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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tick Tock Toe – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Dane Whipple

Tick Tock Toe

An elderly man plays tic tic toe with his granddaughter resulting in an unexpected outcome

Life isn’t a game you win or lose.

Rose is a born loser. An awkward, angsty, acne-ridden 14-year-old. After a long day of being ridiculed by the popular kids at school, she stops by the nursing care center to visit her grandfather, Sidney.

Sidney is a born winner. Or at least he was, until he got put out to pasture here at the old folks home. Here, his winning days exist only as faded photographs of yesteryear. Nowadays, Sidney is a bit of a curmudgeon. He calls things like he sees them, and what he sees is that Rose could use some life lessons.

To kill some time, Sidney and Rose decide to play a good old game of Tick Tac Toe. Sidney plays to win. Rose plays not to lose.

Naturally, game after game ends in a draw. What’s the point of a game you can’t win?

As the two trade moves on the board, they swap stories, as well. Sidney’s time in the war has given him a unique perspective on life, and some advice for Rose on how to live it. Following draw after draw, Rose begins to adopt a new and positive outlook, and Sidney realizes that perhaps it is time for him to try a new approach to the game of life. He knows all too well that if you kill enough time, it may just kill you right back.

In the tradition of Gran Torino and Little Miss Sunshine, Tick Tock Toe is a classic mentor/mentee character-driven drama, examining what the young can learn from the old and vice versa. There is also an element of life mirroring the game ala Searching for Bobby Fisher. The script offers a profound meditation on the nature of life, death, and everything in between. The kind of weighty rumination that would make Terrence Malick proud, TTT is surely set to be a standout on the festival and awards circuits.

If you are looking for a real winner, play a game of Tick Tock Toe!

Pages: 13

Budget: Medium. One central location, the nursing home, with a short school scene and a (spoiler) casket shot.

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is living in a powder keg and giving off sparks. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (a)

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)

Read Tick Tock Toe

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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.

3 Comments so far


February 10th, 2016 at 8:06 am

One of my favorites from the OWC!

Excellent! Good luck with this one. 🙂


February 13th, 2016 at 11:40 pm

This has a nice message. It doesn’t do much to keep my interest, then again, who the hell am I? It seems the dialogue is a bit much for a crotchety old man and a bitter teen but I suppose this is the implication here when all you have is time. I actually didn’t buy her angst as much as I thought I was going to. Anyway, it has a pleasant message.


KP Mackie
February 15th, 2016 at 3:18 pm

A wonderful story!
Well written and loaded with emotion. Someone make this one so we ALL can see it. 🙂

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