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All or Nothing by Jonathan Terry - Short, Drama - Geoffrey Pennington, a life-long slacker, must make a tedious decision when he is offered the job position of his esteemed brother. Matters are made more complicated when the life of a loved one hangs in the balance, making the result one that could destroy the family entirely. A July, 2006 One Week Writing Challenge Entry - pdf, format
Written with such perfection that I felt I was reading a professional script.
Everything from format, spelling and grammar to dialogue. The story itself was good too, but in my humble opinion, the writing itself exceeded the story. Because of that I'm thinking this one might have been penned by Abe/Gary. I could of course be wrong. If I am I hope the real author takes that as a BIG compliment.
I thought the beginning was perhaps a little slow to get going, but the awsome writing made me stick with it.
I thought it would have been nice if the wife and children had names.
I also thought it was weak, that Michael seemed to need permission from his wife in order to speak privately with Geoffrey.
As Pia said it was written by someone that knows his job very well.
Really a good and ease reading here. I desagree when Pia said that it starts slow, I don't think so. For me it run very good. On the other hand, I think that the Dissolve to wasn't necessary and I miss days or nights in the sluglines. That's all.
By the way, this was a nice developed short script I have read in this new challenge!
Lots of drama here. But you barely scratched the "theme". The main dramatic scenes take place outside the barbeque. And the barbeque scene ends up being sort of a daydream if I got this right.
I liked Geoffrey's dilemma. Early established and serves like a good hook to keep readers turning pages.
It's quite heavy on dialogue, but talkie scenes is something quite difficult to avoid in dramas.
My main beef with this piece was with Mayfield's character. He comes out of the page more like a plot device than like a real character. He is really mean with Geoffrey and puts him in a very difficult situation which isn't neccesary. Anybody else could fire Michael. This is neccesary to move the plot forward... but... Why would Mayfield be so evil with him? Flesh out Mayfield's motives a bit more. Give him some motives to act in such evil way.
Some small stuff:
P.6/7 You don't need the scene in which you show when Michael finishes working. By seeing him in his car we can assume he finished.
P.7 The scene with the bartender could be trimed a bit. The first dialogue lines are news for the bartender but not for the audience. Let the audience asume Geoffrey told the bartender about his problem. Start with the mortage stuff. With the new information.
Helio is right about the dissolve. Leave that to the director. Or maybe this is an intentional format mistake to fool readers about your identity?
Very well done here. Some very good drama with the all or nothing title playing right into the story. You set your characters up very well, and gave us a satisfying ending while showing the alternative. I really don't have much else to say about it. It flowed well. No complaints on the surface.
I have a suspicion who wrote this. I believe it's someone who resides from the same corner of the globe as me and who, if I'm right, wrote a phony review of themselves on this thread. I'm going out on a limb with this so I could be mistaken but I don't think so.
As for the story, I felt it was a competent entry. Perhaps not as resonating as some of the others but still a good read. If I'm right about the author then he/she was writting out of their usual element. All the more adirable if it is true.
Back to the story:
I'm a little confused - how does Michael still keep his job at the end? Wouldn't Mayfield get someone else to fire him anyway? Plot holes or my own ignorance not withstanding, this was solid, both from a narrative and descriptive standpoint.
"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
This one certainly had everything in it. A huge conflict, a jerk, family problems, pity and all ended with a happy resolution. You have some "its" problems...
*Page 5: But I think *it's* *And again at the bottom *And once more on the last page
I don't know about Mayfield's character. I mean, he says that the company is having problems and that doesn't derive him from acting like a complete asshole. I'm no company president or anything(though I did run for California governor, mind you), but the company is going down the crapper, would I really take so much pleasure from burdening Geoffrey with this? I don't know. Maybe I'm just a nice guy.
The dialogue was the best of all the exercises. Authentic, sharp, realistic and the ending is something to be happy about. The other potential ending is included in a fantasy session and it's seen what could have happened, but Geoffrey made the right decision in the end. Really showed class. All-in-all, great work here.
I would have preferred it that it end the first way. Seems a little bit harsher and adds depth to the drama. You tried to resolve it in an orthodox way when I think the story would be better served if you ended it in an uneasy way.
You used a lot of camera direction when you shouldn't. FINAL FADE OUT should be just FADE OUT. There were some punctuation errors and a little too much description in your action lines. Don't need to know that there are green beans. It's after the funeral, there is food on the table. We get it.
Dialogue is on the verge of being good. You just go a bit too far sometimes. You can cut it back a bit. No DAY or NIGHT in the slugs. I think I can see why but still, you need to mention it in your slugs.
The plot incident is good but just don't buy that a less-skilled brother would be pitted against the other better one. Offices do not work this way. It would create a hostile work-environment. Those decisons are always made as low-key as possible. Now if you had the two somewhat equals and one trying to do out-do the other, then it works much better.
This was another good read, but like mentioned earlier, it didn't really follow the theme of after a bar-be-que. At first I thought that maybe the slacker brother had Michael unknowingly doing his work for him, and that was how he got promoted, but I was wrong. Not a whole lot to say about this one, dialogue, story, and characters were good. I think maybe this person entered two scripts this time around. ???
Good read, Cindy
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
Thanks for the great reviews guys. I was kind of skeptical of this when I sent it in, considering I've only sent in 3 scripts the whole 2 years I've been on this site. It means a lot and only makes me want to keep on writing. I hope that everyone will take a look at my stuff more in the future.
I think this is one of the last ones I need to look at -- I gotta go check -- but this one is pretty good, too. Lots of good ones this time. Not to be a jerk or anything, but I got around to this one late because it was the longest. Iím a baby that way. Sue me.
No typos jumped out at me -- an accomplishment in and of itself for a OWE -- nice job there -- and the format is just as it should be. There are really only small details to pick at here.
* While you have to reveal that Geoffrey is his brother, probably through dialogue, there must be a more subtle way to do it. That first patch of dialogue seemed a bit forced. * And speaking of dialogue, I think most people have stopped using (contíd) by now. We know who is talking. Their name is right there in CAPS above the dialogue. * Mom warns the kid not to break any bones? Quite the pessimist, Mom is. Anyways, that is some more dialogue that struck me as odd. * The cut back to the bar is confusing at first. I thought he went back to the bar after the fight. Only later does it become clear that the scenario with his brother was imaginary. There should be some detail in the bar that immediately cues us into the fact that he never really left.
Looking back on this story, I found Mayfieldís actions to be questionable, and perhaps a bit unrealistic -- but he was supposed to be a jerk and he certainly comes off that way. Also, we begin the story with Mike, but it's really Geoffrey's story -- so perhaps we should have started with Geoffrey -- walking down the hall with his big stack of papers and maybe a doughnut clenched in his teeth.
But I guess my biggest problem here is that there is no barbeque. I mean, they eat some fried chicken at one point, but thatís not the same. Kind of a fudge there, but I guess I can hardly call people on stepping outside the boundaries of this particular exercise haha.
I was impressed with this one, and found very little to fault it on. Good job.
Ahh, good one. So much conflict going on here. Don't we all know that "Drama is Conflict"?
Anyway, all that is just a day dream? Dreams seem kind of lame to me. An easier way to have a character do anything, and not worry about what it says about the character, because it's a dream after all. For example, didn't you establish that Michael is hardworkng, even by Geoffrey? And then call him "lazy bum" by Geoffrey and can get away with that?
Also Mayfield's character? Is there more behind the grin? Heavier and Lighter payloads -- how would firing Geoffrey be equal to firing Michael?