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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Twisted Smile Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 19th, 2014, 7:15am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Twisted Smile by Anthony Cawood - Short, Thriller, Dark Thriller - An dangerous old man has the twisted smile wiped from his face by an unexpected source. - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  March 13th, 2017, 10:23am
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Andy JW
Posted: April 19th, 2014, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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I like the concept but I think it could benefit by having a slower build up and more subtle approach.

Maybe it could take a bit longer to realise he's a bad guy. I would let up on Mae's constant use of Frank's name. I know you're employing it as a tool to convey passive-aggression, but I think you should hold off on it until the end when she has him right where she wants him.

I enjoyed the read and the fact that this could be produced for next-to-nothing definitely doesn't hurt your chances of someone picking it up!
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: April 20th, 2014, 5:17am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Andy - appreciate the comments, I'll have a look at the build up an see if there's a different way in.
Thanks Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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LC
Posted: April 20th, 2014, 9:46pm Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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Hi Anthony, and welcome to SS.

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

Starting at the top, I'm not sure the audience is going to know it's a nurse's uniform unless Mum is actually wearing it. And, this would be a better visual imh. And, it would do away with the redundant and plodding 'typical family hallway'. Getting straight to the 'visual' is a good idea, given the medium is film.

I also suggest you do away with: 'Katy's, Mrs Green's Sarah's and Mr Dent's' just have her going to a friend's place would do the trick... and then obviously, she does the complete opposite.

Your actual writing is reading a little too passive i.e., you don't need 'stoops and... ' - 'plants a kiss or kisses her daughter' is fine.

Likewise: Be active i.e., use active verbs to describe both your dialogue and actions:

'Frank pitches forward and finds himself falling onto the
sofa.'

'pitches forward, falls to the floor/falls onto the couch' will suffice. Write what your audience will actually see on screen.

'They’ll just think an old man died
in his sleep.'


Hmm, I'm not sure this would fly. I'm pretty sure post-mortem techniques can easily tell if someone has been suffocated. I think you're going to have to be a little more ingenious or leave that bit out altogether, and ramp up Mae's character i.e.,

They're unlikely to believe a kid would murder... and I think if you develop her character more this would be far more creepy.

I didn't scan carefully for typos, but noticed:'Frank is lo longer' - 'no longer'.

Overall the dialogue throughout needs quite a bit of tweaking as it reads a little awkwardly and repetitive in places.

Right, I'll stop with the fine detail and just say you have managed nicely a creepy vibe with this one but then you unfortunately manage to kill it with it all being too convenient.

It's just all too easy for young Mae to carry out her plan unimpeded. And, at no time am I worried that Mae is ever in any danger from Frank.

Imh, you need to set that up first and then have her turn the tables on him. I think that's what you're going for, isn't it? Also, I think it'd be more effective if Mae was a little younger than 12-13 (btw just choose one age), or if she is this old - make her a little more sophisticated. At the moment her dialogue reads a lot younger... at least to me.

Like I said at the moment your setup is a little too contrived and convenient with Frank, especially the 'tea' scene which is the crux of your whole plot.

'That’s ok, I want to help the
school as much as possible.'


What if he hadn't suggested tea? What if she suggested it and he didn't want it? What was going to happen if her plan didn't work? Did she have another plan?

This is a solid premise and I encourage you to develop it, but you need to be far more inventive imh. Have a look at some clips on youtube for two movies in particular (regarding character) to give you inspiration:

'The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane'. & 'The Bad Seed'

Oh, and a tip - Anthony, read a few 'shorts' from the regulars and give feedback, and they'll respond in kind.

Very much looking forward to reading another draft.



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LC  -  April 21st, 2014, 4:38am
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: April 21st, 2014, 11:43am Report to Moderator
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Thanks LC - really apreciate the great feedback and thanks for taking the time to go through the script and providing such a great level of constructive criticsm.

I will be ruminating and re-writing over next week or so to try and reflect some of these comments.

Re providing feedback for others/regulars... would love to but feel a little unqualified, I 've not been writing that long and have had nothing prodced yet (thought a couple are in pre). Maybe when I'm not quite so green!


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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LC
Posted: April 21st, 2014, 11:53pm Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Re providing feedback for others/regulars... would love to but feel a little unqualified, I 've not been writing that long and have had nothing prodced yet (thought a couple are in pre). Maybe when I'm not quite so green!


No professional credentials required, Anthony. If you're into writing and film you're more than qualified to give feedback on a script.

Just give your gut response re story, what works for you and what doesn't. Most people will thank you for the read and for your opinion.



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rendevous
Posted: April 22nd, 2014, 12:35am Report to Moderator
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Away

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Professional credentials? I think I had a problem with that once. Thankfully it cleared up. Just had to rub it with cream every now and again.

As LC says just read other scripts and tell them what you think.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: April 22nd, 2014, 1:25am Report to Moderator
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Ok - will do!


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: September 1st, 2014, 2:12pm Report to Moderator
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May be on a roll... after 'A Face in the Crowd's competiton placing yesterday I've just had an email to say that a NY production company want to buy this for an upcoming webseries.

I'm now going to buy a lottery ticket or two

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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DS
Posted: September 1st, 2014, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Looks like someone's having a good week. Congratulations!

- DS
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TonyDionisio
Posted: September 1st, 2014, 4:46pm Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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Nice,
Go hit the casino and let it ride on black.
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Dustin
Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 1:16am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder than dialogue.

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Nice work Anthony. I haven't had anything produced yet either. Close with a couple of things (aside from my own), got a short and a feature in dev. A student was also supposed to have made The Final Loneliness, but I'm not sure that students count.
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: September 2nd, 2014, 1:49pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks all... thought I'd got another one today but turns out they want to make something I've already sold ;-(


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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colkurtz8
Posted: September 9th, 2014, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Anthony

“MUM (30s) watches as MAE (12-13)”

- Is this the same Mae from “Father, Come Quick”?

“Mae passes Fank”

- Missing an “r” in “Frank”

“He turns the key in the lock and puts the chain on the latch
before following Mae.”

- Eek, all the signs suggest darkness afoot, it’s not looking good for Mae…

FRANK
Milky and four sugars, please Mae.
Give me a shout if you need a hand.

- Sh?t, that’s a lot of sugar.

Interesting twist with Mae becoming the hunter as opposed to the hunted, kinda reminded me of the turn in Hard Candy when, who you think is the victim turns out to be the one you should fear. I wonder though could you set it up some way at the beginning a clue or hint which only makes sense when Mae executes her plan of spiking Frank’s drink.  As its stands, it feels a bit random and contrived. An all innocent girl goes out to do good deeds for school, disobeys mother and comes across creepy old man. She drugs him while revealing, solely through dialogue, that kids have been going missing, she has been watching Frank and is now exacting revenge. It’s all just told to us thus it feels like we are only getting part of the story in which the bulk has happened before the script’s events.  As a result, its unsatisfactory.

I had a similar thing with a short of mine some time ago which took place in one house featuring a big confrontation over a bad deed just committed…but was essentially a lot of telling of events that had happened prior and culminated in what was going on in the short now. In other words, I was basically depicting the end of a bigger story. I was never happy with it and a couple of years after when re-reading it struck me to develop all this back-story into a script which would conclude with the short I had written.

I think that parallels with a lot of how I feel about this. There is the seed of a decent script here, the idea of a sweet mid teen girl getting revenge on a pedophile murderer of her school friends is an intriguing premise, especially if you can find a way to withhold that revelation until it’s happening on screen…but not when we’re only getting the final act of it. And I appreciate one method of withholding the twist is by telling it the way you have here but I think you can do better, this is sort of a short cut way to shock the reader with an unexpected surprise.

Personally, I felt too “dropped in” on the story without any context so it’s hard to be invested in it, everything comes across as too set up in order for this dramatic scenario to unfold, you know. As I said, the motivations are already there, you got a clear good vs. evil narrative with the somewhat unique touch of a young girl as protagonist taking on a very adult situation. It’s definitely worth expanding, in my opinion.

Col.


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LeeOConnor
Posted: September 9th, 2014, 7:24am Report to Moderator
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Hi Anthony,

Nice short and a little strange, but in a good way.

I don't think this sentence is needed though "On the coat pegs are coats, cardigans, a couple of hats, and nurses uniform."

Other than a few typos you have this one down to a T.

Lee
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