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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.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Good Sam – Short Script Review – Available for Production - posted by Ingrid Short

Good Sam by Sylvia Dahlby

An old man encounters an alien in need of assistance.

Aloha! Looking for a script to knock out over a couple of weekends? You’ve found it with Good Sam.

Good ole’ Sam is heading home one night and happens across the wreckage of another vehicle. Being the Good Sam[aritan] that he is, he stops to lend a hand. The occupant of the vehicle do Sam a solid in return. Or does he/she/it?

Production: Pick up truck. Alien space craft. Two actors that look vaguely similar – one old and one young. Alien voice. Two locations – dirt road and spaceship interior. Slime. Colored lights. A fog machine would be really, really cool. You can F/X the shit out of this of you have the resources.

Budget: Micro to low

About the writer: I’m a one time advertising copywriter who has fallen in love with screenwriting. I’ve written a handful of features, one has been produced as a Role Playing Game (RPG) and made its debut at CarnageCon. I enjoy writing short scripts since it’s a fun exercise for sharpening my skills; so far one of my shorts has been produced as a student film project, and I welcome the opportunity to have more of my work produced via participation on SimplyScripts. Sylvia can be reached at sylviedahl (a) AOL.

Read Good Sam (2 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: Ingrid Short is the love child of Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Imagination, Smagination – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by LC

Imagination, Smagination by Nolan Bryand

Little boys have crazy imaginations… Or do they?

The topic for today is Monsters. Mwa-ha-ha -haaaa!

In his inaugural address, F.D. Roosevelt famously paraphrased Francis Bacon’s line by saying: The only thing we have to fear… is fear itself.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always found cold comfort in that line… Fear itself is pretty darned scary.

Monsters, ghouls, devils, demons, the boogeyman – all strike fear into the most hardened of hearts and can turn even the most cast-iron of stomachs to jelly. From Ghoulies to Gremlins, to Chucky (Child’s Play) and The Babadoo – monsters not only have a long and illustrious history on film but they continue to fascinate, disgust, horrify, and if the writer is especially talented (like this one is) even make their audiences laugh.

Now cast your mind back to your five-year-old self lying in bed in the dark – your nightlight casting ominous shadows onto the walls, your super-hero bed-covers pulled up tightly around your chin, wide eyes darting back and forth into the foreboding darkness.

What was that?!

Did you hear that barely perceptible creak across the floorboard? Did you see that lightning-fast flash of movement just out of the corner of your eye? What about that inky black cavern that is your wardrobe with its door slightly ajar, or that cavernous space under your bed where all manner of dastardly things could be lying in wait, ready to pounce when you least expect it.

Ooh, it’s enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, make you crawl into the fetal position, yank those bed covers over your head while you mutter over and over and over again: not real, not real, not real, in a desperate attempt to prove to yourself that what you just heard, what you just saw, was all just the result of a bad dream or an overactive imagination.

But what if it wasn’t your imagination…?

As we open on Nolan Bryand’s, Imagination, Smagination, this is the very real dilemma facing five-year-old, Owen. He’s just run the five-metre dash down the hallway and into his parent’s bedroom. What he knows is: this is not his imagination in overdrive. There’s a monster in his closet, and he needs his dad to get rid of it! Actually, he’d prefer to sleep in his Mom and Dad’s room, where there is no monster, but they’re not having it. Big sigh. Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad.

The Monster in The Closet and The Monster Under The Bed are familiar tropes in horror fiction and filmmaking, but Nolan Bryand’s rendition is about to surprise, not only with its freshness and originality, but also with its perfectly timed comic-horror twists. That’s right, not one, but two. Just when you think the story’s done and dusted, Nolan expertly hits his audience with yet another comical twist in the final seconds of a denouement that will have you jumping in surprise and laughing out loud at the same time.

Suspense, comedy, acerbic wit, mixed with clever barbs aimed squarely at jaded grown-ups with their all too familiar rationalizing that ‘monsters don’t exist’, Imagination, Smagination is a finely orchestrated monster-lite tale that is sure to be a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike.

Filmmakers: Now’s the time to banish your fears, scare up your own special brand of cinematic ‘smagination’ and take your best shot in the dark. Best not sleep on it though, cause this one’s gonna’ get snapped up fast.

Budget: Low. One location. Two adults, a plucky talented five year old, and a couple of ‘monsters’. A talent for gruesome make-up fx will also come in handy.

About the Writer Nolan Bryand: While completing a minor in film studies back in 2005, I took a keen interest in the screenwriting aspect. Acting and directing wasn’t for me. In 2015 I came back to writing as a way to spend some free time, and remembered how much I enjoyed it. Since revisiting my passion, I’ve optioned two short scripts, which were both read and picked up after being read on the SimplyScripts discussion board. It’s the actors and directors that really make a script come to life, but it’s the screenwriter that gets them there in the first place! And that’s what I love about screenwriting.

Read Imagination, Smagination (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: 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.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The L Equation – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

The L Equation by Anthony Cawood

A talented mathematician slaves over an equation that could change the face of humanity, as her dedicated assistant struggles to tell her exactly how he feels. 

Love is never logical. But wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where relationships were easy? If you knew from the start a relationship was “meant to be”, heartache becomes a distant memory.

The L Equation certainly tests out this theory. Like ‘Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’, The L Equation aims to cut the hassle out of dating, by building the perfect equation for love.

As the script opens, dedicated mathematician Samantha slaves away in her lab. Her ambition? To discover an algorithm for love – creating perfect couples: A + B. A world where happiness is guaranteed and finding ‘the one’ is a breeze – surely that would be a marvelous thing. But while Samantha’s drive keeps her focused on work, her besotted and loyal assistant Brendan wishes she would concentrate on him instead. She barely notices his existence… leaving Brendan feeling side-lined. And very, very hurt.

But what’s Samantha’s real motivation? Her purpose, her reason for everything? You guessed it: Brendan. After months of gruelling work, Samantha finally finds the code she needs. But it fails to give her the answer she desires in her heart. Will she abandon logic and give chemistry a chance? Crack L open, and give it a read… Maybe there’s a happy answer to the equation after all.

A charming script, The L Equation’s as easy as pie to shoot. There’s nothing technical to be found here. But acting and chemistry – just like X and Y – those are essential ingredients!

Budget/Cast — Low. Only 3 characters, a few simple props, a couple lab coats, and you’re set!

About the Writer – Anthony Cawood – I’m an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of my screenwriting career, I’m also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Links to my films and details of my scripts can be found at AnthonyCawood.co.uk

Read The L Equation (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 — Elaine Clayton — is a London-based screenwriter, who has written several well-received shorts and is currently working on her first feature length scripts. Comfortable in a broad range of genres, Elaine has an innate sense of structure and arc development. Contact her at Elaine_clayton (AT) Hotmail(.)co(.)uk

Monday, June 26, 2017

Quality Control – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by David M Troop

Quality Control by Ammar Salmi

A clone has to prove to an observer that he deserves a second chance in order to avoid incineration.

Science Fiction – it’s such a complicated bag, full of staggering subcategories. Fantasy swordplay ala Star Wars. Swash-buckling action via Guardians of the Galaxy.

But the analysis of social conflicts – that’s what makes SF special. Ask any hardcore Science Fiction fan – the true beauty of the genre is the ability to examine hard-hitting social issues – spotlit by futuristic light. Along with the pleasures of Star Trek, are true classics such as these:

Soylent Green -a police detective discovers the government’s secret ingredient, designed to feed a world ravaged by the greenhouse effect, and overpopulation.

Planet of the Apes – an astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet dominated by primates – the theory of evolution turned upside down.

Minority Report – Tom Cruise solves homicides via a special police unit – who negate the concept of free will, and arrest murderers before they commit crimes.

Then there’s screenwriter Ammar Salmi’s Quality Control – depicting a futuristic society where clones are routinely grown – almost like slaves. At least, if they’re allowed to live…

Witness if you will, Clone 36. A “man” who’s been accused of a crime. Confined to a cell, and deemed chattel, our protagonist’s future dangles in the hands of Dave – a faceless pencil-pusher who would rather terminate the offending Clone… just to save himself needless paperwork.

As the script opens, the three hour observation breezes by. Will Clone 36 convince Dave of his innocence? Or suffer an animal’s brutal fate?

Heavy on the drama, but feather light on FX, Quality Control is limited location – and a sterling choice for directors with an intelligent bent. Like the best of breed in SF, QC is a thought provoking treatise about the dangers of the legal system. And the potential violation of human rights.

Budget:Low. One special effect done in post: overlays of charts and data on screen.

About the Author: Born and raised in Bir El Ater, Algeria, Ammar Salmi majored in computer science at USTHB university. He found interest in screenwriting when he was 19 – falling in love with it only two years after reading “The usual suspect” script. Ever since, he’s been learning, reading, and writing (his words). Though not produced yet, Ammar’s gearing up for his first feature, and can’t wait to see what the writing future has in store!  Interested in QC? Reach out to Ammar via realxwriter (a) gmail. 

Read Quality Control (five 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: 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 is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com.  Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Test – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Anthony Cawood

The Test by Richard Russell

In a futuristic society, life changes for a teenager who can’t pass the test.

In my humble but clearly infallible opinion, Ray Bradbury wrote some of the best short stories. Ever in the history of the world. Case closed; that is all.

And Bradbury’s novels aren’t too shabby either. Take for instance, Fahrenheit 451 – a story of censorship and social control echoed in Richard Russell’s SF short, The Test.

Fade in on the script. The time: the plausible near future. And the humble setting: a middle class home, with an almost 50’s domestic vibe.

Iola is the mother – tooling around the kitchen with her trusty tablet, preparing the family’s meals. Everything’s colored coded. For instance, today’s dinner is “green.” Which is probably just as well, because Iola doesn’t appear to be all there…

Husband Ron arrives from work moments later, dressed in a cop-like uniform. He regales his wife about his day (he’s some sort of ‘inspector librarian’) – and asks Iola about their son Josh’s test. Important scores came in today. But Iola’s unsure where they are; she’s forgotten already. A fact which doesn’t surprise Ron. And so he grabs a beer, and heads to Josh’s room…

…to be confronted with some cold, hard facts. Fourteen year old Josh failed his test miserably. And that means dire consquences – including “Educational Camp”. A prospect that Ron fears at all costs…

After dinner, Ron escorts Josh to “old man Granger’s” house. A thin old man with “wispy hair”, and dusty secrets in his basement. To save Josh from his mother’s fate, Ron’s arranged a special trip…

And that’s where my summary stops. No need to spoil a great script.

Instead, take a read for yourself – discover the multi-layered narrative and well-drawn characters; each with their distinct voice. Despite the SF setting, this is one cautionary tale that would be easy to produce. There’s no elaborate special effects – and a very human story at its core. It’d be a winner at festivals. And Ray Bradbury would be pleased.

Budget: Relatively small, interior locations.

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.

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Afraid of the Dark – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by LC

Afraid Of The Dark by Paul Clarke

In a world over-run by electricity-consuming monsters, only one source of power remains…

The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The War Of The Worlds,  Cloverfield, The Thing…

Notice a common theme? That’s right – monsters. In all their slimy, shape-shifting, slamming, shrieking, marauding glory. A few other films with monsters that leave a lasting impression: Alien, The Day of The Triffids, The Fly, and that granddaddy of all monster flicks (recently remade) – the 1954 classic, Godzilla.

The creation of the monster/creature feature has long held our attention. As a genre, Science Fiction and in particular ‘end of the world’ scenarios gained renewed popularity following World War II and the advent of the Cold War, when the combined fears of foreign occupation and the threat of global annihilation by nuclear weapons entered the public consciousness.

In Afraid Of The Dark Paul Clarke creates a unique monster of his own imagination. Cleverly combining elements of sci-fi, horror, and heart-pumping action, with a cursory nod to The Matrix and sub-genre cyberpunk, the story is set against that perennial crowd-pleasing backdrop of a post-apocalyptic ruin – burning waste, burned out cars, weeds, no electricity…

We open on a darkened room in the dead of winter. A conversation takes place between a young woman and a child, both of them huddled over their only source of light and heat, a solitary tungsten bulb. But this bulb is not connected to a cord and it’s not plugged into the wall. Instead we’re given a rather startling and surreal image. The bulb is connected to a writhing and pulsating black blob. And that blob is locked inside a cage.

The bulb is just about to go out. And for the remaining survivors now forced to live in lockdown, it appears time is running out.

Cue our protagonist and the female narrator of the tale and her retelling of how the beast came to be:

            WOMAN (V.O.)
No one knows where they came from.
Some say a meteorite. Some say from
deep under the Earth. Others even
believe they’re something we cooked
up in a lab.

Whatever this monster is, and wherever it came from, there’s no doubt it is nightmare inducing… a formidable monster with a selective appetite.  Appetite for what? Well, you’ll just have crack this one open to find out.

Let’s just say the hunter is about to become the hunted. The remaining survivors are going to have to use the one element in the beast’s arsenal that they now need to survive – the beast himself.

Afraid Of The Dark is a richly layered and allegorical tale with a specific cautionary message about our reliance on energy and technology.

Filmmakers: Want to jumpstart your sci-fi/horror short-film career? Well, this one has the spark and surge you’ve been waiting for, and the power to leave audiences with a long lasting impression.

Budget: Mid-range. You want a decent budget to do this right. But trust us – this one’s worth it!

About the writer: Paul Clarke is an Australian based screenwriter who works as a cinema manager by day and paid coverage writer by night. His success so far has included a top 10 place in the Writer’s Store Industry Insider competition. And is currently working on a selection of short, feature, and pilot scripts. He can be reached at paul.clarke.scripts “AT” 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 Afraid Of The Dark – (13 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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Incident on I-95 – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

Incident on I-95 (5 pages in PDF format) by Fred Perry

The arrival of an ominous stranger shatters the serenity of an idyllic American town.

It’s often thought Utopian societies are the way to go. In a time where the O-zone is depleted, terrorists could be living in the apartment below you, and there’s something scary on the news every day – it’s nice to imagine a world where peace, health, and tranquility reign.

One day – humanity dreams – the perfect world will exist. But is that truly possible? After all, one of the greatest contributors to Chaos is the nature of humanity itself. Humans – no matter how peaceful, clean, and healthy their environment – are at heart wild animals ready to strike. Especially when confronted with something they deem threatening.

The soul of Utopian SF is dark satire. And Fred Perry’s Incident on I-95’s got that. In spades.

Picture if you will: a man disembarks from a bus. A stranger out for an innocent walk, and on snowy peaceful night…

As Incident heads towards its crescendo, the man strolls casually through lanes and alleyways. Taking in the serenity of a small, perfect town. But his wanderings are about to take a turn for the worse – into the hands of a bloodthirsty, angry mob. As to what triggers the violence? Read the script. Because this is one satisfying twist you’ll never guess…

A simplistic story wrapped in rich, deep visuals, Incident on I-95 is a joy to read. All the way from its soothing beginnings, to the thought provoking climatic end!

Budget: Moderate. A quick shot of a bus, and small-town streets. Lots of extra for the crowd.

About the writer, Fred Perry: Fred Perry has worked as a screenwriter in Europe, Mexico and the U.S., co-authoring six feature films for Omega Entertainment, Athens, Greece, as well as collaborating on multiple projects with Alfonso Arau (director of LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE and A WALK IN THE CLOUDS).

Fred’s screenplays have won numerous awards. His dark comedy short, FIVE DAYS IN CALCUTTA, won the Grand Prize in the 2014 Palm Street Films Screenplay Competition (shorts category), 1st Place at the 2014 Richmond International Film Festival (comedy screenplay genre), 1st Place, 2013 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition (shorts), the Grand Prize, 2014 American Movie Awards (shorts), 1st, 2013 DC Shorts Film Festival and Screenplay Competition, 1st, 82nd (2013) Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (subsequently published), the Gold Prize in the 2013 Hollywood Screenplay Competition (shorts), and 1st in the 2012 PAGE International Screenplay Awards (shorts). The script will shoot this January, directed by Dawn Fields of Palm Street Films.

His feature sci-fi script, CROSSINGS won the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Screenplay at the 2014 Richmond International Film Festival, 1st at the 2014 Omaha Film Festival, 1st in the 9th annual Filmmakers International Screenplay Competition, 1st in the 2013 Holiday Screenplay Competition, and was a semifinalist in the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

He is a published playwright, his two-act, THE ASCENSION OF TWYLA POTTS, winning the 2013 London Film Festival (stage play category), and earning the Special Marquee Award at this year’s American Film Awards. Fred has also written and directed plays at the Colony Theatre in Los Angeles and the Carrollwood Players Theatre in Tampa Bay.

About the reviewer, 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 “AT” gmail.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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Line in the Sand – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

A Line in the Sand (6 pages in pdf format) by Tim Westland

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. – The Dalai Lama

“A Line in the Sand,” a short screenplay by award-winning screenwriter (and graphic novelist) Tim Westland, describes a gritty dystopian future, a civilization on the edge, at a crossroads — a dramatic, high-tension moment that could either rescue mankind from itself or cause our society to unravel completely.

The story takes place in 2037, and like all the best tales of futuristic dystopias (e.g. Blade Runner, The Matrix, etc.), “A Line in the Sand” is a masterful blend of two things: First, it’s a rockin’ good sci-fi story (complete with all the trimmings — UltraMarines, exo-suits, and high-tech weaponry) with a somber gloominess about it. This is one possible future that we hope never comes to pass. And secondly — it’s totally plausible. It could come to pass. “A Line in the Sand” pits religious fanaticism against nuclear madness. It’s like a headline from today’s news — projected twenty years into the future. Scary, to say the least.

There’s a third thing that ramps up the emotional impact of this script — more than anything else it’s a story about people. Specifically two people: two men, both warriors, but radically different nonetheless. One is a military man trying to save the world; the other a fanatical religious terrorist trying to tear it to shreds.

They meet on a California beach at sunset after the terrorist group has destroyed a nuclear reactor. It’s a horrific scene. As UltraMarine John Hawkins says, it’s “going to stain this coastline for the next ten thousand years.” While he combs through the rubble on the beach, he stumbles upon a lone survivor, one of the terrorists. The man is badly injured, “covered with festering radiation sores.” Hawkins could kill him right then and there. Why not? An eye for an eye and all that. Among the horror and the wreckage, what’s one more death?

But the damage is already done; one more death won’t make things right. And Hawkins is a compassionate man. So when the injured terrorist asks for a favor – the chance to enjoy one last sunset – Hawkins carries him to the beach and props him up against a rock at the water’s edge. As they listen to the waves crash against the shoreline and watch the sun touch the horizon, the two men share philosophies: one contemplating a grim future, the other with not much future left.

But which is which? And, the terrorist’s story-line isn’t quite yet. It turns out there’s still some life radiating within him.

Is the Dalai Lama right? Without compassion can humanity survive?

Maybe Hawkins should have killed him when he had the chance…

Budget: Moderate-to-high. Some futuristic scene setting may be required, but with some creativity (or some CGI), they could be simulated.

About the writer: The co-writer of the acclaimed graphic novel Chasing the Dead, Tim Westland 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.

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

Read A Line in the Sand

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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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November 25, 2017

    Up And Away by Jami

    Young Clark Kent runs away from home and goes on a journey to find himself and learn more about his adopted country and what it means to be an immigrant in modern day America; meanwhile, his parents, Martha Clark and Jonathan Kent, do all they can to bring him home. 26 pages
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