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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Fault Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: May 17th, 2015, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Fault by Steven Clark - Short, Drama - In a time when emotional pain is a crime, a teen must decide the fate of a loved one. 9 pages - 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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Marcela
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 5:48am Report to Moderator
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Hey Steven, I love the logline - very intriguing. The whole script written in very intriguing way, kept me on my toes! And then I got completely lost, didn't understand the ending, so I read it again, and I'm still not sure why they took the daughter away instead of the father?


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StevenClark
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 6:54am Report to Moderator
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Hi Marcela,

Thanks for reading and welcome to the boards!

I sent this one to three people before posting and they all had the same issues -- they didn't understand it. I tidied it up and tried to add a bit more clarity but not sure if I succeeded. I'll wait and see if more peeps have the same thoughts as you before responding.

Thanks again!

Steve


Fair's Fare
An unsavory mechanic takes a shortcut that may not cost him his life but, by golly, he just might wish it had.
http://www.dropbox.com/s/3o0108q746tld5q/FAIRSFARE.pdf?dl=0
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TonyDionisio
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 8:48am Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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Steven,

Solid and deep stuff. In regards to the logline and why it works:

"In a time when emotional pain is a crime, a teen must decide the fate of a loved one."

You have set the genre, sci-fi type. Set a new rule of crime that everyone has committed at some point.

You have a protagonist and an absolute goal. Your stakes are a loved one.

So, it works well.

The writing is great, as usual. Very descriptive.

Only thing I change is the resolve stopeed a bit short of the outcome. Now I know people love to force the audience into using their imagination but I like a little more since you did say the Protag had a major involvement with the fate of a loved one.

Otherwise, GL with the script

Tony
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 10:24am Report to Moderator
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Very dark with little redeeming qualities, in terms of the material.

This didn't work for me, as written, but I can see why others may be intrigued.

Everything here is based on the Flashback, and once it's shown, the end will go 1 of a few ways - the way it does go, does not seem to make sense, based on the setup.

I detest asides, so the end was tough for me to get through without groaning out loud, but I'm sure others will not have any problem with them.

Writing-wise, it's not for me, either, but no serious issues.  Slugs are extremely bland.  Writing comes off a bit bland to me, even though you've actually overdid it with many completely unnecessary details.

On the positive side, you have painted a picture here that's both memorable and somewhat unique.  I definitely feel for little Mary Kate and loath both her parents.

Biggest issue I have is the ending, as it doesn't deliver the power, your setup promised, and for me, that's always going to be a death blow.

Interesting short, though, Steven.  Good work.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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stevemiles
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 10:57am Report to Moderator
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Steve,

Minor niggle -- not sure about the ‘Where’s the victim…’ line -- wouldn’t the tech. pinpoint the victim?  I mean they made it this far -- thought that would be the point of the device.  

Anyways, gave this a second read to see what I missed the first time.  Have to say, I’m lost as to the intention.  What was with the second red mark on Mary Kate’s neck when they took her out?  David causes her emotional distress yet she's the one they take away?  Think the concept needs more exploring as I don't really understand the 'rules' governing the implant.

Is the point to rescue her from him/the environment she’s in?  Or is David seen as the victim here with her being taken away?  I’m confused on this issue.  If you’re playing this straight then how would these ‘officers’ see her as the threat?

Feel like I’m missing something -- something very dark... Maybe I need more coffee...  


My short scripts can be found here:


http://www.sjmilesscripts.webs.com
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RichardR
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Steve,

Cryptic comments are often the best...or is it the worst?  Carry on.

I think I understand this a bit.  The dad is a predator who beats his wife and rapes his daughter.  Mom and daughter manage to implant a chip in daughter that trips some sort of alarm the brings the police who will take her away.  Seems a bit contrived, but if it's the only way, I'll buy it. Of course, that leaves mom at home to face the music, and it won't be all boogey.  

I think you can flesh this out by showing a bit of their efforts up to this point.  I mean, in a future society, dad would have been found out early, right?  I mean if mom is willing to get beat up for her daughter, what stops mom from calling the cops?  But she can't, so she has the daughter taken away.  Shouldn't her plan also account for dad?  

A bit more about the rules of the chip and the society would help explain the problems people have with this one.

Best
Richard
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StevenClark
Posted: May 19th, 2015, 4:01pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the reads Jeff, Steve, Tony & Richard! I'll try to get back to you individually with some of your points.

SPOILERS

The gist of the story was to show that Mary Kate was the one taken away strictly because she blamed herself for the situation. As she was carried out, she admitted as much to her mother, and I'm not quite sure why no one picked up on that. I can say it was my failing as a writer that I didn't find a way to make it clearer.

I knew that the key was the conversation between Abby and the doctor as he explained how the chip works and the implications of implanting it. Perhaps that could be clearer.

I know in some cases of abuse of this nature that the victim will sometimes blame themselves for the other's actions. That was the case here. So in effect, Mary Kate's emotions led the CMS to take her away because, as far as they knew, SHE was the guilty one because that's what she believed.

Steve


Fair's Fare
An unsavory mechanic takes a shortcut that may not cost him his life but, by golly, he just might wish it had.
http://www.dropbox.com/s/3o0108q746tld5q/FAIRSFARE.pdf?dl=0
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Iancou
Posted: May 19th, 2015, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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Steve,

Well written and strong character descriptions and dialogue. As for Mary Kate blaming herself, I got that in


Quoted Text
MARY KATE
(fading)
No... It was my fault, Mommy. It was
mine. I led him on. I...


It was an uncomfortable topic on a couple of levels, but you addressed some of the peculiar nuances of victim psychology here, both in the mother and daughter. You touched on some of the emotional responses in terms of physical reactions, which are filmable. The key will be getting actors that can really capture the emotions of the characters and show what is going on in their heads.

This script would be a low-budget requirement project that could be easily filmed, which definitely helps your chances. Hope it works out for you.

Ian


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StevenClark
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 9:29am Report to Moderator
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Jeff,

Hey man. Thanks for reading!

I wanted to address two comments you made. One is the asides. I detest them, too. I used to use more, but I learned my lesson as they always came out sounding too cutesy-cute and didn't add anything. I do still use them, sparingly, when I think they may punctuate a certain moment or a feeling within the character. Basically, as a point I'm trying to get across. But it is a very fine line with asides. I understand.

Another thing, and I'm glad you picked up on it, is the bland comment. That was intentional so I feel now I have succeeded there. Yes, you're right -- the story is kinda dark. I wanted some descriptions to be bland because I felt it would add to the type of story I was trying to tell. What I didn't want, necessarily, was the slugs to be bland. Gotta work on that.

Thanks again.

Steve


Fair's Fare
An unsavory mechanic takes a shortcut that may not cost him his life but, by golly, he just might wish it had.
http://www.dropbox.com/s/3o0108q746tld5q/FAIRSFARE.pdf?dl=0
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LC
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 9:33am Report to Moderator
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Steve, good to see this up. Did you alter much from the original draft? If you have I'll look forward to giving this a re-read after the OWC. Intrigued with what changes, if any, you have made to it.


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from StevenClark
One is the asides. I detest them, too. I used to use more, but I learned my lesson as they always came out sounding too cutesy-cute and didn't add anything. I do still use them, sparingly, when I think they may punctuate a certain moment or a feeling within the character. Basically, as a point I'm trying to get across. But it is a very fine line with asides. I understand.


LOL...funny.  But, if you're being serious and actually do hate asides, stop using them completely.  Especially in a dark tale like this, as tehy really do completely take the reader out of the story...or maybe remind the reader that it is just a story.


Quoted from StevenClark
...and I'm glad you picked up on it, is the bland comment. That was intentional so I feel now I have succeeded there. Yes, you're right -- the story is kinda dark. I wanted some descriptions to be bland because I felt it would add to the type of story I was trying to tell.


Steven, I'm glad you said this, because I actually had a feeling it may have been intentional.  And it was effective, so this is a a good lesson writers can learn - try to match your writing to the tone of the piece you're writing.

Take care.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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I don't understand what grounds the father had to blame the mother for anything? After raping his daughter, he has the audacity to blame the mother for the cause of their daughter being taken away... which is cool in a way, but then she accepts that blame. Which jarred with me. Surely she wouldn't be over him raping her daughter so soon that he could switch the tables and apply any level of guilt to her whatsoever.

I also don't understand why they took the daughter away? They should have at least taken both of them? You use subtext to intimate that something bad will happen once the perpetrator has been recognised but why is it the mother and daughter that are punished? She only wanted to help her daughter and yet they end up being victimised further.
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DanC
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 11:47am Report to Moderator
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I read your script and I think I understand it.  After reading the comments, I might be the first.

First off, before I get to that, I don't understand this world.  So, emotions are bad, then sex would be bad.  Sex releases endorphins and that makes people happy.  

So, I think we need to know the rules.  I mean, are they on meds to keep them from "feeling"?  And how does one live life without feeling?  It's like trying to feel through a coat.  It's not really possible.

So, I didn't understand the world you created.  It isn't sustainable.

Now, as far as the ending goes.  It's a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome.  She's raped by her father, over and over, never-ending.  She starts to sympathize with him.  You even say she just accepts it.

So, emotionally, she's at the emotional stage where she's rationalized it and accepted blame.  Many women that are raped wrongly accept blame for the action.  They somehow deserved it is far too common.  The daughter clearly accepted blame for his actions, mixed in with Stockholm Syndrome b/c she was his prisoner.  Who knows when the abuse started.

But, in a way, I think she realized this was the only way out.  I don't think she's really sorry.  I think she wanted it to stop and in a moment of defiance, she decides she wants out.  So, she allows herself to feel, which is illegal, and that gets her out of the situation.

I think she hated her mom too.  Her mom didn't protect her.  Her mom didn't protect herself, so, how could she protect her?  So, she realized that the only way out is to escape via the chip.

If I was gonna go really deep, what if she's a psychopath that can control her emotional output and she orchestrated and manipulated her mom into getting the chip so that later on she could escape from him.  perhaps that's reading too deep, but, that'd be really cool if I figured that out.

It was good, I just needed more.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

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Dan
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Max
Posted: May 23rd, 2015, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DustinBowcot
I don't understand what grounds the father had to blame the mother for anything? After raping his daughter, he has the audacity to blame the mother for the cause of their daughter being taken away... which is cool in a way, but then she accepts that blame. Which jarred with me. Surely she wouldn't be over him raping her daughter so soon that he could switch the tables and apply any level of guilt to her whatsoever.

I also don't understand why they took the daughter away? They should have at least taken both of them? You use subtext to intimate that something bad will happen once the perpetrator has been recognised but why is it the mother and daughter that are punished? She only wanted to help her daughter and yet they end up being victimised further.


I just read the script.

Basically he has no grounds to blame anybody... I think that was the point. She accepts the blame because... as you saw in the flashback... she too had a bruise on her face, suggesting that he beats her up as well. As an abuse victim, she's submissive to him.

They took the wrong person away... why? Maybe has something to do with the technology not being 100% perfect, this is a world where maybe the innocent get punished and the guilty get away with it.

Good work I think, snappy little read.

Would like the writer to chime in again so I can ask him a few questions


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