Shootin' The Shorts | Page 10 | 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

Time Lines - Don't Let Them Cross

Time Lines
Sometimes, it’s best to let life pass you by…

Remember the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day? If not, shame on you. But here’s the classic tale you’ve somehow let slip away:

Groundhog’s a film about a dude forced to relive the same day over and over and over – until…. well, that would be a spoiler. So we’ll leave the final scene blank for now.

Time Lines, written by versatile scribe John Hunter, is Groundhog Day for 2016. That is, if Groundhog Daywas gorier, bloodier and much… gooier, as well.

That’s no knock on the story. In fact, it’s a compliment. Only four pages long, Time Lines nails a darkly comedic tone and keeps you guessing through each scene, as you race.

Here’s the basic premise; young protagonist James goes about his daily routine – resulting in an extremely unusual (and disturbing) day. Our narrative begins as James drives to work. He runs a red light and… gets demolished by a truck. Seconds later, time seems to rewind. James misses the truck and makes it to work. That’s encouraging, right? But then he steps out of his car… and gets flattened by a speeding van. So on and so forth: the tragedies keep unfolding and reversing. Will his miserable day never end?

Which leads to the true mystery of this script: what’s the secret behind what’s happening? Time Lines’ll keep you guessing until the end. Even after you read the final words, somethings remain “open to interpretation”, as they say…

Take our recommendation to heart: if you’re an experienced director looking to make your mark, Time Linesis a special tale. One that could potentially play great on the festival circuit – especially with the right cast/crew. Grab this one while it lasts. Remember, you only live once! (Unless you’re Bill Murray, then you live 12,403 times. A special thank you to Obsessed With Film for the precise number of days Bill Murray suffered through in Groundhog Day).

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter whose website (http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts) offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts “AT” gmail and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

Sent away to school to get a fancy education, my family proudly referred to me as bilingual for an ability to speak both Standard American English and my native Cracker.

After graduation from a large brick and mortar university, a curious nature has taken me down many paths in life: ...Read more

Beacon Calling - What Will Answer?

Beacon Calling
How far would you go to save humanity?

Ping.

Three world-worn wanderers walk wearily through a white winter wasteland. They are John, Noah, and Wilda, and their only guide is the small metal box with the flashing red light.

Ping.

Driven on by the incoming signal, our three explorers are obviously on an important and dangerous mission. Pausing briefly to appraise their situation, they discuss turning back. They are, after all, running low on supplies, and out there, somewhere in the darkness..someTHING is stalking them. Beaten both emotionally and physically, the three realize that there is no decision to be made: if they fail their mission, they’re all dead anyway.

Ping. Ping.

The signal is getting closer…but so is the creature! The group presses on, into the unknown. Where are they heading, and just what have they left behind? And WHAT is this creature!!

Are you getting a sense of the tension in this script? I hope so, because you may want to pop a Xanax before reading. Sled tracks, bloody footprints in the snow, a discarded iPod. The mystery deepens with each visceral image. And if it sounds like I’m being vague, don’t worry, it’s only because I don’t want to spoil the surprise ending.

Get ready for an eleven-minute panic attack, because Beacon Calling is a master class in suspense writing. A slow-build tense thriller filled with all the mystery and intensity of the best episodes of Lost, set in a Mad-Max-in-the-snow style wasteland (take note, George Miller!). This is one script guaranteed to keep your audience on edge, and keep them guessing until the shocking finale. They won’t know what hit them. Directors, come in from the cold and grow something sinister out of this script.

Ping. Ping. Ping!!!

About the Reviewer: Dane Whipple: put the coffee down, coffee is for closers. He is currently working on that screenplay everybody keeps talking about: The Wild Age. Contact him at dane.whipple (AT) live.com

The Script

Beacon Calling

A group in a post apocalyptic snowscape seek out seeds for their future.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

Trapped - What Comes Next?

Trapped
Searching for a bit of the past, a survivor of an apocalypse finds himself trapped.

Spoiler alert: you’re going to die.

It could be quick – a sneaky brain aneurysm that shuts you off like a light switch. Or maybe it’ll be the slow torture of terminal illness. Or a sudden, tragic accident. But whatever the fates hold in store, you’ll have to face it. Eventually. That’s one of the reasons horror is such a beloved genre. It’s our morbid fascination of watching the human animal in its death throes… and wondering how we ourselves will fare.

Written by talented screenwriter Chris Keaton, Trapped is just such a tale. Bleak. Grim. Depressing. And you won’t be able to turn your eyes away.

In the indeterminate future, society’s collapsed. Dave’s been struggling to survive ever since. Wandering through desolate terrain. Scavaging. Surviving by any means necessary. Which has worked… at least, until now. In a lightening quick moment of lousy luck, he finds himself trapped in an abandoned garage; pinned under an engine block at the bottom of a pit. Unless a miracle happens, Dave’s reached The End.

There’s no chance of medical care. Wild dogs prowl outside. And he hasn’t seen another human being in months. But when a small group of travelers discover Dave’s predicament, it looks like he might be saved! But is it the help he was praying for? Or something else entirely?

Much like The Walking Dead (and other post-apocalyptic tales), Trapped is framed against the death of society. But the story itself is far more personal. Surprisingly uplifting in certain ways, it’s about facing your own mortality. And appreciating the small joys of life… while you can.

Horror and thriller indie directors take note: the potential for great performances in this one is vast. A small cast – no FX. All that’s needed is someone with the vision to bring it to screen. Grab this little gem while you can.

Or you can ignore it. It’s your funeral.

About the Guest Reviewer: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the Porch Room, a film and theater production company, website available at http://www.porchroom.com/.  Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 “AT” Hotmail.

The Script

Trapped

A man searching for a comfort from his past finds himself trapped.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

Her End - Is it in Sight?

Her End
A woman decides to end her life instead of starve to death on a desert island.

Single character scripts are a unique sort of animal. They’re a dream come true for actors – a chance to take the stage and really shine. As for storytellers… they’re a challenge. Because conflict usually takes two. So how can a writer keep their audience engaged, staring at just one person?

Well, keeping it brief and intense really helps. Life and death level stuff. Don’t think it can be done? We’ve got one word for you: Castaway.

Similar to Tom Hank’s character, the unnamed protagonist in Her End is marooned. And based on her famished frame, she’s been on her island for awhile. As the script opens, she’s hard at work. Lugging around a heavy rock. And writing a message in the sand.

…but her message isn’t “Help”. She gave that up, some time ago. Now it’s just a matter of tying up loose ends. And saying her final goodbye.

Will she go through with it? And what does she leave behind? This script may not have a “Wilson”. But the emotion’s there, all the same. With an end that could take an audience’s breath away.

The Script

Her End

A hero chooses to go out on her own terms.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

Xolotl's Curse - Pray You Don't Need To....

Xolotl's Curse
Some lessons are learned the hard way…

Ah. Lessons taught by the horror genre. No matter how often they splatter across the silver screen, so rarely are they taken to heart. Don’t go on that isolated camping trip with your friends. Don’t answer that phone call while babysitting. Don’t open the creaky closet door. Leave that creepy-ass looking doll alone.

And don’t play with artifacts hidden under your grandpa’s bed. Well, we guess some folks will never learn…

Case in point: Xolotl’s Curse.

Billy's Grandpa is a foul-mouthed, misogynistic bully who constantly berates Billy's mom and emasculates his dad. In other words, he’s your usual relative. Now he's moving in. And he has secrets.

See, Grandpa's an old archaeologist - pushing 100, although he doesn't look a day over 75. He's keeping an ancient Aztec box locked up in his room that may belong to Xolotl, god of the dead and bad luck. Billy tries again and again to get his hands on the box. But Grandpa is always one step ahead of him. But some secrets are better left buried…

Chris Keaton - an old hand at clever macabre stories - sets this tale of terror in the day-to-day life of suburbia, with a keen ear for the trash-talking dialogue between a 12-year old and an old man who may as well be squabbling kid brothers. Despite the topic, this script’s got a slow, subtle (and often funny) burn – building to a chilling conclusion.

What happens next? Well, we’re keeping this review short and sweet. No spoilers for you lazy folks out there. Crack this one open far before Halloween arrives, and savor its bloody twist for yourself.

Xolotl’s Curse. A perfect script for either a seasoned horror director or any up-and-coming filmmaker who wants to dabble in the genre.

About the reviewer: Pete Barry is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, actor, director and musician. His short plays have been published in numerous collections. He’s also a cofounder of the Porch Room, a film and theater production company, website available at http://www.porchroom.com/.  Please feel free to reach out to him with script requests at petebarry27 “AT” Hotmail.

The Script

Xolotl's Curse

A boy learns the hard way to stay out of other people's stuff.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

Hannah's Demons - Evil Never Rests

Hannah's Demons
Hannah learns that running from her demons only makes things worse…

You can't run away from your problems. This is something that Hannah learns quite literally in Hannah's Demons, a disturbing thriller by talented screenwriter Warren Duncan.

Hannah is, by all definitions, a final girl in the vein of Jennifer Love Hewitt in I Know What You Did Last Summer or Sigourney Weaver in Alien. The difference is, we don't know what horror Hannah has escaped from. We meet her alone in the woods in the middle of the night, torn clothes, ragged breathing and scared to death. Someone very persistent is chasing her and she can't escape, no matter how fast or how far she runs.

That's when she sees a cabin. Maybe someone is home. Maybe they will help her! Hannah pounds on the door and... nothing. With no other option, Hannah smashes a window and dives inside.

She takes quick inventory of her surroundings and arms herself with a kitchen knife. As her attacker enters the house, Hannah takes cover under the kitchen table. Hoping, praying, that her stalker doesn't find her. Is she safe?

Nope.

Her pursuer begins searching the house, leaving no stone left unturned. He calls her name, "Hannah, you need to come home..."

She shakily holds the kitchen knife, waiting for the inevitable and...

What, did you think I was going to spoil it? Go read the script! Just know that not everything is what it seems in this story and that the script ends with a mind-bending twist guaranteed to keep you up at night.

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter whose website (http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. You can also reach him at Mitch.SmithScripts@gmail.com and follow Mitch at https://twitter.com/MitchScripts.

The Script

Hannah's Demons

Hannah learns that running from her demons only makes things worse.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Warren Duncan's picture
Real name: 

I am an aspiring screenwriter from Australia.

I have had multiple shorts produced and currently have several on option.

I typically enjoy writing horror, thriller, and drama scripts.

Please feel free to contact me at warren_duncan@...Read more

Ruby and the Lamp - Never Rub a Genie the Wrong Way

Ruby and the Lamp
A cleaning lady discovers a suitcase filled with diamonds and a genie lamp; s
he gets three wishes but isn’t careful what she wishes for.

Every see the Twilight Zone? Not the TV series remake, or the Spielberg flick – the original series, hosted by Rod Serling in good ‘ole Black and White.

If not … you owe it to yourself to do a binge marathon. Even those who are already fans might get a kick at watching the series all over again. It’s surprising how much holds up after all these years.

One of the main reasons is that Twilight Zone relied on classic storytelling. Some of the tales were pretty straightforward. But they worked; and usually featured some kind of ironic twist at the end.

Ruby and the Lamp harkens back to that kind of pedigree; following the simple tale of Ruby – a cleaning lady that finds a magical lamp in a hotel room.

She rubs it, and the Genie appears… resulting in the standard offer of three wishes. There’s a touch of modern humor in this one, giving the story a fresh feel. What will Ruby wish for – and how horrifically will it go wrong?

Open the script to find out. But make sure it doesn’t cost your soul…

The Script

Ruby and The Lamp

A cleaning lady discovers a suitcase filled with diamonds and a genie lamp; she gets three wishes but isn't careful what she wishes for..

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe...Read more

About The Writer

Darren Seeley's picture
Real name: 

I have written several full length and short spec screenplays, which have gone through peer reviews at Zoetrope  Talentville and Simply Scripts. 

Attended the Austin Film Festival and Heart Of Screenwriter's conference in 2001 and 2002. 

I occasionally volunteer to help out the...Read more

A Child Outside (And It's Always Cold...)

Warning: Strong and Disturbing Content

A Child Outside
Motherly love can be shown in oh so many ways… even murder.

We don’t like to hear about a young person being hurt, much less witness it. How could a parent ever intentionally harm their own child? Or… kill them? What could possibly possess a parent to perpetrate such a deed?

It’s not easy to portray the unpinning of fundamental societal assumptions, especially when they have to do with family, loyalties or a mother’s unconditional love. Yet, Chris Keaton masterfully does just that in his latest work, A Child Outside.

The main character, Anna, is convinced that mommy knows best, that death is the only option. It’s for their own good. It’s what God would want. And, Anna’s faith is unwavering.

ANNA
I’m sorry sweet baby I should’ve-

She chokes back tears.

ANNA
I should’ve paid attention to the signs…

She whispers a prayer to herself.

ANNA
Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…

Anna appears to be crazy; her daughters so young and innocent.

Short but not at all sweet, Keaton’s very dark A Child Outside comes to a twisted and chilling end: one that will be sure to unsettle any audience’s assumptions about Satan or sanity.

The Script

A Child Outside

A mother faces a terrible decision to rid herself of demons.

About The Reviewer

Julia Cottle's picture
Real name: 

Julia Cottle is a cultural anthropologist living in Chicago. She has worked for years as a university instructor and researcher for organizations committed to social justice. She always has loved to write, but only recently has discovered the joy of film and stage writing.Read more

About The Writer

Chris Keaton's picture
Real name: 

Chris Keaton, like many deranged people, writes screenplays and actually believes he's pretty good at it. His delusion has brought him to write at least a dozen feature films and numerous short scripts of questionable quality. Several directors have been enabling Chris Keaton's mental illness by...Read more

The Other White Meat (It's Not What You Think)

The Other White Meat
When their food supply fails to arrive, space researchers Sarah and Jack face the ultimate fear…

SARAH
You wanna shuffle?

JACK
(snaps)
Give me the cards.

We’ve all experienced it. A task that no-one wants to do must be done.

So a contest to randomly select the unlucky loser is reluctantly agreed upon.

In John Hunter’s The Other White Meat, Jack and Sarah are two researchers who’ve spent 18 months searching for extra-terrestrial life on a remote ice-planet… with absolutely no success.

When the story starts, they’re already in a jam. The food’s run out, and supply line issues ensure there’s no more arriving for several weeks. So there’s only one course of action left.

But neither of them wants to decide.

A method of arbitration is therefore required; for the two starving scientists, it’s a one card draw. The stakes are higher than any card game ever played on Earth, and the rules are staggeringly simple: highest card wins, or so it seems. Though with hindsight, it appears the loser may end up being the “winner”. That is, when all is said and done…

White Meat is a script that never backs itself into one genre – sci-fi, horror, and even some dark comedy are mixed to create a concoction that invokes every emotion there is. One page you’re laughing. The next, paralyzed with fear. And it all comes across seamlessly, resulting in a roller coaster ride that handcuffs the reader – never letting them go until the very end.

With more twists than the current race for the White House, dialogue in this script shines: ranging from bitterly ironic to traumatically blunt. In fact, there’s just one box left to tick off to make this a festival winner: a director who can leverage all of White Meat’s twists – and let this infinitely rewarding script hit new heights!

About The Reviewer

Hamish Porter's picture
Real name: 

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

About The Writer

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

Sent away to school to get a fancy education, my family proudly referred to me as bilingual for an ability to speak both Standard American English and my native Cracker.

After graduation from a large brick and mortar university, a curious nature has taken me down many paths in life: ...Read more

Daddy - Does Father Ever Know Best?

Daddy
An assassin’s last act is to prove to his daughter and his wife that he is not a bad man.

A RED DOT...

Dances upon a MAN’S forehead until:

THUMP.

The man’s head rips backwards.

        ANNIE (V.O.)
I’m sorry that when you woke up, we
were gone. You must have been so scared.

From out of the darkness rushes, TYLER.

This is where we meet Tyler, a hard bitten killer on the opening gambit of his latest job.  

We follow Tyler as he dispenses judgment with a grace and skill honed by the years; working his way to the top of the dirtbag food chain, goon by goon.  

It isn’t about the money - not this time.  That was the old Tyler; this is a killer searching for change.  The odds are against him, but Tyler finds strength in the words of his young daughter, Annie.  Her innocence guiding him to a reward far greater than he’s ever known: redemption.

Marty Chartrand’s Daddy shines light into the dark soul of a hired gun struggling to make his peace through one last selfless act.

It’s not for a first-timer, but for a filmmaker looking to push their limits, this 7 page thrill ride gives you the opportunity to craft a fast-paced action piece underpinned by the most emotive of bonds: a father’s love for his daughter.  

So "take out" this script as your next "job"... but make darned sure you hit this target... right!

The Script

Daddy

An assassin’s last act is to prove to his daughter and his wife that he is not a bad man.

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

Marty Chartrand's picture
Real name: 

My life began with a FADE IN and it will surely end with a FADE OUT. What's written in between is what I make out of it. 

As a lifelong lover of movies, it was only natural that someday I would want to create some of my own. 

These are my stories ...Read more

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