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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April 2014 One Week Challange  ›  Finning - OWC
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  Author    Finning - OWC  (currently 4976 views)
Don
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 4:16pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Finning by Samuel Enderby - Short, Shark - A down-on-his-luck fisherman is hired by a wealthy entrepreneur to obtain the final, and most dangerous, addition to his unusual collection of shark fins. - pdf, format


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Ledbetter
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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This has potential but lost me with the over explanations of Finning.

And the payoff wasn't there. In fact, the bad guy won leaving nothing for me to hang my hat on.

The writing was fine as was the structure but I really thought it was going somewhere else. I thought the struggle for the sharks should have been bigger as well. For the beast of the sea, I would have wanted to see more of a fight.

Anyway, it was good, but with a rewrite and some toned down dialoge, this could be very good.

Shawn.....><
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rendevous
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 5:42pm Report to Moderator
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Sparsely written.

Very.

But in a good way.

Strange use of the word proletariat. I thought that was all of them. Still, it's dialogue, so you can do what you desire.

There's tension here. Something a lot of the other scripts around lack. And considering what he's doing midway, this is quite impressive.

Jeesh, this John guy is annoying. Which is also rather good.

Overall, this was well plotted and I wasn't sure how it was going to end. So I was pleasantly surprised. The writing's very good. Wouldn't mind reading other scripts by whoever did this. Enough said.

R


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 7:04pm Report to Moderator
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Right off the bat, the staccato sparse writing style makes it so I have no idea what happened in the opening scene.  Font looks to be off as well and you’re not double spacing your Slugs.

Now we have some nice asides and unfilmables and I’m getting really annoyed, really fast.

Not a fan of the Flashbacks, nor how you formatted them.

And now we have V.O.’s as well…

This is going downhill very quickly…

Lots of dialogue from our rich friend, John – WAY TOO MJUCH!

Oh boy…the end.  Really?  Sorry, doesn’t work for me at all, and I actually wish I had stopped very early on when I knew I should.

Congrats on entering.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 8:21pm Report to Moderator
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Carl should be pissed.

Does John realize how long he'd spend in federal prison for murder? If he even plans on murdering Carl. I enjoyed his fin fetish, but didn't get into the Scooby-Doo dialogue at the end.

Some readers are into the chop. I've dabbled in it before, now, not so much. I understood the story so I guess its preference. If a writer feels more at home with it, then it's theirs to master.

The story was good, it had some stakes. Carl struggled with the morality of it, but the payoff wasn't there. I was hoping there would be something in that cooler that John wasn't expecting.

Nice effort,

Johnny

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Grey
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 9:00pm Report to Moderator
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I am a fan of ‘OVER BLACK’ at the beginning, but if it’s over black, you will not be able to see stuff like projectiles soaring and rope unraveling. Just keep that in mind.

The use of V.O. throughout is well done. The dialogue, I thought, was also very well done. I didn’t find one typo in this thing so kudos on that!

I care about Carl and his wife. I understand the desperation. Great character work all around.

And that moment when Carl decides to go one more time...oh man, I was worried about that decision and rightfully so!

Even though the end was not what ‘we want’ in a normal situation, I really liked it. I enjoyed reading this. Great writing on display here, in my opinion. One of my favorites.


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Gum
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 10:11pm Report to Moderator
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Choppy passages. Chop. Chop. Chop. Like the ride from Mykonos to Santorini on one of those crazy Hydrofoils.

I did like the name of the boat 'Carpe Diem'. Made for a stark contrast between what is and what could be the most important thing for Carl to consider at this time of his life, and the 'day' to be seized in question.

He's driving a piece of sh*t car? Nice. Seemingly insignificant items that are turned on their head later down the road. The fact that Carl and his sick wife are not living in a publicly funded health care system and, he's paying through the teeth for his wife to be Radiated; kept alive just long enough for the system to squeeze every last penny out of their sordid existence.

Then along comes a saviour? O' but he be a Wolf in Sheep's clothing, and the beast will always temp those who are at their weakest with dreams of their cup being overfilled, Ha!

LOL, sorry man, but you just laid it out so slick. Ya, I wish John had something coming to him, but alas, the beast never does, does he? Eventually every one of his minions will fall, however, the scapegoats must go first, vis-à-vis Carl. It has something to do with ascending up the feed chain. I'm left to believe that the Bull Shark was somewhere near the top.

I liked the story that was actually woven into the story, if you know what I mean. Killer script!
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nawazm11
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 12:25am Report to Moderator
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Waves gently lap into the engine? Because that's what it reads like. Where's the sound of it frying? Not a good start.

Strange opening, but you handle it pretty well.

Yeah, no, I don't like the flashbacks. Too manipulative, you had two extra pages and there's obviously a better way you can reveal this.

And again, reading further, the backstory feels so damn fake because you're trying to milk out a reason for him to actually go out there. Maybe if it felt a little more natural, I could connect to the protag's predicament. Flashbacks are useless if they're only there to reveal exposition. Again, manipulative more than anything.

"Perhaps we've grown accustomed to it." I like it since it immerses the reader into the scene but it ruins the moment. Consider scrapping it.

Hopefully John's story actually adds to the script since I could care less why he's interested in the fins.

The writing was fine but I can't make any sense of the story right now. Why would John give a shit about the sharks? Why ask Carl go after it if he's going to double cross him in the end? Carl didn't even want to kill the stupid bugger but the fucker forced him to do, just so he can rat him out? I'm struggling to see the logic here, it's like somebody telling you to do something and when you actually do it, they scold you for it. What a great way to ruin a script. Doesn't work with me.

EDIT: Just reread the ending whilst voting, I suppose now I kind of do see the logic but the satisfaction of a good reading is still missing. I mean, you make the protag come across as the bad guy, as well as Mr. Fucker so it's hard for us to latch onto anything.

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nawazm11  -  April 13th, 2014, 7:06am
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EWall433
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 11:35am Report to Moderator
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Some have mentioned choppy passages. I’ve been trying to power through these without getting hung up on writing style, so I’m happy to say I didn’t even notice it.

Pg. 9 “some of these fins came from living, breathing creatures of God.” Are the other ones made of plastic? What kind of collection would that be?

Not too bad. It sort of leaves me with an empty feeling, but that might be intentional. It’s not like people such as John don’t exist, and it’s not as though they don’t spend their time screwing people like Carl over. There’s nothing dishonest in that end, and I wouldn’t suggest changing it just because it doesn’t “feel good”.

And yet I can’t shake the idea that something’s missing… I think a downer ending needs to have its theme more firmly woven into the story. I’m not sure what the theme is here. Carl made a deal with the devil, but it’s really his wife that’s going to suffer. And it’s hard to say he should regret his actions when not finning the sharks would’ve had the same results. At least he tried, right? He’d feel worse if hadn’t, or about the same. Hmmm….

I think maybe this should’ve been the first time Carl did this, rather than his last time. As we meet him, he’s already pretty compromised and this is just one more trip, so I don’t have as much a feel for his arc. Still… The message here seems to be, “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t and everything else is false promises.” That’s depressing, but not necessarily incorrect.

Oh, well. Got me thinking at least and it read well. So this is one of the stronger entries for me.

Congrats on completing the OWC
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DV44
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 1:46pm Report to Moderator
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I actually enjoyed the story. For a weeks work it was pretty good. A couple of things, I would have loved to see more of a struggle between Carl and the shark. It almost felt too easy for him. Also, the way it ended left a bad taste in my mouth. It's fun to see the bad guy win once in awhile but I was really hoping Carl had something up his sleeve in return for John. Instead we have Carl going to prison and his wife is going to die I'm assuming because the medical bills are piling up and they can't afford to keep her alive? But I guess it all makes sense because John represents the big shark in the water that Carl couldn't kill. Right? Maybe I'm wrong. All in all, good job.

Congrats on completing the OWC.
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KevinLenihan
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 3:41pm Report to Moderator
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I have absolutely no idea who the writer is of this. Seeing someone complain that the writing is in any way confusing...are you kidding? What could possibly be confusing about that opening? Maybe the reader was distracted.

The VO threw the reader off? Huh? The VO was perfectly effective. We heard John offering to pay for one more job while we saw Carl's wife in the hospital. Good choice, visual, certainly not confusing. Not even a little. I'm confused by the confusion. Maybe the reader just has one of those pet peeves against VO. What can you do. Some people get squeamish when they see certain things.

To repeat...I have no idea who wrote this. But as far as the writing, leaving aside the story for the moment, this is about as effective as I've ever seen for an OWC. It's clear, concise, and the dialogue sounds mostly realistic. There are a variety of writing styles people can choose from, that's fine. In terms of clarity and efficiency, this is in the top 1% of all the OWC scripts I've read in the last 3.5 years. Any writing can be improved, but if all the OWC shorts are written this well, and so far they have been this time, then things are looking up around here!

As for the story...pretty well done. It's a little talky for short, though. I'm someone who likes dialogue if it's interesting, but there was a lot of purely expository dialogue. The problem is that the audience doesn't know about "finning". I didn't either. That leaves the film obligated to tell us, and that's a distraction. But there are probably ways to streamline all that. Like why do we need to know how John first discovered finning? We don't.

I love that you quoted Ayn Rand(and Robin Williams Dead Poets thing), but that's also more unnecessary dialogue.

The turn at the end was logical, so it works pretty well. Carl had much more depth than the standard protag we see in shorts. He felt guilty about what he was doing, was obviously educated and philosophical based on the way he named his boat, and his wife's sickness left him vulnerable to manipulation. That's all great stuff for a short.

Last consideration is that more effort was maybe put into making John interesting than Carl. Not a major criticism, sometimes that works fine. And it basically worked here.

But if this is a new member to the board, you are a welcome addition. Excellent effort, strong writing, talent on display. If it's an old hand, well you don't need me to say it, but nice work.

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KevinLenihan  -  April 8th, 2014, 4:38pm
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marnieml
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Well, I was liking this until John's loooooooong dialog at the end. That ruined it for me, sorry to say.

Your action lines were pretty good, although I'm not a big fan of too many sounds and the CAPS. For me it comes across as cartoonish.

The flashback...I have mixed feelings on it. My first feeling is, you didn't need it. My second feeling is, I liked how you worked it in. Try it again because with the right story, it could actually be pretty cool.

A good start with a weak ending but a good effort for this OWC.


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from KevinLenihan
I have absolutely no idea who the writer is of this. Seeing someone complain that the writing is in any way confusing...are you kidding? What could possibly be confusing about that opening? Maybe the reader was distracted.


Hmmm, are you referring to my review, Kev?

I just now reread the opening - it's all OVER BLACK.  It's nothing but sound effects and based on what is written, very few of these sound effects are such that anyone would know what they're listening to.

You disagree?

I won't quote you further, because it gets lame and wierd, but you say that IYO, this is in the top 1% of any OWC you've read in 3 1/2 years?  Really?  I literally cannot beleive this.

I haven't seen any other comments from you this OWC, which makes me wonder if you really don't know who wrote this.

You get me?     Damn, I like saying and writing that.  LOL...


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dustin
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 4:17pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

SHLINK! A metal blade drags across wood.

MAN (V.O.)
I'm sorry.

THWACK!



Why? Thwack is straight out of the 1960's Batman series. Shlink? I think that is too. I'll try and reread this another day... but please, whatever you do... get rid of those silly sound effects. All I end up doing is saying the word over and over again in different ways trying to decipher the actual sound the spelling is implying.

The odd Bang is OK.. everyone knows what a bang is. I have no idea what a shlink is. I have read thwack before... can't remember if it was the Beano or Batman... probably both. I'll come back to this and ignore the sound effects.


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KevinLenihan
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 4:24pm Report to Moderator
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I have no clue who wrote it Jeff. Not even a guess. And I've read about 10 scripts so far, kept notes on the side. In the fine tradition of Ray. I just happened to open this script next. Saw your notes. Based on them...perhaps you know the writer?
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