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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2014 - One Week Challenge  ›  Leaper - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde, dabrast
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  Author    Leaper - OWC  (currently 2893 views)
Don
Posted: January 11th, 2014, 6:35pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Leaper by Me - Short - A boy travels back in time to prevent his father's death. - pdf, format


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Andrew
Posted: January 11th, 2014, 7:42pm Report to Moderator
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The ending you've got there is quite good, I just think it needs some work on making it clearer.

I think you'd be best to keep Old Andrew's name as Old Andrew throughout, 'cos you change between the 2 in that last conversation, and it just means having to go back to make things clearer. Also, you initially refer to Andrew at 6 as Andy, and then move on to naming him Andrew at 21, so it's just little stuff clogging up the read.

In terms of the mechanics of Old Andrew getting stuck, I think it's a bit too open-ended. Are we to assume he lives there with the full knowledge of the family? The 2 Andrews live together, etc?

I liked this:

ANDREW (V.O)
Imagine if you could change the
past, see the future, what would
you do with that power? Would you
reverse the hands of time to strike
rich? Or use what you have to undo
a mistake?

I think it would add more tension if you made it a one time only time travel. He can only use it once, and so it adds a tension that is largely missing throughout.

I think Mitch accepts Andrew's words too easily. It's just all a bit easy for Andrew once he meets Mitch, and there's no sign that he's emotional meeting the man that has eluded him his entire life. This is the man who Andrew has never known. The first meeting between the pair didn't betray any sort of emotion for Andrew, which I think would be quite odd. Presumably Mitch is the raison d'ętre for the creation of the time travel, so again, it makes it too cold for their to be no sentiment evident in Andrew.

There's not been a huge amount of time, and there's definitely the basis of something good here. I would think developing that relationship between father and son, giving us some conflict/tension and stakes is what you need. My main suggestion would be to manipulate the time travel and make it a one journey only, which gives Andrew a real sense of all or nothing.


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CoopBazinga
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 2:22am Report to Moderator
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Another one that ended on a happy note – why don’t I care for these at the moment?! I can’t explain it but this just went by without a fuss for me. It was okay but everything felt so easy, throw some obstacles at Andrew, anything to help give the story some tension.

I also don’t understand his desire to bring his father back, I don’t mean that in a heartless way, it’s just he never knew his father so doesn’t know what he missed. I guess the effect on his mother is enough motivation but I think you could have added a few extra pages to get us more emotionally into the character and his passion.

What if his father died when he was 6/7, so we can see them bond or something and then he dies which then transforms him into this passionate kid who will stop at nothing to bring him back.

Also, Andrew didn’t seem the least emotional when he sees his father for the first time, and that didn’t ring true considering all his done to save him.

I question this line “Or use what you have to undo a mistake?” What his father’s death a mistake? Isn’t this what the universe had planned, and as all time travel stories have told us, wouldn’t changing this bring on some kind of paradox or something?

That’s again my problem here and just like another one I read, the ending was so… Disney! It’s too butterflies and flowers around and we all live happily ever after.

The writing was fine, a little overwritten for me in places with superfluous details, and the dialogue was pretty decent as well so good job on that front.

I would raise the tension, don’t make it so easy to save Mitch – give Andrew some obstacles and dare I say it – maybe a darker ending… where’s Dena when you need her – her stories always have dark endings!

Some side notes:

“The USA won the world cup in 2026.” This is what made this story so unbelievable!

“I forgot to bring a spare wire.” Hmmm, okay… what special wire is he talking about? Maybe he meant stranded copper wire, I’ve heard they’re a bitch to get a hold of. It’s a flimsy plot hole and I think it would work better if he breaks it, maybe while trying to save Mitch.

A good effort here though and congrats on completing the OWC.

Steve
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khamanna
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 8:22am Report to Moderator
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Dialog is not good in every entry I read so far. Thing like this for ex. "That wife of yours can't take care of the baby all by her lonesome." should be rewritten, but I'm sure you're spotting them now as you reread your entry. 10 days is ridiculously short period. Especially if your idea comes on the last day!

Anyway, as I'm reading it (I'm on p5) - I really like this. My favorite sor far. Low budget too. Dialog  of course should be rewritten.  Starting from the very first line. Would read better if it was just "Mom always tells me Dad was the kindest man she ever knew"

It involves some drama and that's what's good about it. It's not about the complicated logistics of time travel and saving the world...

p6 - it got a bit boring with Andrew relaying all this chunk of info on his dad. Let Andrew say something powerful like a secret his dad and mom once shared. That would make Mitch believe Andrew.
p7 "Shoots him a really look" doesn't read well.

p 10 I really like the twist but the way you presented it - not so. It reads funny, just like Mitch told Andrew. I think you should rewrite it and make it more powerful. It shouldn't read funny.

My favorite so far.
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AtholForsyth
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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I think this is okay but not very exciting.

I think a good twist would be when he when he returns to present time, his dad Mitch is an alcoholic is in prison for killing his mum Ashley when he was drunk and the time machine can't go back to reverse it for some reason. It would mix it up a bit.

Just a thought.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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“A young child’s bedroom. Toys scattered across the floor, mixed in with various clothes. Cowboy wallpaper. A computer
desk. Various video-game posters on the walls.”

You don't need to go into so much specific detail unless it's part of the story. I know some like to do it to set the tone but if this was being produced and the producer asked why you needed them to pay to secure or decorate a room with cowboy wallpaper, what would you say?

INT. CHILD'S BEDROOM – NIGHT is enough really for us all to imagine what that looks like, what is special and different about this one specifically for this story? It's the child sat in the middle holding the photo we can see so I would suggest focusing on the character more than the scenery.

Andy is 6, don't most 6 year olds have innocent demeanour? Even the little terrors can be disarmingly innocent at times!

Who's Andrew? I presume it's Andy but you need to be careful, it's easy to confuse the reader who may be scanning through multiple scripts every day.

The script carries on in this vein, unnecessarily specific scene descriptions and clumsy character traits.

For example, what is suspicious about a guy in the bar? He looks at Andrew as he comes in, there's nothing to indicate why he's suspicious, what has he to do with the story?

An awkward start but some nice dialogue between Mitch and Andrew. I'm warming to this now.

What's a really look? You don't need to emphasise dialogue or action. The description should do the work and then the actor will do the rest.

I like the idea that old Andrew is trapped but living out his life with his dad. Nice touch at the end and well done for completing this challenge.












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Dustin
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 4:31pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
A young child’s bedroom. Toys scattered across the floor,
mixed in with various clothes. Cowboy wallpaper. A computer
desk. Various video-game posters on the walls.


You tell us it is a young child's bedroom, then go on to show us in the next breath. Indeed, you could just write child's bedroom, or even use the character name: INT. ANDY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT then go on to describe Andy being 6. Most 6-year-old boys will have toys all over the floor. Does he need a computer desk?

Code

ANDY (6) a cute young lad with an innocent demeanor and dark
eyes, sits on the edge of his bed.


This would be better: ANDY(6), cute, dark eyes, sits at the edge of the bed.

Code

He rubs the picture with
his thumb and winces.


Why does he wince? Passing wind?

Code

Andrew stops at the corner of the street, checks for
movement and declares it is safe.


How does he declare it?

Code

ANDREW (V.O)
Imagine if you could change the
past, see the future, what would
you do with that power? Would you
reverse the hands of time to strike
rich? Or use what you have to undo
a mistake?


In all honesty? I'd do both. Not feeling this VO at all and in this instance it is what has taken me out of the script.


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Guest
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 4:41pm Report to Moderator
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Watch some Scorsese movies to perfect the art of VO.

Stopping on page 7... another boring entry... nothing exciting going on.  Sorry.


--Steve
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: January 12th, 2014, 11:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
I never knew my father, but my
mother always tells me he was one
of the kindest men she ever knew


Since this is an older Andy doing the VO on p1, all I can say about the above dialog is a load of bull. Never knew his father? But here he is, at six years old, teary eyed,. This suggests that Mitch recently passed - although a page later Andrew says his Dad died 21 years ago. He's 21 when he says it. So that means at six years old, he's crying over a picture over someone he never knew and who died the year he was born. I can understand if it was Ashley and it was nearing the anniversary of his passing, and it does appear that young Andy isn't going without.
Follow me?

21 years later and Ashley isn't over this. At first I thought Andrew was leaving home for the last time in 2028 - although you are a year off (he says its 2027 in the diner)  but there was the VO (what is it with the VO's in the OWC this month anyway? Must be an epidemic) that says she never got over it. It's one thing not to remarry or have someone else. It's another to wallow in your pity party. Yeah, maybe that makes me a bit cold hearted, but really?


Quoted Text
you hit a tree, car explodes

Ah, the ol' H'wood exploding cars.  



Quoted Text
I graduated from college in 2025 with a diploma in science.



Oh stop babbling Andrew...


Quoted Text
My name is Andrew James Grant, I was born December 7th, 2007....

She (Ashley) met you on Spring Break in 1995..

Two months later you proposed...


So let's recap. [AShley is 49 in 2027. If Andrew is 21, that would make her 28 in 2007. This would make her 16 in 1995. Now, I'm not saying that whirlwind romances don't happen but...as far as I know Andrew is an only child born 12 years later give or take. How am I doing?  We also learn that Mitch is 51 in 2027. That makes him 19 in 1995. Yeah, yeah--I know I'm nitpicking a bit...I suppose I'd buy it if that's just how his parents met and got engaged a few years (not months) later. The thought also occured to me that you really wanted a violin playing so to speak - as the couple tried to have kids for 12 years and the year of success is the year Mitch dies Hollywood car style a day after the birth of his son  




Anyway..moving on...
OLD ANDREW is OLD ANDREW in name slugs. Otherwise, we read it as ANDREW as he was still 21. By the way, why would Andrew of the future stay in 2007? He's changed the past, he has time to know his father. No way to get back to the future...but 21 Andrew wakes up to see his results. Or, if things have changed and this is the "new" Andrew then there's no reason for him to go back and we got a paradox here.
Don't know if I really buy it though.

Overall a nice job, but was a bit bland for me.








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nawazm11
Posted: January 13th, 2014, 2:49am Report to Moderator
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A second script about saving their father. I suppose it was expected with the theme and all.

Not bad, writing was pretty good, as well as the dialogue. Exposition was handled well too. Having a little trouble with the ending. What does he mean when the Mitch tells the Old Andrew about missing their mother? Didn't we see her earlier? I thought she was alive and well. Just a confusing twist that I can't really decipher. I'm very certain I'm missing something. Besides that, this works and you can't ask for more. Good job.
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Dreamscale
Posted: January 13th, 2014, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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As I go...

Title sure sound alot like Looper, which to me, is a bad sign.

Right out of the gate, opening Slug is poor, as is the passage that follows.

Following passages are also poorly and awkwardly written with too much unnecessary and often repetitive detail.

Not sure who the V.O. is coming from, as it's a different name we haven't met yet...or is Andy and Andrew the same person?  If so, that's a mistake.

OK, problems...problems!!  You don't ever want to use the exact same Slug back to back...unless maybe your story involves time travel or long lapses in time (like you have here).  But, you can't do it like you did here.  You'll need a SUPEr showing the passing of time, not your narrative.

You also have to somehow "show" that Andrew is Andy, 15 years later, maybe using the picture again or some other visual clue.  Don't assume we'll all just know this, because we won't.

I'd recommmend shying away from unnecessary and sometimes confusing V.O., as it's definitely not working here, IMO.

Page 2 - Just way too much unnecessary details being thrown out.  Seriously already at the point where I'm about to call it quits, as it's irritating as all Hell.

The actual writing is poor...bland...poorly broken passages, no emotion or feeling going on in the prose.  SLugs are the same - bland, clinical, dull.

I'm sorry, my patience must be low today compared to the weekend.  I have no interest in this and based on what I've read, no care what really happens.

Congrats on entering and completing a script for this difficult OWC challenge.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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DV44
Posted: January 13th, 2014, 1:49pm Report to Moderator
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Interesting take on going back in time to save your father. I have to agree with Coop's review about Andrew not really showing any emotion when he first sees Mitch. Not saying he has to shed a tear but something seems a bit off. Thinking back on your story a lot of the conflict between Mitch and Andrew maybe could have been erased if Andrew slashed Mitch's tires or ripped a hose from the cars engine. Stranded him for the night. It would have saved on the awkward conversation they had together in the cafe trying to explain everything but then the script would have been trimmed down tremendously. Saying all that, I really did enjoy this. The writing was good, especially for 10 days or less depending on when you did start to write it. All in all, a worthy effort.

Congrats on completing the OWC. Job well done.
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wonkavite
Posted: January 13th, 2014, 8:01pm Report to Moderator
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There were certain lines in this that I thought were particularly good: especially "I wasn't born yesterday.  I was" and "could be worse. You could be on fire right now."

As a time travel story?  It was sweet, and hit the right emotional notes.  Were there any real surprises in here for me?  No - it was just pretty straightforward for what it was.  And that's fine.

The ending - that I felt was a tiny bit flat.  And there were a few points I didn't understand.  Why would Mitch ask older Andrew if he missed his mom?  After all, (the new) Ashley's here with him in his time zone.  Unless Mitch meant the original, unhappy Ashley.  And why would he, if the time line has now changed for her, for the better?  (Unless we're talking alternative universes, instead.)  And the parts from the car.  What crash?  Is the implication that a different car crashed instead of Mitch?  For me, that wasn't quite clear.

But all in all, this was a nice quiet read.  

Cheers,

--J
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Forgive
Posted: January 14th, 2014, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this one - kept it simple throughout. It was a little wordy here and there, but the locations were generally described nicely.

There seemed to be a little time spent on the set-up so that we get why Andrew's motivated to save his Dad - so I didn't have too much of an issue with that and sometimes it does pay to take a little time to present it in an unrushed way.

I was okay with the way he met his Dad too, to be honest - he may well of thought about him over all those years, but he never had a relationship with him, and he had to tell him some quite weird stuff pretty soon so I get why he wouldn't just start blubbing in public and wanting to hug this guy who thinks he's a stranger.

As a main obstacle, the interaction between Andrew and Mitch worked for me - it didn't feel like any new, I'd seen it before, but I liked the way it was done, so I was okay with it.

We’ve got a gay president.
--okay. No suprise there.
The USA won the world cup in 2026.
--now you're pushing it, try 3026.

I liked the master plan of sitting in the diner

Andrew plucked a menu from the table
-- past tense. tsk.

So the plan works in a very anti-climactic way, but I kinda like the twist - it's inventive, but it's also quite lazy - like the master of sitting in the diner - and in a way that's in keeping with the script, so the whole tone staying in tune. And I guess with missing his Mother - old Andrew won't have know her really in the same way from the point he went back in time - seems to make sense.

Yeah - you could have gone all AtholForsyth on this, but I'm glad you didn't. As is, it may be dull for some people (reading the feedback) but it's easy on the eye and a nice tale. I like it.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 15th, 2014, 4:28pm Report to Moderator
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Leaper

Quite a lot to like about this, but the end seems to drag and it gets all wordy.

Simple idea, go back save your father, the dad you never saw. Talking to him in a diner seems a risky approach, you could just flatten his tyres. Just following him would lead to more tension. Is he after the driver, is he trying to save the father, can he do both etc?

Anyway, the fact he doesn't go back making a double of him is a decent twist, but, this should have been the last thing. It is isn't because it rambles on.

The mother seemed a little static. Her inability  to respond was a little oTT, but that's being picky.

Tighten this up and it would work better.

All the best.


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