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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jessup – Short Script Review – In Production! - post author Anthony Cawood

Jessup (pdf format) by Mark Lyons is in production…

…as a Senior Thesis Film Project and they need a little help finishing the project. If you have some spare coin, that would excellent!

After an outburst at work, a young man obsessed with control is ordered to see a therapist, who might just be as equally manipulative as he is.

Optioned and in production

As screenwriters, we’re constantly told to “show, don’t tell”. And that talking heads should be avoided like the plague.

Well, someone also once said that “rules were made to be broken.” Mark Lyons’ Jessup does that – in spades. It’s a script with just two characters. A verbal fencing match, across a desk.

And it’s that dialogue which makes these one worthy. As uncomfortable and disquieting as it may be.

Meet twenty-something Jessup: malcontent extraordinaire. He’s been a disruptive influence at his workplace. But he’s got talent worth retaining. Thanks to that one saving quality, Jessup earns himself a trip to the company psychologist – instead of the unemployment line.

An experienced head-shrinker, Ronald Simplot’s a piece of work himself. In his forties, he’s seen it all – and Jessup’s manipulative tricks are an open page. As the conversation between the two morphs from pleasantries to battle, Simplot lays it all on the line. Jessup’s a whiny little brat. One that deserves a major spanking. His career may force him to talk to losers like Jessup… but there’s no reason he can’t tell it like it is. He laces into the youngster; refusing Jessup’s request for a “psychological break.” And he tells the boy just what he thinks of him – revealing a surprisingly sadistic side…

But battles of wits are fluid. And how quickly tables can turn. Who will win in this fight? Doctor or Patient? And who are we rooting for, anyway?

If you like your stories with multiple shades of gray, then Jessup is ideal. Crackling dialogue imbued with tension. A subversive power struggle – and an unexpected plot twist. Give this one a read. Unless you have delicate sensibilities!

Pages: 10

Budget: Pretty cheap to film: limited locations and a cast of two.

About the writer: Mark Lyons is a four-time award-winning screenwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. He’s written several scripts, including ‘The Ephesian’, which won Best Drama at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival (which also garnered him a Best Screenplay nomination), and was selected Best Drama for the Cinema Constant 2015. He also penned Best Film award-winner “God’s Empty Acre”, which was filmed as ‘Girl(s)’ at the 2013 Winter Shorts Film Festival and Best Drama at the 2013 World Independent Film Expo. He was also nominated for a Best Screenplay award at the 2016 Action on Film Festival. Currently, Mark is teaming with writer Sharon Day and producer Justin Colon to co-produce the feature film ‘Lords and Harvesters’, set to film in Summer, 2018. He can be reached at markielyons1107 (a) gmail

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of his screenwriting career, he is also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Film links and details of his scripts can be found at AnthonyCawood.Co.UK.

Read Jessup (pdf format)

Find more scripts available for production

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

4 Comments so far


KP Mackie
June 24th, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Amazing and effective verbal vollyball.
The actors will love the writer. 🙂


July 3rd, 2015 at 8:25 pm

I’m speechless. I would love to see this become a thing. it’s complimented by its simplicity and strong lead character. Even if he is a sadistic, conspiring con-artist


May 2nd, 2017 at 10:54 am

Congratulations on getting this on the production line!


May 2nd, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Thanks, everybody, for taking a read!

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