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The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
Sorry man, I missed out on commenting during the OWC hype, but I really saw something in this script that I wanted to stir (within) before posting. Anyway, I gave it another go and really let it stew in my head. You got some serious characters here, richly layered, and both talking so complete and on cue, that the dialog IS all that’s needed to drive this story.
You need to stop what you’re doing, pack up a caravan, and take this sh!t on the road. If you’re looking for an angle: call it “Maximus Mohammad’s - I Know What the F*ck I’m Doing - Traveling Show!”
Seriously though, you crafted an archetypal dynamic between two characters that went beyond simple interaction, deep too… so deep. Cliff (to me), although old(er) and somewhat decrepit, he’s not a fool. He’s an old school gent that doesn’t appreciate head games, and he’d sure enough tell Marshall his shit stinks as he would tell his own son he loves him. But Cliff is fully aware of his position within this societal rank, and is strong enough to know when and where he can overstep his bounds. I think Marshall caught onto this the first time he met Cliff, and whether or not he was looking for a mentor at the time, he unconsciously found it in the old man.
Through the years, Cliff (I somehow imagine), became Marshall’s anchor to the ‘desert of the real’. He (Marshall) would circumnavigate the globe on his quest for fame and riches, find it, become disenchanted… and when tired of it all, remember that old man’s shoulder that he once (symbolically) put his head upon.
Most would assume that a man in Marshall’s position would have a million and one stories to tell, like he’s totting around this leviathan sack of memories behind him that he would surely need to spill every now and again just to be mobile… but he doesn’t. His head is full of 3 or 4 second movie clips of events that may or may not have transpired within his life. Cover ups by his agency minions, and accountants who pay away the bad press. What are and what are not his real memories, and could he ever regain true consciousness of what he is and what he’s become; after being punched in the head so many times.
Marshall is a walking metaphor in a real life song and dance, you should call this “The Ballad of the Boxer’ cause it’s so true to tale. He’s this big steam punk engine that’s looking for a way to end his charade of non-existence, but Cliff won’t allow him to, not till the final page when we see Cliff himself let down the fictional hotel front man he’s personified his whole life. By simply breaking conduct, and having a smoke break on the rooftop, he (Cliff) is unconsciously letting Marshall go… we can only hope Marshall will reciprocate in kind.
This is a kick ass story, and a deeply thought provoking tale of woe!
Rick -- all good, brother, was a little disappointed I didn't get your detailed response this time! But here it is. I'm always surprised at how on point your analysis is, you nail everything. Cliff almost seems like he's content with not being 'conscious' (for a lack of a better term) of the world around him, when in actuality, he cares more than he would admit -- but what he has is something Marshall will never have. And on that end too, Marshall thinks he holds his life very dearly but Cliff thinks he's a-okay with just getting by every day. Which honestly, could be pondered upon, does Cliff want more than he has? Or does Marshall want less than he has? Do they like their life? Are they different people outside that elevator rather than they are inside? Or are they both just bags of meat who are a spec amongst billions?
I was about to quote some of your wordings, but they're all too on-point as I'd be dragging this post on forever. I'm just glad that peeps dig non-traditional stories as much as I do, it's a strange place to mention this but my previous OWC entry, Phantom Barber I called it, is just a boat load of fun. Probably one of my favourite shorts that I've written, was laughing every few paragraphs -- but it definitely wasn't received as well as this. I think the next OWC would be a 7WC in a few months, get on the feature train, mate, I think you could craft something really special.
Thank you for reading and addressing my review. I generally take time to try to do a review and I appreciate when people respond to it.
I want to be clear: I am not suggesting you make this Feels Like Falling Down. I was using that as example of good narrative approach. There are plot points...the story changes directions.
Let's try another off the cuff lame example of what I mean.
scenario one: two guys argue in a bar over the death penalty. The arguments lasts 8 pages/minutes.
scenario two: two guys argue in a bar over the death penalty...and a couple minutes into the argument the bartender gets a call. We hear what's said, the guys don't. We learn that one of the arguing guys is there to kill the other. The bartender is instructed to discreetly close the bar and lock the door.
In the first scenario, we might have crackling dialogue, but if nothing else happens we'll lose interest. Especially if the guys start telling stories from their past.
The second scenario is ripe for developments. The first is when we find out one is being paid to kill the other. But we don't know which one. Meanwhile they are arguing about the death penalty, which infuses this with theme potential.
The next plot point might be when we find out who the killer is.
And then maybe something happens to change his mind from going through with the job.
This is not about rules. Not at all. It's about a story not being static. There are many ways for a story to move forward, but if it is not moving forward it's going to be hard to hold an audience long.
You don't need villains. But often to create this sense of moving forward you do need main characters moving against some opposing force. If your story is about a guy with no arms climbing a mountain, the mountain is the "villain", the opposing force. If you pile up obstacles like a snow storm and an avalanche even better.
It really comes down to creating things that make the audience wondering: what comes next, how will they overcome this, will these two kids get together. It's about generating compelling questions and mystery. In a word it's about attention, as in holding the audience's. It's that simple. You may want to make a statement about the world or do a certain character portrayal. Excellent! I support it! But you need to hold the audience's attention to do that. And that is our biggest challenge as writers. Writing without an audience is masturbation. We have to learn how to grab and hold an audience...then we can do other stuff once we have them.
I use the word plotting, but this has nothing to do with any rules or paint by the numbers approach. A plot point for me is simply a new development in the story. Two guys are arguing in the bar, and the bartender gets a phone call saying one of them has been ordered to kill the other. It's a plot point. In Feels Like Falling, the girl gets pregnant and finds the courage to leave her abusive husband. Plot point. Her husband kills her and makes it look like suicide. Plot point.
I don't think it was me that said you need conflict...but conflict does hold an audience's attention. That's why it's useful. But it's not a rule. Even plot points are not needed if you can hold their attention. It's just hard. There are plenty of scenes in movies that lack a plot point. Inglorious Bastards, the first scene where Brad Pitt addresses the recruits for the Bastards...no plot point, no conflict. Wolf of Wall Street, when Mark Hanna mentors Jordan over drinks, no conflict no plot point.
But those are just scenes in a feature. A short script is usually not just a scene. So it usually has plot points. Feels Like Falling serves as a good example of that.
As for your story, I used the bar scene only because it was from your story, though we don't witness it, instead we hear a character tell it to the other character. I used it as an example of how it works, but for some reason you're getting all emotional about it. I took time to give that review, and you are getting very upset and defensive. Stop with the guru stuff. I don't follow gurus.
On likable characters: it's not that we need a "likable" character. But we need a character that we want to spend time with. No one is paid to watch your movie. If you don't create characters people want to spend time with why will they watch? Just for the simple appreciation of your "organic" characters? Good luck with that approach.
Making a character likable is one way to get us to want to spend time with him. It's not the only way. You can make a character the best at what he does, even if it's bad...audiences like that. Or you can make him very witty like the Iron Man series character. There are different ways.
But "organic" is not one of them. Not by itself.
I am glad you responded to my comment. But seeing as I took time to give you careful notes that were intended to constructive, I consider your response disrespectful and a little immature. You can argue my comments on the script...I welcome that. Argue respectfully and don't resort to claims about gurus.
I really wish I could stay out of this, but I can't.
JSimon, aka Kevin Lenihan, just literally cannot stay away from his rules and can't stop using the word "rules", which he then says over and over, how much he hates the word and concept of rules.
Once again, Kev's comments are exactly the same as always...cheesy, cliche concepts and ideas, all based around his guru's age-old plot points and the like. Anything that falls outside this cookie cutter approach, in Kevin's very small mind, are attacked and said to be "incorrect".
RUBBISH!! Pure rubbish.
Mo's script here is a perfect example. First of all, it works as written and conceived, and the main reason why it does work is because it's outside the box that Kevin seems to need to live in.
Kev's examples and suggestions are laughable once again. Hopefully Mo knows better, and my bet is that he does.
Sad as always, but also entertaining and humorous as always.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
But I will make a general comment on constructive criticism and reaction to it. I had positive things to say about Mo's script. And I had some criticism. And I had suggestions. These comments took time and they were respectfully given. One doesn't have to agree with them, and I always welcome healthy argument.
I don't know Mo's age, but I do know Jeff's, and this kind of immaturity should be embarrassing.
Jeff obviously is so filled with poisonous emotion that he did not read my comments closely. This is not about rules. If a story does not hold my interest after a while, I try to locate the reason. And that reason was pretty easy to spot: nothing is happening at all. And even the stuff that did happen was only related to us as a story from the past, which we don't even see, we just hear about.
Jeff, your behavior is what makes this forum unproductive.
No, Kev, I did read your comments...twice actually. Mo read tehm as ewll and I think it's pretty clear what he thought about it.
As I've said many times over the last few weeks, you seriously seem to have a problem posting feedback without using the word "rules". Just look back at all your comments and see how many times you use the word, completely unprovoked. It's downright funny at this point.
I'm sorry if my comments offend you, but trust me, they sure don't make me feel the slightest bit embarrassed. I'm just tring to help the world by making peeps aware that every single fucking story doesn't have to be a cookie cutter copy of everything else.
Outside the box isn't such a bad thing, Kev. If you'd leave your Mom's basement every now and tehn, you may realize that.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I enjoyed reading Kev's critiques. It's up to the writer of the piece (in this case Mo) to decide which feedback he/she takes and which he/she discards.
What's sad Jeff, is that Kev's now signed out of SS, permanently. Also sad that you feel the need to 'rubbish' someone else's critique. I would think you would have the courage of your own convictions and not feel the need to resort to personal attacks.