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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May 2010 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - In the Grip of Winter
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  Author    OWC - In the Grip of Winter  (currently 2971 views)
Don
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 9:50pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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In the Grip of Winter by Anonymous - Short, Drama - Two brothers lost in the woods must do the unthinkable to survive. - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 10:17pm Report to Moderator
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Well, although I actually like this better than the first pack of posts, there are many issues here as well...most likely the old talking heads going on and on far too long.

Just too much dialogue up front with nothing going on around the characters.

Other issues are some typos and missing words that really detract from the read.  Just really doesn't work for me in a reality like way, either, and this is obviously trying to be realistic...at least I think it is.  I don't buy the premise, the logistics, or the finale.

Biggest issue though is that there is literally nothing about vegans and carnivores discussing their ways.

Sorry, but not great by any means.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  May 16th, 2010, 10:35pm
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stevie
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 10:24pm Report to Moderator
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This had the potential for being really good, but, I dunno, it sort of went another way.
The writing was ok, I didn't really have a prob with it.

It just seemd the guys went downhill too fast. Maybe if we know they are stranded for much longer and are that more desperate. Need a decent re-write to give it more substance.

i'll say this now though - this is possibly the toughest OWC since I've been onboard. Not everyone can write drama(meself included) so the results are always going too be a bit muddled between drama and comedy, or drama and thriller, etc.


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greg
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 10:43pm Report to Moderator
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Oh Hi

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I really wanted to like the whole story.  Based on the logline I actually thought this was going to be a story on cannibalism a-la Donner Party.  Then when it turned out the unthinkable would be eating their dog I was even more intrigued.  Really tough story there and even though the dialogue I think went long as they were arguing, I liked what I read.  It was emotionally-charged and intense.

Unfortunately, the script went a few pages after that and it just went downhill for me from there.  Suicide, I think, was a cop-out.  I mean, you put these guys in a really difficult position and it ends with both of them dying.  Honestly, it was a real let-down ending.  

That said, the writing is crisp and I really did like the initial conflict with the dog.  The second half I would have liked to see something else.

But I'll remember this.  A real horrific conflict just to think about and a good take on the theme.  Nice work.


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khamanna
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 11:29pm Report to Moderator
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On the emotional level it's pretty good. I really liked the ending and think you built up to it just beautifully. I liked that though being a vegetarian you kept middle of the road and didn't get preachy.

I'd get rid of large chunks of dialogue at the beginning. wondering if you could cut some of it (dialog)...
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screenrider
Posted: May 16th, 2010, 11:46pm Report to Moderator
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Definitely drama.   A couple of suggestions.  When Calvin tackles Vaughn the knife sticks into Vaughn's stomach. Also you could've taken it a step further and show a rescue helicopter just as Calvin takes his last breath.  

Good job.
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Ryan1
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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This story had real potential that wasn't realized, IMO.  Being stranded in the wilderness could have made for some compelling drama, but a lot of this just came off as campy for me.

The dialogue really bogged down the story toward the beginning.  The two characters just told the story, instead of it unfolding for the reader.  A lot of it was also really on the nose:  

"It’s okay to pass on filet mignon when you go out to some shitty chain restaurant. You don’t have to scarf down a cheese steak everyday or get pepperoni on your pizza just to see the next morning."

When Vaughn pulled the dog skull out of his bag, I have to admit I chuckled.  I know I wasn't supposed to, but maybe that's just me.  The ending was real strange.  Slicing yourself apart and feeding yourself to the wolves?  Just didn't buy it.

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Andrew
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 12:28am Report to Moderator
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Part of me thinks this was a serious entry, part of me thinks you are taking the piss. The ending was gratuitously written, but clearly had a visual in mind. We never really contextualise why the boys are in such a situation, so it creates an unbelievable scenario - they're about to eat their dog, but we have no idea why, nor a reason to care. The situation seems a little too sensationalist and contrived - as if you wanted a shock value, rather than a story. Clearly the boys were conflicted by the decision to eat their pet, so when one of them blurts it out, it feels completely unnecessary and would be much more effective as subtext. The line itself was comedic, which makes me think (along with the gratuitous closing) that somebody may be taking the piss or just confused as to their intentions.

Decent enough, but needs more coherence.

Andrew


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Trojan
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 3:46am Report to Moderator
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I thought this was okay, I liked it for the most part except for the ending. I didn't feel that their situation was desperate enough yet to resort to those extremes and it seems suicide is kind of a cop-out ending that you see in so many scripts these days. Nine times out of ten it doesn't work I'm afraid, and this was not the exception to the rule. Good effort though.

Cheers,
Tim.
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michel
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 6:18am Report to Moderator
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Well written, very descriptive and easy to follow (with a little too many dialogues) but where the conflict between teh carnivor and the vegan?

Good characters, good dramatic and visual story but I think you missed the point.

Michel


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c m hall
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 8:50am Report to Moderator
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Doesn't really fit with this challenge -- also it seems odd that the brothers could make the whisky last that long.
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dogglebe
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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While there was no vegan vs. carnivore in the story, I've actually had similar discussions (aka:  arguments) with my wife.  At what point will a meat-eater say that eating meat is wrong?

Unfortunately, I thought the characters weren't developed enough to keep the story interesting.  They sounded pretty much alike, which took away from the story.


Phil
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grademan
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 10:36am Report to Moderator
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How does a guy bleed out from a wrist wound caused by an accidentally thrown knife at close range? I didn't feel that either character had reached the point of desperation to eat their dig. Too much talking for two guys about to cash in. A major disconnect was that one of the brothers was a vet. That's just creepy.

Good potential for a better story.

Kudos on putting this together in one week.
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James McClung
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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I think this was a difficult premise to fit into fifteen pages without having to have the characters explain everything. How'd they get here, how long have they been here, etc. It just always ends up sub par when the story doesn't unfold naturally. So yeah. Some very on the nose stuff here. Seems like a premise better suited for a feature.

The ending(s) peter out a little too quickly. I think it's important to know what happened between eating the dog and Calvin dying and between Calvin dying and Vaughn dying. I don't mean the characters explaining it either. It needs to be shown. As of now, you really don't get their descent into desperation. It all feels kinda luke warm at this point. Once again. Better for a feature.

Calvin's death seemed to come a little too quickly. Vaughn's, I didn't take issue with as much. It seemed to make a strange sort of logic, at least to me. Along the lines of him giving his body to the animals for taking the body of another. If not, I'm pretty sure he was gone (psychologically) at this point anyway. I wouldn't imagine his actions are coming from sound mind.

Anyway, kind of an under-realized and over-ambitious entry. But not entirely bad.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 12:27pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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At the start of this I thought it wasn't going to go anywhere and just have a lot of banter about the right/wrong of the situation, but as I continued on, I started to feel it was decent writing.

I guess my questions would be

What are they doing lost in the woods without a cell phone? Without a gun?

How did they get lost?

I'm kind of wondering why no one is able to get to them sooner. This one has me thinking that you could do some interesting things with this one if you care to.

You would need to provide some logic to the following, but:

How about if the boys were younger and they got lost because the dog ran off and they chased it?

And then why wouldn't anyone come looking for them?

Because they lied to their parents initially and their parents think that they're staying with relatives or whatever you can imagine the scenario to be.

And then of course, if they are forced to eat the dog, the catalyst for their whole predicament, it would be one of those ironic situations where it's as if fate is mocking.

I think that the plausibility for two boys lying in order to kind of be working on a dare and wanting to "be men" is actually a very strong and interesting premise if you go with my brilliant suggestion.  

Seriously though, the idea of what makes a man could be incorporated into this. Why being manly isn't the ability survive on one's own, but being able to survive out of the spirit of collective help. The "no man is an island" idea.

Yes, I definitely think you could work with this. I think you did well for an OWC.

Sandra






A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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FDiogo
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 5:00pm Report to Moderator
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Interesting one although it had nothing to do with the theme.

I liked the main premise about the dog and I really liked when we suddenly watch Vaughn with Calvin's brain, after we watched what happened with the dog. Final scene could work really well.

What I didn't like were the psychological changes the characters suffered - they weren't developed enough at first and then you just make Vaughn accept what he did and make Calvin depressed about it, just by "slapping your fingers",


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pwhitcroft
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 5:36pm Report to Moderator
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I’ll make notes as I go..

“Written by a vegetarian” – It’ll be interesting to see what that results in.

Pg 1 – “CALVIN (21) and VAUGHN (30)” - I know it’s a style issue but for me I prefer character intros to be separate and to give me a little information about the characters so that I can get a distinct picture of each in my mind.

Pg 2 – You’ve got this going quickly and the debate they are having raises some interesting dilemmas.

Pg 5 – This might be a little dialogue heavy, but you’ve certainly got drama.

Pg 8 – The ending of this is a strong visual thing. I’m taking it to mean he is slaughtering himself to be eaten by the animals? Perhaps him killing himself so painfully comes a little out of left field for this story. I’m not quite sure that his character up to this point would do this.

Overall this is a solid story that works with some thought provoking questions.


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The boy who could fly
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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This one was pretty well written, I actually felt that someone put some effort into this.  I kinda wonder what I would do in that situation, would I be able to eat my dog to survive.  Since I have never been in that situation I'm glad I don't know,  I do think that the script losses a lot of steam after such a powerful opening, but this was a very difficult challenge and I think you did a good job on it.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 7:00pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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This one was pretty well written, I actually felt that someone put some effort into this.  I kinda wonder what I would do in that situation, would I be able to eat my dog to survive.  Since I have never been in that situation I'm glad I don't know,  I do think that the script losses a lot of steam after such a powerful opening, but this was a very difficult challenge and I think you did a good job on it.


I feel that effort was put in here also. It had me considering the situation and if a person even bothers to think about it, you know it has some substance.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 8:17pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad, but certainly could be better IMHO.

There was no real Vegan vs Carnivore thing going on so in my mind, you didn't really hit the challenge. It was a drama however.

I think I would have preferred a drama where one of the brothers, the Vegan, is starving and as he trudges through the woods with his beloved dog as each day goes on, he starts to look more and more to the dog as potential dinner. It's a fact that EVERYONE will do pretty much whatever it takes to survive. It's every living thing's instinct. Even a vegan will eat meat when it comes to survival.

So, not bad, but needs to be kicked up to hit the mark better. Increase the stakes...no pun intended.  


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: May 17th, 2010, 8:52pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Not bad, but certainly could be better IMHO.

There was no real Vegan vs Carnivore thing going on so in my mind, you didn't really hit the challenge. It was a drama however.

I think I would have preferred a drama where one of the brothers, the Vegan, is starving and as he trudges through the woods with his beloved dog as each day goes on, he starts to look more and more to the dog as potential dinner. It's a fact that EVERYONE will do pretty much whatever it takes to survive. It's every living thing's instinct. Even a vegan will eat meat when it comes to survival.

So, not bad, but needs to be kicked up to hit the mark better. Increase the stakes...no pun intended.  


Hi guys. Just want you to know I've went through some shit that's really bad shit and as long as someone wasn't threatening to pull out my fingernails, I wouldn't eat meat. If I was some kind of strict vegan that is. I DO eat meat, but not a lot.

With regards to the story:

Again...

It's to the point of torture that you can handle.

For me to tell my story is just too much for me, but just imagine the worst and use your imagination...

This is a really heavy duty question when you think about it.

This is why I study Kabbalah with BB. Right and wrong are subjective. None of us need judge.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Coding Herman
Posted: May 18th, 2010, 8:44pm Report to Moderator
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This is quite horrifying, and I meant it in a good way.

There are some good dialogue here, but sometimes it's too heavy with them. All of the exposition is done by dialogue: Vaughn is a vet, Elvis is Calvin's friend since he was thirteen, etc. I'm not sure how you can do it visually though, maybe with flashbacks but not sure if that'll work.

I liked the moment where Calvin took over Vaughn's job to cut up Elvis. That was unexpected. Showed how much Calvin loved Elvis.

Near the end, I thought Vaughn will in turn cut up Calvin and eat him. So you caught me there when Vaughn did his gruesome suicide. Gave me the chills.

Very good job here.


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TheRichcraft
Posted: May 19th, 2010, 11:52pm Report to Moderator
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Reverse mirror images for the most part.  Calvin cuts up his dog, and Vaughn cuts himself to attrack the wolves.

I think Vaughn's suicide makes sense.  The cold and lack of blood would pretty desenitize him when the wolves finally get him.  Much better fate than being torn to bits while you're fully conscious.
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James McClung
Posted: May 22nd, 2010, 1:55am Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone who checked this out. Most comments were on point. My own review was as much a critique of my own work as it was an attempt to throw anyone off so you can, for the most part, refer to it for clarification on themes.

I do have to say that I'm annoyed people said it didn't follow the theme. There is a carnivore and a vegan here. Both their philosophies are explained and an argument does take place. The only real difference here is that the one advocating meat eating is the vegetarian and the one opposing it is the carnivore. Perhaps it was a little understated (I actually didn't differentiate vegan and vegetarian at all) but it's all there. The vegan/vegetarian issue really doesn't make this any less legitimate as far as I'm concerned. So I'm calling shenanigans on y'all!

Also, while a couple of people got the ending, I'd like to say that Vaughn has no intentions of being eaten alive by wolves. Given the cold, his nakedness and the fact that his blood is thinner from the whiskey, he'd be dead far before the wolves got to his body. But indeed, that is the point.

Thanks again! I'll try to return all the reads ASAP.


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