The Super Hero Bureau of Affairs is in search of new blood. Will Black Friday Man fit the bill?

Attention shoppers! In a world where super hero franchises are booted and re-booted again, do you yearn for originality? Sure, modern super heros can sling webs and defeat entire armies of aliens… but can they alert you to what really counts: discounts at your local Wal-Mart? If that’s your kind of costumed crusader, then consider your prayers answered today. Because we know someone who fits the spandex covered bill.

Jason K. Allen’s comedy short opens innocently enough – at the office of the Superhero Acceptance Division. Due to the amount of recent retirees, they’re conducting interviews for the next batch of super beings to save the day. At first, pickings are scarce – until Black Friday Man arrives on the scene. A hulk of a man in the tights and a Lone Ranger mask, BFM is a strange sight. Can he fly? Nope. Can he shoot lasers from his eyes? Not that either. But he can offer swift beat-downs and ass whuppings to unruly shoppers on the busiest shopping day ever.

Otherwise known as: Black Friday.

A superhero that’s useful once a year? So what – you may ask – does he do with the rest of his time? Well, as BFM puts it… “work out.”

Perplexed with their candidate, the Boss and his assistant called in hulking monster “Brutus”, to test out BFM’s fighting skills.

Will Black Friday Man live up to the hype? Or end up a dud, yesterday’s news?

With a cast of three and a budget below the knees, this engaging comedy would be a breeze (and fun) to shoot.

But – be forewarned. You will need a couple pairs of socks. Why? We’re talking about a man in tights here, folks. Crack this script open, and you’ll see.

Pages: 5

Budget: Almost zero.

About the reviewer: A writer since the age of 12, the first book that Steve Clark ever read was Amityville Horror. The second was Cujo. He’s been writing ever since, and is currently hard at work on two features. He’s reachable at SAClark69 “AT” verizon.net (or on Long Island, if you’re in the area!!)

About the writer: Jason K. Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee. His produced short scripts include AMERICAN SOCK, which won Best Screenplay at the 2014 San Diego Film Awards, and AUTUMN LOVERS, winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Artlightenment Festival in Nashville. He also wrote the feature film LUCKY FRITZ starring Julia Dietze (IRON SKY) and Corey Feldman. Jason is also a wilderness guide, nature photographer, and published author. See IMDB for his complete credits: www.imdb.com/name/nm3021924






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.



Of Mice and Monsters

A Gypsy girl in a Nazi concentration camp uses magical powers to keep her grave ill brother alive

Whether a short or a feature, one of the things that good scripts do is make you really care for the main character – sucking you into their world and worries. Really making you root for them.

Here, for your consideration, is ‘Of Mice and Monsters’ (recently retitled Mirela): a period piece set in the dismal Buchenwald Concentration Camp.  This twelve page script follows the story of Mirela, a seventeen year old Gypsy girl who uses her ancestor’s magic to find a form of escape…  as the horrors of her world begin to close in.

Given the black and white evil that the Holocaust represents, it would have been easy to write a script full of Inglorious Bastered Nazi stereotypes.  Of Mice and Monsters avoids that entirely – and all the obvious cliches.  Instead, the script is a poignant character piece… one which is likely to stay with you long after reading.

About the writer: A prolific writer, Kevin Lenihan has a number of short and feature length scripts in his roster… and is always looking for the next great story and idea. (Mice and Monsters is currently being developed as a feature length.)

Budget: Potentially high, due to the setting – but surmountable with smart use of public domain video clips for outside shots.

Primary Genre: Historical, drama, fantasy

Page length: 11 pages





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.


The Eulogy

When a cantankerous woman is given only months to live, the town scrambles to see who will write her Eulogy – and inherit her vast fortune.”

Here at SS/STS we know a great script when we read one. And Dena McKinnon’s feature The Eulogy earns the spotlight today. Last year, we reviewed the short version of Eulogy (aka Ruby) – even then, we were impressed. But then we took a look at the feature length. In our humble opinion, it’s a great idea… made better.

Why all the kudos? Because The Eulogy has heart. “Heart’s” a word that gets tossed around a lot (especially in the entertainment biz). And that’s with good reason. ‘Cause what makes a good movie great? A story that has soul and meaning. That makes an audience really feel. Think Max, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Moonrise Kingdom, Little Miss Sunshine, Finding Nemo, Billy Elliot, and Stand By Me. (Add your personal picks to this list – we’re sure there are tons that haven’t been named.) Give an audience riveting action and FX, and their hearts are guaranteed to race. But tell a sincere story with sympathetic characters that aren’t cliché? Folks, that’s how you get a heart to melt.

And that’s an arena where The Eulogy excels… surrounding its readers in a rich tapestry of characters, which envelop you like a warm blanket.

The main protagonist is Ruby Mae Morgan: wealthy spinster, and owner of Morgan Textiles factory. An isolated figure, she lives out the remainder of her years behind the perpetually locked gates of her lonely Southern mansion. Despite her riches, she has no friends. Only employees (lots of them), who test the limits of her patience daily. Ruby’s miserable personality hints at some trauma in her past… but she isn’t interested in reminiscing or telling tales. Business takes priority over the personal. Always. Even when Ruby discovers she’s… dying. But rather than give up, she goes into high gear, determined to wrap up loose ends. Especially regarding who will get her factory and take the reins. Within days of her diagnosis, the old woman announces a contest: whoever writes the best eulogy for her (while she’s still alive and able to judge) will get her full estate… and company.

Needless to say – game on! As soon as the proclamation’s made, all the factory workers scramble to life, each determined to win the prize.

Among the contenders: Violet (24). Though young, she’s already had a hard knock life. Estranged from her husband (sleazy factory manager Sherman), Violet’s been abused, kicked out of her home, and forced to live with five year old daughter Abbey in their beat-up car.

Then there’s Catfish – Miss Ruby’s gardener – who readily admits he’s in over his head. Not only is he not a writer, he’s got more pressing issues on his plate. Like watching over two grown drug-addicted daughters, and caring for seven year old granddaughter, “Tadpole”. But still, a man can dream. Especially when his precocious granddaughter’s future is at stake.

Then there’s Miss Ruby’s greedy son Brent – a man who has had little to do with his mother his entire life. At least, until he hears about her eminent demise. After which point, Brent arrives with attorney in tow: clearly not interested in reunion. But hell-bent on inheritance.

Then there’s the rest of the colorful, quirky town – all desperate to grab for the brass ring that Ruby’s dangled before their eyes. Even if they have to brown-nose, cheat and lie.

Of all the characters that march across Eulogy’s page, it’s young “Tadpole” that stands heads and tails above the rest. “Seven going on Twenty Three”, Tadpole is perhaps the only one who truly feels sorry for Miss Ruby, and sees redeeming qualities in her. As Tadpole herself states: “Miss Ruby could be right mean. But I just figure she must be feeling really bad inside. Maybe she was scared about dying. She was like one of them suckers with the hard candy on the outside and the delicious bubble gum on the inside.” Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes.

Take our word for it. Tadpole will steal your heart…

As Miss Ruby’s illness accelerates, the contest reaches crisis point. Everyone’s needy – but who will win? And will Miss Ruby find peace of mind – or take decade long secrets to her grave?

You’ll care about the characters in The Eulogy. A lot. Honest, organic portrayals, this odd assortment of personalities will capture your attention, and hold it hostage to the end. This feature length will tug at your heartstrings, and win big at the festivals. And drama doesn’t get much better than that. J

Pages: 98

Budget: The Talent. Get the best actors money can buy. Then let the script work it’s magic!

About the Writer: As a new writer, Dena McKinnon has had her share of luck (her word). She has had four shorts produced. One of her shorts, The Box, directed by Sascha Zimmermann, has racked up numerous awards and will screen at Comic-Con this month in San Diego. Dena has optioned one feature, Doggone, a buddy script cowritten with Kevin Lenihan. Currently, Dena has one feature in production, The Last Call, with Leo-PR, and is writing on assignment for an undisclosed TV producer. Dena’s IMDB Credits and Website are available at the following links:



About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working on a historical feature.





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.


Trick of the Trade

When young Harry needs money to buy a gift, he learns that crime does pay, but in an unexpected way.

There’s something about scripts involving school boy crushes, and first loves.  Then again – who doesn’t like stories about disreputable (yet somehow charming) con men?  If you nodded to both of those statements, then Trick of the Trade is right for you.  Because this is a script that actually incorporates both of these elements into one package.

Little Harry Cartwright is a simple rural kid, growing up in Depression era Oklahoma.  The light of his life is Susie Clemons, a pretty little school girl and Harry’s first love.  Unfortunately for both, Susie’s family is moving to Texas. In just two weeks. A crestfallen Harry’s committed to getting her a school photo of himself as a keepsake.  Problem is, it costs a quarter.  And that’s way too expensive for him.

After his request is rebuffed by his father, Harry sets off to the local Pharmacy to see if he can steal the dough.  He’s stopped by Roscoe – a local con man and n’er do well – who tells him to leave the stealin’ to more capable folk.  Undeterred, Harry glues himself to Roscoe, determined to earn his pay… in addition to that damned quarter.

The result?  A combination of Ocean’s Eleven meets Mark Twain.  It’s a satisfying story with a lot of character… perfect for a director looking to prove their storytelling chops.

About the writer: Gary Howell is an attorney who has been writing as a hobby for years, and his short “The Family Man,” led to a connection with an Australian film director. The two collaborated on a feature film, “Broad Daylight,” which is currently in pre-production, with filming to begin in New Orleans in July. He is currently working on two new features.

Pages: 18

Budget: Moderate to Average.  Trick of the Trade is a period piece.  And there are a variety of locations, and characters. Despite that, there’s not much needed in the way of FX – this script is far more character/actor focused than anything else.





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.


The Test

In a futuristic society, life changes for a teenager who can’t pass the test.

In my humble but clearly infallible opinion, Ray Bradbury wrote some of the best short stories. Ever in the history of the world. Case closed; that is all.

And Bradbury’s novels aren’t too shabby either. Take for instance, Fahrenheit 451 – a story of censorship and social control echoed in Richard Russell’s SF short, The Test.

Fade in on the script. The time: the plausible near future. And the humble setting: a middle class home, with an almost 50’s domestic vibe.

Iola is the mother – tooling around the kitchen with her trusty tablet, preparing the family’s meals. Everything’s colored coded. For instance, today’s dinner is “green.” Which is probably just as well, because Iola doesn’t appear to be all there…

Husband Ron arrives from work moments later, dressed in a cop-like uniform. He regales his wife about his day (he’s some sort of ‘inspector librarian’) – and asks Iola about their son Josh’s test. Important scores came in today. But Iola’s unsure where they are; she’s forgotten already. A fact which doesn’t surprise Ron. And so he grabs a beer, and heads to Josh’s room…

…to be confronted with some cold, hard facts. Fourteen year old Josh failed his test miserably. And that means dire consquences – including “Educational Camp”. A prospect that Ron fears at all costs…

After dinner, Ron escorts Josh to “old man Granger’s” house. A thin old man with “wispy hair”, and dusty secrets in his basement. To save Josh from his mother’s fate, Ron’s arranged a special trip…

And that’s where my summary stops. No need to spoil a great script.

Instead, take a read for yourself – discover the multi-layered narrative and well-drawn characters; each with their distinct voice. Despite the SF setting, this is one cautionary tale that would be easy to produce. There’s no elaborate special effects – and a very human story at its core. It’d be a winner at festivals. And Ray Bradbury would be pleased.

Pages: 12

Budget: Relatively small, interior locations.

About the reviewer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with 4 short films produced and a bunch of other scripts optioned and/or purchased.

Links to his films and details of his scripts can be found at http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

About the Writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes.  He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine.  He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best.  They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future.  Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory.  Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world.





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.



There are lots of fun aspects to working at STS.  Reading quality scripts. The joy of seeing them optioned and/or sold.  And best of all, seeing the final result when they get produced!  One of the scripts that have gone ‘the distance’ is a cute gem by Manolis Froudarakis, which premiered on this site a little more than a month ago.  Who Killed Rosa Morales – a tongue in cheek satire with a twist.

And the production has a twist as well.  Rather than go with live actors, the director LEGOFIED the story – adding a extra  dimension to an already funny script. (We dare you to look at a Lego film and not smile!) See it here and brighten your day!

A note to indie comedy directors.  Who Killed Rosa Morales is still available for live action option.  So head on over and read the actual script. We guarantee you’ll like what you see!

Who Killed Rosa MoralesThe man who knows the truth about a mysterious murder lies in an ambulance after a heart attack. Detective Sanchez needs to question him before it is too late.

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





Scientists probe the past to find the source of radiation affecting the present only to discover the surprising cause.

From “Terminator” to “Time Bandits,” “Back To The Future” and “Planet Of The Apes,” the cinema has always been fascinated with the “what ifs” of time travel. Just as mankind is intrigued by what is to come, we’re equally enthralled by what could have been. It’s human nature to want to undo what’s been done. To rewrite what’s been written.

What screenwriter Ian J. Courter has written is an inventive twist on the genre. His short, “Retrocausality,” starts with overzealous scientists* who have cornered the market not only on time travel, but time sensing (the ability to peek back in time) as well. Their current project: a look back to ancient Mongolia. They’ve captured data on an unexplained nuclear reaction, and plan to open a real-time probe portal to investigate its origin.

In order to get the real-time data feed, scientist Jacobs (a “thin and geeky” brainiac) tells his pudgy counterpart Mabry they’ll need to boost the power of their generator to 112%. The request sets off big-time alarms in Mabry’s mind.


What?! You trying to fry us all?


We’re good… as long as the coolant flows. If it starts to over-clock too much…



You mean “melt down.”

Jacobs spins his chair towards his colleague.



Semantics, indeed. But it’s too late to call off orders, and so the investigation proceeds. The portal to 1227 is opened and the probe slides through in daylight… at ground level, no less. Yet another high risk play.


The doorway is at ground level.
Stuff can get through.


These are the coordinates they gave me.
Besides, as if birds couldn’t get through before.

Mabry opens his mouth to retort… And his worst fears are quickly proven right.

Within seconds, hundreds of Mongolian warriors spot the probe and race toward it, a hostile force. The scientists scramble to get the probe back through the portal – the primitive horde in hot pursuit. With the already steaming generator close to melt-down, the situation becomes a heart pounding race both for survival and time. Will the team close the portal before it’s breached? And even if they do… will there be a present day world left to save?

Are you a SF director in search of an intelligent time-travel tale…? One that’s unique, not cliché? Then give Retrocausality a scientific look. Yes, you’ll need a solid FX budget to do this one right. But it’s a story that audiences won’t soon forget!

* Arrogant scientists pushing the boundaries of nature…. what time travel story would be complete without some of them?!

Pages: 11

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. He can be contacted via email at zzupke “AT” yahoo

About the writer: Ian J. Courter has an academic and technical-writing background, and is published in both fields, so a shift to another form of writing seemed natural. He strives to combine his writing skills with nearly two decades of military experience to develop screenplays with vivid locations and in-depth, realistic characters. What started as a hobby quickly became a passion.  In only a few short years, he has written three feature-length screenplays and nine short scripts.  He currently has several feature-length scripts in various stages of development and continually seeks inspiration for more. His email address is ian.j.courter “at” gmail.com.





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.