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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Last Few Minutes of Sunlight – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Gary Rowlands


The Last Few Minutes of Sunlight

A terminally ill young woman escapes from a hospital to witness a solar eclipse – one of the last few items on her “To Do” list.

Death – it’s unavoidable. Tragic. So many classic films have been made about how death impacts our lives: movies running the gamut from Dying Young, to Beaches. The Notebook and All that Jazz. Death tears apart families. Relationships. And everyone must come to terms with it… in their own time, and their own way.

So picture this scene: a beautiful, yet terminally ill young woman lies in her hospital bed, waiting to die. (Cue the violins and the obligatory sobbing relatives as the writer squeezes every last drop of melodrama out of the scenario.)

Well, not exactly…

Sneaking into the hospital, Robert snatches his wife Jenny out of bed and into a wheelchair. Together, they slip through hospital corridors undetected and hot-wheel across the parking lot to a getaway car… With not a single tear in sight.

Their destination: a nearby park. Treasuring their stolen moment, the couple lie down on a hill and stare up at the sky, wearing special shades. You see, there’s a solar eclipse on the way. And Jenny wouldn’t miss it for the world. Or her precious time with Robert.

The couple talk frankly as they watch the display – a great mix of heart-wrenching and witty dialogue. About the situation they face. What they want for their families… and most of all, each other.

Poignantly written, The Last Few Minutes of Sunlight deals with the horrors of terminal illness in an honest, yet refreshing way. And despite its inevitable conclusion, this uplifting script avoids wallowing in sorrow – capturing the human spirit in all its magnificence.

The recent success of The Fault in Our Stars proves this genre of story to be a true winner… both financially and critically. Pick Sunlight for your next production, and there won’t be a dry eye in the house when the credits roll!

About the writer: Steven was a finalist in the coWrite competition, an innovative community-sourced screenplay developed in association with respected production company Benderspink (A History of Violence, The Butterfly Effect). He also took 1st Place honors in the March 2009 MoviePoet short script competition.

Steven is a member of Writer’s Boot Camp, was a finalist in the 2008 The Movie Deal screenplay competition and has twice been a finalist in the NYC Midnight Screenwriting Competition (2007 & 2008). He holds a Bachelors degree in Theater and an Associate degree in Film/Video Production. More of Steven’s work may be found at his website: (email: Steven “AT”

Pages: 6

Budget: Cheap as chips. Two locations – a hospital room and a park. A couple of quick shots of a parking lot and a moving car. Minimal SFX of a solar eclipse. And a tiny cast of three.

About guest reviewer Gary “Rolo” Rowlands: Born and raised in North Wales, Gary started out writing comedy sketches and his work was featured on SPITTING IMAGE a hugely popular sketch show in the UK that regularly attracted upwards of ten million viewers.

After a fifteen year hiatus, he took up writing once more and recently sold his short script Death of an Icon to an Emmy nominated director. He has also penned several features and has just finished a high concept zombie comedy that promises to bring something new to the genre. Aside from writing, his biggest passion is the English soccer team Everton F.C. – he can be contacted at: gazrow “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.

4 Comments so far


Lee O'Connor
August 7th, 2014 at 11:44 am

Personally for me I think the sister should be scrapped. Although I understand why she is in the story, It’s just as I was reading I could see the strong love between the young couple then it got distracted by an argument. I don’t think we should be drawn away from the peaceful final moments. Other than that it’s a beautifully written story that hits home.


August 8th, 2014 at 4:50 am

@Lee O’Connor
I thought about what the story would feel like if the sister got scrapped. True, the sister’s scene does feel a bit jarring when the script cuts away from their final moments. But taking the sister’s scene out leaves the idea of euthanasia more or less uncontested. The sister is pro-life while Robert and Jenny aren’t. It adds that extra dimension that would be difficult to replace.


Lee O'Connor
August 8th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the short and could see this being produced. All the best with this one


KP Mackie
June 19th, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Still a really poignant story! 🙂

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