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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  Pulling The Wool Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: July 30th, 2009, 8:20pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Pulling The Wool by James Redd - Short - Tim and Zach, two mall employees adept at deception, steal regularly from their employers - a smoothie here, a DVD there - so it shouldn't be any problem to commit a larger bit of thievery, right? 12 pages - pdf, format


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Andrew
Posted: July 30th, 2009, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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James,

This was a well-written piece.

The line from the 'Guard' re: Roman was very, very funny. There was a real wit to the story, and it made for an enjoyable read.

To me, the story seems a little disjointed, however. How well do Tim and Zach know each other? Why did Tim place implicit faith in Zach? I mean, he was prepared to potentially get himself a record, and yet, he was foolish enough to have the 'wool pulled over his eyes'. He clearly didn't put together a risk/reward ratio, and that plagues the story to a degree. The main sticking point is that Tim didn't feel stupid enough to be treated like a 'Sucker', y'know.

It just feels like we need to know more about the characters to empathise with what the story is aiming to achieve. I assume it was intended as a comic venture, but we still need a complete arc, and I don't think we necessarily have here.

Maybe replacing the DVD scene with some backstory would help give a depth with which we can pitch the ending.

Really don't mean to sound negative, 'cos you have an abundance of writing nous - it was just the cohesion of the story that brought this down for me.

Andrew


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James R
Posted: July 31st, 2009, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Andrew. Thanks for the read and the comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the wit and humor, there actually was a lot more in my original draft. I took it out because it made Tim and Zach too good of friends and I needed them to be just "work friends" so that it would be easier for Zach to take Tim for a sucker.


Quoted from Andrew Allen
It just feels like we need to know more about the characters to empathise with what the story is aiming to achieve. I assume it was intended as a comic venture, but we still need a complete arc, and I don't think we necessarily have here.

I struggled with who Tim was with this one. At first I made them both dicks but the story didn't feel right so I kept Zach a dick and made Tim sort of an average Joe, though he goes along with the stealing. I thought the conversation over wings would show that Zach was in the driver's seat for the big heist and Tim was just getting into it. And then he gets the wool pulled over, welcome to the life of a criminal.

And no need to apologize, all comments are welcome - positive and negative.

James


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tonkatough
Posted: August 1st, 2009, 7:52am Report to Moderator
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Had a look at this.

The writing for this was very nice. The action was crisp and the dialouge flowed well and highlighted each characters personality.

But still I did not get engaged with this one as I found the plot and premise ordinary. It just felt typical in its contents with two young, laid back dudes, a mall and a simple con and rip off. These sort of scripts where very common early this year when quite a few where popping up here at once.

Which doing my research I noticed you where one of those writers and your script got filmed. So I don't blame you for having another crack at the con genre or something similar.  

The only thing I thought was cool was the security guard named Roman who as he says "no connection to Rome."


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James R
Posted: August 3rd, 2009, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Glenn, thanks for reading.


Quoted from tonkatough
But still I did not get engaged with this one as I found the plot and premise ordinary. It just felt typical in its contents with two young, laid back dudes, a mall and a simple con and rip off. These sort of scripts where very common early this year when quite a few where popping up here at once.

Yeah, one of those was mine and it was filmed as a student project. I'm waiting for a copy of the DVD. Thanks for the compliments anyway, even if it didn't float your boat. Second compliment on the roman gag, boy am I funny!

James


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jwent6688
Posted: August 4th, 2009, 11:55pm Report to Moderator
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DOUBLE SPACE YOUR FRIGGIN' SLUGS!!!

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James, too many of us on here to keep track. You write very well... Dialogue was believable and action sentences were crisp and to the point.

It does lack a bit of a twist to me though... Seems like the old story of the bully taking the little kids lunch money. I also found it a little hard to believe he could convince his manager to take both deposits in one night. I would have felt the manager would have gotten more suspicious from that conversation if anything.

I don't get calling a built guy "tons-o-fun". Maybe "roider" or "Lou ferrigno" would work better?

Pg 3.. "a box sits a table"..  needs fixed. Also, didn't get the relevance of the box with Japanese Characters. Seemed like you were going somewhere with that, i guess it was just another DVD? An 800 dollar DVD? This should be explained a little more.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
Thanks for holding down the counter
but we had it glued down so you
don’t have to do that anymore.

This didn't make sense to me... What was Tim doing to warrant his boss to say that? I mean i get the joke, but it took me a couple of reads.

ED
Just stopping by and I saw we were
low on smoothie mix and brains.

I thought we were going into zombie territory with this... maybe "intellect" would come off better then brains???

anyways, hope you found my comments helpful, you write very well i just think the story could use some tightening up. Good ludk....    another James


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James R
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Hey, James. There are a lot of us around, aren't there?


Quoted from jwent6688
I don't get calling a built guy "tons-o-fun". Maybe "roider" or "Lou ferrigno" would work better?

Tim was making fun of the lady who was just buying a drink, not Zach. I can't really think of a way to make this clearer on the page. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the other suggestions. I guess the word "brains" will forever be tied up in zombie lore, won't it? It doesn't mean we outside of the sub-genre can't use it, right? And what script can't use a little tightening?

Thanks again.

James


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jayrex
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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Hello James,

Gave this script a whirl.  Not bad overall.  I think the story was a little slow from the beginning to the middle.  It picked up at the end.  I think you should either shorten the script or make this more engaging.  I would probably remove the manager and other customer and give Zach a girlfriend.

Your second line confused me.  I would change save to except.  For the montage, it might be a good idea to write end montage to let me know when it finishes.

Aside from that the writing was fine and well spaced out.

All the best,


Javier


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James R
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Javier. Thanks for giving my script a whirl and for muscling through when the going got slow.

After your comment about the gilrfriend I looked back and realized that my last script, So Many Words, was the only one I have written with a love interest, though they were only shown fighting. I think the addition of a girlfriend, however, might make the script longer and less engaging.

Sorry about the confusion with "save", but I think I'll keep it. In the immortal words of Mike Shelton, "To hell with it, it stays."

Thanks for the read.

James


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jwent6688
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
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DOUBLE SPACE YOUR FRIGGIN' SLUGS!!!

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James, re-read the "tons-o-fun" part again. It's one of those things that are easy to miss in a screenplay, but I definitely would've understood it on film. Maybe use (mocking her) in Zach's wrily? Good luck.... James


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James R
Posted: August 8th, 2009, 8:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jwent6688
Maybe use (mocking her) in Zach's wrily?

A good suggestion. Thanks, James.

James


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colkurtz8
Posted: August 16th, 2009, 4:01pm Report to Moderator
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James

You usually provide a decent read and I loved the use of "thievery" in the logline, great word, so why not have a look at this.

I used to work in a video rental store myself and gave out a lot of free DVDs to my friends, so I can relate to these two, especially Zack. We just had to make sure the "transaction" was done out of the camera's view and the film was dropped back before the boss came in.

I really liked the rapport between the two guys here, very Clerks-ish, plenty of wisecracks and ridiculing of customers, much like where I worked. I dunno, for some reason we all think we're so perfect when standing behind a counter, a deluded superiority complex of some kind I guess.

"Shaving Ryan’s Privates" -- Maybe its just me but I've heard this particular porn take on a proper movie title a sh?tload of times, seems to pop up quite often.

What does "wings" mean?

Would two males in their early 20's meet at a restaurant like that? Seems a little odd. Why not a bar? Although I see what the "wings" comment was about now. This scene in general felt a little contrived, for starters, Tim was too eager to jump on Zach's planned thieving spree. I realise these two are up to no good to begin with but the conversation back and forth was all too smooth and affording. Tim barely thought twice before he was nodding his head and buying into everything Zach was proposing. Having said that I understand this is a short script so length is always an issue and the two aren't exactly model citizens. Well written, just a bit too on the nose is all.

The twist was good, a simple double cross but I didn't see it coming until Zach’s expression when he punched him. I just wonder how friendly were these two in the first place, and what is Zach planning on doing with $800 and a bunch of DVDs? He says he's going away but it doesn't look like a whole pile to be leaving with. He does drop hints that he's been stealing for a while and is “hooked” on stealing so maybe he has a sizable stash accumulated already.

I'd leave out the "Same shot as the beginning of the film" line, no need for it, the reader will piece it together, or should anyway. I like the "Sucker" on the caller id too, nice touch.

Overall, I felt this was an average story. As always I enjoy your style of writing, very few complaints there, the descriptive is solid and readable and your dialogue can be very sharp in places. There’s a lot I like about this, however I think the plot itself was a bit pedestrian, nothing new really, pretty standard stuff. But to your credit you tell it well and elevate it to something better through your characters and what they say. Both guys felt like normal, everyday Joes, out to make a quick buck.

Good job, James.

Col.


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James R
Posted: August 18th, 2009, 2:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Howard. Good to hear from you again!


Quoted from colkurtz8
I really liked the rapport between the two guys here, very Clerks-ish, plenty of wisecracks and ridiculing of customers, much like where I worked.

That's funny because a lot of what is written here was taken from my own experience working in a juice bar. The mall they work in is very similar to the one I worked in.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Well written, just a bit too on the nose is all.

Yeah, I tried to write Tim in as being into the deal from the start, but this conversation leading him to want to get more into the life of a thief because of Zach's glamorization of it.

They pair weren't supposed to be long-time friends, that's the only way Zach could be a closet thief and not have Tim know about it. Maybe I could throw something in there to make that more obvious.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Overall, I felt this was an average story.

Ouch. Yeah, I know, not exactly groundbreaking material here but it was a good exercise and a good way to reminisce about the good old days but make them more exciting than they actually were. This is one of the reasons we write, yeah?

Thanks for the read and review, it's always good to hear from you.

James


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colkurtz8
Posted: August 18th, 2009, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
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James

"Ouch. Yeah, I know, not exactly groundbreaking material here but it was a good exercise and a good way to reminisce about the good old days but make them more exciting than they actually were. This is one of the reasons we write, yeah?
"

-- I completely agree, man, my "Clubcard" script contains similar elements. Apologies for my "average" comment looking at it now, it read differently to what I actually meant. I like the story but I guess I found it it a little formulaic or typical. As in it was "your average story" as opposed to "an average story" if you get what I mean. Very well told, contained all the dramatic elements and a twist conclusion its just we've all seen similar set-ups like these before.

Keep up the good work.

Col.


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James R
Posted: August 19th, 2009, 9:38am Report to Moderator
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Hey, no apologies among friends, right?


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