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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Whiteout on Route 89 by L. Chambers – Short Script review (available for production) - post author Marnie

Whiteout on Route 89 by L. Chambers

Tragedy strikes when a cab driver becomes more focused on his troubled passenger than the icy road.

To be truly great at certain professions sometimes involves more than just being competent at the labor itself. For instance, that rare doctor who possess good bedside manner, and bartenders who listen and serve free words of wisdom along with your cocktail. Same goes for taxi drivers. The best ones get you to your destination, while offering an ear and their two cents.

Old Reg is one of those drivers. On a fateful winter night, Reg navigates through blustery conditions to get his fare, Edie, safely to her fiancé. He attempts to conversate, but Edie is reluctant. Through the rearview mirror, he observes several things: bruises, tears, and no engagement ring. Kind soul that he is, Reg tries to get Edie to open up.

            REG
You know they say taxi drivers are
like barkeeps and psychologists. Just
as much help only you don’t have pay
through the nose.

After a while, Edie can no longer hold it together. She begins to sob. Reg’s attention becomes more focused on Edie than the road, and he doesn’t see the deer that crosses their path. By the time he does, it’s too late. The road is too icy. Reg loses control and the cab crashes, landing in a ravine. They’re trapped. Reg is badly hurt but his focus remains on Edie as he attempts to keep her calm. Reg is definitely one of the “good ‘uns”. So genuinely kind he’d probably treat Edie the same…even if he knew the truth about her.

Reg and Edie are great characters and offer a wonderful opportunity for actors to showcase their craft. The crash and snow might be a challenge, but by no means impossible to recreate with a little imagination.

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.

Read Whiteout on Route 89 (18 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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Tooth Fairy by James Barron – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author LC

THE TOOTH FAIRY by James Barron

An enthusiastic young girl is about to learn the Tooth Fairy always exacts a price.

Childhood can be a magical time. Santa Clause and The Easter Bunny are the obvious standouts, but that special little nocturnal sprite we know as The Tooth Fairy, must also be given honourable mention.

Tinsel, fairy-dust, and chocolate eggs aside, it’s just a little bit creepy when you consider all three of these magical creatures come at night while we are sleeping.

Tradition has it when you lose your milk teeth as a child you should place the tooth under your pillow just before you nod off to sleep. In the morning, if you’re lucky, and you’ve been a good little girl or boy, you will wake to discover a delightful gift, usually one of the monetary kind – a small token symbolizing the beginning of your rite of passage from childhood into adulthood, courtesy of The Tooth Fairy.

Throughout history Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are depicted in pretty consistent good-guy fashion. The Tooth Fairy however can appear in many different guises – as male, female, with wings or wand, as pixie, dragon, ballerina, bat or rat, and commonly mouse – even, (according to Wiki,) as a ‘potbellied flying man smoking a cigar’! Huh?

Now, that’s really creepy.

Not nearly as creepy and macabre however, as the depiction of the titular character in James Barron’s one-page horror thriller – The Tooth Fairy.

One-page scripts are no easy task for writers but James Barron manages to skillfully weave a fully rounded tale with a shocking twist all in one page.

We open on Minka Avery, an excitable six year old girl (with a gap-toothed smile) waving a twenty-dollar note in front of her parent’s faces.

Look what the Tooth Fairy left! She exclaims.

The astonished looks on both parent’s faces tell us neither one of them left such a gift.

They stare at each other a moment, confused.

So what’s going on here? Where did this little windfall come from?

And why are Dad’s new pliers missing?

Filmmakers, are you looking for a micro-short in the horror genre with a denouement that will make your audience’s toes curl? Perhaps an entry for Shriekfest or Screamfest or one of the many other horror festivals going around? Well, look no further than James Barron’s, ‘The Tooth Fairy’. This is one tale you can definitely sink your teeth into.

Specs: One location, a nice house in the burbs. Four players – Mum, Dad, and a six year old exuberant little actress, and of course The Tooth Fairy – 50s, male.

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

Read The Tooth Fairy (1 page 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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Satnav by Anthony Cawood – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author LC

 

SATNAV by Anthony Cawood

 A woman’s infidelity takes her on an unexpected journey.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned is how the old adage goes, but the latest research indicates men may in fact be sorer losers when it comes to love and war. Add twenty-first century technology into the mix as the latest weapon of revenge and things can get very dicey indeed.

In Anthony Cawood’s one-page thriller, Satnav, we open on 30-something, Sarah, driving along a deserted patch of road alone and late at night. Sarah’s just punched her location and presumably her destination into a high-tech device some of us like to call a Satnav – otherwise known as a GPS, or navigation assistant.

The question is: will she reach her destination?

She’s just received a text message from her husband, David, and he’s not happy.  Certain revelations regarding Sarah’s extra-curricular behaviour have come to light and it appears she has not been the model of a loving and faithful partner. As the text messages continue to come thick and fast and the Satnav guides Sarah on her journey we wonder will she make it to where she wants to go in one piece?

It’s no easy task to build suspense and create a fully fledged story in one-page but Anthony Cawood negotiates the twists and turns with skill and expertise in this tight micro-short thriller that’ll resonate and pack a punch with audiences.

Filmmakers: We know you have the drive and you’re dying to move off the starting blocks. All you need now is the vehicle. And here it is! Cut and polish in your own inimitable style and Satnav could be your short-cut to guaranteed success.

Specs: One talented 30-something female with a driver’s licence and attitude. A car, a lonely road in the middle of nowhere. A SatNav and accompanying V.O.

About the writer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with 4 short films produced and another 10 or so scripts optioned and/or purchased. Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Read SatNav (1 page 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, March 28, 2018

Dear Abby – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author Marnie

Dear Abby by Ashley Hamilton

Haunted by tragedy, a young woman struggles to return to normalcy.

It’s common to take for granted just how easy some of us have it. We pass folks in the store, on the street, or even have brief encounters without knowing what struggles some people may be going through. Every person has a story, and some of those stories are tragic.

Twenty-five year old, Abby Miles has experienced tragedy. As a result, she suffers from a variety of mental issues, and it’s held her back. But she has worked hard, and is determined to push through it. Abby is a strong female protagonist, who courageously decides to make up for lost time and attend college, even reside in a dorm. Her new roommate, Becky however, makes a snap judgment based on Abby’s age and appearance. She relays her thoughts to a friend:

            BECKY
She’s sooo weird!…. And Old!

            FRIEND
Just take off. Be nice tho.

            BECKY
She dresses like an Amish man. OMG

When Becky leaves for the night, we watch as Abby’s fears surface and her emotional issues fight to take over. You’ll find yourself wondering, is she just too far gone to have any kind of normal life? Is she delusional? Is she haunted by her past, or is it really coming back to get her? Abby’s strength will make you root for her, her struggle will make you sympathize. She is complex, and troubled…and you’ll find yourself just wanting her to be okay.

Mental illness is a silent struggle, and ABBY portrays that beautifully. This is a short drama that offers an excellent opportunity for a female lead to showcase many sides of herself.

Budget: This can be filmed on a very low budget, in basic locations like a bedroom.

About the Writer: Ashley Hamilton is attached to direct and star in the horror film Gothic Harvest.

Read Dear Abby (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: 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.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Initiation – Short Script Review (Back on the market) - post author Guest Reviewer

Initiation by Pia Cook

A car, a man and a girl. And a life-ending threat if you don’t… drive!

Imagine this scenario: You’re a black man who just accepted a promotion; about to “pop the question” to your lady. Which is when a 14 year old white girl hops in your car, and starts barking orders. She’s going to scream rape if you don’t…. drive!

How can a guy get out of a situation this grave? How can one fight back, yet emerge unscathed?

Reminiscent of 1997’s The Game (Michael Douglas and Sean Penn), Pia Cook’s Initiation takes us on a nail biting car ride; one which has no brakes.

Nico’s the captive driver. And Amara? The out-of-control teen calling the shots.

When we first meet Nico, life seems to be going his way. There’s that promotion he’s worked his tail off for. He’s on the phone with his girlfriend – sharing the news, and planning the evening’s festivities. On his celebration short list: roses, chocolates, wine.. and a shiny engagement ring. In fact, Nico’s just bought condoms. Tonight’s going to be perfect. He thinks.

But that’s when skinny blonde Amara hops in: issuing orders and threatening Nico instantly.

Fearing for his livelihood, a terrified Nico complies. As he steers the car, Amara tears through his newly purchased gifts with abandon. Spilling wine, eating chocolates. Throwing condoms around the car. Nico’s so cowed by Amara’s random threats that he’s willing to do every little thing he’s told.

Things get particularly tense when the cops pull them over. Amara insists Nico follow her lead. He’s got to trust her, and keep his mouth shut. If so, she’ll get him out of trouble. Maybe.

What’s the game Amara’s playing? And whatever it is, will Nico survive?

A perfect short thriller, Initiation’s got all the ingredients you need: a fast paced script with a simple setup – one that delivers tons of conflict, emotional range and a spectacular twist. Despite featuring only two actors, there’s tons of meat to dig into here. Just imagine – the dramatic timing of The Game, with the intensity of Speed. Speaking of which: speed up and grab this one – before some other lucky Director wins the race!

Budget: Pretty low. Make sure your actors have perfect timing and chemistry!

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 Initiation (14 pages in pdf format)

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

About the reviewerRachel 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. She is now heavily engaged in her new project, being a Mom.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Damn Your Eyes – Short Script Review, Available for Production - post author Guest Reviewer

Damn Your Eyes (9 pages in pds format) by Steve Miles

A scopophobic recluse finds his quest for answers takes him closer to the truth than he ever expected…

Damn Your Eyes is a quirky tale about Brookes, a young man living under the constant scrutiny of neighbors. Brookes is onto them. He watches them right back. One day he realizes that it’s not about the neighbors watching him, but another unknown force that sees everything and everyone around him.

Characters – 1 main, 2 extras
Location – 1 – house
Prop – telescope

About the writer: Steve Miles is an award-winning writer who can be reached at stevemiles80 (a) yahoo.co.uk. Please check out his wonderful works here: SJMilesScripts.webs.com.


This is an October 2017 One Week Challenge is a short. The OWC is a screenwriting exercise wherein writers are given a week 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.

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: Khamanna Iskandarova has several features completed, as well as a dozen shorts, some of which were produced by independent producers. Khamanna can be reached at khamanna “AT” hotmail. Check out her IMDB Creds

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Close To Sunset by Steven Clark – Short Script Review – In Production - post author Steve Miles

Close to Sunset (16 pages in pdf format) Steven Clark In Production

After the death of his mother, a middle-aged man learns the horrifying truth about the childhood disappearance of his brother.

Production Stills

Script Review

Home movie footage has a way of evoking emotion. A grainy, colour faded moment captured in time. This is how Beyond Sunset starts: young brothers, Jack and Sam, fool for the camera. A fleeting memory of lost childhood.

Shadows grow over a public playground. A car prowls along an adjacent road. The boys play, each lost in a world of blissful innocence. Moments later Jack looks up to find his brother gone. He squints into the setting sun, just in time to catch Sam wave goodbye before he slips into the car and vanishes forever.

Jump forward several decades. Jack, now in his 50s and with a family of his own. It’s been a rough week for Jack. Mom’s dead. Her estate needs to be settled which leaves Jack and younger sister, Trisha, to clear the old family home for sale.

It’s a task fraught with emotion. The sting of memory carried with every trinket and family photograph. There’s that yellow dress of Mom’s or the grave of Houdini, beloved house-cat who was never fully tamed. 

As Jack delves deeper into the shadows of Mom’s life secrets begin to reveal themselves. Old wounds are opened and tensions rise, until finally Jack stumbles upon the darkest recess of them all…

Steven Clark’s haunting thriller Beyond Sunset lights a fuse that burns its way to the very end. It’s a tense, brooding mystery, delivered with a subtlety that begs to be picked up.  Any filmmaker looking for a low budget nuanced thriller would be remiss not to check this script out immediately.

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.

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

Read Close to Sunset (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, June 23, 2017

Insomniac – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Zach Zupke

Insomniac by David M Troop

A late night talk jock gets an unsettling caller.

Hollywood and its inhabitants live in a crazy paradox. In one breath, they claim originality to be extinct. Yet they pan for it… daily. Then, when a true nugget of uniqueness is found, it’s immediately turned into a movie dating game:

“Think of it as Superman meets Super Fly!”

The Godfather – meets George Burn’s Oh, God!

Mary Poppins Meets Mary Jane!”

(I think that last one actually happened. At least my hallucination-induced penguins say so.)

And David Troop’s hauntingly clever Insomniac could certainly be pitched in those terms. It’s “Play Misty for Me” meets “Se7en.” Now there’s an easy elevator sell. But I’d rather call it… screenplay gold!

Like many an evil tale, Insomniac begins at the edge of night. Late night talk show host Dave Burrows burns the late night oil in Philly – catering to listeners who’d rather not be listening, but have tuned in for multiple sorry reasons: “My husband snores.” “You catch the Eagles game, Dave?” In other words, they’re insomniacs. Sleep’s a distant memory.

But Dave’s rapport with his listeners soothes their woes… well, mostly. Treating each anonymous caller as a long-lost friend, his delivery is warm and glib. Especially when he gets a ring from “The Caller”, who tells him – “I’m having this nightmare. But I’m awake.” The Caller worries out loud that he’s gone crazy.

“No. Actually it sounds like my first marriage,” quips a weary Dave. “Get out and take a walk. Clear your head.” Spot on advice. Or so it seems.

Two weeks later, the “Caller” resurfaces. This time it’s to thank Dave for his sage advice. The Caller’s enjoyed his new practice of walking at night. Especially that time he met a freshman girl. “She looked young. Almost too young to be in college…”

The Caller trails off, his voice sinister. And Dave snaps instantly awake. Both he – and the reader – know immediately when this story’s heading. Details of a butterfly shaped toe ring. A foot tied to a bed. Muffled screams. And a bedpost slamming against a wall. Helpless to do anything, Dave (and his technicians) take the horrifying sounds in.

But ultimately – is it just a prank? A sleep-deprived man’s sick idea of humor? Or is the Caller horrifyingly real – leaving a mysterious trail of terror, wafting over the city like scattered radio waves? You’ll have to read Insomniac to find out. Inspiringly original, it’s a throwback to the golden age of terror and suspense. A case of “clever” meets “terrifying.”

Budget/casting: Locations minimal. A rented sound booth would be great, but any office setting will suffice. An apartment and a toe ring. Four actors…and a foot. Also, I immediately heard Kevin Spacey as the Caller. If you can get him, give HIM a call. Immediately!

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. Dave would like to make it three. He was a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 “AT” Gmail

Read Insomniac (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: An accomplished writer as well, Zack Zupke lives in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mile 42 – Short Script (Available for Production) - post author Anthony Cawood

Mile 42 by John Dowgin

When an extreme distance runner encounters a human trafficking ring during a desert ultramarathon, he must battle both exhaustion and criminals to save innocent lives – and himself.

 Sometimes, a story grabs you. Instantly. Takes command of your senses and doesn’t let go. Maybe it’s the opening action. Perhaps a telling line of dialogue. With Mile 42, it’s the clear and intense imagery that sucks you into the script. A tale solidly set in New Mexico: baking heat, jagged outcrops of rock, parched tarmac shimmers in the sun. NM’s not a state I’ve visited. But now I can say I’ve “seen” it – at least, through this script.

…and the eyes of Jose. The protagonist of the story, Jose’s a competitive long distance runner of the ultra-extreme kind. When we meet him, he’s hitting Mile 42. His base camp support, Cynthia, chatters via bluetooth in his ear, quoting lines from movies. Jose spits titles back at her; it’s a game that keeps his mind focused, even if his physical energy’s on low reserve. But Jose’s determined to soldier on. Miles ahead of him (out of sight) is Timson. His running nemesis and competitor.

Soon, a reception dead spot cuts off Jose’s connection to Cynthia. And he catches up to Timson.

Bullet ridden and dead in the road…

A shot rings out. A bullet tears through Jose’s sleeve. Someone’s shooting at him! The runner darts for shelter – summoning what meager energy he has left.

Scaling a rock, Jose spots his would-be shooter… And uncovers a whole truck of trouble, far beyond the normal concerns of marathons. Corrupt border guards have intercepted a group of illegal immigrants, and plan to hijack them for a slavery ring. Jose’s run smack dab into hell. Stranded in the desert. Alone – and being chased – by a sadistic group of criminals determined to wipe all witnesses from the earth.

Faced with a series of unexpected challenges, Jose battles the odds and desert heat. But can he overcome his own frailties in time to save himself and the others? Or will he end up like poor, dead Timson?

Excellently paced, Mile 42 moves swiftly towards the finish line – a top notch action thriller, with a vibrantly real protagonist. It’s an action short that’ll leave you (and your audience) breathless. Cheering for the hero all the way.

Budget: Given the action scenes and extras, this one’s not meant for a newbie. But a skilled indie director looking to put a shining gem on his resume? That would be a perfect fit!

About the writer: John P. Dowgin is a playwright, screenwriter, director and actor, as well as a founding member of the production company The Porch Room (PorchRoom.com) for whom he directed the original work ‘Antony & Cleopatra: Infinite Lives” at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. Two of John’s plays have been published in the compilation “Accidents Happen” by Samuel French, and have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Toronto, Dublin, and Australia. A number of his screenplays are also in ‘development’, which he suspects to be a theoretical dimension like Oz. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

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 AnthonyCawood.co.uk.

Read Mile 42

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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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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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