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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    July/August 2007 One Week Challenge  ›  The Phishing Phool Moderators: OWC
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  Author    The Phishing Phool  (currently 5385 views)
Posted: August 5th, 2007, 6:29pm Report to Moderator

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The Phishing Phool by Anthony Hudsom (alffy)  (OWC name - Avril Bitra)  - Short, Thriller - Detective Inspector Taylor and Detective Norris are no nearer solving the case of the missing children, or are they?   August '07 One Week Challenge entrant. - pdf, format

The One Week Challenge

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Don  -  August 18th, 2007, 4:46pm
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Posted: August 5th, 2007, 9:42pm Report to Moderator

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Too much description about the rain - A hard rain falls would suffice.  The opening description of the boat's furnishings is confusing.

page 3. Not either side, should be both sides that papers are stacked.

Computers and coffee cups probably don't fight for space in a screenplay.  If it were a novel, it would be a nice description, but here you can probably say they're cramped on a desk.  I could be wrong though.  I'm new to critiquing screenplays.

Alright, I finished and I really don't understand it at all.  Were the detective after Sam?  Was Taylor using Dean to get to him? Forensics for a child that can't be found???  Honestly, I could just be misunderstanding the whole thing so I don't want to be too criticial, but from what I read, and I re-read much of it, I don't understand it.  Taylor put his boat in the middle of the woods, knowing Dean would get Sam there???  I don't know, I'm confused.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: August 6th, 2007, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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I liked the beginning of this.

Especially the end transition of this scene.  When, the two boys look confused and think they should switch games to Snap.  I loved that.  It was real to me.

Now, Don gave me three scripts to look at and yours came in second.

I should say that you only used 12 pages.  Think about pages and word counts as dollars.  If someone gives you 50 dollars to spend, and you can't get any change back from what you don't spend, what are you going to do?  You're going to spend it all right?  Precisely.

So, when you're given limits, use every bit you're given if you can help it.  Make every word, every space on the page count.  But don't crowd the page obviously.

When I had gotten to the end of this, I wasn't sure.  I thought I missed something.  I couldn't understand what Dean was doing in Taylor's basement.  Did Taylor have Dean kill Sam?

I have some other questions:  Why did Taylor take the full pack of cards?  Later he used them to flick at Dean and I was thinking is this supposed to be some kind of metaphor or something?  Am I missing something?  Because the cards seemed to be significant in the script.

If they aren't significant to your knowledge, maybe, they are trying to tell you something in real life.  I know I'm getting all "Wooohoo" here.  But I think that characters etc... in writing can surface from who knows where and perhaps these cards could be used in rewrites.  

Anyways, I don't know why Taylor took the cards only to toss them around at Dean later.

What was Dean's mission in his dealings with Taylor?  We need to know.

What are the boxes?  Are they filled with dead kid's stuff?  This needs to be made more clear.  It's a little too vague for me.

This didn't rank as a "thriller" to me.  It was more of a mystery.  Who killed Sam?  What were Sam and Dean really doing?  I wrote this in another review:  I feel that the context of the actions that the characters find themselves is missing.

What is their purpose for being together--these two boys?  We don't know in the beginning, and we don't find out in the end.  

The only thing I can guess is that Dean has been working for Taylor in killing kids that Taylor feels are no good for society.  But if that's the case, we need to see Dean's actions as being not quite right in the beginning.  There's a little bit hinted at, but enough for us to really get any kind of wary sense.

I think you can add a lot more conflict to this.

You've got some typos.  Deans should be Dean's.  Your should be you're.
Lets should be let's.

There just isn't enough information provided in this story.  Taylor, it appears is a murderer or involved in murder, but nothing is sorted or resolved.

I hope this helps.  


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: August 6th, 2007, 6:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This script started off very nicely. It seemed to be setting up a nice mystery. And I thought it was engaging. Toward the end, it seemed to lose its way and became muddled.

The cards seemed to have some significance. At first, I thought Taylor may have removed them from the scene because they were incriminating evidence but it turned out they were insignificant.

Itís never explained what the deal is between Dean and Taylor. It says Dean was from the estate. Iím not sure what that means, whether it references that heís from the country or from an affluent family. Apparently Taylor has helped Dean in the past to avoid trouble but itís not clear what exactly Dean was helping Taylor with or why.

I donít see why Dean would work for Taylor. The notion that he helps a madman capture children just to stay out of a juvenile detention facility seems implausible. Dean had a mother who was worried about him and wanted to get home to keep her from worrying so he had a life and something to lose. I just didnít get his motivation.

It started off pretty good. Iím not sure what happened but it needs some tightening up.


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Posted: August 6th, 2007, 10:45pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group


New York
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I was confused on Taylor's motivation aspect in kidnapping the children. Also, Dean's involvment. How did that relationship occur?

The O.S. I think is unnecessary since Taylor says to the police officer what he thinks.

Other than that, the story was intriguing. it just needs a bit more information.


Just Murdered by Sean Elwood (Zombie Sean) and Gabriel Moronta (Mr. Ripley) - (Dark Comedy, Horror) All is fair in love and war. A hopeless romantic gay man resorts to bloodshed to win the coveted position of Bridesmaid. 99 pages.
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Zombie Sean
Posted: August 6th, 2007, 11:31pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A boozer, a user, and a two-time loser

Anywhere there's a zombie...
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This actually started off well, but then as the ending came, it started going downhill slowly, and when I finished it, I hit the bottom. I was actually disappointed and confused.

Dean's relationship with Taylor's is not understandable due to the fact is that I couldn't tell if Dean was helping Taylor capture children and kill them, or that Dean was kidnapped by Taylor and that the D.A. box was for his dead, cut up body.

Your descriptions were good at some parts, but with others you over-described. You need to work with that.



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Posted: August 7th, 2007, 1:48pm Report to Moderator

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The ending is really confusing.  

It started out with a good scene between Sam and Dean, but then Dean is the one who disappeared...ends up in Taylor's basement, and since Sam gave a statement already -- he's ok -- why is Dean in the basement?  Because he screwed up at "cleaning up the streets", like bad kids?  The ending just came out of left field, and it isn't clear whether Dean is about to be hacked to pieces by Taylor, what the boxes are used for, what the significance of the cards were, and what the meaning of "estate" as well as the kids' friendship meant.    

Also, many grammatical pet peeves: use commas where needed when addressing someone by name...esp after the use of "gov" as a nickname.  The use of "your" instead of "you're."  These things make a big difference.

I also wanted to know more about why the boat was in the woods. It was a cool idea that went unexplored.  

Overall, nice set-up -- but the story doesn't deliver anything in the end except confusion.      
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James McClung
Posted: August 7th, 2007, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Washington, D.C.
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What everyone else said. The ending is confusing. I had to go through everyone's comments before starting my own review to see if there was something I missed. Apparently not. Everyone else is confused. I got the initials on the boxes but I still don't know what's inside them. What does "cock up" mean? I've never heard that expression before. I'll back everyone in that the relationship between Taylor and Dean is vague. I don't think I need to say much else in regards to that.

The nickname "gov" popped up in pretty much every other line of dialogue from Norris and Patterson. This was really annoying and took me out of the story. I would have thought it'd get on Taylor's nerves as well.

Also, why would Norris wear a suit into the woods? Not very bright.

Anyway, this was meant to be a thriller and honestly, I wasn't thrilled. I feel like you were planning some big twist for this but there are two many questions for it to work. I would suggest you incorporate some action into the script, since there doesn't seem to be any as of now, but I don't think it would fit in with the tone of the story. All in all, a decently-written but overall half-baked effort.

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Soap Hands
Posted: August 7th, 2007, 3:35pm Report to Moderator

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I had trouble understanding your script, by the end I was confused, like apparently a lot of other people.

I had trouble getting into this, which probably contributed to my lack of understanding. I'm sorry to say I was board most of the time. I didn't find either of the boys interesting.

Another thing is you used a couple of, what I assume are, local euphemisms that I didn't get. I liked them anyway though, I thought they added an element of reality to the characters, although they also may have interfered slightly with my comprehension.

Sorry but your script didn't work for my. Good effort though.  
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Posted: August 7th, 2007, 4:19pm Report to Moderator

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The way I read this:

Detective Taylor uses a kid named Dean to clean up the streets. Seeing that he is killing other kids, I think "cleaning the streets" means getting rid of young beggars, bums, or even kids very low on the social ladder. Dean is helping Taylor because Taylor apparently arrested him in the past for something and is forcing Dean to help him. Dean messed up by letting Samuel escape, so Dean is going into the next box himself.

I might be off though.

The story leaves a lot of questions unanswered for me. Exactly -what- is that boat doing in the woods? Taylor apparently loves his boat, but he puts it in the woods to server as some sort of hut?

What about the cards? You describe them so often, that we expect them to have a certain role/purpose.

Why was Taylor late? Dean brings up the fact that Taylor was late and this was a side-reason for Sam's escape. All we see is that Taylor spend all night in the police office working on his own case.

With regards to formatting. I think you are way too descriptive. You describe a lot of details that play no part in the story and that really don't matter. Try to keep it lean and clean.

Overall it wasn't a bad read, but it felt rushed and left me hanging with way too many questions.
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Posted: August 7th, 2007, 7:45pm Report to Moderator

Twin Ciites
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Quoted from movemycheese
The way I read this:

Detective Taylor uses a kid named Dean to clean up the streets. Seeing that he is killing other kids, I think "cleaning the streets" means getting rid of young beggars, bums, or even kids very low on the social ladder. Dean is helping Taylor because Taylor apparently arrested him in the past for something and is forcing Dean to help him. Dean messed up by letting Samuel escape, so Dean is going into the next box himself.

The above, I think, sums it up. That said, it's really not that confusing (or is it? I did have to read this twice). It's subtle. It's also different -- placing the boat in a forest, etc. so credit for that.

Is it a thiller? Not in my opinion. Still, the biggest problem I had with the script was the writing. It could have been more concise, more terse.




Stranger Than Yesterday

And Sweetie XD

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Posted: August 7th, 2007, 11:02pm Report to Moderator

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This starts out well, with the set up of a mystery surrounding a string of missing children, which may, or may not, have to do with a couple of kids playing cards on a boat in the rain.  Taylor and Norris are painted fairly well as characters.  We know them when we read them, as you use type to move us along from the introduction to the story.  Which, I think, is part of what was attempted here.  I think the idea was to show the grizzled veteran, and thewn the twist of putting him as behind behind the very case he's trying to solve.

Part of the problem goes back to what Sandra E. was saying about taking advantage of using the maximum of pages.  What we have is a pair of kids playing cards, part of a police procedural, and then a twist ending that hasn't been seeded anywhere.  One thing about thrillers ids that you have to put the gun in the drawer before using it.  I don't recall seeing a "gun" that sets up the ending.  Because of this, we get left with so many questions and an unsatisfying ending.  The bvoat belongs to Taylor?  No one picked up on this?  If Norris found the boat, wouldn;t he have looked into records and found that either belonged to Taylor or used to belong to Taylor (there could have been a false change of ownership somewhere once the plan, whatever it was) and bring that up?  When did Sam want to go home?  When we left them, they were giggling.  What was Patterson doing there?  The character adds nothing.

What could have been done would have been to explore the backstory on the case more.  Showing a profile of the victims perhaps.  I alos wonder if we're starting in the right place, for a thriller, there were not many thrilling moments.  No one seemed to be in any danger at any time.  Maybe a future draft could have Norris figure out Taylor;s behind everything and he has to race to find him before he knocks off Sam.

It's the trial of the minute

Houseboy - The Time We Were on Trial

Now available:††Houseboy: The Series
The girls of Sigma Kappa Pi have a secret...
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 8th, 2007, 6:30am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Premise: Good. Using a delinquent kid as bait for other delinquents. Interesting and potentially deep. 8/10

Relation to Theme: Incorporates the boat, though not really in any ingenious way. More of a Police drama than a thriller. 6/10

Story: Quite a low and involved build, never really gets gripping at any point. We have a lack of people to root for and no overt danger to anyone we like. Despite that it was well written enough to maintain our interest. There is a lot more that can  be done with this script I think.  6/10
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Posted: August 10th, 2007, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this script was more of a drama, rather than a thriller.  It didn't pick up as the story went along.  I thought the twist ending was very good, one of the better endings I've read in a while.  I think, however, that you need to explain the motivation behind Taylor's actions.

With the OWC out of the way, I would consider rewriting this.  Add a few pages and flesh it out.

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Posted: August 10th, 2007, 11:45pm Report to Moderator
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Actions: Good, for the most part - you held onto your style and tone but you had some unnecessary repetition.
Dialogue:  Very good.  Flowed well.
Characters: Good.  You main character was well developed - supporting characters varied.
Story: Good but too subtle.  Took repeated reads to determine the main plot point.   I think that there needs to be some foreshadowing with Taylor.  Also, this is not a thriller.  

I think I know who wrote this script.
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