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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Man's Best Friend Moderators: bert
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SimplyScripts
Posted: March 6th, 2016, 10:11am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Man's Best Friend by Steven Clark - Short, Thriller - Three days after Curt's beloved dog goes missing, a mysterious phone call arrives that will change the game. Forever. 11 pages - pdf, format


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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eldave1
Posted: March 6th, 2016, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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Steven: Well done. Nice twists and a solid read start to finish.

There was only one hiccup for me:

SPOILERS

It was a little bit of tortured logic that he had to call his friend at the station to get the location. IF Cassie and Lance really wanted this done - wouldn't the phone caller just say bring the money to this address?? Maybe - not - I do know that when the twist was revealed I went back to that.

A nit - but this should be ten thousand dollars. Not $10,000 dollars. You had this in one other place as well.


Quoted Text
MAN (V.O.)
$10,000 dollars for the mutt. Cash. Or
I start playing dentist.


Anyway - really good stuff here.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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StevenClark
Posted: March 7th, 2016, 6:30am Report to Moderator
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Dave,

Thanks for reading glad you liked it.

Well, I think if they had given the address it just would've taken the mystery out of it. I wanted to give somewhat of a buildup there. IMO, it would've been too easy -- plus I wanted to show that Curt could be resourceful, perhaps more than His wife gives him credit for, even though that was kinda part of her plan all along.

$10,000 dollars. I was aware I did that. I just think it read better like that as opposed to actually writing it out. That's all.

Personally, my biggest concern with this was the ending. When Curt gives the line -- "I should've known. The insurance policy, my pension," I was afraid it would sound contrived and predictable. It's a traditional motive for murder, but it kinda comes out of the blue and neatly provides motive. Still not sure if it works.

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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cbead
Posted: March 7th, 2016, 9:48am Report to Moderator
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Steven,

Very enjoyable and fast paced piece which kept me enthralled to the end.

SPOILER:
I suppose the only thing that didn't gel for me was the class divide between Curt and Lance...from Home and Garden showpiece to roach filled squalor ...  and that Cassie is (and has already been) settling for the latter. Perhaps it's Kenny's house.

A great read.


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eldave1
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Quoted Text
Well, I think if they had given the address it just would've taken the mystery out of it. I wanted to give somewhat of a buildup there. IMO, it would've been too easy -- plus I wanted to show that Curt could be resourceful, perhaps more than His wife gives him credit for, even though that was kinda part of her plan all along.


Yeah - that is a good point. Your way does help conceal the twist. Maybe if the wife has a line right after the phone hang up something akin to - anyway you can get a trace? - or something like that. Maybe it is fine just the way it is and was just a hiccup for me.


Quoted Text
$10,000 dollars. I was aware I did that. I just think it read better like that as opposed to actually writing it out. That's all.


Got it


Quoted Text
Personally, my biggest concern with this was the ending. When Curt gives the line -- "I should've known. The insurance policy, my pension," I was afraid it would sound contrived and predictable. It's a traditional motive for murder, but it kinda comes out of the blue and neatly provides motive. Still not sure if it works.


I re-r ead the ending - just a couple of thoughts. ON page 8 Curt says shut up - and again says shut up (as he lowers the gun) on page 9. I would delete the one on page 8.

The Curt line you reference is a little too tidy and OTN. As an aside - I think Cbead's note below regarding the low life Lance has merit - so you may kill two birds with one stone. Maybe  as he points towards Lance's body Curt asks her something akin to what the fuck did you see in a bottom feeder like this? And then he spots the life insurance policy on a credenza or something. - Ah, it wasn't about being with hi,. It was about getting rid of me. - Just a thought.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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StevenClark
Posted: March 7th, 2016, 12:59pm Report to Moderator
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Chris,

Thanks for the feedback. You make a really good point about the class divide nd could use a line or two of dialogue at the end to give Curt more ammo for way he does. Great. -- Don't think I've read any of your scripts on here. Care to point me in the right direction? Message me. Thanks.

Dave,

That's a great idea and just what I was looking for. I'm gonna use it. Thank you.

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: March 7th, 2016, 2:52pm Report to Moderator
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Glad it helped


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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spesh2k
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Hey Steven,

Nice to read another one of your shorts, bud, always enjoyed your work. Even though your genre usually isn't my favorite. But this script, on the other hand, was really right up my alley.

I opened this before knowing you wrote it based on the fact that I have a "dog" short up, too. But very different stories indeed.

I thought this was great! Loved the twist. And I especially loved the final line "What wife?" of the story. There was enough violence so far, no need to show him killing the wife. In fact, the way you suggest Curt's next action at the end was really effective.

Just a few things... did Curt REALLY suspect Cassie this whole time (because of his pension, insurance)? I assume he had a hunch. But still, if he's a cop, why didn't he just arrest the Lance and Kenny? He knew where they were. With back-up from his cop buddies (which I'm sure wouldn't have been a problem to get), it would've been much easier. But, then again, there wouldn't be that cool reveal and the neat way you revealed it.

Another thing... would Cassie really cheat on her cop husband who seems fairly well off? Compared to Lance, who seems like a trashy, filthy scumbag with not much going for him?

Maybe I'm looking too deep into it, here, but why would Cassie consider killing her husband (outside of the pension)? Was he abusive? I know a lot of women who were in abusive relationships with cops before. And Curt does seem like a pretty violent type if he's gonna take matters into his own hands rather than call his cop buddies to help him nab these two scumbags.

Anyway, I'm nitpicking. I really liked this short. The writing was crisp as usual. Clean and easy to read as usual. Just a few other things:

On the opening page --


Quoted Text
Hammer in hand, CASSIE DENNON (34) pounds a nail into a
telephone pole. A last emphatic strike and she steps back to
reveal --

LOST DOG
FAMILY HEARTBROKEN

A phone number and a picture of a sweet GERMAN SHEPHERD.


I got lost for a second when you jumped to the LOST DOG poster without saying it was a poster. For a moment, I thought there was a LOST DOG with a heartbroken family... of course, a second later I realized it was a poster. But anything that makes you have to go back impedes the read. Again... just me nitpicking.

Also, when you introduce Ranger, I got confused for a moment because the dog's name wasn't revealed before that (unless I missed it).

And one thing I thought was a little off was when Lance FARTS before the final scene. I know you were looking for a release after an intense scene, but we get that release after those two scumbags get fucked up (although not a comical release).

Outside of those minor, nit-picky things, great work, dude!

-- Michael


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cbead
Posted: March 7th, 2016, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
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Steven... You have read at least one of my scripts here, Outcall. Nice review too, thanks

I suppose another angle would be if Lance was a dirty cop/ ex-dirty cop known to Curt. That could easily explain away the affair, and the scumbag house (Kenny's) as Lance would obviously know some lowlife characters in his past. It could also point towards why Curt took matters into his own hands, ie Lance was/ still is peer respected in the force.


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RichardR
Posted: March 9th, 2016, 1:04pm Report to Moderator
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Steven,

Some notes.

Good job.  It reads like some plan these people would fashion.  They could make it simple, but they don't.  Sounds fine to me.  What doesn't work for me is the firearm that won't work.  for me, that's far too convenient.  Now, he can be a bad shot.  Or Ranger can take out the gun arm.  But things shouldn't be easy.

The ending works for me.  Cassie will get hers, and that's the way it should be.  

Best
Richard
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StevenClark
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Hey,

Revised version is up if anyone wants to take a look. Or not.


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
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Michael,

Hey man. Yeah, it is kinda strange we both have dog scripts up, huh? I'm glad you liked this. Not usually my genre of choice, but this idea appealed to me.

I love it when people say, " well why did your character do this when he so easily could have done that?" You answered it yourself: I wouldn't have much of a story if he did it the easy way.  I could see if its so far fetched, but here the life of Curt's dog is on the line. He wanted revenge.

Re the POSTER. Good catch. I've made the change and the new version is up now. Definitely don't want peeps to have to go back and re-read.

Re Ranger's intro. I did it that way because I didn't want to intro Ranger in the poster. I felt his intro should be in person. I wrote an extra line in Ranger's intro that makes reference to the poster so there is no doubt exactly who this dog is.

Re Lance's FART. Funny how you mention that in regards to the story needing a "release" after a heavy scene!    Someone else mentioned that too, but I left it in. If you read back, Lance farting actually sets up the next line of dialogue from Curt, which I kinda like. So, the FART stays!

Thanks for taking your time to read this. Much appreciated.

Chris,

I get what you're saying, but I just don't wanna give too much back story to this, and I'd no doubt up the page count if I went further with that. In the new version Curt does make mention of his disbelief that she would go slumming, so I did reference it and

Dave,

I also have the Insurance Policy making an appearance in the room. When Curt can't figure out why she's bottom feeding, that's when he spots the policy. Thanks!

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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cbead
Posted: March 10th, 2016, 3:49am Report to Moderator
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Nice, I like the  showing of the life insurance instead of telling.
Smooths out the ending.
Hope it gets picked up, would like to see it on film.


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rendevous
Posted: March 10th, 2016, 5:38am Report to Moderator
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Steven,

Maybe it's the look of the script, and some of your writing style, but it reminded me of Col Kurtz, the writer on here one, not the Marlon one. That's a compliment, by the way.

I did expect we'd see Curt at work once he leaves for it near the start. I realise it probably wouldn't help as it wouldn't further the story unless you made it.

I did like the first line of the description for the White Trash House. That amused me immensely. Ranger is an unusual name for a dog. Not saying it's wrong, I have a relative who calls all his dogs 'dog'. I myself once had one called Bulldozer. That was fun in the park when the bugger ran off again. I think he thought he was called 'come here' or 'come back'.

Think you meant 'Your' for the first line of dialogue on p3.

You're cheating not writing out the words for the ten grand in dialogue. Naughty.

p4 - skull cap. Eh? You mean like Jewish people wear? I did look it up but there's loads of types so I'm none the wiser what you meant.

p5 I like the swear word Kenny says near the end. Made me laugh. I may, erm, appropriate that later then conveniently forget where I got it.

There should have been a few shouts of pain and the like during the fight. Even so it was pretty damn good.

The documents on p9 were a bit too handily on show. I'd have preferred to see Curt make her get it or something else.

I've not read other comments so pardon me if I echoed stuff which has already been said.

Fairly gruesome in parts, Steven. Have you been watching Bone Tomahawk again?

I rather liked it. Well done it was. Like my hair.

R


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rendevous  -  March 10th, 2016, 5:52am
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CindyLKeller
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Hey Steven,

Well ,  I'll start with my nitpicks (which are only two) then end on a positive note.

First, I know the $10,000 dollars had already been brought up and you said you thought it read better that way, but that would actually read as: ten thousand dollars dollars because $10,000 is en thousand dollars.

I  felt like there was something missing after him asking for a favor then showing up at the house.  Maybe if he asked for a trace on the phone. ???
  
Otherwise, it was a good read. Well paced. Nice.


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