Could this be the first filmed? Only those Down Under might know...

Over the past year (2010) I have joined up with another review hub, Talentville which some of my peers there encouraged me to list some of my short scripts on the Inktipsite. I’ve used Inktip before, listing my full length scripts from time to time, but I never bothered with short scripts. But I took writing short scripts as a challenge. One day I got an Inktip newsletter in the email. Someone was looking for a horror-thriller that featured a “Killer Nurse”. I did not have a horror-thriller script with a “Killer Nurse”. I have heard, seen, or know of horror films that involve crazy doctors, or a killer loose in the hospital (Halloween II, Visiting Hoursand then there’s ten minutes of Sly Stallone’s Cobra if you want to count that) and the only ‘crazy killer nurse’ that really comes to mind is Annie Wilkes, the stalker fan in Stephen King’s Misery and the movie based on it.

Now, there is a slight bit of truth being scared of nurses. When you get sick and have to go to the hospital as I did in late 1995, you are pretty much at the mercy of those on the graveyard shift. That said, they are there to help you. There’s nothing too spooky about a person trained to help save lives. It may be not the best of situations, but your fears are directed elsewhere. In any case, I have respect for those in the medical field. So writing a script about a “Killer Nurse” isn’t going to be easy. After giving it some thought, I decided to write a short script anyway. I made myself a general outline, and guides for myself. I need those guides in writing a short script. If I don’t stick to them, it is all too easy for me to plan a 10 page script and wind up with 100 pages. I’m always into fleshing out, expanding both character and story.

So I chose these parameters:

    – Mental Hospital.

This would take care of two characters. A central protagonist who is close to being released, and a central antagonist who releases herself. The latter will be a threat and dress up like a nurse on her night of terror. The former could be witness to some of these events and thus calls for help might be taken with skepticism.

    Nobody goes outside

I want only interiors. If someone films this, if they want an establishing shot, that’s up to them. I don’t write establishing shots in my scripts. I consider them a waste of time. I also want to be flexible.

    Focus on suspense, not blood

A lot of horror today has gone splatter-heavy. I don’t mind a few of them, but it’s gone way over the top. Also, in movie theaters, people may not be eating chicken soup or pizza, but they are still eating popcorn and Goobers. A short film might not be in a multiplex; it could be at a film festival or show up online. Folks by the computer still got a box of Cheez Its somewhere. I don’t want them to gag it up with the root beer. It’s not a pretty sight.

    Throw in a little bit of realism while keeping the surrealism

Yes, I did a small bit of research. I came across an odd fact. The majority of people in mental institutions…aren’t crazy. They are recovering addicts, usually drugs. I could use this background for the protagonist. The antagonist would also drug her up at some point as well.

However, I still want my dramatic license. Many people who watch films today, even those who are “sophisticated” should not be so stiff as to enjoy a few minor details in regards to suspension of disbelief. That said, I chose to write my script accordingly, and have it take place in one day and night. Day to introduce us to the heroine. Night to unleash her adversary. It’s still a slippery slope, I think I can get away with it.

So what now…?

Well, after some peer feedback on Talentville, a bit of rewriting and minor changes (the normal rewriting for any script, long or short) I posted it, along with a number of other short scripts of mine on Inktip. The folks that generally respond to the short script listings are about as broke as you are, since the majority are film students across the globe. Many times there is inquiry. Many times they “want” to do it.

Many times you never hear from them again.

I’ve read the script a couple of time now and it’s great, I can’t wait to get it into development.
– Sept 26, 2010

Said one such film student, Louis Byrne out of Perth, Western Australia. Imagine my surprise earlier this month when…

Sorry about the lack of communications lately, I have been away on location for the past few weeks with no internet access.
I will add you to facebook shortly, I am at work at the moment and have very limited internet access.

The budget for this will not be very much i would imagine, it would be however much my producer and myself can raise with the help of family, friends, coworkers etc. As I am still a student, I have access to a lot of professional equipment (everything basically from pre to post production) therefore we wouldn’t need to raise such a large budget.

If I was to give a rough estimate, I would say no more than 2k…this is a very small budget I know, but as I can get the majority of equipment for free, the location I have in mind is very cheap, I would hire fellow students mostly as the crew and I have some great contacts who are amazing Perth actors so they will work for very little.

The location i have in mind for this will be perfect, it is a large (mostly) un-used mental hospital!! It has many rooms, large and small, long hallways…all sorts.

That was on October 24th. We have had e-mails back and forth a few times since. The fee I charge is simple: a writing credit, communication, and a copy of the finished film (DVD or download file that can be burned on a DVD) and/or announcement of where the finished short could be seen.
Louis, a young filmmaker in his early 20s, will soon have the honor of being the first person alive to interpret my brainwaves, a feat that most of my high school and college chums have attempted and failed to do.
(That’s a joke). But I’m equally stoked anyway. It’s not all about me. It’s about those who I collaborate and network with.

Best of luck, Louis!

Here's a Killer Nurse- well, sort of...

Until today. I decided to keep this a bit low profile, and very shortly, there will be a note to Inktip, because they like these sorts of announcements in the general e-mail newsletters. This is looking like good news. I’ll keep folks updated when I get updated on the project.