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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Only In Dreams Moderators: bert
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  Author    Only In Dreams  (currently 4433 views)
James R
Posted: September 3rd, 2009, 2:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Souter Fell
Weezer past Pinkerton is shite though. I wish it wasn't true but it is.

Agreed.


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Souter Fell
Posted: September 4th, 2009, 9:10pm Report to Moderator
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Weezer's almost the Kate Hudson of music. At least Weezer's got two good albums.


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James R
Posted: September 9th, 2009, 4:08pm Report to Moderator
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Oh, Timothy, I must apologize for my tardiness in getting this review in. Now all the anticipation will surely have killed any momentum it may have had. I got two great ideas this weekend and when I sat down to start I got an outline on one and 10 pages on the other in only a few hours. Hey, when you're hot...

So here's my review.

Your first page brings up a point that I have discussed a little on the boards and have not really come to any conclusion about. This description:


Quoted Text
Dozens of monochromatic, walled-in workstations ensure all company workers are not distracted by trivial things like a view, other people, or life itself.

is a good description, but it has more than is necessary for a movie script. You could leave off everything after the word ďensureĒ and get enough direction to set up the office, but the second part gives it more meaning. So the question is: how much is too much? At what point does it become like a book/novel and not a script? I havenít figured it out, if you have any thoughts Iíd love to hear them.


Quoted Text
Thank you. You look... you look like youíre on the wrong aspect ratio.

That was my favorite line.

The dream sequences were great, easy to understand while getting the nostalgia across.

This is a nitpick, but I have to find things to comment on. I didnít like Marcís line:


Quoted Text
Dammit. Canít believe I slept so late.

Then Anna gives Marc a book that she obviously had the night before, unless she was just walking in? Was she in the bed with him? It doesnít say. Anyway, this exchange just bothered me. Usually when someone is late for work they get up and run.


Quoted Text
Everyoneís got someone that they never speak of but think about everyday.

Good line. And probably true.

The montage started to lose me. I didnít see the purpose to most of it. Then the next scene where Marc confuses real life (Anna) with his dream life (Florence) it made sense. Nice.

On the top of p. 17 Florence throws the door open, I think you meant Anna?

The ending was good, tied it all up. I had to go back to reread the intro to get it, but it would translate much better on screen than on the page.

Overall I liked this one, very few suggestions. You canít relive the past, just cherish it and move on with your life.

Well done.

James


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Souter Fell
Posted: September 15th, 2009, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Thanks for the full review. Aint had a chance to respond (or much else) being knee deep in student teaching.

I'm still playing with what is too much literal embellishment. It's oh so tempting when a paragraph goes to the next line, despite trying to write economically.I tell myself, you've already bought the line, use it. With that I really wanted to give the sense of all humanity and commrodary stripped away. A room that can hold 40 people and each one feels alone. You're probably right though.

Seems the "aspect ratio" line has made some fans. Glad you like the "everyone's got someone" line. That was actually the line this thing was built around.

I'll have to look over the book giving scene, see if it needs some reconstruction.

Glad you got the vibe and thanks for the read.


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James R
Posted: September 17th, 2009, 9:39am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Souter Fell
I'm still playing with what is too much literal embellishment. It's oh so tempting when a paragraph goes to the next line, despite trying to write economically.I tell myself, you've already bought the line, use it. With that I really wanted to give the sense of all humanity and commrodary stripped away. A room that can hold 40 people and each one feels alone. You're probably right though.

Like you, I struggle with this. I see a scene in my head and I want to describe the whole thing, but I have found that my favorite scripts are loaded with story and story alone. Novels are filled with descriptions, which is why I have taken my first attempt at writing a novella recently.

Student teaching, eh? I did some teaching myself. Time constraints galore.


Quoted from Souter Fell
Glad you like the "everyone's got someone" line. That was actually the line this thing was built around.

And now it has turned into this. Cool.

James


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JonnyBoy
Posted: September 20th, 2009, 6:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Tim, sorry it took me so long to get to this. Iíve got a number of points Iíd like to raise, if thatís okay. This is going to feel like Iíve kept you waiting just to finally tear you apart; thatís not my intention, and before I start my criticisms I just want to say that I donít think this is by any means a bad script. Itís not bad at all. It just, for me, has some issues.

Let me begin with praise: I really liked the dreams. Thought you did those really well, particularly the one that ends in school. They had a surrealness to them that managed to simultaneously be very easy to follow. Very good images, a real sense of randomness without being TOO random.

Now for the issues.

The Facebook stuff was a problem for me. On page itís fine, but I feel that, onscreen, watching someone scroll through Facebook pages and comment on things wouldnít be particularly interesting. It's just inherently uncinematic. I understand that the purpose is to show Marcís boredom and his desire to escape work (and also to show his continued interest in Florence), but I feel it doesnít really need to be there. I donít see the point in mentioning Megan and Carl when they never actually make an onscreen appearance, either.

The pacing was off overall, I think. In an earlier comment even you said that you were aware it may rush towards the end, and I think it does. Things were moving along nicely, but the killer moment comes on page 14, where I think you cram way too much into a montage that probably actually covers more of a timespan than the first 14 pages. From that point I think the script never really regains its flow, and I do think the montage is to blame. The meeting with actual Florence happens too quickly and doesn't really have any effect, which it should do. Things go from okay to falling apart too quickly without any real sense of gradual decline. There's not even really an incident to tip things over. Perhaps a big fight with Anna that causes him to retreat more and more into the dream world

Anna is far TOO dull, in my opinion. You have a nice contrast between her and Florence (or at least Marcís version of Florence), and I get that his real life is supposed to be infinitely less interesting than his dreams, but I just didnít see anything remotely likeable in Anna. Marc describes her at one point as ďa really cool chickĒ, but that didnít come across at all. All she ever seemed to do was go to the gym. I think youíd have more of an effect if we felt that his obsession with Florence has really cost him a great relationship, that Anna is the best she can be and yet despite her awesomeness Marc casts her aside. At the moment she truly is vanilla, but I donít think that works as well. She just doesn't have anything about her, and I think she should do. She's the victim here, not Marc, but it's impossible to feel for her.

I have to say the ending really confused me. Not the very final scene, but the one before that. Iíve read it a few times now, but I donít know why he wakes himself up and throws himself down the stairs. Perhaps he gives himself an overdose, instead? Wanting to sleep forever, to spend eternity with Florence. The ending frustrated me, but thatís probably more a failure on my part than yours.

So those are my thoughts. I hope I didn't come across as too negative. I liked this, particularly the first half, but I feel the second half is a bit weaker. Look at Anna and the flow of the story again and I feel you could really turn this into something great, since you have a good central premise and a great grip on the dream-writing. Sorry the review took so long, and I'd be happy to discuss anything I've said further, if you like.

Jon


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JonnyBoy  -  September 21st, 2009, 8:05am
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 8th, 2009, 8:19pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Timothy,

Finally, I get to revisiting this. First off, I'm not going to read anyone else's comments until writing my own. That way I'm not swayed in my opinion.

I feel that this has shades of brilliance, but it really does need work.

At present, it is far too cluttered with dreams that are not definitive for us in the sense, that there are no clear labels helping the reader.

I think this was part of the reason it took me so long. I had started reading this, and I kept going back to the beginning and then, finally, I had to leave it for awhile.

Well, as you know, and I apologize, that "little while" became a long while.

My feelings are that you did not "set this up" right. Very simply put, we do not know that Marc is the homeless man. We do not know this is a dream and the bizarre nature of "holding hands in pairs while crossing the street" didn't get through MY EQUALLY BIZARRE BRAIN.  

There are a few problems with this that I see.

1- Conflict is not established at the outset, but rather the surreal landscape.

2- No motive/reason for Florence (even though it's a dream)

I felt like even though it was a dream, Florence needed a motive for being there and obviously I'm wrong in saying that (weird huh?) but I understand that Marc controlled the dreams; so obviously she needed no motive and yet, her personality was executed in such a way, in word and deed that she was, for all real purposes in the script, real. (another: "weird, huh?)

What I'm saying is, "She was real. Came up, said "Boo!" etc... And yet he couldn't come up with a "motive" for her "realness, meaning her continued presence in his dreams".

So perhaps you need to ask the question, "Why was he obsessed with Florence?" I mean really. Beyond just "they had a good thing goin' once".

In this respect, I feel this script sadly lacks. I don't feel THE CHARACTER in this. I only see a lot of banter back and forth between Florence and Marc and indeed too, with Marc and Anna. This brings me to:

3 To much of a "wandering quality". Felt aimless.

The dreams are the focus of this script, but they don't solve anything for Marc and they don't solve anything for the audience. I kind of felt like, there's definitely a whole story here, but it's just not on the pages as they stand.

Essentially, I feel that if you go back and approach this from a "character" perspective, you will discover deeper meanings behind the existence of "Florence".

Now, I'm wondering:

What exactly was it, that caused Marc's degradation to become a homeless man?

Perhaps this is a story of regret? AH!!!!! So THEN we have something here!!!!

That's what you need to do. Approach this from THAT PERSPECTIVE:

Give this some strong POINT OF VIEW:

Show THE HOMELESS MAN, MARC, WATCHING HIMSELF AS HE ONCE WAS!!!!  

Maybe have him dialoging with someone and pointing to a SHARP DRESSED MAN, NOT HIM and saying:

MARK
That was me once. Had it all.

And as he and his companion gaze upon the man, walking the street, we could take a sharp shift into THE PAST, whereby the SHARP DRESSED MAN BECOMES MARC OF THE PAST. We could become firmly entrenched in MARK'S POV, CROSSING THE STREET AND WALKING IN HIS SHOES.

If you did this, we would have a dynamic reason to want to read on and find out just How he got this way!!!!  

To me that's really exciting because it's REAL!!! These kinds of things DO HAPPEN!!!

Now,

A word on wording:

Here:

>Stopped at the red light is a classic Mercedes with a

DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN at the wheel and an unfairly
attractive LADY sitting shotgun.

I would change the construction of this sentence to read:

A classic Mercedes is stopped at the red light with a DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN at the wheel and pretty LADY sitting shotgun.

The use of "unfairly attractive" is a wordy mouthful.
Here:

>Marc stops halfway through the crosswalk, staring at the
woman.

What woman? Just use "Lady" again or we think there's some other lady.

Here:

>The people, in groups of two, Marc included, hold each
otherís hand and start to cross.

*I just didn't get this when I first read this, not knowing it was supposed to be a dream. I still don't understand right now.

What's General Lee?

Alright, Timothy, overall I would suggest you work on character and motivation within this and present it as a carefully crafted flashback.

I really do hope my feedback helps and again, I really do apologize for this taking so gosh darn long.

Sandra







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ReaperCreeper
Posted: October 8th, 2009, 11:22pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Timothy!

First of all, why isn't this in the Short section of the site? I clicked on the thread expecting a feature and, quite frankly, it'd been better if it HAD been a feature. There is enough potential for it. After all, not many would consider producing a short with such crazy special effects like a giant Pac-Man and the like.

Putting that aside, I enjoyed this up until the ending. I understood what you were going for, but I didn't like the whole "dream within a dream" aspect. I think it's tired and somewhat tacky. Plus, the dreams -- particularly the dreams within the dream --are way too detailed for me to buy the ending. Though, as a character, they seemed to fit with Marc's desires (both his dream version and his bum version), as in, his wish for love and his wish for contact (I thought that's what the melting people symbolized) so I didn't completely hate it.

Your concept is very good. I came up with a similar idea once. Actually, it was the exact same premise, though it bordered more on Horror than Drama. After realizing its obvious similarities to A Nightmare on Elm Street, I scrapped it, but I still wonder what could have become of that story.

I used to lucid-dream all the time. It can indeed be VERY addictive and I completely sympathized with Marc. But this script could benefit greatly from more pages. There is too much story  and three very rich character arcs to cover (that is more so if you keep the bum ending, which I would personally scrap altogether). Plus, like I've said, this is way too big-budget for a Short, anyway.

Nice display of creativity, though. I really enjoyed it. If I'd have to rate it, it would get a 7/10.


Some technical nits:
-I didn't like the way you formated your sluglines in your montage. Even if it's supposed to be quick, I would still consider writing them as normal scenes while telling us when the montage begins and ends. Alternatively (and I'd prefer this, personally) you could use "mini-slugs" instead of spacing. As in:

BEDROOM -- Marc thrashes about in his sleep.

Just a worthless bit I felt like mentioning. They read fine, but they looked awkward on paper.

Nice job.

--Julio

  
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Coleman
Posted: October 12th, 2009, 5:09am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Tim, love the topic. Dreams are always intriguing. However, I a few things vexed me about this short. What was most most difficult to read were parts where you stated something and didn't show the characters reaction. The best example I can think of is on page 25 when Marc meets Florence at the zoo but soon leaves. While leaving you SAY "The last words strike deep into Marc." instead of SHOWING how it strikes deep into him. There are many instances of this through out the script.

Your montage is not done right. The way it looks is about of short scene snippets. I montage shouldn't exceed 6 separate indents, each of which can be up to 2 lines long; 3 lines long would be stretching it.

It was nice how the ending came full circle but it left me wanting more. I feel like there should be more in the story about what happened after the tumble and he shouldn't be a homeless man at all, but instead he should finally be happy in his dreams with Florence while on life support and finally Anna pulls the plug. This would leave Marc with his dream girl and Anna free to find someone better, maybe one of the interns at the hospital who is caring for Marc. Perhaps I'm alone in my thinking but you have to admit it would be cool.


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BarryJohn
Posted: March 18th, 2020, 9:00am Report to Moderator
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VERY Unique and well written - LOVED IT
Barry John Terblanche


Who am I? A man with a hundred stories... you want to read one?
Analyst, mentor, competition reader/judge, film critic, magazine article/blogger.  
https://simpsonliteraryagency.com/script-analyst
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