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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    September 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  One/Zero/One [room] - OWC Moderators: Don
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Don
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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One/Zero/One [room] by Winston Wolf - Short, Sci Fi - A glass divider in a large room. Two men on one side. Nobody on the other. One of them believes there is. 8 pages - pdf, format


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greg
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 12:45am Report to Moderator
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First one.

To the writer,

Unfortunately this didn't do anything for me.  It had a 1984 meets Twilight Zone feel but ultimately it didn't pay off.  I get what was going on - these two guys were in a room, one knows why and the other doesn't.  But the dialogue wasn't very exciting, contained a lot of grammatical errors, felt clunky, etc., etc.  For a story that's primarily dialogue-driven, that's not a great combination.  I mention Twilight Zone because the end felt like this was going for something psychological but, again, it just didn't do it for me.

Also review formatting.  Jeff will get you there.  

Sorry, but good job on completing this in a week.

Greg


Be excellent to each other
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 3:17am Report to Moderator
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Yeah, and here's Jeff.

Listen, like the last one I just read, the writing on display here is just downright irritating.  The constant lack of a subject in your sentences, the staccato weirdness, the horrendous punctuation, not skipping lines when you should be...argh...sorry, but I have to say I hate it.

The "story" is nonexistent, as far as I can tell.  I assume it's supposed to be deep and filled with imagery, but it really goes nowhere, and not fast, either.  It's so dull...stark, non visual.

I guess you can say it's different and the kind of thing where different peeps can read different things into it, but for me, it's a really tough slog and nothing I'll remember when I wake up tomorow.

I'm sorry, cause, again, I know this sounds harsh, but I can't stand this style of writing, and the story is absolutely flat line.

Congrats on completing an OWC entry.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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CindyLKeller
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 7:15am Report to Moderator
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Okay, you got the one location, so good on that.

The writing though, you kept trying to tell the story through dialogue and film is supposed to be visual. Have your characters do something that people wouldn't see coming instead of telling the story.

This one didn't do it for me either, but I believe this is a young writer who could work this into something neat if they worked on it.

Cindy


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rdhay
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 7:46am Report to Moderator
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Hi Good comments so far. I'll just expand on Jeff's when he mentioned your sentence structure. IMO, Richard Walter says it best: 'No Tarzan talk.' This script is full of Tarzan talk and it makes for a really tough read. Add to that the lack of beats in a really 'out there' sequence of events and you've got bored readers.

Still, it's obvious you put a lot of thought into this, so good job
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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 8:24am Report to Moderator
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Okay read this one

It could be an easy film, one room, fake plants ect.

Lots of Dialogue in this. Thats where it needs to keep the readers interest and can be a difficult task indeed.

I do like the "vibe" this thing has. Outer limits, TZish.

Good job on getting this done!


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Pii
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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I do share the opinions stated above, so I won't repeat them.

However, I will add that the biggest problem for me was that Jack's progression does not track. He seems to be pretty all over the place and Jack in the beginning seems to be a completely different character in the end for no apparent reason. At least, no apparent reason that I could detect.

It also seemed more random than mysterious. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't the intention, since often an interesting master plan behind it all can seem random to the reader/viewer at first and I quite enjoy mashing the bits and pieces together. However, since the page count is only 8, there is no time to reveal the master plan that explains the randomness and therefore it is simply... well, random.

Also, starting an 8 page script with a full page of description is a pretty dangerous thing to do, almost impossible to be done appealingly. And it was really strangely written, didn't follow the screenplay format and was way too playful. This read like a script meant to be read rather than filmed, which is not good.

But some good scattered ideas. I liked the characters of LOVE and BLISS, since they seemed to fit the world tremendously well, even if they were quite blatant references to 1984.


The act of writing is a quest to put a hundred thousand words to a cunning order.
- Douglas Adams
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Grandma Bear
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 10:53am Report to Moderator
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Hate to get on the bandwagon here, but this one didn't really work for me either.

The writing was sort of irritating to me too. I write pretty terse myself and prefer it to over written text, but you took it too far IMHO. There were also grammar issues.

The story didn't make sense nor did I find it very interesting. That could probably be fixed by showing us some character. We don't really get to know either of these guys. They don't reveal anything about themselves. Therefore, we don't really care about them or what will happen to them.

Jack says he's been there for two hours! Would make more sense to me if he had been there for days. He's been there for two hours and they've already fed him fish and chips and water out of a tuna can?

I didn't get why anyone wants to "watch" these two bozos.

I'm sure you can turn this into something decent with a solid rewrite based on all the comments you will get here.

Good Luck.  


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SS, is still free...
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 11:34am Report to Moderator
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Easy to film, and I get where you are trying to do with this. The only thing here I'm curious about is Jack's spaced out rant. "They this" and "They that" - he talks in circles for me.

Format. I'm 50/50 on this. I see the other comments, and I'm not surprised. I think you read part of that Walter Hill link a few weeks ago; but word to the wise...not a lot of folks around here are into stacking. Believe me, I tried it a few times. Perfectly legal, some people like it. Others want to light the nearest match and light your draft on fire.

No windows, you attempt to hide the doors, one overhead light, maybe some reflection...okay it's not easy to know if it is day or night. I understand why you left it off. That said, it doesn't matter...well, yes it does. Some folks are going to go apeshit over it, so I suggest that if the characters don't know the time of day, doesn't mean we don't have to. (I'm assuming that all cell phones and watches were confiscated?)

How long has Jack been there? He's on something, he thinks two hours, Will says he looks more that two days - note some folks didn't catch that. Which lends me to think - after reading this a few times- that a lot of visuals are indeed buried.

I suppose the end

+++SPOILERAGE ALERT+++

Suggests that the "Party" (an Orwell reference? Also 'Room 101'?) has drugged Jack for some unknown reason, and that...well I think he and Will are the same person?! But there's no other way to explain the switching of the colored couches unless that was a goof on your part.


I'll give you chops for completing the OWC and for keeping the dialog to a three line minimum, although I probably would have shortened up Jack's spaced out rant. I also...I also would have thought it more trippy if, on the other "side" are the two "agents" Love and Bliss (codenames? real names?) and watching them but don't see them. (PS. One guy is named Will, and while Jack's last name is also a first name, does it have some significance? Or has....

Jack lost his will?

Maybe it should have been shorter, or longer.
Not as  bad as folks are making it out to be, I seen worse.

But just so you know, there are anti-stackers on deck. Don't get discouraged.


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leitskev
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 12:17pm Report to Moderator
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I am going to give this higher marks than the other reviewers. I had no problem with the writing at all. That's not to say the writer shouldn't listen to the considered advice of the others, I'm just saying I had no problem.

I think this was effective at creating a sense of mystery about what was going on. As the story progressed, we were led to wonder, were the guys part of an experiment? Was this just an imaginary world of Will or Jack? We've seen many versions of stuff like this, but it's a formula that's always ripe for producing something new.

As far as the criticism that it's too much dialogue, I am going to predict most of the OWCs this time will be like that due to the limitations. With one location and 4 actors there's only so much you can do. So there will probably be a lot of talking head scripts, and some real cheesy action scripts. Take your pick. I just don't think there are many opportunities for "show it, don't say it" in shorts with those limitations. With a short, I'm OK with a dialogue heavy script.

The end of this story did seem rushed, however. The nurse shoves a pill down Will's throat without any struggle or difficulty. In fact, the whole pill shoving thing became a little weird and cheapened things a little. I would consider dropping that stuff.

But on the whole, I thought this was a good effort, and with some cleaning up, could be a nice little short that would appeal to some who would be interested in filming it.
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grademan
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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O-Z-O (room)

The setup for this was figure out why they were in the room.

Setup worked, criteria met.

The talking was circular going round and round with one character knowing more and one character seeing more.

It was cool when the guy walked thru the glass.
It was confusing when LOVE and BLISS showed up.
The ending didnít provide closure for me
I like sci-fi logic arguments and was able to follow this
Action stacking and use of colons were unusual but didnít bother me
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 2:42pm Report to Moderator
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This one has potential, but it's not enough as it stands. It's not clear to me what is wrong with Jack and Will exactly. How they got there? Why they are being studied?

When these questions are solved, it will improve the story.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 6:04pm Report to Moderator
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A few thoughts;

# sorry to say it, but too heavy on the dialogues for me.  - I appreciate it is one room etc but maybe a few ideas on more visuals, changes, events etc
# I have to say it did lose me. Agains I think when you depend on dialogue it's easier for this to happen
# echo another remark - why two hours for jack, I wasn't sure on that.

Room 101 is an interesting disturbing concept, but I am not sure this did much for me.

Best of luck.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: September 17th, 2011, 11:17pm Report to Moderator
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This script follows the OWC guidelines with no problem.
The narrative left me confused and wanting.
I dig the Orwellian tropes, but they were spoiled by exposition.
I did not get a good sense of the room and the layout.
I applaud your ambition, but it didnít quite work for me.

Regards,
E.D.


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: September 18th, 2011, 1:29pm Report to Moderator
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I love the premise and the title. This has a lot of potential. As with most of these stream-of-consciousness pieces, however, there really is no story and no place to go. If you donít have an ending, you donít have a story.

There were so many directions you could have gone and you actually tumbled past a very interesting direction you elected not to go.

I think Love and Bliss only made this seem too overtly allegorical. Any subtlety was undermined by that point.

This would be relatively cheap to produce and would maintain interest from an audience. The question is whether or not audiences would feel let down by the end. Itís hard to say. Seems to me it needs to be fleshed out a whole lot more to really make it into something memorable.

If youíre willing to get a little less symbolic and a little more concrete, I think you could turn it into something that would make a strong festival film.

Good luck.


Breanne


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