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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  A Single Bound Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: October 13th, 2010, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Single Bound by Constance Wallenberg (conwall) - Drama - A Single Bound' is a drama about a single mother who loses custody of her son after being accused of a crime.  She must fight an uncaring system, the family trying to adopt him, and the her abusive ex-boyfriend or risk losing him forever.  105 pages - fdr, format

A Single Bound by Constance Wallenberg (conwall) - Drama - After she's falsely accused of a crime a single mother must fight to regain custody of her son, but an uncaring system, the family who wants to adopt him, and an abusive ex-boyfriend stand in her way. 106 pages - pdf, format



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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  October 25th, 2010, 6:38pm
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Ledbetter
Posted: October 14th, 2010, 7:32pm Report to Moderator
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It is in Final Draft format.

You may want to resubmit it in PDF so it can be opened and read.

If you are not sure how to convert it, a lot of people here use Final Draft taht would be happy to let you know how.

Shawn.....><
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Yeaster
Posted: October 14th, 2010, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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You can actually click "save as" and save the document as a PDF.

The file size is going to be G I N O R M O U S though (comparatively speaking), so you'll have to host the file yourself.


---
Blog
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Ledbetter
Posted: October 14th, 2010, 10:04pm Report to Moderator
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Exactly Yeaster,

Like 50 meg- big

Too huge for me to want to download.

Shawn.....><
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Brian M
Posted: October 15th, 2010, 12:57am Report to Moderator
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How so? I use Final Draft and save to PDF, my file sizes are all under half a megabyte.

I remember a while back I had problems with huge filesizes but I got a fix from the final draft website.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 15th, 2010, 11:28am Report to Moderator
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I use Final Draft and I’ve never had any problem converting to PDF or having a script hosted at the site. My PDF features average around 170 KB.

Instead of clicking “Save As,” click “Print” and then click “Print to PDF…” probably in the lower left hand corner of the box.


Brea


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conwall
Posted: October 16th, 2010, 8:19am Report to Moderator
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Thanks everybody!  I opened it myself and noticed it opened in Final Draft.  I'm reposting the PDF version.  Sorry about that.


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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conwall
Posted: October 16th, 2010, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
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Whoops, can't repost until the 18th.  


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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screenrider
Posted: October 18th, 2010, 3:03pm Report to Moderator
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Well, well, well...

I actually gave this script a chance and guess what?... I was pleasantly surprised.  You've got an interesting drama here.   Right up the same alley as Finding Forrester, Grand Torino, Monster's Ball, etc.   The bad news is it's chalked full of passive verbiage.  "ing" words and what-not.   There's also some pretty bad/awkward phrasing thoughout it.   You've got a major rewrite ahead of you.   But aside from that, this is the kind of story that the Nicholl's Fellowship contest eats up with a fork, IMO.

Honestly, I was tempted to bail out on this script a few times until I came to  page 38.   Interesting twist with Evan.  Didn't see it coming.  But everything leading up to that point I kept struggling with the believeablity factor.  After that the story became so believable I can't help but wonder if you have actually had an experience with DCFS or know somebody who did.  

A few more quick thoughts:  Farouk probably should've committed hari-cari as opposed to -- SPOLIER-- trying to cut off his own head.  Not very realistic.  

Also, really needed a funeral scene at end -- SPOLIER -- With Chavelle, Hunter and Sheila standing over Evan's grave, teary eyed or whatever.  Maybe even a montage.  Needed one last burst of emotion, IMO.

Also: I'm assuming Chavelle was African-American, although you never described her for some reason.. But I kept imagining she looked like Taraji P. Henson and it worked for me, although she's 40 and not late 20's.    

Last thought:  Some of the dialogue seemed really over the top in a few places.   Sorry I don't have time to go back and point it out.  Gotta head to my dayjob.

My favorite line:
EVAN
You know, most people don’t put ice in wine.
CHAVALLE
Why not?
EVAN
It’s hillbilly.

Funny stuff.  

Good luck with this.   I'm glad I read it.   Clean it up & shop it around.   And don't start off the story with Present day.  No need for that.

http://www.oscars.org/awards/nicholl/index.html

EDIT: You might want to consider getting Celtix.  It's free. http://celtx.com/


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Don  -  October 22nd, 2010, 2:22am
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conwall
Posted: October 19th, 2010, 8:35am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read!  Believe it or not this is actually the first bit of feedback I've ever gotten on this script.  Thanks for your comments.  Funny you should mention my experience with DCFS (I have none), but looked up a lot of histories on line.

While I was writing I started to get worried about the NSA looking around at a list of websites I'm visiting, because I'm looking up Muslim stuff, and (gasp) weapon stuff, not to mention stories about people who often hate the government.

I started to think Google should just have a search engine just for screenwriters.  "Oh, they're just writing some fiction, don't worry about it."

Anyway, thanks again.


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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fionaman
Posted: October 21st, 2010, 11:37pm Report to Moderator
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Um, it's still not in PDF, and I want to read it.
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conwall
Posted: October 24th, 2010, 5:28pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you for trying to repost.  I appreciate it.  But we might be one or two titles off.  Any chance of trying again?


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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Kevin Loughnane
Posted: November 9th, 2010, 11:22am Report to Moderator
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Hi Constance,

First off I really enjoyed your screenplay.  As mentioned earlier it is certainly in a similar vein to Grand Torino.  The plot is well thought out and executed.

Here are my observations:

On the first page you say Maurice takes a stab at parenting - suggest you remove this as you are being descriptive here and not visual re your audience.

P3 - No need to say radio traffic crackles - just say- cops pile out and pull Chavalle off Maurice.

P4 - not sure if necessary to underline her - I know some people do this in scripts but personally I find it distracting..

P5 - A guy playing an extra in his own life story - again this is not going to appear on screen and I find it confusing so maybe delete this?

P5 - you say reading newspaper and then scanning - why not just say scanning - no need to use both here..also I don't understand what looking for the orbit means..but that's probably my fault and not yours!!

P8 - bureaucrat pats his hand - would they really do that?  Is that appropriate behaviour?  I think the verbal sentiments are sufficient here.

P9 - when he enters classrom he'd probably just say sorry I'm late - then pick up papers and say I have the results....

P14 - the good news is, based on what you've told me, is you're not in any trouble. - using is twice is incorrect - how about - the good news is, that based on what you've told me, you're not in any trouble.

P24 - Mrs Ling scowls - this says it all so no need for - she doesn't like this...one..bit

P37 - all you did - suggest instead - all you've done

P48 - allowed in THE building - and HAVE already broken three rules - or perhaps - and already you've broken three rules.

P49 - get well soon Mom & Dad - Would they really say this? I confess I'm a bit confused at the timeline since Chavalle's arrest but I'm assuming no more than a couple of months between her arrest, being bailed, and seeing her son so I find it hard to believe that in such a timeframe they'd be writing this but then I confess I don't know much about foster families........

P54 - with A pay envelope

P57 - crumples on the sidewalk - enough said - no need for BAM. Dead? Dying?

P62 - Evan re asking if the detective married the volleyball player - would he really ask this when he's just been brought in with Chavalle on potentially serious charges?  If I were him and I saw a familiar and friendly face I'd be straight away trying to explain what happened so as to get them on my side - and not engaging in small talk....

P69  Which is funny because...... - suggest you delete this and simply say As everyone is already standing they simple straighten up.  That way we get the joke.

p77 - poodle starts yapping as if to warn..... - sugest you leave it at poodle starts yapping - the rest is unnecessary and again descriptive rather than visual re the audience

P77 - suggest she replies to Michael saying - this is mama's special friend - and so delete You haven't met have you?  - not necessary and besides this is something you might say to an adult but not a young kid.

P78 - Gonzo never says anything - fair enough but again as an audience we don't know this as you're being descriptive again rather than visual - the fact that he never actually speaks tell the audience all they need to know....

P80 - I KNEW she was working on something...

P105 - Paramedics rush TO him.

P106 - Chavalles last piece of dialogue is a bit weak for an ending I feel - and also as has been previously said perhaps a funeral scene re Evan might be more appropriate - I think if a machette went into his chest then he'd probably die from it.....adds more drama and pathos to the end.

Well I hope some of this is usefull to you! As I said at the beginning I think it's a great concept, it would make a good film, and I wish you the very best of luck with it.

Kevin  
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conwall
Posted: November 9th, 2010, 9:19pm Report to Moderator
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Kevin,  Thank you so much for the comprehensive post.  I appreciate your thoughtful comments.  

If you have anything to read I'd be happy to return the favor.

I won't respond to each point other than to say that you are right in spotting my extemporaneous commentary.  I did it about three times in 106 pages and was very concious of it each time.  Most of the time I'm trying to avoid a (wrylie) and still trying to convey a character's exact state of mind.  Maybe three is too much?

I'm working on it...

I also used Obit in place of obiturary, which you sped by as Orbit.  I find this interesting, as the typical overworked and under-interested hollywood reader might just make the same mistake.  

I'm changing that too...

Thanks again.


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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Eoin
Posted: November 11th, 2010, 10:08am Report to Moderator
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COP #1
(Rubs his chin)
I think I saw her drop it.

I just don't see that is being realistic or enough to make a legal case out of. For me, if this is the turning point in your protaganists life, you'd want to hang it on something more solid.
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fionaman
Posted: November 12th, 2010, 11:12am Report to Moderator
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I think you have a strong premise here. Sure, it's been done before (Losing Isaiah), but it's all in the execution, right? The problem lies in the fact that this screenplay needs some work, but I'm guessing this is a first draft anyway.

I think there are way, way too many pointless scenes, most of them revolving around Chavalle and Evan. We don't need to see every minutiae moment of their day. Most of these scenes don't move the story along in anyway. They could count as character development, but they are really such generic moments (and I mean that in the best possible way) that it would almost do a disservice to your characters to say so.

You skip over HUGE dramatic moments, like Chavalle getting the assault downgraded to misdeamenor, in favor of the dinner party afterwards (what?) How does Sheila come to represent Chavalle? Why you choose to leave the truly important scenes offscreen I don't know.

There are pointless scenes here that may seem important, but really aren't. The whole confrontation between Chavalle and Mrs. Ling, leading to Mrs. Ling's death, had pretty much no effect on the story. It seemed like filler, as it was only mentioned in passing in court (pointless) and by some disgruntled retirees who show up at Evan's door (pointless).

Another thing, there really is no sense of time here. The pacing gives no indication of it, and the mentions in the script only muck it up. One minute Maurice is in jail for a year and a half, the next he's in a courtroom and a fully converted Muslim. There's no way in hell a year and a half passed, I distinctly remember somebody mentioning "three months" as the elapsed time just pages back.

Look at your logline


Quoted Text
After she's falsely accused of a crime a single mother must fight to regain custody of her son, but an uncaring system, the family who wants to adopt him, and an abusive ex-boyfriend stand in her way.


You really need to ask yourself one question. Who and what is the focal point of this story? Is it the relationship between Evan and Chavalle? Or the one proposed in your logline, about the mother fighting to get her son back. Because about 90% of the script is devoted to the former premise, which means you have a completely different movie.

The ending was quite predictable, and I really don't know why you went down the father-goes-berserk road, it's been done to death. I think it would be compelling if you actually lived up to your logline and Chavalle actually has to fight to get Michael back. I found the courtroom scenes very underwhelming. She gets him back so easily, with little to no conflict besides Farouk showing up. Up the stakes.

Despite the meandering, still-life quality of this piece, I still thorougly enjoyed it. Chavalle and Evan have a chemistry that is palpable on the page, and the story is a universal one. The execution, as it stands, is leaving a lot to be desired though. Get rid of a lot of the dead weight, and get to the true heart of the story, and I think you have something here. Studios aren't champing at the bit to produce dramas, so why make your chances that much slimmer?

Overall, a 6.5/10. Solid, but it could be great with a few more drafts.  
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conwall
Posted: November 25th, 2010, 9:41am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read.  It's clear you spent a lot of time with the script and I appreciate it.  Your comments are insightful and thorough.

Maybe too insightful.  Painfully so, in fact.

Thinking back, the original "germ" of the story was High School teachers.  And I thought it must be strange for teachers in a way.  They spend their entire careers, lives in fact, interacting with these kids.  Most of whom they never remember.  At the end they might end up asking themselves, 'what was it all worth?' and 'did anything I did or taught amount to anything for anybody?'.   And in most cases, the answer is probably 'no'.

And that fact, that point of realization, might lead some people to think that they've wasted their lives and efforts.  It's kind of depressing in a way.  So then I thought, maybe I'll make this character who is experiencing all these feelings, and put him in a situation where he really can make a difference.  It's his shot at redemption.  And he finds himself in a situation where he can help a lot, and really have a huge influence on this girl's life.  And surprisingly, she could have an equally big impact on his life too.  Sort of a "Gift of the Magi" type theme.

I probably should have stayed there.

Then everything I've learned about screenwriting kicked in.  And I thought, yeah but I need a powerful opening scene, and put your character up a tree and throw rocks at him, and raise the stakes, and save the cat, oh and don't forget to end it with a bang, and and and...

And there it goes.  Off the rails.  Bye bye.  Wave everybody!

And the bitch of it is, I knew it.  Saw it the whole time.  So yeah, I skipped the courthouse scene because it isn't a procedural (boring!) it's a character study.  So what do I end up with?  A drama without drama.  He helps her.  But there aren't any useful obstacles for her to overcome.  Need a job?  Here it is.  Need to go to parenting class?  I'll drive you.  Need to visit your kid?  I'll drive you to that too and make sure you don't mess it up.  What does this kid do to help herself besides asking for help?  Not much.

So when I read your review, it was like getting caught by a stranger walking out of the shower.  Naked!  Saw me!  Warts laid bare.

At first I was pissed.  How did he get through my defenses?  My snappy reparte?  My religious dedication to coming late and leaving early?  My succinct slugs and trimmed-down action desciptions?  My brutal culling of adverbs?  Not to mention spelling, my God, the spelling.

But upon reflection, I can see that you were only pointing out what would be obvious to a "better" reader.  (Said readers being in short supply in both real and cyber life.)

So I'll close the way I started which is simply to say, thanks for the read.  I'll try to be more impressive next time.  









Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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fionaman
Posted: November 26th, 2010, 3:16am Report to Moderator
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Ouch. Now I feel bad. But if you get a better draft out of it, I'll be happy
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