Low-Maintenance Organisms short film

Are you a filmmaker looking for original material to make a short film?

TL;DR

Short story available free; intentionally written for aspiring filmmakers; minimal set up, one location, two actors, easy to stage. 10-15 mins duration. No fees 🙂

Overview

I have written a short story that is beginning to garner attention. It is called Low-Maintenance Organisms.

As well as a story in its own right, it is intended as a vehicle to aid aspiring filmmakers looking for material they can adapt to their own circumstances i.e. it is easy to stage.

What is the story?

Main character dies and finds himself discussing his life with God.

A single scene, one location (with optional brief flashbacks to others) and only two actors. Primarily dialogue based.

Read the original story »

What is being offered?

I love films, including shorts. It can be difficult for filmmakers to source suitable material that doesn’t require hefty budgets, time, multiple actors or fancy sets.

The story is designed to be simple to stage, yet has room for creativity. It is easy to adapt to whatever circumstances you find yourself in; limited budget, limited location, filming on the fly, only know a few actors etc.

Terms and conditions

There are only a few conditions.

  1. It is for non-commercial purposes; think free video showcasing your talents on YouTube or Vimeo.
  2. Credit the author; nothing heavy just a basic courtesy. See below for details.
  3. Provide a link to the original story in your publication medium i.e. YouTube description etc.

What you must keep

You must stick to the spirit of the story. You can adapt it to your own circumstances, but the general flow should mirror the original story.

Minor dialogue can change, but don’t remove entire chunks.

The basic premise must remain intact; recently dead person meets God who conveys important information.

The ending, especially God’s final line of dialogue, should remain.

What you can adapt or change

I want to see what fellow creatives can do. To that end much of the story can be somewhat adapted. Here are some pointers for you to consider.

Location

The story is set in an office. But feel free to change this to something more accessible to yourself.

For example, an empty parking lot at night; a field in winter; a busy street; an empty street; your living room; the roof of a skyscraper; a moving train.

You get the idea. The location is not that important. In the story the office reflects Ben’s life i.e. he worked in an office. But feel free to get creative.

Characters

In the story God is Ben’s idea of what God would be like, a mature man. Similarly, Ben is male. Both are up for grabs. You can do your own thing.

  1. Maybe your God is a woman;
  2. Both characters could be female;
  3. God could be young;
  4. God is a disembodied voice or a floating point of light;
  5. God is the same person as the main actor.

The only stipulation is that the limit is two characters, the dead character and God.

Flashbacks

The script contains two flashbacks. One is a quick flash of Ben’s final moments in the hospital. The second is a brief moment where Ben imagines the life he could have had.

Either or both could be done exclusively with sound effects rather than visual flashbacks. Or maybe you have a better way of conveying the point.

Credit the author

I require a credit. If you use title cards or equivalent something like this:

  • Written by Gerard Docherty

If you adapt the script you need to reference the original story and highlight the screenplay seperately with the author name before other writers:

  • Based on the short story Low-Maintenance Organisms by Gerard Docherty
  • Screenplay by Gerard Docherty and Other Writer(s)

Get in touch

If you do decide to download the script below and are actively considering making the film, let me know. I’ll be happy to do my bit showcasing your talents by putting it on this site 🙂

What you need to do

  1. Read the original story. It is available here on this site for free.
  2. Download the screenplay below.
  3. Contact me to let me know you are considering it or to discuss the story.

Download the script

The script is available free of charge in word format and PDF.

LMO Screenplay (Word)
LMO Screenplay (PDF)


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Image: Jakob Owens