SCREENPLAYS

It’s been a long time since I’ve focused on my writing, particularly when it comes to screenplays. While my first script received attention from such outlets as Aint It Cool News, and others were passed around in consideration by some TV networks and production companies, writing for that format can be a soul-crushing experience. There are too many stories of the almost-happened, of high hopes/dashed hopes, of development hell heartbreak, etc...

It takes a small miracle to see a script go through the process of actually being optioned or purchased – much less produced. Most scripts’ fate is to fall on a closet shelf, be forgotten, yellowed, and abandoned. Recently, though, I decided to submit some of my work to a number of screenplay contests, and have been encouraged by the response. Because of this, I finally decided to include a page on my website listing them. After all, who knows what could happen? You have to keep the dream alive…and keep alive to dream.  😊

ScreenCraft-Animation-Finalists-1200x630
TableRead2020.JPG
TableRead2021 Genre.JPG
Script2Comic.JPG
Finalists__Spotlight_Award_NOminees.png
SEMI-FINALIST-GIF.gif
LAIntnlScreenplay2020.png
Laurel Wreath Quarter Finalist 2020.jpg
HollyShortsFilmFestival-SCREENPLAYOFFICI
ScriptSummit.JPG
spotlight_awards.jpg
Finalist laurels 2020.png
CS_Logo-1.png
COVERFLY.png
ScreenCraft-Fellowship-Quarterfinalists-

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY

(Feature: Comedy/Adventure/Animation/Family)

Synopsis

 

Award-winning buddy comedy set in 1943, where 14 year-old Pennsylvanian nerd Judson Conover dreams of sharing adventures with his newfound favorite movie hero, Dublin McGinn.  But when he mysteriously switches bodies with McGinn’s comic sidekick, the diminutive English teenage genius Thaddeus Thackeray, Judson realizes that surviving animated serials is MUCH harder than it looks.  Meanwhile, Thackeray – lost within an all-too-real world at war – must figure out how to set things right. And the only one who can possibly help him is Judson's best friend, Kenny, who isn't quick to believe Thaddeus' rather fantastical story.

 

Awards & Recognition

WINNER:


FINALIST:
 

SEMI-FINALIST:

 

  • Amazon Studios Best Script Awards - TOP 50. December 2010. (After the announcement, McDaniel discovered he had to withdraw the script from further competition, as Warner Bros. employees were disqualified from participating.)
     


QUARTERFINALIST:

 


OTHER HONORS:
 

ThackerayandMcginn.jpg
Thaddeus-Ink.jpg

Sketches by Jeff West

"Would make a hell of a movie...

 

"Sometimes you read something that just has a kind of indescribable thing to it—an energy, a spirit, that you can’t really put your finger on. For lack of a better word, I’ll call it...magic. And IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY has magic to spare. ...

"What surprised me most ... was how much it touched me. Beneath all the action and humor lies a bittersweet, even mournful nostalgia that’s virtually unheard of in today’s animated fare. These may be simple cartoon characters, but they’re all so wonderful, so rounded and charming, I somehow wish they actually existed."

-- The Unsung Critic

"It’s original, whimsical, exciting and charming. And while we’ve seen a few movies of characters switching places or even movie characters coming to life, this one has a nice, original spin.... There’s also some nice heart, especially in regards to friendship..."

-- Initial feedback from the 2020 Slamdance Screenplay Competition

"Judson and Kenny are likable, compelling characters. They hit the right levels of cute, clever, precocious, without being annoying like other child protagonists can be. ... The various references -- and subversions -- to classic action and adventure films...are cute and funny. Visual humor in this is strong.... Dublin and Thackeray are suitably funny parodies of adventure serial heroes. Dublin is especially funny, thick-headed and oblivious, but I liked how he was essentially the insanely cool side of Indiana Jones without the scholarly gentlemen part. I really liked the magical realism of the script -- fictional animated characters having internal lives...it's all fun and exciting stuff. Overall the script is likable, cute, well-written, funny -- has a lot of strong elements for a children's/teen's animated film."

-- Initial feedback from the 2021 WeScreenplay Competition

"...there are many scenes that are cleverly written to portray the adventure animation stylings. ... The story manages to have a level of maturity to it as well by not abusing the unlimited strengths of animation to perform visual comedy as a way to move the story forward but instead using the animation as a way to compliment the narrative. ...

"IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THADDEUS THACKERAY is able to expertly include the qualities of animation to tell a story of two protagonists finding their ways after losing someone close to them. The story is entertaining with plenty of action sequences and quippy dialogue that keeps engagement from the very first scene. It is well developed in terms of pacing and consistent conflict for the heroes to endure."

-- Initial feedback from the Animation Film & Screenplay Festival

THE BLEEDING SEASON (Pilot Episode: "IMPROPER DOSAGE")

(Originated as a 30 minute short, later expanded into an hourlong TV Pilot: Horror)

ImproperDosageCover.jpg
ImproperDosageCoverBk.jpg

Synopsis
 

While driving through rural Pennsylvania with his fiancé, a young gay man survives a mysterious car accident. He reawakens later within the antiquated health clinic of a remote village. Completely immobilized from his injuries, and shut out from the outside world, the man begins to question the medical staff’s odd practices…and if his beloved fiancé is conspiring with them to do something sinister.

Awards & Recognition

“It’s a very original idea and you do well to keep the reader guessing … based on red herrings and circumstantial evidence of sinister intent. There’s definitely a Hitchcock in you. …

 

“There is a palpable sense of claustrophobia and paranoia dancing throughout this which really gets under the skin…”

 

-- Feedback from 13Horror.com Screenplay Contest 2020

 

“Very tense and atmospheric... Manages to pull out a genuinely surprising ending... The characters are very good."

 

-- Feedback from WeScreenplay Shorts Contest 2021


"This setup is quite intriguing and the characters’ behavior leads the audience to believe something macabre is going on... Both Andrew and Chris have the foundations of strong characters, and it will certainly be interesting to see how things unfold... The dialogue is probably the highlight of the script, and each character has a defined voice from the moment they are introduced."

-- Feedback from WildSoundFestival.com Screenwriting

SPRUCE UP THE HOLIDAYS

(Short/TV Special: Comedy/Animation/Family/Holiday)

Synopsis
 

An animated adventure about a pair of forest squirrels whose tree is cut down and taken to the city to be used as an elaborate Christmas display.  Lost within a bustling Metropolis, and desperate to find their way back home, the squirrels come to understand the true spirit of Christmas and their love for each other.

 

Awards & Recognition

XmasTree.jpg

HEAVEN SPENT

(Feature: Dark Comedy/Supernatural/Romance/Holiday)

Synopsis
 

Lonely and depressed, twentysomething Micah Cohen decides to finally end it all. But after his would-be suicide fails in pathetic fashion, Coltan, a bumbling "agent for the afterlife," comes to collect Micah’s soul. The glitch: Micah isn’t dead yet…so Coltan grants him one more day to get the job done. It’s up to Micah’s guardian angel, a rookie named Christine, to help raise Micah’s spirits and turn his life around. But Coltan won’t give up so easily. Nor will Coltan’s boss -- Death Itself -- who could be lurking around every corner, waiting for Micah’s borrowed time to finally run out.

 

A darkly comic, reverse spin on IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

 

Awards & Recognition

Heaven Cover Small Vrsn.jpg

Art by Adam McDaniel

"The thing that stuck with me from this script is how visually it's written. I could picture almost every shot...

"...I enjoyed it a lot. It blends poignance and humor quite well. A very good script."

-- Disturbed's Script Mine, AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

Website designed and maintained by Adam McDaniel. All original writing, illustration, and artwork featured within this website (unless otherwise noted) copyright © 2021 by Adam McDaniel. All rights reserved. Images (in whole or part) may not be downloaded, copied, linked to, or edited in any manner or form for use on any website, image gallery, clipart collection, printed product, or other derivative uses without express written permission from the artist, unless it is for the purpose of critical reviews or commentary. Screenplays listed here are WGA registered.