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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.

Find more scripts available for production

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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Original Script Sunday for December 2nd - post author Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are fifteen unproduced, original scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shoving Forward, and Moving Back – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

Rick and I got back into the outline business, albeit on a superficial level, as I’m in the Pacific Northwest on vacation (I love Houston, but when it’s 95 degrees in September, it’s time to get the hell outta hell for a week to cooler climates).  But as I mentioned in our last post, I felt like we needed to give a little boost to our main protagonist’s decision to leave town on a permanent basis.

Now, for the moment, I’m not going to reveal what my suggestion to change was. Suffice to say, it was a very significant change to the character.  Rick’s was hesitant to make the change, as he thought that it would necessitate going back to the beginning and completely redoing the outline draft, and in addition, that it might change the tone of the movie from a dramedy in the vein of “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine” to a straight drama.

My argument was that the character change would already be known to the other characters, so it would only result in minor changes to the outline, and there was no need to change the tone of the film, because a film like “Juno” dealt with tough subject (abortion and teen pregnancy) while still making it an uplifting and, in many cases, a wildly funny film.

The bottom line is that we’re both wanting a film in the tone of “Juno” and we’re going to ponder this character turn and see where it leads us.  If we decide to make the change you’ll be the first to know.

So back to the outline as it’s currently situated: when we last left the outline, Jinx was in the house and Cass asked him to come over and sit on the couch with him while Hunter watches.  Hunter and Cass share a conspiratorial smile and then Hunter goes outside and find Ellie, and tells her that “her boyfriend Jinx is putting the moves on Cass”.

Ellie dismisses it — “he’s not my boyfriend” — but we can see that she’s fuming over this news.  More conflict created!

Back inside, Jinx has extricated himself from the situation and is going down the hallway looking for a restroom.  He accidentally opens the doorway to a spare room in the lake house where Lucas’ dad, Paul, is running on a treadmill. Jinx is embarrassed by the interruption, but Paul waves him in eagerly.  He stops the treadmill, and Jinx apologizes for the intrusion. Paul says he needed to stop anyway.  Can run and run all he wants on it, but never gets anywhere.  A little bit of subtext towards Jinx, who is intending to run away from this small town at the first chance he gets, but will he really get anywhere if he does?

Paul shows Jinx a picture on the wall.  It’s of Jinx and Lucas working at the hardware store.  Paul reminds Jinx that Jinx helped Lucas get a job with his parents’ business.  Kept him away from some bad people (like Hunter) at a time in his life when Lucas really needed it.  Jinx says he just wanted someone fun to work with during the summer.  Maybe it worked out for both of them.

And now we go on in for a reinforcement of why Jinx wants to leave.  Paul asks about Jinx taking over the parents’ business someday and Jinx fidgits for a response. “I get it. Not your thing.” Jinx is surprised at that reaction.

“So what are you doing instead?”
“Going to college,” Jinx replies.
“And?”
“That’s as far as I’ve gotten.”
“Well, that’ll be further than a lot of the kids in this town. This place is a black hole. Unless you get far enough away from it, you’re sucked in permanently.”

We’ve now established that even the adults in this town know that if you stay here, you’re stuck here, and that Jinx needs to go.

We’ll keep you updated on what we’re going to do with Jinx’ character, and I’ll be updating the post on screenwriting software soon!

 


The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry's screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

Beautiful Boy screenplay. And interesting observation - post author Don

Interesting development on writing credits for the screenplay Beautiful Boy posted by Amazone I’ve just noticed noticed.

This version of Beautiful Boy posted on the 29th has it credited as: Screenplay by Luke Davies & Felix van Groeningen, however this more recent version posted three days later has Screenplay by Luke Davies and Felix van Groeningen (emphasis added).

In the case of the WGA screenwriting credit system, an ampersand, “&” means that two writers wrote as a team. WGA considers them to be one person. However, “and” means that two writers worked on the script at different times.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

He Drives Them – Crazy by David Lambertson – Produced - post author Don

He Drives Them – Crazy (10 pages in pdf format) by David Lambertson (eldave1)

An Uber Driver hearing voices in his head seeks a passenger to end his misery.



Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

About the Writer, Dave Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time. My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies.

In addition to this short, I have written four features; “The Last Statesman” (a 2015 PAGE finalist and a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), “The Beginning of The End and The End” (a PAGE Semi-Finalist). Taking Stock (a drama) and a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”. Want to learn more? Reach Dave at dlambertson “AT” hotmail! And visit his website.

About the Film Makers: Filmed by Chinecherem Eze and Opportune Akendeu

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ten Thousand Souls by Marnie – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Ten Thousand Souls (6 pages, pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

In England’s darkest hour of the 1300’s, a Doctor makes a deal with Death Himself

What would you do if the Grim Reaper came a knockin’? If you’re Bill and Ted, you go on a Bogus Journey… Only a few of you will get that reference, but it’ll kill (pun intended) those of you that do.

What if, instead, you made a deal with the Reaper? IE: the Harbinger of Death? That is the very question asked in the script Ten Thousand Souls, penned by apt scribe Marnie Mitchell-Lister.

We meet Doctor Oliver Blackburn in 1900, visiting a gravely ill patient. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done. So Doctor Blackburn offers to sit with the man until his time comes – and he “goes”.

Sweet, right? Not so fast. Because soon as the man passes, Doctor Blackburn… well, let’s just say, “makes his move”..

Throughout Ten Thousand Souls, Doctor Blackburn narrates our story, keeping us hooked as we jump through centuries (from 1350 to 1970 to 2011). Twists and turns abound until our journey is brought to a satisfying – albeit tragic – end.

A script with multiple advantages, Ten Thousand has the potential to play well to the festival and awards crowd, but to help make a name for a director looking for their start.

Blue Oyster Cult once sang “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”Ten Thousand Souls reminds us that maybe, just maybe, we should.

Budget: Notable. There are several time jumps (from 1350 to 2011 and a few in between). It also has multiple settings. However, there are only a few characters (Doctor Blackburn and Death most prominently) which lessens the budget a smidge. There are, of course, some effects that will be necessary to bring this tale to life on screen. That said, a clever director with a set, access to some costumes and some loyal actors could likely make this work for less. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? Contact Marnie and get this thing made!

About the Writer 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.

Read Ten Thousand Souls (pdf format)

Find more scripts available for production

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Beautiful Boy screenplay – For your consideration - post author Don

Amazon Guilds has finally drop a screenplay for award consideration. Netflix has yet to respond to my queries as to why they pulled their scripts. No, the subject line was not “Dick move, Netflix”.

Beautiful Boy – April 3, 2018 unspecified draft script by Luke Davies & Felix van Groeningen (based on the books Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by Nic Sheff) – hosted by: Amazon Guilds – in pdf format

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Check out other scripts studios are posting for award consideration

Monday, November 26, 2018

Original Script Sunday for November 15th 2018 - post author Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are eighteen original, unproduced scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Trying to Shake up the Outline – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

We’We’ll provide the second part regarding our overview of screenwriting programs soon, but our outline still beckons and I’m having some hesitation with where it is going at the moment. I felt like it would have a different feel to it; Rick and I wanted a high school version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” — a feel-good story that could be easily made.

Right now it has taken on a darker tone and there’s a little bit of drift going on. From the one-pager we originally wrote for the premise, I think we have Acts I and III pretty much figured out, but Act II is getting to be a little bit of a struggle.

Here’s the dilemma. Our main character, Jinx, is determined to get out — forever — from the small town he’s lived all his life. He was involved in an accident that killed his friend Nick, a popular student at school, and he feels like he’s always going to be “that guy” — and that he’ll never be forgiven for what he’s done. Plus, he has bigger dreams than just running the family hardware business for the rest of his life and living amongst all these same people who do the same things every day.

The trick, of course, is how do you show that? You can’t just have him talk about it for an hour and a half. That would be utterly boring and no producer would want to make it. So we have to come up with devices to show his frustration, his dismay. I think you can show it in pictures; for example, in the opening I envision Jinx, Ellie and Tate driving through the small town on the way to the party and the visuals show it as a drab, lifeless place. And the way he sees it is the way we see it as well, so that we can empathize with him

Maybe at the party we show the students as all acting alike, or thinking alike. Or, like in “Napoleon Dynamite” (one of my all-time favorite movies), when they show up for the dance, the decorations and the way the students dress scream out “small town”. The same could be done here. You can’t completely spell what the art direction for a movie — that’s the Art Director and Costume Designer’s jobs — but you can drop clues as to what the tone and look and feel is. For example, when describing the town they’re driving through, it’s enough to say that “it feels as if they’re driving through a town stuck in the 1960’s,” or “mom and pop shops line the deserted main street.” No need to over describe here.

Of course, at some point Jinx will have to verbally express his emotions at times — but expositional dialogue in a movie is boring to listen to. So what he says needs to have impact in a way that we’ll feel it with him and that we’re not just listening to an actor recite some lines. I have an idea that I need to share with Rick — I’m currently writing this 30,000 feet in the air flying to Seattle from Houston — and it might be a game changer. Will see if I can convince Rick to buy in on this — stay tuned!


The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry’s screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

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