Three Original Scripts

A couple of years ago I started an after-school program with a fellow teacher. We called it S&S Education. The programs we offer focus on movie making and special effects. You can browse the website to see more of what we do. In the spring of 2018 we brought the participants through a series of script-writing exercises to help them develop original scripts which they then produced. In the fall of 2018 we decided to prepare the scripts beforehand in order to focus on the film-making techniques rather than the writing process. What resulted was three original scripts that the students turned into three films that ran from 12 to 15 minutes each. The scripts were written with the location in mind and so some shots and effects are specific to our particular situation. However, we believe that, with a little tweaking, these scripts could be adapted to a variety of situations and locations. Below is a brief description of each script. Click the button to download the PDF.

In this throw-back to the hard-boiled detective stories of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Detective Charlie Luck is tasked by rare card collector Professor Lementeri to retrieve a briefcase of rare cards that were stolen from him/her. Luck chases down the thief and returns the cards, only to learn that the ‘thief’ was the real owner and s/he had helped the Professor steal the cards.

We used some prohibition-era slang for the dialogue but also liberally invented our own. The students could be encouraged to invent their own slang for their lines. Out of the three scripts, this one required the most props as it was set in the past and with needed various costumes to give it an authentic feel.

It’s the beginning of the school year and a student who had died in an accident over the summer returns as a ghost only to see a new student in their desk. Enraged and jealous, the ghost tries to spook the new student but needs help from a second ghost to learn to move objects. With the help of another student, Malory, the ghost learns to let go of anger and befriends the new kid. 

This film requires attention to the soundtrack in order to give it an atmospheric mood. Effects needed include superimposition of video, stop-motion animation, and time-lapse photography.

A magical book comes to the library and hides in the book stacks. It is found by some students who discover that it can transport the reader to other locations instantly. A couple of cheaters use it for personal gain before the heroes find a clever way to banish it forever.

The effect of having people disappear is an old one but requires some clever manipulation of the audio track to create the sense of continuity between sharp cuts. Some stop-motion animation and a range of camera angles make this an interesting and challenging film to shoot.

We would be happy if someone else got some use out of these scripts. We only ask that you leave a comment to let us know how it worked out for you. Good luck.

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