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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Polar Opposites (was In Came You) Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 25th, 2006, 8:27am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Polar Opposites (was In Came You) by Brandon Coleman - Drama - A young man and a young woman cross paths while on opposite ends of the bi-polar spectrum. An attraction forms between them as they struggle with their illness. 94 pages - doc, format


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Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  November 22nd, 2012, 6:22pm
revised script posted
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dogglebe
Posted: June 25th, 2006, 2:37pm Report to Moderator
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I'm also under the impression that this guy doesn't want to participate in the boards and critique other people's work.


Phil
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Coleman
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on the contrary. i had no idea that my script would be dropped if didn't get consistent critism on here.  as far as responses, favorable or unfavorable are welcome. A response period means a person has at least read my summary or even opened it up and read a couple of lines.

i also plan on posting a couple more of my stories on here. 'Blonde Bomber' and 'Dream'. they are both currently in editing.


"After Dark"
"Lie Behind the Eye"
"In Came You"
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dogglebe
Posted: June 25th, 2006, 2:57pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Coleman
on the contrary. i had no idea that my script would be dropped if didn't get consistent critism on here.  as far as responses, favorable or unfavorable are welcome. A response period means a person has at least read my summary or even opened it up and read a couple of lines.

i also plan on posting a couple more of my stories on here. 'Blonde Bomber' and 'Dream'. they are both currently in editing.


It won't be dropped, but it will slide down the list into oblivion in people don't read it and critique it here.

You should consider reading other people's work, and critiquing them here.  It improves the odds of getting your stuff read.

BTW, I found your script synopsis to be extremely vague and bland.  It does not make me interested in reading what might be a very good script.

Phil

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Coleman
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it's funny u should mention reading other's peoples' stories. i'm in the process of reading your story 'The Burnout'.

I'll change the summary so it's more of an attention getter.  


"After Dark"
"Lie Behind the Eye"
"In Came You"
"Insatiable"
"Bethany"
"The Heartbreaker"
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Coleman
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Quoted from Don
Anonymous by Brandon Coleman - Drama - Manic - depression is a serious issue, but you can get help if you never tell anyone.  That what Evelyn suffers from.  She suicidal and refuses to open up to anyone, until one day, she meets Anonymous.  He gives her hope, but a secret of his will push Evelyn over the edge. 85 pages - doc, format




"After Dark"
"Lie Behind the Eye"
"In Came You"
"Insatiable"
"Bethany"
"The Heartbreaker"
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bert
Posted: June 25th, 2006, 3:41pm Report to Moderator
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Brandon:  I changed your synopsis, but it looks like you busted out a new one in a few minutes.

I am assuming you meant the first sentence to be a question, and I took the liberty of editing it as such.

A little patience will serve you well.  Settle down and give people a chance to look at your story.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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dogglebe
Posted: June 26th, 2006, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILER SPACE


I found major problems with this script, Brandon, both in the formatting and in the story itself.

Starting with the italics...  This is the first time I've seen the use of italics in years.  I don't know if you're using scriptwriting software, but I recommend you stop using it either way.  It's distracting.

Take your name out of the footer.  That's distracting, too.  Especially when it's in two different fonts.

When describing the action in a screenplay, you have to describe things in a way that the camera can film.  On page one, you have Anonymous (the main character's name) looking at photos of his girlfriend.  How does the camera identify her as the girlfriend?  

On page fourteen, you write, "SPOILER SPACE  (deal with it)


I found major problems with this script, Brandon, both in the formatting and in the story itself.

Starting with the italics...  This is the first time I've seen the use of italics in years.  I don't know if you're using scriptwriting software, but I recommend you stop using it either way.  It's distracting.

Take your name out of the footer.  That's distracting, too.  Especially when it's in two different fonts.

When describing the action in a screenplay, you have to describe things in a way that the camera can film.  On page one, you have Anonymous (the main character's name) looking at photos of his girlfriend.  How does the camera identify her as the girlfriend?  On page fourteen, you write, "SPOILER SPACE  (deal with it)


I found major problems with this script, Brandon, both in the formatting and in the story itself.

Starting with the italics...  This is the first time I've seen the use of italics in years.  I don't know if you're using scriptwriting software, but I recommend you stop using it either way.  It's distracting.

Take your name out of the footer.  That's distracting, too.  Especially when it's in two different fonts.

When describing the action in a screenplay, you have to describe things in a way that the camera can film.  On page one, you have Anonymous (the main character's name) looking at photos of his girlfriend.  How does the camera identify her as the girlfriend?  

On page fourteen, you write, "He feels an uneasy sense of tension coming form Evelyn."  How does the camera film this.

There are others instances of this through the script.

Check your font and spacing.  It was very off.  This script is 85 pages at its current font.  It looks like it's set for 1.25 spacing instead of single spacing.  Switching it to single spaces makes this script 62 pages long.

When you introduce a character, you have to write in his name and, the first time, it must be in all upper case.  This tells us it's the characters first time on the screen.  You introduce the main acharacter as "A young man inside of Starbucks cafť orders a drink."  It should read, "ANONYMOUS steps up to the counter and orders a drink."

I had a big problem with the name Anonymous.  If you're going to give a character an unusual name, there has to be a story.  You don't explain why his parents named him that and this actually bothered me.  And Evelyn just accepted this.  If someone told me that this was his name, I'd assume he was lying.

The story, I thought, was very problematic.  Anonymous goes out to extreme lengths to help Evelyn.  What motivates him to do this?  Please don't just say he's a nice guy.  He follows a woman home to return her wallet, saves her after she attempys suicide, stays in the hotel with her, spends a whole day with her, saves her from suicide again and takes her home to watch over her.  This goes far beyond the duties of a nice guy.  This borders sainthood.

If someone is brought into a hospital after attempting suicide, they are not just released after the doctors say they're physically fit.  They are evaluated by psychiatrist and either committed for evaluation or arrested (attempted suicide is a crime in most areas).  Instead, she is stitched up and released.  A few hours later, she tries committing suicide again and the same things happen; she's casually released.  Later on we learn that attempting suicide is a regular thing for her...

Why is she not in a mental hospital????  She obviously belongs in one.  Instead, she's let loose until she finally succeeds in offing herself.  It's incredibly unrealistic.

For this reason alone, this story would never happen in real life.  You have to correct this matter before you can do anything with thtis story.



Phil
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Balt
Posted: June 27th, 2006, 1:13am Report to Moderator
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I'm readin' through this one right now. I dunno, so far it seems alright. Format is off. Font is really irritating, due to it not being in 12 point Courier New... but oh, well.

Your dialogue is alright.

Your action slugs are what I've had the most problem with so far. (I'm on page 34 now, by the way) They just drag on and on at times. I think it's a lot to do with the font, but also with some of the stuff you've added.

A lot of the stuff I've noticed can't really be shot with a camera "per-say" ... If this were a novel, it'd read great, basically. This isn't a novel and thus it suffers a little because of this fact.

I like the character name. Strange, basic, unique all in one... Who'd have thought to have a character named Anonymous??

Anyways, it's alright so far and I'll finish my review when I finish the script... Which won't be in a couple days or so now. I just wanted to let you know I was reading it and to look for a complete review soon.

Baltis~
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surferchicky92
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The script was pretty good. It seemed at sometimes a little slow, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the character of Evelyn a lot.

Alanah~
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TAnthony
Posted: July 9th, 2006, 12:35pm Report to Moderator
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Your script had its moments, but there was no point. The first 40 pages of the script werenít interesting at all, and towards the end only a few twists happened. I was getting very irritated of more of the same happening.

SPOILERS--------------

Sorry if this sounds harsh.

Was there a message or something I was supposed to get out of this, because if there was I completely missed it. Anonymous takes Evelyn all over town and then stops her when she tries to kill herself. Things sort of got interesting when we found out about Madison, but by then itís too late. Most people will have put the script down by then.

You story has three main characters. Anonymous and Evelyn are very well written,  but it seems that that is the only thing going for your script. Madison is a very flat character and the audience doesnít get much of a chance to learn anything about her, and I never really cared about her one way or the other.
It is very unbelieveable that Evelyn couldnít kill herself for seven years. SEVEN years, and she always failed? By then sheíd probably be sent to an insane asylum or something. This was a very irritating read.

Formating
-Italicized actions  Iím pretty sure are only in plays.
-Next time write in Courier New.
-Some of your parentheticals could be changed into action lines. Like on page 2 (He leans over, picking up the blue wallet.) Could easily be a new action line.
-Some of your action lines are overdone. Instead of talking about cars polluting the air keep the focus on the main action.
-Never have action lines longer than five lines.
-Once again you have to many actions in parentheticals. Make new action lines.
-No camera directions like ďfrom a wide viewĒ this is a spec script not a shooting script.
-ďA change of heart occurs within.  Long grueling nights at the office, frivolous tasks, and strenuous hours that would gave the lord himself a headache replay inside of Evelynís mind.Ē How would you show this on screen.  

Questionable parts
-Evelyn would probably ask for Anonymousís name earlier.
-Evelyn allowing Anonymous inside is also a little questionable.
-If Evelyn knew she was going to kil herself why would she let Anonymous in?
-On page seven (not including the title page) ďA tragedy that devastating scars deeper than the flesh.Ē I didnít get that.
-When Anonymous thumbs through the photos you might want to explain what the girlfriend looks like, and how do we know that that is his girlfriend?


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Coleman
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i appreciate your comments tanthony. this script here is my first completly draft. as of now i'm revising a few of the points u mentioned. i think u'll like Madison in the new version. i've changed my font to Currier New and the format as best i could.


"After Dark"
"Lie Behind the Eye"
"In Came You"
"Insatiable"
"Bethany"
"The Heartbreaker"
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Coleman
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Hey everyone, this is a revised version of my script. i've added some parts to it that should help the story flow smoothly.  the stories now 101 pages long, in New Currier font, and the format is better.
~Brandon~


"After Dark"
"Lie Behind the Eye"
"In Came You"
"Insatiable"
"Bethany"
"The Heartbreaker"
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iradiscence
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**THIS REVIEW IS IN PARTS. THIS IS PART 1. SEE NEXT POST FOR PART 2.**

Itís great that you took a shot at writing what I think is a very difficult screenplay to write. Unfortunately, the compliments stop there. I wonít give you a list of what didnít work for me in the screenplay because most of the list stems from one underlying problem -- your disregard/inattentiveness to detail.

Weíll start with the objective. Evelyn ran away from Anonymous when he was trying to return her wallet (one wonders, though, why he didnít yell or, if he was ignored, run faster to catch up). But for him to have known which house she lived in, he had to be two or so minutes behind, giving Evelyn, say, five minutes to cut her wrists? Impractical. Also, who cuts themselves soon after running into their house when being chased by somebody? There are many other little questionable things throughout the screenplay. Other examples include the lake scene -- how can Evelyn have been joking when she was almost run over by cars; an adult attempting suicide seven plus three times and failing?

Yes, as much as the small things bothered me, they were nothing compared to some major inaccuracies you had in your screenplay: You completely misrepresented a first meeting between a psychiatrist and a patient, who, incidentally was a manic-depressive; you had the hospital (mental or otherwise) scenes all wrong; you demonstrated that you hadnít the faintest idea what happens in the event of an attempted suicide with regard to doctors and hospitals, cops, psychiatric evaluation, etc. That this was Evelynís umpteenth suicide attempt is more fire for the prosecution. Because you did not do the research, the net result was that your dialog was oftentimes off and wholly unrealistic. Either you re-write a major part of Evelynís history, or you put in the hours and do the research. I suggest the latter because I believe drama rarely suffers from legitimate constraints.

Moving on to the subjective. I understand that people are capable of appalling incompetence and that people are prone to doubly-irrational whims, so much so that all manner of behavior is possible. But you, the screenwriter, are a dramatist, which means that unless there are compelling dramatic reasons to write certain unexpected and unusual behaviors, you are obliged to look deep inside the characters, taking stock of their back stories, and make them react in a manner that evokes the greatest amount of empathy from your audience. Your characters talk too much when words are redundant; they reveal too much of themselves too quickly without need; and they invariably fail to represent themselves with their words except when the screenwriter is looking to intervene with a plot device. \

Translated: Evelyn and Anonymousís first exchange in Evelynís house rings false; Evelyn and Anonymousís first dialog in the hospital rings false; Anonymousís exchanges with the Persakie are false; Anonymousís and Madisonís conversation after Evelyn has fled the restaurant is false; in fact, there are far too many instances when the dialog is, well, false. I stated that a major problem with your screenplay was an inattentiveness to detail, and so here the evidence has been given to you. I think that your biggest undoing was a failure to chart the crucial back stories for these characters. Where you had a bit of back story, you did not pay attention to it when framing the dialog and actions of your characters. Case in point is Anonymousís explanation of why he kept the engagement from Evelyn: he openly acknowledges that he hid the engagement because he didnít want Evelyn to hurt herself. What the hell? If Anonymousís intention was to provide Evelyn with companionship, why didnít he just tell her about himself instead of, as even he seems to admit, leading her on? The man was bi-polar himself -- how can he have been that injudicious and naive? Where did he think it would end? I also think that Anonymous would not have been so careless as to flaunt his passion for Madison, especially not when she had tried to kill herself upon finding out about the Madisonís engagement to Anonymous.

But speaking of Madison, I think that her character is rather schizophrenic. She alternates between showing great compassion for Evelyn and hating Evelynís guts. You didnít write the dynamic properly if that was indeed your intention. As it is, Madison is just plain confusing. Whatís worse, we know that she fell in love with Anonymous who was, as you suggest, similar to Evelyn, and yet she exhibits gross disdain for Evelyn. What was with the hug in the hospital, then?

A further two underlying problems are that your screenplay is too thin and lacks a proper narrative structure. To throw in a first random thought: Four suicide attempts in one screenplay can only be found in a parody screenplay Ė which is to say, stop using Evelynís suicide attempts as a way to resolve/bring about dramatic tension. Furthermore, nothing tangible is exposed about the characters in the screenplayís entirety, making the dialog weak and the characterís actions random. You also have the first two thirds consisting of scenes involving only Anonymous and Evelyn, scenes which donít really work unless you take out the corniness of the dialog and all that immature and un-cute stuff with Evelyn getting physical with Anonymous on their first night out together.

There are no clear boundaries of the acts in your screenplay and no clear narrative structure. Whatís the hook occurring at the end of the first act? Where does the second act end? Is there a third act? Furthermore, Anonymous does not change at all, nor does Evelyn, nor does Madison. The need to keep Evelyn from killing herself is a jarring and inadequate focal point of the drama Ė invest the screenplay with emotional equivocation, and not the adrenaline of a Russian roulette game. I mean, what exactly is stopping you from letting Anonymous think about the complexity of his feelings for Evelyn?

I realize that a significant portion of my post may be incoherent (not Ďun-understandableí), so I am going to give you a list of what I think would be worthwhile adjustments and additions to your screenplay in the hope that you will get a clearer picture of what I was trying to say above. Donít view the suggestions as instructions written by me for you; rather, view them as a guidelines of where the screenplay could be improved.

1) Open the script with a scene in which some guy is getting dressed to leave after spending the night with Evelyn. This would be a good opportunity to show that she is clingy because after, say, picking up the guy last night, sheís already talking about calling, and all that stuff, spooking the guy in the process. Then show her getting dressed or whatever and heading for the city or work. You show her approach a distant Starbucks, and then you cut to the scene with Anonymous getting a frappucino. I always think that you should seize every opportunity to tell us something about a character, so why not describe the Starbucks as being crowded with strange faces and yet the clerks know Anonymous and his usual order. No words added, no extra actions described, and yet you have already told us something about Anonymous -- the man who we instantly recognize to be the possessor of the one nice soul amongst a crowd.

2) When Evelyn drops her wallet, I say let Anonymous pick it up and go after her, only to lose her when she disappears into the lunchtime chaos. Anonymous then looks inside her wallet to find out where she lives. Cut to night and Anonymous pops over at Evelyn only to discover her bloody wrists, Economy with words would be nice here. (As an aside, too often you feel the need to wrap up an entire scene instead of implying what comes next. This was especially bad when Evelyn met the psychiatrist Ė you wrote a couple minutes dialog and tied everything up in those two minutes. If the psychiatrist really learned enough about Evelyn, then write consecutive scenes, with your dialog distributed among the scenes, to imply that time elapsed.) Anonymous doesnít stay at the hospital; instead, you have him walk in late into a group therapy session headed by Madison. They smile at each other. After the session is over, you show that Anonymous is very much in love with Madison and she in love with him. Anonymous then explains why he arrived late. This is nice because Madison, the ďvillain,Ē the obstacle to Evelynís dream of netting Anonymous is introduced early. Then, when Anonymous visits Evelyn at the hospital, he discovers that she has no friends or close family. This all leads to Anonymous getting hooked into this strangerís life. And thatís your first act right there!

**Continued in next post**
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iradiscence
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**Continued from previous post**

3) Much like you have it in your screenplay already, the relationship between Anonymous and Evelyn begins to blossom. But we must see how Evelyn is beginning to influence Anonymousís life away from her. Similarly, we need to see how Evelynís own life is changing. I say let Evelyn be in the know about Anonymousís relationship with Madison early on. This adds to the drama when Anonymous and Evelyn enter the murky waters were it becomes increasingly difficult to define what exactly is felt for one by the other. Me, I would establish that while Anonymous does indeed love Madison, there is something that hinders his total immersion in this love; that is, he oftentimes feels lonely in the relationship. Enter Evelyn who has experiences similar to his. He finds that he can talk to her more deeply and that all of a sudden he no longer feels lonely. But to him it canít be love, for he repeatedly tells himself he loves Madison. We begin to think that maybe he is so grateful to Madison for saving his life that the guilt, were he to leave her, would be so great his mind comes up with this defense mechanism of insisting he loves Madison. Things, however, come to a head when, in the middle of the second act, both he and especially Evelyn, realize that they are in love. They consummate their relationship, but Anonymous is so burdened by the consequent guilt he confesses to Madison, who after some careful soul searching decides to forgive him and take him back. But he must let Evelyn go. He tells himself he should be with Madison, thereby denying any romantic love for Evelyn. Of course, Evelyn takes this badly and attempts to take her life (or maybe she doesnít Ė she has an accident but everybody assumes itís a suicide attempt owing to her past history). She ends up in a mental hospital. Anonymous is out of her life, and she is out of his... at least he tells himself she is. We then have scenes to show how each of our players progress. Evelyn is eventually discharged from the hospital. Thatís the end of the second act.

4) The third and final act essentially would involve heavy realizations on Anonymousís and Evelynís parts. It would be necessary to connect their lives again, this time in such a manner to overcome the obstacle that is Madison. There would need to a big showdown to resolve the story. If Evelyn ultimately loses out and does go on to kill herself, I think that it would benefit the drama and give us a sense of closure if Anonymous were made out to be a loser as well, that is, he realizes he should have been strong enough to listen to his heart or whatever. To tie him up in a happy ending with Madison, all his cheer intact, means the whole story, particularly the third act, would have been pointless.

I hope that helps.

Final thoughts: You are not there yet when it comes it to dialog, but like every other writer, you will improve. Much more so when you learn how to get inside your characters and their circumstances in order to come up with their words. And just so you know, you have way too much on-the-nose dialog. Your action descriptions, at least, show that a bit of thought was put into writing them; they donít suggest negligence or laziness. However, you showed negligence in submitting a screenplay without properly proofreading it. I mean, your first slug line reads STARBUCKíS. And why really is our guy named Anonymous? I didnít see the need for an unusual name, but hey, itís your screenplay. My fear is that readers might assume the whole thing is ridiculous just from that and dump your screenplay. Overall, the screenplay needs a lot of work. Grade C.

**
Yes, I'm back. And it feels great.
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