Competitions: The NYC Midnight, Screenwriting Challenge Round 2

I got came second in my heat in this challenge and progressed to the second round. The feedback from the judges was really positive and encouraging, and I’m looking forward to writing another screenplay.

My assignment was:

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Character: A Hitman

Subject: A negotiation

I actually came up with a really good idea for a comic script but the romance part had me flummoxed. I had to write the entire story in eight pages, and eight pages in a screenplay is very little as there is so much white space in a screenplay due to the formatting rules. I found that my two characters weren’t playing ball. I just couldn’t force ‘love’ in such a small space. On top of that, the deadline was a problem. I hadn’t noticed when I applied for the competition that the three days landed on one of the busiest weekends I have this year. I ended up sitting this one out, but I’ll definitely enter again next year.

The story I came up with was that of a dastardly husband trying to off his wife for an insurance payout. He attempts to hire a hitman to do the job, but mistakenly hires a novice gigolo, who completely misinterprets the meaning of his client’s shady assignment.

Here is a small excerpt from the script I started, and will finish later, but didn’t submit:


Giorgio the Gigolo       

Did you get any business from that online ad?


Nope. Not sure why.

Giorgio the Gigolo         

Well, it ain’t easy to get hot, rich women to hand you over their cash for something they can get for free any night of the week in any dive bar in town. You gotta be offering them something real special, like I do.

Show me the ad you put in.

Frank hands Giorgio his phone. Giorgio squints at the screen.

Well, this explains everything.

‘Hot guy, good value, specialises in women’. 

What the fuck is this? Where’s the finesse? Where’s the class? Good value? You’re not a fried chicken ball at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet! You’re supposed to be offering your clients the tastiest, highest quality man meat. Are you a deep-fried chicken ball or a medium to rare, Kobe fillet steak, Frank?


I’m a fillet steak.

Giorgio the Gigolo

Then behave like one.


Frank shoots Giorgio a confused look.

I would have put more words in the ad, but the company charges by the word… I only had five dollars…

Georgio the Gigolo

First lesson in business: ‘don’t expect clients to invest in you, if you won’t invest in yourself’, now invest some money in your business, you fucken tightwad. You managed to find the money for weed last week as I recall.

Giorgio squints at the phone again.

Oh, (squints at phone) and the ad says ‘hit guy’. It says ‘hit guy’ not ‘hot guy’. Now, not only do these women think you’re cheap, they think you’re an idiot too.


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My name is Catherine Day. After practising law for many years, I've decided to take the leap, leave law temporarily, and write the novel I've always wanted to write.

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