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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bad Moms screenplay - posted by Don

Thanks to Wes, over on the Movie Scripts page we have…

Bad Moms – June 9, 2015 unspecified draft script by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore – hosted by: Script Pipeline – in pdf format

Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, a beautiful home and a career. However, she’s overworked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Enchanted Quill – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Steve Miles

Enchanted Quill (10 pages in pdf format) by Mark Renshaw

A troubled young woman seeking answers about her dark past discovers a magic software app that allows her to make wishes comes true, but at a price – each wish costs her a fraction of her soul.

Fairytales play on our most primal of fears; from our moral anxieties and deepest desires to the monsters lurking in our subconscious they resonate through the ages to serve as warnings to the frailty of human nature.

            MILLY (V.O.)
Once upon a time there was a little
Princess who was betrayed by her
Prince Charming.

Milly was once a young, free-spirited innocent – that was until she met Malcolm:

            YOUNGER MALCOLM
Your parents said they would be late.
They asked me if I could give you a
lift home.

Unwittingly accepting the ride, Milly finds her young life locked in a cycle of tragedy and abuse as she’s passed from one monster to another.

The years pass and the abusers move on leaving Milly to struggle with the horrors of her childhood. One day she stumbles upon the dark web where a magic app called The Enchanted Quill gives her the promise of revenge. Of course, a deal like this comes at a price, but what’s 5% of your soul per wish when sweet vengeance is at stake?

And this is where we join the tale. Not in an enchanted kingdom in a land far away but an abandoned warehouse with Malcolm and cohorts trapped and Milly able to control their every action with the aid of The Enchanted Quill.

And this Princess is in no mood for forgiveness:

            MILLY
Fuck yeah! Let’s get the endgame
rolling. Enchanted Quill obey my
whim, give Malcolm a compound arm
fracture, through the skin! Woo, I
did a poem!

Milly proceeds to recount her tale, jumping from the past to the present as she puts her tormentors through their own personal hell. From the visceral to the surreal: fingernails are removed, arm bones are gnawed on and in a nod to the source material the repetition of mundane tasks takes the form of torture. Imagine taking off your shoes only to put them back on again…over and over and over…

Writer Mark Renshaw draws out the darker aspects of a little known fairytale called The Enchanted Quill to deliver a uniquely modern tale of retribution replete with monsters, tortured souls and unflinching violence. If you like to wring every last drop of blood from your horror then this is for you.

Budget: Four characters. Simple enough location wise with one main room and a handful of exterior shots informing the flashbacks. Plenty of gore on this one so experience with make-up and some creative effects would be a bonus. Based on The Enchanted Quill

About the writer Mark Renshaw In 2015, a short film he wrote and produced No More Tomorrows won several awards on the film festival circuit. He also won a ‘Top Pick’ award for his short script, ‘Automatic Drive’ in the finals of Reel Writers Competition.

His second film Surrender was released in September 2016. It has won Exceptional Merit awards for best Short Film, Writer, Lead Actor and Original Score in the Depth of Field International Film Festival.

‘Surrender’was most recently showcased in the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles and will feature in the Sunderlands Film Festival in May.  

Mark is currently working on producing his next script, a sci-fi short called ‘The Survivor.’ Filming is due to start in Milwaukee in mid-March.

You can check out his work on his website at Mark-Renshaw.com and on Mark’s Script Revolution profile.

About the reviewer: Steve Miles started writing scripts around five years ago after realizing that his social life was vastly overrated. He enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit – from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount of plaid and uses a calculator for the most basic of sums. Check out more of his work at sjmilesscripts.webs.com

Read Enchanted Quill (10 pages, 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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Screenplays – Dune - posted by Stephen Batchelor

At the time of writing, Denis Villeneuve has been selected to direct a new big screen adaption of the classic sci-fi series, Dune (a series so large, it’s put me off starting to read it). We’ve been treated to a number of adaptions of this incredibly popular series of books, the 80’s film, directed by David Lynch, I believe to be a masterpiece.

dune1A couple of different editions exist for this film, and the only thing Lynch hates more then the original film, are these ‘extended’ editions, which have simply inserted previously cut scenes or animated sequences (?!), all in a bid to make the film less confusing, sadly this has the opposite effect. to be honest, even without having the books, I was never confused by the original film.

At the turn of the century we were treated to a really well made mini series, which spawned a sequel – if you’ve never had the chance to watch them, hunt them down, you won’t be disappointed (or maybe you will, I don’t know what you like).

The scripts (yes, scripts, plural) are for the Lynch film, the drafts are a few months apart, but its neat to spot the changes, and on one of the scripts (I believe it’s the later draft), the front pages have ‘warnings’ about spilling the beans about the project. I’m not sure how far off these are from the shooting scripts, but it gives you an interesting insight into the development.dune2

Anyway, click the pics and have a read, let me know what you think, and if you liked the mini series adaption, I can’t be the only one, it’s got an all star cast, and the big guy from Ace Venture 2 plays Baron Harkonnen!

By the way, casting will begin soon for the new film, who do you think would be a perfect fit for characters like Paul Atriedes or Barron Harkonnen?

And remember, he who controls the spice, controls the universe.


Stephen Batchelor is a screenwriter. He watches movies. Reads scripts. Writes pages. Read His Blog, check out his facebook page Facebook.com/TheScriptMason and stalk him on twitter @thescriptmason.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Free – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by David M Troop

Free (76 page Sci Fi Drama in pdf format) by Paul J. Williams

An honor student begins the next phase of his life.

If time travel was scientifically possible, what would you do? Really?

Would you change the course of human history? Or simply go back and tell someone you loved them – one last time? Would you prevent a horrific accident from occurring, saving thousands of lives? Or spend the day with one special person, and change their life forever?

Time travel and its possibilities – it’s been the theme of some of the most popular movies in history (in a variety of genres): The Terminator travels back in time to eliminate an enemy by killing his mother. In Groundhog’s Day, an egotistical weatherman relives the same day again and again – until he learns the true meaning of love.

In his short script “Free”, Paul Williams explores a question we’ve all asked ourselves. What if we could go back and time, and undo a costly mistake?

Although only eighteen, Robert McKenna has a lifetime of accomplishment ahead of him. A brilliant and promising merit scholar, Robert studies quantum physics – specializing in the theory of time-travel. Staying at home with his mother and younger brother Timmy (12), Robert’s preparing for a four year trip. He whiles away the remaining hours working on equations and algorithms… making sure they’re absolutely right.

But Timmy won’t let him be. Seeking his big brother’s attention, he pesters Robert with questions. About the possibilities of time travel. And Robert’s own plans for the future. Has his big brother found a gateway to the past? And if so… what’s his motivation?

Free may have the sheen of Science Fiction. But at heart, it’s a tragedy. About families. Grief, loss and regret. And wishing you could solve life’s problems with a mathematical solution. If only it was that easy.

This is a script that every skilled director wishes for: subtle and deeply touching, with layers of rich symbolism. Properly brought to the screen, it’ll haunt your audiences for a long time.

Budget: Low to moderate. One location: an upper middle-class home. And a pet bird. (Don’t ask – just read the script!)

About the writer: Paul J. Williams is a New Jersey-based multi-award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director with several scripts in various stages of film production. He has been a member of the New Jersey Screenwriter’s Group since 2009. His latest movie, Case #5930, which he wrote and produced, was released in 2015.

He has also served as a decorated law enforcement officer for the past eighteen years, both as a Federal Officer with the U.S. Department of Justice and as a Police Officer for the City of Newark, N.J.

He can be reached at pauljwilliams9 (a) yahoo. Check out his IMDB page.

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. He can be reached at dtroop506 (a) gmail.

Read Free

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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, February 12, 2017

Original Script Sunday for February 12, 2017 - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are twenty-ish original scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Friday, February 10, 2017

Music in Film – How Important is It? - posted by John Montana

Making a short film, or any film for that matter can be a lot of amazing fun. Here is how I came up with and developed the sound and music in my most recent film called HUNGRY. Its a wicked little dark comedy skewering the rampant greed of shoppers at Christmas time.

 

video makerSo the way I work is that in the very beginning of preparing to shoot the film, when I am still writing the script actually, I start to listen to music that I like. I listen with the sole purpose of getting a feel for how this particular song will go with the film. I use each song that I like or think might go well and imagine how it will tell my story. Here is an example…in “HUNGRY”, the story takes place at Christmas. So I was constantly listening to holiday songs, wild versions, old-fashioned ones, newer versions. The one I came up with was of a child choir singing Carol Of The Bells. This song was important in setting up the beginning of the film in 3 ways:

  1. It is a beautiful innocent rendition of this song
  2. It lulls the audience into the sweetness of the Christmas season
  3. It also didn’t telegraph what was coming to the audience

I cannot tell you how important music or sound is in setting up your story or film. If you can do it right, then the whole film just falls into place. Another example of how much music played a part in my film is when the main character walks into the shop, the owner is listening to 1930’s jazz. The story’s background was that this woman has been alive for several hundreds of years, and this is her favorite music. Now you don’t actually see a 500 -year old woman on screen as that was just the back-story. But this music really helped the actress get the feel for what I wanted. And her performance made the film. Another instance of how important sound was for me, was in editing. My film is a horror film, and so I had a small creature. But because I was on a small budget, I couldn’t really afford to build a creature that could move in every way I wanted. So movement was limited. What I did tho, was to search a couple of free sound sites for sci-fi sounds, or dinosaur roars. It took me weeks to get it the way I wanted. In order for the creature to look realistic, I had to use different sounds for each 2-second piece of footage that had the little guy in it. Each different sound conveyed a different want and emotion in the creature. It was incredibly grueling and difficult work. But in the end, the sounds and music are what really helped this film. In my opinion! And when my main character was being eaten alive, sounds were so vitally important in conveying the horror of what was happening to him. And at the end of the film, when it is clear that the owner is in cahoots with the creature, or the creature is almost her mate, then the music that I put in at the end conveyed the craziness of this situation. So I put in this wild and crazy piece that makes me giggle whenever I hear it.

Here are some examples of the films that I made and how and why I used the sound/music for each of them.

  1. Needs Talking – I actually came up with the idea of this film because I can hear a train’s whistle in the distance from my current home. Hearing the train, I was hit with how lonely it sounded… and then the story came to me of a married woman being alone in her own home. And then leaving!
  2. A House Cleaning – This had the feel of an old 30’s mobster film for me, and I went looking for some music from that time period. I had 2 songs from public domain that I used… the first one being a lively jazz piece that slowly moved into a foreboding piece when it becomes clear to the audience that danger is approaching. I thought the music really helped the film.
  3. LATE – You know… I used the sounds of the airport to open this film. The hectic rushing to and fro at LAX and how the lead woman came rushing into focus. And then I used the fading of those loud and crazy sounds into silence to enter into old memories. And then the quiet of the hospital hallway and the hum of the elevator to convey her fear. As it is always quiet before the storm. And then I used the saddest music I have ever heard when she finds out her mom has died before she could say goodbye.
  4. The Chaser – This is a very eerie little story that I adapted into a short. I found some very strange screeching of metal sounds and high-pitched eerie music to open the film to show just how far the lead guy had to go to have this meeting. And the strangeness of the building.

Some of my favorite films have some great music in them as well.

  • LUCY – by Luc Besson
    This is the most recent film by the French director who brought us the beautiful and haunting film – “La Femme Nikita”. In LUCY, the use of music has really been amped up to make the horror of what is happening to Scarlett Johansson’s character. There is the slow low drumbeat of when she is waiting in the office lobby in the beginning that makes you squirm in anticipation of something really bad coming her way. Then there is her becoming super aware: She hears the minute sounds of creatures crawling and the sounds of radio waves as they go up out of peoples cell phones. There are way too many examples of  how he uses sound to enhance this film.
  • RED – The final film of the Three Colors Trilogy by Krzysztof Kielslowski.
    This is such a magical film and the music he used in it is beautiful and eerie. From sudden crashing cymbals to convey horror, to gentle intoxicating music for the “Fashion Show”, to again crashing doors for when the storm blows in. It is such a subtle and at the same time “in-your-face sound effects and music.
  • BLADE RUNNER – by Ridley Scott:
    For me… the music in this film is the most amazing sounds and music I have ever heard used in a film. From the weird lively beat by some kind of reed instrument (I’m guessing) when Deckard is walking thru the outdoor bazaar to the echoing music when he is in the great building of the Tyrell Corp. Even the weird futuristic music by Vangelis for the scene transitions are masterful. For me again… this movie is the perfect example of how important music and sound are to creating the world of the film you are making.
  • IRREVERSIBLE – by Gaspar Noe
    In this film, there is an undercurrent of bass that was purposely put into the soundtrack. The reason for this is because this low bass sound creates a feeling of nausea and confusion and dizziness for the  audience. I have no conclusive evidence of this, but if this was intentional, then it is a brilliant use of sound to affect the audience and bring them into the world of Monica Bellucci’s character and of the  world of rape.
  • WITNESS – by Peter Weir
    I cannot tell you how much I loved this film, for its power and simplicity of the storytelling. The arc that Harrison Ford’s character makes as a result of living with this Amish family for a while is why I love the acting business. When done correctly, it truly is wonderful to watch. There is a scene that beautifully shows the world of the Amish… it is the shot of the fields swaying in the breeze. The sound of the wind as it moves slowly thru the wheat or grass field is mesmerizing. In that one piece of film, you are instantly transported tot his place and the sound is so tranquil, that I could understand why some people choose to live this lifestyle. And that is ultimately what you strive for…for your audience to get   immersed into your world… if only for an hour or two.

short film ideas

In conclusion, if you are in preparation for a film shoot, or if you are already in editing, then I cannot stress the importance of taking your time and getting the music and sound right. If you have the right style of music that brings your audience into your film, and the right sound effects if you are shooting a horror film, then this will improve your odds of this being a successful film. If nothing else, it helps your audience into your film, and it help in keeping them there. If you don’t believe me, go and watch the movie Brooklyn.  The music in this film will bring you instantly into this world, and it keeps you there. Whether you like the movie or not!

About The Author:

John Montana is a video maker living in L.A. and has begun to make short films. His most recent film, “Hungry” has been accepted into 24 film festivals all over the world. Check out his short films at No Title Production Films.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Eulogy – Feature Length Review (Available for Production) - posted by KP Mackie

Ruby (98 pages in PDF format) by Dena McKinnon

When a cantankerous woman is given only months to live, the town scrambles to see who will write her Eulogy – and inherit her vast fortune.

The Eulogy surrounds its readers in a rich tapestry of characters, which envelop you like a warm blanket.

The main protagonist is Ruby Mae Morgan: wealthy spinster, and owner of Morgan Textiles factory. An isolated figure, she lives out the remainder of her years behind the perpetually locked gates of her lonely Southern mansion. Despite her riches, she has no friends. Only employees (lots of them), who test the limits of her patience daily. Ruby’s miserable personality hints at some trauma in her past… but she isn’t interested in reminiscing or telling tales. Business takes priority over the personal. Always. Even when Ruby discovers she’s… dying. But rather than give up, she goes into high gear, determined to wrap up loose ends. Especially regarding who will get her factory and take the reins. Within days of her diagnosis, the old woman announces a contest: whoever writes the best eulogy for her (while she’s still alive and able to judge) will get her full estate… and company.

Needless to say – game on! As soon as the proclamation’s made, all the factory workers scramble to life, each determined to win the prize.

Among the contenders: Violet (24). Though young, she’s already had a hard knock life. Estranged from her husband (sleazy factory manager Sherman), Violet’s been abused, kicked out of her home, and forced to live with five year old daughter Abbey in their beat-up car.

Then there’s Catfish – Miss Ruby’s gardener – who readily admits he’s in over his head. Not only is he not a writer, he’s got more pressing issues on his plate. Like watching over two grown drug-addicted daughters, and caring for seven year old granddaughter, “Tadpole”. But still, a man can dream. Especially when his precocious granddaughter’s future is at stake.

Then there’s Miss Ruby’s greedy son Brent – a man who has had little to do with his mother his entire life. At least, until he hears about her eminent demise. After which point, Brent arrives with attorney in tow: clearly not interested in reunion. But hell-bent on inheritance.

Then there’s the rest of the colorful, quirky town – all desperate to grab for the brass ring that Ruby’s dangled before their eyes. Even if they have to brown-nose, cheat and lie.

Of all the characters that march across Eulogy’s page, it’s young “Tadpole” that stands heads and tails above the rest. “Seven going on Twenty Three”, Tadpole is perhaps the only one who truly feels sorry for Miss Ruby, and sees redeeming qualities in her. As Tadpole herself states: “Miss Ruby could be right mean. But I just figure she must be feeling really bad inside. Maybe she was scared about dying. She was like one of them suckers with the hard candy on the outside and the delicious bubble gum on the inside.” Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes.

Take our word for it. Tadpole will steal your heart…

As Miss Ruby’s illness accelerates, the contest reaches crisis point. Everyone’s needy – but who will win? And will Miss Ruby find peace of mind – or take decade long secrets to her grave?

You’ll care about the characters in The Eulogy. A lot. Honest, organic portrayals, this odd assortment of personalities will capture your attention, and hold it hostage to the end. This feature length will tug at your heartstrings, and win big at the festivals. And drama doesn’t get much better than that. J

Budget: The Talent. Get the best actors money can buy. Then let the script work it’s magic!

About the Writer: Dena McKinnon has had four shorts produced. One of her shorts, The Box, directed by Sascha Zimmermann, has racked up numerous awards and was screened at Comic-Con in San Diego. Dena has optioned one feature, Doggone, a buddy script cowritten with Kevin Lenihan. Currently, Dena has one feature in production, The Last Call, with Leo-PR, and is writing on assignment for an undisclosed TV producer. Dena just finished directing her script Kill Your Demon. Check out Dena’s IMDB credits and website at DenaMcKinnon.com/.

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on a historical feature.

Read Ruby (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, February 8, 2017

Passage – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Passage (18 pages in pdf format) by Zach Jansen

The road to Hell is paved with long hallways…

Nothing beats a mystery for getting a reader (and film audience’s) attention. Think about scripts that have truly captured the world’s imagination in recent years: Memento. Source Code. And if you can go low budget, that’s even more gravy on one’s indie plate… Case in point, the tiny SF piece de resistance entitled Moon.

Of course, Moon’s taken. And filmed. Fortunately, it’s not the only gem on the marketplace. ‘Cause Passage is available.

A micro-budget mind twister, Passage opens with our lead (Tommy, 20s), waking up in an unfamiliar hallway. Jessa hovers over him, asking if he’s okay. The two quickly meet cute, and venture out into a maze of generic hallways – seeking an exit to escape. And those hallways go on forever. Until they encounter Mike. And he’s no stranger. Turns out he’s Jessa’s ex. And when Mike sees Tommy, he ain’t too pleased. A few harsh words and misunderstandings later, and Mike knocks poor Tommy out cold.

Tommy wakes up soon after – Jessa hovering over him. Like a rewound VHS, the scene starts to replay, same as before. But Tommy remembers some of it. And everything looks so damned familiar….

The scenario plays out, again and again. Like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book, Tommy tries new actions each time. With the unfortunate same result. Knocked out stone cold. On the floor.

…until Tommy decides to fight back. He won’t let Mike get the upper hand this time. Will Tommy find a way out of the maze? Or suffer limbo for eternity?

Think of Passage as Groundhog Day on a micro budget. Only three actors needed, and a generic hallway. It’s a lot of premise, packed into a tiny space. Which makes this one a script you gotta see!

Budget: Minimal. Seriously: three actors and a few long hallways – that’s all you need for this one!

About the writer: 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, you can check out his IMDb page or quasi-frequently updated blog.

About the reviewer: Going by the handle “medstudent”, Joseph can be found at Simplyscripts and his script Last Chance has been filmed.

Read Passage

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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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Watch Dena’s Evanescence (filmed as as Dysgenesis) - posted by Don

Great news from Dena: [Evanescence] was a short I started at SS and it evolved into this film [Dysgenesis]… I’ve been asked to turn it into a feature. They just released the short for public viewing.

DysGenesis started life as Evanescence and was featured on SimplyScripts some time ago.

Charlie and Amber struggle with heroin addiction and live in an abandoned home in the woods. When tragedy strikes, Amber just can’t seem to let go of the past and move on… and Charlie is forced to make a hard decision.

DYSGENESIS from David Flint on Vimeo.

imdb.com; facebook.com/DysGenesisMovie

Talk about it on the Discussion Board
– Don

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December 11, 2017

    Love Bites by Steven Wood

    Jacob's girlfriend is locked in the bedroom of his apartment and isn't responding. With the help of his friend Ammon, they get her out.
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