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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Heroes – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author 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) - post author 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) - post author 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.

Read Art’s Tatto Removal

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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) - post author 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 contact him at zach.jansen (a) mail dot com.

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! - post author 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.

Read Jessup (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, May 1, 2017

Tempest Road – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author LC

Tempest Road (11 pages in pdf format) by Steven Clark

Three years sober, a father must deal with the reality that his son is transgender.

There are some things we just don’t talk about in polite company, right? Wrong.

If you’re a writer, nothing’s off limits. In fact it’s a part of the writer’s and filmmaker’s brief to shine the spotlight on difficult and taboo subjects, to challenge beliefs and stereotypes, expose rights and wrongs, educate, enlighten, and of course entertain.

We are proud to put under the spotlight the subject of gender dysphoria, more commonly known as: ‘transgender’. Put simply, transgender people believe they were born in the wrong body. Those affected are often sent on a painful and daunting road to self-discovery, and in the process stigmatized and held up to public ridicule.

Films such as: Boys Don’t Cry, Ma Vie En Rose, Tomboy, all examine the issue of gender confusion and identity from the point of view of the child. Writer Steven Clark takes a different approach with his aptly titled: Tempest Road, telling the story from the parents’ point of view.

For all intents and purposes, characters Ashley and Gary Broussard, a couple in their mid-thirties, represent ‘normal’ middle-class America. They enjoy a comfortable life – nice house, two cars parked in the garage… We assume they’re doing pretty well. When we meet them however, they’re midway through a heated argument, each of them doggedly trying to convince the other that they’re right and the other is wrong.

The point of contention? Their son Charlie, who believes: God messed up and made him a boy. Ashley is supportive of Charlie no matter what, in fact she’s aware of the potential and dire consequences a lack of acceptance could have on their child. Gary however, is having none of it. He’s embarrassed, worse still he claims Charlie is ruining their family. Charlie should be playing with basketballs and footballs not dresses and dolls. He’s a boy, that’s what God intended him to be. But Ashley thinks otherwise.

So, how does Gary cope? The only way he knows how, of course. The reformed alcoholic storms out of the house and heads straight for his local watering hole. Along the way he encounters a couple of people who may or may not inadvertently set him on the right path – one of them a rather attractive woman, the other a highway patrol cop.

Tempest Road is a thought provoking and intelligently told tale which avoids preaching and never veers into melodrama or histrionics. Instead it challenges beliefs on a delicate subject and poses questions to its audience, not the least of which is: Can acceptance, tolerance and love triumph over ignorance. Steven Clark also avoids a pat happily ever after denouement, instead offering us a final and satisfying message of hope.

Filmmakers: Take the right route to success with – Tempest Road.

Budget: Reasonable. A handful of locations – but as with most straightforward (hard hitting) drama, this is not a budget buster…

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.

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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, April 26, 2017

Shovel – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Anthony Cawood

Shovel (9 pages, pdf format) by Mark Lyons

In need of extra money, a young boy shovels almost all the drives in his neighborhood

I consider myself a Genre writer, specializing in Horror and Near-Fi (that’s my term for Sci-Fi that’s just around the corner to reality.) But every now and again, I dip my toe into Drama.

Let me tell you: Drama’s hard. Really hard. It’s so easy to tumble into over-wrought cliché, creating caricatures, not characters. Then one gets bogged down in themes – losing sight of the story. So you try to write it now and again… only to swear off Drama every time.

Then you read something like Shovel: a story so effortless in its execution that it inspires you to try again. After it’s made you feel inferior, that is!

Shovel opens with young Raymond Dre, shoveling driveways in his rundown neighborhood. He clears all of them of snow… except for one. A house he purposefully leaves alone. It’s strenuous work for a kid, but at least Raymond’s free to concentrate. Everyone else is out at Church; there’s some sad to-do in town.

Later that evening, several neighbors stop by, offering Raymond payment for his labor. Surprisingly, Ray’s reluctant. He didn’t really do it for the money. And the neighbors aren’t just paying him as a commercial venture either… there’s something heavier weighing on their minds.

Raymond escapes the attention and heads back outside: intent to clean one last drive.

What follows is a master stroke of understated storytelling… one that brought an actual tear to my eye.

What makes Shovel so special? It’s a combination of several things. As a character, Raymond’s a wonderfully drawn character… organic, sympathetic and real. The subtle pace of the story blends with a great ending. Heart wrenching and warming in equal measures, Shovel strikes just the right balance – which pays off spectacularly.

If I haven’t made my opinion clear yet, this is one script you don’t want to miss. Custom-made for drama directors… Not to mention, festival wins.

Budget: Low. The only issue will be the snow. And that happens often enough – doesn’t it?

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 ‘The Hay Men’, 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 4 short films produced and another 10 or so scripts optioned and/or purchased. Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Read Shovel (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 25, 2017

Feels Like Falling – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author LC

Feels Like Falling (14 pages, pdf format) by Eric Wall

An elevator operator finds his simple job becoming much more complicated when he tries to talk one of his building’s tenants out of an abusive relationship.

As film buffs, some scenes linger in our memories long after the lights come up. Remember when Kyle MacLachlan as Jeffrey Beaumont found the severed ear in Blue Velvet? Or when Jimmy Stewart as the wheelchair bound L.B. Jeffries in Rear Window aimed his binoculars at the apartment across the way? Now recall the unforgettable No Country For Old Men and the chain of events that followed Josh Brolin in the role of Llewellyn Moss after a fatal prick of conscience led him back to a dying man in the desert.

Of course Llewelyn should never have absconded with two million dollars, L.B. could simply have ignored the scream of a dying woman, and Jeffrey Beaumont should have never gone snooping into other people’s private affairs.

Sticking your nose into other people’s business can get you into a world of trouble.

On the flip-side: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Eric Wall’s character Marcus Kirby is a good man, a man of honor. Estranged from his wife he’s still as old fashioned and principled as his finely tailored suit. Marcus operates the elevator of a residential apartment block, and as such he is privy to some of the occupants’ daily trials and tribulations.

Enter, Sophie Gardner. On the outside she’s a confident and assertive young woman and dedicated teacher to her first grade charges. But appearances can be deceptive, or in this case revealing.

One particular day on the ride up in the elevator Marcus recognizes the tell-tale signs of domestic abuse. Though Sophie is determined to shrug it off and blame it on exuberant kids Marcus is well aware that David, Sophie’s husband, has a violent temper and a heavy hand to match. Indeed Marcus knows a thing or two himself about growing up in the hard school of knocks, and he knows just what it feels like to break free of the shackles of abuse.

Marcus tries his darnedest to impart some of his wisdom to Sophie:

            MARCUS
     (sighs)
Alright. Way I see it, you’ve
only got two choices. You can go up
there and spend the rest your life
trying not to look too afraid, or
talk too loud, or say the wrong
thing, or look the wrong way…

Sadly, Sophie’s like a lot of women caught in the cycle of abuse and it’s going to take more than a well intentioned pep talk for her to make the break. However, a break does come in the form of serendipity. When Marcus and Sophie next see one another Sophie’s in an ebullient mood, glowing with the news she’s pregnant. Finally the resolve she’s needed to escape David’s clutches.

And then, a shocking turn of events.

Sophie turns up dead. Deemed a Suicide.

But that’s not all. Did I mention David is a Police Officer – and a drunk to boot? Sophie’s apparently killed herself with her husband’s service revolver after first firing a shot into the floor? Who does that?

Marcus tells the investigating officer it’s not possible – Sophie would never take her own life. When he offers to provide a statement to that effect he is given short shrift and told they’re quite capable of running the investigation without him. It appears the police have closed ranks around one of their own.

And when David adds insult to injury:

            DAVID
She got what she deserved.

Marcus is now forced to make a decision which may have far reaching consequences.

Feels Like Falling examines the larger themes of power and corruption, miscarriage of justice, and vengeance. Inspired by a true life account and one of two entries tied for ‘Reader’s Choice’ on Simply Scripts One Week Challenge – Feels Like Falling is a suspenseful drama with a poignant message, and powerful dialogue.

Filmmakers, feel like falling on your feet and reaping the rewards? If you know what’s good for you you’ll do this one justice. Case closed.

Budget: Medium. Only two main characters (with strong supporting roles such as David), and the primary location – an elevator. But bear in mind – this one deserves a robust enough budget to be done right!

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 “AT” yahoo!

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 Feels Like Falling (pdf format)

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Prodigy – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

Prodigy (5 pages, pdf format) by Bill Sarre

In his twilight years, a teacher reminisces about one special student

“And so it stood, a warm and vivid patch in his life, casting a radiance that glowed in a thousand recollections.” – From the novel “Goodbye Mr. Chips” by James Hilton.

Prodigy, a script by veteran screenwriter Bill Sarre, casts a glowing radiance of its own. In the same vein as Goodbye Mr. Chips (as well as Mr Holland’s Opus and others), it tells a sentimental story about a beloved teacher in his waning years. In this case, the beloved teacher, a man named Ernest, is beyond “waning.” He’s 90 years old, and when we meet him he’s on his deathbed, reminiscing with a nurse who listens attentively while she does her best to make the frail old man comfortable.

His room is brimming with photographs, student photographs, taken over a lifetime of teaching, and although it’s clear that Ernest had high regard and affection for all of them (“I didn’t have my own kids,” he says, “so in a way, they became my children”), there’s one he’s especially fond of, a boy named Virgil. A prodigy.

When Ernest met Virgil the boy had issues. Serious issues. Abuse. Violence. And, ultimately, murder. The details were sketchy, even at the time, but six-year-old Virgil was found hiding under the stairs in the aftermath of the grizzly murder of his parents, and he never spoke another word after that.

Ernest rescued Virgil from this wretched existence. He took the quiet, damaged boy under his wing, and in time he found a way to break through to him. Music. The boy was a natural talent. Unfortunately, Ernest was not. But over the years, Ernest found ways to stoke the flames of Virgil’s musical genius. He found teachers, helped him enter competitions, and allowed the boy to spread his musical wings.

As Ernest says, “In the end, a teacher should learn to be part of a story’s beginning, but not the middle or the end. Allow them all to…fly away.”

Virgil did fly away. He went on to become a virtuoso pianist, touring the country, filling concert halls, and making records. Ernest watched the boy’s growing success with pride, but always from the sidelines. And now, as he lays dying, he tells the nurse, “I can think of no better way to go than having my children around me, with his music filling the air… and remember the joy I felt knowing I had once made a real difference.”

And at the very end, Virgil repays Ernest’s kindness with one last gift, but surprisingly it’s not only a gift of music.

It’s also a gift of words.

Prodigy has the two basic elements every indie filmmaker is looking for (or at least ought to be): first, it would be a fairly easy and inexpensive film to make. Second, and more importantly, it’s a film worth making. A story worth telling. Sentimental and poignant, it’s sure to please all audiences.

Budget: Fairly low.

About the writer: An award winning writer, Bill Sarre has had scripts place both finalist and quarter finalist with Page and Bluecat. Another short of his, The Grieving Spell, was recently grand prize winner of the London Film Awards. Bill can be reached at Bill.sarre “AT” gmail.com

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

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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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