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what I liked: - created some tension with situational discomfort - there is at least a distinct, if weird personality with the main character - the writer, if new, has a potential ear for dialogue. Needs work of course
suggestions to improve: - obviously a new writer. You will hear a lot about unfilmables. While there are some that consider this rule the 11th Commandment given to Moses, certainly the writer needs to understand that some of these things simply can't be shown in film. Example: He always carries his welding equipment with him. No way we could know that. - i hate not finishing a story, but I stopped after 4 or 5 pages. I went back and I have no idea what's going on on this elevator. Is it moving? Is it waiting? And then the old man tells his kid to fix the cable. From inside the elevator? Where people are for some reason waiting? It makes no sense. If the writer is not going the make the situation make sense he's not going to get readers to stay with him.
investment in story and characters: almost, but no. The main character has a certain vulnerability which can be built on, but for now it's not enough.
Still, there's always the graffiti to
read, I've written a lot of it,
A laugh burst forth when I read this. I'm still chuckling now after reading it again.
Well... what the flip have I just read? That was some crazy slapstick-type comedy. Almost Monty Python-esque. Over all it doesn't work for me. It could work, but it needs work. Your writing also needs work. If you would like some help with that, I'll gladly give some hints and tips for how you can improve.
I think a fair score for this would be a 3. Or 3.5 for the giggle.
It's a tough one because comedy is really subjective. There's wit, sarcasm, irony and slapstick all in this story. Things are just a little jumbled right now. With some work this could be a decent story with a message, but it needs to find its direction. At the moment it doesn't really go anywhere.
Welcome to the wonderful weirdness of screenwriting. I'm assuming you're new, seeing how right from the get-go I notice the title page. Then on p1: 1. The Lift, followed by INT. LIFT and then "a lift in a 1 star hotel' Let's try that again:
FADE IN INT. LIFT - TIME Cramped full of people, surrounded by graffiti. The MECHANIC squeezes in, presses the button to go down.
See, it's like this. You show me, in order things I cannot see. If the lift is full of people, tight space, how can I see the mess around them? The only possible solution is to reverse the order of the writing, and drop the excessive description. You can also show that the repairman is prepared without telling us. I wouldn't as go as far as to say it is unfilmmable, but dropping "always" improves the visual. We don't always know that. But you can show us his toolbox.
OLD MAN, a 70 year old man who is extremely serious. He is fat and bald, and in poor health. .
What about him? A 70 year old, overweight bald man coughs
Lift Mechanic jumps up and down
In a crowded, shoulder to shoulder elevator.. At least one heavy set man among them.
I'm sorry. I'm out by page 3. Angry Teen who 'hates authority' the '70 year old old lady' Now the OCD reference.
Ok… I read it all. Some funny moments, some not. “A 1 star hotel”, lol. Sounds like a motel I stayed at once. Ya, so I hit this town late one evening only to find out there’s a concert AND a Sioux game going on; everything's booked solid, therefore… enter a 1 star motel on the edge of nowhere. I slept standing up. Good continental breakfast though, coffee and a ‘let’s go, now’.
I’m rambling? Yes. I get that you were fueling this with dialog, but there’s just too many unfilmables that need to be capitalized on in order to move the characters into a viewing audience. Vis-à-vis ‘PSYCHOPATHIC MAN’ – doesn’t really come across as a psychopath, more like a ‘DILUSIONAL MAN’ or ‘SARCASTIC MAN’ when he delivers his line:
“You're a hero! The world needs more people like you!”
I think you had fun writing this though, and I also think you could probably put together (if you keep at it) something… less green? If that makes any sense, Cheers.
In the beginning, you start off telling us how people feel, a lot of adverbs, and that he "always" carries his welding equipment. Just tell us what we see not all the extras. And need to cap full of PEOPLE.
OLD MAN, a 70 year old man who is extremely serious. He is fat and bald, and in poor health. Not a good description. We know he's old because you call him OLD MAN. Then another "who is". This needs work.
Again, don't TELL us ANGRY TEENAGER "hates authority". Just tell us what we see on screen. SHOW us in the dialogue or actions.
Then you have the Lift Mechanic speak twice in a row with no action line in between.
These kind of mistakes are throughout the script as well as the CONTINUEDs. Take those out.
Sorry, but I really didn't like it. The mechanic got punched in the face multiple times and didn't even react, word choices weren't good, and the dialogue needs work. If you just put this together for the challenge to get an entry in, then good job on that. Not easy to do. Just this needs a lot of work. Good luck.
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I imagine this is a relatively new writer. My thoughts: a promising premise... there's a lot that can be done with this, and if I were you, I'd keep playing with it after the OWC is over. A few problems I noticed. A lot of passive writing (ie: so and so "is" this, etc.) And while the concept of a nutso lift operator and a group of disparate riders could be fun, most of this didn't come off as very organic. (For instance, the Lift Operator just started talking wacko immediately. The "psychopathic" guy came out of nowhere, etc.)
But play with it... it's worth the effort to smooth this out!
I’m guessing you are fairly new to writing screenplays, so the rule here is write what we can see. Your first action block for example:
A lift in a 1 star hotel. It is rather tacky, and graffiti is everywhere. The lift is filled full of people, and everyone is feeling cramped, uncomfortable and irritable.
How do we know it is a 1 star hotel? Is there a ‘1 star’ sign in the elevator? The state of the elevator tells us everything we need to know about it and the hotel so there’s no need for the 1 star hotel statement. In addition, you’ve said the lift is full twice (filled full) and you’ve informed us what the characters are feeling, which is something we can’t see.
The script is full of such stuff so I’ll move onto other aspects.
Spelling mistakes, line gaps between character names and dialogue, no character descriptions, improper use of parentheticals; it almost seems like a pisser.
On the positive, the dialogue shows promise and it is quite bonkers. It reads to me like an old black and white comedy, something perfectly suited for Groucho Marx as the Lift Mechanic. If that was the intention then this is quite genius. If not, well I’d claim it is and try to bring those zany classic comedies back into fashion!
Well done on entering the OWC and giving this a go, it’s quite intense getting the level of scrutiny these challenges produce. Take what you can from the comments.
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