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SimplyScripts
Posted: August 24th, 2012, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Walk Away by Daniel Botha - Short, Drama - A nervous teenage boy faces up to his past mistakes. 8 pages - pdf, format




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Posted: August 24th, 2012, 3:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Daniel,

Glad to see another from you.

First off, this is good work. I  have some suggestions but I think it shows progress over your other work. Tightly written, well formatted - well done.

Nit pick stuff - check your flashback format and when moving inside a building in one motion you may find the mini slugs better

Eg Roger stands on the doorstep and walks into--

THE HALLWAY

--where he etc

I only spotted one like this but it tends to connects the scenes better for the reader

Story - I liked this. My issues were;

1) the mothers re action - her son is in a wheel chair, that we discover was an accident caused recently, we assume, by the other boy and she gives no foreshadow of this??? Normal, happy as larry?

I think this needs a change.

2) the two boys at the end. Now I can see this, just something seemed a little off eg a boy would stand alone timing nobody? Maybe watching the empty track?

Actually, afterwards I think the dialogue between them may need a tweak, some of it ex.ains the situation, on the nose etc, rather than dealing with them. Why he's turned up, why they haven't seen each other before, what's changed etc

Otherwsie, well done.

PS as an after thought, and because I like happy endings, I had the idea of him timing his mate training in a wheel chair. Too Disney for some, but an idea.

Cheers


My scripts can be found††HERE

Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi finalist - latest draft posted

The Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu Film Awards
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danbotha
Posted: August 24th, 2012, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Bill for the feedback on this. Thanks Don for posting, again.


Quoted Text
1) the mothers re action - her son is in a wheel chair, that we discover was an accident caused recently, we assume, by the other boy and she gives no foreshadow of this??? Normal, happy as larry?


I always pictured the mother as a person who doesn't hold a grudge. She has all these horrible things happen to her son, yet she still holds her head high and doesn't let anything get in her way. She knows that for her son to be in a wheelchair, it's not the end of the world and Fred will still be successful.


Quoted Text
2) the two boys at the end. Now I can see this, just something seemed a little off eg a boy would stand alone timing nobody? Maybe watching the empty track?


With Rocky being the only one on the running track at the end, I wanted to show how alone he is. How he isn't much without a best friend. I wasn't sure about the track, either. Maybe there's another way I could show this?

The dialogue... Yuhp, definitely needs tweaking. Will be working on that soon, as I plan to film this, next weekend with some of my friends.

The idea with him and the wheelchair racing at the end, did occur to me, when writing and I did think it would be a nice note to end on. The reason I didn't have it like that was simple. I want something that really is going to hopefully make people think twice about drink driving. If I had that happy ending, the idea behind the film wont be as effective.

Thanks Bill, really appreciate the input

Dan


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nawazm11
Posted: August 24th, 2012, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Dan. Looks like you have more shorts!

If I compare the writing to your first short posted here, I have to say, it's really improved.

But TBH, the short wasn't bad but it still didn't do it for me. The story, we've really seen it a million times before, mostly in any drama you see nowadays. There wasn't a new twist, nothing to separate it from the others. That's not saying it's bad, even good if you want it to be.

I think you need a little more here, something that packs more punch. Problem is when  Fred is first introduced, he comes off as a total A**. Why would I feel sorry for a total A**? I mean his story is sad but some kindness would've worked a little here. Maybe when Rocky first comes, Fred shakes it off and pretends he doesn't care and after, he snaps. Don't know, just a suggestion.

Not bad but I think it could be improved. Also, not too expensive to film so maybe you'll get some bites.

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RJ
Posted: August 24th, 2012, 7:35pm Report to Moderator
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Just read this. Thought the emotion was as good and it was an easy read, but I agree about the mother. As much as she may be able to get past what has happened, I don't believe she would be as chirpy, her reactions just feel a little off. Doesn't mean she can't be nice, maybe just not as welcoming?

Things that caught my eye:

'The video console is switched off.' might work better as 'Fred turns the console off.'

'LATER
Fred watches as Fredís car pulls off.' Might be just me, but I didn't understand this. Was Rocky driving Fred's car? or was it Fred's mum driving somewhere?

END FLASHBACK - this only caught my eye because it's underlined and centered like the way you would end the entire movie.

On the upside - IMO - The scene with Rocky at the tracks alone did what it was meant to. I understood what it was saying. I also liked the dialogue throughout and I thought it worked.

Renee.
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danbotha
Posted: August 25th, 2012, 2:44am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the feedback, nawazm and Renee. Sorry I couldn't get back sooner, I've been away, directing a music video, today.

nawazm: It's great to see my writing has improved since my first script posted. It seems my time here has really started to pay off. Sorry the story didn't do it for you. The idea was thought up in a hurry, as I'm working with a massive time constraint as I have to get this filmed, edited and finished to a competition standard in just a month.

Yes, Fred is an A**, but that's really what I was going for. You're supposed to think of him as a complete A** until the wheelchair is revealed. Sorry to see that isn't as effective as I intended it to be. I'll definitely consider that change you suggested.

Renee: Thanks for the feedback.

Okay, I agree with you with the mother. Maybe a little cautious, at first?

It's wickedly cool to see the emotion coming through on this one. Just hope that comes across in the final film, as well. As for the scene with Rocky on the tracks, great! It's good to see that scene making sense

Thanks, guys. Really appreciate the time.

Dan


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alffy
Posted: August 25th, 2012, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan, man you knock 'em out....shorts I mean lol

Going to start with a picky niggle.  i don't like the first Slug.  'RICH SUBURB', perhaps 'WEALTHY SUBURB'  would be better, but hey, who am I to say what's better, it's personal opinion right?

I few times you include redundant stuff like 'very fancy hall'.  The slug says were in the hall so you could trim this description.

I think Fred watching Fred's car leaving is a mistake, should it be Rocky's car that is leaving?

I think your slugs should give more info.  INT. DINING ROOM doesn't tell me if Rocky is at home or at Fred's?

When Fred holds the knife; a few small cuts would suggest Fred has thought about it before, just an idea?

Fred's reaction to meeting Rocky suggests anger, which is understandable but it doesn't help the idea that they were best friends when he fails to give Rocky closure for his mistake.  I think you might more impact if he somehow tried to forgive him before he tops himself.

Good concept and has some emotion but could be stronger IMO.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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danbotha
Posted: August 25th, 2012, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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Hey alffy,

It's coming to a stage when I'm going to start working on a feature, but I really want to make sure I know what I'm doing, first.

Don't worry about 'picky niggles' (nice word, btw). I can accept opinions and will even take a look at that.

Noticed a few redundant stuff when I read over this last night. I think when I'm writing, I just don't think about it and sometimes, they just slip by.


Quoted from alffy
I think Fred watching Fred's car leaving is a mistake, should it be Rocky's car that is leaving?


Yeah, that's a typo. Whoops

Thanks alffy, really appreciate the feedback and the ideas

Dan


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Forgive
Posted: August 25th, 2012, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan! Great to see more work from you here.

So first off - yeah I liked it ... I always do with your work. I'm just going to go with the good and the bad as I see it:

I didn't quite get --
"a rusty car cruises through a wall of massive, well-kept houses." It just sits wrong for me.

"ROCKY SMITHERS (18) dressed in track-pants and a jacket"
Well ... the Sultan of Oman could be dressed in track-pants, sat next to George W Bush (also dressed in track-pants), but hopefully you'd be able to tell the difference...?

I'm interested in the bit where Rocky takes his time to inspect the rust on the car - it's a kind of nice moment, but I can't 'place' it - I'm thinking that it's an avoidance technique, but if that's true, then I'd have him glancing at the house -- otherwise he comes over as looking uninterested??

I'd agree with other posters on the issue of Mrs Hind. When she first sees Rocky, I think there needs to be that element of 'momentary shock' - them composure - it actually adds an element of mystery to the whole thing, and gives Mrs Hind an additional dimension.

Left hand twitches is a nice observation.

Minor one - I thought "You were supposed to be sober .." was better than putting in the driver bit, as that's a little bit too much exposition - the reader's kind of waiting for the rest to come later (even if it doesn't).

I'd have to agree that the flashback end is off. And on that - the 'continuous' is wrong as well.

When Fred looks through the photos, you need an insert.

Top of page 6 - Dining Room - you haven't said where (ROCKY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM etc).

There's too many tears here ... it's like the piece is trying too hard to be emotional on behalf of the reader.

I liked the bit where Rocky stand at the end of the finishing line, but there's a bit of an unfilmable in him 'smiling at the memory'. The feeling of loneliness here was profound - maybe just emphasise it somewhat - start with a wide maybe?

So I think there's a lot going on here - some hit the mark really well, other bits need a little work. I think maybe it needs personalising somewhat?? Rocky may be an A$$, but he's an a$$ with a weight of emotional baggage who hugely regrets what he's done, and wanted closure (failed), and wanted forgiveness. And I think the only thing missing here is that understanding of Rocky's heartbeat within the drama. I mean, let's be honest here, wasn't walking away the hardest thing Rocky ever did?

Good stuff Dan.

Simon
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danbotha
Posted: August 25th, 2012, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Simon,

That makes all of my scripts you've read, now. Appreciate your support.


Quoted from Forgive
"ROCKY SMITHERS (1 dressed in track-pants and a jacket"
Well ... the Sultan of Oman could be dressed in track-pants, sat next to George W Bush (also dressed in track-pants), but hopefully you'd be able to tell the difference...?


Sorry, I don't understand what you mean lol. Is that a reference to me not having an actual description for Rocky?


Quoted from Forgive
I'm interested in the bit where Rocky takes his time to inspect the rust on the car - it's a kind of nice moment, but I can't 'place' it - I'm thinking that it's an avoidance technique, but if that's true, then I'd have him glancing at the house -- otherwise he comes over as looking uninterested??


Somebody picked up on it! Yeah, Rocky is trying to delay the time. See what you mean by him coming across as uninterested.


Quoted from Forgive
I'd have to agree that the flashback end is off. And on that - the 'continuous' is wrong as well.


Here's where I start to get a little frustrated, but not at you. I've been told so many things about flashbacks in the past, that I really just don't know which method is the right way to use, anymore haha.

I agree that at times this script is too emotional... Almost pathetic with all the tears. Not sure what kind of mood I was in when I wrote this.

Glad you liked this one.

Thanks Simon. Your feedback and critique is always appreciated.

Dan


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Forgive
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Quoted from danbotha
Is that a reference to me not having an actual description for Rocky?

Yeah - what you've got is a description of the guy's clothes - as it's quite an emotional piece, and there's only three characters, it may be good to try and get a bit of this guy's character across.


Quoted from danbotha
Somebody picked up on it! Yeah, Rocky is trying to delay the time. See what you mean by him coming across as uninterested.

I think it could work quite well - maybe have him turn around and look at the house while he's picking? Maybe have him accidentally pick a chunk of rust by mistake? I think it's worth having in, just needs a little re-working IMO.


Quoted from danbotha
Here's where I start to get a little frustrated, but not at you. I've been told so many things about flashbacks in the past, that I really just don't know which method is the right way to use, anymore haha.

I like Chris Riley's approach, which is two-fold:
1) He says only really put it in if you need to. Most flashbacks are pretty obvious - as in your case.
2) If you have to do it, then do it anyway you want so long as it's clear and efficient. I think yours just stood out some as the 'end flash' looked like it was formatted as it were a character - so it stood of the page a little.

Good luck with it.
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DV44
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Hey Dan- I think this is the third short story I've read from you. Your quickly becoming one of my favorite authors to read. Really like you short stories. Personal note, I agree with Simon and that when the mother sees Rocky for the first time I think there would be a shock factor to some degree. Overall, very satisfying. Great job. Best of luck on future shorts-
         Dirk
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danbotha
Posted: August 26th, 2012, 11:19pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, guys

Simon: See exactly what you mean with the character descriptions. That's something I should have actually picked up on.

With the flashback ending as if it was a character, another SS user (wont mention any names) told me that this was the right way of writing a flashback in. Having said that, I have noticed that not many other writers write them the way he does. Thanks Simon. Appreciate the effort.

Dirk: It's comments like the one that you just made that keep me writing... and I mean that. Glad you enjoyed this one. The meeting with Mrs. Hind and Rocky will change. The re-write will be done, soon.

Dan


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CoopBazinga
Posted: August 27th, 2012, 3:22am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan,

Always a pleasure to check out contributing members work so here I am. You can bang out these shorts for fun it seems and they're always pretty good quality which shows you've got ability or a knack for this kind of short.

For starters that opening line reads all wrong and could do with a tidy up.

No need for day and continuous in the slugs...get rid of day.

He locks his rusty battered car in a wealthy area, must be scared that all the yuppies have had enough of BMW's and the like.

I would call Mrs.Hind (Margaret Hind) on first intro and then change to Margaret in her dialogue and action for a cleaner read. Mrs. Hinds didn't sound right after she asked him to call her Margaret...maybe just me.

Slugs could do with some more info rather just hall like "DAN'S HOUSE - HALL"

I wonder why you didn't intro Fred straight away instead of lone figure? We know it's Fred from the previous conversation.

"It?ll" doesn't need to be capped in the action.

"Fred watches as Fred?s car pulls off." A typo here unless it was Fred's car that Rocky is driving?

Might need some "INSERT" technique for when looking at the photos.

"A tears rolls down his cheeks." reads wrong. Think you mean "A few tears roll down his cheeks."

Most of the above is just nitpicks and nothing that hurt the read so well done on a nice-written piece, I was never lost or tripped up and that's a good thing.

The story, well if I was after something to cheer me up at work then I chose the wrong one.

In all seriousness, this is another emotional trip around what is a problem in todays society so well done for tackling it.

Things I liked was the athletic game which is subtle and ties nicely into Fred's situation although I did feel the dialogue was a tad awkward at this junction...can't quite put my finger on it but it didn't read right.

Also Rocky's hesitation or stalling was handled well and gave us a good sense that this was something he was dreading but knew he had to face.

The things I didn't like -  the mother's been mentioned so I think you know this area needs some work, her reaction didn't warrant what Rocky was fearing before entering, nor that of a mother who's child has been paralyzed by this kid. Something to work on.

The crying and tears just wasn't working for me, I think you overplayed it.

Character descriptions were lacking, all we got was clothes and this left me with faceless characters. Lucky for you, your story was good enough to pull me through but this might need to be more developed, who are these kids and what is there background? Are they lifelong friends?

The story started with different class structures, one side rich with the massive houses and the other side poor, hence his rusty car. This I thought would come into effect but never did and left me wondering the meaning of that aspect. If anything, I thought Fred should have come from a poorer background to raise the stakes in his affliction, this kids/family's hope rested on his athletic ability but now that has all been torn away.

I can see you thinking this one up while watching the recent Olympics and what if so and so happened and one of these athletes lost the one thing they love.

On the same note and this isn't what you intended but anyway...what a great story this would be if Fred turned himself around and went on to compete and win in the Paralympics. Maybe there is a feature in that kind of story

There is also a little question repeating itself in the back of mind that won't go away. Why Rocky was driving to his house? Didn't he lose his license after the accident? Obviously I don't know the time frame but it might have added more exposition to have him turn up in a taxi or his parents dropping him off. Just a thought.

Good work, buddy.

Steve

P.S
Quoted from danbotha
With the flashback ending as if it was a character, another SS user (wont mention any names) told me that this was the right way of writing a flashback in. Having said that, I have noticed that not many other writers write them the way he does.


The way you did is perfectly fine IMO, it's all preference my friend and everybody is different...the important thing is to be clear to the reader and you can't be more clear than what you've done. It would raise an eyebrow with me if this was a feature and you had lots of them because it would be wasted space when there are other techniques to use.

And no, I wasn't the SS user from which Dan speaks.

I would throw out a word of caution about having "flashback" in the slug though but more for features. I read an interesting article recently which Brett put on the boards which said about pro readers not reading slugs after page 15...check it out if you haven't already.

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-screenwrite/m-1345647102/

Like I say, preference. Just make sure your story is clear and you don't confuse the hell out of the reader...clarity.

All the best.
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danbotha
Posted: August 27th, 2012, 11:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

Thanks so much for the in-depth critique.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
Most of the above is just nitpicks and nothing that hurt the read so well done on a nice-written piece, I was never lost or tripped up and that's a good thing.


I'll say the same thing that I did to alffy. Those nitpicky things are exactly what I'm looking for in reviews. It's great to see them, not to mention the interesting side of things.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
The story, well if I was after something to cheer me up at work then I chose the wrong one.


I seriously hope that wasn't the case Just a word of advice, if you're ever looking for a script to cheer you up, don't ever pick up one of mine. I'm not a morbid person, by nature, but it seems to be the genre I can deal with comfortably.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
Things I liked was the athletic game which is subtle and ties nicely into Fred's situation although I did feel the dialogue was a tad awkward at this junction...can't quite put my finger on it but it didn't read right.

Also Rocky's hesitation or stalling was handled well and gave us a good sense that this was something he was dreading but knew he had to face.


I dropped a few subtle things in this one, so I'm glad you picked them up. When I wrote this, I think I was in directors mode as I really seemed to focus on things like costume and setting rather than character appearances.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
The story started with different class structures, one side rich with the massive houses and the other side poor, hence his rusty car. This I thought would come into effect but never did and left me wondering the meaning of that aspect. If anything, I thought Fred should have come from a poorer background to raise the stakes in his affliction, this kids/family's hope rested on his athletic ability but now that has all been torn away.


The only reason I had that set in a rich suburb was because I thought it would be a comedic sight of sorts. Here we have this really rich, quite posh place and all of a sudden a spluttering car comes into view. Something for the audience to chuckle at, before we get to the emotional parts of the script. I just think some of my work gets a little depressing at times, so just something to get a few chuckles going. Nothing hilarious, but subtle humour.

The idea for the story actually came before the Olympics started, but the whole athletics thing was added later. Originally, it was just a story about a kid in a wheelchair and nothing else. Thought it didn't have much to it, so I added the athletics part, later.

The idea with the Paralympics isn't a bad one and I think it would work well, if the script wasn't based on drink driving. I think that alternative ending would possibly promote drunk driving, in a way, rather than have that message against it all. I just have this picture of a bunch of idiots thinking "That Fred guy was fine after the drink driving accident, so what's the problem?"


Quoted from CoopBazinga
There is also a little question repeating itself in the back of mind that won't go away. Why Rocky was driving to his house? Didn't he lose his license after the accident? Obviously I don't know the time frame but it might have added more exposition to have him turn up in a taxi or his parents dropping him off. Just a thought.


Nothing gets past you . Yeah, Rocky would definitely have lost his license, although who knows with the NZ police, nowadays

Thanks for the extra notes on flashbacks. I'll definitely take a look at that link. I remember seeing it, but not opening up the article. Don't know why.

Thanks Steve. You're raised some extremely good points

Dan



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