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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Lift in a 1 Star Hotel - OWC
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  Author    Lift in a 1 Star Hotel - OWC  (currently 2864 views)
Don
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 11:33am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Lift in a 1 Star Hotel by It's a secret... for now... - Short, Comedy - Eek… 8 pages - pdf, format


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JSimon
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:09pm Report to Moderator
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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.

Revision History (1 edits)
JSimon  -  May 24th, 2015, 12:26pm
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Dustin
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:23pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Code

LIFT MECHANIC
Still, there's always the graffiti to
read, I've written a lot of it,
myself.


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.


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DanC
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 2:39pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I agree with the other 2.  I didn't get it.  Sorry.

there is some funny stuff, but, it didn't make any kind of sense.  Why is he doing all this stuff?

I'd give it a 3.5/10.

Sorry, but, it didn't make any sense...


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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 1:33am Report to Moderator
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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.


Quoted Text
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


Quoted Text
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.

Is the repair guy even doing repairs?








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Gum
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 11:44am Report to Moderator
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Hi,

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.


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Max
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, what an asshole mechanic.

I did laugh quite a few times because it was so stupid, I read on because it was entertaining and that's all I can say about this one.

For the mechanic to turn around and say "Nah, I'm just fucking with you" to an old bloody lady, LOL.

I'm honestly speechless...

It will be hit and miss for some people tho but on the real, I'd rather read a fun piece like this than read a script where the writer has a stick shoved up his arse throughout the entire thing.


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Jeremiah Johnson
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 12:55pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats on your entry.

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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eldave1
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 2:18pm Report to Moderator
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Well - the good news is that you do have talent with dialogue. That is not an easy task for many writers. That being said, the action, descriptions, format are less then standard and need a work.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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AnthonyCawood
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As other have said, formatting is a little off, too many unfilmables and some of the dialogue sections run on too long... and switch you Continueds off...

But, some of the dialogue was funny... utterly absurd at times, but definitely funny.

Not really sure what to make of it!

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
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Too many mistakes in the first few passages to even list.

No named characters?

Sorry, out before I even neared the end of page 1.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 3:03pm Report to Moderator
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Dreamscale strikes again!

Wait til' you get around to mine, you'll tear it a new one.

Although I will say, at least this script met the requirements unlike some others.


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wonkavite
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
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For this one:

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!

--J (W)
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stevie
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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I'm a sucker for oddball comedy and this made me laugh a few times. Could imagine it as a skit.



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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 9:33am Report to Moderator
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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.

-Mark


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rendevous
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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Feels like a new writer, so I'll be gentle. Or I'll have a go at it. Or it could be some smartarse with too much time on their hands who should be trolling on Twitter. I'll elect for the former, so I don't have to be a twat.

Format needs a bit of work, but so do my teeth.

Hmmm. This is nuts. New writer or not, this is all over the show. And even a new writer would know that. I suspect if I was wankered then I might have got a few laughs out of it. New writers usually have some promising dialogue or some ideas that aren't quite polished enough. But this reads like Rocky Horror with some meth heads.

My first piece of advice is stop with all the exclamation marks! Oscar Wilde never used them. They make you sound like an idiot. I'll prove it. I sound like a fecking idiot! Yes! All the barstard time! Stop it! I'm a fecking idiot!

See? Christ. If you took out those exclamation marks it might make a read. At the moment it sounds like one of those people who are too fond of cats.

Sorry if I sound like a twat!

R

Edit - Hmm, I do sound like a twat, indeed. Sorry about that. No need.

I read it again as I'm in a better mood and I doubted it was so bad.

It isn't. It does need an edit. But most scripts do. You've got the idea, just read more scripts and your writing will improve.

R


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Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
rendevous  -  May 27th, 2015, 4:26am
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RichardR
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An escapee from the institute who talks incessantly and hauls around his welding equipment?  Don't welders come with big tanks, goggles, etc.?  As comedy this one didn't make me laugh.  But then, I'm no comic.  It did read like some inane skit you'd find on a late night comedy show, something that depends on the actor doing the lines.  Perhaps then.

Best
Richard
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 27th, 2015, 3:55am Report to Moderator
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I rather liked parts of that.

Yeah, yeah, format needs a touch of work, but who cares.

Overall it comes off as more of a sketch than a story. Nothing wrong in that but I an OWC sketches tend to get beaten up. As you have probably gathered so far!

Importantly you defined characters that had their own way. That's more than many of these scripts will achieve.

Just remember to keep focus and try to grip us more with the scene.

If you refine this, and keep it to a lift, probably reduce the number of characters, this could be filmed.


My scripts  HERE

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khamanna
Posted: May 27th, 2015, 5:57am Report to Moderator
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It's a lot of exclamation marks in your script. In fact every sentence ends with one. That makes me think they are shouting throughout the entire script.

It would be better if their dialog had ups and downs. Here they say something to the point in a low tone, then bam they shout, then again a word of wisdom from someone etc - hope you get my point.

Some of what they said was amusing.
Just make us care for the characters, probably if there were less we would care more.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: May 27th, 2015, 11:41pm Report to Moderator
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Overall, this one wasn't for me. I laughed at this:

LIFT MECHANIC
Right! A stoic and admirable attitude, for once! Why don't we all just chill out and accept the fact we're all going to die because of my stupidity and negligence?!

That bit of dialogue anchored the tension IMO, which was the strongest aspect of this short. I'm sure others will say it, but the writing needs to be tightened up a lot. The unfilmables are exceptionally poor here, and didn't enhance the characters at all.
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Stumpzian
Posted: May 28th, 2015, 6:40am Report to Moderator
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When I finished reading, I asked myself: What would this be like if all the mistakes were fixed?

The answer: very funny.

Yes, there are tons of things wrong -- formatting, sentence structure, awkwardness, etc.

BUT --

There are good laughs here,  some with a Jim Carrey-like delivery. (To the nervous 80-year-old woman: "I'm just fucking with you."

And, "This is the worst hotel in the world."
        "Are you saying this hotel is bad?")

Overall: Once this writer learns the ropes, his or her humor will stand out.



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ChrisBodily
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 9:18pm Report to Moderator
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There is more wrong with this than I can list!



Since you're new here, I'm gonna cut you a break. (Besides, every single previous post has ripped your script to shreds already.)

Your story could certainly use more exclamation points! Hell, put them at the end of every sentence, including action lines!

^ I jest, of course.   But I think the exclamation points are overkill.

Too much description. Too many unfilmables. How do we know he always carries his welder? Do we see him wake up every morning and immediately grab his welder?

How do we know the old man is in poor health? Are we looking at his medical records? Is his doctor in the elevator?

How do we know the punk kid hates authority? Does we wear a T-shirt that says "Fuck authority" or the anarchy (A) symbol? Making him a punk or badass isn't enough.

Turn off MORE and CONTINUED except for when a page break divides dialogue.

For example:

Code

                            JIM
                    Would you excuse me, I have to use the

                           (MORE)

                            JIM (CONT'D)
                    bathroom.



And even those instances should be rare. Your screenwriting software should take care of such things. Just worry about writing the story, and let the program do some of the formatting for you. But don't neglect your role in formatting when you're done writing the first draft. Because that's when the real work begins.

This wasn't very good, but thanks for the laughs.

Grading method:

5 stars = A
4 stars = B
3 stars = C
2 stars = D
1 star = F

I'll give you 2 stars (D), and that's just for the good chuckle, and the fact that you're new. Better luck next time.


FADE IN:

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ChrisBodily  -  May 29th, 2015, 9:22pm
Code formatting goof
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PrussianMosby
Posted: June 1st, 2015, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Lift in a 1 Star Hotel

At first I found the protagonist annoying, later I accepted his humor and noticed some funny lines.

I think it's too long for what it is right now. Also, the lift mechanic should die in the end because of not being empathic to me. So, the knockout-punch by the old man could be funnier and maybe more fatal to him, somehow different, perhaps some more irony...



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SteveClark
Posted: June 4th, 2015, 6:25am Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Okaaaay...  Nothing here that really relates to a good story. I suspect someone new to screenwriting has taken a stab here. And if that is the case then usually what I find is funny in your head doesn't necessarily translate well to the page. Story was silly, a lot of unfilmables too. And how did the engineer get in in the first place if the elevator was moving?
Maybe I missed that. But who could blame me.

Anyway, keep trying. It's admirable that you took a crack at this.

Steve


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