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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Iron Garbage - OWC
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  Author    Iron Garbage - OWC  (currently 4901 views)
Don
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Iron Garbage by 0 - Short, Drama - An aging bellhop faces life's harsh realities as he's intertwined into the life of a championship boxer. 12 pages - pdf, format


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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Good

Oh man, I've read two scripts and they both are good.

This could be an very good OWC

SPOILERS

I won't comment on detail but what I liked was

The dialogue - often it spat from the page

The dynamics - we were often left thinking, where this going, what they going to say

Truth - this could be made up, I assume not, but this bubbling sense of truth was powerful

Look, it has issues - as we all do - but this is a contender ... Boom boom

Advice - keep it a tad more contained, like a stage play.

Have to say I didn't know what a bellhop was...guess now

Good work.


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Iancou
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This was well-written and not really anything to critique from a technical perspective. As far as story goes, Marshall was very well developed. Definitely not a sympathetic character, borderline sociopathic. Cliff was a good opposite for Marshall. His lack of motivation to do anything other than what he was doing was polar opposite of Marshall, whose ambition was singular and uncompromising. Liked it. Hope you take it further. As far as filming, definitely doable on a shoestring budget.


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Dustin
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 3:58am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Code

a man whose always
got a warm smile on his face.


Who's.

Code

Cliff scoffs, amazed.


Scoffs is not a good choice. I had to do a double-take on the word. He goes from mocking to amazement in one sentence.

Nice little story. I see it as about getting old and gaining things along the way that actually mean very little in the end. Like a game of monopoly.

7.5 out of 10.


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DanC
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 1:45pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry,
This didn't work for me.  I found it rather boring.  I guess I didn't like the main character, so, I didn't feel bad for him, at all.

I imagine some will like it, but, it didn't work for me.  There was no conflict at all.  Just a lot of talking...

5/10


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AnthonyCawood
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There's a few choices made with the language that don't seem quite right...

e.g. Marshall glares around - why? He's just had a pleasant chat with Cliff, no real explanation for glare... glances perhaps. Happens again a few lines later.

The drama is okay, but it felt a little familiar, seemed expected for some reason.

Dialogue was decent though and the characters were drawn out well.

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Max
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
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This didn't work for me, it dragged on quite a bit.

I can't really pinpoint the problem but it wasn't the story. I thought it was about an outside perspective on a boxer's fall from grace, Marshall seems like a really bitter individual and Cliff was there to see it first hand, over many years.

The rooftop scene at the end was poignant, we get a sense of the hardships over the years... everything which has brought Cliff to this point, and we realize... this is their story and it'll only be told by the two of them.

I didn't buy into it though sadly, heavy drama like this isn't what I'm into but others were right to appreciate the story that was being told.


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JSimon
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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notes:

- very long conversations for a  moving elevator

There's talent in the writing here, but the story is not quite working. And it's easy to identify why: nothing is happening.

Now please don't misunderstand that. I am not suggesting you need gunfights and crashing elevators. I'm talking about simple dramatic narrative. Set ups and pay offs. Conflict, tension, turning points. It's all missing. All we have are two dudes talking on an elevator every few years.

Look, the dialogue shows promise, and dialogue is a gift. Many capable screenwriters struggle with it. The writer is blessed with talent in that department.

But narrative requires plot developments. Let's compare this to another talky OWC I read today called Feels Like Falling(and I don't know the writer). In that story the el operator tries to convince a woman he befriends to leave her abusive husband before he harms her. She doesn't have the courage. So we wait to see if something happens to change that. This will be a turn when it does. And the turn comes, sure enough. What happens is she gets pregnant. This gives her the courage to leave him because she doesn't want the baby in that environment. But when she informs her husband she's leaving, she is shot dead. Another turn in the story. And because the husband is a cop he's able to make it look like suicide. So now everything has been set up: we want the el operator to somehow get justice, since he's the only one who really knows what happened. This justice comes at the end when he pushes the guy down the shaft to his death. So the plotting is used to build the expectation to keep us reading.

There doesn't seem to be that here. Sure, the characters experience change in their lives...but WE don't witness it! We just hear them talk about it. A lot.

That's not narrative. That's just two dudes reflecting.

The writer no doubt has talent, and I never say that lightly. Next step is to learn how to build plot points into the narrative. These are the things that propel the story forward and keep us interested.

Le'ts take a wild look at your story and try to create an example. What if Marshall is in his 30s and after all these years he's about to finally get a shot at the title. But if he gets into trouble(maybe he did when he was younger) again he will lose his chance. And Marshal is in a bar(forget OWC rules) and a girl is getting picked on by thugs. If he steps in and kicks ass he will get in trouble and lose his title shot. So what does he do? That's plotting! We would be on the edge of the seat wondering what he will do. And to use your example, Marshall steps in, but he never raises a fist...he just takes a beating so the girl doesn't have to. He saves the girl AND doesn't get into trouble, all while demonstrating his character.

You had something close to that...except we had to hear about it instead of see it.
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EWall433
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 5:30pm Report to Moderator
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This was obviously written by someone who knows what they’re doing, but for some reason it didn’t quite hit me the way it should. I suppose my main problem was I never really felt a connection between the characters, or how they really effected each other. Did Cliff really have any better idea of who Marshall was by speaking with him rather than simply seeing him on the news? It didn’t feel like it to me.

We maybe could’ve used more of Scottie. The most noteworthy thing about watching Marshall turn into this shell of a man was the knowledge that Cliff’s son wanted to follow in his footsteps. I just noticed JSimon’s remarks and it does seem a bit uneventful.

What if Cliff started a little more naive about Marshall’s extravagant life, and Scottie doesn’t have a desire to be a boxer until Cliff brings him to Marshall’s fight. Now as Cliff sees Marshall succumb to the life, he’ll be worrying that he set his own son on this path as well.

Just one of many possibilities. It sounds like a good concept still finding its way to a story.
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eldave1
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Nicely crafted for the most part.

I thought some of the dialogue, particularly towards the end of the story went unnaturally long. I also expected (and this may be unfair since it is just my bias) that Marshall would become less eloquent as time went on (i.e., punch drunk). I would have like to seen that reflected in his dialogue.

I'm not sure you needed the wife beating thread. It was a bit of a derailment for me. Would have preferred something along the lines of him going broke despite all the purses he won.

Overall - solid tale. Good work. A consider for me.


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RichardR
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I like this one, but I find that Cliff didn't grow, didn't change.  Marshall had his ups and downs, and I was hoping Cliff would too.  No such luck.  I liked Scottie better when he didn't show up.  In any case, this is a nice little story but needs more emphasis on Cliff.

Best
Richard
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MarkRenshaw
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Well written, great characters, interesting dialogue.

It's bold to try and tell a story that spans decades via brief encounters in an elevator but for me there wasn't enough story, action or tension to keep me interested. I found myself drifting after about 4 pages and struggled to get through to the end but you know how to write, that's for sure.

-Mark


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JSimon
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Quoted Text
I found myself drifting after about 4 pages and struggled to get through to the end


This is exactly what happens when a story does not build in enough plot points. The writer has skill, he/she's just not building enough points into the story. Mark lasted 4 pages...that's about right as a general rule. If you go about 4 pages without a plot point you'll start to lose your audience, no matter how good the writing. By plot point I mean some new development in the story. That could be almost anything, but it should be some development which redirects the story or grabs our attention, compels us to keep reading to see what comes next.
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Jeremiah Johnson
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Congrats on your entry.

Need to reword the first sentence to read better.  Had trouble at first but know what you're looking for here.  Just word it better. The visual is okay though.  Is Cliff colored or the bag?  Again, reword that too.  Marshall wouldn't "glare" around he would "glance" around.

I'm finished  To me, seems a little long for a short (that sounds funny) but not sure how much you could cut out.  Character shorts are hard to do but you did okay.  Kept me reading.  Not sure really what to make of it, but might be hard to do with the time changes.  Good luck with it.


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 3:14pm Report to Moderator
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There's alot to appreciate here, as well as alot to respect.  There's a voice and a style on display, that although not quite mastered, is a nice change of pace to read.

But, this is a big chug to get through and feels much longer than 12 pages...but I did get through it and I'm happy I did.

As others have noted, there's very little if any action here and in terms of story, well, let's just say I understand what you were after and applaud you for pulling this off as well as you did.

Technically speaking, this style is a take or leave it affair.  Some will love it, while others will roll their eyes.  It's dense...too dense.  The writing is not visual and there's alot of completely unnecessary asides and tells that easily could be done more effectively and more efficiently.  You could easily shave off 1 or even 2 pages, and that would move things along much more smoothly.

I think using 5 SUPER's in a 12 page script is a mistake.  There are simple visual cues that would be more effective.

When you FADE OUT, you have to also FADE back IN...and you never did.

Dialogue is well written, but again, as in the actual writing, there's too much, and at times, it realy drags on.  Too many big dialogue blocks.

All in all, you seem to have found a voice and style you like using, and that's great.  You can fine tune this down to something that's a little more effective, a little more pleasing on the eye and mind's eye, in terms of the read itself, and work on some akward phrasings and transitions.  For a week's time, though, this ain't half bad.

Story-wise, there's either very little here, or there's an extremely deep and sad tale that many can relate to.  But, this will be hit and miss, night and day for readers, and IMO, that's what it's all about.

Although I can't tell you I loved this in any way, I can tell you 2 things...I won't forget it, and I appreciate the effort, as it's extremely difficult to pull this kind of script off, period, but in a single setting, with no action whatsoever, and in a single week, Kudos is well deserved.

Good job!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Simon
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I thought this was very good, and I liked the way the story developed, and how Marshall developed. Cliff didn't change too much, as RichardR pointed out, but some people don't change too much throughout their lives, so I don't thinks it's too much of a problem. I think there is a nice contrast between Marshall's personality, and Cliff's more stable personality.


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rendevous
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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I read this a while ago when it was first posted, as I like the title.  But I didn't enjoy the script then. So I didn't bother posting about it, as I hate posting purely negative reviews.

I'll give it another go, as that title keeps catching my eye.

Marshall Redding. Sounds like the perfect name for a long fellow playing electric guitar in a heavy rock band. The occasional Hendrix cover would be compulsory.

Not sure he should 'glare' around. It should be scan, or glance. Glare makes it sound like he's angry as he does it.

I liked it a lot more this time. It's a good idea that works well within the challenge.

I struggled understanding what was meant with some of the dialogue. I think that needs work, as some of it doesn't sound right. Some of it goes on a bit too long. That said, the characters are clearly defined and intriguing.

Not a bad little story at all.

I'd have preferred it if he played guitar though.

R


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Max
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 9:53pm Report to Moderator
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Is it wrong that I imagined Cliff and Marshall as black dudes? Were they ever described that way? Cliff was described as "colored" but that's somewhat vague.

They gotta be both black, I'm telling you... especially the way Marshall reacted to Cliff helping him out at the beginning.. almost as if to say "no need for that bro, we ain't slaves anymore"

If that's the case.... WOW, because I certainly thought that way right from the off...

Call it what you want, but that adds another layer to the whole thing for me... that piece of dialogue spoke volumes, regardless if Marshall was black or white.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Max  -  May 29th, 2015, 10:08pm
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Stumpzian
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Note to Mr. Max (preceding post): Marshall describes himself as white.


I admire this writer's ambition. It isn't easy to pull off a story of this scope successfully in a limited time. With that in mind, I'd say the writer did very well. I'd love to see another draft after the dust settles on the OWC.

I read the script twice (days apart) but still had to go back over some action lines and dialogue to understand what was being said. For example, the part about Cliff finding the purse was unclear to me. The wording and sentence structure in various spots could be smoother.

I'd rethink the title, too. "Iron Garbage" is intriguing, but it doesn't seem quite right.

Overall, props for going the distance on an ambitious story.




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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Hmm... I like these characters.

...face bruised and busted, but his eyes are filled with a certain wonder, a kid still waiting to find himself.

Great description.

...an aging bellhop, colored...

Kinda awkward.

I like the dynamic between Marshall and Cliff. The writer does an excellent job staying true to boxers and their dialogue, a cryptic bunch. Just good, believable dialogue. I found it interesting when Marshall talked about his marriage, followed later by the subject of beating his wife. The subtext in his monologue carries weight and subtext.

Written well, this tale was up there in the top tier for me. Didn't like the title though.
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wonkavite
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 6:13pm Report to Moderator
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Wow - I really like this one...!  A few typos, and a bit of the dialogue ran on long.I'm also not *quite* sure what was meant by that ending.

Those teeny little nits aside, this one was heartfelt, real... very classy story.  So far, there are two scripts in this OWC that've really captured my interest. And this is one of them...

Cheers!

--J
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SteveClark
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 8:32pm Report to Moderator
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Writer,

I thought this might be tough to get through but you held my attention throughout. Good storytelling. I just had to keep turning pages.

I don't really know what to make of this one. Very well written, a few too many asides at first but they didn't hang around long or become bothersome. I just didn't get the end. I guess this story was one that's supposed to make you think, but think about what? In the end I just didn't know, and I was kinda let down by it all. You had a good setup, good tension towards the end, but... I just don't know.  Why did you bring us so far I this story only to have it peter out?

But, like I said, very well written, IMO. A solid job on this. Feels like it took more time than a week to write, though.

Steve


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SteveClark
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Okay, so I read this here at work and just finished up a few moments ago, right. Who walks into my store? A customer I've spoken to on a few occasions. Anyone wanna guess what he used to do for a living? Former pro boxer. How bout that for coincidence?


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stevemiles
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Torn on this one.  Much as I appreciate the depth to the characters and the subtle approach to story, I can’t help but feel the conclusion is almost too ambiguous -- perhaps for my tastes anyhow.  While I think there’s something to be said for not holding the reader’s hand to a payoff/conclusion, I’m just left wondering what to take from this?

I got somewhat lost in Marshal’s final dialogue and think I missed the point.  Felt a bit like poor old Cliff, heading up to the roof for a contemplative cigarette...  

All that aside I thought you crafted particularly vivid characters and a story that asks a lot more of the reader than most.  I’m just not sure I got as much out of it as I feel I should have.

Interested to see the author of this one.  Certainly memorable and one to come back to.


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c m hall
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This could be an exciting film, one of the few instances where blocks of dialogue add texture as well as information to a story.  

Neither Marshall nor Cliff seem accustomed to real communication but as strangers they speak freely, something opens up unexpectedly and they talk, almost certain never to meet again.  It's a moment that many writers try to crystalize, in this script it works, seemingly effortlessly.

In elevator rides that follow they talk about turning points of their lives and it's as if they just needed to record these facts somewhere.  There's no relationship between them, they seem more like mirrors that happen to line up.

There's a lot of energy generated, I think, in the fact that both men endure rapid physical decline, and they can't avoid seeing it in each other.

The few gestures that we see have impact, but we're not hit over the head with them, for example, when Cliff takes cigarettes from the found purse there's no insistence that he doesn't care if he lives or dies, we're allowed to consider that he wants to do both on his own terms.  Very commendable script.


Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
c m hall  -  June 5th, 2015, 12:29am
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PrussianMosby
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Iron Garbage

Personally, I am always suspicious of a script that needs 100% of the given space.

P5 Does the boxer actually remember Cliff's name when they met second time? Perhaps I read over a nameplate or sth...

I see Marshall is a blether, a blabbermouth speaking fast, as many boxer's do, authentic presented of you, still:
the single sentences of the dialogue are too long for my taste. I think the commas "could" imply a beat also(I hope so) but you easily could add some more periods. Even if you have some broken sentences then. That's how people speak. They breathe a lot. Would be easier to read too. We're already aware he's speking much and quick, you wouldn't hurt that impression.

Yeah, the message of "it is what it is". Always a good one and interestingly told from a boxer's pov.

Late in third act, you come to the point and become intense. A build up is needed before, sure, but that's extreme long-drawn-out stuff for me. Check the dialogue if you want to. A "lot" of shortening needed imo.  Quite decent entry, just the length lessens my sympathy a bit....



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Dustin
Posted: June 7th, 2015, 7:55am Report to Moderator
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Well done Mo. Second short I've liked of yours now. So close to a recommend but got a consider. I think that's worth some points in whatever scoring system Don uses.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 7th, 2015, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad.

There's something nagging me about the script that I can't quite put my finger on.

Something about the elevator and the time frames. Doesn't seem like the correct place for this story, somehow. Like you need a place that is somehow more of  a metaphor for the passing of time and for the relative peaks and troughs of their respective lives.

For instance..imagine Cliff was the bar man. When the guy is doing well, he can buy champagne, at the end it's just a beer. There's something here that's missing. The setting just doesn't vibe with the story in some intangible way.

Rick
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 7th, 2015, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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Great effort, Mo!  ALthough slow, you crafted 2 good characters and showed an awful lot with nothing but dialogue, which is very hard to do.

Easily top 5 material here and I give you Kudos.


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nawazm11
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Dustin, Jeff -- thanks for the love, and thank you everyone for the read.

Rick (Scar), I agree about the elevator, it felt cramped and the framing of time is just hard to show in something that's meant to be kept to a same, good standard, the hotel I mean. At least for a bar, which isn't a bad idea, the changes will be more apparent.

Before I start, Marshall's monologue -- I meant twentieth professional fight, not amateur, hopefully the boxing fans don't grill me for that.

The script was just something that came to me, I juggled between two concepts, one very similar to Ren's Deuce actually, but it never solidified because I couldn't get a good start. Obviously the other idea was a more traditional story, but I didn't have the patience to write it in such a small time frame. Even Iron Garbage (which is a little nod to Mike Tyson's "My belts are garbage" quote) felt like it needed to be 6-8 pages longer, yeah, I know .

I'm glad peeps enjoyed it though. Now, to get a little serious, I want to focus on all the conflict comments, which I disagree with.

A script doesn't need obvious conflict to work, in fact, I'd argue conflict that's spelt out in large steel frames is just poor writing -- it's unoriginal, uninspiring, not the way anybody wants to write. The script has this looming presence underneath it, what are these characters thinking? It's meant to be a realistic story about life in general, at the end, I wanted the audience to almost compare both Cliff and Marshall as people. Does it really matter that Marshall's life went to shit? Does it really matter that Cliff broke his sobriety? Why did Marshall give Cliff the tickets? What's going to come out of all this? Should/could anything come out of it? It's just those little questions that should fuel the narrative, the audience is left to decipher the outcome of these character's lives, and especially their importance.

Again, referring to JSimon's comment, I don't think this script should even be compared to Feels Like Falling. They're just two totally different concepts tonally. It's funny too, because if I were given the same concept as Eric's script, I would've wrote it in a completely different way. We don't need to see Marshall and Cliff's lives, there's no need to make plot points explicit, there's no need make my character flawed for the sake of being flawed, there's no need to overcome everything against all odds.

Which takes me to the bar example -- granted, JSimon may have just made it up on the spot so no offence intended, but it doesn't work at all for me. It's just so cliche and frankly, cringey that Marshall is some big stud who sees a damsel in distress and he needs to save her. What a garbage excuse. I don't care if my character is unlikeable, it's just something he wouldn't do (and not many people would). In fact, his character would speak volumes more if he saw the girl being beaten, knowing he can stop it, but he just ignores it because it isn't his problem, he could care less. Forget saving the girl and keeping the title shot. Funnily enough, despite the fact I didn't stuff in artificial conflict that's been done two thousand times before, most people still liked the script, and it's because it's...

...all artificial rules, a story should be told the way it needs to be told, you don't start a script by saying "I need a bad guy and a good guy that has a flaw and the good guy triumphs against all expectations!" Now, keep in mind, my latest feature was a very basic revenge story with again, a villain and a hero -- but it was never spelt out who each person really was, they were both bad eggs, we just decided to follow the person exacting the revenge. The villain had good intentions, the protag didn't -- but why should they? Because some guru said they should? Because the guru wants them to have a badass scene with irony and conflict and turning points and payoffs and reversals? No way.
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Dustin
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 3:33am Report to Moderator
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Well said Mo. My latest feature incorporates everything you've just said. I threw the rules to the wind and wrote how I wanted to write it.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 4:00am Report to Moderator
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Well done Mo.

From memory - two weeks is a long time in the reading world ! - the dialogue in this was the best I read this OWC.


My scripts  HERE

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
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Gum
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Hey Mohammad,

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!

Fantastic work, brother.


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nawazm11
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Thanks, fellas. Appreciate the comments.

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.
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JSimon
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 9:35am Report to Moderator
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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.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
JSimon  -  June 10th, 2015, 10:49am
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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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.
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JSimon
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 10:47am Report to Moderator
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I'm going to let Jeff's recent OWC, http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-0515OWC/m-1432481902/, speak for his authority on writing or story.

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.
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 11:04am Report to Moderator
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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.
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LC
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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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.


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 11:51am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Max
The personal attacks is what grinds my gears.


What personal attack are you referring to, Max?

You mean where Kev posted a link to my script and insinuated derogatory insults?



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Max
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 11:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


What personal attack are you referring to, Max?

You mean where Kev posted a link to my script and insinuated derogatory insults?



He's just as bad for that as well, if he did, I'll have to read through again.

You called people "fucks" in the other thread, now you're on about him having a small mind, moms basement comment.

The only reason why the mods haven't shut you down is because you obviously have a reputation on this site.

Just pack it in, the both of you.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 12:03pm Report to Moderator
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You tell 'em, Max.
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Max
He's just as bad for that as well, if he did, I'll have to read through again.

You called people "fucks" in the other thread, now you're on about him having a small mind, moms basement comment.

The only reason why the mods haven't shut you down is because you obviously have a reputation on this site.

Just pack it in, the both of you.


He's already left the site again, so you won't need to worry about him until he returns under a different alias.

Calling peeps "fucks", days ago, has nothing to do with this thread, Max, and in reality, when I called you guys "fucks", it wasn't in a derogatory way.

If someone has a small mind and can't get away from bringing up the same rules he supposedly detests, there's nothing I can do about that.  And, I never once said he had a small mind.

The comment about getting out of his Mom's basement is simply a humorous jab, implying he needs to open his eyes and see the real world.

Sorry if you were so offended by my comments.



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bert
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 12:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
I really wish I could stay out of this, but I can't.


Try harder.


Quoted from Max
The only reason why the mods haven't shut you down is because you obviously have a reputation on this site.


I bitch at Jeff all the time, but you can't be referee of everything all the time.

Staying out of these feuds helps them to die quickly as opposed to prolonging them.

It is most often other people jumping into the middle of it that feeds the beast.

Just saying.


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Gum
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 2:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Mohammad
I'm just glad that peeps dig non-traditional stories as much as I do…


I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much, and I’m glad you found the review as insightful as you did.

Till the next round…


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nawazm11
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 11:02pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, fellas, looks like a lot went down in the morning hours of Oz it seems... I wasn't aware JSimon was Kev from way back, although I guess it all makes a little more sense now. Thanks for commenting, mate, appreciated.

Firstly, no ill will intended. I personally don't think my comment was rude at all, it might've been the specificity of picking out your name -- which I try to avoid usually (picking names). The whole review was basically geared towards the conflict comments from peeps, I simply used your examples as they were the most prominent. This was in no way a jab to you, or anyone for that matter, I just wanted to explain my thoughts clearly. In fact, I think I wrote no offence intended somewhere as well, so I definitely wasn't trying to stir anything.

Not sure about the guru comments either, again, I personally think the comment was very tame and friendly, but can see how it comes across the way you perceived it. I didn't even finish my thought process there so it kind of ends very abruptly, again, it was just a post.

What I'm very unsure about is why I'm labelled immature if I try to defend my work, granted, this may not have been what you meant, but I think if a writer doesn't stand up for their work and listens blindly to everybody else but themselves, then... I don't know how to respond to that. In the end, a lot of people forget that if the writer likes their own work, however bad (very bad) or good (very good) it may be, why does it matter what anybody else thinks? Now, I'm not advocating being stubbornly thick-headed or looking moronic, but the line that exists, in my personal opinion, isn't easy to cross.

Reading over your examples, I don't think our methods of writing mesh well, Kev, which is totally fine. I think most conflict (as plot points) should be a result of the protag's questionable actions rather than an artificial occurrence in the story. If that makes sense? I don't feel like rambling on about this as I don't think we'll see eye to eye.

Look, I know what you mean about the story being static, and I had plenty of ideas to make it a little more active, but I stuck by my original intent. It was perfectly fine if peeps didn't dig it, and it was perfectly fine if they did as well. The point is, like Jeff said, stories don't have to follow the same cookie cutter approach to make them interesting. There's more than one way to tell a story and have it be engaging. That's what I wanted my comment to outline.

I don't think I was emotional either, maybe in the post it comes across like this, but I was literally grinning whilst writing it. The intent is lost because of a lack of voice tone which I obviously can't implement into my writing. Even this post might seem rude, but I assure it, it's all in good fun and I'm not trying to trash anybody.

In the end, it wasn't your thing, and it wasn't many people's 'thing' either, but on the other hand, some peeps enjoyed it, some people liked the 'organic' characters. This wasn't based on any bias either, it was all anonymous, I didn't tell anybody I wrote this script. Heck, I think this was only one of my OWC entries Jeff read to full in the past year or so -- so him jumping into this thread really isn't to smite people down, good intentions and all.

I think it makes for an interesting discussion, I hope I didn't scare you (or anybody else) off or anything. People are entitled to their own opinion, which is fine by me -- I tried to be extra nice this OWC too, so I definitely wasn't trying to be impolite or an ass. But there should be no need to jump to rash conclusions this quickly, if there's a problem, a PM works fine with me.
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realxwriter
Posted: June 11th, 2015, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
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I respect what your were doing. I see great talent here. But I failed to appreciate or even understand the philosophy you were trying share with us here. Maybe my mind was too numb when I was reading it. I had no complaint except that I missed the whole point of the story. This is most likely my bad. Good luck. Your writing is clear and smooth. You can tell any story you want without a problem.
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nawazm11
Posted: June 12th, 2015, 6:23am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read and thoughts, brother, always appreciated.
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Max
Posted: June 12th, 2015, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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I think you could stretch this out to a feature tbh.

I know I said it "dragged" a bit but that's only because it was a short and you were condensing everything into a 12 page space.

The potential is there.


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nawazm11
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You think so, Max? Might be a huge task, especially if I still decide to keep it contained in the Hotel/Elevator. Although, the other idea I had that I wanted to write for this OWC has me leaning towards making that one into a feature. My writing's just slowed down to a crawl this past year.
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Max
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Boxing films work on a drama level bruh

Could  be something like Resurrecting the Champ, that type of feature length film.


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