The Mating Dance

When it comes to Romance, listening to advice can lead to unexpected results…

Ah – the love story. Nowadays, almost every movie has one. Even genre movies throw in a handful of romance. Milk, Iron Man, The Wolf of Wall Street. Even the animated hit Frozen gets in its share of kissy-cuddly action. It’s almost a required sub-plot B.

For the romantic-comedy, of course, relationships take center stage. Two people “meet-cute.” Life throws obstacles in their way – simultaneously tearing them apart, yet bonding them subtly closer. Just as they realize they’re meant for each other, a misunderstanding causes a tragic break up. Ultimately, the couple reconcile and kiss. The curtain falls. The last scene fades.

Yep, getting to “Happily Ever After” requires some choreographed steps. But even if you’ve heard this song before, doesn’t mean you’ve seen the latest moves.

In her short The Mating Dance, talented writer Marnie Mitchell-Lister puts a fun, original spin on that never-ending ballad of romance…

Separate guests at the Hilton, singles Jake and Marla literally bump into each other at the reservation desk. Their bags become entangled, resulting in several clumsy “dance steps”. When they finally break free, an embarrassed Jake heads for the hotel lounge. Sure, Marla’s cute and all. But Jake’s recently divorced. It’s been awhile since he’s been in the game. To kill time before his flight, Jake impulse-buys a book at the convenience stand: The Mating Dance for Men, by Ramesh Kumar. May as well read up on the latest tips…

After signing out, Marla also stops by the stand. And a book catches her eye. The Mating Dance for Women, by Dr. Padima Sanghi-Kumar. She grabs it, making sure no-one sees… and settles in to read as well.

We all know what comes next. The couples’ eyes meet. Then an awkward pause – mutual attraction in the air. Soon, the Mating Dance begins in earnest. Awkward introductions. Stammered “lines”. The two stumble toward Getting to Know Each Other, aided by contradictory advice from their hidden books. Yep, Jake and Marla could use some guidance. But will they find their rhythm, or drive each other away?

Like the best romance comedies, TMD doesn’t take itself too seriously: alternating “voice-overs” from the books with awkward dialogue between the couple. (Anyone who’s been through a bad first date knows exactly what that’s like.) You’ll be rooting for Jake and Marla instantly. And you’ll want to read this to the end. Because happily-ever-after doesn’t happen when a couple meets. It always clicks at the end.

Comedy indie directors take note… This is one script worth choosing as your dance partner. A fun premise, and easy to film, it won’t be single for too long!

About the writer: Having completed 9 features and over 70 shorts, Marnie Mitchell-Lister has no plans on stopping. Currently, she’s working on a variety of projects; an animated feature, a psychological thriller and a TV pilot about a bored housewife whose quest for excitement gets her in all sorts of trouble. Some of Marnie’s work can be found on her website: http://www.brainfluffs.com.

Pages: 6

Budget: Three simple interiors: a hotel lobby, the hotel lounge, and a shuttle. Two main characters, a couple extras, and two actors with distinctive voices to provide voiceover dialogue, preferably with catchy accents.

About the reviewer: California uber reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature. KP’s work is available at moviepoet.com!

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM 

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved.

The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Til Death

A marital tiff erupts to epic proportions.

 Married couples can find s-o-o-o many things to bicker about. Toilet seat up, toilet seat down, stop hogging the covers, I-don’t-like-the-panties-drying-on-the-rod*. You know, that sort of thing.

For Paul and Jenna, it’s the fancy towels — specifically, how could Paul have had the audacity to actually use them, when he knows damn well they were Jenna’s favorite wedding gift!

In this wildly humorous short, award winning screenwriter Rick Hansberry zeroes in on just how crazy domestic skirmishes can get. As the battle lines in this tale are drawn, Paul and Jenna find every possible way to push each others’ buttons: power tools, flushing the toilet while the shower’s being used, and multiple viewings of Sex and the City (oh, the Humanity!) Reminiscent of Woody Allen or Neil Simon, the snarky, quick witted dialogue escalates to def-con four quickly. It begins with a raging thunderstorm – and ends with a wild-west shootout. Including cleavage. And power tools.

A sneering, jeering bundle of fun, ‘Til Death is totally character driven, and super simple to produce. Did we mention relatable? Well, for some of us it is… :)

About the writer: Rick Hansberry has written/produced several short films, including the SAG Foundation award-winning “Branches.” His first feature is set to be released in in Spring 2015. Trailer available here . He teaches screenwriting seminars and workshops in the Central Pennsylvania area and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.

Pages: 5

 Budget: Micro.

About the reviewers: Scott & Paula Merrow are a husband and wife screenwriting team. Since 2006, they’ve written over 50 short screenplays, several of which have been produced. They tend toward family-friendly scripts, but they’ve written a little bit of everything: horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy,… the whole nine yards. They’re reachable at scott-paula “AT” comcast.net

* Especially during that time of month, when my friends are coming over for the game.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM 

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

O-Beast

A chubby teen is nearly killed in a bullying incident… imbued with supernatural powers, her fat terrorizes the town for revenge

Horror movies just seem so dull these days. Don’t get us wrong: exorcisms, hauntings and found footage slashers… all these sub-genres have their place. But when compared to horror in the Eighties? Something just seems – missing. Movies such as Reanimator, Evil Dead, Chucky, The Stuff. Such films could never be called high art. But they were creative, colorful and weirdly fun. And isn’t that what we go to movies for?

Fortunately, some horror writers haven’t forgotten the good old days. Case in point: the horror-satire O-Beast.

Written as an homage to the Eighties (kind of like Scary Movie on steroids), O-Beast is gleefully crazy, and stuffed with intentional cliches. The class slut, the mean jock and his clique. Then there’s the downtrodden fat chick everyone makes fun of. Her name: Monica Bomer. Or as everyone calls her: The Bomer. Three hundred pounds. Riddled with acne and despair. Except for her camp counselor (Native American Chief Hokem Runningwater), Monica has absolutely no friends. But then she runs into Paul, the mysterious – yet cool – new kid at school. Things are finally looking up. Until a bullying incident with the jock sends Monica plummeting off an overpass. The height’s enough to kill normal people. Fortunately, Monica’s protected by layers of blubber – which explode out of her on impact. She’s left in a coma – but alive.

As for the fat? The local cops leave that on the side of the road, for the vultures. Since the jock’s the Mayor’s son, the case is instantly closed. But is really over?

Especially when the fat starts to merge. It takes on a life of its own – seeking disgusting, vile revenge.

With each victim, the fat grows. Soon it reaches epic proportions; wreaking havoc on everything from a Camero to a Ferris Wheel. (Seriously.) The whole town’s in peril. Only Paul can stop the horror – aided by the powers of Chief Runningwater. Can the Fat be stopped, and Monica saved?

Streamlined and just under 80 pages, O-Beast is a breeze to read. Chock full of Eighties in-jokes and tongue in cheek humor, O-Beast feels like the bastard child of The Blob and Toxie the Avenger… with laugh-out loud moments.

And the effects are do-able. (You’ll need some CG or buckets of toy Slime to make it work.) But if you’re an indie horror director looking for something REAL different, O’Beast is your girl. She’s hefty and weird. But tons of fun.

About the writer, Rod Thompson: Rod Thompson is an award winning screenwriter of both features and shorts. His feature, “The Squire” won Best Drama for the 2014 Table Read My Screenplay contest, and he has placed numerous times for his shorts at MoviePoet.com. His short scripts “Gimme Shelter” and “A Memory in Winter” have both been optioned through their exposure on SimplyScripts.com’s “Shootin’ The Shorts.” He is also “the most humble man alive.”

Pages: 79

Budget: Throw in a bunch of teens, CG and you’re fine.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM 

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of Coal

A renowned female psychologist ruminates over serial killer personalities – and the horror they’ve wreaked on her  life…

Narration. Voice-over. For some, it’s a film gimmick that grates on the nerves. But when done right, it can be spectacular. Don’t believe us? Try on a few of these films on for size.

Annie Hall: stand-up comedian Alvy Singer recounts his neurotic, titular love affair. Goodfellas: Henry Hill describes his evolution from small time crook to valued Mobster, and fall from grace to Informant. The Usual Suspects: Roger “Verbal” Kint weaves a tale of five random members from a police line-up, and the evil Keyser Soze. Speaking of Kevin Spacey and voiceovers, what about American Beauty?

All classic films told through the eyes of the narrator. And that’s the power of “V.O”. In the hands of a skilled screen writer, the voice of the narrator can lift a film to new heights. Add complex dimension to a story, and set the proper tone from page One… whether it be comedic, dramatic, or – in the case of Heart of Coal – downright chilling.

Dr. Lianne Berg’s life has had its ups and downs. A child psychologist who works with autistic children, she’s successful, young and gorgeous. A woman driven to succeed by horrors in her own childhood. Only nine when her mother was killed in front of her – stabbed to death sixty-seven times and beheaded. The serial killer never captured. Not surprisingly, the working of such dysfunctional minds became Dr. Berg’s obsession. As the script progresses, her voice drives the narrative; providing a glimpse into her separate worlds. Professional insights on the motives of such monsters, and her own nightmarish memories: how they’ve warped and shaped her life…

Stylishly written and streamlined, Heart of Coal is a deliciously demented script. And an amazing showcase for a thirtyish actress with just the right voice. With the right cast and smart editing, this script is an amazing find. Do this one right, and create a true horror masterpiece!

About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, Pia Cook has SEVERAL produced features and shorts to her name (full IMDB credits here.) She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written over sixty short screenplays and ten features. (Yeah… that’s not a typo. Six ZERO.)

Budget: Moderate. There are some locations inside a hospital and a Senator’s office. And a few extras to hire. Not to mention some blood and horror FX. But nothing to lose your head over. (Talk about an unfortunate choice of words!)

About the reviewer: David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus.  Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced.   Dave would like to make it three.  He is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com.  Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 “AT” gmail.

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM

OR VIEW OTHER SCRIPTS AT THE STS BLOG HERE

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, STS is on a roll…

Since the site went live, we’re thrilled to say our reviews have helped multiple writers get their short scripts optioned, as well as facilitating several indie director/writer connections and options-in-the-works.

But… we need your help, in two very important areas:

Give us some damn’ good scripts!

A site is only as great as its content.  So we need good scripts to review.  Lots o’ them.  Tons of them.  Short and feature length.  We wanna drown in (good) scripts like it’s a mega-budget producer’s slush pile. Our mission statement at STS is to find the best, highest quality short (and feature length) scripts for review.  So if you have a gem that’s really ready for prime time (or have someone you want to recommend)the link below for submissions. (Don’t forget to include a URL link to your script!)

http://simplyscripts.com/submit_your_script-sts.html

Give us a few damn’ good writers!

STS requires a ton of readin’ and reviewin’, so we’re gonna need a bit of help.  In addition to script showcasing, STS also features occasional interviews with indie directors and industry related book reviews.  If you feel you’ve got a knack for any of those three writing areas – and want to contribute – send us a sample of your work for consideration using the URL listed above.  No, it’s not paid.  But you’ll get credit for your article and press.  And in this biz, that’s a pretty good thing….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Can Wait

“Eric is tormented by the suspicion that love can indeed wait.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the writer: Relatively new in screenwriting, Manolis Froudarakis has won two awards in short screenplay competitions. His main focus is comedy – preferably, comedy with a little edge. You can contact him at: mfroudarakis@yahoo.gr

Pages: 3

Budget: Basic. Locations include a simple picnic setting, a space to replicate a hospital room – and three characters. Oh, and that diamond ring. (Real or prop, it’s up to you!)

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature. KP’s work is available at moviepoet.com!

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM 

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved.

The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Congratulations to Phil Clarke, Jr. on the recent option of his short, Pet Names! Given the pending spook season, horror directors should take note of a few other shorts available by Mr. Clarke, also reviewed on STS. For instance:

Roly Poly (Horror) – A vampire’s latest victim reminds him of who he once was.

Or if comedy is more to one’s taste, try out two scripts which recently placed in Funny or Die:

Anne Goes to Camp (Satire) – A Hollywood pitch meeting for a children’s film turns horribly dark….

Price Check on Film Noir - A film noir spoof, telling the tale of a 1940’s tough guy waiting in line at the supermarket. “There’s no double-coupons when Nick Branson is on the job!” (The first script in the Film Noir trilogy)

More of Mr. Clarke’s work is available at his website: www.philclarkejr.com.  (IMDB Credits listed here.)