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The 1+6 Week Challenge script are up! (have been up for a bit). Read them here!
The Abortion Clinic by Javier Torregrosa (jayrex) - Short, Comedy - A young lady goes to an abortion clinic only to be challenged by the doctor for her intentions and asked insensitive questions. - pdf, format
Your heart is in the right place, I'll say that first and foremost.
However, this doesn't feel like a comedy. It's an issue of tone: If we're going to laugh at the doctor's unprofessionalism, he needs to be far more satirical, more exaggerated. As it stands, the piece reads like a drama, so we take everything the doctor says and does at face value. This is a problem because no doctor anywhere would behave this way; certainly not a doctor in a women's clinic.
Second, though I've never had an abortion, I believe the process is far more organized than you've shown it to be. First of all, the pre-counciling and information on alternatives to abortion, are all done well in advance - before a termination date is made. It's okay for a script to betray logic, but again, only if it's a satire - and even then, it needs to be done right. The act of bringing in the other woman (was she a secretary?) is a total breach of privacy.
Also, I disliked the way the doctor is caught off-guard by Beverly coming into his office. At every doctor I've been to, the patient waits in silence for a few minutes *then* the doctor comes to *her*. When he fumbles around for her file, I sensed you were showing us his apathy, but there are other ways to do it. Some subtext in this would be very effective. In other words, what people are saying when they *aren't* talking; the meaning beneath what they're actually saying. Through subtext, you can reveal the doctor's antipathy, and even the fact that she was drugged.
Finally, the tone of the main character (both her actions and words) are are not in following with those of someone who's been date-raped and is considering an abortion for the first time, alone. She doesn't feel the slightest bit vulnerable in this.
I'm not picking on you, I just hope some of this helps.
I agree with Phil and Easy, this is not much of a comedy, but that doesn't mean that i didn't like it. The dialogue is good and makes you go on and read it all in one breath.
I think you should work more with the doctor, to me he looked like he was her father making moral to the daughter. It would have been fun if let's say you'd have two doctors in the room, Nesbit and perhaps a female doctor. Nesbit tells her to not abort, and the female doctor protects Beverly since she knows how Beverly feels. This is just a suggestion that came to my mind.
The doctors remark of 'you are about to murder his child' is way out of line for a comedy.
Sally agrees with Beverley and yet she tells Nesbit to discipline her for her outburst? This makes no sense.
Easy touched on how a doctor would be well aware of a patients appointment before they arrived.
This seems more like a drama but you would need to change the doctor. I just don't get it, Beverley's character changes half way through from a nervous shy girl to a someone without morals and a lack of respect.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read my script.
I added a comment when I posted this and I thought this was going to be added. Part of my learning curve I guess.
When I wrote this I was inspired by watching an episode of Green Wing which I love. Incase you haven't seen it and most of you probably haven't. Have a look on YouTube and look for Dr.Statham.
Where the doctor says something normal but his tone of voice suggests something else. I know this script leans towards a drama piece. And I was kind of worried that the lines would appear to be unfunny. But if you can imagine this actor acting out the lines in my script, would my lines sound funny?
I don't know anyone who has gone to a clinic before so I could not ask anyone for guidance. But as for doctors not knowing who's next. As a child I was a sick child. Regularly going to a hospital every year till I turned 17. And I know doctors can be very busy and occasionally not realising who's next. Computers nowadays have fixed this I hope, but back then mishaps did happen for me.
I was going to write some extreme lines, but that may not have gone down so well.
I like wacky comedy, and I know this would never ever be witnessed in the real world. Everything I wrote was not to be taken seriously.
As a note, Green Wing, The Mighty Boosh and Gareth Marenghi are big influences on me.
Looks like I'll have to work on some proper jokes.
The Green Wing is, or was as they don't make it anymore, very funny. Although it has plenty of comedy it still had to remain professional at times. I mean that most of the jokes between the doctors happened when the public weren't around. If you wanted to write a funny doctor, I think he should be foul mouthed when with collegues but different with patients. Just my thoughts of course.
Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.
I guess I should change the direction of the script. Ignoring Beverly and having a second doctor as Nik suggested. An argument follows and like you say, a nervous breakdown erupts. This could make for a better script.
I'll definitely take your thoughts on board and a few of the ideas mentioned above and will look into doing a rewrite.
I disagree with Alffy's suggestion about having the doctor be foul mouthed. I tend not to like foul mouth language and I will try to stay away from this area.
Also, for CindyLKeller's suggestion about colds, etc... These type of scenarios have been done over and over again. I get about doing a scene about something less dramatic over a sore finger. But I see the jokes turning out to be school yard jokes.
I've been thinking of uploading one of my wacky scripts. But I've been waiting on my mate to give me the go ahead, as he works for the BBC and will be presenting it to the producer he works for. If I don't hear back from him in a months time I'll upload it. So look out for it CindyLKeller.
Jayrex I tend to agree with the previuos comments. I couldn't see the comedy. I think you may have been 'behind the eight ball' (as the saying goes) with the subject matter. Its a long way to come from to get to comedy. There is not much comedy to be found in an Abortion Clinic, in fact you may have lost half of the audience with the title alone. Maybe a pap smear episode in an STD clinic might have been fun. Cheers Walford
I know the subject matter is a touch risky. But there's a person called Chris Morris here in the UK who is very controversial. Who probably doesn't have a huge fan base. He won an award in comedy for a sketch based on paedophiles. In the sketch, he even pretended to interview a child molested by a paedophile in a newsroom studio. Anyone from the UK on this website who knows Chris Morris and the stuff he writes and acts in will hopefully verify what I've said.
And so, what has gone before has already broken down those barriers. My stuff is nothing in comparison. And this was a one-off.
Your suggestion is a good idea. I've now realised that I have been influenced by a character in Green Wing more for the acting and delivery of lines rather than concentrate on the content of the script.