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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

QC Challenge Results - posted by James Barron

The QC Challenge results are in!

Writers faced a grueling, time-sensitive challenge and came through in spades. These scripts are light on page count and locale, but heavy on drama. No surprise that one short has already been snatched up for production. Don’t miss out on the rest!

 

Top voted script:

Cyborn by Mark Renshaw

A hunted, dying android crawls beneath the broken alter of a gutted Church. His name is Braxx. To the enraged Luddite mob outside, he has no name. He is a thing. An abomination of metal and wires they’ll soon rip apart the moment they’ve cleared the barricades.

Braxx’s sole comfort in his darkest hour – a set of dice. A very special set designed to trigger memories, each roll eliciting panoptic bursts of random past experience.

So, as the hordes close in, Braxx rolls. And remembers. And spends his last moments in the most human way possible – clinging to every moment before that, to life, through the wonderful vagaries of chance.

***Script currently in contest consideration. Only available upon request. Mark Renshaw can be reached through his website at http://www.mark-renshaw.com. An award-winning producer and director, his last project earned ‘Best Sci-Fi’ at the Top Shorts and Festigious film festivals.

 

Other top picks:

Ice Cream Soda pdf format by Steven Clark

Death is an everyday presence in nursing homes. But after a well-liked patient’s expiration, Nurse Helen begins to sense a more immediate, tangible force. Something sinister in origin, lurking like vapors from a faulty gas valve. It’s so near, this presence, she can hear it. A tap tapping coming from down the hall. Drawn to it, to the strange sight of a little girl at the end of the hall. A little girl singing a haunting nursery rhyme that chills Helen to the core.

Read the full script here. 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. He can be reached at Steamroller138 “AT” gmail and his work can be found on his new website.

 

Eeny Meeny pdf format by Dustin Bowcott

For octogenarian Imani, time has not healed the wounds of racial bigotry suffered growing up in an all-white 1950’s neighborhood. Nor has it helped reconcile her single, horrible act of retaliation. Time has only sharpened dueling emotions of guilt and indignation down to a fine, cutting shame. Haunted by images of her past, trapped in a maelstrom of self-loathing, Imani will make one last desperate attempt to break the cycle of remembrance.

Read the full script here. Dustin Bowcott is a BBC Writer’s Room and Shore Scripts finalist. He is a produced and optioned writer, and has recently turned his hand to production. You can reach him at dustin7375 “AT” gmail.

 

Skip pdf format by Gary Howell

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a special challenge. Anna’s learned to steel herself to the blank stares and tepid responses that dominate her mother’s once ebullient charm. But on this particular visit, Anna’s brought along her granddaughter. And for one fleeting moment something truly magical is about to happen. Something that will briefly unite four generations in shared harmony.

Read the full script here. Gary is an attorney and accomplished author who can be reached at garymhowell “AT” gmail.

 

Sunset View pdf format by Pia Cook

Senior citizens Todd and Martin have vastly different views on their twilight years. Todd sees opportunity, an aura of significance to each day with a multiplicity of joys yet to be discovered. For Martin, it’s an inevitable march to the grave blighted by lonely nights and illness. Determined to change his friend’s outlook, Todd arranges the perfect date with a vivacious female resident. But will it be enough?

Read the full script here. Born and raised in Sweden, Pia Cook has four produced features, a fifth one in pre-production, and twenty five shorts to her name. Check out her IMDB creds. She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written seventy short screenplays and ten features. She can be reached at gatortales “AT” gmail.

 

On a Pair of Dice pdf format by Dena McKinnon

Love your neighbor. Feed the hungry. Comfort the sorrowful. These are some of the most basic Christian principles. Notions that will be put to the test when a mysterious beggar stumbles into a prosperous Church during tidy Sunday worship. And the item he places in the offering plate just might send shock waves through the entire community.

Read the full script here. Dena McKinnon is a talented writer with a number of produced shorts under her belt. Check out Dena’s IMDB credits and website at DenaMcKinnon.com/.

 

Congrats to Warren Duncan, who’s script Numbers of the Beast was optioned before the contest even finished. You can find more of his work here. Last but not least, be sure to check out all the other QC Challenge scripts for more great stories!

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

About the reviewer and runner of the Quickie Challenge: 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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Last Date – Short Script Review (In Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Last Date by Richard Russell is in production. Script removed.

A man and woman meet for a last date – both of them by proxy…

Ah, life’s endless agonies. Childbirth. Root canals. Ending a relationship. Because when it’s time to say “I want out”, does anyone really want to be there? Not the one being dumped. Humiliating. And the dumpee? Awwwwkkkkwardd….

We’ve all been there and done that, on both sides of the equation. And once you’ve been through the wringer several times, you don’t want to experience it again.

But what other choice does one have? Put a happy face on a ruinous relationship, sing “fifty ways to leave your lover” with harmony, or…

Pay someone ELSE to end it.

And in an opportunistic society, that scenario’s not out of the question. Because when money’s involved, there will always be someone to do your bidding. Even if the task is crushing the soul of a soured sweetheart.

But what happens when mercenaries collide?

That’s the scenario of Last Date. A chance encounter at a bar; not between ex-lovers ending a doomed relationship – but between two paid stand-ins. Meeting on behalf of “Bonnie” and “Will”, Matt and Emily are experienced masters at their jilting craft. Having researched the relationship’s history, Matt and Emily know just what to say… Everything from “It’s not you, it’s me”, to “I know about that office affair.” On behalf of their clients, Matt and Emily face off across the table – for confrontations and drinks. Both are consummate professionals… But can these actors truly separate themselves from the play?

Dryly humorous – and deceptively simple – Last Date is the perfect match for directors who groove on social commentary. A script that skewers society on multiple levels: the eternal battle between men and women… and a modern world where anything can be bought or sold. Including the pain of a Last Date.

Budget: Very low budget. All that’s needed is a single diner or bar – and a few actors with good comedic timing.

About the writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes. He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine. He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best. They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future. Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory. Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world.

About the reviewer: Michael O’Farrell is a mathematician who worked on the Space Shuttle Program and now writes fiction.

Read Last Date (9 pages 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 17, 2017

At the End of My Day – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Gary Rowlands

At The End Of My Day by Rod Thompson

A ghost hunter takes off in search of an urban legend… only to find some mysteries are best left in the past.

Since the dawn of time, mankind has been held spellbound by ghost stories. Be it around the campfire, in print, or up on the silver screen, there’s something spine-tinglingly good about a spooky tale laden with creepy atmosphere and supernatural tormentors.

Much like the apparitions themselves, good ghost stories never die. They simply haunt our memory. Forever.

Some of the very best ones also serve up a twist ending that not only terrifies us to our core, but hits us on a deep emotional level as well. One need only think of M. Night Shyamalan’s superb The Sixth Sense – to appreciate just how effective this type of storytelling can be.

Writer Rod Thompson continues this proud tradition of spooky ghostly tales with his excellent At the End of My Day.

When eight year old Norman Ellis is confronted by a weeping apparition at the foot of the stairs, his entire world is changed. Though assured by his parents that there is no such thing as ghosts, Norman finds his belief system turned upside down. And a life long obsession forms. What exactly is the Crying Man? And what mystery lies beyond those tears?

Flash forward some forty years. Norman, now a practising parapsychologist, arrives at his childhood home determined to solve the mystery once and for all. Not that he comes alone. This time he’s forewarned and forearmed: with state-of-the-art equipment, and energetic assistant Curtis.

All to soon, darkness falls. Footsteps can be heard upstairs. The wood floors creak and moan… hints of some ghostly presence.

Sure enough, the Crying Man apparition floats towards them. And Norman looks upon it with terror and disbelief…

Will Norman and Curtis survive this ghostly encounter,or will yet more tears be shed – this time, at their grisly end?

Budget: low.

About the writer, Rod Thompson: I have been writing creatively since I learned how to write. There is just something about telling a story that I can never get over. Storytelling in itself is like an old flame that occasionally comes to me and just says, “Use me.” The ability to watch a movie through words, or to craft a world in such a manner is the closest to Godliness that man will ever come. True story. Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 (a) gmail

Read At The End Of My Day (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.

About the reviewer: Gary Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy and was a commissioned writer on the hugely popular Spitting Image broadcast on national television in the UK. His contained horror Offline was the ‘featured script of the month’ in March and has since been optioned. He is seeking representation and can be contacted at gazrow (a) hotmail.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Midnight Spaghetti – Wrapping Production - posted by Don

Santi D. Spadaro’s script Midnight Spaghetti is being filmed by Micromeg Movie, an indie production company from Quebec. They have wrapped up production and you can check out a few behind the scenes stills on their Facebook page – facebook.com/MicromegMovie/. Head over and give ’em a “like”.

The owner of an Italian restaurant prepares a very late dinner for a very special guest.

About the writer: Born and raised in Italy, Santi Spadaro now lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he works as a research mathematician. A former poet and co-editor of the Italian literary e-zine Nabanassar he can be reached at santidspadaro (a) gmail

Monday, August 14, 2017

World’s Toughest Librarian – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Dane Whipple

World’s Toughest Librarian by Jason K. Allen

Public enemy number one just got a new job… at the public library.

One of the best parts about growing up is playing pretend. Perhaps you dressed up for a tea party or fashion show. Maybe you and your friends went out riding as cowboys and Indians.

Eight-year-old Angelo is playing dress up too: as a gangster. More specifically, he is playing a former mafia boss trying to go straight. But, getting out of the mob lifestyle isn’t as easy as he had hoped. To help transition back into “civilian life”, Angelo gets a job at the local library.

What follows is a veritable laugh-a-palooza, as Angelo’s mob attitude clashes with library patrons. He’s got no patience for your yappin’, and certainly isn’t going to cut you slack for overdue books.

In true noir fashion, just as Angelo is getting the hang of things, his world is rocked by a classic femme fatale.

Will the two find love…or at least a play date? Can Angelo handle his new job at the library, or more importantly, can the library handle him?

Some of the best comedic scripts pay homage to a more serious subject. Playfully riffing on staples of the gangster and film noir genres, World’s Toughest is what festival audience awards were made for. Picture Bugsy Malone with a dash of Analyze This (or That), with the cute factor cranked up to eleven – years, that is.

So – leave the gun, but grab the canolis. With the right director, this is one script that’ll make audiences an offer they can’t refuse.

If you are looking for a light-hearted crowd-pleaser, then say hello to my little friend, the World’s Toughest Librarian!

Budget: Low. Though, you may need to charm your local librarian for a film permit.

About the writer: Jason K. Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee. His produced short scripts include 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. In June 2015, Jason’s feature script “Brother Nature” advanced to the semifinals of the ScreenCraft Comedy competition. See IMDB for his complete credits

Read World’s Toughest Librarian (7 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: Dane Whipple once saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s. His hair was perfect. Dane is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (a) live.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

High Demand – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Guest Reviewer

High Demand by David M Troop

An awkward girl scout employs the services of her older stoner brother to beat her arch nemesis in a cookie-selling contest.

We’ve all seen them. And we’ve all pretended not to be at home when they’ve come a-knockin’ at our door.

No, we’re not talking Seventh Day Adventists. It’s a breed more tenacious: Girl Scouts!

The ultimate sales persons – branded by green sashes and pigtails – these little “cookie” girls sell their wares constantly. At least, if they want their badges and rewards. Given the high pressure stakes involved, it’s a miracle more haven’t pursued questionable means. Not to mention black markets!

Maybe after reading High Demand they will – the tale of one Girl Scout that discovers a whole new clientele through her stoner brother with all the right connections.

The script opens up in a sweet and innocent setting: five girl guides sit through a pep talk, in preparation for their annual cookie drive. Among them is our young heroine Margaret, a 12-year old girl with a rather dismal sales record. But this year is different. This year, there’s a brand new bicycle waiting for the girl who can sell the most. With that one incentive, Margaret is sold. This is the year she proves herself!

Opposed by her wicked den-mother, her condescending den-sisters, and the general apathy of the human population, Margaret quickly learns that her Herculean task will not be easily overcome.

Enter Bud, her older stoner brother with an insatiable appetite for sweets. Thus begins a brilliant scheme to exploit the cravings of certain “patients”. Impassioned anew, Margaret strives to best arch-nemesis Sharlee and the rest of the mean girl clan, proving once again that the underdog should never be underestimated.

Make no mistake: this is no half-baked story.

Full of charm and wit, the relationship between Bud and Margaret is memorable not only for their quick and humorous banter. The kinship at its core becomes especially clear as the story nears its resolution. What Margaret wants is not just a bike. But the ability to believe in herself.

Why should you consider this script? Well, it’s more than just scoring Thin Mints as props.

Not only does High Demand pursue an original twist on the well-known reality of the Girl Guide, but it ‘s infused with positive reinforcements for a female audience with strong never-say-die heroines. Margaret is an easily lovable character with relatable issues, and has the potential to champion a few more short tales.

What more could you ask for? Well, aside from “glaucoma treatment” and Girl Scout cookies?

Budget: Moderate. A few locations and a handful of extras to support a small cast. They key is finding great young actresses and making sure the chemistry between Bud and Margaret really comes alive!

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. 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 High Demand (15 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: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. New to the business, storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. Her first book Eléonore: An Iníonaofa Novella is available on Amazon. Want to drop Faith a line? Reach out to her at AliasFaithRivens.wordpress.com.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Alligator Tears – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Gary Rowlands

Alligator Tears by Kirk White

A peaceful lake, a missing woman, a frightened child. A small-town Sheriff must enlist the help of his estranged son tofind out what…or who happened to a vacationing family.

Since virtually the dawn of time, father and son stories have been mainstays in literature and fiction.  Be the form film, book or play: familial tales of love, loss, deceit, betrayal and death will forever resonate.

From Shakespeare’s tragic Hamlet, to Pixar’s Finding Nemo: the special bond between father and son provides a never ending source of drama.

And so it is with Alligator Tears.

Our story opens on a tragic tableau: a distraught father and son sobbing on a Florida beach. Where’s Mom?  Missing.

Crusty local Sheriff Mickey Nemar takes charge, but the boy (Charlie) is inconsolable. Momma went skiing with Dad, Charlie says.  And a huge alligator ate her!

As Mickey gently prods for clues, Aaron Ames arrives on scene – an agent for the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Not to mention Mickey’s bitter, estranged son.

Immediately the two clash; at loggerheads.   Aaron casts doubt on his dad’s findings (not to mention his character.)  He particularly scoffs at the idea of an animal attack; the lake’s too populated for a gator.

What follows is a deftly written war of words brimming with conflict and mystery.  Can father and son set aside differences long enough to crack the case? And what exactly did happen to Momma?  This is one script that positively shines with subtext just below the surface… like an alligator about to rise.

Drama directors: don’t miss this one.  Much like a missing persons report… the result can be a tragedy.

Budget: Moderate. All you need is a beach. Small boat. Couple of vehicles. And a small but talented cast to do this clever script justice.

About the writer: Kirk White is an independent film maker, web sen”sation” and figure of note in the world of global logistics.  He is currently in pre-production on his second feature, The Soul Garden, which will basically be the art-house version of Re-Animator.  If you’re into that sort of thing, or just love movies with no fear…no limit… no budget,  check out QuiteFilm.com for all the juicy goodness.

Read Alligator Tears 12 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: Gary Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy for Spitting Image a hugely popular show broadcast on national television in the UK. He has since gone on to write several high-concept features and can be contacted at gazrow at Hotmail dot com

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Changer – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by KP Mackie

The Changer by David Troop

Two bickering police detectives must find a way to capture the world’s most elusive criminal.

Some stories are tons of fun. Isn’t that what we go to movies for?

Angst, terror and philosophical symbolism isn’t needed for every film we see. Sometimes simple is the best. “Entertainment for the sake of entertainment” is a spectacular experience when done right. Especially when the jokes are primed to fly.

In his latest short The Changer, master storyteller David Troop makes a fun story live and breathe; resulting in chuckles galore!

Yet, for cops Kennedy and Harris, the events of The Changer are pure business. As often happens with film law enforcement types, these partners are different as two guys could be:

Kennedy’s a Caucasian veteran cop in his 40s – lacking any form of fashion sense. Of course, film-logic requires him paired with African-American Officer Harris. Ten years Kennedy’s junior, Harris is a “poster boy for Reebok.” Together, the two are on the job, seeking a mysterious master-of-disguise known simply as, “The Changer.

Tense and bickering from Page One, the couple track “the dude” to urban apartment 4D. With police badges on display, they bust down the door – only to find screaming hooker Petunia inside. Encouraged by the officer’s raised guns, Petunia points to the bathroom. Harris searches the area quickly, yet finds only – a cat inside.

Harris shrugs, turns his back. Allowing the Bizarre “Changer” to make his escape. Out the open bathroom window – down a rusty fire escape. Pretty soon, the chase is on (ala the Grand Budapest Hotel!).

In hot pursuit of a “tall figure in a trench coat”, the partners race through alleys, down gritty streets. Eventually, Harris corners the perp. (Kennedy joins the chase somewhat late… having stopped to “question” the hooker privately!). But soon, Kennedy and Harris have their man…

Still – given The Changer’s “special set of skills”, the question is… Do they have him cornered?

Really?

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Changer is a fun – and very funny – ride.

Think movies like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Police Academy, Naked Gun or Groundhog Day. If you’re a director who loves goofy comedy, then TC is your blockbuster. Set your humor on stun. And pull the cinematic wool over your audience’s tears-of-laughter-filled eyes!

Budget: Relatively low. Three talented male character actors (with good comedic timing) are required for the main roles. Plus a handful of extras. Settings include: Apartment interior rooms, stairway, streets, and an alley – all of which are easy to stage.

About the Writer: David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No.2 pencil. In 2011 he began writing short films for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts.com. His produced short scripts include INSOMNIAC and THE DINER. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 (a) gmail.

Read The Changer (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.

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on a historical feature.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Safe in the Countryside – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Pete Barry

Safe in the Countryside by Bill Sarre

A lonely couple hide out on D-Day. But the war isn’t the only danger they have to fear…

Betrayal comes in many flavors. In war sides must be chosen; even if your survival – and the survival of your loved ones – depends on betraying allegiances.

As the Allies finally roll through Normandy in 1944, all Henry and Francine Duvall have to do is ride out the storm, holed up in their isolated farmhouse. An easy task. Isn’t it?

After all, they have a new baby to protect. Henry wants no part of the outside world until the fighting is over, and they can seek the approaching army’s protection.

But when a wounded German soldier turns up on their doorstep, the besieged couple must decide: do they risk the wrath of the now-victorious French Resistance if they take him in? Is it better to leave him to die, or does every human being deserve mercy?

But the soldier’s presence is more than a moral dilemma. Within a few precious minutes, his appearance unravels treacheries that Henry and Francine have committed during the long way; against their country, and each other.

A gripping drama from writer Bill Sarre, Safe in the Countryside is a wonderfully effective tale, exploring the nature of betrayal and the terrible acts we choose to commit when faced with extreme circumstance.  For a director that can invoke the grim mood of war and secrets, Safe in the Countryside is an excellent story to try your hand at. And an obvious festival favorite!

Budget: The exteriors will require a farmhouse and some distant explosions, but the interiors are simple enough and the main cast is small – Henry, Francine and the soldier.

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 (a) gmail

Read Safe in the Countryside (6 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: 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 PorchRoom.com/, a film and theater production company. Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 (a) hotmail.

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