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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  I Got 99 Problems - OWC
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  Author    I Got 99 Problems - OWC  (currently 4348 views)
oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 12:46am Report to Moderator
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I was excited to get into this thread, then read some comments and hit a brick wall.

Amazing. This is how you write a character into a corner haha! Quite clever to have only one elevator working, and have every floor selected. Then it kept going with Robbie. Random - and I like it.

I felt disoriented at times, like fighting the sanity of a dream. I asked myself if death could conjure one to fight for their life in this way. Just letting go of everything - painfully slow.

The dialogue was outstanding. Writing too. Maybe I'm one of the few, but this write had my full attention throughout. Well done. One of my favorites!
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 1:03am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from oJOHNNYoNUTSo
The dialogue was outstanding. Writing too. Maybe I'm one of the few, but this write had my full attention throughout. Well done. One of my favorites!


WTF????  Really?  J...you OK, bud?



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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DanC
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 1:07am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


WTF????  Really?  J...you OK, bud?



Why do you think it was bad Jeff?

I thought it was pretty good too.  I thought the writing was solid.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 1:18am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
WTF????  Really?  J...you OK, bud?


No, I was hacked   - I did enjoy it, bro. Although I'm not totally sure if I'm feeling okay.

Within the context of what was going on, tip of my hat to the writer. Sure, some of it is basic, but it's not like it's all softballs. There's a few heaters in there too.

Quit trying to hypnotize me Jeff!


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cloroxmartini
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 6:24am Report to Moderator
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Well that was weird and interesting, creative. Kudos.

Larry's early talky talk seemed like filler. I don't see him saying much of anything unless it's like "wtf?" and being very curious about what is happening.
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Stumpzian
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 1:18pm Report to Moderator
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This script left me puzzled.

I didn't get where Larry is until I reread the logline. His apartment building. Your first slug says Imotakan Lobby.
Maybe I'm out of the loop, but I don't know what Imotakan is. I googled it and am still not certain.  Seems to be a video war game? If so, does that play into what's happening in some way I don't recognize?

Given what he finds out at the end, I would expect Larry's floor-by-floor ascent to have more meaning. To me, it just seems pointlessly random -- a beautiful woman, an overturned water cooler, a humanoid figure, and Robbie the Robot from "Forbidden Planet," although Robbie is misidentified.

Small matter, I guess, but the tape you're talking about is not duct tape.

Overall, this has the feel of story that started with no ending in mind. I realize I may have missed some larger point.




Revision History (1 edits)
Stumpzian  -  May 30th, 2015, 4:21pm
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wonkavite
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 7:42pm Report to Moderator
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This one...?  Really strange.  It feels like the writer had the germ of an idea, and then ran with it without knowing how it would develop or end.  So it just got weirder and weirder... and eventually just got lost in the weeds.  Not for me, I'm afraid.  But certainly worth playing with after the OWC's over...
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khamanna
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 12:43pm Report to Moderator
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It deffinitely gets points for imagination and subtleness.
In the end Larry has been shot and what we saw is an interpretation of what happened to him - I liked that reveal a lot.

What I did miss is an explanation of what happened and why he was shot. Even if he was on that floor by mistake and got shot by mistake, or just because he turned up to be an unwanted witness to something - we still don't know that and I think we ought to know. Unless I missed something. I didn't, did I?

He sees his mother at the end - she wasn't in the set up, so I think you better get rid of her and use someone from the set up in your final scene.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: June 4th, 2015, 8:07pm Report to Moderator
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I Got 99 Problems

If there is not much happening in all those floors, except for Larry fighting his boredom, then cut it to a Minimum, or the viewer will turn off. The ending is nice and sweet.
It's overwritten for what it is. Just give us 7 precisely executed pages and you have a different pair of shoes here imo



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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 4:58am Report to Moderator
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Thanks to those who read this (all the way through!) and were kind enough to offer their opinions. Hereís a rundown of the story, then Iíll answer some specific points.

Just for reference: I had the late, great John Candy in mind when I envisioned Larry. I think it helps to visualise the scenes if I imagine an actor I think could really pull the role off.


Larry is dead in the 6th Sense style. Heís the victim of a random shooting in the lobby of his apartment building and heís on his way to the afterlife.  

Larry doesnít see it that way, he thinks heís heading home. What Larry sees is a deserted lobby of a super skyscraper (Nataktomi Plaza backwards, no-one spotted this!) with all but one of the elevators are out of commission. So he takes it, even though itís faulty and means going up 99 floors one at a time. Why? Heís a big guy and taking the stairway to heaven ainít his style!

Larry has a surreal adventure upwards. An embarrassing encounter with a sexy woman, a toy robot hopping on for the ride and Larry showing off his geek side; entertaining himself with impersonations.

He manages to pass the time for a while but the endless repetition drains Larryís enthusiasm. A mini-earthquake followed by a torrent of water is more than enough to make things interesting again, followed by ominous banging on the doors on Floor 66; which unbeknown to Larry, is Hell.

This leads to an encounter with a scary faceless man in dimly lit corridor and the loss of Robbie, who wanders off the elevator at the worst time possible. Larry almost becomes stuck on the floor as well, after he rushes out to rescue his friend but he ducks back in just before the doors close. His ascent continues alone.

Floor 67 looks normal, dull but the elevator goes crazy, shooting down and up floors randomly. It finally stabilises as it reaches the 90th floor and then the truth is revealed to Larry as it slowly ascended up towards 99; heaven.

A pain in his chest reminds him of the shooting. The out of order tape in the lobby never existed, it was police ĎDo Not Crossí tape covering off the scene of his own, random murder.

Larry realises he is dead and this is his elevator to the afterlife. The Devil tried to trick him to going to Hell, first by seduction (the sexy woman) and then by luring him out of the elevator to follow his robot companion. However, Larry managed to bypass this trickery by a random fart and sheer luck!

At floor 99 the doors open to heaven. Larry can see his mom waiting for him. All fear, and pain gone, Larry smartens himself up and boldly steps forward.



For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 5:01am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DanC

I loved your pop culture references.  I knew them all, so, yeah, I'm old
The reason I didn't rate it a bit higher was b/c all the action kinda zoned me out.  I really had to "try" not to skim.  I'd try to add more dialog to it.

Thanks Dan. Iím old too. I made Larry in his late 30ís so the stuff heíd quote would be relevant for old people like us lol. Fair point about the action, maybe I was too descriptive on this one. More dialogue wouldnít work as heís on his own (apart from Robbie) so it would seem weird him talking to himself more but maybe another character in the lift may help.

Quoted from Dreamscale
I wish I could be more positive, but for me, this didn't work at all, and was extremely dull, and a tough chug to get through.  

Thatís OK man. As per my comment in the other thread, this is the first script of mine youíve read all the way through so I see that as progress!

Quoted from Dustin

It's taking three pages to get going so far. I'm pretty sure you could easily cut the first two pages without hurting the story at all. I'm finding it a chore to read at the moment. Remember the come in late get out early rule.
Well yeah, that was pretty surreal with the 'Mom' thing at the end but it spoils it in my opinion.

I needed to setup the beginning to explain why Larry was in a faulty lift and also for the reveal at the end. Travelling up 99 floors one at a time is going to be a bit tedious, I had to get some of that across and hoped Larryís goofing around would provide entertainment while it did, but maybe I went on too long. The Mom thing was just to explain Larry was stepping into heaven.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 5:02am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley

plague should be plaque
"steaming black coffee" How do we see the steam? There's no lighting around ("powerless monitors")

Thanks for spotting the typo. The lobby isnít in total darkness, only the security monitors have no power. I wanted to explain visually why there was no security guard in the lobby. The steaming cup shows someone was there recently. The powerless monitors is the reason why the security guard is not there, heís gone off to investigate why the security cameras have all gone pop!

Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley

Robbie The Robot is the robot of Forbidden Planet, not Lost In Space. (I first summed this up as character error, but it would appear that Larry is a sci-fi pop culture nerd)

He calls the robot Robbie as a nickname, simple as that. He then proceeds to do impersonations of several famous cultural robots from Lost in Space, Buck Rogers and Doctor Who (none of which are called Robbie) while he plays with the Robot to pass time during the tedious journey in the lift.

Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley

A fart joke.  > that seems out of place.

That fart saved his soul. The woman (temptress) in question said she was going to the 66th floor, which is hell. I think I was quite a bit too subtle in this story.


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MarkRenshaw
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Quoted from EWall433
I actually liked a lot of the humor in the beginning of this. The set-up starts off light-hearted. A frustrating elevator ride and Larry, whoís a bit of a dweeb, just trying to pass the time. The fart joke actually worked for me, and I also liked the decision to give Larry a robot friend. The montage maybe went on too long, but then we started turning into the horror part of the tale. For me, thatís where this started to get rickety.

The faceless man is creepy, but a bit of an easy choice, as is the crazy elevator. But mostly my problem was that it led to a payoff that didnít feel natural to the set-up. The tone of the piece worked for me and I dug the initial concept (a floor by floor elevator ride where the stops get progressively more horrific). I could definitely see things going in an even darker, more surreal, Silent Hill-type direction. Iíd go back and try to figure out an ending that keeps to that initial concept. Make us dread whatever horrible thing heíll find when he finally makes it to the 99th floor.

Thanks Eric. I agree actually. I wrote this in 2 nights and wanted the first twenty floors or so to be normal and give us chance to get to know Larryís character but then it to get progressively creepier as we got closer to hell on floor 66.  I just didnít really have time to do it justice it seems. I also had to keep to a shoestring budget to maintain the parameters of the OWC otherwise I would have let rip more with my imagination.  

Quoted from stevie
I was sort of getting into this but ended up bailing on about page 8 as it all went arse up.
The pop culture refs were done well ( God, how hot was Erin Gray from Buck Rogers lol?) but perhaps the writer lost control or ran out of time.

You are right, I had one night to write the vomit draft then another to try and tidy it up. I thought Iíd done OK but seems like maybe I didnít.

Quoted from rendevous

I think that montage proved my point. Even if a great comic actor did it, they would have a job making it funny. Maybe Stan Laurel could have. Alas. Like my patience, he is long gone.
Needs a bit more plot, in me humble.
R

Thanks Rend. I agree, I think it needs more plot, and wellÖjust more in general, although some have said Iíve tried to do too much with this story so Iím a bit conflicted and confused.  I did have the late great John Candy in mind when I wrote this and thought someone like him could pull it off perfectly. Maybe Kevin James as his Mall Cop character could suffice as a cheap alternative? Lol.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 5:04am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RichardR
this one quickly became tedious for me.  I can take only so many stops and clever comments to the robot.  Get on with the story.  HOw many jokes can you tell on one match?  Only know when there are too many.  Didn't work as a story for me.

Best
Richard

Thanks Richard, appreciate you taking the time to give this a look. I wanted to get the tediousness of travelling 99 floors one at a time across while Larry entertains himself (and hopefully us in the process) but it seems I was way too successful in showing the tedious part of the journey and lost several readers in the process lol.

Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Gosh darn it - really ?
Too much with the different floor imho, could lose some of these quite easily.
Effectively written though and I like the robot
SPOILERS
The end, hmm not a fan of 'dead all along' endings, sorry.
Anthony

Thanks Anthony, glad you liked itÖa bit anyway lol. I think I was way too successful in getting across how long and monotonous such a journey would be.

Quoted from c m hall

Lots of good things here; Larry is an entertaining character, he's trying to make the best of whatever happens -- and Larry's interaction with the robot as companion / memory will keep things interesting for the audience.  And I think that having  Larry be a victim of senseless violence instead of just dangerously clumsy (as it seems in the beginning) is a good decision, it takes this from being a skit to being a memorable story that could be a good film.

Thank you! Itís always nice when someone gets what it is I was trying to convey with the story and can visualise it as I can in my head. It reassures me that Iím not a complete loss and thereís some hope, maybe, for my writing and stories.

Quoted from stevemiles

Like the title.  Think thereís much to be made of the situation, a passenger forced to endure every floor on his ride in a faulty elevator.  One niggle was Larry seemed a little too childlike in places.

Not what I expected -- kudos for taking it somewhere different.  I rather like it, think you handled the surreal aspect well and made the most of the suspense.  Nothing was as it really seemed.  Another elevator ride to Heaven/Hell but a different approach.  Iíd cut the fart gag, that did nothing.

I had John Candy (or Kevin James as his Mall Cop character) in mind when I wrote this and thought someone like that could pull it off. The fart gag was more than just for laughs, it saves his soul as the woman said she was heading to the 66th Floor (hell) and maybe would have tempted him off the elevator. I was way too subtle on this though, needed to explain more.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 5:05am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JSimon
I like the concept of using the elevator as a way of reliving one's life as they say in the last moment before death.

An interesting idea but that isnít what is happening here. He isnít reliving his life, heís travelling to the afterlife.

Quoted from JSimon

First of all, it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overwritten with description. An example: Larry has turned a crimson red; a mixture of desire and toe-curling embarrassment. That really just needs to be Larry turns red.

Larry turns red maybe easier to read but itís also duller. Iím trying to add a little flavour to the descriptions without taking up too much white space. I may need to trim back a bit for sure but Iíve seen plenty of produced, well thought of scripts that have waaaaaaaaaaay more description than mine.

Quoted from JSimon

But another problem with this description is that it has, as far as I can tell, no reason at all for being there. It's not connected to the story, doesn't add to any kind of mood or tone of the location. Imagine you are filming this: is it necessary to get this steaming coffee and find a way to keep it steaming for the length of the shoot?

I was attempting to show without telling. What does a steaming cup of liquid show you? It shows you that someone was there recently, probably a security guard drinking a brew, as itís near security monitors. What do powerless security monitors show you? That thereís no power, thatís for sure but itís also a reason why thereís no security guard. He (or they) have gone to check why all the security cameras have lost power.
I needed a reason for the lobby to be empty to setup Larryís trip in the faulty elevator. I know I could have just said ďAn empty lobbyĒ but to me thatís a cop-out, cheap and dull. If I read a script like that Iíd be like ďWhere are the security guards? That doesnít make sense?Ē But I was either too subtle or being too clever for my own good.  

Quoted from JSimon

A few self-deprecating moments go by.  I have no idea what that means.

Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself. Larryís just embarrassed himself in front of a hot chick and sheís left the elevator. Between one floor and the next he goes over the situation in his mind and curses himself for his actions. I tried to get that across in a few words without being dull but again I think I was too clever for myself.

Quoted from JSimon

Putting it in the future was clever so you could have a crazy tall skyscraper with more floors and therefore more stops on the elevator. There were probably more clever things to this story that I missed because I started to skim due to the tedious writing. With a little work you will quickly learn to clean up that writing style. And it will make it easier for you to write because there's no need to work so hard on description!

Thanks but itís not set in the future. Thereís quite a few buildings in the world with more than 100 floors and more being built all the time. Itís not per se a real building but Larryís interpretation of the Stairway to heaven. Heís taking the elevator instead lol. Sorry I angered you so much with my writing style. Iím experimenting all the time, trying to find a balance so itís not overly descriptive but at the same time memorable and stands out a bit more form the crowd.  Seems like Iíve got a lot more practice ahead.


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