Premise: At the turn of the 20th century, a convict who’s slowly dying from a bullet in his heart escapes prison to find and be with his family again.
About: Westerns are picking up steam as long as they’re not too expensive. Something to keep in mind if you love the genre but have been hesitant to spec a Western out. Today’s script comes from a screenwriter who many believe is a genius despite not being well-known outside of tight 1970s Hollywood circles. Rudy Wurlitzer wrote 1971’s Two-Lane Blacktop and Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. But his contribution to screenwriting goes well beyond that, as this script in particular, while never made, is said to have been an inspiration to tons of screenwriters. Wurlitzer plays modest when you try and throw the genius tag on him, but there’s no doubt he was a writer to be reckoned with. You can learn more about him in this Vice article.
Writer: Rudy Wurlitzer
Details: 95 pages (undated)
As we move into the age of unlimited content – enough movies and TV shows to keep your eyeballs occupied for 43 lifetimes – it becomes harder and harder to stand out. I distinctly remember a time when you could read a weird story on the back page of a newspaper – a planet that enters our solar system once every 200 years, a freak-house whose oddball occupants never stop building – and feel like you’d struck gold. You had the beginning of a movie idea that nobody else had heard of.
Nowadays, when you run across an idea, you quickly find out there’s been a special about it on the History Channel, it’s been covered in an episode of “Mythbusters,” and it has an entire subreddit dedicated to it with over 170,000 subscribers. With original concepts becoming harder and harder to come by, how in the world does one stand out?
The answer is VOICE. Ideas have been democratized, but you still have a monopoly on your point of view. If you can tell a story in a way that it hasn’t been told before, YOU become the concept.
Zebulon is said to be one of the most influential scripts ever written in Hollywood, with many writers claiming it as an inspiration. The story goes it never got made because so many other writers stole from it. I’d heard very little about Wurlitzer before being told of Zebulon, so I was curious to see how juicy and unique his voice was. Time to put my ear close to the paper.
It’s the beginning of the 20th century and mountain men are being phased out. It used to be you could set up a bunch of traps in the mountain, get yerself some furs, sell’em up at the Trading Post, and be set for the winter. Not so this year, Zebulon Pike learns. When he and his Pops go up to the Trading Post, they’re told to suck it, and Pops don’t take it so well. A gunfight ensues, Pops dies, a Post worker is shot, and Zebulon is sent to prison for a couple of decades.
Zebulon spends seven of those years trying to escape so he can get back to his family, but fails every time. When he finally breaks out during road construction duty, he takes a bullet in the chest, and is told by a doctor that it’s wedged into his heart. They won’t be able to take it out, so the bullet will slowly kill him. At most, Zebulon’s got weeks to live.
That’s enough time to get back to his wife and son, so off Zebulon rides, back home. Meanwhile, the Captain of the prison, a former army general who was stationed to the prison after an act of cowardice in battle, teams up with an overzealous alcoholic two-bit novelist named Stebbins, who believes this story of tracking and capturing an escaped outlaw is his ticket to the big-time.
Zebulon is able to stay one step ahead of his pursuers and make it back to his wife, only to learn she’s remarried. With only days left to live, he convinces her to take one last journey with him to find their son, who’s since flown the coop and, rumor has it, is covering up a big secret. Will they make it to him in time? Or will the bullet… or the Captain… get to him first?
Only in my line of work do you get to read about a prison in the year 2100 one day and a prison in the year 1900 the next. Pretty damn cool!
Back to that voice conversation. Here’s the thing. After reading this script, I’ve determined that it’s not the version that everyone fell in love with. The version everyone fell in love with was about a man who gets shot and wanders the world between the living and the dead.
Indeed, that sounds way trippier and cooler than what I read here. And it reveals a conversation that never goes away in Hollywood. Everyone says they want “voice.” But the closer a project gets towards production, the more people in charge want to normalize it. That seems to have been the case here, turning Zebulon into a decidedly straight-forward endeavor.
And the thing was, you could feel its potential bursting at the seams. I can only imagine what an unrestrained Wurlitzer would’ve done with Stebbins, the novelist, who was hilarious even in a restrained role. I loved how, when Zebulon shot and killed a single man to escape, Stebbins turned him into six men for his story. Or when the group was attacked by a single Indian while sleeping one night, Stebbins began counting the money as he transformed the Indian into an entire tribe. This didn’t even begin to explore the strange particulars of Stebbins’ personal life, such as he and his bizarre wife’s plan for her to have sex with the Captain.
Outside of Stebbins, though, this draft of Zebulon is about as straight-forward as it gets. A guy goes to be with his wife before he dies. There was a GOAL (get to the wife) and URGENCY (he’s going to die any day now) but no STAKES. He and his wife’s relationship hadn’t been set up well before the Trading Post skirmish, so I didn’t give a damn whether he got to her or not. Knowing what I know now about the original draft, I can see that the goal, stakes, and urgency were never meant to drive the script in the first place. It was the weirdness of slipping in and out of the living and the dead world that was Zebulon’s “strange attractor.” Once you take that away, it’s just a “Get from Point A to Point B” movie.
Those looking to see that original draft, though, can still get a taste of it in Jim Jarmasch’s “Dead Man,” which is basically a ripoff of Zebulon. I can now say that I’ve read another script that, in retrospect, was majorly influenced by Zebulon. That infamous Gladiator 2 script I reviewed by Nick Cave.
If there’s anything I learned about voice from this later draft of Zebulon, it’s that Wurlitzer seemed to be ahead of the curve with his style. He writes with a clarity and succinctness that most writers didn’t begin using until the 90s (this script was written in 84). In the Vice article I linked above, someone points out that Wurlizter is able to convey big ideas in a down-to-earth way, and I agree. The script was very accessible and easy to read.
I do wish I’d read the original draft of Zebulon though. It seems like it was more fun. Even if this was a serviceable approximation.
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: This is another TRANSITION PERIOD script, which means the writer focuses on a time when things were changing in the world. Mountain Men, who used to be able to live off the land, were now being phased out. Transition periods are great to build stories around because transition means change and change means conflict. Conflict is the lifeblood of entertainment, so if you can infuse conflict into your story before it even begins, your story’s going to start with a bang. And that’s exactly what happened here. When the Trading Post wouldn’t pay him for his furs like they always had, a standoff ensued, people were killed, resulting in our hero being thrown into prison.
Premise: A janitor on an off-world secret prison is tasked with helping the prison’s biggest criminal escape or his family dies.
About: Today’s writer is one of the few out there who can say he’s sold a spec for 7 figures. Sascha Penn is known as a writer with lots of fun sci-fi ideas and sold this script, The Ditch, to Warner Brothers in 2009.
Writer: Sascha Penn
Details: 4/9/09 draft – 120 pages
I tried to get myself up to the Arclight to see Coco this weekend but there was something about the film that wouldn’t allow me to justify the $20 cost. Studios have to be careful right now. I’ve seen them up the prices across the board in both theaters and home rental. I’ve noticed that those extra few bucks have made me much more likely to think through a purchase. This isn’t a good time for the industry to be doing this. They need more people watching movies. Not less.
I begrudgingly opted instead for Atomic Blonde, hoping my instincts about the film were wrong (it looked cold and inaccessible). But they turned out to be dead on. The film was cold and inaccessible. Seems like the director forgot what made John Wick so good. The fun factor. There was zero fun factor in this movie, a grim action piece with perfectly choreographed fights and slick cinematography, hampered by a main character who was as fun to root for as a bully at a chess meet. It continues to prove my theory that the Cold War is one of the worst subject matters to base a movie around. There have been like 2 good Cold War movies in the past half-century. And that’s being generous.
My weekend felt like it was heading towards failure until I got one of those pleasant surprises – a kick-ass consultation script. It was a Western from a Canadian writer who’d injected the very thing Atomic Blonde was missing – FUN! I was hoping to go 2 for 2 on the script front with this sci-fi offering. Let’s see if I scored.
The year is 2119 A.D., a year where they still need, unfortunately, janitors. Which is what our main character, Jake Pryor, is. Jake’s occupation is a sore spot for his family – his wife, teenager daughter, and newborn – but at least they get to experience the pioneer life, living on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon.
Jake is a janitor at The Ditch, a giant prison outside of Ganymede’s main city. This mega-prison houses over 500,000 prisoners and 125,000 employees. And Jake’s under the impression that when he shows up at work, it’s going to be just another day of cleaning.
Boy is he wrong. Armstrong Praxis, the most ruthless terrorist on earth since Osama Bin Laden, has been sent to The Ditch to be executed, old-school style (electric chair), today! Jake senses something’s off when, while passing Praxis, Praxis asks how his wife is doing – BY NAME. Yeah, that’s never a good sign.
Jake is then contacted by some ex-workers, who inform him that they’re holding his family hostage. And if he doesn’t rescue Praxis and get him out of that prison, they’re all going to die.
With time-a-tickin’, Jake blows the main fuse to the building and manages to intercept Praxis’s escort back to his cell. After beating some ass (you knew this guy wasn’t always a janitor, right?), he leads Praxis through a series of back-alley rooms in the prison he knows so well, and out to safety. But will they be caught before they can get back to the city? And will Jake’s family become a casualty after all?
The Ditch is a cool, if standard, sci-fi script.
You’re not going to get anything too imaginative here. And that’s a reality of the genre. There isn’t a genre more copied than sci-fi. That’s why, if you’re one of those unique talented sci-fi writers who can come up with a bunch of shit that nobody’s ever seen before? You WILL work in this industry. Because all I see? And all anybody sees? Is sci-fi writers regurgitating the same four movies – Terminator, Aliens, Star Wars, and The Matrix.
I’ll give you a scene from The Ditch, though, that got my originality vote.
Penn cleverly sets up a main elevator that is the only elevator serving the entire prison tower. This elevator is so smart, it can actually detect extra heartbeats. So if an employee signs into the elevator but there is a second person that isn’t checked in, the elevator won’t move.
Well, there’s a moment where Jake has to use the elevator to take Praxis down to the first floor. So he tells Praxis to take these pills that basically kill him, and he’ll revive him once they get to the bottom. Keep in mind, it’s been made clear to Jake that if Praxis dies, his family will be killed.
We establish that Praxis can be dead for maybe 3 minutes before he has to be resuscitated, which happens to be the same amount of time the ride will take. So they initiate the plan, but because the building is still reeling from the earlier power outage, the elevator is only moving at 40% speed.
It’s a great little tense scene, with some lovely irony in it to boot. Paxis was brought here to be killed. But Jake’s whole world depends on bringing Paxis back to life.
If you can come up with 4 or 5 scenes like this in a single sci-fi film? People WILL make your movie. Only because it’s so rare that you get scenes that are actually original in science-fiction. It’s usually people shooting lasers at each other or driving futuristic cars after one another. You have to be crafty. You have to be clever.
The rest of the script never reached the heights of that scene but the setup was strong enough to keep me engaged. In these situations, if you give us a main character we care about and you give us a family (or wife) who needs to be saved that we care about as well, even if you execute a ho-hum plot, we’ll still be invested because we want to see the characters survive.
In no movie is this better proven than Die Hard. Die Hard is a super generic premise. Terrorists take over a building. But we love John McClane. And even though we met his wife for only a couple of scenes, we love her too. So we want to see them survive and be together again.
Just think if you could do both these things? Write an insanely original sci-fi script with characters we love and want to see survive? You’d freaking clean up. You’d be getting checks in the mail for the rest of your life.
Easy right? :)
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned: Judgeable Moments – There are moments in a script where the reader is judging the writing heavily. These are moments that shine a light on just how hard the writer is trying. I know if the writer nails that moment, they’re giving it their all. In The Ditch, there’s a moment right before Paxis is about to be executed, when the warden asks him, “Any last words?” Now think about that for a second. As a writer, this is one of the highest honors you can take on. You are crafting the LAST WORDS a human ever thinks they’re going to say. This is not something to take lightly. You need to come up with a line that’s not only powerful and memorable, but that encapsulates everything that character is. You have some understanding of who Paxis is. What last words would you write for him? Because I’ll tell the last words that were chosen. They were: “Fuck all of you.” I don’t know about you? But that’s the most generic line that could’ve been chosen. And I say that because ANY CHARACTER could’ve said it. There’s nothing unique about it. To bolster this point, think about what Darth Vader would’ve said here. Or Hannibal Lecter. Or Annie Wilkes. Or Nurse Ratched. Or The Joker. Or Gollum. Their answers would’ve been entirely unique to their character. Which is why I need for these moments in a script to be perfect. Because they’re the moments that highlight your writing. So, I ask you. What line would have you chosen for Paxis’s last words?
Just the tips!
It’s Thanksgiving Week, which means it’s time to sneak away from people you’re convinced you can’t possibly be related to to work on your script! Thought I’d give you some help. Here are ten screenwriting tips I’m thankful for. Feel free to share the tips you’re thankful for in the comments section!
1) Nothing should ever go according to plan.
2) Have characters keep lies from one another. Their dialogue is a lot more interesting that way.
3) A simple disagreement can turn an ordinary scene into a good one.
4) Without a worthy villain, your hero’s journey will feel too easy.
5) Characters shouldn’t be talking about the past or the future. They should be dealing with the present.
6) Every solution in your hero’s journey should come at a cost.
7) Send your character into the place they least want to go.
8) A great character-creation hack is to give your character a primary trait that’s opposite of who they appear to be. A soft-spoken boxer. A pissy nun. An anxiety ridden yoga teacher. A jerky ice-cream truck driver.
9) Never underestimate the power of anticipation – there’s a reason they don’t start you on the top of the roller coaster. They make you go up that hill first.
10) A story only begins once there’s a problem.
Welcome to the newest trend in screenwriting, the “micro-screenplay!”
Premise: A farming family must communicate without speech in order to avoid a violent creature which seeks out its prey via sound.
About: For those of you who think the only way to break into Hollywood is to have an Oscar-winning producer as an uncle, look no further than Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, graduates of University of Iowa, a state with plenty of uncles, but no Hollywoods! Beck and Woods are filmmakers who have been slowly moving their way up the ladder, finally selling this script to Paramount for John Krasinski and wife, Emily Blunt, to star in. While Krasinski would later do a pass on the script (he’s also directing), this is the spec that sold before his involvement.
Writers: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods
Details: 67 pages
Say it with me now. Miiiiiiiii-cro screenplay.
It’s the new trend, brother. Haven’t heard of it? Where have you been? Off writing your behemoth 100 and 110 page screenplays I suspect. How dare you. Between A Quiet Place (67 pages) and Meat (73 pages), thin is in! With everyone’s attention span being stretched to the bone – as the 24 hour news cycle turns into the 28 hour news cycle, people have less time to read. So you better make your scripts as tiny as possible.
The proof is in the pudding, guys. Justice League? 120 PAGES! And what happened to that movie? Only the lowest opening weekend for a DC film. If that doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what does. No more pages for ages. Recede word greed. 75 is the new 110.
Just in case you were wondering, I’m joking. Today’s slim shady screenplay is due to the fact that there’s barely any dialogue in it. Which turns out to be the reason it’s so awesome. Tell your cubicle neighbor to turn down his radio. I’m going to need some quiet for this review.
After sweeping into a beautiful farmland utopia, we meet two children, April, 8, and her brother Will, 10. The two are moseying about, each doing their daily chores. We then meet the very pregnant Mia, their mother, and the patriarch of the family, John.
They seem to be your typical family of farmers. But it doesn’t take long to notice that something is off. That something is the fact that nobody speaks to one another. In fact, everyone goes out of their way not to speak.
It turns out the reason for this is that the world has been wiped out by creatures that prey on sound. If you so much as whisper, it’s the equivalent of screaming as loud as you can in these creatures’ ear. And since they now know where you are, they come and kill you. As long as you don’t say anything, though, you’ll be fine.
This is something that, up until this point, has been controllable. The family has a system down. They don’t need words to communicate. But remember that Mia pregnancy? Yeah, that baby’s due soon. And the last time I checked, babies don’t know how to shut up.
Which is why the family has been meticulously sound-proofing their shed. They hope to have it silent as a church by the time Mia goes into labor. Oh, one problem with that. Mia goes into labor early. This causes pandemonium, as the family is forced to improvise, all with the creature now aware of their location.
Somehow, John’s able to get everyone into the bunker. Everyone, that is, except for April, who, in all of the chaos, got lost in the field. John will now have to go out and save his daughter, with a highly alert sound-hunting creature nearby. But how do two people find each other without the ability to speak? Without the ability to yell? I guess we’ll have to find out.
This was a really clever idea.
It’s funny how that works. We’re all looking for that singular idea that’s so great, so complex, so unlike anything anybody’s seen before. When, usually, the cool hip idea that comes out of nowhere is the one that’s painfully simple.
A world where if you speak, you die.
I always say that the key to avoiding cliche is to come up with a unique concept, as it will, in turn, lead to unique scenarios. And that’s exactly what happened here. Every scene felt different from the stuff I usually read.
Take, for example, when Mia goes into labor early. She’s in the house, by herself, while the rest of the family is working on the shed. Here’s this woman, who’s going through the most physically painful experience of her life, and she not only can’t make a sound, but meanwhile, her family is across the field, casually working on other stuff, having no idea that she’s in labor.
I haven’t read that scene before. As was the case with virtually all of these scenes. Everything felt new because of this “can’t talk” rule.
I also like how Beck and Woods crafted this setup. They didn’t just stop at the gimmick part (nobody can speak or the monster gets you). They asked, “What’s the WORST thing you can do to a family who, if they make a noise, they’re dead?” It’s a question, as storytellers, you should always be asking yourself. “How can I make things even WORSE for my hero?” The answer was the genius: a baby is coming. A baby can’t keep quiet. A baby is a bomb in this situation. Which leads you to wonder, how the hell is the family going to get out of that??
Beck and Woods also explore the emotional side of this question, which is another thing you guys should be focused on. They extrapolated the concept of not talking and made it the family’s flaw from before the creatures arrived. Through a series of flashbacks, we learned that the family wasn’t talking to each other EVEN WHEN THEY COULD. Specifically John, who had a hard time expressing his feelings to the family.
This is easily the cleverest concept I’ve read all year. And the writers did so much right that I’m reluctant to even point out the bad. But there were a few things that bothered me.
For starters, the baby is conveniently quiet for the majority of the time after it’s born. I mean, I don’t know a lot about babies. But I know they aren’t little angels for the first 24 hours after they’re born. They’re crying a lot. And I would’ve liked to have seen the family have to deal with more crying.
At least on the page, the geography was hard to figure out. And when April is lost and John has to find her, I thought, April has lived here her whole life. She knows every landmark like the back of her hand. How could she not find her way back to the house/shed? I’m curious how that’ll be dealt with in the movie.
Finally, the emotional stuff was okay, but not great. There was another family member who died, a dead sister, and we find out through a flashback she died in a car accident. Just a heads up for those wondering. As a reader, I read SO MANY PEOPLE DYING IN FLASHBACKS THROUGH CAR ACCIDENTS. It’s the most cliche choice you can make. And I didn’t understand why they did that when it would’ve made so much more sense to have the other sister die by the hands of the creature.
I’m also VERY CURIOUS to see how the final line of the movie plays. It’s a HUGE GAMBLE. Like, major. It’s either going to crush or fall flat. Have people crying in the aisles or rolling their eyes. I’m so curious to see this movie not just for its clever concept, but for that moment.
I’ll finish off by saying these frustrations are mainly due to the fact that I think this idea is so awesome and so clever, and so even when the writers made the smallest misstep I was like, “No!” Cause I wanted this movie to be perfect. And it has a chance to be that. It’s that film everyone is looking for – something unlike anything else out there that’s still commercial.
I will DEFINITELY be seeing A Quite Place when it comes out. This is what spec screenwriting is all about. The bar has been raised.
[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] genius
What I learned: Take advantage of your unique upbringing to write a great scene! There’s an awesome scene here where April falls into a silo full of grain and begins to drown in it. It’s a scene written in startling detail and with facts that I suspect only someone who grew up in the farmlands of Iowa would know. So keep writing what you know, people! Chances are it’s what will separate you from everyone else.
What I learned 2: NOTHING should go according to plan in a movie. If Mia’s pregnancy goes according to plan? BORRRRR-ING. It’s the very fact that she goes into labor early (NOT PART OF THE PLAN) that makes the movie so exciting.
I’m thinking of trying something new. A ten-day set of Scriptshadow Posts like no other. Basically, I’m going to break down AN ENTIRE SCREENPLAY, ten pages at a time. If you want your screenplay to get this super-breakdown treatment, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: SUPER BREAKDOWN. Submit it just like you would any Amateur Offering, with title, genre, why I should read, and be sure to include a PDF.
Keep in mind EVERY SINGLE PAGE of your script will be posted. And I will be BRUTALLY HONEST in assessing the script. I won’t be mean. But the idea behind these posts will be to get a play-by-play “in the moment” breakdown of a script through the reader’s eyes. What I’m thinking. Why I’m thinking it. And as anyone who’s read a script knows, sometimes you get angry when you read something. I want to be able to cover that anger and why it’s happening, in the hopes that writers everywhere understand how a reader interprets things. If you don’t think you can handle feedback that intense, DON’T SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPT.
Now, on to today’s offerings: Read as much of each script as you can and submit a vote for your favorite script in the comments section. Votes will be counted through NEXT SUNDAY (Nov. 26th), 11:59pm Pacific Time. Winner gets a script review the following Friday!
Genre: Historical Drama
Logline: Inspired by true events. Australia, 1870. When a young Indigenous male is taken into slavery as a pearl diver he must learn what it means to be a leader if he’s going to escape from captivity with his life.
Why You Should Read: This script was written as a passion project by me and a friend as a means of shining a light on a piece of Australian history that is NEVER discussed. I was 27 when I first heard about the mass enslavement of Indigenous Australians and even then couldn’t believe that it was true. In America, slavery is at least accepted as fact. In Australia very few know about it, or to the degree by which it took place. — We plan on eventually having it made in Australia, with help from the Indigenous film making community. I just believe that this is a story that needs to be told – in Australia at least. But, as script and story is king, I wanted to get some feedback on the story before we began shopping it around.
Title: SICK DAY
Logline: An out of work ex-soldier interviews for a private sector job, but the fired Security Chief she’s hoping to replace shuts down the building to exact revenge and now it’s up to her to save the hostages.
Why You Should Read: The spec market’s overstuffed with Jane Wick specs, it’s time for Jane McClane to get her shot. In his recent article, “How to Jump Start the Spec Market”, Carson claims that a fresh spin on real world action can fire up Hollywood and I believe a contained female driven take on the original Die Hard hits that bullseye.
Title: Powder Keg Pines
Logline: A small town disc jockey recalls the night a group of crazed animal rights activists botched a ransom deal after realizing their leader may have been involved with the poacher that they were holding captive.
Why You Should Read: I’m sure my introduction and logline are raising all sorts of red flags, but take heart my good man. Readers seem to like it. Scriptapalooza gave it a consider, even though they said it was too talky and weird. As well as an analyst at Screencraft. Both reviews were glowing, but both emphasized how niche it was, which wasn’t as much of a good thing as it was a bad thing. They were kind of like “I like it, but no.” Think about that for a minute; “I. Like. It. But. No.” Why “like” followed by “no.?” I guess I can’t blame them, but it is an actor’s dream, and, as a filmmaker, a crew member’s dream too. What more can you ask for?
Logline: A pretentious magician skips town after failing miserably on a tv talent show. He returns two years later to discover his best friend has replaced him with a ventriloquist dummy and the only way to get a second chance on the show is to accompany his friend and dummy on a cabaret tour.
Why You Should Read: Roger has been a three year journey so far. The project started off as a sitcom pilot before we decided it would work better as a feature. After writing a few drafts of the feature, we wrote and produced a short film based on it, starring John Bradley (Game of Thrones) and Seann Walsh (British TV Comedian). The short film has done very well on the festival circuit appearing in twenty five festivals, many of them BAFTA and Academy affiliated, gaining awards and nominations on the way. The short will be used as a proof of concept film to help us on the long journey on getting the feature made. The feature script has come along leaps and bounds since its first conception and we feel it is finally in a position to show people. That’s where you and the great script shadow community come in. We would really love to hear your thoughts on the script. Any amount of time you can spend reading the script, even if it is only a few pages, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Stuart & Brendan.
For Our Final…
Title: The Commune
Genre: Dark Sci-fi/horror
Logline: Guards at a secret U.S. Army base face threats from aliens, demonic forces, and a general who might detonate an on-site nuke to cover-up a project that’s spiraling out of control after 1 of 5, cloned aliens escape.
Why Carson should read this script: It’s “Alien” (Ridley Scott) meets “Aliens” (James Cameron) in a contemporary Earth setting with a dark, supernatural twist. There is a government conspiracy involved, and complex characters who change as their true motivations get exposed. Want monsters? Want cool, gun shootouts? This script has them. — Original idea for this story was a product of me hazing my mom for listening to Art Bell’s Coast to Coast, late night radio talk show where they discuss the paranormal: aliens, spooks and goblins. — “God: Part II” by U2 (Rattle and Hum album, 1988) encapsulates the final battle between protagonist and antagonist in Act III.