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nicely done. I liked this a lot. Had to go back a couple of times to get a picture of what was happening to whom, but on screen that would be cleared up. I like the way the dialogue comes full circle. You've managed to put a lot into a short page count and still make it work.
Agree with Steve that you tied it up very nicely indeed. Also agree that the on screen the confusion wrinkles would be fully ironed out. It needs a bit of work on Ramona's motivation, or a more compelling presentation of it if you want to keep lashing out at the rich as the core.
I love how the link on the title page is romcomwriter.net. This is the weirdest rom com ever!
I liked this. It was simple, but pretty hard to read, but as others have said that will be cleared up on the screen. Not quite sure why you chose a reverse-chronological order other than to make it stand apart from other short films, but hey, it worked.
Hahaha! I've been sprayed with pepper spray before, it doesn't sting or burn-it feels like somebody poured juice manufactured in the pits of hell into your eyeballs. Ouuwee!
I enjoyed your story, a lot of action and a suspenseful theme to fold into it. The dialogue could use some work, it didn't flow right with me. The dialogue I liked was the linked bits at the start and finish. Good stuff, Johnny.
“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning.”
Hi Wes - I'd have to agree, that is interesting and fairly well put together - reverse chronology isn't so common - but Ramona's motivation needs working on some - and I think there's room to fit that in - it'd have to be a bit longer, but I think there's room for it.
Thought that Ramona needs to yell when she gets stabbed - there was nothing there.
And this confused on the first read: A titled face - should be tilted.
Having said that - I do think that the reversal should add something to it (Memento), and not make a story that doesn't entirely add together more interesting. But lots of potential. Good stuff.
Wes, I've got to say what most have already. This is a tad confusing to read but on screen would be easier viewing.
Col hot a good point too; this is a good little short but by making a non linear story doesn't add that much. It adds a false opening, getting us mixed as to who is the protag and who's the antag but for me it could do with a little more. Maybe I'm being picky? I guess it was just that we find out Cassie and Paige were chosen at random and so there's really no twist as to why they're there.
Still a good read though.
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Going to have to break the chain of good reviews you've had, unfortunately. Sorry, but this one didn't work for me. The thing that really threw me off this one was the Melodramatic feel to it all. I'm talking about the 'evil cackles' and things like that.
The dialogue, for me, just didn't read right. A lot of it wasn't believable and because of that it was incredibly hard to get invested in the story, here.
You keep re-writing your slugs, even though we are in the same location. If you want to show that time has passed and that the action is still happening in the same location, just write "LATER" as a slug.
Sorry I couldn't provide anything too constructive. On the plus side, the formatting and writing is generally there. Just the whole feel of things was a little too melodramatic for my liking.
In the short amount of time you got to your beats,and kept up the action. Some have issues with presentation of the beats, which is understandable, but good job finding time to get one in there.
I wasn't confused while reading, you have the scenes going in reverse order, which is a interesting technique, yet creates it's own problem like audience trouble following along. Good effort at a different approach.
Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
Let me get it out of the way that I like aberrations, so even if the script had been utter trash, I would nevertheless have appreciated the fact that you were telling the story backwards. Hopefully that didn't sway my opinion as I didn't think the story was trash. I just thought the disclaimer was necessary.
I reviewed this as I read it so some points of confusion are later cleared in the story as will be mentioned.
(p1) "Someone once told me... 'If you're going to do something bad...' " I've realized as I leave more reviews that I'm not too big a fan of ellipses used to indicate a pause in speech or action. The sentence could easily be written as: "Someone once told me, 'If you're going to do something bad...' " Let the actors, directors, etc. decide where the dramatic stall will happen. A writer's job is to provide the dialogue, not dictate where the most intense breaks in speech will occur unless absolutely imperative to the storytelling. On that note, after that rant I feel the need to check my own work for ellipses, of which there are probably, hypocritically, tons.
(p1) "If you're going to do something bad to somebody, make sure they're not more evil than you." Who told her that? It sounds like a line from a show for toddlers on PBS. You know, one those shows for toddlers about how to be evil. Perhaps "If you're going to do something bad to somebody, make sure they're not better at it than you"? The inclusion of the word "evil" makes the original sound cartoon-y. Just my two cents, I don't want to rewrite your entire script for you.
(p1) "PAIGE" preceding her second line should be "PAIGE (CONT'D)." This is correct, fellow writers? That's what done when the same character is speaking before and after an action break?
(p2) I like the twist of Cassie being the victim and Paige's mother after establishing Ramona as the one in trouble.
(p2) "CASSIE" should be "CASSIE (CONT'D)" before "You're not going to jail." "RAMONA" should also be "RAMONA (CONT'D)" before "If you can't birth them..."
(p2) Oh. Women fighting about procreation. Women resorting to clever retorts such as "you rich b****" to fight about procreation. Progress is a slow process.
(p3) Oh. "Slut" too.
(p3) The lines are contrived and one note, particularly Ramona's. As the villain of this piece thus far she should be compelling, but anyone spewing out lines like, "You don't have what it takes to kill," is only compelling in an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh.
(p3) How did Ramona use the rope to pull the shovel away? Did she swing it, get it around the shovel, then yank it, all quick enough for Cassie not to take note?
(p3) Seems like a bad call for Cassie to run to Paige before subduing her attacker, especially immediately after said attacker has procured her only weapon from her. Maybe Cassie could shove her to the ground first, kick her, then run to Paige when the coast seems moderately clear and her opponent's somewhat incapacitated.
(p3) Freezer in the barn? That's new.
(p3) Never mind. The freezer is for mutilated body parts. Obviously. I have one of those too.
(p3) The woman dismembering other women's children because she can't have any of her own doesn't sit right with me. Nothing against you, merely that there's already an underlying message in a lot of contemporary media that women are for sex and child bearing and perfecting such behavior and nothing else. Thus Ramona, who's all "I CAN HAS NO KIDS. FINE. I WILL KEEL ALL THE KIDS," as if the inability to reproduce negates her of any self worth feels skeezy. I understand that this is a short, ergo the opportunity to delve deeply into the psychology of this homicidal murderer may be denied. I am neither accusing you of being a chauvinistic wife beater. The above opinions are just what was on my mind as I was reading the script. (note after completion: Boy, I was wrong about the direction of the story and am a presumptuous bastard.)
(p4) "cackles an evil laugh." Again, Yu-Gi-Oh.
(p4) "I got me a rowdy one this time." Yu-Gi-Oh Comes to Dallas. Most of Ramona's dialogue isn't working for me.
(p4) "RAMONA" should be "RAMONA (CONT'D)" before "My little girl was taken from me."
(p4) I retract everything I said about Ramona's intent. You even gave the reader a reason for her behavior, something I assumed would be glossed over. One point for Wes, minus 12 for Tendai. Also, for all my unease toward Ramona's dialogue throughout the script, I thoroughly enjoyed her outpouring to Cassie regarding her daughter's death. It humanized her and justified the script moving in reverse the way it does. Congratulations. I owe you a ribbon.
(p4) However, it seems a tad random for Ramona to suddenly think it's Share Time in the middle of No More Life for You Time right after Cassie foils her plans for evisceration by knocking over the shovel.
(p4) I think the BMW mention should be removed. As conversation it's stale. It's clear from Ramona's prior confession that she's doing what she is because her daughter was killed in a car crash. As soon as I start to empathize with Ramona she begins to appear incompetent bringing up a car that Cassie doesn't even drive. I say omit the entire BMW bit, leave it as, "It was a fancy car that hit her. Like the one you have," then jump straight to "Maybe someday you'll be talking on your cell phone..."
(p4) How does a car crash result in detached limbs?
(p5) Again, Ramona's dialogue. She sounded like an elementary school student auditioning for the role of Cruella de Vil in a school play.
(p5) More ellipses, in Ramona's speech as well as in the action.
(p5) It's great that it ends with the quote revealed to having been said by Ramona. It makes Cassie look like even more of a bad *ss when she uses it against her later.
(p5) No more evil laughs please. Villains work better when they're human, not when they're maniacal caricatures of what a bad guy should be.
I didn't find anything too confusing to follow, mostly due to your clear action lines. Reversal of Misfortune was well written by way in which it was simple to visualize what you were presenting. The action sequence were quick and to the point but not in an apathetic way, which is something I wish I was good at so nice job on that front. Otherwise, the story itself was decent, structurally it interesting and as I said justified by your decision to include Ramona's confession in the "third act" of the piece. Her confession wouldn't have worked as well had this been told linearly.
The only problem here, and other comments seem to agree, is the dialogue. Try making it more believable. What I do is say the lines aloud to myself upon completing the script. That or you could read through your work, skipping over the action, reading only the words the characters say to see if it sounds like real people speaking.
Signatures can be annoying, especially when they're pointless.
Just read the script and (some of) the feedback. I guess a lot of the stuff I would have said has been said by others.
1. some of the dialogue was a bit... ok, see tendai_moyo's notes above lol, he put it better than I coulda. 2. got lost, had to re-read, then agreed with prev posters that it'd be easier to get the reverse order on screen and decided i need to learn to read better.
Personally I liked the reverse chronology - ok the line that tied the two ends could be stronger but that's my own niggle - but there was a circularity in the story itself, so it became like a double reversal. Which was cool.