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This play has had proven success on the stage that frightened even the manliest of men. There was not one dry-eye in the house . . . Every night - ESPECIALLY the men. I knew if I could get the men to cry, then I did it correctly. It simply tells the truth about domestic violence. I am writing the Treatment for it so as to put on film, which is my next goal with this piece. It MUST be made into a film.
This script is not so much intended for the person who has been victimized, but for those that have not and those who have witnessed domestic violence and done nothing about it. I believe education is the solution to any problem. The more the public is educated on the reality of domestic violence, the better the chance they have in fighting it.
Yesterday night I read your play 'The Unmitigated Consequence' and feel good the way it is written. At the moment I searching some gripping script for my next film which has few characters s and limited locations. Your script almost meets the requirement. Could you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more discussion. Thanks!
I take it back it's not always what it seems, I agree.
I did read a good portion of the work, skimmed to the end (due to lengthy dialogue, not a play person) and while I've never seen a play like this (I have seen plays and Broadway type shows) I wasn't affected by it, despite the statement there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Not sure how it would play on the screen and there are many film stories about domestic violence that show it and don't talk so much about it, like the burning bed. Just seemed over the top to me and yelled "this is domestic violence, read me."
UHG! "My Breathing-Machine now" - Over the top? . . . Not hardly. Maybe you should read it all the way through rather than just skimming through it. Then you'd be able to actually comment about it in a more productive manner. I have had this script read by several women who have been abused. Not a one said "Over the top" They all said it was "Too close to home". Try not use "Buzz Phrases" to make you appear more intelligent . . . That's called Hackneyed.
I appreciate at least you read some of the script though. I'm just sorry you didn't understand it.
Machine breathing was directed at Bert, the God King.
I did read it, through the court scene, to the last page and the ending monologue. I skim read when dialogue gets to be too much for me. I wrote the caveat that I am not a "play" person and I believe plays are are dialogue centric. Movie scripts are not dialogue centric. However since you wrote there wasn't a dry eye in the house, I gave it a shot.
So here's what broke it for me right out of the gate. You have this woman who is freaked out by her ex being in her house and they scuffle and she sprays him with mace, screaming...I get it, this is serious! Get the F out! Run for your life. Then...
WOMAN They're going to find you, you know. MAN Yeah, well, them's the breaks. But not before I've finished my business. That,I can assure you. WOMAN What business? MAN My business with you. You owe me. WOMAN I don't owe you anything. MAN The hell you don't. You owe me your life...All I wanted to do was to come here and see you. To make sure my baby was doing okay . . .
Then they go back to fighting, you can't stay here, etc.
Point is, she engages him in a conversation. So I'm like, what? I thought she was in danger and she engages him in a conversation? It doesn't ring true. What it rings of is preaching, something to drive the point home that THIS is about domestic violence so listen up. So I skim read and found that kind of thing is through out. Maybe the system is so screwed up, or the people in these situations are like this, God knows I haven't been here so I don't know. I'm just telling you what breaks it for me. I am not denying anyone their due or their experience because I have read the news and know there is messed up stuff, far beyond my imagination and experience, in this world.
I don't think you are picking up the context and the nuance of the dialogue. The business is MAN getting even with WOMAN. It's not conversation. There is a lot of sarcasm, innuendo and mind-games being played. I do however agree, the court scenes are a little long, we cut them for the stage and will be cut again in the film version.
I'm sorry . . . I thought that this site would be more of an intelligent discussion on the script rather than ignorant comments pretending to be criticism. When I hear words like "Cheesy" "Melodramatic" and "Over the top" - I just can't help but think that the people criticizing on this script are a lower caliber than I expected from this site. I'm only looking for an intelligent discussion on the script and what the script is about. Reading comments of people who obviously have no conceptual understanding of the script or its content makes for a useless day. There is NOTHING "Cheesy" "Melodramatic" or "Over the top" in this script. I would like to take this criticism seriously, but, with this level of complete mis-understanding of the material, it's very difficult.
I thought he was you! It was supposed to be you! Oh my
God, why? Why did you do this to me? Why? . . . Oh my
God! What have I done? What have I done?
(Belts out a couple loud cries)
Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh! . . . Where are you? Come back here and
finish the job you coward. I can't take this any more! I
want you out of my life once and for all. You hear me?
I'm ready! Come on, what are you waiting for? Here I am.
I'm all tied up and completely defenseless. A perfect
opportunity. Get it out! Get it all out. Kill me you
fucking coward! Get it over with. Do it! If it will make
you feel more like a man, then do it. It's what you want
anyway. I don’t care any more! Just fucking end it! End
it you son-of-a-bitch! End it!
Good lesson here on how to avoid melodrama and OTN dialogue.
There's also a 3 page monologue right at the end, just in case the viewer didn't get the message from the first 115 pages. Nice touch.
I don't think you quite understand what melodrama is Dustin. This scene is high octane. she has had it and wants the abuse to be over. she is hit over the head with a shovel and dragged out of the house in a sheet and buried in the back yard. That is NOT melodrama. Watch the last scene here so you can see the scene in action. I assure you this is NOT melodrama. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHC_BBv2zlM
I viewed the video - for me, it was okay. I did a little research on the play itself and it looks like it got a 15 day run in a NY theater back in 2011. So - kudos for getting a project that far - that is a very nice achievement.
That being said, I'm not sure what you are looking for here. From what I have read, you believe (or at least it seems to be) film ready and you are relatively dismissive of the comments - for me they were spot on in terms of a film script. Your reaction:
I'm sorry . . . I thought that this site would be more of an intelligent discussion on the script rather than ignorant comments pretending to be criticism. When I hear words like "Cheesy" "Melodramatic" and "Over the top" - I just can't help but think that the people criticizing on this script are a lower caliber than I expected from this site.
All I can say is - ugh!
I did read the first 20. Maybe it's fine as a play. I don't know. But if your objective is to convert this to a film, it needs a lot of work. You spend the first 18 pages with a man beating his wife as they arbitrate the issues in their relationship (that's 18 minutes of film time!) and many of the identical issues (e.g., you never respected me, etc) are repeated. You are hitting your audience over the head with it. It'll never fly in a film even if it was perfectly written (which it is not). I would break it up. Something like have the first 5 pages or so with the violence and then take us somewhere else (e.g., flashback to his time in prison, get to the court earlier, etc.).
It may be the nature of plays vs. scripts. All of the plot points and background in the play come in the form of dialogue. For a film - not so much.
Can't remember where I got this quote (from a blog somewhere) - but I saved it and I think it makes the point better then I am.
Obviously there is room for great dialogue in a movie, but in most cases, a short scene is better than a long one, and the writer’s goal is to find the essence of the interaction … to distill the scene down to its core. In a play, the flavor comes in the opposite way … in the relatively leisurely exploration and unfolding of an increasingly dramatic situation. One of the great benefits of being both playwright and screenwriter is that skills developed in one form nourish me in the other. Writing screenplays developed my narrative muscles. Writing plays taught me to value character and the eccentricities of speech.
i.e., if you want this to be a successful script - you need to distill each of your scenes down to the core.
Just as importantly - you must believe that the fact you wrote a play does not mean you wrote a compelling script.