of these gems a try:

Fruitcake – Through the years, a boy has trouble accepting the truth about his family.

The Combination – Parents who lose their child must eventually find a way to let go.

Man’s Best Friend – Three days after a couple’s beloved dog goes missing, a phone call arrives that will change the game. Forever.

Solitaire – A troubled loner is about to get a second chance. And maybe more…

Tempest Road – Three years sober, a father must deal with the reality that his son is transgender.

The Bear – An elderly woman faces torment and exploitation at her nursing home — until an unexpected friend comes to her aid.

About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Agnes by Austin Bennett filmed! (again) - posted by Don

Agnes ( 5 pages pdf format) by Austin Bennett (ABennettWriter)

An lonely old lady and a neighborhood teen bond over weekly chores. (Short, Drama)

Discuss this on the Discussion Board

Interviews – A Fireside Chat with Ben Watts, Nashville Film Festival Grand Prize Winner 2016 - posted by Anthony Cawood

There are lots of things in this world to be grateful for as writers: the ever-growing opportunities afforded to us by contests, networking possibilities ala the internet (they didn’t have email back in the seventies, ya know!). And even better  – the mutual support that us literary/screenwriting types often give each other: learning what works, what doesn’t, and talking one-to-one with those that score big in a script competition.

And that’s why STS (and the terrific Anthony Cawood) often feature writer interviews. Today, we’re thrilled to bring you a convo with writer Ben Watts, winner of the 2016 Nashville Film Festival. So pour some coffee, sit back and read. In this trade, it always pays to meet new people, listen… and – of course – learn!

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

One of the earliest memories I can recall is riding home on the bus from school — I must have been in 1st grade — and writing a single-page script entitled “Sord Ninjas” (intentionally misspelled here for authenticity’s sake). Don’t ask me how I knew the format, but I wrote a paragraph of description for the scene, then character names and their subsequent dialogue; I was always reading as a kid, and I’m sure that at some point, early on, I read a stage play and the basic formatting stuck with me. I wrote short stories and poems as a teenager, but it wasn’t until college that I started thinking seriously about the “screenplay” as a format. Our library had a “free printing” policy (up to 1000 pages, I think), so I printed out a few scripts that I found online, put them in a binder, and I’d secretly study them during classes.

Q: Your first credit, at least according to IMDB, is the 2008 short, Punch Drunk that you wrote and directed from a Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club!) short story. How did you get hold of that and how did you fund it?

My university was holding a short film festival, and I wanted to make something, so on a whim, I emailed Palahniuk’s agent, explaining how I was a college student and I didn’t have any money, but I wanted to adapt his short story (which comes from “Haunted) into a short film. I was a huge fan, and I’m sure I put that in my initial email. His agent was incredibly gracious and granted me “permission” to adapt the story, so long as I understood that all of the underlying rights remained with Palahniuk. I borrowed equipment from the Film department to make it, probably only spending $100 out of pocket.

Q: Did Chuck Palahniuk or his agent see the film? What did they think of it? (if they didn’t see it I wont include this one)

Ha! No, they did not. It’s objectively terrible, so I glad he hasn’t seen it, but it was a great learning experience.

Q: What did your University friends think of Punch Drunk?

I wish I could remember. It had to have been a good enough response that made me continue to pursue making other films.

Q: What did you learn from that experience and your subsequent shorts?

Everything! Those shorts were essentially my film school. I was taking classes on film theory and creative writing, but they didn’t focus on filmmaking itself: storyboarding, creating a shot list, directing actors, etc. For “Punch Drunk” and “Nickel Slick”, I was biting off more than I could chew, and that was a hard lesson to learn. I was running on the “Rebel Without A Crew”-mentality (from Robert Rodriguez, who famously made his first feature for $7K), thinking that I could go out and do everything myself — and do it well — but I was sorely mistaken. It takes a special kind of person who can direct, produce, gaff, camera operate, and boom op, and I’m not that person. So after those two shorts, I convinced myself to focus on directing and hire talented people to take on the other roles.

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

I think of them like (most) parents think of their children: it’s hard to pick a favorite. You’re proud of each one for different reasons, and as time goes on, you look back and wonder what you could have done differently.

Q: And of those not filmed (so far), which is your favorite?

I’ve got a few short ideas kicking around, but I’m trying to focus more on feature-writing for the time-being.

Q: You’ve taken the role of Writer/Director on your shorts, is this to maintain artistic control, or something else?

I’m not terribly prolific when it comes to writing shorts; I write things I want to direct and try to go make them. If someone wanted to direct a short I wrote and I didn’t have the means to go and make it myself, I’m sure I would hand it off, but no one’s asked me to do that yet!

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

I’ve got a contained, character-based short drama called “Holy Water” that will (hopefully) be shot as soon as I find funding.

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

Absolutely. Write anything that you can get produced, because that’s the only way to truly learn how the process works. For most writers, that’s going to be short films, and the great thing about shorts is that there are no rules; it’s an open playground. You can write a short that takes place in real time in a single location, or you can write a short that spans decades. It’s a great format to figure out your “voice”.

Q: You work a lot on the Editing side of film, does this help with your writing?

Aside from just “writing more”, editing is the thing that has improved my story-telling more than anything else. It’s the final part of the process — the film’s been written and shot, and now you’re tasked with putting all the pieces together. You learn really quick how pacing and rhythm work in context to the larger piece, how little dialogue you actually need, what scenes you could potentially do without. Having that background in editing really helps when I start outlining a script; it helps to see the “movie” instead of just the words on the page — I’m more conscious of transitional scenes, how sequences will fit together, and the power that a single cut can make.

Q: You’ve edited a ton of short films, do you consider yourself inside the industry?

As my day job, I’m an editor (and occasional copywriter) for a commercial production company. It feels really removed from filmmaking and the “industry”, but the process is the same — just on a smaller and shorter scale.

Q: Did you start with short scripts and then move to Features?

I did, in part because I had no idea how to write a feature at the time. I think you’ve got to learn how to float before you can learn how to swim, and that’s what shorts were for me.

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

Generally, I’m thinking about the three-act structure, but only in terms of beginning, middle, and end. Some people want to break that down into five acts, some want to break it into eight sequences, some want to break it out into beat sheets based on page numbers. I’m not strict about any of that, and that probably stems from me not having read any “traditional” screenwriting books that encouraged me to think that way. I believe that, inherently, we as human beings understand story structure. From the time that we’re born, we consume thousands of hours of narrative content. The notion of how narrative functions is ingrained in us — we just have to get out of the way sometimes and stop over thinking it.

In terms of my process, I normally start with a small idea — an image or a character trait or a line of dialogue. That small idea triggers the ending pretty early on. Once I know how to start and where I’m want to end up, I start trying to connect the dots. Sometimes that’s in a notebook, sometimes it’s in a free flowing document on my computer (if I had the space on my wall, I’d probably do note cards). Those free-flowing ideas turn into an outline. Once I think I know the story well enough, I’ll open a new document and rewrite the outline from memory, and I’ll do that again and again until I really know what I’ve got, story-wise. From there, I take my outline and drop it into Final Draft, making a new scene heading and simple description for each scene I’m imagining — a very basic Cameron-style “scriptment” — and start building the scenes out from there.

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?

My first feature (“In Case of Rapture”) started out as a short (that I never made). After writing twenty pages or so, a friend convinced me to keep going, to expand it, which is what I did, keeping those initial twenty pages as the first act. I call it a “high-concept character study”, and I wrote it with production in mind — keeping the characters, locations, and VFX to a minimum — thinking it would be a great first feature for me as a director. I got some good coverage from the Blacklist, and I queried several managers/producers with that coverage, which led to a few reads, but nothing much more than that. It’s decidedly an “independent” film — with a significant lack of explosions — so it’ll take a producer with a certain sensibility to help it get made.

Q: Your Feature, *When The Devil’s Loose, *recently won the grand prize (congrats!) at the Nashville Film Festival and has done well in other comps, what’s it about?

In the summer of 1988, four young friends set out to discover the truth behind mysterious break-ins as an ever-spreading wildfire threatens to wipe out their small suburban community. It’s “Stand by Me” meets “Kings of Summer”.

The whole idea stemmed from a single line of dialogue. At the time, I had seen several movies where characters were reflecting on the “best summer of their life/lives”, and everything was painted with rose-colored glasses, as if nostalgia was the be-all-end-all, realism be damned. So in an attempt to flip that notion on its head I wrote on a piece of paper one of the first lines of VO in the script: “That was the worst summer of my life.” I didn’t know where it was going to go or what the story was, but I wrote it down and left it on my desk. A few days later, I was standing in my front yard, and a plane flew overhead (I live in a direct flight path, so this is a normal occurrence). As I was craning my neck, I started to wonder where this plane came from and where it was going. And that was the genesis of “When The Devil’s Loose”.

Q: What are your thoughts on screenwriting competitions, obviously you’ve had a massive win with Nashville (and Atlanta and Shore scripts) but thoughts in general?

I think there are a handful of contests that are great, especially for writers who live outside of LA or don’t have an “industry” job, but you have to go in understanding that they’re not going to be your golden ticket — unless you win the Nicholl. Winning (or placing highly) gives you some validation, but it also grants you something to put in a query letter.

I think there are a ton of contests out there who promise “results” or “connections”, but from what I’ve experienced, they’re almost always blowing smoke.

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

I got a manager after WTDL placed in the Tracking Board Launch pad competition. He’s shopping it around now.

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?

I think almost all of them are bogus. There are so many great free resources online that can be exhausted instead of paying a “story coach”. If you’re not already, start listening to podcasts with other writers, people who are actually doing the job that you want to have — Scriptnotes, The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, Nerdist Writers Panel, The Moment with Brian Koppelman, just to name a few.

If you’re looking for coverage or someone to give you notes, find fellow writers who will give you honest, unfiltered opinions. If you can’t find those, or if you’ve used up all your “reads” from your friends and family members and you’re wanting to know where you stand, then pay for a single round of coverage from the Blacklist or similar reputable place. But even then, if you’re just looking for someone else to read your work and tell you if you’re any good or not, there are free online solutions for that as well — like Reddit or SimplyScripts.

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?

I haven’t used Inktip or SimplyScripts, so I can’t speak to those. In regards to the Blacklist, I think it’s well-intentioned, but it’s over-saturated now. There are success stories (and I personally know of two writers who got in when the site was brand new and got representation that way), but with the amount of scripts that are listed there now, it seems nearly impossible to stand out. Just like contests, I think you have to go into these sites with the understanding that it’s not going to be your “golden ticket”.

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

I just finished an action/thriller spec with a writing partner entitled “The Losing Kind”, and I’m almost done with a first draft of my next solo spec, “The Crush of the Deep”.

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

“Write what you know”. That’s both the best and worst advice I’ve ever heard.

On one hand, it’s an incredibly limiting and navel-gazing sentiment; most writers don’t live fascinating lives — and I’m including myself in that group. We don’t spend our days solving murder mysteries or trying to stop alien invasions; we spend copious hours staring at screens or notepads. So trying to restrain your creativity to only what you know is a surefire way to boredom (unless you’re Charlie Kaufman and you’ve written “Adaptation”).

On the other hand, “write what you know” works when you think about it on a human level. No matter how high your concept is, or how big your set pieces get, it should always come back to character — what’s the emotion behind the action. As human beings, we should understand empathy, jealousy, anger, frustration, happiness, melancholy, whatever. Take those emotions you know and understand from being a human being and put them to work for your characters. Be real and true and honest. Your characters (and readers) will thank you for it.

Now for a few ‘getting to know Ben’ questions

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

Because there are simply too many to name, I’ll just list my favorite that I’ve seen recently: “Green Room” by Jeremy Saulnier.

Q: Favorite author and book?

This is a toughie, too. I’m partial to Flannery O’Connor’s hypnotic mix of religion and violence.

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

Both. And I’ll take them as dark as I can get them: for beer, it’s Old Rasputin, and when I drink wine, I like Petit Syrah. Most of the time, though, I stick to the good ole’ classic Tom Collins.

Q: Favorite food?

The opposite of highbrow: peanut butter.

Q: Any other interests and passions?

I love to bake (and marathon viewings of “The Great British Bake-Off” certainly don’t help). Because I spend so much of my day sitting (writing/editing/coloring), I tend to want to stand up when I get home, so most nights you can find me in the kitchen experimenting on some kind of dessert for my wife and/or coworkers.

Q: Baking? So favourite thing to bake?

Anything chocolate & peanut butter, but because it’s summer, I’ve been baking a lot of pies lately; I make a key lime pie that’s always a huge hit.

Q: Do you live in LA, thoughts about moving there for a screenwriting career?

I’m currently in the Bay Area, and for where I am career-wise, I think it works for the time being. I’ve just recently gotten a manager, and I’m trying to crank out more material while he’s shopping around “When the Devil’s Loose”. I’m sure when/if the time is right, I’ll make a move.

Q: Any final thoughts for the screenwriters of SimplyScripts?

Get outside and live. Give yourself permission to daydream. I think we as writers get consumed by “putting in the time” in front of a computer screen — and don’t get me wrong, that’s important, too. But, at least for me, I get inspired by meeting new people and visiting new places. I think one of the greatest things you can do as a writer is to walk around and simply ask yourself, “What if?”

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 http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Elevator Most Belonging to Alice – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Dane Whipple

The Elevator Most Belonging to Alice
Short Finalist for the 2016 Nashville Film Festival!
Where will life take you?

“The Sole Property of Miss Alice” So reads the small plaque hanging in the large, luxurious elevator in which we open. We observe ten-year-old Alice, and her butler, Jerome. At first, Alice is unsure of just why she is here, or even where here is. But after a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, Jerome tenderly explains the rules: this is Alice’s space, and this elevator will take her anywhere.

From here we are whisked away on a grand tour. Rather than falling with Alice down a rabbit hole, we fly high with her through the clouds and over snow-capped mountains. Alice is enthralled and delighted to be lifted up out of her seemingly dreary life. The spectacle outside is nearly as engaging as the conversation that Alice and Jerome are having inside the elevator. You see, as they soar through the sky, the two ruminate on Alice’s situation. It seems she is having some difficulty back home, and Jerome is here to help her through it all. He will stand by her side and help her take strength in her hour of need, which will come soon.

As the journey’s end draws near, Alice learns that you don’t always have to move to change where you are. The emotional hammer drops as we find out just what Alice has been flying away from, and what she still faces ahead. This is one ending that will stick with your audience long after the final frame.

The Elevator Most Belonging to Alice offers a surreal fantasy escape in the tradition of Lynch and Fellini. The script packs a potent, powerful punch, while delicately examining a difficult subject matter without ever devolving into exploitation. A metaphorical, metaphysical, meditation on life, akin to Radio Flyer, the message is one of courage, endurance, and above all, hope. All of which are themes that continually reap benefits on the awards circuit.

So hop on board before the doors close, this script will take you anywhere you want to go.

Pages: 17

Budget: Medium. One central location, the elevator, may need a production designer. Limited SFX.

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is talking with Davey, who’s still in the Navy, and probably will be for life. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (at) live.com.

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.

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Based on a True Story – Feature Length Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Laptop Features

Based on a True Story

A fictional film about non-fictional events that are entirely fictional.

Senses of humor vary radically. Some people think Porky’s is the height of hilarity. Remember that one, folks? Others prefer Woody Allen’s neurotic wit and TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm. One thing’s for sure… humor’s changed a hell of a lot over the years; with the focus veering towards over-the-top gross outs. This is the End anyone? Whatever happened to smart, character based comedy? Is there anyone out there still writing intelligent humor?

Yep. His name is Matt Dressel. The script in question is Based on a True Story. (That’s the title, folks. Not the description. The script itself is completely fictional.)

Smart, funny and low budget, BTS revolves around protagonist Bill, a screenwriter that can’t seem to get his big break. (Gee, I wonder how often that happens in real life?) Demoralized, Bill pays the bills working at a 911 crisis center, and most of his nights hanging out with incompetent actor pals Tim and Sam. (Okay, Sam’s not exactly a friend, more of an unfortunate acquaintance.) They live in Quigley Quagmire’s hotel… a depressing little 80’s reject hovel that’s only one step removed from the Roach Motel. In other words, life ain’t going well.

That is, until Bill has his brilliant idea. Hollywood likes reboots and movies based on True Stories, right? Why not stage a bank robbery themselves….and then cash in on the press with a best selling screenplay? Between Bill and his crew, they’ve got creativity, actors and props on their side. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

How often has that question been asked? With the logical answer. Everything.

What follows is a highly intelligent – and yet goofy – romp through an escalating comedy of errors: from “Auditioning” the other bank robbers (and other theoretically important stuff, like how to handle guns and bank vaults) to the actual caper. And the inevitable complications that ensue. A master of understated comedy, Matt Dressel populates the script with colorful characters… not just the protagonists, but walk-on supporting bits as well. Not to mention rioting Nazis, pizza delivery men, and David Bowie groupies. (Don’t even try to ask. Just read the script and see.) Sound over the top? In Dressel’s hands, this script actually maintains comedy balance … peppering the script with wonderful lines like that of Crusty Detective Vic Cardigan: “I’ve been chasing (these robbers’) sorry asses for nearly 25 years of my life – ever since I was a rookie on the force.” Police officer: “They appear to be about 30 years of age, sir.” Cardigan: “Damn, they’re good.”

You know what’s really good? This script. It’s an indie breath of fresh air in a world populated by dick jokes and vomit gags. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those… in moderation.) But if you’re an up and coming director looking for a comedy with intelligence and staying power, check this one out. Fast. Before it gets away like a bank robber with the loot…

About the writer: Matthew Dressel recently wrote/produced/acted in his own web series Let’s Kill John Stamos! One of his feature films, Killing Daniel, has been optioned by Darius Films. You can catch more of Matt’s work at http://www.matthewdressel.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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Room - posted by Don

Thanks Anonymous for the heads up on this link to The Room hosted by DocDroid.

Anonymous writes, The [purported] original script for The Room by Tommy Wiseau was even more ridiculous and nonsensical than the 2003 cult classic movie from which it was adapted. This is the original 114-page script from 1999 which was seemingly written to be a play, though at times a movie, then back to a play again (don’t ask), along with out of this world scene plots and a dialogue that rivals the groan factor of the greatest 80’s action one-liners a doubter dares bring to the table.

The Room –  script by Tommy Wiseau – hosted by: DocDroid – in pdf format

Johnny is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored of him and decides to seduce Johnny’s best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Original Script Sunday is Back! For June 5th - posted by Don

After a nearly two month hiatus, OSS is back with forty four original scripts. Check them out on the Unproduced Scripts page.

– Don

Friday, June 3, 2016

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

The Trench
In war, it’s important to retain one’s humanity.
Unless that leads to a mistake…

The Somme offensive of 1916 was planned as a swift and incisive battle that would lead to total Allied victory in World War I. Unfortunately, it was anything but: both sides incessantly shelled one another for four months, resulting in over a million fatalities.

In Chris Beadnell’s Trench, we’re taken to the mop-up phase after a successful British advance, aided by said shelling.

Looking for survivors in the German trenches, our two cleaners have one motto:

EASON
…Remember, no prisoners.

Yet this unwritten rule is challenged when in the last dugout they come across one moribund survivor. His leg deformed by shrapnel, he’s immobilized.

With neither bullet nor bayonet on them, the victors leave it to nature to finish the last German dying off.

With hindsight, there’s only one word needed to describe this decision: mistake.

Partially based on historical truth, a micro-script with a gigantic premise like this one deserves to have a great general directing the action.

So pick this one up and earn your film stripes!

Pages: 1

Budget: Minimum. Yes, you’ll need some costumes. But the rest should be easy.

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, Chris Beadnell: With a 30+ year paramedic career, bearing witness to the complete spectrum of human emotion, I would use the creativity of writing as an escape from the reality of such a high pressure occupation. Most of my writing was never seen by anyone except a very select group of family and friends, and sometimes not even them. However, a serious eye injury in 2015 had me off work for months and the boredom of not working gave me the time and desire to learn the craft of script writing, and the stories locked in my mind finally had an avenue to flow. Cbeadnell (at) ymail.com or chrisbeadnell.wordpress.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, June 2, 2016

Ten Thousand Souls – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

Ten Thousand Souls
In England’s darkest hour of the 1300’s, a Doctor makes a deal with Death Himself

What would you do if the Grim Reaper came a knockin’? If you’re Bill and Ted, you go on a Bogus Journey… Only a few of you will get that reference, but it’ll kill (pun intended) those of you that do.

What if, instead, you made a deal with the Reaper? IE: the Harbinger of Death? That is the very question asked in the script Ten Thousand Souls, penned by apt scribe Marnie Mitchell-Lister.

We meet Doctor Oliver Blackburn in 1900, visiting a gravely ill patient. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done. So Doctor Blackburn offers to sit with the man until his time comes – and he “goes”.

Sweet, right? Not so fast. Because soon as the man passes, Doctor Blackburn… well, let’s just say, “makes his move”..

Throughout Ten Thousand Souls, Doctor Blackburn narrates our story, keeping us hooked as we jump through centuries (from 1350 to 1970 to 2011). Twists and turns abound until our journey is brought to a satisfying – albeit tragic – end.

A script with multiple advantages, Ten Thousand has the potential to play well to the festival and awards crowd, but to help make a name for a director looking for their start.

Blue Oyster Cult once sang “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”Ten Thousand Souls reminds us that maybe, just maybe, we should.

Pages: 6

Budget: Notable. There are several time jumps (from 1350 to 2011 and a few in between). It also has multiple settings. However, there are only a few characters (Doctor Blackburn and Death most prominently) which lessens the budget a smidge. There are, of course, some effects that will be necessary to bring this tale to life on screen. That said, a clever director with a set, access to some costumes and some loyal actors could likely make this work for less. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? Contact Marnie and get this thing made!

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@gmail.com and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

About the author – An award winning writer AND photographer, Marnie Mitchell Lister’s website is available at http://brainfluffs.com/. Marnie’s had 5 shorts produced (so far) and placed Semi-final with her features in Bluecat.

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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Script of the Day
November 23, 2017

    Heartbeat by Anthony Cawood

    A florist is asked to help connect an unrequited lover with the object of his affection, with unexpected results. 7 pages
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    *Randomizer code provided by Cornetto.

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