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The 1+6 Week Challenge script are up! (have been up for a bit). Read them here!
Remembrance by Simon Lewis (niles crane) - Short, Drama - Gina meets the elderly Rose, who has been waiting for her sweetheart to return as he promised he would - in 1915, when he went to fight in the First War. 11 pages - pdf, format
First I have to say that I enjoyed this script. It is a story about longing and lost love. I also liked the transition into the past. A nice story.
The sudden shift from the train station to the bedroom on page 2 is confusing at first. Correct me if I am wrong, you are trying to show that Rose is dying before she meets Gina? So this is a continuity issue here. I assume the bedroom scene happens BEFORE the script starts but the audience has no way of telling that. I think it's better to introduce Rose just as Gina goes into the train station.
You also overwrote the description of the train station. The first few paragraphs on page 1 is all you need to setup the atmosphere. You don't need to repeat them when Gina arrives at the station. Especially between page 3 and 4 where most of the writing is about how the station looks.
Who is your protagonist? Gina? But she is very passive and the story is not really about her. Rose? I would want to know more about her backstory.
I liked the ending where you showed us that both Jack and Rose died and now they are together on the ship......I mean, train.
Anyway, a nice read.
Memwipe - Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
You have read my script so I am returning the favor. Okay, well I liked it. I thhink you articulated your vision well. I enjoy it when a writer takes the time to describe his world in detail. So many writers are lazy, and afraid to be detailed oriented.
Your scene transitions were really smooth. Even when we jumped from the past to the present, I never felt like it was jarring.
The dialogue was nice. It is actable movie dialogue. Short, sweet and to the point.
I wasn't crazy for the names. Jack and Rose around WW1 period resembles too much of Titanic (although the ship sunk a couple years before the outbreak of world war 1).
Maybe this was your intention, but I didn't care for this choices myself. As a result of the names, I felt it personafied some of the dialogue with the Movie Titanic.
IMO a few of the characters didn't feel like they served much of a purpose in the story. One being the doctor and the other Gina's boyfriend.
For me, the story was about Rose and Jack. The Gina and Sam relationship doesn't succeed in winning my attention as important. It's just there.
One question I had. Why does Gina get absorbed in Roses's fantasy. Did her spirit transend from this universe into some parallel universe?
If there was more of a connection between Rose and Gina, you might be able to explain how they have such a strong subconcious link.
The picture gimmick reminded me about my short. It seems to be the trend these days.
Overall I'm not going to tell you it needs work, because I think you wrote what you wanted. So good job.
Hi simon. I didn't realise you had another short up - I saw your post on another thread. Wow, another very good piece of work - I really like all your stuff. I'm a huge fan of time travel, parallel worlds and what might have been. Even though your concepts are different, you add that dreamy quality to your work.
I didn't have a real problem with the formatting here. It was obvious Gina was going to experience the 1915 scenes once she entered the old station. The only thing was Sam's abrupt about face. I know that was the certain ending in keeping with the overall sentiment. Maybe have him actually come looking for her or something. Also, is the initial scene with the doctor in a hospital or rose's house? A slug saying HOSPITAL ROOM would give better info IMHO. anyway another great short! Well done.
PS have u read any of Connie Willis's books? She does great time travel. 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' is brilliant and i read it every few years. cheers
OK, Simon, just finished. First off (off the track here), what does “Niles Crane” mean? Originally, I thought your name was Niles, but now I see it’s Simon. I’m going to go with Simon, if that’s OK.
Since you agreed to an exchange, I decided to give you one of my more in depth reads and reviews. It’s going to be a double post, so get ready. I took page by page notes, which will account for the majority of this review, but I do want to throw out my general feelings about the script, story, etc.
I like the story. As Stevie said, I definitely like time travel/time shift stories. They’re cool, fun, and allow just about anything to happen, which opens up all kinds of possibilities.
You’ve done a lot in 11 pages, and at the same time, you’ve done a lot by doing very little, in terms of actual story. That’s actually a compliment, cause it’s not an easy thing to accomplish.
This story is very moving, and I like the way you wove 2 stories together, and basically turned them into 1 story. This is all tough stuff to pull off, and story-wise, you did a great job.
Writing-wise, there are numerous issues, which I noted in my page by page notes. Biggest issues are repetitive writing, over description, passive verbiage, and novelistic writing, including, but not limited to unfilmables and asides.
As I said, I took very detailed notes here and I think I caught just about every single mistake/typo/etc. Sorry if it seems negative and picky, but I’m just trying to help by pointing these things out.
Overall, you did a nice job with this and seem to be on your way as a screenwriter. Lots to learn though, and that learning never stops. Hope this helps.
Page by page notes:
Page 1 – “and that boarding itself has been smashed in by vandals. There is graffiti scrawled across the walls.” – A little too much description here, IMO. I know this could be conveyed with fewer words.
“The track went years ago, and the undergrowth has now taken over, reaching and exceeding the height of the platform.” – Same thing here. Don’t get me wrong, I think you are painting a vivid picture here, but with only 11 pages of total text, this is going a bit overboard.
Good transition with the silence, then old music, but again, just too wordy for such a short short.
“GINA, late 20s, is at the wheel, crying, taking no care whatsoever of her driving.” – Kind of awkwardly worded, and way too passive, with 2 “ing” verbs in a row.
If this is indeed Gina’s home, put it in the Slug itself and save your self some valuable space.
“We’ve both known for it was over for a while now. And...” – First “for” needs to be removed.
Page 2 -
“Then she runs up the stairs and we hear her banging doors open.” – I don’t think you should start sentences off with “then”, or similar words. No reason really for using them. Also, absolutely no reason for the “we hear”. It should be an O.S. sound or whatever, in this case. Finally, again, the passive verb, “banging” can so easily be changed to the active tense.
“She stands again, staring at the machine. She plays the message again, tears running down her face.” – OK, last time I’ll bring this stuff up. Way too much passive verbiage going on, especially so early and frequent. It really detracts from the read..
“On this we” – Completely wasted line with this kind of stuff. Absolutely no reason for it, or anything like it. My advice is to get out of this habit quickly, if not sooner.
“Gina, who was not wearing her seat belt,…” – This is an aside here, unless you intended to “show” that Gina wasn’t wearing her seatbelt, which you didn’t. Know what I’m saying?
Page 3 – What kind of clothing is Gina wearing, in that she has a handkerchief in a pocket? Just doesn’t ring true at all. Men “used” to have handkerchiefs in their pocket, women don’t, as far as I know. I’d have her pull something from her purse, or the glove compartment.
“She looks at it and realises there is no way that she will be able to get it out of the ditch herself.” – Another unfilmable aside here. No way anyone would get this from what would be on film, thus, it’s a waste of space here. Also, “realises” should be “realizes”.
“She hears through it a sound - like distant music. Apart from this, it is not picking up a signal.” – Awkwardly written with “it” used twice. It needs a rewrite for sure!
Next 2 sentences have 2 more examples of “it”. Just doesn’t read well or sound right.
“(what would have been the waiting room)” – Another completely useless aside here that no one will ever pick up in a filmed version.
“Gina stands in what was once the waiting room of the station. The roof has long since collapsed in, and rain pours through, so she is little better off inside than out.” – OK, here we go again…You’ve already mentioned this waiting room that was once there, and it’s still completely unnecessary. The last part about her being little better off, is again, an aside that isn’t doing anything except taking up space.
Next paragraph is once again, over descriptive and repetitive writing. You’re being way too visual and it’s seriously bogging the read down. This sort of detail is not at all important.
Page 4 – First 2 sentence under the new Slug are once again repetitive and full of asides. You’ve got to clean these things up and get out of this habit. You are over describing mundane, useless details, but under describing more important things (like the car crash, which seemed to happen in a spilt second of film time).
“In the distance there is heard a series of loud retorts, like artillery fire - or thunder. Gina looks off in the direction that the sound has come from.” – You used almost 3 full lines to write this, when in reality, it shouldn’t be much more than 1. “there is heard” – lose it!
“…a elderly woman.” – “a” should be “an”. Actually, you could (and probably should) just re-intro Rose here, as apposed to “an elderly woman”. It would save you 3 lines, and look cleaner.
“typically” – should be “typical”.
“seem” and “seems” are usually wasted words in a script. I’d recommend staying away from them.
“It sinks in that Rose is sitting in a dry patch warmed by the sun, on a platform currently being drenched by the rain.” – You are writing this like it’s a book. You need to simply write what’s taking place on screen, not what characters are thinking, etc. This is once again, way overwritten.
“Slowly, as this scene unfolds, the dry area expands, and the station begins to look as it once did when it was open and in use.” – This is a tough one here. I understand what you’re gong for, but you have to understand, once again, that this is not a novel, and you cannot write it as such. We’ve never seen this station when it was in use, so the description you’re using really is useless. Know what I’m saying?
Page 5 – Need to insert “a” between “have” and “concussion”.
“Mt name is Rose.” – Obviously, “Mt” should be “My”.
“Rose has been largely ignoring Gina’s conversation, looking mistily into the distance.” – This line again is something you’d find in a novel, not a screenplay. Just write what is taking place on screen. Period. Do you see what I’m talking about here?
Page 6 – “The inside of the station now looks as it would have done a few years before.” – Really awkwardly written. I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say here.
POV shots – IMO, the only time for a POV shot is when the “angle” or “view” is different than what you’d get with a normal shot. This is no different whatsoever, so it’s unnecessary.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Page 7 – Slug – Keep in mind that nothing written in your slug, transfers to the screen. Thus, using “1915” here doesn’t really do anything. If you want this to be known, you’d need a SUPER.
“The waiting room is now full of people in the dress of 1915 - older men, women, children but no young men. They are talking, a couple of women are crying and being comforted by the men. The sound of their conversation is muffled, as if heard through cotton wool.” – OK, you never want to go over 4 lines of prose. This paragraph is 5 lines. The first sentence is also awkwardly written, with the hyphen thing in there. The 2nd sentence has issues, in that, among other things, it’s a run-on, based on the opening and use of a comma, which doesn’t read well or sound right. Needs some work overall in this paragraph.
“We now see…” – Again, stay away from using “we see”…no reason in the world for this type of stuff.
“uniform” should be “uniforms”
Page 8 – “Gina sees them…” – This is another common mistake I see a lot. The entire scene so far has not included Gina in it. Why throw this in all of a sudden? Do you really want the shot to show Gina looking at them, or do you actually just want the shot to be of “them”? I would think the latter, but it’s up to you. Interesting, though, if you think about it.
“Gina walks up to them and cane hear them clearly, as they are not muffled like the rest of those on the platform.” – Same issue here. First of all, “cane” should be “can”. But in reality, do we really need the part about Gina being able to hear them? If they’re talking, or whatever, we will hear them, and that’s what counts. If you’re having trouble understanding where I’m going with these types of comments, let me know, and I’ll clarify it for you.
“You don’t what will happen.” – Need to insert “know” between “don’t” and “what”.
“much steam” “much goodbyes” – No need to for either “much”. Also, say away from using “begins”. In a script, people either do something, or they don’t. They don’t begin to do things.
Page 9 – “The scene fades away.” – I’d recommend just using a classic “Fade” as a transition here, as apposed to writing it in the text.
“And the rain Gina and Rose stand in the downpour.” – Needs to be rewritten. I can’t even tell what this is supposed to be saying.
“The rain begins to stop.” – Here is a perfect example of why using “begins” doesn’t work.
Page 10 – “They move away from the bed, and for the first time we see a sepia photograph in a frame beside the bed - Jack and the Young Rose, he in his uniform.” – Awkwardly written, and the “wee see” needs to be removed.
“Gina looks at the phone. Sam’s voice can be heard as he continues to talk, but we cannot make out the words.” – You know the drill by now. Also, “he” should be “she”.
“Gina looks up at where the train once stood. And switches the mobile off. She puts it back in her pocket and turns round and leaves the platform.” – 2nd sentence is a fragment that should be attached to the 1st sentence with a comma. “round” should be “around”. Over written as well.
This new Slug on the very bottom of the page is going to be an issue, without using a SUPER. No one, and I mean NO ONE will have a clue where we are in a filmed version.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Thanks Stevie and Jeff for the reads - especially the latter for this in-depth review. (I should say that I got your PM at almost 11 at night our time, so will do a return read on "Screwed" later today - which is tomorrow for you! Time Zones, eh? I want to do it justice anyway after you went to this much trouble).
First off, Niles Crane. I needed a username when I signed up, and as I am often told that I remind people of him (I think it is the silk ties!) and am a big fan of "Frasier" it seemed appropriate. As there is a writer in the UK called Simon Lewis, I have also adopted it for writing purposes, at least for now. I have no desire to be famous and having a pen name has always been my intention (this is just the latest).
As you both mention it - the scene at the start is set at an old people's home - originally, Megan would mention that Rose was a valued resident or somesuch, but in the end just forgot!
|Again thank you for your long list of comments, Jeff - it is really very much appreciated, and yes I do believe that we are always learning as writers (unlike some I might mention) - so I welcome all comments. Even if I disagree with what is said at least I know that someone has taken the time to say it!
To respond to a few of the comments - I mention that Gina is not wearing her seatbelt because in the UK wearing seatbelts is compulsory and so I wanted to make sure the reader knew she wasn't - I realise it might be a bit clunky, but I felt it was necessary.
Again, I can't speak for Arizona, but here I know plenty of women who have hankies in their trouser pockets. I tend to avoid descriptions of what people are wearing unless it is necessary (same for people themselves, even though I know that Gina is a brunette as I could see her in my head, it wasn't important to the story) - but I see that here I should have made it more clear where you got the hankie from.
Re "Uniform"/"Uniforms" - my way is correct (as is yours!) - British speak slightly differently to Americans! It is normal for us to refer to a group of soldiers in uniform, rather than a group in uniforms. Actually, looking at your comments I realised a problem would have been the use of contractions such as "don't" in 1915! She would have said "You do not know" in all likelihood.
Again, thanks for taking the time to do this Jeff - I will try to do as good a job with yours! If you check out the "Neon" thread, you will see that I had to break my review into four segments because it was so long, covering almost 80 points (ironically, I complain of his of some of the things you complain of in mine!).
Bit thin on descriptions these characters. I've a vivid image of the locations but I've got idea what the characters look like. Help me out here fella.
I see you've already been told off about 'begins to' so I won't repeat.
However I do know you're English so I'll just confirm that we spell it 'realise'.
Quoted from Rememberance
On this we CUT TO
I don't think you need it as it doesn't add anything of value.
Quoted from Rememberance
realises there is no way that she will be able to get it out of the ditch herself.
You've already had this mentioned but I reiterate for the craic. I know what you mean here. I also know a half decent actress would be more than happy and capable of showing this. However, you need to help us out as we can't yet see the actress. I'd say "She stares folornly at the car's position in the ditch She looks up to the road then shakes her head. She climbs up towards the road.'
That type of thing should do it.
Asfor the time frames I'm not sure you do need a Super as you've set two very different times in the same locale. I'd say any director worth his salt could convey this quite easily by showing us rather than telling. As Rose also changes I can't see a problem there.
Nice little story Simon. It needs a little more of something, I'm not sure what. What's the connection between Gina and Rose, apart from lost love? Is there something else I'm missing?
I'd say you could tighten some of it up a little, say more with less words. Other than that very enjoyable.