Christmasville – Experience the Spirit While You Can!

CHRISTMASVILLE

Having lost his zest for life after the death of his daughter, a newly unemployed father takes a magical journey to Christmasville, where he receives the greatest gift of all — a second chance.

Christmas-themed movies will always be perennial favourites with audiences. From oft repeated classics such as: It’s A Wonderful Life, (1946) and Miracle On 34th Street (1947), to more contemporary classics such as: Home Alone (1990), Elf (2003), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), and Bad Santa (2003).

If there’s one thing the history of the film industry tells us it’s that Christmas themed movies are consistent box office winners, whether they be theatrically released, Indie, or direct to video and television productions. Audiences cannot get enough of what’s now commonly known as the celluloid ‘Countdown to Christmas’ where holiday movies play on solid run from Thanksgiving to New Year. The number of people in the U.S. alone who watched a Hallmark Christmas movie in 2017 was around 65 million, with that number expected to exceed 85 million by New Year, 2018.

What’s the secret to their popularity?

Well, that’s simple. Audiences long for homespun, feel-good movies with their universal themes of love, family, hope, and redemption. Add to that the perfect backdrop of crisp white snow, a little mistletoe, the twinkling of Christmas lights and baubles, and a liberal dose of fairy dust, and you’re onto a sure-fire winner.

Steven Clarke’s onto a winner with his rather aptly titled Christmasville which has all these requisite ingredients plus a whole lot more.

We open on family man, Dale. A woodworker by trade, he’s resigned his lot to the ‘shipping and receiving depot’ of a factory in a small town. Dale is getting on with things but he’s also carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, living in the shadow of the tragic death of his young daughter, and more recently the passing of his father. Clearly, Dale is not living his best life. He has an eight year old son, Michael, who worships the ground his dad walks on, and a loving and devoted wife in Tabitha. But still the traumatic events of the past plague him.

As Dale surveys his town he thinks it ain’t all that bad. Sure it’s quaint with its Mom and Pop stores and everybody knowing everybody else’s business, but it sure is pretty this time of year; church steeples rising high into the sky, the shops dressed in their holiday wreaths and colourful lights, and lamp posts strung with pretty garlands.

It’s just over a week before Christmas, the first few flurries of snow are falling and the townsfolk are preparing for the annual Tree lighting.

There’s only one blot on the landscape for Dale and that is the woodworking store (that) stands dark and vacant. A FOR LEASE sign hangs in the fogged out window. This is the store Dale’s father once ran. The store that Dale should now be running.

Oh, and the fact that eight days out from Christmas, Dale is summoned to the boss’s office and unceremoniously given the old heave-ho. Budget’s been cut. Dale was last in, so he’s first out.

A crushing blow, but Dale’s not one to let the grass grow under his feet or let pride get in the way of a providing for his family, so he’s up next day at the crack of dawn to Marone’s Luncheonette. Store-owner Pete is a decent fellow who’ll give anyone a break and before long Dale’s proving his mettle with the popularity of his burgers and BLTs. Until that is – his less than stellar tomato-dicing skills land him in the Emergency Department. What rotten luck. A bunged up hand and a nasty trail of stitches means there’ll be no more working the grill for Dale. Not for a good while anyway.

Still Dale bravely pushes on, now relegated to stoically running errands for Tabitha, at the local Mall.

On the way home with daylight fading fast and the snow now falling hard:

A sharp turn looms ahead,
Dale cuts the wheel,
the brakes lock,
the car slides…

 The road twists left
Dale’s car goes straight
It fishtails,
Smashing into a guard rail

Dale tenses, can’t speak
This is it.
No time to react.
No time to—
CRASH!

Dale’s car crashes into a guard rail and down a steep embankment.

He falls into unconsciousness.

Then wakes sometime later – ‘everything out of focus, head bandaged’ – he locks eyes with a SMALL MAN by the name of Butter Finger, sporting green thermals and a red stocking cap.

From hereon in things get even more surreal. It appears Dale has entered an alternate reality of seemingly Rockwell-ian proportions – cobblestone sidewalks, a town square surrounded by an ice skating pond, a world inhabited by Elves and reindeer and pretty soon after Dale finds himself riding shotgun in a sleigh next to a hulking man with a white beard who for all intents and purposes looks like Santa. But is he? This Santa has a Pilates class scheduled at three, a particular penchant for the Elliptical machine and a personal trainer coming in at four-thirty. Huh?

For Dale things are getting weirder by the minute and all he really wants is out of this particular rabbit hole and back home to his loving wife and son.

But, try as he might it seems there’s no means of escape.

Meanwhile back home, with Sheriff Shirley Hastings at the helm, the townsfolk have rallied and a search party is underway. It seems Dale has disappeared off the face of the earth, something he promised his wife he would never do. Tabitha and Michael are beside themselves with worry of his whereabouts.

The writing in Christmasville is what elevates this story from any comparison to a ‘by the numbers cookie-cutter’ holiday tale. With its ensemble cast every role is three dimensional and beautifully drawn. It’s no easy task for a writer to create character with only one line of dialogue, but writer Steven Clarke does this with aplomb. Larger standout roles such as town Sheriff Shirley Hastings, (a lovely nod to Marg Gunderson, Fargo ) and her well meaning but slightly dim-witted Deputy Rick, are particularly memorable.

Christmasville seamlessly blends the comical with the sentimental, the dramatic with heart-rending, the nostalgic with the modern. This is an original and beautifully written tale that will entertain the whole family.

Producers: Want all your Christmases to come at once? Well, best open your present early, cause this is a one of a kind limited edition, and it’s sure to sell out fast.

About the reviewer: Libby Chambers has been writing all her life. Over her career, she’s worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, trained as a FAD, and served professionally as a freelance web-content editor and proofreader. She lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia, and describes him as being both a good and a bad influence on her writing. You can contact Libby at libbych “AT” hotmail

About Steve: 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!!)

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The Changer – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

The Changer

Two bickering police detectives must find a way to capture the world’s most elusive criminal.

Some stories are tons of fun. Isn’t that what we go to movies for?

Angst, terror and philosophical symbolism isn’t needed for every film we see. Sometimes simple is the best. “Entertainment for the sake of entertainment” is a spectacular experience when done right. Especially when the jokes are primed to fly.

In his latest short The Changer, master storyteller David Troop makes a fun story live and breathe; resulting in chuckles galore!

Yet, for cops Kennedy and Harris, the events of The Changer are pure business. As often happens with film law enforcement types, these partners are different as two guys could be:

Kennedy’s a Caucasian veteran cop in his 40s – lacking any form of fashion sense. Of course, film-logic requires him paired with African-American Officer Harris. Ten years Kennedy’s junior, Harris is a “poster boy for Reebok.” Together, the two are on the job, seeking a mysterious master-of-disguise known simply as, “The Changer.

Tense and bickering from Page One, the couple track “the dude” to urban apartment 4D. With police badges on display, they bust down the door – only to find screaming hooker Petunia inside. Encouraged by the officer’s raised guns, Petunia points to the bathroom. Harris searches the area quickly, yet finds only – a cat inside.

Harris shrugs, turns his back. Allowing the Bizarre “Changer” to make his escape. Out the open bathroom window – down a rusty fire escape. Pretty soon, the chase is on (ala the Grand Budapest Hotel!

In hot pursuit of a “tall figure in a trench coat”, the partners race through alleys, down gritty streets. Eventually, Harris corners the perp. (Kennedy joins the chase somewhat late… having stopped to “question” the hooker privately!). But soon, Kennedy and Harris have their man…

Still – given The Changer’s “special set of skills”, the question is… Do they have him cornered?

Really?

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, TC is a fun – and very funny – ride.

Think movies like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Police Academy, Naked Gun or Groundhog Day. If you’re a director who loves goofy comedy, then TC is your blockbuster. Set your humor on stun. And pull the cinematic wool over your audience’s tears-of-laughter-filled eyes!

Pages: 9

Budget: Relatively low. Three talented male character actors (with good comedic timing) are required for the main roles. Plus a handful of extras. Settings include: Apartment interior rooms, stairway, streets, and an alley – all of which are easy to stage.

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

About the Writer: David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No. 2 pencil.  He’s a contributor and award winner on websites such as MoviePoet.com, WriterArena.com, and this here one.

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

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SCRIPTREVOLUTION.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.

 

 

At the End of My Day – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

AT THE END OF MY DAY

A ghost hunter takes off in search of an urban legend… only to find some mysteries are best left in the past.

Since the dawn of time, mankind has been held spellbound by ghost stories. Be it around the campfire, in print, or up on the silver screen, there’s something spine-tinglingly good about a spooky tale laden with creepy atmosphere and supernatural tormentors.

Much like the apparitions themselves, good ghost stories never die. They simply haunt our memory. Forever.

Some of the very best ones also serve up a twist ending that not only terrifies us to our core, but hits us on a deep emotional level as well. One need only think of M. Night Shyamalan’s superb The Sixth Sense – to appreciate just how effective this type of storytelling can be.

Writer Rod Thompson continues this proud tradition of spooky ghostly tales with his excellent At the End of My Day.

When eight year old Norman Ellis is confronted by a weeping apparition at the foot of the stairs, his entire world is changed. Though assured by his parents that there is no such thing as ghosts, Norman finds his belief system turned upside down. And a life long obsession forms. What exactly is the Crying Man? And what mystery lies beyond those tears?

Flash forward some forty years. Norman, now a practising parapsychologist, arrives at his childhood home determined to solve the mystery once and for all. Not that he comes alone. This time he’s forewarned and forearmed: with state-of-the-art equipment, and energetic assistant Curtis.

All to soon, darkness falls. Footsteps can be heard upstairs. The wood floors creak and moan… hints of some ghostly presence.

Sure enough, the Crying Man apparition floats towards them. And Norman looks upon it with terror and disbelief…

Will Norman and Curtis survive this ghostly encounter,or will yet more tears be shed – this time, at their grisly end?

Pages: 8

Budget: low.

About the reviewer: 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. His contained horror Offline was the ‘featured script of the month’ in March and has since been optioned. He is seeking representation and can be contacted at gazrow at hotmail dot com.

About the writer, Rod Thompson: I have been writing creatively since I learned how to write. There is just something about telling a story that I can never get over. Storytelling in itself is like an old flame that occasionally comes to me and just says, “Use me.” The ability to watch a movie through words, or to craft a world in such a manner is the closest to Godliness that man will ever come. True story. Contact Rod at RodThompson1980 “AT” gmail.com

INTERESTED IN READING THIS ONE?

 CONTACT ROD AT RodThompson1980 “AT” gmail.com

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SCRIPTREVOLUTION.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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego Impala Cholas – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

San Diego Impala Cholas

All they wanted to do was sell a gun. But things don’t always go as planned.

The great thing about revenge stories is that they mess with what we like to think about right and wrong. Do the ends justify the means? And, when it’s a woman taking justice into her own hands, even murderers gain our sympathies. From Lipstick to the likes of Volver, The Brave One, Kill Bill, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, we love stories where strong women match evil with evil…especially when justice prevails.

Meet Babyface, Prima and Whisper: three low-riding, gun-toting, social critic gangsters.   CJ Walley’s San Diego Impala Cholas opens with the three in their Impala, driving to meet a woman who needs a gun. When the gangsters encounter their prospective buyer Lola, they are filled with scorn that quickly turns to mistrust. But Lola has a secret. And, once the Cholas discover the truth, they devise a plan of their own.

What coulda, shoulda been a simple transaction with a gun gets complicated – quickly. Compassion, politics and a shared anger over the injustices women face jumps directly in the way.

Thanks to C.J. Walley’s unique style, the dialogue for Cholas really pops, filled with slang from gangster culture and exchanges that his female characters feel alive. These women – as depicted – are for real and scorn those who don’t walk the talk. As Prima explicitly declares: “Personas dressin’ up like gangsters and, you know, gettin’ ink, because, what? They like the style?”

Fans of C.J. Walley won’t be surprised – Cholas’ chalk full of captivating dialogue… as well as a masterful exploration into what motivates his characters. Including violent, gritty action. Make room Lisbeth Salander and Beatrix Kiddo, here come the Cholas! Everyone make room for the ride!

Pages: 7

Budget: Low to medium –will need a Chevy Impala.

About the reviewer: 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 recently has begun to work on two screenplays.

About the writer: CJ Walley began writing in 2012 and I’m pleased to say it’s been very exciting so far. I have been fortunate enough to have a short produced by a director in London and Amazon Studios have spotlighted one of my features as a notable project. My scripts place within the top 10% of various major screenwriting competitions and, as I continue to write specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producer in LA on a comedy series, working with a director in New Orleans on a thriller, and blogging for Stage 32. I’m here to do two things, work hard and make friends. My writing has a down and dirty tone, deep emotion, gritty action, wry humor, and features strong female leads. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d love to join forces with you whatever the scale, do not hesitate to reach out and drop me a line. (CJ “AT” CJwalley DOT COM; http://www.cjwalley.com

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

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

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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.

Family Man – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Family Man

Before a member of a mob family can be named the new Capo, he has to take care of an unpleasant task to prove his loyalty to the family.

Mob movies are an interesting subculture… one which has spawned some – well, really seriously good sh*t.   Seriously: The GodfatherScarfacePulp Fiction. Reservoir DogsThe Sopranos.  The list goes on.  When done right, the genre seems to create some of the best quotes in film history, and some of the most memorable characters.  But since it’s been done so many times, how can a mob script find fresh material?

Family Man manages to pull it off.  Starting in familiar territory, FM fades in on Johnny Parisi, a loyal mob soldier that’s been handpicked as the new Capo.  You see, Frankie – the older Capo – doublecrossed the boss. As a result, they’re still scraping Frankie (and his dog) off his lawn. The thing is – Boss Lombardo doesn’t want a repeat performance.  So he’s testing Johnny first.  Before he gets his promotion, Johnny’ll have to take care of Frankie’s accomplice.  But when Parisi finds out who that is, all his plans go to hell.  Who’s the rat? And will Johnny pull the trigger? Or end up on the wrong end of Lombardo’s wrath?

If you wanna find out, you’re gonna have to open this script yourself. ‘Cause I ain’t gonna be the one to spill the beans…

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: 10

Budget: Moderate.  This isn’t a Tarantino script – you won’t blow your budget on squibs.  But there are a moderate number of locations (both exterior and interior) and a healthy number of characters.  But the settings are pretty flexible; this could be shot most anywhere.

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

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

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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.

 

Teaching with Violence – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Teaching with Violence

In my day (warbles the ancient reviewer) horror was simple to classify. You had ghost stories. Creature features. And, of course, Slashers. Ah – the good ole days. * Now things have gotten more varied. Found footage. Torture porn of every shape and size. Hostel. Saw. Every Wayan’s spoof ever made (now that’s real torture, folks!) As a horror subgenre, sadism can be tricky. It’s easy to write. And very easy to get wrong. Audiences will inevitably cringe when characters are threatened. But one slip of the keys, and a psychologically effective script can easily descend into mindless sadism… usually tinged with misogyny. Teaching With Violence is one script that treads the thin line successfully. Yet doesn’t lose its shock value.

A simple premise, TWV follows bartender Sarah as she closes up for the night. Before leaving, waitress Emily drops off a cell phone left behind by a careless customer. She offers her friend a ride home – but Sarah’s waiting for her boyfriend. Left alone in the bar, Sarah idly browses the phone’s picture gallery – and finds horrifying photos. Next thing she knows, a man arrives at the door looking for the phone. Sarah lies and says it’s not there; but he spots the phone on the bar. And can easily guess what she saw. Sarah calls 911 – but the man’s already broken in… Will Sarah survive the ordeal that follows? What does the stranger want, anyway?

Straightforward and shot in one location, TWV lives up to its name. It’s violent. But it teaches a valuable lesson: that brutality can work in short films. When handled intelligently.

* Just to clarify… we’re talkin’ 80s here. Don’t put the STS staff in Depends yet. (Unless you’re kinky that way.)

About the writer: Our very own James Williams (IMDB credits here.) With both shorts and features to his name, James is perhaps best known for the So Pretty vampire trilogy of shorts – the third installment now in production!

Pages: 13

Budget: Very low budget.  Only two main characters, and two supporting characters (three, if you consider a boyfriend lying on a couch support.) Oh – and one setting. A bar.  Doesn’t get simpler than that.

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

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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.

 

Cooked – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Cooked

A this-or-that of urban legends as an old cat lady goes about her day. …

There’s something about mixing horror and comedy that just works so well.  You know, like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – mix chocolate and peanut butter (or is that peanut butter and chocolate?), and the result is better than any single ingredient.  Doubt me on that?  Try some of these titles on for size: Army of Darkness, Shaun of the Dead,  American Werewolf in London (in parts.).  ‘Nuff said.  Game, set and match.

Following in that noble of tradition of laughing at potentially grisly events, Cooked follows the story of little old lady Barbara, as she pulls into her driveway.  Her son Jacob has lent her the family cat for a day of fur-baby sitting – and Barbara’s thrilled.  But, as old people sometimes are (especially in films), Barbara can be a bit… absentminded.  As the script progresses, the feline dangers in house begin to mount.  An open microwave.  Upended knives in the sink.  Will Barbara be a good grand-mamma to little pussy?  Or is there a cat-astrophe in their future?

Give Cooked a read.  It’s a fun little script with a strong ending.  And hey…  any script that endangers a cat is fine with me.

About the writer: Chris Shamburger was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Shriekfest Film Festival and finalist (Top 10) in 2013 for his recently-produced script, Hiccups. He was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Straight Twisted Horror Screenplay Contest and has been published in Twisted Dreams Magazine and Horror in Words. He lives in Marietta, GA with his partner and their Chow-mix rescue, Walter. Aside from writing, Chris has been teaching pre-kindergarten for the past five years.

Pages: 4

Budget: Low budget ; the entire script takes place at a single house (interior and exterior shots.)  One character.  Two, if you count the cat.  Which  is probably the only tricky part.  But that’s what stuffed props are for!! Or housecats you no longer need…

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

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SCRIPTREVOLUTION.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.