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!

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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.

 

Dixie Gash Bandits – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

“Dixie Gash Bandits”

When they stop to fix their get-a-way vehicle, two runaway sisters must tackle both love at first sight and the bounty hunters hot on their tail.

I believe Mr. Torrance said it best when he tapped: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Pulling for good to triumph over evil is human nature. Rooting for and wanting to be the bad guys once in awhile – it’s just fun. Especially when they’re on the run.

Butch and Sundance riding from state to state. Bonnie and Clyde driving from bank to bank. Thelma and Louise flying in their T-Bird to a better life. We all have an inner want to be the one pushing the pedal to the floor, thumbing authority as we streak down the highway.

In the opening scene of CJ Walley’s “Dixie Gash Bandits,” a Mustang blazes down said highway through the night and we know we’re in for a helluva ride. The car is being pushed to the limit by Savannah, whose sister Ginger implores her to ease up on the gas and give their stallion a break. No way Savannah’s giving in. And no way these women are going back or stopping for whatever’s chasing.

The stage is set for the entire story in less than half a page. Brilliant.

GINGER

You’re pushin’ too hard.

SAVANNAH

Baby, you run fast enough for long

enough, people have to stop chasin’.

GINGER

Yeah, and if you run too fast or push too hard,

you crash and burn. You’re burnin’ us up.

They’re running on empty and troubles a comin’. Savannah spots a lonely and much-needed gas station “with small store and a rusting hut workshop” and pulls the tired ‘Stang into its lot. Is this gas station an oasis or their final resting place? Or neither?

A mechanic, Bobby, saunters out. He stares a little too long at Savannah. Instant connection.

BOBBY

What can I do you for?

 The Mustang hisses, steam erupts, a definite foreshadowing of the steam to come after Savannah admits “we got cash flow problems.” Soon after, she and Bobby crash as one into the workshop, kissing, groping and unbuttoning.

Not too far off in the horizon, relentless and ruthless bounty hunters Colt (what an awesome name for a “suited and booted” good old boy) and Jessie are hot on the sisters’ trail, questioning a man about Savannah and Ginger’s whereabouts when…BANG! Question time is over. Man slumps.

COLT

Now that was an overreaction.

JESSIE

No, that was a waste of time. Now

what? I’m getting impatient.

 You won’t lose patience racing through the rest of this tightly-woven tale as Jessie and Colt catch up to the runaways at their gas station. The story ends with multiple bangs as all five characters find themselves in a bloody shootout leaving just two survivors.

Do Savannah and Ginger go down in a blaze of glory a la Butch and Sundance? Do they go out on their own terms like Thelma and Louise? Or, do they write their own classic ending? I’m guessing you know which and you also know this superbly-written story will find a director faster then you can type “All work and no play….”

Pages: 8

Budget: Find a kick-ass Mustang and a rusty old gas station and call ‘er a day, partner.

About the reviewer: Zack Zupke is a writer in Los Angeles. Zack was a latch-key kid (insert “awww” here) whose best friend was a 19-inch color television (horrific, he knows). His early education (1st grade on) included watching countless hours of shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” and “The Odd Couple” and movies like “The Godfather,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall.” Flash forward to present day and his short “The Confession” was recently produced by Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. He’s currently working on a futuristic hitman thriller with a partner and refining a dramedy pilot perfect for the likes of FX. You can reach Zack at zzupke “at” yahoo.

About the writer, C.J. Walley: I 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 new specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producers, directors, and actors in LA, NYC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Dallas while occasionally blogging for Stage 32.  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 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.

Shelter – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Shelter

A homeless teen faces eviction from a men’s shelter – the last haven in his troubled world.

Theres no story if there isnt some conflict. The memorable things are usually not how pulled-together everybody is. I think everybody feels lonely and trapped sometimes. I think its more or less the norm. – Wes Anderson, six-time Oscar nominee, three times for screenwriting.

Ask any screenwriter. Conflict glues a story together. It’s an inevitable binding ingredient; essential for one’s masterpiece. Depicted in war, drama and action, Conflict’s always effective. Both to a macro – and micro – degree.

In his rivetingly tale Shelter, talented scribe Bill Sarre wields conflict with subtlety. As we journey through the script, Wes Anderson’s words ring out clear as a bell. “…everybody feels lonely and trapped sometimes.” The result is a truly gripping story – on a raw, bone achingly personal scale.

The two main characters: Daren, a 17-year-old denizen of the New Hope Mens Shelter, and 50-year-old Maggie – the world weary mistress of the space. Daren is a good kid – but one plagued by substance abuse issues. Not to mention homelessness. It’s a brutal life for anyone to survive. And unimaginable for a teen. And as bad as it is, it’s about to get worse. As the script opens, Daren’s hopes spiral out of control when his best friend is gunned down in a drug deal. Daren reacts to the news by trashing his room. He passes out in a drunken binge… bringing down Maggie’s wrath on his head. A woman at the breaking point, she shrieks at Daren: “I thought you were different. But you’re just like the rest…” Disappointed by his actions, Maggie screams at Daren. She demands he pack his things. And leave….

Enter Lucinda – Daren’s guardian angel. A bright and cheerful case worker, Lucinda is the teen’s only hope – stuck between Daren’s hard knock life and the world weary pain of Maggie. Stepping into harm’s way, Lucinda fights for Daren. She gently leads the teen through his problems. And begs Maggie for compromise.

The result as the narrative unfolds: a dizzying literary display of characters – conflict and despair. A dramatic masterpiece ala Wes Anderson, Bill Sarre’s Shelter is a raw, crisis riddled tale. Drama directors take note: Shelters a ‘slice of life’ story for the festivals – one that speaks of strength of character. Not to mention kindness. And hope.

Pages: 7

Budget: Low. The main ingredients: modern settings. Solid actors. P.S. If someone makes this movie, let me suggest the music for the closing credits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJtq6OmD-_Y

About the reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

About the writer: An award winning writer, Bill Sarre has had scripts place both finalist and quarter finalist with Page and Bluecat.  Another short of his, The Grieving Spell, was recently grand prize winner of the London Film Awards. Bill can be reached at Bill.sarre “AT” gmail.com

Contact Bill at Bill.sarre “AT” gmail.com to read this script!

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.

 

 

El Paso Loco Luchadoras – Short Script Review

El Paso Loco Luchadoras

When they impersonate a notorious female gang during a convenience store robbery, two wannabe crooks must face-off with the very legends they are trying to imitate.

When it comes to the world of professional Mexican wrestling, the question burns:

Real? Or fake?

Fans of that star struck industry love their entertainment – and their guilty pleasures. Known far and wide for their extravagant characters and costumes, professional wrestlers fascinate viewers with their physical prowess – and their theatrical performances as well.

In recent decades, Mexican wrestlers- Luchadores– have extended the dramatic quality of the sport to great heights. The most notable example was Super Barrio’s run for U.S. president in 1996, when he held mock rallies in the United States and Mexico. The Luchador’s persona became a real-life superhero candidate – complete with a genuine platform, and campaign.

In his pivotal crime-comedy El Paso Loco Luchadoras, CJ Walley celebrates the power of such larger than life identities… replete with a female centric Pulp Fiction bent.

The protagonists of our story: Felix and Maria. Down and desperate for cash, we meet the two young women as they set out to rob a store. Rank amateurs in the world of crime, the two impersonate a gang of female wrestler thieves – a notorious band of bandits known as Los Locas Luchadoras. But when the real Luchadora’s show up, the duo’s fumbling plans are doomed to fail. Stitched together by CJ Walley’s masterful narrative skills, El Paso evolves into a dance of identity and role reversals; girrrrrl power  chemistry and comedy melt into Walley’s subtle story-telling blend – leaving the audience in stitches!

Are you a fan of Quentin Tarantino? And what about comic crime narrative – imbued with feminist poetic justice? Than grab onto El Paso with a flying headlock. Don’t let this dramatic gem slip away!

Number of Pages: 7

Budget: Low to medium. The main cost will be the luchadora costumes for 6 actors.

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 work on two screenplays.

About the writer: I 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 new specs, I am remotely collaborating with a producers, directors, and actors in LA, NYC, New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington DC, Zurich, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Dallas while occasionally blogging for Stage 32.  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:

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.

 

 

 

The Eulogy – Feature Length Review (Available for Production)

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:

http://www.denamckinnon.com/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5053184/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

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

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.

 

Trick of the Trade – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

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.

READ THIS 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.

 

Prodigy – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Prodigy

In his twilight years, a teacher reminisces about one special student

“And so it stood, a warm and vivid patch in his life, casting a radiance that glowed in a thousand recollections.” – From the novel “Goodbye Mr. Chips” by James Hilton.

Prodigy, a script by veteran screenwriter Bill Sarre, casts a glowing radiance of its own. In the same vein as Goodbye Mr. Chips (as well as Mr Holland’s Opus and others), it tells a sentimental story about a beloved teacher in his waning years. In this case, the beloved teacher, a man named Ernest, is beyond “waning.” He’s 90 years old, and when we meet him he’s on his deathbed, reminiscing with a nurse who listens attentively while she does her best to make the frail old man comfortable.

His room is brimming with photographs, student photographs, taken over a lifetime of teaching, and although it’s clear that Ernest had high regard and affection for all of them (“I didn’t have my own kids,” he says, “so in a way, they became my children”), there’s one he’s especially fond of, a boy named Virgil. A prodigy.

When Ernest met Virgil the boy had issues. Serious issues. Abuse. Violence. And, ultimately, murder. The details were sketchy, even at the time, but six-year-old Virgil was found hiding under the stairs in the aftermath of the grizzly murder of his parents, and he never spoke another word after that.

Ernest rescued Virgil from this wretched existence. He took the quiet, damaged boy under his wing, and in time he found a way to break through to him. Music. The boy was a natural talent. Unfortunately, Ernest was not. But over the years, Ernest found ways to stoke the flames of Virgil’s musical genius. He found teachers, helped him enter competitions, and allowed the boy to spread his musical wings.

As Ernest says, “In the end, a teacher should learn to be part of a story’s beginning, but not the middle or the end. Allow them all to…fly away.”

Virgil did fly away. He went on to become a virtuoso pianist, touring the country, filling concert halls, and making records. Ernest watched the boy’s growing success with pride, but always from the sidelines. And now, as he lays dying, he tells the nurse, “I can think of no better way to go than having my children around me, with his music filling the air… and remember the joy I felt knowing I had once made a real difference.”

And at the very end, Virgil repays Ernest’s kindness with one last gift, but surprisingly it’s not only a gift of music.

It’s also a gift of words.

Prodigy has the two basic elements every indie filmmaker is looking for (or at least ought to be): first, it would be a fairly easy and inexpensive film to make. Second, and more importantly, it’s a film worth making. A story worth telling. Sentimental and poignant, it’s sure to please all audiences.

 Pages: 5.

 Budget: Fairly low.

 About the reviewer: Helen Magellan (a pseudonym) is a successful screenwriter with several produced short scripts under her belt.

 About the writer: An award winning writer, Bill Sarre has had scripts place both finalist and quarter finalist with Page and Bluecat.  Another short of his, The Grieving Spell, was recently grand prize winner of the London Film Awards. Bill can be reached at Bill.sarre “AT” gmail.com

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.

 

 

Fabrini – Short Script Review (Available for Production)

Fabrini

An old hotel elevator operator in Washington, D.C., discovers an alignment of past and present.

Tom Hanks races to the top of the Empire State Building for a fated rendezvous with Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle

Keanu Reeves descends to rescue hostages from the evil Dennis Hopper in Speed

Gene Wilder propels his pure imagination to even greater heights in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Will Ferrell acts out the ultimate push-button fantasy in Elf

Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, and Josh Hutcherson react differently to Jena Malone’s striptease in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

And in 2010’s Devil… well, never mind.

What do all these movie scenes have in common? An elevator! Ever contemplated inserting an elevator scene into your screenplay? If you haven’t… perhaps you should. It’s a detail so vital to the Die Hard franchise that elevator scenes were included in all five movies. Yippee-ki-yay! As Bruce Willis might say…

And in the short script Fabrini, an elevator proves the perfect stage. The protagonist: 74-year-old Joe Fabrini; longtime elevator operator at the Doyle Hotel in D.C. A man at peace with his place in life, Joe’s almost a part of the hotel himself. Attired in a “burgundy whipcord suit and gendarme cap,” Fabrini is a fixture of a bygone era – eagerly regaling riders with stories of famous people who have stayed at the hotel. Though he clearly relishes the spotlight, he’s also quick to point out, “I see a lot of things. But I see nothing.”

When the story opens, Fabrini has the rapt attention of a couple as he describes a brief encounter with Jackie Kennedy. As the couple exits, Joe’s in midstory of yet another tale… regarding old-time screen actress Ida Lupino. Fabrini takes the interruption in stride, welcoming aboard two new riders: the elegant 66-year-old Miss Carlson and her son, Paul. Miss Carlson visited the Doyle once before. A long, long time ago.

Fabrini immediately engages the two in repartee – it turns out Miss Carlson likes Lupino too! Fabrini and Carlson share fond memories of the Doyle Hotel’s ballroom, that “wonderfully romantic place in the old days.” Which is when young Paul reveals, “It’s the reason we’re here.” The question is – what exactly does that mean?

A vivid story-within-a-story, Fabrini is a touching tale filled with sweetness and nostalgia. For a smart and sensitive director, this ride is well worth taking…

Pages: 7

Budget: Minimal. A handful of characters. Dress Joe Fabrini appropriately to add flair. Getting permission to commandeer an elevator should be easy. Plus, do yourself a favor — Google “Ida Lupino.”   🙂

About the Writer: Henry Christner, a former teacher and newspaperman, is a relative newcomer to screenwriting. He is the author of one feature, “Let Me Die in My Footsteps,” and three shorts — “Conversion,” “Hagridden,” and “Fabrini.” He can be reached at Hdchristner “AT” yahoo!

About the Reviewer: California über reader/reviewer KP Mackie is working hard on her animated feature.

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