Screenplay Samples

extracts from a handful of screenplays:

features, TV, shorts and treatments

click images for more info

All Rights Reserved © Joe Fordham




Fantasy based on the short stories of Ray Bradbury.

In 1990, I wrote to one of my heroes: the great American fantasy author Ray Bradbury. To my surprise, four days later, he wrote back. Attached is our correspondence (here and here) regarding my proposed treatment for a feature film, based on five classic Bradbury short stories. I’m still exploring a way to bring this project to fruition, as a tribute to the author that started it all for me.  R.I.P. Ray.

Awards: A special personalized autograph here.

The Dodo Man

The saga of the last dodo.

A wine-merchant in 1680s Portugal abandons his provincial life in an attempt to prevent the extinction of the last surviving dodo bird.

Awards: Placed in top 15% of the Nicholl Fellowships 2007 and semi-finalist Writemovies 2009.

Blood Royal

The brief and tragic reign of the last Anglo-Saxon king. Co-written with eminent historian, Mark Ellis.

Harold Godwinson, eldest son of an Anglo-Saxon warlord, is ship-wrecked on a diplomatic mission to rescue hostages from William, a powerful Duke in Northern France. Harold forges an uneasy kinship with William, until he returns to England and accepts the English crown, re-igniting the Norman Duke’s fierce rivalry.

Awards: quarter-finalist WOTS 2007; website here.

Tom, Huck & Twain

Psychological fantasy based on the work of Mark Twain.

One snowy winter in Connecticut, 1910, Sam Clemens -- aka Mark Twain -- wakes on his deathbed to see a balding gent who claims to be the grown-up Tom Sawyer. Tom and the ghost of Twain’s deceased daughter, Susy, warn Twain that characters from his fiction are about to storm the house, wanting revenge against their creator for literary crimes against humanity.

Awards: UCLA Advanced Screenwriting class, tutor Sy Gomberg.


A home-help robot becomes a runaway rogue.

A mute, mechanical, bipedal worker-bee robot -- a heavily modified RB-40, ‘Arby’ -- works at a desert gas station as a grease monkey, home help, and companion for its owner’s five-year-old daughter. After a freak accident, the robot adapts its owner’s unfinished novel into a bedtime story for the girl.  The novel wins a prize.  The robot and the little girl run away.

Awards: early draft optioned 1990.

Arc of the Phoenix

A long-lost space pilot is catapulted to fame.

Sergeant Virgil Pinback -- aka fuel technician Frank Puge -- returns to Earth, 60 years after the disappearance of his scoutship “Dark Star”. United Planets Space Corps hails Pinback as a hero, despite a case of mistaken identity that landed him on his mission, and they draft him into service on a new and terrifying assignment.

Awards: unofficial sequel to John Carpenter’s 1974 cult film “Dark Star” and, so far, John Carpenter has not sued me.

Hypernauts: Cold Comfort

Space cadets seek refuge on a mysterious ice planet.

A children’s TV sci-fi episode written at the invitation of the series producer. It was an ambitious show, combining live-action with digital environments, and achieved cult status. Unfortunately, they decided they wanted a cheaper monster -- giant heat-seeking worms, not ice crabs -- so that was the end of my involvement. But it was a fun exercise, and I wrote the whole thing in a week.

Awards: Aired as “Icebound” and earned its writer a 1996 Writers Guild of America award nomination.

The Glitch

An insomniac’s night-life takes on another dimension.

I’d made 70-something (now 150+) short films, but hadn’t made a proper narrative for a while, then this little story leapt into my head -- a twisted little ten-minute Outer Limits -- and, three years later, I managed to shoot it, we got into a dozen film festivals around the world, and had some nice recognition online.

Awards: Opening film and and best science fiction nominee at DragonCon ’08, finalist at BAFTA/LA Short Film Festival.