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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ready or Not – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by KP Mackie

Ready Or Not by Tim Ratcliffe

“A little girl has an easier time hiding from her father than the harsh realities of life.”

You had me at “hello.”

Rather like Renee Zellweger’s infamous one-liner to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, you’ll be had immediately with the first few lines of description in Tim Radcliffe’s sentimental short, Ready Or Not:

The girl in the photo, ABBY, four, curly hair, stands in the middle of the room. Her hands cover her eyes.

            ABBY
Eighteen, nineteen, twenty.

     Her hands fall away to reveal her face beaming with excitement.

            ABBY
Ready or not, here I come.

Who’s not a sucker for stories about adorable kids and their loving parents?

Abby and her dad Jack play hide-and-seek. A lot. And according to Abby’s mother Jenna, Jack is pretty good at it. On one particular occasion, Jenna tells Abby: “He’s hiding in a really good spot.” But young Abby is never deterred. “I’ll find him. I always do.”

Abby searches all Dad’s usual hiding places: a kitchen cupboard, under the dining table, behind curtains. Will she find him? Of course she will! Because this game has one indisputable rule: Jack ALWAYS lets Abby find him.

            JACK
You got some x-ray vision
that you’re not tellin’ me about?

And just like it’s supposed to be for an adorable daughter and her loving dad, Jack raises a giggling Abby over his head.

            ABBY
No Dad, I’m just good at this game.

So it goes… until the familiar and fun game of hide-and-seek isn’t just child’s play anymore.

Ready Or Not speaks volumes. Three words uttered — in most cases screamed — after counting to twenty in the popular kids’ game, signal the beginning of a game. In RON those words ultimately deliver an ironic ending: Sometimes there’s no fun and games whatsoever when it comes to the unpredictable game of life.

Are you a director with a soft spot? If so, be ready to be had by Ready Or Not too. Here’s a guarantee — you won’t be alone.

Budget: Low. Simple casting because ALL four-year-olds are adorable. Two loving parents required, plus one extra. Several interior shots could be staged for two common locations.

About the Writer: Tim Ratcliffe is an Australian writer who frequently travels the world in search of new adventures and experiences. A former journalist, he has written a number of short screenplays and had a few produced. A lover of all things creative, Tim has also tried his hand at acting, improv and stand-up comedy. He can be reached at tjames.ratcliffe ‘AT’ gmail.

Read Ready Or Not (5 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 her animated feature.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Visit With Pearl – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by Guest Reviewer

A Visit with Pearl by Jason K. Allen

When a lonely old man visits his beloved wife’s grave, he encounters a charming little girl who lifts him out of his doldrums and gives him hope.

Love and loss; it’s an age old theme brought to life with an elegant touch in Jason K. Allen’s A Visit With Pearl.

The scene: a cemetery in the country. A lonely grave. The name etched on the headstone: Pearl.

Old and barely able to walk (let alone sit down), Preston’s just mustered the courage to visit his wife’s resting place. A widower after fifty-five years of marriage, Preston still feels the fresh sting of grief, one year after her death.

At a loss, Preston talks to Pearl. Communing with nature… and silence.

Until company intrudes… in the form of a precocious pigtailed girl. Ignoring her mother a few feet away, the little girl skips over to Preston – filling his solemn moment with vibrant life. Not to mention the usual flurry of questions a child asks; innocent, straightforward and naively sweet.

Which ultimately makes Preston realize there’s more to life than loss. And that the world’s – sometimes more than what it seems.

Grab this one and do it justice. It’ll bring more than one tear to your eyes.

Budget: You’ll need one location and three actors. The closer you can match Preston to the old man in Up, the better. Couple him with a small role for a woman and a spirited girl. And lots of nostalgia, as well.

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. Jason is also a wilderness guide, nature photographer, and published author. See IMDB for his complete credits:

Read A Visit with Pearl (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: 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. Want to drop Rachel line? She can be reached at rachelkate.miller (a) gmail.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Creation of Oz – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Guest Reviewer

The Creation of Oz (6 pages in PDF format) by Marnie Mitchell

Sometimes, the most beautiful dreams emerge from the most modest beginnings…

Where do wizards come from?

And not just wizards. Thoughts. Ideas. Stories. Do they all sprout from random events? An odd sparking of the synapses – with no true rhyme or reason? Or it there always an ah-hah origin – no matter how small or unexpected – from which our grandest tales and myths grow?

In the Creation of Oz, talented writer Marnie Mitchellweaves an imaginary tale of the origins of “The Wizard of Oz.” While it may not be rooted in historical fact, The Creation of Oz taps into the colorful fantasy of this beloved film… capturing the spirit and magic at its heart – if not the true reality.

The opening description: a farm located in South Dakota – smack dab in tornado alley. As a twister approaches, young Frank Baum (10) is herded into an underground shelter, along with the rest of his family. Aunt Emogene. Uncle Luke. Crotchedy neighbor Mrs. Krause. And three year old Dorothy.

Shivering in the shadow of the twister, the family wait out the storm. It is here in the dim light of an oil lamp that young Frank – a natural storyteller – passes the time. Distracting his family with an impromptu tall tale… of a little girl, and her tumultuous journey to find her way home from a strange and magical land. It’s a story we’ve all heard before. But even the most time-worn tale has it’s beginning somewhere.

Filled with tons of Easter Eggs for Wizard of Oz fans, The Creation of Oz is a charming script with great characters – not to mention a built-in fan base! If your tastes run towards the whimsical, grab this script while you can. Before it’s gone… over the rainbow.

Budget: Eminently producible. One setting (the shelter), and seven characters.

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

Read The Creation of Oz (6 pages in PDF format)

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

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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, September 12, 2017

Close To Sunset by Steven Clark – Short Script Review – In Production - posted by Steve Miles

Close to Sunset (16 pages in pdf format) Steven Clark In Production

After the death of his mother, a middle-aged man learns the horrifying truth about the childhood disappearance of his brother.

Production Stills

Script Review

Home movie footage has a way of evoking emotion. A grainy, colour faded moment captured in time. This is how Beyond Sunset starts: young brothers, Jack and Sam, fool for the camera. A fleeting memory of lost childhood.

Shadows grow over a public playground. A car prowls along an adjacent road. The boys play, each lost in a world of blissful innocence. Moments later Jack looks up to find his brother gone. He squints into the setting sun, just in time to catch Sam wave goodbye before he slips into the car and vanishes forever.

Jump forward several decades. Jack, now in his 50s and with a family of his own. It’s been a rough week for Jack. Mom’s dead. Her estate needs to be settled which leaves Jack and younger sister, Trisha, to clear the old family home for sale.

It’s a task fraught with emotion. The sting of memory carried with every trinket and family photograph. There’s that yellow dress of Mom’s or the grave of Houdini, beloved house-cat who was never fully tamed. 

As Jack delves deeper into the shadows of Mom’s life secrets begin to reveal themselves. Old wounds are opened and tensions rise, until finally Jack stumbles upon the darkest recess of them all…

Steven Clark’s haunting thriller Beyond Sunset lights a fuse that burns its way to the very end. It’s a tense, brooding mystery, delivered with a subtlety that begs to be picked up.  Any filmmaker looking for a low budget nuanced thriller would be remiss not to check this script out immediately.

About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.

About the reviewer: 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 at sjmilesscripts.webs.com

Read Close to Sunset (pdf format)

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

Wednesday, 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

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October 23, 2017

    The Tenderest Cuts by Alexander Brauck (PrussianMosby ) writing as Anonymous

    When a couple rebuffs their sex-obsessed roommate, they set free her inherited psychological craftsmanship.
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