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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2019 -††One Week Challenge  ›  Swedish Number - OWC
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  Author    Swedish Number - OWC  (currently 1167 views)
Don
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 1:02am Report to Moderator
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Swedish Number by Bills & Moon - Short, RomCom - A lonely Londoner reaches out to a random voice on the phone. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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StevenClark
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 3:39pm Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Maybe itís me, but Iím not sure what this ďtalk to a SwedeĒ thing is all about, or whatever it is. Never heard of it or maybe Iím out of the loop. I think itís the latter. Anyway, it was hard for this to resonate with me, and it did seem like just a rather long meet cute without much happening. But I do get the sentiment, just didnít work for me.

Steve


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irish eyes
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 3:54pm Report to Moderator
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A UK writer

This is very rough read as far as story goes back and forth on the phone with Swedish people trying to find Saga..

you have Melisa on page 5 ??? I'm guessing a mistake.

Sorry this didn't work for me as a captivating story.
Good job on entering


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Dreamscale
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Up to Page 3 and basically, we have a 1 scene situation with a phone conversation, and almost nothing going on in the actual scene.  That's a problem...a big problem.

Page 5 - Who is "Melisa"?  WTF?

I assumed Saga was male?  If not, you DEFINITELY need to clear that up.

Page 8 - Be careful when using "CONTINUOUS" as your Slug time. The way you used it here is not correct, as time has passed between the 2 scenes.

OK, the end.  Listen, there's nothing inherently wrong here.  It's even cute at times.  Problem is it's extremely predictable and very dull, visually.  We really don't get to see much life from Rose and obviously, never see Saga on the other end of the line.  Parameter-wise, rather weak on all 3 - roses, chocolates, and red.  Comedy-wise, again, rather weak, although I do see some attempts at humor.

It's not bad by any means.

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James McClung
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
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- "Rose, 40s" - Clever. I considered doing this myself. But the challenge says roses plural. You better have more than one by the time I finish, or points off!

- "I have spoken to forty-seven Rose Durnhamís since I spoke to my very first Rose.Ē - Well played.

Not much to say about this one. I expect you'll get a lot of flack for not having a "proper" plot. It did take a while for the point to reveal itself, but in hindsight I'm struck with a naturalistic (arguable), mumblecore kinda vibe, which doesn't bother me and I'll take it as is if that was the intended effect. Not particularly humorous though.

Idea is cute. Writing is fine. Sort of a soft take on the challenge. Not a good or bad thing necessarily, although I don't expect this to be a standout. Good job entering in any case.


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heyDaddyStudios
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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I didnít even register your uses of the elements, which could be my fault as a lazy reader XD I realized after, and thought Rose as a name was very clever.

Strong beginning, very weak middle, typical Rom Com end. The conflict is a little airy because the only suspense is her making her a lot of wrong calls and throwing her phone around. Itís just not enough to keep me interested.

The end was pretty predictable, but isnít that kind of the whole point of Rom Com?

I think the biggest thing here is there isnít enough room in the challenge to make this a visually interesting story. Oddly enough, Iíve seen A Perfect Man, which is essentially this story, so that might not be helping you.
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Matthew Taylor
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I got the "call a Swede" reference as I saw this on an episode of QI - Most people who read this might not know what it is - I think you explain it enough in the story - I can't tell because I alrady knew what it was lol

If this was an actual movie, I don't think I would watch it - There's not a whole lot visually going on, not enough drama to keep me hooked.

I didn't really care if Rose found Saga again - does that make me a bad person? - As I didn't feel a big chemistry between them in the beginning.

I like the originality of it - But feel something big is missing.

Well done on completing the challenge

Matt


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 1:38am Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this one. A 10-page meet-cute. It was straightforward and the dialogue seemed fitting. Don't really have too much in the negative category because I think I only saw two missed commas. This was just all-around good.


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Warren
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 5:09am Report to Moderator
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Hi Writer,

A phone conversation is a (V.O) not (O.S.). (O.S.) means off screen, as in the character is physically in the scene but not on screen at the time.

4 pages of phone conversation would not make for the most riveting viewing.

Who is Melissa?

Lots more phone conversations later on it the script as well.

Its a pretty decent idea but I feel like the execution is very lacking. The phone conversations need to be injected with more action, something more visual than what you have at the moment.

Congrats on getting an entry in.

All the best.


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eldave1
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Didn't quite get it. I was dazed and confused.

One I think I have to re-read later


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 5:39pm Report to Moderator
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This has potential, but I was confused throughout.

I just decided to imagine it was some kind of dating service, but then there was something about tourism and I didn't know.

The motivation seemed overdone. Like how Rose felt so in love after just a little conversation.

Why would Rose say, "Damn!" when her food is delivered. That seemed overdone, too.

Still, it's an interesting idea.

Sandra



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Cam Gray
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
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Hey there writer,

Ahhhh, the Visit Sveeeeden campaign, I missed it but may give them a call myself...it was quite charming, this was. Creative use of Rose, the chocolate was funny, the story was exceptionally well written and the pacing and what not never dragged or got bogged down in pointless dialogue. I could clearly visualise it and thatís a good sign.

Is it a romcom? Not sure. It was quite light on the comedy if it was, but it is subjective so who knows. Definitely romantic, however.

A goodie, Iíd say.

Cam


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LC
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 3:27am Report to Moderator
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'not any old Swede' - funny.
Not all of the comedy landed for me: I think she'd know take-away having been schooled by watching Ellen. Away-take kept pulling me up.

I'm not sure if there's enough quite yet via zinger comedic lines, so another draft might well be in order, but this was original and quirky and amusing in a unique way. And romantic.

I really liked it!

Clever with the parameters too.

P.S. I assumed this was two women finding their way into each other's hearts. The only Saga I'm familiar with is this one:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saga_Norťn

And what a character she was. Great series.


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LC  -  February 5th, 2019, 9:29pm
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Gary Howell
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It was cute, it had bits of humor to it.  It had chocolate, and you had a reference to a Rose, but no flowers, and I'm not sure the romance was actually there.  Maybe they were just becoming friends but not romantic.

THe writing is good, and think most people will like this.  Good effort here.

Best,
Gary


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_ghostwriters
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I read this when it was first posted, but didn't have much to say.  Today I came back to take a second look.  In a nutshell I was torn between thumbs up, or thumbs down.  There is absolutely such a thing as too much dialogue.  Movies are a visual medium... just a tidbit, but I'm sure you know this.  

I liked it.  Dialogue feels smart. Yeah, could be funny depending on delivery.  Yeah, I got some chuckles out of it.  And I do see the rom/com part.  Saga, man or woman?  

Kudos for finishing.


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khamanna
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Hi writer,

You say "they laugh" a lot. When they laugh and its not funny at all - I'm not talking about the whole piece but just a few instances.

I'm not sure I understand the idea of it. I read the comment to get what's going on but I'm still in shadows.

I like the structure very much - Rose called some service, they clicked, Rose got attracted to Saga and has been looking for her ever since. This is def a rom com.

I also liked some of their conversations just omit spelling out to us that they laugh here and there.
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Grandma Bear
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I noticed the title as soon as the scripts were posted. As a Swede, I was curious to see what it was going to be about. I wanted to like it, but I ended up not. I'm sorry. Maybe because right off the bat, I got stuck on Nacka is just a small town. Not exactly how I would describe it, but...

There was a lot of dialogue with nothing to look at if this was film.

I also don't know any Swede in the US or Sweden who calls it away-take. It annoyed me, frankly.

Then there was Melisa...

I didn't get why Rose got so infatuated with Saga, so the whole thing seemed a bit unrealistic to me. Perhaps make that first connection a little more special?

Having looked over the other comments now, I'm baffled some didn't know Saga was a girl/woman.

Anyway, it wasn't for me, but others clearly seemed to like it, so good job.  


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manxman
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My heart jumped when I read that this was about a Londoner. I thought finally something different!, written by a Brit Well... Two characters, one called Rose and another called Saga, taking part in a Visit Sweden telephone conversation.

Would have helped if the writer hadn't waited until two thirds of the way through to tell us Saga is another woman and not a man. And who is Melisa, sitting on the couch, talking on the phone when it is Rose on the phone?

A cute idea about two people meeting on the phone, losing each other, then reconnecting. Unfortunately wanders aimlessly. Nice idea for a short movie though.
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PKCardinal
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Count me as someone who didn't know Saga was a woman. Went back to check the early pages, and I see several instances where "she" laughed. I attributed all of them to Rose, I guess. You never explicitly said Saga was female... and since the name is unique to me, I assumed we had a standard he/she potential romance.

That's partly my fault... but, mostly yours.

Anyway, that little detail aside... I liked the script. But, felt it would have more impact if we could have established a more intimate connection in the early pages. It's mostly surface conversation.

If I was more actively rooting for their successful reconnection, I would have enjoyed this more.

I do agree with others that this doesn't have much visual appeal.

All in all, a good entry. Enjoyed it. It's close to being really strong.


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Philostrate
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Hi Writer,

Okay, this was a cute story. Two women who find their way into the heart of each other via phone.

Definitively, a rom com.

The idea is clever; the use of the parameters is hats off and the writing is good.  But! -

It didn't resonate with me. Nothing pulled me in. Made me root for these two women.

Frankly, the ending was quite predictable too.

People seem to like it and I understand why - it's solid, so good job!


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DaveTroop
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The Saga begins.

This is cute, but only part of a romcom.  The meet cute.

Rose is on the phone through the whole story.  Even when sheís at work, sheís on the phone.
That doesnít make for a visually stunning film.  Except if you cast Angelina Jolie.  
I canít get around that decision.  I wonder how a director would handle this.

The comedy is extremely limited. Just because two people laugh at each otherís jokes, doesnít make it a comedy.
Rose obviously has romantic feelings toward Saga.  And vice versa.
I wasnít sure if Saga was a man or woman.  I chose woman just to keep my interest. And you didnít say otherwise.

The story never gets going for me.  Even when Melisa makes a very brief non-appearance.

Sorry.

Thanks for entering the contest.
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Spqr
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Well written set-up for a full script. Rose is in her 40s, uncomfortable in her own skin, and doesn't like London. She comes off as depressed and overdue for a vacation, and since she just placed a call to a complete stranger in Sweden, I have to assume she has no friends to vacation with. Saga, on the other hand, sounds like a bright, intelligent woman -- in other words,  she sounds the complete opposite of Rose, which would make for a good romcom.
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jayrex
Posted: February 13th, 2019, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
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Cute story.  Kinda like a long distance romance.  Just without flowers.  Unless Rose counts.  

Melisa wasn't introduced in capitals.

Comedy/humour I think is more for women.  It's not something I'd laugh at.

I also get the reference in regards to calling a Swede.  Nice angle.


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Conz
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Iíll just assume you know how Swedes speak broken English b/c Iím reading this as Chinese or something in my head.

This entire premise of just randomly talking to a Swede is weird to say the least, but maybe it's a real thing.  You'd know better than me.

Meh, lose the ďfuckingĒ it doesnít need to be in this script.

Was Saga male or female?  I assume male.

Oh, Saga was female? Ok. Cool name.

Find it hard to believe a Brit wouldnít know a particular Cadbury bar, but whatever Iíll roll with it.

The bookend Nacka joke is really good.  The story itself is sweet, but not sure it works in this time frame. I didnít think ďoh man, they belong together!Ē from their earlier conversation, and for this to really work, you need to really nail that.  That would need a longer script obviously, but I still think you could have picked up the conversation later or something, and really had a moment where they both kinda came to the conclusion they were vibing.
Not bad overall.


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AnthonyCawood
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Too talky, feels a bit rushed in places.

Decent enough but not the most visual script!


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ReneC
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I jumped onto Google to look up this Swedish phone number thing, and I was not disappointed. It really was a thing. I had no idea.

Really interesting premise, it speaks to the whole meet cute culture and anonymous conversations and it should have been a winner. The big problem with that is, there has to actually be a real connection for them to be so desperate to find each other again, and it's just not there. The mundane, trivial conversation they have is elevator talk, no heart, nothing personal, no zing. If that's all it takes, why should we believe they belong together when the next stranger who happens to ask for directions might get the same treatment?

Everything else about this got derailed by that. You gave Rose a goal but I didn't care if she achieved it. I didn't expect Saga to have even given her another thought. Because of that, I really didn't care to read through her bumbling around trying to find Saga again.

Using the name Rose instead of the flowers is a cop out. Did I miss the red element or was it just forgettable? You did have the chocolate, as product placement.

The writing is pretty good. This could have been a lot better.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 16th, 2019, 12:04am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC


The mundane, trivial conversation they have is elevator talk, no heart, nothing personal, no zing. If that's all it takes, why should we believe they belong together when the next stranger who happens to ask for directions might get the same treatment?



This is a good observation. It also helps to direct us in the direction of cutting out needless words in our dialogue and needles words in general.

We need to ask ourselves: How is this contributing to the overall picture? The picture we are trying  to paint.




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AnthonyCawood
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Thanks to all for your comments and thoughts...

I wrote the first 4 pages of this and then let it simmer... until I noticed there was 7 hours of the challenge left so last 6 pages were a tad rushed.

The Swedish Number was a real thing, you could ring a random Swede for a chat and this tickled me for some reason so I've been wanting to use it in a script for a while.

Pia - apols, I know and knew that you may see through my scant research but Nacka was the only place that worked for a joke, though not sure the joke worked

Melissa, goddam it! Rose was Melissa in the early stages of the script and my proofreading missed it.

Saga - as LC pointed out, is a fairly famous female character in a fantastic Danish/Swedish TV thriller - which you all should watch - I think the assumption that Saga is male may come from the fact that most rom-coms are boy-girl - which I didn't want.

Agree with the comments that this needs to be more visual, this and other comments will contribute to the next re-write.

Thanks all


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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LC
Posted: February 22nd, 2019, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
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Definitely something different here and I like that you chose two women falling for each other.

Looking forward to the updated draft, Anthony.

P.S. The Melissa thing - I've left a changed character name in an OWC script before. It's typical that OWC reviewers will harp on that.  


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Grandma Bear
Posted: February 22nd, 2019, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry, Anthony. I read this while not in the best mood. It was by no means bad. I just wasn't real chipper at the time.  

Saga is a name getting more popular these days in Sweden. It's not super common, but gaining ground. It's an old name that originates from the old Norse mythology. I think she was a seer or something. Can't remember.

Cheers people!  


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Dreamscale
Posted: February 22nd, 2019, 9:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Saga - as LC pointed out, is a fairly famous female character in a fantastic Danish/Swedish TV thriller - which you all should watch - I think the assumption that Saga is male may come from the fact that most rom-coms are boy-girl - which I didn't want.


All cool and shit, but, if I remember correctly, there was no way to know Saga was a chick until late into the script.

Just saying...



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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 22nd, 2019, 10:07pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale


All cool and shit, but, if I remember correctly, there was no way to know Saga was a chick until late into the script.

Just saying...



Yes, I remember, too. I had to go back and read because I thought I had missed something; so I was blaming myself.




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AnthonyCawood
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It's a girls name in Sweden Jeff, some people who don't live in Sweden seem to know this and some don't...

I thought I was clear with this dialogue, top of first page

          ROSE
Erm, that word has another meaning
here in Britain.

           SAGA (O.S.)
Oh, what?

           ROSE
Er, it means... well, testicle.

Saga's turn to laugh.

           SAGA (O.S.)
Ha, well, that's not something we
have to worry about then.


Because girls don't generally have testicles...

  


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