Should I Die Before I Wake... by Nicholas Zingarelli | Script Revolution

Should I Die Before I Wake...

The seeds of good and evil are sown as two Native American brothers on a nitro-fueled collision course, burn-rubber through a small desert town; Rob wants to bury the past, Tommy wants to bury everyone.



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SHOULD I DIE BEFORE I a brutally honest, impassioned film about love, brotherhood and escaping one's past. The writer instills themes in a compelling way, wrapping the narrative in sheer struggle, inequality and bigotry. It's a balance of adrenaline-fueled action and pure drama, pinning two families against each other with the common tie of love. Tommy is an uncontrollable force who introduces the story in a characteristically violent manner, also serving as a through line to provide a loose justification for his actions and the story's overarching goals. The splintered relationship between Rob and Lee is palpably tense. The love between Rob and Anna is well-conceived, which culminates in a Shakespearian way. Not only is this a tragic ending, it's revelatory to the struggle between the Mathews and La Duke. The imaginative dream sequences grounded by the struggle of the Native Americans versus their oppressors is enveloping, the type of style that helps define the tone and provides this story a unique perspective.
I've been working on and off on this project for the last few years. My inspiration comes from the plot of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the racial divide between the fabric of all communities, the families at their core; that eventually gives birth to the manifestation of evil; intolerance and hatred; that gives them the tools to destroy themselves and each other.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

2017 Northern Lights Screenplay Contest Finalist. 2017 The Monthly Film Festival Screenplay Quarter-Finalist. 2017 Wild Sound Festival Best Scene Screenplay Winner - Last Scene Reading. 2017 Page International Screenwriting Awards Quarter-Finalist. 2021 Screamwriting Festival Official Selection. Quarter-Finalist Page Turner Screenplay Competition 2021. Film & Screenplay Contest 2021 Finalist. KinoDrome International Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival 2021 Official Selection. KinoDrome International Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival 2021 Honorable Mention. Shockfest Film Festival 2021 Official Selection. Coverfly All-time Overall Top 25%. Santa Barbara Film Awards 2022 Official Selection. 2022 Official Selection Austin Under The Stars Film Festival.

Judge Feedback

Screenwriter -- Nicholas R. Zingarelli -- Screenplay -- Should I Die Before I Wake... -- Date submitted -- 15 January 2021

It’s written to a very high standard and presented to perfection. It clearly represents a lot of natural talent and meticulous hard work, neither of which have gone unnoticed. Well done on taking the time and making the effort to get it into the shape it’s in.

You have a nice, punchy, no-bullshit style when it comes to your actions and descriptions. You’re very visual but you’re able to convey your vision into short, sharp bursts of sentences rather than meandering prose.

Storywise, it’s very original and quite niche. Your characters and the world you’ve created for Should I Die Before I Wake... are larger than life and for some reason it brought to mind The Big Lebowski. There’s a pervasive dark humor and some nicely worked horror set pieces as the brothers battle it out.

Usually I’d offer some constructive criticism but it’s to your credit that I can’t offer any here - you’ve had an idea and your screenplay brings it to life in a very readable way and engaging style. Great Job.

Judge AH

2017 Wild Sound Festival Best Scene Screenplay Winner - Last Scene Reading
Submitted: September 24, 2018
Last Updated: March 25, 2023

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This Script Is Loved By 27 Readers

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The Writer: Nicholas Zingarelli

I have been writing short stories and drawing cartoons since I was in grammar school in Chicago. I was a bit of a delinquent when I was young and got into trouble with the police many times. When I finally wised up, I got a union job in the building trades and subsequently built over two hundred playgrounds for inner-city children in Chicago. I started writing screenplays twenty years ago while recovering from three severe work-related injuries that led to surgeries that have left me physically challenged. Man, I thought getting in trouble with the police, severe injuries, and the subsequent surgeries and growing up in the inner-city was tough, but this screenwriting thing is a whole new... Go to bio

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