Lines by Paul Knauer | Script Revolution




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A mother and daughter, struggling to get by, find themselves eluding gangsters when their deadbeat, drug-addicted husband/father can’t pay the gangsters the money they’re owed.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

A mother and daughter, struggling to get by, find themselves eluding gangsters when their deadbeat, drug addicted husband/father can’t pay the gangsters the money they’re owed.

A cool little thriller by the very talented Paul Knauer, the opening visuals of Lines focuses on drug paraphernalia neatly lined up on a desk at an auto repair shop. Soon, we’re introduced to Steve who, along with being a mechanic, is also a deadbeat father, awful husband and meddling drug dealer who owes his boss some money – rather than selling his product, he’s been partaking a little too much.

Back at their apartment, we’re then introduced to Steve’s wife, Leslie, a homemaker who desperately searches the empty cupboards and refrigerator, trying to find dinner for their eight-year-old daughter, Stella. Met with cobwebs, Leslie decides to gather some change and take Stella to a local fast food spot to order a burger off the dollar menu. But as they’re gone, two goons break into their apartment, searching for the stay-at-home mom and the little girl, most likely related to Steve’s money situation.

Meanwhile, Leslie and Stella are at the fast food spot, getting dinner. While the fast food clerk has their back turned, Stella snatches up a bunch of ketchup packets and stuffs them into her mother’s purse – this seems to be a routine for them while also being a strange way of mother and daughter bonding.

After leaving, Leslie sees the auto repair shop in the near distance and decides to take Stella there to pay Steve a visit. Unfortunately, Steve’s no-nonsense drug boss, Victor, has already beat them to the punch. Unbeknownst to Steve or Victor, Leslie eavesdrops from the other side of Steve’s office door.

You can’t have my daughter. Please.
She’s my blood. My angel.

You prefer, I take you? And, what’s
left of my drugs, of course. What’s
your life worth – a couple grams?
What’dya say – your kid, and you
get me the money – or your life?

Steve hesitates. Looks at the picture.

How about my wife?

Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. But Leslie’s got something else up her sleeve, finding a way to get back at her husband while ALSO eluding Victor and his goons. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say those ketchup packets come very handy and play a major role in her plans.

Insanely clever, Lines is one that filmmakers and producers should be scrambling for. With a sensible budget and great characters, this could EASILY be filmed with social distancing in rules in effect.

Review by Michael Kospiah
Submitted: August 7, 2020
Last Updated: August 7, 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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