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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  The Envelope Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: December 21st, 2008, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
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The Envelope by Javier Torregrosa (jayrex) - Short - Joe receives bad news that tips him over the edge. 6 pages - pdf, format


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Cam17
Posted: December 26th, 2008, 4:33am Report to Moderator
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Interesting reverse chronology in this script.  It's a bit confusing when it begins, but then you understand it's all flowing backwards.  I found a couple of the sentences awkward, such as on page 2:

"A PHONE stares up to the open sky looking for answers."

It would have sounded better if you had just said "A phone lays open on the platform," or something like that.  You're giving the phone human characteristics as it reads now.

This is the second new script I've read here where a guy commits suicide by jumping in front of a train.  I guess its the most dramatic way to end it all.

Anyway, there were no real surprises here, but this was a well-constructed script.


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Tommyp
Posted: December 26th, 2008, 5:06am Report to Moderator
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Continuity Is For Pussies...

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Hey Javier. This was clear and easy to visualise. It flowed well, even though it was backwards.

I think it needs something else though. It was a bit dull... boring. I did like the ending, but I think this needed a bit more of a hit.

Should a character say "haha" in their dialogue?

I think he should turn off the radio, and maybe a few other things to show he wont be coming back. He's gone to the effort of wearing a suit for his death, so I think it would be fitting for him to fix some stuff up before he leaves the house. For example move a knife away from the edge of the bench. Or put something away that shouldn't be there.

Anyway pretty cool script, just needing a bit more... something. Well done.


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tonkatough
Posted: December 26th, 2008, 7:06am Report to Moderator
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Ah, another backwards short. I've read so many of them here it's lost it's novelty.

Didn't like this one. It sort of built up to nothing. The backward thing is a tricky trick to pull of. You still have a middle and an end but you need a powerful punchline revelation to make it work.

Just having  a man open a letter during breakfast is hardly a compelling awe dropping ending for a short.

As Cam mentioned above this is train suicide number two I have read here in the past week or two.  


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Toby_E
Posted: December 26th, 2008, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jay, what's up man.

Okay, I read this script in no-time, and I enjoyed it. The reverse chronology I thought worked well, however, I have to agree with what the people above said about the ending; it felt like a bit of a let down. I think what would work better is if when Joe read Jane's letter, if in a voice-over, Jane read the letter out. This would provide more of a resolution, as we can hear what in the letter tipped Joe over the edge. At the moment Joe reads a letter and kills himself, without us really knowing why.

A few things I read which need correcting:

Page 2 - Jane's on-the-phone dialogue; "Joe, Joe?", needs to be (O.S.) as she isn't in the scene.

Page 2 - Joe's description. Okay mate, you tell us that he's "a broken man, at the end of his tether", but this isn't something that a camera can film. Show us that he's a broken man. Maybe his nice suit is scruffy; his shirt is un-tucked, his top 2 buttons are un-done and his tie is half-way down his chest. Maybe he's crying. Maybe he's knocking back a bottle of whisky. But make his description more visual mate, coz' at the moment his description is un-filmable.

Page 3 - "Sweet rolls off his forehand", I think you mean sweat mate.

Page 4 - Rita's dialogue; "Donít worry Joe, Iíll be around to feed the little rascal. Haha." Take the "haha" out, and put something like "Rita CHUCKLES" in an action line.

Page 4 - Joe's dialogue; "Have a good day Rita. Bye Rita." He say's "Rita" twice... it sounds a bit repetative. I think something along these lines would work better; "Thank you Rita, have a good day."

Page 5 - The action line; "His dog ROGANís jumps around his feet looking for attention." sounds a bit odd... I think it's because there's an unneccassary apostrophe after ROGAN.



Quoted from Tommyp
He's gone to the effort of wearing a suit for his death.


I understood it differently; I thought that he was already wearing his suit, then the letter came which made him kill himself. He then thought to himself, "why bother changing out of my expensive suit, when I'm going to die anyway?".


But yeah Jay, congrats on this; you've got a nice little idea on your hands. I think if you corrected the things that I, and others suggested, and maybe make the ending a bit more special and spectacular, it would be very good.

Cheers man, Toby.


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jayrex
Posted: December 27th, 2008, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Cam, Tom, Tonka & Toby for checking out this script out.

I obviously missed a few mistakes.

This was a little effort I made for MoviePoet.  I completely changed the ending this time around except I left it where the ending was unsatisfying.  Just couldn't figure out a satisfying one but it works as it is.  I suppose I'll have to leave this for a year or so.

Kind regards,


Javier


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Murphy
Posted: December 28th, 2008, 11:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Javier,

I guess this was a movie poet entry when I started reading it, I remember they had a "backward script" comp not too long ago.

Did someone else not write a script recently where a guy gets a letter at the start then throws himself under a train? This felt similar to that, in fact while reading it I assumed this was the same script turned backwards for a experiment.

While I think this was well written it just seemed a little pointless if that is not too harsh? The point of a story told backwards is that it is there to mess with our assumptions and make us see that all is not what it seems. This was just played too straight to be effective really.

Like I said it was a decent enough script and written well enough, you really need to figure out how to take the reader to a place we never thought we were going.


Cheers
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colkurtz8
Posted: December 29th, 2008, 12:42am Report to Moderator
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Jay


I see what you were saying about the train suicide motif that I had done with "Rid Of Guilt" tho the reverse storytelling touch here was nice & I liked your spin on it.

It reminded me of "irreversible" (If you haven't seen it, check it out) for obvious structural reasons but also the impending feeling of doom since you know the tragic ending from the start, while for the rest you go thru the motions of seeing the sequence of events that lead up to it.

I might not have painted there as a very enticing movie experience but it can be (you'll know if you've seen the film) 7 this is further proof of it here, I was engaged from the start to the last word.

However, I kinda have to agree with GM that it was a little too straight forward but considering this was an MP entry, parameters are restrictive, I think you done a good job for a five pager.

Your writing (as what I've found with anything else I've read from you) is solid & concise.

My only problem with the chronology is that Joe sees the, I'm presuming divorce proceeding papers in the morning, yet its one o clock when he walks out the door. Is he waiting for that time specifically? If so, is 1 to 2 in the afternoon rush hour? I'd be thinkin' more along the hours of 5 and 6pm


"A handful of people sit side on to a coffin"

I must be dumb but what does "side on" mean?

microphone to the CONTROL CENTER

I know its a small thing but is there a need to say control center when we find out who Joe is talking to a few lines down?

Page 5 -- Typo -- He leaves and an open letter in the
center of the table.

100 Things To Do Before You Die.

He skims the book to gather a few manageable ideas. Browsing
for a few seconds he realizes that he doesnít have the time.
He sets down the book before heading into-.

Not sure about the book thing, nearly slipped into Bucket list territory there...& we don't want that.

Was there many entries that month??? This was a cool but tough theme to tackle.

Ya, this was as solid piece. Well done.

Col.  


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jayrex
Posted: December 30th, 2008, 7:13am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Murphy

Like I said it was a decent enough script and written well enough, you really need to figure out how to take the reader to a place we never thought we were going.


Thanks for the read GM Giles.

I have been pondering the ending and believe I have to add an extra scene at the end to add importance to the letter from Jane.  That's the key I believe.

This was in the MP competition and I had left it for three months and rewrote it and changed the ending and most of the script.  I don't have much to do to it.  Just an extra scene will probably fix it.


Quoted from colkurtz8
However, I kinda have to agree with GM that it was a little too straight forward but considering this was an MP entry, parameters are restrictive, I think you done a good job for a five pager.


Thanks for the read Col.

As I suggested above, I believe I need to add an extra scene.  I agree that it's straightforward and I'd say that we all can see the ending coming.  I'll try to add an extra scene soon.

I've got Irreversible.  It's a great film and the most perfect reverse film to be judged against.

I'm not sure how many entered and yes this was tough.  My early version I had experimented a bit too much.

Kind regards,


Javier


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JonnyBoy
Posted: January 3rd, 2009, 7:51am Report to Moderator
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Hey Javier, gave this a read. Obviously I don't have the problem others had of this being the latest in a series of backward shorts, so I did actually find it enjoyably different.

My main feeling about the ending is that I think we need to know what's in the letter. As sson as the letter is mentioned I wanted to know what it said, who it was from, etc. You mentioned in your previous post that it was from Jane - I'm not sure how clear that was in the script. Just changing Jane's line "Joe, have you read the letter?" to "Joe, have you read MY letter?" would fix that. At the moment we're waiting for an answer that never materialises. And that leaves the ending feeling unresolved.

My favourite backwards film has to be Memento...now THAT shows how you can put in a killer twist at the end of a backwards story. Just makes you appreciate how well-thought-out the whole thing is.

Jon


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