My short horror screenplay, which I wrote around 2011, was one of 10 winners for 13Horror.com’s short screenplay contest 2018. I’m ecstatic to win something for my writing and it is a big confidence boost from Hollywood. A story means nothing until it is read. It was just sitting in my hard drive, so I thought, why not? Being an author with an agent doesn’t mean opportunities automatically land in your lap. You still need to do as much networking as if you weren’t already published!
The story of THOSE GLASSY EYES was inspired by a few things. When I was growing up, I had a brief career as a ventriloquist and I was good enough to perform at my school assembly! I had a routine with my dummy Charlie, which was a replica of the dummy Charlie McCarthy used by Edgar Bergen. Then I hit puberty and I found switching to Charlie’s high voice quite painful! That and dubious future career prospects caused me to change tac and pursue film directing instead. Which then changed to being a writer… I also worked on a film The Scouting Book For Boys that had a big part of the film set in a holiday park. That setting, growing up reading RL Stine’s Goosebump books featuring a maniacal dummy named Slappy and a recent viewing of the classic ‘Dead of Night’ with my Dad gave me all the inspiration I needed to write THOSE GLASSY EYES.
It took me a few drafts but the overall story was there from draft 1. I hope one day to fund and direct it myself. The screenplay of THOSE GLASSY EYES will be available to purchase on Amazon in the near future.
This was the Judge’s Feedback:
‘It’s a nice exploration of a not-too-often tapped horror trope. Hugo set the bar very high in Dead of Night, so it’s always going to take something original to compete… and I think you manage to do so… It was very enjoyable and there’s more to it than just the supernatural horror- there’s a certain something in it too about the feel about the holiday camp… The product of a very talented writer- great job.’
For now, here’s a short synopsis:
Ageing Ventriloquist Martin Magee and his dummy Charlie Stine are an incredible double act, but times have changed. Their latest show is in a rundown holiday park, complete with a stubbled clown and a bored crowd. On stage Magee’s talent is incredible: Charlie can speak whilst Magee is drinking! At times it’s almost like they’re two separate people… That night Charlie notices a particularly precocious boy named Thomas sitting in the audience, captivated by their performance. All of a sudden Charlie and Magee speak at the same time, which is impossible, right? Magee cuts the performance short, but not before Charlie invites Thomas to meet him backstage. What is Charlie’s secret?