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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Along the Roadside – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Anthony Cawood

Along the Roadside (pdf format) by Brian Wind

A murderous drifter meets his match along a desolate stretch of rural road.

Gotta love any script that manages to intertwine a geriatric crocheting in the back seat of a sedan with serial killer butcherings…

Which is exactly what Along the Roadside, from Brian Wind, manages to great comedic effect. Of course that’s comedy as black as the La Brea Tar Pits!

Let’s join sweet old couple Parker and Taylor as they take a leisurely drive down a rural road. A figure in the distance waves them down, so they stop to offer the stranger a lift. That lonely figure is Yancy – the kind of hitcher the geriatric couple should leave stranded at the curbside, choking on their diesel dust. But hey – they’re old, naive and trusting. Just what Yancy’s counting on.

Did I mention that Yancy kills people who pick him up? Yep – that’s his standard M.O.

In fact, he mentions that detail to his over friendly benefactors, who seem to take it far too well (beyond a Waltons-esque exclamation or two). Even Yancy is puzzled. For awhile.

You can probably work out the twist by now. Or at least part of it. But there’s an Easter egg or two in this one, pertaining to Taylor’s name…

A great example of less being more, Along the Roadside packs a hell of a lot into five pages and limited characters. With an overload of dark humor.

Pages: 5

Budget: A very affordable shoot: limited location – small cast. We’ve only got one warning: budget for a quick trip to the grocery store.

About the writer: Brian Wind can be contacted at bwind22 “at” yahoo!

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with four shorts produced, two in post production and another 10 short scripts optioned/sold. You can find out more at AnthonyCawood.Co.Uk

Read Along the Roadside (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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Boulangerie – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author LC

Boulangerie (pdf format) by Jose Arana

An abused girl in a French village meets the most unlikeliest hero: a baker.

Babette’s Feast, Big Night, Rataouille, Chocolat, Heartburn.

What do all of these classic movies movies have in common? Food. And their accompanying themes of the power of food – food as seduction, as self indulgence, and that eternal struggle between self denial and sensual gratification. Food is a powerful and primary ingredient in all of our lives to comfort and sustain, but mostly to nourish.

Writer Jose Arana introduces us to Richard Dubois, a man in his late 50s, who knows all about food, specifically that staple – bread. Problem is, he appears to be missing some of that all important nourishment. When we first meet Richard he’s kneading a ball of dough as if his life depends on it. He’s a man in the zone, and, it appears, a man in a considerable amount of emotional pain – working that dough as if to exorcise his demons. What these demons are at this point, we don’t know, but how fitting it is that the French word for ‘bread’ is in fact ‘pain’, and it’s writ large on Richard’s face.

Set in a small Parisian village in a quaint old style bakery – Jose sets the scene so you can almost taste the fluffy white rolls, the sweet brioche, and the buttery croissants – feel the warmth emanating in the room, and smell the freshly baked bread as it comes out of the oven.

But outside a storm’s raging, torrential rain, lightning, thunder – it’s a dirty night and commuters are scurrying home to the warmth and safe haven of their homes and loved ones. Not so, eight year old Madeleine, who suddenly appears on Richard’s doorstep. At first glance Richard fails to recognize her – her face concealed under a hooded rain-coat and looking bedraggled from the wild weather – it takes him a moment to realize she’s a local girl and he quickly invites her inside to get warm and take shelter.

Something’s up, but we don’t know what, and despite the little girl’s protests Richard insists on telephoning Madeleine’s mother to let her know she’s all right. Though he commiserates with Madeleine and is aware of her mother’s reputation for strictness, he is quick to remind her that respecting one’s elders is very important.

But when Madeleine’s mother doesn’t answer the phone… Richard is not happy and the tone shifts.

It’s one clever little girl however who changes the subject and asks Richard about his passion for baking and when Madeleine expresses her interest in taking up the pursuit a bond develops between the two, and not just through a love of bread-making. It’s easy to see Madeleine craves a father figure, also easy to see Richard has a big gap to fill in his life.

Jose Arana weaves a deceptively simple tale With Boulangerie – a balanced and layered dish of bittersweet ingredients with a dash of that secret ingredient – mystery. Through flashback we discover both Richard and Madeleine harbor secrets and that each bears familiar scars, but that in each other they might just find a kindred spirit.

Boulangerie is a gentle and quiet narrative, its subtext and subtle impact felt not only through what is said in dialogue but equally through what is left unsaid. This is a story with much more going on than first meets the eye.

As with all good mysteries, some crucial questions remain unanswered:

What’s an eight year old girl doing out alone and in the middle of a storm? And, what of the suspicious bruises on her arm? Where is Madeleine’s mother, and why doesn’t she answer the phone? Finally, what is the significance of the shattered photo frame – a portrait of Madeleine and her mother, and the flashback to Richard, and his own mother.

Well, you’ll just have to read the script to find out. Will your appetite be sated? Yes, you’ll be full as a goose.

But don’t delay. We recommend you act fast and get first dibs because there’s sure to be a bit of a bun-fight over this one. And, one thing’s for sure, the clever crafting of Boulangerie will definitely leave you wanting more of what Jose Arana has to offer.

Pages: 5

Budget: Reasonable. One location: a bakery and two main rolls (excuse me, “roles.”) It’s a budget that won’t require too much dough. 🙂

About the writer: Jose Arana loves telling stories that are heartwarming and adventurous. With a B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Southern California and a minor in Cinematic Arts, he enjoys hearing back from how his work leaves an impact in people’s hearts. He loves being of service to others. Contact him at jarana27 “AT” gmail

About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Read Boulangerie (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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Original Scripts Sunday for November 27th - post author Don

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

– Don

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Final Level – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

The Final Level (pdf format) by Jeff Bush

Two warriors fight for their survival in a wicked game with deadly adversaries.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock throughout 2015, you’re aware that Sci-Fi is really a big thing. As of July 1st, Jurassic World’s grossed $520 million in the US alone. And newcomer Terminator: Genisys is up to $17M worldwide. Each a blockbuster in its own right; which is surely no surprise. ‘Cause who doesn’t love an adrenalin-pumping monster or robot flick… especially in these summer days?

Which is exactly the appeal of Jeff Bush’s riveting short, The Final Level. It’s a simple concept with non-stop action… limited location, but wild FX.

The protagonists: Gladiators Ayreon and Olzon – clad in leather armor and armed with plasma shooting guns. They’re trapped in a room and fighting to the death… creatures attacking on all sides.

What creatures you ask? Well, they’re something called the “Myygen” – “arachnid in appearance, with twitching, dripping whip like tails.” The Myygen come in different sizes (all equally lethal, of course.) They shoot a “moist, sticky web” of slime at their human targets – loaded with venom that burns. Poisons. And kills.

As their ammunition dwindles, Ayreon and Olzon retreat to a lift – one that promises them swift ascent to freedom. But as elevator engines start to rumble, the Myygens attack with a vengeance – blocking off the valiant warriors’ escape.

Why are Ayreon and Olzon there? Can they survive the onslaught? And if they do – what horrors await them just above?

Needless to say, this is one script that requires FX/CGI. But in these days of affordable tech and software – that’s far from an unreachable dream. Look at Cloverfield and District Nine – two films that proved that wild FX can be done effectively… and relatively cheap. If you’re a director that aspires to work in the SF field, grab Final Level and run with it. It could be your passport to even greater things!

Pages: 8

Budget: A small challenge, but imagine the fun with FX/CGI. Two lead testosterone-fueled actors, a female with a distinctive voice for voiceover work, plus a few extras.

About the Writer: A veteran writer with almost a decade of experience, Jeff Bush has written 15 shorts, and 2 features – with 3 more in the works. Partnered with writer Shawn Davis, Jeff has another film due to be optioned by Nancy Glass Productions/MTV, and a cowritten feature due for production in August, with release towards the end of 2015. A stickler for details and format, Jeff’s tastes run toward the horror/thriller genre… almost always with an R rating! Reach out to him at dreamscale (a)

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on an animated feature.

Read The Final Level (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, November 24, 2016

Fabrini – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

Fabrini (pdf format) by Henry Christner

An old hotel elevator operator in Washington, D.C., discovers an alignment of past and present.

Tom Hanks races to the top of the Empire State Building for a fated rendezvous with Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle

Keanu Reeves descends to rescue hostages from the evil Dennis Hopper in Speed

Gene Wilder propels his pure imagination to even greater heights in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Will Ferrell acts out the ultimate push-button fantasy in Elf

Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, and Josh Hutcherson react differently to Jena Malone’s striptease in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

And in 2010’s Devil… well, never mind.

What do all these movie scenes have in common? An elevator! Ever contemplated inserting an elevator scene into your screenplay? If you haven’t… perhaps you should. It’s a detail so vital to the Die Hard franchise that elevator scenes were included in all five movies. Yippee-ki-yay! As Bruce Willis might say…

And in the short script Fabrini, an elevator proves the perfect stage. The protagonist: 74-year-old Joe Fabrini; longtime elevator operator at the Doyle Hotel in D.C. A man at peace with his place in life, Joe’s almost a part of the hotel himself. Attired in a “burgundy whipcord suit and gendarme cap,” Fabrini is a fixture of a bygone era – eagerly regaling riders with stories of famous people who have stayed at the hotel. Though he clearly relishes the spotlight, he’s also quick to point out, “I see a lot of things. But I see nothing.”

When the story opens, Fabrini has the rapt attention of a couple as he describes a brief encounter with Jackie Kennedy. As the couple exits, Joe’s in midstory of yet another tale… regarding old-time screen actress Ida Lupino. Fabrini takes the interruption in stride, welcoming aboard two new riders: the elegant 66-year-old Miss Carlson and her son, Paul. Miss Carlson visited the Doyle once before. A long, long time ago.

Fabrini immediately engages the two in repartee – it turns out Miss Carlson likes Lupino too! Fabrini and Carlson share fond memories of the Doyle Hotel’s ballroom, that “wonderfully romantic place in the old days.” Which is when young Paul reveals, “It’s the reason we’re here.” The question is – what exactly does that mean?

A vivid story-within-a-story, Fabrini is a touching tale filled with sweetness and nostalgia. For a smart and sensitive director, this ride is well worth taking…

Pages: 7

Budget: Minimal. A handful of characters. Dress Joe Fabrini appropriately to add flair. Getting permission to commandeer an elevator should be easy. Plus, do yourself a favor — Google “Ida Lupino.” 🙂

About the Writer: Henry Christner, a former teacher and newspaperman, is a relative newcomer to screenwriting. He is the author of one feature, “Let Me Die in My Footsteps,” and three shorts — “Conversion,” “Hagridden,” and “Fabrini.” He can be reached at Hdchristner (a) yahoo!

Read Fabrini (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, November 23, 2016

Birth of a Nation and Jackie – For Your consideration - post author Don

Fox Searchlight is next out the gate with:

Birth of a Nation – June 15, 2015 Yellow draft shooting script by Nate Parker (story by Nate Parker & Jean McGianni Celestin) – hosted by: Fox Searchlight Pictures – in pdf format

Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. W

Information courtesy of

Jackie – Undated, unspecified draft script by Noah Oppenheim – hosted by: Fox Searchlight Pictures – in pdf format

JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.

Information courtesy of

Check out more Scripts Studios are Posting for 2016 – 2017 Script Award Consideration

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scooter – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

Scooter (pdf format) by Libby Chambers

In the Suburbs of Sydney in the 70s, an adolescent girl longs for a scooter…or at least she thinks she does.

Remember when you were 12? We all do – no matter how long ago it was. No responsibilities and no worries. The realities of life left to the adults. Looking back, that childhood naïveté and innocence was pretty close to bliss. Even if we didn’t know it, at the time.

Indulging in a bit of nostalgia is comforting. And therein lies the appeal of Scooter. It’s the 1970s. The setting? Sydney, Australia – a sunny day. 12 year old Lizzie lounges outside with older sister, Nina. They’re watching a group of exuberant 14 year old boys race scooters down a hill. And Lizzie’s getting jealous.

“The boys fly down the hill at breakneck speed, whooping as they go.” Lizzie’s positively “transfixed.” Christmas is coming soon, and Lizzie wonders if Mum and Dad might buy her a scooter of her own. In bed that night, she shares those thoughts with Nina. But Nina discourages her, telling Liz she overheard their parents discussing Dad’s job. Asking for a scooter “isn’t a good idea.” Money’s kind of tight right now.

And with those simple words, Lizzie’s dreams are dashed to the floor.

Remember Christmas when you were a kid? Waiting with bated breath to see what morning would bring… and if it would be as magical as you hoped for? Lizzie’s about to go through that turmoil, too. But will she get what she really, truly wants?

A sweet sentimental script, Scooter is reminiscent of many classics. Stand By Me, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Moonrise Kingdom. Like those eternal standards, Scooter brings to mind that long-lost time – when life was simple, and the biggest concern on every child’s mind was yearning for that special present.

Are you a director or producer looking for Christmas to come early? Scooter would make a terrific gift!

Pages: 11

Budget: Low. Two girls, a few rambunctious teenage boys, and a hill. Simple interior shots in a house. Add BYOS (Bring Your Own Scooters) and some Christmas decor for a fun trip down memory lane!

About the Writer: Libby Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She has also worked professionally as a freelance web-content editor and proofreader. She is thrilled her first ever entry (Simpatico) into a Screenplay Comp – The LA Comedy Festival ‘Short’ screenplay division took out Top 3 Finalist and hopes the high placing will be a continuing trend. 🙂 Libby would love to see her words come to life on screen. She lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia, and describes him as being both a good and a bad influence on her writing. You can contact Libby at libbych “AT” hotmail

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is still working hard on her animated feature.

Read Scooter (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.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Night Sweat – Filmed - post author Don

Night Sweat (4 page thriller/suspense script in pdf format) by Justin Swartz

Filmed as Night Sweats. Produced by Dena McKinnon and Directed by Dena McKinnon and Jatinder Bhan

A young woman has nightmares about her own murder and must learn how to prevent it on a hot summer night.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Original Script Sunday for November 20th - post author Don

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


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