Far From The Trees // First Read Radio

Far From The Trees

Far From The Trees // First Read Radio

Turning short films scripts into radio plays! First Read Radio is a beefed up table read professionally recorded with voice actors and sound designed by a team of top-notch audiophiles all while under the direction of an experienced storytelling team.

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The saying goes “boys will be boys,” however when a prank goes too far for Gillian, she conjures the creature of the forest to help her settle the score. But, how far is too far?


Written by: Gary Jones
Directed by: Gary Jones
Sound Supervisor and Editor: Ryan Gottshall + Gary Jones
Produced by: Awfully Good Media


Narrator: Sean Barnhill
Gillian: Jamie Creedon
Billy/Teacher: Simon Hill

Have a script you’d like to hear on the show? Submit today! We’re accepting scripts 15 pages or less for season 2 now.

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Far From the Trees


Written by

Gary A. Jones



Angle on a large black eyeball, not human, but amphibian. Reflected is an old brick and mortar school house. A GECKO crawls across a concrete wall, making its way toward the main planters on the other side of the walkway.

A loud bell RINGS out, stopping the little guy in his tracks.

Countless pairs of feet storm passed it as the gecko tries to evade multicolored shoes stampeding toward the front doors of the building.


And just like that, the gecko is flattened. A rock is pulled back to reveal a dark haired boy with cold eyes brandishing a hellish grin; this is BILLY, 13. He quickly admires his work, then hustles back with the rest of the STUDENTS.

We are left staring at a gruesome murder scene of one defenseless gecko. GILLIAN, 13, wears a generic plaid school uniform and unconventional fiery red hair.

Billy observes from a distance as Gillian gently picks up the carcass and places it into a small hole dug into the soft soil. Sending the gecko to a place of rest.

The last bell RINGS as...


...Gillian sits in the center of an unruly classroom buried deep into a book designed with beautifully ornate foliage and gold leaf ink. The title on the front reads: Tales from the Mythic Forest.



Students sprint across a green field tossing balls, playing tag. Gillian sits perched against a tree, flipping through pages of old Celtic drawings depicting a man grown from the earth.



Gillian straddles a cement wall, rummaging through a brown paper sack. She pulls out a sandwich and unwraps it. A gentle breeze flows through her hair and for a brief moment she takes time to be present with Mother Nature.

Billy and a brood of his idiotic buddies, maybe 2-3, watch as Gillian feels the wind move all around her. It’s weird.


The moment passes and Gillian takes a bite of her sandwich. Immediately she springs to her feet spitting everything to ground. She looks to find a tail of the gecko on the floor.

Billy laughs uncontrollably, starting a chain reaction of giggles and pointed fingers throughout the yard.



A ruler hits against a chalkboard held by a TEACHER wearing a tweed jacket and a greasy comb-over, his names not important, all that’s important is the word CHAMELEON written across the board.


Who can tell me how the chameleon manages to stay alive in the wild?

Rows of kids roll their eyes. Some asleep. Some glazed over looking off into nothing.

Agitated tapping is heard behind Gillian who's sketching flowers and vines onto paper.

The tapping develops into a loud and heavy rhythmic thud with ever stroke of her pencil. Gillian peers at the ticking clock on the wall. The second hand in sync with the tapping.

Quickly it builds momentum till aggravation sets in. She presses the lead deeper and deeper into the paper unit, snap!

She swiftly turns behind her to find the source of her angst coming from Billy who's staring right at her. His dirt infested fingers tapping on the desk.



Gillian’s face turns red as she looks around the room to, everyone staring back at her.

She stands from her desk. All eyes on her.




What about it?

Gillian finds Billy glaring at her intently.


It’s used to blend into an environment so it can be hidden.

Billy’s eyes are fixed on Gillian as she stands there. Uncomfortable in her own skin. Naked and in the open.




Gillian storms out of the school doors, rushing down the stairs as fast as her legs can move. She trips, falling to the ground, pages of floral drawings scatter everywhere.

Kids rush from behind, paying no attention.

Billy strides past Gillian, eyes beaming and a grin that makes her skin turn to R.L. Stein goosebumps.

The wind kick her pages into the air, blowing further away from her reach. She chases them down as each gust scatters them further into it the...


She grabs the last drawing and finds herself far from the school. Isolated from anyone. Wind rushes through the trees.

Sounds of inaudible whispers creep from behind her. Gillian turns quickly to find nothing but rustling leaves and branches.

She takes notice to a beautiful autumn tree, splashed with vibrant orange, yellow and red fronds.

She takes in the breeze, gently closing her eyes feeling it as it passes through her body.


The sounds of the wind moves through the trees all. In the distance, birds chirp at the sun. All of it, together, transforms into one harmonized symphony. Then...


(whispers) Hide.

Gillian snaps out of her trance to find Billy standing nose to nose.

Billy shoves her against a tree. Gillian's frightened but not quick to run. Billy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a KNIFE. He thrusts it against her thigh.


Let’s see if you’re really a redhead, huh?

The knife glides along her leg and up her skirt. Gillian stands strong, eyes fixed on his. She gasps as the knife slowly digs into her skin. Not too deep. Just enough to get Gillian to squirm.


I don’t see you stopping me.

Blood cascades down her leg as the knife sinks deeper...

BOY (O.S.)

Billy! Come on...

A group of BOYS, 2-3, stand in the distance. Billy puts his knife back into his pocket.


See you around.

And just like that, he disappears into the woods. Gillian wipes the tears from her cheeks.



Gillian sits at a cluttered vanity mirror, studying herself. She pulls up her skirt to find a puncture mark.



Wedged between her disconnected PARENTS Gillian stares off into a television her FATHER channel surfs through. Nothing but bullshit advertisements for cookware and golf equipment.

He leaves the channel on an old black and white Creature Feature: Creature from the Black Lagoon.


The gray sea MONSTER bursts out of the water, grabbing it’s victim and dragging them into the depths of the sea.


Gillian’s eyes come back to life. She leans in closer to the screen.


Gillian rummages through old boxes of COSTUMES, uncovering an old ghillie suit and a box of leaves from a production of something with tree’s.


Billy glares at Gillian’s empty desk.


Billy and his group kick rocks and light firecrackers as they make their way through the woods.

The wind picks up and a gentle howl moves through the trees. Billy takes notice.



The Boys stop and all listen. Another faint HOWL in the distance.


What the hell is that?


A wolf?


No wolfs out here.


Yeah there is. My dad told me--


Shut up.

A gust of wind blows through the trees and the Boys turn behind them to find a LARGE GREEN MAN, ten feet tall with hands the size of a bears and face like vines.

The Boys escape to the woods for dear life, squealing.

Billy slips over his feet and nose dives into a rock, knocking him out cold.

The Green Man stands laughing watching the Boys shriek in terror and high tail out. Gillian takes the mask off.



You should have seen your face.

Her eyes widen as she looks at Billy's who’s not moving. She quickly turns him over, revealing a blood soaked mouth.

Gillian peers around for help, but the Boys are already too far. She looks back to Billy who leaps from his unconscious state and wraps his hands around Gillian's neck.

Gillian fights with everything she has, gasping for any bit of air she can.

Gillian's hands fumble to find anything to defend herself with.


You like playing games...

She reaches into Billy's pocket, pulling out his KNIFE.

Billy smacks it out of her hand. A brief moment of air. Gillian takes a large gasp before Billy’s hands regroup around her throat. This time tighter.

Gillian’s eyes flutter as life begins to flee. She takes comfort in the wind and the rustling tree branches.

A strong gust blows leaves through the air, revealing a large rock.

Gillian’s fingers stretch toward it and in an instant she pulls up the rock and smashes it again Billy’s head.

Quickly, Gillian straddles Billy and begins to shatter his face into unrecognizable pieces. Blow after blow. She screams out in fear.

With one final THUD, Billy’s body goes limp.

Gillian gazes at the lifeless body. She moves to her feet as the tree’s begin to sing. Wind blows through her, she can feel its energy.

The wind blows leaves that begin to covering Billy’s body. Camouflaging it with the earth.

Gillian stalks past the mound, and blends into the beautiful autumn trees as we...



I Dream About Trees // Trailer


I DREAM ABOUT TREES is a metaphorical message into how we as humans are suffocating in these artificial concrete jungles we call home and why nature and trees are so important to keep. It is a disorienting collage of urban infrastructure combined with an ear-deafening score that portrays the iron maze we are trying to escape.

Out of The Blue // Daily Pick

out of the blue

A 78-year-old man covered his body with one beautiful tattoo. The retired Principal City Planner for Baltimore talks about trees, consciousness, letting go of life and his genitals.

The Holes Beneath The Trees || Featured Short Film

The Holes Beneath The Trees

When her sister and her friends disappear, Fae is left wondering if the stories about the woods behind her new house are true.

The Holes Beneath The Trees explores an emerging minimalist filmmaking style, made popular by the likes of shows like Stranger Things, where the mystery itself becomes a background story, as they main story focuses on the human and emotional side of things. In this suspenseful mystery directed by Spencer Thielmann, nine year old Fae tries to tag along on her teenage sister’s camping trip, only to be scared off by a spooky campfire story made up by the older kids. When her sister and her friends disappear, Fae is left wondering if the stories about the woods behind her new house are true.

The idea of this film came about when Emily Berge (the co-writer) and I were discussing the things that had scared us as children - the memories we had, from experiences we had misunderstood, that we realized now had been specific only to us. The feeling of some unknown terror, that overwhelmed us, but was completely missed by the adults in our lives. We each had stories like that and thought that it was so funny, so interesting, that this was universal. We wanted to capture that strange sense of hubris that comes with being a child (probably fed by multiple viewings of The Goonies and ET) - that you think, somehow, you know more about what is going on than anyone else.

The film really strikes us with its particular mood, with such a loose storyline we are incredibily engaged into the mysterious sense! Where there is actually little character development, the time is rather used to develop the suspense of the unknown. We are empowered by subtle subtle directional details, like the mom character always being off-screen (or partially) which really helps accentuate the focus on the main character.

We shot on an Amira with an old school anamorphic lens. I believe the whole film ended up being shot on that one lens. The anamorphic lens helps create a "window" into the world of the narrative, where it feels relatable but still has a feeling of magic and surreal-ness to it which definitely helps in the film's storyline. It lends a gravitas to the events that happen and helps us focus in on the characters and what's important. We tried to keep the production relatively simple, and stylistically chose to go with long shots for many of the scenes without shooting much, and a lot of the time, any other coverage. This did allow us to do some fun things - like the car shot, where we used a hostess tray to shoot from outside the car looking in so that we could see Fae peering out at the trees going by in the car window's reflection. Our lighting was simple as well and we tried to achieve a little of of a heightened or more cinematic version of what we were giving with just natural light or practicals.