Script Frenzy Participant badge

But, in a good way.

Each year, the Office of Letters and Light stages Script Frenzy, an international screenwriting challenge.

The objective is to complete a movie script of 100 pages, in the 30 days between April 1st and April 30th.

100 pages. 30 days.

That’s roughly 3 and a half pages, per day.

Good pages, mind. Of a story which holds together as an entertaining movie, that makes sense.

There are badges for participating (like the one above), which you can put on your website, blog, or in a forum like this.

Entrants have the option of contributing money to Script Frenzy (which is run on donations; not compulsory).
And, if you win…

There’s the satisfaction of having succeeded.
A nifty certificate, that you can frame for your wall.
And another first draft screenplay, to add to your portfolio.

This year, I’m working on “SOS: State Of Siege”, a thriller with the premise:

“When a group of heavily-armed youths takes possesion of a crowded cafeteria, an elite police unit must safely negotiate the release of their hostages – among whom are members of the unit’s families.”

A little vague, I know. Needs work.

But that’s the way of Script Frenzy. The concept evolves, as the days progress.

I’m cheating a little, in that “SOS: State Of Siege” is a prequel of sorts, occurring a few years before the events of another script of mine. So, I’ve less need to agonize over character development, since I already know who several of the main players are.

Here’s the opening scene, to give you a taste of what I’m up to:

FADE IN

INT. RADFORD COLLEGE CAFETERIA – DAY

It’s Open Day, and the cafeteria has been converted into an exhibition space.
Colorful banners and displays form islands between groups of tables set up with snacks and drinks.

FAMILIES and LOCAL YOUNGSTERS mill around the hall.

In one section a group of SMALL CHILDREN giggle at the antics of several CLOWNS – youths in costumes, with face paint and Radford College badges.

The clowns dispense balloons and toy nicknacks to the little kids, from the large duffel bags they all carry.

All the clowns wear sunglasses – including JUNIOR, a girl of about 17, who stands to one side, arms folded round the straps of her bag. Her blood-red clown smile is distorted by a quirky grin, as she watches.

One of the clowns (RED, age 17) darts round the group, pretending to shoot his clown colleagues with a huge, floppy rubber six-gun.

Red’s hip bumps a table.
And a very real-looking nine-millimeter handgun falls from a pouch in his duffel bag, and slams to the table top.

BLAM!
The pistol goes off, on impact.

And a bullet rips through the throat of a YOUNG MOTHER, across the room.
She drops like a stone, dead before she hits the ground.

It takes a second, before her YOUNG SON finds breath to scream.

And general pandemonium ensues.

Some rush toward the fallen woman, to apply first aid, do CPR. Anything.

Some flap around, and make noise.

Some rush toward the exit doors.
Only to find each exit blocked by a bag-wielding clown.
The frightened people move to protest, and

BRRRUP!!
A chatter of automatic gunfire rips across the ceiling. Surprisingly loud, in the noisy cafeteria.

All eyes turn toward Junior, who holds the assault rifle.

Nothing clown-like in her attitude, or the way she holds the weapon, as she speaks to Red.

JUNIOR
Little early, but what the hell.

With her free hand, Junior takes a digital remote unit from her bag.

Nothing clown-like in her smile, as she addresses the crowd.

JUNIOR
Let’s get this party started.

She presses a sequence of buttons, on the remote.

My own party continues. Well; Frenzy.

If you would like to get involved in Script Frenzy, it’s not too late.

The first few days are always slow. It takes time, to establish a rhythm.

So get over to ScriptFrenzy.org, and sign up.

Or, if you are already a participant, do what I’m going to do.

Get back to work.

Peace.

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