I write movie screenplays.
No, I haven't sold any yet.
Below is a writing sample from
a screenplay I wrote in 2018.
The title is Raven.
It's about a girl, named Raven, who becomes a child actress, mostly appearing in tacky television commercials, community theater and singing at shopping centers until she reaches her senior year in high school. At that point, she and her mother head from Atlanta to L A to try and find stardom.
The good news is Raven finds her fame. The bad news is Raven finds her fame. Can an actress
be too famous?
Raven quickly discovers fame in Hollywood isn't what she expected, and she discovers that once you're at the top at age 18, it's only downhill from that lofty perch.
It's a low budget, character-driven screenplay with lots of goofy scenes, quirky characters and off-the-wall dialogue. Examples: the female thief with vascular arms, the vain casting agent who overdoses on top of her own photo, an unusual funeral for a goldfish with a bizarre name, a car with a quite astonishing dome light, the aunt who does crime scene cleanup, the cyborg at the talk show, waitress mom Alisha's nightmares of diner customers' past, Raven's bizarre dreams of funding the search for extra terrestrials in outer space, and lots more humorous people and places.
Below is a writing sample from the screenplay. Interested producers, my contact e-mail is on this website. Hint hint.
Hey, can't blame a guy for trying, right? I don't look good enough in a sweater to be "discovered" by a producer or director while sipping a soda at a drugstore lunch counter.
Screenplay sample below. They are just random scenes, in no particular order.
Enjoy! Hope ya laugh! Hope ya smile!
P.S. Some of the language might be in the PG 13 category. And for those that didn't take drama
in high school or college, V.O. = voice over and O.S. = out of sight. And, I suppose, I should include an official disclaimer. This screenplay writing sample is a work of fiction.
Important note: Due to the unique formatting / margins of this screenplay sample, I find
it is better viewed on a laptop or desktop computer instead of a smart phone.
EXT. MOVIE STUDIO PARKING LOT – DAY (ONE MONTH LATER)
We hear mom Alisha finishing up her phone call as the scene begins.
The family's dented sedan turns into the main entrance of a large, busy, established
movie studio. Other cars waiting to pass through the gated guard booth are fancy,
and one even has a DRIVER in a suit and tie. Alisha is driving and Raven sits in the
back seat, mother’s orders.
Eighteen year old Raven stares about, taking in the high gates out front, the tall palm trees and the massive movie sound stage buildings that line a busy California film lot. A happy Raven glances about wide-eyed, searching for celebrity sightings, movie stars or supermodels, but all she sees is a hunched-over, old wrinkled GARDENER who has a map of Kansas tattooed on one leg and who is wearing a pith helmet. The Gardener is clipping rose bushes while singing in a nauseating soprano voice. This is her introduction to Hollywood.
INT. ORTHODONTIST’S OFFICE – DAY (PRESENT DAY)
Doctor, you made my day! You're
the first person to ever ask for my
autograph. This is a super whoa!
The orthodontist points down at the blank paper.
And, oh, by the way, this weekend on Saturday
at the Harvest Festival at the mall down
the road I’m singing. It’s free admission.
The festival pays me. I’m even going to try
and sing one song entirely in French.
In French, pretty much. In Italian, not
so much. But I can order garlic bread
in Italian. I can say the pastas.
Raven stares at the paper. Her hand holds the pen, frozen. When she does finally sign,
the signature is messy, juvenile. She's not happy. She pouts.
INT. RAVEN’S HOME BEDROOM – NIGHT (HOURS LATER)
It’s late at night, with only one table lamp on in Raven’s bedroom, which is decorated like
a typical teenage room, with lots of posters on walls and hairbrushes on the nightstand.
Raven’s sitting at a desk, hunched over, yawning. In front of Raven is a stack of blank
sheets of typing paper. Nearby are a dozen markers of various thickness and
colors. A half dozen sheets of paper with her name scribbled have already been tossed
into a nearby trash can. Raven is frantically writing her name using different markers
and different writing styles. She examines carefully each signature after she finishes,
turning the paper sideways.
I’ve taken hundreds of hours of lessons
in dance, drama, swimming, foreign languages,
singing and circus arts. But I never took one
lesson in how to give an artistically
presentable autograph to a fan. Funny, huh?
EXT. NIGHT SKY WITH A FULL MOON – NIGHT (CONTINUOUS)
Stock footage of moving night clouds clearing a full moon. An owl hoots.
INT. RAVEN’S HOME BEDROOM – NIGHT (CONTINUOUS)
Raven is slumped over on the desk with a marker in one hand. Raven got halfway
through writing before she fell asleep.
Mom Alisha enters, tiptoes over and rubs Raven’s shoulders.
Sweetie? Sweetie? Let’s get you in bed.
Raven lets loose a huge SNORE. Alisha glances into the OVERFLOWING trash can
next to the desk. Several hundred sheets of paper are inside. Each sheet has been
Alisha yanks a bunch of papers out of the trash. Holding them under the lamp’s gentle
glow, she thumbs through them. The papers on the bottom have immature scribbling,
but the more recently signed papers near the top of the pile have been skillfully
autographed with large looping letters and a big R. Alisha's impressed.
INT. FAMILY MASTER BEDROOM – MORNING (DAYS LATER)
Parents Joe and Alisha are early drinking and arguing. Their voices reverberate throughout
the home and halfway down the block, causing a cocker spaniel, seen through a bedroom window being leash-walked, to lift its ears. Nobody else is home, everyone is off at school.
Why take her out of school now? She’s in
AP classes. Her grades are top. She’s popular.
She gets along with her teachers. Why go
Hollywood now? Los Angeles is a long way
from Atlanta. Let her finish her senior year.
Oh, Joe, they have schools in California.
And I think it’s time. Over fifty people
asked for her autograph after last week’s
concert at the mall. Raven was stoked!
Alisha, rents are redwood-tree high in LA.
How can we swing it? We’re struggling now.
If she starts getting acting work, the
money will handle itself. Until it does,
I’ll grab a night or weekend job. I’ll
scrub floors if I have to. Or return to
the waitressing kick.
You know? I’ll become a wage slave in
today’s ultra-bustling capitalistic
economy. In this great nation, I have
discovered there’s usually a diner or
car wash hiring. So it's back to bringing a
Rueben on rye. Just pray for me, Joe.
INT. DINER IN AN ATLANTA SUBURB – DAY (FLASHBACK)
Flashback scene. Months earlier. Alisha’s thoughts, her memory from a waitress job.
In this great land of opportunity there’s
always a diner hiring. Can’t imagine why.
A busy diner, waitresses hustling with plates for lunch. Alisha approaches a booth with an ELDERLY MARRIED COUPLE eating Reuben sandwiches overstuffed with cabbage.
The Elderly Man has had a total laryngectomy -- his voice box removed -- and uses a
hand-held device to help him speak with computer, robotic-like quality which echoes.
(robotic like voice)
Rueben tastes like soggy slop.
The Elderly Man flings the sandwich towards Alisha’s head. Alisha’s head DARTS left
to avoid the rye, we hear the DING of a boxing ring’s end-of-round bell and echoes of
a distant cheering fight crowd that is never seen.
INT. FAMILY HOME LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
It’s not something I broadcast.
Why didn’t you say something, Mom? If I
had known, I would have given up some of
the private theatrical accent classes. I didn't
know we were going broke.
What if you are called to audition for a part
playing a teenager with a heart of gold from
the lower east side of New York?
I’d wing it.
(speaks with a New York accent)
I’d tawk like tis when I ask a slow waiteess for
anuthrr glass of watta befoeer next Thuhsdeey.
(speaks normal again)
Mom, I could have taken fewer Italian lessons.
Oh, yeah, right.
And if you are called to star in a gangster
movie, what would happen if you had to say a
line in Italian like touch that fettuccine
and you will sleep with the fishes?
Raven laughs, closes her eyes and concentrates.
(speaking slowly, carefully)
Tocca quella fettuccina . . . e dormirai . . .
con i pesci.
Don’t change the subject by changing the
language. And no wise cracks.