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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2012 One Week Challenge  ›  Skitzo - 10/12 OWC
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  Author    Skitzo - 10/12 OWC  (currently 4202 views)
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 5:48am Report to Moderator

just another ego maniac with low self esteem

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Nothing wrong with the writing here, it's just that the story is a little too bland. A lot of the dialouge between Charles and Maggie is fine, it's just that they go on for too long. More subtext is needed. The scene at the dining room, you need to come in much later.

Assuming this is the supernatural past:

I don't know.  It was big.  It stood
at the foot of my bed and stared at
me.  I could hear it breathing.  It
just stood there looking down at me.

This here, just doesn't work. Your character is TELLING US that Charles has fulfilled one of the challenge criteria:

Odd?  Maybe a little.  What I do
find you is interesting.

You need to SHOW us that Charles is ODD and INTERESTING.

I don't see the choice between good and evil.

This played out as a pretty straight forward affair, no real twist and a story that borrowed heavily from Psycho. It wasn't bad, just didn't fulfill all of the challenge requirements.
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Private Message Reply: 15 - 31
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 9:32am Report to Moderator

London, UK
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I enjoyed this story,  I liked the concept and didn't see the twist coming.  However the parallels to Pyscho does kinda take away any praise for the concept, but then again I guess that was kinda your intention, as a homage to Pyscho.

I like the way Tom in taking his own life, in a compassionate act, is actually killing Maggie, but the speed at which Tom takes this U-turn didn't feel believable and felt muddled.

A few things that stuck out.

Maggie accepts Charles offer of double payment, not a great start to a relationship.
Maggie refers to Tom as a Skitzo. Isn't this a derogatory term?
I may have missed something here, but did Maggie ever indicate that she was actually unhappy.

Overall,Good Job.

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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 3:11pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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Page 1. By setting one scene inside a car on the road, you are adding another location.

Other than that though, the 1st page is pretty good.

Page 2. I guess Maggie is going to take advantage of Charles by charging $200.

Three pages of dialogue only and it even exclaims that they are two odd and interesting people. I almost cringed at that to be honest. They should be saying and doing odd and interesting things not telling us that they are.

Page 7. How would Charles know that the manager has strict rules about smoking in the rooms?

Page 9. That was kind of clever. I like that it is Maggie who has schizophrenia and has the 2 personalities. Good work.

Finished. I think this one was competently written and fairly good. What I like most about it was the premise. I loved the idea that Maggie had 2 personalities. That was great. There were things I was less impressed by Adam. Such as the long dialogue and then seeming to get along just a little bit too good to fast.

Still, very good work.

Private Message Reply: 17 - 31
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 3:59pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this was a nice read.  Given time for another rewrite, this would be even better.  It did ring of Psycho quite a bit, but this isn't such a rare thing.  There are plenty of movies with such a character in it.

Incidentally, split personality disorder and schizophrenia are two completely different mental illnesses.

Dialogue flowed fairly well for the most part.  Every now and then, it turned wooden.

For formatting purposes:  When Maggie talks in Tom's voice, it would still be listed as Maggie's conversation.

e-mail Reply: 18 - 31
irish eyes
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 11:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Great Logline

Well it was very predictable.... Your title gave it away.
NOt really supernatural either... more psychotic, but overall not bad.... Kind of matches my Avator


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Private Message Reply: 19 - 31
Posted: October 26th, 2012, 5:53am Report to Moderator
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I thought this script was well written and an interesting concept.  But again. It's a script about the motel manager and I don't think that is what the brief intended - even though it might not specifically say that.

If I were a microbudget filmmaker, I'd be looking for something I can do in a motel room - because that would be the cheapest and easiest option.   This script, for example, might have one location but it has several sets - some of which might be difficult to obtain or schedule (a motel office will have to be used when the manager isn't using it - for some motels that is never).

Anyway, enough ranting.  The author did a good job here.  
e-mail Reply: 20 - 31
Posted: October 26th, 2012, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Writer - I like your dialog.

Skitzo by - {no logline}
Brief - A hurricane crosses paths with two or three people.

Locations & Sets  -  Interior, car @ night. Exterior, motel parking lot @ night. Interior, motel lobby @ night. Interior, motel room @ night.
Actors  -  CHARLES, 35, MAGGIE, 30,
Costumes  -  coat, thin white nightgown for ruin, t-shirt for ruin
Props  -  candles, suitcase, cologne bottle, prescription bottle + pills (TicTacs!), glass, sandwiches, wine, wine glasses, cigarette, matches, chair, large butcher knife, table for ruin
Audio FX  -  loud windshield wipers, radio announcement voice over, outside storm rain and wind, body thud, floorboard creak, synch Tomís voice overs with Maggieís lips, bleeding neck slash prosthetic, liquid stage blood
Visual FX  -  
Other  -  heavy rain on car while driving (effffff meeeee!), strong projection red light, lighter, makeup artist, plastic drop sheet to protect floor
Genre & Marketability - supernatural horror suspense
Comments  -  Iím going to skip that flooding parking lot bit. Turn off your screenwriting programís mores and continueds feature.
Here's to two odd, but very
interesting people.
Sell it, Baby! Sell it! Sell it! Actually, I do like these two characters very much. Nice dialog. Youíve done a nice job. Second motel room/apartment is going to be a $$ hassle. Pg10 I beleive the proper screenplay format rules indicate the Maggie/Tom character before dialog should be just that: MAGGIE/TOM or TOM/MAGGIE, whichever voice is being used comes first.
Done. Nice story. Seems like the end of a feature. Iíd ditch that opening car interior scene for budgetary reasons, though. Script format: fine. Final word: with a little tweaking this is very marketable, just a hair hokey.

$500 - $1,000  Lo/Hi Estimated Budget Range
/ 10.4 Screenplay Pages
= $48 - $96 Estimated Cost Per Screen Minute

Adherence to Given Criteria:
Odd but interesting character(s) - not really, but Iíll make an allowance for the dialog
take refuge from a hurricane - yep
in a beat-up motel - yep
and are forced to make a choice - sorta
between good or evil - not really
in order to survive the night. - sorta
Each character must -
have some history involving a supernatural event in their lives - yep
that factors into their choice. - sorta
Genre is open. - supernatural horror suspense
This is a micro-budget short, - yep
so no destruction of the motel, - yep
no children or animals - yep
and minimal special effects. - yep
BONUS! Story also included:
mime(s) - nope
dinosaur(s) - nope

Private Message Reply: 21 - 31
Posted: October 26th, 2012, 10:15pm Report to Moderator
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I actually went into this one not liking it (Though admittedly slang, Skitzo is normally spelled Schizo...  So there's a spelling strike, within the very title!)

But - I actually enjoyed this one alot...mostly.  Was it amazingly original?  No.  But it was overall satisfying.  To make this one shine more, I'd recommend adding more romance to the dialog (I didn't get the feel that there was enough reason for the male protag to really bond with the woman.)  And tighten up the dialog, too.  It wandered a bit - coulda been more to the point.  

But yes, I enjoyed it.  Even if it didn't really meet some of the criteria (where's the choice between good and evil, really?  An encounter with evil, perhaps.  But a choice?)
e-mail Reply: 22 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 1:08am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Quoted Text
He's a skitzo. One of them multiple
personality people.

While there's nothing really supernatural and there doesn't seem to be a hurricane, and there isn't really much to the story, it is well written and I can see it as a short film. Could be one on the shortlist, even if it missed over half the guildelines. My main problem is what I quote above.

It tells me a lot about Maggie's regard for her brother by using an un-PC expression, it also shows that she doesn't know the difference between multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia. That's wonderful - even if she's wrong. When the reveal is given, however, this quote is confusing.

Whem Maggie is revealed to be "her brother" talking in "Ted's" voice, I went "huh?" I couldn't believe any of it. Not a single word. Because I kept going back to that line of dialog. Then there's the question of the MPD itself, the back and forth "between" characters. I'm sorry. I'm not sold.

Yes, it could be filmed. And if I were the filmmakers, either I'd change the quote or I'd actually have the "brother" as a different character.

So what's wrong with that quote? It's what follows. "It's alright if he's taking his meds"

Let's say it is what it is and both characters are one the same. The brother "will" take his meds to be under control. The sister doesn't need meds. Correct? Let's take a small step back here. At some point in time, one person, regardless of personality, takes medications. Which would revert to the "regular" personality  which is Maggie.

Maggie has no reason to lie, for that would suggest an awareness of that condition even though she should already have an awareness of the condition
if Maggie is the 'real' personality.

Follow me?

No, you probably don't.
Well written, lot of potential, but ...okay, maybe she should have been demon possessed with the Pazuzu. Well..okay...maybe not...

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Site Private Message AIM YIM Reply: 23 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 3:31am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The dialogue didn't bother me like it seemed to others.  I think it's satisfactory.

Overall, not a bad retelling, though I would've liked Maggie better if she were named Norma.

Private Message YIM Reply: 24 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 3:42am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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Hmm,  a little 'Psycho' number.

I really liked the opening, but then you kinda lost me with the incredible characters.

Agree with Eoin re the supernatural event and your character Charles. Just too convenient, and I'm not buying it. Plus, that was enough for him to stay on meds for the rest of his life??!

The story is not bad, but it's not great either, I had a longer review here, but I 'refreshed' and lost it. Sorry.

Crux of it was: some akward phrasing and descriptions and a few misdirections I feel - your spelling of things like 'offense' & 'Saloon' seems to indicate you could hail from either the US or UK or OZ.

As for the story - unfort. the plot twist was all too obvious so no surprise denouement for me, and a rather unclimactic ending.

I enjoyed some of it, but it def. needs a rewrite.

Short Fuse OWC Writer's Choice
Private Message Reply: 25 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 6:56am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Los Angeles, CA
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I really like some of the dialogue in the beginning, though things moved toward the "romantic" side a little too quickly.

I actually laughed at the whole "odd vs interesting" discussion. Not sure if that qualifies this as a pisstake but I think it's hilarious. My type of humor.

The line where Maggie explains the situation with her brother being a "skitzo" gave away too much in my opinion. You shouldn't have mentioned an illness because she went on to describe his intermittent appearances and it really gave it all away.

This is still one of my favorites though. I think you need to tone down the whole romance thing because it moved a little too quickly, but this is solid.

'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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Private Message Reply: 26 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 10:59am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Here's to two odd, but very
interesting people. - Somebody having a bit of fun here.

Well, well, another Maggie in an almost empty hotel, reminds me of a script someone else wrote. .

I like the set up here, worked well to get out the necessary exposition for this challenge, I got Charles' super natural backstory with whatever stood at the end of his bed when he was ten.

INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT - I thought we were in a motel?


I'll be honest in that I saw your twist coming the minute Maggie started talking about her twin brother Tom and that he was a Skitzo. It really didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story, though. Overall, this was a pretty solid entry.

The only issue I had was I thought Charles would've booked out of the motel the moment he saw that Maggie was speaking in Tom's tongue and holding a butcher knife. I don't car how good she was in the sack, I would be heading for the hills

Good job entering the OWC.


Private Message Reply: 27 - 31
Posted: October 27th, 2012, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Parts Unknown
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Competent writing style let down by a cliched approach to mental illness. Given the one week time frame, and the limitations of the challenge, I can understand and forgive that.  The hurricane element isn't there, however.  And the supernatural part is basically thrown in the dialogue just to get it in there.  


The ending is a let down. Suicide is often a get out clause when we write ourselves into a corner. (I know I've done it. Well, writing, not actual suicide).  In this situation however, I'm not sure why the meeting of these two (three) people would conclude in this way.  Seems a little rushed and not satisfactory, a they have only known each other briefly, and it doesn't seem enough to conclude so terribly.

Private Message Reply: 28 - 31
Posted: November 3rd, 2012, 4:02pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

at my desk
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Well, my first ever OWC is in the books.

Quite an experience to say the least.

Thanks to everyone who liked Skitzo.  I appreciate the kind words.
Reef Dreamer (Bill) ...Did you actually vote for me?
Gary W...Thanks for the nod of appreciation.  Finally, some street cred.  

Thanks also to those who gave me the big meh.  Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.  And not unfounded.

I agree the story was too rushed (especially the affair) for a short.  It would definately be better suited for a 90 minute rain-soaked psycho thriller.

Thanks to Pia and Michael for hosting this event.  Good luck with the film version.
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