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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Operation
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  Author    OWC - Operation  (currently 3149 views)
grademan
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 9:42pm Report to Moderator
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I liked it and have only this idea to add: It appears to me the author had an action story to do regardless of the OWC criteria. If the theme had been about an elevator than the same action story would have been told. Write it like the action story it wants to be.

Gary
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George Willson
Posted: April 19th, 2009, 2:00am Report to Moderator
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Well, now that all is revealed, I figured I'd say a word or two about mine, since I suspect the overall simplicity of the exercise didn't warrant any deep reading.

Looking through all the comments left on mine here, I find it amusing that only one person has actually commented on the real secret. And really, he didn't bring it totally out, but just observed. I've been hit on the secrets being too obvious, and it running boring to the end, but the secrets mentioned are the obvious ones. No one has hit the subtexted actual secret within the script. It's there, and it is a secret.

Maybe it's my fault as the writer for keeping too much unsaid. I said so much at the end that I'm sure the obvious was latched onto completely veiling the unspoken truth. I mean, yay me that I kept it that hidden, but I hoped someone would figure it out.

Before I go into that, let's take care of a little housekeeping.

First thing is that this script was written to be seen. Got some complaints about overwriting, and name changing, but the rule is "Show, don't tell," right? Well, when you first see Maduro, he's just a guy on a mattress. He has no name. He isn't identified until the next scene. The Lieutenant is identified visually by his rank and name on his uniform. The man in the background is unknown and in the shadows. You can't tell that it's the same man hours later in the house. And when the scene transitions, I had no intention of Raymond and Maduro being the same person as being a secret. No, it was written so you would pick up on it quickly, but Raymond was identified as Raymond, not Maduro as he was before. I only gave you as much information as you could see on screen. No more. That's showing. If I said RAMON MADURO, 25, that's useful for a script to be made, but what can you see about him? Some may disagree, but I attempted to capture the screen experience. I guess some don't fully agree.

Another thing that has been mentioned before is that you mention race when it is important to the story. I mentioned the race "mestizo" in the script, and was hit on for using the world too often. If I'd said they were black or white or Mexican, would there have been a complaint?

Ok, yeah, he escaped too easily, but his escape wasn't the point of the story.

One person asked if we would be spending a minute of screen time in that cell in complaining of it being overwritten. Um, yeah, probably. And the door slam was significant because it links the two scenes together. One slam defines both the interrogation room and the cell since there's no walk between them. And it would be at least a minute in that cell if not more. It's a matter of writing the suspense. Meh, could be overwritten a bit, but you'll spend every moment in that room.

Finally, the descriptions of the apartment. Got complaints about pointing out the bathroom and kitchenette. Unfortunately, the person who complained about that also stated that Maduro returned "home" after he escaped. Um, how many houses have one room that contains a kitchenette? He didn't go home. He went to his girlfriend's house; some place completely different.

Oh yeah. The picnic scene was conceived of first, by the way. I only did the 1984 part for some backstory. Funny that some people thought the picnic was an after thought. I mean... the picnic was the whole point, right?

Okay, as to that secret. Let's look at this carefully. What can we see about Raymond/Ramon? Well, I gave careful thought to what a guy who endured that experience would do as a profession, and I came up with one. Did you figure out what it was? Did you figure out who he worked for? He's an "independant contractor." Just like Frank is a "business consultant." Raymond had been sent to kill a general and then the lieutenant that captured him. He didn't say he went on his own. He was also really well informed for someone who wanted revenge.

Ramon was hitman who was hired by the group that he was accused of being a part of to kill the people involved with Operation Charly (which is real, by the way; look it up on Wikipedia) in Honduras. He was paid for the deaths of the general and lieutenant, but when he found his next job was the one who had ruined his life, he told them it would be no charge because of the added bonus of the vendetta.

Why didn't he want to talk to his son? Well, he didn't know his old girlfriend would be there, and he also didn't want his son to know what his father had become. I'm sure he wanted to stay and talk, but he had a job to do. He wanted to do it and get out of there. The discovery of his old flame and the pain he was about to cause her only served to emphasize the desire to finish the job and be gone. He was contracted to finish it, and he needed to.

The final question, though... Ramon claimed to not be a member of the communist party he was captured and accused of being in. But isn't he working for them now? So was he a part of them then, or did the incident serve to drive him into them? What was his actual affiliation? I confess I don't even know. It's a secret.

So, yeah, it was deep and maybe as the writer, maybe I didn't actually tell enough. Maybe I told too much. Maybe my subtext was so overwhelming that it would be missed because who honestly reads these things is that much detail?

Is it possible to see all this?


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