At Attention by Matthew Portman | Script Revolution

At Attention



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On a forest trek, a young man discovers that some of the finer things in life can present themselves unexpectedly.

Photo by Ernesto Velázquez on Unsplash

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

At Attention
On a forest trek, a young man discovers that some of the finer things in life can present themselves unexpectedly.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a lady or a man. When you’ve got to go, you have no choice!

Meet Peter: a young man with dreams of the great outdoors.  When At Attention opens, Peter’s wandering the forest like a weekend warrior. Moments later… nature calls. 

Ever the polite city denizen, Peter heads for privacy in the undergrowth. But as he – and the audience –soon find out, our protagonist is far from alone.

Enter the Narrator: a mysterious gentleman’s gentleman “exuding nobility and bearing a contagious smile.” Wearing white gloves, he waves happily to Peter and points out a spotless urinal at his side.

In the woods?!?  How? Why?!?

I thought to whistle, but didn't want to disturb his privacy.

Oh, Peter’s disturbed all right! 

He quick-zips, embarrassed at his predicament. The narrator beckons. Peter, alarmed, sneaks a look back the way he came.

Concern overridden by curiosity, Peter tiptoes over. The Narrator – well, narrates – along the way.

He was, by far, my favorite of that year.

The narrator offers the urinal. Classical music plays to set the mood.

Just good ol’ customer service….They all need a little encouragement.

So he says internally, all the while beckoning Peter to venture closer… even patting him on the back.

In every genre of film, mysteries like “what’s in the world’s happening” and “will he, or won’t he?” reign above all. And so it is with this short.

Who is this classy, calm professional with no earthly want or need? Will Peter conduct business-as-usual and give in to his urinal’s Siren song? 

Clocking in just over three pages, Matthew Portman’s At Attention is a brilliant surrealist comedy. Questions fly. Time does, too. And you’ll have a constant smile on your face throughout.

If you’re a director looking for a Yorgos Lanthimos style short for the festival circuit, you’ll love At Attention. And for anyone seeking guaranteed laughs, this script won’t “miss the mark” or disappoint!


Review by Cam Gray
Submitted: February 22, 2018
Last Updated: February 17, 2019
Times Downloaded: 23
Last Downloaded: October 6, 2019

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This Script Is Loved By

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Gold Star

The Writer: Matthew Portman

Films: FLIGHT - Written for a week-long student movie competition. Accolades: AT ATTENTION - Featured on Shootin' the Shorts as reviewed by Cam Gray. "If you’re a director looking for a Yorgos Lanthimos style short for the festival circuit, you’ll love At Attention . And for anyone seeking guaranteed laughs, this script won’t “miss the mark” or disappoint!" DAIRY FARMER'S DAUGHTER - Slamdance called it " ... very creative – it’s great to see something so entirely original, and the visuals here are evocative and memorable. " Quarter Finalist in Screencraft's 2017 Short Screenplay Contest. FLIGHT - Honorable Mention at the Campus Movie Festival SDSU and screened at the Film Society at SDSU... Go to bio

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