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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Pushed - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Pushed - OWC  (currently 3997 views)
Posted: February 15th, 2015, 10:14am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Pushed by Allen McQuerin III - Short, Drama - Jealous over a new girl's popularity, a group of students harass her unaware of the repercussions over the prank that spirals out of control. - pdf, format

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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: February 15th, 2015, 1:20pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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The story was well written, but it dragged for me in the middle, quite severely.

The weaving in of the chain letter was very awkward.

There's some potential here, particularly the character of Daniel, but nothing here really felt new, or powerful enough to really make the grade.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: February 15th, 2015, 1:36pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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I like the title and logline here.

I guess you have to have a lot of characters with this piece but it's hard remembering them all for me and by page 3  you have intro'd at least 4 or 5 already.

Page 3  Cameron’s glasses ...think supposed to be Carmon's

I am not sure if Montage Intercut is the right way to handle those conversations. Were you trying to save space? I think having the girls confronted would have been better...more tension. And this part goes on way too long for me. It pulls me out of the read TBH.

I dig the bully thing, but for me it seems unreal it would play out like this.

OK I love the thought of a chain letter causing death. I think that would have been the concept to focus on here instead of the bullying. That is just my opinion.

I think this one needs work but it's definitely worth it! Good job completing an OWC.
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Posted: February 15th, 2015, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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As I go...

Interesting...or maybe strange, how many scripts have the writer's name on the title page.  I'm not familiar with any of these peeps, so maybe they're fake names?  But why so many doing this?  Weird...

So, we start off with a SUPER telling us it's 15 years ago.  I did a quick search and see no other SUPERs, so this SUPER makes no sense if the entire story plays out 15 years ago.  Does that make sense?  If you don't have any exact dates/years, and you don't alter the time period, it's meaningless.

Opening Slug doesn't have a time element.  We're not off to a good start here at all.  So far, everything is incorrect.

How would anyone know that the damage to the drain grate is from a school prank?

"tip over the jar" - "tip the jar over" - as written, this is a perfect example of awkward phrasing.

"pulls out a few pins out of the grasshopper" - again, a perfect example of poor, awkward writing.  If you want to be taken seriously, these kinds of errors are unacceptable.  I'm about to bail, but I'm trying my best to stay with this.

Page 2 - "Rushes back. Puts the jar up. Closes the cabinet." - Who does these things?  Why is there no subject?  This passage stands alone, and you have 3 undistinguishable characters.  You have to write clearly and visually, or your readers will be clueless...or just lose interest, like I am.

And here's where and why I'm out...

"CARMEN, a petite 17 year old girl with wire frame glasses, spins her locker combination. In spite of her height and bookworm look, she could beat half of the other girls in any cheer leading tryout."

What's so wrong with this intro, you ask?  Well, let's see.

You intro'd 3 other characters earlier - 2 of which you said were "teen girls", while you didn't even bother with an age of any kind for the 3rd.  Now, we meet Carmen, and you tell us she's 17, and then for some completely unknown reason, you add a redonkulous unfilmable aside at the end, while not realizing "cheerleading" is a single word.

Unacceptable and I can't go any further. Sorry to be harsh.
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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 2:12am Report to Moderator
Been Around

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Not entirely sure what to say here, a little simple for my tastes, but it's exactly what you'd expect I suppose. The thing is, we've seen the 'girl gets bullied, dies, then the bullies get what's coming to them' countless number of times. It's too much of a simple concept and you didn't really try anything new, that's pretty much the problem here, that it's lacking anything to push it to the next level.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: February 16th, 2015, 10:54am Report to Moderator

The Swamp...
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You should mention if the first scene is DAY or NIGHT.

Is it important that we know it's from a past school prank? If so, then exactly what kind of damage is there to the drain?

Page 2.   Your description of Carmen. Skip the part where you write that she could beat the other girls at a cheer leading tryout. We can't see that here. If that's important, then let Carmen show us that.

Yuck! This is why I hate Orange Is The New Black.

Page 3.    Ditto the description for the principal.

Overall, I liked this one. Well written and easy to read. A bit predictable. I would trim the descriptions of Carmen and the principal since neither the cheer leading stuff nor the baton part ever played any part of the script. You could also make Carmen's accident a little more clear. I wasn't entirely sure what happened to her. The ending needs a little work IMHO. Why was David punished? Didn't seem to me he did anything bad. I wanted the "mean" girls to get more of a punishment than they got.

Good work!  

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Posted: February 16th, 2015, 2:30pm Report to Moderator
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I totally loved the setup for this.  But the death and follow-through.... didn't work for me.

Granted, the bully theme isn't new, but it was working very, very well.  I liked Carmen, the other girls worked well as bad guys...

Then, when Carmen fell (or was pushed?), it all fell apart for me, so to speak.  Most of me was expecting it to be revealed as a trick by Carmen to get them back.  But that didn't materialize.  Instead, the story just sort of petered out.  Really, I like alot of the foundation here... but I'd love to see the last third reworked.  Something cheekier, nastier.  Something that really brings it around full circle. Which is just a matter of doing a rewrite.

PS: I agree with Pia. Why the heck was David punished?  He was consistently nice to her....
e-mail Reply: 6 - 23
Posted: February 16th, 2015, 6:21pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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Liked the title and the log line. The story dragged a bit for me and I thought that there were several places where it could have been shortened. Now some nits:

Quoted Text
Orange cones and caution tape surround a gutter drain, the grate damaged from some past school prank.

Not sure how a grate damaged from a high school prank looks any different than a damaged grate.

Quoted Text
Two teen girls, RHONDA and ALISON, scuffle in

I think the age needs to be more specific – 13 is a long way away from 18.

Quoted Text
And stuffs them in the Ziploc.

Typo – should be stuff.

Quoted Text
CARMEN, a petite 17 year old girl with wire frame glasses, spins her locker combination. In spite of her height and bookworm look, she could beat half of the other girls in any cheer leading tryout.

I never know what to do with character descriptions like this. What does she could beat the girls in a high school cheer leading try out actually mean in terms of character description?

Quoted Text
Carmen, teary eyed and pale, looks into the eyes of the PRINCIPAL (mid 40s) a heavy set man who doesn’t carry a big bat for enforcement, but it wouldn’t be a shocker if he had one somewhere close by.

Same issue for me. Doesn’t have a bat – but not a shocker if he has one close by – meaning?

Montage/Intercut – not sure that is the correct format for that.  I did get a bit lost in it.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 12:42am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Pg. 1 -  "the grate damaged from some past school prank." -- weird description. How are we supposed to know that it was damaged in a school prank just by looking at it?

As I read, you take a few more liberties like the one above, especially in character description. That's the one place it's okay, but the way you do it, like telling us Carmen could beat the other girls at a Cheerleading tryout...that crosses the line into something we wouldn't imagine by looking at her.

I think there's a decent story in here but IMO it's very overwritten in parts and really dragged for like 5 to 7 pages which really slowed it down. Your story ends up buried.

Also, that intercut in the principal's office isn't formatted correctly. It should be a montage or just separate scenes. Intercut is for like a phone call that is all happening at the exact same time but different locations. If he's speaking to each girl individually, those are all different times.

A decent effort for this OWC. Just work on leaning it out.

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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 8:12am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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I really liked the premise here and I see a lot of potential in this. It was an interesting story and it kept me up.

I think you have extra scenes and lines of dialog you could get rid of. Like the girls already have her cornered at the beginning. Yet they again talk about her and discuss what to write on her cheerleading form. That didn't go anywhere by the way - I don't even know if they wrote it - I'd suggest you get rid of that part.

I think you could just have two bullies in this, you have four - no need for all of them. Have three and one should be the leader perhaps.

Carmen  - I don't see much of her in this. So it makes me wonder if it's her story at all. On one hand it looks like she revenged them somehow, on the other you left it open. Leaving it open is good, but may be you could make us think it's all part of Carmen's plan - the chain letter and all. I mean I did think that, but not sure others did. I think it would read better if you did.

I liked Rhonda at the end. You have a lot of Jessica thoughout. Maybe it should be Jessica then at the end - just to stick to the ones we see most.
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 12:05pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

North Carolina
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This seemed pretty good for awhile, but --

The logline says Carmen is popular. Plus, she's a cheerleader. Where are all her friends? Does no one have her back while this stuff is going on?

You had my attention with the interrogation by the principal (though when I read BACK TO SCENE I had  to go back to see whether I was in a flashback or something). Questions, denials. All rang true.

During the fire drill, nobody saw what happened? Seems unlikely.

Things got very muddled toward the end.

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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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First thing I'm noticing from page 1 is that it is overwritten. Which is probably why I also feel there is a lack of flow.


Orange cones and caution tape surround a gutter drain, the
grate damaged from some past school prank.

The second part of the sentence is a tell that cannot be filmed. A rewrite like this will help speed up the read:


Orange cones and caution tape surround a damaged drain.

I know other people are fine with it... but overly written scripts bug the hell out of me because I find myself editing as I read.

This is the hardest thing about screenplay writing. We, as writers, try to strip out all of the fluff and in doing so go through a stage like this, a hybrid, something in between.

The lack of ages is annoying. At one point, due to their actions hiding in the classroom, I had them down as pretty young. Now, with the sexual part added, I've gone right to the other end of the scale.

Pages 4-5, this is really dragging. I'm not feeling the dialogue. Undoubtedly this is because it's going on too long.

I'm out at page 8. I'll try and come back to it, but it's taking so long to read through. More brevity and getting time to edit this story will help a lot. There's a lot that can be cut.
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 3:47pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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There's a few typo's and errors in this that should be tidied up, e.g. pg 9 Principal says 'you four' but there's only three girls he's speaking to.

Asides can be funny and add colour to a script if used sparingly and if they make sense in context of the preceeding action...
a heavy set man who doesn’t carry a big bat for enforcement, but it wouldn’t be a shocker if he had one somewhere close by.
sorry that doesn;t cut it.

In terms of the story, there's a decent build up, to the point when Carmen foes into the drain... I think it lost momentum from her, though I did like the chain letter element.

Nice effort

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: February 17th, 2015, 7:01pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Well, I thought this was pretty good for a OWC but I think for your rewrite you should concentrate on trimming whatever doesn't move the story forward.
I also got a little confused by the end. I thought the girl had just hid herself behind other students.
It's always fun to write though, and maybe getting comments will help with the rewrite.

Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: February 18th, 2015, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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Quite like the title and LOGLINE, although could be cheesy. Let's see...

First page - three characters, different actions, motivations - you have to be clear. I feel this could be better. Overlapping different character and there actions in single paragraphs doesn't help . Mind you it's an OWC

Like the locker scene

Mayo. Tuna. Grasshoppers. - like ...errr.. Not to eat

Wow, this got weaved and convoluted. Actually liked that, but I wasn't sure what happened at the end, but then isn't that the view, the confusion, the unknown,the what could be. Legands and the truth don't always mix.

I would agree that the David part lost me.

Focus on the girls etc

Has potential

My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most 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
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