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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - A Goodbye Party
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  Author    OWC - A Goodbye Party  (currently 3383 views)
Don
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Goodbye Party by Harry Chest - Short, Drama - Brad has graduated High School and is about to leave home, but first he has an eventful good-bye party. - pdf, format


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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 9:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hey,

I liked this one a lot. Thought it was very well written and the story and characterizations were great too.

I'm not sure what else to say about it. I thought you did really well. If I have to complain about anything it would probably be that he just ran away with some girl. Why not kick that aspect up a bit? Make it a guy or maybe an older woman or something. Just something a little different than just a girl.

It reminded me a little of the Graduate.

For a while there I thought the secret would be him being an alcoholic, LOL.

Anyway, this was the best one I've read so far.

Good job, whoever you are.  


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michel
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 9:16pm Report to Moderator
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This one was not bad though a bit hard to get the family secret. And the picnic...

otherwise the formatting was OK. Some typos but they seem to be caused by the rush.

Anyway, I felt this like a slice of life. Not Bad

Michel


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Sham
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:39am Report to Moderator
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Some good characterizations, especially with Brad. Love the scene where the father explains how Brad always changed his mind at the last minute, and a minute later, Brad announces he's not going to college and takes off with the girl of his dreams. Dramatic, but so damn funny.

I liked this.


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cloroxmartini
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:49am Report to Moderator
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pretty good set up....or ending.

that's what it feels like and it works either way, getting the set up with hugs and kisses, congrats, all the like, then bam! i'm outa here! so he's starting off new, away from all other expectations. the impact is there.

Revision History (1 edits)
cloroxmartini  -  April 13th, 2009, 1:46am
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JonnyBoy
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 8:15am Report to Moderator
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Meeting the competition criteria: again, like in other scripts, to me backyard gathering/BBQ just isn't a picnic. A picnic is hampers, paper plates, picnic tables, countryside settings. This also isn't quite a drama, for me. Nothing particularly dramatic happens right until the ending, which I supposed is a bit of a shock. You did have a family and a secret, though, so some points there - 6/10
Characters: you did a very good job with characterisation, creating people with distinct voices and personalities in a matter of seconds. Uncle Tom, Grampa, Brad, Mom, Dad, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts...all very separate, very real. Excellent job there - 9/10
Dialogue: again, good job. You spend most of the time introducing the characters, but you did a very fine job of it so I can't really complain. However, I wanted to see a bit more from Brad in his farewell speech. Why does he hate home, and his family, so much that he wants to pull such a nasty trick on them? Something's missing there - 8/10
Story: your ending completely took me by surprise, so good work there. I don't suppose much happened in the way of PLOT...but then again, in 8 pages, not a great deal can happen. Your story does reach a real resolution, and refreshingly, it doesn't involve someone dying a violent death - 7/10
Writing/format: while your format was fine, I'm gonna punish you for the sheer number of typos. In fact, I'm gonna list them:

PAGE 1 - 'purs' instead of 'pours', capital 'I' in 'Finally',
PAGE 2 - 'dissapears' missing a 'p',
PAGE 3 - 'to' instead of 'too'
PAGE 4 - Brad's smile is more genuine than the 'rest of the smiles of the night', and yet your slugline clearly says DAY, 'trns' instead of 'turns', 'to' instead of 'too' again
PAGE 5 - 'secon' instead of 'second', 'quites' instead of 'quietens' (I think),
PAGE 6 - 'attentive;y' instead of 'attentively', 'qucik' instead of 'quick'
PAGE 7 - 'qucik' again!
PAGE 8 - 'sillhouette' instead of 'silhouette'

That's a total of 13 typos in an 8 page script. I know it might seem over the top listing them, but I want to make the point that even one read-through would have caught most of these. It hurt the script which I otherwise enjoyed, and I found that frustrating. You also have a slight problem with repeating words. Everyone 'hops' instead of jumps: Brad hops off the stage, hops the fence, Dad hops the fence...also with the 'genuine's on page 4: three in as many paragraphs. Those bits didn't read too well, but fortunately most of it did - 5/10

TOTAL: 34/50 (would have been higher without the typos!)


Guess who's back? Back again?

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
JonnyBoy  -  April 13th, 2009, 8:29am
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Shelton
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the way this one played out.  A bit of a "Gah!" moment from the family, yet they're unsure of whether he's joking or not.  If you decide to go back and fix this up a little, I would suggest bulking up the girl's intro a little bit, at least make it proper.  She plays a vital role when it's all said and done.

Other than that, nice work.  For a minute there, I thought you were looking to take on the excessive character introduction challenge, but once Mom and Dad came along, it pretty much subsided.


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"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." - Steve Martin
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BryMo
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure how to respond to this one. Here goes,

i LIKED it, quite a bit actually, but you have maybe 5 pages of everyone saying how proud they are. Nothing really gets done. Until he glances at the mysterious girl, and when the speech comes, you explain the character of Brad. In that way i can't decide whether i liked it or not. I liked the build up - but it was slightly boring. Like a slice of life(which could be seen as positive).

Ugh, i'm leaning towards good. Since it's really one of the better ones i've read!

Good job!


Shorts:
Good Golly Miss Molly
No Place Like Home
New Moon Rising
Yuno - BRAND-*SPANKIN*-NEW!
The Ballad of Uncle Sam: An Anarchists Melody
Toy Soldier
This Modern Love
A Virgin State of Mind

A GUIDE TO MY LITERARY BABIES
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Blakkwolfe
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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Good start...Alot of introductions of characters that didn't really do much, other than establish some color and context, which is ok, but could be trimmed a little...Dialogue struck me as realistic, and liked the rum and coke sneak as well as the character of his Dad sharing the brewski...Didn't understand wanting to be Jaws-The Shark or the James Bond villain?  Liked Brad until he decided to diss his family and reveal what a truly selfish, ungrateful little punk he was...Sounded like his parents would support him in whatever course he wanted to follow (even being an artist...yikes!)...If they were the " You have to a Doctor because everyone else in the Family is a Doctor" his reaction might make a little more sense, but as it is he just comes off as mean...Fine writing, few spelling errors but overall a good job...

I usually write my comment before looking at the others, but after doing so, I liked Sham's explanation of why he just jumped ship into a different direction...Stronger reason to do so might still be helpful, though...


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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mcornetto
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:20am Report to Moderator
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I thought this was a good quick read.  It REALLY reminded me of The Graduate in the beginning.  So much so that the scene with his Mother took on odd dimensions for me. I would tone done The Graduate feel if you could.

I was surprised by the ending but I didn't really like it all that much. The reason is because it felt incomplete, like the start of a bigger movie.  A road-trip movie or something like that.  Either way I didn't really find the ending to be fitting for this short piece.

Well done though.  
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:51am Report to Moderator
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In many ways, this was excellent IMO.  Something about it really felt real...and strong...and actually had me almost teary eyed for some strange reason.  I think it was really strong wriitng, great characterization and real dialogue.

BUT...the typos and grammitcal errors were a HUGE problem, as Sham pointed out.  It really was a distraction and there's no reason that even half of these should be here.  Gotta dock you a whole bunch for that.

Also, didn't like the ending.  I think it's close and with a little more time, you could turn this into the really strong character study that it's meant to be.  It just kind fell flat and left me a little PO'd, as in I wanted more, and was hoping for something a bit grander.

Good job in so many ways though.  You have an ability to write basic, everyday stuff that comes off as much more than it is, and that's a talent that can't be taught.

Top 10 or so, but could have easily been 1 of the best with a bit more time, and a better ending.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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steven8
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 1:16am Report to Moderator
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Everything I thought while reading this, has been said before me (except - Yikes!, about being an artist.  Hope you meant that as a joke?).  I was teary-eyed too, just like Jeff.  Possibly because we all wish we'd had the guts to just run off like that in the face of what everyone else wishes for us.

This was great.  Fix the typo issues, and it'll be awesome!  I don't see how the ending could be otherwise, unless it was made into a longer piece.  But then it would lose the intention of the short/shock value.
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Astrid
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 1:41am Report to Moderator
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I thought this lacked drama or tension. Nothing happens until Brad tells his family, after they've been very nice to him, that he hates them. Why he hates them, we're not told. Then he runs off with, i guess, his gf. You had a few more pages to work with. i wish you had. As it is, it feels incomplete. JMO
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Brian M
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
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Dialogue was the strong point here. Some characters only had a line or two, but still sounded different. Very well done on that.

I didn't like the ending at all. I think you need to show why he hates this town so much, show more than a couple of fake smiles anyway. The girl plays a big part but isn't even introduced. I think it would have been better if she was standing with Brad when he made the announcement.

I had a few minor issues with some of the descriptions when all the character come up to talk to Brad. As it is, Brad stands still, someone comes up, says something, Brad replies then they "fade off into the crowd", then another person comes up, same thing happens. This would be so much better is it was Brad walking around with his fake smile to all the family members instead of him standing still with everyone approaching him to say one line. It felt meaningless and a bit forced as it goes on for a few pages.

Overall, I did like this. The characters were great and I would love to see this is you ever to re-write it.
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bobtheballa
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad, the dialogue was fine and I liked the general feel of the script. I think you really did a lot with the 9 pages you used and created a believeable scene.

The one thing I take issue with is the vagueness of the ending. He runs off with some girl but what's so special about her? We know she's the same age that he is and has a car and that's about it. I would've liked to know something about her that would make me think he really was leaving behind his family for good. Realistically he'd have to have a lot of money saved up or she'd have to be rich or something to just forego college and find someplace else to stay. I liked Sham's comment on his impulsiveness but in order for that to work I'd change the line where he said he didn't even apply to college because that makes his escape seem more pre-meditated and less spontaneous.

The main thing I guess is that I really liked it, so much so in fact, that I wish you'd given us a little more. Nicely done.
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grademan
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 10:08pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the imagery in this one especially at the end. The script could have been more informative about the girl and his connections to her. THE GIRL. We had enough about the guests. Thanks  - It was well written.

Gary

PS I learned a new word! "sussurus"
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Cam17
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 3:36am Report to Moderator
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Grademan asked my question for me.  WTF is a sussurus?  That's a new one on me.  Overall, some good dialogue and not a bad twist at the end.

The typo thing has already been pointed out.  There was a block of text where Brad was talking to his Mom where it looked like some dialogue was accidentally mixed into the description.  Kinda took me out of the story.  I don't know how you missed that typo.

I wish Brad would have said a few more lines during his big speech so we could understand why he hates his family.  Just a little explanation would do.  As it is, he just says he hates it here and takes off.  And you never really dropped any hints at what might have been wrong with the family.

Some good dialogue, though, and a memorable ending.


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steven8
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 3:42am Report to Moderator
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Webster's Online:

susurrus
One entry found.

Main Entry:
    su·sur·rus Listen to the pronunciation of susurrus
Pronunciation:
    \su̇-ˈsər-əs, -ˈsə-rəs\
Function:
    noun
Etymology:
    Latin, hum, whisper — more at swarm
Date:
    1826

: a whispering or rustling sound
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MBCgirl
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 4:04am Report to Moderator
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My turn!

Great dialogue...funny...made me laugh a number of times.  God don't we all have family members and friends like that.  They all had cute little names for Brad...so it's obvious they knew him for all of his life.

I think that the fact that the girl was set off stage was a good thing...that's what makes such a statement in the end...no one really knew Brad...of course he was evolving all the time.  We didn't get to know her because we weren't supposed to.  The writer went to great lengths to let us know about quite a number of people...but not her and I like it that way...not only is he not going to college...he's just ran off with a girl, in a car and no one seemed to know she existed.  Surprise!

His dad states it best...he changed his mind a million times growing up about what he wanted to be.

I'm so glad JohnnyBoy took care of all the type "o's"   There were a great many of those.  The use of to instead of too (meaning also) and also the word quick was spelled wrong both times.

Just remember that it's really important to be sure to use spell check...words are all we have to get our point across and when there are a lot of mistakes it does become distracting.  (except for misspelled words in our reviews! lol)

I think one way to change the ending so that it fits, is to have the dad when he comes back up the street say, "Well, I guess he changed his mind again."  It's obvious the kids been doing that most of his life

When I am writing a TV or Radio commercial, one of the things we always try to do is wrap up any characterization or story.  What ever it starts out with, must be finished on the wrap up...no matter what the donut part of the script is.

Very good job...just watch your spelling, as I do believe you do have a natural way of bringing people to life.

Morgan


http://www.myspace.com/mbcgirl  

I love words and the fact that when the page is blank...there's nothing there until words are formulated in my brain. Those thoughts...rushing through my viens and out my finger tips, find "life" on the page.  

When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.


MBCgirl =)
My finger nails should look nice while I type - Red works!
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Higgonaitor
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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Hey all,
A lot of you didnt like how little the girl was in the script, but I never really had any intention of explaining her at all as she wasnt really part of the story IMO.  MBC girl said it pretty well:


Quoted from MBCgirl
My turn!

I think that the fact that the girl was set off stage was a good thing...that's what makes such a statement in the end...no one really knew Brad...of course he was evolving all the time.  We didn't get to know her because we weren't supposed to.  The writer went to great lengths to let us know about quite a number of people...but not her and I like it that way...not only is he not going to college...he's just ran off with a girl, in a car and no one seemed to know she existed.  Surprise!


I also didn't want to make Brads speech very long, or really explain why he hated his town or why he was leaving...this is really supposed to be more about how familial love can be blinding--how unhappy Brad was, and how no one in his family had any sort of idea.

ANyway, thanks for all the feedback, and I'll probably be able to get to everyones scripts this week.

Sorry about the typos, I wrote this after dinner on friday night, so I was a bit crunched for time...not that that is much of an excuse.

--Tyler


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BryMo
Posted: April 22nd, 2009, 1:53pm Report to Moderator
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I wanted to drop by to return the favor, but i see i've already commented on your script. So i decided to give it a third read and i have to say i liked it loads better than before.

I still agree with what i said before but now i can more emphasis on the well constructed parts of the story.

I stand strong when i said i enjoyed it. It's one of my favs.


Shorts:
Good Golly Miss Molly
No Place Like Home
New Moon Rising
Yuno - BRAND-*SPANKIN*-NEW!
The Ballad of Uncle Sam: An Anarchists Melody
Toy Soldier
This Modern Love
A Virgin State of Mind

A GUIDE TO MY LITERARY BABIES
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