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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    December, 2011 Urban Legend OWC  ›  Speed Trap - ULOWC
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  Author    Speed Trap - ULOWC  (currently 2902 views)
Don
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 12:57pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Speed Trap by Gary Rademan (grademan) - Short, Horror - Two teenage boys joyride and shoot an empty “trap” patrol car on a night when an unusual officer is inside. - pdf, format


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leitskev
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 1:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Gary. Wow! Where you been saving this one? Nice work! Glad to see you back in the game, and bringing your A Game.

Soundly written top to bottom. I loved the part where you called the scene from the dashboard camera of the cruiser. Excellent technique...that trick should be copied!

Only thing I was a little unsure of was the pulling the bullets from their heads. Would a bullet remain in the head? Wouldn't it penetrate like with Congresswoman Giffords, or JFK?

But that's not necessarily a problem, I think, and here's why: someone is going to complain that we have no idea why these cops are not dying. But I don't think we need to know, because it seems to me you want this to kind of have a nightmare feeling to it. And in nightmares, anything is possible, including bullets lodging in heads.

Am I right on this point? And no, I am not saying this belongs with the dreaded "it was all a dream" scripts. Because this is just a short, and no one wakes up here. We don't KNOW it's a dream. It just has a dream feel, which is perfect for a short like this.

This would not be expensive to shoot if you could get some squad cars. Throw it up on Inkster, I see good things happening here.

Someone else might be troubled by the pissing on the cruiser, troubled because the cop never realizes it, but it is necessary to establish why John is shooting at the cruiser later.

Well done, man! I expect to be watching this story next time I encounter it.
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mcornetto
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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Whoa! Gary, good one.

You definitely caught an urban legend feel there - not sure which legend it was though.  But I thought you did a great job with the story.  

I especially liked the little amusing side quest at the gas station.

Crit-wise I would say the number of characters was a bit confusing - especially during the frantic action.   I wouldn't cut anything, rather I would give the undead cop a better name, one that reminds me he's undead.

Really good work though, you have definitely improved as a story-teller.  
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Mr.Ripley
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
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I'm interested in this short. I understand some people are dying while others are living, I suppose. That's the only thing I can come up with. Don't understand though what's going on. Starting with the piss, is that a flashback or what? Not trying to be mean but I really don't get this. And I usually understand your stories.

Sorry man,
Gabe


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.
https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-comedy/m-1624410571/
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leitskev
Posted: January 2nd, 2012, 8:36pm Report to Moderator
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Looks to me like the kid pissed on the cop's car because it was an abandoned cop car. Then, when his buddy showed up with a gun, he decided to vandalize the car further by putting a slug into it. However, the cop had returned and took the bullet.

Not sure why the cops don't die. Maybe it's the start of a zombie plague. Maybe it's just some kind of nightmare. I'll wait to see what Gary says.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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This was good. There were a lil too many characters at first for me. I had to scroll back to remember who was who. Noticed a few typos but that's to be expected with a quick challenge.

At first when Robert pulled the bullet out of his head, I was like WTF, but then at the end when Kevin did the same thing and got up I thought...this has a zombie feel to it.

Good work! Enjoyed this!
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 9:58am Report to Moderator
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Gary,

I enjoyed this and thought you played it out well.

I'm the kind of person who likes to know "why",  or have something suggested, so the lack of clarity was an issue to me, but I understand it's not for others. This is particularly so as its not just one policeman but two that rise from the dead. By this I mean, if it was one, then this could suggest a one off. Now that it's two it suggests a pattern, a curse... Something.

On the story if I had one issue it's that I wasn't sure about the boys going back to the scene. if I had just encountered all that,  I know where I'd be going and that was far away.

Otherwise tidy work.

All the best.


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CoopBazinga
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Gary,

I think this is the first time I have read any of your work and your writing is excellent.

There were a few characters to remember in the first couple pages and it made it a bit confusing for me but after they shot Robert, things started to heat up and it flowed really well from this point.

I enjoyed the detour to the gas station, a nice comedic break.

I don’t understand why the cops didn’t die and zombie seems the most likely explanation but I’m hoping it’s something different and more clever?

Great work.

Steve
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 2:39pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Gary,

Always a pleasure to look through your work.

Your pages moved well, but the character slugs kept confusing me.
Calling the cops OFFICER "LAST NAME" would help in that department lots.

This feels much more like an opening to a feature than a short.
I got the urban legend vibe, then it went all zombie chase picture on me.
Pretty sure there's a legend about a cop getting killed sitting in a "lame duck" cruiser.
Or, it just could be an action spectacle take on the bullet to the head survivor tale.

It was a brisk ride and quite slick for a week's work. Kudos.

Regards,
E.D.


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Felipe
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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I also really liked the car camera idea. I have seen it before and most directors would prefer not to see that in a script, but it fit this pretty well.

I actually could see this as appending to a feature too as someone said.

I have to admit that I was actually very confused when Robert shot Kevin. From that point on I was not really following it very well but once I read other people's reviews it made more sense. I wasn't quite sure what you meant when you said Robert overwhelmed John or why John didn't shoot him after he shot Sam.

I look forward to hearing what the reason for the cops coming back to life is.


'Artist' is not a term you should use to refer to yourself. Let others, and your work, do it for you.
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Ryan1
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 5:14pm Report to Moderator
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Gary,

I liked the constant movement in this story, how things start out fast and just kept pushing forward.  But a couple issues kept this one from scoring a direct hit, at least for me.

I think when the supernatural is involved, as it appears to be here, some explanation is required.  It wouldn't take much, just a reference to some old town legend.  But, for these people to just keep coming back to life after being shot in the head didn't make any sense to me.

If Kevin also comes back to life after being shot, what about Sam?

I didn't buy that moment when Sam slides the gun barrel into his mouth.  That's giving up just a little too easily.  And John's brainstorm of heading back to site of the zombie cop speed trap...maybe not the best idea.  

I know some people liked the pit stop at the gas station, but it didn't work for me because it seemed like such a shift in tone.  You had a creepy, ominous, small town vibe going and then we had to stop for a little comedy.

I also think you could have made the final scene with Robert running over John clearer:

Robert speeds forward.
John empties his weapon into Robert.
Each bullet slams into Robert slows him down but not a lot.
John screams as Robert overwhelms him.
Robert walks off screen.

At first it sounds like Robert is in his car, but when you use the word "overwhelm" and then simply have Robert walk away with no mention of getting out of a car, it muddied the mental picture for me.

But in the end, these are all relatively minor tweaks that you could easily smooth out.  The story has real creep factor and I'd like to see you take another go at this.  
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grademan
Posted: January 3rd, 2012, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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-- This was based on the urban legend: “Youths shoot an empty “speed deterrent” patrol car on the night is has a real cop inside.”

--The short was originally going to be about youths who thought the officers were zombies and shot in a preemptive strike. It was called Zpeed Zone. Why did I change my mind? I don’t know. Might have been the better story.

-- Kevin hit the nail on the head for summarizing the story.

Gary
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mmmarnie
Posted: January 4th, 2012, 12:22am Report to Moderator
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This was fast paced and full of action.  Zombie cops...loved it.  I saw it set in like the 80's for some reason.    

Great work, great writing!  


ZERO tolerance for RUDE people.
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Sham
Posted: January 4th, 2012, 5:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Gary,

I can't remember if I've read anything from you or not, but I liked this.

I agree with Ryan about the story benefiting from some type of explanation for the dead coming back, but overall, the writing and pacing keep the story afloat. This was a breeze to read and I'm sure it would be just as engaging when filmed.

Good job.

Chris


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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 6th, 2012, 10:44am Report to Moderator
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Gary....love your avatar!!

I thought this was good. I got a little confused over the people on occasion. Especially since it's so fast paced. To help that, I think you could call DRIVER John right away and also stick to the cop's names with Officer and then their names.

I also think it should all take place at night or day. Right now it starts out at DAY then DUSK and then NIGHT. That seems like an awful long time to drive on that one road.

I wasn't a fan of Sam sticking the gun in his mouth. That seemed off to me.

Why was Robert shooting Kevin? It would work better IMHO if Sam or John did.

Other than that, good work and good to see you back here again.  


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SS, is still free...
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