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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Drama Scripts  ›  The Refugees
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SimplyScripts
Posted: February 15th, 2017, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Refugees by Gregory Mandarano - Short, Drama - A father separates from his family when he helps them escape a war torn Syria. - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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eldave1
Posted: February 16th, 2017, 11:20am Report to Moderator
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Gregory: Gave this a read:


Quoted Text
FADE IN:

INT. THE RAHMAN RESIDENCE - DAY


Since most would be unfamiliar - I think a one line description of the house would be helpful so we know what they are leaving.


Quoted Text
And finds a thin, expensive pair of silver-rimmed eyeglasses
and puts them on.


You need a He or a Esam in front of this sentence.

I don't think you need the CUT TOs


Quoted Text
SHAYMA
Nasim! We had a deal!
ESAM
It's okay, Shayma. You'll be okay.


Didn't care for these lines - did not nearly have the emotional impact of the ones that follow - I would delete them and would they also not have had this conversation on the ride over?


Quoted Text
SHAYMA
What's that Nasim? Why were you
shouting for Esam?
NASIM
It's nothing. Just go.
SHAYMA
Tell me what's going on, Nasim! Why
do you still have that money?
NASIM
It doesn't concern you.
SHAYMA
That's enough to pay for Esam!
Isn't it, Nasim? Isn't it!


I think this exchange goes on too long - you really only need the last line of dialogue from
Shayma as she looks at the cash.

OVERALL

On page 7 where the COAST GUARD shines a light on Esam - I think Coast Guard is too benevolent and non-descript - I would make it a Syrian Military Patrol Boat.

THE ENDING

One logic question - I was confused by Nasim saying it was his family - thought it was Esam's family. Did I miss something?

I found the ending way over the top and the dialogue far too preachy and unneeded. As if you want the reporter to tell the entire theme of the story and cram it down the audience's throat. You have once desperate dead women and children on a boat. A grief stricken father that had to make the ultimate Sophie's choice.  All of the horrors of war and the refugees. You don't need to add a lecture from the reporter. It is already there.

I also did not understand why Nisam rather than Karam survived - in the prior scene it was Karam taking the last precious drink of water.

I found Sophia's speech at the end as  over the top - the message is already in your story, you don't need a speech from her.  You don't need the rag doll in the camera - you have dead women and children - that is enough.

A suggested twist:

Karam is the smuggler. Maybe at sea he and the little girl are the only ones left conscious. Karam, rather than saving himself gives the last of the water to the little girl. Maybe he even stuffs the money into her pocket. When they are found she is the only one alive, one arm around her doll and one arm around her dead brother. It would provide a sense of nobility at sea. Just a thought.








My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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GregoryM
Posted: February 16th, 2017, 11:44am Report to Moderator
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Hey thanks for checking it out Eldave!

The short's actually just a little edit of the first 10 pages from a completed script I wrote called

Refugee City

which is linked here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8sRJVe7Pbf9aEtKakRKazdZN1k

I think it's definitely worthwhile to create alternate versions of this short that twist things around, rather than applying the logic which would normally appear in the feature.

Like the reason Nasim claimed the family was his when they are esam's. he was just hyping himself up for the cameras. It comes back to him later in the script when Esam confronts him on the subject. Most shorts do have twists, and there's no reason to keep things exacty the same.

As for Sofia's speech, what's hyped in the feature that isn't explained in the slightest here, is that Sofia is purposefully using the event to shift public opinion to allow for the creation of her controversial city of refugees. So her over the top speech is done consciously with prior motivation.

I do plan on running a gambit of edits on the feature, so I'll be sure to catalog your notes for future changes to the draft.

Maybe you want to check it out.
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eldave1
Posted: February 16th, 2017, 9:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
The short's actually just a little edit of the first 10 pages from a completed script I wrote called Refugee City


Well, that changes everything


Quoted Text
I think it's definitely worthwhile to create alternate versions of this short that twist things around, rather than applying the logic which would normally appear in the feature.


Not sure I concur. A short has a definite beginning, middle and ending. This seems to be more of a work in progress effort.


Quoted Text
Like the reason Nasim claimed the family was his when they are esam's. he was just hyping himself up for the cameras. It comes back to him later in the script when Esam confronts him on the subject. Most shorts do have twists, and there's no reason to keep things exacty the same.


That makes sense - actually a good plot point for a feature.


Quoted Text
As for Sofia's speech, what's hyped in the feature that isn't explained in the slightest here, is that Sofia is purposefully using the event to shift public opinion to allow for the creation of her controversial city of refugees. So her over the top speech is done consciously with prior motivation.


Again, in terms of a feature that makes perfect sense one you have the context.

Best of luck with this


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Fausto
Posted: February 27th, 2017, 3:22pm Report to Moderator
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Gregory,
I like the narrative...I'm very familiar with the issue. However, I have a question...Did you indicate the language they are speaking? Maybe you did and I missed it...I assume they don't speak English (Arabic with English subtitles)? As Eldave 1 has indicated, you need to polish the script. Also, as a short, it's expensive to produce. Good luck with the feature.
My best,
Fausto
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GregoryM
Posted: February 27th, 2017, 7:14pm Report to Moderator
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Fausto thats a great question.

The feature involves 3 languages - english, israeli, and arabic.

In an early draft the distinction was made, but i took out all references to language in the finalized draft.

Even though it could be useful and descriptive, and some drama could be milked from it at different points, i chose to cut language entirely?

Why? A few reasons. First as a spec, by deleting parentheticals or extra prose it saves space. Its also ultimately unnecessary. Look at larry fergusons draft of the hunt for red october. Theres no indication or reference to them speaking russian vs english. Its something better left up to the director. For the sake of selling a script it isnt important.

For shorts i think it couod be more valuable. But in a feature i think ota wiser to ignore language unless absolutely necessary for plot.

As a short this isnt really meant to be filmed by itself. Its just like a short highlight screenplaywise meant to bring attention to the feature.

Thanks for taking a look!

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GregoryM  -  February 27th, 2017, 7:49pm
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Fausto
Posted: February 28th, 2017, 5:02pm Report to Moderator
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Gregory, I see your point and of course you are the writer....for me, when I write in different languages, if for example, the dialogue is in Spanish, I include a line saying "the dialogue is in Spanish with subtitles" and then I write all the dialogue in English...and I repeat the same "formula" for other languages...the director wants to know what kind of language(s) the people are using. When the dialogue is all in English, I write a line saying "the dialogue is in English (or something like it). This is my personal opinion.
My best,
Fausto
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