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Well, that was sweet. You hit some good notes in this. However, I feel it might have been a little too sweet, and it was lacking the necessary drama to give more impact to your ending. I like your story, I just feel you need to find another way to tell it.
I really can't add anything new. I agree with the pros and cons that everyone else said.
If anything, I thought this rang a bit "hollow" in that I didn't feel anything for anyone.
Having 4 generations can be hard to follow in a 3-page script, trying to keep each one distinct.
I think it's because they don't have any personality. They are generic characters. I know that the page limit really hurt you, but, perhaps you should have cut out the grandmother and made it the daughter visiting her mom and taking her child (so, 3 generations instead).
Poor opening Slug - RESIDENCE - this tells us absolutely nothing.
"A car sits in the driveway, motor running. JANE, 27, sits behind the wheel." - Poor opening passage. We know the scene will play out in the driveway, as the Slug tells us this. Don't repeat it in the following line. You used "sits" twice here, which is a mistake. How do we fix it? Well, here's the hint - it shouldn't be 2 separate sentences.
So, Jane is 27 and Anna is "late 50's". Give Anna an exact age, too.
IMO, you should always Cap anything being used as a name, but especially something like "Mom", Dad", Gramps", etc.
Opening dialogue exchange is confusing.
I really hate when I see "INT./EXT.", as it's a just a cheap cop out of writing. I also do not like seeing "MOVING" in a Slug. Just me, I guess.
Everything is very confusing in terms of who is who and who is being mentioned in dialogue. Too many peeps for such a short script.
It's a nice, sweet, but sad tale. It can be done much more effectively, but it's touching.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
This was good drama... I could tell where the ending was going but still it was a nice enjoyable read.
I think you could've built up more until the twist ... like she cannot remember anything and then she remembers the nursery rhyme. Would be cool even if she did surprise them at the end using her daughter's name maybe. Just something where at first there is no hope and then at the end... even with no hope and on the way out ... there are glimpses of hope or happiness.
Some good stuff here and written well and easy to read. Appreciate that.
I liked it. I think the exchange between the great grandmother and the child would look great on film.
There are many shades of dementia, including Alzheimer's which is a form of dementia, and I don't want to pop diagnose the character here, however sufferers are usually able to access information from their long term memories long after their short term memories have failed. so it might not be the terrific shock the writer was going for. Nice job nevertheless.
Also INT./EXT. is not lazy, it's standard for a scene where for instance we start out with a car pulling up to a curb and then the driver gets out, or when we flip from the action in one car to the street outside that car. Similarly, (MOVING) and (PARKED) are standard as well, so the LP and the director know how to budget / shoot it. I was chided once by a coverage agency for not doing this.
I had the same reaction with the mention of "mom" between Jane and Anna. Reading fast, I thought they were talking about their "mom," as if they were sisters. But the ages made that pretty improbable. I really wanted to like this story for its inherent sweetness. But, I just didn't feel the connection between characters. Look at the exchange between Anna and Sophie in the car. We get repeated information. It's a wasted opportunity. Did not care for the way Anna talks to Gloria. She's asking questions. Of course, Gloria is unable to answer.I would rather Anna speak to her mother with more feeling.
HOWEVER, with that said, maybe the writer wants to show a certain level of disconnect. A bit of indifference. With Sophie ultimately bringing Anna and Gloria together. I'm referring to a scene in which Gloria can participate in the jumping rope scene. That's actually a cool way to go. But can you give us more?
As a matter of reference, I saw a movie or a show in which a woman confined to a wheelchair could only admire dancers from afar. Until one nice man, graciously invites the invalid woman to join him on the dance floor. The way in which this guy spins and moves in rhythm with the wheelchair was heavenly. But what made it so poignant was the eye contact the guy made with his new lady friend. As if they were one. That was magical.
So, I can see Sophie wanting Anna to hold one end of the rope and Gloria the other end. Maybe the rope is tied to Gloria's wheelchair. Or to her wrist. As the little girl jumps rope, and the singing starts, it brings Sophie around to lift her wrist and take part.
Well, that's where I wanted the story to go. Just my 2 cents.
All, thanks for the comments and the reads. There are many good comments, especially the telegraphing of what's to come and a couple of expository pieces of dialogue. I'll clean some of that up in a future rewrite.
It was tough getting what I wanted down in three pages. Probably needed about one or two more pages to make a full impact. But I liked the challenge and I wanted to go in a totally different direction than where I thought most people would go with the jump rope at a nursing home.
The story is based on a piece of information I came across when doing research while my grandmother was suffering from dementia. It was that music stimulated parts of the brain in dementia patients to the point where they could recall some long-term memories, although for only very brief spurts. If I had more pages, I was going to have Gloria briefly recognize her great-granddaughter and say her name, but then when confronted by her own daughter, her memory would have gone blank again.
Anyway, thanks for elevating this to a semi-runner-up status. I appreciate the kind (and not so kind) comments to help make this better!