The Third Degree by Barry Staff | Script Revolution

The Third Degree

Wanting a meaningful relationship for once, a strung-out womaniser goes to a quiet beach to try for one with Nature herself, but needs to prove his sincerity to make headway.

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10pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

Strung-out after an all-night party, a thirtysomething speeds his gas-guzzler to a lonely bit of beach at dawn, there to seek a meaningful relationship for once (after all the countless one-night stands). At the shoreline (oblivious to distant beachcombers and dog-walkers), he turns his allure on to Nature herself; makes overtures to the vacant sand, sea and sky. He cracks jokes, sweet-talks, serenades. Kneading his toes in the sand feels so good, to him anyway.

The day advances. The heat rises. All the trappings of the man’s position in high finance (expensive suit, Rolex, iPhone...) get jettisoned, to butt naked - to get the new girl in his life yielding to his own 'natural' charms. But Nature merely issues cryptic clues, seemingly signs of her displeasure at him not really treating her right: a seagull shits on him; a shrink-wrapped cucumber floats in; a used nappy; a seaside bucket and spade. He takes the latter to mean 'she' wants to be playful. He digs a hole with the spade. And a skinny dip would surely have her succumbing, no?

A crack of lightning sends him reeling backwards, back into the ‘shallow grave’ he's dug. The returning tide mires him in it. Dawn finds him buried under washed-clean sand, only his arm projecting out - middle finger of hand out straight.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Prize-winner, Sequel to Cannes competition
Official Selection (Best Unproduced Script) Script Award - London

Submitted: April 24, 2022
Last Updated: July 30, 2022

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Barry Staff's picture

The Writer: Barry Staff

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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