Shootin' The Shorts | Page 4 | 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

The Five Stages of Grief - How Much Togetherness is TOO much?

THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF
A suburban family goes through the five stages of grief during the pandemic.

Imagine if you will, some of film’s famous comedic families – The Griswolds, The Fockers, and The Simpsons holed up in isolation. Scary thought… but also ripe for comedy gold.

Now we can add to that list with Dave Lambertson’s fictional family in The Five Stages Of Grief  as he takes us on a comedic journey of a family in lockdown. Cleverly utilizing a series of emotions – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance he chronicles one family’s time in isolation to terrific comedic effect.

The story opens on a typical nuclear family – Dad - John, Mom - Jane, and their cute as can be kids, Annabelle and Tommy.

Jane and the kids are huddled in front of the TV squabbling over what movie to watch when a news flash interrupts family time –

John enters the room… dressed in golf attire… a golf bag slung over his shoulder…

JOHN
See ya in about five hours.

JANE
Wait.

Jane points the remote at the TV.

TELEVISION REPORTER ON TV
…The State is now under a shelter in place decree
in order to decrease the spread of the virus.

JANE
Looks like no golfing.

JOHN
I’m sure they didn’t mean golf.

TELEVISION REPORTER
This includes golf.

And so begins…

DAY ONE – DENIAL

And the hilarity that ensues from each day forward…

As the family battles the perils of too much togetherness and negotiates the division of chores, shopping, cooking, homeschooling, and a house that rapidly starts to look like a bomb’s hit it, we discover lockdown is not for the faint of heart. 

John’s a head-in-the-clouds kind of guy, while Jane has her feet firmly planted on the ground. While John sees lockdown as an opportunity to try his hand at inventing the next big thing (a see-through toaster), he also dreams of finishing (starting would be nice) his screenplay opus. Jane just wants some order through all the chaos. The kids are running wild, Dad’s battling to flatten a curve of a different kind (too much home-baking will do that to you) and there’s all manner of heckling from all sides. It’s not long before all four members of this household start climbing the walls.

The Five Stages Of Grief is a hilarious slice of life comedy about the ups and downs of family-fun in quarantine, or more aptly a cautionary tale that asks the question: how much togetherness is too much? With its clever comedic one-liners, acerbic wit, and touching observations of family life The Five Stages Of Grief will have you laughing out loud.

FILMMAKERS:

Don’t deny yourself me-time. With lockdown soon to be a distant memory you’re going to want to re-emerge from self-isolation with a sure-fire crowd pleaser on your hands. Snap this one up and your acceptance speech may well be on the cards.

* The Five Stages of Grief placed firm favourite: Writer’s Choice, Simply Scripts May, 2020 challenge - The Journal Of the Plague Year – stories real and imagined/inspired by the current pandemic.

The Script

The Five Stages of Grief

A suburban family goes through the five stages of grief during the pandemic

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 works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.Read more

About The Writer

David Lambertson's picture
Real name: 

Hmmm - how does one craft a writing biography for one that has not spent a life writing? I'll give it a shot. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eighteen. I started writing when I was 56. In the years between I got married, had children, got divorced, got married again, had grandchildren and spent more than thirty years as a Government bureaucrat. Exciting - I know. There is good news and bad news in that. The bad news of course is that I spent my life working at a career other than...Read more

Come Along, Harry Higgins - Who Knows Where This Path Will Lead?

Come Along, Harry Higgins
Successful safe cracker Harry Higgins decides to hang up his drill for good when he meets the
woman of his dreams, only to be tailed by the constable that put him away once already.

While looking through scripts, I came upon one based on O. Henry’s short story, A Retrieved Reformation… but with a sci-fi twist! So, I just HAD to give it a read. And, boy, I did not come away from this disappointed…

In what seems like a traditional period piece, we’re taken to the year 1899, where convicted bank robber (and the story’s protagonist), Harry Higgins is serving a four-year sentence at Missouri State Penitentiary. Ten months into his sentence, while making shoes in the prison’s workshop, he’s called to the warden’s office, where he’s told that he’s just been pardoned by the governor.

Now a free man, the confident and charming Harry Higgins heads back to meet up with his old friend Davey, a bartender at the inn where Harry was originally arrested for his crime. But before he gets there, he finds a unique and possibly other-worldly way of communicating when arriving at the train station…
Harry walks toward the train station and sees a large crow land on a telegraph pole. He smiles and tips his hat.

HARRY
Let Davey know I’ll be arriving
in about 3 hours, old friend.

The crow squawks loudly and flies away.

Hmm. I know crows are supposed to be smart. And who knows? Maybe Harry’s some kind of bird whisperer or something. Of course, we find out that isn’t quite the case when Harry arrives at the bar. Upon meeting with Dave, both their eyes glow green – suggesting that these guys aren’t of this world. The crow is in fact a communication device that allows them to converse using face-time – a technology that isn’t even explored until The Jetsons hit television sets.

After enjoying several seltzer-with-milks (gross), Harry heads to his room where he retrieves a hidden briefcase containing some sort of futuristic device that allows him to easily break into bank vaults and make away with piles of money.

As Harry bounces around from town to town, knocking off bank after bank, he decides to retire from bank-robbing and settle down in the quaint town of Elmore, Kansas. He starts a shoe-making shop and eventually finds love, marrying Anna Sharp who, ironically, is the daughter of a local bank mogul. But despite going straight, the string of bank robberies preceding his change of lifestyle has caught the attention of Jack Wolfe, the pesky police constable who initially put Harry behind bars.

Hot on Harry’s trail, Wolfe eventually tracks him down in Elmore, finding out that he’s living under the alias Robert D. Thompson.

Wolfe finally has his man in his sights at the local bank where Harry’s father-in-law presents to the public his new vault – a vault deemed to be “impenetrable”, opening automatically only at certain times of the day.

Unfortunately, as the presentation continues, a little girl finds herself trapped in the vault while goofing off with a friend. And with the vault not scheduled to reopen anytime soon, the little girl’s life is at stake. If only there was someone with the kind of technology to break into this “impenetrable” vault…

A unique story with a sci-fi twist and excellent characters with impressive arcs, “Come Along, Harry Higgins” is a story that NEEDS to be on the big screen.

The Script

Come along, Harry Higgins

Successful safe cracker Harry Higgins decides to hang up his drill for good when he meets the woman of his dreams, only to be tailed by the constable that put him away once already.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Kevin Machate's picture
Real name: 

Kevin graduated from the University of Texas, with a BA in American Studies and minor in History in 2015 and got his MBA in 2019. Not surprisingly, he uses none of these educational credentials for his job. Although he began his film career as an actor, he quickly moved into Producing and eventually Directing. Kevin's films have won numerous awards worldwide having been screened in various cities in the US, Europe, South America, Oceania, and Asia.

Kevin has directed six short films...Read more

Dear God, I Quit - Jobs are Hell... for EVERYONE

Dear God, I Quit - Love Satan
When Satan hands in his resignation letter, God is forced into an impossible situation

What if God one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on a bus… trying to make his way home?

That’s what singer/songwriter Joan Osborne asks us in her insanely catchy 90’s pop song, “What if God Was One of Us”. If even you didn’t grow up in the 90’s, love it or hate it, I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

For obvious reasons, this song played in my head after just finishing Jay Williams (aka Vic Burns') sharp-witted comedy short, “Dear God, I Quit – Love Satan”. While Joan Osborne’s song asks us what it would be like if God was, indeed, one of us, Williams explores the scenario further… while also asking the same question about God’s rival, the Prince of Darkness himself, Lucifer.

In “Dear God, I Quit – Love Satan”, God is a slob like one of us (to answer Joan Osborne’s question)… and a drunk… and a gambling addict.

The story opens outside of a storefront on the Vegas strip where we meet Godfrey – God in human form. Unshaven and unwashed, Godfrey looks like an old homeless man, muttering profanities to himself while glugging down a bottle of whiskey. It’s been a rough go in Vegas – not only is he hammered… but he’s also broke.

That’s when his friend, Lou, sharply dressed and doing much better than his counterpart, comes to the rescue like any friend would. If you were wondering, yes, Lou is short for Lucifer. And, yes, on Earth, he and God are friends.

GODFREY
Oh Lou, is this how it ends?
How did it ever come to this?

We then cut to heaven, long before God became Godfrey and lost everything in the casinos.

This version of heaven doesn’t seem very heavenly – here, we don’t see angels playing harps with halos over their heads while riding on puffy clouds. This version of heaven looks much like an office you’d find your accountant working in. But maybe a lot less organized and a lot more filthy. Apparently, even in heaven, God is a slob like one of us.

A pile of paperwork in front of him, God seems just as stressed as any nine-to-five office worker. I guess we really were created in God’s image…

That’s when Lucifer arrives to conduct their weekly session where they discuss the balance of good and evil.

GOD
OK, I’ve enabled a couple of new strains of penicillin.

LUCIFER
Very noble.
(beat)
Well, I have introduced three new outbreaks of Ebola –
let’s see what your penicillin can do about that.

GOD
Touché.

LUCIFER
Thank you.
(beat)
Let’s see – ah yes, I’ve influenced the commission of eight new seasons
of Two And A Half Men on an over-the-top video provider.

GOD
You bastard.

But, as their session continues, Lucifer breaks some news to his counterpart, handing him a letter of resignation. Bored of his duties, Lucifer has also “seen the light”…

LUCIFER
I’ve had an awful long time to think about it.
It was wrong of me, I was suffering with delusions of grandeur.

But to truly be relieved of his duties, Lucifer needs God’s forgiveness first. But God isn’t so sure. After giving it some thought, God comes up with a plan – that he and Lucifer head down to Earth in human form. If Lucifer demonstrates good behavior and shows him that he has indeed changed, God will forgive him. But forgiveness comes with some serious consequences…

Packed with pithy dialogue and fantastic chemistry between God and Lucifer, “Dear God, I Quit – Love Satan” will make you do what any good comedy SHOULD do… laugh. And especially with the world where it is right now, God knows we could all use a good laugh.

The Script

Dear God, I Quit - Love, Satan.

When Lucifer hands in his resignation letter, God is forced into a very dark corner.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Vic Burns's picture
Real name: 

This is the section in which it appears to be increasingly 'the norm' to write about oneself in the third person so as to appear that the text was written by someone else. I can't join in I'm afraid - I'm not a football manager, and this isn't LinkedIn.

I started writing way back in 1997 whilst working in a producing theatre. Back then, there was no YouTube, Twitter or bountiful internet resources like those of today. I very quickly become disheartened and stopped writing after one...Read more

I'll Be Seeing You - No Matter What it Takes

I’LL BE SEEING YOU
A man vows to bring his wife home from a nursing home in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

After reading Gary Howell’s script, I’ll Be Seeing You I was instantly reminded of this unforgettable line from a very well known and loved film…

I am nothing special…
There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten.
But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived.
I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me this has always been enough. 

-- Duke/Noah Calhoun  – The Notebook (2004)

The same beautiful sentiment shines through Gary Howell’s I’ll Be Seeing You, an unforgettable tale of love in the time of lockdown. 

We open on a grizzled Henry, recently separated from his one true love, Annie.

At first glance we don’t know the reason for the couple’s separation but then we quickly discover Annie is gravely ill and in a nursing home.

One thing’s for sure though. Henry’s devotion to Annie is dogged. He’s certainly not going to let something like a virus come between him and the woman he loves. 

And so he vows…

HENRY
Gonna bring you home, Annie.
Promise you that.

EXT. NURSING HOME – MORNING

Henry pulls his beat up Cadillac into a parking spot.

… proceeds to the entrance --

There’s just one problem…

As Henry tries to open the door to the nursing home for his regular visit, he discovers…

-- A sign in the middle of the door…
 FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR RESIDENTS, 
NO VISITORS ALLOWED. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Henry’s shoulders droop. He shuffles back to the car.

He contemplates driving away, but then gets out and opens the trunk.

So, what’s Henry going to do? 

First lockdown and now locked out from the love of his life?

What I will tell you is that this is a beautiful timeless love story. With its clever narrative running parallel to Henry serenading Annie with: I’ll Be Seeing You (a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday, and the indomitable Jimmie Durante) writer Gary Howell knows exactly how to pull at an audience’s heartstrings, combining the perfect blend of sentimentality with realism in a tear-jerker that will stay with you long after reading.

Following in the tradition of such classics as: The Notebook, An Affair To Remember, Up, and The Fault In Our Stars, and for anyone who has ever fallen deeply in love, I’ll Be Seeing You tells a tale of the indefatigable power of enduring love.

FILMMAKERS: You’re going to swoon over this one. Just don’t let it be the one that got away.

* I’ll Be Seeing You tied for First Place, Writer’s Choice, Simply Scripts May, 2020 challenge – The Journal Of the Plague Year – stories real and imagined/inspired by the current pandemic.

The Script

I'll Be Seeing You

A man tries to get his wife out of a nursing home during the middle of a pandemic.

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 works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.Read more

About The Writer

Gary Howell's picture
Real name: 

I'm an attorney by trade, but a writer at heart. I have written several shorts, and I am currently involved with a feature that I have worked on the past year that is now in development, with an Australian director at the helm. I have had three short films produced, "Country Road 12" that stars Dee Wallace ("E.T.", "Poltergeist"), "Skip," and "Study Date."  I also acted as an executive producer on a short, "Clean Slate."

I have also co-written one dramedy, "The Journeyers", that was...Read more

Perchance to Dream - In the Far Future, What Part of Ourselves Can We Own?

Perchance to Dream
A dead soldier follows the light at the end of the tunnel,
but discovers his own personal afterlife is nothing he could have imagined.

Imagine, for a second, a world (or universe) in which democracy has completely collapsed and evil, amoral corporations have seized supreme political control, overtaking government, controlling our economy, military and even us, as people. What’s that? We don’t have to imagine it at all? It’s happening now?

I’ll stay away from any political rants, but it’s no secret just how much corporations influence our government, our economy and us, as people, and our everyday lives. But what if these corporations controlled us… even after we’re dead?

That’s what author, James Austin McCormick, explores in his “Outer Limits”-esque sci-fi tale, Perchance to Dream.

It all takes place in the very distant future, where corporations reign supreme and are at war with each other, duking it out over the solar system’s resources. It’s also a future where DNA replication and gene patenting is regulated by one corporation in particular. Think of the way Monsanto was able to alter crop DNA and then essentially own it in perpetuity, thus monopolizing America’s agricultural market with its genetically modified seeds. Well, the corporation in Perchance to Dream is kinda the same thing, but with human DNA.

The story opens with battered and bloodied soldier, Captain Eli Jaxon, moving towards a light at the end of a tunnel. As he reaches the light, he finds himself in an office where he’s greeted by a nerdy, bespectacled clerk sitting behind a desk.

All Jaxon remembers is being on the battlefield, where an enemy shell exploded, decimating him and his troop. Next thing he knew, he was walking down a dark tunnel, towards a light.

“Am I dead?” Jackson asks.

CLERK
Well, at this precise moment your body lays broken and bloodied
on the Martian battlefield, just outside Olympus Mons.
Both heart and respiratory functions have ceased.
Already brain cells are dying.

He taps his temple.

CLERK
Your higher cognitive functions have ceased,
but your consciousness has been saved.
That now resides inside this virtual environment.

JAXON
Okay, now I’m beginning to catch on.
That damn chip in my head.

It’s actually a crystal embedded in Jaxon’s central cortex, the clerk clarifies.

During this office meeting inside of Jaxon’s subconscious, the clerk then discusses some paperwork that had previously been signed by Jaxon.

CLERK (CON’T)
Now, it says in your contract that if you’re to die during active duty
then a substantial payment is to be made to your family.

Unfortunately for Jaxon and the family that he’s survived by, there’s a sub clause in the contract that threatens payment – leaving his wife and kid, back on Earth, no longer entitled to compensation despite Jaxon being blown to bits over this corporation’s war.

There is, however, a way to make things right – to sign a new contract. By signing it, not only will his family be compensated, but he will be brought back to life to specifically complete his mission so that the corporation he’s fighting for can prevail. But, by signing that contract, he may be signing away much more than he had intended.

In Perchance to Dream, McCormick explores themes of power, lack of it and how individuals can become enslaved through gene patenting while also touching on what it means to be human… and whether or not that human side can truly be replicated.

The Script

Perchance to Dream

A dead soldier follows the light at the end of the tunnel but discovers his own personal afterlife is nothing he could have imagined.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

James Austin McCormick's picture

I'm a college lecturer and compulsive writer of speculative fiction. To date I've had many short stories published in various anthologies, as well as novellas and novels published with Class Act books. Anyone who wants to check out my fiction can find a detailed list at the link below:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?195589

And my page on Amazon...Read more

Out of Order - A Ticket for a Nightmare Ride...

Out of Order
A night at the local multiplexturns into a nightmare for a middle-aged man with a dark past
who learns that being sorry doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be forgiven.

After months of social distancing, I really, really miss going to the movies. Sure, it’s nice to curl up on the couch and take in a flick on the tube, but nothing beats the movie theater experience. There’s something about the smell of popcorn in the air, the movie posters hanging on the wall, the red carpeting, the previews and that feeling you get when the movie’s about to start and the curtains in front of the screen open up – it just feels like an event. It feels special.

However, there are some things that I don’t miss. For one, the people. I’m not talking about ALL of them – part of what makes the movie-going experience so fun is the crowd reaction. But, once in a while, there’s that one person in the crowd that disrupts the experience for everybody. You know who I’m talking about. There’s the Chatty Cathy in the crowd giving play-by-play commentary. Then there’s that couple who brings their rambunctious children with them (turn off your baby!). And then, there’s that one guy who falls asleep and snores the whole time…

In Luke Walker’s creepy fever dream, Out of Order, Eddy, an overweight, middle-aged schlub, IS that one guy.

The story takes place at a local cinema, where Eddy comes to see a movie solo. After pigging out on movie theater snacks well before the flick even starts, Eddy falls victim to the comfy stadium seating and dozes off. After spilling soda onto his crotch, he wakes up to realize that he’s the only one there, the movie he paid a ticket for long over.

If you’ve ever been to a movie theater alone with nobody else there, you know just how creepy it can be. Butit isn’t until Eddy heads to the bathroom to clean himself up that things start to get REALLY creepy.

As Eddy has his wet crotch under a hand dryer, he hears something from a nearby stall with a handwritten out-of-order sign hanging up on the door…

After the sign falls off the door on its own, nasty sewer sludge comes flooding out from under the door, hitting Eddy’s feet. Disgusted, Eddy picks up the out-of-order sign and reads something on the back of it that sends chills down his spine…

And that’s when the nightmare officially begins.

Eddy realizes that he’s not alone after the bathroom stall door opens and lanky, ghastly man dressed as a surgeon (mask, rubber gloves, full regalia) reveals himself. With crazed, bloodshot eyes, this demented surgeon doesn’t seem very happy with Eddy. In fact, it’s safe to assume that he wants to hurt the pudgy loner… really, really badly.

I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say things get stranger and more terrifying for Eddy as the night goes on. Imagine “Inception”, but instead of a dream within a dream, it’s a nightmare within a nightmare… within a nightmare. But why is this happening to Eddy? What did he see on the back of that out-of-order sign? You’ll have to read for yourself to find out.

What I loved most about this script was that it had that midnight movie kinda vibe to it. I felt like I was actually at the movies again, I could almost smell the popcorn.

Packed with solid scares and horrifying imagery, Out of Order is a horror tale that will make you feel like you’re at the movies again. Any filmmaker who’s a true movie fan AND horror fan, will appreciate this one.

The Script

Out Of Order

A night at the local multiplex turns into a nightmare for a middle-aged man with a dark past who learns that being sorry doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be forgiven.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Luke Walker's picture
Real name: 

Luke Walker is a self taught, award winning horror screenwriter from Bristol, England, and a stay at home Dad with two young Padawans.

Best known for short films 'Paralysis' (2015), and 'Mothers' (2020).
Feature screenplay 'The Guest House', Winner of Short Stop International Film Festival (2020).
Short screenplay 'Rose', Winner of 'Lets Make It! Screenwriting Contest (2016) / Antic Horror – International Short Screenplay Contest (2018) / 13 Film and Screenplay Contest (...Read more

Geriatricks - You're Never *Too* Old...

Geriatricks
On a whim and in need of healthcare, a group of geriatrics attempt a bank heist.
With no experience, no clue and no bowel control, their chances are slim, especially when they encounter an off-duty cop.

Hey, all you young whippersnappers out there! I’m sure you’ve all heard this before – always respect your elders. They’ve seen it all and done it all, collecting years of wisdom and experience we can only be so lucky to accrue if we’re fortunate to live that long. They’ve helped shape the world, molding us into the responsible, respectful adults that we are today. And as the cruel aging process takes its toll, we feel it’s only right that we help them with the everyday things that they’re no longer able to do on their own – helping them cross the street, open jars, lift heavy things, etc.

But it’s because of this that we sometimes tend to underestimate them a bit. And that’s exactly what the small town folks at a local bank find out in Mark Renshaw’s hilarious ode to the elderly, “Geriatricks”, about a gang of geriatric bank robbers pulling off one, final job.

The story opens with cute, old Mister Jay as he shuffles over to the bank teller, Daisy, to make a withdrawal.

Mister J passes her a slip of paper. She reads it, raises an eyebrow

DAISY
Are you for real?

Mister J nods.

DAISY
Fifties and hundreds?

Mister J nods again, he places a backpack on the counter.

DAISY
How old are you?

She thinks its a joke – until the sweet old man reveals a micro 9mm handgun.

But Mister Jay has a slight issue – he has trouble remembering things, often forgetting where he is and why he has a gun. Luckily, he’s not alone – meet Miss B, the foul-mouthed, shotgun-toting enforcer of the group with bowel control problems; Casanova, the ladies man guarding the door; and then there’s the lookout guy, Eagle Eye, who, ironically, happens to be going blind.

All members of this ragtag group have one thing in common (outside of being 80+ years old) – they need money. And boy, do they mean business.

But, despite the guns, their manners haven’t escaped them, making the bank robbery somewhat of a cute and pleasant experience for everybody in the bank, including an off-duty police officer, who tries to talk some sense into the elderly bandits.

COP
What are you doing robbing a bank at your age?

She hobbles over to Mister J who’s completely lost and pats his arm.

MISS B
Exactly. Our age.
We’re broken and don’t have the cash for repairs.
He needs drugs for his Alzheimer’s, I need back surgery,
Eagle Eye needs to pay off the loan he took out for his guide dog.

As their plan breaks down, Miss B and her gang of senior citizens capture the hearts of everybody witnessing the robbery, including the off-duty cop and bank teller, Daisy.

DAISY
Who here thinks we should pretend none of this happened?

Everyone raises their hand.

COP
Gosh darn it! Okay!

But as the title suggests, these senior citizens might have an ace or two up their sleeves…

A cross of “Grumpy Old Men” meets “Ocean’s 11”, Mark Renshaw’s “Geriatricks” is a cleverly written knee-slapper full of hilarious dialogue, lovable characters and, something that too many films are missing these days… heart. This deserves to be on the screen!

The Script

Geriatricks

A group of geriatric desperados attempt a bank heist. With no experience, no clue and no bowel control, their chances are slim, especially when they encounter an off-duty cop

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Mark Renshaw's picture
Real name: 

Mark is a writer/producer and a Page Awards semi-finalist. He is also the winner of the inaugural Inroads Screenwriting Fellowship. He is based in the north-west of the UK, near Manchester.

Mark has written and produced three award-winning short films in transatlantic collaborations. His first two films No More Tomorrows and Surrender are available on Amazon Prime. Both enjoyed a successful run on the independent film festival circuit and won several awards. His...Read more

Bridges - Taking the Right Path's What Counts

Bridges
A suicidal man is comforted by a stranger but soon begins to suspect he might be better off without her help.

Self-preservation isn’t only a natural, human instinct, but it’s also an instinct deeply ingrained in pretty much every species on earth. Just by existing, pretty much every living orgasm on Earth is automatically programmed to sustain that existence – by surviving.

But, the human mind, although the most sophisticated of all species – at least on Earth, that we know of – can be quite fragile due to our unique emotional complexities. I guess it’s a gift and a curse?

Anyway, life is hard. As everyone surely knows, not everything goes our way. And I’m sure that we’ve all hit our own personal versions of rock bottom a time or two in our lives. Life, in itself, is an emotional roller-coaster – the highs can be very high and the lows can be incredibly low. And when those lows are incredibly low, sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. And our fragile, sophisticated psyches can be our own worst enemies – driving some to make a very unfortunate decision that completely goes against our natural, self-preservation instincts.

In James Austin McCormick’s disturbing drama, Bridges, Joe is at a low point in his life. Perhaps going through a mid-life crisis, the 40-year-old man, tired and beaten down, is at such a low point in his life that he’s seriously considering ending it all.

Standing at the edge of a bridge, Joe still isn’t sure if he’s going to go through with it or not. As he smokes a cigarette, weighing his options, perhaps he’s searching deep down for a reason not to do it. Or maybe he’s just waiting for someone to talk him out of it.

“Are things that bad?” a pale woman passing through asks him randomly.

At this point, Joe’s probably heard all the generic advice he can take. And, despite maybe looking for a reason not to jump, he’s still cynical.

JOE
Let me guess.

He lights the cigarette.

JOE (CON’T)
You’re going to tell me it’ll get better.

But Joe doesn’t quite get the answer he was expecting… or looking for.

PALE WOMAN
Not at all. Life’s cruel, unfair. So many
problems, so many pressures. It’s just so
unbearable. And there’s no escape.

She takes Joe’s arm.

PALE WOMAN (CON’T)
Apart from this.

Sheesh! Not exactly the person you’d call up for advice when you’re feeling down, is she?

The random stranger continues to give Joe some really terrible advice, doing her best to talk him into taking that life-ending leap. Flabbergasted, Joe has no idea what this strange lady’s agenda really is – perhaps a little reverse psychology? Or is it something much more sinister?

As if her ill-advised persuasiveness wasn’t unexpected enough, it’s at this point that the story moves into an even more unexpected direction. Though the story’s tone is pretty grim, it’s very sharply written with a neat twist.And we really do feel for the Joe character who, unfortunately for a lot of people, is all too relatable.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or know anyone who is, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

The Script

Bridges

A suicidal man is comforted by a stranger but soon begins to suspect he might be better off without her help.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

James Austin McCormick's picture

I'm a college lecturer and compulsive writer of speculative fiction. To date I've had many short stories published in various anthologies, as well as novellas and novels published with Class Act books. Anyone who wants to check out my fiction can find a detailed list at the link below:

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?195589

And my page on Amazon...Read more

Moth - Who Can Fly Away?

Moth
A young single mother, struggling to deal with her baby’s incessant crying,
leaves her apartment for a moment of peace and quiet only to realize that she locked herself out with her baby still inside.

Happy belated Mother’s Day, everybody!

Being a mother is a very difficult job, maybe the hardest job in the world. It’s only right that we show our appreciation to the women in our lives who brought us into this world, nurtured us and helped mold us into the responsible, productive, well-manneredadults that most of us are today. Though, like most “holidays” reserved for specific people, our mothers deserve more than one day of appreciation.

As great as our mothers have been to us and, as much as we love them, they aren’t perfect. They’ve all made mistakes that they’ve hopefully learned from. Read all the “Motherhood for Dummies” books you want, there isn’t a book out there that truly prepares someone for motherhood. Being a mom can be a learn-on-the-go, trial and error process. Especially when you carry the difficult burden of being a SINGLE mother.

In Ben Clifford’s dramedy, “Moth”, Jen isn’t just a single mother living on her own – she’s a 19-year-old single mother living on her own. Most people her age are still living with mommy and daddy, raiding their refrigerator for late-night snacks after a taking one too many bong hits with their friends. But Jen has the responsibility of raising a child on her own. Life hasn’t been easy for her. Struggling to get by, a moment of peace and quiet has been hard to come by. Especially on this day when her baby can’t seem to stop crying. Sleep deprivation taking its toll, Jen doesn’t know what to do. So she calls her pediatrician for some advice.

DR. MATTHEWS (V.O)
Is he fed? Changed? Et cetera.

JEN
Yes. Yes. Of course.

DR. MATTHEWS (V.O)
Does he have a fever? Does he seem sick?

JEN
No.
(beat)
Is there anything you can give him…to make him sleep?

A long silence as Jen restlessly bounces her knee.

DR. MATTHEWS (V.O)
Are you really asking me to sedate a three-month-old infant?

Jen realizes how silly her question was and allows Dr. Matthews to tend to his other patients. But, as her baby continues to cry, all she wants is just one moment of peace and quiet. Just. One. Damn. Moment.

Her brain screeching, Jen steps out of the apartment to give her ear drums a break. Taking a deep, soothing breath, she savors the moment of peace. Maybe a little too much. Her infant’s cries still audible from inside the apartment, she steps outside to breathe in some fresh air and soak up some much-needed vitamin D provided by the warm sun.

Perhaps caught up in the “moment”, Jen loses complete track of time, finding herself on a nearby park bench, people-watching and enjoying the ambient sounds of city traffic and construction. Yes, even the sound of a power-drill smashing through concrete is more peaceful than the sound of a baby crying. But, suddenly, Jen snaps out of her trance and remembers that she’s a mother with responsibilities – and her baby is inside unattended!

Jen hurries back into her apartment building, hearing her baby STILL crying from inside. But as she tries getting back in, panic hits her like a bucket of water – she locked her keys inside!

Afraid to call the cops due to what many may consider negligence, she seeks help from the building’s superintendent, eventually being forced to call a locksmith after business hours. And things continue to snowball from there.

As I mentioned, motherhood isn’t easy and I’m sure we can all point out a moment in time when our moms screwed up royally. For Jen, this is one of those moments. And though we can all agree what she did wasn’t the best decision, she realizes the error in her ways and will do ANYTHING to get back to her baby. And that’s something we can all root for.

The Script

Moth

A young, single mother will do anything to escape her baby's incessant crying.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Ben Clifford's picture
Real name: 

I'm an Australian screenwriter interested in writing drama and comedy. I am greatly inspired by the works of Peter Weir, Harmony Korine, the Marx Brothers, Todd Solondz, Andrea Arnold, and Cate Shortland. My shorts are all free to use with my permission. Please feel free to contact me and let me know if you have any questions, comments, requests, or feedback. Thanks for visiting my bio.Read more

The Light at the End of the Tunnel - What Lies Beyond?

The Light at the End of the Tunnel
When three high school teens pay a late-night visit to a haunted street tunnel to prove an urban legend true, they get way more than they bargained for

Everyone’s heard of Bloody Mary. And I’m sure many of us as curious children with wild imaginations have played the game before – you stand in front of a mirror with the lights off and say Bloody Mary three times and something super creepy is supposed to happen once you turn the lights back on. It’s supposed to conjure up some sort of evil, vengeful spirit that may or may not do us some form of bodily harm. Why do kids do this? Because it’s fun! And because nothing bad is likely to happen. BUT… there’s always the possibility of the unknown, which makes it fun in the first place…

When playing Bloody Mary, we go in expecting one of two results – the unlikely possibility of a ghost appearing or nothing at all. At least that’s what the characters in Sean Elwood’s urban folklore creeper, The Light at the End of the Tunnel, thought. Unfortunately for them, something else happens entirely… something that nobody, not even the audience, could’ve expected.

Every small town in America has their own little urban legend based on some kind of local tragedy. The tragedy in this story was a car accident that happened 23 years ago inside of a street tunnel at exactly 11:42 pm. Every year, on the date, at exactly 11:42, if you flash your headlights three times into the tunnel, you see the ghost car flash it’s headlights back at you from the other side.

Young couple, Bethany and Victor, along with their third wheel, Taz, decide to test the validity of the local legend themselves on the anniversary of the tragic accident. Of course, there’s always that one doubter – in this case, Bethany. Bored out of her mind, she listens to the kind of aimless, stream-of-consciousness type banter you’d expect to hear from a couple stoners, their conversation covering several random topics, including the possibility of intelligent life outside of Earth – there doesn’t seem to be any sign of intelligent life inside of Victor’s car, at least from Bethany’s point of view.

Bethany thinks it’s stupid and a complete waste of time. And, in most cases, she’d be absolutely correct. But, as I mentioned earlier, there’s ALWAYS that very, very slim possibility of the unknown that sits in the back of our minds…

As the clock finally hits 11:42, Bethany watches with bated breath as her boyfriend, Victor, flashes his headlights into the tunnel three times. After a few tense moments, nothing happens. But, just as Bethany is about to make Victor and Taz feel stupid…

Lights flash at the other side of the tunnel! Eager to find out what happens next, Victor stupidly shifts his car into drive and speeds towards the “ghost car”, engaging in a very dangerous game of chicken. Did he not consider the fact that it may actually be a real car?

Fearing the worst and unable to get her boyfriend to stop the vehicle, Bethany braces herself for a violent head-on collision. But as the two opposing “cars” get closer to colliding, Bethany notices something very funny about the quickly approaching lights…

I’ll stop there as to not spoil the fun. But there is one thing I will say about the ending – you won’t see it coming. Author Sean Elwood toys with familiar urban legend conventions and COMPLETELY pulls the rug out from under us. Fun, creepy and surprisingly layered, The Light at the End of the Tunnel keeps us guessing right up until FADE OUT.

The Script

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

When three teens attempt to prove a ghost story true at a haunted tunnel, they get more than they bargained for when something far more horrifying greets them on the other side.

About The Reviewer

Michael Kospiah's picture
Real name: 

Hey, what's up? 

I'm an award-winning screenwriter based out of New York City who specializes in darker subject matter and themes. My first produced feature film, "The Suicide Theory" won the Audience Award at the 2014 Austin Film Festival as well as the Grand Jury Prize (Best Picture) at the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. After a brief theatrical release and a three-year run on Netflix, "The Suicide Theory" is now available to watch on Amazon Prime, Itunes...Read more

About The Writer

Sean Elwood's picture
Real name: 

Sean Elwood is a 29-year-old writer who has a knack for everything horror. He started writing short stories as a kid and soon developed a love for screenwriting at the age of 14. From then on, he continued to write both short and feature screenplays as he perfected his writing, and soon attended the Art Institute of Austin to earn a degree in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production. He has also self-published an anthology of short horror stories,...Read more

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