All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Try to think of your paragraphs as camera shots on screen. Break each shot up. Ideally, never have more than four lines of action lines in one paragraph.
You can also tighten up your writing by using very specific words instead of long descriptions. Remember, in screenwriting, you want to use as few words as possible to say as much as possible.
What's a top press?
You can get rid of the CONTINUED at the top and bottom of the pages.
Finished. I liked the story a lot. A'hole Danny gets his. A character arch in six pages! Well done. Irony and drama here. Very good. You just need to tweak your screenwriting style some as it looks like a prose writer just starting out with scripts.
This one was just okay for me, I guess. After Danny gets away from the cops and enters the house, not much else happens. It was nice to see them bond, I guess, coming from two very different generations years apart. But Mick seemed more concerned about Covid than he did about a stranger breaking into his house. And then, it turns out that Mick is immune (or at least he thinks he is)... so why was he so concerned about Danny keeping his distance at the beginning?
I know there wasn't much time to finish this, so I congratulate you on getting this finished by deadline. But the writing can definitely be tightened... it did feel rushed, the progressions of the story AND the writing itself. The action lines in particular can be much tighter by cutting out redundancies in description. And scene headings need to be utilized better... we're taken to different locations but the scene heading stays the same a few times.
Anyway, it was a nice effort.
DANNY, 19, races down a road in a deserted housing estate. He checks over his shoulder. We see his pursuers - 2 policemen, both wearing oxygen masks. Theyíre gaining ground. Danny accelerates around a corner. He spots a door of a semi-detached house open. There are bins with the lids open in the small front garden. Danny breaks hard, goes in through the door, shuts it. The policemen race by.
This is a bit of an eye-sore to open your story with. You can definitely chop this down and break it up into separate action lines as focus of action changes. You already have HOUSING ESTATE in the scene heading, you don't need to mention it again in description - it's redundant. I would recommend having a brief description of the housing estate... I'm really not sure what I'm looking at or where our characters are. Also, characters should be capitalized when introduced, even bit characters. And, especially with DANNY, a character description other than age would be nice. Even a word or two to capture his essence.
Also, if he's at a semi-detached house, that would be another location... though I'm not sure what a semi-detached is or looks like.
EXT. HOUSING ESTATE - DAY
DANNY, 19, brief description, races down the street on the deserted property, running away from --
TWO COPS wearing Covid masks, in hot pursuit, chasing after him on foot.
Danny dashes around the corner as they continue to gain ground, spotting a --
Its front door opened, Danny rushes past empty bins on the front garden and enters.
Or something like that.
INT. HOUSE - DAY Danny stands with his ear pressed to the door listening for their footsteps to recede. He turns around to see MICK, 80, coming out of the kitchen carrying two tied bags of rubbish. Mick freezes in his spot when he sees Danny.
Hmm... I thought he already entered the house? Is there another door? I'm really confused as to what I'm looking at here and what the situation is. Is he inside the house? Apparently, that's what the scene heading says. But where in the house are we and what door does he have his ear pressed against?
DANNY Like tinned vegetables, yeah? (slams press shut) Fuck sake. Anything decent to eat.
Need a question mark there.
PAGE 2 - Why would Danny leave him alone out there? And why wouldn't Mick call the cops?
DANNY Not make one for me, no?
Think this is a typo.
MICK Iím allowed move around in my own home i presume.
The action blocks and descriptions are less than optimal. They are a bit dense and a bit clunky and in some cases not quite clear. As an example in your opening header you are outside of a house and then weíre down a road and itís not really clear if we have changed scenes or not.
DANNY Relax, would ya? I donít have it.
A bit off point for me Ė wouldnít the man be backing up because a stranger just busted into his house?
MICK Iím allowed move around in my own home i presume.
I not ď IĒ
So, the writing needs work Ė itís not crisp and clean, but that is relatively easy to learn. The story-telling is good so kudos on you because that is very hard to learn. Somehow I think they should have had a chat about why he busted in the house.
I guess if youíre going to have a story titled ďOK BoomerĒ then maybe use that in the script somewhere to make it relatable. Although Iím not sure it would work here as Mick really isnít a boomer.
My feelings on this is it is a bit overwritten. Youíre very heavy on the action lines. Itís not that theyíre badly written, itís just too much of it. Others have mentioned it so I know youíre already getting this message.
I guess Iím curious why Mick would be so willing to allow a criminal to just squat in his house for two weeks. Seems to turn the switch a little too easily. Also, if Mick thinks heís immune, why does he worry about the milk after Danny has drunk some. And why would Mick stay in the house while Danny is going to the bathroom? Seems like the perfect opportunity to leave. I mean, whatís Danny going to do if Mick does leave?
The ending does seem to come a little too easily, but it does at least try to tug at the heartstrings a little bit. A nice go at the contest, just try editing this down some, maybe fix some of the logic holes, and youíll have a pretty decent story. Best of luck.
Dear artist, thank you for presenting this work. You have there an interesting dynamic between the characters that could have been played out better if you hadn't describe every single thought and step in detail. Leave some place for the reader or the audience to count 1 and 1 together and figure it out on their own. I like the insert of the wife's fate, though. Nice dramatic element. However keep on doing your work and leave place for imagination
So I like the idea of this, and it feels like the first 6 pages of a larger story. You can certainly see this as being the opening of a FINDING FORRESTER different-worlds type relationship, explored over the 2 weeks of Danny's sickness. And then there would be the tension of how sick he gets and whether he survives.
At no page count you could also deliver the story of Mick's wife over the course of the film, instead of having it jammed into bite-sized exposition.
I guess my point is that there is too much "story" here for 6 pages, but the good news is that while in this form it doesn't quite hit the mark, once you can rewrite this unfettered, there is a lot of room for exploration.
There is however a bit too much ghost in the machine here. You need to find a different way to find out if Danny is positive. Or, just assume he's positive. Or, the tension of whether he is or isn't, as he gets sicker. And having Mick be immune? I don't know if that adds or detracts from the story. Maybe the tension of whether Mick gets it is worth exploring as well? Maybe his wife passed, and had the symptoms but didn't get tested, and wasn't classified as a COVID death? Again, my point is that the McGuffin test kit works against you here.
You did a really great job developing these characters. I was invested in both of them, curious to see where the story would take us.
Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the ending. I didn't feel that any of the character elements you introduced had a payoff (such as Dan being on the run, or Mick suffering the loss of his wife). It was sweet that they decided to stick together, but the conclusion felt incomplete to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but ultimately, it feels like there's way more to the story than we're getting. Perhaps a final line from one of the characters would help wrap it up?
I did like these characters though, so great job on that front.
Nods of agreement to most of the comments above, the story seems fine tho' itís way too convenient, you made everything easy for Danny, no real obstacles, even the ending was pretty anti-climatic... It just felt incomplete. That's it. Good effort.
"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."
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
Good little story that a lot of revision (caps, spelling, grammar, and over-written action) could make great. Fairly realistic dialogue and backstory too. Was this written in a rush? Take some time after this is over and you'll have a winner.
I like this one a lot. Danny and Mick were quite believable. The only thing I might tone down is Mick's apparent fear of infection at the beginning. When Danny learns that Mick is immune, maybe he asks why he's been so skittish, and Mick says something like: "Some people are more dangerous than the virus."
The characterization is pretty strong in this one. Some good dialogue and nice relationship-building in a short time.
With a cleanup on the issues mentioned in other reviews, this could be strong.
Mick's reactions weren't believable. First, you'd think he'd most concerned about someone in his house... especially given that he's immune. If you go back for a rewrite, look to make his actions more consistent with what you know to be true: he's immune. Maybe Danny thinks the old man is scared because of the virus, but finds out he's wrong.
In fact, it could be kind of interesting if Danny thinks Mick is scared, but Mick just isn't... which is confusing to Danny. He should be scared. Why isn't he? Answer: He has nothing to lose, and only company to gain. Which helps your ending: "Why would Mick want Danny to stay in the end?" He's more bored than he is scared.
All you need to make that work is a moment of connection between the two.
One last nit to pick: the test kit felt way too convenient. I'd recommend Mick use his knowledge (gained from watching his wife die from the disease) to convince Danny of what the young man probably knows is actually true: he has it. Mick: "I know what COVID looks like. Watched it take my wife. Started with a cough, just like yours." Not that, specifically, but you get the idea.
Good luck. Hope you do a rewrite. And, I hope you share it here if you do.
60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
Formatting issues aside, I liked this. The characters pulled me through the story. You had something to say but rather than have on the nose dialogue, you wrapped it into the story and weaved it around the characters.
That's how you do it!
Meets the criteria as well, good job.
For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
There's a good lesson in this--be careful who you deal with. I liked the contrast in perspectives and patience levels. I appreciate the fact that Mick was generous with his home. It seemed a little convenient that Mick had a testing kit in his house. Where can the rest of us get hold of one? An appropriate script for the times.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Was fun. First draft ran a bit over hence the bunched description. Just to clear up some confusion: a press is an Irish term for a cupboard, and semi-detached housing is a common type of build in Ireland/UK where 2 houses are joined together in 1 building.