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Hello writer! A script which reminds me to David Lynch style. For sure a compliment on the one hand. There are so many questions open and I wanted to answer them myself. I sat down for a time, reread, thought about every possibility and found some answers. Even if I don't know what's right in my experiences...?!?
There was a small sideline ELLIE Better when I’ve finished being a lab-rat. Your trip? HOWARD Sailed it. Your ready for this?
So I guess they are a couple of time travelers. Howard travels, too and his travel, which is not shown, succeeded while Ellie came out of the machine with the problem herself is getting older/ something with age prematurely
In the exposition the, I name them bosses of the time travelling program, want to shut it down, because of the costs. They arranged a killing scenario and place a tarpaulin on the floor/ I guessed for the blood???
The last guess, about the ending, is that Ellie future wanted to kill her true present(past Ellie), because she wanted to do an experiment if she will MAYBE not getting the explained getting older disease. She wouldn't have gone on the trip at all.
That experiment fails. The old Ellie which is the true one (or the first; who steps into the machine), the one who decided to travel got still the disease of the travel. So, indeed the first scene is a flashback and belongs to the end.
There's another flashback of the travel, because COLIN What’s going on Ellie? ELLIE It went wrong. I’m dying.
After that the travel is shown, where exact this Ellie who had the dialogue above is coming back. It explains the dialogue! But it has to be marked at flashback!!!!
Last point is: I think the author wanted to deliver all the time, that the BOSSES and scientists persuaded Ellie to kill herself to solve her problem, because the whole program is too expensive to solve it in another way. They were talking wrong to her.
SECOND POSSIBILITY: Ellie is getting older in the present, because the travel doesn't work without consequences for the Ellie who stayed in present time. She came back and the healthy one kills the weak one in present. The payoff is that the travelling one is getting ill and so she couldn't change her fate.
I'm not sure which is right. I don't know why there isn't a second Howard.
The impression that you use the wrong name in the first scene mirrors your problems of the delivery of this funky stuff.
Not that only I have to conquer with questions: The characters themselves ask each other several times: What are we doing? And now? etc. The visual description of the characters has to be perfect here to distinguish them in such a kind of story. And it's not. The whole Exposition should be better. In dialogue, Setting and interactions. If they wouldn't sit at tables and Show what they do or say, maybe it would work better.
You should have known that you lose us, if this script isn't 100% clean. It's just too complicated. But, it's also my favorite so far, because I have to go with the unique stuff. With the courage of the new, fresh attempt. I cannot imagine any writer has taken that risk out of the other entries. I'll see. Improve those kinds of scripts and you will differ from the mass. I think many want and search such concepts here; you can fill that place... It's obviously that you search this experience yourself in your work. Could be great. In some ways still very good.
By the top of page 3 the intercutting and multiple characters has me lost. I’m not sure whether you’ve misassigned a line to one of these characters or if I’m just confused.
Very confusing through-out and I see I’m not alone. Some of it may have been alleviated by more clearly distinguishing your versions of ELLIE. Are either ELLIE PAST or ELLIE FUTURE the same as ELLIE (95) or ELLIE (32)? I don’t think you can just introduce Past Ellie and Future Ellie without giving their approximate age. It’s something we’d be able to see on screen. And if ELLIE (95) is really just ELLIE (32) after she’s aged rapidly than she’s not really 95, is she?
Let me take a stab at this. Future Ellie killing Past Ellie is just an experiment. The hypothesis being that, as long as Future Ellie exists in the same time as Past Ellie, then Past Ellie will be immortal because otherwise a paradox would ensue. This hypothesis proves false and Future Ellie begins to waste away. How’d I do?
So, I don’t know. There could be something there when you clean it up.
Very confusing to me but also very interesting, some quick rewrites could help the reader; I was unsure in the beginning who was in the hospital bed and also when Ellie looked old or young (which might all be clear in the text but have pity on the reader and make it extra clear). This is a good story and I'd like to see it continued, not just past and future versions of the characters but Ellie learning from the experiments, having new insights in physics, having adventures.