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Now, I'm confused. The story is very well done, it's absolutely bleak as all hell, but yet very well written. The pacing worked for the type of drama it was, there's no obvious typos and the formatting was nailed.
Why I'm confused is...who the hell is the author?? Having spent a decade down under, and technically being an Aussie, I can tell this author has either spent a significant period of time there, or has done a good bit of research. All the Aussies should logically be going COLD, but you went HOT. From Centrelink, to the dams you get on the country farms and also ute's, all nailed. Very mysterious...
Anyway, it was grim, a real tough read but perfectly executed and pretty darn good.
Aside from the mystery of the author amongst us, I'd say this is gonna be up there.
Good choice of setting - struggling farmers, desperate people do desperate things
The playing of music over the top does work to a degree, but also confuses it IMO. But I give you this, setting a story over a song isnít easy.
The twist at the end is a sad one. It isnít bad but something feels off about it, not sure what. Maybe I just donít like the outcome. Or maybe if their was to be a twist it was always going to be that their actions were pointless, I suppose. It as though I would have preferred the farmer to know this, just not believe it.
The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
This story needs more. Something to drive it. To raise the stakes. Show us a mountain of unpaid bills to set the stage they are in debt and in big trouble, not just from the drought. As is, the man just kills sheep and there isn't as much reason for it I think as there should be. Also, not sure why he kills himself at the end. That came outta nowhere and was unbelievable. They are not desperate enough. I don't feel the man is at the end of his rope yet.
Hard to do all this in 6 pages with no dialogue. Good effort but needs more to make it work.
Not bad. I liked the song playing, then rising once the window is shattered. Pretty bleak story, but the writing, though prose-like, kinda carried me along with this. Little JAWS reference in there too with the eyes. I caught that. Anyway, pretty good job.
I'm torn because it's a good story. I think this would look great filmed. But I wouldn't say I enjoyed the read. It's just too much detail of every movement... even most thoughts of the characters. It did read like prose. But almost intentionally so, like you were deadset on getting a certain atmosphere and not too concerned with how fast it read. I do think a good filmmaker could do something special with this.
Great on point and succinct character descriptions. Lovely description of the Farmerís Wife, understated but says it all.
But even in the winter the temp is a mild 20 Celsius, and its so dry...
Outside of this challenge this is going to work better imho, if the drought is depicted under a blood red sun, and itís stinking hot, people are dripping in sweat, hard yakka etc.
I thought at first with the Jerrycans he was going to set fire to the animals?
Lovely descriptions with the dam and surroundings Ė can picture it all perfectly. Great job. Iím not finding the dense paras too much at all. Doesnít need dialogue and doesnít feel as if dialogue should be there.
I liked the way the Farmer killed one of the crows Ė showing his fury at the injustice of it all.**
Terrific use of silence and the Farmer's Wife becoming alert because of this. That'd be a great moment.
On screen by page three he's shot about half of the flock. Be up to the director but thatíd be some carnage to see on screen, a bit punishing Ė perhaps the option of using the sound of the gun only, after a point?
Perhaps have this line below on a new line Ė new subject/shot.
His wife is standing now, watching him carefully.
At this point: Pushing the phone back into the pocket, she runs...
I'd have her already move closer before she takes off running (for her to see him lock the ute doors), she seems too far away in the beginning - and then focus on her running. This is where you could amp up the tension and suspense even more. She's effectively running to save her husbandís life at this point.
**I think you could add something to the wildlife visual too, there's a feature missing from your script:
Something like: Along the back fence hundreds of kangaroos whip backwards and forwards (Wild Rabbits too). Undeterred by the gun shots, arrogant, waiting for food.
Roos are in direct competition for food during drought and usually theyíre winning, despite casualties. Around fourteen million of them in NSW alone, up from seven million in 2010. I've seen it up close and personal. The Farmerís rage would likely turn to him taking a potshot at a couple of Roos at least, and the sound of further shots in their direction seeing them scatter, but ultimately returning, not deterred.
These words below, imho, should be on a separate line of their own too:
His wife runs across the paddock, dust kicking up from her feet.
To aid again in the rhythm and increased suspense.
I wonder too if instead of calling her 'his wife,' itís a little removed. Calling her by name (and him too) may make the read more effective so that your audience/reader, at least, feels it, more personally, right where she is.
Focus on the sound of her breaths, frantic, feet flying, sound of her cries and wails perhaps, as she can see what he's about to do, getting closer and closer, desperately trying to get to him to stop him. I'd include her 'banging on the car window MOS, in addition to what you've written already.
I could picture the crowbar falling soundlessly into the dust, then the sound coming back up with the smashing of the window, the bleats, the caws etc.
Bravo, on expertly weaving the lyrics around the action.
You've written this with raw emotion we can really feel, and evoked the visuals terrifically.
Imagining this as a film I canít help feeling though that itís too grim, too bleak.
I'd like to think one of them is a survivor, that perhaps she sees something in the end to change her mind and battle on. The irony of course is the Text message.
I'd give no open credit to Centrelink btw - make it generic: govt assistance instead.
Rain finally falling would be the ultimate irony.
The Farmerís Wife getting soaked to the skin by rain, sobbing and screaming to the heavens in the final frame will probably be too much of a happy ending for you, I predict?, but it could also provide some much needed relief for an audience, and a message of hope.
Impressive work, writer. Really well done.
P.S. Its / it's bone dry p.2 Is the only typo that stuck out.
Coincidences are a weird thing. Eating my lunch today I watched the news go on about a drought in Australia and farmers are struggling to water their livestock. Then I read this!
Well written but from a prose perspective. There's way too much detail and over emphasising the action. It is way too specific. If you cut all that down to the bare bones so to speak, you'll then have more room for story and character development, which are the key elements that a script needs beyond impressive descriptions.
Nice twist at the end, grim and atmospheric but needs a lot of work to become a screenplay in my opinion.
Great effort though for a week and the writer can write.
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Starting with OVER BLACK seems like a missed opportunity to me here.
Some of the images related to drought are truly astonishing. You could set up the whole story with a couple of impactful shots and forget the SUPERS altogether. A 'No Swimming' sign in the foreground with a bone dry lake behind it maybe. Or an animal's corpse, decomposing under the midday sun in a barren landscape... Okay, further on and can see there's plenty of them to go around so maybe ignore that last point.
Not overly sure what to think of this as a whole.
I think you nailed the theme of the challenge and the no dialogue parameter worked well.
Writing was fine for the most part. Few unfilmables and the odd spelling mistake here and there. But not bad for a week.
I felt the characters' desperation to a point, maybe not enough for the actions they took.
The main thing that bugged me was the relief payment angle. If it was such a big deal, why doesn't the wife just show her husband the phone through the window? She had it in her hand about two seconds earlier.
That whole scene just felt a little too contrived.
I don't know, maybe the two suicides in such a short space of time was too much for me.
Good effort. But needs a little re-working to be great IMO.
So did she read the message or didn't she? That part was confusing. Because if she did read it then she should have shown it to him when she was banging on his window. If she didn't, well, why? Was she in such a hurry that she didn't have time to look at the message and had time putting it in her back pocket? I don't know. I'm not buying it.
I hated the fact that I didn't know where this was going as I reached page three or so. I wish you have established the possibility of him committing suicide early on somehow. Because even though him jumping in the car and locking the doors surprised me but the surprise had a weaker impact since there was no overshadowing or any sort of setup. It jumped at me out of nowhere.
Other than that bit of nitpicking, this was a solid drama about hope and despair. Thanks for participating.