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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Drop Zone - OWC
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  Author    Drop Zone - OWC  (currently 4933 views)
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 11:34am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Drop Zone by Otis Hoo - Short - A physicist about to compete in a reality game show gets a call from his wife--she's pregnant--and his brother has hit on her. 8 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 4:33pm Report to Moderator

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what I liked

- I am guessing this is by a veteran writer. I try to pick the ones no one has read yet to give them a bump, and it's nice to find a little gold at the bottom of the pale!
- Too early for me to say after having read only 6 or 7 of these OWC's, but I am guessing this will be one of the more original ones. It's also very well written and it's nice to have one where you can just read right through. Thank you, writer!
- I also liked the effort at some character development here


- this is a TV show where contestants risk it all. Good! But then it's very weird that his brother runs the show or something. I don't know how to fix that because of the whole misdirect at the end where we think his brother killed him. So Rob would have to have some kind of access to the elevator. Maybe this: Rob somehow got in and bugged the elevator. He tells rob that when a certain light goes off to hit the brakes.

There's a lot of potential to do something with this. I'm not sure what. I like the idea of elevator chicken. I guess it's best not to think too deeply about the rest. Very good work!
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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 4:35pm Report to Moderator

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Have to say I liked it. Good premise, nice character development. I would add that there is no closure for the Angela/Rob issue. It was merely a backdrop for the whole contest. What was the purpose? Just tension for Mark to overcome?

There are a few technical issues.

Quoted Text
The phone ring tone RING TONE interrupts him, and he frowns as he answers.

Sound cues are generally capitalized.

Quoted Text
(on phone)
Mark, you have to rethink this.  
You canít do it.

People only heard on a phone, radio, etc. are a voice over (V.O.) Angela and Rob should both be (V.O) in every instance. Same with VOICE and ANNOUNCER as well.

Quoted Text
The speaker hisses HISSES for a second before ROBís voice invades the elevator.

Sound cue.

As for his not being allowed any timing devices, wouldn't the phone count?

Quoted Text
The elevator shudders SHUDDERS as it gathers speed.

Another sound cue like the "rattles" and "shakes" a couple of lines later.

Quoted Text
The lights flicker FLICKER dramatically

The "flicker" is a special effect like a sound cue.

At the end of page 7, SCREE should be SCREECH, unless this is different in other parts of the English-speaking world, i.e., "oy" instead of "hey".

Anyway, hope this helps. Best of luck.


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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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It was pretty good.  I didn't care for the premise, but, it's like the running man.  

The problem is, the running man was a post apocalyptic world.  This isn't.  

It was a good read, I just find it hard to believe such a dangerous show would ever happen.


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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 3:28am Report to Moderator
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I think I used to play a game called Drop Zone. It was an arcade game, I wasn't throwing people out of airplanes without parachutes or anything. Not that I can remember.

As for ealier comments, you don't have to capitalise sound effects and special effects. The idea is to be consistent. A few here and there might have pepped things up a bit.

That said, this seems to be another one with on phone VO trouble. I only mention it as I keep assuming Angela's in the lift, when she's not. Same later with the announcer. I've gone all format Nazi, but if they ain't in the room you should show so with VO or OS. There, that's done.

The plot had a bit of a hole. Hmm, I'm being polite, as it was rather a huge one regarding the rules of the game. It'd be fixable though.

It's not a bad idea at all. I think it'd work better with some trimming and polishing. Like my head.


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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 3:38am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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I'm at page 2 and thinking wtf? The dialogue is so melodramatic I'm tempted to bail. Skipping a bit, skipping some more. Sorry writer, this story isn't for me.

3 out of 10.

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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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A  lift dropping.  Choose how far and you win...or die. Not too bad an idea, really.

Someone above mentioned the running man. Fair point.

But this is far more film able

Back story and depth. Didn't quite click. You tried, and that added depth, but it didn't quite strike home. But it was close.

Rob - let's be honest. What was he? He was the depth and it didn't work.

How about a failed father whose child doesn't believe he is a real dad. What what you do for that? What if you won and walked away saying he's better off without you, but with the money? True sacrifice. What would that do to a kid? Etc

Look, it has a theme. How far would you go. Push everything in that parallel. How far to go for honesty. How far with regret. How far to resolve a problem.  Then throw it behind a falling lift.

This script could fly...really could... But not yet. But don't get me wrong. This aint bad.

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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
(on phone)
Mark, you have to rethink this.
You canít do it

I think Angela needs to be V.O here Same for ROB when he enters the story.

Good craftsmanship at work here - but I just didn't get end of the story. His clicker doesn't work - TERROR - screams at his brother and then all of a sudden he's safe. Meaning? ??

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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmmm... reallllly liked the premise.  I think it's great!  And overall, the script was executed well.  But I think it could be better.  Once tweaked, this one could be pretty great.

My qualms:

- A few typos - nothing unexpected for an OWC
- The dialogue felt a bit stilted to me.  A quick polish could smooth that out nicely.  (The exposition, for instance, was too obvious.)
- The ending.... HUH?  The brake fails to work, and then it does?  There's no real conclusion here.  We don't know if Mark's been betrayed by Rob (and if he wasn't, why did the brakes fail?)  And if he was... why did he survive?

So, IMO, the ending needs some reimagining.  But I love the idea. A lot.
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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the premise as well, to echo wonkavite.

The problem which I noticed instantly was the phone conversation...

(V.O) should've been next to Angela's name, if you didn't want to do that... an INTERCUT would've been appropriate there i.e. chopping back and forth between two scenes and establishing ANGELA as more than just a voice.

Might've been a violation of the rules... so I don't blame you.

The game show idea was creative, and the bit about the contestant recovering from his coma got a chuckle out of me... which only expanded the ridiculousness of this so called "game show"

Technical issues aside, creativity and fresh thinking is what I like... thumbs up from me.

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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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Liked the premise and the writing in general but think the ending lets this down as it is unclear what happens...

My thinking...
a) Brakes fail and then start working, no reason for this and feels a cheat
b) Brakes start to work slowly and he just doesn't realise, if so this needs a better explanation.
c) The brakes don't work becuase Rob has unteferred with them, but only so his brother can win - again would need more explanation.


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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 12:56am Report to Moderator
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Oh man, what some people wouldn't do for money. Can you say  "Fecal incontinence"... Mark can.

I was lost on what was happening initially, and truthfully,  was almost out. But when the game show host fed Mark the rules... I was hooked and HAD to finish the script. I think you could lose the phone call IMO and just go for broke, meaning Mark's there for the wad o' cash and that'd be it; "show me the money" and all that jazz.

Maybe embellish on the fact you came up with an entertaining  game show, albeit sick and twisted, but a cool game show none the less. Then I would add all these crazy things to make it even more deranged: Daily Double, Fireball Round... Kamikaze!  

It's a clever concept, I like it. Richard Dawson would be proud.

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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 7:31am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Some of these entries are really creative, even if they are bonkers! I think they all should be applauded.

The lift-drop contest thing is great, I love this idea.

For me though a lot of the dialogue was on the nose, obvious exposition for the audience and that kinda spoiled it for me.

The build-up is good, you made me believe Rob had sabotaged the elevator so it would crash. So kudos for not doing the obvious but the ending feels flat. It ends, he won. Hurragh! But I think there could be more here.

Love the concept though!


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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 7:11pm Report to Moderator

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Bit too talky, don't think it needs so much chit-chat.
Read the whole script and I thought it was OK.
Low budget, in a lift, fits the challenge.
Decent job.
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Posted: May 27th, 2015, 7:19am Report to Moderator
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Sadly the log promised more fun than the execution delivered.

That said I liked the premise of the ĎDrop Zoneí show a lot.  A good angle using a physicist as the contestant; I just wasnít convinced by the last minute phone calls -- would they not have had this conversation before?  Perhaps not a big issue.

An extra twist to the ending wouldíve gone a long way.  As written itís dislocated from the set-up.  What real difference did it make to Mark that his wifeís pregnant and his brother has been hitting on her?  Mark chooses to continue despite his doubts and stops the elevator, winning a bunch of money -- what did he/we learn that informs the outcome?  A great idea for the challenge, just wish I couldíve taken more from the ending.

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