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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2018 Two Week Challenge  ›  Sapere Aude - 2WC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Sapere Aude - 2WC  (currently 1707 views)
Posted: January 27th, 2018, 10:06am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Sapere Aude by Kant - Short, Adventure, War, Religion - The leader of a boys' club for troubled teens finds himself in a war with the most powerful, corrupt, cruel entity in the world, the unchecked Catholic Church. 12 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: January 27th, 2018, 12:29pm Report to Moderator

Tucson, AZ
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I'll admit, I was lost in regards to the 'when' and 'what' until the reveal at the end. That said, I'm only guessing what may have happened to cause this alternative future(?). A few unanswered issues for me, still.

A minor nit (creek>creak) and curious why AK-47's would be in a USA Bunker. Otherwise, good formatting and dialog. Overall a good story and meets the challenge (I think). Kudos.
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Posted: January 27th, 2018, 4:05pm Report to Moderator

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Well done for completing this in one week! Its an interesting story although i was a little lost and unfamiliar with the subject. I read the loglines for the entries and this is the first one that peaked my interest.

You understood your characters and i knew what they wanted and their behaviour was consistent (till the end obviously). I liked the the idea of focusing on two conflicting characters.

Sometimes, the way you start a scene left me a little confused as to what i was seeing. For example, the scene where the soldiers murdered the kids. I didnít know there were kids in the room or soldiers sneaking in until it was a little late.

Youíre telling a big story and for the most part a lot of the dialogue, although well written was mostly just telling us information about the context of the story. The opening scene could have been a great tension builder and i could have read a whole short script about that event. But instead it felt a little rushed.

Overall, i liked it. Maximus was a great character, reminded me of an ex girlfriend. Good times.

Thatís my two cents and well done again.

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Posted: January 27th, 2018, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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First read of the Owc and I picked this at random.  I have to admit while I've heard of Francis Bacon, I don't know much about him so the event chosen here is a bit vague for me lol.

Very ambitious this - as I'm sure all the other entries are. The dialogue seemed a bit stilted; I know its a period piece but at times the conversations seemed a little on the nose.

I had to read this twice as i wasn't sure of the time it was set in? i really think all entries need to have some proper SUPERS in them so the reader knows exactly what year it is. Also, even though the challenge is to create an alternate timeline that might've happened, the writers have to make sure it doesn't get too 'fantastical' as in there is no way a certain thing would happen if said event didn't occur.

Back to this one - the writer knew what he striving for and did well overall. it just needs a few tweaks to make it pop.

Normally my reviews in the OWC are short and precise as the comments by others usually cover any relevant points as well. But cos there's only 11 entries I'll try write with more detail

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Posted: January 29th, 2018, 4:49am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This could do with a SUPER at the beginning. I didn't know what year this is set in, it felt like the middle ages, then you mention the school was built in the 1800's, later there's AK-47's and medicine so I was beginning to think time travel was going on.

I figured out that the catholic religion grew unchecked because Francis Bacon didn't have the impact on science he did in our timeline, so well done for getting that across. However,  I couldn't fathom how the U.S developed advanced military bunkers and then was wiped out of history, to such an extent that our characters are not aware of the country's existence.

However, that won't influence me, I will stick to this script and story but thought it worth mentioning if it helps you iron you the kinks. Onto the script.

How do we know this school is Bacon's School for Troubled Kids? Maybe have a sign over the entrance?

Some awkward writing in the action blocks. For example, the section with the soldier with the flesh wound. "He tries to hide it best he can, sadly the soldier's wound simply's too great. Several other soldiers grabs the wounded one." That's a strange way to describe a soldier dying from his wounds.  It's nothing major, I just didn't figure out what was going on with some of the action and had to re-read.

I like the idea of a major religious member turning against his faction and starting a rebellion. I could even buy into this Maximus publicly torturing someone to keep up appearances. What I can't believe though, is such a figure massacring a bunch of innocent kids. If he was such an enlightened figure, he would have found a way to avoid this. Maybe have it so he orders them captured and re-trained in their holy order? The problem with the way you have it now is his actions come out of left-field too much at the end. You sacrifice a bit too much to keep the audience off-guard.

I'd be more inclined to believe this if he tried to save the kids rather than torturing Bacon with a slightly less evil torturing device!  

I have to say and I'm going to say this for every script in this challenge (so I'm basically cut and pasting this last bit into all of them lol) that well done on entering! This was creatively an extremely challenging outline, one in which quite a few didn't even attempt or dropped out of. To have a completed script in the running deserves a pat on the back and a collective high-five!


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Posted: January 29th, 2018, 6:08am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Read your story.
There's a lot of repetition in your dialog for me, I must say. Pages 4-5-6 could be half a page. There's not much info there, just them going back and fro on each other.

Maximus killing kids just to pretend he's someone he's not - hard to believe even if it's done for the right cause. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's not that hard to believe, but it's harsh, and I'm thinking bad of Maximus, which is no good. He's supposed to be my hero at the end as I understand.

You didn't tell us what era and year it is. And I didn't get the event but that's okay.

This was easier to read than many others. You stuck to your main character, gave us a lot of character development and had middle beginning and end. I actually like this script despite the fact some of it doesn't work for me.
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Posted: January 30th, 2018, 2:18am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Killing villains since 1980!

Buffalo NY
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Pretty crazy script.


So, we're to believe that the Church destroys science?  But, how do AK-47s get there?  And why don't they know what the USA is?

Pretty gruesome.  Having trouble telling if Maximus is good or bad.  Or flawed.  

I think there's a story, and as Khamanna said, it's one of the few that has a clear beginning, middle and end.

Not sure the twist was truly needed.  It might cheapen the rest of the story.


Please read my scripts:

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

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Posted: January 30th, 2018, 3:56am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Title should appear in ALL CAPS. Had to google the title anyway: It's Latin for "dare to know."

I think Maximus's first line should be a V.O.

I don't know if I'd call the 1800s "ancient." The Civil War isn't ancient. The Revolutionary War isn't ancient. The Renaissance and the Dark Ages aren't ancient. When I think of "ancient," I think Rome, Greece, the Trojan War, Caesar, cavemen, dinosaurs, the lost city of Atlantis, Pompeii, etc. Any time period commonly suffixed with B.C. or A.D. I would consider "ancient."

When I think of mail, I think of envelopes, not armor.

Fifty soldiers is a bit much for a short.

You let a lowercase God pronoun slip. I don't get it, I didn't make the rules. Hell, I'm not even particularly religious.

The beds sleep peacefully, or the people? Do beds sleep on people?

Quoted Text
The doors open a bit.

Now we've got Jim Morrison and The Doors? Far out, man. They're only the opening act? Who's the headliner?

Is CREEK a sound effect or a mini slug? If the former, I'd move it to the action line above.

"A man on duty" should be capitalized.

Who's Bacon? Kevin?

Quoted Text
Two soldiers drag an unconscious and bound BENOIT BACON (55, overweight) out of the house.

Oh. Is he fictional? Nothing when I google.

Quoted Text
Sadly, that soldierís wound simplyís is simply too great.

Awkward phrasing.

You should CAP all these characters so we can (sort of) keep track of who's who.

Quoted Text
(drops to knees)

I didn't think The Doors were gonna open for James Brown.  

Quoted Text
Bacon, stripped of all clothes, stands in an IRON MAIDEN.

Shield your eyes, Bruce Dickinson!   How many more "bands" are gonna show up in this script?

Quoted Text
Thatís your final answer?

Is Maximus Regis?   #DatedJokes

In dialogue, it should be "Mister," not "Mr." Timing reasons.

Quoted Text
Itís a wonderful device called the Iron Maiden. Itís basically a sarcophagus from the neck down.

It's also a band.

Quoted Text
Youíre want to listen to this next part.

Grammar flub.

a) "You'll want to listen to the next part."
b) "You're wont to listen to this next part."

Quoted Text
It canít be worse than [missing word?], can it?

Quoted Text
What does it[--]

What was the event? The Crusades? The Dark Ages? The Renaissance? Whatever it is/was, this is a pretty good script. Great job.

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Posted: January 30th, 2018, 10:15am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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When is this taking place?  Based on the opening, I have no clue, but have to assume it is long ago, but the name "Bacon's School for Troubled Kids" doesn't sound "old" at all - actually, it doesn't sound like a real school of any era.

"On the ground lie FIVE dead men all in their late teens." - OK, check this out - first of all, you should include a comma between "ground" and "lie" - just read the line out loud several times and see how you will slightly pause between these words.  Secondly, why is "FIVE" CAPPED?  Actually "MEN" should be CAPPED, or even "DEAD MEN".  Finally, just a little niggle I always have - at what age does a boy become a man?  "late teens" - does this include 16 or 17? If so, these are definitely not "men" then.  "young men" maybe?  I don't know, just throwing this out to you.

Very poorly written under the new INT Slug.  Poor writing continues and I'm having trouble staying in.

"the boy's club" - WTF?

"two goons" - Oh man, you're killing me here!  WTF?

"Mr. Bacon" - Dude...too funny.  We're really going downhill quickly now.  This is so goofy, it cannot be taken seriously.

Oh even Mr. Bacon is calling Maximus' men, "goons".  Too funny.

Your "iron maiden" descriptions are far from accurate, and so over the top, again, this just can't be taken seriously.

If I read the word "goon" 1 more time, that's it, and I'm out.

Yep, 2 more...that's more than enough.  I'm out.  Sorry, not for me at all, and clueless as to what this is supposed to be about.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 30th, 2018, 12:05pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The title is the motto of my old school:

I like the central theme: Religion/Political Power of the Church vs the True Word of God/Spirituality.

If you're going down that route, though, I feel Maximus must embody the full Spiritual ideal...and certainly not kill kids.

That being said,  in modern times, controlled almost entirely as they are by Materialism (Capitalism defining people's worth entirely by material wealth, and Marxism rejecting absolutely God and reducing people to soulless automatons that are there to serve the power of the State and propel the "Intelligentsia" to Absolute Power), the story felt a bit redundant to me.

A man trying to overthrow crushing Materialism would be more interesting to me.

Obviously that's just a subjective thing, it's just that every story around is always an attack on religion, yet we rarely see people examining the actual secular institutions that run things, and almost never an assault on the broken and unsupportable ideologies that underpin them.

That being said, as others say, it had an actual, understandable story.

Some of the dialogue was goofy, and gave it an air of parody at times.

Overall, not bad. A decent attempt at a difficult challenge.

Revision History (1 edits)
Scar Tissue Films  -  January 30th, 2018, 12:18pm
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Posted: January 30th, 2018, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Yikes, this script was a bit torn in every direction. Twilight Zone twist ending, but with an action movie five second clip tossed in at the end. The beginning seemed to be a very thriller/horror feeling script, and I think I would of preferred to stick with that for this. I'd say either go full Twilight Zone, or make it more of a Sleepy Hollow feel. I know you're not suppose to base your stories off of other movies and whatnot, but I'm trying to make this as easy to understand as possible.

I found myself unhappy with people straight out saying what the point of the story was, multiple times, people were just stating "The church is corrupt, and I don't like it". The point of a script is to make that idea visual, not to have someone speak about the idea.

Interesting idea, but it needs to be torn down and completely rebuilt. Good work on submitting!
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Posted: January 31st, 2018, 10:10am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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severed heads of kids Ė hard stuff

I'd give a different term to them than calling them soldiers, somehow not fitting to a world of plate armor, swords and horses.

Okay, seems like "western" laicism didn't proceed in this worldÖ and some crusaders now go all fundamentalism occultism crazy

You should have described that Iron Maidon thing properly from the start. It's only when Maximus explains it that I get a clear picture eventually.

Dialogue isn't spot on at the moment, not entirely bad, it's quick for example, which is positive, but all in all it could need a second pass.

P8 Ė I had to reread it to get what you're really going for there. Don't know what the exact problem was but just saying this conspiracy switch, which is a good one imo, should be crystal clear on first sight to gain as much power and transition as possible. Keep the flow there.

Second half p 10 Ė twenty question method sounds nasty but how does it serve your story there, acceleration, and movement, especially at this crucial place within your storyÖ too much tell. The "enemy" was already established well by you, for my taste.

Oopps another big twistÖ In hindsight, now, I must say the distractive, talky slow part I addressed directly above this passage is probably well placed.

Hmm, the AK actually is the Russian weaponÖ so, not sure if it's the correct choice hereó

Okay. Dare to know, Sapere Aude, what can I say? It's an enjoyable adventure for sure.

I didn't get the "lost era USA military base" beat. At least I couldn't put it in context, like: Does it mean we're in the future, then why the base anyway? Or, have I possibly confused the event so that I cannot identify the impact?

It works; however, the ending is a bit unexciting. Also, the construction aspect the challenge demands, makes me wonder here, how this stands alone when a viewer gives you the hard verdict on what "is" without considering the preconditions it is written under. But I think you know this. Good job, strong perfomance.

In the Head of the Driver (3p - drama, sports, SF)

Those Infinite Wolves††(8p - psychological horror)

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Posted: February 1st, 2018, 9:38am Report to Moderator

North Carolina
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I'm left with this thought: Maximus is a nut case.
He decapitates innocent boys but says things like, "We need to let people live."
(Also, I suspect he has a deSade love for torture.)
Benoit  is a tad abnormal, too. In throwing his lot with Maximus, Benoit says: "I hate you, but I hate the world more. This will end terrorism and tyranny of the church."
This makes for a freakily fascinating tale.
The script does need a lot of cleanup. Plus, I suggest changing the title to Dare to Know.


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Posted: February 1st, 2018, 5:57pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Sydney, Australia
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I didnít read any of the previous comment so I apologise if I repeat anything.

Is the spacing off on your title page?

Quoted Text

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from Evil.

Should be MAXIMUS (V.O.)

Quoted Text

I havenít established a timeline yet but would a school be called "KIDS"? Why not Children, or Youths. I just think it reads better.

Quoted Text

I donít like jumping from a slug straight into a mini slug. I think it would be better if you set the initial scene then go from there, so:


Also means you arenít wasting lines.

Quoted Text
Dozens of occupied beds line every inch of the room. They
sleep peacefully.

You are introducing characters here, but it's written quite awkwardly and reads like the beds are sleeping peacefully.

Quoted Text
The doors open a bit.

I feel this would be better as: The doors open with a CREEK.

Quoted Text
A man on duty looks over, screams.

Another new character, he should be capitalised.

Quoted Text
With their cover blown, the soldiers rush in, massacring the
kids without a thought.

Kids should be capitalised. Now that I have some sense of time, definitely get rid of the word kids. It doesnít fit with the rest of the writing.

Some passive writing starting to pop up. Look at all the "ing" words, in most cases they can be done away with and I think it reads much better.

Quoted Text
Several soldiers run out with important news.

The important news part is unfilmable and irrelevant as the soldiers are just about to tell us the news, we will ultimately decide if itís important or not.

Quoted Text
Sadly, that soldierís wound simplyís too great.

Again, very awkward writing. Donít tell us itís too great; show us the consequence of it being too great. I generally donít think of a flesh wound as being too devastating. Is he bleeding profusely, is bone exposed, is he missing a limb? Make the stakes greater.

Quoted Text
(drops to knees)
Iím doing it now. Please, I only
have God in-

If he is getting cut off mid-sentence use an em dash -- not a dash.

Quoted Text
The courthouse has seen better days. Itís old and falling
apart piece by piece.

The scene heading and following action essentially say the same thing.

Quoted Text
Silence. Silence. Silence.

Just adding a few exclamation marks will give this more punch.

Quoted Text
two goons

Just like the word kids, I donít feel goons has a place in this script either.

Quoted Text
Iíve never heard.

This piece of dialogue either needs to be finished or cut off: I've never heard of it, or I've never heard --

Quoted Text
If you say so.

You keep swapping between older style dialogue to something more contemporary like this and it feels out of place. (After completing the script, this makes more sense).

Quoted Text
I donít say so. I want to know
what it means and what the response
is. You will answer. You will
comply. NOW, Mr. Bacon.

I personally donít think there is ever a good enough reason to capitalise dialogue.

Quoted Text
Thatís your final answer?

Please change this, it's sent me straight to Who wants to be a millionaire.

Quoted Text
Youíre want to listen to this next


The discussion about the Iron Maiden is OTN.

Quoted Text
Let this be testimony, to any who
would stand up to the Will of God.


Quoted Text
The newest device created by the
Vatican for invasive questioning.
You lie in it. I ask you a
question. If you donít answerBENOIT
It canít be worse than, can it?
It slices off part of your body,
cauterizes the wound, then jolts
you should you pass out from the
pain, re-awakening you.

This feels like a completely inappropriate conversation to be having at this point.

Quite a few times you use a dash where it should be an em dash.

Enter the military bunker, pulled me straight out of the medieval scene I had set.

Quoted Text
What does it?

Again, either finish the sentence or cut it off as demonstrated earlier.

Quoted Text

I've never been a fan of these comic book type sound effects. We all know what a gun sounds like.

The writing can definitely use a clean-up but itís not too bad.

Story wise itís very ambitious. I'm not sure I would have picked the event if you didnít tell me

The dialogue feels a bit forced but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

Congrats on getting a script up in such a hard challenge.

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Revision History (1 edits)
Warren  -  February 1st, 2018, 8:09pm
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Posted: February 2nd, 2018, 5:31am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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This one is a little too silly for me to invest in.

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