24th Sep2015

‘The Sand’ scribes score 2nd place in Screencraft contest

by Phil Wheat


Alex Greenfield and Ben Powell, the writing duo behind Frightfest flick The Sand – which is due for VOD release in the UK from the Frightfest/Icon Film shingle Frightfest Presents on October 19th – have scored second place in the prestigious 2015 ScreenCraft Horror Screenplay Contest behind Scott Hamilton & PJ Hamilton’s script, a werewolf tale entitled Bad Moon Rising.

Beating out over 1,000 other submissions, Greenfield and Powell’s script for Plague Ship tells the story of a newly married couple whose honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a deadly plague breaks out on their luxury cruise ship. The pair must do anything and everything to keep each other safe, both from infection and from the ship’s crew, who have decided that slaughtering passengers is the only way to keep the plague from spreading.

I’ve had a sneak peek at the screenplay and it’s safe to say I was hooked from page one. Described by ScreenCraft as a “clever iteration of classic horror tropes that deftly marry high-concept premises with clear and relatable emotional cores… have real potential to engage hardcore horror audiences, and we’re excited to highlight them,” Plague Ship is most-definitely a script that needs to get into production pronto.

We spoke to one half of the Plague Ship duo, Alex Greenfield, post the ScreenCraft announcement to get his thoughts on the contest and on Plague Ships’s future:

ScreenCraft has a really good track record of connecting writers with production companies and representation. Ben and I have gotten some low-budget movies we’re really proud of made on our own – THE SAND and THE AGGRESSION SCALE especially – but to get PLAGUE SHIP before some camera we felt like that kind of boost would be necessary. We’re over the moon that the judges responded positively to the script. Now we just gotta get somebody to make it!

PLAGUE SHIP is a scary-as-hell horror/thriller that shares a bit with THE MIST or “Lord of the Flies” in the way it views humanity in a crisis. Even in the midst of real misanthropy, though, there are beautiful moments of heroism and self-sacrifice. As with THE SAND, Ben and I love playing around with all the tropes of a usual apocalyptic movie. There are a lot of terrifying, difficult choices in PLAGUE SHIP; ideally the reader and the audience are left wondering what decisions they would make themselves.

Also, I totally see British professional wrestler, Jimmy Havoc as the antagonist, DaVoe.

This years Horror Screenplay contest was judged not only by the ScreenCraft team, but also Ryan Turek, VP of Development at Blumhouse Productions and founder of ShockTillYouDrop.com; Scott Henderson, Agent at Paradigm Talent Agency, representing renowned horror filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell; Andrew Wilson, Manager at Zero Gravity, representing acclaimed horror writer Clive Barker; and Miles Fineburg, Development Executive at Terror Films. Quite the pedigree!

Here’s hoping the high profile win will score Greenfield and Powell a cast and crew and most of all, a production budget, for Plague Ship. As always, more news as we get it. Meanwhile make sure you rent, or better still buy, The Sand when it hits VOD next month.


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