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

Critics, Inc - Everyone's a Critic... Right?!?

Critics, Inc
A sculptor finds himself at an office of art critics where he ends up
in an unusual battle of commerce versus art.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Whether you are an artist who writes, makes music, paints, or sculpts, you cannot escape the inevitability of criticism. Good or bad. We live in an era that makes it possible for us to share our art broadly with a wide variety of different people. Conversely, exposing our creative expressions to a largely anonymous community encourages festering critics to cast aspersions without consequence or care.

‘Critics, Inc.’ by Chris Esper is a satirical parable about how artists respond and react to criticism, and in turn, how critiques handle being criticized for their criticism.

Take our protagonist, Arthur. A sculptor on a mission to chat with a critic who works for, ‘Critics, Inc’ – a business that specializes in reproachful candor.  He only wants to meet the person who reviewed his sculpture and ask them a simple question.

Problem is, ‘Critics, Inc’  is a cross between a hilariously busy vet clinic and a mind-numbing DMV. As evidenced by this exchange with a rather dispassionate receptionist;

ARTHUR
Mrs. Trotter wrote a review of this piece and I wanted to talk further about it.

RECEPTIONIST
You’ll have to see someone in Rubuttal about that and she’ll answer you then.

ARTHUR
Rebuttal? No, no. It wasn’t a bad review. I just had a question for her.

RECEPTIONIST
I’m afraid you can’t speak with her. Take a number and I’ll take you to someone.

ARTHUR
A number?

He points to a ticket dispenser. Arthur grabs number 21.

As Arthur stands by, he talks with a woman waiting to speak with a critic. She explains to Arthur that the true purpose of ‘Critics, Inc.’ is the systemic dismemberment of artistical work.

WOMAN
This is where all the critics of all mediums do their ’work.’

ARTHUR
I never heard of a central place for critique.

WOMAN
It’s not even critiquing.--They go in for the kill.

Arthur eventually makes his way to ‘Rebuttal Department’, where artists such as himself are given a chance to explain and justify the merits of their art before a contemptuous set of judges. However, his simmering frustration boils over when he witnesses the work of other artists treated with gleeful disdain by the pitiless arbitrators.

Instead of waiting in line for the inescapable scolding of this sculpture, he takes matters into his own hands and decides to bypass the red tape and find the woman he’s come to speak with.

Eventually, Arthur’s grueling, soul-sucking journey takes him to Jane -- the critic that didn’t criticize his work, but merely made an observation which provoked Arthur’s insatiable curiosity.

What follows is a quirky confab in which the artist and the critic learn they have much in common. Some critics are failed or exhausted artists, and some artists are critics of their peers, blissfully unaware of the negative impact their words can manifest.

Chris Esper’s caustic rumination on the reverberations of critical judgment will have you nodding along in simpatico. This empathetic story reminds us that artists brave enough to share their work must also have the courage to withstand the withering echo of criticism that will inexorably follow.

For a filmmaker influenced by satirical stalwarts such as Woody Allen, Mike Judge and Alexander Payne, this is a wonderful script for showcasing your ability to produce a film that audiences will find equal parts amusing and contemplative.

Check it out. Just make sure, if you do feel a need to incorporate your criticism… imagine it is yourself receiving the feedback. As we are all artists and critics.

 

The Script

Critics, Inc.

A sculptor finds himself at an office of art critics where he ends up in an unusual battle of commerce versus art.

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

Chris Esper's picture
Real name: 

Hello, I'm Chris Esper, founder of Stories in Motion.

I started Stories in Motion as a production company because I not only love filmmaking, but I also love storytelling. For me, powerful and effective filmmaking and videography starts with the story. My goal with every project is to...Read more

Cemetery Shadows - What Awaits May Surprise You...

Cemetery Shadows
A tiny cemetery is home to four disparate spirits.
Their eternal existence is disrupted when a new arrival appears at the gate
and no one is quite sure what tomorrow will bring. 

There’s a reason many people loathe the idea of visiting a graveyard after sunset. Our over-active imagination conjures frightening visions of ghouls haunting the hallowed grounds of the dead, because apparently ethereal spirits have nothing better to do than take perverse pleasure in frightening the piss out of their corporeal visitors.

Cemetery Shadows by David R. Beshears imagines just such a scene, minus the spooked human visitors. Indeed, the spirits that haunt this mysterious graveyard are polite, intelligent and friendly. Each evening, as light turns to dark, Major, Derrick, John and Margaret emerge from their macabre slumber to socialize with their fellow apparitions.                       

MAJOR
Good evening, everyone.           

John Saunders nods in response. Mrs. Weatherly continues to drift slowly among the tombstones.

Derrick looks casually about, nods in the direction of Major.

DERRICK
Major.

MAJOR
Another pleasant evening, I would say.

JOHN
Same as every evening, Major.

MAJOR
No less pleasant for that, Mr. Saunders.

Such is the way in this eerie world. The four specters wake for the night, pleasantly socialize together walk about, and then return to their sallow slumber at sunrise. Then wake up at sunset, rinse and repeat. It’s a strange routine that none of them seem to question. Until one night, an enigmatic new spirit materializes without warning, arousing curiosity from the graveyard’s ghostly patrons.

Unlike the other residents of the graveyard community, the newcomer Sara is at odds with her surroundings. Confused and agitated she unsettles the others with her angst.

DERRICK
Waddya think, Major?

Major gives a stern look to Sara.

MAJOR
Miss Keyes? A broken bird, that one.

DERRICK
There’s something odd about her.
 (shaking his head)
Something… different.

And yes, there is indeed something decidedly different with Sara. Despite her disorientation, she knows inside there is a purpose and reason for her appearing at this cryptic home of the dead. But once she eventually realizes her why and wherefore, it’ll have a serious impact on the small ghostly community, changing it forever.

Beshear’s haunting and idiosyncratic story is a unique mix of Twilight Zone meets Satre. For the filmmaker seeking to direct something unusual that will elevate their craft to the next level and challenge them creatively, then this is a scary-good option. It will also be the type of short film that audiences on the festival circuit will find deeply satisfying and unusually poignant.

Check out this screenplay… it would be a grave mistake no to.

 

The Script

Cemetery Shadows

A tiny cemetery is home to four disparate spirits. Their eternal existence is disrupted when a new arrival appears at the gate and no one is quite sure what tomorrow will bring. Currently under option.

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

David Beshears's picture
Real name: 

 

Award-winning author and screenwriter of science fiction, fantasy and adventure. David's work has been praised by literary professors and by PhDs in science, by fans and by book reviewers around the world. His miniseries screenplay adaptation of his popular novel "The Shylmahn Migration...Read more

Driver Les - Hit It!!

Driver Les
When their getaway driver leaves them stranded after a bank robbery,
two thieves unknowingly hijack a driverless car with a mind of its own.

Cars, more specifically driverless cars, feature prominently in film. From Johnnycab, the ventriloquist-like dummy of Total Recall, to the flying cars of Minority Report and Blade Runner, to quirky KITT in Nightrider, and Herbie, the titular sentient anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle of the movie of the same name.

We generally associate driverless cars with science fiction, however the horror genre introduced us to Steven King’s homicidal Christine, Pixar gave us Cars, and Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends is a beloved children’s favourite.

And now, writer, Larry Postel expertly blends futuristic with comedy crime-caper and introduces us to the aptly named: Driver Les.

We open on two bank robbers who may well go down in the annals as two of the ‘world’s dumbest’, but also lovable criminal characters. They’ve just ‘won the lottery’- so to speak – only to discover their getaway driver has done a runner, and they’ve been left high and dry in the middle of the street, bag of money slung over a shoulder – notes threatening to spill out onto the pavement – and sirens pealing in the near distance.

Things are not looking good for our guys…

They’re just about to give it all away when quite suddenly and fortuitously they happen upon Driver Les, a fully automated driver-less vehicle rolling down the road without a fare.

In their hour of need Driver Les appears to be a dream come true. He’s amiable and accommodating – if bordering on a little needy – and eager to please, offering a library of music available for the boy’s listening pleasure, and an equally impressive selection of refreshing beverages on hand.

When the boys discover the car is equipped with cameras and their driver possesses a photo-memory, the boys freak out, until Driver Les reassures them

DRIVER LES (V.O.)
… you gentleman are very pleasant.
There is no suspicious activity here.
(pause)
Other than the fact that you are skiing in the middle of July.

ROBBER 2
Huh?

ROBBER 1
(mutters)
The ski masks, numbnuts.

Destination reached, our robbers are so impressed the decision is made to book Driver Les as getaway driver for their next bank heist.

Hmm, whatever could go wrong?

In a funny and ironic final-act twist, just when we think our robbers are into the home stretch and going to get off scot-free, yet again, one of our dim-witted robbers makes a serious error in judgement. It’s a mistake that offends Driver Les – in fact it’s one of Driver Les’s ‘pet peeves’. It’s a big boo-boo that has both boys wishing they’d taken the bus, hailed a cab, or otherwise just hot-footed it up the road with the loot.

Written with perfectly timed humour and wit, Driver Les is sure to be a crowd pleaser at festivals.

Filmmakers: It’s time to take this one to the finish line. Hop in the driver’s seat, get behind the wheel, and put your foot down fast, lest you get run over in the rush.

Production: You’ll want to be a little ingenious with the shoot, but Larry’s made it easier for you with most of the action focused on the two leads in the back seat. Three main characters. One character: V.O. only. A car, some cold hard cash of the counterfeit variety, a couple of ski masks, and you’ll be ready to hit the road.

The Script

Driver Les

When their getaway driver leaves them stranded after a bank robbery, two thieves unknowingly hijack a driverless car with a mind of its own.

About The Reviewer

L. Chambers's picture
Real name: 

L.Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently...Read more

About The Writer

Larry Postel's picture
Real name: 

Larry Postel is an award-winning screenwriter and advertising copywriter.  One of his feature screenplays, FLIP TURN, is in preproduction.  He has also had several produced short screenplays.  Most recently, three of Larry’s feature scripts were optioned by the same studio (still under wraps)....Read more

Favourite Son - Do Family Conflicts *Ever* Change?

Favourite Son
"Two brothers reassess their relationship as they sit stranded on the side of a road,
with a stolen hearse containing the body of their father."

Strife. Competition. Envy. Anyone with a brother or a sister might recognize some negative aspects of sibling rivalry here. Distressing family dynamics that could span a lifetime. But more often not, there is also love.

Perhaps all it takes is an impulsive act to exhume it.

Which is exactly where estranged brothers Ammon and Benjamin find themselves in Aaron Kent's compelling screenplay, Favourite Son. On the day of the funeral, younger brother Benjamin has stolen the hearse with their father's coffin inside. Paused off a country road, “a quaint English roadside forest” behind them, the two brothers bicker wildly: 

BENJAMIN
You're a dick.

AMMON
I'm a dick?! You're the one that stole a fucking hearse.

BENJAMIN
I didn't steal it, I just... 

AMMON
Borrowed it? That old cliché?

Benjamin picks up Ammon's shoe and throws it into the woods.

BENJAMIN
Fetch.

AMMON
Jeez Benjamin, you really are a miniature dad.

Ammon starts to trudge off into the trees.

BENJAMIN
That's not a bad thing!

AMMON
Anger issues are always a bad thing!

Benjamin picks up a stick and throws it in Ammon’s general direction.

BENJAMIN
He was a good man!

Ammon runs back with his shoe in one hand.

AMMON
Good men don't smash plates against walls because you couldn't eat it all.
Good men don't lift their child to the ceiling and drop him.
Good men don't sleep with the babysitter.

Is such animosity between siblings inevitable? 

It’s an age-old question, and a frequent topic for movies. Relationships between brothers are also examined in The Lion King, Brothers and The Fighter, between sisters in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, In Her Shoes and The Other Boleyn Girl, and between brothers and sisters in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Cruel Intentions and The Savages.

At least Ammon and Benjamin are talking. The barbs are flying, but there are moments of levity, too:

Ammon puts his hand to his head, there is a watch on his wrist. 

BENJAMIN 
Why'd you steal dad's watch? 

AMMON 
I'm not stealing it, I'm just borrowing it.

Benjamin smiles. 

Harboring deep-rooted hurts, will Ammon and Benjamin ever find resolution? And even if they do, what should be done about the stolen hearse with dear old dad inside?

Favourite Son is captivating. If you’re a director with an ear for dynamic dialogue, take it for a ride. The roadside location provides a colorful backdrop for two actors to showcase their talents. And what about that hearse? Just borrow one…  ;D 

The Script

Favourite Son

Two brothers reassess their relationship as they sit stranded on the side of a road, with a stolen hearse containing the body of their father.

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. (As a former MoviePoet member, I...Read more

About The Writer

Aaron Kent's picture
Real name: 

UK-based poet. Editor/creative director of publishing press Broken Sleep Books. Occasional screenwriter. Poetry published by: zimZalla, Dostoyevsky Wannabee, Prote(s)xt, Knives Forks and Spoons, Guillemot. Massive Godzilla fan.Read more

Midnight Clear - It's Always Darkest...

Midnight Clear
Nearing Christmas, a man with a peculiar talent attempts
to give his grieving wife the most precious gift of all.

“Stages of grief” have become a popular way of describing the numerous ways people navigate the loss of a loved one. But grieving is rarely unidirectional. Within moments of profound sadness, there can be instances of peace and even joy; flashes of happiness torn asunder when the reality of loss manifests again.

Steven Clark’s Midnight Clear beautifully captures the melancholic twists that the path of grieving often takes.

Married couple Steve and Bryn’s shared life seems ideal. When the script opens, they’re home together for the holiday. The house itself is cute; chock full of character and charm. Steve sips on champagne as he puts the finishing touches on a model village. He taps gently on the church steeple, the entire town lights up like a million dots of fairy dust. Magic. Or so it seems.

Bryn compliments her husband on the amazing dinner he prepared. Effortlessly, she clears the table and starts the dishwasher. As a favorite LP plays, the two embrace and affectionately reminisce about their first dance.

Continuing the late night celebration, Bryn and Steve take a walk together with their son to a nearby park. Steve leans back against the car – while mother and child play a game of hide and seek.

Basketball, tennis courts. See-saws and swings.

Bryn meanders around a jungle gym, searching. Another tug at her coat.

BRYN
There you are!

She giggles and gives chase.

But the specter of grief haunts them all – and in very different ways.

Maybe Bryn and Steve don’t realize it (or perhaps they do), but the harmony of their picture perfect evening will soon come to an end. The reality of their loss will return full force, leaving audiences surprised… and deeply moved.

Are you a director with a preference for naked, true drama – yearning for a story with soul? Then give Midnight Clear a read. If you’ve got a poet’s touch, maybe you’re fated to shepherd it to the screen.

The Script

Midnight Clear

Unable to forget the past, Bryn has just one Christmas wish, and her husband, who possesses a very special power, is just the man to grant it.

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

Steven Clark's picture
Real name: 

A writer since 13, I began screenwriting four years ago as a more direct outlet for my creativity. Since then, I've had two short scripts produced, and two more optioned. My writing style is subtle and understated, yet powerful in its emotional simplicity. I'm currently collaborating...Read more

Bon Appetit - Savor this short to the max!

Bon Appétit
"A jubilant gourmet stops at nothing to please."

Ask anyone who loves to cook what drives their passion and the answers are universal: It's relaxing and creative, for family and friends that I care about, and I love to eat! 

With the abundance of popular tv shows like Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Top Chef, The Great British Baking Show, and movies such as No Reservations, Ratatouille, Julie & Julia, The Hundred-Foot Journey and Burnt, it's easy for any wanna-be-chef to satisfy their craving.

Bon Appétit, Barry Katz's one-page script, presents a gourmet Chef preparing an exquisite meal. The mood has been set -- classical music plays in the background and candles are lit -- and he revels in the "zone."

"The chef slices and dices meat and veggies with the precision of a surgeon. He sautées the medley, humming along while his razor-sharp utensils clang against the cookware in a syncopated beat."

When steam envelops the kitchen, "the chef takes in the aroma, wafting it toward his flaring nostrils."

His chef-d'oeuvre is almost complete. Ahhh, bellissimo...

Does the chef labor for his own pleasure? Or, is his exuberance for a deserving and grateful recipient? 

Bon Appétit  is an endearing script. Short and sweet, it's certain to satisfy any director with exceptional taste.

The Script

Bon Appétit

A jubilant gourmet stops at nothing to please.

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. (As a former MoviePoet member, I...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

Pillow Girl - Hittin' Hard!

The Painful Side of the Pillow
Pillow Girl is determined to fight to create a better society.
But, evil is lurking in some very unexpected places…

Who has never experienced a desire for superpowers to miraculously make the worst of their troubles merely disappear? Most comic strip and film superheroes fall into “superherohood” because of some unplanned event-such as being born with superpowers, drinking some potion, or suffering an accident- that permanently alters their physical constitution and consequently limits their ability to pursue other less noble career goals. Sometimes reluctantly, other times enthusiastically, they choose to pursue their calling and bravely set out to eradicate evil.

For Tabitha, the protagonist in Jason K. Allen’s latest work, The Painful Side of the Pillow, becoming a superhero is a conscious decision. From a young age, she knows that she would like to deploy her budding pillow-fighting abilities “… to make a positive impact on society.” She determinedly develops her skills to become the superhero she always wanted to be …Pillow Girl.

In the tradition of superheroes like the Electric Company’s Letterman, Pillow Girl is a gentle superhero. She doesn’t kill off villains or save the world from total destruction. She simply encourages people to do the right thing. And, she achieves that with a superpower that is comic. Viewers will love the campy humor as Pillow Girl thwarts everyday minor transgressions to the raving praises of the witnesses to her noble deeds.

There is so much fun in this piece that viewers will be surprised when the story twists to reveal a dark side to Pillow Girl’s trajectory of which even she was unaware, along with an enemy she had no idea existed. 

The Painful Side of the Pillow proves both entertaining and extremely provocative as it probes common understandings about heroes and villains, strength and weakness, and good and evil. You won’t rest until you see this one!

The Script

Pillow Girl

As a little girl, Kayley never lost a pillow fight. Now an adult, she decides to use this talent to fight evil and impact the world.

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

Jason K. Allen's picture
Real name: 

Jason Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, TN. He is also a wilderness guide, nature photographer and award-winning journalist.

His first feature film, Lucky Fritz, premiered at Cannes in 2009. He's won Best Screenplay honors at the Nashville Film Festival, San Diego Film...Read more

$1.50 a Scoop - Summer Days Don't Get Better Than This!

$1.50 A Scoop
A boy just wanted some ice cream.  Little did he know everything that came with the $1.50 scoop…

Audiences always love a riveting story about two very different people; from opposite ends of the tracks. Ones whose lives come crashing into each other like a runaway train. Especially when one is so good. And the other… so very, very bad.

Even more exciting is what happens next: when the “nice” get ensnared in “naughty” schemes.

Think Oliver and the Artful Dodger, for one. Other classics work as well: Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. And then there’s Les Miz – Javert and Jean Valjean. Cosette and Eponine.

In every instance, the conflicting enticement’s the same. We just can’t wait to see if good prevails, or evil triumphs above all. Do the characters eventually switch roles? Or will everyone just brush the dust off their lapels, and climb unsteadily to their feet?

After all, the Artful Dodger and Fagin dance off in just that manner – continuing on the same path they’ve tread every day. But folks, character arcs should never be predictable… no matter what STC might say.

And that’s the excitement Khamanna Iskandarova dishes up in $1.50 a Scoop, a little drama as sweet as pure ice cream.

In Scoop, Greg and Mike couldn’t be more different. Mike’s only twelve years old – sweet, considerate… and mute. Greg is eighteen – tougher than steel, and a thief. But they do have one thing in common. Both boys looooove their ice cream.

Their paths cross as Mike is counting out coins he’s collected to see if he can afford $1.50 for a single scoop. Greg’s got considerably more moolah – so he buys his cone, and tosses Mike the change. A grateful Mike seizes the moment, and selects the flavor he’s been eying all this time.

But right as Mike’s about to enjoy a much-awaited treat, he sees Greg steal from an elderly woman. Souring the taste of the ice cream Greg’s paid for – before it reaches poor Mike’s mouth.

Being the good kid he is, Mike just wants to do the right thing.

But the tables swiftly turn – leaving Mike accused of the very crime that “belongs” to Greg. Ironically, Greg’s the only one who can save him. But will a hardened thief ever change his ways? Will Mike ever enjoy ice cream again?

A sweet little drama that’ll be a breeze to film (and a favorite of festivals everywhere), $1.50 a Scoop takes little Mike on a journey he’ll never forget. Nor will your audience. We guarantee.

The Script

I.50 A Scoop

A mute 12-year-old boy says no to free ice-cream from a nice man when seeing the latter steal from an old lady

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

Khamanna Iskandarova's picture

I'm originally from Baku, Azerbaijan but reside in the US at the moment. I've done a lot of writing and achieved some results. My latest achievement is being placed in the top 5 of the BlueCat feature competition which encountered 2,472 feature works for that year. 

 Read more

Calling Home - A Call You Don't Want to Miss

CALLING HOME
A driven depression therapist enjoys her star client's final moments with her at the top of a bridge.

On the surface, Calling Home by Nikki April Lee is a timely tale about the tragic implications of the psychological suffocation inherent to trauma. An intense, invisible pain that erodes the soul, causing such suffering that sometimes there is only one way out.

But beneath the veneer of Lee’s story is something more sinister and fatalistic that poses a unique question about the ultimate value of trying to help those who are beyond salvation.

The story starts with a set of women sitting in circle, attending what must be a support group lead by Mya Sanders. A thoughtful, quietly strong spiritualist determined to impart her affirmative wisdom on the women who attentively hang on her every word.

MYA
Everyday is a struggle, but we must remember not to think of our lives in weeks, months, and years.
It only increases this pressure that is on your mind.
Think of life in minutes, hours, and days.

Mya grabs her necklace’s heart pendant with a semicolon carved out of the center.

MYA
Every minute your heart beats, is another minute you are stronger; a warrior; a survivor.

One of the women in Mya’s group is Skylar; a young lady in her late 20s, who has been attending the group over the past year.

She alludes to having two young kids and a husband. With Mya’s help and the support of the other women, she’s in a much better place now with herself and her family.

SKYLAR
I am. I feel so much better ever since I started coming here last year.
I didn’t think I was going to make it, but here I am.

MYA
That’s right, and here you will stay.

Mya indefatigable commitment to the cause of helping women suffering deep psychological wounds is admirable and inspiring. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her own home, when she interacts with her dutiful husband Charlie. He isn’t just supportive of his wife, but is in awe of her superhuman selflessness. 

CHARLIE
You are a hero without a cape, my love. Don’t ever forget that.

It would seem no matter the time or day, Mya is the perpetual harbor in the tempest for the women under the protection of her emotional bulwark.

So, when Skylar texts Mya in the middle of the night, with a cryptic message that reads: ‘The Angels have called…’, Mya immediately jumps out of bed, called to action to rescue one her flock.

Or so it seems.

Calling Home takes a unique, yet brave moral turn that’ll leave the audience feeling unsettled and baffled simultaneously. Lee deftly sets up the story in such a way that when the morbid end comes, it’s jarring and disquieting, with far more unanswered disturbing questions than satisfying, yet obvious answers.

Stories like this rarely come along. A chance to make a movie that forces the audience to get out of their comfort zone and ponder some of humanity’s more complex debates, is the sort of opportunity a brave, filmmaker should tackle… especially if they’re craving to make a short film that will leave their audience speaking about the story long after the credits roll.

 

 

The Script

Calling Home

A driven depression therapist enjoys her star client's final moments with her at the top of a bridge.

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

Nikki Lee's picture
Real name: 

The first time I started thinking about screenwriting was about five years ago. Since then it has been an adventure of a lifetime. Scriptwriting has allowed me to create something out of the smallest of details in life. Everything from a quote to a crawling insect can spark material for a script...Read more

The Oath - With Great Responsibility Comes Great Consequences....

THE OATH
A comic book shop owner, caught in a moral dilemma, is faced with the consequences of his actions.

For most youngsters, comic books are a rite of passage.  A whiling away of the awkward years before the onset of teenage shenanigans. 

Not so for chubby 16-year-old Marcel Stewart.  For Marcel, each carefully inked panel is a window to the soul of adventure itself.  So when Marcel lands a job at his local comic book store, it’s more than just a paycheck.  It’s a sworn duty.

MARCEL
I, Marcel Stewart, as a trusted representative of Champion Comics.

NATHAN
Do solemnly vow to uphold the dignity and integrity in which our customers expect.

MARCEL
Do solemnly vow to uphold the dignity and integrity in which our customers expect.

NATHAN
So help me god.

MARCEL
So help me god.

Cut to twenty years later and Marcel is running the show.  A little older and heavier; a touch jaded even as twenty years in customer service are wont to do. But Marcel has never lost sight of that guiding principle.

That was until he found himself holding a 1939 copy of Detective Comics #29 (in a 4.5 condition no less).

A musty old comic to the casual observer, but to those in the know (those like Marcel) this is the holy grail of ink and paper.  

Marcel freezes, not believing his own eyes.

England’s Crown Jewels. The Mona Lisa. A Guttenberg bible. The necklace the old lady from Titanic wore. This beats them all hands down. The very first appearance of the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, the one and only... BATMAN.

And Marcel is holding the book in his very hands. 

ACROSS THE STORE

Rose admires a heroic statuette. Inquires...

ROSE
So, see anything of value yet?

The problem is, this particular Detective Comics #29 belongs to the sweet and unassuming Rose Chance, merely looking to clear out her late father’s estate.

With the words of his mentor ringing in his ears, Marcel is forced to make a choice.  Little does he know that some oaths are not to be broken...

Ron Houghton’s The Oath serves up a tale of greed and redemption as told through one man’s love of comics.  A handful of characters and some fairly straightforward locations could see this quirky tale brought to life on a shoestring.  A great short script for any filmmaker searching for their next project.

The Script

The Oath

A comic book shop owner, caught in a moral dilemma, is faced with the consequences of his actions.

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

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

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