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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  The Equitable Life - OWC
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  Author    The Equitable Life - OWC  (currently 2623 views)
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 11:35am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Equitable Life by ? - Short, Supernatural Horror - As a delivery man, Isaacís destination is chosen for him. But this elevator ride will force him to choose his path. 12 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Killing villains since 1980!

Buffalo NY
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I guessed the end before I got to it, so, that's too bad.

It was pretty good.  I enjoyed it.  I think you could have explained why all this happened.  I doubt this happens to each person who goes on the elevator.

I'd give it 7/10

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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 1:30pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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For the most part, solidly written - an easy read

For me, the ending was rather predictable - so it didn't end with quite the bang that the author might have intended.

I would have like ISSAC developed a little more as a character (perhaps with some more character revealing dialogue with the girl). I kind of didn't care about him one way or another because I really couldn't tell who he was.

Overall, good work.

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Posted: May 24th, 2015, 5:24pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Lots to like in this one, read like a contemporary Twilight Zone or similar.

I think the ending was a  little telegraphed and needed some form of additional twist to make it shine. Issac could do with a little work in terms of why he's such a dick, but minor quibble in a short.

Writing is generally good throughout though and paced well.


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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 7:48am Report to Moderator

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what I liked:

- plenty of mystery; thereís the package and the girl and the old man and the caller and the magic of the elevator
- on the whole itís very well written and easy to read; 11 pages but it reads very quick, thanks!
- a very creative effort, a lot of ideas in play, and an attempt to at least delve into character and moral dilmemma
- as challenges go, it's fine work

suggestions to improve:

- I suspect this is a prose writer taking a break to do script; and the writer forgets this at times. And Iím not talking about format, but point of view. In prose itís ok that we donít know the character is aging until he looks in the mirror. But in film, we would see that aging before he does...yet the script seems to forget this. At several points it does this. Thatís an understandable error for a prose writer, but itís a very big one.
- this story suggests to me that this writer had a bunch of great ideas for the challenge and couldnít choose one. Itís not focused enough. The premise is that the elevator takes this character on a ride that will in the end provide a test as to his moral character. But there are no surprises...the character changes not at all and he chooses what we expected he would: he kills the girl to get his youth back. Thereís no real dilemma, not really, because heís been a selfish low life from the getgo. We donít know why he was chosen to deliver the package. Would this test have been administered to any delivery driver?
-- itís good work, it just would benefit from a bit of focus and simplification.

potential for expansion to feature or series:

maybe part of a series, like a TZ episode

filming potential:

yes, thereís enough in the concept, but the story needs tightening

investment in story and characters:

no. The main character has no redeeming quality that makes us root for him, so we donít care what happens or what choice he makes.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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I think there is a good metaphor in the rising of a lift. A passage. A movement. A journey upwards..but where to?

Hence the reglious overtones of this script.

Almost felt like a shakesphere play, the soothsayer giving a warning that is not heeded.

But it fell a tad short for me. Why Isaac? What's he done? The transition into and desire, was good, but not knowing the character always limited the affect.

This script has Got something but I don't feel delivers...yet.

Ps - good spot rendezvous on the typo

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Reef Dreamer  -  May 26th, 2015, 8:42am
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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Cave Creek, AZ
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Well, I read the entire script, so that's something, right?

Writing-wise, it's OK, but you have a habit of omitting your subject in many sentences, which makes them read poorly, and also can lead to confusion on who or what it is you're referencing.  There are some obvious spelling errors and a few little snags here and there, but otherwise, not bad by any means.

Story-wise, this didn't do much for me, but that's just my opinion, as you definitely had something in mind and it kept me in till the end.

For me, the read was a bit slow and the payoff wasn't worth the price of admission...probably because this was rushed and the time necessary to flesh this out wasn't taken or available.

It's not a bad effort by any means.  But, it's also not a memorable tale and my bet is that it will be quickly forgotten.

Best of luck going forward and thanks for entering.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: May 25th, 2015, 10:35pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


Over there.
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The title's not the best. Sounds like the slogan for some insurance company. Seeing as I haven't read it yet this may be the idea.

I doubt the Close direction in the opening is needed. It's just gonna put some noses out of joint from the off. Plus it does little else, apart from shifting metaphorical noses. Eh?

I'm getting a biblical theme from some of these names. Either that or we're in a very Jewish area.

Hmm. I finished it, sadly it didn't quite work out as well as I hoped. It starts off pretty good, apart from the odd typo.

I got a theme about life's journey maybe. But I didn't quite follow what some of it was supposed to mean. Some of the encounters felt too random. I also think the budget would be blown on ageing make up.

I think the main problem was I didn't particularly care for Isaac. So I wasn't bothered what happened to him.

I'm gonna look at other comments to see what they got...


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Hence the regions overtones of this script.

Hmm, Reef seems to think it's about geography. Either that or his keyboard is broken.


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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 2:14am Report to Moderator
Been Around

Some travelling Circus...
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Hi writer,

I really enjoyed this lil' creepshow conundrum; manage your inequalities before they manage you... Ack! goes bill the Cat.

I guess the vibe I'm getting here is "always do the right thing".  Choices, and the notion that we guide ourselves in a free will system. Left, right, up, down. Everyone pays homage to the supernatural when a series of events transpire to put someone like Isaac in his place... but where's his free will to live? The gun in his hand I guess.

Anyway, I like to imagine the incalculable amount of events that need to transpire on any given day, in anyone's life, to ensure absolutely 'nothing' happens.  There's got to be someone (or something) watching over us. But even the watchers (eventually) make a decision, as to whether the life their protecting is worth saving; choose wisely and live.

I really dig the concept of these final decision makers you created here; the old man and his ever morphing daughter, they're creepy and surreal indeed. I also think if they had names or a (collective) name like "The Watchers" (or whatever) they would present as this gothic archetype that demands to be respected. Well done.

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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 5:48am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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A Twilight Zone/Tales of the Crypt type entry which doesnít make any sense. However, these types of extreme 'What if?' tales are just like that so it fits; itís all just a bit of fun.

A couple of formatting things. Some screenwriting software sets Auto-Continues on by default, which is quite annoying. Turn them off so your characters donít (CONTíD) all the time. Thereís a few typos and times when your dialogue has no character, so this just needs a proof read; nothing serious as these are all rushed first drafts I imagine.  Iíve already spotted numerous errors in mineÖdoh!

Your protagonist is a dick with paedophilic tendencies so I wanted him to die horribly from the very start. I found it hard to even believe he would be involved in any gainful employment at all; without getting fired quickly that is. Maybe that is the point but his character doesnít have any redeemable features, doesnít transform, or go through any development; I couldnít identify at all with him, so I didnít care.

The supernatural morality elevator is a good idea and it is nicely written. I had no trouble following the story. The challenges Isaac faced were subtle at first with the wallet but it quickly escalated into the surreal, with Isaac facing no choice at all; shoot someone or die a very painful terrifying death.

The ending I could see coming a mile off and I was quite glad it was all over. Make me care a bit more for Isaac, make me think he was a guy who had good qualities as well as bad but is just having a really bad day or something. People are rarely that one-dimensional, even in a Tales from the Crypt episode.

Gratz on taking part, this was a very imaginative piece to put together in such a short time frame so well done.


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Revision History (1 edits)
MarkRenshaw  -  May 26th, 2015, 6:13am
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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 10:02am Report to Moderator
Been Around

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I liked this one as far as it went.  Has a surreal feel as our delivery man ages, kills, and then dies.  I'm not sure what the aging has to do with things except to drive him to supposedly kill the girl.  But then, it might be just a bad dream.  I would probably like it better if there were some setup for the weird elevator.  As it reads, it's just the luck of the draw.  And a good reason why Isaac is the one chosen.

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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 7:21pm Report to Moderator

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I really liked this one.
Isaac is an unlikable character but I found him quite entertaining.
The ending didn't quite payoff for me. Might need a bit more reasoning behind all this, or maybe this building just attracts assholes!
No real complaints.

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SteveDiablo  -  May 26th, 2015, 7:35pm
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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 8:02pm Report to Moderator
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I give the writer of this one credit for a vivid imagination.  Interesting setup, with creative twists and turns with the girl.  Not really quite sure of the logic for how it all wrapped up, but whoever wrote it *is* a solid, competant writer.  So kudos on that.  A fun read.  
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Posted: May 26th, 2015, 11:01pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

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I liked this! The imagery is paced perfectly, and the writer said it well.

If I had to nitpick, I wasn't digging the VO. It would've helped if we had a voice description to add to the caller, just so we know we're not dealing with any ghostly cheese. The caller's dialogue came across generic to me.

Great tension with Issac and the teenager - mega creepy - and it added a layer to Issac in the process. But I didn't see that aspect come back into play other than it could've been another bad decision on his part.

Awesome detail with Issac's elderly form. I enjoyed his reaction to the situation.

Good work!

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Posted: May 27th, 2015, 9:02am Report to Moderator

English, self taught comedy writer

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I thought it was well written, but justice and revenge seem to be pretty common topics for this challenge.

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Posted: May 28th, 2015, 12:32pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

North Carolina
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Isaac -- what a charmer.

A five-year-old girl asks if he's getting on the elevator, and he responds with "Well, no shit." Nice.

Old man drops his wallet, Isaac takes it.

Fifteen-year-old girl gets on, Isaac offers to show her his package.

Woman gets on, Isaac shoots her in the head to get out a jam.

I can't say I know from the script how this Elevator God operates, but he knows how to take care of business.

Overall, things don't quite jell (or is it gel? Maybe congeal).

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Stumpzian  -  May 28th, 2015, 1:14pm
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Posted: May 28th, 2015, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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I found the dialogue from the 'caller' to be mostly exposition. I don't understand what the point of it all was. I thought there was going to be a clever ending that tied all three girls into being the same person that had aged the same time as he did during the elevator ride... but it went to a third party who just did all of that because he felt like it.

Strange. Not one for me.

5 out of 10.

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Posted: May 29th, 2015, 10:25am Report to Moderator
Been Around

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Not badly written, a decent enough story, works for what it is. Ending comes in too suddenly, especially considering we don't really get to know Isaac, you basically have him moan around and just mumble and call people fat lards. Sure, it shows us that he's not the most redeemable type of guy -- but the ending's point kind of just falls on its face.

There's needs to be a little bit more here, some direction in the story, the point at the moment just seems mute. Decent effort, which isn't a totally bad thing.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: June 1st, 2015, 7:45pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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I like the fact that Issac is sliding the wallet away from view. I like the mystery of the box and the first phone call. I am not sure that I like the choose your path phone call however. The mystery was already there ...and we know he's about to do something bad, so I'm not sure that adds to the story.

Love his age changing.

Ok ok I see where the caller was going with this and I like this story pretty good. Loved the ending most of all. Still find myself wanting more for some reason and I can't quite put a finger on it. GREAT job though writer.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: June 1st, 2015, 10:10pm Report to Moderator

The Swamp...
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Not sure why this one has such few reads. Easily one of my favorites.

I enjoyed the read and the story. Dark, which I like and prefer.

I liked everything about it. Isaac has to make choices and they all effect what happens to him. Good moral lesson.

My only issue was that even though he's traveling to the 50th floor, it seemed the elevator took to long to get there. Maybe if it was an older elevator that moves slower?

Great work!  

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Posted: June 1st, 2015, 11:32pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

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Whoever wrote this must be a seasoned pro. If not, s/he sure has me fooled.

My only nitpicks are with the occasional misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

I love anthologies of the Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Maters of Horror, and Fear Itself varieties. Quite a fun read; I was hooked from page one.

I don't believe that a character necessarily needs to be likeable, per se, look at Breaking Bad for example. Everybody did nasty things, even Walt, but you still rooted for them. Even at his worst, you still rooted for Walt.

Lots of mystery, suspense, intriguing visuals. I could totally see this being filmed. Imagine what Dean Cundey could do with this.

A solid A.

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Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 3:19am Report to Moderator

between angeles & saints
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The writing in this is okay.  

Not a good sign that the opening sentence has a camera direction.  

Some of the action lines are over written and awkward -- not a fan of 'looking to find' kind of stuff.

Having such an unlikable character carry a script like this is difficult because I've no empathy for Isaac and I'm rooting for his demise, but then I get to the ending and it just isn't very powerful.  The allegory is a little muddled and just having him free fall is clichť.
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Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 4:22pm Report to Moderator

Southeastern United States
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Agree with most of the other comments, especially about the lack of empathy for Isaac. However, I was toying with the ending and thinking about him free falling, but the elevator dings on the ground floor and a business man or lawyer (barrister) gets on and finds the little girl waiting for him. Anyway, not my story, but I believe there is definite potential here even with an almost Scrooge-like aging of the main character. I would be interested in seeing where you take it.

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Posted: June 5th, 2015, 7:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The Equitable Life

Yes and No script from my sight. Hard to say. Isaac deserves pain, good that you've killed him.

Then the HOW? That is the problem here. I saw this in many scripts this challenge (which is not a shame by any means) that the ending don't really fit the story. Many did copouts with comedy for example. Well, you give an accident of a crashing elevator to this script here, but all I read before was a slow-burning psycho-thriller. And not a bad one. Also, the script is too long imo. That said: From the "V.O.-is-commanding- stories" yours is my favorite I think. Good interaction and characters/characterization here. Good entry.

@ bad title imo, equivocal is most times wrong - better be direct. I mean: Does your title represent your genre?

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Posted: June 11th, 2015, 1:05am Report to Moderator

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Riveted to this story, dying to know what's in that friggin box! Always a good thing...  

Karma can be brutal. The story's one of those that makes you think at the end. Probably could expand to a feature; really curious about the motivation for Caller/Daddy and Judith/Little Girl.
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Posted: June 11th, 2015, 9:20am Report to Moderator

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It's amazing how you managed to create such a serious piece within the confinement of such a setup. I admire you ability to grab my complete attention throughout the story. I will say the caller instruction might have been too confusing at some point for Isaac. He was given hard choices in the end. I may also add that the pace the events of the story escalated felt a bit rushed. From fallen wallets to murder. Something in between could have smoothed it a bit. Either way, you've written a great piece. Well done.
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