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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Relief – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author LC

The Relief 10 pages in pdf format by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

A sick woman reaches out to a wealthy man to negotiate a few terms for the cure to her “disease”.

If you’ve studied film, or have a great love of it, you will be well versed in the five elements required to create a visual masterpiece – narrative, cinematography, sound, editing, and mise-en-scene – that all important collaboration between director, actors, cinematographer, design, sound, lighting, make up, set builders etc.

Now, you can recruit all the experts on board you like, employ fancy jump-cuts, overlay a heart thumping soundtrack, color your film palette in post, but if it’s not happening on the page it’s likely all that is going to result is style over substance.

I can assure you it’s all happening on the page in Jean-Pierre Chapoteau’s screenplay, The Relief, starting with an opening scene which sets the tone in terms of that intangible element we call ‘atmosphere’, along with some very nasty creep factor.

Crisolla, a woman in her thirties, stands in front of a mirror in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant, a picture of herself on the countertop.

What follows is unsettling, intriguing, and quite a bit urgh…

Hunched over the sink, Crisolla holds a thin, straw-like tube underneath her shirt.

The tube is attached to a small box on the sink. The box PUTTERS.

The putter slows. Crisolla removes the tube, which has a sharp end.

She tucks her equipment in her purse.

What the hell just happened? And, what is this woman doing? At this point there’s a temptation to look away, and that’s just from the written word… Just imagine what you could do with a camera and… Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Crisolla joins her boyfriend Leon back at the table and they sit down to a nice dinner.

Thank God, everything’s back to normal…

A discussion ensues between the two, there’s talk of their four month anniversary. Leon is a man of means, his watch cost more than most people’s cars. He’d very much like to cement his union with Crisolla and have her move in with him. But Crisolla has other things on her mind – actually, she seems more preoccupied with her appetite – than she is with any potential carnal desires.

She’s just hoeing into a nice juicy steak, right? Okay, it’s a little on the blue side but there’s nothing wrong with that; everyone likes it rare these days, don’t they?

Upon leaving the restaurant, however, we are now suddenly plunged into a world of:

Soldiers, barricades and checkpoints – there’s an immediate sense of dread, a dystopian feel to this world. A surreal tone is evoked and the temperature has just dropped to chill factor.

When Leon questions a guard’s apparent lax attitude towards Crisolla’s ID papers:

We know each other from mutual

…oh. My apologies. I’m a primary
donor to the cause, so you can see
where my concern lies.

We immediately wonder, whose side are you on Leon?

And, ‘primary donor’ of what? What’s the cause Leon speaks of?

My immediate reaction is: What the high hell is going on here?

There are more questions posed too, and they’re all of a very dark nature.

Crisolla is still hungry, but not for what you might imagine. Poor old Leon’s had his offer of cohabitation turned down and now he’s left begging for a good night kiss. He leaves, or rather he’s given short shrift and sent packing.

Alone now in her apartment, the tension ramps up further with the reappearance of the ‘box’, the ‘tube’, and the ‘brown’ sludge. Not only that, but what’s with Crisolla’s weird pre-bedtime ritual of slathering herself from head to foot in some very weird gunk and then lowering herself into a bath of…

Okay, I’ll leave it right there, if you want to know more you’re just going to have to delve deeper yourself.

Filmmakers: Are you a fan of television show, Black Mirror, and of movies Under The Skin and Fight Club? Are you searching for gritty, dark and edgy? Do you want to create atmospheric magic on screen? Look no further.

Take a walk on the dark side with: The Relief.

Budget: Moderate. A few scenes/settings. But nothing unreasonable.

About the writer: Jean-Pierre Chapoteau started writing feature length scripts in 2005 then focused on shorts in 2009. Since then he’s had three scripts produced and two more optioned. He has won several awards for his shorts and has become a moderator at the site MoviePoet, who specialize in the craft of the short scripts. Jean-Pierre was a finalist in the RAW TALENT Competition for his faith based feature length script: ‘Far From Perfect.’ And was also a semi-finalist in the SLAMDANCE teleplay competition and a finalist in the OBSWRITER teleplay contest for his adapted teleplay, Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Guardian. You can contact Jean-Pierre Chapoteau at: jeanpierre425 (a)

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 The Relief

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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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On the Job – Short Script Review - post author Guest Reviewer

On The Job Training 1 page in pdf format by Tim Westland

Two grave diggers bond over their work

In its entirety, the world’s shortest novel runs just six words. SIX WORDS; words that relay so much – in so short a span – that more story’s simply not needed. Granted, the details are left to the reader. But six words paint the broad picture. Though not entirely accurate, the tale’s often attributed to Ernest Hemingway. And the novel itself reads like a lesson in brevity:

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, never worn.”

Succinct writing isn’t a gift, or just a useful trick of the literary trade. No – it’s an absolute must when writing for the screen. And good screenwriters learn the ropes quickly: de-flower your adjectives, obliterate your “wrylies.” As an art form, scriptwriting requires a scribe to be dead-on point at all times; strategically detailed in each word they write. And that’s what separates screenwriters from authors. You see, screenwriters don’t need three hundred pages to tell a tale. In fact, in the case of “On The Job Training”, Tim Westland needed only one.

You got that right. A single page. Top to bottom, left to right. Start to Fade Out and Finish. The whole script – in one page. As it opens, Westland’s story follows two men toiling away in a cemetery… absorbed in the task of digging a grave. We quickly learn their names, and ages. And dialogue fills in missing pieces. More aspects are quickly implied: one man is clearly more experienced at this work. His younger successor frets about performing well on the job. Yet it’s what hides in the shadows of sentences that really matters in the end. Resulting in a story that starts long before FADE IN, and lingers on a reader’s mind after Westland’s world FADES TO BLACK. A truly great story – and a prime example of a writer’s craft.

Production: Cast 3 – two grave diggers and one corpse. Location – Dirt. Budget: Minimal.

About the writer Tim Westland is an award winning writer whose many scripts have consistently place in the Semi/Quarter finals in Page, Bluecat, and Screencraft. His screenplay, OBeast, co-authored with frequent writing partner Rod Thompson, finished in the Top 10 of ScreenCraft’s 2017 Horror contest. OBeast is also a 2017 finalist. Tim is also the co-author of the acclaimed horror comic/graphic novel (and screenplay), Chasing the Dead, published by IDW.

About the reviewer: Rod Thompson is an award winning, produced screenwriter of both shorts and features. His tally includes one produced feature length film, four produced short films, a Table Read My Screenplay genre win for Best Drama, a BlueCat Quarter-finalist placing, two NAFF Quarter-finalists and one Semi-finalist placing.”Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 “AT”

Read On The Job Training

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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, March 27, 2017

Trunk of Death – Filmed! - post author Don

Trunk of Death (4 page comedy, horror in pdf format) by Benjimin Tucker – Filmed!

A timid serial killer fails to grasp the meaning of sarcasm.

Greg (of 710 Main Films) writes, “710 Main Films produced the film in February. This film has been selected to be shown at the Behemoth Film Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY on April 15th.”

Trunk of Death Short Flm from 710 Main Films on Vimeo.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Original Script Sunday for March 26th - post author Don

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

– Don

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Go Fish – Short script available for production - post author Ingrid Short

Go Fish (9 pages in pdf format) by Kirsten James

Two young boys play cards and drink a beer in their father’s hunting cabin until the reality of their day unexpectedly catches up with them.

It’s the 1930’s, but it could be any time. Two young boys, Samuel and Henry, best friends, play Go Fish to pass the time. The winner of a hand gets a pull on a bottle of beer. Who’s going to know? Just the two of them alone in a cabin. Or are they alone?


Grandpa is in the cellar and Grandpa ain’t Grandpa anymore. Grandpa is a werewolf and he’s very angry. As you progress through the story you realize this isn’t two boys hanging out in Dad’s hunting cabin. There is a deeper story and threat that they must deal with or wait out before they can leave.

Production: Budget: Medium to Low depending on how creative you are with the werewolf; Location: One – hunting cabin; Cast: Two young boys, one werewolf.

About the Writer: Kirsten James is an aspiring screenwriter in her early 40’s, originally from NZ, living in the USA. She started writing short stories 2 years ago, and after a year learned that she was more geared to writing scripts. Kirsten has a degree in psychology and finds this a great asset to her writing.

Read Go Fish (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, March 22, 2017

Inspiration – Short Script Review, Available for Production - post author James Barron

Inspiration pdf format by Richard Russell

An Air Force pilot hunts down the person who sent her a Christmas greeting many years before.

A soldier’s mail is precious. There’s notes from friends always good for a laugh. Letters from family making you ache for home. Messages from a lover, hidden from prying eyes.

But for Lori Wells, a young air force pilot, no such mail arrived.

Only a card from a young student (Billy) she’s never met, thanking her for her service. And a kid’s cherubic smile beaming out from a photograph. A testament to a families love. A sense of belonging Lori can’t shake and can’t bring herself to throw away.

So, she carries the good luck charm with her through an entire career. Now Lori’s on her way to finally meet her seraph in the flesh.

Only problem is, grown Billy’s not quite the same happy boy. There are no loving parents. And Lori can’t shake a feeling of ineluctable dread. As the lies and doubts pile up, she’ll have to confront a brutal truth before it’s too late.

If you’re looking for inspired drama, be sure to check out this tale of shattered perceptions and false idols by the talented Richard Russell.

Production: One adult male and female role along with a few extras. A house, a backyard, and a couple other interior locations.

About the writer: Richard Russell A writer should never pen his own bio. What seems important to a writer will no doubt bore most readers. Yet, writers do create their own bios, to the chagrin of everyone. My bio must be short and to the point as I have few literary successes to boast of. It seems I have been writing all my life, and indeed, if pages of print equal success, then I am as successful as anyone. Pages alone, though, doesn’t connote fame or success, just pages. I live in North Carolina, and I write whenever and however I can. The mere act of writing produces a joy that I find in no other endeavor. Whether or not my writing becomes known to many means little to me. Oh, I would love to be a household name, but that is not my goal. My goal is to write stories that compel the reader to finish. My goal is to create tales that will not let me quit them in mid-sentence. I am a dreamer and a procrastinator, and those traits are not ingredients for success. I also suffer from reverse paranoia. I think people are plotting to make me happy.

About the reviewer: James Barron is a former law student turned screenwriter who loves to write comedy along with the occasional horror/thriller. Contact James at jbarron021 (a) gmail.

Read Inspiration (11 page short drama in 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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Marguerite – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

Marguerite (17 pages in PDF format) by John P. Dowgin

An aging diva finds her cherished voice failing her with a treacherous understudy waiting in the wings. But she has a few magical tricks up her sleeve…

“The devil’s voice is sweet to hear.” — Stephen King, Needful Things, 1991.

But it’s not the devil’s voice that takes center stage in “Marguerite,” a short script by John P. Dowgin — it’s Marguerite’s own voice, although there’s clearly some devilry going on behind the scenes. “Marguerite” is a modern Gothic horror tale rife with jealousy and treachery and the lust for fame and fortune. And voodoo.

Marguerite Woolsley is an aging African-American diva who will stop at nothing to preserve her youth… and her voice. She’s set to make her triumphant comeback in a modern revival of Scott Joplin’s opera, “Treemonisha,” which tells the tale of slave life on a southern plantation in the 1800s. But the title character is an 18-year-old woman, and Marguerite is in her 60s. As the screenplay tells us, “Her age shows even under stage makeup, but cannot dim her presence.” More important for an opera singer, though, is her voice, and it’s not what it once was. During a dress rehearsal she tries to hit a high “C” and her voice cracks. “The note she hits is not only clearly wrong, it’s not even close.” The producers panic, but not Marguerite. A little dose of voodoo — some candles, animals skulls, a necklace made of bones, and thirteen dead crows — and voila! Her voice is sweet again. As sweet as, well… the devil’s.

But Marguerite’s understudy, Therese, has plans of her own. And some voodoo of her own, too. Like a predator sensing weakness, she strikes, sabotaging Marguerite’s voodoo talisman, her gris-gris bag, and we watch as Marguerite withers. First her voice goes, and then, when we last see Marguerite, “Her face is ancient skin stretched over bone. Her eyes have recessed into her skull.”

And Therese is set for her “triumphant debut” in “Treemonisha.”

But there’s voodoo, and there’s voodoo. And when Marguerite’s gnarled hand reaches into her hidden voodoo shrine and retrieves the ancient book, the mysterious pearl box, and the magic red powder, it can only mean one thing…

…not so fast, Therese!

Budget: Rather high, but manageable, and definitely worth every penny. Locations (e.g., the Metropolitan Opera House) and some aging effects would be the most expensive budget items. If they were simulated somehow, the overall budget would be moderate.

About the writer: John P. Dowgin is a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor, as well as a founding member of the production company The Porch Room ( for whom he directed the original work ‘Antony & Cleopatra: Infinite Lives” at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. Two of John’s plays have been published in the compilation “Accidents Happen” by Samuel French, and have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Toronto, Dublin, and Australia. A number of his screenplays are also in ‘development’, which he suspects to be a theoretical dimension like Oz. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

About the guest reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

Read Marguerite (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, March 20, 2017

Super Marios Bros. Movie Script Archive - post author Don

Super Mario Bros. – multiple script by Multile Writers – hosted by: Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive – in pdf format

In case you’re curious about what went wrong with the Super Mario Bros movie, you want to see how it could be adapted, or you just want to see a good idea go bad, check out Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive script collection, which has PDFs of all the versions that came out in the early 90’s. There’s:

  • The fantasy version, written in 1991, a comedic fairy story, a Princess Bride style adventure, and
  • The 1992 pitch & script for a sci-fi based version of Mario Bros, what the film became, heavily inspired by Ghostbusters, and
  • The two darker versions, after the directors brought in Dick Clement & Ian la Frenais (this is the version that reportedly attracted Bob Hoskins and the other stars) with Mad Max visions of the future, and
  • The softer more romantic rewrite. The producers had this done after they panicked about the darker version. Rewritten by Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted) and Ryan Rowe (Charlie’s Angels), and finally,
  • The final “Rainbow” version after the directors brought back the original writers, a mix of voices.

Thanks to “John” for the info!

Information courtesy of

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Original Script Sunday For March 19th - post author Don

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

Reminder for Ladies over 40, please get your work submitted to the The Writers Lab for women over 40.

SimplyScripts will reimburse any current member* of the discussion board who is eligible to participate the cost of admission ($50.00) and the discounted cost of registering her work with WGA ($17.00). Just forward a copy of the confirmation letter to me and I’ll paypal you the money.

*current member as of March 18th.

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