“A Compact Death” – Live Feature Script Read

Wednesday Live Reads – Tickets $ 12 each :

ReelHeART 2015 Screenplay Competition: Live Script Read


  • Time: 11:30AM-1:30PM
  • Location:Room WO30
    Woodsworth College Residence
    321 Bloor Street West (South East Corner from St. George Subway)
    Toronto, Ontario M5S 1S5 MAP
  • Feature Screenplay Top 3 Winner
    A Compact Death“, written by Brien McHugh
    Joliet, Illinois, USA



Brien McHugh Bio: In the Fall of 2008, Mr. McHugh was hired full-time in the Mass Communication Department of the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He teaches the dark arts: Public Relations, Journalism and Advertising. Before that, McHugh tucked away twenty years of communications and marketing experience from a wide range of industries including banking, gaming, entertainment and the nonprofit sector. Other relevant experience includes ten years as a broadcaster at Chicago and Chicago-area radio stations. McHugh lives in Joliet, Illinois, the home of The Blues Brothers, with his wife, Kathy. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Inspiration For Screenplay:

A Compact Death inspiration: In the early 1980s I was working at a country radio station when the transition from analog to digital music began. Yes, even country stations started getting their music on compact discs. The cinematic idea of clues and evidence revealed through new technology and dogged determination isn’t new. Antonioni’s Blow-up and, in 1981, DePalma’s Blow-out covered the topic pretty well. Throw in just about every detective film, too. But the idea kept rattling around in my head for several years. I always thought it would make a good movie with a killer soundtrack. A Compact Death is set in Illinois farm country and in the seamy underbelly of Chicago…places I’ve lived and worked in all my life. And, in the end, justice prevails.


A Compact Death synopsis: At the dawn of the digital music era, 1984, a young, smart, headstrong record company rep and naïve, small-town disc jockey unravel the decades-old mystery surrounding the death of a beloved sixties recording artist.

Our Screenplay Competition Sponsors

  • logos-all-061215FINAL DRAFT – Final Draft is a screenwriting software for writing and formatting a screenplay to meet the screenplay submission standards set by theater, television and film industries. The program is developed and owned by Final Draft, Inc., headquartered in Calabasas, California;
  • inktip-rhINKTIP – The mission of InkTip.com is threefold:
    • Help the producer easily find a good script
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    • Greatly increase exposure for the screenwriter
    • www.inktip.com



10 thoughts on ““A Compact Death” – Live Feature Script Read

  1. Hi Brien,

    This is Angelo one of the live read actors in A Compact Death. The script flows extremely well and is a very intriguing story thank you for submitting it, can wait to have the chance to bring it to life.

  2. Hello Brien,

    I play Mike Healy in the live reading of A Compact Death. I’m very excited and looking forward to bringing your words to life. See you at the read!

  3. Hi Brien,

    My name is Nicole, I’m very excited to get to play Laura in the live reading of A Compact Death! She’s such a fun character to get to read for. Very excited to perform it for you!

  4. Hi Brien! Really enjoying your script. I am reading for TJ Chambers. Looking forward to shaking your hand!

  5. Hey Brien,

    I am playing Mom, Ginger and Announcer 1, 3 & 5. I liked your script it was a real page turner, when I first read it I couldn’t put it down I had to find out who did it! I thought it was very funny and suspenseful. I look forward to meeting you.

    1. Thank you all! This is really exciting for me. I can’t wait to meet all of you who are bringing “A Compact Death” to life (pun intended.) My wife and I (and son and new daughter-in-law) will be arriving tomorrow, Tuesday. Never been to Toronto. Can’t wait!

  6. Hi Brien,

    my name is Adrian and I’m playing the part of Jimmy Lee in your screenplay for the live read.

    I must say, it’s a really interesting script merging the ins and outs of the recording industry in the 60’s with the sensibilities of the 1980’s. The best part is that it works.

    As I was reading it, I found myself laughing and really getting into the dialogue and especially the relationship between Laura and Mike.

    Good job. I really enjoyed it.


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