Shootin' The Shorts | Page 6 | 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

All Things Blue - Truth Has Its Own Color

All Things Blue
A fleeting moment of friendship leads a lonely young girl to a devastating truth.

In an everyday neighborhood - could be yours - there is danger. And it could come from a myriad of sources: a stranger, an errant vehicle or something as simple as a scraped knee.

But for six-year-old Iza and her mother Adel, something fierce hides among the clouds. Something ready to pounce at any moment. It keeps them indoors glued to the radio, with a heavy supply of bottled water and rations at the ready.

Adel says it’s a Dragon, with claws like icicles and eyes big enough to see anything that moves. That’s why Daddy had to go away and fight it. And this is what Iza believes.

But we know better.

The tension is palpable as Adel struggles about her day, keeping up this charade. Something’s got to give, and it will happen sooner rather than later.

Stifled by being locked away from the world, Iza roams outside to a park across the street. There, she befriends a neighborhood boy, Ted, who’s not much older but a world wiser. He, too, has grown tired of hiding indoors.

And for this one fleeting moment, they get to be kids again. Laughing. Giddy. Too lost in the moment to worry, they cheerfully take turns pushing one another on a roundabout.

It’s short-lived.

For as the Air Raid sirens scream in the distance, the children shoot a glance upwards to see the contrails of a warplane streaming across the sky. This is Iza’s Dragon. But Ted knows the truth.

And so does Adel.

A coming of age tale at its core, screenwriter Steve Miles has weaved a heart wrenching narrative of a parent living in fear of the inevitable, coupled with the innocence of childhood on the verge of being lost forever.

If you’re a filmmaker and you know your stuff, this is one you can read with your eyes closed. A festival ringer. A calling card of the highest order.

The blueprint is meticulously laid out for you here. Two easy locations, and three good actors working on a small budget. Do this story justice, and it’ll do the same for you.

The Script

All Things Blue

A fleeting moment of friendship leads a lonely young girl to a devastating truth.

About The Reviewer

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

About The Writer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

Exchange Student - One Travel Ban That *Should* Be Enforced...

EXCHANGE STUDENT
A cocky college student investigating a dimensional portal encounters an unexpected surprise.

Rob Barkan knows horror. As readers of his other scripts know: if one’s tastes run toward intelligent, unique tales that make one’s blood run cold, Barkan’s your demon… er, your man.

The same mind that brought you Eddie Whorl and Deathlife now conjures up a blend of horror mythology and 2018 relationship woes.  The name of this terror tale - Exchange Student: a short that takes readers on a trip to “Parts” unknown.

The titular hero of our story? Will: a college student that’s seen… better days. With his relationship with girlfriend Rachel on the rocks, Will’s started cutting classes – taking up bizarre extra curricular activities instead.

We’re not talking basket weaving here.  Will’s interest is in the occult. Recently, he’s stumbled upon ancient texts which hint at a tie between Native American and Spanish history… and the Cthulu mythos itself!

Rachel’s not returning Will’s calls. Left with nothing else to do, Will ventures into the nearby Utah wilderness to explore other worlds  - armed with only his smartphone, and tasty “bait”:

Will pops the Tupperware lid.  Discards it.  Sits on the ground.  Studies what's in the container.

A raw beef heart.

Will sets the container down.

The portal opens.  Beyond it, a strange shadowy landscape.

Will stands up.  Reaches for the beef heart with his gaze fixed on the portal.

WILL
Trick or treat, fuckers.

A disturbance at the portal.  A creature not of this world crawls through, bear-sized.  It's covered in reptilian scales.  Tentacles propel it forward.  A cluster of ebony arachnid eyes glisten under the starlight.

The walking nightmare tests the gravel under it.  Stops. Senses Will.

Will sucks in a breath.  Slowly stands.  Squeezes the beef heart like his life depends on it.

Which it does. 

Fans of horror might THINK they know what comes next.. but don’t. As with other terror tales from the mind of Rob Barkan, Exchange Student’s conclusion distorts one’s expectations of reality in disturbing (yet strangely satisfying) ways. Because Will thinks he’s done his homework… but in addition to a passport, there are some travel requirements he’s missed!

Are you a visually oriented director that’s evolved beyond jump scares?  If you seek a memorable, buzz-inducing gem - Exchange Student is a trip into horror you just can’t miss.

 

 

The Script

Exchange Student

A cocky college student investigating a dimensional portal encounters an unexpected surprise.

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

Rob Barkan's picture
Real name: 

Rob has been writing horror, fantasy and science fiction since the age of seven. He has placed several short tales in small press and online magazines like Lovecraft's Weird Mysteries, Dark Planet and Strange Fire. A more extensive collection appeared on his award-winning Deathlife Gravesite. He...Read more

Rebecca's Blue Sky - When Clouds Turn Dark

REBECCA’S BLUE SKY
A troubled young woman believes she's carrying the baby of the Devil.

In today’s market, a drama needs to cut far more than skin deep to leave a genuine, lasting impression. Step forward Steven Clark; an author with an exceptional talent for telling tales. His latest effort - Rebecca’s Blue Sky - does all that... and more.

The pulsing heart of this story: the relationship between Steve and pregnant girlfriend Rebecca. Even though he knows the child she carries isn't his, the young man cares for Rebecca deeply, anyway.  She's confided in Steve about the horrific crime she endured.  All he wants to do these days is stay by her side and soothe her pain. 

But as the pregnancy and their relationship grow, it becomes quickly apparent Rebecca hasn't told her boyfriend everything. Hidden are evil, dark and damaging memories - eating at her fragile mind. 

Rebecca's messed up, and it shows. Incapable of intimacy with Steve, Rebecca instead spends her days visiting a mysterious headstone in a graveyard.  Exponentially, her erratic behavior grows. When she accuses a random stranger of a heinous act, Steve beats him up. But when he discovers the man is innocent, loyal Steve finally starts to pull away:

EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - LATER

Steve sits at one end of a picnic table. He’s pissed. Rebecca sits at the other end. A car passes.

REBECCA 
It looked like him.

Steve takes a drag of his smoke, but doesn’t speak.

REBECCA 
I swear to God I thought it was him.

STEVE 
All right!

INT. PICK-UP TRUCK - NIGHT

Steve turns on a flashlight. It illuminates his thin, anxious face as he ruminates about what he’s going to do.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

A symphony of crickets in the dusk light. The beam from the flashlight wanders across the headstones.

There’s a small marker with a bouquet of flowers resting at its base. He shines the light on it.

What he finds leaves Steve lost and confused.  After all the lies he's heard, how can he stay with Rebecca any longer? But if he packs his bags and hits the road, will losing Steve be Rebecca's final straw? Can she fight her demons all alone?

As is true of all Clark's work, Rebecca’s Blue Sky is written with impeccable style, pacing, and characterization that will linger long in your mind. This subject's no easy read - but this short's a work of painful art, nonetheless. 

If you’re looking for a poignant drama for your next project, then make sure to read Blue Sky. This one will make you option it... and cry.

The Script

Rebecca's Blue Sky

A troubled young woman believes she's carrying the baby of the Devil.

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

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

Rebecca's Blue Sky - When Clouds Turn Dark

REBECCA’S BLUE SKY
A troubled young woman believes she's carrying the baby of the Devil.

In today’s market, a drama needs to cut deep to leave a lasting, genuine impression. Step forward Steven Clark; an author with an exceptional talent for telling any tale. His latest effort - Rebecca’s Blue Sky - does just that... and more.

The pulsing heart of this story: the relationship between Steve and pregnant girlfriend Rebecca. Even though he knows the child she carries isn't his, the young man cares for her deeply, anyway.  Rebecca's confided in Steve about the horrific crime she endured.  All Steve wants to do is stay by her side and ease her pain. 

But as her pregnancy and their relationship grow, it quickly becomes apparent Rebecca hasn't told her boyfriend everything. Things that could be eating at her fragile mind. 

Rebecca's messed up, and it shows. Incapable of intimacy with Steve, Rebecca instead spends her time visiting a mysterious headstone in a graveyard.  Over time, her erratic behavior grows. When she accuses a random stranger of a heinous act, Steve beats him up. But when he finds the man is innocent, loyal Steve begins to pull away:

EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - LATER

Steve sits at one end of a picnic table. He’s pissed. Rebecca sits at the other end. A car passes.

REBECCA 
It looked like him.

Steve takes a drag of his smoke, but doesn’t speak.

REBECCA 
I swear to God I thought it was him.

STEVE 
All right!

INT. PICK-UP TRUCK - NIGHT

Steve turns on a flashlight. It illuminates his thin, anxious face as he ruminates about what he’s going to do.

EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

A symphony of crickets in the dusk light. The beam from the flashlight wanders across the headstones.

There’s a small marker with a bouquet of flowers resting at its base. He shines the light on it.

What he finds leaves Steve confused and lost.  After all the lies he's heard, how can he stay with Rebecca any longer? But if Steve packs his bags, will losing him be Rebecca's final straw? Can she fight her demons alone?

As is common with Steve Clark's work, Rebecca’s Blue Sky is written with impeccable style, pacing, and characterization that will linger long in your mind. This subject's no easy read - but this short is masterful art, nonetheless. 

If you’re looking for a poignant drama for your next project, then make sure to read Blue Sky. This one will make you option it... and cry.

The Script

Rebecca's Blue Sky

A troubled young woman believes she's carrying the baby of the Devil.

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

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

Creak and Shriek: Some evils do more than bump in the night....

CREAK & SHRIEK
An eight-year-old boy struggles for answers when his
horror sound effects record starts playing on its own in the middle of the night.

Don’t be scared.

Be terrified.

Today is a very special day.  Today is Noah’s 8th birthday.

And while the party may not have gone to plan and Mom’s deep into her evening tipple, Noah’s holding up; distracted by his brand new ‘Scary Sounds of the Night’ sound effects record.

It’s an odd gift, but then Auntie W. is a far cry from normality.  She’s the distant kind of aunt that talks to skunks and lives alone in the woods.  The kind that always forgets a birthday… until now.

MOM (O.S.)
Gonna give yourself nightmares, kid.

A heart beats on the sound effects record: lub-dub, lub-dub. 

Noah's mom stands just out of view in the doorway.

He turns off the record player, letting it groan to a stop.

MOM (O.S.)
I don't know why you'd wanna listen to that.
It's hell's soundtrack.

Howling winds and pounding hearts are one thing, but groaning ghouls prove too much and a spooked Noah calls it a night.  Maybe Mom was right; why would anyone want to listen to a soundtrack filled with such horrors?

Better yet, what type of person would send such a gift?

As it turns out, the crazy type with a grudge that lives alone in the woods on a homegrown daisy diet.  Scary Sounds of the Night is a recording of an entirely different kind.  The kind you can’t just turn off.

The kind that knows your name…

Rob Herzog’s Creak and Shriek delivers a strikingly simple yet effective horror short.  Two characters, one room and some well placed sound FX could bring this horror short to the screen with the minimum of budget.  Any filmmaker looking to get their hands on a fun Twilight Zone style chiller would be remiss not to check this out.

The Script

Creak and Shriek

An eight-year-old boy struggles for answers when his horror sound effects record starts playing on its own in the middle of the night.

About The Reviewer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

About The Writer

Rob Herzog's picture
Real name: 

My chief talent isn’t writing, it’s being afraid.
As a kid, I freaked out about spontaneous human combustion, killer bees, and the prospect of a bathtub shark attack. And the 3,600 miles between me and the Loch Ness Monster wasn’t nearly enough.
All of this youthful anxiety...Read more

Photos - Get the Picture?

PHOTOS
A Polaroid camera takes disturbing pictures as a couple begins to fade out of existence.

A finely tuned horror doesn’t need extensive props or convoluted story lines to conjure up evil scares. In fact, a stripped back tale often offers even more intrigue and terror - when executed just the right way!

Michael H. Good has created just such a script in Photosa five page short that keeps the reader hooked by utilising classic horror beats, laced liberally with confusion and fear.

We open with two teens, Veronica and Zoe.  When we first encounter these lovers, they share a private moment of passion in a romantic candle lit room. After the girls finally break from their embrace, Veronica drags the final "character" in this piece out from under the bed: her old Polaroid camera.

Though initially confused by the antique machine, Zoe proceeds to take selfies. The flash blinds the girls, causing a few seconds of searing pain to their eyes.  But it's ultimately the strange photographs the camera produces which allude to a more sinister concern.

Veronica trains the camera at Zoe. She smiles. 

SNAP. Zoe shrugs her eyes from the light.

ZOE
My eyes.

The photo bursts out of the camera. Veronica blows, then wiggles the photo. She inspects the photo.

VERONICA
Your hand is missing.

She throws the picture to her lap. Zoe looks.

ZOE
What kind of camera is this again?

VERONICA
Maybe it’s over-exposed. Let me snap a few again.

Just as a horror writer is challenged in how they approach a piece of work, producers and directors are equally so.

Photos gives horror film makers more than just a compelling story to work with - but also visual set pieces loaded with tons of potential. At five pages, this short script's is an effortless little read, one that can be "developed" like an old photo - into a directing gem!

 

The Script

Photos

A Polaroid camera takes disturbing pictures as a couple begins to fade out of existence.

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

Michael Good's picture
Real name: 

Michael Good is an aspiring writer who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hopefully, one day to see his name on the big screen. Started in writing in 2011 when his mother had cancer. Started writing again in 2015 and never stopped. Written a few screenplays and pilots. Horror, sci-fi, drama, thriller,...Read more

One Hit Wonder - Or Is There More to Come?

One-Hit Wonder
A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.

What do we want to leave others when we exit this world? What mark could us mere mortals ever hope to make?

An amazing invention? An advance for peace and prosperity? Or would it be enough to just be remembered for something...fun?

Ellery Demarco, in Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder,” had hoped to be adored for his musical accomplishments. But indulging in life’s pleasures can become addicting. Thanks to that - and to Demarco's dismay - his career arc proved briefer than planned.

In fact - now that he's retired - the public knows Ellery for just one song.  Which is depressing, but far from tragic.  Ultimately (whether one's a rock star or a filing clerk) it's the small things in life that count.  So when Ellery takes a ride with a Cabbie out of town, he finds that touch of joy he once lost - reminiscing about his short-lived career:

CABBIE
I’m still going the right way?

They’re in the country. It’s misty and hard to see.

ELLERY DEMARCO
Yeah. I think we’re almost there.

He sighs and looks out the moisture-riddled window. He winces and touches his chest.

CABBIE
You OK, Mr. DeMarco?

ELLERY DEMARCO
I will be when we get there.

They ride in silence for a bit.

ELLERY DEMARCO 
Thanks for listening to me…

CABBIE
This job teaches you to be either a good listener or a good talker.     

Fortunately, Ellery's cabbie turns out to be a bit of both.  During the next leg of their trip, the two shoot the nostalgic breeze like old pals: chatting about songs like Demarco's smash hit "Humma Humma Ding Dong".  Not to mention dishing dirt about who handled the Rock Star life best. And who knew who and what back in the day.

A casual, entertaining conversation: until Ellery reaches inside his trenchcoat and brings something out.

It’s a bullet. He shows the Cabbie.

ELLERY DEMARCO
I found this on my doorstep yesterday.

Cabbie glances at it, then looks again, and it hits him.

CABBIE
Is… does that mean…what I think it does?

ELLERY DEMARCO
It does.

CABBIE
Man. What did you DO?

Ellery confides in the cab driver before reaching his final destination, glad that at least one fan will know what happened. But will he actually?

Rich with an eerie atmospheric vibe, Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder” is a story you’ll want to catch and hang onto for far longer than just one song....

The Script

One-Hit Wonder

A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.

About The Reviewer

Linda Hullinger's picture
Real name: 

Linda Hullinger is an award-winning screenwriter and published author who has written thirteen short screenplays, three feature screenplays and two TV pilots. She’s had short stories, articles, and essays traditionally published in magazines such as Woman’s World, Over My Dead Body, Dogwood...Read more

About The Writer

Harker Jones's picture
Real name: 

I’ve worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and critic for 15 years. I was managing editor of “Out” magazine for seven years where I also copyedited two novels. I have written two novels and six screenplays. I hold a degree in written communication and literature from Eastern Michigan...Read more

Sparkler - All That Glitters is More Than Gold

Sparkler
Bike stunts, booming fireworks, and a blowtorch are part of a family’s wild Fourth of July.
 
In the 1989 movie ‘Parenthood’, starring Steve Martin, his character Gil listens to Grandma whimsically recall going to the fair with Grandad. She recollects how some folks would choose to ride the safe and predictable Merry-go-Round, whereas she preferred the unpredictable and thrilling Rollercoaster. This shrewd metaphor about life is one of the many charms that made this film about the ups-and-downs and in-betweens of family so watchable and relateable.
 
Cut from a similar cloth is Rob Herzog’s quirky and amiable short screenplay ‘Sparkler’, which tells the story of Bruce and his family as they spend a blistering July 4th with his larger-than-life Floridian in-laws.
 
As evening creeps closer the family dines outside, munching pulled pork and catfish po-boy sandwiches. Well, all but the exceedingly careful and nervous Bruce who anxiously watches his daring 6-year-old daughter gleefully ride her bike, taking on stunt after stunt with reckless abandon while his po-boy sits untouched, damp and ragged in the heat and humidity.
 
Conversely, Uncle Moon, ‘a jolly bear of a man’, takes great pride in watching Lizzie’s one-woman daredevil show. Not just cheering, Moon also facilitates her fun by upping the explosive ante each time as Bruce watches on, slowly crumbling under the weight of his anxiety.
 
Bruce’s fear is further amplified after he accompanies Moon and Lizzie inside the house, and watches on as the giddy firebugs select their next set of colorful ordinances to detonate in the night sky.
 
Bruce stares harder at the fireworks. A moment crawls by before Uncle Moon points to Lizzie.
                                                                       
UNCLE MOON
You got a tough little cookie here,
 Bruce. Afraid of nothin’.
 
BRUCE
Yeah. The way she rides up and down
that ramp. Unbelievable. We just
took off her training wheels in the
spring. And how look at her…
(he swallows)
 …It’s scary.
 
It’s clear Bruce and Uncle Moon are chalk and cheese. Their worlds and backgrounds could not be more different. All they have in common is his wife Tina and his child Lizzie. In many ways they represent both sides of the Red and Blue political and cultural spectrum. If not for the bond of marriage and extended family, they would likely have nothing to do with each other.
 
This diametrically opposed dynamic also helps explain Bruce’s crippling anxiety as he watches his little girl fearlessly exults in a cornucopia of pulsating shenanigans. He can’t relate to her high-spirited audacity, so instead he projects on her his childhood fears -- resulting in a near breakdown.
 
BRUCE
But everyone here thinks I’m a
fool. I’m an embarrassment.
 
TINA
You’re being silly. C’mon back and
watch. It will be okay.
 
BRUCE
I don’t know what I’m doing
anymore, that’s what I’m getting
at. What are we all doing?
(he searches)
I love you and your family…
 
Like the fireworks he fears, the dread in Bruce is equally unstable. So, when these two forces eventually collide, the incandescent storm of cordite confetti mixed with a snot and tears is a hilarious sight to behold… beautiful in its own fierce and cathartic way.
 
There is a sly subtlety to this script that will excite actors. Likewise, a director who enjoys using the screen to explore family dynamics, personal demons, and the many contradictions of the human condition, will relish a chance to bring this ‘sparkling’ story to life.

The Script

Sparkler

Bike stunts, booming fireworks, and a blowtorch are part of a family’s wild Fourth of July.

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

Rob Herzog's picture
Real name: 

My chief talent isn’t writing, it’s being afraid.
As a kid, I freaked out about spontaneous human combustion, killer bees, and the prospect of a bathtub shark attack. And the 3,600 miles between me and the Loch Ness Monster wasn’t nearly enough.
All of this youthful anxiety...Read more

Grounded - But Not Out!

Grounded
A struggling luddite navigates the hardships of dating in the digital age.

On the surface, ‘Grounded’ by Ron Houghton is a snide, satirical story about how today’s culture has become so dependent on the cell phone, that should a professional man -- in his mid-thirties -- choose to remain off the grid, it would be perceived with the same astonishment as an alien spacecraft suddenly emerging from the clouds.

But deeper inside the subtext of this script is an insightful commentary about the influence of societal norms on our morals and how conforming to the former, might make you lose sight of the latter.

Meet Steve… a cautious man in his 30s on a date with Talia, a work colleague he eventually had enough courage to ask out for a dinner and a movie.

TALIA
I have to say I was pretty surprised
when you asked me out.

STEVE
Really, why??

TALIA
I saw you checking me out last week
at Beth’s party. I thought if you
couldn’t muster the chance with a
few drinks inside you then you
never would.

STEVE
I guess I was just waiting for the
right time.

It’s clear from Steve’s initial exchanges with Talia he’s a non-conformist, who totters along to the beat of his own drum. But he’s also self-actualized enough to understand that his actions and beliefs might cause incredulity and outright condemnation in others.

So it comes as no surprise that when Talia asks if he has a phone, Steve is suddenly filled with dread, knowing he’ll have to admit to being an analog man in a digital world.

Talia responds to Steve’s confession in a manner befitting a dinner-date confessing they have a predilection for eating horse feces off the skull of a humpback whale.

Utterly outraged, Talia publicly humiliates Steve to the restaurant staff and patrons for being without a phone. In turn, the scornful onlookers make Steve feel like an uglier version of the Elephant Man.

Made to feel a pitiful outcast, Steve is befuddled and embarrassed when Talia departs. But not before she leaves him with one final, hurtful reproach…

TALIA
Get some help, Steve.

Taking Talia at her word, Steve goes in search of help via a medical professional. Who in turn quickly diagnoses his issue and suggests a remedy.

DOCTOR
But I do suggest you get on a
plan immediately.

STEVE
Immediately?

DOCTOR
You’re way behind the rest of us. I
think the right thing to do is to
treat the condition aggressively.
long term options with punitive
contracts.

Following his hospital visit, Steve makes hay to the closest cell phone store, completely crushed and feeling like a social pariah. But along the way he bumps into a kindred spirit, a woman similar to him in heart and soul. Another ‘grounder’, unashamed and proud of who they are. Making Steve pause and reconsider his rush to heal a wound not of his making.

Ron Houghton’s ‘Grounded’ is a subtle, biting, and irreverent societal parable about what it means to fit in, and what you lose when you don’t maintain the courage of your convictions. Want to produce a quirky movie emulating the spirit of idiosyncratic filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, and Woody Allen? Then dial up Ron Hougton. Grounded may be the perfect script!

The Script

Grounded

A struggling luddite navigates the hardships of dating in the digital age.

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

Ron Houghton's picture
Real name: 

An avid cinephile, and former film critic. In recent years I have discovered a passion for screenwriting. In recent years I have been fortunate to have five of my short scripts optioned, with four currently in production. In between work and life,  I am currently working on two ambitious...Read more

Zentangles - Oh, What a (Zen) Tangled Web We Weave!

ZENTANGLES
An obsessive young woman gets absorbed in her artwork.

Betty’s got a new hobby: Zentangles.  Cynical husband Mark doesn’t quite see the point of it all...

She smiles, shows Mark her drawing of shapes, overlapping lines and patterns. 

BETTY
When drawing these freeform
patterns, I experience a feeling of
timelessness, freedom, wellbeing…

Mark remains unconvinced.  Until she points out the hard times they endured following his failed dalliances with scriptwriting and online poker.  

Mark concedes to her point.  After all, what’s a little stationary between husband and wife? 

He looks over her shoulder at her drawing. She shrugs her shoulder to warn him off.

BETTY
Back off. You’re harshing my mellow.

Mark turns to leave, turns his head.

MARK
OK. I guess you could have taken up daytime drinking.

And maybe she should have, for the zentangle is no ordinary pattern.  

A mysterious energy is at work here to which Betty’s zen doodles are about to prove anything but a fun, relaxing past-time.

...Someone’s mellow is in for a serious harsh.

Two people, one room, a lot of zentangles, and a little FX (or creative camerawork for an alternative) is all you need to bring John Hunter’s horror short Zentangles to life.  This short horror script delivers a quirky, dialogue friendly set-up with a darkly comic pay-off that threatens to unnerve the most ardent of zentanglers.

About The Reviewer

Steve Miles's picture
Real name: 

Started writing scripts around five years ago after realising his social life was vastly overrated. Enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit - from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
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A curious nature has led me down many paths: Former Peace Corps volunteer complete with whip worms and malaria, big ticket sales engineer, commercial graphic artist, packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, an award winning and produced scriptwriter.

As a writer,...Read more

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