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“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.
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?
CLOSE UP: HE SHAKES HIS DIRTY HAND THEN OPENS HIS DIRTY PALM
TO REVEAL A PAIR OF DICE.
Not dirty dice?
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.
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
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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.
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.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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
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.
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...
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!
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