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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Shhh
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  Author    OWC - Shhh  (currently 3234 views)
Don
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Shhh by Horace Smith-Dorrien - Short, Drama - A family reunion reveals that mental illness is the rule, not the exception. - pdf, format


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Astrid
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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This is imo one of the better ones I've read. It's a creative, complete story with lots of colorful dialogue and a good pay off at the end. No real complaints.
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seamus19382
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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Wrestling!  Any script that mentions Lou Thesz and Nature Boy Buddy Rogers is a-ok in my book.  My only problem is there might have been too many kids (and secrets).  Maybe cut a couple and have longer discussions about the secerets that are revealed.  For instance, I would have liked to hear more about Dina's daughter dying. I also loved the lack of reaction to Brad pulling the gun.
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Shelton
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 2:55pm Report to Moderator
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This one was a little touch and go for me. I think the early part, about the first half of it brought it down a bit.  Once it got to them playing the game, I was more into the story and enjoyed it.  Maybe look into trimming some of the filler up front.

The writing here was pretty economical in its word usage.  I think it worked most of the time, but there were a couple things that read oddly for me...example.

"A pretty woman, DINA (40), walks out of the cabin. Across the
grassy area, carrying a bottle of beer to her dad."

My issue with this one is probably that it's NOT economical.  But, I digress.  I'm more concerned with the story.

You loaded a number of secrets in here, which was good, and the finger pointing all the way through to the ending kept it interesting.

Anyway, not bad.  If you cut a bit off the front I'm sure it would be even better.

  


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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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Brian M
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 3:37pm Report to Moderator
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This was an interesting read. It kept me guessing until the last line so that's a plus. It must be some family if Brad can aim a gun at someone's temple and they don't bat an eyelid.

Some cuts can be made, Brad talking about the sting for starters. It slowed it down for me but picks up when the game starts.

The dialogue was certainly a strong point. There's some funny lines in here. This is one of the stronger entries.  
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rc1107
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this.  I thought it was written very well and was really interesting, especially once the game got going.

I think cutting a lot of the opening scene and getting to the 'secret' game a lot faster would help this story even more.  That way, you'll get rid of a lot of the unnecessary introductions and be able to spend more time on the actual secrets, which is the most riveting part of the story.  I would have liked to see all of the secrets panned out more, especially the one of who killed the Johnson boy.  Maybe even give us answers to some of the secrets.

It's good as is now, but can definately be played up.

One thing I did notice, though, is that the brothers and sister are all in their 40's and 50's, but they're dialogue doesn't reflect that at all.  In fact, without saying they're in their 40's and 50's, I would have thought that the characters were in their early and late 20's.  Maybe possibly early 30's.  A lot of them were pretty immature.

That point aside, it was still an enjoyable read and I was a big fan of the ending.

- Mark


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JamminGirl
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
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It did keep my interest, except for the Maxwell food poisoning rant. That was too much.

I guess the story was supposed to be about characterizations then? With the exception of Maxwell and perhaps Dad,  the characters really were not at all distinguishable.
It was a decent story.


Family Picnic 10 pages.

After the Trade 3 pages

by T. Jasmine Hylton
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:14am Report to Moderator
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Bravo!  Well done!  Very well done.

Dialogue was excellent. Really came off as real and it was strong and moving stuff.

As some will know, I love ambiguity, and you pulled this off well...lots of possibilities in my mind.

Only problems are page length and lack of onscreen action.  I think in the right hands, the lack of action could be taken care of with concerned faces and tension based on the brutal truth being spilled out here. As for page length, I mean that I think this needs to play out for at least 10 minutes, and because of the way it's written with no action, it won't be nearly that long...but that's merely based on this challenge.

Very well done...easily one of the top 5, of the 27 I've read.  Well plotted and laid out.

Standing O!!!!!!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Blakkwolfe
Posted: April 15th, 2009, 9:55pm Report to Moderator
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Pretty strong story...got a little lost with all the brothers and characters milling about...Remember Killer Kowalski back in the day...Really liked the idea and concept of the secret game as a way to pass a rainy afternoon. Excellent incorporaton of the secret picnic theme. The dialogue was good, but again a bit tricky trying to sort out all the people [watching this filmed, though, I don't think that would be an issue] Had some good dramatic tension and some strong, valid conflict...Remind me to pass on the potato salad that these people bring...
Very well done.


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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bobtheballa
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
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I really liked this one as well. The dialogue was among the most believable of any of the OWC scripts I've read so far and the game was an interesting concept.

The dialogue leading up to the game was rather boring as others have mentioned though I guess it was important for character development. I think it could have been tweaked though to give us a better idea of who each secret corresponded to. I'm not sure how you could pull all of these off but the gay one could certainly be covered by having someone let a homosexual comment slip without the rest of the family noticing it. The suicidal person could probably have a subtle slip as well.

Just a suggestion for improvement but this one's pretty good on its own. Well done!
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michel
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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Well written. Maybe too much dialogues or maybe it's because there are too many characters. It sounds a bit like an Agatha Christie's reunion though the end was quite unclear to me. Regarding of those secrets I wouldn't like to belong to that family... Too much...

A minor detail, instead of indicating in the action"reads", better indicate it in parenthesis under the character name in dialogues.

Michel


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 5:31am Report to Moderator
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Hi Gary,

I didn’t read any of the other reviews.

When you have a slug like CABIN, you can save some space by not putting “of the cabin” in the description. You can just say Dina walks out. Sometimes repeating something might be necessary for clarity but most often you can save some space that way.

Be careful with some of your descriptions. Sometimes they sound like a laundry list of actions. Sometimes they seem there arbitrarily rather than to propel the story.

Would Maxwell really say of his sister’s kid: “So her kid drowned…”? Sounds like he didn’t know the kid. And would Brad really pull a revolver on him over it? Didn’t seem plausible. But then again, they are pretty dysfunctional.

As the story progressed, particularly when they get to the game, it seemed to smooth out and flow much more evenly. In the early part, it seemed more forced and uneven.

Aside from all that, story wise, it was a neat story. Once they got to the game, I found it very compellingly pulled me in. Very good job there.


Breanne



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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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After the writers were revealed I wanted to read this one first because it's been such a long time since I've read something of yours and I know you know how to write.

I liked this one a lot. Thought it was clever and kept me guessing. I wouldn't be surprised if some filmmaker wants to do this one. It would be a simple script to do.

I do think that the beginning could use a little trimming. Not much, but just a bit.

At first I was thinking there were too many characters being introduced for a short, but once we get to the "game" I enjoyed everyone's secrets a lot. In fact I would have liked to see that part expanded a little more.

Great job Gary. A clever fun read. I bet you it will get filmed.  


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cloroxmartini
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rc1107
is that the brothers and sister are all in their 40's and 50's, but they're dialogue doesn't reflect that at all.  In fact, without saying they're in their 40's and 50's, I would have thought that the characters were in their early and late 20's.  Maybe possibly early 30's.  A lot of them were pretty immature.
- Mark


You must be in the latter, so, you'd be surprised.

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cloroxmartini
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 2:13pm Report to Moderator
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Second poisoning thing to read. Depending on which one I read first, the ending would be deflated for the second read, as it was here - just the way it happened for me, like, oh, read this already.

I enjoyed the game here and would like to have seen it started sooner. Didn't like the ending, but it's a decent closer for this exercise. Would have liked to have seen a different secret played out like the guessing game.
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