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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Deja Vu
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Don
Posted: December 11th, 2017, 2:52pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Deja Vu by Richard F. Russell - Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy - When two time travelers launch into the distant past, they discover a world they never dreamed possible. 10 pages - 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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Fausto
Posted: December 12th, 2017, 6:02pm Report to Moderator
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Richard,
good premise. One observation: Bottom of page 2 -- Darrin changes into Warren. Is this correct?
Best,
Fausto
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RichardR
Posted: December 13th, 2017, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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Fasuto,

I blame my proofreader--me.  Thanks for the catch.

Best
Richard
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Fausto
Posted: December 14th, 2017, 11:39am Report to Moderator
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Hi Richard,
no problem...no Xmas bonus to the proofreader...
My best,
Fausto
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CharlesH
Posted: December 27th, 2017, 11:51pm Report to Moderator
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This had an eerie premise. It reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode. I feel like I want more which is a good sign. Good job.
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RichardR
Posted: December 28th, 2017, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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Charles,

Thanks for the read.  It was a simple idea about mankind and perhaps reaching its zenith every 10,000 or so years--only to be plunged back into savagery by a 100,000 year ice age.  Who knows?

Best
Richard
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colkurtz8
Posted: March 9th, 2018, 2:06pm Report to Moderator
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Richard

I assume it was your intention to subvert our expectations about Darrin by introducing him the way you do before he goes on to persistently complain and worry about the job at hand. He’s not the “man you want to guard your back” after all. Some might have a problem with the misdirection, I don’t mind it so much.

Also, I get you are conveying character by having Darrin ask about the rifle, the jacket, the failsafe code, showing he’s nervous, unsure, scared, etc but shouldn’t he know the answers to, at least, the last question? Hasn’t he done this before? Isn’t he a professional? I wonder is there another way to get across these personality traits without him asking questions to which he should already know the answer.

It reminded me of Interstellar where you had the Matthew McConaughey character literally getting a wormhole 101 lesson from another astronaut after being in deep space for a couple of months/years (I forget) and are approaching said wormhole. Ridiculous. Whatever happened to mission briefing BEFORE you start the mission!

Darrin changes to Warren at the end of page 2. I take it this is an error.

MEREDITH
You do know this is a scientific
expedition, right?

- Again, the ensuing conversation here between Meredith and (we’ll call him) Warren feels expository and inserted for our benefit rather than something they would actually be talking about at this stage, while seated in the capsule, ready for departure. Warren couldn’t possibly be this clueless about the job at hand, doesn’t make sense...Unless you’re doing it for comic effect but I don’t think you are.

Easily fixed anyway and I understand you want to inform us about their mission, just find a more natural, believable way to give us this information.

WARRIN
Even in a parallel universe there
should be people.

- Not necessarily. But some form of life yeah.

I like the direction it’s taken with them landing in, as yet, a mysterious time line. Curious to see where you take it...

WARREN
I bet they’re all like this.
Abandoned.

MEREDITH
But why?

WARREN
Parallel universe.

- In light of the Warren character so far and the above exchange in particular, I‘m starting to think that perhaps you are going for laughs. As he just seems like an everyman whose been dropped into this job. Did he win a prize to be a time traveller for the day or what? Utterly idiotic...but humorous if that is indeed your goal.

MEREDITH
We’re over a hundred thousand years
in the past, and the signs are in
English. There were no written
languages that far back.

- There are modern buildings, cities, asphalt roads, etc, safe to assume this isn’t in the past, parallel universe of not. I thought this was already clarified so why make a big deal out of the language being English?

I’m predicting they are in the future anyway, human race have been rendered extinct a la Planet of the Apes (196...reading on...

MEREDITH
The squints back home will figure
it out...

- Ha, I like the term “squints”

You should probably have a CUT TO: or some passage of time within in the scene between Warren and the Man because barely a minute passes before the capsule disappears and he should have had 10.

KARN
I won’t bore you with the physics,
but the hole you used was a onetime
opportunity. We can’t use the
same parameters.

- Ah, I love this line. Translates to: We don’t have an adequate explanation so we’ll just gloss over it, moving on.

KARN
We can’t. It’s that simple. We
can’t!

- WHY!?

A lot of the dialogue rings false for me, not just Warren. These don’t sound like scientist, physicist or the types who would be working in such a field.  Like the opening scenes, a lot of the interactions looked like they’re dumbed down and simplified for the reader rather than anything approximating verisimilitude.

The suggestion in the final scene seems to be that they were actually in the past and this was a human race that reached our current advancement which was wiped out by the ice age. This doesn’t make sense in itself because if they did achieve this level of progress there would be lots of evidence left behind, but anyway, disregarding that, what throws me is the Man tells Warren the year is 3147. I took that to be CE (AD).

Hence, it got me thinking that the “squints” back home have misinterpreted the time line. If they can’t find a way of going back there, it’s feasible that their calculations are wrong and Warren has been left in the future, not the past. Reading on, it looks as though it is the past...or is that meant to be open for interpretation?

The glove in the pot punch line was amusing though (if a little conveniently shoe horned in there) that could lead somewhere interesting but unfortunately you ended it there.

Overall, I struggled with this, it feels rather half baked, partially thought through. Or perhaps I'm over thinking it all. It was like you had some cool ideas; time travel, an as yet undiscovered past/future, a clay pot with a glove inside and went with it without much further consideration.

As you’ll see from my above notes I had numerous issues with how you’ve told your story which bogged it down in exposition and implausibility.

However, I’ll include the caveat that I could be just slow on the uptake and maybe there is something/a lot more I’m missing here. I would be interested to hear your intentions.

Col.


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