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Perseverance by Anonymous 11 - Short, Apocalypse, Drama (but not Drama) - Life and death plays out on a secluded atoll in the Indian Ocean for the local population and an estranged couple, unaware of the coming destruction. 13 pages - pdf, format
Positives. It's well written, with a large cast of characters adding some depth. Also, I couldn't see any typos or formatting issues.
Negatives. For me it dragged, and this is a huge issue. The pace didn't vary, and due to the large cast this meant a lot of drawn out dialogue and back story. I reckon you could slice through a third of this, and still end up with the same result, just easier to read. Also, I'm not sure this is the apocalypse, maybe it's the beginning of it but I'm not sure.
Anyway, well done on entering, but unfortunately not for myself.
This one was very exotic, well researched, visually atmospheric.
Personally I don't think this one counts as the Apocalypse. One meteor hits which kills everyone in a thousand mile radius - that is bad yes but the end of the world? If so, there's no sign of it in the script.
The obsession with the tortoises and the rats is distracting. We have quite a long Richard Attenborough documentary style opening and then reference the rats/tortoises a lot in the script, just so you can setup a means for one character to survive.
I did find this very slow. A lot of characters and a lot of personal baggage to cram into a few pages meant this was a lot of talking heads and no action until the very end. The payoff at the end didn't make up for the journey it took me to get there.
Some serious writing talent on display though. The conversations all seemed very natural, the descriptions were spot on - it was just the story I didn't really take to.
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Interesting setting, but took far too long to get moving. Too many characters to keep track of, and by page 5 I was skimming. The writing itself was very descriptive, but seemed to languish because nothing was really happening. Had to keep reminding myself this was an apocalypse script.
The meteor at the end felt tacked on instead of being an integral part of the narrative. It could have been used to create a growing sense of dread during all the soap opera dialogue earlier.
OK, the good news is you write extremely well, too well, better than meÖ and therefore, I must kill you.
But, thatís not the bad news, the bad news is thereís way too many characters, scenarios, and elements happening within these pages IMO thatÖ I just ploughed through them as a courtesy to see what happened next. I will assume that those in Hiroshima would have absolutely believed that an apocalypse had arrived but, to the rest of the world they knew that just wasnít so. Unfortunately thatís where it ends.
The world you portrayed here is actually really fascinating and lucid. Somehow I see this as a more adventurous script, a feature length as opposed to a short where you could transport the viewer to this island paradise by taking them on the journey with the protag. Starting off in a strange land doesnít always work if thereís not enough backstory or description of the world were in. Ultimately I like it cause itís got that Ö je ne sais quoi. Great job, good sir/madam.
Not sure why the tortoises at the beginning. For awhile I thought this may be for a cartoon.
LOTS of characters for a short. None really stand out from another.
Are the tortoises in danger? They keep coming up so is this some kind of tortoise apocalypse? But at one point you mention there are 1000s swimming in the water, so how endangered are they really?
And then a random meteor hits out of the blue and the woman is saved by walking under the water with the tortoises? I'm not a scientist, but unless it was an air explosion I think there'd be a good chance a massive tidal wave would not be far behind considering they are in the middle of an ocean. We're talking Apocalypse right? How can she even make a phone call if the world has ended from the impact?
That aside, this is way too talky with too many characters to the point I was getting confused. There is no real story besides a bunch of people randomly thrown onto an island with a crap ton of tortoises. There could be something here but it would need a lot of work. This very much feels like a drama with a meteor thrown in last minute to meet the contest criteria.
I really felt like I was reading a feature film. A lot of set up, a lot of description and a lot of plot leading up to an event that really had nothing to do with the overall story. Felt like it was sort of wedged in to accommodate the apocalypse guideline. I understand the perseverance angle, but it wasn't like she was persevering in the moment she survived the meteor, she just was just extremely lucky.
Plus, I'd be shocked a meteor of that size wasn't noticed approaching the earth way before it hit, and thus there should have been an earlier reference to it. Maybe Vicki was there to try and avoid the meteor hit as well as study the tortoises. As it was, it was a long way to get to the story climax.
Still, the writing is very good, very visual. I think you could actually do something with this in a longer format, but as a short, I think it was a bit overworked.
Is there an apocalypse somewhere that I don't see?
OK, something appears to be happening. I actually like how you show each person (or creature) opening their eyes at the same time.
Page 11 - a fireball in the sky. Finally. Too late? I don't know, but I don't think we had any warning leading up to this, did we?
Hmmm, so we have a definite theme here and I sense that there's supposed to be some juxtaposition with these rats and tortoises and Vickie and her ex hubby, maybe? Not sure it shines through the way you probably intended it.
Writing is good. Characters are good (I see all the reviews saying there are too many characters, but I only counted 6 onscreen, so no problem for me here). Story is lacking. Apocalypse is there, but definitely not the focus here.
Score - 3.5.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
i'm dumb, so i had to google "atoll." this is a dumb guy complaint, but it seems like a needlessly elaborate word for a logline. island would have sufficed. again, I'm dumb.
there's something very calming about the writing here. bordering on boring. i'm dumb, never forget that. ... but it reads longer than it is for sure.
a lot of characters and interaction for a short.
Jeez, Richard's first scene is a tonal shift.
page 8... trying to figure out when the apocalypse comes into play. also, the word "tortoise" has already appeared 47 times in this script.
A whole lot to get through for the climax. I wouldn't say this is "apocolyptic," but i do love the idea of someone being underwater while a major event like that takes place.
not sure i loved anything else. all the family drama was long and almost entirely unnecessary, especially when you only had a few pages to work with. it all could have been covered in much less time and still gotten the point/theme/parallels across. i can see you obviously care about tortoises too, and i like how they played into the ending, but overall this was a slog for me... but I'm dumb.
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On the plus side, it was well written, deep beautiful scenery, moving scenes.
On the negative side, you committed a terrible sin.
It was boring. It took too long to go anywhere.
What did the rats have to do with the story? If you tell me at the end there were dead rats, I'd be fine with that. I actually thought the bleaching of the coral reef was AFTER the apocalypse.
The failed marriage and custody case were also unneeded. All the focus on the tortoises were unnecessary.
Then, finally, something happens, and it only affects 1 mile or something. I admit, I skimmed because the level of detail was so great...
Yes, it was beautiful, but, you lost me because I had to read about stuff that would have no bearing on the story.
There's an old saying. And this is true, especially in shorts. Only show and tell what you have to. Into a scene late, leave early. If you write in a gun, you can bet that gun will have some function in the story.
If prose writing is an orgy of words, meaning that you write a bunch of words, they invite more words and suddenly, you have a book, that's fine because you can have a 40- page book. Writers get paid by the word much of the time.
But, screenwriting is a duel of words. Meaning that each word has to be the best optimum use of that word to show what is going on. No useless words.
You did a ton of research on a beautiful location. use that to craft a wonderful story that's there and cut out the stuff that doesn't really matter.
I'm not trying to be mean, but, you had a wonderful story that was really weighed down by extraneous scenes that didn't make the story better, only bloated or confusing.
Hi, For me there's not much story in here. I see the thing that troubles Vickie but its not much. So she'll stay close to her ex whom she hates... see I don't have nothing to root for and that's why loose interest quickly. The dialog didnt work for me for the most part - all the repetitions about perseverance and such.
But I really felt the ending and liked the fact that tortoise went underwater and Vickie survived. I think you should work onthat conflict at the beginning
Darn good, I have to say. Top notch writing, concise passages and descriptions. Just a good vibe to all of this. I felt I knew each and every character very well. Not much bad I can say here. Okay, if I must - you used the word perseverance a couple too many times to the point I was rolling my eyes. Other than that - very good work!
An odd take on the idea - not in a bad way. More I think about it itís an oddly arresting read - credit to the smooth writing/capable storytelling. I just kind of drifted along to see how it all connected - not that I ever could have guessed. Iím not sure it really did. Good characters - well drawn for the space and I quite liked the whole tortoise Ďstampedeí into the sea. To me the ending just felt underwhelming. I thought this was building up to deliver something more...impactful.
Did Vicki persevere? Felt more blind luck on her part. Phone call felt a bit tacked on - do you need it?
Not my favourite, but it certainly made an impression.