steve savitz


I’ve sold and optioned feature screenplays to Intermedia Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, Adelson Entertainment and MPH Entertainment, and was a finalist in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. I was a former staff writer for HBO’s Comedy Channel and wrote jokes David Letterman performed on Late Show promos.

I’m a WGA writer and was formerly represented by the William Morris Agency and Innovative Artists.


** Semi finalist -  Writers Network  Screenplay        

** Finalist - Slamdance Screenplay Competition


(Dark, romantic dramedy)
When it comes to guitars and women, indie-rocker JOHNNY AMERICA is a great player. On the road to breaking 1000 hearts, he encounters WEB, an alluring psychotherapist who’s a master at manipulating men she dates. When these charismatic social-cannibals shack up for a one-night-stand, it spirals into a modern ‘Dangerous Liaisons’.  Find out whose heart will “flinch” first. 

As Johnny and Web unravel each other’s egos, the interconnected hearts of every other character dangle like yo-yo’s from their fingers. These “lesser” players include one of Web’s therapy patients (a virgin ballet prodigy) and Johnny’s ex high-school rival – whose band is approaching the brink of national success. 

The hook lies in the fact that John and Web’s respective therapists happen to be ex-lovers. Burnt out and bitter from their own romantic catastrophe, they try to play Johnny and Web against each other in the ultimate human chess match. 

Worn thin from psychological warfare, our protagonists’ armor finally begins to crack, forcing them to deal with the loneliest hearts of all – their own.  Johnny finally gets his record deal yet he is still plagued by ghosts.  No matter how much Web patches up her patients in therapy, the Band-Aids keep peeling off her own wounds.  If these two players would only let each other in, they might be invincible….but old habits die hard.

Johnny’s lifestyle comes to a grinding halt when he develops a serious heart condition. Not only is his rock and roll future now a looming question mark, but he has nothing to fall back on but a scrap heap of angry women. Will Web seize this opportunity to go for the jugular? Will Johnny lay down his gun or will he play wounded? 

FLINCH is a dark dramedy with off-color irony, machine-gun dialogue, absurd plot twists and a profound conclusion.  The movie will feature live performances of original indie-rock music.


** Finalist in the Writers Network  Annual Screenplay Competition **


(Dark comedy)


When JUSTIN, an edgy, young TV comedy writer falls for a beautiful philosophy grad, he discovers that being in love obliterates his "funny", and is forced to either sabotage his relationship or nuke his career.  It's Annie Hall meets The Office.


In 1989, HBO created the first cable comedy network, The Comedy Channel, which later merged with MTV's Ha! to form Comedy Central. My personal experience as a 24 year old staff writer aboard this sinking ship provided the inspiration for this fictitious romantic comedy.

Justin Paneman is hellbent on pushing the limits of TV comedy. Living by his personal credo that misery loves comedy, the caustic young writer deprives himself of all life’s comforts and occasionally writes episodes in hospital waiting rooms to keep his humor dark.  The trouble is, it’s 1989. Edgy humor won’t be coming of age in America for ten more years.   

A kleptomaniac to boot, Justin sneaks onto the observation deck of the Empire State Building one day and gets busted by IVY, a part-time deck-employee who’s doing her Columbia philosophy thesis on the existential nature of love. Like Justin, she’s constantly fighting her superiors – in this case, her 'celebrity' professor, DAVID, who criticizes her idyllic notions of love. He should know - he just broke up with her.  

At first, Justin’s absurd wit and Ivy’s pure intellect clash like fire and ice. Ivy slowly warms to him however, and soon finds herself laughing at his absurdist, Tourette’s-velocity sarcasm. They soon develop an odd magnetism which culminates in sex atop the Empire State Building observation deck at midnight.

Still a trifle lovesick over David, Ivy dives into this new relationship eagerly, relishing the opportunity to detail all of her dirty deeds in her "Nature of Love" thesis for her professor to read and weep over. 

As Justin comes to terms with new-found happiness in his personal life, his professional life deteriorates: not only are all his episodes getting rejected, but a condescending co-worker gets awarded his very own comedy series based on a concept he stole outright from Justin.  To add insult to injury, a lowly intern gets promoted to staff writer, based on a prank script that Justin handed in.   

When even Ivy gets an article published in an esteemed academic journal, Justin begins to feel comedically impotent and blames the relationship for dulling his edge. As he grows increasingly distant, Ivy finds herself yo-yoing back into the arms of her professor, who's become newly intrigued by her graphically written exploits. Even though we see that Justin and Ivy are a perfect match, fowled communication between them leads to a cringe-worthy duel of head games. 

Unable to weather these hairpin turns, Justin and Ivy oddly begin to trade places: The ever sarcastic prankster, Justin is now on a ridiculous quest for love and meaning. Ivy, strangled by her own analytic theories, succumbs to the notion that love is just one big cosmic joke, and starts to live carefree.  Justin loses his job; Ivy loses her thesis –- they’ve both lost everything they’ve fought for in life.

How does Justin get his comedy mojo back AND the girl to boot?...Well, it involves breaking the law.

Between these emotional beats, a rich tapestry of late-Reagan-era New York City unfolds. The idiosyncratic characters of early cable-TV, high academia, Empire State Building tourism and the "crazies" in the street provide rich compost for Justin's comedy machine.

(Sold to MPH Entertainment)
Company website:

Based on a 30 minute 16mm short film I wrote and directed:
(CLICK to watch scene)

JORDAN is a lonely painter whose phone number is one digit off from the suicide hotline. When GINGER, a nineteen year old squatter calls by accident, she threatens to kill herself if Jordan doesn't meet her for lunch. What follows is 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' on lithium.

(Edgy, dysfunctional romantic comedy) “Ghost World” meets “Pollock”.

JORDAN is an introverted abstract painter with a disastrous love life. As each date ends in alienation, he retreats to his hermetic world of paintings. His solitude is interrupted however by a wrong number call from GINGER, a desperate nineteen year old who threatens to kill herself if Jordan doesn't meet her for lunch. 

Jordan's an assistant to a despicable millionaire-artist named LUCAS CAUTION.  Loosely modeled after self-promoting New York art moguls of the 80's, Caution hires assistants to paint all his “masterpieces” in an assembly-line fashion for $10 an hour. When Jordan paints for Caution, his work sells for millions -- when he paints for himself he can't make a dime.  

Then Jordan meets Ginger. She's beautiful. She’s electrifying.  She’s poetic. She has an extremely unappealing pet rodent. Despite being an emotional train-wreck, Ginger is so adorably self-deprecating that no man has ever dumped her.

As Jordan forays into Ginger’s underground world, a never-ending mosaic of colorful and menacing street characters are unearthed, further twisting the suspense into a tighter noose.

Ultimately Jordan and Ginger’s adventures together alter their destinies. In the midst of her crash and burn mission, Ginger manages to open doors for Jordan in the art world. Jordan helps Ginger reclaim enough sense of purpose to get off the streets.  When these two "Martians" interact with each other, we see two lost puzzle-pieces suddenly making sense.  

An indictment of the art world, as much as it is absurdly funny, “Rat Girl” is a Prozac-popping tale of dysfunction that spirals to a surprising white-knuckled conclusion.


Previously optioned by Adelson Entertainment and Intermedia Films (Rights reverted back to me and it has been re-written). 

** Finalist - Sundance Screenwriters Lab
** Finalist - Writers Network Screenplay Competition

A surreal, comedic love story of disaster-movie proportions.  “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” meets “Knocked Up”.

Unable to divulge the plot here in order to protect the concept.  Please contact me directly to request a synopsis.

Co-written by Ron Maddock.

A found-footage style mockumentary detailing the events leading up to a murder on live TV at the annual ‘Public Access People’s Choice Awards’. 

Set in the fictitious small town of Cigarette, NJ, this is “Waiting for Guffman” shot ‘Clover Field’ found-footage style. Attention-craving, small-town nobodies back-stab their way to the bottom in a crazed struggle to eclipse each other at the Public Access People’s Choice Awards. 

Since the title gives away the ending, we’re left guessing as to which “star” will resort to murder as the plot catapults to a frenzied climax.  This script was  written to be produced ultra-low budget.

If all the real stars are on network TV, then public access is for supernovas.


(action comedy)

Big-budget adventure-comedy about a political prisoner on a fictitious Caribbean island who escapes, believing he’s the descendent of an old-time pirate. He kidnaps a loud-mouthed yenta tourist from her suburban family and embarks on a high-seas adventure. An absurdist  comedy about revolution, oppressive regimes, family, tourism and how to successfully lose your sanity.  

Wish-list director: Terry Gilliam  

          all scripts and material © 1990-2011, Steve Savitz