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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    December, 2011 Urban Legend OWC  ›  No Experience Necessary - ULOWC
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  Author    No Experience Necessary - ULOWC  (currently 2988 views)
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 12:55pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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No Experience Necessary by Dena McKinnon (paleyellow) - Short, Horror - Desperate for income, Liz takes on a gig that she may not live to regret. - pdf, format

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 5:56pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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Hi dena,

Second script, well done for the entries. Here goes.

Based on a testimony? if true, i wonder whether this needs some form of approval, not knowing this type of issue. At the end i'm wondered how he could be involved?

Ruxley mansion - where is this? England? maybe worth stating, no harm.

black blue hair?

forgotten alley - whats this look like?

hands over her phone? - maybe this happens but it did make me wonder

Thereafter i wasn't bothered so much with detail as the story was dragging me along. You have a dark choice when it comes to stories!

In terms of reality, an advert in the paper followed by an office you can turn up to, does seem a bit easy to track down if used again, as appears the case. I would imagine that once used a gang etc would not use that again. Just a thought.

The policeman being involved? it is a good twist but i think it could have done with a bit more foreshadowing rather than a simple surprise.

nice effort

all the best

My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...
Private Message Reply: 1 - 18
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 11:19pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

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Hey PY,

Solid story.

A couple of things:

Consider trimming unnecessary words. For example, the scene where her phone is destroyed can be cut in half.  

The cop's involvement should be foreshadowed. It'll add tension and a more satisfying ending.

Reef Dreamer has good points re: word usage so I won't repeat.


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Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 3:04am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Perth, Australia
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Hey Dena,

The first one of two, well done by the way.

It was a solid story and I can see the improvement in your writing from the 1st draft of Love and Debt that I read just after joining.

A few unnecessary words like previous posters have mentioned but it didn't affect the read. One line read "He gets up and walks over to her chair" "Gets up" He never sat down or anything. That's just a little thing I noticed.

There were a few grammar errors but nothing major that disturbed the story.

"A bullet hole, in the head, execution style, catches Rex off guard" That read awkward to me.

The twist was okay, she has to be the most unluckiest person in world to pick the cop who's involved IMO, unless of course the whole police force is in on it?

Nice work and again well done for posting two, great effort!

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Pale Yellow
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 9:28am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Thanks guys. I scribbled out two very quick shorts...for this lil challenge. I appreciate all the reads and advice....Steve, Gary and Bill....I'll get around to fixing this one up later in the month.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 12:55pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Hi Dena,

You went for double jeopardy this OWC, good for you!

I liked your choice of urban legends to tell.
However, I found the events themselves pretty standard.
And the implausible ending I saw coming from a ways off.

Strip mine your descriptions to improve the read and reconsider the solution.
Another draft and this could very well be filmed.



CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Posted: January 4th, 2012, 5:05pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

Unlike others, I didn't really have that much of a problem with your action descriptions.  You can tighten them a bit but they are well within the tolerable limit for action.

I would try to stop using "and" when you mean "then".  

I liked it.  You did a good job of creating some suspense when you had the first girl in the car.  And her death reminded me of something out of an Italian 80s horror movie.

Unfortunately, you lost me in the last part.   For a short while it reminded me of Psycho, but then I could see the cop being in on it a mile away and all the suspense went out the window.  

Good work though.    
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Posted: January 5th, 2012, 12:33am Report to Moderator

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Hi Dena,

I liked this. Some readers might have a problem with the flowery descriptions, but I think they kept the story moving.

This definitely reminded me of a low-budget foreign film called Mute Witness, which I also liked.

The only thing keeping me from really loving this is the twist at the end. The cop being involved was just too convenient for my liking. Instead, what if Liz had a boyfriend? What if Abbey went to him thinking he could help find her, only to realize it was his suggestion for Liz to answer the ad in the first place?

As it is, this is more than solid and would make a fine short film. Good job.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 6th, 2012, 1:46pm Report to Moderator

The Swamp...
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Not that many reads on this one... I thought you did a great job on it. Can't believe you just started writing.

I liked almost everything about it. The cop being in on it was something that didn't really appeal to me. Seemed too convenient.

So a rich guy lures young girls to his mansion. He rapes and kills them in front of a camera. The film is then taken to a watch? It might feel more real if the person doing the dirty deed is either the senator himself or some sleaze bag. To have two rich/powerful guys doing this and then letting a "kid" on a bike be the courier between them seem very unlikely and stupid to me. What if the courier got curios and looks in the bag? Their criminal scheme would put both men in jail. Way too risky to have some kid handle the film....or did I totally miss something here?

Excellent work for such a short time.  

SS, is still free...
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Pale Yellow
Posted: January 6th, 2012, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Thanks Pia...

I agree now, that the policeman being involved was way too convenient. Snuff films have been an urban legend for a very long time and it's been said that the rich are the only ones with enough money and power to keep them under wraps...It needed to be clearer but I kinda ran out of pages to get it all in. The first kid that delivered the 'product' was killed in the first page or two...maybe they should have been delivered differently hmmmm...So, I will rethink that also.

Thanks for reading and reviewing...really helps me when I get time to do the rewrite. Loved your short BTW....but then, I always love your writing.

Thanks again.
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Posted: January 9th, 2012, 1:04am Report to Moderator

Onen Hag Oll

Newquay, Cornwall, England
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Hi Dena.

I really liked this tale. I found it had a lot of suspense, made me want to read on for sure. Had I not read the reviews before the script I wouldn't have seen the policeman being in on it until he was breathing on the window. Although the policeman can be seen as convenient, I was just thinking it's just the worst case scenario. A bad coincidence. I mean, in Pulp Fiction, if John Travolta doesn't got to the toilet then he kills Bruce Willis. So I had no real problem with it, though something that pointed to him being in on it would be good. A photo of himself with Thomas or the senator on his desk perhaps?

I'd just like to quickly mention Charlie. Due to the fact the first delivery guy was killed, I'm assuming he will be too once he delivers. My point here is I'm genuinely worried about him because of the line 'Wow, canít say Iíve ever delivered anything to a U.S. Senator!'. He's so excited. I still wonder if he made it or not. Great writing on your part to make me feel that way for a small part, two line character.

I guess one of my criticisms would be it's a bit overwritten, nothing you can't tune up easy enough with a re-write though. Also, I don't think Abbeys final line 'Oh my God! Youíre in on it?' is necessary. We can see he's in on it, just show us her panic when she realises. Show don't tell and all that.

Anyhow, good job.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: January 9th, 2012, 12:16pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Thank you for reviewing...I enjoyed writing was a fast write. I need to and will do a rewrite! And you are so write about not needing that dialogue at the end ....I'm learning and trying to not use as much's hard.

Thanks again for the review. It means a lot to me.

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Posted: January 13th, 2012, 12:19am Report to Moderator

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What you could do is make Liz someone who had troubles with the law before. So when the senator and cop become involved, they could be part of an ultra-conservative secret society that kills minor criminals and punk rockers with no remorse. Hey, if you're going with an urban legend theme, you may as well do the modern pilgrims killing witches and sinners bit.
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Abe from LA
Posted: January 14th, 2012, 8:44pm Report to Moderator

Downey, California
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This is a good choice for a UL script, but it comes with a built-in trap.
It usually ends up being a Whodunit or a Is it Real, or Is It CGI?
Regardless, this story still has a way of pulling you into its clutches.

Didn't care for the courier bit.  That seemed like an unnecessary risk, but you might handle it a bit different.  I think you are trying to inform readers that the snuff movies are either paid for by someone of political power or that this rich guy pays $$$ for anything that has already been shot.  
That in itself is okay.  It's been done before, but I'm not against it in this story.

You write action well. And despite being a neophite, you keep the pacing up in a natural way for most of the story.

This is a story with a Whodunit hook.  The problem is that there are only two characters besides the victim that would be logical suspects, and one of them (police) is introduced very late in the story.  You could bring Flint into the story earlier by having a TV monitor in the Limo.  
As Liz is being driven to her doom, the TV could show a press conference.  Flint speaks to the media regarding an intense manhunt for the killer of another young woman.

Newspaper ads seem old school. Unless it is a trade paper.  Most predators use online means to lure their victims.

It bothers me some that Abbey warns Liz about the "no experience needed" ad.  Not so much that she's on point, but I wish the ad specified acting in commercials.  Something that sounds innocuous and can make money.

I have concerns about the meeting with Juan at Carnes Plaza.  
It seems a little tedious.  Filling out forms, contracts, etc. slows the story a bit.
As Liz is working on the forms, have Juan work on Liz.

Maybe he ciphons info out of Liz in small talk:  Is she native to the area, type of work she is interested in, are her parents close by, what do they think of the acting profession, what does her boyfriend think? ...   in other words, Juan should be gathering information about Liz.

Once in the limo, did Liz see the driver pitch her cell phone out the window?  If so, why did the driver bother to say she would get the phone back after the shoot.  Just leave it at "no cell phone policy."

Somebody suggested a boyfriend involvement in the killings.
Or that Abbey could be involved in the setup.
Just make sure you introduce the person as early as possible.  Bringing the antagonist in late makes us groan.

Officer Flint should be Detective Flint.  He should be an investigator.  Maybe make Flint a woman.
I agree, the whole Cop angle as one of the killers is cliched.

However, if you keep Flint in there, he can serve as sort of a red herring.  We will believe he's involved, when he isn't.

Another logical possibility to this story is to make this Snuff Movie, a low-budget horror flick.  Not the real deal at all.    

Good effort for one week.  You have a feel for action, and seem to be a fast learner.  Keep it going.


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Posted: February 21st, 2012, 12:45pm Report to Moderator

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Scared the hell out of me.  Good job.  Still have goosebumps, lol.
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