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Producers & Directors: Interested in any of these projects or want to discuss a particular writing assignment? Please contact her agent, Sarah Yapelli, at Black Apple Talent (a full service boutique agency based in Los Angeles):
The Right One (Has Been Optioned Twice)
Note: Script placed as a quarter-finalist in both the Nicholl's Fellowships and the Writer's Network Screenwriting Competition and placed as a semi-finalist in the Illinois/Chicago Screenwriting Competition.
When a career-minded, twenty-nine-year-old woman is offered her dream magazine writing job in N.Y.C. she has to decide between moving there alone or staying in Chicago to marry her long-term college boyfriend who doesn’t want to move. To help her decide her current editor (who’s also her meddling mother) assigns her a Letting Go of Love Guide article, hoping it will lead to finding another “Mr. Right,” but does it?
Here is what Melissa currently has available in feature film and TV series scripts...
Feature Screenplays for Films are Available in the Following Genres:
Looking for Theatre Scripts for Your Next Production?
Looking for an Original Film or TV Series?
To date, Melissa has had 1 historical fiction novel published, 1 children's picture book and storybook app published, 16 plays produced, 4 screenplays optioned, and 1 TV series optioned. She is always striving to keep getting her work shown and produced in all mediums.
Sutherbee's by the Sea (Dramedy)
Note: Pilot script and series book bible are available.
Mix the quirky characters of Northern Exposure, the sentimental feel of Providence, and the main character's aspirations in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and you’re in Boonbay Harbor, Maine; the ritzy little seaport town that’s the setting of this adult dramedy. When the restaurant owner of “Sutherbee’s by the Sea” passes away on his fishing boat suddenly, his two grown sons temporarily leave their two different city lifestyles to help their mother and sister run the family business during the busy summer season. But what starts out as a heart-felt sacrifice soon turns into a test between the two, completely opposite-type of brothers who now each want to become the new head of the family in their picturesque hometown. Little do they know that their mother is far more capable of taking care of not only herself—but also them and all the colorful townsfolk—in the long run though as she also realizes she now finally has the chance to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming an actress.
Half-Hour TV Series
Giving (News/Magazine Doc., Reality, Has Been Optioned Once)
Made in America meets The Wall Street Journal Report
Fact: Billions of dollars, millions of material items, and thousands of hours of people’s time are donated to hundreds of charities and organizations each year. Does any of it make a difference? This intriguing show with heart will set out to uncover when it does and when it doesn’t.
Voices (Teen Horror)
Pretty, popular Laura is heartbroken. Her high school boyfriend of 3 years just dumped her at the beginning of their senior year for someone who goes to a neighboring school. So her 4 best cheerleader-type girlfriends try to cheer her up by throwing her a surprise 18th birthday party at an old, abandon grist mill deep in the Maine woods. And when the other girl’s jock-type boyfriends all show up it looks like the plan will be a success—until they find one of the guys dead—and they then realize that they are not alone on this run-down property. For they have disturbed a man named Jackknife who has been unknowingly living there who has voices in his head telling him their “invasion” is really a surprise attack on him—especially when Laura’s ex and his new girlfriend decide to crash the party in the middle of the night. The voices then urge Jackknife to kill them all by dawn one by one or else they will get rid of him themselves for good... unless Laura and her ex can reunite and kill him first.
With Bells On
After catching her fiancée cheating on her, a spoiled lawyer hires a free-spirited mechanic to drive her U-Haul with her from L.A. back to Boston in time for her dying grandmother’s 80th birthday party on Christmas Eve—resulting in both of them unexpectedly learning about themselves and real love along the way. A “feel-good, opposites attract” romance road picture perfect for the holidays!
Suspenseful "Whodunit" Thriller
Countdown (Has Been Optioned Once)
When the D.A. of Chicago is killed by a stray bullet at midnight on New Year’s Eve, a hot-shot federal prosecutor gets called in to investigate whether his death was really an accident or intentional from a hit man hired by either two opposing mob families, the enemies he made within the police department, his beautiful young mistress, or his jealous wife.
The Bard (Supernatural Horror)
On Halloween night, five high school seniors visit one of their older brother’s at a rural college in Vermont. They are all looking for a fun night at the brother’s fraternity “Night of the Living Dead-themed" Gothic party, but instead arrive late and crash their car, resulting in the brother telling them the party is over for them now. So they instead head back to his dorm room.
Along the way they meet an old, eerie man sitting under an oak tree who claims to be the last living bard who travels from town to town, telling stories to make his living. They pay him and he spins a gruesome tale about a serial killer from the days of the Spanish Inquisition. When one of the seniors mocks him for not being frightened, he unknowingly puts a curse on them all as they walk away. This leads to a strange series of events as two students are murdered in torturous ways around campus just as the story had described. They then have to figure out if this strange traveling bard is really the killer—as either a real man or a ghost who’s come back to earth on the Day of the Dead.
New Horizons (Dramedy)
Note: Pilot script and series book bible are available.
Everwood meets Gilmore Girls in a middle-of-the-road, quirky-style for both adults and teens.
Alexandra, living in L.A., and her fraternal twin Christine, living in Vermont, both find themselves “suddenly single” just days before their fortieth birthdays after both their husbands bail. So, soon-to-be-devorced Alexandra decides to move in with Christine to help save their historic family horse boarding farm from being lost to Christine’s now-absent-husband’s newly discovered online gambling debts. They hire a handsome, ranch-hand drifter named Denver to help with the farm, only to have him convince them to turn half of the horse farm into a Llama ranch to keep his own pet Llama company while he works there. Up for a complete life change anyway, the twins agree as they make a vow to help each other work on their own personal “life lists.” This includes Alexandra deciding if she wants to have a baby or not, finding her true love, and writing a novel and Christine wanting to work as a beautician, wanting to keep her family’s farm going, and wanting to find out where her husband is (and if he’s ever going to come back).
The twin sisters do this while also dealing with the day-to-day struggles and growing pains of raising Christine’s three kids. There’s Mark, a 16-year-old who’s a gifted pitcher who would rather work on the farm than play baseball, Amanda, a 13-year-old who’s the outsider of her class while her identical twin cousins are the most popular, and Bailey, an 8-year-old already aspiring to become a Broadway dancer and director, after she conquers the third grade.
One-Hour TV Series
Dance Hall Girls (Female-driven Western)
Note: Pilot script, series book bible, and premises for the first 13 episodes are available.
All having their own reasons for wanting to build a better life, five young, attractive, independent single women of different backgrounds and races help settle the new Nebraska frontier at the beginning of the Homestead Act in 1863 during the Civil War. And though love’s "McCowboy temptations" are all around, due to the actual Homestead Act law, none can get married for the first five years if they want to claim their 160 acres of property for themselves-- which they all do want badly-- but in time they each learn to question if finding true love is even more important.
By mixing fictional characters and storylines with actual historical facts and events of this time period, this unique, female-driven western drama series will appeal to the modern audience who enjoys watching strong, attractive female leads make it in a typically male dominated environment. Especially with the very diversified ensemble cast of whites, African-Americans (as freed slaves), Asians, Indians, and different ethnic groups all represented (and each done so according to how they historically would have been treated during this time frame in this new territory).
Want to find out what else she is currently working on:
Melissa is also managed by Marc Wax of Wax Entertainment (based in Los Angeles).