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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  Reaparations Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 11:33pm Report to Moderator
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Reaparations by Will Ball (albinopenguin) - Short - Six months after the Civil War's conclusion, Colonel Henry Gibbs receives a visitor he never expected. 15 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (1 edits)
SimplyScripts  -  December 24th, 2011, 4:49pm
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TheSecond
Posted: December 22nd, 2011, 11:49pm Report to Moderator
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Very well done Will, right up to the end..!  

Of all the endings you could of designed, this would of been last on my list!!  lol...  

Good job.  
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dogglebe
Posted: December 23rd, 2011, 12:24am Report to Moderator
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I remember this script from a OWC.  I don't remember the original version well enough to compare the two versions.

I thought this dragged out a bit.  Amos spent an entire page quote a Bible passage?  Way too long!  The fact that Amos was able to even read/quote the Bible is historically inaccurate.  It was actually illegal to teach a Black person to read or write.  He would've been killed just for being literate.

The ending just cut off to abruptly.  It just ended... that it.  This kind of ending sometimes work when it's a sudden shocker.  That boat sailed off about two pages earlier.

Reconsider how you introduce your characters:


Quoted Text
A lanky man with a grizzled face and burly mustache sits at a table. He wears a gray confederate uniform and cuts a piece of steak with a spoon and fork. This is COLONEL HENRY
GIBBS (50’s).


is a little awkward.  Try it this way:


Quoted Text
COLONEL HENRY GIBBS (50s) sits at a table. A lanky man with a grizzled face and burly mustache, he wears a gray confederate uniform and cuts a piece of steak with a spoon and fork.


Naming your characters first provides an anchor when you introduce them.


Phil


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CoopBazinga
Posted: December 23rd, 2011, 12:58am Report to Moderator
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Hey Will,

This is well written and is a very interesting story with an ending i never saw coming, i think you did a great job of keeping it mysterious throughout.

There's not much to complain about, just the continues at the top and bottom of the pages and the first intro of Henry which Phil has already mentioned. I think i'm being picky really.

I really enjoyed the scene at the dining table, it felt very tense and i think you captured the mood perfectly.

A great read, good work!

Merry Christmas.

Steve
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marnieml
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 3:00am Report to Moderator
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Pg. 2 - steak...not stake

Pg. 6/7 - maybe find a way to condense the bible story.  Interesting, but went on a tad long IMO.

Pg. 7 - Henry shoots Amos while Eli is on his lap?  This makes he REALLY not like Henry.

***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***SPOILERS***SPOILERS
Whoa...didn't see that ending coming.  LOL.  I like the idea but feel it could have been executed better.  Just having that come totally out of the blue made the ending lose impact.  There was no foreshadowing...no clue in their demeanor...I think we need something.  Maybe something Henry's wife says.  And then something in the flashback that would show some feelings...depth to their relationship.  They way its written now, you're just telling us.  Make us feel sorry for their situation.  As we know from Brokeback that can be heartbreaking.  I cry every single time I watch that movie.

Good idea though.  Hope you work on it some more.  


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: December 26th, 2011, 1:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Will,

Good to see a new draft of this on the boards.
I remember reading it was part of challenge, I think.

I don't recall details of the previous draft much though.

Your pages moves along nicely until the Bible telling business.
It grinds to a meticulously worded halt during those passages.
I feel like when things are picking up is when we get hit with Bible class.

P. 9  Seems Amos's death threat removes dilemma for Henry.
       It's just a matter of choosing his family or himself.
       Is it really necessary to go the ultimatum route so fast?
       I think making it more of an emotional dilemma adds tension.

Shooting at Amos with Eli on his lap seems a bit much.
It tips Henry's hand that he's not what he appears to be.

Overall, pretty good stuff.
I'd like more veiled emotional dilemma than twisty surprise.

Regards,
E.D.


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albinopenguin
Posted: December 27th, 2011, 2:57am Report to Moderator
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hey everyone! first and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you! you guys are crazy awesome for reading/commenting and your advice is invaluable.

my apologies for the delayed reply. damn holidays got it the way.

TheSecond...so glad you liked it! i was hoping people would react to the script the way you did. really appreciate the read.

doggle...would you suggest that i cut the bible bit out in its entirety? i thought it added a bit of depth to the script since Amos' name is well Amos (and has some meaning behind it). which is also why i didn't reveal his name until the very end. however, i definitely had a problem writing that bit. it felt blocky and forced to me. any tips? in addition, you might have solved a little dilemma i faced while explaining the story. i couldn't come up with a sufficient way of explaining why amos was still alive at the camp. maybe if i threw in something about him being able to read i could actually use it to explain why he's of use to the south. i'll meddle on it for sure. as for the ending, i kept it because it reinforces the line "He's just some dead n igger" which was uttered in the first half. but i agree that the ending trails a bit. would you suggest that i cut it completely? thanks doggle, i REALLY appreciate your help. i always learn something when you comment on my scripts.

Merry Christmas to you too Steve! and thanks for the read. glad you enjoyed it as well. the continued thing is actually a result of using celtx. i love the program, but agree that it can be a bit of an annoyance. that's what you get when you use free software haha thanks man!

g od f ucking d ammit marnieml! i could have sworn i fixed the "stake" mistake in my original draft, but it looks like i wrote the same damn thing in the second draft as well haha thanks for pointing that out. i definitely agree with what you're saying. any suggestions on how i could foreshadow things a bit more without giving too much away? that always seems to be my struggle. i either say too much or don't say enough about a short's ending. thanks for reading!

and ED. thanks for reading my work throughout the months. seriously, all of your hard work and support is really appreciated. do you think i should remove the bible bits as well? or condense them? i'm having a hard time integrating the story into the script. i can't figure out where i want to put it. but it does reveal an interesting story about Amos' name. perhaps i could put it in the second scene? maybe amos could talk to henry about a bible story he read? i definitely agree with what you're saying as well. how could i achieve the same results without giving Henry an ultimatum? or are you saying i should delay the ultimatum? as you said, i want to build suspense but i don't want it to drag. just if you think of something off the top of your head.

thanks again guys! hope you all had a great holiday


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James McClung
Posted: December 27th, 2011, 1:16pm Report to Moderator
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Yo Will. Sorry I didn't get back to you about this earlier.

I think the story's still pretty good. There are a few things I didn't pick up on last time that I should've mentioned to you but possibly missed with other things distracting me.

For example, the whole "no knives" bit. At first, this seemed kinda interesting. But the second time around, I could only think how are you supposed to eat a steak without a knife? How could someone even cook a steak that you could eat without a knife? I've been vegetarian for most of my life but the two steaks I've even in my life (this was last year) damn sure needed a knife. Quite unreasonable. I'd consider removing this and starting with Henry criticizing his wife's cooking.

Also, why is Henry in full uniform? If it's for the sake of keeping his diary on him, it's not necessary. Given the secrets in the diary, I'm pretty sure he'd carry it on his person at all times. He doesn't need to keep it in the same clothes.

Finally, the "Just some dead nigger" line should only be spoken, initially, by Amos. Given the situation, it's a strange thing for Henry to say. I'm not sure it'd even come out on impulse. If it were just Amos who says it, it'd make Henry's delivery at the end much stronger.

Anyway, onto the new stuff. I liked the detour to the slave quarters. It upped the tension a little bit, especially in that Henry isn't in the immediate vicinity to protect his family.

Amos's bible stuff, I'm a little on the fence about. This is clearly stuff you know a lot about, as opposed to material you researched, and thus adds some authenticity to the story. I suppose there's some context to be found in it as well. At the same time, it ups the scale a little bit and makes Henry and Amos's dialogue/confrontation less intimate. I'd condense it, for sure. Make sure the message gets across, first and foremost, but also be selective about which words carry the most poignance. I think it'll benefit you to do so.

Anyway, I thought the second run came off as pretty good. Keep at it.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from albinopenguin

and ED. thanks for reading my work throughout the months. seriously, all of your hard work and support is really appreciated. do you think i should remove the bible bits as well? or condense them? i'm having a hard time integrating the story into the script. i can't figure out where i want to put it. but it does reveal an interesting story about Amos' name. perhaps i could put it in the second scene? maybe amos could talk to henry about a bible story he read? i definitely agree with what you're saying as well. how could i achieve the same results without giving Henry an ultimatum? or are you saying i should delay the ultimatum? as you said, i want to build suspense but i don't want it to drag. just if you think of something off the top of your head.

thanks again guys! hope you all had a great holiday


Hey Will,

I think Amos paraphrasing the Bible would be less intrusive to the read.
Also gives you license as a writer to spice up that dialogue.

I typically rail against ultimatums in scripts. I make myself employ free will.
Who's to say that Henry doesn't genuinely regret what he did?
Why not have him struggle with his shame in front of his family?
That "reveal" of the forbidden love is like peeling an onion.
I'm more attracted to the unfolding horror than a twisty end surprise.
Imagine his proclivities being revealed in front of his family.

That kind of conflict and emotional battlefield serves the characters well, IMO.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
E.D.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 5th, 2012, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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Will

Glad to return the read. I vaguely remember this from the OWC but I think you have changed a few things.

A few comments, most of which have been raised;

Establishing shot - is it ok to use this in the slug? this is more of a question as I don't know. I always assume that the ES was just the name given to a scene that sets it up rather than being named. Always worth asking.
Uniform - yeah I couldn't see why he wears this if over, why not on the wall, or a picture of him in it, proud.
Spoons - does this work? Yes we find out he used a knife at the end and this sets up the issue of what's wrong with knives, but I wasn't sure it added. Humm, maybe.
Stake - ok it's being pointed out before, I just want to prove I read it!!
When inside the building could you not use minin slugs when changing rooms rather than having INT, there seemed a couple which could be shortened
Bible - I like the tone, not the length. Not sure we need the whole story. Maybe he could refer to Henry giving him the bible and helping him read, a foreshadow of what's to come?
Kill yourself - does he promise to kill himself as Amos says he did?
I like the twist - maybe it has reality problems but I still liked it and I liked the why he kills him and how he changes the story from outside to inside.
I assume Amos is dead and a ghost - if so does this need to be clearer as it could be that he is just injured, having said that I remember the part of his shoulder going, so that probably does it. At first I thought Henry was a ghost in his old inform and with dust on the table.

All the best.


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albinopenguin
Posted: January 10th, 2012, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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James, ED, Reef Dreamer, thank you SO much for all of your input.

James, we already spoke on the phone a bit, but to paraphrase my words again, thank you for the incredibly solid advice. I'll probably change all of those things in the rewrite.

Reef, thank you for elaborating on your previous points. I totally get what you're saying now and I'm sure I can elevate this script to a whole new level because of your approach.

Hey Reef, really appreciate you putting your time into the boards. i love the idea of having a picture of the colonel over a mantle or something like that. and yeah, i think i'm going to ditch the whole knife thing. and I agree with the bible thing. i think i might move that bit to the end instead. interesting about the ghost bit. i originally wrote this for the october OWC where having a ghost was a requirement (which you entered...and won i believe correct?). i kind of dig the fact that you werent sure if Amos was a ghost or not. a little bit of vagueness can add some mystery to a script.

thanks again guys!


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KlinkJason
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Not much to say that hasn't already been said. I don't know, you have to ask yourself this question, "Is this entertaining enough to be a movie?" Personally, I don't think so. I found the characters lackluster and unlikeable.

Basically, you have a sleazy slave and some A**-grabbing hobo, Confederate Colonel (where you find out remains in confederate uniform for six months after the Civil War) going Brokeback Mountain on each other, while A**-grabbing hobo's fat and ugly wife who can't cook for s*** remained at home during the Civil War. But it's not until a flashback you find out the two conspicuous men are homos. Why would I like any of these people? I couldn't care less if Henry slit his wrists... or if there was any other negative outcome to the protagonists.

Too much dialogue, and you don't have to have "CONTINUED:" on the top and bottom of each page.
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dogglebe
Posted: February 6th, 2012, 12:24am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from KlinkJason
Basically, you have a sleazy slave and some A**-grabbing hobo, Confederate Colonel (where you find out remains in confederate uniform for six months after the Civil War)


Kinda like some New England fans will still wear their Patriot jerseys next week.

Yeah.  I said that!


Phil


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Jahon Bahrom
Posted: February 6th, 2012, 1:39am Report to Moderator
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Hi Will.
I think it would be an expansive short to make. I don't get it a black litarate man in 19th century USA? plush gay? Who also loves his master?
p-6 last line you mean the day of the Lord is NIGHT? High? My? or nigh?
p10- keels over. You mean Kneels over?

Hope it helped
Jahon.
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albinopenguin
Posted: February 6th, 2012, 2:17am Report to Moderator
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although i appreciate the read klink, i can't help but detect a hint of homophobia in your reply. to address your concerns, i do agree, the characters in this short aren't very likable. but i'm okay with that. i didn't want to write likable characters for this. given the colonel's actions, how could he be likable? the only one you should feel bad for is eli. characters aren't completely evil or completely holy. they're in between. furthermore, they're layered. and for this short, i wanted my characters to struggle with the decisions they made in the past. regardless, i appreciate the read. oh and the "continues" are the result of writing on celtx. you get what you pay for.

awesome remark dogglebe. very pleased with tonight's game.

hey Jahon, I think you meant "expensive." And yes, the concept is a bit far fetched and I'm hoping to explain a few things in the rewrite. but i don't think the situation is impossible. i could go into a whole S&M type relationship, but i wanted amos and henry's relationship to be somewhat normal (and not over the top). and i never said that henry was amos' master. he was just a POW. i'm leaving that explanation up to the reader. all those spellings are correct. KJV for the win. thanks for the read.


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