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This week’s amateur picks are linked below. Offer your constructive criticisms and then vote for the best one of the bunch in the comments!
LOGLINE: Two slackers with dead-end jobs try to turn their haunted past into reality TV stardom.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: This was my first attempt at writing a feature-length screenplay and it became a Finalist in the 2013 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. It also garnered a Fresh Voices nomination for “Best On Screen Chemistry.”
I’m not a comedy writer, but always thought ghost hunting shows lent themselves naturally to humor because
they take it so seriously — just like my protagonists.
After a year of rejections, I feel like I’m ready for whatever reaction you (and the SS community) can offer. Plus, I’m more
than a little annoyed about a recent TV web series springing up with the same name and subject matter. What
do I have to lose now?
I should also note, that a certain character quirk was written LONG before I ever watched Zombieland. (It took me a while
to get this one finished.) And I think my version plays out funnier anyway.
My 2nd feature is in a completely different genre (historical fantasy) and took 6 months of research/developing, 1 month to write. It’s currently placed as a semi-finalist for this year’s PAGE Awards.
TITLE: NERVE AND SINEW
GENRE: Action Thriller
LOGLINE: When an ex-UFC fighter reluctantly accepts a kidnapping job from the Russian mob, he sneaks into an upscale apartment complex to capture the target but finds himself in a high intensity hostage situation when armed terrorists simultaneously take over the building in a Mumbai-style attack.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Been hacking away at this craft for several years now. Have written several scripts, read countless others. It can be a frustrating grind — writing scripts and trying to find success with them. Sometimes I’d love to quit. But I just can’t. Nothing else even remotely interests me the same way.
This is a classic blood-pumping action thriller with a modern touch that should be a fun ride if it ever makes it to the screen. But don’t take my word for it. One reviewer had the following to say: “Although there are big budget explosions and gun fighting scenes, the script never feels cliche in its execution of plot. It doesn’t lean on the violence and pays close attention to staying original and dark throughout. This could be a big, blockbuster film that would attract a broad audience and potentially an A-list actor.”
Also, it’s a quick 105 pages with sparse, vertical writing. At the very least you won’t get a headache reading it.
It’s done well in contests (initial draft was top 15% in Nicholl) and on the Black List (revised draft recently received an overall rating of ‘8’), but I’d love to get it some more exposure. The more eyes on it, the better, right?
TITLE: THE SANDMAN
GENRE: period thriller
LOGLINE: In 1940’s LA, an orphan young man must unravel the mystery of “The Sandman” – a legendary lost film – before the beautiful blind girl he loves falls victim to the sinister forces who seek it
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: because it is a story for anyone who loves movies with a passion and finds in the cinema not only escape from life but life itself. If a young Dickens or Poe would have written a script in collaboration with Roger Ebert, I’d like to think they would come up with something like this.
TITLE: Goodnight Nobody
GENRE: Contained Thriller
LOGLINE: Besieged by “monsters” that have emerged from their toddlers’ closet, a couple must keep their wits about them if they hope to escape their house alive.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Whenever you read in a release from a prodco that they may have independently developed a similar idea, I’m the guy they’re talking to. Ten years ago I wrote a script about a lonely boy whose stuffed animal comes to life, and is still around when he’s an adult. I’m not saying that I was ripped off – my script would never have been in the same zip code as Seth McFarlane to have even seen it – but I had a similar idea once upon a time that just didn’t find its way up the chain despite my manger-at-the-time’s best efforts. Five years ago a script I wrote with a partner generated a little heat. It was a reinvention of the King Arthur saga. Then three other Arthur scripts sold before we could cash in on that heat. Our script withered on the Hollywood vine and died. This summer I almost sold a script to “Lifetime”, but turns out they had a too similar project already in the works. And, just this week, “Pivot” sold which has a very similar idea to a sci-fi spec I wrote earlier this year, so it’s another labor of love I get to throw into a drawer. I just need my luck to change. I always feel like I’m on the precipice, and just need to figure out what it is that’s holding me back. Maybe you guys can help me figure out what that is.
LOGLINE: When a teenage Scout troop becomes lost in the Utah desert, they experience terrifying hallucinations that point to a supernatural stalker.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Hellscape was actually inspired by a real-life event. A few years ago, I learned about a group of Boy Scouts who found themselves in a brutal heat wave while hiking the Grand Canyon. Before long, they were suffering bizarre, disturbingly realistic hallucinations. And that’s when the idea struck me – what if those hallucinations were something else, something paranormal? What better place for demonic mind games than a sweltering, Mars-like wasteland far from civilization?