STS is proud to announce that Anthony Cawood has scored yet AGAIN.  His reviewed short, Bump in the Night, is now officially optioned by a filmmaker in South Africa.  We promise to keep all and sundry up to date as the process moves towards production!

In the meantime, please take a look at Anthony’s other available work (if you can catch them before they’re inevitably snatched off the shelf!)

GraftA grieving Doctor cannot understand why the skin grafts keep disappearing. She suspects a thief but the answer may be more macabre.

iRobotIt’s Man Vs. Roomba when Octogenarian Roy receives a surprise present from his daughter.

Love Locked -Two teenagers discover romantically painted padlocks on a bridge. Are they Valentines from a love-struck Romeo… or something more sinister?

More about Anthony: Anthony Cawood is an aspiring screenwriter from the UK with a number of scripts in various stages of production, two of which have just wrapped shooting. His script, A Certain Romance, recently won in the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (short script category). You can find out more at


When a bed-ridden teen discovers his online crush has been murdered, he vows to hunt down her killer – before the serial psychopath strikes again.

Limited location. It’s a popular genre in films, these days. The indie appeal is obvious; less locations means lower budget. And the ability to focus one’s funding on what truly counts: drop dead cinematography, great actors. And of course – a riveting plot and script. What could be better than that? Why – single location, of course! And before you claim “too extreme!” look what’s come out of that ethos… Buried. Cube. Moon. The Descent. Not to mention older favorites, too. Twelve Angry Men. Night of the Living Dead (mostly). And who can forget: Rear Window.

Ah yes, the classic Rear Window. In a film often considered Hitchcock’s best, Jimmy Stewart plays a photographer – confined to his apartment by a broken leg. He passes the time watching his neighbors out the window. He begins to suspect a murder has been commited. But what can one crippled man do?

A fascinating premise, chock full of possibilities. What if… one were to skew that concept more towards horror – updated for internet reality? That’d pack audiences in. And the name of it would be…


This time, our hero’s name is Dave. An awkward hacker teen, convalescing at home: having barely survived getting hit by a mack truck. Both legs in casts (take that, Stewart! And you were crippled by just one leg!) Even worse, Dave’s got amnesia. Short term memory loss. Sure, he remembers the mistakes of his younger days. But the accident and high school friends? That part’s a big sucking blank. Needless to say, Dave’s lonely. All he’s got left is his widowed mother, Ruth. But ever since his father’s suicide, Ruth hasn’t been – shall we say – “all there”?

Bored and suffering. Dave whiles away the time popping pain pills and watching newscasts on TV. There’s a serial killer named Slayer on the loose – killing girls and stealing their designer shoes. And when that gets too repetitive, there’s always stuff to browse online. One night, Dave surfs over to a live girl porn-cast…. But the transmission gets re-routed, Face-timing Dave with Clare. A sweet beautiful girl, with large brown eyes. Definitely not the flash-for-cash type. Despite the initial misunderstanding, there’s instant chemistry between the teens. Over the next several days, Dave and Clare Skype-chat (always at 3pm, like clockwork). Their attraction is palpable. Everything seems to be looking up. Until Clare turns away from the screen briefly – revealing fatal stab wounds across her back.

A horrified Dave terminates the transmission. He Googles psychics, and hooks up with Mystic Mary – a faceless woman who confirms the truth. Clare’s dead – a victim of the Slayer. And she doesn’t even know it yet!

Confused, Dave grapples with his feelings – including a deep emotional connection to Clare. Contacted by a female detective (Lucy) on the “Slayer” case, Dave vows to shield Clare from the hideous truth. And help bring her killer to justice.

But that’s a promise easier said than done. Hallucinating from pain medication and subject to his mother’s increasingly violent tirades, Dave can’t even save himself. How in hell will he solve a murder – and protect Clare’s ghost?

You think you know where this is going? You don’t. Though confined to Dave’s bedroom, Offline serves up tons of twists and turns. A gem of an affordable script in a tiny space, Offline keeps its readers guessing to the very end. Complete with a “Jimmy” of it’s own (read it and see), the story’s a modern Rear Window – mixed with Paranormal Activity. If he were alive today, Hitchcock would be scratching at his coffin. Not to mention proud.

About the writer: Gary Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy and was a commissioned writer on the hugely popular Spitting Image broadcast on national television in the UK. He has since branched out into writing features and is actively seeking representation. He can be contacted at gazrow at hotmail dot com.

Pages: 90

Budget: Blissfully indie! Just one location, and a handful of actors. There’s a bit of blood and FX involved – but this is one indie horror that truly focuses on atmosphere, acting and story!





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!)

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….








A zombie Iraq War veteran and his band of misfits cope with their decaying bodies as they hunt for unaffected survivors of a worldwide plague in a desperate effort to reverse their fate.

It’s often said there are no new ideas under the sun. Or in Hollywood, at least. Nope, just the same old stories, again and again. A never ending go ‘round of recycled monsters. Sad and wrinkled. Past their prime. Not to mention the parade of cliché concepts and characters. In the horror genre, it’s particularly bad. How many times can one see demon possessions, vampires and living dead lurch across the screen – before there’s nothing left to say?

Yet, sometimes a script surprises you. Imbuing fresh blood into an old, rotting idea. The sub-genre in this case is – if you haven’t guessed – Zombies. With his webisode series Deathlife, writer Rob Barkan’s given it a whole new spin.

In the pilot episode, we meet Iraqi war veteran Sol, accompanied by a weary band of survivors. Yes indeedy: the Zombie Apocalypse has arrived. Pretty cliché stuff, right? We’ve seen this before. Or have we? There’s just one tiny detail. Sol and his friends are the Walking Dead. And not in any figurative way. They’re corpses. On the other side. But don’t starting grumbling Dead Like Me. Cause there’s yet another twist in store. These zombies are intelligent. Sane. Acutely aware – trapped inside putrifying, rotted shells. In this zombie world, society has still collapsed. But it’s the zombies that have been forced to flee – the ultimate in social outcasts. They’re just trying to hold themselves together – literally – while seeking a cure to save their “lives.”

As is his daily routine, Sol leads a team of armed zombies into the woods in search of food (venison, not people!). His biologist zombie girlfriend Kate is on the hunt as well. For uninfected human blood. She needs several vials for medical experiments. Needless to say, there are no volunteers.

The group stumble across a mansion. Well lit, with generators. And scores of amenities. That fact’s suspicious enough. But it gets even more dubious when a truck pulls up to the door. With a struggling Warmblood (human) hostage inside.

Sol and his team zero in to investigate. It’s search – and possibly rescue. But will what they discover be too horrific to stand? Even for the Living Dead?

An honestly fresh take on the zombie genre, Deathlife’s a shock of fresh air. You like zombies, and want to make your directorial mark? Then get your FX team assembled – stat. Deathlife’s your ticket to something unique!

About the writer: A writer from the tender age of seven, Rob Barkan has had already seen publication with several of his prose horror and fantasy tales. Like Deathlife and want to find out more? Email him at robbybarkan “AT” yahoo!

Pages: 14

Budget: Not too low. You really want to do this right. It doesn’t have to be AMC level – but decent FX are a must!





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 Color of War

A soldier separated from his family by war explores the ruined shambles of his home

War stories. Whether you’re talking WII films like Twelve O’Clock High, or more SONY’s recent Fury… When you strip them down to their essentials, they’re not about guns, bullets or planes. They’re about people. And how they deal with tragic situations – which tear families and friends apart. Because soldiers are more than “uniforms.” Underneath, we’re all human. And we bleed…

Take for instance, Norman Metcalf: a 30-something soldier in an unnamed war. But whatever’s happened is devastating – massive destruction on American soil.

When the script opens, Norman’s in his old neighborhood… or what’s left of it. Destroyed cars and bodies in the streets. Smoke lingers in the air. And before him – the burned-out shell of his own home. He hears the voices of his wife Rebecca and young daughter Zoe. Echoes of conversations from before the war. Bewildered and confused, he runs inside.

The voices continue as Norman explores the remnants of his life (at least, what can be retrieved from the rubble.) Memories return to haunt him. As do regrets: precious moments with his daughter he blew by; and which will never come again. He reaches Zoe’s room, upstairs. But does he dare go inside…?

War stories. You either love or hate them. But when done right, such stories transcend the genre. The setting; irrelevant – they’re pure drama. Poignant. Heartbreaking. And above all else – human.

About the writer: 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 His short scripts “Gimme Shelter” and “A Memory in Winter” have both been optioned through their exposure on’s “Shootin’ The Shorts.” He is also “the most humble man alive.”

Pages: 6

Budget: Mid range. Some of the destruction of war can be implied. Find a desolate area, and one ruined house – and the rest of it will fall in line.





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.








All My Love (formerly “Stuffed”)

A wronged woman takes a scorched earth approach to her revenge.

Warning – Graphic Violence

Love can make one do insane things.  Buy tokens of affection no normal person could afford. Run singing and skipping through torrential rain.  And when love eventually sours – as it often does –  people get even more crazy.  Begging. Pleading. Stalking.  And that’s just normal stuff; par for the course.  But sometimes folks get… well, unhinged.

Take Brian and Angie as a case study.  Married in the 80s: poofy hair. Happy smiles.  But when the script opens in present day, the decades have done their damage.  By the time we meet Angie, she’s a mess. Dry chewing anxiety pills like M&Ms.  Clearly, a woman on the edge.  And that’s putting it mildly.  Brian’s done something to wrong her. And you know what they say about a woman scorned.

Normally, teasers for scripts are wonderful things. But it’d be wrong to describe what happens next.  Let’s just say it’s bloody, and leave it at that.  Sick. Disturbing to the max.  And dog lovers need not apply.

Though thoroughly violent, All My Love’s oddly not gratuitous.  Rather, it’s a disturbing study into how badly a mind can warp, when robbed of the one thing it truly loves.  A deranged mix of drama and horror – AML really leaves it’s bloody mark.

About the writer: Anthony Cawood is an award winning screenwriter from the UK with four shorts produced, two in post production and another 10 short scripts optioned/sold.  He’s just finished his first feature script and is about to start writing a low budget horror feature for a producer in LA.  You can find out more at

Pages: 7

Budget: Pretty low.  Lots of blood, and you’ll need some… er… props.





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.


Code Black

 A gung-ho firefighter’s life is turned upside down when his daughter is kidnapped by a vicious mobster – who wants her heart to save his father’s life.

Remember when Die Hard arrived in theaters? (Or for those a bit younger – the first time you saw it on DVD?) An electrifying movie, from the very first scene. It’s a film with all the right ingredients: a character you care about – John McClane. Fighting for something worthwhile: his family. Thrown in a do-or-die situation, with Professor Snape as the bad guy? That’s some amazing stuff right there. An entertainment recipe destined to never get old.

And that’s the problem with some action thrillers these days. They keep the FX. The violence. The gore. But they forget you have to root for the good guy. We mean, really empathize. ‘Cause if you don’t, then the movie becomes just a string of pretty explosions. You gotta care what the character’s fighting for.

Which brings us to Code Black’s Graham Harris. 43 and divorced, his body’s seen far better days. He’s coasting over middle-aged hill, with the other side firmly in view. Which is unfortunate for someone in his line of work. He’s a firefighter: one of the gung-ho kind. Which means he’s constantly getting into work related scrapes… a habit that worries his teen daughter, MacKenzie. And if anything could make Graham retire, it’s her. For him, MacKenzie’s the most important thing in the world.

Unfortunately, others see her value as well. Namely, a certain Southern gentleman named Cabot. Cabot’s a vicious, murdering (yet ever-so-polite) son of a bitch. And the son of someone quite dangerous: Lincoln Sadler (63). Head of the most notorious crime family in the business. You see, Lincoln’s got a bad ticker, with a unique blood type. And MacKenzie’s the perfect match.

And Cabot’s hit upon the perfect plan. Kidnap local cardiac surgeon, Dr. Lambert, along with her family. Arrange for MacKenzie to have an “accident”, and end up in emergency. Then it’s just a matter of declaring the teen brain dead, and making the gory organ switch. Voila – a brand new Lincoln Sadler, good as new. Sure, it’ll take a bit of finessing. But it beats risking the Mexican black market scene.

But Cabot’s missed one important factor – Graham. A father who’ll fight for his daughter – to the death. Which might just be the price he’ll have to pay. Alerted by Dr. Lambert’s strange behavior, a suspicious Graham uncovers the plot; just as Cabot’s goons swarm the hospital. The building goes into lockdown – and everything else goes to hell.

Because now the clock is ticking. Can Graham survive Cabot’s hall-roaming death squads – in time to save his daughter’s life?

Mostly limited location, Code Black’s got what indie thriller directors look for. Tons of action, guns, and blood. And – most importantly – memorable characters to root for. ‘Cause you gotta love the good guy to cheer him on. You got a leading actor that’s the next Bruce Willis? Then have him try on Graham Harris for size!

About the writer, Matt Thompson:

Once, while in the midst of a scathing review of a whodunit slasher spec that labeled Matt as anti-American and pro-terrorist due to a seven line monologue that painted a combat vet as a potential suspect, a reader nevertheless described his writing as ‘generally competent.’

Matt has worked hard to live up to that standard ever since.  Tell him how much he’s failed at writerlog “AT”, or @AssortedMatt on Twitter.  Or – even better – write to Matt and let him know if Code Black’s got your directorial name on it….

Pages: 100

Budget: Not minimalistic. There is a fire fighting scene at the beginning. A car crash, and a helicopter to requisition. But once the action starts flowing, the hospital setting is all you’ll need.





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.