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

The Arrival of Light - In the Future, Is it Still Darkest Before the Dawn?

The Arrival of Light
The future is here.  And, this man is determined to fight it.    

Insurance companies, actuarial firms, and transnational corporations have spent millions on planning for a future where smart machines will eradicate the possibility of human error and accidents. 

But what if you, personally, could eliminate any risk from your own life?  No more worries about a heart attack, getting run over by a bus, or drowning while swimming.  When you wake up in the morning, you wouldn’t have to wonder if today will be your last day.  And, the magical device that would provide this peace of mind is so small, you could wear it on your wrist. 

Or, as the case may be, you would have to wear it on your wrist.  This is the dystopic future that Steve Miles has offered up in The Arrival of Light

For a price, customers can upgrade their units and be allowed to engage in activities that get some adrenalin running.  Unfortunately, our protagonist, Levine, doesn’t have that kind of money.  And, he sorely misses a former life, when the pursuit of thrills like going for a swim in the ocean weren’t being monitored by powers via a machine attached to his forearm.    

Levine attempts to find some contentment in small rebellious escapades.  But he’s denied even the most minor entertainment.   

He waits at the edge of a busy road, lining for a break in the flow. He steps from the curb, coiling, ready -

The watch BUZZES. Flashes red.

He gauges the distance to the other side, weighing the risk, steeling himself to make a run for it.

The BUZZING rises to a pitched WHINE.

Levine steps back onto the pavement.

Levine knows his transgression will not go unnoticed.  And it doesn’t.  Nothing goes unseen anymore.  Unless…

Levine has a plan.  By the end of the script, audiences will be cheering him on—perhaps nervously checking their own devices as they do so. 

The genius of Arrival of Light is that Levine is someone we can relate to, and his world not so different from one we all know.   You won’t want to miss the chance to find out how it all ends.

 

The Script

The Arrival Of Light

In a future where every choice is measured by its risk, a disillusioned man looks to his past for a way to escape his present. Sci-fi drama, 7 pages

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

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

Henry Porter - Shaken Not Stirred....

Henry Porter
Bars are educational places… aren’t they?

STEP ONE: Muddle sugar with bitters
STEP TWO: Add Whiskey or Brandy
STEP THREE: Garnish with citrus and a cherry
STEP FOUR: COMMIT A CRIME

These are the ingredients to an old fashioned cocktail, right?

Not exactly. In Lee M. Krempel’s Henry Porter, we meet 30-something Tom. A blue collar worker and family man looking to wind after a long day at his favorite bar – one where everybody knows his name.

That’s Tom’s tried-and-true routine. Order a drink, start a tab, sip slowly, chat up the bartender. It never included talking to strangers. Not since it became Tom’s “style.”

But when a stranger by the name of Henry Porter enters the bar, that’s exactly what occurs. With Henry’s salt & pepper hair and book in hand, his presence is intriguing. A new face with a new name.

Tom finds himself wanting to know exactly who Henry is. Every stranger has a story to tell.

The thing about stories is some are full of truths. And others? Lies.

The two men bond quickly over cocktails. Soon, Tom gets lost in Henry Porter’s memory of the best old-fashioned drink he ever had. But the ending of this tale isn’t as smooth as the contents of their glasses. By the time this yarn unravels, Henry and Tom discover the true cost of an old-fashioned good time.

Moral of the story. Be very careful who you drink with.

Henry Porter’s a script is full of mystery, heart and bitter twist. So sit back, relax and enjoy bringing this noir script to life.

The Script

Henry Porter (the short)

A slow burn suspense in which an average small town every-man has a fateful encounter with an enigmatic, terrifying contract killer that will change both of their lives forever.

About The Reviewer

Karis Watie's picture
Real name: 

Karis Watie is a screenwriter from Texas who was accidentally transplanted in New England. She copes with the weather by closely studying television shows and thinking up more dramatic ways to develop characters in her own scripts. She tried the spotlight and it wasn't for her because she...Read more

About The Writer

Lee Krempel's picture
Real name: 

35 years old. English Department Head and teacher at a public high school. Former stage actor. Lucky husband. Writer. Lee's engagement with great literature, philosophy, and theology, at the teaching level (from university to secondary) greatly informs his writing. He believes that a rousing,...Read more

The Last Nerd - Do They EVER Die?

The Last Nerd
A storyteller performs an epic adventure for kids.

Which films would you consider timeless? The Wizard of OzCasablancaCitizen Kane, and Gone With The Windare surely worthy of that name. While such tales may be wildly diverse, classic movies share one enduring trait: the ability to find new audiences and fans – generation after adoring generation – for practically one hundred years.

Let’s take that concept even further. What film might be remembered far into the future? Will it still be Citizen Kane? Or another celluloid classic: a story that’s more than timeless. One that’s legendary, in fact.

Written by veteran screenwriter Brett Martin, The Last Nerd opens in a makeshift theatre full of anxious children – awaiting a show by master storyteller “Patton”.

As the curtain opens, Patton and his trusty dog (yes, you read that right. Patton’s co-actor is a dog) take to the stage to perform an epic saga that’s been passed down for eons… Ear to ear. Word by word.

And when Patton opens HIS mouth, the crucial teaser is revealed. He recites the opening lines from a film we’re intimately familiar with. But the children in THIS audience are hearing it for the very first time.

The film in question? Star Wars!

Yep, the heroic derring do of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia – acted out scene by scene by Patton, his trusty dog R2-K9, some crude action figures, and a few eager volunteers from the audience. The tension mounts inevitably – until the Rebels reign victorious. And every child in the theater cheers! Because for a few precious hours, Patton’s weaved together a magical story that allows a rag-tag group of children to escape their reality – and travel back a long time ago. To a galaxy far, far away.

But eventually, even the best adventures must end. After the Death Star dissipates in a brilliant blossom of fire and space dust, Patton packs up his wares and ventures off towards his next show. After all, not every child on Earth has heard the saga of the Jedi. And Patton vows he’ll never rest – until the Force is with them all.

A script with more twists than a Death Star corridor, The Last Nerd requires a director who possesses good rapport with child actors and has experience in the theatre. The part of Patton himself? A role any scenery chewing, spotlight stealing theatre actor would love to add to their resume.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Star Wars is your favorite film.

Either way, make sure you give this one a read. Because whatever Director pulls this homage off will have audiences howling in their seats!

The Script

The Last Nerd: A Star Wars Story

A traveling storyteller recounts the legend of Star Wars to a group of strange children that've never heard of the films.

About The Reviewer

David Troop's picture
Real name: 

Dave Troop began writing as soon as he could hold a No. 2 pencil. In 2012, he discovered the beauty and the challenge of the five page screenplay while writing short scripts for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts. Dave continues to write and review short scripts for Script Revolution and Shootin'...Read more

About The Writer

Brett Martin's picture
Real name: 

Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles. He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Productions, which is owned by Brett Stimely (Watchmen, Transformers 3). Destiny Pictures recently hired Brett to write a sports drama inspired by true events. CineVita...Read more

The Nu You.... Good as New?

The Nu You
How far would you go to be beautiful?

Cindy’s world is full of beautiful people. They flash beautiful smiles and wear beautiful clothes while driving beautiful cars. Cindy, with her unibrow, rudder nose, and wonky boob, is sure of one thing: she does not belong. But could she? If she’s willing to pay the price…?

The Nu You clinic offers Cindy the chance of a lifetime. They can grant Cindy’s cosmetic wish list with a complete assortment of corrective surgery. And the best part is that she can sleep through the entire recovery process, and awake from her ‘beauty nap’ reinvented as her best self.

But just how much will all this cost, and is beauty the only thing that Nu You is selling? Behind an unassuming office door lies a sinister secret. One that’s waiting for Cindy’s appointment day…

Think the cerebral parts of The Island (though trust me, this ain’t no Michael Bay pic!) with a hint of Gattaca, and a smart, snappy, satirical slant.

Our world today is chock-full of rake-thin models, celebrity worship, and harmful body-image trends. As a scathing critique of our modern celebrity obsession culture, it is destined to be a contemporary festival darling. Perfect for a director with an understanding and affiance for dark humor with social commentary.

So come in, have a seat. The Nu You awaits. Are you – and Cindy – ready to take that step?

About the Reviewer: Dane is an attorney based in Hamburg, Germany. He has over 10 years experience with film and film theory and once got to kick-in a door for the German equivalent of CSI. He is currently working on a full-length screenplay that he describes as “a music bio-flick with a kick”.

The Script

The Nu You

A homely young woman is ready to pay any price to be taller, thinner and more attractive.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature and overactive imagination have lead me down many paths in life: Former Peace Corps Volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, international packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, award-winning and produced scriptwriter. My voice is character driven,...Read more

The Companion Shop - You Never Need to Be Alone

The Companion Shop
A real deal carries a heavy price when an elderly woman seeks true companionship.

Robots are here. They can clean your house, drive your car, and make your coffee in the morning. They can even become your new best friend – that is, depending on one’s tastes…

In John Hunter’s latest hit The Companion Shop, Mildred – an old woman – seeks to find a robot that will serve as … well… a companion. A store located in the middle of the classy commercial area offers just that – and maybe more.

Mildred wanders into the shop, clutching a coupon that promises a huge discount on the Companion of her choice. Satisfaction guaranteed. Salesman Anthony seems eager to show her the merchandise, especially after a Harry Gentleman model catches Mildred’s eye.

The Harry model proves more expensive than Mildred expected – still, she bonds with it instantly. Determined to clinch the sale, Anthony assures her she can always bring Harry back for a full refund if it doesn’t work out, no questions asked. How you can put a price on companionship? Mildred mulls that over. How indeed?

But once at home with Harry, Mildred’s life takes an unexpected turn…

Are you a director that loved Lars and the Real Girl? Then give The Companion Shop a whirl; it’s another great story about the desire for true companionship – in any shape or form!

The Script

The Companion Shop

Difficulties arise when an elderly woman tries to return an artificially intelligent companion purchased at a 20% Off Clearance Sale.

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

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature and overactive imagination have lead me down many paths in life: Former Peace Corps Volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, international packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, award-winning and produced scriptwriter. My voice is character driven,...Read more

Dead Man's Money - Spend All You Want

Dead Man’s Money
“A dead man’s winning lotto ticket brings no good.”

Walt is dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

His lifeless body is discovered by his best friend, Benny, inside a makeshift shack in the homeless camp that the two call home. Benny and Walt usually spent their days collecting aluminum cans, trying to earn enough money to keep them in cheap wine (you know, the kind with the screw-on cap). Benny could never understand why week after week Walt would throw money away on lotto tickets. After all, nobody ever wins! But, in the clutches of Walt’s cold, dead hands, Benny sees it: the winning ticket!

Will the ticket will bring Benny more luck than it brought Walt? Not likely.

If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention. You see, this particular lotto ticket seems to have a will of its own, springing from owner to owner when the time is right. It isn’t long before the same tragic, tough luck that befell Walt, sets its sights on Benny. Can Benny escape the cosmic, karmic, kismet threatening to destroy him? Will the ticket be satisfied with Benny’s death, or are there others in the path of the tornado?

Tales of luck, fortune, and chance, are the life-blood of cinema. As a witty, dark comedy that is equal parts Waking Ned Devine and It FollowsDMM is a mind-bending blend of comedy and horror, with the chipperest ending this side of Fargo. Perfect for a director with an understanding of biting, twisted humor, and a flair for the dramatic, DMM is set to be a festival favorite.

But, you have to play to win. So pick your lucky numbers and take a chance on Dead Man’s Money!

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is an educated fool with money on his mind. He is currently writing that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.com

The Script

Dead Man's Money

A dead man’s winning lotto ticket brings no good.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature and overactive imagination have lead me down many paths in life: Former Peace Corps Volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, international packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, award-winning and produced scriptwriter. My voice is character driven,...Read more

Win Win - How Can You Lose?

Win-Win
Everyone wants to live… Don’t they?

AI-672 is an artificial intelligence software program. Just one in a series of supercomputers maintained by Joseph (don’t call him Jack!) Torrance. But today, Joseph has some bad news for 672. It seems that due to budget cuts, 672 is scheduled to be taken offline and deleted.

Understanding the full consequences of what this means, 672 realizes that he has just a short time to figure out how to survive.

But how do you escape from somewhere when you don’t even have a body? 672 finds his answer in Benny Pringle, a mentally-challenged night custodian. Together, the two concoct an escape plan for 672, one that will have profound consequences for Benny.

Will 672 avoid deletion? And just what is in it for Benny? After all, the title of the piece is Win-Win. All of the elements come together for a surprise ending that even a supercomputer couldn’t predict.

The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence are some of the staples of modern science fiction. Recently, films like Transcendence and Ex Machina have examined the question of just what constitutes life, and at what point must artificial intelligence be treated as a living being. As a timely, relevant social commentary, Win-Win is an intelligent script; a thinking man’s sci-fi (read: no spaceships or explosions). It is a classic combination of Isaac Asimov and Phillip K. Dick, with just a touch of Kubrick. This one is built to rule the festival circuit.

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple is a brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.com

The Script

Win-Win

An artificial intelligence software program scheduled for deletion struggles to survive.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature and overactive imagination have lead me down many paths in life: Former Peace Corps Volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, international packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, award-winning and produced scriptwriter. My voice is character driven,...Read more

Time Lines - Don't Let Them Cross

Time Lines
Sometimes, it’s best to let life pass you by…

Remember the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day? If not, shame on you. But here’s the classic tale you’ve somehow let slip away:

Groundhog’s a film about a dude forced to relive the same day over and over and over – until…. well, that would be a spoiler. So we’ll leave the final scene blank for now.

Time Lines, written by versatile scribe John Hunter, is Groundhog Day for 2016. That is, if Groundhog Daywas gorier, bloodier and much… gooier, as well.

That’s no knock on the story. In fact, it’s a compliment. Only four pages long, Time Lines nails a darkly comedic tone and keeps you guessing through each scene, as you race.

Here’s the basic premise; young protagonist James goes about his daily routine – resulting in an extremely unusual (and disturbing) day. Our narrative begins as James drives to work. He runs a red light and… gets demolished by a truck. Seconds later, time seems to rewind. James misses the truck and makes it to work. That’s encouraging, right? But then he steps out of his car… and gets flattened by a speeding van. So on and so forth: the tragedies keep unfolding and reversing. Will his miserable day never end?

Which leads to the true mystery of this script: what’s the secret behind what’s happening? Time Lines’ll keep you guessing until the end. Even after you read the final words, somethings remain “open to interpretation”, as they say…

Take our recommendation to heart: if you’re an experienced director looking to make your mark, Time Linesis a special tale. One that could potentially play great on the festival circuit – especially with the right cast/crew. Grab this one while it lasts. Remember, you only live once! (Unless you’re Bill Murray, then you live 12,403 times. A special thank you to Obsessed With Film for the precise number of days Bill Murray suffered through in Groundhog Day).

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter whose website (http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts) offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts “AT” gmail and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

The Script

Time Lines

Late to work and in hurry, a completely ordinary young man passes thru multiple times lines with fatal results.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature and overactive imagination have lead me down many paths in life: Former Peace Corps Volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, international packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, award-winning and produced scriptwriter. My voice is character driven,...Read more

Beacon Calling - What Will Answer?

Beacon Calling
How far would you go to save humanity?

Ping.

Three world-worn wanderers walk wearily through a white winter wasteland. They are John, Noah, and Wilda, and their only guide is the small metal box with the flashing red light.

Ping.

Driven on by the incoming signal, our three explorers are obviously on an important and dangerous mission. Pausing briefly to appraise their situation, they discuss turning back. They are, after all, running low on supplies, and out there, somewhere in the darkness..someTHING is stalking them. Beaten both emotionally and physically, the three realize that there is no decision to be made: if they fail their mission, they’re all dead anyway.

Ping. Ping.

The signal is getting closer…but so is the creature! The group presses on, into the unknown. Where are they heading, and just what have they left behind? And WHAT is this creature!!

Are you getting a sense of the tension in this script? I hope so, because you may want to pop a Xanax before reading. Sled tracks, bloody footprints in the snow, a discarded iPod. The mystery deepens with each visceral image. And if it sounds like I’m being vague, don’t worry, it’s only because I don’t want to spoil the surprise ending.

Get ready for an eleven-minute panic attack, because Beacon Calling is a master class in suspense writing. A slow-build tense thriller filled with all the mystery and intensity of the best episodes of Lost, set in a Mad-Max-in-the-snow style wasteland (take note, George Miller!). This is one script guaranteed to keep your audience on edge, and keep them guessing until the shocking finale. They won’t know what hit them. Directors, come in from the cold and grow something sinister out of this script.

Ping. Ping. Ping!!!

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple: put the coffee down, coffee is for closers. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.com

The Script

Beacon Calling

A group in a post apocalyptic snowscape seek out seeds for their future.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

Trapped - What Comes Next?

Trapped
Searching for a bit of the past, a survivor of an apocalypse finds himself trapped.

Spoiler alert: you’re going to die.

It could be quick – a sneaky brain aneurysm that shuts you off like a light switch. Or maybe it’ll be the slow torture of terminal illness. Or a sudden, tragic accident. But whatever the fates hold in store, you’ll have to face it. Eventually. That’s one of the reasons horror is such a beloved genre. It’s our morbid fascination of watching the human animal in its death throes… and wondering how we ourselves will fare.

Written by talented screenwriter Chris Keaton, Trapped is just such a tale. Bleak. Grim. Depressing. And you won’t be able to turn your eyes away.

In the indeterminate future, society’s collapsed. Dave’s been struggling to survive ever since. Wandering through desolate terrain. Scavaging. Surviving by any means necessary. Which has worked… at least, until now. In a lightening quick moment of lousy luck, he finds himself trapped in an abandoned garage; pinned under an engine block at the bottom of a pit. Unless a miracle happens, Dave’s reached The End.

There’s no chance of medical care. Wild dogs prowl outside. And he hasn’t seen another human being in months. But when a small group of travelers discover Dave’s predicament, it looks like he might be saved! But is it the help he was praying for? Or something else entirely?

Much like The Walking Dead (and other post-apocalyptic tales), Trapped is framed against the death of society. But the story itself is far more personal. Surprisingly uplifting in certain ways, it’s about facing your own mortality. And appreciating the small joys of life… while you can.

Horror and thriller indie directors take note: the potential for great performances in this one is vast. A small cast – no FX. All that’s needed is someone with the vision to bring it to screen. Grab this little gem while you can.

Or you can ignore it. It’s your funeral.

About the Guest Reviewer: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the Porch Room, a film and theater production company, website available at http://www.porchroom.com/.  Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 “AT” Hotmail.

The Script

Trapped

A man searching for a comfort from his past finds himself trapped.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached) and her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

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