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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  She Knows Tom Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: July 21st, 2011, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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She Knows Tom by Will Ball (albinopenguin) - Short, Drama, Sci Fi -  A woman tries to leave for work, but her daughter protests.  8 pages - pdf, format


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 22nd, 2011, 12:37am Report to Moderator
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thanks Don for putting this up. to be completely honest the logline sucks A** but oh well. i wanted the reader to go in fresh


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James McClung
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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This is a change for you, Will. It's not a sketch nor is it Opposite Sex. I dare say you've sold out.

Seriously though, a pretty straightforward short that does what a short's supposed to, more or less. A few plot devices (the dog, space shuttle, etc.) make for a not-so-easy production but I won't harp on that because scripts written exclusively for an easy production tend to be not great. Still, your ending does need a little more punch. I was half expecting the shuttle to explode, given the warning earlier on. You don't have to go that root at all but like a joke, shorts need a punchline. A cinematic punchline if you will.

That's about it. You could always beef up the story some but for all intents and purposes, your "normal" short is a success.


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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hey James, thanks SO much for the read. im not going to lie, i totally sold out on this one. i wanted to write something a little more conventional and less daring. plus i wanted to prove that i was capable of writing something that is a little more reflective of what you'd see on the boards.

question for you. are you suggesting that i show the ship exploding? by having the TV announcer say that its the challenger, the audience knows that it will explode. are you saying that i should actually show it blowing up?

furthermore, by revealing that it's the challenger, the audience realizes why the sketch is set in the 80's, why it's so cold out (it was an uncommonly cold day in florida when the challenger exploded. plus scientist believe the cold weather was a factor in the disaster since it messed with the ship's o-rings), and what the big deal is over the teddy bear dressed up as a teacher (a teacher was actually on the challenger because she had won a nation wide contest. she had no knowledge of space exploration). i think my other question is, did you realize that she was an astronaut before it was revealed at the end? this is something else i wanted to stay hidden until the very end (because it completely alters the meaning of the first scene where the mom is saying goodbye).

there's also an explanation for who allison is talking to, but i dont want to reveal that quite yet. it might be too subtle.

thanks SO much for your help james!


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James McClung
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 4:30pm Report to Moderator
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I actually didn't know the history of the Challenger. Apparently, I'm in the minority on this one. Never mind what I said. I think you're good, so long as people know what you're talking about.


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Heretic
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS

I don't get it.  What's the point?

The whole thing's just a build-up to the punchline, and the punchline doesn't really inform or further the story.

I dunno, that's really all I can say.  The writing's fine.  The characters are fine.  What's the point?


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
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gotchya. did you suspect that she was an astronaut before the final scene? just curious haha


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 4:53pm Report to Moderator
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hey heretic,

thanks for the read. would you mind elaborating a bit? the reveal at the end really furthers the story and sheds light on all of the scenes before it.

the reader doesnt know that deb is a member of the challenger exploration until the very end. that tidbit alone effects the entire story before it.

sorry, just curious as to what you mean. thanks again for reading!


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Heretic
Posted: July 23rd, 2011, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Will,

It totally does further the plotline, yeah.  But what is the story?  That some people died on the Challenger, and some people didn't, because of God (or benevolent aliens, or whatever)?

We don't get any sense of whether Deb deserved to be saved, or why she might be, or why she might not be, or why whatever the otherworldly power chose to focus on this one person.  More so, we don't get any sense of what the implications are if God (I'm just gonna go with God for now) does exist, or any particular argument for why God exists, or whatever.  

The way I see it, the story is this: God saves someone.  Well, if God exists, it saves people all the time.  So who cares?  What's important about the story is why she's saved.  Or...what's important about the story might be something else.  But if what's important about the story is that the story assumes God exists...well, who cares?

Does that make sense?  I may have missed something/everything.



Revision History (1 edits)
Heretic  -  July 24th, 2011, 6:56am
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CindyLKeller
Posted: July 24th, 2011, 5:47am Report to Moderator
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Hi Will,



SPOILERS




I, for one, never thought she was an astronaut till the end. I was caught off guard. I had forgotten the name of the space shuttle, too... so

for the end, especially for those who may not remember, you may want to have the announcer say something about it being the first with a teacher on board as well as us hear the explosion.

My two cents.

Cindy


Read

A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
Logline: After finding each other, a pair of aspiring country music singers must learn how to let go of their pasts in order to embrace their future. "

TINA DARLING - 101 page Comedy
Logline: When the new girl's actions threaton the job she loves in novelty sales, Tina and the boss' Step-daughter turn detective and bumble their way to the discovery of a corporate takeover.
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albinopenguin
Posted: July 26th, 2011, 3:32pm Report to Moderator
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Heretic, thank you so much for the explanation. That TOTALLY makes sense. i feel as though i've brought the what, but now i have to figure out the why. doing this could give my characters greater depth. furthermore, i need to figure out what im trying to say to my audience with this one. theres only one thing that no one has caught onto yet. and that's who tom is and where he comes from.

and Cindy, thank you SO much for the suggestion. its brilliant and I'm going to add that in the rewrite. i wouldnt expect the average person to know that a teacher was aboard the challenger unless they lived through the event. i myself had no idea until doing some research.

thanks everyone!


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Dreamscale
Posted: July 26th, 2011, 4:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Will, I had a few extra minutes on my hands, so I did a little editing for you.  A number of these mistakes take place multiple times, but I only listed things once, maybe twice.

I don’t really see what you’re script is really about or what you’re trying to say.  If the shuttle exploded on liftoff, I think there would be more of a message here, but since it doesn’t, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to get from this.

There is something interesting and even eerie about this, but I don’t think it’s developed enough, or clear enough.

Hope this helps.  Take care.

EDIT - Just read the other reviews, as well as your response.  I didn't get that this was supposed to be based on a real event, and I'm not sure most will either.  There are hints here and there, but IMO, you might as well make it 100% clear what it is you're setting up here.

Page 1 – “They illuminate a little girl’s beroom and lay gently on
several pieces of eighties paraphernalia.” – “bedroom”.  Also, the entire sentence is extremely awkward and I actually don’t even know what it’s supposed to be saying.

“keds” - ?  As in “Keds” sneakers?  If so, needs to be capped.

“Beneath her Smurf bedsheets, ALLIE (6) lays wide awake.” – “bed sheets”.  “lays” – “lies”.  The entire sentence is awkwardly phrased.

“I did just like you said Tom.” – You need a comma between “said” and “Tom”.  Pretty much always needed when you have a name in dialogue.

“The bedroom DOORKNOB turns. A frizzy haired woman with gaudy
makeups pokes her head inside the room. This is DEB (40’s).” – Why is “DOORKNOB” capped?  “makeups” – “makeup”.  Awkwardly phrased.  No reason not to intro Deb immediately, as opposed to calling her “a frizzy haired woman” – complete waste of space.

“It’s six AM in the morning.” – Awkward!  Obviously, AM means morning, so no reason to have both in this line.

Get rid of the “CONTINUED” on the top and bottom of each page!

Page 2 – “Tom isn’t real baby.” – Same deal as above dialogue.  In this case “baby” is the name and every time you have a name in dialogue, you’ll need to set it off with a comma.  SO, you need a comma between “real” and “baby”.  GENERAL NOTE – There are many more instances of this same problem throughout the script, which I’m not bringing up anymore.

Page 4 – “Deb rides passenger while CHARLES (40’s) drives on a
highway. Both are bundled in sweaters and sweat pants despite the tropical vegetation which whizzes by the vehicle.” – AWKWARD!  “on a highway” is very awkwardly placed.  “which whizzes by the vehicle” is awkward.

Page 5 – “A metal dog CAGE sits amongst pieces of living room
furniture.” – Awkward.

“lab” – “Lab”

“Andrew lays…” – “Andrew lies…”

“…and into –“ and “…and enters the-“ – these are both transitions that lead into a Mini Slug, not a full Slug.  So, instead of the full Slugs you used, just use, “HALLWAY” and “LIVING ROOM” – No time periods necessary in Minis.

Page 6 – You have “(continued)” showing up as a wrylie in Charles’ dialogue, which is incorrect.

GENERAL NOTE – Since this Lab has a name (Maxi), you should intro him as that immediately and continue calling him that, as opposed to lab or whatever.

Page 7 – “Through the window of her room, there is a docked SPACE SHUTTLE in the distance, ready for liftoff.” – Very awkwardly phrased and IMO, very unbelievable.  What hospital is so near the Cape Canaveral area that a shuttle can be seen?  I’d just have this stuff take place on the TV.


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 26th, 2011, 5:22pm Report to Moderator
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hey DS, thank you SO much for these edits. this is infinitely helpful and I'll make sure to incorporate them into the rewrite.

interesting point you make about not getting that it's based on real events (simply because several people are saying the same thing). are people just not aware of the challenger explosion these days? and i totally agree with the hospital being so close to cape canaveral. the only reason i wanted to include it through the window is so that the audience makes the connection and realizes that deb should have been on that shuttle. if anything, it should be way way off in the distance. almost like a spec.

also i should probably relay who tom is. SPOILERS this short was inspired by david bowie's "a space oddity." obviously tom is major tom and the title, "she knows" is lifted right out of the song. i might include more lines from the song into the script to hint at it even more (rather than just have andrew wearing a david bowie t-shrit).

regardless, many thanks for the read.


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Dreamscale
Posted: July 26th, 2011, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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I had a feeling there was a reason why you mentioned the Bowie T shirt, and I am familiar with the song, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together.

I think it's kind of like the whole Challenger thing...people don't know that they're reading something that's supposed to be based on "real" things.  You elude to things and give little clues, but IMO, it's not enough for the majority of peeps to get it.


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 26th, 2011, 5:39pm Report to Moderator
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interesting point. even though i wanted this to have a bit of a surprise at the end, i can certainly see where you're coming from. i didnt want them knowing that this was about the challenger mission or even that deb was an astronaut until the final scene. if the problem persists, i'll experiment with changing the structure. thanks again!


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