Bright Light, Mean Shadow by Barry Staff | Script Revolution

Bright Light, Mean Shadow

Wanting to fathom a stranger in town, a thirteen-year-old truant girl needs to realise he's a hitman on a contract to take out a visiting politician.



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As they listen to contrasting music (big beats versus classical, a GIRL and a MAN collide on a seaside resort’s prom. He doesn’t say sorry. It intrigues her. In his hotel room, listening to more of his preferred music, he assembles a gun and points it at the politician being interviewed on TV. She plays slot machines, listens to her music of choice. Conflicting music choices play over and across sequences, informing meaning and states of mind. The man checks the venue for the political conference. A radio reports that a public-private finance initiative has been frozen by the government, pending investigation of the other half’s funding’s origins. Having tracked him, she rescues him from a random stop-and-search by claiming he’s her father. They split after an ice-cream ‘thank you’. As he finesses the hit, she plays amusements, both listening to their disparate music. She reads a newspaper stating the freezing of PPI funding will not be taken lying down by the organisation in question: a lightbulb moment. They happen upon one another again. Having deduced his star sign she reads a foreboding horoscope. They ride a dodgem car: biff! The Man in a deckchair on the beach, the Girl reads his palm, predicting things will change irrevocable for him. She departs, phones 999, awaits security forces’ arrival. The Man dozes, the same music she’s listening to also playing in his ear. She pulls an Elastoplast off her knee, the wound sustained when they collided.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

“Would make a highly commercial, entertaining and intriguing [feature] film.” Henry Adeane, former NPA exec
Award Winner (Best Unproduced Script) – LA Neo Noir Online Festival Script Competition

Submitted: June 19, 2022
Last Updated: June 19, 2022

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Barry Staff's picture

The Writer: Barry Staff

"Some kinda screenwriter," Barry was born and raised in the UK. His career has been oddball - periods of education (ending on a postgraduate Diploma in Film Studies) intercut with ‘McJobs’ (roof-rack assembler, computer helpdesk, beer bottler, reject furniture salesman, draughtsman, goods inward operative, briefly a bouncer. . .), all the while writing on the side. With the writing paramount these days, he has a portfolio of spec feature and short screenplays, four of the latter having been filmed. Apart from competition successes, he's - SO FAR - had a purchase offer on one feature screenplay, an option on another and a shopping agreement on a third. Go to bio

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