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SimplyScripts
Posted: September 21st, 2015, 10:17pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Bear by Steven Clark - Short, Drama - An elderly woman faces torment and exploitation at her nursing home -- until an unexpected friend comes to her aid. 8 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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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: September 21st, 2015, 11:34pm Report to Moderator
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What's up Steve!

Good imagery in this one, and I enjoyed the heartfelt ending woven into its dark vibe.

My reaction was sort of jarring. Pete's assholish behavior could be more aligned with the firefighting aspect. Another thing may be is to find out more on what motivates Otto. He needed to fulfill his promise, but the stakes aren't there to justify his method of justice, resulting in Otto being thrown into the same bracket as Pete.

I guess I really wanted to go "fuck yeah" when Pete was being cleansed of his filth, but I kinda thought "damn, Otto's a serial killer."


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StevenClark
Posted: September 22nd, 2015, 4:18am Report to Moderator
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John,

Welcome back and thanks for the read! I get what you're saying. It was suggested I lengthen this a bit to give me more time to iron things out, and that might benefit this. I think you're spot on about Otto, although I tried to give you a feel for him through his dialogue and just his general "way about him," minus his cleansing justice on Pete. Although this is mostly drama, there is a certain little horror vibe in Otto's actions. And my general rule with horror is that everything is in bounds, no matter how outlandish!

Thanks buddy!

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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AnthonyCawood
Posted: September 23rd, 2015, 1:42am Report to Moderator
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Hi Steve

Some thoughts, just my opinion of course.

Liked this, crisply written and compelling... until the end, which didn't work for me as much.

1) I think we need a little bit more of Pete being cruel.
2) I was completely thrown by the reveal that Otto was also a firefighter... up until that point he seems to be written as a little simple minded... so I struggle to buy him as firefighter as I think they have educational criteria?
3) If 1) was fixed I would happily buy Otto as a well meaning guardian angel and you could lose the son element.

Cheers.

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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StevenClark
Posted: September 24th, 2015, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony,

Thanks for the comments. All of what you said makes sense. Especially Pete being a little more cruel, but I wouldn't go overboard with it. Would have to think on that. I tried to keep this under ten pages, don't wanna stretch it out unnecessarily so. I think just the fact that she trembles in fear upon his arrival kinda tells us that Pete's a no good baddie.

I didn't mean for Otto to come off as a simple man. I can see how that may have happened as you're not the only one who's told me that. Basically all i said about him in description was that he had a kind way about him so I'm not sure if you're picking that up from the dialogue or somewhere else. Kind men can be firefighters too, I suppose. But duly noted.

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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RichardR
Posted: September 25th, 2015, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Steve,

Comments don't cause fires...sometimes.

I like this little story.  Pete is a worthy bully.  It's Otto that is my problem.  I don't see him forsaking a firefighter career to be a janitor.  But I could buy the back story if he owed the firefighter a debt.  Say, the firefighter saved Otto's baby.  That's enough for me.

Plus, I think Otto told Pete to lay off before this.  I would prefer that Margo also fight back a bit.  Perhaps, she could stick a fork in Pete's hand which only makes Pete more angry.  So, Otto has to act?  

In any case,
Good work.

Best
Richard
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eldave1
Posted: September 25th, 2015, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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Well done, Sir. Crisp - clean - a page turner.

The descriptions are vivid without being over written. I could see everything.

I agree with Steve regarding Otto the firefighter It did not fit for me.

A couple of real nits. Do with them what you may:


Quoted Text
Into a well lit room as soft piano music plays. In the corner,
a large tank houses a peaceful community of fish. A scattering
of SENIORS eat around a long dining table.


Maybe just me - but I would go with aquarium


Quoted Text
Pete watches him go, harrumphs, then fixes his gaze back to
the old woman


You have already introduced her - why not fixes his gaze back to Margo?


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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StevenClark
Posted: September 25th, 2015, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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Richard,

Thanks for reading. Glad you liked it.

Great idea on Otto's backstory with the baby. Wish I'd thought of that. Could be an easy enough fix. Just tweak the flashback, add another half page. Hmm. Anyway, who said Otto has forsaken his firefighting career? I think at Otto's age (late 40's, I think I wrote) its conceivable that Otto has put in his dues and retired, making his current job serve only the purpose of fulfilling his promise. I also felt it necessary that Otto and Margo's son have a common link -- meaning they knew each other working together for the same ladder co.

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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StevenClark
Posted: September 27th, 2015, 4:01pm Report to Moderator
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Dave,

Thanks for reading. Glad you liked this one.

Re the aquarium. I used " peaceful community of fish" to directly contrast how not peaceful Margo's situation is. Sadly, one of the few moments where I advertantly did something like that.

Not sure why some are not buying Otto as a former firefighter. Is it really that much of a stretch? Don't know about that one.

Thanks again for your time!

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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eldave1
Posted: September 27th, 2015, 5:49pm Report to Moderator
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I think the Otto issue is that it is unlikely that a fireman ends up mopping floors in a nursing home - I now get the tank thing - good luck


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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khamanna
Posted: September 30th, 2015, 3:11pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steven.

I liked it but two things - Otto is a bit cruel. I mean to kill a man... Ormaybe he's a Dexter type of man? Then you could show or tell us somehow. Either way he is a killer, I think it would be a good twist if you let us know that he is not new to killing.

And one other thing - Pete is a bit of one-dimensional for me.

I liked the promise to her son angle, the son being a firefighter and the bear dressed as one - thats a nice visual.
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colkurtz8
Posted: October 3rd, 2015, 7:50am Report to Moderator
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You check out mine, I'll check out yours.

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Steven

Sh?t, this Pete guy is every kind of horrible from appearance to personality to phlegm hacking! You really are conveying to us loud and clear “Do not sympathise with this guy!”   Also, how is a mid thirties patient allowed to stay in a nursing home? I thought they were reserved for the elderly.

Has Pete being watching “Night of the Hunter? His speculating over Margo's family fortune being somehow sewn into the teddy bear would suggest this. Pete would definitely relate to Reverend Harry Powell even if he doesn't appear to be someone who'd have much tolerance for black & white films

I like the irony of Pete's buddy being black after his talk of “illegals”. I mean, it’s easy to assume, given the way he's introduced to us, that he's a class A bigot. Yet, he’s fraternizing with Otto.

I like the dichotomy of Otto’s features too; big, hulking yet gentle...and evidently a little dubious in character since he's hanging out with Pete.

PETE
Well, what’re ya waitin’ for?
(waves)
Bye bye, asshole

- Ah, so I seemed to have misconceived both Pete's role in the nursing home (since the scrubs were described as two sizes too big for him I thought he was suffering from some degenerating condition or something) and the camaraderie between Pete and Otto. They are clearly not friends.

“A large MOUSETRAP dangles from his fingertips”

- Ha, nice.

“Stuffed inside is Pete – petrified and twisted like a pretzel. A brown clump of…something…smears his face. He vomits”

- Ha ha, this made me laugh. Great imagery. I chuckled at his desperate racial slur from inside the washer too. It just makes him look even more pathetic and amusing.

“A bloody palm print stains the inside gas, then is washed away.”

- I wonder is this really needed.  It’s so overused its being reduced to parody. I can’t help thinking of Titanic or any amount of horror films.

Also, what cracked and how? Yikes, things are getting serious now.

“Otto gently brushes the side of Margo’s face, takes the stuffed bear and slides it alongside her arm. He pulls the covers up and tucks them both in.”

- Ah, I thought for a moment Otto was going to check out the bear for hidden treasure for himself.

I figured Otto was somehow connected to Margo’s past before the final flashback came but it still provided a poignant ending.

This is a nice little script you have here, simple but effectively told without fuss. As I mentioned at the start with Pete, the lines are drawn pretty clear and definitive. We know who we’re meant to root for and who to vilify. Margo is the helpless old lady, Otto is the friendly (ain’t looks sometimes deceiving?) giant and Pete is your out and out villain with zero redeemable qualities. This is fine, its only 7 pages so we can’t expect much nuance in the characterisation, it’s just that it makes the read less challenging by not giving us much to wrestle with.

Nonetheless, I did get a satisfaction out of seeing Otto dish out some much needed retribution for the contemptible Pete. Also, as my notes suggested it gave me laugh…but…as the (I’m presuming) bones began to crack I realised Otto was going to kill him, which, for whatever Pete has done in terms of his treatment of Margo, seems a bit extreme.

I can’t help dreading what fate lies in store for Otto. Surely he will be locked up and who will watch out for “Miss Margo” then? It seems like short sighted thinking on Otto’s part right now and rather nasty shortsightedness at that, especially given his last line. This guy has some sadistic tendencies of his own it seems.

I’m sure there are ways for Otto to sort out Pete without killing him. Maybe he could put him into the washer (because that is a great idea) and keep him in there until the point of death before releasing him. I appreciate that Otto is mindful of what Pete will do if he lets him live given his supposedly influential family so I wonder is there some way Otto can get incriminating or just embarrassing dirt on Pete to use as a bargaining chip for his cooperation in leaving Margo alone and not getting him fired.  

Something to consider anyway because right now it feels Otto has severely comprised his own character in his measures to protect Margo. Thus, I was left with a odd, somewhat uncomfortable feeling by the script’s end. Which may be your intention (and would give the script some interesting moral ambiguity in my opinion) but I got the impression you were firmly on Otto’s side throughout.

As good ole Freddy Nietzsche (yup, I’m going there) would say: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”

Also, are you trying to say anything about slavery in the fact that a black man has pledged his life to protect an old white lady? Just a thought.

On a side note, I don’t know what version of Adobe Reader you are using (or maybe it’s something else that’s causing it) but I wasn’t able to copy and paste the script’s text which meant I had to write out any excerpts I cited. Not ideal. Just letting you know.

Col.


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stevemiles
Posted: October 3rd, 2015, 3:46pm Report to Moderator
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Steven,

A story that wastes no time in going right for the heart.  

Effective in the sense I was reading to see Pete get his comeuppance -- perhaps not so much that the writing was on the wall by page 4.  A quick set-up and it’s straight to the laundry room.  I barely know these characters -- Pete’s nasty for nasty’s sake.  There’s little time to build a sense of background here -- to get an idea of how long this abuse has been going on -- or why Otto goes to such lengths to get rid of Pete.  

In a sense the payoff felt stronger than the set-up.  Pete’s one sick individual but then I’m left rooting for a character who murders a guy by shoving him in a washing machine…  Different, certainly a hell of a way to go.  Perhaps I could get with this given more set-up, more reason to want to see Pete on spin.    

Nothing wrong with the idea, just felt like it was over before it began.  Were this leaning more towards Horror I think I’d feel differently.  Drama, I’m not so sure.

Steve


My short scripts can be found here:


http://www.sjmilesscripts.webs.com
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StevenClark
Posted: October 5th, 2015, 4:46am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from colkurtz8


Has Pete being watching “Night of the Hunter? His speculating over Margo's family fortune being somehow sewn into the teddy bear would suggest this. Pete would definitely relate to Reverend Harry Powell even if he doesn't appear to be someone who'd have much tolerance for black & white films


Ha! Never saw it.



Quoted Text
  A large MOUSETRAP dangles from his fingertips”

- Ha, nice.


Yeah, I liked that too. I struggled initially, thinking how would Pete's demise go. The mousetrap seemed like a good precursor as to what would happen next.


Quoted Text
   Stuffed inside is Pete – petrified and twisted like a pretzel. A brown clump of…something…smears his face. He vomits”

- Ha ha, this made me laugh. Great imagery. I chuckled at his desperate racial slur from inside the washer too. It just makes him look even more pathetic and amusing.


Yeah, just thinking how could I make Pete's situation even worse. Oh yeah, some shit smeared on his face would do the trick.



Quoted Text
   This is a nice little script you have here, simple but effectively told without fuss. As I mentioned at the start with Pete, the lines are drawn pretty clear and definitive. We know who we’re meant to root for and who to vilify. Margo is the helpless old lady, Otto is the friendly (ain’t looks sometimes deceiving?) giant and Pete is your out and out villain with zero redeemable qualities. This is fine, its only 7 pages so we can’t expect much nuance in the characterisation, it’s just that it makes the read less challenging by not giving us much to wrestle with.

Nonetheless, I did get a satisfaction out of seeing Otto dish out some much needed retribution for the contemptible Pete. Also, as my notes suggested it gave me laugh…but…as the (I’m presuming) bones began to crack I realised Otto was going to kill him, which, for whatever Pete has done in terms of his treatment of Margo, seems a bit extreme.

I can’t help dreading what fate lies in store for Otto. Surely he will be locked up and who will watch out for “Miss Margo” then? It seems like short sighted thinking on Otto’s part right now and rather nasty shortsightedness at that, especially given his last line. This guy has some sadistic tendencies of his own it seems.

I’m sure there are ways for Otto to sort out Pete without killing him. Maybe he could put him into the washer (because that is a great idea) and keep him in there until the point of death before releasing him. I appreciate that Otto is mindful of what Pete will do if he lets him live given his supposedly influential family so I wonder is there some way Otto can get incriminating or just embarrassing dirt on Pete to use as a bargaining chip for his cooperation in leaving Margo alone and not getting him fired.  

Something to consider anyway because right now it feels Otto has severely comprised his own character in his measures to protect Margo. Thus, I was left with a odd, somewhat uncomfortable feeling by the script’s end. Which may be your intention (and would give the script some interesting moral ambiguity in my opinion) but I got the impression you were firmly on Otto’s side throughout.

As good ole Freddy Nietzsche (yup, I’m going there) would say: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”

Also, are you trying to say anything about slavery in the fact that a black man has pledged his life to protect an old white lady? Just a thought.

On a side note, I don’t know what version of Adobe Reader you are using (or maybe it’s something else that’s causing it) but I wasn’t able to copy and paste the script’s text which meant I had to write out any excerpts I cited. Not ideal. Just letting you know.

Col.


I'm glad you liked this, Col! I was going for less challenging as I'm sometimes bogged down with clarity issues.

I never gave Neitzsche much thought, but that's a cool quote. Someone else mentioned that about Otto's character, and I countered with making Pete even more contemptible. Maybe the punishment doesn't fit the crime, but I tried to make Otto as likeable as possible so thatwhn the deed was done you wouldn't care what he did. Just Pete getting his due would be good enough.

My reader is an old version but sending over in email I can usually open it and read notes. Some other peeps often do 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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StevenClark
Posted: October 5th, 2015, 4:50am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from khamanna
Hey Steven.

I liked it but two things - Otto is a bit cruel. I mean to kill a man... Ormaybe he's a Dexter type of man? Then you could show or tell us somehow. Either way he is a killer, I think it would be a good twist if you let us know that he is not new to killing.

And one other thing - Pete is a bit of one-dimensional for me.

I liked the promise to her son angle, the son being a firefighter and the bear dressed as one - thats a nice visual.


Khamanna,

Thanks so much! That's actually a very good point about him perhaps not being new to killing. Shame I don't think of these things when I'm actually writing.

Yeah, no redeeming qualities for ol Pete. Script was too short and I wanted to get right to the point here.

Glad you liked it otherwise!

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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