THE STORY

The sole survivor of a mass shooting loses everything when the tragedy doesn’t impact his life as profoundly as people think it should.

Pete Barnes is adopting a child, facing a crucial deadline at work, and pushing for a promotion. The last thing he needs is more pressure. Then he goes to his favorite coffee shop and walks into a mass shooting. POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW POW!

Everyone dies. Everyone, that is, except Pete who is in the bathroom with headphones cranked so loud, he’s unaware of the tragedy just outside the door.

The police want Pete to go to the hospital for observation, but he refuses. He’s too busy. So he goes right from the crime scene to work. There, he finds his co-workers enthralled by the news of the massacre. As they swap morbid conspiracy theories  and exaggerate their connections to the tragedy, Pete hunkers down at his desk without saying a word about his brush with death.

When Pete is outed on the internet as the “sole survivor,” everyone around him is shocked. Why didn’t he say anything? For days, they watch and wait for Pete to fall apart. He doesn’t. And the longer he appears unaffected, the more contemptuous and suspicious they become. Even his best pal Cake turns on him.

Facing intense scrutiny from all sides, Pete finally begins to crumble. And it drives him to commit an unspeakable act no one could have predicted.

“A fucking awesome script!

One of the most compelling writers I’ve read in a long time. It’s so hard to write anything well — especially something walking a tightrope like Walking Time Bomb. He’s the real deal.”

—Ty Burrell
Modern Family

Production Team

CHRIS MANLEY

DIRECTOR

  • Doom Patrol – HBO Max
    Co-EP & Director (11 episodes)
  • Mad Men – AMC
    Director (4 episodes)
    Cinematographer (71 episodes)
  • The Romanoffs – Amazon
    Cinematographer
  • Homeland – Showtime
    Cinematographer (pilot)
  • 5 Career Emmy Nominations & 1 Win
  • 5 Career ASC Nominations

ALLEN KELLER

WRITER / PRODUCER

  • Second City Chicago
  • Writer & Producer of multiple award-winning shorts and web series, including CPA Holes and Welcome to the Jungle Gym (which he also directed).
  • Podcast Host: Too Much Effing Perspective
  • Singer/Songwriter: The Falling Wallendas

MOLLY CHRISTIE BENSON

JOAN SULLIVAN

PRODUCERS, 8750 Films

  • Transpecos
    (SXSW – Audience Award Winner) 
  • 7 Chinese Brothers
    (SXSW)
  • It’s a Disaster
    (LAFF)
    On MovieWeb’s list of
    Top 10 Greatest Indie Comedies of All Time

Writer’s Note…

A comedy with a mass shooting? Why?

Back in 2001, I lost my sister and my father in the span of two months. Then 9/11 hit. Years later, I wondered how I kept going through all this tragedy without missing a beat. Was I heartless? Shallow? A bad person?

Upon reflection, it wasn’t that simple. The entire pattern of my life had slowly, subtly, but undeniably changed. I never wrote another song, I changed my profession, moved cross country, started a family, and took up comedy writing. Literally everything had changed. It got me thinking about the many ways grief manifests itself in different people.

So I wrote Walking Time Bomb, where the main character survives a tragedy and is judged harshly for not suffering in a way others can see. But just because we don’t shed tears doesn’t mean we’re not in pain.

Walking Time Bomb is also about how much pain we’re in as a nation. The normalization of gun violence is symptomatic of a people who can no longer empathize with each other. It is my hope that the pandemic of death we’ve experienced hasn’t made us hold life with less regard.

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