Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Last minute short script competition

Found this on Mr David Bishop's blog, who has very kindly linked to me and said nice things. He has edited 2000AD and The Megazine (I'm a subscriber, of course, why aren't you?), written comics, and bucketloads of novels and audio dramas. He also has quite a terrifying goatee, and may possibly be The Master.

So, it's a short film competition (clickyclicky here). The deadline is this Saturday 15th, but you'll only be doing a one or two page script, so it should be manageable. The challenge: write a short script, featuring a specific 16 words of dialogue (in that order, no changing words, no extra words, no leaving words out), starring a man and a woman (no extras, just them), and only one or two pages long. Can be about anything at all, but has to stick to the rules.

The five best scripts will be made into five short films, starring the same two actors. Winners get writing credit, a share of future profits, and fifty US dollars - but the best part of the prize is having your short made, and schlepped round to festivals. Worth a go, eh? One or two pages? Dialogue's already written, it's only two characters. Go for it - it's free and easy to enter, and should be fun. I'll have a go too - if we all do it, we can post our tiny scripts on our blogs, give feedback, and have a big lovefest or something. It's easier than posting sections of scripts, the whole story is there for all to see in one easy to read chunk.

As the page count is so small, you'll have to keep the idea simple, strong, clever, and preferably with some sort of twist or reversal at the end (my personal preference, of course, but those types of short stand out in the crowd). See if there any small, interesting, funny or scary little moments from your day that would work as an ultra-short. Or, you know, make shit up. Have at it! Fly, my pretties, fly!

Update: If you're accepting the challenge, and why wouldn't you, then let me know or leave a comment, just so I can track you all down if you try to wriggle out of it, you slippery eels.

Update 2: Well, I've done mine, but it's rubbish. It was all I could think of, and is extremely predictable. For a much, much better one, check out Dan's entry here. He's pulled off the twist very well, I wasn't expecting it at all - very nicely done, sir! Here's my piss-poor attempt:

The concourse is empty. In one corner is a passport photo booth. The curtain is closed.

A young WOMAN sits on the stool, fiddling with the height. She adjusts the stool again, and checks it. There is a screech as the curtain is yanked open. She jumps.

A young MAN looks in.



The Man comes all the way in, and they sit down together. The Woman fusses with the Man’s hair, nervously.

You nervous?

A little.


He grabs her hand to stop her messing with his hair.

It’s my first time.

The Man is surprised and amused.

Really, you’ve never-


Embarrassed, she peeps out the curtain to make sure nobody heard. The Man smiles, and closes the curtain fully. He nods at the coin slot. The Woman puts some money in, and they sit, patiently waiting. The machine beeps. They glance at each other. The Man nods at the Woman.


From inside the booth comes the sound of four flashes as the pictures are taken.

There is a pause.

The Woman steps out quickly, alone, closing the curtain behind her. She hurries away, leaving the station.

We get closer to the photo booth. We can just see the legs of the Man below the curtain.

There is another pause.

With a click, the photos appear in the tray outside. They show the Man’s throat being slit by the Woman, with a straight razor.

With a thud, the dead Man falls out of the booth, covered in blood.



Dan said...


Challenge accepted, sir.

I'll let you know when my effort is done. And if you mock, I'll hunt you down like a dawg.

James Moran said...

Eeeexcellent! Fear not, there shall be no mocking, only feedback and lovefesting.

AndrewT said...

Well it's short enough to do tomorrow at work instead of doing the stuff I'm paid to do, so think I'll be joining in on that one unless my boss reads my blog stuff...

Dan said...

Surely it's not just you, me and Andy T that's gonna duke it out?

Anyways, I'm ready to rock. My effort will be online tomorrow.

How about you?

Anonymous said...

Damn, I wish I'd read this earlier. I've got an idea but it'd take me more than a day to perfect it.

Oh by the way, come back to e2 this instant or bad things will happen. They will involve itching powder and certain items of your clothing. Oh yes.


James Moran said...

I've done mine, but I'll post it on Sunday as I haven't got time to fiddle about with formatting, got to leave the house in a bit. I'll add it into this post, to keep things together. Link to your ones if you've done them.

Cindy said...

Bummer - it's now Sunday as I read this...

Would have loved to participate. Am trying to get into the habit of writing and imagining again. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed this :)

Dan said...

Come on then, I've shown my hand.

Let's 'ave ya.

James Moran said...

Done and done. Mine's bollocks, exactly the sort of predictable arse that they'll probably be flooded with. I really liked yours, good setup, I thought I knew where it was going, but was pleasantly surprised. Well done, sir!

Pillock said...

I'm game. I entered the contest yesterday and saw this today, but I'll post mine too.

Dan said...

Thank you. And I like your script so enough of this modesty. Lovefesting, remember? Or did you say lovefisting? In which case count me out you perve.

That was a whole lot of fun. I love stuff like this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Shame there wasn't a few more throwing their hats into the ring (well done Pillock, Andrew T where's yours? James is releasing the hounds as I type).

Optimistic_Reader said...

Well done on all you boys for taking a stab at this and good luck. I didn't submit anything for it myself, but a while back I did a script for the Expresso Short project - it has to be between 10 and 30 seconds long and take place in a Starbucks coffee shop at one table. Deadline is August, I think so if anyone is interested details are here: http://www.lastindependent.com/

mj said...

bugger. only just discovered your blog and therefore this competition. wouldve had a go at that with bells on. bugger.