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The High School
48-Hour Script Writing

And the winner is . . . 

Grace Archer of Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Washington!

Grace is our 2023 Short Script Project winner for her script, "Soul Food".

We sat down with Grace and asked her about her process.

HS48:  What was the first thing that went through your mind when you received the assignment on Friday night?

As soon as I saw the required character, I knew I wanted to set the story in a restaurant. It’s such a versatile and interesting setting, and there are so many interesting dynamics there. I also knew I wanted to do something supernatural and philosophical.


HS48: What was your process for writing your script?

Initially, I thought I might go dramatic. My initial concept was a lot darker, and definitely was a lot less fun. My first brainstorming session actually had me doing a rough outline for a dark drama about grief and overcoming tragedy. After writing it all out, though, I realized that the concept didn’t feel like a story - it just felt like a concept. So I approached it from a different angle- fish out of water. I still wanted to set it in a restaurant, and I still wanted to explore death and existentialism, but fish out of water was a more specific and comedic genre, which is an area I’m much more familiar with. As soon as I realized that I wanted the eponymous ‘fish’ to be The Grim Reaper himself, the story really started to take shape. 

HS48: What was the inspiration for your story?

I feel like a lot of short films deal with the concept of death, personified, I’ve seen a lot of existentialist and somber takes, but never really a silly, tongue in cheek, but at the core still heartfelt story about it. I love stories about people finding their passion, especially when those passions defy convention. Beyond that, I love stories about unlikely connections that turn out to be some of the most meaningful of our lives. The idea that satisfaction isn’t a social standard to be aspired to, but rather a very personal and intimate thing. The relationship between Madison and the Reaper (both on the same path, but at different stages) is loosely inspired by the relationship between myself and some friends of mine who really helped me prioritize my own happiness and wellbeing.

The next HS48 Short Script Project is set for October 2024!

We provide you with scriptwriting tips and tutorials to help you write your script. On the Friday night of the competition weekend, you will receive your assignment: a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that you must work into your story. Then you have 48 hours to write your script.

Top 5 scripts receive written critique.

First Prize receives:

Film Breakdown: Path to Production

Meeting with an award winning producer (via Zoom) to discuss your script

A $250 dollar prize

Limited to 100 entries!

Registration opens in September



Important documents to help you through the process! 

 What we provide

  • "How to Write a Killer 48 Hour Film Screenplay" ebook

  • Script formatting guidelines

  • 3 video tutorials on story development and Three Act Structures

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