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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The Quickie Challenge  ›  On a Pair of Dice - QC Moderators: MarkItZero
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Don
Posted: August 20th, 2017, 11:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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On a Pair of Dice by Jon Swift's Long Lost Love Child - Short, Drama -  A visitor is mistaken for someone he isn't.  3 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Dustin
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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Code

“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough
to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift



That's because religion is about control, John. Making us love each other is not the idea. Its purpose is to make the followers of one hate and mistrust the followers of others.

Code

We do not see his face. 



This is a tell. Show us why we don't see his face. You're the writer. What's he wearing that covers his face?

Code

CLOSE UP: HE SHAKES HIS DIRTY HAND THEN OPENS HIS DIRTY PALM
TO REVEAL A PAIR OF DICE. 



Not dirty dice?

Code

This commotion attracts rubberneckers and oglers. 



oglers? Why are they getting turned on by this?


Yeah, and once they'd read the little note, they burst out laughing. What difference did it make that Jesus, who could be just some bum pretending, was cast out? As the church spent millennia oppressing the poor while doling out pennies in the form of 'charity', it would have been hypocritical to do otherwise. The atrocities that have been committed under the banner of that religion would have made any real deity give up a long time ago.

What was he doing carrying around the dice? They were there and then they were gone. no attempt to explain them.

Not for me. I'd have to believe in fairy stories to relate to this.
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hawkeye
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 12:46pm Report to Moderator
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It's an interesting story in that you have the pious people in the church throwing out the person they are there to worship.  Not badly written at all, although, if anything, maybe a little overwritten with direction and detail. And I'm not sure I've ever seen a prop used in an actual script like that.  Also, who is the narrator? In almost all cases, the narrator is someone known to the audience (or later known to the audience).  Is the narrator Jesus himself? Couldn't tell from the script.

This was on the edge of the rules, as Jesus shows the dice at the beginning but doesn't do anything with them. Seems like you should have found a way to make a use of them; otherwise, why show them at all?  Maybe you could have had them placed in the offering plate with the note somehow -- a metaphor for how the church gambles with people's lives, perhaps.  Grasping at straws there, but hopefully you get the gist.

Good luck!
Gary


Click on the link for my blog as Rick Hansberry and I take script from concept to completion (and hopefully to the screen) Lake Regret Movie
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JEStaats
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
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It feels like the dice were thrown in just to meet the challenge. Now, if they were the stone dice from the Romans, that would be cool although it would need some explanation as I wouldn't have a clue except that it was in another short.

Yup, the story of organized religion. It would make for a good commercial during the Super Bowl. Not sure what it would be promoting except for a PSA. Kinda like the Indian Chief in a canoe with all the pollution and a tear.
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DanC
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 1:46pm Report to Moderator
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I know it wasn't part of the challenge, but, what role did the dice play?  I agree with JE, if they were Roman dice, now that makes sense.

Kinda cool story.  I think you could have cut part of it out and made it faster.

I think you also could have shown the church perhaps gonna play Bingo (which I still think is gambling, but, somehow, they allow it) or some other form of gambling.

Cool twist at the end.  

Not bad.

Dan

If the dice had played a role, this could have been one of my favs, or if not played a role, at least had some significance.  


Please read my scripts:
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I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

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Dreamscale
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 3:38pm Report to Moderator
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You wait to describe this "Visitor" until he is inside the church, but we definitely see him outside - which is where he needs to be described.

Narrator?  Huh?  WTF?  Who is this - Christopher Lee, maybe?  

The writing style isn't what i appreciate, which makes it tough to like this...and I don't, but I do appreciate the effort, and actually like the idea...BUT...the dice here have absolutely nothing to do with this script and appear to be here only to meet the challenge.

The ending is what works, and if the writing and all were better, I'd rate this pretty high...but I can't as is.

** 1/2


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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pale yellow
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 3:53pm Report to Moderator
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Dice symbolizes chance people. Jesus argh


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Dustin
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 4:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from pale yellow
Dice symbolizes chance people. Jesus argh


What does Jesus have to do with chance? Wouldn't he have already known what was going to happen when he walked in the church? Hence he having the note. Unless he had two notes - just in case.
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pale yellow
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 4:37pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin


What does Jesus have to do with chance? Wouldn't he have already known what was going to happen when he walked in the church? Hence he having the note. Unless he had two notes - just in case.


Well.. my thinking is that if you believe in Jesus...  then you know he gives people chance after chance after chance. He'd rather hang around a prostitute than a hypocrite. Agree the dice were not used well enough probably. I mean he could have walked away from the church and it go up in flames. May've been better. Who knows. lol


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stevie
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 4:47pm Report to Moderator
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This had the potential to be awesome but doesn't quite get there. Need to ditch the Narrator and just have the preacher intoning through it. Ok we know that the visitor is gonna be Jesus, right? So have him maybe crawl up the aisle while the people watch, thinking he's some bum. Then have a reveal - I dunno, holes in his hands and feet - and he throws the dice or whatever.

I think the problem is the dice are from the Bible where Jesus throws out the gamblers and moneylenders who have taken over the temple - correct me if i'm wrong. But that doesn't work if readers are familiar with it, especially younger people who won't have read any of the Bible.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 5:35pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Why is this called On a Pair of Dice?

This in not about dice. And, why are they even in his hand?

And, why is this man, who turns out to be Jesus, so dirty. Is he "testing" them? He doesn't need to test them because he knows full well that most are a bunch of hypocrites.

Don't get me started there because I'm inclined to agree with Dustin on that religious count. Not that I'm against the principles way way behind the facade, but mostly, it's all about money and, oh, man, just get angry thinking about it.

The sentiment of this story is good, but it's way too sappy.

It's got good potential, and I mean that sincerely, but let's get real:

Jesus was the one: FUCKIN' FLIPPIN TABLES with the money changers. That's Jesus!

Would he lamely allow himself to be escorted out? DAMN!!!! He did that already.

Now, he's a commin' by hook or crook as a freakin' King. Is he not?

Why represent him as lowly and dirty. It's ok. But you need to set it up. How and why, which, I guess 3 pages...

But still,

This was good. I wouldn't say it's bad.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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hawkeye
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Why is this called On a Pair of Dice?


Might be a play on paradise? Just a guess.


Click on the link for my blog as Rick Hansberry and I take script from concept to completion (and hopefully to the screen) Lake Regret Movie
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pale yellow
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye


Might be a play on paradise? Just a guess.


Title of the poem the narrator is reciting through the script by Jonathan Swift.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 21st, 2017, 7:17pm Report to Moderator
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Ah, got it.  Although I wonder if Swift was utilizing a pun in the title.


Click on the link for my blog as Rick Hansberry and I take script from concept to completion (and hopefully to the screen) Lake Regret Movie
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: August 22nd, 2017, 5:20am Report to Moderator
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I think this is the last script I've got to read and it's the one (for me) which shows the most potential. It's really thinking outside the box so I've got to give it scores for that.

I really like that this is based on a poem. I've never heard it before but I loved it, and I loved that you had the narrator recite it as the story unfolded.

The dice really do feel thrown in (forgive the pun) and I know there's a symbolic explanation but they really don't justify being in there or the title of this as it stands.

Camera shots and angles really don't belong in a spec script, just tell us what the audience will see and the camera guys will do the rest, or the shooting script will sort that out, it distracts.

Another distraction is the awkward action on page 2. I got lost with the Usher, Visitor, Young Guy, Preacher, Elders and whoever else  was in the scene. It was over complicated and messy.

But I love the story and the style in which you try to tell it. With a polish, this could be very powerful. To me, this isn't about the actual Jesus going into a church and shaming everyone, this is more of a comment on organised religion.

I met a priest from LA over the weekend, lovely chap. He said to me, "Religion is the word of man, spirituality is a gift from God." I've never heard such honesty from a priest! lol. I see those Watch Tower guys (Jehovah's Witnesses)  around Manchester every day. They are always dressed very smartly and they will quite happily setup near some beggars and completely ignore them.

This to me is what this story is about, what it represents. Not Jesus manifesting himself in one church but showing the bloody hypocrisy about organised religion as a whole. And I love it, my favorite script!

-Mark



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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