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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama  ›  Only In Dreams Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: August 25th, 2009, 9:18pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Only In Dreams by Timothy F. Betts (souter fell) - Drama - When Marc discovers he is able to reunite with an old flame via lucid dreaming, he soon becomes dangerously addicted to sleep. 30 pages - pdf, format


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SimplyScripts  -  August 26th, 2009, 8:41am
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Souter Fell
Posted: August 26th, 2009, 12:57am Report to Moderator
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Hey Don,
Thanks for getting this up so quick.

Been a year since I really wrote anything and this little idea was supposed to be a 10 page stretch before the workout of a feature and ended up being a mini-marathon that I was able to mostly sprint through. Enough metaphor. Hope you all enjoy this trippy ride.


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rendevous
Posted: August 26th, 2009, 10:05am Report to Moderator
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Tim,

Glad to see you expanded this into its present form.

I'll start by repeating what I said earlier about that early trick, which I rarely see in any screenplays, either pro or spec. The woman's V.O. after he brings up the picture of the 29 year old woman. Reminds me a lot about how Kubrick used sound to apparently cut almost seamlessly into a different scene.

I should mention your format and all that. Spotless. Read clean. Your proofing is string than Jameson's.

Now then. Souter. Are you on drugs? If so, can I have some? No? Oh, okay then.

You're fairly succinct with much of the phrasing that brings the required image to mind. To my mind at least.

The only problem I had with this was I had no real idea what the characters were supposed to look like. I'd have liked a bit more in the way of physical descriptions, fat, thin, tall, all that.

One of my favourite lines was


Quoted from Only In Dreams
...you look like you're in the wrong aspect ratio


The descriptions of the Merc's occupants were short, nicely worded and very visual too.

The line about Florence's number made me laugh again. I'd love to see that bit on screen sometime. It's amzing to think nobody's used that joke before. I'll be using it all the time in the pub from now on. I'm not gonna tell anyone it's yours either. So there! Well, I might. Guilt always gets me when I'm being naughty.

I see you ignored my advice about 'eye rolling'. Fair enough. It might just be me but when eyes roll I sneer. I probably took Denny Laine's book too much to heart.

Carl Levens post made me laugh out loud, as did Marc's reply.


Quoted from Only In Dreams
fiery orange sky


- I like that, a lot.


Quoted from Only In Dreams
someone repelling down a building...


I still have no idea what that means. Google won't help me here either.


Quoted from Only In Dreams
She point down the street where apparently now the Sydney
Opera House resides.


I still think the SOH is either there on not in an action line. You'd get away with the line if it was in dialogue.

To summarize, as I feel I'm babbling - Utterly bizarre and very good.

I've read it once and flicked through it a second time.

I think it's like that other one of late, "To Be". It needs more than one read. It probably needs quite a few reads.

I've no doubt there's been a huge amount of time of effort to put in, and for that sir I applaud you.

The difference being, and I mean no disrespect, far from it, is that this deals with the dream world and mine deals with the real. I don't know how much dreams differ for each person but I felt, just after the first read mind, that I wasn't sure what were dreams and what were real. I think if a good director got hold of it this would make an amazing film. I hope that happens. That director will have to be a bloody good one though.

I'll read this again and I'll let you know. Fine work Tim.


Latest scripts...

Blood Group


Take Care 2014 version

Coming soon - Take Care Part Two


My other scripts can be found here


Keywords: sheep, keys and cake
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Souter Fell
Posted: August 26th, 2009, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Hey R,

Thanks for taking a look at the 2nd draft.


Quoted Text
The only problem I had with this was I had no real idea what the characters were supposed to look like. I'd have liked a bit more in the way of physical descriptions, fat, thin, tall, all that.


I actually stayed away from real hard description. Marc, like his attire, is unremarkable. He sees this as a negative, not realizing that it could get so much worse (hence the ending).

The two main girls are described as beautiful and vanilla. Tried to keep it this way without forcing the reader to nail down a type. Picture the beautiful girl and the plain girl you know. I'll admit it maybe too ambigious and if it poses a problem i'll make some solid descriptions.


Quoted Text
The only problem I had with this was I had no real idea what the characters were supposed to look like. I'd have liked a bit more in the way of physical descriptions, fat, thin, tall, all that.


God damn spellcheck not catching (almost) homonyms. I meant RAPPELLING.


Quoted Text
I still think the SOH is either there on not in an action line.


Since it's already established Marc lives in NYC, i say "apparently" to show the SOH is out of place. Should I ditch "apparently" assuming the reader will not be confused by the mixing of location or change it to "She points down the New York City street to the Sydney Opera House?" Which works better to, at a minimum, give the audience the knowledge that it's out of place?

I'll definitly have to check out "To Be."


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rendevous
Posted: August 28th, 2009, 9:56am Report to Moderator
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SF,

I took another look at this today. Have to say it reads a lot better the second time that the first. I guess because there's so much going on. Interesting how you set this in the US. I'm presuming you're English. It works better there anyway. Type of place anything can happen.

Fair point about the descriptions. I prefer to say quite a lot about how major characters act and appear, but for each their own.

Personally I would ditch the 'apparently' as you mean it is actually there.

Few questions. I did ask google, but she just looked at me funny and told me to 'go away'. She phrased it stronger than that. Some people...


Quoted from OID
soas through the ceiling


Is that a typo? Soars?

I happened to watch "No Cure For Cancer" again the other day so the NyQuil line made sense this time.

I'm no expert but these folk didn't sound too NYC to me. Are they from there?

Anyways. Overall I'm bewildered, but I think that's kinda the point. It's very weird and very good.

Re


Latest scripts...

Blood Group


Take Care 2014 version

Coming soon - Take Care Part Two


My other scripts can be found here


Keywords: sheep, keys and cake
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Souter Fell
Posted: August 28th, 2009, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hey R,

Sounds like I'll probably change that "apparently" when in the next draft and thanks for pointing out that "soars" typo.

Funny you should guess where I'm from. Actually native New Yorker. Born and breed. They may not sound New York but that's cause I didn't write them in the stereotypical "fuhgetaboutit" style.

Anyway, I enjoy that your slightly bewildered. I was anxious to see if a nonreality vibe successfully came across in the dreams. I just hope you recognized the over jist": a cautionary tale for those who try to see if the grass is really greener on the other side.


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Astrid
Posted: August 29th, 2009, 4:58am Report to Moderator
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This had a cinematic feel to it. There is a kind of style to it that starts with the discription of the cubical walls as being "monochromatic, walled-in workstations". And then ends with the discription of Marc's Boss' suit matching the fabric of these same cubical walls. I'm not sure why I've mentioned this, but your use of color to set a tone or mood worked well I think. All of the discriptions worked well. One tho confused me, "and an unfairly attractive LADY." Maybe just, "an unattractive LADY"?

As for the story, it isn't until page 17 until there is any real conflict, anything at stake, and I think the story suffers because of it. Things unfold nicely, but with 30 pages, I think too slowly. The montage, while well written, was a lot to wade thru.

The ending was great. i was left wondering if Marc was the still dreaming, or was in fact the homeless man finally waking up.  
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Souter Fell
Posted: August 29th, 2009, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hey astrid, thanks for the read.

Unfairly attractive lady is meant to mean she's so attractive it's unfair. I could see how that could be confusing and i'll put it on the list of things to consider changing.

I'm sorry if you think there is any conflict til the fight with Anna. And overtly, you are correct. Up until that point, the main conflict is internal with Marc. His wanting of a different life and the seduction of these dreams. I could see about raising the stakes by his boss getting on him at work for lackluster performance and I could press Anna to display more of her dissatisfaction. I'm just wary of her coming off too b*tchy. The goal is to present her as plain but accomodating so that at first the reader sides with Marc to start with but then begins to turn on him as he falls deeper. Any suggestions how I can amp up the conflict?

Glad you liked the ending. I know the "it was a dream angle" is a bit cliche but I hoped the "a dream inside a dream inside another dream" was fresh.

Anyway,thanks.


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bobtheballa
Posted: August 29th, 2009, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
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I'm a big fan of dreams, dream logic, that sort of thing and figured I'd give this a look.

I loved the images, the descriptions and overall surrealness of the dreams themselves. Usually it took me a few seconds to pick up when a sequence was a dream, but obviously if this were ever made it'd be easier to tell. The way the two worlds blended together reminded me of "The Science of Sleep."

The pacing in this one is interesting because the first few pages move slowly, really letting you sink into the dream world, but once the montage comes and everything after reads much faster. On one hand, it showed Marc's downward spiral as he sunk deeper into the dream world, but on the other, it made the second half of the script feel a little under-developed. I thnk it's fine the way it is but there's certainly room to expand the second half, show some tender dream moments between Marc & Florence that parallel less tender moments between Marc & Anna, maybe a little more of Anna's frustrations as they build and I would've loved to see a bit more from "The Oneironaut."

Not sure what your plans are for this but I really enjoyed it. No major flaws, just throwing out a few ideas of how to make it longer if that's what you were hoping to do. It certainly came off as a cautionary tale as you intended and the 'unfairly attractive' came off to me as you intended it to, though 'criminally attractive' or some other way of re-wording it may clear up some confusion. Well done and good luck with this one.
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Souter Fell
Posted: August 29th, 2009, 10:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hey bob,

Glad you liked it. I'm also glad I'm not hearing too much about it being too literary and not economical in a screenwriting sense. I also went through and tried to take out as many -ing's as possible (my usually problem).

The pacing. It's funny. Some people like the gradual setup and some people think it's too long. About the middle, I was didn't want to start repeating scenes of similar purpose. Looking at the montage, the purpose, scene by scene is: distancing from Anna, becoming an Oneironaut, sinking in his addiction, being capable of fantasic scenarios, the addiction now effects his work, the Yankee one was mainly for me... you know what, by looking at this montage this way, I've noticed that there are two shrugging off work parts and two fantastical dream parts in the montage. Funny you said that I may want to expand but by going over it, i'm wondering if I should cut some.

I'll have to go over the second half and see if races too quickly. I'll admit that it flowed out really quickly (gotta love that feeling) but maybe I rode the wave, having too much fun, and not paying enough attention.

Anyway, glad ya like it. Thanks.


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Souter Fell
Posted: August 29th, 2009, 11:00pm Report to Moderator
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And quick question for anybody who reads this script. Do you think I should change the title to "The Oneironaut."? I was originally toying with that name but thought it might be too peculiar. Now I'm wondering if it would have more character than "Only In Dreams." What do you guys think?


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jackx
Posted: September 2nd, 2009, 5:09am Report to Moderator
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first off, i think this is one of the best shorts i've read here.  well written, mostly original, quick read, and a little twist at the end without it being overdone.

'fried afro perm' was one of my favorite descriptors.
The looking back and forth at text trick seemed pretty close to what happens in Waking Life with the light switch, but I guess its alright.
p10 Florence says, 'weaker than dreaming about a job you hate.'  Should that be a question?
Love the realization they're in pacman land, perfect for the cubicle setting.
p19 Florence says, there's no us, there's was.  Should be 'there was.'

Overall very nicely done.  I think Florence (in dreams) comes across as a little to nice.  Like shes sweet to him, but also says he should be better with Anna.  Would his fantasy really have her saying those things?  Might be better to show some fickleness in her, going between being sweet on him, and telling him to stay with anna.  This would be representing his own subconscious moods.  his guilt about Anna vs. his need for fantasy.
Also the one thing that i thought could be cut shorter would be his back and forth with florence about how sad it is thats hes not being good with anna.  

That ends up looking like a lot of criticism, but really it was pretty excellent.  I like the title The Oneironaut personally.


Mine:
HARD CASE
            (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
            (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
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Souter Fell
Posted: September 2nd, 2009, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
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Hey jack,

Thanks for the read. And thanks for the typo check. Hard as I try, they still come up.

Dream Florence was very tricky. Tried to make her more of the ego than the superego. But at first she's also susceptable to his denial. Until things go too far, she's a lie he tells himself. Hopefully in the next draft I can manifest this better.

Nothing wrong with a lot of crit. Glad you liked it and no, I have never looked at the back of a five dolla bill on night vision


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James R
Posted: September 3rd, 2009, 9:50am Report to Moderator
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Hey, SF. I read the first half of this last night until life's interruptions caused me to take a break. I like what I've read so far, I'll post a full review with comments as soon as I can.

Your title has gotten the Weezer song of the same name stuck in my head.

James


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Souter Fell
Posted: September 3rd, 2009, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Lookin forward to what you think and that song ran through my head too. Weezer past Pinkerton is shite though. I wish it wasn't true but it is.


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