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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  Taken For a Ride Moderators: bert
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Posted: November 19th, 2008, 12:40am Report to Moderator
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Taken For a Ride by James Redd - Short, Comedy - Mike, a gas station convenient store clerk, enjoys teasing and tormenting his customers. When one of his customers loses something valuable in his store he decides to take advantage of the situation. 9 pages - pdf, format


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rjbelair
Posted: November 20th, 2008, 1:11pm Report to Moderator
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I love cons - mainly for the twist that you didn't see coming.  The problem is that when you see too many con movies, you can usually see them coming a mile away.  That was a problem for me in this one.  It's a fairly basic con that's been done before (I recently saw it done in a movie with a manuscript or something like that), and as soon as the girl offers so much money for the cheap ring, I knew something was up.

The setup also seemed awkward.  Nate holding onto the ring doesn't feel natural.  Mike seems like the kind of guy who would have taken the ring, told Nate he would put it in the lost and found in case the girl came back, then pawn it when he got out of work (or at least try to).  Mike also promises the girl the ring when he has no reason to think Nate will ever show up again.  The way the con usually goes is the girl would call looking for the ring, Mike would say he doesn't have it, and she would say if he does find it there is a $500 reward.  Then Nate "happens" by and it plays out from there.

The other thing that held this back for me was casting Mike the prick as the main character.  Yeah, it's nice that the jerk gets screwed, but ultimately it doesn't make for a satisfying experience since there is no one I like or can really identify with in the story.

You did a good job of drawing well-defined characters, and the piece was well-written.

Good luck,
-RayB



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James R
Posted: November 24th, 2008, 6:53pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Ray. Thanks for the read and the honesty.

Quoted from rjbelair
The problem is that when you see too many con movies, you can usually see them coming a mile away.

I guess you've seen a lot of con movies? I have seen a few as well, but I couldn't think of this particular one being done on screen. I guess it's a cinch it won't be made into a feature film.

Quoted from rjbelair
The way the con usually goes is the girl would call looking for the ring, Mike would say he doesn't have it, and she would say if he does find it there is a $500 reward.  Then Nate "happens" by and it plays out from there.

It could have gone that way too, I suppose.

Quoted from rjbelair
The other thing that held this back for me was casting Mike the prick as the main character.  Yeah, it's nice that the jerk gets screwed, but ultimately it doesn't make for a satisfying experience since there is no one I like or can really identify with in the story.

Point taken. I felt the same way at times, but it was just too fun to write all those sarcastic comments and sarcasm is often mean. At least I had fun!

Quoted from rjbelair
You did a good job of drawing well-defined characters, and the piece was well-written.

Thanks, brother. I appreciate the comments.

James



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jayrex
Posted: November 25th, 2008, 8:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hi James,

I'd thought I'd give this a read and see how it plays out.  It's not often I have read or seen con scripts/films.

I do have to side with Ray in that the con was basic and that the ending you can see coming.  The ending does finish it well with the whole scope of the script.  I would try experimenting with this genre and try to make this a little more complex.

I would say theres not too much going on in this script, and that it needs more layers added to it.  If you give this script a rewrite, I'd read it again.

All the best,


Javier


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tonkatough
Posted: November 27th, 2008, 4:57pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this script,

The contrast of innocence and sarcastic jerk between two main characters was a pleasure to read.

The con itself was a little too clever. Have to agree with rj above that the con depends on to many factors to fall into place.  His ideas to make it  seem more random and natural are a good idea and should be easy to add to your script with out changing it to much.

But all in all a very nice script with wonderful characters with their own personalities.

Plus reading Mike I pictured him as the actor Bruce Campbell  



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James R
Posted: December 1st, 2008, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jayrex
I do have to side with Ray in that the con was basic and that the ending you can see coming.  The ending does finish it well with the whole scope of the script.  I would try experimenting with this genre and try to make this a little more complex.

I know this one has been done before, but thinking up a con that hasn't been done before would be tough. I love con movies so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Quoted from jayrex
I would say theres not too much going on in this script, and that it needs more layers added to it.  If you give this script a rewrite, I'd read it again.

I'll do my best. Thanks for the comments.


Quoted from tonkatough
The contrast of innocence and sarcastic jerk between two main characters was a pleasure to read.

That was one of my favorite things about this one too.

Quoted from tonkatough
The con itself was a little too clever. Have to agree with rj above that the con depends on to many factors to fall into place.  His ideas to make it  seem more random and natural are a good idea and should be easy to add to your script with out changing it to much.

It was a challenge to get everything to fit and seem smooth. I tried not to have Nate and Mandy "steer" Mike (pun intended, wait, is that a pun?) where they wanted him to go. I'll try to tighten it up.

Quoted from tonkatough
Plus reading Mike I pictured him as the actor Bruce Campbell

Funny thing, but Bruce Campbell himself didn't contact me for a part in this short. Thanks for reading and commenting.

James


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Brian M
Posted: December 7th, 2008, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
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Nice script although I did see it coming, not as early as someone else did, but when Nate says to take the money from the till, I pretty much knew where it was going from there. I will say I did smile at the ending because Mike gets whats coming to him.

I liked the dialogue from Mike because I always tend to like the sarcastic characters more than others. I imagined him as Randall from "Clerks". Very similar characters in the way they are both sarcastic with customers, mean to a certain extent. The problem is, if someone robbed Randall for over 200 bucks in Clerks, I would feel bad for him because he is likeable. I didn't feel bad for Mike in the slightest.

I enjoyed reading your script, very well written. Good work!  


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NiK
Posted: December 7th, 2008, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hi James,

I really enjoyed your short. It was a simple one, and very easy to shot. I didn't see the ending coming, I love con movies, but i realized what was happening to the ending after Mike gave Nate the 200 bucks.

The writing is very good and the dialogue flows well.

Best.





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colkurtz8
Posted: December 8th, 2008, 5:57am Report to Moderator
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Hey James

Wow! that Mike is a prick & a half, a great character you have here.

This was a great story. Like Nik above I saw the set up coming when Nate asked for the money from the till but it didn't matter this was still a well crafted piece & paced wonderfully.

Even tho Mike is the antagonist & gets whats coming to him, a part of me liked him & hoped he'd get the $400.

Your dialogue was fine & your prose sharp & to the point.

I think you should always finish a piece with some descriptive line explaining the final shot or what the its closing out with, instead of just leaving it as dialogue.

This is about my only problem with this, that can be easily fixed. Good job, man.

Cheers.

Col.


                                                    


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James R
Posted: December 9th, 2008, 4:53pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Brian M
I liked the dialogue from Mike because I always tend to like the sarcastic characters more than others. I imagined him as Randall from "Clerks".

I am drawn to sarcasm as well, sometimes I have to rewrite lines of dialog because I put too much in for characters who are not supposed to be sarcastic. I wonder if Kevin Smith ever has the same problem...
Thanks for reading and the comments.

Quoted from NiK
I really enjoyed your short. It was a simple one, and very easy to shot.

Wait, you already shot this? Why didn't you tell me? I'm funny.
Thanks for the read, sorry I didn't get you with a better twist.

Quoted from colkurtz8
Even tho Mike is the antagonist & gets whats coming to him, a part of me liked him & hoped he'd get the $400.

I guess sometimes bad things happen to good people. Or good things to bad people. Or just things to people.

Quoted from colkurtz8
I think you should always finish a piece with some descriptive line explaining the final shot or what the its closing out with, instead of just leaving it as dialogue.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Any suggestions?



Revision History (1 edits)
James R  -  December 10th, 2008, 4:11pm
The whole goodbad thing didn't make sense, and this edit didn't make the post any better.
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colkurtz8
Posted: December 9th, 2008, 11:22pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry maybe I didn't make myself clear. What I mean is finish the script with a line of prose instead of dialogue. Even if its just a sentance to describe the closing shot.


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rc1107
Posted: December 10th, 2008, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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Lol.  The old 'Glim Dropper', eh?  Lol, for a second I was going to sue you for plageurism because you had reviewed my short 'The Glim Dropper', and then I remembered it was a different James that commented on it.

Have a look at 'The Glim Dropper' here on the shorts and compare our two scripts.  I know you didn't copy, but it's amazing how very similar dialogue we had.  I think a few of our lines might even be word-for-word.  It's cool how we took an idea and basically ended up with the same thing.  Usually, people get two different perspectives.

Anyhow, I'll talk to you later.

- Mark


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James R
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Quoted from rc1107
Have a look at 'The Glim Dropper' here on the shorts and compare our two scripts.

Where is it? I am having a hard time finding it, the search engine only seems to want to find "real" scripts, not our unproduced ones. I really want to see it.

James


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rc1107
Posted: December 11th, 2008, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
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On the 'unproduced scripts' main page, where all the new unproduced scripts for that week are listed, to the left margin has all the genres... (Monologues/Shorts, Western... etc...)  If you go under monologues/shorts, it lists every unproduced short script in alphabetical order.


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James R
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I found it, I was just hoping you had a link so I wouldn't have to scroll through them all. I commented on it.


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