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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Social Experiment Moderators: bert
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  Author    Social Experiment  (currently 5435 views)
Don
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Social Experiment by Jordan Littleton (nomad) - Short, Drama - Young Ashley suffers through unspeakable torment hoping it will give her the means to break free from her cycle of pain. - pdf, format


Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Nomad
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for posting this Don.  You really do all of us a great service by giving us a venue to share our stories with the world.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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stevemiles
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
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Jordan,

The writing’s assured, and you certainly captured a dark, joyless world with the visuals and characters.  The story, despite the heavy subject matter was effective without feeling overly sentimental -- perhaps brutally so.  

SPOILERS

To me the ending felt a tad ambiguous.  I can appreciate your not wanting to spell it out -- as the act in itself could be seen as enough -- but I couldn’t help but wonder where the bus was headed; or more importantly how far it could take Ashley from this way of life?  Interested to see what others make of this.  

Might want to put OVER BLACK before the opening line of action/SFX.  Maybe a preference thing -- doesn’t hurt as written, but wouldn’t harm it either in terms of clarity.

Steve.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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alffy
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 5:37am Report to Moderator
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Hey Jordan,

The opening paragraph reminds me of one I wrote recently and I got bashed for it as doesn't contain a verb lol, personally I have no worries with it.

I would capitalise Bums and Vagabonds, same for Toddlers and Bar tender.

You didn't give an age for the Clerk but you did for other characters.

SPOILERS!!!

I found this to be a very sad tale and it was very well written.  Ashley's plight and daily ritual was quite moving.  I liked the whole swings and roundabouts storyline, if you understand me?  I mean Pops paying and getting it back, it kind of makes it worse, even more so than the incest...if that's at all possible.

Anyway I thought this was excellent.


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

You can find my scripts here
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LC
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 6:00am Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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Ditto, from me in terms of very well written and the images are terrific. It's just so bleak and I'm not sure the ending offers much in terms of respite/hope...if that's what you were aiming for.

In terms of filming, it would require a level of skill to pull it off, brave actors, a sizeable budget (I reckon) and hmm, ultimately it's a bit of a 'downer' - not that everything has to be up mind you. Very well written though, vivid images & nothing of note to nitpick at all. Well done.

Libby


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Andrew
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 6:21am Report to Moderator
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Bleak. Very bleak. Personally, I'd say too bleak. Agreed that it's well-written, but overly so. My thinking behind this is that when filming (and not a zero budget short, so by professionals) each page is broken down into 8ths and then the 1st AD will work with the director, producer or line producer to break up the filming schedule and look at the best way to get the script filmed. So when you look at your script, there are at times 4 or 5 8ths where very little happens, so you have a problem. You either have long stretches where the camera is looking for something to do or a director with a clear vision on what to do to fill up the time - or you just lose the general filming schedule, which means you can very easily lose any structure and semblance of cohesion.

It's a tough balance - on the one hand you've written some excellent visuals, but on the other hand, you've given any creative team a tough script to film, unless there's a distinct vision/image in the director's mind.

That leads me to my problem with the bleakness. In my opinion, too much time has been invested in showing the bleakness of Ashley's world and as such, there's no discernible arc for her character.

The best element here is the 'passdown' in seniority. So the father dominates the son, the son the older sister, the older sister the younger sister. So you definitely make some interesting points on the perpetuity of violence, demoralising people and locking in mental and physical abuse. That's the soul of the script, as I see it. Therefore, you should give Ashley an outlet, be it a puppy, doll, or whatever and then give her a choice at the end whereby she will either perpetuate the violence and abuse on her subordinate, as it is in the family chain, or she will break the chain. That to me gives you an arc and an interesting, thought provoking short. Perhaps you could tie that element in with a puppy that she gives to Thomas to whisk it away from the hopelessness, or she gets on the bus with it - however you do it, I think you absolutely need that choice.


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Dustin
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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A story very well told. Loved the full circle with the more dominant characters... and i didn't figure it out till the end it was a family thing. Sorry I can't add more. I read through without a hitch and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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KAlbers
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
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Jordan,

Nice work here - an Art Directors dream... or nightmare depending on how you want look at it ...

well written, nice visuals... and a good ending... which I didn't see it as being bleak, but in fact hopeful. Maybe I miss read it though....

One thing I didn't understand about this is - *SPOILER --- why the money?  If this is a family unit, why does Pops give money to her... am I missing something here (and could very well be) is this like giving money for grocery shopping? If so, it's an odd way to go about it... that was my only hook up on it. I understand you need that element to have the ending that you have, and fear you forced this device into the story just to get that ending, but again I might be missing something.. otherwise, well done. I enjoyed reading it.

Best,
Kev


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Nomad
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 8:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stevemiles
Jordan,
The story, despite the heavy subject matter was effective without feeling overly sentimental -- perhaps brutally so.  

...the ending felt a tad ambiguous.

Might want to put OVER BLACK before the opening line of action/SFX.  Maybe a preference thing -- doesn’t hurt as written, but wouldn’t harm it either in terms of clarity.


Thank you, Steve, for your kind words.

I didn't want to spell it out too much at the end because in the end, it doesn't matter how far the bus will take Ashley.  Anywhere is better than where she is.

I was torn with using "OVER BLACK", but I ultimately decided not to use it.  I hadn't faded in yet, so in my mind, it's OVER BLACK.  That's just how I see it, but I may be wrong.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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Nomad
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 8:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from alffy

You didn't give an age for the Clerk but you did for other characters.

I found this to be a very sad tale and it was very well written...

..Pops paying and getting it back, it kind of makes it worse, even more so than the incest...if that's at all possible.

Anyway I thought this was excellent.


Thanks for the review, alffy.  I always appreciate your reviews because you always seem to find the things I miss.  

Even though the Clerk is a minor character, you're right in that I should have shown his age.

I'm glad you think it is well written.  If you're going to give me your time, I'm going to do my best to give you a well written script.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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Nomad
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
...I'm not sure the ending offers much in terms of respite/hope...if that's what you were aiming for.


After reading your review, Libby, I'm going to have to agree with you.  I got my point across, but I have this nagging feeling that I could have written the ending slightly different and made it more uplifting.  

The difficultly I was having, was that I picture the last page of the script taking about 3 minutes to film instead of 30 seconds, but I didn't want to just throw in filler to stretch it out.  Any advice?

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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Loulou
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 8:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Jordan,

I really liked your scene descriptions, it really took me into Ashley's dark, hopeless world. Like Andrew said, I was looking for some sort of relief from it towards the mid-way point. I though one of those children might have been Ashley's and I would get to see a moment of positivity for her. Her arc is to get out, but why? What does she have out there in the world that gives her hope and fight?

The Pops thing I was a bit lost on too. If she willingly sleeps with her father for money for her brother is violence really enough to make her do that, since he obviously does not love her anyway?
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Nomad
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 9:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Andrew
Bleak. Very bleak. Personally, I'd say too bleak.

...on the one hand you've written some excellent visuals, but on the other hand, you've given any creative team a tough script to film, unless there's a distinct vision/image in the director's mind.

...there's no discernible arc for her character.

...give Ashley an outlet, be it a puppy, doll, or whatever and then give her a choice at the end whereby she will either perpetuate the violence and abuse on her subordinate, as it is in the family chain, or she will break the chain.


Great review, Andrew.  Your producers point of view is invaluable and much appreciated.

This was my first attempt at writing something modern and dark.  Perhaps I went too dark, or bleak.

I like that you see this as being difficult to film without a distinct vision.  I know that challenge comes with this script, should someone choose to film it.  In my mind there are scenes that take much longer than they read.

I see what you're saying about there not being any discernible arc for Ashley.  I agree and I like your solution for that problem.

I was toying with the idea of Ashley taking one of the toddlers with her, but ultimately, that would create too many problems for her.  If I do a rewrite on this, I'll have her enter the house and caress the cheeks of the toddlers, to show that she's kind and caring, despite the horror of her life.  

Maybe I show her stealing some candy from the liquor store, only to give it to the toddlers.  That would make readers think she's a bad person too, only to feel like shit when they see that she intended to help someone far less fortunate than she.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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LC
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 10:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad
After reading your review, Libby, I'm going to have to agree with you.  I got my point across, but I have this nagging feeling that I could have written the ending slightly different and made it more uplifting.  

The difficultly I was having, was that I picture the last page of the script taking about 3 minutes to film instead of 30 seconds, but I didn't want to just throw in filler to stretch it out.  Any advice? Jordan


Jordan, the way around it I think would be if Ashley can get her own back in some way before she hops on that bus, which might mean her doing something bad or underhanded herself... actually, something clever to get her own back would be even better. And of course you'd want something that was believable too and not too 'happy ending'.

Also, the trick is in her doing something that won't compromise her character and make her just as bad as the others. This would definitely result in a least a more satisfying ending I reckon.

Easy for me to say though, thinking what that 'clever' thing might be, is altogether another thing! Will let you know if I think of anything.


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CrusaderVoice
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
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Jordan- I have to re-arrange my thoughts on this after reading your last post.

The instincts you showed in what you wound up putting in the script was a good call. She may want to get one of the kids out of there but her first priority has to be to get out of there...and not just run, but run and keep running as fast as she can. If she's burdened with a kid, she's not only not getting very far but she's liable to draw the attention of law enforcement and wind up back where she started. Stealing candy for the kids...there's something about that thought that doesn't fit or would just feel out of place with what's here. That's just me...maybe it adds something, but I don't think you need it. Something else to care for the one of the kids, something to show a loving touch, seems right...and since they all seem neglected, just about effort at all would help them.

Anyway, I was impressed with how well you've described and helped the read visualize the scenes. Truthfully, I haven't exactly seen a copy of Crack Whore Magazine in quite some time (the selection of periodicals at my local Walgreen's has been reduced to variations of Tiger Beat, Cat Fancy and puzzel books) but this is vivid but still tightly written.  
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