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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April 2017 OWC  ›  A Toast, To Armageddon - OWC Moderators: Angry Bear
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  Author    A Toast, To Armageddon - OWC  (currently 1357 views)
Don
Posted: April 21st, 2017, 11:23pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Toast, To Armageddon by Anonymous 4 - Short, Apocalypse, Drama, Thriller - When an estranged father kidnaps his ten year old son in preparation for the end of the world, the boy must decide exactly how much he trusts the man he calls 'Dad'. 13 pages - pdf, format

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MarkRenshaw
Posted: April 22nd, 2017, 11:51am Report to Moderator
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Nicely written. A bit too much detail at the beginning (Brown hair, brown eyes why? does it matter at all what the colour is?) but that's fine, some like that and some don't. The opening conversation is awkward - it sounds very much ex-positional and just for the audiences benefit but once they reach the cabin it sounds much more natural.

I guessed where this was going early on so I started drifting and scanning through the action. The end therefore threw me a curve ball.

SPOILERS AHEAD

I guessed that his dad was a bit mental and had escaped prison, kidnapped his son, killed a few folks and was going to commit murder/suicide at the end. Everything pointed towards this but then you put the actual apocalypse at the end? How did the father know this when no-one else on the planet was aware?

Or was it the drugs kicking in and all a hallucination? I think you need to be a bit clearer as I was scratching my head but not in a good way.

Overall though, a decent effort.

-Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Gum
Posted: April 22nd, 2017, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hi writer,

Well written and, definitely has an apocalyptic theme surrounding it. I’m just curious how John could be in possession of this information, a little insight could go a long way IMO. I do get the sense that John was a 'prepper' and awaiting the demise of humanity in some way, thus, was ready when the time came.

It’s believed that something as obvious as meteors destroying earth would be common knowledge at this point, giving everyone a fair chance to take cover but, on the flip side, it’s also believed that those in control of the MSM would ensure no one knew about the event in order to prevent mass panic… everyone’s gonna’ die anyway; in their home or on the highway during their panic flight, so what’s the point.

As well, it gives the upper echelons of those who control nation states, vis-à-vis… the elite (mind you, I don’t like that word for them, I prefer ‘parasites’), more time to access their underground bunkers without all the masses getting in their way. Of course, none of these fucktards (elite) can fly their own private jets and, when the shit finally hits the fan I beg them to find a God fearing soul to transport them to their rodent hole when the world’s about to end.

Back to the story. John would have to of been in a certain position to possess this knowledge. He kept referring to the Government as the progenitors of all the death surrounding he and Danny’s flight to safety, thus, I’m wondering if John himself is in league with those same individuals who worked for the elite in some shape or form but, when it came time to transport them to their place of safety… just said: “fuck it, your on your own like everyone else”. I think I could understand fully any of John’s actions after that.

Curious it was a ‘Red’ pill and not blue. No one ever takes the ‘Blue Pill’. The overall story was disturbing but, we are talking about an Apocalypse here, well done. Best of luck!
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stevie
Posted: April 22nd, 2017, 5:36pm Report to Moderator
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Pretty good this one though a tad convoluted at times. Reminded me of Stephen King's Firestarter when they got to the cabin lol.

Would a TV channel broadcast a police alert for a possible child 'kidnapping'? It would be quite common in the US i think but maybe they would, I dunno.

Anyway I liked it and it flowed along nicely so good effort!


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SteveUK
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this one, but I did have a couple of issues with it.

The introductions of Danny and John could do with polishing - do we really need to know the colour of their hair, eyes and clothes? It doesn’t tell us anything about them as characters and seems redundant.

The dialogue between John and Danny near the beginning was a little expositional and forced. A lot of it felt more like something a parent would say to an older teenager - it didn’t feel like a natural conversation between a father and his 10yr old son, especially the part about the caliber of rounds that were fired into his mother’s back.

As has been mentioned by others earlier, I think there needed to be more clarification on how John knew what was coming. Where did he get his info from? Did he have some kind of vision? I don’t think you need to go into to much detail, but there should be something to make the reader question whether he’s telling the truth or if he’s just crazy. As it is, his claims seem completely unfound.

Despite those few issues I did enjoy reading this, and especially liked the way it ended.
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Cam Gray
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey writer,

The first couple of pages, the dialogue, to me, felt a bit clunky and could be tidied up, but over the whole piece it's pretty well written.

The contents. This is the second family murder script, and whilst I think I like it better than the other, I still didn't quite get it. The father, a loose cannon who believes the end of the world is neigh (correctly), abducts his son and legs it off to the middle of no where, que ending (which I won't give away).

It was largely well written, but just the story didn't grab me, and even though we've got to sit back and admire the work and accept the characters won't be influenced by our opinions, my opinions of John were pretty low.

Anyway, good job on the writing, subject matter maybe not so.

Cam


23 Mu Mu’s in an ice cream van...
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Wes
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 12:38pm Report to Moderator
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I get that the eye color and hair color descriptions feed to the "Amber Alert" (as those TV announcements are called in the U.S.) later in the script. But maybe there's a way to be a bit more subtle with it. Like, later in the script Danny looks in a mirror and we further describe him then.
Just how in the world is John the only person on earth who knows the Earth is going to be destroyed by meteors?
John has been to the cabin, killed the old man, then gone out and kidnapped Danny and returned to the cabin? I’ll buy it. Just wanted to throw that out there.
On page 7 the non-custodial father is called “John Stillman” in one place and then “Paul Stillm-“ in another.
So, other than a couple of leaps I had to take, it was well written. Characters seem well developed.
Fairly well

one.


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Wes
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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I get that the eye color and hair color descriptions feed to the "Amber Alert" (as those TV announcements are called in the U.S.) later in the script. But maybe there's a way to be a bit more subtle with it. Like, later in the script Danny looks in a mirror and we further describe him then.
Just how in the world is John the only person on earth who knows the Earth is going to be destroyed by meteors?
John has been to the cabin, killed the old man, then gone out and kidnapped Danny and returned to the cabin? I’ll buy it. Just wanted to throw that out there.
On page 7 the non-custodial father is called “John Stillman” in one place and then “Paul Stillm-“ in another.
So, other than a couple of leaps I had to take, it was well written. Characters seem well developed.
Fairly well done.


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Ryan1
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Overall, a well-structured tale, but overwritten and confusing in some places.  The dialogue between father and son early on has already been mentioned in several posts.  Had a real expository feel, plus it was a little confusing with all that farm talk.

The Raveonettes song lyrics took up a lot of space that I think would have better spent on the actual story.

On page 7, the TV alert refers to John as Paul.

But the biggest question, of course, is how a dirtbag like John would have this Illuminati-level knowledge.  How would he know the end is nigh?  This script sort of reminds me of the other one where the father obtains his dark knowledge by speaking with God.  I think some explanation for this is warranted here.

In the end the world is a better place without murdering scum like John.  Too bad the world itself had to end for him to die, but oh well.  Despite the flaws, Good story.
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Nomad
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
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I like it.

A little mystery.  Who done it.  Who's crazy.  Who's not.

My only gripe is with the Ravonettes.  I'm not a Ravonettes fan so I'm not familiar with the song.
I feel I would have appreciated this more if it were a song I knew.

It's as if I said, "You have to drive the PADS from the OS to the EOL in a straight line but make sure you Z-Val before you do."  If you don't know anything about field artillery survey, this won't make any sense.

And...I didn't feel the dialogue was done as well as it could have been.  It was acceptable, but a little too on-the-nose.

The way I see it:  John was an astronomer who had knowledge of the impending impact and the government tried to silence him and only was able to kill his wife before he and his son escaped.

Hopefully the red pills were Valium or Ecstasy and not cyanide.  If you're going to go out, go out feeling good.

I enjoyed the ending.  Well done.

Jordan


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hawkeye
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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Overall, a well-written story, probably one of the best ones I've read so far.  I'm a little puzzled at the ending, whether they're hallucinating, but I can't believe that's the case, because they both wouldn't be hallucinating the same things, I'm guessing, just like I'm speculating that he's killing people because he's looney toons.

My biggest concern is that no one (NO ONE!) knows a massive meteor is coming to destroy the earth.  I've seen this in maybe three scripts so far, and it's just a real stretch for me to buy into that plot device.

If I had one quibble with the story (other than the ending) is the use of the Ravenettes' song, as I don't know how much it added to the story.  I think it may have distracted me more than advanced the cause, as I kept reading the lyrics trying to see how it tied in with the story as a whole, and all I could get out of it was "fireworks."

Still, very good effort here.
Best,
Gary


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Michael
Posted: April 23rd, 2017, 8:37pm Report to Moderator
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Don't know how the ravonettes are a character I sure was sick of them.  The whole thing doesn't work for me.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: April 24th, 2017, 2:12pm Report to Moderator
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Logline - good, has decent conflict. Makes me curious about why he thinks that, and also what happens

As an aside, A bit too much in essay detail - brown coat, blue car etc way too much music referenced

Otherwise I quite liked that.

Nice tension, unsure why and what will happen.

Other than the special effects of the sky it is quite contained and could be filmed

All the best


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DanC
Posted: April 24th, 2017, 3:01pm Report to Moderator
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I thought it was pretty good.  

I don't think there was an apocalypse.  


SPOILERS

I think the father killed himself and his son with those pills.  I think they shared a mass hallucination from the father's power of suggestion.  

The father's a bad dude.  He did kill his wife (as evident by the .45 caliber gun the kid sees.)

It was pretty good, just not sure it fits the parameters of the challenge.  

Good job
Dan


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Conz
Posted: April 24th, 2017, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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I have a pet peeve... i don't think I'm the only one, and it's probably not as big a deal as some would make it seem, but if you're gonna cue music in your script, use a song that EVERYONE probably knows.  how can i get the scope and tone of the scene if i have no clue what song is playing?  it's giving me homework.  I have to go to youtube and listen to it.

and i acknowledge that i may be the jackass here, and that is a super classic song everyone else knows... but I've never heard of it.   Also, for the record I've seen examples like this in pro scripts too.  A writer envisions his scene with the perfect backing song, but if it isn't "Love Me Do" or something, readers aren't gonna have a clue what they're supposed to hear.

ok, mini-rant over.

and with that, you gave me lyrics from the song... i guess i appreciate that.  but it's exactly what i figured.  the song has a meaning that fits the script, so you rolled with it.  Maybe cut the intro of the song until the lyrics speak as dialogue.  Don't even mention it earlier.

John Stillman.  Paul Stillman?

i like how the title played into the finale, but I'm left wondering why John was the only one who knew?  ... I guess all questions aren't answered.  

Despite you making me eat my words on the song (I'm leaving the note there) by using the lyrics, still not crazy about some unknown song being the cayalyst for this story.  ... but in the end it wasn't bad.  a spin on what was expected.  you see the crazed dad and just assume he's full of shit, but this time he wasn't.  probably still not the freshest idea, but solid nonetheless.


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