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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2020 Challenge  ›  Lockdown - May OWC Moderators: Administrator
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Don
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 10:40am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Lockdown by Pedro - Short, Drama - During a pandemic lockdown, a newly wed couple are tested to the brink of insanity. 4 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 1:13pm Report to Moderator
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Well, this one was fucking dark... I liked it!

It was competently written, didn't notice any glaring typos. I liked the idea that this story existed in a world that's REALLY hit with the lockdown and really extreme measures are taken to ensure people are stuck inside. It's pretty much playing on our most extreme fears of what COULD happen during a lockdown rather than what REALISTICALLY could happen. But, even then, who the fuck knows? If things get worse, maybe we will be locked in our houses, literally.

But, just so I got this right...

SPOILERS

Paul killed the dog Pedro because he wanted to eat meat for once. And his wife, Rachel, who hasn't taken her meds, is really broken up about that... so we think. Instead, she's more broken up about something she did... killing her child because they were crying over the dog, Pedro. I hope I'm correct, here.

This was pretty grim, especially the behavior of the HAZMAT guys who kinda just take the child's body away, giving the couple a slap on the wrist, essentially. But maybe there's no way to lock anybody up in a prison for any crimes during this stage of the lockdown? I'll buy it, I guess.

Anyway, nice effort. It was dark and depressing, but I like shit like that.

-- Michael


MY FEATURE FILMS:

THE SUICIDE THEORY (79% Rotten Tomato Score, Available on Amazon Prime, Itunes, Google Play, Youtube, etc) - https://youtu.be/5eaXXOKJvtg

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Check out my latest horror script, HONEY MUSTARD - https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-horror/m-1585433547/
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eldave1
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
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The writing is really good.

This is the other place I was bothered.

SPOILER ALERT



Quoted Text
PAUL
It’s true. I did. So what? How was
I supposed to know they would go
batshit crazy over a dead dog? All
that screaming. They went on for
hours until she finally lost it and
ended it. A horrible thing really.
Hazmat #1 is even more confused.

PAUL
I think she forgot to take her meds
that day.

HAZMAT #1
When this is over, there will be an
official investigation.


If I get the story - the dude kills the dog - somehow that sends Mother and child off the deep-end and Mother kills child. So assuming I got that --

Hard to believe they would just leave murder suspects in the apartment. Would have worked better for me if they dragged her off. AND

Aside from that - dark - nicely done. I could feel the tone to my bones.




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts

Revision History (1 edits)
eldave1  -  May 16th, 2020, 7:44pm
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_ghostwriters
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 7:34pm Report to Moderator
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Well, this was dark and twisted.  People love their animals. Sometimes they do crazy things when something happens to them.  A thought. Overall, this was a smooth read. Nothing tripped me up. Entertaining. Good job.

Ghost


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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MarkD
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 9:32pm Report to Moderator
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A dark one for sure but very well written. Good job.
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LC
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 10:09pm Report to Moderator
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I really got no clue at all from the story that this couple were newlyweds.

I also think the dog on its own is enough without the kid in the garbage bag.
I liked the government line...

The dialogue that ends with this line:
A sorry excuse of a man
I think ending it at 'disgusting' does the trick.

I'm a little confused with what actually happened to the kid. That final shot alludes to Paul? I'd like to also know more here:

[i]Ranks right up there with[.../i]
Of course the unanswered stuff is often the mark of a good film.

That said, would this make a good film when redeeming character qualities, arcs, and themes are seemingly absent? No offence, they're just not clear to me here.

I like dark, I like creepy, I like bleak. But it has to have meaning.

And, I need a bit more at the point of denouement - a lesson, a message, an element of hope.
Cautionary tale on its own? Ok.Be careful who you get hitched to. He might eat your beloved pet.

Domestic violence has apparently gone through the roof during this crisis...but then that's another story.


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ajr
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 8:50am Report to Moderator
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Definitely dark and depressing...

I had to re-read the story after reading the comments because when I read that "two other hazmat guys walk toward the front door" I do not recall them entering the apartment, and I thought they were taking the child's body out of another apartment. Then I read Paul's dialogue and it made sense. He says "they" though - is there more than 1 child?

Definitely a COVID-y world. Has to be set in the not-to-distant future though, because we are obviously not at this point yet. So the 5 week time period from marriage and having a job to a forced government incarceration seems a bit short. My super-nitpicky self asks where they are getting their groceries in a complete, forced lockdown, and why Paul can't get meat, which is kind of the plot turn that the story hinges on.

Great job otherwise on starting out dark and then hitting the gas pedal!


AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Gary Howell
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 1:30pm Report to Moderator
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So this headed to the dark side quickly!  Dog-killing, child-killing, alcoholic, drug addict, you have them all here in one small space!

I like the writing.  Obviously a good writer at work here, but I guess I want someone to root for here.  Seems like I'm rooting against everyone.  Dark can work really well (e.g., Joker, Breaking Bad, etc.).  But there's always some offset in those movies to make you feel like you are invested in the characters.  Some redeeming qualities that give you some hope.  There's no one with redeeming qualities here.

Still, a solid story and good writing skills.  Best of luck.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Bayne
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 3:02pm Report to Moderator
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Solid writing and structure... but boy is this dark! Makes me feel better about our COVID-19 situation. Nothing to add here. You knew the tone you wanted to create, and you executed a complete story in four pages. Nice work.
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Yuvraj
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 2:31am Report to Moderator
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This one is for sure a dark tale.

This goes on to show how hostile the human mind is, under conditions like these. No matter how much one resists, at some point it will take a toll on you.

Nice effort.

Good luck.


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PedroS
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 3:38am Report to Moderator
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Dear writer thank you for sharing this story.
I enjoyed it and liked the twist at the end.
You left some open space for questions, imagination and discontent.
So your job is done properly, I guess.
Thank you very much.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 2:59pm Report to Moderator
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That’s was cheerful ...

Writing was strong, tension was constant And the end had a lovely sinister element to it

I suppose my issue is the left field aspect of the child, and perhaps excess of the whole thing

Perhaps, another thing is that they only recently got married - I guess these things can go south quickly, but it made it a bit harder to buy

Got potential and good writing on display.


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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Arundel
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 4:45pm Report to Moderator
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I was certain that Pedro was going to end up being the kid. Paul was just saying "the dog" to trick his mind into not thinking it was so bad.

Most of the other reviews kind of pieced it together that Paul killed the dog, and Rachel did their kid. But there was a hint in the dialog that she had done something dastardly herself.

Then Paul says something like, "I didn't think they would take it so badly." They? More than one kid. Who are these people? Or was he referring to the kid and Rachel?

Good tension throughout.
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PKCardinal
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
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Wow.

Not much to add. Very well written.

Doesn't care if you like anybody or not. Just lays it out there.

I can respect that.

I knew it was going to be an interesting ride when she howled. I mean, two lines in and we've got a character howling. Awesome.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
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Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 19th, 2020, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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Opening Slug - Who are the Baughmans?  Assuming this is the couple's last name, that would make sense, right?  But, if you never tell us their last name, how would we know?  How would anyone know?

When you use an age in parenthesis, you do not need a comma.  If you don't use parenthesis, you'll need 2 commas - 1 before the age, and 1 after.

So, Paul is sitting on a sofa, and he has a bottle of vodka right there to pour into his glass?

Page 3 - You're introing 3 new characters.  Even unnamed, MEN needs to be capped.

The end.  Very dark, but not remotely realistic, and I thought this challenge was based in reality?  Didn't work for me or do much for me, sorry to say.

**


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Spqr
Posted: May 19th, 2020, 4:36pm Report to Moderator
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Where did Paul and Rachel learn their parenting skills? Adolph Hitler's second book, Mein Baby?

I can believe some people who are unstable to begin with go batshit crazy under intense pressure and lack of medication, so I buy Rachel's breakdown. But Paul? His lack of emotion at the murder of his child, compared to his anger at having been placed on a vegan diet by Rachel, is just...crazy.

I actually like this story, but eating the poor dog is a bridge too far.
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PrussianMosby
Posted: May 19th, 2020, 7:38pm Report to Moderator
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Hey,

Nice catchy over the top dialogue followed by a first page break question – thumbs up, we're talking

Upper half p2: this immediately derails? – wouldn't have thought

yeah, well, the eating dog/lab/meds part does not work as presented (too long and from the side)… for me

bottom half p3 good dialogue

It's risky. Not sure how it connects with the audience. Whatever, I admire you trust the audience to get this ending. It's pretty dark and subtle. I like your ambition.

All best



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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 20th, 2020, 5:57am Report to Moderator
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Nice writing and dark. Meets the criteria for sure.

It just snapped the believability factor way too much for me. These guys seem to lose it and go bat shit (COVID-19 pun intended) so fast it's unreal.

Did he really kill and eat a dog or did he kill and eat a kid because there is no dog's body, just a kids body at the end. Regardless, there is a dead kid in the apartment and they admitted the killing There is no way they would just walk out and leave him, promising an investigation later!

I know some people are impressed with dark, edgy scripts but for me, they need to be bought into even more than a normal script as the audience has to accept the Nth degree you are taking them to.  This didn't do it for me, it was gratuitous for gratuitous sake. but I see the rest like it so I'm definitely in the minority here.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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khamanna
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 9:07am Report to Moderator
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Well. go figure.

Sorry, I didn't understand this.

Did he kill the dog to eat it? You made it sound that way cause he does say he hates vegan shit, so it's like he wanted to eat and killed the dog. And it's an entertaining thought. It's like you're reading about completely disturbed scitzophreniacs who re not aware of it (surely). But I shouldn't laugh at the sick.

The thing at the end about the child - I didn't get it.

The phrase the man is hazmat suit said doesn't sound realistic after all the killings that's been done.

Seems like futuristic reality. I think it was supposed to be real stories about real people. I suppose for that reason real time would be the most relevant circa.

A dark tale but I think you can play it out better for it to be belivable.
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Yuvraj
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 9:24am Report to Moderator
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As far as I get this, the man indeed killed his dog to eat.

His child went crazy( crying and screaming) as his dad killed his beloved dog. So in order to shut him/her up, he killed him/her.

As for his wife, she already ran out of her meds which keeps her sane from some sorta mental condition( I guess) and on top of that she lost her child and their pet.

At the end, hazmat guys just appear( don't know how, lets assume they knew about all this somehow) and take away the dead child to...somewhere.

The man is skeptical about her wife so just wants to finish her as well and maybe have another bon appetit.

That's what I get from this.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 11:19am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from khamanna

Seems like futuristic reality. I think it was supposed to be real stories about real people. I suppose for that reason real time would be the most relevant circa.


From Don, stories real or imagined inspired by the current pandemic.

I read this as something that could've happened if the pandemic had been ten times worse. Didn't the Chinese seal some families in their apartments?

One thing that has worried me during this pandemic are all the kids that are stuck inside with parents that are either mentally ill or drug addicts and alcoholics and such, so for me, this works. Dark as it is. I liked the little touch of Paul spritzing some Febreze into the air. Funny in an ultra dark way. I guess after four days, it would start to smell.  


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JEStaats
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 12:46pm Report to Moderator
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That was unexpected. Ugh. Although well written, not sure I really enjoyed this one. The Hazmat response team sure took it all in stride. Just another day at work? Is this happening all the time? Lockdown or not, she would've been hauled off. Your logline states 'brink of insanity'. I think she's already gone off the edge.

Well written, just not for me.
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Rob
Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 12:44pm Report to Moderator
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I appreciate the writing. Lean and mean. This is the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf of quarantine scripts. The child in the bag sends this in all kinds of directions. I don't know what to think about this.
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