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Don
Posted: April 8th, 2018, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Timmy by Frank MacCrory - Short, Sci Fi - A trilogy of short stories about humans adjusting to the emergence of general-purpose A.I. 26 pages

Timmy: Customer Service - A troublemaker pushes the limits of cheerful customer service.
Timmy: Uprising - The safety systems governing robots have become fool-proof. Someone invented better fools.
Timmy: Witness - An android witnesses one robot commit a crime upon another. This may change the fate of artificial intelligence forever. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  May 6th, 2018, 4:40pm
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Warren
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Hi Frank,

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Not a big deal, more of a personal preference, but I like the FADE IN on the left.

There seems to be a lot happing on page one that doesnít really impact on you story. I realise you are trying to establish Jake as a bit of a mischievous character but a donít think the hologram insert is required.  --I came back to this after finishing, it's good in terms of world bulding, I still think all the stats are not required --


Quoted Text
A clean - if not particularly stylish - establishment


I donít fully understand what look youíre going for here, and the way it's phrased has me asking, can it not be stylish if it's clean?

I personally think you over use wrylies, 5 on one page I counted. Iíd keep the (to himself), but Iíd write the others as action or get rid of them altogether.

The set up isnít bad but it seems like a lot for the punchline, as in, I personally wasnít left overly satisfied.



UPRISING

There is occasional capping in dialogue, I'm not personally a fan of this. At the end of the day the actors are going to read the lines the way they feel is most appropropriate or however the director directs them to.

Had to google rebar, knew exactly what it was when I saw it, but didnt know that's what it was called. Maybe a tire iron or crowbar as a weapon would be less confussing. May just be me.


Quoted Text
Additional O.S. SHOTS from up the street, policeman turns,
fires, runs forward O.S.


Very confusing couple of sentences. The word additional isnít required, if youíve written it down we already know itís additional.

No need to write O.S. twice.

If itís all off screen, the fact that the policeman turns and runs forward is redundant. We can't see it.

Itís really unclear what you are going for here so it needs a tidy up.


Quoted Text
JAKE
Gives you a whole new appreciation
for the billion things that have to
go right for this city to get
through the day.


Everything so far has been in the subtext and then Jake says this and makes it painfully clear. Itís on the nose.

Not bad, I'm starting to enjoy the little world you are building.



WITNESS


Quoted Text
front-left seat of that car sits LINDA MILLER (16),
releasing the manual controls which retract. In the frontright
seat


Front-left seat and front-right seat are very clunky, driver's and passenger seat would be better.

The science in this instalment is getting a little confusing.


Quoted Text
Jakeís car returns and pulls up next to the curb.


Is there a scene change missing?

Finished reading.

I think I read somewhere that you said each short could exist on its own? I donít think that's really the case. Each directly plays off the other.

I think the writing could use a general tidy up, but as a little short trilogy I think youíve done well. Itís an enjoyable read.

Great effort.


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Warren  -  April 19th, 2018, 12:35am
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FrankM
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Thanks for the read!


Quoted from Warren
CUSTOMER SERVICE

Not a big deal, more of a personal preference, but I like the FADE IN on the left.


The Final Draft software wants all transitions on the same side of the page, though I might be able to jury-rig it if necessary.



Quoted from Warren
There seems to be a lot happing on page one that doesnít really impact on you story. I realise you are trying to establish Jake as a bit of a mischievous character but a donít think the hologram insert is required.  --I came back to this after finishing, it's good in terms of world bulding, I still think all the stats are not required --


It's all to establish that Jake is lying to his mom, though I'm sure with some thought I can come up with a more concise way to get that point across.


Quoted from Warren
I donít fully understand what look youíre going for here, and the way it's phrased has me asking, can it not be stylish if it's clean?


I suppose "A clean - though not particularly stylish - establishment" might be better?

I do have a very specific supermarket in mind here, though I took some liberties with geography by putting the nearby shops across the street solely so that Jake could cross the street in a jerk-ish fashion.


Quoted from Warren
I personally think you over use wrylies, 5 on one page I counted. Iíd keep the (to himself), but Iíd write the others as action or get rid of them altogether.


Good catch... that's embarrassingly excessive


Quoted from Warren
The set up isnít bad but it seem like a lot for the punchline, as in, I personally wasnít left overly satisfied.



UPRISING

There is occasional capping in dialogue, I'm not personally a fan of this. At the end of the day the actors are going to read the lines the way they feel is most appropropriate or however the director directs them to.


I'll probably never break that habit completely, but I'll try to be conscious of it and tone that down.


Quoted from Warren
Had to google rebar, knew exactly what it was when I saw it, but didnt know that's what it was called. Maybe a tire iron or crowbar as a weapon would be less confussing. May just be me.


Crowbar is probably a much better choice.



Quoted from Warren
Very confusing couple of sentences. The word additional isnít required, if youíve written it down we already know itís additional.

No need to write O.S. twice.

If itís all off screen, the fact that the policeman turns and runs forward is redundant. We can't see it.

Itís really unclear what you are going for here so it needs a tidy up.


I was going for what can be seen through the store window looking out toward the street. The policeman is on screen (through the window) and eventually runs out of view. Since these are bullets, the direction of gunfire only matters if the filmmaker decides to get fancy with the sound. I just needed Jake to have a chance to put himself at risk for the android, then make sure that person didn't stick around.

Will definitely work on making the action in this bit clearer.




Quoted from Warren
Everything so far has been in the subtext and then Jake says this and makes it painfully clear. Itís on the nose.


I'm still pretty new at this, so only one cringe-worthy line in 18 pages gives me some confidence that I might know what I'm doing. Someday. I'll find some other way to show Jake learning to see the roses, even if he never gets around to smelling them.


Quoted from Warren
Not bad, I'm starting to enjoy the little world you are building.

WITNESS

Front-left seat and front-right seat are very clunky, driver's and passenger seat would be better.


People basically don't drive any more (and most people pay by the ride rather than buy a car). Jake's just being a hard-ass making his daughter prove she can take over during a system failure before he unlocks her access to summon cars to drive her places.

The characters would call them front seats, but point taken that it's not the characters who are reading the script!


Quoted from Warren
The science in this instalment is getting a little confusing.


Well spotted.


Quoted from Warren
Is there a scene change missing?


This was another case of something outside visible through the window.


Quoted from Warren
Finished reading.

I think I read somewhere that you said each short could exist on its own? I donít think that's really the case. Each directly plays off the other.

I think the writing could use a general tidy up, but as a little short trilogy I think youíve done well. Itís an enjoyable read.

Great effort.


Though I don't think making it progressive prevents it from being a trilogy, I also don't think I'd ever see someone decide to make one of these shorts without making the other two. Maybe I should just make it a single story with time jumps in it. That would also make it less important for each installment be the same length.

Thanks again. I don't mean to sound defensive by responding point by point, but I realize it might read that way. Just my way of explaining my intentions in case someone reading this knows of an obvious fix.

The feedback is really helpful, and you've given me a lot to chew on before revising it.


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Warren
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Not taken as being defensive at all. I know what defensive feels like. That cleared some things up for me.

I use Final Draft as well, you can simply start your script by typing FADE IN in the top left, if you so choose, without selecting the transition prompt.

Definitely got the fact that Jake was lying, just thought all the stats in the hologram were a bit excessive.

The minute you put O.S I'm literally thinking off screen and unseen, so I think you need to clearly indicate the action through the window in an action block and have anything O.S. in a separate block, or make it very clear.

Same for the car pulling up, make it clear that someone is viewing it through a window, it really threw me.

I do kind of like them as three separate shorts read together but I see the value in having them as one script/one story. I think itís just whatever you prefer at the end of the day.

Itís a great Idea that is definitely worth working on, IMO.


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Frank

Timmy: Customer Service

I dunno about this one, it gave me a few smirks but the payoff is a bit weak. Man torments android. Gets unwittingly knocked through a window. The end. I understand itís only a six page script but the punch line fell flat.

I wonder could you set up why Jake is so contemptuous of robots in the first place? From the opening scene with the cleaning bot we see him fuck with them, then he crosses the road in front of autonomous cars without a care, then goes into a shop and starts trying to confuse Timmy. Why? What's his beef?

Like I said, it is satisfying to see him get punished and there is a nice call back to the mother and how faking his gender is confusing things but when there is no foundation to the character's motivations it has a knock on effect on the impact of the rest of the piece. It all just seems hastily put together so Jake can be seen go through a window. Needs more.

Having finished the script, we learn that Jakeís parents are influential people in regards the proliferation and management of the robots. Could this be seeded early in the script to suggest that Jake is merely against anything his parents are involved in i.e. a typical adolescent.


Timmy: Uprising

Yeah, this one feels very unfinished. I'm not really sure what the goal was with this part. Jake takes one for the team, or more specifically Timmy, and then they get rescued. There is no story here, all set up but no pay off.

Maybe it might more sense after I read the third part and I know they say that the middle section of any continuous trilogy can often feel like that, pure set up but you need something more here so this is self contained, that's a complete narrative within itself.

Right now, itís seems rather pointless and half baked.


Timmy: Witness

This was definitely the most successful of the parts in my opinion. I do like the closing scene. It packs a punch and suggests sinister implications in the near future. This was my
favourite primarily because of the intriguing ideas and concepts touched upon. It actually had something to say.

Unfortunately, and I know I'm repeating myself now, this feels like a fraction of the greater story. I hope you plan to expand it since as of now, we are learning about this world without actually experiencing it. A lot of stuff is mentioned to have happened or will happen. Show this.

It does set things up nicely for another instalment 15 years down the line but since you seemed to have fleshed out a world I would consider really delving into it instead of just giving us 5 minute vignettes that ultimately feel unsatisfying.

Some potential here, all depends on where you take it.

Col.


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FrankM
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Thanks for the read, Colonel.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Frank

Timmy: Customer Service

I dunno about this one, it gave me a few smirks but the payoff is a bit weak. Man torments android. Gets unwittingly knocked through a window. The end. I understand itís only a six page script but the punch line fell flat.

I wonder could you set up why Jake is so contemptuous of robots in the first place? From the opening scene with the cleaning bot we see him fuck with them, then he crosses the road in front of autonomous cars without a care, then goes into a shop and starts trying to confuse Timmy. Why? What's his beef?

Like I said, it is satisfying to see him get punished and there is a nice call back to the mother and how faking his gender is confusing things but when there is no foundation to the character's motivations it has a knock on effect on the impact of the rest of the piece. It all just seems hastily put together so Jake can be seen go through a window. Needs more.

Having finished the script, we learn that Jakeís parents are influential people in regards the proliferation and management of the robots. Could this be seeded early in the script to suggest that Jake is merely against anything his parents are involved in i.e. a typical adolescent.


Well, it was put together hastily in the first round of the Writer's Tournament, but since then it should have been fixed. Putting more on his background and less on his current lie is a really good idea.

I actually had an idea for an initial teaser set fifteen years before Customer Service (that's 2021 for those of you keeping score at home). The market is the most affordable in its area (the real-world one is equidistant between a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods), so it's crowded mostly with working class customers. Enter a very pregnant Mrs. Miller dressed very professionally who just wants to grab a couple things and get out. No self-checkout line. Cashier glued to her cellphone.

Well, you can figure out what Mrs. Miller's next project is going to be.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Timmy: Uprising

Yeah, this one feels very unfinished. I'm not really sure what the goal was with this part. Jake takes one for the team, or more specifically Timmy, and then they get rescued. There is no story here, all set up but no pay off.

Maybe it might more sense after I read the third part and I know they say that the middle section of any continuous trilogy can often feel like that, pure set up but you need something more here so this is self contained, that's a complete narrative within itself.

Right now, itís seems rather pointless and half baked.


In my own notes, the goal was to develop Jake a bit. Show that he was scared straight, and that he gets an appreciation for all innumerable cogs in the society. He grew up fairly wealthy, and furthermore surrounded by technology, so even at age 30 this is kind of new to him.

And apparently doesn't come across on the page at all. Will need to revisit this.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Timmy: Witness

This was definitely the most successful of the parts in my opinion. I do like the closing scene. It packs a punch and suggests sinister implications in the near future. This was my favourite primarily because of the intriguing ideas and concepts touched upon. It actually had something to say.


This is when you just start to see the machines develop their own tics. The tilt-to-the-right is a programmed behavior to warn users that an instruction wasn't fully understood, but now Tommy stares at where a hologram was as if there was more learn from it, and Tammy talks to a machine that can't hear her (accidentally continuing a long human tradition).


Quoted from colkurtz8
Unfortunately, and I know I'm repeating myself now, this feels like a fraction of the greater story. I hope you plan to expand it since as of now, we are learning about this world without actually experiencing it. A lot of stuff is mentioned to have happened or will happen. Show this.

It does set things up nicely for another instalment 15 years down the line but since you seemed to have fleshed out a world I would consider really delving into it instead of just giving us 5 minute vignettes that ultimately feel unsatisfying.

Some potential here, all depends on where you take it.

Col.


I do have quite a bit more of the setting in my head, just didn't think it would make for compelling reading. For example, how the traffic management AI during the uprising was opening and closing roads to paralyze vehicles, exactly how the Open Loop Coin blockchain works, that Mrs. Miller is a software engineer and Mr. Miller is an ethicist, etc. So content is not a constraint, it's more my ability to weave it while telling an actual story.

Quite a lot to think about. Very helpful, Colonel, thanks!


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Quoted from FrankM
I actually had an idea for an initial teaser set fifteen years before Customer Service (that's 2021 for those of you keeping score at home). The market is the most affordable in its area (the real-world one is equidistant between a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods), so it's crowded mostly with working class customers. Enter a very pregnant Mrs. Miller dressed very professionally who just wants to grab a couple things and get out. No self-checkout line. Cashier glued to her cellphone. Well, you can figure out what Mrs. Miller's next project is going to be.


- That is a clever precursor but is this ever going to be anything more than just 5 minute segments?


Quoted from FrankM
In my own notes, the goal was to develop Jake a bit. Show that he was scared straight, and that he gets an appreciation for all innumerable cogs in the society. He grew up fairly wealthy, and furthermore surrounded by technology, so even at age 30 this is kind of new to him.

And apparently doesn't come across on the page at all. Will need to revisit this.


- I guess I can get why he became a cop on the basis of the first part but to sacrifice himself for Timmy, isn't that a bit of stretch? That aside, there isn't much progression in this part, narrative-wise. We are dropped into the middle of a situation and then yanked out of it again.


Quoted from FrankM
I do have quite a bit more of the setting in my head, just didn't think it would make for compelling reading. For example, how the traffic management AI during the uprising was opening and closing roads to paralyze vehicles, exactly how the Open Loop Coin blockchain works, that Mrs. Miller is a software engineer and Mr. Miller is an ethicist, etc. So content is not a constraint, it's more my ability to weave it while telling an actual story.


- That's good to hear and I know comments like "Hey, you should expand this" can be rather vague and annoying, an easy note to give but since this is so conceptual and you have obviously thought more in depth about it, it will hinge on that.

In other words, how far you are willing to go with it. I mean, the S.F.N is a potential plot strand in itself. Right now, it feels like you are just scratching the surface, and doing 5 minute bits like this is a good way to dip in your toe but unless you take the plunge, it will remain as that, an exercise more than a script...Unless, perhaps, it was an intended as an animated web series or something.

Col.


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Quoted from colkurtz8
In other words, how far you are willing to go with it. I mean, the S.F.N is a potential plot strand in itself. Right now, it feels like you are just scratching the surface, and doing 5 minute bits like this is a good way to dip in your toe but unless you take the plunge, it will remain as that, an exercise more than a script...Unless, perhaps, it was an intended as an animated web series or something.


The first segment was a Writer's Tournament entry, and my goal was to clean it up and make it filmable. A lot of the bots would end up being CGI, but I think what's here would be within reach of a team shooting for school or a festival. In a small-but-nonzero budget production, I think one actor can portray Jake at 15, 30 and 45.

However, what I'm hearing you say sounds remarkably similar to what I had recently told someone else about their sci-fi short: internally consistent but it's impossible to suss out why things are happening.

There's probably enough story rattling around in my head to fill a feature, but it's close enough to what I do in my day job that I'd have to research it very carefully. Kord and Who Wants to Be a Princess? are sufficiently unrelated to my real life that scientific accuracy is not a concern (only do enough research to satisfy my own curiosity).


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Quoted from FrankM
The first segment was a Writer's Tournament entry, and my goal was to clean it up and make it filmable. A lot of the bots would end up being CGI, but I think what's here would be within reach of a team shooting for school or a festival. In a small-but-nonzero budget production.


- Yeah, thinking more about this, I guess it could be done as live action for fairly cheap as long as you stay in the supermarket. The bots could all be played by humans. Only Tommy going rogue will require some effects and makeup.


Quoted from FrankM
I think one actor can portray Jake at 15, 30 and 45


- Really? That's some range! Unless you do a Linklater and film it over a 30 year period


Quoted from FrankM
but it's close enough to what I do in my day job that I'd have to research it very carefully


- Well, the old adage (which I don't completely agree with) of "Write about what you know" should stand you in good stead here.

Col.





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Quoted from colkurtz8
Yeah, thinking more about this, I guess it could be done as live action for fairly cheap as long as you stay in the supermarket. The bots could all be played by humans. Only Tommy going rogue will require some effects and makeup.

Well, the opening teaser in near-present-day would blow a small budget. It'd probably have to be in an actual market with a bunch of extras.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Really? That's some range! Unless you do a Linklater and film it over a 30 year period

I was thinking (not that I'm an expert on casting) slender and college-age, dress him sloppy and hide his hair to make him a teen, hide his thinness under the tactical gear and police uniform, use make-up to age him to 45.

Older and young brothers would probably work better, but be harder to pull off in a short. Can't actually take eons to film because Timmy and Tammy don't age

At least I left all the characters racially ambiguous.


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Thanks for everyone's feedback. An expanded version of the trilogy has posted at the original link in the OP - now 26 pages in total - and I'm curious if it works in this format or if it'd work better as a feature (probably on the short side) where there would be more room for seeing bits of the world around Jake and Timmy. To keep the budget down, right now it doesn't even show where Jake goes when he crosses the street in the second installment.

I'm also curious if the infinitesimal chance of this getting produced as a 25ish minute short is higher or lower than the infinitesimal chance of it getting produced as a 90ish minute feature.


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Hey.

Well, I started the other version, but didn't comment since I haven't finished. Good you reworked it - I'll read this one then.

As I go:
"not every register in use" - I wonder why that's important.
"If you were born...." - that's a long sign for a reader to read. I wonder if you can compress it
"What is it this time" - she talks to herself. I've been told to avoid that and often that doesn't read good.
P1 - if it's a comedy you better set the tone on p1 I think.
p2 "but new cases built in..." - I don't get this part of the sentence.
p3 "just inside the front window" - this trips me. Don't know where that is.
p4 - What a stiff- I wonder if Jake could tell this line to someone, as opposed to himself. in te 18-page version he was saying that to the lady.
p4 "Oh my stiff little..." - talking to himself some more. and "I've bigger plans for you" is OTN in my opinion.
I'm on p10 - didn't take notes on the past 6 pages because they went by very fast. That's where it got interesting. So, I wonder if earlier you could get to that part of the story faster.
p10 "my parents watched them take him apart" - I wonder if he could say smthing like "he's an old friend of mine and that's an inside joke between us"
But funny moment - Timmy calls Jake Maam. Very funny.

p11 - did you establish SUIT?
The info from Geek lost me and I read it quite a few times. I see it's important but wondering if you can compress it. Actually not all of it is important but the very last sentence - about affected AI's reprogramming others.
Geek could start with it and end there. I don't think you need to include a whole page on it.

stuff on p22 might kill me if I read into it. Please simplify. And get rid of some of it if you can. That's a lot of talk and it's not justified as you I don't know what it leads up to. I don't form a trail, don't make me wonder what it's about - and that's a problem.
Stuff on p23 - same here. And I still don't understand what it's about. I wonder if it's just me and my laziness.

Nice ending and in the end I do think you summarised it nicely and gave a meaning to it all.
I think you could tighten for a more pleasant read.
And get rid of "too smart".
Nice job overall.
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Hey Khamanna, thanks for the read!

Quoted from khamanna
"not every register in use" - I wonder why that's important.
"If you were born...." - that's a long sign for a reader to read. I wonder if you can compress it

The notes about the registers were simply to establish just how frustrating it is to be in that line. I quoted the sign in full just in case a reader isn't from the US, but can probably condense it quite a bit if I assume a passing familiarity with the placards ubiquitous at US stores.

Quoted from khamanna
"What is it this time" - she talks to herself. I've been told to avoid that and often that doesn't read good.

Good to know. That's used more than once, as you noted below.

Quoted from khamanna
P1 - if it's a comedy you better set the tone on p1 I think.

It's supposed to be SciFi with a couple funny lines. I think any attempt of mine at bespoke comedy would be labeled a health hazard.

For those looking really hard on page 1, they'll see the stereotypical pregnant woman's craving of pickles and ice cream. (The X Files inserted a similar joke when actress Gillian Anderson was pregnant but her character was not.)

Quoted from khamanna
p2 "but new cases built in..." - I don't get this part of the sentence.
p3 "just inside the front window" - this trips me. Don't know where that is.

I've struggled with this image quite a bit. He sees some mundane work being done, but not who does it. He makes an assumption that it's being done by an android (much later in the second episode, you get the reason he was looking for an android). I'd rather not break the pacing of this intro scene by doing a full character intro for Timmy, but avoiding that seems to cause a lot of problems.

Of course, "but I can see it clearly in my head and there it makes sense" doesn't quite equal good screenwriting.

Quoted from khamanna
p4 - What a stiff- I wonder if Jake could tell this line to someone, as opposed to himself. in te 18-page version he was saying that to the lady.
p4 "Oh my stiff little..." - talking to himself some more. and "I've bigger plans for you" is OTN in my opinion.

Yes, I think having him say it to her will work better. She can then (1) take umbrage that "ten years" is old and (2) make the reference to androids killing jobs.

Quoted from khamanna
I'm on p10 - didn't take notes on the past 6 pages because they went by very fast. That's where it got interesting. So, I wonder if earlier you could get to that part of the story faster.

You mean page 5 was perfect? Woo-hoo! Just kidding.
The part you liked is the kernel of the original Writer's Tournament entry.

Quoted from khamanna
p10 "my parents watched them take him apart" - I wonder if he could say smthing like "he's an old friend of mine and that's an inside joke between us"
But funny moment - Timmy calls Jake Maam. Very funny.

That's probably a good way for Jake to put it. Mind you, Timmy is not in on that joke... he took Jake at his word that he identifies as female. The poor bot eventually figures it out, though Jake isn't sure exactly when.


Quoted from khamanna
p11 - did you establish SUIT?

I intro'd ten CIVILIANS en masse, then three of them had lines: GEEK, JOGGER and SUIT. Should they have capped intro's of their own?

Quoted from khamanna
The info from Geek lost me and I read it quite a few times. I see it's important but wondering if you can compress it. Actually not all of it is important but the very last sentence - about affected AI's reprogramming others.
Geek could start with it and end there. I don't think you need to include a whole page on it.

That's fair. It was an attempt at sliding world-building into a pseudo-realistic conversation. Jake validates that the Geek didn't simply make up the "survivalist" group, which is referenced again later, and the Suit inserts a put-down to keep the kid from getting a big head.

Quoted from khamanna
stuff on p22 might kill me if I read into it. Please simplify. And get rid of some of it if you can. That's a lot of talk and it's not justified as you I don't know what it leads up to. I don't form a trail, don't make me wonder what it's about - and that's a problem.
Stuff on p23 - same here. And I still don't understand what it's about. I wonder if it's just me and my laziness.

This probably needs a re-write. If this were to expand into a feature, it'd be spread out in a few places rather than appearing all at once as an info-dump.

As written, Jake is simultaneously trying to (1) demonstrate that he's not totally ignorant about technology and (2) sympathize with a witness.

Here, Timmy is turning the tables on Jake. Originally, Jake took advantage of a customer service bot's deference to customers... now Timmy is taking advantage of a cop's deference to a reluctant witness.

I tried to make it clear that Timmy has no rights whatsoever in this situation, but he managed to talk his way out of it. You see why he was so keen to do so in the next scene.

Quoted from khamanna
Nice ending and in the end I do think you summarised it nicely and gave a meaning to it all.
I think you could tighten for a more pleasant read.

I was worried that this went on a bit too long. And now confirmed.

Quoted from khamanna
And get rid of "too smart".
Nice job overall.

By "too smart" did you mean "You think your faster processor makes you smarter, but you do not UNDERSTAND things."? I'd like to keep some version of this line because it gets to the difference between experience and raw smarts (especially in a world where skills are downloadable), but it can use some wordsmithing.

Thanks again, very helpful feedback.


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colkurtz8
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Frank

Timmy: Customer Service

So this stays pretty much the same as the previous draft outside of the opening scene and the occasional cosmetic change here and there. It's a little silly and light in tone, a bit of a skit really. Gives me a few laughs but I guess it serves more as a decent primer for parts 2 and 3 which become much more sinister.

Looking to see if the opening scene pays off in subsequent parts...


Timmy: Uprising

So this part has undergone a more wholesale change than the first part with Jake being elevated to more of a hero, a martyr.

Unfortunately, I think any emotional impact is considerably neutered by the fact that we don't see his heroics. Ok, he took out the renegade Tommy but that was it.

At least in the previous draft he jumped in front of Timmy, his once-upon-a-time petite nemesis. There was something poetic about that.

Here, it comes off like an opportunity missed.

Witnessing Jake lead the rescue mission of the building across the street and being hurt in the process would be much more powerful, exciting and satisfying.


Timmy: Witness

As before, I think this is the most intriguing of the three and is obviously intended to be that way.

I wonder though could the central conversation between Timmy and Jake be trimmed a bit? I find it a fascinating subject as I've told you before and one quickly gleans from the content of this scene that its a subject which interests you too. Its evident you've put a lot of consideration into it.

However, within the context of the piece in general does it slow down things too much, are we getting too bogged down in the nitty gritty of the A.I./human dynamic?

It feels like you are doing a lot of world building and set up but since the script ends a few pages later, it feels overstuffed and unnecessary. Yes, it gives us a glimpse into this world but this is still essentially 3 short scripts combined so it reads a bit overkill and perhaps too ambitious for what the script actually is, you know.

Again, if you were to expand this into something more long form, this in depth exposition would be justified.

Col.


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FrankM
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Thanks for the read!

Quoted from colkurtz8
Frank

Timmy: Customer Service

So this stays pretty much the same as the previous draft outside of the opening scene and the occasional cosmetic change here and there. It's a little silly and light in tone, a bit of a skit really. Gives me a few laughs but I guess it serves more as a decent primer for parts 2 and 3 which become much more sinister.

Looking to see if the opening scene pays off in subsequent parts...

This scene helps establish that (1) Jake/parents are involved with the technology, and (2) the focal market is anything but trendy or cutting edge.

I was also trying to keep the three episodes of roughly equal length, but that constraint would vanish if this got expanded into a short-ish feature.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Timmy: Uprising

So this part has undergone a more wholesale change than the first part with Jake being elevated to more of a hero, a martyr.

Unfortunately, I think any emotional impact is considerably neutered by the fact that we don't see his heroics. Ok, he took out the renegade Tommy but that was it.

At least in the previous draft he jumped in front of Timmy, his once-upon-a-time petite nemesis. There was something poetic about that.

Here, it comes off like an opportunity missed.

Witnessing Jake lead the rescue mission of the building across the street and being hurt in the process would be much more powerful, exciting and satisfying.

This was an attempt at keeping things within the budget limits of a short (or series of shorts). The problem is that there are other parts of the production that would blow a small budget anyway (driverless cars, at least a dozen extras, some straightforward VFX).



Quoted from colkurtz8
Timmy: Witness

As before, I think this is the most intriguing of the three and is obviously intended to be that way.

I wonder though could the central conversation between Timmy and Jake be trimmed a bit? I find it a fascinating subject as I've told you before and one quickly gleans from the content of this scene that its a subject which interests you too. Its evident you've put a lot of consideration into it.

However, within the context of the piece in general does it slow down things too much, are we getting too bogged down in the nitty gritty of the A.I./human dynamic?


I can probably sprinkle all of this exposition around more evenly in a feature, but it's important that Timmy doesn't know about the early blocks until very late in the story.


Quoted from colkurtz8
It feels like you are doing a lot of world building and set up but since the script ends a few pages later, it feels overstuffed and unnecessary. Yes, it gives us a glimpse into this world but this is still essentially 3 short scripts combined so it reads a bit overkill and perhaps too ambitious for what the script actually is, you know.

Again, if you were to expand this into something more long form, this in depth exposition would be justified.

Col.


Yeah, this does seem like it wants to be a feature. Not bad for what started out as a three-page skit.

The issue with knitting these together into a feature is forming a coherent narrative arc. Customer Service is a decent chunk of Act I, but Witness seems like a denouement for Uprising. There's plenty to expand on in Uprising, but even with some trimming that denouement is going to feel long.


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