This is your chance to discuss the week’s amateur scripts, offered originally in the Scriptshadow newsletter. The primary goal for this discussion is to find out which script(s) is the best candidate for a future Amateur Friday review. The secondary goal is to keep things positive in the comments with constructive criticism.
Below are the scripts up for review, along with the download links. Want to receive the scripts early? Head over to the Contact page, e-mail us, and “Opt In” to the newsletter.
TITLE: Winning Isn’t Anything
GENRE: Drama, Dark Comedy
LOGLINE: A struggling baseball team owner must finish the season or lose his lease, while corrupt politicians, small town con artists, and a high stakes wager between rival mobsters conspire to stop him. Inspired by actual events.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Almost everyone knows that feeling of pain so deep that it momentarily becomes laughter before reverting to tears. That’s what it felt like to write this script. It’s not just a “based on true events” story – but it should resonate with readers because it runs the gamut of characters that we know (the suburban guy and his family down the street), to those we’d dare to know (the Mafia). You ever want something so badly that you ignore the signs all around you that say “Stop”? That’s what this script is about, and that’s how it felt at times to write it. Often painful, occasional tears that blurred the keyboard, but in the end rewarding.
TITLE: Day 666
GENRE: Self-Contained Psychological Horror
LOGLINE: A demonic outbreak leads the Smith family into their backyard bunker, where they hope the above threat starves to death before they do.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I have three brothers, two of whom have degrees in writing, one of whom has degrees in producing, so I am always able to get initial notes from them. Two responses were quite positive and one was mixed, at best. The thing is, I’m not sure who is right. Although I like the script, I don’t know whether it is good enough to continue working on, or whether or not I should move on. Recently, I have become very paranoid about everything I write, and I have reached an impasse with this script. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Really, I’d just like to know if I can write a solid script.
TITLE: A Hand’s Reach
LOGLINE: A crack dealing yet intellectual seventeen year-old must choose between university offers or the only life he has ever known.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I am not a Page winner nor a Nicholl finalist (I’ve actually never even submitted anywhere except here) but am a writer of honesty and genuineness. I believe it’s necessary for characters such as the protagonist to have their voice heard no matter the decisions they make in life – right or wrong…. or maybe I’m just biased because the script hits close to home. That’s why I leave the rest to you. I sent the script to two script consultants in L.A. who praised the character work, particularly the protagonist. One of them even gave it a rare “Excellent” grade, stating he can sometimes go a year without giving one.
Not bad for someone’s first script.
LOGLINE: Framed for the murder of a mafia boss, a futuristic courier has four hours to fight his way through hostile gang territories to deliver his message that will prevent an all out turf war.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Yeah, it’s basically a futuristic version of The Warriors but with cyborgs, mutant tigers and four-armed chainsaw wielding maniacs. So, you know, better. Hoping I’m passing the Hollywood litmus test of “it’s X but different” here. I put a rough draft of this up on the tracking-board forums and it ended up being requested by three management companies as well as a producer reaching out to me. This is the latest draft and I’m hoping lightning will strike twice.
LOGLINE: A former hard-partying exotic dancer vows to win back the “love” of her life, by supernatural means if necessary.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: So I was living in Seattle, watching a ton of movies — “Near Dark”, “Chasing Amy” and “Closer” in particular — and reading Diablo Cody’s novel “Candy Girl”. One night after a very smoky bottle of sangiovese (ok, maybe two), I hammered out a 45-page treatment of what would eventually become “Moira”.
Something really fascinated me about the idea of a person changing themselves entirely based on what they believed the object of their affection would want in another human being, only to learn that that reinvention was based on a lie. Where would he or she go from there?