The Hive

After witnessing her sister’s torture, a rule-following midwife raised in a radical feminist cult must renounce her deeply-rooted beliefs to overthrow her beloved leader.

Penelope is a twenty-something midwife in an off-the-grid, self-sustaining community called the Hive. Raised in the Hive since childhood, she has never questioned the matriarchal values instilled in her by the woman simply known by the community members as Mother. The men are trained as subservient, medically castrated drones taught to hate their “nature” as violent, sexually perverse creatures. Their primary purpose in the community is to provide the samples used for procreation. When Jemma, Penelope’s feisty younger sister, is chosen for insemination, Jemma balks, because she knows that life has more to offer than blind allegiance to the controlling Mother. She has fallen in love with one of the young men in the community, an act expressly forbidden in the Hive. When Penelope discovers Jemma’s disobedience, she is forced to choose between her sister and the Mother who gave her a purpose in life. What happens as a result of her choice forces Penelope to re-evaluate what she thought she knew about good and evil in general, about Mother specifically, and, most importantly, about her own passive culpability in the day to day workings of the Hive.

The Hive was a second-rounder at Austin Film Festival (2020), a semifinalist in the 2020 ScreenCraft Fellowship competition and the 2021 Blue Cat Screenplay competition, and a quarterfinalist in the 2020 ScreenCraft Drama and Genre Screenplay competitions.

Reader Comments:

  • “What stands out the most about this pilot script is its concept. The writer is able to take the audience right into the middle of this dystopian community known as the ‘hive’ without rushing the story.”
  • “As the story progresses, details start to reveal how the ‘hive’ functions without feeling expositional. The reader gets to know this community through action lines and flashbacks, rather than relying on dialogue to carry the story forward.”
  • “Because the script has excellent pacing, the scenes are able to build on one another. There is a clear rise and fall – a throughline. The writer manages to introduce the subplots with ease without making the script feel cluttered.”
  • “The flashbacks are an integral part of this pilot episode.”

-Blue Cat Screenplay Competition Reader

  • “It does have series potential.”
  • “Intense start to this. Flashbacks blend in well and add depth to the story.”
  • “Penelope and Jemma both have well defined personalities to them and we clearly see how different they are and their different roles in this community.”
  • “The conflict with Jemma and Penelope grows throughout and is well-explored. Flashbacks layer in nicely to give us more on the complexity and history of this family without ever feeling like we’ve been caught up in exposition.”

-Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition Reader #1

  • “An intriguing concept that has some familiar themes but also unique attributes. Themes of technology, gender roles, and class division are explored in thoughtful and engaging ways.”
  • “The opening scene is very strong.”
  • “We are hooked on the first page with the first evocative image. The scenes are well structured, building tension and interspersing flashbacks effectively.”
  • “Penelope is a strongly crafted character.”
  • “Jemma is strongly written.”
  • “Supporting characters are unique.”
  • “The dialogue is strong and authentic to the characters. Jemma and Penelope have distinctly different voices that highlight their personality differences.”
  • “The concept is solid and sets up an intriguing world with plenty of series potential. There is strong tension in character relationships.”
  • “Fantastic and visually specific first scene gets our attention on page one. The plot is well paced and flashbacks are used expertly to add complexity without slowing the story down. The environment is mysterious and fascinating.”

-Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition Reader #2

  • “We appreciate the way you introduced this world.”
  • “You’ve done a wonderful [job] of world building in the opening pages.”
  • “Stylish scene directions.”
  • “There is a lot of talent on display in these pages.”
  • “We like the relationship you built between Jemma and Penelope.”

-Barnstorm Fest Screenplay Competition Reader

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