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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January, 2009 Two Week Challenge  ›  0109 TWC - Barren Earth
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  Author    0109 TWC - Barren Earth  (currently 3425 views)
Posted: January 17th, 2009, 5:00pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Barren Earth by Morgan Cooper & Mike Shelton (mbcgirl & shelton)  writing as:  Captain & Tennille - Short, Sci Fi - With the world on the brink of extinction, water is at a premium, and Earth's only greenery comes from the eerie glow of the night sky.  As water rations diminish, tempers flare and turn one small town upside down.  How they'll survive...God only knows. 15 pages - pdf, format

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Don  -  January 24th, 2009, 5:42pm
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Posted: January 17th, 2009, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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I have to say I liked this one - especially the ending.  I was like, oh no, the it's all a dream route and then Zing, you got me.

Besides a few minor science things like how exactly this organisation can control the weather and the sky, this was a really good story and I enjoyed the read.

Well done.
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The boy who could fly
Posted: January 17th, 2009, 7:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

British Columbia, Canada
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I think this one was pretty good, well written and it had a nice twist at the end.  In a way it kinda reminded me of the Truman show , at least in a darker way.  It does seem kind of implossible that the government or whoever would beable to control the weather and such unless it is like the truman show Where they are in this huge dome, still it was entertaining.   I thought it fit the challenge, you stuck with the theme and genre.

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Posted: January 17th, 2009, 7:30pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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i thought this was the best of the scripts. it gave a good twist to the theme. the writing was well done and the characters depicted sufficiently.
re the control of the weather, i think tho organisation merely linited their water not affected the weather. it wouldn't rain that much in the desert anyway, i presume. but overall, good job.

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Posted: January 17th, 2009, 7:34pm Report to Moderator

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I thought this was an interesting take on the theme.  I have to be honest in that I was expecting a lot of space age start wars type stuff give the genre, and I haven't seen it that much, in this or any of the other scripts.  

This seemed to have a post apoc type feel to it, with the mention of nuclear war and the green sky, and then ultimately the reveal that it's the 22nd century.

Like the others, I liked the ending, and I can see where the weather aspect is coming from, but like Stevie, I pictured it as more of a drought ridden desert type setting where rain wouldn't be all that common.  I think in that aspect it works.

Anyway, nice work.  I enjoyed it.

Shelton's Website

Shelton's IMDb Profile

"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." - Steve Martin
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Posted: January 17th, 2009, 7:58pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Some things are better left to the imagination!

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I liked this one much fun reading all of these   

I think this one hit the genre and requirements and was nicely written.

Cool twist at the end...

In reference to some of the other posts...I think this place wasn't always a desert...but due to the control of the weather and water shortage it became it made sense to me....but then I'm a goof.

Great job!††

I love words and the fact that when the page is blank...there's nothing there until words are formulated in my brain. Those thoughts...rushing through my viens and out my finger tips, find "life" on the page.††

When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.

MBCgirl =)
My finger nails should look nice while I type - Red works!
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: January 17th, 2009, 10:56pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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This one has potential. The premise is mostly good, but this:

Itís a long story, and Iíll fill
you in on the details, but in
short, your community was chosen
for a specific experiment on basic
human survival in the twenty second
century. We cut off all your ties
to the outside world, limited your
water supply, and essentially
caused you to revert back to the
late nineteenth century.

Feels like a close cousin to the "It was all a dream" idea.

I think you can still work with the idea, but show this experiment being initiated by the government early on. If you provide this in your set up, I think you'll do a lot to improve the quality and believability here.

As far as the Silo is concerned, I was confused by this. What I was thinking you might like to do is create a bit of a different world identity and make this Silo be something that a technologically backwards culture worships. It seems to provide water in spurts and spasms inconsistently. If they don't know why or how and they rely on it, I guess it's possible for them to believe it has a divine nature.

I saw the biblical connections flying at me and I was waiting for it to be revealed why. I think you could do more with this aspect. Perhaps a little underdeveloped, but again the nature of the short is to be underdeveloped. With that said though, I think you put too much weight on the early images with the Silo and not enough on the character work which to me would be better.

When they went and did the digging, I felt there was a lag there and it seemed like it just took up space until we find out the end: That it was all an experiment.

The first thing I noticed when reading this was the first sentence. It glared at me because I thought:

It's too abstract. It should follow on the heels of something more concrete to be a stronger first sentence.

You might want to work with trying to be less wordy unless it's really important
to the story.


A small house, the main room is both the kitchen and living
room, with a wooden dining table at its center and a
fireplace built into the wall. A small bedroom is at the
back with a bed and dresser in the corner.

Is really detailed unnecessarily.

And this:

The sun has been up for a few hours and blazes in the

Can go to this:

The early morning sun blazes in the distance.

Overall I thought this was a good effort.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: January 18th, 2009, 2:13am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Hmmm, interesting..very interesting.  Not quite sure what to say here.

This was probably the cleanest, best written script of the bunch.  First, drunk, quick read, I didn't see any actual mistakes.  Bravo for that!

Story-wise, it was good, and engaging.  I think it was painfully slow, and way to full of dialogue that would never take place in the setting still worked somehow.

The twist was way too easily told, and there's no way 1 guy comes in to tell the town what what was done, but still...I think it worked.  The twist ending reminded me of "The Village" and that's not a good thing, but overall...I guess I like it...and probably liked it the best!

Good job...especially for a very clean, well written and concieved script.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: January 18th, 2009, 3:39am Report to Moderator
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I think Jeff hit the nail on the head with 'The Village', it reminded me very much of that. A really nicely written script and a great idea too. Was it Sci-Fi? That I am not too sure about, If it is it certainly on the border of Sci-Fi and Mystery.

The idea was sold however, I think it is highly likely that when the nukes start flying around and destroy much of the earth that people will turn to religion for help, I know this was only a short but It would have liked to have seen more conflict with the non believers. I loved the visuals with regard to the huge silo and everyone fighting over it, it would work very well onscreen. In fact this is the first OWC that I can actually see being a short film, Not sure if you have any desire to work on it anymore but if you can make the ending stand up stronger then it could be a decent one.

The only problem is the ending, the way things are at the moment it is too much of a stretch to believe that the Government were able to cut of an entire village like that and make them think there was a war. We are talking Internet, phones, TV, radios, CB's, mobiles etc... All out? Nobody drives to surrounding towns for business or shopping? I think it would need some work to make it easier to swallow.

However, apart from the very end this was a great script and cracking read. Well done folks.
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Posted: January 18th, 2009, 6:04am Report to Moderator

Newcastle, England
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The first line of action is strange. It just doesn't really make sense to start a screenplay like that. Just say what's on screen.

Rebecca and Abel are interesting characters. I like them.

I enjoyed this. I liked the premise and thought it was really well paced.

My main problem is with the ending. It was a major let down to have it end like that. I was hoping that the rest of the town, when they get back from finding the water, had went mental somehow. Maybe, there's a massive riot and everyone's killing each other. They can't stop them and tell them that they've got it' kind of a sad ending. Anything apart from what you went for would be an improvement though, at least in my opinion.

Really well done, but please change the ending. Maybe this could work as a feature?

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Posted: January 18th, 2009, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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Overall, I liked this script.  Well written and very quick to read.

My question is, how does an experiment alter the sky?  Nonetheless, it was an interesting story about survival of the fittest.

Also odd is the fact a preacher was given the role of leader of the group.  In today's society, many of us wouldn't allow this to happen.

You can definitely play around with the coyote and hunting for food idea.  I can see this story being expanded.

All the best,


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Posted: January 19th, 2009, 8:02am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

My UZI Weighs A Ton

Northern Hemisphere
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This was pretty good, had a sort of Lost'ish feel to it, in fact, pretty much all the characters reminded me of characters from Lost - and I'm totally okay with that, I love Lost.

The script itself was a tight and fast read. The theme was definitely there but one could argue that the genre was a little off - I liked it though. The ending did feel a little rushed - like you were running out of time - and I just don't buy that they share a laugh in the end. I would have been tearing Adam's throat out.

Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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George Willson
Posted: January 20th, 2009, 1:41pm Report to Moderator

Doctor who? Yes, quite right.

Broken Arrow
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I kind of enjoyed how this one went. It unfolded easily enough, and latched into some typical post-apocalyptic fare. What threw me in the beginning, though, was how a quarter inch of water could yield enough for "jugs." Maybe I didn't get it right. I thought the leap onto the silo to get more water out was logical, but the "security system" was perhaps too effective. It did give them a ray of hope before it all ended though, and that brings me to my take on the ending.

I am in the "it was all a dream" faction to where everything was instantly invalidated by the ending. We had that hope that maybe everything would be ok, and then we find out that everything was ok to begin with, and they just didn't know it. Hm.

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James R
Posted: January 21st, 2009, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Supper time!

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Wow, how very Ahmish this script was. Or Biblical? Both?

I liked how the community acted given the situation. I tend to believe that people get a me-first mentality when faced with tough times rather than "let's work together!" so kudos on that. And it seems that someone always goes crazy (Jesse) and I liked that his actions caused the twist at the end, which I did not see coming.

Speaking of the ending, though, I was sort of disappointed. I like the idea but I think it was very "Oopsy! We made a mistakey!" for me. The whole script had an eerie feeling and then ha ha, just a misunderstanding.

I also question why Adam would need to speak to the man in charge. Was that just to build tension? If he had good news for everyone why would he wait until Bastion returned?

Good job. Go acronyms!


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Posted: January 21st, 2009, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
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I'll disagree on a slow read.  I thought it was fast.  I've never gotten through 15 pages as fast I did reading this.  It's interesting, good writing, and funny in a weird way-- surprise death on page 6 and Bastion's reaction.  Reminds me of something you'd see on South Park.  The ending is cute.  I can understand any dislike for it, but I thought it was nice.
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