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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Out of Character – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Out of Character (9 pages in pdf format) by R.E. McManus

Screenwriter Jack creates characters that live and breathe… maybe TOO much?

Ever watch Will Ferrell films? Well, there’s one particular flick you should see. It’s called Stranger Than Fiction – a tale about a man named Harold Crick, who discovers one day that he is in fact a character in one of Emma Thompson’s novels. (Yes, Emma Thompson the actress – known in certain circles as Nanny McPhee.) Fortunately, Harold Crick’s a gentle soul; despite the wringer Emma puts him through, he’s pretty harmless all the way.

But what if a character you wrote was far more dangerous and… unhappy with their fate? What would they do to their creator? By final Fade Out, would YOU be safe?

That’s the very question screenwriter Jack faces in R.E. McManus’ twisty short Out of Character: when one of his shadiest characters arrives at his doorstep – armed, angry, and brimming with demands.

When Out of Character opens, Jack’s writing in his claustrophobic unorganized study – surrounded by empty pizza boxes, half-finished cups of coffee and writer’s manuals galore. (A scene all too real for some writers.) Just then, the doorbell rings. Jack answers – and finds himself face-to-face with… a man named Ken. There’s a pistol in Ken’s hand. Strangely familiar features on his face.

Ken forces his way inside.

Tense bantering ensues – until the stranger-than-truth reality is revealed. Ken’s one of Jack’s characters – disgruntled and demanding change! According to Ken, Jack created him a bit too fat. A lot too poor. And with too much attitude to let such things slide. Using his revolver to do the talking, Ken insists that Jack give him a thinner waistline, a better car, and a supermodel girlfriend as well (can you say ‘join the club’?)

But can Jack do such things, and shove all creative integrity aside?

We won’t spoil the ending – promise. But needless to say, the tension rachets up quick. Jack attempts to comply with Ken’s milder demands, but conspires to take down his creation… before the plot gets too wild…

Equally humorous and tense, Out of Character is a great comedic dark script, stuffed with Easter Eggs for directors and writers alike. Grab it before someone writes YOU off. And the next time you compose a scene? Think real careful about Flat Slob #2’s feelings. Maybe it’s not wise to piss him off that much.

Production – Low budget. Two actors, one location (a house), one computer and one gun.

About the writer: R.E. McManus was born in England, of Irish roots. Hence he was always a little confused. He has since travelled the globe, and noted what he saw on his travels. He’s been writing since he could pick up a pen. The fact they were IOUs is neither here nor there.

He fell in love with film when he first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the age of six. Although he’s still not sure about the spelling of Odyssey. It’s still looks wrong,

He loves Fincher, Hitchcock and Kubrick. And Faith No More. And Elvis. He even has a dog named after him. This seemed like a good idea until he went to the park.

Want more information? (Just say yes – you know you do!) Then head over to his website at Rendevous.yolasite.com, or email him at redarcy2000 (a) yahoo.co.uk.

Read: Out of Character

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: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter who offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. Reach him at his website, follow him on twitter @MitchScripts, or email him at Mitch.SmithScripts (a) gmail.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Role of the Dice – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author LC

The Role of the Dice by Dave Lambertson

The fate of two couples is determined by a single roll of the dice.

Couples game night. It’s very much a tradition for some. And no – we’re not referring to some kinky type of seventies Key Party, or Twister played in the buff. We’re talking about a board game that is an institution to most, one that’s been around since the nineteen-thirties – the classic game of Monopoly.

Game nights can be great fun. There’s nothing like combining a healthy dose of friendly rivalry while cultivating memories and bonhomie with good friends. Cracking the caps off a few cold ones, opening a bottle of wine, snacking on some appetizers. Then sit back and let the games begin. Of course, there’s the little matter of winning being a whole lot more fun than losing, not to mention playing fair – in life, just as in the game.

In The Role Of The Dice, our hosts for the night are Chuck and Hannah, their guests, well to do friends Demetri and his heavily pregnant wife Stephanie. Expertly presiding over the entire affair is writer David Lambertson.

Remember I mentioned ‘fun’ and ‘playing fair’?  Straight off the bat our host Chuck doesn’t appear to be enjoying much of either.  To say he’s in a bad mood is an understatement – the words ‘grudge match’ instantly come to mind. But why, we wonder? Well, Chuck’s got his reasons. While out on patrol today (Chuck’s a cop) he discovered a little wheeling and dealing going on behind his back, and he’s about to exact revenge.  Exactly what he saw we’ll leave up to you to find out… We will say, how he enacts justice, is just as captivating as why.

Equally captivating is the skill with which writer David Lambertson spins this very clever yarn by juxtaposing the action with the moves of the Monopoly game. We watch as with every roll of the dice Chuck’s rage intensifies, and with each juicy revelation the subsequent plays on the Monopoly board mimic his state of mind – as do the escalating tensions of the other players around the table.  Mind games, double entendre, (Chuck’s first weapons of choice) – until it becomes patently obvious that Chuck has the monopoly over all of the players at the table, and that the game is about to take a deadly turn.

One of two entries tied for Reader’s Choice Simply Scripts One Week Challenge, The Role Of The Dice is a skillfully written and well plotted thriller that’s already proven to be a crowd favourite.

Filmmakers: Want to invest in something that’s a sure fire winner? Don’t leave this one to Chance, and Do Not Pass Go, it’s time to make your move. You never know, this might just be money in the bank.

Budget: Minimal. Get a board game, good actors – a little bit more – and you’re done!

About the writer, Dave Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time.  My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies. In addition to this short, I have written four features; The Last Statesman (a 2015 PAGE finalist and a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), The Beginning of The End and The End (a PAGE Semi-Finalist). Taking Stock (a drama) and a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”. Contact Dave via his website DLambertson.Wixsite.com/scripts

Read The Role of the Dice (12 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: 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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Daddy – Short Script Review - post author Steve Miles

Daddy by Marty Chartrand

An assassin’s last act is to prove to his daughter and wife that he is not a bad man.


     A RED DOT
     Dances upon a MAN’S forehead until THUMP. The man’s head rips backwards.

            Annie (V.O.)
I’m sorry that when you woke up, we
were gone. You must have been so
scared.

     From out of the darkness rushes, TYLER.

This is where we meet Tyler, a hard bitten killer on the opening gambit of his latest job.

We follow Tyler as he dispenses judgment with a grace and skill honed by the years; working his way to the top of the dirtbag food chain goon by goon. It isn’t about the money – not this time. That was the old Tyler. This is a killer searching for change. The odds are against him, but Tyler finds strength in the words of his young daughter, Annie, as her innocence guides him to a reward far greater than he’s ever known: redemption.

Marty Chartrand’s Daddy shines light into the dark soul of a hired gun struggling to make his peace through one last selfless act. It’s not for a first-timer, but for a filmmaker looking to push their craft this 7 page thrill ride gives you the opportunity to craft a fast-paced action piece underpinned by the most emotive of bonds: a father’s love for his daughter.

About the Writer: “My life began with a FADE IN and it will surely end with a FADE OUT. What’s written in between is what I make out of it. As a lifelong lover of movies, it was only natural that someday I would want to create some of my own. These are my stories …”

Marty Chartrand can be reached at martyc1028 (a) yahoo.com

Read Daddy (7 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: Steve Miles started writing scripts around five years ago after realizing that his social life was vastly overrated. He enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit – from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount of plaid and uses a calculator for the most basic of sums. Check out more of his work at sjmilesscripts.webs.com

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Man’s Best Friend – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author LC

Man’s Best Friend by Steven Clark

Three days after a couple’s beloved dog goes missing, a phone call arrives that will change the game. Forever.

Put aside whether you’re a dog person or cat person just for a moment and focus on the incomparable talents of Man’s Best Friend, and why mutts have earned this most eminent title.

Ready…?

Guide dogs, guard dogs, sniffer dogs, therapy dogs, herding, hunting, tracking and cadaver dogs, bomb, drug, and chemical detection dogs; dogs of war, dogs who can sniff out cancer – dogs who rescue their owners from burning buildings and rolling rapids… And that’s just to name a few of their talents. Add to that, unconditional loyalty and love, goopy grins, sloppy kisses and perennially wagging tails, and really – the ‘elegant tramp’, (as one of my friends labels felines), is really not much competition, now is it?

From Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie to the memorably cute but a lil’ fugly Verdell in As Good As It Gets, it’s no wonder dogs have an illustrious celluloid history, in both leading roles and as sidekicks.

Okay, now picture this:

You’re wandering down the street, minding your own business, and you look up to see MISSING, LOST DOG, or REWARD, stamped across a poster and nailed to a telegraph pole. Typically a photo of said AWOL pooch looks dolefully and adorably into the camera. Aww, so sad, and guaranteed to tug at the ol’ heartstrings.

This is also the opening scene of Steven Clark’s screenplay, Man’s Best Friend.

But hang on now, cause if you’re thinking this is going to be a cute fluffy-dog piece think again. Curt and Cassie, a couple in their thirties (he’s a cop btw) have just received a rather ominous telephone call and discovered there’s a bounty to be paid on Ranger, their missing ‘family member’ – and a rather hefty ransom demand.

            MAN (V.O.)
We have your dog. …
He’s got nice teeth. But I’ve got
pliers. … $10,000 dollars for the
mutt. Cash. Or I start playing dentist.

Eww! Marathon Dog, anyone?

To say anything further would spoil the fun, the suspense, and the very, very, dark twists and turns of this piece. Suffice to say this tail (sorry, tale) is less for lovers of Marley And Me , and more for fans of teeth baring, and snarling Cujo, and Seven Psychopaths.

Dare I say, if you’ve got a nose for talent you can call off your search right now cause with Man’s Best Friend you’ll definitely be barking up the right tree.

Budget: Low. Just – make sure you do this one right… every beat!

About the writer: Based in upstate, NY, Steven Clark is the writer of over 30 short scripts, several of which are under option, in pre-production, or have already been made into films. On A Clear Night, a family Christmas feature aimed at a Hallmark Channel-type audience, is currently in the works. Steven can be reached at Steamroller138 (a) gmail.

Read Man’s Best Friend (10 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: 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.

Friday, October 27, 2017

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

Violent Domestic by Kirk White

While hiding out from a double-crossing son of a bitch, an outlaw couple faces their greatest fear…waiting for the results of a home pregnancy test.

“If that test is positive, then I’m scared shitless because this is the part that terrifies me… no… not the ‘is it gonna work’ because I can’t control that… but the ‘how does one raise a human being’ aspect which is one hundred percent in our court. That, my love, is the kick in the nuts that keeps me up at night.”

As a father of three I can relate to this dialogue, spoken in Violent Domestic by protagonist Ted. It’s a sentiment voiced by many men, moments after their wife pees on a stick. It’s one of those defining moments in a man’s life – the potential beginning of his legacy. Damned nerved wracking, is what it is – the entirety of one’s future resting on whether there’s one or two lines on that gizmo bought at CVS. If you’ve never found yourself teetering on that particular line of insanity, you have no idea what you’re missing.

And our hero Ted’s in those sniper-sights. As the script opens, Helen’s holed up in a hotel bathroom.

As the obligatory three minutes count down, the couple debate the issue pro and con. A nervous Ted distracts himself with busy work, pulling C-4, guns and money from a bag. Yeah, that’s right. I said C-4. ‘Cause there’s one last detail:

Our lovebirds are two badass thieves, hot off a job gone askew. It’s Kill Bill meets Mr. & Mrs. Smith – with a dose of Parenthood! Like a real life Billy Joe and Bobby Sue*, they’re planning on taking the money and run: a modern day Bonnie and Clyde!

Only it’s not Frank Hamer they’re hiding from. Nope, there’s a particular “Grease Stain in a Suit” named Conn outside. He’s come to collect his cut, no matter what price the couple must pay. Ted negotiates through the window with Conn… stalling until he can hear Helen’s news. Ted and Helen are the ultimate bad “nice guys” – a helluva more sympathetic than Conn. They’re a pair you can’t help but cheer for. And the danger and stakes are sky-high.

A master of his craft, Kirk White weaves Domestic’s dialogue seamlessly. A touch of humor – lots of danger, and protagonists that really breathe. It’s one of those scripts that make you want to know what happens next. Because you love these guys. That’s what happens when a script’s done right. It takes a lot of practice to get to that stage. But when a writer does – the story truly comes alive. (Question is, will Ted and Helen make it out in one piece?)

Brass Tax: this script’s got the goods. Low on budget. High on character. A feel-good action piece with minimal logistics. You want a short that audiences will remember and talk about? Then this is the short for you.

*If you listen to the Steve Miller Band while reading this short, your proposal email to the author will write itself.

About the writer: Kirk White is an independent film maker, web sen”sation” and figure of note in the world of global logistics. He is currently in pre-production on his second feature, The Soul Garden, which will basically be the art-house version of Re-Animator. Kirk can be reached emailed at quitefilm “AT” gmail to request a copy of his work.

Budget: Moderate. Get a hotel room, two damned good actors, and a few props. The rest will handle itself.

Read Domestic Violence (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: 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 through their exposure on SimplyScripts.com. He is also “the most humble man alive.”

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hitman’s Retirement Party – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author LC

The Hitman’s Retirement Party by John Hunter

Retiring is never easy…

A crim’, a clown, and a cat walk into a bar…

Sounds like the opening gambit of a joke, doesn’t it? But there is no bar, and delightfully these three characters are the headlining cast of John Hunter’s screenplay, The Hitman’s Retirement Party.

A rather gruesome opening scene introduces us to titular character – Bill, 60s, balding, glasses, – an ordinary looking Joe Blow, who if you met him on the street, he’d easily pass for an accountant, a bank manager, even a local handyman. But Bill’s anything but what he appears to be. Fact is, he’s a cold calculating killer, fast, methodical, deadly. At the front door of a mark’s house he takes out a small caliber pistol, pops the guy unceremoniously twice – a bullet in the eye, one to the head, one final parting shot to the temple for good measure. As Bill says: It’s nothing personal…

It’s just all in a day’s work. After forty years on the job however, Bill’s decided it’s time to hang up his holster for the last time. A quick call to management to inform them. Now it’s time to kick back and enjoy the spoils of retirement with his loyal sidekick, Buddy.

Buddy is Bill’s best friend, he’s been there for Bill through thick and thin. He’s the one Bill comes home to every night. You might say he’s his soft place to fall – always eager and happy to see his best mate, Bill.

As with all great sidekicks Buddy is the silent type, but don’t be fooled, there’s usually a lot going on – think: Jay and Silent Bob, Penn and Teller, Han and Chewie, The Chief and McMurphy.

There’s just one thing though… Buddy’s a cat. A meow, perhaps an affectionate coil around the legs, is likely about all you’ll get. Despite this, Bill believes he and Buddy share their own special repartee, a symbiotic relationship of sorts, least this is what Bill thinks…

But someone’s about to come between Bill and Buddy, test their loyalty and their future happiness. That someone is a clown named Terry who just so happens to turn up unannounced at Bill’s front door, dressed in fuzzy orange wig, big red nose, large floppy shoes, and holding a handful of helium filled balloons.

Has he come on behalf of management? Bill’s last phone call did lead us to believe he might be in line for a proper sendoff. Perhaps the clown comes with a parting gift, maybe a nice gold watch, or a little retirement bonus? After so many devoted years of faithful service, it’d be no surprise. Or would it?

Well you’re going to have to get to the punch-line – I mean denouement – yourself. Suffice to say John Hunter weaves a Hitman story with a difference, cleverly executed through dark comedy, tongue in cheek dialogue, the element of surprise, and some rather lovely dry wit.

Our parting shot? That Hitman’s Retirement Party is a killer script, sure to draw even the best filmmakers out of retirement.

Budget: Very reasonable. A cat. Two guys and a smoking gun. Oh, and a really evil clown costume….

About the writer John Hunter: With the completion of (4) boffo 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 (a) yahoo.com

Read Hitman’s Retirement (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: 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.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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

The Changer by David Troop

Two bickering police detectives must find a way to capture the world’s most elusive criminal.

Some stories are tons of fun. Isn’t that what we go to movies for?

Angst, terror and philosophical symbolism isn’t needed for every film we see. Sometimes simple is the best. “Entertainment for the sake of entertainment” is a spectacular experience when done right. Especially when the jokes are primed to fly.

In his latest short The Changer, master storyteller David Troop makes a fun story live and breathe; resulting in chuckles galore!

Yet, for cops Kennedy and Harris, the events of The Changer are pure business. As often happens with film law enforcement types, these partners are different as two guys could be:

Kennedy’s a Caucasian veteran cop in his 40s – lacking any form of fashion sense. Of course, film-logic requires him paired with African-American Officer Harris. Ten years Kennedy’s junior, Harris is a “poster boy for Reebok.” Together, the two are on the job, seeking a mysterious master-of-disguise known simply as, “The Changer.

Tense and bickering from Page One, the couple track “the dude” to urban apartment 4D. With police badges on display, they bust down the door – only to find screaming hooker Petunia inside. Encouraged by the officer’s raised guns, Petunia points to the bathroom. Harris searches the area quickly, yet finds only – a cat inside.

Harris shrugs, turns his back. Allowing the Bizarre “Changer” to make his escape. Out the open bathroom window – down a rusty fire escape. Pretty soon, the chase is on (ala the Grand Budapest Hotel!).

In hot pursuit of a “tall figure in a trench coat”, the partners race through alleys, down gritty streets. Eventually, Harris corners the perp. (Kennedy joins the chase somewhat late… having stopped to “question” the hooker privately!). But soon, Kennedy and Harris have their man…

Still – given The Changer’s “special set of skills”, the question is… Do they have him cornered?

Really?

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Changer is a fun – and very funny – ride.

Think movies like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Police Academy, Naked Gun or Groundhog Day. If you’re a director who loves goofy comedy, then TC is your blockbuster. Set your humor on stun. And pull the cinematic wool over your audience’s tears-of-laughter-filled eyes!

Budget: Relatively low. Three talented male character actors (with good comedic timing) are required for the main roles. Plus a handful of extras. Settings include: Apartment interior rooms, stairway, streets, and an alley – all of which are easy to stage.

About the Writer: David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No.2 pencil. In 2011 he began writing short films for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts.com. His produced short scripts include INSOMNIAC and THE DINER. 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 (a) gmail.

Read The Changer (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: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on a historical feature.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art’s Tattoo Removal – Short Script (Available for Production) - post author LC

Art’s Tatto Removal (13 pages in PDF format) by Mark Lyons

A retired hitman takes a job from an old employer in his new profession; slicing tattoos off people’s skin and selling them as artwork.

Originality is quite often the bane of a writer’s daily existence. Conceiving a story that hasn’t been seen before with an exciting premise and a neat twist is no mean feat.

Mark Lyons nails the brief with Art’s Tattoo Removal injecting style and colour (pun intended) into his story with more than a passing nod to crime noir and some of its tried and true conventions.

Told from the subjective point of view of the main character, an anti-hero with a jaded attitude but just the right amount of cockiness, the story effectively utilizes a wonderfully droll voice over and employs clever narrative time jumps, just to keep you on your toes.

Arthur Lionel, otherwise known as Artie or just plain Art’, is the titular character of the piece.

We begin in prologue then slide back into a little bit of Art’s back-story as he reveals –

            ART (V.O.)
I used to execute people for money…

Hmm, the operative words: ‘used to’. Not anymore apparently…

So, what’s a retired hitman to do when he’s hung up his very selective tools of the trade? Well, Art’s not going to hide his light under a bushel, no siree. He’s going to parlay his unique talents, along with his surgical skills, into another specialized area of work, one with less collateral damage and less potential for damage to the psyche.

Art’s now in the business of Body Art, enjoying a reputation, and a particular brand of skill to rival any of his competitors. So sought after are his talents he’s achieved a monopoly in the trade.

            ART (V.O.)
No one delivers a better,
more carefully removed piece
of flesh art than me.
One scalpel lifts the skin
up as another slices off
the gristle that holds it
to the muscle underneath.

Things are humming along. Good money, clear conscience.

However, when word reaches Art that a former employer has a job for him he’s a little surprised and a lot conflicted. After all the last job he did for Delvecchio didn’t exactly go according to plan.

            ART (V.O.)
I never thought I’d hear from
Vincent Delvecchio again after I
gave him his down payment back for
not killing that mistress. That
was years ago. I was surprised
when I heard he was trying to get
in touch with me.

Art suffered a severe case of the heebie-jeebies, you would too if you knew the circumstances, (you can, if you read the script) and he was unable to follow through.

Still, Art’s pretty sure there’s no bad blood. Or is there…?

Delvecchio has a proposal, one that Art can’t refuse. Deliver a much sought after and highly prized tattoo (Gupta, no less) of da Vinci’s ‘The Vitruvian Man’. This means peeling the skin off the back of its living and breathing host – as you do.

Art’s got one week to deliver, one last big score and one rather nice prize guaranteed. Easy peasy – enough money to retire on permanently. He’s already got his eye on a nice patch of sand and sea.

He’s also got a little ace up his sleeve and some insider information which can’t go astray, or can it?

Art surely wouldn’t dare cross Delvecchio again? Would he?

One thing is for sure, Art’s Tattoo Removal is a story that’s hard to erase from memory and sure to get under your skin.

Filmmakers: Need a little jab in the right direction? Art’s Tattoo Removal delivers the ink that is sure to leave an indelible mark. We think it’s high time you imprinted your own special style on this one. There’ll be no pain, in fact it’ll be a pleasure.

Budget: Low. Though this one surely deserves the best classy/gritty film-noir atmosphere money can buy!

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: 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 Art’s Tatto Removal

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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, April 25, 2017

Feels Like Falling – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author LC

Feels Like Falling (14 pages, pdf format) by Eric Wall

An elevator operator finds his simple job becoming much more complicated when he tries to talk one of his building’s tenants out of an abusive relationship.

As film buffs, some scenes linger in our memories long after the lights come up. Remember when Kyle MacLachlan as Jeffrey Beaumont found the severed ear in Blue Velvet? Or when Jimmy Stewart as the wheelchair bound L.B. Jeffries in Rear Window aimed his binoculars at the apartment across the way? Now recall the unforgettable No Country For Old Men and the chain of events that followed Josh Brolin in the role of Llewellyn Moss after a fatal prick of conscience led him back to a dying man in the desert.

Of course Llewelyn should never have absconded with two million dollars, L.B. could simply have ignored the scream of a dying woman, and Jeffrey Beaumont should have never gone snooping into other people’s private affairs.

Sticking your nose into other people’s business can get you into a world of trouble.

On the flip-side: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Eric Wall’s character Marcus Kirby is a good man, a man of honor. Estranged from his wife he’s still as old fashioned and principled as his finely tailored suit. Marcus operates the elevator of a residential apartment block, and as such he is privy to some of the occupants’ daily trials and tribulations.

Enter, Sophie Gardner. On the outside she’s a confident and assertive young woman and dedicated teacher to her first grade charges. But appearances can be deceptive, or in this case revealing.

One particular day on the ride up in the elevator Marcus recognizes the tell-tale signs of domestic abuse. Though Sophie is determined to shrug it off and blame it on exuberant kids Marcus is well aware that David, Sophie’s husband, has a violent temper and a heavy hand to match. Indeed Marcus knows a thing or two himself about growing up in the hard school of knocks, and he knows just what it feels like to break free of the shackles of abuse.

Marcus tries his darnedest to impart some of his wisdom to Sophie:

            MARCUS
     (sighs)
Alright. Way I see it, you’ve
only got two choices. You can go up
there and spend the rest your life
trying not to look too afraid, or
talk too loud, or say the wrong
thing, or look the wrong way…

Sadly, Sophie’s like a lot of women caught in the cycle of abuse and it’s going to take more than a well intentioned pep talk for her to make the break. However, a break does come in the form of serendipity. When Marcus and Sophie next see one another Sophie’s in an ebullient mood, glowing with the news she’s pregnant. Finally the resolve she’s needed to escape David’s clutches.

And then, a shocking turn of events.

Sophie turns up dead. Deemed a Suicide.

But that’s not all. Did I mention David is a Police Officer – and a drunk to boot? Sophie’s apparently killed herself with her husband’s service revolver after first firing a shot into the floor? Who does that?

Marcus tells the investigating officer it’s not possible – Sophie would never take her own life. When he offers to provide a statement to that effect he is given short shrift and told they’re quite capable of running the investigation without him. It appears the police have closed ranks around one of their own.

And when David adds insult to injury:

            DAVID
She got what she deserved.

Marcus is now forced to make a decision which may have far reaching consequences.

Feels Like Falling examines the larger themes of power and corruption, miscarriage of justice, and vengeance. Inspired by a true life account and one of two entries tied for ‘Reader’s Choice’ on Simply Scripts One Week Challenge – Feels Like Falling is a suspenseful drama with a poignant message, and powerful dialogue.

Filmmakers, feel like falling on your feet and reaping the rewards? If you know what’s good for you you’ll do this one justice. Case closed.

Budget: Medium. Only two main characters (with strong supporting roles such as David), and the primary location – an elevator. But bear in mind – this one deserves a robust enough budget to be done right!

About the writer: Eric Wall is a New Jersey based screenwriter who has written several short scripts, two features and is at work on multiple TV specs. He can be reached at e_wall1498 “AT” yahoo!

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 Feels Like Falling (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.

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