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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simpatico – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Zupke

Simpatico (21 pages in pdf format) by Libby Chambers

Two know-it-all friends believing themselves to be the authorities on love, sex, dating, and finding ‘the one’ recount the events of a one night stand.

Tennis can be a difficult endeavor. Strength, endurance and determination are required to even mildly succeed. Footwork, hand-eye coordination and cunning strategy take no backseat. Factor in the dimension of doubles play and the complexities double equally. The court expands. Communication is paramount and the volleys require cat-like reflexes during the exhilarating, ping-pong-on-steroids shootouts.

Like tennis, Libby Chambers’ “Simpatico” challenges the senses, hitting point after relationship point. A classic Australian Open match on paper, its characters crush poignant forehand observations and trade clever backhand quips, making the script worthy of center court applause.

The story begins with “INT. HOTEL – BEER GARDEN.” This script had me at “INT.” When the dialogue is served and the love story unfolds, it feels like you’re sitting next to the characters, sharing a glass of wine with Melissa (a buxom, outspoken brunette) and Ann (short, round and modest). Melissa confides to Ann: “I felt something really real between us, you know?”

“What, his penis?” Ann returns. Game on.

It’s also “on” across the garden as we chug a pint with 30-somethings Bob and Chad, who tells-all about his previous night’s date, “If you’d asked me at the start of the night, I’d have said dust off that penguin suit, fella”,” but it was a rather awkward finale.”

And – speaking of awkward: Chad and Melissa are dishing gossip about each other, with no clue they’re sitting just a handful of seats away.

            Chad
She was a bit too full on, you
know. Gave off this vibe.

            Melissa
I really think this guy might
be the one.

And so it goes, from opposite ends of the hotel. Back and forth they lob insights and serve momentum, revealing Bob and Ann – who have not met – may actually be perfect for one another. But, will they ever discover they’re at the same beer garden? Will true love miss its chance by sheer meters?

Chad and Melissa do eventually spot each other and the story escalates in fine fashion:

“Do you suppose she followed me?”

“Do you suppose he’s stalking me?”

“Oh shit, is she headed this way? I’m off for a leak.”

“This is where I play it super cool and slip off to the lady’s room.”

Chad and Melissa sneak to their respective hiding holes without noticing the other’s doing likewise. Bob and Ann do the same, both headed for the bar…

As for “Simpatico”, it’s surely headed for production and a round of success. Game, set, and match – comic relationship fun at its best.

Budget: Location cost is pint-sized – any non-fancy hotel or pub will do.

A Top Three Finalist in the LA Comedy Festival Screenplay Contest

About the writer: Libby Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She has also worked professionally as a freelance web-content editor and proofreader. She is thrilled her first ever entry into a Screenplay Comp – The LA Comedy Festival ‘Short’ screenplay division took out Top 3 Finalist and hopes the high placing will be a continuing trend. 🙂 Libby would love to see her words come to life on screen – and has another screenplay coming soon – a family friendly coming of age Drama – ‘Scooter’. She lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia, and describes him as being both a good and a bad influence on her writing. You can contact Libby at libbych “AT” hotmail

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

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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 21, 2017

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

Deal Breaker (10 pages in pdf format) by Brett Martin

A woman risks sabotaging the perfect date when she confesses a terrible secret.

If there’s one movie genre we can all identify with, it’s gotta be romantic comedy.

After all, love (or the pursuit of it) is universal. We’ve all longed for that perfect partner to meet. Someone to fall in love with. Break up with over a silly misunderstanding. Followed by a musical montage of regrets. And a long, lonely walk on the beach. After that? Reconciliation and happily-ever-after are sure to follow. Fade Out. Viola. Credits roll.

It works that way in real life, too.

Doesn’t it?

A romantic comedy with a twist, Deal Breaker focuses on that most romantic night of all – that frightening, nauseating first date.

Though, as far as first dates go, Alice and Louis are doing just fine. Dinner at a French café. (Check.) Wine and charming conversation (double check.) Everything’s darned near perfect.

Until Alice – required by law – discloses she’s a registered sex offender.

Dead silence from Louis. A stack of plate crashes somewhere in the restaurant. A record needle scratches – loud.

Though Alice explains the situation aptly, the news lands like the proverbial fart in church. The woman of Louis’ dreams… has a very fatal flaw.

Will Louis be able to man up and deal? Or high-tail it down the nearest fire escape?

An intelligently written comedy, Deal Breaker’s full of witty dialogue. Not to mention posing the age old question: Is it proper dating etiquette to Google your date during the main course? Or should you wait until the check arrives?

Directors with a flare for comedy and keen dialogue would do well to add this to their menu. ‘Cause this one’s a special that won’t be available for too long.

Pages: 10

Budget: Low. A nice restaurant. A small cast with some extras. One minor special effect.

About the guest 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 was 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 “AT” Gmail

About the writer: Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles. He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Productions, which is owned by Brett Stimely (Watchmen, Transformers 3). He’s recently finalized a tentpole action feature & a brand new bi-weekly cartoon web series, Robots Love Movies, as he continues his quest to be a professional writer.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Change of Heart – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by AnthonyCawood

Change of Heart (8 pages in pdf format) by Eric Wall

A desperate virgin’s excursion to a dive bar yields unexpected results.

Urban Legends. They’re part of our culture. Our collective memory. Stories that are told again and again – usually with a moralistic spin. Don’t shirk your babysitting duties for your boyfriend. Or park in Lover’s Lane. Or investigate that noise in the closet. And definitely never get drunk in dive bars and hit on total strangers…

Now THERE’S an urban legend that’s stood the test of time: the one about the guy who gets wasted, only to wake up the next morning with a nasty hangover, in a bath loaded with ice… and missing some body parts… Maybe it’s never really happened, but that’s some evil stuff right there. A creepy tale that’s even inspired a notable Korean horror film, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.”

It’s a scenario that inspired writer Eric Wall as well – and he’s taken it to some surprising (and delightful) places…

Meet protagonist Dennis. A sad-sack waste of a man. 37 years old. A virgin. Recently diagnosed with a heart defect. The fates haven’t been kind to poor Dennis – and it’s about to get far worse. When we meet poor D, he’s slumped in a seedy bar propositioning every female in sight. You see, Dennis is determined to get laid. Resolving at least one problem. Unfortunately for Dennis, his pickup lines stink on ice. As do his chances tonight…

At least until Tracy – an attractive vamp – slinks in the door. Sidling up to the bar and Dennis’ side, Tracy strikes up a conversation. And – as phenomenally unlikely as it seems – she seems to be attracted to him. A drink and some idle banter later, and Tracey agrees to take Dennis to a hotel room. Needless to say, she’s got a few ulterior motives in mind…

A straightforward, gory scenario – at least in SOME writer’s hands. But Change of Heart has surprises in store. Not to mention – heartfelt laughs. Witty and intelligent, Change has some amazing one liners. Not to mention amazingly fleshed out and sympathetic characters – in an eight page horror script, no less! You like dark comedy? Then give Change of Heart a try. It twists your expectations in delightful ways… all the way to its frosty end!

Budget: Relatively low – locations include a low rent bar and a cheap hotel bathroom.

About the writer: Eric Wall is a New Jersey based screenwriter who has written several short scripts, two features and is at work on multiple TV specs. He can be reached at e_wall1498 (a) yahoo.

About the reviewer: Anthony is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with 2 features optioned and over 30 short scripts optioned, or purchased, including 8 filmed. Outside of his screenwriting career, he’s a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

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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.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Deuce – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Zupke

The Deuce (10 pages in pdf format) by R. E. McManus

An elevator and two guys on their way up. What can go down?

We’ve all been there. A hundred times, some of us more than a thousand. It’s the world’s most uncomfortable space. Some are boxy, most rectangular. Fans, no fans. Carpeted or tiled. Mirrored or paneled. But always stuffy, cramped and slower than slow is: the infamous elevator ride.

I recently (true story alert) took a ride in my office building all the way from the penthouse to the ground floor. One floor down, six people shuffled in – one holding a newly-peeled banana, which she consumed as we descended. Ever peel a banana in a closet? With 10 other people present? Not an ideal situation for the senses. And that’s putting it mildly.

The situation is similarly far from appealing (pun alert) for Dominic Barry’s elevator ride in R. E. McManus’ “The Deuce,” a riveting and witty 10-page journey starting with:

“The sound of a body being dragged over concrete.”

The body is Dom’s and the draggers are Joey, 22-year-old scowler, and his pal Chrissy, “The type who could chew a toothpick without looking stupid.” Chrissy’s the brains of the operation, the sole purpose of which is: deliver Dom to the eighty-eighth floor.

Problem is, Dom’s not awake and Joey and Chrissy (think distant, but equally witty, cousins of Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega) differ on the importance of his consciousness.

            JOEY
Maybe I should wake him up.

            CHRISSY
You can ravish him for all I care.

Joey looks disgusted.

            JOEY
There’s no need to be so, so base.

There’s a “ding” as floor number 40 unexpectedly lights up. Chrissy pulls Joey tight to shield Dom as the doors open. Nothing. It’s a misfire in the mechanics. Doors close, and they resume ascending… just as poor Dom stirs. Joey and Chrissy pull out their silencers, an act which fails to silence Dom. He demands to know how he’s found himself bruised and battered in a dressing gown, plastic cable ties around his hands and feet.

“You’re David Barry and we’re taking you to John Feltz,” they tell him. Duh.

“I’m Dominic Barry and who is John Feltz?” Dom replies.

So the elevator rises, along with everyone’s blood pressure. Who is John Feltz? Is Dom really Dom, not David? Or is he just lying to stay alive? What will Feltz do if they deliver the wrong man? And why is the elevator stopping on the wrong floor yet again, this time on 70? Will all three men make it to the top?

You’ll be floored when you read the entirety of “The Deuce,” a suspenseful ride filled with exceptional dialogue. It’s an excellent opportunity for the right director and capable actors. Interest in this gem is sure to be…going up.

Budget: Minimal. Find a mate who works in an office building to let you in for a day on the weekend. Just make sure his last name’s not Feltz.

About the writer: R.E. McManus was born in England, of Irish roots. Hence he was always a little confused. He has since travelled the globe, and noted what he saw on his travels. He’s been writing since he could pick up a pen. The fact they were IOUs is neither here nor there.

He fell in love with film when he first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of six. Although he’s still not sure about the spelling of Odyssey. It’s still looks wrong,

He loves Fincher, Hitchcock and Kubrick. And Faith No More. And Elvis. He even has a dog named after him. This seemed like a good idea until he went to the park.

Visit his webstie at: rendevous.yolasite.com. Or email him directly at redarcy2000 (a) yahoo.co.uk

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

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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

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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, 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.

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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, 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.

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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.

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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, February 6, 2017

Beacon Calling – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Dane Whipple

Beacon Calling (11 pages in PDF format) by Chris Keaton

How far would you go to save humanity?

Ping.

Three world-worn wanderers walk wearily through a white winter wasteland. They are John, Noah, and Wilda, and their only guide is the small metal box with the flashing red light.

Ping.

Driven on by the incoming signal, our three explorers are obviously on an important and dangerous mission. Pausing briefly to appraise their situation, they discuss turning back. They are, after all, running low on supplies, and out there, somewhere in the darkness..someTHING is stalking them. Beaten both emotionally and physically, the three realize that there is no decision to be made: if they fail their mission, they’re all dead anyway.

Ping. Ping.

The signal is getting closer…but so is the creature! The group presses on, into the unknown. Where are they heading, and just what have they left behind? And WHAT is this creature!!

Are you getting a sense of the tension in this script? I hope so, because you may want to pop a Xanax before reading. Sled tracks, bloody footprints in the snow, a discarded iPod. The mystery deepens with each visceral image. And if it sounds like I’m being vague, don’t worry, it’s only because I don’t want to spoil the surprise ending.

Get ready for an eleven-minute panic attack, because Beacon Calling is a master class in suspense writing. A slow-build tense thriller filled with all the mystery and intensity of the best episodes of Lost, set in a Mad-Max-in-the-snow style wasteland (take note, George Miller!). This is one script guaranteed to keep your audience on edge, and keep them guessing until the shocking finale. They won’t know what hit them. Directors, come in from the cold and grow something sinister out of this script.

Ping. Ping. Ping!!!

Budget: Low. Location may be tricky, since it is set in snow. But as long as your production doesn’t go all Revenant on you, costs are reasonable. (Plus, there IS a desert version of this available as well…!)

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: Dane Whipple: put the coffee down, coffee is for closers. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (a) live.com

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