Watch a table read of a scene from Herb Schultz’s screenplay “Double Blind Test.”
The Thriller/Suspense Film and Writing Festival recently recognized “Double Blind Test” as having one of the best loglines and scenes among the many screenplays submitted for review.
The festival organizers assembled a group of actors to table read a scene in which the protagonist Tracy finally confronts the man who conned her out of a million dollars in an elaborate scheme involving his phantom twin brother. After you watch the table read, indulge yourself in the complete script available here.
Logline: After a professional mediator is conned by identical twin businessmen who sought her help to resolve a dispute, she meets another woman in a suspiciously similar circumstance, and the two team up to take down the con artists.
NARRATION: Julie C. Sheppard
Marilyn – Katelyn Vanier
Calvin/Fletcher – Trevor Marlatt
Tracy – Vanessa Quagliara
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
An independent, driven woman who mediates corporate disputes for a living is taken in a complex confidence scheme by a pair of identical twins. The twins portray themselves to the mediator as having a dispute between themselves over the future of an experimental drug they are developing to cure a rare disease – one that happens to afflict her father. Drawn in, she accepts the challenge to mediate the dispute in order to advance research on the drug. After the con, the mediator makes it her mission to find the perpetrators and exact some form of punishment. In her pursuit of leads she encounters another woman in a suspiciously similar situation. Once the other woman is convinced she’s vulnerable to an epic scam, the two team up to take down the bad guys.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
The con game. The revenge story. A twisty, noir tale of crime and punishment.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
First, the screenplay is intelligent and twisty, and reminiscent of movies that were once the mainstay of Hollywood during a period when people flocked to the theater. “Double Blind Test” could be the kind of movie that might help generate the resurgence of the 45+ demographic – as well as condition younger audiences to demand something more than fart jokes and exploding metal objects. It could serve as an antidote to the ever-expanding and tedious offering of leaden apocalyptic movies, comic book adaptations and stupid buddy comedies. Second, I can see the movie as a vehicle for one or more mid-career stars who have had trouble landing serious parts. Third, the screenplay ends with a fork in the road. If the movie were successful, a second movie could follow the thread. Perhaps the main character could become an enduring role.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Probably “Casablanca.” Or possibly “The Godfather.” If you consider the whole “Godfather” series as a unified movie, then that would most likely be the answer.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started working on “Double Blind Test” in 2011 shortly after the publication of my novel of the same name. As a script never seems to be done, I have been working on it for 6 years, but it was mostly written over the course of a year.
7. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written three novels – “RonnieandLennie” about the lives of conjoined twins who become suddenly separated; “Architect’s Rendition” about a man who orchestrates an elaborate murder plot that includes the mutual killing of the murderers; and “Double Blind Test” – and a collection of short stories titled “Sometimes the Sun Doesn’t Shine There.” I’ve also written three scripts in addition to the screenplay for “Double Blind Test.”
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)
Favorite or not, I’ve definitely listened to Todd Rundgren’s “Hello it’s Me” more than any other song (even more than “Happy Birthday.”)
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The story takes place in the current time when every movement is captured on video, every transaction is monitored, and even the most elusive forensic evidence cannot hide from scrutiny. So the development of the screenplay required careful construction so as not to rely on an action that would quickly lead to an unraveling of the plot. Unlike movies of the 1940s before cell phones, close-circuit TVs, credit cards, DNA evidence and the like, modern crime stories struggle to make a convincing case that the what the characters do is believable.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Reading, watching movies, swimming and biking, traveling, driving sports cars, architecture, technology.
Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
Camera Operator: Mary Cox