Shootin' The Shorts | Page 7 | 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

Survival First Inc - Apocalypse 101 for the Enlightened Crowd

SURVIVAL FIRST INC.
As the world edges closer to social collapse, two security professionals market a post-apocalyptic protection service for concerned liberals.

The bastards have finally done it: a full-blown apocalypse has hit. The world outside your front door is falling apart.  Even worse, you've no idea how to cling to that precious lifestyle you've crafted for yourself. What on earth can a social justice warrior do to adapt?

You pay attention to this life saving infomercial, to start.

Anyone who knows Steve Mile’s work is aware of this writer’s depth.  He’s written everything from poignant dramas to tense horrors – and now, a humorous short with satirical bite. Written with polished style and finesse, Survival guides us through an unhinged society where self-absorption blends with infomercial inanity, and chaos in hysterical amounts!

Our tale of woe begins in the warm comfort of a family house: one oddly gripped by stone cold fear. It’s happened. The apocalypse has arrived: forcing the family to focus on survival – everything they’ve lived for’s at stake. 

Risking his own life, Dad heads out to find supplies. Tragically, he returns empty handed.  All seems lost. It’s the end of the line.

Except for the timely arrival of Survival First, Inc.! Enter Vic and Ricky - two men who will not only fight to keep you fed, but will allow you to hold onto what really counts: your family’s lifestyle, of course!

Whether you’re a personal blogger or a vegan, these two men are here to sell you a survival plan you can't ignore. Afraid of pesky looters bringing down the value of property in your neighborhood?  Then hire these entrepreneurs. They’ll help you chase off the undesirables, and leave your values pure!

INT. RAY & MAY’S HOUSE - LOUNGE - DAY
Schmaltzy MUSIC plays, soothing…

Cross-legged on beanbags are MAY and RAY, both mid 20s, tanned, manicured specimens of suburban bliss. They face the camera, smiling.

SUPER: MAY, 27, WELL-BEING COACH & BLOGGER

MAY
As a professional life coach and vegan,
I don’t believe in using aggression to assert myself.

SUPER: RAY, 27, CONSULTANT & PROFESSIONAL SLACK-LINER.

RAY
I once set free a whole box of Gummi Bears.
(shrugs)
I’m an I.N.F.P.

MAY
With so much negative energy in the world,
we just knew we had to have a plan. 

It's an unavoidable fact of life: lifestyles sometimes leave a person soft, vapid and vulnerable. But fortunately Vic and Ricky are here to help!  Can’t fend for yourself?  No problem!  Those who have saved up enough in their IRA can afford to have others fend on their behalf.

In just seven pages, Steve Miles paints a hilarious – and bizarrely accurate - picture of society on the brink of collapse.  Sure, demons, zombies or nuclear devastation may be knocking down your door – but that doesn’t mean your priorities must change!

If you’re a reader who relishes comedy with satirical bite, download this script, turn on your Espresso machine (flavored with almond milk) and let Vic and Ricky do the rest.

Survival First Inc can handle whatever the end of the world throws your way - not to mention festivals around the (plague infested) world, too!

 

 

The Script

Survival First Inc.

As the world edges closer to social collapse, two security professionals market a post-apocalyptic protection service for concerned liberals.

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

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

Feigned - or is that Framed?

Feigned
A man struggles to prove his innocence after a slain woman is found in his bedroom."

Dum-de-dum-dum...
Dum-de-dum-dum-dummm...

Popular 50s and 60s TV show Dragnet is classic policing. Icing on the investigational cake, if you will. 

And when one considers cop couplings, the toppers on that wedding confectionary are by-the-book detective Joe Friday, with mild-mannered Frank Gannon at his side.

Not that the trail of buddy police procedurals grows cold there! The tradition of good-cop-bad-cop has evolved throughout film history. Some: like Dragnet’s 1987 reboot, The Heat or 21 Jump Street thrive on mismatched comedy.

Others – such as Lethal Weapon and Training Day – are deadly twists on the law and order narrative.  Barry Katz’s mystery thriller Feigned is one such deadly specimen.  Intense and deadly, to an extreme.

Especially for its everyman-protagonist, Josh Myers.

As with most procedurals, Feigned opens innocently enough. Seen through the mirrored window of an interrogation room, "smug" veteran Detective Barnett and "squeaky clean" rookie Detective Landon observe their visibly nervous suspect, Josh.

Detective Barnett cautions his green partner - imparting veteran wisdom to the wise:

DETECTIVE BARNETT
His body language.
He's so fucking guilty, even Ray Charles could see it.

DETECTIVE LANDON
Yeah, I suppose.

DETECTIVE BARNETT
Stay out here, kid.
Let me show you how it's done.

Detective Barnett saunters in to “do his thing.” And his suspect’s already primed: Josh is on the verge of tears.

JOSH
I didn't do it, man. I swear!

Yup, that’s the story and he’s sticking to it: cubicle-worker, jogger, and good neighbor Josh is "just an average Joe with an average life." It’s not his fault he stumbled onto evidence of a home-break-in after his run. And why wouldn’t he call 911?

Of course, emergency officers are quickly dispatched to Josh’s aide.  It’s only after they search the house top to bottom that the situation gets… suspiciously rough.

FEMALE OFFICER
What's in the main bedroom, Sir?

JOSH
Just a bed...

They make their way to a closed door. Josh turns the knob, but -- it's stuck. The officers give each other that "we've got something" look.

JOSH
That's weird…. Something's in the way.

He rams his shoulder into the door. The stubborn entrance just won’t budge.

MALE OFFICER
Step aside, please.

Josh complies. The male officer rams the door. Until a bloody and mutilated human hand blocks the way. Needless to say, Josh gets cuffed --

FEMALE OFFICER
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do --

-- and is hauled away. Cue Detectives Barnett and Landon to the scene. As Joe Friday often cautioned witnesses: “Just the Facts, Ma’am” is the motto of the day. 

But facts themselves can be painful.  As Josh suffers through a brutal interrogation, grisly details continue to unfold.

Is Josh truly innocent? And even if he is – will he clear his name? Or is the evidence so stacked against him that Mr. Every Man faces absolutely “No Way Out”?

Pun intended, Feigneds one arresting tale. With limited location full of strong characters, this is one who-dunnit that rookies can’t hope to have the skills to solve. Take this script into custody ASAP. Because once it starts “running”, Feigned doesn’t stop!

 

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

Barry Katz's picture
Real name: 

I have enjoyed creative writing from as far back as I can remember. It's the one talent in life I can truly say I have. While I don't currently make my living as a screenwriter, it is certainly something I aspire to do. For now, I enjoy the art of making art and most of all, I enjoy...Read more

Melville - True Justice Comes Out Swinging...

MELVILLE
An FBI profiler learns first hand that killing has consequences... some worldly. Some other.

Justice has a name… and it’s Melville.

 SHADOW MAN
Killing has consequences…
some worldly, some other.

Sometimes the bad guys get away with it.  Be it a failure of justice or the cruelty of circumstance, some deeds look set to go unpunished - at least by the law as we know it.

COBB
My name’s Alex.
I work with the FBI.
I’m what they call a ’profiler’.

LOUIS
You’ll catch the bad guys?

COBB
That’s the plan.
But I need a partner.
Think you can help me?

LOUIS
I- I- I’m just a kid.

COBB
My uh, ’other’ partner says,
’The best way to catch a bad guy is together, as one.’

LOUIS
Is he a profiler too?

COBB
No. Not exactly...

This partner is the Shadow Man.  An ethereal being, who centuries has watched over us; working together with a few chosen lawmen to ensure the worst of humanity face the consequences of their crimes.

Now, following the death of his former mentor and partner, hard-nosed detective Louis Taylor finds himself heir to this unlikely agreement.

Skeptical at first, the deeper Louis digs the more he comes to understand the truth about his former friend and colleague.  A truth that forces Louis to reconcile his own tormented past and accept a pursuit of justice that lies far beyond our mortal realm.

LOUIS
So either I’m crazy or you’re real.
Neither of which gives me the warm fuzzies.

MELVILLE
But raining hell fire down on the most nasty of nasties
has gotta warm your heart, right?

Louis glances at the black folder next to him. He shuffles it to one side to reveal a BLUE folder underneath. The folder reads: "BILL".

Louis studies Melville in the rear view mirror, and then back out again at the house, deliberating.

LOUIS
Cobb used to say...
"You only get the pot of gold..."

MELVILLE
"...if you’re willing to find the end of the rainbow".

For Louis, like Cobb and the lawmen before him, the Shadow Man is a way to strike back against evil.  To right past wrongs and bring closure to those suffering injustice.  All Louis has to do is say the word... 

Jeremy Storey’s Melville offers a dark crime noir with a supernatural twist.  This script serves as a potential teaser - a prelude to a story greater in scope than the usual short scripts.  

The Shadow Man offers up a hero for the ages: a pipe smoking, Stetson wearing avenger with a slick tongue and a penchant for restoring karmic balance with an ice-pick.  For filmmakers looking for a bold new project, Melville offers a chance to take their craft to the next level.

The Script

Melville

An FBI profiler learns that serial killers who never get caught eventually answer to Melville; A vengeful spirit intent on dispensing grisly punishment to the wicked.

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

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

Mirror - Reflection in Thought... and Deed

MIRROR
A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

In 1950, Alan Turing introduced the epochal ‘Turing Test’: a set of questions designed to evaluate a computer’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior similar, or at least indistinguishable, from that of an actual human being.

Since the introduction of this test, many a movie has tackled the ramifications of AI - personified by everything from a computer (Wargames) to programmable killers (Terminator) to sentient beings longing to blend into society, and just “be left alone” (Blade Runner).

The prospect of cloning makes such a moral dilemma even more of a tangled web.  ‘Mirror’ by Dan DeVoto wrestles with these weighty issues in a highly personal and unsettling way.

The focus of the story is on Dr. Anna Beresky, as she visits a remote research facility in the outskirts of some unnamed town. Despite the drab setting, it’s clear from the pervasive security that whatever they’re researching there, must be important and quite classified.

But Anna is not an interloper. Indeed, her presence is welcomed by Administrator Simmons, who eagerly greets the doctor at the metal detector checkpoint.

SIMMONS, in his late 50s, a carefully coifed bureaucrat, comes to meet her.

SIMMONS
So good of you to finally come.

They shake hands.

SIMMONS
I hope the journey wasn’t too arduous.
We’re a bit out in the boonies, as you can see.

ANNA
I’m fine. Thank you.

Simmons excitedly escorts Anna through the facility - listing the practicality of what they've "engineered". Though he fawns over the Doctor, her responses seem curiously cool and clipped.

ANNA
How many do you have?

SIMMONS
Thirty-five, from the original five prototypes.

ANNA
You must be proud.

SIMMONS
Imagine the application; organ harvesting, no-cost labor supply.
We might just put the industrial revolution to shame.

ANNA
Yes.

As with most tours, the ending is the best.  Simmon brings Anna into a room to meet one of the "test subjects" personally.... bringing her face to face with what she herself helped create.  It's at this juncture the moral/philosophical subtext of this story comes to a sudden and startling head.

Elegant in its conclusion, Mirror poses a profound allegory to its audience. And one simple question: “What would I do, in Anna’s place?”

Filmmakers who love the thoughtfulness of shows like Westworld and Humans will enjoy this smart, sharp short in spades. Not only will Mirrors pass the ‘Turing Test’, but gain loyal fans as well!

The Script

Mirror

A geneticist carries an important message when she travels to meet a research subject cloned from her DNA.

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

Dan DeVoto's picture
Real name: 

I'm a freelance writer and have optioned a thriller to Newmark Films.  I also write crime fiction and science fiction short stories.  My work has appeared in Mystery Weekly Magazine, Over My Dead Body!, Heater, The Absent Willow Review, and Aphelion Webzine.Read more

The Girls from Ipanema Go Walking... Where?

The Girls from Ipanema
A woman’s abusive husband looks for the perfect place to murder her mother. 
She leads him to it.

The experts often note that domestic abuse starts “small”.  The abuser loooooves you sooooo much, they can’t bear to be apart.  They want you all to themselves. They don’t like your friends.  They keep you away from your loved ones.  They worry about you excessively.  Verbal abuse follows.  Physical violence comes later.  The abuse escalates.

Like it has for Louise, the wife of abusive Ernst in Douglas Wolf's The Girls from Ipanema

Ernst criticizes, ridicules, scolds and hits Louise, who seems woefully acquiescent and helpless.  The other “girl” is Louise’s mother, Marcie.  The script opens with Ernst mulling over his plans to murder Marcie and collect the insurance money on the policy they’ve both signed. 

The only detail he seems not to have yet figured out is exactly how and where to carry out the killing.  Louise appears so pathetic and weak, that the only protest she ventures is when he throws a longing look at the knives in the kitchen. 

Louise double-takes between Ernst and the knives.

LOUISE
Ernst. Not here. This is where I do my baking.

Ernst strides out of the kitchen in search of an alternative site for the deadly deed, vomiting screeds against Louise’s mother as he stomps around the house. 

Where are the likes of Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill or Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when you need them?  Just turn the page to welcome the arrival of someone who knows how to really wreak bloody revenge on a man who has abused a woman.  But, will she prevail?

Audiences will be at the edge of their seats hoping she does.  And, rolling on the floor, once they discover why in the heck these women have anything to do with Ipanema, Brazil.   

The Script

The Girls from Epanema

A greedy, overbearing man prowls through his house in search of a place to murder his mother-in-law for the insurance money, but his submissive, browbeaten wife and mother-in-law have plans of their own.

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

Ralph Shorter's picture
Real name: 

.

Ralph Douglas Shorter ~ Screenwriter Resumé

About the Screenwriter:

I was recently picked up to write for "Binge Bros. Productions" after they perused a writing sample I submitted. So far, I've handed in one action/comedy...Read more

Death to the King - No Matter What it Takes....

DEATH TO THE KING
Sent out with a scroll, a young man is picked up by the king’s chief interrogator.
Give the names of those involved and his life will be spared.

Death to the King explores the connection between one man’s belief in a cause, and a woman’s belief in him.

Human emotions and urges can sometimes be hard to portray on the page but in this short, Simon Parker has expertly created a vivid and captivating script that will keep the reader hooked throughout. Whether it’s the vivid descriptions, or the raw dialogue of the characters, Simon has created an exceptional tale.

We start in a darkened room where Eliza asks Philip to undertake a dangerous task to help overthrow a nameless King. The challenge that faces the young man is fraught with danger and seemingly suicidal, but Eliza believes in this revolution and more importantly in Philip himself.

Watching on is the elder statesman of the piece, Stuart, who raises doubts as to the young man’s ability to fulfil his duty. But Eliza doesn’t budge and lets Philip walk into the challenges that lie ahead.

Philip is captured by the King’s men and pushed to his limits. He had one task and failed, but he has to dig deep to protect the revolutionaries who have sent him to his seemingly inevitable death. Beaten and mentally battered, Philip still hangs on.

He now has one simple choice. Betray the revolution and live, or protect the cause he believes in and die.

ELIZA
What went wrong?

PHILIP
I don’t know. As I approached the city walls they grabbed me. I’m sorry.

ELIZA
No.

PHILIP
You need to leave.

ELIZA
You can still save your own life.

PHILIP
But it would be at the price of yours.

The violent torment pushing Philip to his limits is expertly crafted by the author, and the scenario both tragic and true.

Will Philip fold and betray Eliza and her cause? Will he die a hero? Or is there something else unseen at play? There’s only one way to find out for sure: download Death to the King for a read.

Short at five pages, Death to the King only calls on a handful of characters and locations. This - coupled with the story at the beating heart of the work - makes it an exceptional opportunity for any producer or director looking for that next special script to bring to life.

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

Simon Parker's picture
Real name: 

My name is Simon Kyle Parker, I studied scriptwriting at univeristy and I am currerntly based in Stoke-on-Trent here in the UK. I have written several short and feature length script. Many of my shorts have gone on to be produced. I have had other scripts optioned and currently my script...Read more

Smiling at Ground Zero: for some, the End of The World is a relative term...

Smiling At Ground Zero
A conversation at the end of the world

Michael Stipe, the lead singer of REM once famously sang: ‘It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine’. That classic line sums up the feelings of Pete Doop as he awaits the end of all life atop a hill with the mysterious Janey Zang in the short but enigmatic screenplay Smiling at Ground Zero.

Pete and Janey find themselves on a hill looking down at the town of Pleasantville, mere minutes before a cataclysmic asteroid is about to strike and wipe out life on Earth.

Pete seems to accept death is inevitable and ridicules those attempting to forestall their certain doom.

PETE
Those morons. They think they can run from this thing.
They don’t realize that they’ve traded a quick, painless
death for an agonizing one. I’m staying right here.
I ain’t gonna leave and take the chance of slowly burning
to death, or choking on the ash and smoke from the
damned thing. No sir. Right here I will stay, 'cause
there's nothing anyone can do. Ninety-five percent
of all life on Earth, gone. No more Billy Zane, or
David Lee Roth, or Dick Cavett, or Barbara Mandrell, or…

Arguably, Pete’s prevaricating bravado betrays his fear and anxiety. Which is understandable, considering he and a few billion others are about to buy the farm. He’s clearly persuading himself he’s made the right decision to meet his end with unflappable fortitude.

Then there’s Janey, who remains silent as Pete prattles on, until out of nowhere she whimsically speaks about the circle of life, in an intimate and infallible manner that suggests something otherworldly about her:

JANEY
In 2.5 million years, a fish hitherto unknown by science
will rise from the sea and tread upon a beach. A few
million years later, it will begin to walk, and then a few
weeks later, will become the first mammal to stride over
the Earth since the Great Pleasantville Asteroid. Only then,
will I return to usher in a new age of humankind.

So it would seem either Janey is a figment of Pete’s imagination, a corporeal delusion triggered by stress, or is she really a God-like entity calmly observing a planet she cares for go through another transformation; from the heights of a technologically advanced civilization back to a primordial ball of mud bereft of life.

The somewhat disturbing Smiling at Ground Zero offers an idiosyncratic snapshot of the thoughts, feelings, and words we might all share, mere seconds before mutual, imminent obliteration. There’s a certain celestial whimsy to the story that in the hands of the right filmmaker will make for a short but highly impactful film.

Despite it being a story about the end of the world as we know it – it’ll leave their audience smiling and feeling fine.

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

J. Phillip Wilkins's picture
Real name: 

J. Phillip Wilkins is a composer and 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....Read more

Maybe Not Mars - some vacations aren't what they're cracked up to be

MAYBE NOT MARS
An astronaut on Mars searches for the cure for a new kind of boredom.

Space travel to Mars, a dream held by Elon Musk, Brian Blessed, and Richard Branson amongst others, is brought to life in this hilarious short from Brandon Stephens.

Whilst the red planet used to hold visions of small green men and earth like promises, our protagonist, Jimmy, has landed and struggles with the reality this god forsaken dust bowl presents. Having had his research equipment burned in the atmosphere on entry, his one remaining purpose is to survive...the boredom.

Armed with a variety of tools to keep himself entertained (a kite shaped like a shark and a jazz mag amongst others), Jimmy fights the tedium of being the only human form on the face of this planet. What he lacks in human company, however, is not lacking from the world of robotics.

Every castaway needs his Wilson and Jimmy has his in the form of a flying Mars rover. Whilst Tom Hanks was kept sane by his volleyball friend, it’s hard to tell if Jimmy’s rover is keeping him sane or sending on a one way ticket to the mental institute, but a definite relationship between man and machine is expertly crafted on the page by the author.

Jimmy is running...from a KITE. The hand in the air holds the string. As he runs, a shark shaped kite flies in the air behind him. He kicks up dust, moving swiftly.

Well, of course, Jimmy trips. BAM, he slaps the dirt. His head rests on the red dirt. His face sweats beneath his clear face mask. His eyes stare forward.

JIMMY (V.O.)
I know what you're thinking.
Yes, that is a kite.
Yes, I'm on Mars.

Jimmy heaves himself up slightly, dirt covers him. Defeated, the shark kite wavers to the ground in front of him, pathetic. He sits up.

JIMMY (V.O.)
It's conditions such as these –
monotony, idleness, tedium,
sensory deprivation, loneliness.
That is what the NASA psychologists said.
THAT was their concern. I call it boredom.

JIMMY
Did you catch that?

He looks over at a MARS FLYING ROVER. This simple little hovering drone beast with it's stupid little camera head just stares at him.

Showing boredom on a page always runs the risk of being boring itself, but Maybe Not Mars is an effortless read that always entertains. With the maddening isolation of Castaway, the setting of The Martian and the comedic tones of an Apatow classic, this script will guarantee laughs that cut through the monotony of our red soiled sister planet.

Whether you are a sci-fi fanatic, comedy seeker or just want to find a good short screenplay to keep yourself entertained, Maybe Not Mars won’t let you down. Brandon’s writing style coupled with his exceptionally well crafted visuals make for a must read for any producer or director who is looking for their next short to work on.

The Script

Maybe Not Mars

An astronaut on Mars searches for the cure for a new kind of boredom.

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

Brandon Stephens's picture
Real name: 

Born and raised in Texas, I had an interest in films at an early age. I spent a lot of time begging my parents to rent all the Halloweens and Friday the 13ths at the local Movie Shack, and watching Big Trouble in Little China over and over with my brothers, when I could get a break from Star...Read more

Lyssa's Child - Childhood is never easy...

LYSSA’S CHILD
A psychologist records the daily life of a recluse who claims to be stalked by a malign entity.

A well written script can capture a reader with words and make them feel every movement and emotion within a piece. Lyssa’s Child is such a work.

With an absorbing style, author Steve Miles has crafted an exceptional short horror/drama. Through his vivid writing style we feel genuine emotions of fear, intrigue, loss and pity, which pull the reader into this screenplay and refuse to let them go.

We open on a phone call where our protagonist, Duncan, is being brutally attacked in the street by someone. Duncan is a mysterious character who’s layers are slowly peeled back by psychologist, Edith Moore, throughout the piece.

Through her patient questioning, Edith probes gently at the fragile man that sits in front of her. Duncan is a ball of bruises and anguish, one that is likely to be cast aside by another professional, but she wants to help this mentally scarred and tormented individual.

As Duncan starts to let Edith in, he leads her through his past life and into his present. His family upbringing was not without love, but there is something that seemed to have haunted them. That same something now stalks Duncan, keeping him on his toes and not allowing our protagonist to let his guard down for a moment. Edith, through her kindness and dedication to her patient, is brought into his life and will witness first hand the terror and torment that stalks him.

Duncan heaps several spoons of sugar into his mug.

DUNCAN
Dad never had rules, he just took to hiding.

DR. MOORE (O.S.)
Did he ever talk about it?

DUNCAN
The war hadn’t left him with much to say.
See it in his eyes, he were just...gone.
One day he weren’t there at all--

A cuckoo bursts from the clock above Duncan -- CUCKOO!

DUNCAN
Shit off!

He’s on his feet, poised to strike. The bird slowly draws back into the clock-face.

DR. MOORE (O.S.)
Duncan it’s okay, you’re safe--

DUNCAN
You don’t know safe.

In lesser hands a screenplay such as this could descend into the usual generic tropes, but through the expert writing of the author the script is an excellent read. Steve’s work moves in different directions, dragging the reader with it, the pace rising and falling, the tone darkening and lightening, and we feel genuine sympathy for Duncan and his struggle against his tormentor.

If you are a producer or director and are looking for a drama/horror script that can leave an impression on an audience and be made on a budget, then look no further. Lyssa’s Child is an exceptional short script that is just waiting for someone to bring Duncan and his story to the screen.

The Script

Lyssa's Child

A psychologist records the daily life of a recluse who claims to be stalked by a malign entity.

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

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

The Tasting Room - Bursting with Humor (Flavor, too!)

The Tasting Room
When an urbane couple visits his tasting room for a flight, a hapless attendant
struggles to make heads or tails of their poetic, pretentious and scathing wine tasting notes.

If you enjoy wine and quirky comedies, you've probably seen the movie Sideways, starring Paul Giamatti as a curmudgeonly author, who also fancies himself a wine connoisseur. Many of the film's funnier passages of dialog involve his character Miles Raymond musing on the taste and aroma of various wines.

MILES
A little citrus. Maybe some strawberry. Mmm.
Passion fruit, mmm, and, oh, there's just like the
faintest soupçon of like, uh, asparagus, and, there's a,
just a flutter of, like a, like a nutty Edam cheese.

Now, if you thought he was a rather pretentious prig, then you've yet to meet Ian and Cassandra, the pompous ‘life-partners’ at the center of the charming short screenplay, The Tasting Room by Steve Cleary.

Together, they make Miles of Sideways seem like rather intellectually reasonable and emotionally well-adjusted member of society. Same can't be said of Cassandra and Ian, as they embark on a metaphor infused wine tasting session at what is presumably a winery of some sort.

From the get-go, it's clear that they're not exactly from around here...

ATTENDANT
Come in from out of town?

IAN
We're denizens of the city.

CASSANDRA
Yes, the city.

ATTENDANT
Oh yeah? Los Angeles? San Francisco?

IAN
Oxnard.

Subjected to ministering to this courtly couple is perhaps the real hero of our story; the tasting room Attendant. A more warm, knowledgeable, and accommodating sommelier you're unlikely to find.

Regardless of the gibbering eloquence and verbose vexation of his guests, the Attendant remains steadfast in his trusty role as a discerning taste guide...

ATTENDANT
This is from last year's harvest, with notes
of grapefruit, gooseberry, and fresh-cut grass.
Enjoy.

Despite his best efforts to match a wine to the palette of his guests, the Attendant continuously comes up short, as Ian and Cassandra seem to become increasingly irritated as they evaluate the taste of each glass presented to them.

IAN
Ahh, a sultry sprite swirling on a slipper flower.

Cassandra throws him a dirty look and calmly spits the wine into the pour bucket.

CASSANDRA
Meh. A turgid troll twerking on a twig.

As they progress through each tasting, our pouty partners up the ante of their metaphorical descriptions... clearly using their musings as a piquant proxy to air out a variety of grievances, in a way that only the most waspish of society would likely understand.

When all is said and done, will the Attendant finally uncork his patience and show Ian and Cassandra the door? Or will the 'life partners' finally find a complimentary taste to overcome their bottled-up bitterness, and in doing so, rediscover the flavor of love?

In a similar vernacular used by wine mavens all over the world, this is a darkly amusing script that is, short but deep. Simple yet complex. Bitter yet flowery.  So, curl up on the couch, pour yourself a merlot, or a chardonnay, or a zinfandel and then quench your creative thirst with this wonderfully eclectic script that is ideal for the auteur craving to produce something quirky, droll, and dialog-driven.

The Script

The Tasting Room

A hapless tasting room associate struggles to make heads or tails of an urbane couple's poetic, pretentious and scathing wine tasting notes.

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

Steve Cleary's picture
Real name: 

Hi. I write screenplays for movies that I myself would pay good money to see in a theater -- "event movies", where friends gather to make a night of it, load up on popcorn and Milk Duds, and perhaps have dinner and/or drinks afterward.
.
Shorts and Sketches listed here as "Available...Read more

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