Shootin' The Shorts | Script Revolution

Shootin' The Shorts

Shootin' The Shorts is run by J.E. Clarke a longtime prolific screenwriter who loves to give others a little boost in the marketplace by highlighting why she believes their short script may stand out. She brings with her a loyal band of readers who share the same compassionate attitude who have joined her cause as it's grown and grown to connect writers with filmmakers on a monthly basis. Now it finds a home here on Script Revolution.

This is all about highlighting what makes a script great by focusing on the positives. You'll find no negative criticism or lists of issues here. Submitting a short script for consideration couldn't be easier, simply scroll down to the bottom of your script edit page and tick the "Submit to Shootin' The Shorts" checkbox. Please note; it takes time to get through all submissions, everything is subjective, and we're by no means saying these are the best short scripts on Script Revolution, they are simply the ones that have found an admirer within this section - CJ

Photos - Get the Picture?

PHOTOS
A Polaroid camera takes disturbing pictures as a couple begins to fade out of existence.

A finely tuned horror doesn’t need extensive props or convoluted story lines to conjure up evil scares. In fact, a stripped back tale often offers even more intrigue and terror - when executed just the right way!

Michael H. Good has created just such a script in Photosa five page short that keeps the reader hooked by utilising classic horror beats, laced liberally with confusion and fear.

We open with two teens, Veronica and Zoe.  When we first encounter these lovers, they share a private moment of passion in a romantic candle lit room. After the girls finally break from their embrace, Veronica drags the final "character" in this piece out from under the bed: her old Polaroid camera.

Though initially confused by the antique machine, Zoe proceeds to take selfies. The flash blinds the girls, causing a few seconds of searing pain to their eyes.  But it's ultimately the strange photographs the camera produces which allude to a more sinister concern.

Veronica trains the camera at Zoe. She smiles. 

SNAP. Zoe shrugs her eyes from the light.

ZOE
My eyes.

The photo bursts out of the camera. Veronica blows, then wiggles the photo. She inspects the photo.

VERONICA
Your hand is missing.

She throws the picture to her lap. Zoe looks.

ZOE
What kind of camera is this again?

VERONICA
Maybe it’s over-exposed. Let me snap a few again.

Just as a horror writer is challenged in how they approach a piece of work, producers and directors are equally so.

Photos gives horror film makers more than just a compelling story to work with - but also visual set pieces loaded with tons of potential. At five pages, this short script's is an effortless little read, one that can be "developed" like an old photo - into a directing gem!

 

The Script

PHOTOS

A Polaroid camera takes disturbing pictures as a couple begins to fade out of existence.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

By day a 3d visualiser, by night an aspiring screenwriter.

My work varies from dramatic feature films, to surreal comedy shorts, with a little bit of television work thrown into the mix. My goal is to have work produced by the right team for the individual script, if you think that's...Read more

About The Writer

Michael Good's picture
Real name: 

Michael Good is an aspiring writer who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hopefully, one day to see his name on the big screen. Started in writing in 2011 when his mother had cancer. Started writing again in 2015 and never stopped. Written a few screenplays and pilots. Horror, sci-fi, drama, thriller,...Read more

One Hit Wonder - Or Is There More to Come?

One-Hit Wonder
A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.

What do we want to leave others when we exit this world? What mark could us mere mortals ever hope to make?

An amazing invention? An advance for peace and prosperity? Or would it be enough to just be remembered for something...fun?

Ellery Demarco, in Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder,” had hoped to be adored for his musical accomplishments. But indulging in life’s pleasures can become addicting. Thanks to that - and to Demarco's dismay - his career arc proved briefer than planned.

In fact - now that he's retired - the public knows Ellery for just one song.  Which is depressing, but far from tragic.  Ultimately (whether one's a rock star or a filing clerk) it's the small things in life that count.  So when Ellery takes a ride with a Cabbie out of town, he finds that touch of joy he once lost - reminiscing about his short-lived career:

CABBIE
I’m still going the right way?

They’re in the country. It’s misty and hard to see.

ELLERY DEMARCO
Yeah. I think we’re almost there.

He sighs and looks out the moisture-riddled window. He winces and touches his chest.

CABBIE
You OK, Mr. DeMarco?

ELLERY DEMARCO
I will be when we get there.

They ride in silence for a bit.

ELLERY DEMARCO 
Thanks for listening to me…

CABBIE
This job teaches you to be either a good listener or a good talker.     

Fortunately, Ellery's cabbie turns out to be a bit of both.  During the next leg of their trip, the two shoot the nostalgic breeze like old pals: chatting about songs like Demarco's smash hit "Humma Humma Ding Dong".  Not to mention dishing dirt about who handled the Rock Star life best. And who knew who and what back in the day.

A casual, entertaining conversation: until Ellery reaches inside his trenchcoat and brings something out.

It’s a bullet. He shows the Cabbie.

ELLERY DEMARCO
I found this on my doorstep yesterday.

Cabbie glances at it, then looks again, and it hits him.

CABBIE
Is… does that mean…what I think it does?

ELLERY DEMARCO
It does.

CABBIE
Man. What did you DO?

Ellery confides in the cab driver before reaching his final destination, glad that at least one fan will know what happened. But will he actually?

Rich with an eerie atmospheric vibe, Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder” is a story you’ll want to catch and hang onto for far longer than just one song....

The Script

One-Hit Wonder

A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.

About The Reviewer

Linda Hullinger's picture
Real name: 

Linda Hullinger is an award-winning screenwriter and published author who has written thirteen short screenplays, three feature screenplays and two TV pilots. She’s had short stories, articles, and essays traditionally published in magazines such as Woman’s World, Over My Dead Body, Dogwood...Read more

About The Writer

Harker Jones's picture
Real name: 

I’ve worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and critic for 15 years. I was managing editor of “Out” magazine for seven years where I also copyedited two novels. I have written two novels and six screenplays. I hold a degree in written communication and literature from Eastern Michigan...Read more

Sparkler - All That Glitters is More Than Gold

Sparkler
Bike stunts, booming fireworks, and a blowtorch are part of a family’s wild Fourth of July.
 
In the 1989 movie ‘Parenthood’, starring Steve Martin, his character Gil listens to Grandma whimsically recall going to the fair with Grandad. She recollects how some folks would choose to ride the safe and predictable Merry-go-Round, whereas she preferred the unpredictable and thrilling Rollercoaster. This shrewd metaphor about life is one of the many charms that made this film about the ups-and-downs and in-betweens of family so watchable and relateable.
 
Cut from a similar cloth is Rob Herzog’s quirky and amiable short screenplay ‘Sparkler’, which tells the story of Bruce and his family as they spend a blistering July 4th with his larger-than-life Floridian in-laws.
 
As evening creeps closer the family dines outside, munching pulled pork and catfish po-boy sandwiches. Well, all but the exceedingly careful and nervous Bruce who anxiously watches his daring 6-year-old daughter gleefully ride her bike, taking on stunt after stunt with reckless abandon while his po-boy sits untouched, damp and ragged in the heat and humidity.
 
Conversely, Uncle Moon, ‘a jolly bear of a man’, takes great pride in watching Lizzie’s one-woman daredevil show. Not just cheering, Moon also facilitates her fun by upping the explosive ante each time as Bruce watches on, slowly crumbling under the weight of his anxiety.
 
Bruce’s fear is further amplified after he accompanies Moon and Lizzie inside the house, and watches on as the giddy firebugs select their next set of colorful ordinances to detonate in the night sky.
 
Bruce stares harder at the fireworks. A moment crawls by before Uncle Moon points to Lizzie.
                                                                       
UNCLE MOON
You got a tough little cookie here,
 Bruce. Afraid of nothin’.
 
BRUCE
Yeah. The way she rides up and down
that ramp. Unbelievable. We just
took off her training wheels in the
spring. And how look at her…
(he swallows)
 …It’s scary.
 
It’s clear Bruce and Uncle Moon are chalk and cheese. Their worlds and backgrounds could not be more different. All they have in common is his wife Tina and his child Lizzie. In many ways they represent both sides of the Red and Blue political and cultural spectrum. If not for the bond of marriage and extended family, they would likely have nothing to do with each other.
 
This diametrically opposed dynamic also helps explain Bruce’s crippling anxiety as he watches his little girl fearlessly exults in a cornucopia of pulsating shenanigans. He can’t relate to her high-spirited audacity, so instead he projects on her his childhood fears -- resulting in a near breakdown.
 
BRUCE
But everyone here thinks I’m a
fool. I’m an embarrassment.
 
TINA
You’re being silly. C’mon back and
watch. It will be okay.
 
BRUCE
I don’t know what I’m doing
anymore, that’s what I’m getting
at. What are we all doing?
(he searches)
I love you and your family…
 
Like the fireworks he fears, the dread in Bruce is equally unstable. So, when these two forces eventually collide, the incandescent storm of cordite confetti mixed with a snot and tears is a hilarious sight to behold… beautiful in its own fierce and cathartic way.
 
There is a sly subtlety to this script that will excite actors. Likewise, a director who enjoys using the screen to explore family dynamics, personal demons, and the many contradictions of the human condition, will relish a chance to bring this ‘sparkling’ story to life.

The Script

Sparkler

Bike stunts, booming fireworks, and a blowtorch are part of a family’s wild Fourth of July.

About The Reviewer

Jeremy Storey's picture
Real name: 

Jeremy Storey, originally hails from the United Kingdom, but now resides in Seattle, WA. He first discovered the joys of writing at school, penning short stories and collaborating on comic books with his friends. Coming from a writerly family, it was clearly in his DNA to tell stories. However,...Read more

About The Writer

Rob Herzog's picture
Real name: 

My chief talent isn’t writing, it’s being afraid.
As a kid, I freaked out about spontaneous human combustion, killer bees, and the prospect of a bathtub shark attack. And the 3,600 miles between me and the Loch Ness Monster wasn’t nearly enough.
All of this youthful anxiety...Read more

Grounded - But Not Out!

Grounded
A struggling luddite navigates the hardships of dating in the digital age.

On the surface, ‘Grounded’ by Ron Houghton is a snide, satirical story about how today’s culture has become so dependent on the cell phone, that should a professional man -- in his mid-thirties -- choose to remain off the grid, it would be perceived with the same astonishment as an alien spacecraft suddenly emerging from the clouds.

But deeper inside the subtext of this script is an insightful commentary about the influence of societal norms on our morals and how conforming to the former, might make you lose sight of the latter.

Meet Steve… a cautious man in his 30s on a date with Talia, a work colleague he eventually had enough courage to ask out for a dinner and a movie.

TALIA
I have to say I was pretty surprised
when you asked me out.

STEVE
Really, why??

TALIA
I saw you checking me out last week
at Beth’s party. I thought if you
couldn’t muster the chance with a
few drinks inside you then you
never would.

STEVE
I guess I was just waiting for the
right time.

It’s clear from Steve’s initial exchanges with Talia he’s a non-conformist, who totters along to the beat of his own drum. But he’s also self-actualized enough to understand that his actions and beliefs might cause incredulity and outright condemnation in others.

So it comes as no surprise that when Talia asks if he has a phone, Steve is suddenly filled with dread, knowing he’ll have to admit to being an analog man in a digital world.

Talia responds to Steve’s confession in a manner befitting a dinner-date confessing they have a predilection for eating horse feces off the skull of a humpback whale.

Utterly outraged, Talia publicly humiliates Steve to the restaurant staff and patrons for being without a phone. In turn, the scornful onlookers make Steve feel like an uglier version of the Elephant Man.

Made to feel a pitiful outcast, Steve is befuddled and embarrassed when Talia departs. But not before she leaves him with one final, hurtful reproach…

TALIA
Get some help, Steve.

Taking Talia at her word, Steve goes in search of help via a medical professional. Who in turn quickly diagnoses his issue and suggests a remedy.

DOCTOR
But I do suggest you get on a
plan immediately.

STEVE
Immediately?

DOCTOR
You’re way behind the rest of us. I
think the right thing to do is to
treat the condition aggressively.
long term options with punitive
contracts.

Following his hospital visit, Steve makes hay to the closest cell phone store, completely crushed and feeling like a social pariah. But along the way he bumps into a kindred spirit, a woman similar to him in heart and soul. Another ‘grounder’, unashamed and proud of who they are. Making Steve pause and reconsider his rush to heal a wound not of his making.

Ron Houghton’s ‘Grounded’ is a subtle, biting, and irreverent societal parable about what it means to fit in, and what you lose when you don’t maintain the courage of your convictions. Want to produce a quirky movie emulating the spirit of idiosyncratic filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Woody Allen? Then dial up Ron Hougton. Grounded may be the perfect script!

The Script

Grounded

A struggling luddite navigates the hardships of dating in the digital age.

About The Reviewer

Jeremy Storey's picture
Real name: 

Jeremy Storey, originally hails from the United Kingdom, but now resides in Seattle, WA. He first discovered the joys of writing at school, penning short stories and collaborating on comic books with his friends. Coming from a writerly family, it was clearly in his DNA to tell stories. However,...Read more

About The Writer

Ron Houghton's picture
Real name: 

An avid cinephile, and former film critic. In recent years I have discovered a passion for screenwriting. In recent years I have been fortunate to have five of my short scripts optioned, with four currently in production. In between work and life,  I am currently working on two ambitious...Read more

Zentangles - Oh, What a (Zen) Tangled Web We Weave!

ZENTANGLES
An obsessive young woman gets absorbed in her artwork.

Betty’s got a new hobby: Zentangles.  Cynical husband Mark doesn’t quite see the point of it all...

She smiles, shows Mark her drawing of shapes, overlapping lines and patterns. 

BETTY
When drawing these freeform
patterns, I experience a feeling of
timelessness, freedom, wellbeing…

Mark remains unconvinced.  Until she points out the hard times they endured following his failed dalliances with scriptwriting and online poker.  

Mark concedes to her point.  After all, what’s a little stationary between husband and wife? 

He looks over her shoulder at her drawing. She shrugs her shoulder to warn him off.

BETTY
Back off. You’re harshing my mellow.

Mark turns to leave, turns his head.

MARK
OK. I guess you could have taken up daytime drinking.

And maybe she should have, for the zentangle is no ordinary pattern.  

A mysterious energy is at work here to which Betty’s zen doodles are about to prove anything but a fun, relaxing past-time.

...Someone’s mellow is in for a serious harsh.

Two people, one room, a lot of zentangles, and a little FX (or creative camerawork for an alternative) is all you need to bring John Hunter’s horror short Zentangles to life.  This short horror script delivers a quirky, dialogue friendly set-up with a darkly comic pay-off that threatens to unnerve the most ardent of zentanglers.

The Script

ZENTANGLES

An obsessive young woman gets absorbed in her artwork.

About The Reviewer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

Sent away to boarding schools to get a fancy education, the members of my immediate family proudly referred to me as bilingual for an uncanny ability to speak both Standard American English and my native Cracker.

After graduation from a large brick and mortar university, a curious nature...Read more

Survival First Inc - Apocalypse 101 for the Enlightened Crowd

SURVIVAL FIRST INC.
As the world edges closer to social collapse, two security professionals market a post-apocalyptic protection service for concerned liberals.

The bastards have finally done it: a full-blown apocalypse has hit. The world outside your front door is falling apart.  Even worse, you've no idea how to cling to that precious lifestyle you've crafted for yourself. What on earth can a social justice warrior do to adapt?

You pay attention to this life saving infomercial, to start.

Anyone who knows Steve Mile’s work is aware of this writer’s depth.  He’s written everything from poignant dramas to tense horrors – and now, a humorous short with satirical bite. Written with polished style and finesse, Survival guides us through an unhinged society where self-absorption blends with infomercial inanity, and chaos in hysterical amounts!

Our tale of woe begins in the warm comfort of a family house: one oddly gripped by stone cold fear. It’s happened. The apocalypse has arrived: forcing the family to focus on survival – everything they’ve lived for’s at stake. 

Risking his own life, Dad heads out to find supplies. Tragically, he returns empty handed.  All seems lost. It’s the end of the line.

Except for the timely arrival of Survival First, Inc.! Enter Vic and Ricky - two men who will not only fight to keep you fed, but will allow you to hold onto what really counts: your family’s lifestyle, of course!

Whether you’re a personal blogger or a vegan, these two men are here to sell you a survival plan you can't ignore. Afraid of pesky looters bringing down the value of property in your neighborhood?  Then hire these entrepreneurs. They’ll help you chase off the undesirables, and leave your values pure!

INT. RAY & MAY’S HOUSE - LOUNGE - DAY
Schmaltzy MUSIC plays, soothing…

Cross-legged on beanbags are MAY and RAY, both mid 20s, tanned, manicured specimens of suburban bliss. They face the camera, smiling.

SUPER: MAY, 27, WELL-BEING COACH & BLOGGER

MAY
As a professional life coach and vegan,
I don’t believe in using aggression to assert myself.

SUPER: RAY, 27, CONSULTANT & PROFESSIONAL SLACK-LINER.

RAY
I once set free a whole box of Gummi Bears.
(shrugs)
I’m an I.N.F.P.

MAY
With so much negative energy in the world,
we just knew we had to have a plan. 

It's an unavoidable fact of life: lifestyles sometimes leave a person soft, vapid and vulnerable. But fortunately Vic and Ricky are here to help!  Can’t fend for yourself?  No problem!  Those who have saved up enough in their IRA can afford to have others fend on their behalf.

In just seven pages, Steve Miles paints a hilarious – and bizarrely accurate - picture of society on the brink of collapse.  Sure, demons, zombies or nuclear devastation may be knocking down your door – but that doesn’t mean your priorities must change!

If you’re a reader who relishes comedy with satirical bite, download this script, turn on your Espresso machine (flavored with almond milk) and let Vic and Ricky do the rest.

Survival First Inc can handle whatever the end of the world throws your way - not to mention festivals around the (plague infested) world, too!

 

 

The Script

Survival First Inc.

As the world edges closer to social collapse, two security professionals market a post-apocalyptic protection service for concerned liberals.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

By day a 3d visualiser, by night an aspiring screenwriter.

My work varies from dramatic feature films, to surreal comedy shorts, with a little bit of television work thrown into the mix. My goal is to have work produced by the right team for the individual script, if you think that's...Read more

About The Writer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

Feigned - or is that Framed?

Feigned
A man struggles to prove his innocence after a slain woman is found in his bedroom."

Dum-de-dum-dum...
Dum-de-dum-dum-dummm...

Popular 50s and 60s TV show Dragnet is classic policing. Icing on the investigational cake, if you will. 

And when one considers cop couplings, the toppers on that wedding confectionary are by-the-book detective Joe Friday, with mild-mannered Frank Gannon at his side.

Not that the trail of buddy police procedurals grows cold there! The tradition of good-cop-bad-cop has evolved throughout film history. Some: like Dragnet’s 1987 reboot, The Heat or 21 Jump Street thrive on mismatched comedy.

Others – such as Lethal Weapon and Training Day – are deadly twists on the law and order narrative.  Barry Katz’s mystery thriller Feigned is one such deadly specimen.  Intense and deadly, to an extreme.

Especially for its everyman-protagonist, Josh Myers.

As with most procedurals, Feigned opens innocently enough. Seen through the mirrored window of an interrogation room, "smug" veteran Detective Barnett and "squeaky clean" rookie Detective Landon observe their visibly nervous suspect, Josh.

Detective Barnett cautions his green partner - imparting veteran wisdom to the wise:

DETECTIVE BARNETT
His body language.
He's so fucking guilty, even Ray Charles could see it.

DETECTIVE LANDON
Yeah, I suppose.

DETECTIVE BARNETT
Stay out here, kid.
Let me show you how it's done.

Detective Barnett saunters in to “do his thing.” And his suspect’s already primed: Josh is on the verge of tears.

JOSH
I didn't do it, man. I swear!

Yup, that’s the story and he’s sticking to it: cubicle-worker, jogger, and good neighbor Josh is "just an average Joe with an average life." It’s not his fault he stumbled onto evidence of a home-break-in after his run. And why wouldn’t he call 911?

Of course, emergency officers are quickly dispatched to Josh’s aide.  It’s only after they search the house top to bottom that the situation gets… suspiciously rough.

FEMALE OFFICER
What's in the main bedroom, Sir?

JOSH
Just a bed...

They make their way to a closed door. Josh turns the knob, but -- it's stuck. The officers give each other that "we've got something" look.

JOSH
That's weird…. Something's in the way.

He rams his shoulder into the door. The stubborn entrance just won’t budge.

MALE OFFICER
Step aside, please.

Josh complies. The male officer rams the door. Until a bloody and mutilated human hand blocks the way. Needless to say, Josh gets cuffed --

FEMALE OFFICER
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do --

-- and is hauled away. Cue Detectives Barnett and Landon to the scene. As Joe Friday often cautioned witnesses: “Just the Facts, Ma’am” is the motto of the day. 

But facts themselves can be painful.  As Josh suffers through a brutal interrogation, grisly details continue to unfold.

Is Josh truly innocent? And even if he is – will he clear his name? Or is the evidence so stacked against him that Mr. Every Man faces absolutely “No Way Out”?

Pun intended, Feigneds one arresting tale. With limited location full of strong characters, this is one who-dunnit that rookies can’t hope to have the skills to solve. Take this script into custody ASAP. Because once it starts “running”, Feigned doesn’t stop!

 

The Script

Feigned

A man struggles to prove his innocence after a slain woman is found in his bedroom.

About The Reviewer

KP Mackie's picture
Real name: 

Über reader. I enjoy writing animated scripts, historical-fiction, and westerns when I'm not reading or researching new story ideas. So many ideas, so little time... Script Revolution is a great place to interact with old friends and make new friends. (I'm a former MoviePoet member where I read...Read more

About The Writer

Barry Katz's picture
Real name: 

I have enjoyed creative writing from as far back as I can remember. It's the one talent in life I can truly say I have. While I don't currently make my living as a screenwriter, it is certainly something I aspire to do. For now, I enjoy the art of making art and most of all, I enjoy...Read more

Melville - True Justice Comes Out Swinging...

MELVILLE
An FBI profiler learns first hand that killing has consequences... some worldly. Some other.

Justice has a name… and it’s Melville.

 SHADOW MAN
Killing has consequences…
some worldly, some other.

Sometimes the bad guys get away with it.  Be it a failure of justice or the cruelty of circumstance, some deeds look set to go unpunished - at least by the law as we know it.

COBB
My name’s Alex.
I work with the FBI.
I’m what they call a ’profiler’.

LOUIS
You’ll catch the bad guys?

COBB
That’s the plan.
But I need a partner.
Think you can help me?

LOUIS
I- I- I’m just a kid.

COBB
My uh, ’other’ partner says,
’The best way to catch a bad guy is together, as one.’

LOUIS
Is he a profiler too?

COBB
No. Not exactly...

This partner is the Shadow Man.  An ethereal being, who centuries has watched over us; working together with a few chosen lawmen to ensure the worst of humanity face the consequences of their crimes.

Now, following the death of his former mentor and partner, hard-nosed detective Louis Taylor finds himself heir to this unlikely agreement.

Skeptical at first, the deeper Louis digs the more he comes to understand the truth about his former friend and colleague.  A truth that forces Louis to reconcile his own tormented past and accept a pursuit of justice that lies far beyond our mortal realm.

LOUIS
So either I’m crazy or you’re real.
Neither of which gives me the warm fuzzies.

MELVILLE
But raining hell fire down on the most nasty of nasties
has gotta warm your heart, right?

Louis glances at the black folder next to him. He shuffles it to one side to reveal a BLUE folder underneath. The folder reads: "BILL".

Louis studies Melville in the rear view mirror, and then back out again at the house, deliberating.

LOUIS
Cobb used to say...
"You only get the pot of gold..."

MELVILLE
"...if you’re willing to find the end of the rainbow".

For Louis, like Cobb and the lawmen before him, the Shadow Man is a way to strike back against evil.  To right past wrongs and bring closure to those suffering injustice.  All Louis has to do is say the word... 

Jeremy Storey’s Melville offers a dark crime noir with a supernatural twist.  This script serves as a potential teaser - a prelude to a story greater in scope than the usual short scripts.  

The Shadow Man offers up a hero for the ages: a pipe smoking, Stetson wearing avenger with a slick tongue and a penchant for restoring karmic balance with an ice-pick.  For filmmakers looking for a bold new project, Melville offers a chance to take their craft to the next level.

The Script

Melville

An FBI profiler learns first hand that killing has consequences... some worldly. Some other.

About The Reviewer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

About The Writer

Jeremy Storey's picture
Real name: 

Jeremy Storey, originally hails from the United Kingdom, but now resides in Seattle, WA. He first discovered the joys of writing at school, penning short stories and collaborating on comic books with his friends. Coming from a writerly family, it was clearly in his DNA to tell stories. However,...Read more

Mirror - Reflection in Thought... and Deed

MIRROR
A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

In 1950, Alan Turing introduced the epochal ‘Turing Test’: a set of questions designed to evaluate a computer’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior similar, or at least indistinguishable, from that of an actual human being.

Since the introduction of this test, many a movie has tackled the ramifications of AI - personified by everything from a computer (Wargames) to programmable killers (Terminator) to sentient beings longing to blend into society, and just “be left alone” (Blade Runner).

The prospect of cloning makes such a moral dilemma even more of a tangled web.  ‘Mirror’ by Dan DeVoto wrestles with these weighty issues in a highly personal and unsettling way.

The focus of the story is on Dr. Anna Beresky, as she visits a remote research facility in the outskirts of some unnamed town. Despite the drab setting, it’s clear from the pervasive security that whatever they’re researching there, must be important and quite classified.

But Anna is not an interloper. Indeed, her presence is welcomed by Administrator Simmons, who eagerly greets the doctor at the metal detector checkpoint.

SIMMONS, in his late 50s, a carefully coifed bureaucrat, comes to meet her.

SIMMONS
So good of you to finally come.

They shake hands.

SIMMONS
I hope the journey wasn’t too arduous.
We’re a bit out in the boonies, as you can see.

ANNA
I’m fine. Thank you.

Simmons excitedly escorts Anna through the facility - listing the practicality of what they've "engineered". Though he fawns over the Doctor, her responses seem curiously cool and clipped.

ANNA
How many do you have?

SIMMONS
Thirty-five, from the original five prototypes.

ANNA
You must be proud.

SIMMONS
Imagine the application; organ harvesting, no-cost labor supply.
We might just put the industrial revolution to shame.

ANNA
Yes.

As with most tours, the ending is the best.  Simmon brings Anna into a room to meet one of the "test subjects" personally.... bringing her face to face with what she herself helped create.  It's at this juncture the moral/philosophical subtext of this story comes to a sudden and startling head.

Elegant in its conclusion, Mirror poses a profound allegory to its audience. And one simple question: “What would I do, in Anna’s place?”

Filmmakers who love the thoughtfulness of shows like Westworld and Humans will enjoy this smart, sharp short in spades. Not only will Mirrors pass the ‘Turing Test’, but gain loyal fans as well!

The Script

Mirror

A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

About The Reviewer

Jeremy Storey's picture
Real name: 

Jeremy Storey, originally hails from the United Kingdom, but now resides in Seattle, WA. He first discovered the joys of writing at school, penning short stories and collaborating on comic books with his friends. Coming from a writerly family, it was clearly in his DNA to tell stories. However,...Read more

About The Writer

Dan DeVoto's picture
Real name: 

I'm a freelance writer and have optioned a thriller to Newmark Films.  I also write crime fiction and science fiction short stories.  My work has appeared in Mystery Weekly Magazine, Over My Dead Body!, Heater, The Absent Willow Review, and Aphelion Webzine.Read more

The Girls from Ipanema Go Walking... Where?

The Girls from Ipanema
A woman’s abusive husband looks for the perfect place to murder her mother. 
She leads him to it.

The experts often note that domestic abuse starts “small”.  The abuser loooooves you sooooo much, they can’t bear to be apart.  They want you all to themselves. They don’t like your friends.  They keep you away from your loved ones.  They worry about you excessively.  Verbal abuse follows.  Physical violence comes later.  The abuse escalates.

Like it has for Louise, the wife of abusive Ernst in Douglas Wolf's The Girls from Ipanema

Ernst criticizes, ridicules, scolds and hits Louise, who seems woefully acquiescent and helpless.  The other “girl” is Louise’s mother, Marcie.  The script opens with Ernst mulling over his plans to murder Marcie and collect the insurance money on the policy they’ve both signed. 

The only detail he seems not to have yet figured out is exactly how and where to carry out the killing.  Louise appears so pathetic and weak, that the only protest she ventures is when he throws a longing look at the knives in the kitchen. 

Louise double-takes between Ernst and the knives.

LOUISE
Ernst. Not here. This is where I do my baking.

Ernst strides out of the kitchen in search of an alternative site for the deadly deed, vomiting screeds against Louise’s mother as he stomps around the house. 

Where are the likes of Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill or Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when you need them?  Just turn the page to welcome the arrival of someone who knows how to really wreak bloody revenge on a man who has abused a woman.  But, will she prevail?

Audiences will be at the edge of their seats hoping she does.  And, rolling on the floor, once they discover why in the heck these women have anything to do with Ipanema, Brazil.   

The Script

The Girls from Epanema

A man prowls through the house to find a place to murder his mother-in-law for the insurance money, but his wife and mother-in-law have plans of their own.

About The Reviewer

Julia Cottle's picture
Real name: 

Julia Cottle is a cultural anthropologist living in Chicago. She has worked for years as a university instructor and researcher for organizations committed to social justice. She always has loved to write, but only recently has discovered the joy of film and stage writing.Read more

About The Writer

Ralph Shorter's picture
Real name: 

.

Ralph Douglas Shorter ~ Screenwriter Resumé

About the Screenwriter:

I'm fairly well-rounded, educated (public, high school and college), and was advised many times to be a writer, so, of course, I became a designer for nuclear plants,...Read more

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