“A little girl has an easier time hiding from her father than the harsh realities of life.”
You had me at “hello.”
Rather like Renee Zellweger’s infamous one-liner to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, you’ll be had immediately with the first few lines of description in Tim Radcliffe’s sentimental short, Ready Or Not:
The girl in the photo, ABBY, four, curly hair, stands in the middle of the room. Her hands cover her eyes.
Eighteen, nineteen, twenty.
Her hands fall away to reveal her face beaming with excitement.
Ready or not, here I come.
Who’s not a sucker for stories about adorable kids and their loving parents?
Abby and her dad Jack play hide-and-seek. A lot. And according to Abby’s mother Jenna, Jack is pretty good at it. On one particular occasion, Jenna tells Abby: “He’s hiding in a really good spot.” But young Abby is never deterred. “I’ll find him. I always do.”
Abby searches all Dad’s usual hiding places: a kitchen cupboard, under the dining table, behind curtains. Will she find him? Of course she will! Because this game has one indisputable rule: Jack ALWAYS lets Abby find him.
You got some x-ray vision
that you’re not tellin’ me about?
And just like it’s supposed to be for an adorable daughter and her loving dad, Jack raises a giggling Abby over his head.
No Dad, I’m just good at this game.
So it goes… until the familiar and fun game of hide-and-seek isn’t just child’s play anymore.
Ready Or Not speaks volumes. Three words uttered — in most cases screamed — after counting to twenty in the popular kids’ game, signal the beginning of a game. In RON those words ultimately deliver an ironic ending: Sometimes there’s no fun and games whatsoever when it comes to the unpredictable game of life.
Are you a director with a soft spot? If so, be ready to be had by Ready Or Not too. Here’s a guarantee — you won’t be alone.
Budget: Low. Simple casting because ALL four-year-olds are adorable. Two loving parents required, plus one extra. Several interior shots could be staged for two common locations.
About the Writer: Tim Ratcliffe is an Australian writer who frequently travels the world in search of new adventures and experiences. A former journalist, he has written a number of short screenplays and had a few produced. A lover of all things creative, Tim has also tried his hand at acting, improv and stand-up comedy. He can be reached at tjames.ratcliffe ‘AT’ gmail.
Read Ready Or Not (5 pages 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.
About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on her animated feature.