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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.

Find more scripts available for production.

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.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Trench – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

The Trench by Chris Beadnell

In war, it’s important to retain one’s humanity.

Unless that leads to a mistake…

The Somme offensive of 1916 was planned as a swift and incisive battle that would lead to total Allied victory in World War I. Unfortunately, it was anything but: both sides incessantly shelled one another for four months, resulting in over a million fatalities.

In Chris Beadnell’s Trench, we’re taken to the mop-up phase after a successful British advance, aided by said shelling.

Looking for survivors in the German trenches, our two cleaners have one motto:

            EASON
…Remember, no prisoners.

Yet this unwritten rule is challenged when in the last dugout they come across one moribund survivor. His leg deformed by shrapnel, he’s immobilized.

With neither bullet nor bayonet on them, the victors leave it to nature to finish the last German dying off.

With hindsight, there’s only one word needed to describe this decision: mistake.

Partially based on historical truth, a micro-script with a gigantic premise like this one deserves to have a great general directing the action.

So pick this one up and earn your film stripes!

Budget: Minimum. Yes, you’ll need some costumes. But the rest should be easy.

About the writer, Chris Beadnell: With a 30+ year paramedic career, bearing witness to the complete spectrum of human emotion, I would use the creativity of writing as an escape from the reality of such a high pressure occupation. Most of my writing was never seen by anyone except a very select group of family and friends, and sometimes not even them. However, a serious eye injury in 2015 had me off work for months and the boredom of not working gave me the time and desire to learn the craft of script writing, and the stories locked in my mind finally had an avenue to flow. Chris can be reached out Cbeadnell (a) ymail.com or ChrisBeadnell.wordpress.com. Check out his other works.

Read The Trench (1 page 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: 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, June 20, 2018

Silence, Eventually – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author Hamish

Silence Eventually by Steven Clark

Two young men suffer an eventful first date at a night club, but that’s neither the beginning, or the end, of their personal struggles.

On June 12th, 2016, 49 people – mostly young gay men – were killed in a mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse. 53 more were wounded. And countless lives traumatized.

The deadliest mass shooting by a single attacker in the history of the United States, Orlando symbolized even more – an act of pure hatred against a community built on freedom of expression and love.

You know what they say about “silver linings”. In the face of such tragedy, such clichés may ring trite, but still true.

Because through all the pain and sorrow of that day came a tidal wave of solidarity for LGBT pride that no madman’s bullet could stop.

Steven Clark’s Silence, Eventually turns this horrific tragedy on its head, using it effectively and gently tell a tale of innocent souls who suffer persecution – for the “crime” of who they are.

Beginning in a back alleyway, we’re introduced to two young survivors – Sam and Kyle. While both are physically intact, Kyle’s shirt is soaked in blood.

Needless to say, he just wants to go home. Which is the safest place to be, right?

Wrong. Kyle hasn’t come out to his parents yet. And they definitely don’t know he’s been on a date with Sam to the club.

Traumatized, but determined to “keep moving”, Sam and Kyle walk together along a suburban sidewalk – the sun preparing its entrance on a brand new day.

And Kyle admits to worries about his “secret” being discovered:

            KYLE
My parents are old school proud.
If I came out…

The rest is easily implied.

Fortunately, Sam offers to help Kyle clean up before returning home, and cheer him up a little – if he can.

But does survival always ensure a happy ending? Will Kyle’s family discover his recent whereabouts and still accept him with open, relieved arms?

Budget: Minor – two main characters, and easy settings. (Easy to find – but emotionally difficult to shoot.)

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. Check out his website BadRepScript.weebly.com and his other screenplays.

Read Silence Eventually (11 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.

Find more scripts available for production

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.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Fault – Short Script for Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Fault by Steven Clark

Technology can solve most ills – except when social conditioning plays a part….

Over the past few decades, treatment of mental health has improved leaps and bounds. Today, we’re revolted at how the mentally unwell were whisked away to asylums and had experiments forced on them – like cogs in the pharmaceutical machine.

Of course, problems still exist today. Especially when it comes to children; many of whom suffer from agonizing emotional distress – yet are far too scared to face the truth.

Steven Clark’s Fault tackles this tricky topic with respect. On page 1, we’re introduced to a seemingly typical teenage situation: young Mary Kate is holed up in her room – doing nothing, saying nothing, and refusing everything offered by her father, David. It’s a common condition – for any age.

But what isn’t common is the “cure”. After having her brain scanned thoroughly, Mary Kate’s doctor installs a small chip in her arm. The teen seems deeply nervous, but her mother Abby’s desperate to have the procedure done.

After the implant’s complete, the doctor pulls Abby aside for a word of warning. The chip treatment can sometimes be – let’s say – “too perfect” for its own good. But Abby’s mother is convinced. If anything will save her Mary Kate, this technology is the way.

And technology doesn’t make mistakes – right?

Will the treatment worked as intended? Or will there be a tragic glitch – sending an already troubled family down a darker path? With these answers come profound insights: regarding how society views troubled children. Not to mention, how they view themselves.

A short script that discusses big, unsettling ideas head on, Fault will shine bright with the right actors. Pair candid, raw performances with a skilled director – and the result will be troubling. But faultless, nonetheless.

Budget: Relatively low. One doctor’s office, one house – that’s it.

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. Check out his website BadRepScript.weebly.com and his other screenplays.

Read Fault (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.

Find more scripts available for production

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.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Kiss – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

The Kiss by Kosta

Saying goodbye is the hardest part. Or is it, really…?

Children go through many firsts in their initial years of life: First word. First day at school. First dentist appointment. And much more.

While some are natural human developments, others require bravery. Especially for a vulnerable child placed in a terrifying situation; one they’re not mature enough to understand.

In The Kiss, young Billy’s been asked by mother Shelley to kiss Godmother Norma: an old woman in her sixties with thick makeup. Who lies cold in her casket. Dead.

As you’d imagine, ‘first kiss of a corpse’ isn’t an accomplishment Billy’s eager to add to his resume.

From the start, the boy finds himself quite hesitant about the whole funeral experience. He’s particularly unable to grasp how friend Sam can eat with a corpse nearby – “festering” just across the room.

As it turns out, Sam’s an expert in the business of death. Able to handle his food under grisly conditions, Sam entertains Billy with graphic descriptions of what will happen to Norma’s body… after all’s been said and done.

And Sam cautions Billy about one horrific thing:

            SAM
There’s a point nine nine nine nine
nine… nine percent that… they
come back no matter what.

Needless to say, this information doesn’t convince Billy to comply with his mom’s request. So when she returns to his side, Billy’s still fighting what he’s gotta do.

Then Shelley manages to make Billy even more nervous – telling her son certain tall tales that raise the stakes even higher than before!

Riddled with witty fun dialogue, The Kiss is one of those magical scripts that refuses to obey genre rules. It’s a story that’ll align you with Billy from the first few lines – and raise questions along the way:

Will Billy kiss the corpse? What will happen if he fails? And what about that nine nine nine nine nine percent chance of bringing a monstrous horror to life?

Do you want to direct this? The answer should be a dead-sure “yes.” The Kiss is a clear festival favorite. And you don’t have to smooch a corpse to see it through…

Budget: Moderate. Yes, you’ll need a casket and access to a “church”. But most of the rest is easy to accomplish. Almost as easy as kissing… a dead relative?

About the writer: Kosta learned how to draw before he can write. This background in graphic design and illustration comes through in his writing as his work exudes an unmistakable visual style.

His work has placed in the finals of numerous screenplay competitions including the Nicholl’s and Screencraft fellowships as well as the Industry Insider screenwriting competition featuring Sheldon Turner.

Kosta is currently working on another feature and developing a project for television. He lives in perpetual rush hour traffic in Montreal, Canada and can always be reached at kostak@kostak.com.

Read The Kiss (11 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: 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.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cassandra – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Cassandra by George Ding

A young woman hires a company that claims it can show her future with her boyfriend. But when she discovers a future infidelity, she must decide whether to let the visions dictate her choices in the present.

Cassandra: a tragic figure in Greek mythology who had the ability to foresee future dangers, but as she was cursed, no-one believed her warnings. The term “Cassandra complex” comes from this tale and is still a popular idiom today.

George Ding’s Cassandra takes this myth and spins it into an enthralling piece of dramatic sci-fi. Greece is replaced with near-future Bejing, and Cassandra the prophet is now Cassandra the corporation, offering young couples a glimpse of how their romance will likely unfold. And our lead characters are no heroes, but Xiaoyu and Yi, two people in Cassandra’s target demographic.

Like so many lovers, this duo don’t know if they’re ready to tie the knot and become one. But Amy, Xiaoyu’s dear friend and a newlywed, proclaims that Cassandra erased all her doubts about her boyfriend. In fact, Amy’s such a friend that she wants the same thing to happen to Xiaoyu and Yi.

So Xiaoyu gets booked in for an appointment with Cassandra by Amy. But that’s where the similarities end. Her glimpse doesn’t erase her doubts, it expands them. Worse still, the doubts are self-inflicted; her future behaviour sows the seeds for them, not Yi’s. And while she hints at what she sees to Yi, he doesn’t believe she’d do such a thing…or will she?

Will Xiaoyu accept Cassandra’s caution as the inevitable truth, or will she try to alter the course of the future through her actions in the present?

By combining an ancient legend with a futuristic yet believable setting, Cassandra provides a vision not just for couples, but for budding directors too. It predicts many award wins, but be quick – blink and this glimpse will end up belonging to someone else!

Budget: Moderate. A few different scenes and settings – but despite this being SF, there’s no need for crazy FX!

About the writer: George Ding was born in Beijing and moved to the lush, yuppie suburbs of Washington D.C. at the age of four. He received a B.A. in Film Production with a minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Southern California. After graduation, George took a two-month trip to Beijing and has lived there ever since. He currently works as a freelance writer and filmmaker. His writing has appeared in VICEThe New York Times and The Washington Post. Contact George at GeorgeDing.Com

Read Cassandra (22 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.

Find more scripts available for production

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, May 2, 2018

Trust Me by P.H. Cook – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author Marnie

Trust Me by P.H. Cook

Without parents to protect her, a little girl trusts a police officer for help.

Children are such vulnerable creatures. In a perfect world, it’s the parent’s, and/or their extended family’s job to protect and nurture them. But as we well know, the world isn’t a perfect place. Occasionally a child is left alone, their safety dependent on the kindness of strangers.

Five-year-old, Emma is one of those children. We first see her walking down the street, hand in hand with Joe (30), both in tattered clothes. She tells him she’s hungry. As they head toward a burger joint, Joe tells her not to speak to anyone. Keeping to themselves, neither realizes they’re being followed.

Obviously, something isn’t right here. Naturally we’re nervous for Emma. She asks Joe, “Am I gonna go home soon?”. Through binoculars, Warren watches their every move. When Emma gets up to go to the restroom, Warren grabs his badge and gun and enters the restaurant. We’re relieved. Warren must be there to save Emma, right?

“Trust Me”, is a suspenseful short story that will keep you wondering who is good, and who is bad. You’ll be invested in the outcome, just wanting Emma to be okay… but sometimes the world isn’t a perfect place.

This short is very low budget and would make a great project for first time filmmakers. I don’t think this gem will be available for long, so act quickly!

About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, P.H. Cook is director of the short film Them That’s Dead and writer of produced feature films Finders Keepers: The Root of All Evil and Blackout. She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written over sixty short screenplays and ten features. She can be reached at gatortales – “AT” – gmail.

Read Trust Me (6 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: Marnie Mitchell-Lister has creative A.D.D. Some of her writing can be read here: BrainFluffs.com. Some of her photography can be seen here: marnzart.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cherry Blossom by Cameron Dueker - post author Don

Cherry Blossom (14 pages in pdf format) by Cameron Dueker

With the Trinity Test failed, two US Marines and two Japanese schoolgirls fight to survive Operation Olympic, the American invasion of Japan.

Listen to the script performed by ScriptWax.Com

About the writer: Cameron Dueker is an ambitious amateur screenwriter by night and high school history teacher by day. He is currently writing shorts for the YouTube cartoon series Car City and developing a graphic novel based on his passion project, a western script entitled, No Beans In The Wheel. When he is not writing he enjoys reading about military history, surfing, day dreaming about improbable new business ideas and sharing his geekier hobbies with his younger daughter. He can be reached at CameronDueker (a) gmail.

The January 2018 Two Week Challenge was a short screenwriting exercise wherein writers are given two weeks to write a short script on the theme and genre provided. These are quickly done and may be a little rough around the edges considering the short time frame in which they are written.

Huge thanks to ScriptWax.Com: Scriptwax Table Reads provides a team of talented voice actors to bring your screenplay to life, so you can hear what works and what doesn’t!

Note: This audio recording is released under a Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial, no derivatives 3.0 license. You can share the audio recording in its entirety, but you can’t change it or sell it.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An Angel Whispers – Short Script Review - post author Steve Miles

An Angel Whispers by Jeremy Storey

“A cynical reporter investigates a small-town supernatural tale, that can only be believed to be seen.”

Ben is a veteran journalist chasing a story in the heartlands of rural USA. Folk in these parts like to talk of a miracle. The kind that hard-nosed reporters like Ben prefer to avoid. Yet as the investigation leads him from one witness to another it becomes clear that something out of the ordinary happened here.

And while no-one can say for sure what they saw, all are certain of one thing: that what they heard that night was to change their lives forever.

As Ben’s search leads him closer to the truth, he’s forced to accept this story isn’t over. This is more than copy; this is a test of faith. And in order to come to terms with events, Ben must confront the guilt of his own shattered past.

Only then can he believe that a tragedy playing out half the world away has the power to bring about redemption.

Jeremy Storey’s An Angel Whispers is a low budget treat for a director looking to make their mark through a dialogue driven story with real heart and soul. Featuring a handful of key players and a solid mystery at its core, this is a beautifully realized short script with universal appeal and the ideal fare for short film festivals.

About the Writer: Jeremy Storey, originally hails from the United Kingdom, but now resides in Seattle, WA. He first discovered the joys of writing at school, penning short stories and collaborating on comic books with his friends. Coming from a writerly family, it was clearly in his DNA to tell stories. However, it wasn’t until he graduated University, that he started to dabble in film and stage.

Since then, he’s written feature length screenplays (The Immaculate Secret, Rewind, Pink Slip Party), as well as award-winning short screenplays (Cat & Mouse, Wishbone, Tower of Strength) and award-winning stage plays (Last Cup of Sorrow, Wolves at the Door). For Jeremy, writing is a form of catharsis. His stories clearly reflect his love of exploring emotions, characters, and worlds that only reside in the deepest recess of the imagination. In turn, he hopes what he writes, readers and viewers will find entertaining, compelling and authentic. He can be reached at: jeremystorey at yahoo.

Read An Angel Whispers (20 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

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July 20, 2018

    The Underneath by Grant Chemidlin

    In a world where humans must remain faceless behind permanent masks a rebellious woman reveals her face to a young man, causing him to question his beliefs and those of society. 12 pages contest: Finalist at 2016 HollyShorts Short Screenplay Competition
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