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Friday, April 7, 2017

Last Dance – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Last Dance (5 pages in pdf format) by Rick Hansberry

As the seconds tick away on a song, so does one guy’s last chance with the girl that could become ‘The One’ or ‘The One That Got Away.’

“Last Dance,” a screenplay by Rick Hansberry, tells the story of a crumbling love affair — two people who had a chance at happiness but carelessly let it slip through their fingers.

The action takes place at a combination wedding reception/New Year’s Eve party, a celebration of joy and optimism and new beginnings. But this story isn’t about new beginnings — it’s about last chances, because the focus of this story isn’t on the joyful newlyweds, nor is it on party hats and champagne and New Year’s Eve merrymaking.

The focus is on John, the DJ.

As midnight approaches and John leads the crowd in the New Year’s countdown, Sara, his on-again/off-again girlfriend, arrives at the party, starting a countdown of another sort. Her appearance, “mired by storm clouds in her troubled expression,” lets John (and us) know that a moment of truth is looming. Sara has just come from a date, and her current beau has proposed marriage. John receives this news like “a verbal punch to the gut.” But he puts on his game face and continues playing party music as he and Sara face some music of their own.

It’s obvious to us, and probably to them, too, that these two people care deeply about each other. Subtle, subliminal clues — Sara’s fingers lightly brushing John’s last name on his business card, John’s hand lingering on hers as he takes the card from her — demonstrate their affection. The fact that Sara is even there with her startling news confirms it. And there’s a subtextual hopefulness in their conversation; they both seem to be seeking a favorable resolution.

But there’s also a deep resentment undermining their true feelings, and it just won’t go away. John seems to think Sara doesn’t appreciate the importance of his work, while Sara feels that John is afraid of commitment, and that he buries himself in work to avoid it. “Clever dodge,” she says. “Book yourself for so many weddings, you never have to worry about having one of your own.”

“We talked about it,” he replies.

“We danced around it,” she snaps back.

Finally, nothing resolved, a dejected Sara turns to leave. She’s made her decision. “I walk out that door tonight. When it shuts behind me I’m done.”

Now it’s decision time for John. Can he stop her? Should he? Or is he too late?

Budget: Low-to-moderate. A banquet hall, a crowd of extras, and some DJ equipment.

About the writer: Rick Hansberry is a screenwriter, producer and director with more than 20 years of industry experience. His SAG Foundation award-winning “Branches” features narration by Daniel Stern and garnered international festival awards. In 2017 his thriller/horror film, “Evil In Her” was released on Amazon Video and Vimeo On Demand. His most recent short, inspired by true events, has won praise for its portrayal of one girl’s positive approach to handling her Type 1 Diabetes. You can view It’s Not Permanent free. Rick has shorts and features available here 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.

About the guest reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

Read Last Dance (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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Careful What You Wish For – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Zupke

Careful What You Wish For (1 page in pdf format) by Tim Westland

Magic genies and bottles. Such things never end well. Or DO they?

We all know someone who rubs us the wrong way. A friend of a friend. A relative. Or, in some tragic cases… one’s own spouse. Things can get real ugly when two people don’t see eye to eye – especially when divorce looms on the horizon. When that’s the case – it’s no holds barred. War of the Roses. One up-manship – at any cost.

Fortunately, Karma has a way of exacting sweet revenge on those who test its limits. The only trouble with karma is; you never know when it’ll rear its head. But it does – it’s magical.

Which is the case with Tim Westland’s one-pager “Wish.” The script starts with brothers Steve and Bill walking the surf on a sunny Southern California beach. Normally – a pretty enjoyable experience, except for Bill’s sad state of affairs. As they walk, he tells his sibling of his woes: Bill’s wife is divorcing him for half of everything. Plus alimony. And she’s been cheating on him from day one. If ever there was a need to “insert karma here,” this here’s the perfect time.

Bill stubs his toe on something and yelps. What’s this? Bad fortune? Reverse karma?! Nope, it’s the tip of a lamp jutting from the sand. And Bill quickly discovers why it’s been placed in his path.

“I am yours to command,” intones a Genie after Bill gives the lamp a vigorous rub. “You have but one wish, and whatever you receive, your wife will receive twice over.”

Brother Steve advises caution. “Careful, these Genies are a tricky lot.”

Bill doesn’t hesitate. He knows exactly what to wish for. Riches? Perfect health? Unbelievable happiness? But if he gets those – his soon-to-be ex gets double.

So he takes a breath and wishes for… Well, read the script and find out!

Short and sweet, Careful What You Wish For is a great take on an old classic. Perfect for an indie director with imagination – and a humoristic one-two punch!

Budget: Pretty reasonable. A small amount of FX and costumes required.

About the Writer: Tim Westland is an award winning writer whose many scripts have consistently place in the Semi/Quarter finals in Page, Bluecat, and Screencraft. His screenplay, OBeast, co-authored with frequent writing partner Rod Thompson, finished in the Top 10 of ScreenCraft’s 2017 Horror contest. OBeast is also a 2017 iHorror.com finalist. Tim is also the co-author of the acclaimed horror comic/graphic novel (and screenplay), Chasing the Dead, published by IDW.

About the Reviewer: An LA based writer, Zach Zupke can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

Read Careful What You Wish For (1 page in 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, April 4, 2017

The Final Piece – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

The Final Piece (4 pages in pdf format) by Ryan Lee

A lonely old woman loves nothing more than completing her jigsaw puzzles. But when a mysterious box arrives on her doorstep one night, her life is about to take a horrifying turn.

The “final piece” referred to in the title of this chilling screenplay is a simple jigsaw puzzle piece. Or so we think, as this unsettling tale unfolds…

The creepiness starts early as we meet 67-year-old Margot who lives by herself in a “lonely domicile that sits at the edge of a thick forest.” It’s the dead of night, and gusts of wind sway the trees in the dark woods outside her window.

An eerie, foreboding setting; yet inside the house all seems cheery. Margot sits in her kitchen finishing her latest jigsaw puzzle: a charming and colorful French garden scene. She pops in the final piece and sighs, “So easy. Where’s the challenge?”

Where, indeed?

And as she puts the dissembled puzzle away, we begin to understand the old woman’s disappointment — her cabinet is filled with dozens and dozens of puzzles. Remnants of a passion gone on too long. Margot needs something – some excitement – to take its place.

All she can do is wait. But not very long.

Later – as she prepares for bed – Margot hears a thump downstairs. She creeps down, turns on the light… to find a mysterious package near her front door. No return address. No writing at all. She opens it: it’s a jigsaw puzzle. A temptation she can’t resist; Margot starts on it immediately.

But as puzzle pieces fall into place, she sees a strange scene take shape. It’s her kitchen. All the familiar things are there. She adds more pieces to the puzzle, and curiosity turns to terror. In the puzzle, she sees herself at the table. She’s being watched – in some eerie way.

The last two pieces reveal the most shocking detail of all – the silhouette of a man in the window behind her, holding an axe. She snaps around just in time to see a glimpse of something. But it fades away into the shadows before Margot can get a better view.

Which is when the lights go out.

Blinded by darkness, Margot hears creaking footsteps on the porch. The front door opens. Followed by heavy breathing.

So what does the title really refer to? Perhaps a puzzle of a different sort. Has Margot put together her last picture? Or found a challenge truly worth her while?

Budget: Low. A few rooms in a modest house. Two actors. And lots of creepiness. Perfect for a filmmaker with a limited budget.

About the Writer: Living in CA, Ryan Lee can be contacted via ryanlee1800 AT yahoo. His IMDB credits can be viewed here.

About the Guest Reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

Read The Final Piece

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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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dixie Gash Bandits – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Zupke

Dixie Gash Bandits (8 pages in pdf format) by C.J. Walley

When they stop to fix their get-a-way vehicle, two runaway sisters must tackle both love at first sight and the bounty hunters hot on their tail.

I believe Mr. Torrance said it best when he tapped: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Pulling for good to triumph over evil is human nature. Rooting for and wanting to be the bad guys once in awhile – it’s just fun. Especially when they’re on the run.

Butch and Sundance riding from state to state. Bonnie and Clyde driving from bank to bank. Thelma and Louise flying in their T-Bird to a better life. We all have an inner want to be the one pushing the pedal to the floor, thumbing authority as we streak down the highway.

In the opening scene of CJ Walley’s “Dixie Gash Bandits,” a Mustang blazes down said highway through the night and we know we’re in for a helluva ride. The car is being pushed to the limit by Savannah, whose sister Ginger implores her to ease up on the gas and give their stallion a break. No way Savannah’s giving in. And no way these women are going back or stopping for whatever’s chasing.

The stage is set for the entire story in less than half a page. Brilliant.

            GINGER
You’re pushin’ too hard.

            SAVANNAH
Baby, you run fast enough for long
enough, people have to stop chasin’.

            GINGER
Yeah, and if you run too fast or push too hard,
you crash and burn. You’re burnin’ us up.
They’re running on empty and troubles a comin’.

Savannah spots a lonely and much-needed gas station “with small store and a rusting hut workshop” and pulls the tired ‘Stang into its lot. Is this gas station an oasis or their final resting place? Or neither?

A mechanic, Bobby, saunters out. He stares a little too long at Savannah. Instant connection.

            BOBBY
What can I do you for?

The Mustang hisses, steam erupts, a definite foreshadowing of the steam to come after Savannah admits “we got cash flow problems.” Soon after, she and Bobby crash as one into the workshop, kissing, groping and unbuttoning.

Not too far off in the horizon, relentless and ruthless bounty hunters Colt (what an awesome name for a “suited and booted” good old boy) and Jessie are hot on the sisters’ trail, questioning a man about Savannah and Ginger’s whereabouts when…BANG! Question time is over. Man slumps.

            COLT
Now that was an overreaction.

            JESSIE
No, that was a waste of time. Now
what? I’m getting impatient.

You won’t lose patience racing through the rest of this tightly-woven tale as Jessie and Colt catch up to the runaways at their gas station. The story ends with multiple bangs as all five characters find themselves in a bloody shootout leaving just two survivors.

Do Savannah and Ginger go down in a blaze of glory a la Butch and Sundance? Do they go out on their own terms like Thelma and Louise? Or, do they write their own classic ending? I’m guessing you know which and you also know this superbly-written story will find a director faster then you can type “All work and no play….”

Budget: Find a kick-ass Mustang and a rusty old gas station and call ‘er a day, partner.

About the writer, C.J. Walley: I began writing in 2012 and I’m pleased to say it’s been very exciting so far. I have been fortunate enough to have a short produced by a director in London and Amazon Studios have spotlighted one of my features as a notable project. My scripts place within the top 10% of various major screenwriting competitions and, as I continue to write new specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producers, directors, and actors in LA, NYC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Dallas while occasionally blogging for Stage 32. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d love to join forces with you whatever the scale, do not hesitate to reach out and drop me a line. CJ “AT” CJwalley DOT COM; http://www.cjwalley.com

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. Zack was a latch-key kid (insert “awww” here) whose best friend was a 19-inch color television (horrific, he knows). His early education (1st grade on) included watching countless hours of shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” and “The Odd Couple” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall.” Flash forward to present day and his short “The Confession” was recently produced by Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. He’s currently working on a futuristic hitman thriller with a partner and refining a dramedy pilot perfect for the likes of FX. You can reach Zack at zzupke “at” yahoo.

Read Dixie Gash Bandits

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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, April 2, 2017

Original Script Sunday for April 2, 2017 - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page there are seventeen screenplays for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sophie the Gelded Space Stallion – Feature Length Space Opera Available For Production! - posted by Don

Sophie the Gelded Space Stallion (432 pages in pdf format) by Don Boose

Born in the high cliffs of the mountains of Kansas, Sophie, our equine hero, is kidnapped by an ancient race of aliens from Xadu. Sophie escapes in her quest to save the universe and if not the universe, perhaps his Mother. 432 pages

In this sprawling, epic and tribumphant space opera, a lot of things happen. There are tense, emotion filled parts where Sophie and Bob are trapped in the bottomless pit:

            SOPHIE
Even if we never escape this
inescapable bottomless pit,
we will still be free.

            BOB
I know.

A lot of cool stuff happens in space:

            SOPHIE
We are in space! This is so
cool! It is much vaster than
I expected.

            BOB
I know.

Production: Moderate. Cast: A midnight grey horse, someone named ‘Bob’. Budget: Medium to High. Locations: space station, open field, bottomless pit.

About the writer: Don Boose has been spinning tales of space opera gold since 1999. He doesn’t believe in second drafts. The words come from somewhere in space, fullly formed and go into his head and through his fingers on to the written page. He is not available for re-writes.

About the reviewer: Don Boose (different Don Boose) writes reviews of space opera screenplay that are equine in nature. He isn’t fat. He is just retaining A LOT of water.

Read Sophie the Gelded Space Stallion

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Steal This Screenplay. You can used or reproduced this script for any purpose, legal or illegal, (we don’t care) including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author. This. Film. Must. Get. Made.

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