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I don't want to say that this was written like a list of instruction, but there needed to be more of a feel for the characters. Also the story as it reversed, needed to still reveal more than it does here (see 'Chance Encounter') - where the viewer learns more about the situation as the scenes unfold.
One other problem here is that the story becomes known too quickly; it's fairly clear what's going to happen, and there's not a great deal of twists, turns, or unexpected events -- it simply details that Davis is not nice to Emma - and that can be established quite quickly.
Good effort, but I think it needs a better execution.
This read well. You lost me in the scene cuts, but I caught up in time to side with Emma and all the crap she took from this Davis tool. I'm happy to say, the ending worked for me except one thing.
Why did Davis have no comeuppance? I mean, he remained throughout this script like a splinter in the roof of my mouth, and in the end... he's still there, walking a dog on the beach.
Perhaps you could have had Emma, Tom, and their son walking the enchanted 'Urban Footpath' on some beautiful autumn evening; kicking leaves, sipping hot cocoa, and waving at Davis as he drives by in that piece of s**t Barina, or better yet, a rusted out Pacer, or Gremlin.
This was like a Harlequin Romance on meth, Good work!
The issue I have with this is that you never get invested in the story because you only get snippets of the past as it goes along. Every scene is just more of the same: Davis is a dick and Emma is a victim. Literally, about 11 pages of that consecutively got repetitive after a while. That's not to say I didn't like the stuff in the past, but I felt nothing for it, because you never spent much time with it. Obviously, you couldn't afford to, but I'd have cut down the stuff in Heaven (that was bad) and several of the past scenes, then expand a few of the others. Just me, though.
A jealous woman kills her ex. Or that's how it seemed at first. Now she's on Death Row. So interesting set-up. Then holy Doc Brown her IV drip is hit by lightning?! That needs work. Since you take the religious route why not just kill her with the lethal injection? This would work better for me. I already took a huge leap of faith (logic) to go with the lightning, then I'm double whammied with the disembodied voice in the clouds of Heaven. That's not to say I'm not going for the ride anyway. I enjoyed this. But i do have some suggestions.
Instead of the disembodied voice, maybe you could have some sort of visual representation. Or persona to talk with in the clouds. The most interesting image I could suggest would be her talking to her reflection, perhaps in some sort of celestial pool or cosmic mirror. Especially if it's her thoughts hidden within her subconscious.
This tale reminds me of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. But she definitely hasn't had one. She's kind of rewatching moments from her past. This was very intriguing. We're learning how she came to be a murderer. She was extremely mistreated. You make a good debate for justified murder in this case.
I loved the structure of her remembered past. If I understand this correctly you structured the scenes in reverse. Like MEMENTO. You guide us by the wrist, leading us to their first meeting. I really enjoyed this element. I didn't find it redundant. I found it more and more impactful. So much so that I feel she would, upon reliving these terrible memories, feel even more justified for killing him. Why would she change that? With that said. I like the alternative life stuff. I think you did the right thing by having her choose a different path and not have a relationship with him.
However, as a viewer, we would also see all these horrifying scenes. I, at least, still want him to get what's comin. So.. 10 years later when she's on a bench married with kids, she needs to see something. A woman reading a newspaper talking to a friend on another bench. They talk about the headline. Davis was killed by jealous ex girlfriend. Woman quoted in smaller headline: " He deserved it". Then the viewer knows he got it, he did the same things to another girl. The question for us would be watching "the traveller" react to news. Does she remember the other time line?
This suggested ending would make this feel more time travel, and deliver a more significant emotional payoff.
If you still wanted to keep her past she could be observing the future/alternate self. And cry, knowing at least in one life, in one timeline, she's happy.
I spent the time suggesting because I really liked the idea behind this short. Seeing what made this woman kill her ex. The justifiable homicide debate. And the reverse structure of flashbacks. Good job making this different.
Thanks to everyone that read this. It was a bit of an emotional ride for me; I delve deep into dormant emotions and just let rip. It actually made me feel better, as if I've let go of something
You all have given me great feedback and it will be put to good use.
For the outline of this I really just wanted to create a story where a woman has been wronged over and over and she finally has her chance to go back and change that one thing - one thing that could make her life better and in doing so let the past go.
I agree that some parts got a tad repetitive and could be cut.
The lethal injection - I had a different idea for the time travel aspect (IV's are different in prison, everything is hooked to the wall - I looked it up before I wrote it) and then changed it and forgot to go back and change that little bit - sorry, sloppy on my part.
I was originally going to have Davis punished, but then let it go. Seeing as I pilled the shit on Emma and from most comments I've received, maybe this was a bad move; Davis should have copped it.
Last Fountain - mirror image - damn, I wish I had thought of that - excellent idea.
Mark - like the 3 chances idea. Might be too ling for 15 pages, but a great idea.
Dustin - from where I come from dosed to the max means drugged up - dosed as in dose of medication, it has nothing to do with anything sexual.
To everyone - thanks again, the feedback is fantastic. You guys rock!
There were a few reasons this didn't work for me, but I think including the one year old son in the end made for a nice set up and payoff.
The writing was okay, kind of a slower read but I knew where it was headed.
Opening out like an episode of Snapped, it had me wondering what happened. There were times were I didn't understand if I was reading in reverse, forward, or flashback. It never took away from the story, I got the idea that Davis is scum. The dialogue was alright, nothing they really stood out and little subtext, but it tells the story. I did gather that Emma was being manipulated by Davis through dialogue, good job.
So there were some cheesy parts like the lightening strike, and the mysterious voice; however, I dug the ending and was sort of glad the Davis murder wasn't revisited.