In the midst of his hired kill, a Hitman is visited by his drug abused Uncle and learns the essence of life through his six-year-old daughter.
Will Frank be able to kill Johnny in time of Wolf’s request? Can Frank get out of the killing game without consequence?
Frank Mészáros, a hit-man, is just getting over the fact of killing one of his oldest friends when Wolf Wilkins, Kingpin, orders him a new assignment. In the middle of his stakeout to kill musician, Johnny Russo, he gets a call that his father, Max, has just slipped into a coma. Frank goes to his father’s house to organize his things. His estranged uncle, Vincent shows up unexpected with his six-year-old daughter, Emma. Vincent is very forward about needing money and leaving Emma with Frank while he goes to run some errands. Frank gets upset and shows them to the door. Vincent sees Frank’s anger and agrees to leave. A few minutes go by, a Knock repeats on the door. Frank opens it. Emma stands there alone. Frank and Emma spend the better half of the day together. She teaches Frank learns the essence of life. He begins to question his existence and whether or not he will continue to be a hit man. But before he can retire he must pay for his wrong doings.
Frank Mészáros, a hit-man, is just getting over the fact of killing one of his oldest friends when Wolf Wilkins, Kingpin, orders him a new assignment. In the middle of his stakeout to kill musician, Johnny Russo, he gets a call that his father, Max, has just slipped into a coma.
Frank goes to his father’s house to organize his things. His estranged uncle, Vincent shows up unexpected with his six-year-old daughter, Emma. Vincent is very forward about needing money and leaving Emma with Frank while he goes to run some errands. Frank gets upset and shows them to the door. Vincent sees Frank’s anger and agrees to leave. A few minutes go by, a Knock repeats on the door. Frank opens it. Emma stands there alone.
Frank and Emma stare at each other. Emma asks a ton of questions. Frank becomes annoyed. He takes her to the track to see the horses. He does his thing and bets on a few. It’s then he realizes she needs more attention than he can give. His next move is to take her for ice cream. After, they go for a walk and have a heart to heart conversation about their deceased mothers. Frank has a connection with Emma. They start to talk about life and death.
Emma sees a park nearby and runs for the swings. Frank follows. Wolf unexpectedly appears. He sits down with Frank and informs him about his hit that has to take place. He threatens Frank and makes it apparent that it has to happen tonight.
Frank sits in silence and tries to think of what he’s going to do with Emma. He only option is to take her with him.
Frank parks his car outside of Johnny’s apartment. He contemplates his decision. Emma offers him her rag doll. He throws it in the back seat. He gets out of the car and goes to his trunk to take out his gun and silencer. Emma jumps in the back seat and puts her rag doll in his bag.
Frank, in Johnny’s apartment, ties him up to a chair and pours gasoline on him. Frank walks over to his duffle bag and opens it. He sees Emma’s rag doll.
He takes Emma home. He enters the house with Emma asleep on his shoulder and sees Vincent sitting on a chair with a needle stuck in his arm. He places Emma in her bed. He argues with Vincent about his parenting skills.
The next morning Frank has a chance to clear his head and go for a swim in the ocean. He then drives over to Vincent and Emma’s house. Vincent waters his grass. Frank carries Emma’s rag doll into the house. Vincent walks towards Frank’s car and sees the duffle bag. He opens it and pulls out a stack of money and see’s a gun underneath.
Emma plays in the backyard. Frank watches and smiles. Vincent stands behind Frank with a gun in head. It’s held behind Frank’s head.
You have constructed an emotional, brutal, natural short film script that achieves most of what it sets out to do. To begin with, you employ effective scene descriptions that not only keep your script moving at a solid pace, but also don’t slow your reader down with unnecessary details. Additionally you manage to color in subtle characterization details through your descriptions too.
In terms of characterization you really do some wonderful work with Frank. In a very short amount of time you manage to dig deep into him, flesh him out accordingly, and keep him consistent through all of this. It’s fascinating how stoic he is initially, but how the presence of Emma can open him up so. Tiny like details like Frank kissing his charm before doing his work speak volumes for him so that he doesn’t have to. Even seemingly irrelevant details like how Frank orders a drink and his bar etiquette show you deeply the sort of person that he is. The same can be said for Johnny and how he conducts himself, in spite of him only being a minor presence.
How you use Frank and Johnny in contrast to each other is also very telling and effective, and just watching them bounce back and forth with each other is not only a testament to your characterization and dialogue, but also your tight plotting. This idea is only pushed further when you juxtapose Frank with Emma later on where he is using things like cigarettes for visual aids. Seeing how immediately they have a rapport and challenge each other and the welcome innocence that's present is a delight. There’s beautiful chemistry going on him.
This reunion of sorts that you have for Frank and his family, letting tension and awkwardness speak for itself goes far. It all feels real and fractured. Frank and Vincent for instance have a very touching meeting, but it’s steeped in the dread hanging over them and intervening elements like Emma’s presence (and then how this is used against their final scene together). You almost feel as awkward as they do as you go through it all.
Frank’s emotional breakthrough via Emma is wonderful. It feels genuine and watching him slowly and surely open up is a thing to behold. Similarly, Frank’s dressing down of Vincent for his drug use and basic negligence to who he now knows is a wonderful kid hits just as hard.
You get some nice mileage as Wolf approaches while Frank is out with Emma and there’s some genuine tension as these two worlds of his begin to collide as we begin to fear that something might go wrong.
This was the third story I wrote. I really really really wanted to film this story. I wanted to tell a story where we meet the protagonist at his turning point. He's a paid hitman who just killed his best friend and he finds out his father has just slipped into a coma. His estranged uncle comes around with his little girl, asks for money, and leaves his little girl with him. This is where the story starts. The protagonist learns the beauty of life from being left with his little cousin. I wrote a draft and sent it to a writer/cousin of mine who I wanted to play the lead. He came back with a bunch of revisions, which I wasn't expecting. He then rewrote it to his liking. Our next conversation was I have to have my script the way it is and that in order for me to be a better writer I had to write a bunch of bad versions. He understood but didn't want to do the film. He then sent me a bunch of stories for me to do those instead. I thought about it because I wanted to work with him, but I couldn't let my original story go. I kept writing it and writing it. I wrote nine drafts in order to get it to where I liked it and no revisions were needed. Between 2015-2017 I wrote three revisions. I started sending it out to festivals and it has been accepted to multiple festivals. It won a Semi-Finalist spot in the Hollywood Casting and Film Screenplay Competition. In 2019, I've been selected to be a part of a script show podcast to talk about this story. This was a highlight. For so long I've been told this story isn't that good and how it doesn't work, but not giving up on his made it worthwhile. I reread the script before the podcast show and I had some additional ideas on how I can make it better. On the show, I told the interviewers about the ads and they loved it. They asked me to add it in and they would host it on their site with the updated version. So I did. A few years went by and I submitted it to a festival, Plot Point Awards and it made it to the Quarter Finalist spot. I couldn't be happier with the way it came out and how far it's gotten. I think when the story goes into production it may go through another revision. But that's the beauty of filmmaking. This story means a lot to me. I look forward to the challenge.
*NOTE: I do not own the rights to the above image. It is clearly a depiction representing the story.