Shootin' The Shorts | Page 3 | 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

Love Can Wait - Or Can It?!?

Love Can Wait
After an accident involving an old ring, Eric is tormented by the suspicion that love can indeed wait.

Light, fresh… and lots of fun. Those are the key ingredients to a good rom-com. Sprinkle some sympathetic characters into the mix. (And don’t forget the comedic frosting. Vanilla-strawberry, if you please!)

It sounds simple… But one look at what passes for comedy these days will prove it’s not that easy. You need a good script to provide the foundation – to bind your components deliciously!

Fortunately, Love Can Wait by Manolis Froudarakis is the perfect recipe. As this light-hearted comedy opens, twenty year olds Eric and Julie relax on a hill, enjoying an afternoon picnic. Love is clearly in the air; they’re seconds from becoming engaged. Julie shows Eric the ring her grandpa gave to his beloved when he proposed. She reminisces how grandma promised she’d wait forever. However long it would take…

Sensing the perfect moment, Eric gets down on one knee – and slips the ring on Julie’s finger. But before either can say “I do”, a terrible accident occurs… landing Eric in the hospital!

As Eric wakes and struggles to clear his head, Julie’s the first thing he sees. But the woman before him is ancient… the diamond ring sparkling on a wrinkled finger.

Has their love stood the ultimate test of time? Could Julie have waited sixty years? A simple story with a clever twist, LCW is sure to be a hit with audiences. It’s short, endearing and funny. The perfect dessert for directors with a comedic sweet tooth!

The Script

Love Can Wait

After an accident involving an old ring, Eric is tormented by the suspicion that love can indeed wait.

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. It's all about networking!  ;D  ...Read more

About The Writer

Manolis Froudarakis's picture

Manolis Froudarakis is a produced, award-winning screenwriter from Greece. His main focus is comedy, often with a dark edge. You can contact him at: mfroudarakis@yahoo.grRead more

Gone - But Never Forgotten

Gone
A teenage boy flees the family farm after suffering abuse from his alcoholic father.

The talented screenwriting team of Mary Goldman and Tim House bring us the touching short drama, Gone. As the script opens, teen Louie slinks into the family kitchen. Almost instantly, his Ma and younger brother Henry notice something’s… wrong.

When Louie asks where his Pa is, the tension in the air thickens. Ma herself is particularly keen to figure out the source of Louie’s discomfort before his father arrives home.

Louie’s lost the family dog, Lady. His confession is interrupted by the entrance of Pa – whose stern demeanour and drunken tendencies don’t help the situation or news.

Louie removes his jacket. Hangs it on a hook. His movements slow and deliberate. Ma knows her boy. She notices.

MA
What's eatin' you?

LOUIE
Aw...Lady run off agin.

HENRY
You're gonna git it now!

MA
You mind yer own business, Henry.
Fer Chrissakes, Louie. Didn't Pa tell ya to keep her chained?

LOUIE
Yeah, I know...but she saw a squirrel...she just got away.

MA
(sighs)
Now there's gonna be hell to—

PA (mid-30s, tall, weathered) enters with a stern expression. The family freezes.

PA
Where the hell is Lady?

Ma remains silent. Louie looks at the floor.

MA
Now, Earl...

PA
Jesus, Louie. I done told you that bitch is untrainable.
How stupid can you be?

Quickly, the family dynamics become all too clear.

Pa’s that all oppressing force upon the household. And when he has a drink in him, his temper and brooding grows. That’s a danger Louie and his family know very well.

Later that night, a fireside conversation with his father is the catalyst for Louie to finally question his position within the household. Still: it’s one thing to want to escape an abuser, and yet another to actually see it through.

Will Louie pluck up the courage and confidence to flee the farm he’s called home all his life?

Family dramas that revolve around alcohol and abuse can easily fall into common tropes. But when genuine relationships are weaved into a tale, stories that cover such tender topics have the power to strike emotional gold. Such is the case with Gone. In every page, the threat of Pa feels real and imminent. Thanks to the easily obtained and affordable settings, Gone’s an indie producer’s dream, too.

If you’re looking for a drama to showcase terrific directing and acting – this powerhouse little script makes all the right moves!

 

 

The Script

Gone

A teenage farm boy flees the family farm after suffering abuse from his alcoholic father.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

Mary Goldman's picture
Real name: 

I am a Toronto writer and actor with an eclectic background: Tried my hand at fashion design, which led me to graphic design where I found a home working primarily in print media. Raised a family, jumped into my childhood dream of acting and managed to book professional jobs in film, TV shows...Read more

Turf Wars - Crossing Lawns (and Old Men) is Never Good

Turf Wars
A grieving elderly widower and a misunderstood school drop-out fight over the man's lawn only to find new comfort and companionship in an unexpected way.

Author Fiona Faith Rose brings us Turf Wars, a comedy not only packed with outstanding visual humour, but moments of tenderness as well.

We open on old man Bill Henning, casting a rheumy eye over the pride and joy that is his front lawn. A lawn that initially appears perfect. But upon closer inspection, we find the thin tire tracks of a bike scored into the soil.

Upon finding the marks, Bill grunts his displeasure and returns to painstaking work with a pair of shears in hand. Only to be soon interrupted by the perpetrator and his two wheeled weapon of choice, teenager Darren - who speeds past the old man and traces further marks across Bill’s beloved grass.

Enough is enough! Bill hatches a plan.

Bill casts his eye over his perfect velvet lawn, diagonally scarred by thin tyre-tracks. He grunts, wipes his nose on his sleeve, then lines up his long-handled shears on a wire he has stretched between two stakes to guide his edge...

...and trims the straggly grass to a neat fringe.

Behind him, an old but deadly pedal bike shoots in from left field and traces the tyre-tracks...

...ridden by scruffy DARREN (15), buzz-cut school dropout.

Bill shakes his fist at the boy’s disappearing back.

BILL
Vandal!

Eat-my-shit laughter reaches him on the slip stream.

Bill tenses, angry-gorilla-style, then narrows his eyes, rubs his chin.

Bill strikes back at his teenage oppressor, but Darren won’t let it lie either.  Escalating quickly into a comedic tit for tat battle between the two.

In lesser hands, this short could descent into a farcical conflict between the ages, but Rose has created a work of greater depth. The true meaning of the lawn for Bill is soon revealed. But will he be able to save it from Darren, and will the two be able to find some kind of truce to stop a seemingly inevitable war?

At just four pages, Turf Wars is an easy read; but one that leaves both an emotional and comedic impact on the reader. As visual comedy and carnage abound, it is undeniably a funny short, a story just waiting for the right producer to come along and bring life to this emotion laden chaotic gem.

 

The Script

Turf Wars

An elderly widower and a school drop-out fight over the man's lawn only to find comfort and companionship in an unexpected way.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

Fiona Faith Ross's picture
Real name: 

News:  FLAT SQUIRREL the screenplay, is selected for Florida Comedy Film Festival, 2020 and wins the Silver Award, Family Film Category, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, 2018. Woo hoo!

FLAT SQUIRREL The Novel, IS OUT!!!  You'll find it in Amazon Books, iStore and the Troubador Book Store (...Read more

New Age Enema - What You Put Into a Script Counts!!

New Age Enema
A jealous friend gets her wish.

With a title that grabs attention, and a page count that hides a surprisingly deep theme, author J. Phillip Wilkins has created a great short screenplay in New Age Enema that’s sure to grab fans. Giggles, too.

Struggling actresses Stella and Josie stand at the entrance of a San Francisco cable car, discussing the latter’s recent success in acquiring a role in a high profile film. As the cable car drives onwards, tension rises between the two.

Stella finds her friend’s sudden success suspicious. Upon hearing some of Josie's questionable past film roles, most readers will too. As Josie defends her acting record, Stella spots her friend's possible source of good luck dangling around her neck.

STELLA
You’ve never even had a callback.
You suck at acting.

JOSIE
First of all, you’re a dumb whore for saying that,
and secondly, I am not bad at acting.

STELLA
I’ve seen “Terror Vixens In Heat”.

JOSIE
They didn’t give me time to create a backstory.

STELLA
Did you have the same problem
on the set of “Mega Snatch”?

JOSIE
Fuck you.

The cable car hits a bump. Josie takes her hand away from her chest to grab a strap to steady herself. Stella notices a beautiful, new-age crystal pendant hanging from a delicate silver chain around Josie’s neck. She reaches for it.

STELLA
Let me see your crystal.

Josie jerks away. Stepping back, her heel hangs off the edge of the exit steps.  Almost instantly, the situation escalates – with Josie hanging from the edge of the moving cable car, off balance - albeit within reach of her BFF.

What ultimately will Stella value more? Josie – or a mysterious crystal that could “maybe” grant her celebrity status and riches? Download New Age Enema to find out.

Size is rarely important, and not all short screenplays need a large page count to be a success. With its witty tone and a style of writing easy on the eye, Wilkins gives us a spiffy two page comedy/fantasy that explores a universal theme: friendship fractured by jealousy.

If you’re a producer with an eye for comedy in bite sized chunks, New Age Enema is a fast and fulfilling read!

 

The Script

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

J. Phillip Wilkins's picture
Real name: 

J. Phillip Wilkins is the author of several unfinished books, including 'Desert Witch', 'The Girl From Yuma', 'Laughter, Far Away', and 'Lighthouse At The World's End'. His tenure as one-third of indie pop outfit The Postmarks was followed by a move to the West Coast demimonde. Often called 'the...Read more

Knight of the Kolossos - Some Games Run Longer Than One Might Expect

Knight of the Kolossos
A pair of detectives investigate a fanatical serial killer on a deadly quest spanning two millennia.

From the imagination of accomplished author Jeremy B. Storey comes a murder mystery with a twist, Knight of the Kolossos. Lenny Delveccio and Amanda Wincott, two NYPD detectives, examine a crime scene where a well off couple have been murdered.

Even from the start, something just doesn’t make sense. The killer’s choice of hemlock as a means to end the lives of these individuals is puzzling enough, but an apartment’s worth of untouched expensive items and the discovery of a secret room throw up more questions than the two detectives are comfortable with.

Delveccio and Wincott desperately to try piece together the meagre clues to work out who the perpetrator is before they strike again.

To confuse matters further, the two are watched by a mysterious figure in a Greek fisherman’s hat and their investigation is interrupted by a French Interpol officer. Nothing is quite adding up.

WINCOTT
Mr. and Mrs. Oakley. Patriarch and
Matriarch of the redonkulously wealthy Oakley clan.

DELVECCIO
No shit. They don't send Major Crimes
for a runa-the-mill home invasion.
These fuckers have ties at 1PP. And
after 3 months on this team you know
exactly what that means.

WINCOTT
The eye of Commisioner Sauron is on us.
Understood, loud and clear.
Okay, so it doesn't look like forced
entry or any signs of a struggle.

DELVECCIO
Three table settings.

WINCOTT
So, our dinner guest is either a witness,
a perp, or dead elsewhere.

DELVECCIO
Dollars-to-donuts it's the perp.

WINCOTT
Why so certain?

DELVECCIO
Vics used their spoons. Guest didn't.

WINCOTT
Maybe wasn't a fan of the soup.

DELVECCIO
Maybe 'cos he knew it was poisoned.

WINCOTT
With what?

DELVECCIO
Rigidity suggests they were paralyzed
before dying. And... the fennel aroma.

WINCOTT
Which means...?

DELVECCIO
Means hemlock was the cause of death.

WINCOTT
So our perp has a taste for murder,
with a side of cruelty.

As the detectives struggle, the mystery deepens ever more.

Cutting between ancient Greece and today's NYC, the narrative slowly reveals a past motivation is driving these murders into present-day. A millennia old tale that has been assumed folklore emerges and starts to bleed into the streets of modern New York.

Will our detectives be able to figure out the crime before further victims are claimed?

With expert writing and style, Storey has created an effortless, elegant short that hooks the reader in and keeps them engaged throughout.

Mystery lies at the heart of Kolossos, driving the characters and story towards a thrilling crescendo, where ancient and present timelines connect, and long hidden secrets are revealed.

If you are a producer or director looking for an engrossing murder mystery script for your next work – one that’ll keep audiences talking throughout the “ages” - then Knight of the Kolossos is a must read - and win!

 

 

The Script

Knight of the Kolossos

A pair of detectives investigate a fanatical serial killer on a deadly quest spanning two millennia.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

Jeremy Storey's picture
Real name: 

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

Control - Sometimes, One Must Let Go

Control
Filip, a young officer working as a Control Officer in a future dominated by Scientism,
must arrest those based on their emotions, but the toll of the job leads to unexpected consequences.

Author Alexander Taylor brings us Control, a futuristic script set in Bratislava that envisions an ever present police state where human emotion is suppressed due to the Scientism movement.

Part of the police force who enforce these draconian measures are two brothers, Filip and Havel.

Society, now dominated by Scientism and a belief in computerised machinery, has been enveloped by technology - and it is this that the police use to spy upon the public.

Our central protagonist, Filip, understands the ills of what he’s employed to enforce: a sentiment that lies directly counter to those of Havel, who enacts his job with unrelenting brutality.

The two brothers conduct raids on houses where the unsuspecting residents have let their emotions be shown: these unfortunate members of society are beaten down by the movement both brothers represent.

Havel checks the information on a tablet. A blue, hazy light fills the damp and dark room.
He waves to two of his men, who move forward and open a briefcase.

HAVEL
We have received numerous reports concerning suspicious activity
conducted on these premises. Section 102 District Code states any report
with regards to emotional fluctuation must be investigated.
Do you understand why we are here today, sir?

JONAS KOSTROVA
(Unconvincingly)
No.

HAVEL
Emotional fluctuation may include laughter, temper, lachrymation...

Iva lets out a sob. This alarms the room.

HAVEL
A.k.a. Crying.

She covers her mouth with one hand whilst bowing her head. It is not enough, and has caught the attention of the room.

JONAS KOSTROVA
My wife. She is sick. Iva. She is not well. For days...

The talking continues, but becomes background noise.

Our focus returns to Filip, whose forehead now bleeds sweat. His eyes dart back from the sad couple to the commanding officer, Havel.

From there, we follow Filip’s journey as he questions his actions and the motivations of those around him. Will he fight against a system he does not ultimately believe in, and his brother - sworn to enforce it no matter what?

Many readers will find Control’s message and relevance painfully current. We now live in a time where personal surveillance of our own behavioural patterns are studied by governments and companies through social media and beyond. With overtones of both 1984 and Minority Report, Taylor brings us a script that depicts a dystopian future: one that comments profoundly on society now.

If you're a producer or director looking to bring to life a short screenplay that will hit audiences hard, making them question even their own surroundings… then Control is a must read. "Control" this story - by bringing it to life!

The Script

Control

Filip, a young officer working as a Control Officer in a future dominated by Scientism, must arrest those based on their emotions, but the toll of the job leads to unexpected consequences.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

Alexander Taylor's picture
Real name: 

Welcome.

I am a script writer and editor based in Durham, UK. I use my experience in performing Stand up and Sketch comedy to bring my scripts to life. My favourite screenplay is Anomalisa by Charlie Kaufman. My favourite book is The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. My...Read more

Mortician - Some Stories Are Eternal

The Mortician
When a young man takes refuge from a storm in the local morgue,
he quickly becomes enamored by the female undertaker.

Author Paul Hutchinson brings us The Mortician, an engrossing short horror pumped full of charm and intrigue.

Gruesomely enough, we open in a morgue where our mortician protagonist, Sara Douglas, works on a dead body. Unflinching with an expert hand, she tends to the cadaver that lies on the slab in front of her. Outside, a fierce storm howls.

All is quiet until Ben, a young man who most certainly is not comfortable surrounded by the dead, enters. The two share friendly conversation and even a birthday cake, as Ben struggles to figure out why Sara has chosen her career path, and how she manages to stay calm – even zen - in her place of work.

A flash of lightning illuminates the heavy rainfall outside.

Ben’s gaze turns to the cadaver.

BEN
How do you do it?

Sara holds up the syringe.

SARA
It’s just a bit of tissue builder.
You inject straight into the eyeball and...

Sara trails off as Ben turns the color of his gown.

BEN
I meant... How can you stand being here... Alone...

SARA
It’s quiet. I like that. Besides... They’re no trouble... Most of the time.

BEN
Most of the time?

Sara laughs.

Conversation flows between the two as Ben is drawn towards Sara. But something’s not quite right.

Maybe it’s just the power cuts brought on by the storm, or possibly being surrounded by dead bodies in such a small space. But even with birthday cake, Ben’s sense of doom grows. Something odd is going on.

With an effortless writing style, Paul has crafted a wonderful short screenplay with The Mortician. The characters  feel real… along with a charm to the work that cuts through the macabre locale.  There’s just that little question: what exactly’s going on here, and why?

Budgetarily, The Mortician is a slam (or is that slab?) dunk: with minimal cast and largely based on one location, it would be a breeze to shoot.

In other words, a brilliant little short just waiting for the right director to bring Sara and Ben’s story to life!

 

The Script

The Mortician

When a young man takes refuge from a storm in the local morgue, he quickly becomes enamored by the female undertaker.

About The Reviewer

Cam Gray's picture
Real name: 

Surreal comedies are my release, but everyone else seems to like my dramas so I've put them up here for the sensible readers...

Recently graduated from the London Film School and I'm now attempting to get some of these wonderful pieces of work out there into the real world. If...Read more

About The Writer

Paul Hutchinson's picture
Real name: 

I am a dedicated and imaginative Screenwriter located at the centre of the universe (Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK). I am more than happy to try my hand at different writing mediums and to that end, I have also written three sci-fi/fantasy novels. When I’m not writing my...Read more

Clear Win: Win-Win... or Wine, Wine?

Clear Win
A young man and a young woman battle over the last bottle of vodka.
Pride is at stake on both sides, but is there a greater win to be had?

Not all romantic stories about opposites attracting can be ‘When Harry Met Sally’ or ‘Pretty Woman’. You don’t always have New York in the fall as a wonderful backdrop or get a knight in shining armor to sweep you off the streets of LA into a new life of lavish gifts and polo matches.

Occasionally, you might just happen to meet someone while you’re off running a mundane errand, such as buying some booze. Even then, your initial chitchat may not be laced with crackling innuendo. Instead, it might be riddled with acerbic aspersions.

But then the unexpected happens; you stumble upon a commonality, a shared belief, an empathetic moment… and everything changes. Love is in the air and the erstwhile adversaries become a future twosome.

Such is the way with Fiona Faith Ross’ lighthearted and romantic tale; ‘Clear Win’. In this instance a  ‘her’ and a ‘him’ find themselves at odds in a convenience store as they aggressively fight for control over the store’s last bottle of cheap vodka.

HER
I saw it first.

HIM
Bollocks.

HER
Don’t you swear at me. I’ll have you arrested.

HIM
For not giving you your own way?

Both dig in their heels. Neither willing to give an inch to the other in an epic battle of ‘who gets to go home and get shitfaced on cheap-ass vodka’.

They each make a rather lame attempt to justify why one of them deserves the bottle over the other. Failing this, ‘Her’ uses her feminine charms to subtly disarm ‘Him’ to the extent he loosens his grip on the bottle. Using the moment to Her advantage, the woman successfully snatches the bottle away from ‘Him’.

But he won’t go that easily into the night. The young man clamps his hand around the bottle again. At this point, the young woman decides she has had enough of the games.

HER
Have it then, jerk.

Instead of wallowing in his victory, ‘Him’ stumbles over ‘Her’s’ shopping basket and lands on the floor with a thud. But not before smashing the prized bottle of vodka. Which inevitably leads to additional bickering over who should now cover the cost of the shattered bottle.

However, as they make their way to the check out, their squabbling segues into a fleeting détente as the truth about why they are at the store, and what they had intended to use the vodka for emerges… eliciting a brief moment of empathy and mutual curiosity between the young ‘Him’ and ‘Her’.

Love often seems to find us in the strangest of places. And not every first exchange will inspire an enchanting Shakespearean sonnet. Sometimes the first words we say to someone is the anthesis of how we’ll eventually feel about them.

Which is why this delightful short screenplay by Fiona Faith Ross is such a playful morsel of flirtatious whimsy. An excellent opportunity for a new filmmaker looking for a simple, yet captivating project in which to showcase their budding creative dexterity.

 

 

The Script

Clear Win

A young man and a young woman battle over the last bottle of vodka. Pride is at stake on both sides, but is there a greater win to be had?

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

Fiona Faith Ross's picture
Real name: 

News:  FLAT SQUIRREL the screenplay, is selected for Florida Comedy Film Festival, 2020 and wins the Silver Award, Family Film Category, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, 2018. Woo hoo!

FLAT SQUIRREL The Novel, IS OUT!!!  You'll find it in Amazon Books, iStore and the Troubador Book Store (...Read more

Midnight Clear - Sometimes Night is When You See the Best...

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

Living Nightmare - There's No Escape!

Living Nightmare
A woman with severe insomnia finally gets some rest, but it comes with horrific consequences.

 “My best dreams and worst nightmares have the same people in them” – Philippos Syrigos

There’s something both delightful and harrowing about the perpetually morphing nature of our dreamscapes. The ethereal vignettes our subconscious spawns when we sleep are often nothing like the reality of our waking lives. They follow no rules of time or reality. One minute you can be a kid again, riding a bike with your best friend. The next minute the Earth is swallowing you whole while space demons hound you into a hellish oblivion. They often make no sense on the surface, and yet they tell so much about our unconscious mind. Our fears. Our hopes. Our regrets.

‘Living Nightmare’ by Warren Duncan brilliantly explores what can happen when our conscious mind can no longer distinguish between realism and fantasy.

Cassie is a 30-year old woman who suffers from insomnia. Concerned about her ceaseless exhaustion and lethargy, she eventually visits a doctor. She tells him about her problem, and that when she does nod-off it’s not a restful sleep and nor can she recall her dreams.

In response, her doctor prescribes something to help her get some shuteye.

DR. FOSTER
I think it’s a classic case of Insomnia.
I’m going to give you something to help you sleep.

He produces a prescription pad and fills the top of the page.

CASSIE
Are there any side effects?

DR. FOSTER
Nothing to worry about. 
Some people suffer from dry mouth,
others report vivid dreams,
at the very worst you may sleep walk.
If you experience anything more severe,
let me know and we can try a different medication.

Armed with her new sleeping pills Cassie hits the sack and for the first time in a long time she has a long, deep and peaceful sleep. However, just as the doctor had cautioned, she experiences ‘vivid dreams’.

Initially this ‘side effect’ is welcomed by Cassie, as she get to dream of her long-lost twin sister, Jemma.

Within a few days the dark bags under Cassie’s eyes begin to fade away and her countenance goes from bone-weary and gloomy to vibrant and positive.

Sadly, this blissful state doesn’t last long, as Cassie’s dreams about her estranged sister become more vivid and intense. Her unconscious grief regarding Jemma pervasively manifests itself in dreams that evolve from whimsical nostalgia to visceral nightmares.

Desperate and frightened, she goes back to her doctor seeking a way to quit the sleeping pills. He prescribes her something else but warns her it’ll take a few days to get the other drugs out of her system.

Too terrified to sleep, Cassie tries to stay awake until the potent sleep drugs dissipate. But there’s only so long a person can resist sleep, as they will inevitably close their eyes and surrender to the sandman.

Once this happens, it’s impossible to avoid the wicked nightmares that have been plaguing your unconscious imagination.

Warren Duncan’s unsettling tale deftly leads the audience to a sickening and cruel twist that’ll leave some dreading a return to the land of Nod. But for filmmakers influenced by disturbing yet evocative movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Dreamscape and The Cell, this is the perfect short screenplay to take your directing skills and creative brand to the next level.

Just remember to leave the light on when you read this… as the last thing you’ll want is to take this story into your own dreams.

 

 

The Script

Living Nightmare

A woman with severe insomnia finally gets some rest, but it comes with horrific consequences.

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

Warren Duncan's picture
Real name: 

I am an aspiring screenwriter from Australia. I have had multiple shorts produced and currently have several on option. I typically enjoy writing horror, thriller, and drama scripts. Please feel free to contact me at Warren_Duncan@hotmail.com or...Read more

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