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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2016 OWC  ›  Game Night On T-27 - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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Don
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 12:09am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Game Night On T-27 by John Hunter - Short, Sci Fi, Horror - For two scientists isolated at remote research station, Game Night takes on a whole new meaning. - pdf, format


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

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Don  -  March 12th, 2016, 7:38pm
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Ryan1
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 1:29am Report to Moderator
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There's no need for the narration at the beginning.  The story can speak for itself.  

The first slug line tells us this planet is cloaked in eternal night, so why does the following slug line say "day"?

The setup is a vintage sci-fi/horror chestnut.  Well worn territory but it works to set the tension.  

Sarah tells base they ran out of food weeks ago, but it seems like they just polished off that box of corn flakes.  Story needs more clarity there, IMO.  Maybe emphasize just how gaunt and starving they are.  Really show how desperate they are.

Nice little twist at the end there, but it had a bit of a comic element for me.  Couldn't help but chuckle as she was frying up old Jack and finds out the resupply ship was just hours away the whole time.  But, didn't buy her killing herself as a reaction.  It really wasn't her fault.  You might have added more texture to the story if it went deeper into the game they played.  Maybe she fixed the deck so she'd win.  Then she'd have a legit reason to feel horrible.  Anyway, a good little story but you could've dug deeper into these characters and used the game more to effectively ratchet the tension up.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 1:47am Report to Moderator
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*Spoilers*

Did I miss something in the challenge guidelines about cannibalism? lol

The FADE IN can go after the VO. Was it a carbon copy of the logline too?

The dialogue at start was charming, I felt how beat and tired they were. I also appreciated how quick Jack's fate was determined, it was pretty quirky and timed in its own way. I expected a little more from the end other than Sarah reacting that way. Seemed out of character considering she was noted by Jack as a strong woman.

But in an isolated setting, it's not a bad thing to leave a nasty surprise for the cavalry. I liked, just not a fan of the end.
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cbead
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 3:01am Report to Moderator
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*Spoilers*

The narration at the beginning seemed like an author's wink to the challenge more than related to the story.

Given it was 'Game Night' challenge, I reckon more could have been drawn out from the card cutting scene..Short sharp and obviously 'Gave Over' for Jack. How old was Sarah? Were they a couple? Any sexual tension between them? I think all this could have made for a juicier final card game.

The re- emergence of the lost supply ship set up the ending nicely, just before the Jack rib fillet. A cool twist. But Sarah topping herself just didn't seem believable... Tough, making the hard decisions to survive and now can't hack it  pardon the pun.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 4:45am Report to Moderator
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As usual, these are just my opinions... which are known to be wrong... frequently!

I too would lose the VO.
Is the first location meant to be just a large single room in the station, open plan? If it's a specific place then it needs something to show it's the bedroom etc.
'Hope you can hang on' seems a little flippant for a potential death sentence
There on a space station 45 days from earth, which suggests it's some time in the future, yet they have some old school equipment, radio, deck of cards, pistol etc, might be worth upgrading the tech.
A bit picky BUT... cutting cards isn't really a game and they don't play anything else... it could ratchet the tension a little if they actually played a game and someone won.
I saw the twist coming, but liked it anyway... wonder if it wouldn't be funnier if she started cooking Jack for the arriving crew?

Good effort and I think I know who's this is.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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pale yellow
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 8:02am Report to Moderator
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Reminds me of The Martian sort of. Good dialogue in this piece so far. Stakes. Character. Written by one of the vets I'd guess.

oh super wow ...another great script. Not much to complain about. Maybe milk that part where the food ship calls in. And I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better if you had shown us something...maybe her trying to eat it and after she gets the morsel down the ship calls.

This was fantastic. GREAT job.


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StevenClark
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 9:35am Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Pretty good job. Some nice entries so far! A minor nitpick on this was there was no board game to speak of here, just a deck of cards. In the end I don't think it really matters that much. Anyway. The writing here is crisp, and there's good stakes (steaks ) involved. A nice twist, and not wordy. Although I had a problem with that opening VO. It's not necessary and adds nothing to a good effort.

Very good job!

Steve


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Stumpzian
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 9:48am Report to Moderator
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The only game element here is cut-for-high card. I guess that qualifies -- barely.

If I were Sarah and Jack, I'd wait awhile before going to this extreme. After all, HQ did not know for sure the supply ship was kaput.

Short though this is, it's padded with repeated dialogue. Plus unnecessary beats. And how is a "small beat" different from a beat?




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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Game night

logline - quite like that, nice setting. monster in the house territory

lets see...

err...hasnt a narrator just said the longline. never seen that before

i would also say you need to fade in to a scene/location - you fade into nothing, yet have a narrator

Official designation T-27 - how would we know that?

nooo dont do it...and she does. never gonna end well

and it doesn't - not sure about the pistol if she was actually prepared to kill him anyway and remain with blood on her apron, clearly she doesn't give a toss

overall, simple enough. not too much to it and dependent on the twist, but it kind of works. characters were a little shallow and could be fleshed out to add the to the conflict

like others i found it funny the sight of her with a sizzling pan. i must be sick


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irish eyes
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 1:11pm Report to Moderator
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Not so much focus on the actual game itself. Maybe if they drew cards  and ate different body parts  each time they lost until help arrived... kinda like strip poker

Not sure why she had to kill herself.

Overall the writing s pretty good and  little bit of SCI FI mixes it up so I like that

good job


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eldave1
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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Not a fan of putting what is essentially the log line in the opening VO

Through page 3 - nicely written - good visuals - bit it seems like it steals a bit premise wise from The Martian.

So the fame is "High Card" - not quite sure yet that it is consistent with the parameters of the challenge - the game is incidental to the story.

Not a fan of the ending. You could see it coming from a mile away.

I thought this was well written - solid format and crisp. Just not sure it meets the challenge and it didn't strike me as an original concept.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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Trojan
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 12:15am Report to Moderator
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A good attempt, and the writing for the most part is not bad.

I didn't really buy the actions of the characters. They seemed to accept their fate too easily and didn't put up any kind of fight. Then when the woman killed herself it seemed out of place, and an insult to the guy she ate as he'd given his life to keep her alive.

One part that didn't make sense to me was when she said that maybe both of them can't survive, then Jack looks stunned and asks if she's suggesting they eat ice and snow. How does eating ice and snow relate to only one of them being able to make it? Surely he'd only looked stunned after he realized what she was really talking about.

Good effort overall, it felt a bit rushed at the end so maybe with more time this would've been stronger.
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LC
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 5:58am Report to Moderator
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Great title.

Tis really a lot like The Martian minus the cannibalism and Watney's incredible never say die attitude and ingenuity.

I give you points for creating a tale that I really wanted to keep reading to see how it ended. Sad to say I did not like that ending - seemed like a cop out. More importantly I think you should have had an actual game take up most of the action/plot to see who would get the chop/decide the fate of one of them. Both of them seemed to easily acquiesce to the decision being made by cutting the deck. A human being's will to survive tells me that kind of up front acceptance which effectively is the equivalent of a heads or tales toss really isn't credible.

C'mon they both want to live. Make them work for their own survival - make it a game to the death. That I'd be invested in.


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Gum
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hi writer,

Ah, more people who have no reservations about eating human flesh. I like the setting, it gave me a John Carpenter 'Thing' scenario in my head. I was curious what the outpost was doing on the planet in the first place. A few lines of dialog or action could really bring up a cool scenario as to why IMO.

Nitpick I have with scripting deep space outposts are the real time transmissions. Earth-Jupiter, depending on the position in their orbit can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes to receive a transmission... is T-27 farther than Jupiter? Like I said, just nit-picking.

Both Sarah and Jack are bordering on space madness, and hunger... space hunger! However, appear to have their wits about them and, approach their turmoil like a Hindu Cow. Jack should be hallucinating Sarah's ass as a plump Cornish game hen, etc. That would be funny shit IMO...

I liked it, good writing, just the right amount of bizarre.
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IamGlenn
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 6:19pm Report to Moderator
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Anonymous,

Agree with the majority, the narration at the beginning is not needed. It's a logline.

I'm not a fan of beats..

Coming to the conclusion that they will eat each other seemed a bit to easy for these two.

Overall, not bad. It's short and lacks any real feeling. Which is weird, because (SPOILERS) it's a woman eating a man and shooting herself. I should feel something. It was all too quick though. I felt nothing for these people.

Nice idea though,

Glenn.


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hawkeye
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 7:21pm Report to Moderator
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Ah... a six pager, thank you.  Agree with the others on the Narrator at the beginning, especially if he doesn't appear again later.

If they had run out of food weeks ago, they'd already be dead.  You can only last maybe one week without food, then your body starts shutting down.  So maybe you say they ran out of food days ago.

I understand your ending but i don't agree with it. First all, it assumes she killed Jack, and if she was willing to kill Jack in order to survive, why would she now kill herself when she knows she's going to survive?  Doesn't make sense to me.

Otherwise, the writing is good and the dialogue not too bad.  I would still rework that ending.

My ratings (out of 5):
Concept: 3.5
Story: 3.5
Character: 4
Dialogue: 4
Writing: 4
Overall: 3.8

Best,
Gary


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DanC
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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Pretty good.  

Short, fast, to the point.  Perhaps a bit too fast.  I wanted to see the struggle...

The game was crazy fast...  You could have had that tension packed all the way...

I agree with someone else:  Play for body parts, ALTERNATE strip poker, that would have been AWESOME!!

Just what every story needs,cannibalism    ...

The game was needed, but, it could have been any game!!

7/10


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wonkavite
Posted: January 25th, 2016, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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* Spoilers *

I do believe I know who wrote this one...  )

I like the premise.  Solid stuff, with lots of ways to go.  I DO think that it would be a good idea to get a little more crazy with the conflict.  To agreeing to the game and deal... and MAYBE, PERHAPS MAYBE, change the ending in this way...  what IF..... Sarah lost, and then pulled a gun because she wanted to live, even if it costs Jack his life (to keep her from being unsympathetic, maybe she has a family and he doesn't?  Photos, etc?)  Then - he's injured and alive when the call comes in.  And that's when she loses it and commits suicide.  I'm not saying you have to change it that way.  Just riffing on ideas to give it more twists and flavor.

A few quick generic notes:

p. 1 Official designation T-27 (period)
p. 1 Jack, male (is that necessary?  Jack’s pretty much a male name…) Same issue with Sarah, female.
p. 3 Are we (question mark)
p. 3 Pause (period)
p. 4 I dunno – seems like Sarah and Jack are agreeing to this a bit too casually…

Cheers!

--J (W)
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RichardR
Posted: January 25th, 2016, 10:11am Report to Moderator
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Some notes.

This has a twilight zone or horror element.  It works as far as it goes.  These two face a conundrum, but it doesn't have to be death.  

You might consider a slightly different ending.  Cut away after the cards are cut and to the resupply shit arriving 45 days later.  When they arrive they find both alive, simply missing some limbs.  Horrific but plausible.  Of course, if one of them is missing a tongue...

best
Richard
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PrussianMosby
Posted: January 26th, 2016, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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Game Night on T-27

Very good script.

Honestly, I read these isolation plots pretty often, but I like your execution here.

I think the narrator gives an ironic touch to it, and I believe you definitely need that 4 seconds CGI ice planet establishing shot to bring it to life, it makes everything more believable and not so "cheap" as the other stories I mention above in general look like; a good choice of you imo.

Only thing you need to realize is that the plot never will have a lot of meaning or message. So, the focus must be to maximize humor and gore. Her cooking in a bloody apron and the suicide were great in case of the later. The humor could need more harmony, perhaps one big punch line if possible.

B+  


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

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Dustin
Posted: January 27th, 2016, 5:09am Report to Moderator
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I would have been out at page 4, saw that it is only 6 pages and continued.



Code

She opens a drawer, takes out a pistol, puts the muzzle to
her head, pulls the trigger. She falls to the floor dead.



Huh? Makes no sense whatsoever. So she's prepared to eat the guy, yet when she finds out he died for nothing, she kills herself? Also, I didn't buy into the whole card game thing. Their undying love first needs to be strengthened in the narrative. It reminds me a lot of one of my own stories, Christmas in Leningrad.


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Angry Bear
Posted: January 29th, 2016, 12:16pm Report to Moderator
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ETERNAL NIGHT, DAY... Which one is it?

I didn't really buy this story. I think you can rewrite it though and make it work really well. My issues were the character's ages for starters. 20s, I think is a bit young to be a volunteer researcher on a distant celestial body.

I also think that they would agree to die together rather than play cards about who should eat who. Why not have them agree to die together, but then they reach a point where hunger and survival instincts become so strong they both plot how to kill the other one.

It also seemed to me that the supply ship that would take 45 days and was suddenly changed to 6 hours was a bit unbelievable.

IMO, fix a few of the believability issues and work the drama and tension into something stronger and the script will work really well.

I recommend Symbios by J.A Konrath. Awesome short story I once wanted to write into a script and had the writer's permission too, but there was a squabble between my agent and his so the deal fell through. Too bad, but check the story out. It's great!  


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stevie
Posted: January 29th, 2016, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad. Drew me in to keep reading but the ending was a tad overboard. Anther rush job perhaps?

Writer knew his stuff but the mishmash of ideas and genres ( veered into comedy for a bit and I honestly expected Sarah to be cracking jokes and stuff at the end as she ate Jack, a la the Monty Python survivor boat sketch lol)


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ChrisBodily
Posted: January 30th, 2016, 8:57pm Report to Moderator
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Well...p, there goes another one I thought Stevie wrote.

The concept was intriguing.

The opening narration, which is basically the logline, reads like a movie trailer:

THIS SUMMER, Game Night gets a WHOLE NEW MEANING.

Nah, I'd strip it and save it for the trailer.  

They ran out of food weeks ago, and yet they just now ran out of Corn Flakes?  

Pop Eye? The Sailor Man or Popeye's Chicken?

There's not enough of the game. It's there for maybe two seconds and then it's gone. It's incidental and not really important to the story; it could be Monopoly or Operation and it wouldn't change the story.

But the writing was good, regardless.

7/10


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