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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    July 2017 OWC  ›  Life Through Death - OWC Moderators: Dreamscale
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  Author    Life Through Death - OWC  (currently 682 views)
Don
Posted: July 21st, 2017, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Life Through Death by 0 - Short, Thriller - When a desperate attempt to rescue the leader of a resistance fails, she chooses to live through death. 11 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Cam Gray
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 7:05am Report to Moderator
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Hey Writer,

OWC thematical checklist. 9-12 pages, yep. 4 or less characters, I'd say yes but I think some people will be pedantic and claim that there are other characters flying planes or shooting. Are they in a foreign land outwith their normal situation? I'm not sure, they seem to be used to this fighting stuff and their surroundings, possibly the conflict is the alien element, but it seems to be no surprise to them. Also, I think Jeff wanted it set in the present, so not sure that work here either.

Overall, well enough written. Formatting seemed fine, no obvious typos, and the imagery was clear and descriptive. I'm sorry to say that the story didn't really grab me, might work for others but hasn't hooked myself. Decent enough effort overall on the writing front, but the thematical parameters I don't think have been entirely met.

Well done on entering,

Cam


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Dreamscale
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 12:52pm Report to Moderator
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Your 1st page is listed as Page 2, so that's a big strike right from the get go.

Starting "BLACK SCREEN" is always a mistake, as that's how things almost always start.  Just doesn't look good, and this is strike 2 before we even get into the script proper.

Although this is very slow through the 1st 3 pages, the writing is actually good and you're showing alot more than it seems.

Wow...lots of dialogue...and very long winded dialogue.

Yeah, just way too much dialogue and that youtube vid ending needed some visuals.

I don't see anything here at all about any strangers in a strange land.

I want to like this, as there is power here and I like what you attempted, but in the end, not only do I think it fails the theme, but it also fails on its own, just based on how little we know and see...but...it is a good effort and I may even remember it.

Grade ***


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khamanna
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 4:51pm Report to Moderator
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Took me time to get into this one.
Chunks of dialog, but dialog wouldn't be the problem if it wasn't repetitive and expositional. In my opinion, it was.
Is the formatting off or it seems to me like it is? Not sure. See what the other say but better compare to the other scripts - I mean the margins, better be according to standards. And I don't mind the challenge here but speaking in general, just to be on a safe side. I used to format in Word, so I'd print out FD scripts and mine to literally put on on top of the other and mark the margins, then manually count the width of action and dialog...
Now it's all kind of free software out there, I think. Celtx is no good, by the way, I tried it, not worthy of the effort.
Anyway, good luck to you with your script.
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eldave1
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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Certainly stretches the parameters of the challenge - Jets and gunfire involve characters - and it isn't even far off - it's right there shooting them up.

In terms of the story - the dialogue certainly could be trimmed a bit. I found myself skipping.

The action was well described - think I saw everything you wanted me to.

The ending - not so sure about. It plays less like a short and more like the last part of a feature. Not sure if that makes sense. but that's how it struck me.


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CameronD
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 12:24pm Report to Moderator
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Your title page does not count as a page 1

"NADIA, a woman in her late twenties,.." I assume Nadia is a woman, no need to say. NADIA 28 will work just fine.

Same thing with Jake.

Page 3(4) and I'm totally confused. No idea who these two are, what they are doing or what is even supposed to be going on. Nadia seems to be reciting a play in an empty gym but the have to leave because....... why?

Ok, now they are in a war? Would we not hear the sounds of battle in the gym before?

So they are running through a battle, Charlie who we don't even know is gunned down and all Michelle can say is

MICHELLE
Poor Charlie. I was supposed to
take care of him.

Man, they musta been close.

Nadia caused all this? Again, what?

This makes little sense. You need to set this up. Show there is a war going on before we see Nadia in the gym to establish setting. Why is it such a big secret as to what Nadia did? Hiding it adds nothing to your story, as a matter of fact I would show the audience right away who she is and what she has done t so we at least know why she is important and maybe why we should care about her at least a little. Your story is one of here trying to make a Youtube video. Really not that hard in the age of cell phones but I guess for them it is. I mean I saw people live streaming out of Alepo as it was falling.  

There is an idea here. But not yet a script.


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stevie
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not even worried about scripts meeting the Stranger In A Strange Land thing anymore as its so damn vague!! So I will just review each script based purely on the story, style,etc.

This had a Terminator feel to it, a glimpse into the not far off future. It was very sparse and not overly detailed but I think the writer didn't want to have lots of exposition so he/she lets the reader envisage what the plot might be.

I kind of liked it though Nadia's long winded speeches need to be tightened. Anyway, not a bad effort


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Heretic
Posted: July 24th, 2017, 7:19am Report to Moderator
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Just feels like the end of a typical dystopian sci-fi. Not a ton of story here, unless I didn't pick up on some subtleties. Nadia's kinda insufferable, and I'm not sure what makes her change from despair to action.

Some of the visuals could be intense and surprising with the right director. But this one needs a little more specificity, a little more story to go with it.


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George Willson
Posted: July 24th, 2017, 9:21am Report to Moderator
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Well, so far this is at least bigger than some of the others. Strangers? Well, I see what you did there, at least. In the final dialogue, desperate to point out that you achieved the challenge you outright state that this "regime" made the character strangers in their own land, and they wished to do the same. Where some strangers have been direct and others metaphorical, yours are apparently philosophical. It's at least interesting.

You have four characters although the disposable two who aren't Nadia or Jake appear to be out of place and it would work possibly better without them. Everything else that implies other characters is only implication, and only exist as sound or physical effects.

And it is 2017? Well, nothing says that it technically isn't. It's not OUR 2017, but Godzilla also didn't destroy NYC in 1995, no aliens landed in 1996 or came back last year, and Earth wasn't destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway ... ever. Technology is never indicated as advanced or anything, so I guess this works.

Storywise, we have the typical bigger story than budget situation where lots of expositional dialogue covers stuff we can't show ... otherwise known as "every stage play ever." Editing would probably go a long way in cutting out the fluff and tightening it down into something more reasonable, but there is a lot going on in the dialogue.

The broadcast camera hooked up to the Internet seems like a bit of a stretch. Then again, I suppose that's not entirely impossible. I don't really know what those high-dollar cameras (or bargain basement good-enough ones that schools can afford) can do. That's probably the biggest stretch in here leading us all to wonder why they didn't whip out their cell phones. Then you finish it was what, I guess, is supposed to be your Independence Day speech reminding us about the theme of there being strangers in certain lands.

In the end, it isn't bad. Writing is good. It flows very well. Begs for a bigger stage and some decent editing though.


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Dustin
Posted: July 24th, 2017, 10:24am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder than dialogue.

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I found the romantic interaction very funny. He says he wants her and then she tells him that he doesn't. I stopped half way in as it was getting very preachy.
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StevenClark
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 5:49am Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Not a bad story. The dialogue seemed pretty natural to me, and painted a good picture of what our hero(s) are up against.  But that's pretty much all we get - the foreground, and not much background. Would have liked more of that but I understand with the four character limit. And you get a decent twist on the stranger in his own land, so that works well. Overall, not my fav but a pretty decent job.

Steve


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DanC
Posted: July 26th, 2017, 1:38am Report to Moderator
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Ummm,

I don't know what to think.  It was very wordy and long speeches over and over lose their appeal.  The beginning doesn't make sense, at all.  

Why does she care about a speech?  How is everyone dead but not her?  Why wouldn't they just bomb the school?  

Who are they?  Are they aliens?  others?  Too much unknown.

Dan


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ReneC
Posted: July 26th, 2017, 1:30pm Report to Moderator
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Is this a real world setting? Doesn't seem so. Sure, you have "strangers", aka invaders, but they aren't the main character. Lots of other characters off-screen but I'll give you that since you didn't actually show them and much of it can be done with sound.

It's confusing, lots of pieces moving but not enough description to really tell me what I'm seeing. Like "chairs move", at the start of a paragraph. Is that a visual or is it sound? I have no sense of the geography of the setting either.

The dialogue is fair. You seem to have gotten the speech right, good job there. There's nothing to make us care about the other deaths, those are throwaway characters. It's all about Nadia. Really, this whole thing hinges on the ending, and the ending works.

I'm vaguely curious what the back story is. It's so wide open it could be anything from Russians to aliens. Except for the names, it could be anywhere in the world, but the names suggest it's a Western civilization, likely the U.S. That's the issue throughout, everything is just too vague and non-specific. It's an impression of a story, not really a story.


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PrussianMosby
Posted: July 27th, 2017, 9:54am Report to Moderator
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Wrong page numbers

Okay I'm on p3 (in your formatting p4) and I have still no clue what's going on here… it's a short script, we soon must connect. Actually for my taste, it is already too late at this point.

I see, this is some kind of warzone. But where?

p6-7 incorrect page break. Don't split a dialogue box like that. Use MORE and CONT'D – just research about it

The plot is passive. They talk about things I don't experience. It's a passive ride so far.

bottom p7 slugline shouldn't stand alone

p9 your dialogues explain what you're rooting for. So, some kind of injustice?? Somewhere?? (<- all vague) forced a young woman to start a revolt?? (<- we haven't seen)  that eventually failed. It feels like your entry merely shows a snippet of the whole story. So, the subject here is clearly too big to tackle. It's much more important you deal with something you can translate to your audience on the screen and not off-screen.

"NADIA
I know. But if I am to die, then
I choose to die in full view of
the world. Nothing brings down a
corrupt regime like a good
martyr."

That's a good idea you possibly could build up on, differently. If only the first two-thirds wouldn't be so indirect and complicated presented...

The last act has some potential.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

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Spqr
Posted: July 27th, 2017, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
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Nadia gives a good farewell speech, but it's static. Maybe a reporter films her and peppers her with questions as they duck and run from enemy fire.
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