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I guess I wanted a darker story and this certainly delivered. I can accept the happy ending here because I really wanted the character to have one – damn did you pile up the shit on this poor girl, almost everything that could wrong, went wrong for her.
I’m pretty certain I know the author, the first page being numbered and the character intro’s are a give-away.
I have to admit that I wasn’t into this after the first few pages but it did start to grow on me as the story moved forward and who couldn’t feel sorry for Emma. That’s what is good here; you’ve created a very sympatric character in a real situation which will relate so very well done on that part.
One thing I didn’t really like was when she threw the book at Davis in the courtroom, very childish and it felt out of place to me.
Overall, a good entry and I liked the lean writing although the slugs and flashbacks were a little issue for me and I did get confused at one point – probably my fault but I do think they could be clearer.
Try to stay away from colloquialisms in action lines. Here's an example of what I mean:
walks dazedly along as if dosed to the max ...
The word is maximum. Also what does dosed tot he max actually mean? How does having a dose (that where I'm from means having a sexual disease) make one appear dazed. Maybe she's stupid and has unprotected sex with everyone she meets.
I know what you do mean by it, of course... it's just very sloppy, doesn't read well and can take one out of the read.
INT. DAVIS’ HOUSE – HALLWAY - NIGHT
Emma enters, slow, cautious. A moaning sound comes from the
Bedroom is down stairs? The way you wrote that she enters, I presumed she'd entered through the front door. So this actually means she enters the scene and not the house? To save confusion here it would be best to replace 'enters' with the word 'moves'... you should also tell us in the slug that she is in the upstairs hallway as that is her actual location.
DAVIS, 31, a cunningly shrewd man who loves control, always
knows how to work things to his advantage, lies in bed
straddled by SOPHIE, 28, his heavily pregnant girlfriend.
No description of Davis aside to tell us a load of things you should be showing us. What does he look like? Also, cunningly shrewd is pretty much the same thing as saying, knows how to work things to his advantage, also knowing how to work things to one's advantage is far faster told with the word, 'manipulative'. Sophie, aside from being pregnant, is also given no description. Fat, small, one leg... doesn't matter. Your job is to write images not tell us things. The viewer can't see all that from he lying in bed.
You may want to use the excuse that you've seen it in pro scripts or that actors take it as some type of cue. If you've seen it in pro scripts, they are shitty screenwriters. I don't care if they are pro's. They don't deserve it. Actors will read an entire script and learn about the character from their arc. They don't need to be told what a character is like they can figure it out for themselves... and they like doing that. It's their job.
Screw me like you do the
A very unnatural line. Cheese.
She holds the gun pointed at Davis.
She points the gun at Davies.
Davis looks over at Emma.
Davis looks at Emma. In fact, why not spice that line up somewhat? Is he really just looking?
INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT
Emma sits on the concrete floor and stares at the wall. She
hugs her knees, rocks back and forth.
So it's just a bare concrete floor? What about lighting? Furniture? As it stands this could be a cell from any time zone or in any country.
Dialogue between Emma and Woman on page 3 is bad. Very OTN. It also doesn't feel to me as though the characters are real at this point. Almost as though the writer is writing with an aim in mind, rather than allowing the characters to speak for themselves. The dialogue is unrealistic.
Page 5 - the court scene is too much. Unnecessary.
Emma biffs the ornament as hard as she can at him.
Blah blah blah... yes I get that the guy deserves to be shot. He's a complete asshole. This is getting repetitive.
I skipped to the end and they somehow ended up all happy. Not really buying it, but then I couldn't be bothered to trudge through. I found this one a tough read.
Writing needs work, kind of stop and go at the moment if that makes sense, doesn't read nicely.
"Screw me like you do the opposition."
"A bolt of lightning hits the building. An electrical current surges down the IV and into Emma." A lot of things wrong with this paragraph but I'll just chalk it up to the deadline.
Not bad, story felt a little manipulative and the writing was a little awkward. I liked the non-linear approach you took but I think some scenes could really be taken out as they were repeating the same thing again and again. But I think I know who wrote this. It works though so good job.
The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
Pg 1. No need to call Davis cunningly shrewd. Lets us see how he is that instead.
Pg 11. Watches children play on the equipment? This line just sounds funny. I know they're at the park, but...
Okay done. Not great, but not bad. I enjoyed the opening where you Mentioned Emma dosed to the max. I liked that line a lot, but the story just played out too simple for me to really get behind. It felt a little jumpy, and I found myself Confused at times. Wasnt crazy about your time travel Method, and most of all I found it hard to visualize this in my head, which , as far as I'm concerned, allows me to read the script without thinking, if that makes sense.
But a good effort anyway. Congrats on getting this done.
Opening Slug coun't be much more generic and dull.
Opening passage is very poorly written, way too long, way too detailed, and a complete run-on sentence. And please, do tell, how is a street, an "urban footpath"?
Davis; intro is very, very poorly done.
Sorry, but the entire first page is poorly written and oddly structured.
Page 2 - Very odd...Emma is now in a prison cell, then an execution chamber? Really? Who's inserting this lethal injection IV? A bolt of lightning hits the building in this INT scene? Really? Very poorly done. I'm about to bale here...
The dialogue between Emma and this "WOMAN" is not remotely well done and it's causing me to want to go fix breakfast, or take a dump, or do anything other than continue reading. I think I have to agree with my inner thoughts and bale at this point, as I have zero interst in continuing on. Sorry about that.
Congrats on completing a script for this difficult challenge.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
This was a dark one for sure but it kept me reading and wanting to read to the end. Nicely written. The time jumps were a little confusing but not terribly so, I kind of got when we went forward and when we went back for the most part. That’s hard to do.
I’m glad she settled down with Tim but if all she needed to do was go back to before she met Davis and meet Tim instead did we really need the full history in that much depressing detail?
Sometimes we need to learn hard lessons to move on. Emma seems to be a chronic people pleaser and a bad relationship with Davis may have helped her realise that. It may have been more interesting if Emma had to pick one moment in time to change and given three chances instead of one. The first, the obvious one, not meeting Tim at all. However because she didn’t learn anything from not being with Davis she becomes a people pleaser for Tim and he takes advantage of that. She gets a second chance and again tries to pick a path for a perfect happy ending with no pain but that fails also.
In the end Emma realises in life we need some pain so we can pick ourselves up and move on so she picks an appropriate but not obvious choice.
Anyway, that’s just suggestions. It’s good to get the OWC under your belt and completed so congratulations for achieving that and putting together a good read that covers complex time jumps and relationship issues.
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Things start out well, moving right along at a good clip. There are awkward bits, but I was never at a loss for what you were saying.
The way the Woman in the clouds phrases her questions struck me as somebody trying to sell something. Like the woman was about to offer redemption at a discount rate. Maybe if she used more declarative statements, or if the scene played more surreal. Emma doesn’t seem to have a choice anyway, so why ask her anything. I also don’t like the lightning bolt thing. Considering the way this plays out there’s no reason I can see to offer an explanation.
I thought the jumps would be shorter. I kept expecting her to ‘land’ in her moment and for the story to resume. Instead it kinda turned into an episode of ‘This is Your Shitty Life’. There were both good and bad things about that. I think there was more in those sequences than there needed to be. (Once you’ve seen one divorce court scene you’ve seen them all). I also think it would’ve had more power if the whole thing had gone backwards. Let us see them getting happier and happier. And don’t show us the cracks at the beginning of the relationship until we know what chasms they’ve turned into.
I also wish that she had spent more time in her ‘moment’ so we could get a sense of what, if anything, she’s learned. This mostly works for me, though. Polish the writing, tweek the structure and it’d be very good indeed.
In certain ways, this one is similar to another of this month's entries: Second Chances. In both cases, it's more of a supernatural time travel tale, as opposed to straight SF.
The good part: as a slice of life, psychological introspective piece, this has its moments. IE: as pure drama.
Details - there's a weren't typo on page three. And the opening description of Davis as a 'cunningly shrewd man' is far too into the realm of unfilmable to work in a script. (Small asides are fine, but this one goes a tad too far.)
Summary: Overall, this didn't work for me... at least as an entry in this OWC. Davis is WAY too over the top evil. And the ending. Too quick, obvious and flat. Not a bad script. But not one that captures you, either...
Nicely written for 10 days. I thought the opening scene was great but things became a bit confusing once Emma landed in Prison. I wasn't a fan of the time travel method you choose but in this case, I guess it worked. For me personally, the story felt repetitve after awhile between Davis & Emma. Possible a rewrite could reduce a page or two and still get your point across. I did however like the happy ending that you went for and I thought your character development was good. Overall, great job!
Certainly moved fairly fast. At first I thought this was going somewhere. Then it went to lots of different places. I began to wonder if it was going somewhere worth going to.
I doubt Sophie Vice was the right name to choose for a character. It made me smile, but I don't think I was supposed to there.
THere were quite a few scenes that I thought were rather good. Overall though it felt as if there were loads of flashbacks. I may have missed something but it could have been done quicker to get where it was going. During the middle it might have been more effective if Emma struggled to get her old self away from him, if you follow me.
You've got the makings of a good story but to me it reads less like a screenplay and more like a comic book; the characters seem forced rather than presented. I do like the ending and the title, they work well together.
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.