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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Placebo Button - OWC
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Don
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Placebo Button by 0 - Short, Thriller - After a traumatic encounter in an elevator, a dejected man risks his life in an effort to save one stranger from another. 11 pages - pdf, format


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Max
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 2:24pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this was well written but I have to say... I was confused by the ending and the switching of Jack and Gary, I didn't connect the dots. There was a building tension throughout the piece... but I got a bit lost trying to follow what was actually going on and that's probably my fault. I'm not all that clever sometimes at figuring things out on the page.

I'm going to give this another read later and give my final thoughts, it would be too early for me to give it a score.

It might click for me later, it's only fair that I give it another read because it did build really well and some of the imagery which was painted I could picture, for example... the elevator doors constantly trying to close on Jack, the falling back on the marble floor ect.

I would like some others to chime in on this one because it was well constructed, holla back peeps.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this until it lost me when Jack became his father... er I think.

It is well written and I think I figured it out after a few mins of thinking but it needs to be clearer imho.

Jack's a little wet too, I know he's grieving but I wanted a litle more action from him earlier on.

Not bad though.

Anthony  


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 10:11pm Report to Moderator
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This could be visually stylish, kinda like a Michael Mann vibe. The mind game the story plays is engaging, but after a few repeat viewings—can the audience draw a conclusion?

I'll take a stab here, there seems to be a "puppet" symmetry between Jack & Gary. It's symmetrical, but I'm having a hard time trying to figure it out myself. Part of me is like Quantum Leap, and another is thinking time travel. This is a well written brain buster, my friend.
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khamanna
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Okay, so something happened in Jack's life and he's Gary. Or it's Gary that Jack. Double identity, probably bad conscious, something on Jack's conscious that keeps bothering him - either one would be an excellent idea and a little bit of clarity would let know which of the two was it - is Gary Jack's another identity, or Jack did something in the past he really regrets.

Or maybe he did take smthing, like security guard said, that messed up his mind?

This could be excellent and I suggest you rewrite and make it clearer.
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eldave1
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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Nicely written. Some rather complicated set ups that the author did a great job of letting me see clearly. The dialogue was spot on. The opening page was riveting. First 2/3rds  of the script were really good

Then, I got lost in the ending. It just didn't pan out for me. I re-checked the title and the log line for clues - tried to find out what I was missing. Couldn't find it. That was disappointing because I really enjoyed the journey of the story until the end. I have a suggested alternative  for the ending - PM me if you are interested.


A couple of very minor comments:


Quoted Text
With the gun still pressed against his temple, Jack glances
up at a security camera covered by a handkerchief.


The first thing I thought when I read this was wouldn't the security guy be extremely alarmed by someone concealing the camera?? The story would end there. I think you need to nuke the camera.


Quoted Text
LOUISA (CONT’D)
Don’t touch me.

Louisa recoils, she backs away from Jack.


Very minor - but I think it reads more natural if she recoils first and then the dialogue. I think the instant physical reaction would precede the verbal - but that may be just me.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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Simon
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 1:28pm Report to Moderator
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I'm basically just going to repeat what other people have said. It was well written, but at times confusing.


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DanC
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 1:34am Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I was lost at the end.  it was good, until the twist, then I got lost.

Sorry.

8/10


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!

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rendevous
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 6:22am Report to Moderator
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I've no doubt some call a lift 'a cab', but I'm not one of them. Every time I see it I imagine they're in the back of a taxi.

The series of shots reminded me of Jack in the Shining. No, not like that. Like "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I think they need a bit of work. Even if you just phrase them differently it would be an improvement.

I thought a lot of this was pretty good. It is a bit bewildering in parts, and some things could be clearer. Overall though there's some clever stuff going on. As per some parts needs improvement.

Still, it is one of the better ones I've read so far.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

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The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 6:48am Report to Moderator
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I liked the first half, then started to lose the plot and became completely lost. Is this all in his head or something?

I think if you make this clearer it will be really good. As it is, it's nicely written with some great visuals, a good build-up but it didn't pan out.

-Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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RichardR
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 9:18am Report to Moderator
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Like the others, the ending lost me.  Perhaps Jack was re-living his father's death or joining him.  Were Louisa and the stranger real?  Got me.  Was any of it real?  Got me.  

Best
Richard
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 5:34pm Report to Moderator
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God this was slick..until I got confused.

You are a good writer. May be time was short and you couldn't fine tune the end..I know the feeling.

Good writing. Not quite there. Oh I did like this. In fact I was seriously impressed. Oh so close.


My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
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Max
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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I still don't know what happened.

All I know is that something awful happened to the Leopolds, I haven't quite figured it out yet.


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stevemiles
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Okay, went back over this a couple of times and I’m sorry to say I just couldn’t piece it together.  There’s a clue in here somewhere, but I can’t for the life of me see the where, how or when.  Pity as this was shaping up to be in the top three I’d read so far.  

All I can guess is Jack is forcing himself to ‘relive’ the events leading up to his parents murders as seen through some-kind of delusional nightmare…

I’m guessing poor old Gary (and Elise) were the victims of a con-job from Stranger and Louisa. What could be clearer (at least hinted at) is if the culprits are actually present in the building or figments of Jack’s imagination.  The security guard had info on the crime; an extra clue as to the fate of the culprits could’ve gone some way to better understanding our current time-frame and your intent.

Or I could be completely wrong.  In any case the story is strong enough to make me want to know and that’s something.

Writing was solid and built both tension and atmosphere.  Dialogue was to the point and organic.  Characters had a sense of mystery, though without a better understanding of how we reach that ending I’m left disconnected from Jack.  Was his suicide out of guilt?  Remorse?  His inability to get revenge?


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


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stevie
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Yep, to echo everyone else...excellent first half. Was looking forward to a great conclusion but it sorta lost its way. Shame as it would've become my fave one.



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Max
Posted: May 26th, 2015, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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I think you might be right there Miles.

I loved the script though don't me wrong, can't wait to talk to the writer because I thought this was top notch. The fact that I'm still discussing it means a lot I think, it was memorable and just well written for the most part. It was cool even tho I didn't quite figure it out, I wish I could've came up with something like this.


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Gum
Posted: May 28th, 2015, 11:03am Report to Moderator
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This was written very well. I love a good ‘who dunnit’, and I think this would be pure eye candy with the glass elevator perched precariously above a mega city.

… and I found the dialog and transference between beats had such a smooth rhythmic flow, that it easily allowed the reader to be captivated by the protag’s predicament.

Unfortunately, like others, I was lost on the final message. Simply because I could not deduce what was real or illusion with respect to the character interactions. 1 or 2 lines of dialog or action might have resolved the confusion; unless it was there and I missed it.


My scripts and templates: Obfuscation
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EWall433
Posted: May 28th, 2015, 11:09am Report to Moderator
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This was going real well, but like the others, I couldn’t figure out the meaning or intent of the ending. Was it a Flashback to Jack’s dad being murdered by the Stranger? Was it a dream? When Jack kills himself, was this after he’d been punched? Honestly, a better description would’ve helped me there. If you say he has blood on his face, then I’d know it was soon after the Stranger decked him. If you say his face is clean, then the possibilities are more open. For me, the ending made me question the reality of everything I’d seen. Perhaps it was rushed, and you can make more sense of it with a little more time.

Good luck.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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Last one...I think.  I've tried being detailed but have found myself bailing out long before the end, so this time, I'll stay in, but only throw out comments when I really...REALLY have to.

Page 4 - "behemoth of a man" - pretty cliche, but OK...

"like two boxers waiting for the bell" - Oh man, that's a tough one to take.  My advice?  Stay away from these kinds of descriptions.

Page 8 - The series of shots is a definite mistake, IMO.  This thing is dragging badly alrseady and this doesn't help.

Lays/lies - learn the difference!!

Page 9 - "No anything about that?" - Know...

Page 10 - a pair of "knucks"?  Huh?

WTF?  What happened?  Either the writing itself messed up what happened, or the writer messed up with what they were going for.

Too bad, eitehr way.  Writing for the most part was OK and you kept me in, waiting to see what was going to happen, only to leave scratching my sack and shaking my head.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
Posted: May 29th, 2015, 9:34pm Report to Moderator
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I still want answers on this script, can't wait for the writer to be named.

Ain't no hate but I didn't get it, but that don't mean I don't want the answer... or the original plan.

And with regards to "knucks"... as Dreamscale just mentioned, I assume he meant brass knuckles.

I've heard them called that but it's a rare thing, might not come across to somebody who ain't street wise... or someone who don't know weapons.


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c m hall
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 12:22am Report to Moderator
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Wow.  I like that the elevator has glass sides, exposed, especially since the events of the story are in dispute, it's all the more strange.
Unsettling story.  Mostly it seems mournful, to the point of stopping time.  
Jack's dialog seems oddly passive, out of place in the various encounters he has  --
If Jack is searching for an explanation for his parents' deaths, since the security guard doesn't mention any culprit perhaps it's being regarded as a murder - suicide... that being unthinkable and unacceptable to Jack he pulls out all the stops, as it were, trying to see the events through his father's eyes.
Supposing that Gary was the one who tried to help Louisa and Jack's re-enactment is  something he puts together from bits of evidence and guesses -- Jack would understand his father's selfless effort to help Louisa and that it inadvertently revealed his "penthouse" address, ultimately dooming himself and Elise.  
Anyway, this is an extremely compelling screenplay, could be an extraordinary film.

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
c m hall  -  May 30th, 2015, 10:34am
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Dustin
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 3:16am Report to Moderator
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What happened? I don't get it. He changed into his dead father and then back into himself. I think that your intentions with this story are clear in your own mind, you just need to better help us see it too.

Went well, well written... you just lost me.

5 out of 10.


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Stumpzian
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 2:27pm Report to Moderator
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A competently written entry but puzzling, as others have noted. CM Hall offered an analysis that makes sense to me. If it's correct, maybe this  would come through better on the screen than it does on paper. Readers should not have to work so hard to see through the fog. Even the title, which I like, does not help.



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wonkavite
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 9:30pm Report to Moderator
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Really liked the premise here.  I think a *little* bit more needs to be clarified.  Like many of the other commenters, I got completely lost when Jack turned into Gary.  After thinking it over, my take on it is that Louisa and the Stranger killed Gary earlier (ie: it's a flashback.), but weren't caught.  And Jack had come to clean out his parent's apartment after his father's death - and was suicidal over the incident.  I THINK I'm right on that one...

With some clarification and polishing, this one could be a pretty decent noir short script....
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nawazm11
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 5:16am Report to Moderator
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I've read the ending a few times and I really cannot understand what's going on. Why does he suddenly become Gary? It's so awkwardly phrased too, nothing to help the reader even mildly get a better mental image of what's changed and what's happening. It's a shame too, because the rest of the script wasn't half bad, the ending just destroys an otherwise decent entry. And then Jack with the gun again? Very confusing stuff.

Again, a shame, this was looking like one of the better entries until the payoff.
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Iancou
Posted: June 2nd, 2015, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
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Clear up the ending and you have a good story with engaging characters. Other than the confusing ending, I liked the story. Recommend revising and resubmitting for further review.


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PrussianMosby
Posted: June 5th, 2015, 3:42pm Report to Moderator
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Placebo Button

Good title, I want to know what a Placebo Button
is.

After reading it, I skipped back to several points.

Placebo could mean he tries to change something by pushing the buttons/joining the place his father got murdered. And indeed the reality changes, but then the placebo effect disappeared and he had to take his fate because of not over overcoming his parents death.

Perhaps Jack, in his fantasy, he wanted to take the place of his father. He wanted to meet those peeps instead of his dad. Like: If I just would have been there to protect them...

He's simply depressed now, and searched an answer within the elevator and his pistol at his temple <-Not a good idea from his sight.

I don't know it better.

Just unclear yet



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Max
Posted: July 17th, 2015, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
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I just want the writer to show up and give me some answers, lol.

If you're out there dude, POP IN!


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