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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Watch “Kill Your Demon” Now! - posted by Don

Watch Kill Your Demon (7 page short pdf format) by Dena McKinnon

A troubled man sets out to kill a demon. Only problem, his demon happens to be a man of God. Or is he?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Good – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by The Merrows

Good (6 pages in pdf format) by Erich Von Heeder

An ex-convict priest attempts to save a neighborhood.

Colm MacKenna is a priest. A man of God. And a complex protagonist. He’s tough – streetwise. And he’s done jail time. Given that, is he good? Colm himself speaks that that issue. “The moment you pretend to be good… in that moment, you are good.” But does the father practice as he preaches…?

Erich Von Heeder’s dark morality tale would seem to indicate otherwise.

The opening pages of Good puts Colm to the test. And his motives in question. Sneaking through a dark alleyway, Colm is assaulted by two thugs…. Targeting his duffel bag. A violent struggle ensues, leaving Colm bloody but victorious. And the thugs in need of hospital care. A quick glimpse into the bag deepens the mystery. It’s filled to the brim with money. Lots and lots of money.

Shortly thereafter, Colm pays a visit to Father O’Callahan – pastor of the local Catholic church. And it’s far from a friendly Sunday visit: closer to a syndicate shakedown. Accusations fly between the two men of the cloth: refusing to hear Colm’s confession, O’Callahan calls him a false prophet. A fake. He threatens a hostile takeover of Colm’s tiny ministry – and brings his funding into question. Money may be the root of evil, but it has to come from somewhere.

Needless to say, the meeting doesn’t end well. Colm storms out – threatening judgement on Callahan. He retreats to a secret basement, and sets to work on… something. What he’s up to isn’t clear. Then again, O’Callahan’s no saint, either.

Gripping and fluidly written, Good is a hybrid tale of the best kind. A noir thriller that doesn’t let go – yet still has something to say. Directors are urged to grab this one while they can. And pray you don’t arrive too late…

Budget: Low – Medium. One fight scene, and a handful of locations. As with so many quality shorts, acting and cinematography will make or break this one!

About the writer: Residing in Seattle, Washington, Erich Von Heeder can be reached at erich_vonheeder (a) yahoo

About the reviewers: Scott & Paula Merrow are a husband and wife screenwriting team. Since 2006, they’ve written over 50 short screenplays, several of which have been produced. They tend toward family-friendly scripts, but they’ve written a little bit of everything: horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy,… the whole nine yards. They’re reachable at scott-paula “AT” comcast.net

Read Good (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, January 23, 2017

Truth or Dare – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Dane Whipple

Truth or Dare (8 pages in pdf format) by P.H. Cook

We all have our secrets.

A night of babysitting can be a trying feat under normal circumstances. But what if the child you are sitting is a mix between Damien from The Omen and that kid from Looper?

As a favor to a coworker, married couple Brynn and Mike Carter are looking after young Jayden for the weekend. It’s nothing they can’t get through with a little pizza and a lot of wine. At first, Jayden seems perfectly content to play his uber-violent video games, until BZZZZ, ZAP, the power goes out. To pass the time without electricity, Brynn suggests a game of truth or dare. Little does she know, truth is sometimes a thing best kept secret.

Things start off normal enough, embarrassing dancing, movie impersonations, etc. But then, Jayden starts to ask some questions that are… difficult. He seems to have a preternatural ability to probe the weak spots of Brynn and Mike’s relationship. Like a young Hannibal Lector, Jayden knows just what to ask in order to manipulate and intimidate. Will Brynn and Mike’s relationship survive the weekend? Will any of them survive the night? From here, it’s a slow burn to an unforgettable finale. Give away the surprise ending? I wouldn’t dare!

The best payoffs in psychological horror scripts arise organically out of well-plotted circumstances. The illustrious, enduring finales of The ExorcistPsycho, and of course Silence of the Lambs, are all made possible through their impeccably-structured first acts. So it is with Truth or Dare, which, in a few short pages establishes a situation that is at once high-concept and highly relatable. All of this builds to an ending that is both inevitable and completely surprising. It’s a rare feat and an absolute stunner of a screenplay that will unquestionably electrify the festival circuit.

I dare you to make this picture, because truthfully, the script is phenomenal!

Budget: Low. One room, three actors, and a pizza.

About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, P.H. Cook is the director of the short film Them That’s Dead and writer of produced feature films Finders Keepers: The Root of All Evil and Blackout. She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written over sixty short screenplays and ten features. She can be reached at gatortales (a) gmail.

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple has one hand in his pocket, and the other hand is playing a piano. He is currently working on that screenplay everyone keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Grenade – Short Script Review, Available For Production - posted by James Barron

Grenade pdf format by Steve Miles

A chance discovery at an abandoned army barracks gives a bullied youngster a chance to reconnect with his errant grandfather.

The L2 series fragmentation grenade has a detonation delay of 4.4 seconds. Pull the pin and you’ll hear the metallic clang of the primer, igniting the fuse, tick tick ticking down to detonation. Four and half seconds till a bubbling cauldron of combustive materials unleashes molten shrapnel fury indiscriminately over a 15-meter blast radius.

Its efficiency as a killing machine is undisputed.

But can it be more than that? Could a device built to maim and destroy serve as an agent of change?

Steve Miles’ complex and moving drama short Grenade seeks to find out exactly that. When a troubled, isolated 12-year old named Iggy discovers a live grenade, the future looks very bleak indeed. Then there’s his mother, barely keeping the family afloat. His grandfather, detached and aloof. Not to mention a group of bullies determined to make Iggy’s life hell. Will the grenade be the spark that sets it all ablaze? Or can it somehow bring a family back from the brink?

Production: A few interior locations, couple exterior (street and park might do the trick), four main characters, please don’t try and use a real grenade.

About the writer: 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 here.

About the reviewer: James Barron is a former law student turned screenwriter who loves to write comedy along with the occasional horror/thriller. Check out his work at JBarronScripts.com

Read Grenade (17 page short drama 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, January 17, 2017

My Life for Yours – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

My Life for Yours (6 pages in pdf format) by MJ Hermanny

A man makes amends for leading an innocent astray.

Remember those anti-drug commercials in the eighties? Don’t do drugs? Crack is whack? Often more laughable than effective, the intent was to show kids the ugly side of drugs… scare them straight. A well meaning endeavor – even if it did devolve into a punchline.

Well, they ain’t got sh*t on this short gem.

As My Life opens, muscle bound jock Jason drags a drug-addled Mandy towards an abandoned house. A rotted shack in the middle of nowhere, no-one around for miles. There’s a stained bed in the corner, outfitted with chains. And a video camera set up for filming.

Readers will cringe as Jason shackles Mandy’s ankles. Whips out the drugs, and takes some hits. Because everyone knows what’s coming next. Kidnapping. Rape. Maybe worse…

Well, not exactly. Because Jason’s got other plans in mind – and a dark, gritty lesson for his girlfriend that’ll forever change both their lives.

Who is this couple – and why are they in this situation? As Mandy gets ever more frantic, a stoned Jason recalls the “Sid and Nancy” tale: a series of flashbacks about the innocent girl he met years ago… and the way he’s watched both of them change. And it sure ain’t for the better.

Though it wears the trappings of a thriller, My Life is at heart a romance: a clever, tautly written tale of how far someone will go to save the one they love the most.

Think you know where it’s going? Think again…

Budget: Low – 2 primary characters, unnamed partygoers, one vehicle and a dingy house that no-one has a use for, anyway…

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 (a) gmail!

About the Reviewer: A writer himself, Leegion’s works can be found on www.simplyscripts.com.

Read My Life For Yours

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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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Writer’s Block by John Hunter – Filmed! - posted by Dane Whipple

Writer’s Block (pdf format) by John Hunter – Filmed by Jeff Easley

Billy Wilson would kill for a good story. Will he die for one?

Writer's Block (Short Film) from Jeff Easley on Vimeo.

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The Original Review

Words, words, words! For writers, words are life. On a good day, words flow onto the page to create stories that move and inspire us. A well-written story can uplift and…um…hang on, I swear I had something for this. Dang, writing is tough.

Billy Wilson knows all too well the struggle with the blank page. Sitting on a park bench looking for inspiration in a bottle of booze, Billy has a serious case of writer’s block. As Billy ponders just how to come up with a truly unique story, along comes a proverbial spider: Vance Buttons. You see, Vance has a secret to share. He is a serial killer. A well-practiced, calculating, pre-meditated murderer. With half-drunk whimsy, Billy queries for a few specifics. How to choose a victim? Randomly. Geographic preference? Never the same place twice. Just when it seems Billy has found something new to write about, one more problem crops up. He is dealing with a killer after all. Will Vance put Billy out of the misery that is writer’s block, or put him out of his misery altogether? Is Billy writing the story, or is the story writing him?

Feature films dealing with the writing experience pack a potent, powerful punch. Some of film’s truly great screenwriters, from Charlie Kaufman to the Coens, have tackled the subject. AdaptationBarton Fink, and Wonder Boys have all built reputations as favorites among both filmmakers and audiences. In this grand tradition, Writer’s Block succinctly taps into a subject that consistently garners accolades on the festival circuit and beyond. If you are looking for a film with an intelligent build to an unforgettable finale, I recommend you come down with a case of Writer’s Block.

Quickly, before the killer strikes again!

Pages: 4

Budget: Low. Assuming you can find a park bench, that is.

About the writer, John Hunter: With the completion of (4) boffo features, a litter of riveting shorts, a one hour take-your-breath-away sci-fi TV pilot and first 30 minute episode for that series, I am now officially THAT guy — The one who really needs an Agent or Executive Producer. Contact me at x32792 (AT) yahoo.com

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is the man who fixed the 1919 World Series. How did he manage that? Saw the opportunity, I suppose. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.com

Read Writer’s Block (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, January 9, 2017

Like a Moth to a Flame – Sold - posted by Pete Barry

Sold

It will be produced and directed by Jeff Easley. Production will begin in early March.

Jeff recently directed John Hunter’s “Writer’s Block” and “The Coffee Maker from Hell” written by Greg Thomson.

Jeff’s IMDb and Vimeo pages.

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Like a Moth to a Flame (11 pages, pdf format) by Matias Caruso

A woman attempts to exorcise her lost lover. But is his pull too powerful to wish away?

Love, they say, is a flame. Passionate. Unstoppable. Consuming everything in its wake. That type of love can drive one to irrational, insane acts. Commit unspeakable crimes in its name.

Nadia’s flame is Jack.

Her love for Jack blots out all else. Reason. Proportion. Even reality.

Alone in her dark apartment, Nadia obsesses over the lost love of her life. Though the holes in her memory blot out certain things, other visions refuse to go away. The miserable existence she’s led since he’s been gone. The drastic measures she’s taken to kill the pain. Shopping. Eating. Cutting her arms with razors.

At her wit’s end, Nadia finally summons “Mr. K.” – a mysterious shaman wearing rings made of bone, a man she believes can make the pain go away.

Is it a hallucination? Or black magic? And does that even matter, if the pain itself is real? But can Mr. K. do anything to end Nadia’s suffering; save her from the misery?

A terrifying psychological fantasy ripped from the imagination of master writer Matias Caruso, Like a Moth to the Flame explores multiple dark themes: rationalization, addiction. The void left behind when one’s cut off from the object of their desire.

It’s a low budget masterpiece with frightening visuals. Give Moth a read – it’ll suck you in, and burn your wings.

Budget: Low budget – a cast of two, in a single apartment – lit by the static of a television set. And leave room for a great costumer designer. Mr. K deserves some fashionable threads!

About the writer: An optioned and award winning screenwriter, Matias Caruso has far too many accolades to name. So we’ll stick with just one: he’s the 2014 Grand Prize Winner of the International Page Awards Contest. Not to mention an all-around terrific guy. Interested in Matias’ work? Email him at matiascaruso32 (a) gmail

About the reviewer: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the Porch Room, a film and theater production company, website available at http://www.porchroom.com/.  Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 (a) Hotmail.

Read Like A Moth To The Flame (pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Deal of a Lifetime – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Deal of a Lifetime (12 pages in pdf format) by James Barron

Some old cars are hidden treasures… aren’t they?

In today’s world, the adage “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is” is more relevant than ever. We’ve all received those amusing emails from Nigerian princes and accidentally clicked on those adverts offering us a way to get a beach body in 4 weeks days seconds.

But how many of you have asked for $10,000 for a rusty Corolla worth $400 max… and shockingly find it accepted?

Carl, the proprietor of Carl’s Cars and main character in Deal of a Lifetime, has done just that; successfully offloading the junker to young and apparently street smart Rodrigo.

Carl should be laughing all the way to the bank, right?

Well, he isn’t. You see, before Rodrigo arrived, another man, Gabriel, thought $2,000 was an absolute bargain for that hunk of junk, and left the dealership to get the needed cash.

So when Rodrigo grins with delight at the prospect of forking out $10,000, Carl begins to suspect foul play. Or some sort of scam.

However, he soon learns that his humble Corolla hides a priceless secret within its unappealing exterior. A secret so incredible that the potential buyers are willing to exchange something far more valuable than money for access to the vehicle.

In fact, their very lives…

Featuring a unique concept and amusing – yet thought provoking – dialogue, a Deal of a Lifetime is just what you’ll have on your hands if you scoop this script up, and drive it off the lot!

Budget: Not bad at all. Borrow a junker Corolla, and you’re pretty much set.

About the Writer: James Barron is a former law student turned screenwriter who loves to write comedy along with the occasional horror/thriller. Check out his work at JBarronScripts.com

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail.com. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

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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, December 23, 2016

The Gifted Photographer – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by LC

The Gifted Photographer (pdf format) Ian J. Courter

A photographer pays a house-call to shoot a family portrait where his true talent becomes apparent.

Photographs, those treasured mementos of our lives – they can chart a life from birth through to adulthood, and beyond. We keep photos in our wallets, in lockets around our necks, in photo-frames by our bedside tables. Photographs allow us to freeze moments – to travel back in time.

The Gifted Photographer is set towards the end of the Victorian era. At first glance it conjures Great Britain, but America had its own Gilded Age, most notably in the regions of New England and the Deep South. Think Gothic Architecture, the Women’s Suffragette Movement, Republican domination, and literary greats such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. This was also a period characterized by high society and strict morality.

Ian J. Courter manages beautifully to evoke the images of the time – the cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages and top-hats.

Photography at this time was in its infancy – there was no such thing as the ‘Selfie’ and no such thing as Instagram or Snapchat. The taking of photographs, in particular portraits, was only ever done for special occasions.

The story opens on Michael Houtman, the titular photographer of the piece. Herbert and Margaret Jaffe have requested his services for a very special family portrait with their daughter, Linda. Michael strikes up a conversation with Linda and discovers this sweet young woman suffered a nasty spill on the ice a few months ago. The accident has left her sickly and confined to a wheelchair, but this morning she wakes to a perfect Spring day feeling better than she has in a long time – and she’s ready for her close-up.

But this is no ordinary day, no ordinary photo-shoot, and no ordinary photographer…

Far be it for me to shed too much light, or bring into focus the darker themes and rich cultural history explored in The Gifted Photographer, suffice to say the Latin phrases Ars moriendi and Memento mori both give clues into a not so well known practice explored in this unique tale.

Of course, all you have to do to find out more is read the script. You’ll not only discover the secret talent The Gifted Photographer possesses, but will also uncover the talent of writer Ian J. Courter.  

With an ending that will stay with you long after the lights come up (we recommend reading it at night) and a final sting in the tail you won’t see coming, we advise you to get The Gifted Photographer in the can quick as a flash, before somebody else snaps it up.

Pages: 8

Budget: A little will be needed to make this one period.  But given what you get in the return, it’s definitely worth it!

About the writer: Ian J. Courter has an academic and technical-writing background, and is published in both fields, so a shift to another form of writing seemed natural. He strives to combine his writing skills with nearly two decades of military experience to develop screenplays with vivid locations and in-depth, realistic characters. What started as a hobby quickly became a passion.  In only a few short years, he has written three feature-length screenplays and nine short scripts.  He currently has several feature-length scripts in various stages of development and continually seeks inspiration for more. His email address is ian.j.courter “at” gmail.com.

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 The Gifted Photographer (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.

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December 18, 2017

    A Mother's Burden by Chris Keaton

    A police officer responding to a noise complaint discovers the disturbing fate of a woman dealing with a demon. 7 pages
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