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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Brightest Star – Short Script Review (Optioned!) - post author KP Mackie

Breaking announcement: A hearty STS congratulations to Lee O’Connor.  The Brightest Star has now been optioned!!  We’ll provide additional news as production progresses.  For anyone who likes what they see here, give Lee a shout out at lee.a.oconnor “AT” gmail and see what else he has available!


The Brightest Star

“Losing somebody you love isn’t easy. Look up at the brightest star and remember them.”

Life is messy. We’re not talking day to day trials and tribulations. More like the big picture. The “None of us gets outta here alive” sort of stuff.

Movies about death and dying are instant drama, custom-made to tug at one’s heartstrings. It’s tough enough to deal with it as an adult. But inject a child into the situation? Guaranteed there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

In The Brightest Star, a young family faces a life-threatening illness. To five year old James, death is a just a concept he’s not old enough to comprehend. So his parents, Mary and Paul, opt to provide the boy with the perfect visual substitution. Stars. As Mary explains to her son, “Stars are where we go when we pass away.”

And that, James can understand. Happy with his mother’s answer, he draws a picture of Planet Earth – filling the dark sky above with stars, and leaving just enough space for “Grandma and Grandpa.” But for Mary and Paul, the reality is far more complicated. And far too soon, Grandpa and Grandma’s stars will be joined by a third…

Simply written, TBS is a straightforward, touching story. One in which the subtext speaks volumes. One with a compelling, universal topic… witnessed through the eyes of a five year old. And a smart script for any director interested in meaningful drama shorts.

About the writer, Lee O’Connor:
I am a writer from the UK for the screen and theatre. I have written several shorts which are in various stages of production. I am currently in the process of writing a feature film which will be shot in L.A early next year. Alongside that, I am in the process of working on two feature films which the genre and subject will remain a mystery.

I like to tackle subject matters that will pull on the heart strings, educate and open a your eyes. Although these genres are at the opposite ends of the spectrum I predominately write drama and sci-fi. I believe you write with what you know, so be yourself and don’t try to mimic another film or script you have read, create your own voice. I am reachable via email: lee.a.oconnor “AT” gmail

Pages: 3

Budget: Basic. A living room, bedroom and hallway interiors. One exterior shot in a garden. Three actors with lots of heart. And a telescope for looking at stars.

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature. KP’s work is available at!





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

12 Comments so far


November 19th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Good work. This is a straightforward piece where things proceed without a bump. I might prefer more conflict and surprises, but that’s me. This is solid and would make an emotional statement. well done.


Barbara Fowler
November 19th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I like your script. 5 year old boys know what stars are so when his mother tells him to leave space for stars in his drawing, he should answer, “Okay mummy.” Then his mom should say that they are important and that you buy them, not that you go to one when you pass away. You go to heaven when someone dies. I think that you should be realistic about the script. Do you think that your script would be good for a school? They do plays.


Steven Clark
November 19th, 2014 at 5:48 pm


Decent job on this. For me, I would have gone for the emotional knockout punch and made it the child who died. However, that’s so sad I don’t think I’d be able to finish it.
That being said, it would further the impact, IMO, if you left out the part of buying stars and just say that’s what people become when they die, or something to that effect.

Good effort, Lee!


Thomas Givings
November 20th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

at first i was kind of off about the writing but the scene break was a nice touch, going from the kid drawing to a month later. i was impressed, it’s an encouraging story.


Henry Christner
November 20th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I like the idea of the stars. Here’s why.

I get annoyed every Christmas when I hear radio ads (in the U.S. anyway) that try to get people to “buy” stars. It always seems like a B.S. thing that takes advantage of people who think their “registered certificate of ownership” means anything.

You changed my opinion. I like the idea of letting a star represent a lost loved one, especially if it brings comfort. After all, we all are the stuff of the same universe, so why not?


Lee O'Connor
November 21st, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for the comments folks.
This is just a simple tale of comforting a child in a tough situation.
A star is something that a few people I know referred to as their loved ones. For example, a friend of mine lost his child and few years ago and to remember him he looks up to the brightest star in the sky. I always that was a comforting way to look at.
Seeings that I am not religious in the slightest I didn’t want to go down the route of explaining to a child that you go to heaven, I felt like using a different method to explain where you go after death, so I thought a cool idea would be for the kid to have a star where he believes his mother has gone to and that he can see her anytime he wants.
I could have gone a load of different directions with this, including depth with characters and whatnot but I just think situation speaks for itself.

Thanks for posting this.



November 22nd, 2014 at 11:10 am

Hey, a star is a sun. Include that somewhere in your script. If not, take these characters back to the stone age or something and cut out the dialogue. It would play out better that way. More intimacy and mystery.


Anthony Cawood
November 23rd, 2014 at 6:40 am

Congrats on the option Lee, look forward to seeing it.



Henry Christner
November 23rd, 2014 at 8:24 am

Congratulations, Lee.


November 23rd, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Congrats, Lee.


Lee O'Connor
November 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Thanks folks. I’ll let you know when it’s complete.


Lee O'Connor
March 29th, 2015 at 3:45 am

Filming. Check out the cast and crew

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