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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Balancing Act – Short Script Review (Available for Production)! - posted by Guest Reviewer

Balancing Act (14 pages in pdf format) by Jason Allen

You think balancing rocks is easy? Think again!

A mockumentary in the vein of Best in Show, Spinal Tap and more…

Rocks. What mundane fragments of Nature! Found across the globe, in so many shapes and so many colours, their uses are positively endless. People have built walls with them, collected them for their own pleasure, and competed to see who can skip them the furthest across ponds and lakes.

They really are the most versatile objects in the world. So why not make art with them as well?

Odell Jenkins, 42, asks that very question and pursues it with such vigour that his entire life becomes devoted to the skill of stacking rocks.

Written mockumentary style, Balancing Act follows Odell as he declares his passion for his art. And explores his most memorable moments: from meeting his wife Jenny, to the appearance of mysterious symbols suspected of being a message from aliens. Code written into rocks – from the sky!

Sure, Odell may be obsessed – but he’s also a reflective and humble man who takes his art seriously. A simple soul who knows his purpose – and desires to make his mark on the world.

As a result, Balancing Act is more than a story about rocks. It’s also a moral about balancing life. The tale of a man who wants to be inspired and wants to inspire, as well.

Like any of us, Odell is seeking the answers to the universe’s biggest questions… under whatever rock they may hide.

With a tongue-and-cheek tone, this short bursts with subtle wit. Highly amusing and entertaining, Balancing Act elevates a humdrum topic – all the way to the stratosphere.

Why should you choose Balancing Act? Well, Odell’s down-to-earth personality will resonate well with audiences. And if that doesn’t convince you, here’s one more reason to place on the pile:

This is a script with heart and humour. Deftly moving between parody and drama, it’s a ‘balancing act’ in and of itself . Compelling as much as diverting, Balancing Act’s is a thought-provoking piece indeed.

Budget: While locations are plentiful, the number of characters is limited. If you’re willing to put the money in, the production will be well worth the final creation.

About the writer: Jason K. Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee. His screenwriting credits include the short films AMERICAN SOCK, which won Best Screenplay at the 2014 San Diego Film Awards, and AUTUMN LOVERS, winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Artlightenment Festival in Nashville. He also wrote the feature film LUCKY FRITZ starring Julia Dietze (IRON SKY) and Corey Feldman. You can contact Jason at allen.jason.k (at) gmail. See IMDB for his complete credits:

About the reviewer: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. Storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. With any luck, her first novel will be out on the stands in 2016. So keep a sharp eye out! Want to drop Faith a line? She’s available at faithrivens.writer (a) gmail

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

It works that way in real life, too.

Doesn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages: 10

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

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

About the reviewer: David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus. Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced. Dave would like to make it three. He was a regular, award-winning contributor to 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 Deal Breaker (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, December 6, 2016

Mollycoddled – Short Script (Available for Production) - posted by John Robbins

Mollycoddled (pdf format) by L. Chambers

After they’re turfed out, one man and his dog discover there might be trouble and strife at home, but out in the big wide world the Nanny state has gone haywire.


Rules are everywhere we go: airplanes, school, driving, work, relationships. And while some rules can be annoying, Brad now finds it harder than most to avoid all of them. Mollycoddled explores that line between fighting the rules, or embracing them.

Accompanied by his shaggy pup, Brad looks to take a break from the doghouse after being kicked out by his girlfriend. However, everywhere he goes—by the beach, at the park, on the bus—the law of the land beckons, and Brad learns that not every punishment fits its crime. As the offenses become more and more excessive, he isn’t even sure if pulling out his hair would warrant a fine.

At the crossroad of his comedic journey, will Brad choose to obey or rebel? Can he overcome the rules? Or are some rules worth it?

Pages: 12

Budget: Low

About the writer: 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. You can contact L Chambers at libbych “AT” hotmail

About the reviewer: John Robbins is a screenwriter from Milwaukee, WI.

Read Mollycoddled(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, October 20, 2016

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

Mendelevium (pdf format) by Erich VonHeeder

A “Battle of the Bands” helps two lead singers find love.

Mendelevium. It’s a synthetic element on the Periodic Table. Atomic Number: 101.

Don’t let the title lead you astray. There’s little science in Erich Von Heeder’s script, Mendelevium.

But tons of chemistry.

Incredibly engaging, Mendelevium is totally character-driven: an interview of Delores and Levi, two lead singers in rival punk rock bands.

When the couple first meet, it’s hate at first sight – an animosity of biblical proportions. As Delores articulates: “I was overcome with hatred for him. Like deep, blinding…” A helpful Levi completes the thought: “Murderous. Murderous hatred.”

…a hatred which escalates to an on-stage scuffle, after Delores throws a pound of cocaine at Levi. Followed by a night in jail. Talk about auspicious first dates!

“Where did you get a pound of cocaine?” their puzzled interviewer queries.

“Where do fish get scales?” Delores replies. “I don’t know. I’m a rock star, dude.”

Holding hands, the couple reminisce about their whirlwind romance, shortly after making bail. Delores: “We were hotter than a pequin pepper. A rare pepper that grows in the remote Andes Mountains of Chile, and if you even touch it to your mouth you die.”

Levi rolls his eyes. “Doesn’t exist,” he confides to the camera.

Imagine a punk rock reboot of When Harry Met Sally… that’s Mendelevium in a nutshell. Packed with witty dialogue, the script is funny, fresh – a standout vignette of two non-conformists in love. As Levi says, “Love’s a jester, man.” And a script like this is bound to shine.

Pages: 5

Budget: Low-medium. All that’s needed is an interview room, an indie rock “stage”, a handful of crowd extras – and a couple with great chemistry.

About the writer: A humble denizen of Seattle (home of some amazing rock bands) talented writer Erich VonHeeder can be reached at erich_vonheeder(a)

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(a)

Read Mendelevium (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, August 25, 2016

I Can See You – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite



I Can See You

While delivering the mail, a joyless postal worker begins to see messages in the form of graffiti, then the seemingly harmless words take a dark turn.

There’s something about quirky scripts that’s just – charming.  Both to indie audiences and script reviewers.  Think about it: Juno.  Scott Pilgrim Saves the World.  Napoleon Dynamite.  Seven Psychopaths. Sure, raw drama has its place. But write something with character and a touch of mystery?  When done right, the result is magic… a film that’ll stay with your viewers long after the lights have gone up and the curtain down.

A solid example of that genre, I Can See You tells the tale of sad sack mail worker Carson Fox. Beaten down by life, Carson lives with his no-good brother Frank and Shelby (Frank’s too-good-for-him wife.) Though secretly crushing on Shelby, Carson knows he has no chance.  But Carson’s fate is about to change.  Assigned a new postal route, Carson starts to see strange signs… cryptic messages painted on the sidewalk and walls. Telling him how to win Shelby. Urging him towards other – darker – things.  Has Carson finally gone postal? Or is there meaning behind the madness?

Written with a subtle, humorous touch, I Can See You offers the best of what “quirky” has to offer. A unique premise and memorable/relatable characters.  What more can you ask for in a script?

About the writer: An award winning writer AND photographer, Marnie Mitchell Lister’s website is available at  Marnie’s had 5 shorts produced (so far) and placed Semi-final with her features in Bluecat.

Pages: 15

Budget: Medium.  There’s a variety of indoor and outdoor settings in this one… but not all that many characters.  And definitely nothing that requires FX.  Still – it’s not a script that an absolute newbie should attempt.  This one requires a touch of artistic experience.





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Saved My Bacon – Short Script for Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite


Saved My Bacon

It’s 1913 and a big city reporter travels out to the country to meet The World’s Greatest Pig.

 There will always be a place in storytelling for rural tall tales. Big Fish did it quite successfully. And it’s easy to see why.  There’s something about combining the honest simplicity of “down-home rural folk” with fanciful humorous stories that simply works.   (And really beats Deliverance when it comes to telling country stories by the campfire…)

Saved My Bacon comes straight from that pedigree (Big Fish… not Deliverance.)  Featuring only two main protags, it follows the story of Milo the Reporter who’s come to interview Farmer Davis… a simple man with an extraordinary pig.  The result is pure Mark Twain – a sweet narrative, with a very effective ending.

Running only 5 pages long, this is a perfect script for anyone interested in telling a solid, amusing tale.  As long as you have access to Wilbur for the shoot…

About the writer: Tim Westland, co-writer of the acclaimed graphic novel Chasing the Dead, received first place for Balls Out in the NNYM 15 page contest. A moderator at Moviepoet, he’s an outstanding writer with an eye for the details. His IMDB page can be found here.

Pages: 5

Budget: The vast majority of this script is low budget.  Two protags, one room and a single rural exterior shot. The one – er – stumbling point is that you have to get a pig – and do a little FX for its legs.  But when you get that, this one’s golden!





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Based on a True Story – Feature Length Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Laptop Features

Based on a True Story

A fictional film about non-fictional events that are entirely fictional.

Senses of humor vary radically. Some people think Porky’s is the height of hilarity. Remember that one, folks? Others prefer Woody Allen’s neurotic wit and TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm. One thing’s for sure… humor’s changed a hell of a lot over the years; with the focus veering towards over-the-top gross outs. This is the End anyone? Whatever happened to smart, character based comedy? Is there anyone out there still writing intelligent humor?

Yep. His name is Matt Dressel. The script in question is Based on a True Story. (That’s the title, folks. Not the description. The script itself is completely fictional.)

Smart, funny and low budget, BTS revolves around protagonist Bill, a screenwriter that can’t seem to get his big break. (Gee, I wonder how often that happens in real life?) Demoralized, Bill pays the bills working at a 911 crisis center, and most of his nights hanging out with incompetent actor pals Tim and Sam. (Okay, Sam’s not exactly a friend, more of an unfortunate acquaintance.) They live in Quigley Quagmire’s hotel… a depressing little 80’s reject hovel that’s only one step removed from the Roach Motel. In other words, life ain’t going well.

That is, until Bill has his brilliant idea. Hollywood likes reboots and movies based on True Stories, right? Why not stage a bank robbery themselves….and then cash in on the press with a best selling screenplay? Between Bill and his crew, they’ve got creativity, actors and props on their side. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

How often has that question been asked? With the logical answer. Everything.

What follows is a highly intelligent – and yet goofy – romp through an escalating comedy of errors: from “Auditioning” the other bank robbers (and other theoretically important stuff, like how to handle guns and bank vaults) to the actual caper. And the inevitable complications that ensue. A master of understated comedy, Matt Dressel populates the script with colorful characters… not just the protagonists, but walk-on supporting bits as well. Not to mention rioting Nazis, pizza delivery men, and David Bowie groupies. (Don’t even try to ask. Just read the script and see.) Sound over the top? In Dressel’s hands, this script actually maintains comedy balance … peppering the script with wonderful lines like that of Crusty Detective Vic Cardigan: “I’ve been chasing (these robbers’) sorry asses for nearly 25 years of my life – ever since I was a rookie on the force.” Police officer: “They appear to be about 30 years of age, sir.” Cardigan: “Damn, they’re good.”

You know what’s really good? This script. It’s an indie breath of fresh air in a world populated by dick jokes and vomit gags. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those… in moderation.) But if you’re an up and coming director looking for a comedy with intelligence and staying power, check this one out. Fast. Before it gets away like a bank robber with the loot…

About the writer: Matthew Dressel recently wrote/produced/acted in his own web series Let’s Kill John Stamos! One of his feature films, Killing Daniel, has been optioned by Darius Films. You can catch more of Matt’s work at




All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Keeping it Fresh – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

Keeping it Fresh
Ken and Ruth have done it all. Except this.

What are you willing to do to keep things fresh? That’s a question many couples in their 60s dare to ask, and Ken and Ruth do their best to answer.

Does Fresh mean honest? Or just exciting? And when the stakes are ‘whatever needs to be done to share one’s life’, how can a couple truly know?

As veteran writer Rick Hansberry’s script opens, we meet Ken and Ruth in their well worn family car; tersely discussing their “action plan.” Ruth’s awash with nerves – her hands playing with a folded piece of paper. Ken tries to be sensitive to her concerns, but fails miserably at every attempt.

Where is this duo going? And why?

Their destination – a grocery store. What on Earth could be nerve racking there?

Soon, we discover Ken and Ruth are in… a race. Of what kind? The truth’s unclear. But what unfolds next is a comedy of errors – a wondrous blend of anxiety and charm. Imagine the slapstick as Ken and Ruth dodge obstacles, friends, enemies, wet floors, and – of course – time.

What will the finish line reveal? We won’t spoil the surprise (or the produce). But you will find a warm, sophisticated comedy – ala a young June Squibb or Seymour Cassell.

This is a script with tons of buy-one-get-two-free.  Including: a budget friendly tale, featuring characters of a “specific” (and underrepresented) age. All of which makes this story stand out – and write it’s way into even old and jaded hearts.

Need some older actors? Consider giving your parents’ “cool” friends something to do for a day. But regardless of who you cast, you’ll charm your way into festivals with this Fresh, young-at-heart gem!

Budget: All that’s needed are two good actors, and access to a deli or supermarket – at least a few aisles.

Pages: 6

About the reviewer: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science.

About the Writer: Rick Hansberry has written/produced several short films, including the SAG Foundation award-winning “Branches.” His first feature is set to be released in the summer of 2014. Trailer available here . He teaches screenwriting seminars and workshops in the Central Pennsylvania area and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tim Westland’s For the Love of God – Available for Viewing (but wait, there’s more)! - posted by wonkavite

Awhile back, STS announced that Tim Westland’s reviewed script For the Love of God had been optioned.  As you all know, that’s the first step.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that the script has been shot by talented director Randy Smith – it’s distributed and looking… fabulous!

So take a peek at it on Youtube here…!

In the meantime, we highly suggest you look over Tim’s other work. The man writes in a variety of genres – each intelligently nuanced, and available for production as we speak:


Better Be Good – (Holiday Fantasy Short) – When a young boy finds Santa’s lost bag of toys in a nearby forest, his first thought is to return it. His big brother has other ideas though, which might prove life changing for both of them.

Balls Out (comedy) – Legendary Surfing Pioneer, Mick “Balls Out” Shelly, hasn’t hit the waves in five decades. But an opportunity to reclaim the spotlight takes Mick and people from his past on a trip down memory lane that none are likely to forget.

Careful What You Wish For (comedy/fantasy) – Magic genies and bottles. Such things never end well.  Or DO they?

A Line in the Sand (Hard Political SF/Drama) – Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

TV Series

Loose Screws (TV Pilot/Drama/Thriller with writer John Robbins) – A successful psychiatrist finds himself losing his grip on reality – and turns to an old patient – a girl with a mysterious mathematical talent, that he used and betrayed years ago.


Hunted/Stitched (Feature Horror with writer Rod Thompson) – After accidentally shooting a girl in the mysterious Ozark mountains, five hunting buddies must battle for their lives and their souls when a backwoods hillbilly taxidermist invokes ancient supernatural powers to bring his monstrous patchwork creations to life to exact his revenge.  Note to Directors who focus on contest winners… Stitched has been wowing the big ones.  Quite well!

About Tim himself: Tim Westland, co-writer of the acclaimed graphic novel Chasing the Dead, received first place for Balls Out in the NNYM 15 page contest. An outstanding writer with an eye for the details, his IMDB page can be found here. And he can be reached here (when not subsumed in writing throes): timwestland “AT” hotmail

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