Here are my finished short scripts, some now in active development. If you’d like to know more about any of them, drop me a line and I’ll be very happy to talk them through.
A Bed For The Boy
A single father spends the last of his money on a second-hand sofa, with one problem: how is he going to carry it home?
12 pages. I cycled past a fly-tipped armchair in the middle of an estate and found myself wondering: how? Why? When? … and most especially, who? This was the second script I started, the first I finished, and I learned a lot from the writing. It was the winner of the ‘Northern Exposure’ category at the Grim North Screenplay Festival, was Highly Commended in the FilmBath IMDB Script To Screen Award, and is currently in development with director Emma Roxburgh and BFI FilmHub North.
A Sure & Godly Beauty
Pioneer Merrily nurses a dying child through the wilderness. When two malicious drifters emerge from the badlands, she’s tested to the limit in the battle for her soul.
22 pages. My first script. I was walking in the Lakes in winter when I had the image of a woman, a pioneer, battling through the snows, weighed down by her load. And like an aftershock, the vision of villains tormenting her from the shadows. The dynamic made me think of Jesus in the desert, taunted by the devil, and I started writing.
A Sure & Godly Beauty reached the final three of £35,000 film fund The Pitch, and is now in funded development. I have also developed a feature treatment of which this is proof of concept.
A tourist drowns in the weight of his actions after dabbling in the underbelly of a foreign town.
2 pages. Short and nasty. I wanted to see how much atmosphere, how much dread, I could squeeze into a single scene, and also wanted to try adapting one of my own short stories. I also wrote this specifically with production in mind, making the locations and settings as adaptable as possible.
Official selection CKF International Film Festival. In development with Shunk Films.
A lonely woman falls into the wild sides of herself when a mole catcher begins trapping on her land.
15 pages. Adapted from my short story Nash The Mole, which was published many moons ago in a short-lived Cumbrian journal called Fire Crane. As well as taking on an adaptation, I wanted to try transforming a substantial first-person piece into an entirely visual space — to make the internal external, which is the fundamental art of film. Intense, personal, full of sensation — it’s been fascinating to see how the story formed itself around those changes, evolving into something new. I prefer it as a screenplay.
Pensioner Tom muddles along fine with his only company, a poltergeist called Maggie… until a social worker tries to rehome Tom, and Maggie doesn’t want to let him go.
10 pages. One of those rare ideas that emerge in the light almost fully-formed, blinking and ready for mischief. I found myself idling on the thought of a pensioner living quite happily with a ghost, and the rest of it fell into place like jigsaw puzzle pieces.
In development with director James Kennedy.
A grandmother videocalls her grandson as he crossdresses for an online date — stirring up memories of the last time she was together alone.
6 pages. I wrote this near the start of the coronavirus lockdown, in response to the BBC InterConnected call-out: 2-4 characters, 5-10 pages, set entirely within a video call. I love the ambiguities of ‘distance’ — the ways we fall together, the ways we fall apart.
Winner Best Short Script at the Lockdown Film Festival.
A Polish boy turns to his great-grandmother for advice on dealing with bullies — but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing…
5 pages. This evolved quite drastically as I wrote it. Although the first draft was set mostly in a secondary school, the great-grandmother took over as soon as she arrived in the scene, and I ended up with something very different by the time the story found itself.
Ignored by her bickering parents, fur flies when 11-year-old Ellie starts a tit-for-tat war with her grumpy neighbour.
9 pages. I had the idea for this a while ago — a spoilsport neighbour provoking a belligerent kid into all-out war. I wanted to play with the sense that children aren’t always aware of the gravity of things going on around them.
A man returns home to find a new arrival in the house.
A single page. I wrote this as a challenge to myself — to see how much depth of story I could fit into one page without sacrificing pace — no clues, editing tricks, exposition, montage or titles.