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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Xolotl’s Curse – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Pete Barry

Xolotl’s Curse (pdf format) by Chris Keaton

Some lessons are learned the hard way…

Ah. Lessons taught by the horror genre. No matter how often they splatter across the silver screen, so rarely are they taken to heart. Don’t go on that isolated camping trip with your friends. Don’t answer that phone call while babysitting. Don’t open the creaky closet door. Leave that creepy-ass looking doll alone.

And don’t play with artifacts hidden under your grandpa’s bed. Well, we guess some folks will never learn…

Case in point: Xolotl’s Curse.

Billy’s Grandpa is a foul-mouthed, misogynistic bully who constantly berates Billy’s mom and emasculates his dad. In other words, he’s your usual relative. Now he’s moving in. And he has secrets.

See, Grandpa’s an old archaeologist – pushing 100, although he doesn’t look a day over 75. He’s keeping an ancient Aztec box locked up in his room that may belong to Xolotl, god of the dead and bad luck. Billy tries again and again to get his hands on the box. But Grandpa is always one step ahead of him. But some secrets are better left buried…

Chris Keaton – an old hand at clever macabre stories – sets this tale of terror in the day-to-day life of suburbia, with a keen ear for the trash-talking dialogue between a 12-year old and an old man who may as well be squabbling kid brothers. Despite the topic, this script’s got a slow, subtle (and often funny) burn – building to a chilling conclusion.

What happens next? Well, we’re keeping this review short and sweet. No spoilers for you lazy folks out there. Crack this one open far before Halloween arrives, and savor its bloody twist for yourself.

Xolotl’s Curse. A perfect script for either a seasoned horror director or any up-and-coming filmmaker who wants to dabble in the genre.

Pages: 14

Budget: The script is light on the special effects budget, but you’ll want a good makeup artist who does their best work with some fake blood and a nail gun. Sets include one car scene and one house, and a multi-generational family of four – mom, dad, little Billy, and Grandpa.

About the writer: Chris Keaton is an Air Force veteran living with his family in sunny Arizona. He’s primarily a screenwriter, but he does love diving into prose. He has had several short screenplays produced and go on to win awards. He’s optioned a few features screenplays and currently has a thriller feature in post-production. A young-adult novel based on one of his screenplays is soon to be released. You can see some of his projects on his website, Chris-Keaton.com or follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ChrisKeaton.

About the reviewer: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the Porch Room, a film and theater production company, website available at http://www.porchroom.com/. Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 (a) Hotmail.

Read: Xolotl’s Curse (pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Original Script Sunday for October 16th - posted by Don

Original Script Sunday are the scripts of the October One Week Challenge wherein writers were challenge to write a 6 to 10 page script on the theme of:

Horrific Tales of my Childhood

Retell your favorite childhood fairy tale (story, poem or song) as a horror story. Please include the source. Here is a list of fairy tales for inspiration.

Genre: Horror (or any subgenere thereof)
Rating: Children / Young Adult / Adult
Budget: Open

The scripts are submitted anonymously. In a week or two, the writers will be revealed.

Check Them Out!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Home Field – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by The Merrows

Home Field (pdf format) by Rod Thompson

Two brothers play an innocent game of baseball – unaware that life as they know it is about to end…

The best war films aren’t about war. At least not completely. As with all good drama, such tales are really about people. War may provide the backdrop – but highlighting the human experience is the true content. The good, the bad, the ugly. The heroic.

On the surface, Home Field displays the gritty trappings of war. But the beating, bleeding heart of it is a testament to the indomitable spirit of man. In this case, two brothers. Richie and younger brother Jamie.

When we first meet them, they’re just boys – facing off in a heated game of little league baseball. Jamie knocks Richie’s best pitch deep into the outfield…. Then their friendly rivalry’s interrupted in the worst possible way. A missile streaks overhead like a comet, and explodes nearby.

War has come. Their childhood ended.

Eight years later, the two are veteran soldiers; fighting a bloody ground war on home soil. Richie drags his wounded brother away from battle – ironically across the same baseball field. Jamie’s been wounded critically; he’s unable to even stand. As the two debate their next move, they recall the last time they were on that field. The smell of the grass. The crack of the bat… all memories that they (and upcoming generations) may never experience again. War is hell for a great many reasons; and one of the victims is innocence. Being on the field slams the message painfully home. But there’s no time for weeping. But perhaps there is time for one souvenir.

Bowing to his brother’s wish, Richie retrieves a precious object from the field. Then – as Jamie protests – he jams a syringe into his brother’s leg. Slings him over his shoulder and slogs away.

After all, one can’t live in a memory. And there’s a war to fight.

Pages: 5

Budget: Low – Moderate; depending on how much wartime FX you choose to incorporate. Missiles. Explosions. Shots of planes. Much of which could be implied.

About the writer, Rod Thompson: I have been writing creatively since I learned how to write. There is just something about telling a story that I can never get over. Storytelling in itself is like an old flame that occasionally comes to me and just says, “Use me.” The ability to watch a movie through words, or to craft a world in such a manner is the closest to Godliness that man will ever come. True story. Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 (a) gmail.com

About the reviewer: Scott Merrow co-writes screenplays with his wife Paula. Since 2006, they’ve written over 50 short screenplays, several of which have been produced. They tend toward family-friendly scripts, but they’ve written a little bit of everything: horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy… the whole nine yards. Wanna give them a shout out? They’re available at scott-paula (a) comcast.net

Read Home Field (pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Woman Scorned – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Jansen

A Woman Scorned (pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell

A detective investigating a serial killer prostitute finds his fidelity tempted… again.

Murder mysteries have evolved over the years. They’re darker. More violent. Yet certain constants persevere. Whether one’s tastes run to Murder on the Orient Express or Se7en, nothing beats a twisty plot…

…but colorful characters come damned close.   Sure, the question “Whodunnit” will always rein supreme. But “Whydunnit’s” the icing on the cake. The better murder yarns ask both questions. And the best ones answer them.

A Woman Scorned does all that – in a wonderfully gritty fashion.

The script opens on protagonist Dan – a worn out, veteran police detective desperate for transfer from Vice Squad. He and rookie partner John have been called in to assist on a homicide. The victim: a man strapped to the blood stained bed, suffocated with duct tape. Short a left ring finger and wedding band. The digit’s been chopped off with shears. Clearly, this is one hooker with an axe to grind against married men. Fortunately for the cops, she left a clue: a few strands of long black hair.

Following the evidence, Dan journeys to the seedy side of town to interrogate possible suspects. Along the way, he runs into Rebecca – a raven haired prostitute he has history with. History that almost destroyed his marriage. Like an addict weaned from the needle, Dan’s clearly not over Rebecca or his philandering ways. Will Dan crack the case before he drowns in old bad habits – and before other victims die?

Smoothly written, A Woman Scorned features complex characters and a nifty mystery. Custom made for a director of modern noir.

Page Count: 9

Budget: Low to medium. Four main cast members and extras. There are three main locations, including a hotel/motel room, police vehicle; and minor blood effects.

About the Writer: An award winning writer AND photographer, Marnie Mitchell’s website is available at BrainFluffs.com. Marnie’s had 5 shorts produced (so far) and placed Semi-final with her features in BlueCat. Marnie can be contacted via her website.

About the reviewer: Zach Jansen is an award-winning and produced screenwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota.  He enjoys spending time with his kids, anything movies, and sitting at his desk pounding out his next script.  If for some reason you want to learn more about him – which of course you DO! – you can check out his IMDb page or quasi-frequently updated blog. He can be reached at Zach.Jansen (a) mail.com

Read A Woman Scorned (pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Original Script Sunday for October 9th - posted by Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are twenty-five original scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Friday, October 7, 2016

The October 2016 One Week Challenge Theme is: - posted by Don

Horrific Tales of my Childhood

Genre: Horror (or any subgenere thereof)
Rating: Children / Young Adult / Adult
Budget: Open

Retell your favorite Fairy* Tale as a horror story. Please include the source. Here is a list of fairy tales for inspiration.
*Can be children’s fable, myth, poem, or song.

The scripts are due on Friday, October 14th at 11:59PM EST and must be submitted to: SimplyScripts.com/owc.

Timeline:
October 7 at around 8 est – Theme and Genre announced.
October 14th at 11:59PM EST – Scripts are due to SimplyScripts.com/owc
October 16th – Scripts Posted
October 21st – Writer’s Choices submitted
October 30th – Names and writer’s choice revealed.

The Gist

6 – 10 pages, properly formatted & saved as a PDF file, Script submitted anonymously, Free to submit*, This isn’t a contest. There are no prizes. One entry per person.

*Free to submit. But, you are committing to reading and ranking five scripts randomly assigned to you.

You can revise your script as many times as you wish up until the deadline.

Participants are strongly encouraged to read and comment/review on the scripts submitted.

Do not put your real name on your script. However, please use your real name when submitting your script. (After the challenge closes you can either have your script removed or resubmit with your script with your name on it.

Please put © 2016 on the bottom left corner of your title page.

Best of luck and I hope you guys have a lot of fun with this contest.

There will be a Writer’s Choice wherein the participants (and only the participants) will be asked to select the three scripts he or she likes the best.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Award Season has begun… - posted by Don

First out of the gate, as usual, is Universal Studios followed closely by Bleeker Street.

As we’ve done for the last 16 award seasons, we’ll be posting links to the scripts that the studios are posting for award consideration. You will find them on the Scripts Studios are Posting for 2016 – 2017 Script Award Consideration page.

Universal Studios:

Bridget Jones’s Baby – January 8th 2016 Final Shooting draft script by Helen Fielding and Dan Mazer and Emma Thompson (Based on the characters and story created by Helen Fielding )
The Girl On The Train – Undated, unspecified draft script by Erin Cressida Wilson (Adapted from the novel by Paula Hawkins)
Hail, Casesar – January 5th, 2015 blue revised draft script by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
My Big Fat Greet Wedding 2 – Undated, unspecified draft script by Nia Vardalos
The Secret Life of Pets – Undated, unspecified draft script by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch

Bleeker Street

Anthropoid – June 24th 2015 version 20 shooting script script by Sean Ellis and Anthony Frewin
Captain Fantastic – September 2, 2014 final draft script by Matt Ross
Denial – April 12, 2015 full blue draft script by David Hare (Based on the book HISTORY ON TRIAL by Deborah E. Lipstadt)
Eye In The Sky – September 12, 2014 revised yellow shooting draft script by Guy Hibbert

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The 10th Annual October One Week Writing Challenge is coming! - posted by Don

On Friday, October 7th at 12:00 midnight GMT (8:00 pm edt) the theme and genre of the October One Week Challenge will be announced!

Can you write a good, properly formatted short screenplay in a week? Take the challenge. Come back this Friday and find out the theme and genre and write a script. This is free to enter, however you will be asked to read and do a short review of five short scripts.

A number of previous One Week Challenge scripts have gone on to be optioned and some have been produced.

Take the challenge!

Monday, October 3, 2016

First Kiss – Sold - posted by Ingrid Short

Twisted, Freaky, One-Page HORROR ALERT!

Don’t hesitate with this one as it won’t be on the shelf long. This is an Anthony Cawood short and a one-pager to boot!

Anthony’s slick writing style lulls the reader into a false sense of security as he opens with two teenage siblings sitting in their bedroom at home, as they are wont to do, checking out the internet to learn stuff. It gets a little weird when we discover that they are brother and sister, and that the brother is actually checking out images and videos on how to kiss properly.

Don’t worry…………………………………………………………………………….. it gets weirder!

As the brother turns to his sister, pleased that he was correct all along – that people do use tongues when kissing – we discover that all is not well with his sister.

Ew. Just, ew. It made me shiver. It’s shockingly sick and done without any special effects, violence or anything overtly sexual. What sells this short to me is how subtly it’s done. The viewer is left to fill in the obvious gaps themselves.

This will be a breeze to film. Just two young actors. Indoors. Single location. With some good preparation, a small crew could film this in a day – maybe even during a break period while filming something else.

If this is something you can see yourself producing or directing, then contact the writer using his email on the front page of the script. You better be quick.

Review by Ingrid Short

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