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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    March, 2013 1+6WC  ›  The Wong Phone - 1+6WC
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  Author    The Wong Phone - 1+6WC  (currently 3089 views)
Don
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Wong Phone by Mark Moore (irish eyes) - Comedy - A father tries to make amends for his daughter's disastrous birthday, by buying her a smartphone from an old Chinese antique store... only he takes home the wrong phone. - pdf, format


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RegularJohn
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark.

Always down to read some of your stuff.  "I'll take the phote.  Go...somewhere."  Cracked me up.

A couple things I noticed.  Top of page 5, "let there be a huge hole swallow me up"  Think there needs to be a "to".

Top of page 8.  You have "he" though it doesn't refer to anybody.  It's obviously Greg and I'm obviously knit-picking but thought I'd bring it up.

"Mr. Wong?  No.  Me Knicky Knack."  Another line that had me laughing.

So when Mr. Wong senior has Greg leaning in for some "wise words", I feel like the ten seconds is nine seconds too long for a reaction from Greg.

A hilarious read, Mark.  Just imagining Sam pouting in her cowgirl/diaper outfit had me laughing.  Quite a few characters intro'ed at the start but they were all distinguished enough that I didn't lose track of who's who.

Austin hardly had any lines and though it's Sam's birthday, I think you can have a late entrance from him.  Maybe have him as an apathetic jerk who drifts in and out of the scene until Sam's accident where he goes into full a**hole mode.  Just a thought as I'm not sure what kind of person he is.

An entertaining start to what I'm sure will be a great script.  Best of luck with the rest!

Johnny


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LC
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 7:05pm Report to Moderator
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Mark, not hard to guess you're going for 'over the top' here. The log-line is good and I was hoping for horror here I suppose, but hey, you're doing something different which is good.

There are some great spot-on lines with the daughter and her friends at the party to begin with, and I loved the reference to the flip-phone being so yesterday, and I also loved Mum's description. Not sure about the 'Carrie' referenced image... not too realistic imh, but then it seems you're doing a spoof here so...

I suppose the only criticism I have at this point is whether you can sustain the comedy throughout, without it getting a little bit old. Once the Granny 'dried up references' starting flowing (oxymoron, there) and Mr Wong threw in the Maxi pad with the phone to Dad, I was getting a lil' tired of the same ol' thing.

Some 'on the money' moments with your opening dialogue, and I suppose we'll see how it pans out, as you go along.

Libby


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
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What works for me in the over the top character of Ashley and Samantha and I guess the whole family is that I hate them all. Their shallowness is what I call Californian, but I don't believe it's really Californian; just the way Hollywood portrays the people there often enough times that some people come to believe it.

Thing is, if you hate someone in a script, you're more than happy enough to stick around reading to see them fall into some kind of dilemma so called fitting for them.

How do you feel about the characters? Is there something in particular that created the desire in writing them? What experience do you have with people like that? I've heard a few stories from my daughter about some real doozies (customers) expecting the world to fall down and worship them at a hotel she works for. So these types are out there obviously.

Some of what's in here I find too offensive. Cheap. But that's just me because some people will love it.

I kind of think if you were a bit more subtle and make Samantha a bit more likeable I would like it better. Actually, ...story-time...

Was at the mall today and kids had their Science Fair Projects on display. I talked to many of them questioning them about their work. I didn't find a smart-ass kid in the bunch. I was really impressed with their maturity and how they were really willing to answer questions and explain themselves.

I just want to give a shout out to all the kids and young adults out there who really should be proud of themselves and so should their parents. ...

And I guess that's why I am sometimes irritated when teenage kids are often portrayed as spoiled brats.

As far as the writing goes though, I think it's solid. It kept me reading and I could easily see and feel what you were going for.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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crookedowl
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 11:04pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

I'll be honest, I'm not really loving this. It's cleanly written and has some funny parts, but all the characters were pretty one dimensional and hatable.

I think the biggest issue here is that fact that there isn't really any direction or character motivation for the first seven or so pages. Just some funny gags and people being assholes to each other. I guess the purpose was to make us hate them, but that's accomplished by page 2. The rest isn't that engaging because, not only do we like absolutely no one, but they aren't interesting.

You can hate everyone in the script, even the protag-- but as long as they're interesting, it'll keep our interest. The thing is, here, the family is so shallow there really isn't anything interesting about them. No depth. They're assholes and that's all. Nothing deeper we want to find out.

I'm not sure if we're supposed to like Greg at all. When he goes off on his own, I think, okay, maybe we're supposed to identify with this guy. But based on the beginning, I assumed he was just as bad as his family. Maybe he should stand out a little more so we know he's an important character.

But then he turns out to be pretty racist, so... I guess we hate him too.

A couple typos, but that's understandable for a 1 + 6WC. You left out a comma in "wont" and on page 4, Dad says "know" instead of "no".


Okay, done. Would I read more? I wasn't really ready for it to end, so I kind of wanted to hear what happens next. But at the same time, I still hate everyone (like I mentioned above), and so far the only character goal was the guy setting out to get a new phone... and now that that's accomplished.... well...

I think another review mentioned this sounding like horror, and I sure hope that's the case. I'd love to see this turn into a slasher, heh heh.

So yeah... not bad. The writing and dialogue are good, and there are some good lines here. But I think the characters and lack of direction is an issue. Not to mention, it almost reads like a parody of The Gremlins, so I found myself having trouble taking it seriously, as a feature film.

If you had some better characters you'd have a winner. Hope this helps.

Will
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RJ
Posted: March 16th, 2013, 11:12pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

I liked the whole "No really, you shouldn't have." scene with the present. It fit nicely.

I think 'Moment later' is supposed to be all caps - like a slug.

Loved Grandma's reaction to the outfit. Don't think the 'faces say it all line' is needed though, cause you pretty much have everone's reaction noted below. Love Ashley's reaction too.

Kind of got the 'Freaky Friday' vibe here. Would love to see where this is going.

Renee
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Guest
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 1:10am Report to Moderator
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This is the very first entry I'm checking out and I have little to say.

Nothing bad, really.  It seems like you're getting ripped a new one about your characters being shallow.  I mean, after reading the comments, I guess I can see where everyone is coming from but I really got a kick out of the characters.

I was laughing out loud, smiling - a lot of the dialogue was funny.

Underneath all the one-liners, you can really see this is a messed up household.  Greg is totally clueless and weak to everything going on,  foul-mouthed grandparents, a full blown alcoholic pill head for a wife, a 13-year-old daughter struggling with teen hood.  I see some dark shit that could really be explored.
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nawazm11
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 2:08am Report to Moderator
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Up next Mark!

Ha! Good log and title, the classic Save the Cat method never fails for comedies.

For a comedy, I thought this was a pretty solid set up. You've got your awkward as hell moment at the beginning where everything goes as wrong as it can go and then you have a little half page of drama that explains the goal.

I laughed many times, some funny stuff here.

One thing you should consider though. The Asian angle is starting to become very tired in the comedy genre so I suggest as you progress through the script, you give it a new twist so it feels like a fresh take on things.

Some screenwriting rules don't apply to comedies because naturally, they're meant to give you a laugh so I'll skip over all the bs except this one thing. You really need to label the slugs when a character moves into another room. If it's a universal slug like the house, there should be mini slugs in there when the characters switch rooms. It may seem like a nit pick but it's hard to guess the passing of time as characters run around everywhere.

Anyway, good job. This could be promising.
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khamanna
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 2:34am Report to Moderator
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Hi Mark,

Read your ten.

They are not great but you certainly have something going here.

The thing I would focus on is your main character. The one, possibly, that will keep the phone. The question is - who is it, the father, or the girl? I couldn't tell from your ten. I know the phone is for her, but you gave a whole lot of the father in the last half of the ten. In fact, there's a lot about the father in these ten.

My other problem is - I don't really know what's wrong with your main character. Suppose it's the girl - the fact she's got disfunctional family doesn't do it for me, there needs to be more. According to your ten, she's not very great herself, so I don't know...
So, what's her problem, what's the story is going to be about - she wishes for her family to be normal maybe, then finds out it's the best family one could have... I think I need to see something like that from your ten. At least to be able to clearly see what her problem is.

What if your main character is her dad. What's his problem? Same thing, I suppose - disfunctional family. I just think there should be more.

But I'm still interested in the rest of it. You painted the family very well. Very funny dialog and all the jokes work for me.

Probably in the end you'll need to cut some of the jokes from your first - that would be hard.)) Good luck with writing the rest of it! May you finish!


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 5:13am Report to Moderator
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Hey mark,

Like the title

Eight characters on the first page! Too many for me.
Moments later in CAPS.?
Could Samantha be Sam to shorten things?
Is Ashley a bit over the top, maybe edge her back a bit
Oil my genitals! Arh, those were the days
P8 no need to repeat Main Street
Farting old man - not sure that's needed

Ok, simple, nice and clear.

Genre is understood.
Initial  Problem - upset child, dysfunctional home, needs a smart phone
Catalyst - he gets the wrong phone
Now, coming from a dodgy Chinese shop, my prediction would be that some form of gang world is going to be involved, so the scene in the shop may benefit from having a slightly sinister mood - he tries to crack jokes, they dont laugh etc

Could the cops be watching and see him with a parcel?

May also be wise to set up some future event that the camera is needed, say the camera - eg someone's party, school event. Or an event for the husband where things could go wrong.

Otherwise, tidy work.



My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
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irish eyes
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 11:00am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Johnny
A hilarious read, Mark.  Just imagining Sam pouting in her cowgirl/diaper outfit had me laughing.  Quite a few characters intro'ed at the start but they were all distinguished enough that I didn't lose track of who's who.


Thanks Johnny, glad you enjoyed it, I kinda feared I had too many characters, but it is a birthday party.


Quoted from LC
Not sure about the 'Carrie' referenced image... not too realistic imh, but then it seems you're doing a spoof here so...

I suppose the only criticism I have at this point is whether you can sustain the comedy throughout, without it getting a little bit old. Once the Granny 'dried up references' starting flowing (oxymoron, there)  and Mr Wong threw in the Maxi pad with the phone to Dad, I was getting a lil' tired of the same ol' thing.


Thanks for the read
Carrie reference That made me laugh


I don't like overplaying, but I figured the maxi pad would be a bonus for Dad. I'm trying to make dad the sympathetic character, who is in over his head.



Quoted from Sandra
How do you feel about the characters? Is there something in particular that created the desire in writing them? What experience do you have with people like that? I've heard a few stories from my daughter about some real doozies (customers) expecting the world to fall down and worship them at a hotel she works for. So these types are out there obviously.


Thanks for the read. Personally, I know some spoilt brat teenagers and I also know alot of very well respectful ones too. I just find hateful characters easier to write   and I like to read about them more.

I'm trying to make Greg the likable father, who wants to keep the family together and will bend over backwards to do so.


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

That was a fucking funny 12!  LMAO!  It reminded my of Arrested Development and how brutally coy they are to each other.

My favs:

"Jesus Christ, you look like a circus monkey."
"You stupid bitch."
"OK I'm ristening."
"It's a phone, how do I feed a phone?"

Please Lord, don't ever let me forget about Gremlins.

Johnny

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hawkeye
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 11:02pm Report to Moderator
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Mark, just got around to reading this one, and I'm not embarrassed to admit that I was laughing several times throughout.  Particularly at putting the diaper on the girl.  As a father of two teenage girls, I can appreciate the situation (I must state that I've never done that).

This is smartly written with some sharp comedic edges to it.  Now I have to say I have to wonder where you're going with it, but for now I'm liking it.

One thing that someone else mentioned and which I tend to agree with is that there really is only person you have a rooting interest in.  That's tough to have a feature length where you hate everyone.  Now I trust your writing skills enough that you won't let that happen.

Interested in seeing what happens from here on out!  Good job!

Gary


My web site and scripts can be found here:

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pale yellow
Posted: March 18th, 2013, 11:08am Report to Moderator
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And then we have the IRISH

Love the title Mark...and love the logline! Kudos for both!

And I loved this little piece. Loved the dialogue in the antique shop ...I'd like to shop in that lil store! I like your characters. Ashley is a bit over the top.

Great job. I like your writing Mark. Look forward to reading more in six weeks!


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DV44
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Mark,

Happy to see another script from you. I've enjoyed your short stories and I'm sure I'll love the feature when it's done. Is it over the top? Yes. Did I find it funny? Yes. Who cares that you have several characters at one time. I guess I could see why some would say that it's confusing to have so many characters introduced at one time but for me it wasn't a problem since most of the characters were a different age. Speaking of the characters, did you happen to watch Sixteen Candles right before you wrote this? I can't help to think you weren't influenced by it. Similar cast of characters but you changed things around with Sam still as the young teen. Anyways, a nice start from you and I'm curious to see where you go with this.

Great job man,

Dirk
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