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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Down Under
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  Author    OWC - Down Under  (currently 4395 views)
JamminGirl
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Lakewood


It’s painfully repetitious.  Oh, Nicole is spacey and we keep playing the same beat. Technically, it’s variations on the same beat but there’s no real escalation. You want to spend half of your story in a holding pattern?  She’s weird.  The news crew comments.  If you want to keep me reading you have to offer something clever or new each time you cut back and I'm not talking about a lizard or a dragonfly.




I agree. It took a while for the script to move forward.

In terms of 'body snatchers', it would be really nice if people could try the 'original' route. I thought the ABC Magazine reporter was a nice departure but the whole tongue in the ear thing. I've seen that before.

The format was excellent. Story, not good.


Family Picnic 10 pages.

After the Trade 3 pages

by T. Jasmine Hylton
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steven8
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 7:46pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
She's 41 now...born in June.


Man, I suck at birthday math!

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seamus19382
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 10:29am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from steven8


Well it was set in 2005, so she was 37 then.  That is accurate, as was born in 1967 per IMDB, so she'd be 43 now.  Depend on when her birthday is, and what time of year this script took place.  If my math is working correctly.


That was waaaay too much work for that!
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Trojan
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 10:47am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Shelton
I wondered where Hugh Jackman and Paul Hogan were in all of this though, and despite the setting, I don't believe the writer is an Aussie.


Yeah you are definitely right there Mike. I can't imagine any Aussie would make the mistake of describing Sydney as being on the southwest coast instead of the southeast coast. It might have just been an oversight but it was enough to snap me out of the story and make me think the writer didn't know what they were talking about.

For what it's worth, I thought the actual writing was pretty solid in this story. It just seems like it's too easy to take the piss out of Tom Cruise at the moment, everyone is doing it and so it never really held my interest.

Cheers,
Tim.
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Brian M
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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Jeez, people like taking the pi** out of Nicole Kidman on these boards, huh? As soon as it said Tom Cruise changes people I was expecting a scientology spoof.

I agree about the length of this, a couple of pages could be lost and not missed. I did find it slow at the start.

One thing I did notice is that you introduced four characters in the first paragraph. It might be just me, but I thought it was a bit much.

Also, on the first page, every character calls out John's name in their dialogue. This happens four times on the very first page. It felt a bit repetitive, it's only needed once to tell the audience the characters name, I doubt they will forget it after a few seconds.

Otherwise, a whacked out Nicole Kidman was funny. As was her being in character for a movie (I did wonder why 2005) and the final alien twist. I laughed a few times. Drama? No. Still pretty funny though.
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steven8
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Trojan


Yeah you are definitely right there Mike. I can't imagine any Aussie would make the mistake of describing Sydney as being on the southwest coast instead of the southeast coast. It might have just been an oversight but it was enough to snap me out of the story and make me think the writer didn't know what they were talking about.

For what it's worth, I thought the actual writing was pretty solid in this story. It just seems like it's too easy to take the piss out of Tom Cruise at the moment, everyone is doing it and so it never really held my interest.

Cheers,
Tim.


Holy Moley!  That's right.  Southeast coast!  I guess it throws one off looking at it upside down from up here.  
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George Willson
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 2:51pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't read any prior reviews so I get this pure since we've been spoiled to the author of this one.

Ok, that was truly very weird. Not sure if that was a short for the exercise or an advertisement for Invasion (which I did see). I think the main trouble with this one is the celebrity in it. I remember Naomi Watts from Mulholland Drive, and I did wonder if those lesbian scenes were coming back around here. Sure, I was wrong, but I've seen these jokers in a lot of movies, and those films helped to cloud this experience.

I do understand with the secret twist at the end the whole purpose of using Nicole Kidman in the short, but to be honest, it could have been done with anyone to shuck that particular mantra from the story. Sure, you had some other stuff in there that you were able to do because it was her, but was it worth it?

The appearance of Naomi Watts and Liev Shreiber came off as cameo appearances that played into the fabric, but each one started as an OMG! I also suspect you used this to not really build much in the way of actual character since it's difficult to shake these peoples' public images.

Celebrity aside, I was amused by it, and thought that it flowed rather well. The plot itself did flow very smoothly and I understood it just fine. However, it wasn't a family picnic, was it? It SAID it was in the dialogue, but we never got a glimpse of anything beyond the interview. What showed us the existence of an actual family picnic?

Clearly you had fun with this, and it wasn't a bad entry.


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steven8
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 3:22pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from George Willson
What showed us the existence of an actual family picnic?


You know, I've thought a lot about this, as other folks have also mentioned it, and I came to a conclusion.  Famous people may have a family picnic, but they're not really allowed to.  Whatever they do, no matter what it's 'intended' to be, becomes a media circus.  I believed there was a picnic underneath all of it somewhere.
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George Willson
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 4:01pm Report to Moderator
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That's a fair observation, and a good point. However, there was a picnic in the background somewhere that we only heard about. That's telling versus showing. Would have been easy to show the picnic somewhere back there in a two line description.


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michel
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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It was amusing, no more. Honestly, how come the author could write so many pages on a joke instead a script competing with the subject? I really think it's a waste of time, at least for that OWC.

Michel


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Sham
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
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I liked it, sorta. Format was spot on. Writing was fine. I think the pacing was a little sluggish in the middle. You could knock a page or two off of this easily. I saw one typo on page eight: "alot" should be "a lot".

I liked how you incorporated the picnic without making it the center of attention. I was disappointed with the big secret, mostly because it was too science fiction for a script that was supposed to be a drama. I would have loved it if the whole thing was one big publicity stunt, with Nicole and Naomi holding hands in the sunset, laughing their asses off.

It's funny: with the secret, you have no drama. With the drama, you have no secret.

I think it's an okay script on its own, but it didn't quite succeed in meeting the requirements of the challenge.


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MBCgirl
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 1:26am Report to Moderator
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I think there could have been more about the picnic...but I found it amusing.

And this one was oops...someone said not everyone knows so guess you will just have to wait...I like that he used real people and  don't think I have seen that in any other scripts before in the OWC.

I think the use of real people is why I thought it was sort of a spoof with a little alien on the side

That's entertainment folks!  lol


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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MBCgirl  -  April 18th, 2009, 2:08am
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Colkurtz8
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 3:50pm Report to Moderator
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To whom it may concern

First and foremost your formatting, grammar and prose is pretty much flawless. Regardless whether one likes the story or not, it reads very easily and flows seamlessly.

You say that Sydney is on the southwest coast of Australia, as far as I'm concerned it’s the southeast, no? Was this an intentional geographical error to lampoon John's character?

I liked the opening few pages, you set the situation up nicely. When I saw where you were going with it I was eager to see where you'd take it. At first I thought it was gonna be a Joaquin Phoenix skit, then a nod to Wakko Jakko with all the "I love everything" gushes from Kidman, finally I took as a jab at the Tom Cruise (for a part of it anyway)...am I correct in interpreting as that?

The lizard throwing part was amusing, you've definitely caught Mrs Kidman in a rather strange mood here. The premise kept me interested until the end. I really wanted to know (like the overzealous film crew) just what the hell was going on with her.

The appearance of Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber felt a little unnecessary, I mean how are you gonna get all three to agree to do this, Nicole might get on board but the other two as well! Can your budget handle such a expensive high profile cast but yeah IMDB tell us they are good friends so why not have her hanging around.

The ending, when finally revealed, didn't work for me. Not so much her embodying her "The Invasion" character I thought that was a nice twist but the final sequence with her and Watts pushed it a tad too far for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm always up for the weird and wonderful...only when it goes in tandem with the rest of the piece, if not I always get a rather "forced" vibe from whatever crazy scene unfolds.

Personally I think a script can be as f?cked up as it wants to be once it remains consistent throughout the story e.g Naked Lunch, Brazil (and most of Gilliam's work for that matter) Weekend, A Scanner Darkly. Here though I felt it was done just to deliver a shocking, out-of-the-blue ending more than anything else.

I do like your concept and as I said, it was written very well, tight and concise. Some very good dialogue in there too, particularly from the zealous crew members, Mike and Jack. When they are trying to make sense of the whole thing to each other they were saying exactly what I was feeling, reading it. But it petered out at the conclusion, a little unsatisfying considering I enjoyed a lot up until then.

A brave effort overall, you definitely went out on the limb with this one. Personally I thought you just fell short of the mark but at least you had a crack at it, right.

Some of the dismissive comments above are totally unwarranted in my opinion but that’s all it is, one's opinion.

Col.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 5:22pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone who read and provided feedback on this one.

Here’s a little background, if anyone is interested.

I actually had to scrap my original concept on Thursday night, as it was just way too big an idea and it wasn’t going to work in 12 pages.  So I conceived this idea on Friday, and got it written that evening.

This was not intended to be a joke or waste of an entry.  Drama definitely isn’t my bag, but I figured that in reality, drama covers just about any and every genre, so I went with a light hearted approach, involving real celebrities, and then tried to change the tone at the end, which appears to have been unsuccessful.  Although most seemed to think the end was a joke, I actually was going for a little horror, in a light hearted vain.

I did a bunch of research Friday afternoon on the location and characters.  It was a typo when I said Sydney was on the southwestern coast, as I had a Google map open in front of me.  Naomi Watts has been best friends with Nicole since grade school, and at the time, had just gone public with her relationship with Liev.  Antonia Kidman is actually Nicole’s younger sister.  Nicole’s parents were also going to be included, but once I got going on the publicity stunt for “Invasion”, and Nicole’s weirdness, I decided to leave them out.  Same goes for the picnic which was going on in the background.  I definitely should have had a few lines describing the actual picnic and maybe even included her parents as well.

This was basically just intended to be a fun spoof on people we know from the celebrity world, and once it got going, a few things came to me.  I threw the Tom Cruise thing in there, because, I personally find him very funny…in a weird way.  Same with Nicole, and it just kinda snowballed from there.  I had watched Primetime Thursday night and find John Quinones to be a bit of a goof, so in he went, and the story was there.

As for the ending, which appears didn’t work for anyone, I came up with it at the last minute and thought it was both humorous and a decent play on what was actually taking place all along.  Nicole and Naomi had decided to do a spoof publicity stunt at Primetime’s expense, to garner interest in her new movie.  Nicole was indeed an alien all along though, so I thought it was kinda funny that just when everyone is let in on the fact that everything was a joke, it turns out that it really wasn’t after all.

Sorry so many were so upset over this entry.  My intention was not to piss people off and waste their time.  I realize it could have run a few pages less, but I was laughing pretty hard at each of Nicole’s scenes and decided I didn’t want to cut them, and since I had 12 pages to work with, I used them all.  I figured people would either appreciate the humor or despise it…looks like most didn’t get it, and I apologize for that.

So there you have it.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Astrid
Posted: April 19th, 2009, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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I think it's difficult to write a story with characters that people are familiar with. The familiarity prompts expectations that are difficult to meet.

As for the story itself, I did take a couple of looks at it this past week, but closed it. First because I'm not iunterested in Nicole Kidman and second because the first few pages didn't draw me in. There wasn't enough of a hook. JMO

Having finished it, it is well formatted and well written. No complaints. The story tho, continued not to interest me. Still, there was a little misdirection that I thought was effective. I thought it was going in a Joaquin Phoenix, lets fuck with our audience thing, but then it picked back up with the alien stuff.

I think its well written and acommplishes what you set out to do, it just isn't the sort of story I'm interested in...so its difficult for me to critiuque it. I think I knew this and that's why I was hesitant to finish it eariler on.
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