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Cold Cat by Nolan Bryand - Short, Comedy, Dark Comedy - While Phillip and his wife leave for a week, they ask Eric to look after their pets. When one of the pets dies on Eric's watch, he tries his best to make it look like it wasn't his fault. 8 pages - pdf, format
Nolan: I liked this one. A nice little tale with a comedic twist - solid formatting and writing throughout. My only real critique:
Love the title.
When the dude sees that the cat has not eaten
In the opening phone conversation - may be good to add a line from Philip akin to: Cat food and dog food both in the kitchen by their bowls. And maybe something about - don't worry the cat is a finicky eater.
I think a little more searching by Eric for the cat on the second day he arrives would work - just bouncing around the house - Tucker!
N, I hesitated commenting on this Jewel but here goes anyway. Well written, fluid, concise, amusing, blah, blah, blah. In my novice opinion, you obviously know what you're doing.
So all I'm doing here is invading your STORY; for no other reason than I loved it. You know, I'm a pet guy. I'm figuring you may be as well. You were pretty "Arthur" convincing.
The rest of this is just a lot of bologna. Forgive me.
When I first read it, I wasn't a fan of Phillip's "we forgot to tell you". Whaa? In real life, P & L had enough time to bury the Tuck but not enough time to call Eric? Eric is a good friend who they're trusting with their pets for a week? Not worth some kind of communique to Eric during the week?
Then I read it again saw you covered this with "1992 and Mexico"; Okay, No cell, no text, no email, $$ phone call. Still, maybe a little sketchy. (The price of a good twist I guess).
Also, a flash back to close the "Kitty Kaper"? At first not sure about it but then I surrendered. The image of the Artful Arthur sniffing, pre-dig was classic.
My favorite though, " The Little Secret" "He looks down at Arthur and puts his finger to his lips and makes a shush noise." And an affirmative bark from Artie. Yeah, Great Stuff!
Now my 2 cents: PHILLIP to Eric What is the Thompson's cat doing dead in Tucker's Bed?
And then: a shot of Tucker, his girl and a litter of kittens in the basement.
Hey JakeJon, thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it!
This actually happened. The time frame was in the early 90s as well. I thought about putting the time frame to this day and age, but it obviously wouldn't have worked, so I decided to keep it as it was. It's not exactly like it had happened, but the cat did die before they left, and they just forgot to tell the fella who was coming over to watch the animals. And he did put it in the freezer before he put it back on the cat bed at the end of the week.
It happened to two of the guys my boss worked with when he was just a few years into his career. He was telling the story the other night at our Christmas party, and I was in stitches. I had to get it onto paper, so I asked him if he would care if I used it for a story. It was too funny not to tell! In the words of Kenny Bania from Seinfeld, "That's gold Jerry, gold!"
This is an excellent tale, and you've done a fair job rendering it. I'm sure it's just the way it was told to you. The question becomes how can we make this better.
First, you might consider putting these two guys together rather than doing a phone call. At work, Phil handing over the key to the front door. He tells Eric what has to be done. And don't worry about the cat who rarely makes his presence known. Food will be on the counter, etc.
you might also consider having some of the instructions overlap scenes, coming in as V.O. as Eric goes about his tasks. This gets you into the activity sooner.
Last, you might want to put Eric in the house when Phil comes home. Wife sees the suddenly alive cat and freaks. Phil wants to know just what kind of worlock Eric is. Lots of possibilities exist if they're all there at the same time. You might even have Phil go crazy and kill the cat a second time. While Eric tries to explain.
What I'm suggesting is pushing this one a little, milking the situation even though some events weren't in the original version.
I like some of those suggestions. I'm already picturing in my head how it would play out on screen, haha! I'm in the middle of a re-write on a feature, but I may come back to this to touch it up and make it even better.
Not much to add here. Well-written and strange but funny story. A little disjointed tonally, but in a way, that enhances the quirkiness of the events.
I say disjointed in the sense that while the scenario is sorta funny in and of itself, the reveal about Tucker is delivered almost like a horror twist. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's funny because Eric is totally off the hook for something that could've worked out really badly for him but the reason he's off the hook is arguably worse than what could've been (and yet he ignores it). At the same time, I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, and when the twist was revealed, for a moment, I thought this really was a horror script I had simply misread completely.
I agree that it doesn't make much sense that Phillip wouldn't tell Eric Tucker had died. I think there're ways around this, though. Perhaps Phillip begins to tell Eric at some point but is distracted (perhaps he's late for his flight or his wife needs something) and isn't able to finish telling him. He might very well remember telling Eric, since he did try, but forget that he was interrupted. Either that or Phillip could tell Eric outright and have Eric not hear, mishear or misunderstand (maybe Phillip is on speaker phone or both of them actually go to the airport and Phillip shouts it back at Eric as he's leaving).
Food for thought. Not the biggest issue in the world, although perhaps the biggest in the script. Other than that, not bad.
Hi Nolan, I enjoyed your story...stylistically, well written. A little note:
EXT. PHILLIPíS HOUSE - DAY A house in the country, surrounded by trees and nestled into itís own little private sanctuary. Maybe, it should be "its."
Also, I found a little strange that the Phillip forgot to tell Eric about the cat's death. Usually, animal lovers don't forget this. But, if this is the story....it's OK. Great job. All my best, Fausto
I enjoyed this funny story. Yes, like the others said, I didn't buy it that the owner of the cat would forget to tell him that the cat died. I quite like James's suggestion that Phillip begins to tell Eric at some point but is distracted. I also agree with Eldave that the opening conversation is a bit longwinded and it would be better to move to action faster. So, overall, I don't have any ideas of my own regarding your script. In the future I shall read any script before I read the comments!