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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  New Used Car Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: March 2nd, 2016, 11:54pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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New Used Car by R.E. McManus - Short, Comedy - A couple go to buy one, a new used car that is. It doesn't go too well. The buying I mean. The script goes great guns. Not real ones. 10 pages - pdf, format


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Nolan
Posted: March 3rd, 2016, 5:35am Report to Moderator
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Hi R.E.

First off, I wasn't sure what was up with the logline.  Full disclosure, I'm no good at loglines so perhaps take advice from someone else on that!

As far as the script goes, I had expected more when the other car was following them.  I felt let down when we found out what their "pursuer" was actually doing.  It seemed kind of odd that the people in the BMW would just pick a car to follow in the hopes that they're going the same way.  I don't know of any one that would do that.

Anyhow, that's my own opinion of course.  I'm still pretty new at all this stuff, so do with it what you will.

The writing seemed good to me.  i followed everything easily enough.

Good luck,

Nolan
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eldave1
Posted: March 3rd, 2016, 11:41am Report to Moderator
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I agree with Nolan on this one. Well written but it lacked the payoff from the car in pursuit.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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rendevous
Posted: March 3rd, 2016, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Oh dear.


Quoted from Nolan
Hi R.E.

First off, I wasn't sure what was up with the logline.  Full disclosure, I'm no good at loglines so perhaps take advice from someone else on that!


I'm far better at taking cash and the piss than taking advice.

I'm not sure there's anything up with the logline. I thought it amusing. I would do. You still read the script, so I think it did its job.


Quoted from Nolan
I don't know of any one that would do that.


Your post is kinda spoiling it for others. It's not like telling people Miss Daisy ain't gonna live forever, Morgan. But it's not far off.

I know loads of people who'd do that. We obviously move in very different circles. My other point is it is a comedy script, not a documentary.


Quoted from Nolan
Anyhow, that's my own opinion of course.  I'm still pretty new at all this stuff, so do with it what you will.

The writing seemed good to me.  i followed everything easily enough.

Good luck,

Nolan


Thanks. I was hoping it may amuse. You obviously found it so funny you forgot to mention it.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

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Nolan
Posted: March 3rd, 2016, 9:49pm Report to Moderator
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Rendevous,

Oh dear indeed.  

My apologies, I forgot myself there for a minute.   Thank you for setting me straight.  

You may want to think about travelling in different circles, because you know, you'll just be travelling in circles.

Now that you mention it, I didn't find it that funny at all.  But that's my opinion, you know, the thing that I alone think.  Oh wait, is it okay to put my opinion down?  I know, next time I'll message you and ask you what my opinion should be, maybe that will be acceptable.  

Good luck?

Nolan
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Dustin
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 3:10am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nolan

You may want to think about travelling in different circles, because you know, you'll just be travelling in circles.


But even if he travelled in different circles he would still be travelling in circles.


I have to admit that I have followed another car on the off chance that they're going to the same place that I'm trying to locate. Perhaps a car park at some event or other. I have done it more than once.

It's also exactly the type of advice passengers are wont to give when the driver is lost. It's hard to drive and figure out where you're meant to be going all at once. Great advice like, I bet that car's going where we are, should never be ignored.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 6:37am Report to Moderator
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where's my simply scripts thong?

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New used car

I'm not sure your logline would get past the serious squad, but I like that style. It's very you and I hope you keep it that way around here.

To the script...

You have a good ear for domestic interchange, set against a suitable tone and situation. Kitchen sink drama set in a used car.

The problem with this is the payoff, and how the script dove tails into it. It may be a weakness in my reviewing but with short scripts I do like a good twist, and the tracking car didn't quite have the weight to pul it off. However, on reflection this could be handled by breaking up the order, making this non linear.

For example, we could open up with the concern of the tracking car, then step back to the initial meet the buyer.  We then look at the seller more suspiciouslay. Then the argument at home etc until we find out the argument is about the exhaust. May just keep us on our toes a little longer.

Nice feel to this one. The script that is. Not the guns in the script  


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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spesh2k
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 8:10am Report to Moderator
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Hey Rendezvous,

First off, the log line... not at all trying to be a script Nazi, I just don't really understand it, specifically the "it goes great guns" part. Perhaps it's a regional thing.

Any who, the script --

The writing is decent, though I'd try working on your opening slug and the wording a bit.


Quoted Text
EXT. STREET - DAY

Closed shops and cafes line one side. Opposite is a park.

It’s quiet. Parked cars line either side of the road.

JOE pads around a red Toyota as he inspects it closely. He’s
thirties, a little overweight and in a cheap suit.


EXT. QUIET NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

Closed shops and cafes line the block, across the street from a park. Vehicles parked at both sides of the road, one of them a --

RED TOYOTA

JOE (30s, chubby, in a cheap suit) inspects the vehicle, circling around it.


Perhaps it's just a matter of style. But that's the last thing I'll comment about with the writing.

I liked the rapid-fire banter between couples. It was realistic. Though I wouldn't say spectacular or particularly funny, it was something I can relate to. I also liked the fact that the other couple was following our main characters because they were lost and thought that maybe they were going to the same place. I've done that before.

And the suspicion of your main characters being followed is set up with the suspicion brought up by Joe concerning the Colin guy who sold them the car -- "Just thinking. Why’d he meet us
there. He don’t live there. Where’d it say on the paperwork?" I thought, at first, that this was some kind of con or set up by the guy who sold them the car.

There wasn't much of a payoff, though, overall. The "twist" with the couple following them (and going back and forth just like Val and Joe), should've been the sub-pay off. Because the "following" wasn't the main focus of the story. Or it should've been part of the big pay off. I don't know, I would've liked to see the two couples share more of the plot or payoff. Maybe they were going to the same place. Or maybe the couple was selling their house and the other couple was interested in buying... I don't know, man, something like that.

There seemed to be a big deal made about the negotiating... I thought that 75 bucks (or whatever it was) that Joe ended up not saving (because Val decided to settle on 1650) would come into play later. Maybe there's a part they need for the car and it cost exactly 75 bucks... you know, like one of the "Curb Your Enthusiasm/Seinfeld" type of ironic endings.

I suppose the exhaust scraping and falling off was kind of a payoff... but not really.

Other than that, the writing was decent and the banter was pretty good. I just felt like the story ended a bit abruptly. I was expecting more.

Overall, it was a decent job. A nice, easy, fluffy read.

-- Michael


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Nolan
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 8:26am Report to Moderator
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Okay, I'm down 3 to 1 on the following the random car issue.  I'll concede that one to you guys!  
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RichardR
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 9:39am Report to Moderator
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R,

Some notes.

What's good about this one is the banter and the paranoia that accompanies buying a used car.  How many of us have wondered how much we were fooled as we drive away from a 'deal'?  Part of human nature.  That the couple argue as if they've been together for years is a plus.  No need to finish every sentence or eschew the use of pronouns.  

What's not so good about this one is the structure.  You set up the deal as if it's something nefarious, something shady, a man selling a car on an lonely street miles away from his home, almost as if the car is stolen or something.  But there is no pay off for that setup.  Then, we jump to a second setup--the following car.  I'm part of the group that would never pick out a random car to follow with the hope that it would lead me where I wanted to go.  That's like picking out a random character and running with him with the desperate hope that he'll scare up some sort of story.  Anyway, the following car setup doesn't pay off either.  Now, if the couple was following in order to tell the first couple that their exhaust was about to fall off, or they actually were going to use that parking space the first couple commandeered, or it was a stolen car and they were following even as they tried to call the police, or...  You get the picture.  

You've given us a reasonably comic scene, but you have not worked out a story.  I know it's a short, so you might try cutting some of the banter in the beginning and get the couple in the car so you can continue the story.  

Best
Richard
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Dustin
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 10:48am Report to Moderator
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You don't just pick a random car. As an example, I was once trying to locate a car boot sale and was completely lost. Sat Nav just wasn't getting me there, wanted me to drive through a farm and then kept taking me around in circles until arriving back at the farm. After a while of this madness, I finally spotted another car laden with what appeared to be car boot sale junk... I mean, booty. So I followed said car and made it to the car boot sale.

In another example, the car we picked looked like it might be going where we were at the time. It turned out that it wasn't, but it was worth a try.

Whether there are obvious clues, or ones we pull from the ether, it's never just a random car. Perhaps it's a British thing. Worst case scenario, we end up in Scotland or, Brighton.
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RichardR
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 12:38pm Report to Moderator
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It might well be a Brit thing.  In the US, picking out a car would be a real challenge.  Generally, if lost, we stop and ask directions.  Of course, those might include a turn down by the hollow oak or past the shack where the mute plays the banjo--but they are directions.  There is a urban myth that men never stop for directions.  We do but reserve the right to ignore them.

Best
Richard
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spesh2k
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 12:45pm Report to Moderator
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It depends... I remember looking for a party up in the mountains and was having trouble finding the place. And there weren't any nearby businesses open to ask for directions or many cars around. So I ended up following a car I saw and, sure enough, we were going to the same place.


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James McClung
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad. I thought the dialogue hit a nice balance between snappy and realistic, and there was plenty of conflict throughout. Unfortunately, it was mostly aimless conflict.

The haggling was fun, but it's easily resolved, and the issue with the car being underpriced is basically forgotten. Of course, the exhaust does fall off in the end, but it feels like an afterthought. The car following them was an interesting twist, but it has nothing to do with what came before, and while the payoff isn't implausible, it also feels like an afterthought. At the same time, I think there's something to the fact that the couple makes such a big thing out of what turns out to be completely innocuous. I'm sure there's a better way to spin this.

I would also reconsider the logline. You suggested to Nolan that the fact that he read the script affirms its effectiveness. I can assure you that was not the case with me. You're a regular, and I remember your entry for the 2013 OWC, so I decided to check this out based on my familiarity with your work. That's a bias I can't ignore, but I have my doubts I would've checked this out otherwise.

All that said, I think this essentially amounts to a couple bickering about whatever crosses their mind with a few substantial conflicts but far too convenient resolutions. In that sense, it's more entertaining than it really should be, thanks mostly to the dialogue, but still frivolous. I think you can do better with what you've got here.


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rendevous
Posted: March 4th, 2016, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
I agree with Nolan on this one. Well written but it lacked the payoff from the car in pursuit.


It seems to be being discussed. Obviously I quite liked it meself. I tried many endings and the one(s) chosen worked best. I still like this script. Not something I'd ever seen in a film but a situation I've been through more than once.

I'll be back on later. Thanks for the read.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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