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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    June, 2020 One Week Challenge  ›  The Bad Planes - OWC Moderators: LC
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  Author    The Bad Planes - OWC  (currently 791 views)
Posted: June 6th, 2020, 9:22am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Bad Planes by Anthony J. Russo (ajr) writing as Don Day Elbano - Short, Sci fi, Thriller - A young girl chronicles her existence in the age of technology in 2028 America. 6 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  August 23rd, 2020, 11:38am
revised draft
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Posted: June 6th, 2020, 3:37pm Report to Moderator
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SMASH TO BLACK and a second FADE IN within 10 lines... hmmm, then again Gigi's VO line is intriguing.

So, I like the combination of the current issues and technology, the drones as 'bad planes' is a nice touch too.

I found it a little over-written in places and Gigi feels a little tacked on and explains too much, but overall I liked it.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays -
Available Feature screenplays -
Screenwriting articles -
IMDB Link -
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Posted: June 6th, 2020, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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This is amazing. I like the dystopian overtones inspired by what's happening nowadays. Good job.
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Posted: June 6th, 2020, 5:45pm Report to Moderator

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Well done and very poignant story about what appears to be an unending race war. Loved Gigi, but that poor kid was born at the wrong time. While whatís happening is horrible, I donít think this story qualifies as ďhorrorĒ in the traditional sense of the word. However, itís just so good, Iím willing to overlook that shortcoming.
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Posted: June 6th, 2020, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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Southern California
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A writer who definitely knows what their stuff - but some odd choices - like -

Quoted Text
Momma always said to stay away from the bad planes

Is way too Forrest Gumpish - especially for the tone you're setting in the story.

I would have gone with virus or race war -  just my preference.

I wasn't crazy about the VOs from the girl.

Not sure there really was a horror element here.

The writing itself is pretty stellar. Crisp - clean - breezy read especially for something so complex - kudos on that.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: June 7th, 2020, 6:51am Report to Moderator
Guest User

Ola Don Day!

The drone wars of 2043 were caused by a tight bastard who refused to tip an amazon drone that delivered his weekly shop, the straw that broke the camels back...fact!

Weíve got an old hand here, thatís for sure. A quick technical note and one that all should be impressed by, the pace of the script is kept in check really well here. Youíre churning through scene after scene, sometimes up to 7 a page so naturally the pace should be flying faster than Elon Muskís space invading phalus, but it doesnít as your style in stripping the description chunks back and making space on the page takes the speed out of the lines. Either that or Iím too tired to read quickly, but I think itís the former so exceptionally impressed.

The parameters are met, with the exception of the budget stuff. This is a biggie budget for a short, drones, explosions, out door settings, yep.

The story itself, I liked it overall. The inter spliced voice over might jar for some, but it sat reasonably well for me. It did feel like a series of montages that weíre threaded together by the VO, so the story wasnít the best Iíve read but the visual impact was brilliant.

This is a goodie, the budget is screwed and it could still be worked on, but I liked it.



Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  June 8th, 2020, 5:45pm
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Posted: June 7th, 2020, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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Interesting snapshot of the future. I liked the subtlety of the white hand and black hand maneuvering the mouse. Drone Wars! Needs a bit of clarity (or I just missed it) since it was deemed a race war but the first casualty of the story was killed because of a high temperature? Or is it a drone war of different factions?

An easy read and good flow. Nice work, writer.
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Posted: June 7th, 2020, 7:53pm Report to Moderator
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For the purposes of your short, I really think you should choose race war or virus. I mean, I know you're writing about OUR future here. But, I just think it would tighten things up and add some punch if you concentrated solely on one.

Still, this was well done. Thanks for sharing!

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 7th, 2020, 11:34pm Report to Moderator
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Story:  Excellent stuff here.  Good commentary on not only the race situation but the pandemic as well.  Good set up and while the conclusion didnít overwhelm me (it felt like the story was just beginning and I would certainly encourage you to build on this as I think it might make a decent feature) I was good with it overall.

Characters: Troy reminded me of when I first saw John Boyega (Finn) in The Force Awakens.  Jane reminded me of Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place.  Did a good job of providing great visuals to the overall story.

Dialogue:  Dialogue is sparse here except for the Narrator, and I wasnít exactly of fan of her dialogue.  But I could easily live with it.

Writing:  Overall one of the best Iíve read so far.  Good, crisp action, great visuals, satisfying story.

Meeting the challenge:  Only thing I might knock you for. Sci fi was there but the horror was fairly non-existent. Lot of tension, but nothing that I would call horror.  Iíll let it slide because overall itís top notch.    

An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Posted: June 8th, 2020, 8:10am Report to Moderator

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I just read this.

It reminds me of a project Iīm writing. I need time to really digest it, but I really like it. I think the descriptions are well written. I was immediately engaged.

I feel like some have mentioned Gigiīs voice could be more distinctive. Her being so young limits what she can really say about the circumstances of the world she is in.
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The Moviegoer
Posted: June 8th, 2020, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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Really well written. Could visualize it all clearly. Not usually a fan of VO but it works here, although it kind of gives a trailer feel to proceedings.

Takes the post-apocalyptic approach to horror which is maybe a bit easy but the theme is actually quite horrific and poignant so it gets a pass on that score. ĎBad planesí is a great way a child would describe drones and it had a nice Terminator: Salvation feel with added social commentary. Nice job.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 8th, 2020, 2:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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Alas not low budget.

Otherwise i liked the tone and atmosphere of this.

The drones I also liked but I wasnít wholly sure why they were killed, but assume itís a black army versus white or something like that.

The dystopian setting of a civil war , modern tech being used is usually a safe bet

For realistic production this needs to be contained but it has potential

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...
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Max Ruddock
Posted: June 8th, 2020, 2:26pm Report to Moderator

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I liked this.

The occasional line threw me off slightly, for example mentioning the camera's POV at the start wasn't necessary, but other than a few little things like that I thought it was very well done and a really easy, thought provoking read.

good stuff!
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Posted: June 8th, 2020, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Absolutely no reason for starting with "CAMERA POV".  Really?  If it's not someone's POV, whose POV is it?  Just a really dumb start.

Not sure why you felt the need to SMASH TO BLACK after a single passage.

Had to look up "bifurcates".  Maybe I'm just dumb, but I'm betting most peeps will not know this word.

You tell us Troy is 38, but the drone says he's 36.

Hmmm...interesting...very interesting.

Personally, I don't love the super quick cut scenes - on paper - but filmed, no issues.

From what you're offering us, it's hard to really know exactly what's going on here and why, but I think I can fill in the blanks, and what I come away with is a well thought out story that hits hard, even though we know nothing about anyone.

You nailed the ending and it makes this really stand out.  Well done.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: June 8th, 2020, 7:57pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Harlem USA
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Wow, the author nailed this one. Mostly sci-fi, not much TRADITIONAL horror... but there is, indeed, "horror" if that makes sense. This was super relevant, very well written. The little girl's voice over really worked for me against the depraved and horrific backdrop -- very, very effective. This might be one of the best shorts I've read in a while, period. Not just for this OWC. Really effective stuff. Made an impact on me. And we really don't know much about the characters but we fear for them, which is quite the achievement. I dunno, there's just so many layers to this -- I can really see that the author put a shit load of thought into this. And I can tell that everything going on this world; Covid 19, police brutality on POC, really had an impact on the writer, him/her self. Pretty awesome that this was done in such a tight time frame.

Now, some may think the budget on this isn't low. And, on the surface, it certainly doesn't seem like it. But a lot of filmmakers have drones and access to decent special FX software. The priciest part would be the bigger drone shooting off ammo. But that's pretty much it. It's super easy to show the drone's info on the monitor screen, too. And there's plenty of ways to cheat certain shots here and there. So I definitely think this is EASILY filmable.

Kudos to the writer. This was awesome.

-- Michael

THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes)
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021)

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