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Friday, June 23, 2017

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

Insomniac by David M Troop

A late night talk jock gets an unsettling caller.

Hollywood and its inhabitants live in a crazy paradox. In one breath, they claim originality to be extinct. Yet they pan for it… daily. Then, when a true nugget of uniqueness is found, it’s immediately turned into a movie dating game:

“Think of it as Superman meets Super Fly!”

The Godfather – meets George Burn’s Oh, God!

Mary Poppins Meets Mary Jane!”

(I think that last one actually happened. At least my hallucination-induced penguins say so.)

And David Troop’s hauntingly clever Insomniac could certainly be pitched in those terms. It’s “Play Misty for Me” meets “Se7en.” Now there’s an easy elevator sell. But I’d rather call it… screenplay gold!

Like many an evil tale, Insomniac begins at the edge of night. Late night talk show host Dave Burrows burns the late night oil in Philly – catering to listeners who’d rather not be listening, but have tuned in for multiple sorry reasons: “My husband snores.” “You catch the Eagles game, Dave?” In other words, they’re insomniacs. Sleep’s a distant memory.

But Dave’s rapport with his listeners soothes their woes… well, mostly. Treating each anonymous caller as a long-lost friend, his delivery is warm and glib. Especially when he gets a ring from “The Caller”, who tells him – “I’m having this nightmare. But I’m awake.” The Caller worries out loud that he’s gone crazy.

“No. Actually it sounds like my first marriage,” quips a weary Dave. “Get out and take a walk. Clear your head.” Spot on advice. Or so it seems.

Two weeks later, the “Caller” resurfaces. This time it’s to thank Dave for his sage advice. The Caller’s enjoyed his new practice of walking at night. Especially that time he met a freshman girl. “She looked young. Almost too young to be in college…”

The Caller trails off, his voice sinister. And Dave snaps instantly awake. Both he – and the reader – know immediately when this story’s heading. Details of a butterfly shaped toe ring. A foot tied to a bed. Muffled screams. And a bedpost slamming against a wall. Helpless to do anything, Dave (and his technicians) take the horrifying sounds in.

But ultimately – is it just a prank? A sleep-deprived man’s sick idea of humor? Or is the Caller horrifyingly real – leaving a mysterious trail of terror, wafting over the city like scattered radio waves? You’ll have to read Insomniac to find out. Inspiringly original, it’s a throwback to the golden age of terror and suspense. A case of “clever” meets “terrifying.”

Budget/casting: Locations minimal. A rented sound booth would be great, but any office setting will suffice. An apartment and a toe ring. Four actors…and a foot. Also, I immediately heard Kevin Spacey as the Caller. If you can get him, give HIM a call. Immediately!

About the writer: 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

Read Insomniac (pages 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.

About the reviewer: An accomplished writer as well, Zack Zupke lives in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mile 42 – Short Script (Available for Production) - posted by Anthony Cawood

Mile 42 by John Dowgin

When an extreme distance runner encounters a human trafficking ring during a desert ultramarathon, he must battle both exhaustion and criminals to save innocent lives – and himself.

 Sometimes, a story grabs you. Instantly. Takes command of your senses and doesn’t let go. Maybe it’s the opening action. Perhaps a telling line of dialogue. With Mile 42, it’s the clear and intense imagery that sucks you into the script. A tale solidly set in New Mexico: baking heat, jagged outcrops of rock, parched tarmac shimmers in the sun. NM’s not a state I’ve visited. But now I can say I’ve “seen” it – at least, through this script.

…and the eyes of Jose. The protagonist of the story, Jose’s a competitive long distance runner of the ultra-extreme kind. When we meet him, he’s hitting Mile 42. His base camp support, Cynthia, chatters via bluetooth in his ear, quoting lines from movies. Jose spits titles back at her; it’s a game that keeps his mind focused, even if his physical energy’s on low reserve. But Jose’s determined to soldier on. Miles ahead of him (out of sight) is Timson. His running nemesis and competitor.

Soon, a reception dead spot cuts off Jose’s connection to Cynthia. And he catches up to Timson.

Bullet ridden and dead in the road…

A shot rings out. A bullet tears through Jose’s sleeve. Someone’s shooting at him! The runner darts for shelter – summoning what meager energy he has left.

Scaling a rock, Jose spots his would-be shooter… And uncovers a whole truck of trouble, far beyond the normal concerns of marathons. Corrupt border guards have intercepted a group of illegal immigrants, and plan to hijack them for a slavery ring. Jose’s run smack dab into hell. Stranded in the desert. Alone – and being chased – by a sadistic group of criminals determined to wipe all witnesses from the earth.

Faced with a series of unexpected challenges, Jose battles the odds and desert heat. But can he overcome his own frailties in time to save himself and the others? Or will he end up like poor, dead Timson?

Excellently paced, Mile 42 moves swiftly towards the finish line – a top notch action thriller, with a vibrantly real protagonist. It’s an action short that’ll leave you (and your audience) breathless. Cheering for the hero all the way.

Budget: Given the action scenes and extras, this one’s not meant for a newbie. But a skilled indie director looking to put a shining gem on his resume? That would be a perfect fit!

About the writer: John P. Dowgin is a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor, as well as a founding member of the production company The Porch Room (PorchRoom.com) for whom he directed the original work ‘Antony & Cleopatra: Infinite Lives” at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. Two of John’s plays have been published in the compilation “Accidents Happen” by Samuel French, and have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Toronto, Dublin, and Australia. A number of his screenplays are also in ‘development’, which he suspects to be a theoretical dimension like Oz. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an aspiring screenwriter from the UK with a number of scripts in various stages of production, two of which have just wrapped shooting. His script, A Certain Romance, recently won in the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (short script category). You can find out more at 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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Solitaire – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by LC

Solitaire by Steven Clark

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

In the final act of Steven Clark’s screenplay ‘Solitaire’, main character Randy makes the following comment:

            RANDY
They say this game mimics life.
Ladders, chutes. Up, down. Everything
by chance.

This poses the question: Are the cards we’re dealt in life pre-determined, or is the game of life just a random result of luck and fate? Similarly, does playing by the rules, employing strategic maneuvers, knowing when to show your hand and when to keep your cards close to your chest ensure a better result in this game of life?

Steven Clarke’s characters Randy and Amy have been playing by the rules all of their lives. Randy washes dishes in a small-town diner. Amy is a waitress. During his breaks Randy can be found sitting at a table at the back idling away at his favorite card game: Solitaire – or Patience, as he likes to call it.

We get the impression life up until now has been a bit of a struggle for Randy. We know he’s recently returned from a stint in the military and has suffered some sort of trauma. Some might call him damaged goods… As a result, for the most part, he keeps his head down and his mouth shut.

Amy’s also doing it tough as a single mom supporting her daughter.

That she’s attracted to Randy is no secret, but Randy is so painfully shy he can’t even look Amy in the eye. Seems these two might be destined to be ships passing in the night…

We can tell by this line however:

     Randy’s gaze follows her as she hip-checks through a swinging door, out into the
     dining room.

So there’s still hot blood coursing through Randy’s veins. And Amy’s indomitable spirit ensures Randy’s brooding dark horse personality and solitary habits are not going to put her off.

Amy’s decided today is the day. She’s worked up the courage and she’s going to make her move. Brazenly, she steps up to the table where Randy’s playing his game and asks him for a date. Just like that. Game on.

Of course, as with all good dramas, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Having given his home a long overdue spit and polish, and donned a nice white shirt and tie, Randy sits down at the kitchen table to wait…

And wait… and wait…

Never has the dial on the kitchen clock ticked by more slowly, and still no sign of Amy.

It appears she may have just thrown a dummy move that no-one could see coming.

Then, just when you think game over, there’s a knock at the door.

Is Randy about to discover that Patience is indeed a virtue? That gambling on love, one of the highest-stakes games of all, is worth it? If he gets it wrong, it could be a falling house of cards. Then again, as the saying goes…You’ve got to be in it to win it, right?

With echoes of Frankie and Johnny, and It Could Happen To You, Steven Clark paints a very moving tale with Solitaire about two people searching for meaning in their lives, and that all important love connection.

Filmmakers: Know a good deal – I mean screenplay – when you see one? Don’t you dare leave this one to chance. After all, this could be that all important game changer.

Budget: Minimal. A few locations, two actors. Needless to say, make sure they’re good!

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

About the reviewer: L. 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 currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Read Solitaire (9 pages 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.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lady Eva – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Dane Whipple

Lady Eva by Steven Clark

Part time reporter Tyler is about to have the interview of a lifetime.

Lady Eva’s life, that is…

A lady of the night who is just that: a lady.

Eva is a hooker. As a small-town prostitute, she is who the local faux-riche kids call when they’re looking for a good time. But tonight, she has a different kind of client.

Tyler is a part-time reporter for a local news magazine and is looking to do a story on the town’s thriving counter culture. During his first meeting though, Eva makes it clear that she is not some two-bit hustler looking to score fifty here and there. You see, she was once a member of the Lady’s Club, an elite escort service catering to the richest one percent. Trump? Naw, that was her friend, Cassie.

As the story develops Eva and Cassie introduce Tyler to the real counter culture, including coke, booze, and a particularly twisted situation involving a Speedo (and later lack thereof).

But behind it all, just who is Eva? Her trailer is littered with remnants of her formerly glam lifestyle. Particularly with souvenirs of a certain Sanderson (Sandy) Shore. The name sound familiar? Perhaps you’re read about the multi-millionaire in Forbes. It seems he and Eva have a special relationship, one that has survived the years and fates. As Tyler learns more about Eva, he learns just what a lady she is. Her story is definitely not what Tyler was expecting it to be.

Reporter driven narratives are all the rage today. This year alone, Spotlight, Truth, and Woman in Gold all used the reporter as an inquisitive tool into an otherwise difficult to access subject. Likewise, Lady Eva takes us by the hand and introduces us to a whole new world that was there all along. The script is set to be a prestige piece more Tangerine than Pretty Woman. Contemporary, relevant, and absolutely unflinching in its portrait of small-town prostitution while addressing larger issues of money, power, and the fall from grace.

So comb your hair, put on some cologne, you’ve got a date with a lady. Think you can handle her?

Budget: Medium. Don’t be intimidated by the page count, the locations are limited. Diner, trailer, house. A flashback to a Park Avenue party and (spoiler) a funeral scene can be done on the cheap, or used as opportunities to show off.

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

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is an attorney based in Hamburg, Germany. He has over 10 years experience with film and film theory and once got to kick-in a door for the German equivalent of CSI. He is currently writing that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple “AT” live.com

Read Lady Eva (9 pages 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, May 30, 2017

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

Heroes by Steven Clark

A father and son take a journey they were never supposed to make, on a day they’ll never forget.

I have a son. His name is Maxwell. I was unbelievably fortunate. I used to pick Maxwell up from school every day. No matter the “crisis” at work or the worldly event taking place, the earth was always spinning perfectly at 3:30 p.m.

When your child smiles up at you and grasps your hand like he’s been waiting for it all day, there’s no better feeling in life.

David Gonzales, a father in “Heroes“, is minutes away from that moment, sitting in his car in the elementary school parking lot. Just like other hum-drum day. So much so, David’s yawning into his cell phone.

            DAVID
Yeah. I’m here right now…
    (yawns)
No, I’m not gonna fall asleep… Oh,
don’t be silly. I’m not gonna forget
to pick up our son.

Then a man passes by in “dark clothes, black boots and a long bulky overcoat.” A fortuitous gust of wind opens the coat. “The muzzle of a rifle makes a brief but unmistakable appearance” and your stomach drops – as does the phone in David’s hand. He fumbles for the door handle; he’s going after the stranger. Absolutely whatever it takes.

A woman buzzes in at the front door, which stays open just long enough for the man in black to poke the muzzle through. He cracks open the door and lets himself in. The door remains open long enough for David to enter. But – tragically – he’s too late. The woman is crumpled on the floor; rivulets of blood everywhere. In other words: a parent’s worst nightmare.

Gun POPS ring out. Muffled screams down long corridors. David pounces on the gunman, and a struggle ensues. Wild punches. Bloody teeth clink on the floor. But the stranger’s still got the rifle. David reaches out for one last chance, then…POP.

David awakes in a “dark void,” a blurry alien-like form approaching. Soon, he recognizes the silhouette. It’s Leonard, his 6-year-old son.

            LEONARD
Hi, Daddy.

            DAVID
Hey, buddy. Oh, I missed you. I missed
you so much.

            LEONARD
I missed you, too.

The conversation that follows is priceless, one I would never spoil. You should read and experience this one yourself.

There may be some stories we never want to hear, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be told.

“Heroes” may be one of them, but it will take a very brave director. One who has pulled into a school parking lot a thousand times. One who has navigated an on-rush of hundreds of children in a deafening hallway, looking for one smiling face. And one who knows there’s no better feeling in the world than a little hand holding yours so tight.

Give this script the proper treatment – and you’ll be a hero… yourself.

Budget: Not bad. One “school” location and a handful of actors.

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

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

Read Heroes (8 pages 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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Head in the Clouds – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by LC

Head In The Clouds by Josh McDonald

A young boy with an overactive imagination gets it in his head to try for a real-life adventure. But can he pull it off? And even if he does, will anyone believe him?

It is a screenwriter’s job to hook you from the first page, to transport you to another world, introduce you to characters you instantly care about and weave a story you can immerse yourself in.

FADE IN:

Mid Summer… A quiet coastal road winds its way through gnarled trees and craggy rocks… the ocean visible beyond… This is Wyeth country…

Josh McDonald hooked me right off the bat with his opening description of Head In The Clouds. In fact, he had me in the palm of his hand the whole way through – and I wasn’t about to let go.

Martinsville Maine, circa 1955, small town America, where the characters look ‘like they wandered in from a Norman Rockwell painting.’

Enter: Johnny and Stevie, two twelve year old boys, and best friends, who couldn’t be more like chalk and cheese. While Stevie has his feet firmly planted on the ground Johnny lives in a rich fantasy world.

50s America is a quieter time, a place where kids are allowed to roam unsupervised. Though he’s growing up Johnny still lets his imagination reign supreme, something as ordinary as a stick can be transformed into a sword to be engaged in ‘swashbuckling swordplay’, likewise a discarded hubcap can magically morph into the ‘Discus of Achilles.

Endless summer days are spent idling along the coastline until sundown, the highlight of the day culminating at the business end of town with pocket money to be spent on penny-candies purchased from the General Store.

Something’s different about today though, and that something is ‘parked behind the store at the town’s main dock.’ Johnny believes it could be the perfect opportunity for adventure.  Stevie however, is quick to point out there are some things in life kids are just not allowed to do, certain activities reserved only for ‘important people…’ In fact he tells  Johnny in no uncertain terms, ‘you buy too many books’ – translation: you need to get your head out of the clouds and come back down to earth. 

But the seed of an idea has already been sown. Spending a lot of time inside your own head and alongside fictional characters in books will have that effect. Johnny knows there’s a bigger wider world out there full of adventure and he thinks it’s about time he experienced some of it.

Is Johnny’s dream about to become a reality, or will he come plummeting back to earth?

Head In The Clouds is a beautifully written and lyrical coming of age story with richly drawn characters.

Filmmakers, isn’t it high time you spread your wings and turned your own dream into a reality? Want to produce pure poetry in motion, perhaps inject a little of your own Malick-like magic into the landscape of this one? Look no further than Head In The Clouds.

Budget: Reserve a bit to do this right. Though plane scenes could be artfully edited with stock footage… thereby reserving the rest for actors that make this work!

About the Writer: Josh McDonald is a writer, actor, cartoonist, & filmmaker living in Vermont. He can be reached in the Clouds. Specifically, at josh-mcdonald (a) comcast.net

About the Reviewer: L. 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 currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Read Head In The Clouds (10 pages 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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art’s Tattoo Removal – Short Script (Available for Production) - posted by LC

Art’s Tatto Removal (13 pages in PDF format) by Mark Lyons

A retired hitman takes a job from an old employer in his new profession; slicing tattoos off people’s skin and selling them as artwork.

Originality is quite often the bane of a writer’s daily existence. Conceiving a story that hasn’t been seen before with an exciting premise and a neat twist is no mean feat.

Mark Lyons nails the brief with Art’s Tattoo Removal injecting style and colour (pun intended) into his story with more than a passing nod to crime noir and some of its tried and true conventions.

Told from the subjective point of view of the main character, an anti-hero with a jaded attitude but just the right amount of cockiness, the story effectively utilizes a wonderfully droll voice over and employs clever narrative time jumps, just to keep you on your toes.

Arthur Lionel, otherwise known as Artie or just plain Art’, is the titular character of the piece.

We begin in prologue then slide back into a little bit of Art’s back-story as he reveals –

            ART (V.O.)
I used to execute people for money…

Hmm, the operative words: ‘used to’. Not anymore apparently…

So, what’s a retired hitman to do when he’s hung up his very selective tools of the trade? Well, Art’s not going to hide his light under a bushel, no siree. He’s going to parlay his unique talents, along with his surgical skills, into another specialized area of work, one with less collateral damage and less potential for damage to the psyche.

Art’s now in the business of Body Art, enjoying a reputation, and a particular brand of skill to rival any of his competitors. So sought after are his talents he’s achieved a monopoly in the trade.

            ART (V.O.)
No one delivers a better,
more carefully removed piece
of flesh art than me.
One scalpel lifts the skin
up as another slices off
the gristle that holds it
to the muscle underneath.

Things are humming along. Good money, clear conscience.

However, when word reaches Art that a former employer has a job for him he’s a little surprised and a lot conflicted. After all the last job he did for Delvecchio didn’t exactly go according to plan.

            ART (V.O.)
I never thought I’d hear from
Vincent Delvecchio again after I
gave him his down payment back for
not killing that mistress. That
was years ago. I was surprised
when I heard he was trying to get
in touch with me.

Art suffered a severe case of the heebie-jeebies, you would too if you knew the circumstances, (you can, if you read the script) and he was unable to follow through.

Still, Art’s pretty sure there’s no bad blood. Or is there…?

Delvecchio has a proposal, one that Art can’t refuse. Deliver a much sought after and highly prized tattoo (Gupta, no less) of da Vinci’s ‘The Vitruvian Man’. This means peeling the skin off the back of its living and breathing host – as you do.

Art’s got one week to deliver, one last big score and one rather nice prize guaranteed. Easy peasy – enough money to retire on permanently. He’s already got his eye on a nice patch of sand and sea.

He’s also got a little ace up his sleeve and some insider information which can’t go astray, or can it?

Art surely wouldn’t dare cross Delvecchio again? Would he?

One thing is for sure, Art’s Tattoo Removal is a story that’s hard to erase from memory and sure to get under your skin.

Filmmakers: Need a little jab in the right direction? Art’s Tattoo Removal delivers the ink that is sure to leave an indelible mark. We think it’s high time you imprinted your own special style on this one. There’ll be no pain, in fact it’ll be a pleasure.

Budget: Low. Though this one surely deserves the best classy/gritty film-noir atmosphere money can buy!

About the writer: Mark Lyons is a four-time award-winning screenwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. He’s written several scripts, including ‘The Ephesian’, which won Best Drama at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival (which also garnered him a Best Screenplay nomination), and was selected Best Drama for the Cinema Constant 2015. He also penned Best Film award-winner “God’s Empty Acre”, which was filmed as ‘Girl(s)’ at the 2013 Winter Shorts Film Festival and Best Drama at the 2013 World Independent Film Expo. He was also nominated for a Best Screenplay award at the 2016 Action on Film Festival. Currently, Mark is teaming with writer Sharon Day and producer Justin Colon to co-produce the feature film ‘Lords and Harvesters’, set to film in Summer, 2018. He can be reached at markielyons1107 (a) gmail

About the reviewer: L. 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 currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

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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, May 16, 2017

Take Your Last Embrace – Short Script for Review (Available for Production) - posted by Zach Jansen

Take Your Last Embrace (5 pages in pdf format) by MJ Jermanny

A loving, elderly couple cannot bear to be parted and take matters into their hands with disastrous results.

Love is one of the most popular themes in cinemas – in all of art for that matter. There are stories about falling in love, being in love, losing love… Love is simple, yet complex. Personal, yet universal. Being in love also asks certain questions: “What would you do for love, for the one that you love?”

There’s no question that octogenarians Edmund and Winnie love and care for each other. But love can’t slow Winnie’s encroaching Alzheimer’s or give Edmund the strength to leave his wheelchair. Their children’s arguments for seeking out nursing homes go ignored since it means Edmund and Winnie couldn’t stay together.

Still, Edmund can’t deny Winnie’s worsening mental condition. And she can’t give him the physical care he needs. As the situation deteriorates, Edmund find himself forced to make a decision, before they’re torn apart forever. He remembers his shotgun in the closet. They say love can make one do strange things. If he and Winnie can’t be together, he’d do what he can so they’re not apart…

Though darkly written (and not for the squeamish), Take Your Last Embrace has a soft core. Underneath the gritty surface lies a gentle psalm for love and companionship. When it’s real, love can last a lifetime. But what happens when that lifetime comes to an end…?

A fitting companion piece to the Oscar-winning Amour, Take Your Last Embrace is a definite showcase for older actors to shine. A love story 60 years in the making.

About the writer: Boasting an MA in Scriptwriting for Film, Theatre, TV & Radio, MJ is an award winning writer, with shorts optioned and produced in countries as diverse as Croatia and Norway. Residing in sunny England, she is currently hard at work developing a series with the BBC Writersroom – as well as working on a number of features (including one low-budget horror and a fantasy adventure script.) Her website is available here: redcatwriter.wordpress.com. MJ herself can be reached via mjhermanny – AT – gmail!

Budget: Low. Just a single location (a house for interiors and exteriors); two main characters, two supporting characters, and a few extras for a crowd scene. No special effects to speak of. Except for a shotgun…

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.

Take Your Last Embrace

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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, May 2, 2017

Jessup – Short Script Review – In Production! - posted by Anthony Cawood

Jessup (pdf format) by Mark Lyons is in production…

…as a Senior Thesis Film Project and they need a little help finishing the project. If you have some spare coin, that would excellent!


After an outburst at work, a young man obsessed with control is ordered to see a therapist, who might just be as equally manipulative as he is.

Optioned and in production

As screenwriters, we’re constantly told to “show, don’t tell”. And that talking heads should be avoided like the plague.

Well, someone also once said that “rules were made to be broken.” Mark Lyons’ Jessup does that – in spades. It’s a script with just two characters. A verbal fencing match, across a desk.

And it’s that dialogue which makes these one worthy. As uncomfortable and disquieting as it may be.

Meet twenty-something Jessup: malcontent extraordinaire. He’s been a disruptive influence at his workplace. But he’s got talent worth retaining. Thanks to that one saving quality, Jessup earns himself a trip to the company psychologist – instead of the unemployment line.

An experienced head-shrinker, Ronald Simplot’s a piece of work himself. In his forties, he’s seen it all – and Jessup’s manipulative tricks are an open page. As the conversation between the two morphs from pleasantries to battle, Simplot lays it all on the line. Jessup’s a whiny little brat. One that deserves a major spanking. His career may force him to talk to losers like Jessup… but there’s no reason he can’t tell it like it is. He laces into the youngster; refusing Jessup’s request for a “psychological break.” And he tells the boy just what he thinks of him – revealing a surprisingly sadistic side…

But battles of wits are fluid. And how quickly tables can turn. Who will win in this fight? Doctor or Patient? And who are we rooting for, anyway?

If you like your stories with multiple shades of gray, then Jessup is ideal. Crackling dialogue imbued with tension. A subversive power struggle – and an unexpected plot twist. Give this one a read. Unless you have delicate sensibilities!

Pages: 10

Budget: Pretty cheap to film: limited locations and a cast of two.

About the writer: Mark Lyons is a four-time award-winning screenwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. He’s written several scripts, including ‘The Ephesian’, which won Best Drama at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival (which also garnered him a Best Screenplay nomination), and was selected Best Drama for the Cinema Constant 2015. He also penned Best Film award-winner “God’s Empty Acre”, which was filmed as ‘Girl(s)’ at the 2013 Winter Shorts Film Festival and Best Drama at the 2013 World Independent Film Expo. He was also nominated for a Best Screenplay award at the 2016 Action on Film Festival. Currently, Mark is teaming with writer Sharon Day and producer Justin Colon to co-produce the feature film ‘Lords and Harvesters’, set to film in Summer, 2018. He can be reached at markielyons1107 (a) gmail

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of his screenwriting career, he is also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Film links and details of his scripts can be found at 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.

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