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

Goldie - All That Glitters Is NOT a Happily Ever After Fairy-Tale...

GOLDIE
A serial killer with a penchant for porridge stalks a true crime author she wants to write her life story.
(NOTE: A terrific and blood curdling short which has an expanded feature available as well!)

A beautiful house in the woods.  The American Dream lived out in blissful, open plan isolation.  Somewhere in that house there’s a family photograph.  Smiles for the camera.  Happy times.

GOLDIE (V.O.) 
Ever since I was a little girl,
I’ve wanted to find a family I 
could call my very own.

It’s there still, that happy family, amid the blood soaked floors and broken teeth and steaming bowls of porridge.  Which is where we meet our narrator, Goldie, picking over the remnants of her latest attempt to find that special place.  Casually sewing the gash to her thigh shut as if she were darning a sock.

Something unspeakable happened here.  A violence visited upon a place of warmth and love.  The details remain unclear - you wouldn’t want to know - but as writer, Brett Martin, makes clear:

This is not the Goldilocks you know from fairy tales.

Brett Martin’s dark take on fairytale classic Goldilocks gives us a terrifying insight into the tortured mind of a killer.  The subtle horror of Goldie takes root in the detail as we’re left to imagine the carnage that led to their making.  It’s a glimpse of chaos wrought on a world of love and order that offers few answers and ultimately serves as a teaser.  A brutal prelude to Goldie’s ongoing journey.  This time it didn't work out.  But maybe next...

GOLDIE (V.O.) 
I know deep down in my heart that
the right family for me has to be 
out there. Somewhere.

This isn’t the Goldilocks you know.

It’s the Goldie you pray you never do.  

The Script

Goldie

A serial killer with a penchant for porridge stalks a true crime author she wants to write her life story.

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 of...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 Films...Read more

Christmas Dinner - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner THIS time?

Christmas Dinner
You’ve never been invited to a dinner like this.

Easter, New Years, Hanukkah, Christmas. Is there any time more joyous than the holidays?

No matter one's particular faith, holidays represent abundance galore: delicious food, seasonal games, music and the special company of beloved family and friends. Who could turn down all that? It’s a celebration! An occasion people look forward to all year long.

Well - most people anyway.

In Richard Russell’s Christmas Dinner, you'll meet Roy. A man who's holiday "indifferent". Let's just put it that way.

The kind of archetypical guy you see in logging commercials. Big, burly, plaid wearing. Roy'd be happy sipping black coffee at his favorite diner - watching the waitress more than parades on TV.  And watching every calendar holiday come and go.

Which doesn't mean he's typical.  When it comes to holidays, Roy might just be the 1%.

But on the night before Christmas - when he’s kicked out of the diner so employees can commune with their families - Roy's in danger of finally becoming a real-life Scrooge.

When that bad news goes down, there’s nothing left for a truck driver to do but grab his keys and cruise.
Good thing Roy loves the open road. Robbed of his comfy diner, it’s all he has left.

The miles and road roll by. As does time.

Until Roy spots a young man in the chilly snow. Feeling a subtle tinge of holiday humanity, he pushes aside his grumpiness and offers the hitchhiker a ride. But where is this stranger going?

A family Christmas dinner. Of course.

And there’s something revealing beneath Roy’s reaction to this news that might just cure his bahumbug blues.

Roy's seen a lot in his rough and ready life - but he only spills the beans if you ask him questions outright. Turns out, his hitchhiker is in need of some serious advice. Roy and the mysterious traveler may have lots in common after all.

And as they reach the drop off point, something happens which changes Roy’s perspective on holidays forever. For Roy, Christmas - and other holiday celebrations - may never be the same again.

Come along for the journey of Roy’s most memorable Christmas ever. This script is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The holiday season can be full of magic if you greet it with open arms. Richard Russell’s Christmas Dinner will leave you yearning to create a little magic of your own. Make sure YOU'RE the one who brings this short to life!

Take a seat at the table. It’s comfortable, it’s crazy, it’s Christmas…dinner!

The Script

Christmas Dinner

All alone, a trucker picks up a hitchhiker on Christmas Eve and delivers him to dinner.

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

Richard Russell's picture
Real name: 
I'm a screen writer from North Carolina. You can find me on IMDB as Richard F. Russell...Read more

Hydrophobia - What Are You Scared Of - And Why?

HYDROPHOBIA
Stranded in a hurricane, a woman treats her husband's hydrophobic rabies before discovering his fear of water is not just a symptom.

Rural South Carolina - a hurricane rages across the state.  Flood waters cut off newlywed couple Val and Barry’s farmhouse, isolating them from help.  Inside, Barry lies wracked with pain, the result of an infected animal bite. 

As the water threatens to engulf their sanctuary, Barry’s condition deteriorates; signs of a deadly infection begin to show.  Val struggles on, calmly providing what comfort she can as they wait for the storm to subside and the hope of rescue.  

Unbeknownst to them, the disease is set to be the least of their concerns.  A far greater danger is stirring within Barry’s old family home; waiting beneath the surface for its moment to strike.

As Barry slips deeper into a fevered nightmare we chance a glimpse into the past.  Through this we learn how Barry and Val came to be here and the forces that threaten to tear them apart.

The past holds a dark secret.  The kind that finds a way to reach into the present for one last vengeful swipe.

Hold your breath, it’s about to be one hell of a honeymoon.

Chris Courtney Martin’s Hydrophobia shifts effortlessly between past and present to weave a chilling tale of a young couple bound by love, yet tormented by a hatred that refuses to let it be. A tense, brooding piece that plays on the mind long after reading.

The Script

Hydrophobia

Stranded in a hurricane, a woman treats her husband's hydrophobic rabies before discovering his fear of water is not just a symptom.

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 of...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Courtney Martin's picture
Chris Courtney Martin hails from Philadelphia, where she was introduced to her craft. In high school, she placed in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights competition three years out of four. After receiving the prestigious Liberty scholarship, Martin started Drexel University's Screenwriting...Read more

Lucky Kid - In More Ways Than One

Here’s a fact every parent knows and fears: the fact that curiosity is rampant in children. Sometimes, they just can’t help but do something they know their elders would forbid them to do at all.

In the case of 7-year-old Rusty, the titular character of Lucky Kid, the rebellious action is taking his father’s spotless BMX bike from its resting place in the well-stocked trophy room out for a quick ride around his upper-middle-class neighbourhood.

A ride that’s quick only because Rusty loses control, falls off, smashes his ankle against solid concrete, and breaks the bone in it. Right in front of his mom.

As you’d expect, his mother calls for an ambulance on 9-1-2. 9-1-2? Yup. And if you thought the number was strange, the events that follow are even stranger.

When told to pour honey over the wound while waiting for help, his mother replies that they, a well-off family, can’t afford it.

When the ambulance arrives and the honey bees with it, Rusty remarks that he’s only seen a bee in a museum before.

And a bee shortage isn’t the only thing that’s off about Rusty’s world. His Dad’s trophies may be physical, but it wasn’t physical prowess that helped him obtain them. And on the way to the hospital, an angry mob assaults and attempts to the ambulance from reaching its destination.

There’s a reason behind these eccentricities. A reason that’s very real. A reason you may not know about. A reason that poses a potentially fatal threat to every human being on our planet... sooner than we might think.

But if you want to know what that reason is, you’ll have to read this script. Lucky is what "you'll" be when you crack this story open. Not to mention educated. About a looming danger we might all soon face. And should hear, now. Before it's far too late.

 

The Script

Lucky Kid

A boy steals his father's bike and goes for a joyride.

About The Reviewer

Hamish Porter's picture
Real name: 
That guy who does a load of STS reviews and writes when he's not working or reading superfluous interesting articles. My filmmakers Rushmore is Nolan, Kubrick, Hitchcock, and Eastwood. Psychological thrillers, crime, and dramas are my thing, but I'm impartial to anything that's...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 Films...Read more

A Boy's Fear - Dive into the Depths...

A Boy’s Fear
A young boy has no choice but to face his deepest fear

The room is desolate, dank, and dark.  A small boy sits alert on a concrete bench nailed to the floor.  He is cold, alone and seemingly trapped.   From where he huddles, he can hear other children’s screams. 

The young child is Billy, the protagonist of Chris Keaton’s one-page script, A Boy’s Fear.  Billy’s not imagining things.  What he fears is very real, awaiting him outside.

Billy shivers. His eyes dart around nervously. He hugs his knees and watches the wooden door with dread.

When he hears the footsteps approach, Billy knows that they’re coming for him.  He has no choice, but to face his fears and…

A Boy’s Fear masterfully distills the suspense and fright that might fill a feature-length film into a one-page thriller.  Short and sweet, audiences will love how quickly Billy will get their hearts pounding!

About the reviewer:  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.  She may be reached at: Cottle54321“AT”Gmail.

About the writer:   Chris Keaton is an Air Force veteran living with his family in sunny Arizona. He began his writing career as a screenwriter, but decided that he'd like people to actually read his stories, so is expanding into prose. You can see some of his projects on his website, (www.Chris-Keaton.com).

The Script

A Boy's Fear

A boy faces a most personal fear.

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

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 
Chris Keaton is an Air Force veteran living with his family in sunny Arizona. He began his writing career as a screenwriter, but decided that he'd like people to actually read his stories, so is expanding into prose. You can see some of his projects on his website, (www.Chris-Keaton.com) or at...Read more

23 and Them! Family - In the End, That's All That Counts...

23 and Them
DNA Tests Never Turn Out Well....

The world’s full of mysteries. Does God exist, how did we get here, is our world even real…and how on earth does that milquetoast office slave have such a stunning wife?

That final mystery, of course, is the one relevant to 23 And Them. And it’s one that Harvey, the office slave in question, is forced to seriously ponder after a fellow co-worker observes that his two “children” don’t really resemble him at all. Nor their mother, Sue.

Now Harvey’s home life is blissful – Sue’s a stay-at-home cook, and the kids are just as innocent and smiley as she is.

Almost too innocent, in fact.

But the seeds of doubt have been sown, and eventually they grow too big for Harvey’s mind. So, he secretly obtains a 23 and Me kit, along with DNA swabs from his “perfect” wife and kids.

8 weeks later, the results arrive. At the front door. When Harvey’s not home.

And when he does get home, his wife’s words and actions show her fury, but the smile never disappears from her face…or the kids’ faces, for that matter.

Why? Because Sue’s got her reasons for tying the knot with Harvey, but they’re not obvious reasons. Rather, they relate to the results of the DNA tests, which also reveal his wife’s darkest secret. One which she shares with “their” kids.

Are Harvey’s children his? Why did Sue marry him? And what do Sue and the kids have in common that Harvey doesn’t?

With tension oozing off every page as the moment to the truth draws nearer and nearer, 23 and Them will hook you in and never let you go until you find answers to these questions. Answers you certainly won’t be able to guess!

The Script

23 and THEM!

Those home genetic tests sometimes reveal more than you expect and can be life changing...

About The Reviewer

Hamish Porter's picture
Real name: 
That guy who does a load of STS reviews and writes when he's not working or reading superfluous interesting articles. My filmmakers Rushmore is Nolan, Kubrick, Hitchcock, and Eastwood. Psychological thrillers, crime, and dramas are my thing, but I'm impartial to anything that's...Read more

About The Writer

Tim Westland's picture
Real name: 
Howdy... my name is Tim Westland. I am an award winning writer, with multiple feature and short scripts placing highly in Page, Screencraft, BlueCat and other well respected competitions. Several of my short scripts have been produced, most recently “For The Love of God”, a topical LGBT-friendly...Read more

Treat - Or Is It Trick?

Treat
Trick?  Or treat?  Do they dare open the door to find out?

Bad weather can sure put a damper on vacation plans.  Having to make a detour to an unknown place due to inclement conditions is particularly frustrating.  It’s that much worse when the only available place to stop for shelter is seedy or otherwise uninviting.  And, there’s no dining facilities.  And, the vending machine is all but empty.  And, the person behind the desk is unhelpful.  Or, the other guests are annoying. Or no rooms are even available.  But, when all of these possible scenarios come together, well… it’s what you might call a perfect storm.

Steve Miles short horror piece, Treat, adds a touch of terror to top off such a worst-case travel scenario.  Young Denise and Lyle, still clad in their souvenir t-shirts from Super Smiley Fun-Park Land, find themselves stranded in a dilapidated motel together with Howard, a fifty-something year old construction guy who has just poured himself what seems to be the last of the complimentary coffee as he flips the page on the desk calendar to the right date.  It’s Halloween.

The old motel owner, Percy, enters with his arm full of blankets.  But, when he notices the calendar he immediately begins to tremble.  Then there’s a knock on the door.  Percy warns his guests not to open it, under any circumstances.

Denise and Lyle try to reason with Percy.  After all, it’s probably just some unlucky folks caught in the same storm they had escaped earlier that evening.  Howard watches the exchange, amused, while maintaining his post in the doorframe that he convinced will save him from any natural disaster.  Percy stands his ground.

The KNOCKING comes again. Impatient.

LYLE
I’m sorry, Mister.

He moves to the door, takes hold of the handle -- Percy’s boney hand clasps his.

He looks back into Percy’s frightened eyes.

PERCY
(whispered)
Motel’s closed.

A VOICE from outside, a rasped, almost mocking tone.

VOICE (O.S.)
Trick or treat?

The colour drains from Percy’s face.

DENISE
They’re just children--

Percy clamps a hand across her mouth.

Is Percy just a crazy old motel keeper?  Or, is there something truly evil lurking outside?  If you haven’t had your fill of terrifyingly delightful films about storms, old hotels and deadly danger awaiting on the other side of doors, you’ll be dying to see Treat on screen.

You probably won’t be the only one…

The Script

Treat

Stranded in an isolated motel on Halloween, a group of strangers faces a dilemma when the elderly proprietor refuses to open the door to a cry for help.

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 of...Read more

Satellite Motel - Check in and Check it Out!

Satellite Motel
A travel-weary salesman checks into a small Mom' n' Pop motel and has an extraterrestrial encounter.

The seemingly friendliest places and people often hide the darkest secrets and evils: ever since Psycho revolutionised horror all those years ago, this idea has been abused more than Janet Leigh’s character in THAT scene, and usually to similarly awful results.

Not so in John Hunter’s Satellite Motel, which uses that well-worn trope to create an inevitable sense of dread, then completely turns it on its head.

The setup just begs for a skilful director to create that unsettling feeling: a lonesome man, Davis, drives down a lonesome road into a lonesome town and checks into the only hotel for miles: The Satellite Motel.

Booked into room Number 7 and handed an old-school metal key by one half of the elderly yet cynically simple couple who run the joint, Davis leaves the meagre and messy reception to knock himself out for the night.

But he’ll never reach the comforts of Room 7’s bed. Nor will he not survive the night. Instead, Davis is about to experience the weirdest few hours of his life.

From a strange room and stranger conversation through to a mind-bending finale via a, joining Davis on his adventure guarantees twists and revelations just like any horror…but with a Twilight Zone-esque abonormalness and humour.

A mixture that comes together to create one brilliantly inventive genre-flipping script which just oozes with cinematic potential. So why delay? Check into the Satellite Motel today!

The Script

Satellite Motel

A travel-weary salesman checks into a small Mom'n'Pop motel and has an extraterrestrial encounter.

About The Reviewer

Hamish Porter's picture
Real name: 
That guy who does a load of STS reviews and writes when he's not working or reading superfluous interesting articles. My filmmakers Rushmore is Nolan, Kubrick, Hitchcock, and Eastwood. Psychological thrillers, crime, and dramas are my thing, but I'm impartial to anything that's...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 
Raised in the coastal low country of south Georgia, I was the one they sent away to boarding schools at an early age to get a fancy education. Members of my immediate family proudly referred to me as bilingual for my uncanny ability to speak both my native Cracker and Standard American English...Read more

Black Cherry - The Darker (and Funnier) the Script, the Sweeter the Juice...

Black Cherry 2....

There once was a city wracked by crime…

...Pimps, pushers and hoods ran the streets.  But unforgiving times breed unforgiving heroes.

Cue the funk soul soundtrack for...

Black Cherry: East Harlem’s sassy, street-wise detective.  The maverick kind who knows how to keep the criminal underworld in check and look damn fine doing it.  Block by block Black Cherry's taken out the trash, putting crime in its place.

Only there’s a new player in town.  One who’s keen to take advantage of Black Cherry’s dedication to the badge and fill the vacuum left behind.  The kind of player with more than just a mean streak...

ISAAC 
Sanchez? You don't wanna be messin' with Dirty Sanchez.
That dude will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

But this is Black Cherry; the kind of cop who takes it personally when an out of town pimp takes to running his game on her beat.

Black Cherry stands toe to toe with Stubing, pounds her fists on his desk.

BLACK CHERRY 
I want Sanchez. Send me in undercover.

But it’s not that simple - it never is.  This one’s by the books and there’s already a sister-in-blue working deep cover for an angle on Sanchez. 

But crime is what happens when you're making other plans...

BLACK CHERRY 
Who was she, Dr. Bricker?

BRICKER
Her name was Julie McCoy. She was one of ours.

So when Julie winds up on the slab the takedown falls to Black Cherry and her fresh-faced partner, Gopher Smith:

GOPHER 
Just call me Gopher, everybody does. 
What can I call you? Black Cherry? 
Cherry? Blackie?

Cherry turns, gives Gopher a death stare. 

GOPHER 
Or maybe just Detective Jones would be better.

Sanchez just picked the wrong town in which to redirect his mail.  These are Black Cherry’s streets.  And she’s got a message to deliver…

To find out what that is you’ll have to read Black Cherry 2, Dave Troop’s tongue-in-cheek homage to blaxploitation flicks.  A world of vision impairing hairdos, overbearing police chiefs, fetishist pimps and sassy can-do attitudes when it comes to fighting crime.

The Script

Black Cherry 2

A sassy female cop protects the streets of Harlem from a lethal pimp in a parody of 1970's Blaxploitation films.

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 of...Read more

About The Writer

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...Read more

The Plague Doctor - What Truly Ails Us Might Not Be Visible At First Sight...

The Plague Doctor

“Sometimes things that plague us aren’t just our imaginations at work.”

Do you believe in things you can’t explain? Ghosts, apparitions, non-corporeal entities of every design? 

Many films have been made about what exists beyond the earthly realm of the living but what happens when the living can’t imagine existing past a certain age?  When the possibility of becoming a ghost, apparition or something else altogether is more real than anything on earth? 

Nine year old Liam is a normal fourth grader who hates riding the school bus because of bullies and has a crush on a girl in his class. A regular kid…until he isn’t anymore. He and his mother receive devastating news about his health. Together, they start to cope with how different their lives are in light of this new reality. 

Childhood sicknesses like common colds and chickenpox affects virtually every kid but a smaller percentage are affected by more serious health issues. According to the CDC, one of the leading causes of death in children ages 5-14 is cancer. Liam is one of those kids.

On the first day of his new life, something strange appears to him in the dim light of his bedroom. Something from the shadows. Something that he can’t explain. 

The Plague Doctor. 

He reveals himself to children, shroud in layers of darkness, never revealing his true intentions. 

Liam isn’t sure if this doctor means him help or harm. And he can’t articulate who or what the apparition is to anyone. Not even his mother, whose mind is consumed by her son’s grave diagnosis. 

As Liam’s fragile health declines, it seems that he encounters the Plague Doctor at every turn. But one day, the doctor steps in silently to help Liam when he needs it most and one is left to wonder why this interaction is different from all the rest. Does this mean Liam’s time on earth has run out after just nine short years? 

Rooted in realism, Mennella tackles childhood illness with a sensitive somberness. It’s dark and delicate in a way that not many scripts have mastered. 

This is unlike any mystery you know. With vivid imagery, a believable concept and a lovable main character, Plague Doctor will grab you from Liam’s first line. 

This script will keep you reading until the very end to answer two fateful questions. 

Does Liam survive? And what is the Plague Doctor?  Is he a Bearer of Good Tidings - or Doom?

The Script

The Plague Doctor

A young boy fighting the battle of his life encounters a strange but intriguing entity, The Plague Doctor.

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

Jon Mennella's picture
Real name: 
Jon Mennella was raised in New York City and educated in Boston. He currently resides in Brooklyn where he spends his free time nurturing an ever-growing love for film and screenwriting. He was a finalist in the Writers' Store Industry Insider Competition and two of his short screenplays, The...Read more

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