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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Family Picnic
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  Author    OWC - Family Picnic  (currently 4830 views)
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 7:42am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Family Picnic by TJH - Short, Drama - Tracey, wants, no needs to get married to remain in the Contry. She meets a man 20 years older at a party. He needs a sexy young wife, she needs a ring. What could go wrong? - pdf, format

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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 10:23am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

London, England
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Meeting the competition criteria: yes, it's drama. But you have a BBQ instead of a proper picnic, and it only makes an appearance at the very end. I don't think an engaged couple and the groom's friends really counts as a family. While it feels like you whacked the 'secret' in the end there just to make sure you'd included one, at least you DID include one. Generally, though, not really following the criteria IMO - 4/10
Characters: pretty good characterisation here. Constance and Tracey in particular - 8/10
Dialogue: the dialogue came across as authentic throughout, lacked any particularly memorable moments though, apart from the end - 6/10
Story: I understood Tracey's motivations, and sympathised with her. However, the end just comes so quickly! Far TOO quickly. You had a page left of your allowance, and I think you should have used it - 5/10
Writing/format: you started with a 'we', which put me on the lookout for more errors. There's one big one - 'Derek emerges with an unmarked DVD' is included in Nigel's dialgoue instead of a separate action line. However, I know that's just a typo. Your last made me smile, and I get what you're going for, but I think it fells too unconnected. Generally, it was okay - 5/10

TOTAL: 28/50

Guess who's back? Back again?

Revision History (1 edits)
JonnyBoy  -  April 11th, 2009, 3:40pm
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Zombie Sean
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 10:56am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This one was very well written, with quite a few errors, but nonetheless, well written. The dialogue was pretty good and I could easily imagine what was going on, the way they talked, etc. Though, there was a little too much going on, in my opinion. You had so many characters that I'd forget who was who (especially with the men). Also, I had no idea that Constance and Tracey had gotten engaged until the very end. I mean, I know that they talked about marriage, but I didn't actually know that they decided to get married until the end.

But other than that kind of stuff, it was pretty good.


From ghosts and zombies, to witches and swamp things, this banana bread will scare you silly, and leave you wanting more!
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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 1:52pm Report to Moderator

Toronto Ont.
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Too many characters. was rushed.

...says the author

Family Picnic 10 pages.

After the Trade 3 pages

by T. Jasmine Hylton

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JamminGirl  -  April 18th, 2009, 2:53pm
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Brian M
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 3:37pm Report to Moderator

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I liked the dialogue in this, it came across as very real and authentic. Good job on that. There were a lot of characters but I could follow everything fine so I guess that's okay.

I did have problems with the title, "Family Picnic" doesn't really fit in my opinion. I think you could come up with something more suitable that fits your story.

The secret came out of nowhere, it explains why Constance needed to bring home a girl so bad but I dunno if I liked it or not. It was a good script, the ending just didn't do it for me.
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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 5:59pm Report to Moderator
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This was a strange one.  Lots of errors throughout.  The dialogue was difficult to follow because of the accents and slangs.  I don't buy any of it as being realistic.  The graphic language and sex came as a shock, and felt very out of place.  The end made this seem like it was all a set up for a joke, which you ended with.

I don't see this meeting any of the guidelines, as there wsn't a picnic, no family whatsever, and really no secret being revealed, although it was apparently news to her.

Didn't work for me.
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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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I have to side with Dreamscale on this one. The dialogue was okay until Constance came on and then his broken english was too exaggerated for me to follow.

The story was poorly told as well as important details like their impending engagement were dropped in dialogue much later sequentially than they should've been. Honestly, I don't know if I would have had any idea what was going on in this one if I hadn't read the synopsis first.

There are a lot of other typos, most of them lazy ones, that would've been caught from a single re-read.

Format looks alright though but it'd be a stretch to think this fit the challenge. Sorry, but this one just didn't wok for me. Try removing some characters as JamminGirl suggested and focusing more on the story of the two main characters. Better luck next time.
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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
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This just feels like you took a script, reworked it a bit and entered it. Anyway, I didn't have problems with the dialogue. The story tho didn't interest me. It might have if I was given a reason to root for Tracey in her quest to stay in the country. But I wasn't.
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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 9:25pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Quoted Text
Suddenly the door shoves outward revealing TRACEY CAMERON,A
the curvy, creamy coffee kind of 28 year old beauty black
guys would give their left nuts for

I'm white, and I would give my "left nuts" - "curvy, creamy coffee kind" or not. Didn't think it was necessary to explicitly state "black guys". An odd choice. Don't want to get hung up on this, but I can imagine it would ruffle a few feathers, and not in a good way.

That said, this was a decent script.


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Posted: April 11th, 2009, 10:38pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Andrew

I'm white, and I would give my "left nuts" - "curvy, creamy coffee kind" or not. Didn't think it was necessary to explicitly state "black guys". An odd choice. Don't want to get hung up on this, but I can imagine it would ruffle a few feathers, and not in a good way.

This stood out to me, too. The way that line is written makes the characters seem so exclusive to one particular audience.

The script itself was very uneven. The sex scene felt gratutious. The jump from Tracey eying Constance in the nightclub to him suddenly dropping her off at her house felt unrealistic. You had an extra page to work with; why didn't you include a scene with them meeting up for the first time and saying hello or something? They need to meet before he drops her off. It's crucial.

I'm not sure how much of this has to do with the OWC, either.

I didn't really care for this one.

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Posted: April 12th, 2009, 10:19am Report to Moderator

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This one is a little disjointed.  It takes awhile to get to what the story is actually about and then once we're there there's a time lapse .  It needs to be tightened.

For me it would work better if the writer did a little remodeling upfront. The first three pages are pretty much just chatter.  If I want to be compelled to follow Tracey through the next nine or pages I have to know pretty quickly who she is and why someone would bother to write about her.  She's hot, who cares.

Later in the script the writer provides us with a glimpse of the real Tracey when she's talking to Lewis about the level of sexual acrobatics she's willing to go through not to be deported.  She's put in a lot of time and effort.  Is she a "nice" person?  Not so much but at least she's interesting.  That's the Tracey we need to meet in the first pages. She's leaning against the bar at Lewis' birthday party and she's husband shopping. And your story is in motion.
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Posted: April 14th, 2009, 10:19am Report to Moderator

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Too quote Lewis Too much.

The Black guy -left nut thing was just awful.

Disjointed is the right word, and I think Astrid hit it on the head.  It feels like you just tooks some scenes from a longer works and kind of cut to make it fit the challenge.  And the secret just felt tacked on.
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George Willson
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Doctor who? Yes, quite right.

Broken Arrow
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Not sure what to say on this one. I followed the plot once I figured out where the scenes were going, but the transitions were really rough and unexpected in most cases. I went back and forth when Connie dropped off Tracey (or did they "go back to his place"?) and then it suddenly transitioned to her cooking something. I caught through the dialogue that two months had passed, but before that, it felt like it just continued.

I could follow Tracey's reasoning for doing what she was doing, but once the idea was in her head and she was set on going for "just anyone," I didn't follow the reason she would stick to this guy, who is, by his own admission, another transplant. How did he get his citizenship? What exactly is stopping Tracey? Maybe I missed it.

I didn't get what Derek was there for with the DVD either.

The ending is where I think you placed your secret, but it completely came out of no where, though I did understand the purpose of the sex scene when it came up. I followed it, but it just didn't work for me.

So overall, this was a strange entry that barely followed the rules, but it seems the writer has enough of an imagination to improve...though I would start anew rather than use this to expand on. My opinion.

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Posted: April 14th, 2009, 2:17pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I took a read through the previous comments, and I have no idea where people are getting the idea that the dialogue in this story is authentic.  I thought the dialogue and ALL the accents are horrible.

Quoted from Constance
Lewis lucky man, him have a really
nice girlfriend.

I thought he was supposed to be Jamaican.  Why is he talking like a caveman?

Quoted from Constance
For real? You sound Canadian man!

Now he sounds like a teenage Californian surfer.

I don't even know what you were trying to do with that '(alternate Canadian edged twang)' character action.  What's that mean?

Quoted from old man1
That's why me always walk with my
own things y'know.

I thought he's Caribbean.  Why is he talking like he's straight from Ireland?

So long story short, no.  Bad job on the dialogue.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm bashing the script, but I feel this story deserves it because, and I know I'm not alone here:  IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OWC CHALLENGE!

That's why I'm going to bash it.  (Don't worry.  I'll still be critical about it.)

There was no picnic.  There was no family.  The secret might barely pass.  But the person who hired you to write the screenplay for their premise just laughed at you and has now blacklisted you from ever taking another outside idea again and working with it.  The closest thing you got to the assignment was having a rushed barbecue on the last third of the page.

As for the story, honestly...  It jumped around way too much.  I didn't even realize 5 months had passed!  And evidently nobody else did either.  George Wilson said 2 months, but there's another 3 months in there somewhere.

Plus with the broken dialogue and another fact that George Wilson touched upon, how is Constance going to help her legalize her immigration when he's 100x more foriegn than her?  Didn't you say he was in the country for twenty-some years?  And that's the best English or caveman that he can come up with?

It's a shame...  the first story I come across in a long time with gratuitous sex and I can't even enjoy it.

Once again.  Sorry so harsh...  but if you would've stuck with the guidelines, I wouldn't be so pissed right now.

And don't worry, I didn't waste a lot of time on reviewing this.  I'm just a really fast typer.

- Mark

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Posted: April 15th, 2009, 5:05pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The Ed Wood of Simply Scripts

Barberton, OH
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I felt really, really sorry for that girl.  it was terrible that he took advantage of her like that.

The dialogue was fine.  The action was fine.  The jump in time was disconcerting at first, but would come across okay on film, I'd say.

I am not much of a fan of sex in films, but this was no more or blatant than many films.  It was fine.  In fact, if you only dealt with it via dialogue, people would have complained that you didn't show it.  So often there is no way to win.

I think it was a good script! no particular order
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