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Script Pipeline

The Ring – Screenplay

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Because of Halloween, October is the unofficial horror movie month (though, really, it’s our opinion that you can—and should—enjoy them all year round). Released in 2002, The Ring kicked off the early-aughts trend of PG-13 adaptations of Asian horror movies, and it remains one of the scariest movies of this century. Directed by Gore Verbinski and written by Ehren Kruger (with revisions by Scott Frank), The Ring is an Americanized remake of Hideo Nakata’s Ringu. The story follows Rachel Keller (an always amazing Naomi Watts), a reporter who investigates the origins of a cursed video tape after her (and, later, her son) watch it and receive the creepiest phone call of all time: A raspy voice whispering, “Seven days.” What follows are a series of well-executed set pieces that rely more generating dread than surprising its audience with empty jump scares. As a screenplay, The Ring is perhaps the best…

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September 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

A few interesting specs found their way to production companies last month. Todd Komarnicki’s action/thriller spec Savior found a home with Oakhurst Entertainment, Lightbridge Entertainment, and Guy Walks Into a Bar, Inc. The story follows a group of mercenaries who plan to set off World War III through a series of seemingly unrelated terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, Paul Feig’s Feigco and Universal Pictures have picked up Meredith Dawson’s romantic comedy spec When Michael Met Carrie… and Other People. Dawson is set to direct as well. New Line Cinema (along with Farah Films & Management, Vertigo Entertainment, and Cinestate) scooped up Shut In in an auction. Written by Melanie Toast, the thriller spec follows a single mother who must protect her children and herself after her violent ex takes her captive. Finally, AGC Studios picked up Jay Martel’s fantasy/dramedy spec The Present, which is about a young boy who finds himself in…

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Script Pipeline’s First Feature Stars Jesse Eisenberg

By Slider

Now available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (previously available on Hulu and other streaming networks). The uniquely iconic dramedy stars Academy Award-Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Batman vs. Superman), Mike O’Connell, comedian Jim Gaffigan, Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline Executive Director Chad Clough produced and raised financing for the indie. From Variety: “Pic defies all categorization. . . . Playing opposite the monumental O’Connell would seem to be an impossible assignment, but Eisenberg is note-perfect as his steady servant and go-to guy. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful.”

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August 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

Legendary Pictures and Jon Shestack Productions picked up The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, a spec written by John Raffo and based on the novel by A. Lee Martinez. The story follows Constance Verity, the chosen one who has battled supernatural forces her entire life and now just wants to settle down with a boyfriend, a normal job, and best friends. Awkwafina will star. Chester Tam’s untitled romantic comedy spec found a home with Screen Gems and Underground Films. The story follows a Black woman and an Asian-American man who start a relationship, surprising family and friends since neither is typically the other’s type. Gabrielle Union is attached to produce and star. Tango Entertainment and Eat the Cat scooped up Joshua Giuliano’s horror/thriller script River about three siblings stalked by a masked killer after being stranded in a boat on a country river. Giuliano will also direct. Leon Chills’ action-drama…

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On Becoming a God in Central Florida – Pilot

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

To be completely reductive, every story is about desire. A character wants something so much that they will do whatever it takes to achieve it, and the alternative is inconceivable to them. When writing dark comedy, things become more difficult: The main character’s goals tend to be less than noble, but the audience still needs to care about their journey. If the audience doesn’t empathize or sympathize with the characters, then what’s the point of watching? Set in the early 1990s, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, created by Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky, walks that fine line. Krystal Stubbs wants stability. She grew up poor, and now that she and her husband have infant daughter, she wants to make sure there’s food on the table and a roof over their heads. As she tells her husband, “I won’t be poor again.” About her husband: Travis wants more. He…

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Feature Film “Between,” Developed by Script Pipeline, Premieres at Sundance

By Slider

Writer Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to director David Ocanas by Script Pipeline CEO Chad Clough. In March 2004, the film was greenlit for production and principal photography started in late May in Tijuana, Mexico. The lower-budget feature starred Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable, Without a Trace), Danny Pino, and Jose Yenque (Traffic). It made its Sundance premiere in 2004 and later aired exclusively on Lifetime. According to David Ocanas, “After struggling for months trying to find the right writer for a film project I wished to produce and direct, one call to Chad Clough of Script Pipeline made all the difference. Script Pipeline brought us a writer who has given our story new and exciting elements, and thereby giving us a greater opportunity in making a successful film.” From the LA Times: “San Francisco-based writer Rob Nelms is another lucky one. His psychological thriller Between made its debut at Sundance this year. ‘I sent a comedy…

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Fleabag – Pilot

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Character, character, character. At its heart, every story is about character. Characters who have wants and needs and flaws. Fleabag has wants. They mostly revolve around sex. Fleabag has needs. Love, specifically. And Fleabag has flaws. Oh my, does she have flaws. Fleabag, created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the title character, is an equally hilarious and tragic character study of a single, perpetually horny British woman. She doesn’t get a name in the show, but she’s known to the audience as Fleabag. In the pilot, she describes herself as “a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist,” and although she’s being overly critical, she’s not far off. Despite all this, Fleabag comes across as charming, in no small part because of Waller-Bridge’s perfect performance. She’s one of the few actresses who can tell you exactly what they’re thinking with…

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July 2019 Script Sales

By Script Sales

The horror and thriller genres had a good month. Sony Entertainment and Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures picked up Gavin Heffernan’s untitled supernatural thriller spec. Details about its plot are being kept under wraps, but Escape Room’s Adam Robitel is attached to direct. Another untitled supernatural thriller spec landed with Paramount Pictures and The Picture Co., this one written by Jacob Chase. The plot follows a man with a classified line of work who takes his family on a perilous trip while protecting them from the horror he has in tow. Chase is also set to direct. Finally, Michael and Shaun Rasmussen’s horror spec The Unheard found a home at Burn Later Productions. No details about plot, but Chris von Hoffmann is set to direct. Other script sales: – Taika Waititi is returning to write and direct Thor: Love and Thunder for Disney/Marvel. Natalie Portman will also return to the…

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Script Pipeline Finalist “Sgt. Will Gardner” Produced

By Slider

A top 20 finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition, Sgt. Will Gardner released in February 2019. Written/directed by and starring Max Martini (The Unit) the film centers on an American veteran coping with homelessness, PTSD, and the long journey toward emotional recovery, highlighting the very real concerns of vets. A percentage of the film’s profits were donated to three veterans charities: Higher Ground, Warriors Heart, and the Special Operations Charity Network. Watch Sgt. Will Gardner on Amazon

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The Martian – Screenplay

By Essential Reading - Screenplays and Pilots

Story is conflict. It should seem obvious, but in order to have a compelling story, the characters need to face conflict and overcome obstacles with stakes high enough that the audience roots for the characters to succeed. The Martian takes these basic fundamentals and ratchets everything up to an 11. Based on the novel by Andy Weir and adapted by Drew Goddard, The Martian follows astronaut and botanist Mark Watney’s fight for survival after he is accidentally stranded on Mars. The premise is simple (and high-concept!) enough—it’s Castaway on a distant planet. From there, everything that can go wrong does. He’s running out of food and has to find a way to grow potatoes on Mars, he has to fix pretty much every piece of equipment including the base he’s living in, he has to find a way to contact Earth with outdated and outmoded technology… it’s the ultimate fight for survival. Weir…

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