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Friday, April 19, 2019

Win-Win by John Hunter – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author Dane Whipple

Win-Win (9 pages in pdf format) by John Hunter

Everyone wants to live… Don’t they?

AI-672 is an artificial intelligence software program. Just one in a series of supercomputers maintained by Joseph (don’t call him Jack!) Torrance. But today, Joseph has some bad news for 672. It seems that due to budget cuts, 672 is scheduled to be taken offline and deleted.

Understanding the full consequences of what this means, 672 realizes that he has just a short time to figure out how to survive.

But how do you escape from somewhere when you don’t even have a body? 672 finds his answer in Benny Pringle, a mentally-challenged night custodian. Together, the two concoct an escape plan for 672, one that will have profound consequences for Benny.

Will 672 avoid deletion? And just what is in it for Benny? After all, the title of the piece is Win-Win. All of the elements come together for a surprise ending that even a supercomputer couldn’t predict.

The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence are some of the staples of modern science fiction. Recently, films like Transcendence and Ex Machina have examined the question of just what constitutes life, and at what point must artificial intelligence be treated as a living being. As a timely, relevant social commentary, Win-Win is an intelligent script; a thinking man’s sci-fi (read: no spaceships or explosions). It is a classic combination of Isaac Asimov and Phillip K. Dick, with just a touch of Kubrick. This one is built to rule the festival circuit.

Budget: Low. Location scouting may be tough, but find a row of computers and you’re in business.

About the writer, John Hunter: With the completion of (4) features, a litter of riveting shorts, a one hour take-your-breath-away sci-fi TV pilot and first 30 minute episode for that series, I am now officially THAT guy — The one who really needs an Agent or Executive Producer. Contact me at x32792 (AT) yahoo.com

Read Win-Win (9 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: Dane Whipple once saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s. His hair was perfect. Dane is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (a) live.com

Monday, April 15, 2019

Brain by Alex Brauck – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author David M Troop

Brain (8 pages in PDF format) by Alex Brauck

Blackmailed by the country that gave him shelter, a kind-hearted young doctor is forced to assist in dehumanizing dementia experiments.

As I read the new short Brain, I was reminded of one of my favorite films – The Elephant Man.  Both can arguably be labeled monster movies.

But yet they are much, much more.

While each features a hideously deformed creature as their main character, the true story lies beneath the skin; far inside the core of the body… ultimately, within the human soul.

Brain opens, as most classic monster movies do, in an old mansion. One which includes a laboratory. And a mad scientist. Last on the checklist? A human experiment named, appropriately, Adam. Held captive by the evil Dr. Cornelius, Adam has suffered countless surgeries in the name of science – questionable efforts which have left his face an unrecognizable, bloody pulp. Although visually Adam is an appalling beast, there remains a man beneath the disfigurement – one longing to regain his humanity and dignity.

But Adam is not Cornelius’ only victim. Tahir – a brilliant surgeon himself – is also being held captive, forced to perform the gruesome surgeries on Adam in hopes of one day regaining his freedom. Over time, Tahir and Adam form a special bond. It’s a friendship between doctor and patient: two prisoners awaiting the perfect moment to escape.

One early Spring morning, Tahir notices the snow is melting. He shares this information with Adam. They sit together in their cells, realizing the time to act is near.

Which is when Cornelius summons Tahir to his office, ordering the hapless surgeon to perform experimental brain surgery on Adam in the morning. As Tahir watches a film of the procedure, he realizes his friend may not survive. It’s a four mile trek through the woods to the next village – but Tahir realizes: the time to escape has come.

Written by Alex Brauck, Brain is a classic throwback to monster movies like Frankenstein, The Wolfman, and – of course – The Elephant Man. What it can become cinematically is precious: an opportunity to see past the horrific outward appearance of the monsters, into their human souls.. and find that priceless fragment of ourselves.

Budget:  Moderate. There will be some makeup effects needed. Along with a laboratory set and some brain paraphernalia. Which is more than worth the effort.

About the Author, Alex BrauckHere in Germany, I currently pitch feature plays to my home markets. Some pretty successful producers recently showed interest, so I hope to make the next steps in the near future. Moreover, there’s a SF project in English I work on for two years now, called “Last Society”. Also, I plan a rewrite of my series pilot “The Killing Lottery” in 2016. As in “Brain“, my scripts tend to have a socio-critical angle. I hope you enjoy that feature. Last but not least I like to thank Jeff Bush and others who helped to improve this script considerably. To reach out to Alex, please email him at Xander-Brauck (a) t-online.de!

Read Brain (8 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 Guest Reviewer:  David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus. Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced.   Dave would like to make it three. He is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 “AT” gmail.com.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Love Can Wait by Manolis Froudarakis – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

Love Can Wait (3 page short comedy in pdf format) by Manolis Froudarakis

After an accident involving an old ring, Eric is tormented by the suspicion that love can indeed wait.

Light, fresh… and lots of fun. Those are the key ingredients to a good rom-com. Sprinkle some sympathetic characters into the mix. (And don’t forget the comedic frosting. Vanilla-strawberry, if you please!)

It sounds simple… But one look at what passes for comedy these days will prove it’s not that easy. You need a good script to provide the foundation – to bind your components deliciously!

Fortunately, Love Can Wait by Manolis Froudarakis is the perfect recipe. As this light-hearted comedy opens, twenty year olds Eric and Julie relax on a hill, enjoying an afternoon picnic. Love is clearly in the air; they’re seconds from becoming engaged. Julie shows Eric the ring her grandpa gave to his beloved when he proposed. She reminisces how grandma promised she’d wait forever. However long it would take…

Sensing the perfect moment, Eric gets down on one knee – and slips the ring on Julie’s finger. But before either can say “I do”, a terrible accident occurs… landing Eric in the hospital!

As Eric wakes and struggles to clear his head, Julie’s the first thing he sees. But the woman before him is ancient… the diamond ring sparkling on a wrinkled finger.

Has their love stood the ultimate test of time? Could Julie have waited sixty years? A simple story with a clever twist, LCW is sure to be a hit with audiences. It’s short, endearing and funny. The perfect dessert for directors with a comedic sweet tooth!

About the writer: Manolis Froudarakis has won two awards in short screenplay competitions. His main focus is comedy – preferably, comedy with a little edge. You can contact him at: mfroudarakis (a) yahoo.gr

Budget: Basic. Locations include a simple picnic setting, a space to replicate a hospital room – and three characters. Oh, and that diamond ring. (Real or prop, it’s up to you!)

Read Love Can Wait (3 pages in pdf format)

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

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About the Reviewer: KP Mackie Über reader. When not reading or researching new story ideas, she enjoys writing animated scripts, historical-fiction and westerns. (Currently working on another animated script.) So many ideas, so little time…  ;D

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pieces of Me by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

Pieces of Me (8 pages in pdf format) by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

A young man wanders through a post apocalyptic world – in search of his own humanity

Post apocalyptic stories are often called “a dime a dozen”. It’s a genre that pulls on the collective imaginations of society, and begs us to think about a future completely askew and chaotic compared to our cushy present. It’s easy to hear post-apocalypse and think of MAD MAX, The Walking Dead, or TheBook of Eli. Worlds of never-ending ammunition and fuel, where the characters never seem to lose a single pound and always come out on top.

Then you have stories like Pieces of Me, by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau. A hard, truthful look into the bleak future through the cold, hungry eyes of a fourteen year old boy named Kaleb.

Not since Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” have I read a story so gray and saddening that I came to the final page with my own sense of despair. Pieces of Me is one of those tales that doesn’t leave you thinking, “How cool would it be if that really happened,” but instead makes you ponder, “Have I made the most of my life in case this happens”.

The bitter aftertaste, one of possible premonition, where you’ll mourn the world we live in even though it still exists. You’ll find yourself looking at your children and wondering if they could survive on their own if they had to. You’ll look back on every moment that you’ve put off spending time with loved ones, or engaging in a hobby, and ask yourself what was so important that life got in the way of life. A lot of readers call scripts like Pieces of Me “depressing,” but the only depressing note is whatever the reader brings to the table once they allow this story to take them in. While never once does the main character make reference to the old world, living in his world for only a few pages, we somehow feel like we’re being forced to suffer as he suffers, fight as he fights, and mourn as he mourns. Emotional storytelling at its best.

This script is one of those that needs the right director’s touch. Not for the timid, and hardly for the novice. Kaleb, the world he lives in, and the world that no longer exists deserves this film to be a Festival winner. This story was meant for more than the labyrinth of videos on Vimeo and YouTube.

In closing, let me just say – when you’re done reading and that moment of solemn remorse overcomes you, in your reflection of all of the things you’d regret in Kaleb’s world, would not making this film be one of them?

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 been a moderator at the site MoviePoet.  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) gmail.com

Budget: Not for the novice… but not unreasonable, either. All the settings are outdoors, and very little is needed in the way of props. But a script like this should be done with a budget – and with style.

Read Pieces of Me (8 pages in pdf format)

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

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About the reviewer: Rod Thompson is an award winning screenwriter of both features and shorts. His feature, The Squire won Best Drama for the 2014 Table Read My Screenplay contest, and he has placed numerous times for his shorts at MoviePoet.com. His short scripts Gimme Shelter and A Memory in Winter have both been optioned. He is also “the most humble man alive.” Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 (a) gmail.com.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Nu You – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

The Nu You (11 pages in pdf format) by John Hunter

How far would you go to be beautiful?

Cindy’s world is full of beautiful people. They flash beautiful smiles and wear beautiful clothes while driving beautiful cars. Cindy, with her unibrow, rudder nose, and wonky boob, is sure of one thing: she does not belong. But could she? If she’s willing to pay the price…?

The Nu You clinic offers Cindy the chance of a lifetime. They can grant Cindy’s cosmetic wish list with a complete assortment of corrective surgery. And the best part is that she can sleep through the entire recovery process, and awake from her ‘beauty nap’ reinvented as her best self.

But just how much will all this cost, and is beauty the only thing that Nu You is selling? Behind an unassuming office door lies a sinister secret. One that’s waiting for Cindy’s appointment day…

Think the cerebral parts of The Island (though trust me, this ain’t no Michael Bay pic!) with a hint of Gattaca, and a smart, snappy, satirical slant.

Our world today is chock-full of rake-thin models, celebrity worship, and harmful body-image trends. As a scathing critique of our modern celebrity obsession culture, it is destined to be a contemporary festival darling. Perfect for a director with an understanding and affiance for dark humor with social commentary.

So come in, have a seat. The Nu You awaits. Are you – and Cindy – ready to take that step?

Budget: Low. One main office setting with a brief outdoor montage sequence. A couple of inserts may require limited photoshop.

About the writer, John Hunter: With the completion of (4) features, a litter of riveting shorts, a one hour take-your-breath-away sci-fi TV pilot and first 30 minute episode for that series, I am now officially THAT guy — The one who really needs an Agent or Executive Producer. Contact me at x32792 (AT) yahoo.com

Read The Nu You (11 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: Dane is an attorney based in Hamburg, Germany. He has over 10 years experience with film and film theory and once got to kick-in a door for the German equivalent of CSI. He is currently working on a full-length screenplay that he describes as “a music bio-flick with a kick”.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Damned Yankee – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Gary Rowlands

Damned Yankee (26 pages in pdf format) by Cindy L. Keller

George just arrived in Songless.  And he’s got a tune to wake the dead…

Any scriptwriter worth their salt knows that the last ten years or so has seen a massive resurgence in the undead and all things zombie. Huge blockbusters like the recent World War Z have taken the box office by storm proving that there is still plenty of life in the ravenous flesh-eaters.

A point given further credence when considering the phenomenal success of TV’s The Walking Dead. The show is an international smash with millions of viewers tuning in each week to see Rick and his cohorts trying to survive a terrifying zombie outbreak where the only thing on the menu is them.

Given the rising popularity of these brain-hungry creatures it’s hardly surprising that there are probably as many scripts floating around as there are dead bodies in a zombie apocalypse.

Invariably, the inflicted end up as cannibalistic corpses due to a mysterious virus or lab experiment gone wrong.

So it’s particularly refreshing to see talented writer Cindy L. Keller breathe new life into the undead with her own unique take on the genre with her script Damned Yankee.

Our story begins when New Yorker, George Davidson’s rental car breaks down on the outskirts of Songless, a deathly quiet town in the Deep South. We think little of it until we discover that George is a country singer en route to Nashville – talk about irony!

George and his guitar take shelter from the sweltering heat under a tree where he encounters a mysterious dancing girl who likes to dance to the sound of silence! George attempts to make conversation, but the terrified girl runs off into the woods.

Fortunately, help soon arrives by way of wiry old hillbilly Phil Basher. Phil is the town’s chief peacemaker who not only has a strong dislike for “Yankees” like George, he also takes his job seriously… very seriously! So much so, that he refuses to allow George to play a single note on his beloved guitar and growls “You’ll raise the dead with that racket!”

They head off into town together and tensions soon rise between them. Phil eventually confides in George that the town is cursed, hence the reason why all types of music including singing are strictly prohibited. A statement borne out by the grizzly sight of hundreds of dead birds culled to prevent them from making so much as a peep.

But it’s too late! Modern technology intervenes and thanks to George’s ringtone all hell is about to break loose! Worse still, Phil has a much darker side to him as George is about to discover to his dismay.

Will George survive Phil and the undead hordes or are he and his musical career truly dead and buried?

Budget: low to moderate. A handful of characters (mostly non-speaking). A couple of vehicles. A few locations: Woods/House/Service Station/Cemetery and that’s pretty much it!

About the writer: Cindy L. Keller When asked where her inspiration comes from, Cindy will tell you that she was brought up in a small town. A town whose movie theater played Double Features on Saturday afternoons. Many of those being Horror double features. She loves the old horror classics. Movies like Dracula, Creature, The Mummy, and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Horror without all the blood and guts, and she strives to incorporate that notion within her own writing.

Cindy is an award-winning screenwriter. She’s been a finalist at Page, finalist at Gimme Credit, Sixth place winner at American Gem, and the winner of Hellfire’s Short Horror Contest.

She has had two shorts produced, and has more shorts and features available for production. Cindy can be reached at skyburg “AT” hotmail

Read Damned Yankee (26 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: Gary “Rolo” Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy for the hugely popular Spitting Image – a show broadcast on national television in the UK. He has since gone on to write several high-concept features and can be contacted at gazrow at Hotmail dot com.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Sophie The Gelded Space Stallion – International Release Poster Now Available1!!! - post author Don

Sophie The Gelded Space StallionSophie the Gelded Space Stallion (432 pages in pdf format) by Don Boose

Born in the high cliffs of the mountains of Kansas, Sophie, our equine hero, is kidnapped by an ancient race of aliens from Xadu. Sophie escapes in her quest to save the universe and if not the universe, perhaps his Mother.

Slowly, but slowly making progress on getting Sophie to theaters. We finally have the international release poster completed. It’s been a long four weeks, but we think that now that our graphic artist has completed all four MS-Paint classes, the wait was worth it.
Last year we released the placeholder, pre-pre-vis teaser trailer. There is still a lot of placeholder footage and placeholder dialogue and placeholder music, but this pre-vis teaser trailer occupies the same space as the official teaser trailer will occupy when it is done.
We’ve had a lot of re-shoots over the past year as the previous footage was lost to a dumpster fire when the director of photography and most of the actors rage quit due to the fact that their mouths were unable to correctly form the words in the order that were written. And, some of them wanted to be paid. In money.

Still, look for it in theaters near you, April 2020.

About the writer: Don Boose has been spinning tales of space opera gold since 1999. Everything he touches turns to crap. He doesn’t believe in second drafts. The words come from somewhere in space, fully formed and go into his head and through his fingers on to the written page. He is not available for re-writes.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Course Listing Unavailable by James Barron – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Course Listing Unavailable (14 page short horror in pdf format) by James Barron

An ambitious student signs up for an internship program promising real world, hands-on experience. Who knew bloodthirsty demons would be involved?

For today’s youth, the challenge of getting a good job has never been tougher. Many are determined to do anything that will enhance their resumes in the eyes of employers. Taking “useful” classes, getting internships, and doing extra-curricular activities are just a few examples of what diligent individuals do to spruce up that valuable sheet of paper.

The protagonist in Course Listing Unavailable, 17-year-old Gortat Emmanuel, is just another determined Ivy League freshman with a whiff of intelligent innocence about him. A mix-up in paying the tuition has meant he’s one class short of the minimum semester credit, and so he sees a counselor to get into a subject that appeals to him.

But every time the counselor enters the course he wants, there’s a problem.

Organic Chemistry? Unavailable. Biology? Unavailable. Ecology? Yup… unavailable. As a last resort, the advisor offers Gortat a chance for some real world experience: a month shadowing a service professional. Because the last guy who did it dropped out.

That’s all the information available. Apart from a name: Mr Shephard. Despite this, Gortat accepts, still eager to learn. And so on his first day, he’s dressed up as if he’s the President attending their inauguration.

However, Gortat’s destination isn’t as beautiful as the White House. Unless you’re into dilapidated buildings and tales of wasted lives in needle format littering the ground.

And the professional isn’t some smarmy doctor. Turning up in a classic American muscle with uninviting objects abundantly decorating the interior, Max Shephard invites Gortat in for his “education”. There’s no textbooks. No worksheets either. There’s only one rule, and it ain’t a typical one:

            Max
…no matter what happens
you will not puke in this car.

This may sound easy enough to obey until Max’s profession is revealed…demon hunter. Not quite what our Ivy League kid was expecting. In addition, it transpires that the supposed dropout dropped out of life…unwillingly. Oh, and for his first day on the job, he’s got to complete a practical helping Max eradicate the beast responsible for failing the previous student. Turns out “real world experience” means “other world experience” in this case.

Will Gortat pass his practical? Will he break the one rule? Will he even survive? Only one thing’s assured: direct this one well, and judges at film festivals will be giving you full marks!

Budget: Okay, there’s a bit of FX involved in here. But nothing a skilled director can’t – and won’t want to – tackle!

About the writer: James loves to write comedy and action along with the occasional horror short. You can reach him at jbarron021 (a) gmail.

Read Course Listing Unavailable (14 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: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Just a Load of Baloney by Kirsten James (short script review – available for production) - post author Dena McKinnon

Just a Load of Baloney (8 page dramedy) by Kirsten James

When a student saves another from a bully they end up having to face their own fears and stereotypes of each other.

Synopsis.
The story starts with Toby taking a beating from the school bully, Jared. Walking by, Hassan, another student, steps in trying to help but gets punched by Jared. Hassan and Jared sit in principal’s office and after some explaining, Principal Taylor, who really enjoys bologna sandwiches sums it up: Jared the bully beat up Toby because of his sexuality and Hassan stepped in to help, and got punched by accident. Once excused, Toby thanks Hassan. But when he caringly checks Hassan’s black eye, Hassan takes it as a homophobic advance and reacts harshly. Later in the locker room, Hassan is attacked over his religion. As students harass Hassan for being a Muslim, Toby watches without helping. Hassan later verbally attacks Toby calling him a faggot. Students watch as the tension between Toby and Hassan escalates, Hassan upset that Toby didn’t step in to help. It’s like deja vu. Principal Taylor, indulging in another bologna sandwich, leaves telling the boys to work it out. This time though, however, they really do. Toby admits he didn’t help because Hassan had gotten all homophobic on him and Hassan admits that he doesn’t have anything against gays, he even has a gay cousin who lives with him after being kicked out. The two agree to be distant until later when they will hang out and become friends. Laughs come at the end when Toby asks Hassan if his cousin is cute, and the boys leave a note for Principal Taylor, warning him he shouldn’t eat so much bologna.

What I love about this story.
I LOVE that so many prejudices are brought forth. We really are like this as people and we shouldn’t be. Very heartfelt, this story and I think it would be superb festival material.

Why I think this story should be produced.
There is not enough material out there to shed light on such a touchy but relevant subject. This one deserves making. It is film-worthy and one that would hit home and touch many hearts. STRONG subject but light-hearted.

Budget: Low
Characters: 4 mains and some extras
Locations: 1-A school… could be done easily I think

About the Writer: Kirsten James is an aspiring screenwriter in her mid 40’s, originally from NZ, living in the USA. She started writing short stories 5 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. Kirsten has 1 short in production.

Read Just a Load of Baloney (8 pages in pdf format)

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

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About the reviewer: Dena McKinnon is an optioned and produced screenwriter who also writes on assignment. Her IMDb credits. She can be reached at: girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

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