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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short  ›  And She Was Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: September 29th, 2009, 8:20pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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And She Was by Simon Lewis (niles crane) - Short - A roadside diner in a sandstorm. A chance meeting between two people. 'Sway' plays on the radio. And love is in the air. 7 pages - pdf, format


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SimplyScripts  -  November 6th, 2009, 1:15pm
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Andrew
Posted: September 29th, 2009, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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Ahhh, I am supposed to be in bed, but I gave this a quick read.

It was nice. Clearly, as the reader, it's necessary to slip into romantic mode, and if able to achieve that, the story can be appreciated for what it is. The main issue was that the initial chat seemed a bit too rough and devoid of how and why. It was a stretch, even for me. Hell, 'The Notebook' sits proudly in my DVD section, and that requires a huge suspension of disbelief, but the sentimental aspect just hit me.

The happy ending was kind of good, I guess, but the script may have had a bit more pull if they didn't end up driving off into the sunset. That way, it could easily be related to. Haven't we all met someone and for a short space of time and felt like they could be the one, only to find that fate takes away that opportunity. The poignancy is all the more by virtue of the fact we never get to follow through on the possibility. With a subtle change of the plot, that could be easily achieved.

Having said that, you elected to go down the route you did for a reason, so that's fair enough. And for what it is, it works.

Decent little script that was a breeze to read, and it did make me smile/feel good, which I assume was the intention.

Always good to hear how the writer sees it, however.

Andrew


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stevie
Posted: September 29th, 2009, 9:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Simon.   Wow, you love your music and sticking song refs in your scripts.

Look, i'll be honest - compared to your other shorts, this is very slight. The formatting and actual writing is very good, but the story doesn't really get me anywhere.

It lacks that esoteric, dreamy feel of your others. the scnes are set up well and I can almost taste that gritty sand in my mouth!

Overall it was ok. I didn't really get into it. sorry...

PS: the song 'Sway'?  Is that the Stone's one from 'Sticky Fingers'? Or something else?


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Niles_Crane
Posted: September 30th, 2009, 12:14am Report to Moderator
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I have been having a lot of internet connection problems since Saturday night, losing connection after a few minutes that sort of thing, so have not been around as much as I would have liked - so it was nice when I finally sorted it out (fingers crossed) to find my script up.

Yes, you are both right - it is very slight. More of a fragment. I just felt like writing something, and after reading Stevie's "In Tune" had this idea of two people in a diner listening to a song on the radio. It is probably the least of the scripts I have written recently, but at least I am still writing, and for me that is the main thing.

Also, having fallen heavily for a girl who showed no interest in me, I find that the ability to give my characters happy endings is some consolation.

As to that song - "Sway" is very old - pre-Stones - and has been covered by Dean Martin and Rosemary Clooney amongst very many others. It has the perfect feeling for this piece (dreamy). The Puppini Sisters (who you may or may not have heard of) do an excellent version which is on my iPod.

Thanks for reads again.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: September 30th, 2009, 2:03am Report to Moderator
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This one is just okay for me. Maybe the characters just weren’t around long enough but they didn’t really resonate with me. For me it was harmless. Safe.

I’m glad Dani rolling up in her red sports car didn’t turn out to be the devil or anything. Thanks for that.

If characters are going to dance through a whole song, I hope they move like Patrick Swayze because three minutes of people dancing the same basic moves is probably going to get old.

That said, the song and dance part was the best part of the story. I do think it’s a mistake to put the whole song in there but it’s hard to go wrong with dancing.

The ending is like an ending followed by an alternative ending. I think it would be better to have either a happy ending or a sad one, not one followed by the other.

It’s not bad but I would have liked to have seen something more daring.


Breanne



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LC
Posted: September 30th, 2009, 2:30am Report to Moderator
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Great title Niles. And this could be a great short script. A few things in this draft are just detracting from it being that extra special ‘gem’ of a story.

*** SPOILERS***

Your opening description is clunky – there’s an extra ‘an’ in there and it reads as if you were in a hurry to submit it. And, as I read on this line and others seem to point to it needing a further spit n polish pre-submission.

A little personal preference:  Hon’ instead of Hun' – as an abbreviation for ‘Honey’. The latter always reminds me of Attila … each to their own, however.

FYI, last week Sydney copped a massive dust-storm; it was an eye-popping surreal/twilight zone event – really something! So your setting resonated with me. Bearing this in mind, I feel your writing, especially your descriptions could have been more vivid – there’s too much ‘telling’ and too many prepositions (connecting words) which are lessening the impact for me.

Example: “The cloud of dust is now much closer.” Where is it? What do we see? Is the wind howling/whistling? Is anything being thrown around or slammed up against the window?

And I’d wait to describe Dani until she's inside the diner. Seems she gets out of that car - no shielding of the eyes or mouth, not a hair out of place.

And what happened here? Do not mean to sound condescending btw, but:


Quoted from And she was
“They sit at the counter. Sal stand between them, behind it.  She looks at them drink their coffee in silence. She rolls her eyes and goes into the kitchens.”


Ditto imo with some of your action lines -
‘a bright red sports car comes screeching to a halt outside’ – could be a bit more 'active'.

Sway (any version though The Puppini Sisters for preference)

You clearly thumb your nose at the ‘no detailed music’ rule and that’s fine with me, I’ll go along for the ride with as much colour as you want to inject into your script – but don’t then take me out of it, with that “any version” line.

Likewise: This scene lasts the length of the song (approx. three minutes). You’re taking me out of the “you had me at “hello” moment again! It’s lessening the mood you’ve established and sounds like a ‘nod’ and a ‘wink’ to the reader/director instead of using a proper time-lapse device.

Further on, I’m not sure about Sal and Frank following Dani out to the car with Simon. I get why you did it with Sal’s comment re Simon following her but really, Sal and Frank are not idiots are they? They’ve witnessed the ‘chemistry’ and yet they tag along.

Lazy action lines - ‘Frank helps her clean it up a bit.’ ‘Simon smiles another sad smile. Dani joins him in it.’ ‘As he pays’ –  hey, I’m guilty of it too, just a few too many of these vague descriptions.

And lastly the dialogue. Especially this bit.


Quoted from And she was
“Yeah. It was nice. But...a dance and a cup of coffee in a diner
during a sand storm, it’s not real.
It’s just a story to tell the kids.”


I understand why you liked this when you composed it but it’s still a bit contrived. At least cut the first and last line.

There’s way too much dialogue for my liking just in that goodbye moment – those moments of ‘once-in-a-lifetime connection’ work better imo without all the words i.e. expressed with a look, a touch or a gesture. The “it’s not real’ line … maybe. Maybe if one of them says, ‘real life… right?’ and the other agrees with a nod or a smile. You get my drift.

Wasn’t sure if I liked the ending and after sitting with it a bit I’m convinced I don’t. When all is done and dusted (sorry, couldn’t help myself there) it actually detracts from the romance imo and also from your title - “And she was” not "And she Is".

Of course in a ‘feature’ fate would intervene and they would meet again ... later.  But the drama in this 'short' is the intensity of their meeting and lost opportunities.

Dani makes a graceful exit (as she should) but then not long after she chucks a u-turn around the block to pick him up. By doing that she’s lost her allure for me as a romantic lead and is now appearing a little desperate.

Anyway, being picky here. I liked this. When elements of a story stay with you, you know you’ve succeeded. I just feel the execution in the actual story-telling/script-writing could be more deftly handled – perhaps you rushed it?

P.S. Just read your comments. Hope you get the gal next time!

Libby


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ReaperCreeper
Posted: September 30th, 2009, 4:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hello, Simon.

I will put aside the obvious ignoring of the "no specific music" rules and such. I believe you are fully aware of the rules you broke, so I won't mention them.

Still, the script needs to be revised. Right off the bat, I noticed several grammatical and punctuation errors. They are too noticeable, and it makes the read distracting.

As for the story -- I enjoyed it. It was good for a short script. A small scale, decent charaters -- an enjoyable piece, overall But it does need to be revised or re-written a little bit.

That being said, I believe there is a bit of a lack of conflict at the end. It was barely building up in the first place, and your final scene just demolished it altogether. It was sweet, but it needed more development, in my opinion.


Some useless nitpicking:

1.


Quoted Text
He smiles a sad smile


What the hell? Why? I can understand why he does it shortly later on in the scene, but it makes no sense for him to do it here.

2. No need to capitalize Diner in page 1.

--Julio





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Lightfoot
Posted: September 30th, 2009, 9:31pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this and really liked the concept of four people trapped in a diner and making the best of it by dancing. That's something you don't really see much of, if not at all.

At the dancing scene I kind of pictures Dani as a exuberant and charming girl, but from the moment she comes into the story till before she grabs Simon's hand I don't sense that at all. In fact I felt she was kind of ordinary and passive. specially with her one line "oh". So it makes the whole dancing part spontaneous. Maybe spark her character up a bit?

The only other part I had a problem with was when they went their separate ways, I understand that Simon was going the opposite way, but why nothing more than a simple goodbye? At this point I thought it was the end because they met, had their shot, and chose for it not to be, but then she comes back again and everything is different.

Still I thought it was a really good read.


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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 1st, 2009, 12:55am Report to Moderator
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Thanks everyone for taking the time and effort to read and comment on my script, and especially LC for her comprehensive post.

As I say, this is the least of the pieces that I have so far posted on SS, but I felt like writing it and did!

It needs beefing up - it all happens far too fast really - I firmly believe in love at first sight, but in this case it only seems to be Simon who is hit, as until she takes his hand and they dance, Dani seems fairly oblivious of his presence!

It needs some better build up from when they first meet until the song plays (I had also intended a line from Frank re the radio that it didn't usually play in sand storms, to reinforce the magical element). I was also stuck with what they actually talk about afterwards, which is why the time jump happens until the near end of the conversation!

The ending: I was torn. My first instinct was to have them part. In the original version, we cannot be sure this is Dani's car - which is why you do not see her at the wheel, and the dialogue is just attributed to WOMAN. I wanted to leave it up to the viewer whether it was or not. Then, however, I changed my mind!

This one requires a lot of blank filling from the poor viewer.


Quoted from Breanne Mattson
I'm glad Dani rolling up in her red sports car didn't turn out to be the devil or anything. Thanks for that.


Not my kind of thing at all. I was thinking while writing it that in some hands, Simon would have turned out to be a serial killer (or indeed, Dani, for that matter!). I am as capable of these kind of things as any writer, but try to avoid them - believe me, some of the stuff I have written in the past has been so dark that it would require an X certificate if I posted it on SS!


Quoted from reepercreeper
I will put aside the obvious ignoring of the "no specific music" rules and such. I believe you are fully aware of the rules you broke, so I won't mention them.


Rules are made to be broken.

Thanks all once again for the feedback. As always, much appreciated.
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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 1st, 2009, 1:14am Report to Moderator
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The lyrics of "Sway", for those who do not know the song:

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more

Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me, sway with me

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now

Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak

I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now
You know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: October 1st, 2009, 10:01am Report to Moderator
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I loved that song in Dark City -- specially the version in the Director's Cut that actually had Jennifer Conelly singing it for real instead of some redubbed voice. It's how I was introduced to the song. Sorry, useless post.


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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 1st, 2009, 10:41am Report to Moderator
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I have seen Dark City but don't remember the song, strangely enough! Mind you, it was a good few years ago now. I may have another look at it to remind myself.
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malcolm3
Posted: October 1st, 2009, 1:55pm Report to Moderator
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As you are well aware, Im a bit of a fan of your scripts. Particularly the effortless way you seem to strucure them.

That having been said, this wasn't up to your usual standard Simon. The first few pages didn't hang at all well and at first I couldn't quite believe it was you writing it.

I'm glad to say you finished ok.

A nice little story - if rushed.

I agree with one of the comments above.

It looked like you couldn't wait to get this one in.
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alzidaney
Posted: October 7th, 2009, 4:08am Report to Moderator
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I'm in a rush and was thinking, why not one of your shorts? So I finished and I must say, fantastic.

You really bring simple storytelling to a whole new level. First time I've seen a story so simple yet meaningful.
It was a nice read mate. And ooh, i love sway.

I generally go for the overall outline so I don't really pay attention to too much details in scripts, so I apologize for that. But in general as a whole, I have to say it was good.
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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 7th, 2009, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you

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