FILM/TV

This is an archive of my unproduced film and television scripts. I will be posting more periodically. Most are adaptations of my novels/novellas. Some are original. Others are what are called "specs," which are episodes of existing television series written on "speculation" (ie. without being paid, usually used for the purpose of securing an agent or a writing gig on another television series). In the case of these, I do not own the characters and make no claims to the contrary. I have uploaded them here for entertainment purposes only.

All other works are original to me and are covered by Canadian copyright law and WGA West registration. If you are interested in optioning any of my work please get in touch with me via email at duncanralstonfiction@gmail.com.

EBENEZER
 

I wrote this genre-bending crime thriller at the end of 2017. My idea was to write it as a template for the novella I'd been working on here and there since 2014. Then, expand the story for the novella.
 

Ebenezer is the story of a boy whose parents are murdered on Christmas Eve who grows up to be the most feared and infamous hired killer in America. After he assassinates the creator of a virus intended to cripple the economy on Black Friday, he's visited by the ghost of his mentor, Jake Marley - a man he'd killed years ago - who forces him to relive the events of his past that led him to his life of crime.

The script received a score of 8 and great notes on The Black List website and was a "second rounder" in 2018's Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition.

WILDFIRE

I wrote this one in the opposite direction as Ebenezer. The psychological crime thriller Wildfire was a novella first (originally titled Every Part of the Animal) about a hunter single mother who only wants to do good by her boy. When a self-centered pop star animal activist chooses to make an example of them, their quiet country life begins to unravel.

I have a strong love-hate relationship with these characters. Both women are deeply flawed but fighting for what they love and believe in. Bo fights for her child. Rainey fights for the animals. The story plays out as a crime thriller but it's also a classic tragedy with all the other characters caught in the middle of their rivalry.

The script was a semi-finalist in 2018's BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

WOOM


Hoo boy. This script really pushes the limits of taste. It's based on my novella of the same name, which - aside from my first novel - has fared better than the rest of my books combined. It's the story of a severely depressed man and a plus-sized prostitute. While the stories he tells her are disturbing and terrifying, his motives are unclear until the stories themselves culminate in the ultimate act of rebirth.

I wrote this at the request of Matt Shaw (writer/director of Monster and the upcoming Next Door) who also published the original novella. I thought it would be fun to adapt it, since much of the story in the novella is told as a spoken monologue, I would have to translate a lot of that dialogue to visuals.

A lot of the visual elements are disturbing. It's a disturbing book. But I didn't have to try and visualize those elements while writing the book. Here, I had to. And it was deeply troubling. There are quite a few scenes that would give the movie (if it ever gets filmed) a hard NC-17 rating. Hell, much of it is essentially pornography. Check it out if you can stomach it.

READER DISCRETION ADVISED.

PSYCH: Dial M for Mustache... Also Murder

This script was the culmination of having binged 7 seasons of the underappreciated USA Network procedural comedy Psych. If you're unfamiliar with the series, it's about a fake psychic, Shaun Spencer, who becomes a consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department along with his best friend Gus.

I wrote this episode as a spec in the hope of getting some work writing TV. In this episode Shaun and Gus have to solve a murder at a mustache convention. Gus is distrustful of men with mustaches, Shaun is unnerved by Juliet's interest in mustached men, and Lassiter turns out to be a former competitor. The series itself ended shortly after I wrote it, which unfortunately made the script effectively useless as a writing sample.

I enjoyed writing it a fair bit though, and I think it's got a lot of funny moments. Judge it for yourself.

THE VALLEY: Pilot

For all its faults, I'm really proud of this script. It was one of my first ever completed spec pilots and I won and it did well in a few contests. It won 1st Place 1-Hour Pilot in the Fresh Voices competition in 2015, a semi-finalist in 2016's Park City Table Read My Screenplay, and an Official Selection in the LA International Screenplay Awards in 2017.

The Valley follows an undercover FBI investigation to root out the mafia's involvement in the '70s illegal porn industry. The story is very loosely based on a real operation (MiPorn). The characters and settings are all mine though. I absolutely love the era and I had a ton of fun with the period dialogue.

Unfortunately it was thought that the script should be shelved after David Simon (The Wire) and HBO announced their new series The Deuce. The setting and milieu were far too similar, even though the plot and characters are very different.

It's unapologetically raunchy and offensive, and I would love to know what you think of it. Would you watch this series?

INFINITY: Short Film Script

A quick and violent short film script inspired by the Tragically Hip song "Locked In the Trunk of a Car."

 

BABY TEETH Short Film Script

A 8-minute adaptation of one of my more popular horror short stories, "Baby Teeth" from Gristle & Bone.

 

READER DISCRETION ADVISED.

LATEST RELEASES

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© 2018 by Duncan Ralston

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