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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.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Keeping it Fresh – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Keeping it Fresh (6 pages in pdf format) by Rick Hansberry

Ken and Ruth have done it all. Except this.

What are you willing to do to keep things fresh? That’s a question many couples in their 60s dare to ask, and Ken and Ruth do their best to answer.

Does Fresh mean honest? Or just exciting? And when the stakes are ‘whatever needs to be done to share one’s life’, how can a couple truly know?

As veteran writer Rick Hansberry’s script opens, we meet Ken and Ruth in their well worn family car; tersely discussing their “action plan.” Ruth’s awash with nerves – her hands playing with a folded piece of paper. Ken tries to be sensitive to her concerns, but fails miserably at every attempt.

Where is this duo going? And why?

Their destination – a grocery store. What on Earth could be nerve racking there?

Soon, we discover Ken and Ruth are in… a race. Of what kind? The truth’s unclear. But what unfolds next is a comedy of errors – a wondrous blend of anxiety and charm. Imagine the slapstick as Ken and Ruth dodge obstacles, friends, enemies, wet floors, and – of course – time.

What will the finish line reveal? We won’t spoil the surprise (or the produce). But you will find a warm, sophisticated comedy – ala a young June Squibb or Seymour Cassell.

This is a script with tons of buy-one-get-two-free.  Including: a budget friendly tale, featuring characters of a “specific” (and underrepresented) age. All of which makes this story stand out – and write it’s way into even old and jaded hearts.

Need some older actors? Consider giving your parents’ “cool” friends something to do for a day. But regardless of who you cast, you’ll charm your way into festivals with this Fresh, young-at-heart gem!

Budget: All that’s needed are two good actors, and access to a deli or supermarket – at least a few aisles.

About the writer: Rick Hansberry is a screenwriter, producer and director with more than 20 years of industry experience. His SAG Foundation award-winning Branches features narration by Daniel Stern and garnered international festival awards. In 2017 his thriller/horror film, Evil In Her was released on Amazon Video and Vimeo On Demand. His most recent short, inspired by true events, has won praise for its portrayal of one girl’s positive approach to handling her Type 1 Diabetes. You can view It’s Not Permanent free on YouTube. Rick has two shorts playing in the festival circuit now and has several other shorts and features available here and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.

Read Keeping it Fresh

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: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science. Want to drop Rachel line? She can be reached at rachelkate.miller (a) gmail.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Unrelated – Short Script Review (Sold!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Unrelated by Pia Cook

SOLD! (script no longer available)

A young man presents his new fiance to his family – only to uncover a horrible secret

Of all shared human experiences, love is the most compelling. How many memorable stories are cast around that traditional tale! You know the one I’m talking about: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy proposes to girl, boy finds out that girl is his sister. Wait, hang on just a sec!

Easy and breezy like its characters, Unrelated tells the story of a young man’s quest to find “the one”, a pursuit continually thwarted by the unending sins of his father’s past.

As Unrelated opens, our hero Stan is introduced as a young lad with a dreamer’s perspective. Giddy with newly discovered love, he presents newly minted fiancé Tilda to his parents at a family barbeque. His mother Lisa is pleasantly surprised. But father Hank – a flirtatious man with roving eyes – cannot abide by the news. For some mysterious reason…

All of Stan’s hopes for a future are dashed when Hank reveals the horrid truth: that Tilda was born of an affair he had with her mother. In other words, Stan and Tilda are brother and sister!

Needless to say, Stan is forced to foreswear Tilda and start again. And so begins a long pursuit to find a female whose lineage is not tied to his own… a woman to whom Stan is unrelated.

A well spun narrative with a clever resolution, Unrelated is a subtly subversive tale, not to mention an easy film to make: only three locations set in one home and a small cast of characters. What’s even more important is this story is one that resonates with a wide audience, relatable to the human experience of love.

This script is not one to pass on. Not if you want to wow them at festivals!

Budget: Very low. Just invest in some good actors.

About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, Pia 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 Unrelated (5 pages in pdf format)

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

About the Reviewer: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. New to the business, storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. Her first two books in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, Eléonore and Heralding are available on Amazon. Want to drop Faith a line? Reach out to her at AliasFaithRivens.wordpress.com. Or, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Last Date – Short Script Review (In Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

Last Date by Richard Russell is in production. Script removed.

A man and woman meet for a last date – both of them by proxy…

Ah, life’s endless agonies. Childbirth. Root canals. Ending a relationship. Because when it’s time to say “I want out”, does anyone really want to be there? Not the one being dumped. Humiliating. And the dumpee? Awwwwkkkkwardd….

We’ve all been there and done that, on both sides of the equation. And once you’ve been through the wringer several times, you don’t want to experience it again.

But what other choice does one have? Put a happy face on a ruinous relationship, sing “fifty ways to leave your lover” with harmony, or…

Pay someone ELSE to end it.

And in an opportunistic society, that scenario’s not out of the question. Because when money’s involved, there will always be someone to do your bidding. Even if the task is crushing the soul of a soured sweetheart.

But what happens when mercenaries collide?

That’s the scenario of Last Date. A chance encounter at a bar; not between ex-lovers ending a doomed relationship – but between two paid stand-ins. Meeting on behalf of “Bonnie” and “Will”, Matt and Emily are experienced masters at their jilting craft. Having researched the relationship’s history, Matt and Emily know just what to say… Everything from “It’s not you, it’s me”, to “I know about that office affair.” On behalf of their clients, Matt and Emily face off across the table – for confrontations and drinks. Both are consummate professionals… But can these actors truly separate themselves from the play?

Dryly humorous – and deceptively simple – Last Date is the perfect match for directors who groove on social commentary. A script that skewers society on multiple levels: the eternal battle between men and women… and a modern world where anything can be bought or sold. Including the pain of a Last Date.

Budget: Very low budget. All that’s needed is a single diner or bar – and a few actors with good comedic timing.

About the writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes. He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine. He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best. They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future. Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory. Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world.

About the reviewer: Michael O’Farrell is a mathematician who worked on the Space Shuttle Program and now writes fiction.

Read Last Date (9 pages 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.

Monday, August 7, 2017

High Demand – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

High Demand by David M Troop

An awkward girl scout employs the services of her older stoner brother to beat her arch nemesis in a cookie-selling contest.

We’ve all seen them. And we’ve all pretended not to be at home when they’ve come a-knockin’ at our door.

No, we’re not talking Seventh Day Adventists. It’s a breed more tenacious: Girl Scouts!

The ultimate sales persons – branded by green sashes and pigtails – these little “cookie” girls sell their wares constantly. At least, if they want their badges and rewards. Given the high pressure stakes involved, it’s a miracle more haven’t pursued questionable means. Not to mention black markets!

Maybe after reading High Demand they will – the tale of one Girl Scout that discovers a whole new clientele through her stoner brother with all the right connections.

The script opens up in a sweet and innocent setting: five girl guides sit through a pep talk, in preparation for their annual cookie drive. Among them is our young heroine Margaret, a 12-year old girl with a rather dismal sales record. But this year is different. This year, there’s a brand new bicycle waiting for the girl who can sell the most. With that one incentive, Margaret is sold. This is the year she proves herself!

Opposed by her wicked den-mother, her condescending den-sisters, and the general apathy of the human population, Margaret quickly learns that her Herculean task will not be easily overcome.

Enter Bud, her older stoner brother with an insatiable appetite for sweets. Thus begins a brilliant scheme to exploit the cravings of certain “patients”. Impassioned anew, Margaret strives to best arch-nemesis Sharlee and the rest of the mean girl clan, proving once again that the underdog should never be underestimated.

Make no mistake: this is no half-baked story.

Full of charm and wit, the relationship between Bud and Margaret is memorable not only for their quick and humorous banter. The kinship at its core becomes especially clear as the story nears its resolution. What Margaret wants is not just a bike. But the ability to believe in herself.

Why should you consider this script? Well, it’s more than just scoring Thin Mints as props.

Not only does High Demand pursue an original twist on the well-known reality of the Girl Guide, but it ‘s infused with positive reinforcements for a female audience with strong never-say-die heroines. Margaret is an easily lovable character with relatable issues, and has the potential to champion a few more short tales.

What more could you ask for? Well, aside from “glaucoma treatment” and Girl Scout cookies?

Budget: Moderate. A few locations and a handful of extras to support a small cast. They key is finding great young actresses and making sure the chemistry between Bud and Margaret really comes alive!

About the Writer: 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. 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!

Read High Demand (15 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: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. New to the business, storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. Her first two books in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, Eléonore and Heralding are available on Amazon. Want to drop Faith a line? Reach out to her at AliasFaithRivens.wordpress.com. Or, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Balancing Act – Short Script Review (Available for Production)! - post author Guest Reviewer

Balancing Act (14 pages in pdf format) by Jason Allen

You think balancing rocks is easy? Think again!

A mockumentary in the vein of Best in Show, Spinal Tap and more…

Rocks. What mundane fragments of Nature! Found across the globe, in so many shapes and so many colours, their uses are positively endless. People have built walls with them, collected them for their own pleasure, and competed to see who can skip them the furthest across ponds and lakes.

They really are the most versatile objects in the world. So why not make art with them as well?

Odell Jenkins, 42, asks that very question and pursues it with such vigour that his entire life becomes devoted to the skill of stacking rocks.

Written mockumentary style, Balancing Act follows Odell as he declares his passion for his art. And explores his most memorable moments: from meeting his wife Jenny, to the appearance of mysterious symbols suspected of being a message from aliens. Code written into rocks – from the sky!

Sure, Odell may be obsessed – but he’s also a reflective and humble man who takes his art seriously. A simple soul who knows his purpose – and desires to make his mark on the world.

As a result, Balancing Act is more than a story about rocks. It’s also a moral about balancing life. The tale of a man who wants to be inspired and wants to inspire, as well.

Like any of us, Odell is seeking the answers to the universe’s biggest questions… under whatever rock they may hide.

With a tongue-and-cheek tone, this short bursts with subtle wit. Highly amusing and entertaining, Balancing Act elevates a humdrum topic – all the way to the stratosphere.

Why should you choose Balancing Act? Well, Odell’s down-to-earth personality will resonate well with audiences. And if that doesn’t convince you, here’s one more reason to place on the pile:

This is a script with heart and humour. Deftly moving between parody and drama, it’s a ‘balancing act’ in and of itself . Compelling as much as diverting, Balancing Act’s is a thought-provoking piece indeed.

Budget: While locations are plentiful, the number of characters is limited. If you’re willing to put the money in, the production will be well worth the final creation.

About the writer: Jason K. Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee. His screenwriting credits include the short films AMERICAN SOCK, which won Best Screenplay at the 2014 San Diego Film Awards, and AUTUMN LOVERS, winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Artlightenment Festival in Nashville. He also wrote the feature film LUCKY FRITZ starring Julia Dietze (IRON SKY) and Corey Feldman. You can contact Jason at allen.jason.k (at) gmail. See IMDB for his complete credits: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3021924

Read Balacing Act

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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: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. New to the business, storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. Her first two books in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, Eléonore and Heralding are available on Amazon. Want to drop Faith a line? Reach out to her at AliasFaithRivens.wordpress.com. Or, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mollycoddled – Short Script (Available for Production) - post author John Robbins

Mollycoddled (pdf format) by L. Chambers

After they’re turfed out, one man and his dog discover there might be trouble and strife at home, but out in the big wide world the Nanny state has gone haywire.

‘NO DRINKING. NO SMOKING. NO LITTERING. NO SKATEBOARDING. NO BIKES… NO DOGS.’

Rules are everywhere we go: airplanes, school, driving, work, relationships. And while some rules can be annoying, Brad now finds it harder than most to avoid all of them. Mollycoddled explores that line between fighting the rules, or embracing them.

Accompanied by his shaggy pup, Brad looks to take a break from the doghouse after being kicked out by his girlfriend. However, everywhere he goes—by the beach, at the park, on the bus—the law of the land beckons, and Brad learns that not every punishment fits its crime. As the offenses become more and more excessive, he isn’t even sure if pulling out his hair would warrant a fine.

At the crossroad of his comedic journey, will Brad choose to obey or rebel? Can he overcome the rules? Or are some rules worth it?

Pages: 12

Budget: Low

About the writer: 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. You can contact L Chambers at libbych “AT” hotmail

About the reviewer: John Robbins is a screenwriter from Milwaukee, WI.

Read Mollycoddled(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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mendelevium – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author The Merrows

Mendelevium (pdf format) by Erich VonHeeder

A “Battle of the Bands” helps two lead singers find love.

Mendelevium. It’s a synthetic element on the Periodic Table. Atomic Number: 101.

Don’t let the title lead you astray. There’s little science in Erich Von Heeder’s script, Mendelevium.

But tons of chemistry.

Incredibly engaging, Mendelevium is totally character-driven: an interview of Delores and Levi, two lead singers in rival punk rock bands.

When the couple first meet, it’s hate at first sight – an animosity of biblical proportions. As Delores articulates: “I was overcome with hatred for him. Like deep, blinding…” A helpful Levi completes the thought: “Murderous. Murderous hatred.”

…a hatred which escalates to an on-stage scuffle, after Delores throws a pound of cocaine at Levi. Followed by a night in jail. Talk about auspicious first dates!

“Where did you get a pound of cocaine?” their puzzled interviewer queries.

“Where do fish get scales?” Delores replies. “I don’t know. I’m a rock star, dude.”

Holding hands, the couple reminisce about their whirlwind romance, shortly after making bail. Delores: “We were hotter than a pequin pepper. A rare pepper that grows in the remote Andes Mountains of Chile, and if you even touch it to your mouth you die.”

Levi rolls his eyes. “Doesn’t exist,” he confides to the camera.

Imagine a punk rock reboot of When Harry Met Sally… that’s Mendelevium in a nutshell. Packed with witty dialogue, the script is funny, fresh – a standout vignette of two non-conformists in love. As Levi says, “Love’s a jester, man.” And a script like this is bound to shine.

Pages: 5

Budget: Low-medium. All that’s needed is an interview room, an indie rock “stage”, a handful of crowd extras – and a couple with great chemistry.

About the writer: A humble denizen of Seattle (home of some amazing rock bands) talented writer Erich VonHeeder can be reached at erich_vonheeder(a)yahoo.com

About the reviewers: Scott & Paula Merrow are a husband and wife screenwriting team. Since 2006, they’ve written over 50 short screenplays, several of which have been produced. They tend toward family-friendly scripts, but they’ve written a little bit of everything: horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy,… the whole nine yards. They’re reachable at scott-paula(a)comcast.net

Read Mendelevium (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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Saved My Bacon – Short Script for Review (Available for Production!) - post author wonkavite

Laptop-Shorts

Saved My Bacon

It’s 1913 and a big city reporter travels out to the country to meet The World’s Greatest Pig.

 There will always be a place in storytelling for rural tall tales. Big Fish did it quite successfully. And it’s easy to see why.  There’s something about combining the honest simplicity of “down-home rural folk” with fanciful humorous stories that simply works.   (And really beats Deliverance when it comes to telling country stories by the campfire…)

Saved My Bacon comes straight from that pedigree (Big Fish… not Deliverance.)  Featuring only two main protags, it follows the story of Milo the Reporter who’s come to interview Farmer Davis… a simple man with an extraordinary pig.  The result is pure Mark Twain – a sweet narrative, with a very effective ending.

Running only 5 pages long, this is a perfect script for anyone interested in telling a solid, amusing tale.  As long as you have access to Wilbur for the shoot…

About the writer: Tim Westland, co-writer of the acclaimed graphic novel Chasing the Dead, received first place for Balls Out in the NNYM 15 page contest. A moderator at Moviepoet, he’s an outstanding writer with an eye for the details. His IMDB page can be found here.

Pages: 5

Budget: The vast majority of this script is low budget.  Two protags, one room and a single rural exterior shot. The one – er – stumbling point is that you have to get a pig – and do a little FX for its legs.  But when you get that, this one’s golden!

READ THIS SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!

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All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

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October 19, 2019

    Kármán Line by R.J. Howard (Howie365) writing as Ward Rhoj

    On their way to service a broken satellite in geosynchronous orbit, four astronauts experience something they can’t explain and will never forget. 12 pages
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