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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  Omelian Resolution - OWC
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  Author    Omelian Resolution - OWC  (currently 4427 views)
Don
Posted: February 25th, 2008, 6:26pm Report to Moderator
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Omelian Resolution by James Redd (James R) - Short, Drama - Twins Jayce and Shenna live the perfect life in the seemingly perfect city of Omelas. But when they find out that a helpless child pays the price for the happiness of the Omelians, they quickly resolve to end the arrangement. (Set in the world of the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" By Ursula K. Le Guin)  - pdf, format


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Don  -  March 8th, 2008, 4:01pm
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Pete B. Lane
Posted: February 25th, 2008, 10:54pm Report to Moderator
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Omelian Resolution? That's when you're really determined about what omelet you want, right? "I'll have a Denver or nothing!"

Seriously, this is good. A very well-written and intriguing piece. I don't "get" it though, but I don't seem to mind. How does the child's imprisonment allow for this utopia? Weird. It's certainly dramatic and tweaks the setting nicely.

A memorable one. Grade: A
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chism
Posted: February 26th, 2008, 4:06am Report to Moderator
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This script was a mixed bag, for me. It fit well into the theme/genre, but the story itself never really came together for me. You’re dealing with interesting themes, the balance of good and evil, how the suffering of one child pays for the happiness of thousands. I wish you had focused more on that stuff, because it’s what is interesting.

My biggest problem is the scene between Jayce and Shenna when they decide to help break the child free. The dialogue here is really obvious and on-the-nose, very clunky. The characters say exactly what they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. Who does that? It’s also a repetitive scene that would benefit from a lot of condensing.

Still, there were some good things. Like I said, the ideas were very interesting and I think the script began to recover in the final scenes. The ending was very esoteric and kind of dark, which I liked. The children accepting the balance, knowing that their lives are made to be so good because of another’s sufferance. That’s some deep stuff.

Technically, its also pretty good. Although some of the formatting stuff bugged me a little bit. There are description chunks that are way too long, they should be in blocks of no more than four lines. They also shouldn’t include anything that the camera is unable to record, so lines like “…How can they be happy knowing what they know now?...” and “…They are stunned that their mother would say such a thing…” should be taken out.

Overall, it was pretty good. I think with some if you rewrote some of the dialogue and spent a little more time on the themes of the story you’d have a strong script. Still, a job well done.


Matt.
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The boy who could fly
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Well this was an interesting way to use the theme and genre, it was different, but I think it fit well.

I think the Idea is interesting, living in a Utopia of sorts but at the pain and suffering of a young child.  I so wish we knew more about that though.

I thought the dialogue through out was weak though, it just felt off, I was saying it aloud and it just sounded weird to me, I think that is the weakest part of the script, and when it came to the ending I didn;t buy it, the kids seemed to give up to easy.

All in all it fit the challenge but the ending and dialogue were weak which kinda killed this very interesting premise.


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stebrown
Posted: February 26th, 2008, 11:54am Report to Moderator
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I don't know what "The ones who walk away from Omelas" is, but unless it's a short story written by the same writer as this then I'd disagree with this one being allowed in the competition.

The idea is very interesting but if you've based this on a short story you've read then it's not original is it? Apologies if I've gotten the wrong end of the stick about this because I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned it.

The writing was good but I agree about the dialogue and some lengthy descriptions.


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mikep
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Quoted from stebrown
I don't know what "The ones who walk away from Omelas" is, but unless it's a short story written by the same writer as this then I'd disagree with this one being allowed in the competition.


The short is based on a published short story by a noted science fiction writer, so it's  based on something which isn't the writer's original work.


13 feature scripts, 2 short subjects. One sale, 4 options. Nothing filmed. Damn.

Currently rewriting another writer's SciFi script for an indie producer in L.A.
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stebrown
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Quoted from mikep


The short is based on a published short story by a noted science fiction writer, so it's  based on something which isn't the writer's original work.


Are there any rules on that then? Only I thought that the shorts had to be original work. MY first OWC so I don't know if this has been brought up before.


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Don
Posted: February 26th, 2008, 1:55pm Report to Moderator
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I disagree with that that don't believe it is keeping with the theme and spirit of the OWC.  I also disagree with those that believe that this isn't an original work.  (Seriously, how many of the OWC participants used "OZ" as their spiritual jumping off point when writing his/her script.)

I thought this was one of the most original takes on the theme and (as far as I've read) the only script that the word 'prison cell' wasn't used, but it became quite apparent at the end that this is precisely the circumstance the character is in.  

For those of you who wish to continue the discussion you can also read the short "The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas" here; http://harelbarzilai.org/words/omelas.txt and you can see that only the setting and the utopian theme come from the short story.  If the writer had removed "Festival of Summer" and "Omelas" from the script, then the connexion between Le Guin's work is essentially severed.

btw, I'm glad to see the healthy discussion on this script.  I urge those of you who are rejecting reading it out of hand to give it a go and compare it to the short story.  

Don




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stebrown
Posted: February 26th, 2008, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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That's fair enough Don. I hadn't heard of the short story before so couldn't tell how closely it was based on it.


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James McClung
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This had the makings to be a great script. Not only did it have the essentials (good description, dialogue, character development, etc.) and fit the OWC theme nicely while still setting itself apart from the others, it was loaded with all sorts of interesting concepts, themes, and ideas. Unfortunately, I felt the end kind of killed it. I can't help but feel like there was some sort of message to all this but usually when there's a message at the end of a script, something has to happen to get there. That's not the case here. Everything's setup for a great payoff, whatever it may be, and in the end, nothing happens. It's downright anticlimactic and considering the setup that preceeds it, it's extremely disappointing.

The ending of a script usually doesn't impact me as much as this one but in the end, this felt really lukewarm to me. Bad ending or not, I still have to say this is one of the standout entries this time around but it's still very disappointing, mainly due to all this could've been.


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pwhitcroft
Posted: February 26th, 2008, 9:27pm Report to Moderator
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It’s a good intriguing story that moves and develops as it goes.

I agree with the comments about the ending and the dialog. Although on the dialog I was trying and failing to persuade myself that it was a deliberate attempt to reflect the alien culture. You can have some slack but it doesn’t come together.

The first few pages are set around the horse race narrative. If this is included at all the end of the race especially needs to be more tense and dramatic.

For my nit picks - the “Then” at the beginning of the second line is redundant. The definition of evil given is not one I’d agree with.

Philip

(I'll keep my head down during the discussion on adapting published works because the script in my signature is based on an Arthur C Clarke book!)


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mcornetto
Posted: February 27th, 2008, 3:04am Report to Moderator
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Since it was pretty much decided that it’s ok to write an adaptation then I won’t even go there.  However, since I didn’t read the story, then I have to give this a review based on its own merits.

It had an engaging story (The question of whether it’s your own or somebody else’s does raise its head) and it met the brief of the OWC.  The actions were plentiful but well written enough that they did not distract.  The dialogue was voluminous but not clunky and seemed to work rather well with the story.  You have a good grasp of crafting a story.

Like everyone else, however, I was disappointed by the ending.  I wanted a bit more from it (I know this was probably a space issue more than anything else).

So, well done. If we aren’t considering budget or securing rights to the story then I will give this an OPTION.
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BPeterson
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damn, i really really liked this one. there's a great contrast with the utopian setting and dark undertones. I also loved the ending, it creeped me out a bit. at some points the dialogue seemed stiff but it seemed to make sense in a utopian world. there was maybe two small errors, so small they escape me at the moment (damn my short term memory). I also liked the lean descriptions and actions, with heavy dialogue, it still moved. great job.
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Zombie Sean
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It's hard to tell what era this is taking place in. First it starts out like a modern day, then it sounds like it goes back into the 1500s, and I was getting confused to what it was.

The dialogue was a bit weird in some places, and some descriptions were clunky. Since you used up the full 12 pages, this story felt like it didn't even end and like I missed a whole chunk of it. I don't know how, but it just does. And by the way, I do think that the kids do give up too easily like Jordan said, but then again you were real close to breaking 12 pages.

Sean


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ABennettWriter
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Does Omelas have anything to do with Salem? Which hunts and finding causes of Evil and all that? I haven't read the story yet, so I'm not sure.

I wish I didn't know this was an adaptation.

The weakest part is the dialogue. The characters are good, and they deserve dialogue that matches them. You can't tell one speaker from another.

I don't know if adaptations should be allowed in the OWC. We should be inspired, but not copy.
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