Ice by Paul Knauer | Script Revolution




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A disgraced detective looks to jumpstart his career by solving a complicated murder case.

Written as part of an online writer's tournament, ICE is a complete murder mystery packed into 5 pages.

It's the story of a detective, fresh off losing an important court case, trying to rebuild his reputation and career. It's written with a slight noir feel and the story's twist keeps it fresh.

The uploaded version is almost exactly as it appeared in the challenge. But, given any interest, I'd probably look to rewrite the short, expanding on the noir-feel and giving the story more depth and space to breathe. To do that, I imagine the short would end up between 8 and 10 pages long.

Of course, it could be filmed as it sits. So, if you're a director/producer looking to show off your mystery chops, ICE might just be the script for you.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

A disgraced detective looks to jumpstart his career by solving a complicated murder case.

A "cool" and clever crime-thriller, Paul Knauer's aptly titled Ice opens as hard-edged, tough-as-nails Detective Brown arrives at a crime scene, along with his assistant, Meg. Still stewing from the previous week’s trial when a man he put behind bars was found innocent and set free, Detective Brown isn’t in the best of moods.

The crime scene, at an abandoned warehouse/factor, is a grisly one – a man named Skip Turner was found brutally gunned down. The police at the scene seem to have ruled it a suicide, but Detective Brown, who recognizes the man, suspects foul play.

Fuck me. It’s Skip Turner.

Skip – from the case? Last week?

Gunshot wound. I’m thinking suicide.

In the chest?

Luckily, the murder weapon was recovered at the scene – a gun with the serial number filed off. But Detective Brown is able to trace the gun back to a man named Bruce. It’s apparent that Detective Brown recognizes Bruce when he and Meg pay him a visit – he was the bailiff at Skip Turner’s trial last week.

Though Bruce reported the gun missing the week before, Detective Brown has a feeling about him – during the trial, there was a scuffle in court where Skip elbowed the bailiff in the face, leaving a nice shiner around his eye.

Kill a guy over an elbow? That’s ridiculous.
You can go – now.

On his way out, Detective Brown grows even more suspicious of Bruce when he spots a few key items at the bailiff’s home – a needle and syringe sitting in a trash can and a couple of hand warmers peeking from beneath magazines on a side table. But HOW exactly are these key items in this case, you ask?

I won’t reveal TOO much here, as part of the fun is discovering how this crime was committed. But let’s just say that a syringe, needle and hand warmers cleverly come into play… along with an ice cube. I know you’re grinding your gears right now, trying to figure it out, but you’ll need to read for yourself to truly enjoy how this mystery unfolds.

After seeing Knives Out recently and pretty much binge-watching every true crime show on every streaming service available over the past five months or so, I really, really needed something else to satisfy my appetite for a good crime-thriller/mystery. And especially after watching UNSOLVED MYSTERIES on Netflix, a show in which the mysteries remain, as the title indicates, unsolved, I needed something with a little resolve. Luckily, I stumbled upon ICE.

Incredibly clever, it would be a “crime” for this one not to be produced and seen on screen.

Review by Michael Kospiah
Submitted: August 10, 2020
Last Updated: August 10, 2020

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The Writer: Paul Knauer

I’m an optioned screenwriter working out of the Kansas City area. My main focus is thrillers and slightly absurdist comedy with heart. But, I believe becoming a better writer requires the ability to push personal boundaries, so you’ll notice a thorough mix of genres in my portfolio. Born and raised in St. Louis, I’ve lived in multiple small towns around Missouri, and now Kansas. My projects often center on life in the Midwest -- highlighting the heart of the hard-working Midwest soul. My first script, a sitcom pilot titled OH, BROTHER!, placed second in the 2012 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition and was subsequently optioned. My thriller, 60 FEET UNDER, recently received a rating of... Go to bio

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