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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Ephesians – by Mark Lyons – Produced. Watch the trailer - posted by Don

The Ephesian (16 pages in pdf format) by Mark Lyons (rc1107) has been produced.

A mourning father lobbies to visit a gangster on the eve of his execution.

When a long-grieving father lobbies to visit a killer on death row, he walks into the chance of a lifetime to come face-to-face with the man who murdered his infant son.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Great news for writer Rick Hansberry! (Cards and Alienate) - posted by wonkavite

Please join STS in congratulating writer Rick Hansberry.  Not once, but multiple times…

1) His recently reviewed short, Cards, has been picked up for a student production by Selma Linski in exotic Sofia, Bulgaria!  (Shooting set for end of June.)  Other directors take note: the script is still available for professional production, so give this one a look before it’s  gone:

Cards (drama) –  A pair of copyrighters continue their career-long battle long after retirement.

2) Rick’s SF feature length, Alienate, has recently secured funding to finish post production and have officially been picked up by Red Sea Media Look for the premiere later this year.  In the meantime check out the trailer at:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Support Space Rippers - posted by Don

Some info on Space Rippers

Turn Me On Dead Man – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Turn Me On, Dead Man

Three band mates cover up the death of their famous bassist.

When someone asks you to name an urban legend, Bigfoot might come to mind. If not that hairy beast, then perhaps Bloody Mary. Or that creepy stalker guy – with a steel hook for a hand. One that probably won’t occur to you is “Billy Shears.” But if that name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry. Your mother would know. ‘Cause she was born a long, long time ago…

Based off the legend of a world famous doppelganger, Turn Me On Dead Man tells a tale of a man plucked from obscurity and transformed into a music icon.

With a little help from his friends.

Those of you old enough to have once been called “hippies” are probably catching on right about now.

Imagine – a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the infamous “Paul is dead” hoax.

That is, unless it’s really true…

The script opens after Paul McCartney’s fatal car accident. A stunned John, George and Ringo come together to conspire – hatching a plot to replace their friend with a look-alike, and keep the Beatles’ dream alive. As luck would have it, they discover a dead ringer. The one and only Billy Shears.

But can Billy and the lads Fool the World? Or will the band inevitably leave a trail of musical crumbs that point their loyal fans towards the truth?

A fab mixture of folklore and fantasy, Turn Me On Dead Man is chock full of enough jokes to fill Albert Hall. See if you can spot all the Beatle lyrics hidden in the dialogue… beginning with the title, all the way to the horrifying end.

And if you don’t know what we’re talking about by now? Get thee to Pandora. Immediately!

Pages: 8

Budget: Moderate. Locations include a recording studio and a concert backstage area. Costumes require Beatle suits and wigs. If you’re lucky, you might even convince Ringo to play himself. All he has to do is act naturally.

About the guest 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  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.

About the writer, David Clarke Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time.  My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies.

In addition to this short, I have written three features; “The Last Statesman” (a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), “The Beginning of The End and The End” (a Nicholl’s quarterfinalist and PAGE Awards semi-finalist) and I have recently completed a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”.

A regular at Simplyscripts, Dave can be emailed at dlambertson “AT” hotmail!





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.





Monday, May 11, 2015

A Bike by Olga Tremaine has been produced - posted by Don

Olga Tremaine’s script A Bike (Short, Drama – 6 pages pdf format) has been produced.

A young man sells his old bike, only his transaction is not what he expected.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Congratulations to Richard Russell! - posted by wonkavite

His reviewed short, Last Date, has been officially been optioned by Digital Cafe, LLC.  We’ll keep you apprised as more information becomes available.  Including teaser trailers, of course!  :)

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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Original Script Sunday for May 10th - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are forty original scripts for your reading pleasure.

Happy Mother’s Day.


Friday, May 8, 2015

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What? (Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World) – Part 6 - posted by wonkavite

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What?

(Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World)

Part 6: Options, Sales and Production

A few people have asked me recently how I manage to sell and option so many short scripts.

My response? I usually laugh, and get embarrassed (what can I say – I’m a Brit!) Anything to move the subject along.

Others have shared their experiences of optioning/selling scripts, and their frustrations regarding what happens next. Or as is often the case – what fails to happen next.

As a result, I thought it would be useful to take a look at both sides of the coin, and share my personal experiences. Note: In this article, I’ve strived to be as ‘full disclosure’ as possible without discussing individual deals. And please keep in mind, this all relates to my experience only. Your mileage may vary.

Sales and Options

According to my calculations, I’ve written 30 short scripts over the space of just shy of 2 years.

19 of them are currently sold, or under option. I say ‘currently’ because I’ve got an additional 6 shorts where the options have technically lapsed. So you could argue the number’s 25.

I’ve also written three scripts specifically at someone’s request. Only one of those has actually made it to fruition. In the other two cases, the “commissioner” of the script proved unable to move the project forward, leaving me with the unproduced work. One of those has since sold to a different producer.

Let me clarify what I mean when I use the terms Sales or Options. Trust me, I have my reasons.

Sale: Someone buys the script outright for money. And a contract exists to formalize that.

Option: Someone agrees to try and pull the resources together to make the script within an agreed-upon window – normally 6-12 months – with agreed payment to follow.

A further note regarding options: these are usually offered by newer producers or directors (sometimes students) who don’t initially have funds available… or just want to ensure they can get the project off the ground before sinking capital into it. Any agreed payment for such deals is often only a percentage of the profits the short may make, rather than a defined monetary amount. This type of deal is often called a Free Option.

Sales have $$ paid up front. A couple include bonus $$ upon start of production, things of that nature. Note: Whenever I can, I make a point to obtain a percentage of the profits on the backend as well. Shorts usually make no profit at all. But I want to be included in case it goes viral, or blows up some way!

When talking with a Producer or Director, I ask if they have a budget for purchasing the script, then go from there. Why? Because I strongly believe a writer’s work has value. We spend time, effort and emotional energy on every script we create. So we deserve to be compensated when it’s possible.

Contract and agreements, I tend to play by ear. Some people will disagree with this strategy – and I do wish to stress I only do this for shorts.

When payment is involved, there’s usually a contract. I don’t use a lawyer or agent – just my common sense. Knock on wood… it’s worked. So far!

With options, I email an outline of my terms to the producer, and make sure all parties are in agreement on the terms.

A quick note when it comes to both types of agreements (both email and signed): don’t be scared to ask for anything you consider right and fair. And never be afraid to say no, if you’re not comfortable with a deal.

As to what contracts contain: that’s always different! Usually, they’re drafted by the Producer/Buyer. On a couple of occasions, I’ve been asked to supply them. In those circumstances, I just retrofit one I’ve already got. If you don’t have one on hand, Googling for templates also works.

For me, the essential elements are these:

  • What rights are you granting to the producer? e.g. Sole and exclusive, region specific or worldwide?
  • What does it extend to? e.g.: is it just this script, or does it grant rights over sequels, remakes, etc (you should definitely try to keep these rights.)
  • Make sure the contract specifies how long it’s for.
  • Make certain payment terms and amounts are included – plus timings and delivery mechanisms (Paypal is one great method– though they do take a cut.)
  • If in doubt about a clause, seek clarity before you sign.
  • Very, very important note: if and when I get to this stage with a Feature script, I’ll be seeking professional legal advice.

Pre-production Frustration

I recently shot the short “Txt M” from my own script – precisely due to frustration with how long it can take films to get made!

So for those who’ve sold/optioned scripts and now wait in limbo. Please believe: I feel your pain

But in the end, there’s very little you can do. Producers and Directors are not doing it to you on purpose (as much as it may seem that way!). No, there’s a whole host of reasons it can take awhile before an optioned script goes into production.

  • They have a window – which just so happens to be 6 months away.
  • Their plans change. Many short film-makers have other jobs. Your short is just their passion project, which can only be done on their off time.
  • Resources and/or finances change. Or disappear.
  • They flat-out change their mind.

Of course, none of those reasons make the process any less frustrating… however how valid they may be. My advice. Patience is a virtue. Practice it. Often and wisely.

As a side note: it’s often interesting to see how willing or unwilling the film maker is to involve you in the process. In my experience, I’ve had audition tapes sent to me for my review. Rewritten scenes as required. Advised on prop selections, etc. Even if the producer prefers you take a ‘hands off’ approach, there’s no harm in letting them know you are keen to work with them, if desired, so as to better understand the process.


But once a script is finally produced, everything comes up roses.


Well kinda. But not really. Among other things, one learns about (drum roll)…


Post-production is where a lot of the magic happens. Film editing. Sound effects. Colour adjustments. Music, titles, credits. And more.

Needless to say, that can take awhile. So you’ll need to practice your patience again.

Please don’t interpret any of this as a complaint. If I didn’t think it was all worth it, I wouldn’t have written 30 shorts and 2 features. I’d have found something to do with more instant gratification.

But it’s good for writers to be aware of the potential bumps in the road. Factor them into your expectations.

Thank God – The Damned Thing’s Filmed!

Yes, that day has finally come. You’ve been sent a Vimeo link, or a DVD of your film. Now you can relax and soak in compliments from your jealous friends.


Well. Sorta. But then you watch the film – and your over-critical ID chimes in.

Because, unless you directed and edited the final movie, it’s very, VERY likely it won’t be exactly the same as what you envisioned in your mind’s eye.

Reasons for changes are unending. Budgetary concerns. Dialogue can be altered. Casting may not be your taste.

And make no mistake – there’s nothing you can do about it… unless you morph into a director, and insist on making scripts your way.

So focus on the positives!

  • You conceived a great idea – and it got filmed.
  • You had the creative skill to distill your ideas into a successful script.
  • You had the gumption and fortitude to get that script into the hands of a real film maker, who thought highly enough of it to invest time, effort and money to make it a reality.

As a result, you’re now watching something that has your name in the credits. You’re a produced screenwriter, which is no small achievement. No matter how arduous the journey was.

As for my own stuff? Well, I keep plugging away, and will broach every opportunity to push and promote my scripts. But there’s no magic involved. It’s just an established plan that’s worked for me. So far:

  • Have a decent idea. Follow it up with a decent script.
  • Get feedback to make sure that script is as good as it can be. I mostly use Simplyscripts and Stage 32. Both are invaluable to me!
  • Get your script listed everywhere (I’ve discussed go-to links in my previous articles.) But for the record, Simplyscripts and Inktips have given me the majority of my success.
  • Refresh your listings. Change your loglines. Always keep working on the scripts.
  • If someone requests to see one of your works, make sure you use it as an opportunity to build relationships. They may not ultimately want the script they ask for. But they may like your writing, and choose something else you have. Or ask you to write something for them.
  • Always, always – persevere.

And the result? Out of my 19 scripts, 3 have been produced and are watchable (links available on my site.) 2 are in post production (I’m hoping to see them in the next 2-3 months.) 8 are slated to start production six months from now. The rest, further out than that.   And I have a feeling that as least another 2-3 will end up as lapsed options. Sad as that may be…

And speaking of future predictions: I’ve started to concentrate on Feature scripts. Which means going through all the pain, agony and frustration all over again. But in new and interesting ways.

I’ll keep STS posted. Perversely, I’m looking forward to it!

About Anthony: 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

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Congratulations to Zach Zupke! - posted by wonkavite

Here ye, here ye – breaking news!  Writer Zack Zupke has been informed that his reviewed short script, The Confession, has been chosen as a student production by Trident Community College.  Shooting due to start in a few scant weeks.  Important note: per Zack, this script is NOT off the market, and is still fully available for professional acquisition.  Though based on the Trident team’s enthusiasm, you pros better act fast! :)

So – in case you missed it last time – here’s a repost of the full review – script link available below:

The Confession

Confession Day comes but once a year for a small southern family, but once too often for an abusive husband and father with a secret weakness.

Homespun stories with colorful characters. That’s what made Mark Twain so great. That and a heaping serving of sarcastic wit. (The Southern drawls were the icing on the cake.)

Well, Mark’s been gone for quite some time, and the world’s moved onto other things. Tarantino-esque crime stories. Gross out comedies. Torture porn. But every once in awhile one gets a hankerin’… for a good ole fashioned yarn. One where you can practically hear the picturesque crickets chirping in the yard. And Mark Twain snickering from his grave….

Fortunately, there are still scripts that serve up such fare. STS presents: The Confession.

A simple story, The Confession opens in church… the town gathered for a funeral service. The dear departed is Dwight Plickens, 45. Though we’re being somewhat charitable by calling him “dear”. As church attendees shoots the breeze, a clear picture of Dwight emerges. One that’s not so generous. An older guy married to a sweet young thang, and short on social graces. His greatest talent, according to the crowd? Inhaling a whole chicken in one serving. Leg, wings, bones and all.

And speaking of bones…. The rumor is one did him in. Yep, he choked on the gall-darned thing at the kitchen table. A doggone shame. What a tragedy.

The service starts. Church bells ring. Young widow Katie trails the casket, accompanied by ten year old son Tate. Their appearance causes more buzz among the assembled. They’re both dry-eyed. Not a single tear.

After the service, Katie pulls the Reverend aside. It’s been awhile since her last confession, and she wants to get a few things off her chest. The Reverend agrees. After all, there’s plenty of time before the burial. And where’s the harm in a few words? But secrets run deep in certain Southern communities. And Katie’s confession’s a real doozy…

Indie directors, prick up your ears. Confession’s a cool breeze on a hot day. A script with charm if there ever was one. Memorable characters. Wry humor. All you need bring is lemonade…

About the writer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

Pages: 12

Budget: Relatively low. A church. A casket. One home scene. And some actors with great dialogue delivery.





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.




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