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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:

…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) or 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, July 19, 2017

Safe in the Countryside – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Pete Barry

Safe in the Countryside by Bill Sarre

A lonely couple hide out on D-Day. But the war isn’t the only danger they have to fear…

Betrayal comes in many flavors. In war sides must be chosen; even if your survival – and the survival of your loved ones – depends on betraying allegiances.

As the Allies finally roll through Normandy in 1944, all Henry and Francine Duvall have to do is ride out the storm, holed up in their isolated farmhouse. An easy task. Isn’t it?

After all, they have a new baby to protect. Henry wants no part of the outside world until the fighting is over, and they can seek the approaching army’s protection.

But when a wounded German soldier turns up on their doorstep, the besieged couple must decide: do they risk the wrath of the now-victorious French Resistance if they take him in? Is it better to leave him to die, or does every human being deserve mercy?

But the soldier’s presence is more than a moral dilemma. Within a few precious minutes, his appearance unravels treacheries that Henry and Francine have committed during the long way; against their country, and each other.

A gripping drama from writer Bill Sarre, Safe in the Countryside is a wonderfully effective tale, exploring the nature of betrayal and the terrible acts we choose to commit when faced with extreme circumstance.  For a director that can invoke the grim mood of war and secrets, Safe in the Countryside is an excellent story to try your hand at. And an obvious festival favorite!

Budget: The exteriors will require a farmhouse and some distant explosions, but the interiors are simple enough and the main cast is small – Henry, Francine and the soldier.

About the writer: An award winning writer, Bill Sarre has had scripts place both finalist and quarter finalist with Page and Bluecat.  Another short of his, The Grieving Spell, was recently grand prize winner of the London Film Awards. Bill can be reached at Bill.sarre (a) gmail

Read Safe in the Countryside (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: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the, a film and theater production company. Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 (a) hotmail.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Hunger of Pride – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author KP Mackie

The Hunger of Pride (pdf format) by Rod Thompson

“At the height of the American Revolution, two generals share dinner in a bid for peace.”

Ever watch black and white footage on PBS, and chuckle about how the “old times” looked? Those women in long dresses and bonnets. Men in handle bar mustaches and hats. Not to mention their primitive modes of transportation: horse and buggies, old streetcars. Didn’t they realize how silly it was? Nothing like modern day. With our power suits, and cell phones… The people back then seem so quaint. Almost less than human.

Antiquated lives – separated by centuries. But are we really so different? No matter the time period, humans have always been united by our motives, and values we hold dear. Such things never change. Nor do emotions, Such as Love, Anger – and Pride. As true in 1782 as today…

As The Hunger of Pride opens, stalwart General Batchelder peers out his window. A crucial event is about to take place. Canons blast in the background; the American Revolution in full swing. The American general watches as a carriage arrives, and General Barr exits. His sworn British adversary – surrounded by a swarm of red-coated guards.

The two men adjourn to the dining room to discuss their situation. But their motives aren’t in sync. Batchelder wishes to broker a truce. Barr aims for the American’s unqualified surrender. As they tuck into a generous meal, Batchelder explains his plans for attack. The result is sure to be bloody on both sides. In order to save the lives of their men, isn’t there room for compromise? But – as with the world today – negotiation can be tricky. Will mutual interest win the day? Or will Pride goeth before one warrior’s fall?

Historical fiction can be difficult; but when done right it’s a marvelous thing: Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Schlinder’s List. 12 Years a Slave. The tales don’t always have to be true. But they do need to be authentic… touching on universals of the human condition that resonate through time. Confucious once declared, “Study the past if you would define the future.” The Hunger of Pride may depict days long past. But its emotions still ring true.

Emotionally gripping, and tied up in a perfect twist, THP is perfect for directors interested in something that will stay with their audience… no matter what century they come from!

Pages: 5

Budget: Moderate, only because the Generals’ costumes and the ambiance need to reflect the Revolutionary War time period. (Horses are likely optional.) Add some historically-accurate props to an interior room, and huzzah!

About the writer, Rod Thompson: I have been writing creatively since I learned how to write. There is just something about telling a story that I can never get over. Storytelling in itself is like an old flame that occasionally comes to me and just says, “Use me.” The ability to watch a movie through words, or to craft a world in such a manner is the closest to Godliness that man will ever come. True story. Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 “AT”

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature.

Read The Hunger of Pride (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, September 22, 2016

Under the Oaks – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author simplyscriptshorts

Under the Oaks (pdf format) by Ryan Lee

Two Civil War soldiers, one Union, the other Confederate, confront each other during the Battle of Appomattox.

Different shorts have different purposes.  Some are meant to shock.  Others are meant to explore a theme: a political issue, a moral quandary – or any one of a million ‘what if’ scenarios that can be dreamed up by the creative mind.  Then there are scripts that are a little simpler – just a slice of human life and emotion.  With the right director, and actors – sometimes those are the most effective.

Here for your consideration is Under the Oaks – a quiet little piece about two soldiers from opposite sides of the Civil War fence.  Facing mortality; together.  Nothing much is needed in the way of FX. A bit of gunfire sound effects, two Civil War costumes – and two actors that can really command a scene.

Page Length: Four

Expected Budget: Minimal

Primary Genre: Drama

About the Writer: Living in CA, Ryan Lee can be contacted via ryanlee1800 AT yahoo. His IMDB credits can be viewed here.

About the Reviewer: STS

Read Under the Oaks (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.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Dule Tree – Short Script Review (Optioned!) - post author Anthony Cawood


The Dule Tree

A troubled young girl befriends a man condemned to death.

It’s hard to do a period piece right. Sadly, it usually ends up with powdered wigs, Halloween costume clothes, and far too many “yee olds” for modern comfort. But Odd Couple scripts? There’s an ingredient that works! Oscar and Felix. George and Lennie (Of Mice and Men, you heathens!). And – if you must be more current, Arya Stark and the Hound from Game of Thrones.

Speaking of gritty medieval stories… The Dule Tree is one script that has a distinctive George RR Martin vibe. Imagine a world so real you smell the festering dirt that lingers in the air. Come with us as you’re transported back 400 years to a lonely English field. Where a certain man’s life hangs by a thread…

The story opens on little Rose – a seven year old study in innocence. While wandering through the fields, she runs across convict Galle – imprisoned in a gibbet for some unspoken, heinous crime. (For those of you unclear of what a gibbet is, it’s a cage suspended from a tree. Don’t feel bad. Some of us at STS didn’t know, either.) Galle’s wounded, weak, starving – and tortured by passing children throwing rocks. After a few cautious words, Rose and Galle strike up an uneasy friendship. Over the next few days, Rose asks Galle questions and brings him bread. But what Galle really needs is to be free. Can he convince the girl to help him escape? And can he be trusted?

No matter the genre, the heart of all scripts is character. Is there chemistry? Will your audience care? Subtly written, the growing bond between Rose and Galle stands with the best of them. The Dule Tree is an effective dark short with tons of potential… sure to leave no dry eye in the house!

About the writer: Steve Miles decided to get serious about writing around three years ago. Since then he’s concentrated on putting together a collection of shorts with a goal of finishing up a feature or two by years end.  Oh, and giving George RR Martin a run for his money! Email him at stevemiles80 “AT”

Pages: 9

Budget: Moderate. A field. Two characters. And a gibbet. Now that we know exactly what that is… J

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an aspiring screenwriter from the UK with a number of scripts in various stages of production, two of which have just wrapped shooting. His script, A Certain Romance, recently won in the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (short script category). You can find out more at


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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, October 27, 2015

The Station – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author wonkavite


The Station

A soldier and his dog face the ultimate test in loyalty.

What can one say about The Station? This one, admittedly, has a mix of influences.  A bit of classic Twilight Zone, a touch of Dante’s Inferno… and even a touch of political relevancy torn from Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The story is simple – Captain Daniels has just returned from a tour in the Middle East. By his side is his faithful companion Virgil… a German Shepherd who has seen his share of combat as well.  They’ve arrived to catch the train home.  Or is this just the beginning of their travels?

Given the story, this is one script that you have to read – to try to explain gives too much away.  It’s a sweet tale, and one that deserves to make it’s way to the screen.  Warning:  dog lovers may get misty eyed.

About the writer: A prolific writer, Kevin Lenihan has a number of short and feature length scripts in his roster… and is always looking for the next great story and idea.

Pages: 12

Budget: Not for a newbie.  To do this right requires at least stock footage of a train,  some combat desert scenes…  and a photogenic German Shepherd. But for a director with a few quality produced shorts under their belt, this could be the perfect (train) ticket…





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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