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Cherry Blossom (was Olympic) by Cameron Dueker (CameronD) writing as The Sullivan Brothers - Short, War - With the Trinity Test failed, two US Marines and two Japanese schoolgirls fight to survive Operation Olympic, the American invasion of Japan. 14 pages - pdf, format
It was my understanding that the OWC stories are set in the present, with some sort of history changed. So here we have a story set in WW2, some follks might have a concern about this. But given the hard challenge and that there's only a small handful who gave it a roll(myself included)...not an easy OWC that's for sure.
Because the story takes place close to the incident (instead of dropping the bomb, it is an invasion) but the result is...okay Marines with guns fighting Japanese school girls with bamboo stickss. This isn't going to end well. And it seems that the Marines, won the day. Despite the cliched Marine tough guy talk and order giving, the script overall was alright as far as the writing goes.
P2 - SHGt HILLS has an "S" under his slug near bottom of the page.
A very interesting concept and I love how you get the timeline change across with the telegram at the beginning.
A very Saving Private Ryan opening, the packed liked sardines in an opened tin can description seems a little off to me. A shrill shriek that scares the ghost out of someone? Maybe the writer's first language is not English, I'm not sure as some of the words are spot on while others seem odd, just to be safe I'll refrain from any more comments about the descriptions.
Kamikazee boats. Not sure of these from a practical sense but they sound cool.
Stacks's fuel tank being hit is telegraphed unnecessarily. I'd cut the dialogue which points out what's going to happen in a few minutes.
I do like how the school children are being trained to kill the soldiers. I don't mean that in a weird way, it just seems very authentic to me. My grandfather was a Royal Marine in WWII and he fought against the Japanese. He told me about how terrified they were of the US and UK soldiers and how they are believed the West was coming to rape, torture an kill everyone. Soldiers would literally throw themselves off a cliff instead of surrendering. The Japanese propaganda was insane.
Wow - That was very tense and exciting. It was believable and felt authentic. It did seem like at the end this could carry on and you simply ran out of pages but this was an excellent effort. My favorite so far.
I have to say and I'm going to say this for every script in this challenge (so I'm basically cut and pasting this last bit into all of them lol) that well done on entering! This was creatively an extremely challenging outline, one in which quite a few didn't even attempt or dropped out of. To have a completed script in the running deserves a pat on the back and a collective high-five!
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That was tense. A slice of war and some battle here. High school girls fight Marines with bamboo sticks and the girls are doing quite alright. I liked their talks the most. It's hell and their loved ones are the thing that keeps them going.
I do wish there were less characters. Do you really need Hills and Douglas for example? I think you could cut on some characters and even action and add more drama. Even add some conflict between Marines. Then extend the very last fight. That moment was truly poignant. Nice job
@Darren, the OWC rule was just that a historical event didn't happen and the story is set afterward in that altered timeline. Otherwise we couldn't have multiple scripts about WW2.
I agree this captured the intense war-is-hell emotion extremely well, even over the typo/format speedbumps. I'll chalk that up to being an early draft. The scene heading for a location should be the same every time the same location comes up, so for example it's "CLASSROOM 13B" not just "13B".
I agree that there seemed to be too many characters. I get it that the Marines know and care who who these casualties are, but it's hard to get an audience to know and care who they are in such a short period. Marine combat uniforms didn't even have names on them, so I'm not sure it's worth giving a name to someone without any lines. It is, in essence, an unfilmable.
I don't buy a bamboo spear going through a man's chest, but it could have been lethal through the gut so the scene is still feasible.
I liked this and found myself engrossed enough to ignore the many ragged edges. The writer did well at setting up the tension between the two sides -- the frightened Marines and frightened school girls. Very little age difference between them, really, and both thrust headlong into a bloody, pitiful, meaningless clash. Henry
I havenít read any previous comments so I apologise if I repeat anything.
Crouched to tighten his boots, Private STACKS (22) stands among 29 other MARINES, packed like sardines in an opened tin can. Some steel themselves for the battle ahead. Others fake it. The roar of the boatís engine and explosions like thunder in the distance deafens.
Couple of things I donít particularly like in this piece of action. I think it can be broken up more, there are least three separate shots here.
I think you can get rid of "in an opened tin can", we already know what you mean without adding this unnecessary writing.
A shrill shriek flies overhead that scares the ghost out of Private GREEN eighteen shoulder to shoulder with Stacks.
This reads awkwardly, "scares the ghost out" is unfilmable unless we actually see a ghost leaving his body. How does he react? What do we see him do that alludes to the fact that he is scared? Could also do with a comma between eighteen and shoulder.
A narrow miss dives overhead and bathes Stacks and Green in the Pacific.
Everyone will understand what you mean, but in an attempt to make this more flowery, I think itís just awkward again.
You seem to love a simile; I'm not sure it has that much of a place in a script. I'm not saying never use them, but I'm at the start of page 3 and there have been a few already.
Green stand up to his feet.
A bit over written, stand up to his feet opposed to what?
SCHOOL AGED GIRLS
that on the floor.
Get rid of "that"
STACKS They know whatís coming! If they hit your tanks weíre all dead!
So OTN, you set a perfect scene with subtext, as in you tell us bullets are flying and you mention the tanks, I automatically thought well that could end badly. Then you go and spoil that subtext by having a character literally say it.
You keep running over into 5 lines of action, this isnít going to end the world, but the main reason it's happening is because of the over writing, and not because you have 5 lines of action that has to go together. It reads more like a novel than a script.
Suddenly a stray bullet hits the back of Shoes fuel tank and he disappears, engulfed in a ball of fire.
This would have been a lot more satisfying without the previously mentioned dialogue.
I'm finding that none of the characters have an individual voice; they all sound exactly the same.
EXT. ABANDONED STREET - NAGASAKI - DAY
Generally start a slug with the larger location eg: EXT. NAGASAKI - ABANDONED STREET - DAY You have a few of these the wrong way around.
Ready for battle with their bamboo spears at the ready,
Too much "ready".
By her side, Hanako seems more worried for her friend than for her own safety.
How would we know this as an audience? What is she doing to convey this idea to us?
Thereís no one here sir
Always use a comma when addressing someone directly in dialogue, so: here, sir.
Two lunch tables lay ahead in the middle of the walkway.
Lie, something lies ahead or lies down but you lay something down.
These girls are badass.
So, the writing definitely needs work, lots of over writing.
The first 4 or 5 pages are a beach landing like we've seen in numerous other films, nothing really sets it apart other than the suicide boats.
Once we get past that though I really didnít mind this, it kept my interest till the end. Was good to see the two sides of the story playing out next to each other.
I skim read to about page 10. The writing is off in quite a few places and the story drags on and on. I wanted to see how the soldiers and schoolgirls ended up together but it seems that will only happen at the end... and they are not together but against each other. I found your logline misleading.
The copyright should be before the year. Very poor start so far.
"Dear Mr. President: For better or worse I regret to inform you, the Trinity test has failed." Henry L. Stimson Secretary of War. Letter delivered to Harry Truman Postdam Conference April 24, 1945
This needs a SUPER: in front of it. Also the punctuation is a bit spotty.
Fighter planes tear through the sky in dark blue streaks. Below them, a massive flotilla of Marine landing craft relentlessly stream towards Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, [and]looms off in the distance.
Flotilla = a fleet of ships or boats. That second sentence has very poor grammar.
I've heard of D-Day, but what is X-Day?
like sardines in an open ed tin can.
"opened" can only ever be a (past tense) verb. It can never be an adjective. Replace it with "open."
I didn't know "steel" could be used as a verb. Learned something new.
That whole paragraph is too busy and needs to be broken up.
A shrill shriek flies overhead that scares the ghost out of Private GREEN (1 shoulder to shoulder with Stacks.
A run-on sentence that needs commas. Also, are we literally going to see his ghost on screen?
Relax[,] Green! Itís just shells from the battle wagons behind us!
You need a comma, unless "Relax Green" is a shade of green I've never heard of.
A lot of missing commas that make everything read awkward. Is English even your first language?
The Japs are dug in and fortified!
Not sure about the grammar here.
Lots of busy paragraphs. Too much information to process at one time.
A narrow miss dives overhead and bathes Stacks and Green in the Pacific.
SGT. HILLS S Hang on Marines! Weíre going through this!
Huh? WTF? Sorry, no, I'm not going through this.
Sir! I hereby request an honorable discharge, sir!