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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Expiration Date Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 27th, 2007, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Expiration Date by Mike Shelton - Short - Matt's random hookup is about to make for a very interesting day. 12 pages - pdf, format


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  May 27th, 2007, 7:44pm
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n7
Posted: May 27th, 2007, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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Even though it was somewhat of a dark comedy, the jokes had a very broad appeal to them. The story actually had heart to it too, without hitting the reader over the head with it.
It was one of the few shorts I've read that actually tells a completely fleshed out story, with a good beginning, middle, and end in so few pages.
a couple of tiny suggestions,
pg 4) instead of having her repeat what Matt said "post op transexuals", I thought "i'm not a tranny" could have fit better.

the dialogue on the end of pg. 6 and 7 could've been tightened some. ex.
SELENA: Listen to me. today is your day and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm sorry..... could have been....SELENA "Listen. Today's your day. I'm sorry."

Same goes for Matt's following sentence, "why did you have to go through with all of that picking me up and sleeping with me business?"..."why go through with all of that picking me up and sleeping with me business?"
Overall I really liked it, good stuff!
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Zack
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 1:57am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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This was interesting and well written, but a little bland. I didn't find it very funny though, sorry. Also, on page 4 Matt sits down, then on page 5 Selen tells him to "sit down" and Matt replies "I think I'll stand if you don't mind." this was only a minor error, but an annoying one none the less. maybe I'm just tired, but I have to say i really didn't enjoy this read. Nothing really jumped out at me. I will have forgotten it in a months time.

7 out of 10

Zack


MY RATING SYSTEM

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Shelton
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 2:22am Report to Moderator
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Zack,

Yes, humor is quite open to interpretation, it's just a risk that's taken when you write it.  I'm fully aware that not everyone will find this funny.

The sit down line was a goof where I'm missing a description.  He was supposed to stand when he wonders why Selena knows his name, so yes it's a minor error, but annoying?  Maybe a little far-fetched.

Can I ask why you rated it a 7 when you didn't enjoy it?

I won't even get into your statement about forgetting it in a month's time.

Thanks for the read.

n7,

Thanks for checking it out.  I see what you're saying about some of the dialogue being possibly tightened up.  Sometimes people just word things differently, but I'll look into it if I ever decide to do anything else with it.  I wrote this mainly as a way to just keep working while procrastinating on a play.


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"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." - Steve Martin
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Zack
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 2:28am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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I gave it a seven because it was well written and well paced. It was a decent read, but I was expecting it to have more impact.


MY RATING SYSTEM

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Shelton
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 2:31am Report to Moderator
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More impact like what, like Selena sprouts horns and burns him to death?  I have no idea what you're saying, but I'd really like to know.

It's okay to leave feedback that elaborates on more than whether you just liked it or not.


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Zack
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 2:37am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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I'm not sure what I was expecting when i went into this script, but I didn't get it. Hmm, I've come to the conclusion that I am very bad at writing reviews. My biggest problem with this script was the lack of excitement. Like I said earlier, maybe I'm jsut tired. Or stupid.


MY RATING SYSTEM

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alffy
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 6:35am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mike

I thought this was great, very funny.  The way Selena turns from powerful and mysterious to moody and appologetic when Dexter arrives was excellent.

Your dialogue was also very good, it kept me interested from start to finish.  The concept itself is maybe not the most original but the twist at the end came out of the blue.

Selena's character showed a lot in such a short time, like I mentioned earlier.  This was key for me in making this so entertaining.  Her change was very well done and very believable, if naughty angels are believable.

Good work.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Hmmmm.

An interesting read Mike. My thoughts:

1.An excellent opening. Had me hooked from the very start. It's the kind of thing I've seen before but it still felt fresh.

  One thing, for me it set up a thriller or a darkly themed film, not a comedy.

2. I didn't like the whole of page 3. It just didn't feel natural or comfortable to me and it also felt a bit cliche.

   It also changes the mood that you established in the opening scene and feels confusing in some way.

3. The middle part is too drawn out for me. We know why she is here, let's get to it.

    Having now seen the ending, I would also add that we don't get any sense that she likes this guy. It starts off with the twist that this beautiful girl likes this guy to a degree you wouldn't expect but then goes into the fact that she doesn't really like him and then at the end goes into the fact that yes, she does actually like him.
  
   Those movements spoil the plot. It should be consistent that she likes the guy.

   To get the conflict play around with the idea that she likes him TOO much Ie set up a fatal attraction kind of mood. He wants to leave, she won't let him, then she reveals he has to die.

4. Her explanations don't set the end up at all well because they give the game away. If she is trying to get a boyfriend she should be more flirty or more sympathetic to the guy.

5. The idea that she is trying to get young guys into heaven is a good one, although it begs the question why can't she have a live one? She seems able to visit whenever she wants.

Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. It had a good premise but I think the mood of the piece was fairly confused and It feels like a first draft.

Not bad though.

Cheers, Rick.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  May 28th, 2007, 7:19am
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Shelton
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 1:01pm Report to Moderator
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Alffy,

Thanks for the read.  I'm glad you enjoyed it.


Rick,

A few responses.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


2. I didn't like the whole of page 3. It just didn't feel natural or comfortable to me and it also felt a bit cliche.


Makes sense.  I think I feel victim to my talky writing style there.

  

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
3. The middle part is too drawn out for me. We know why she is here, let's get to it.  


It might be a little, but I extended it a little in an effort to touch on some of the other things you mentioned below.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Having now seen the ending, I would also add that we don't get any sense that she likes this guy. It starts off with the twist that this beautiful girl likes this guy to a degree you wouldn't expect but then goes into the fact that she doesn't really like him and then at the end goes into the fact that yes, she does actually like him.


She does like him, but she tends to tread on light ground because she's not supposed to be what she's doing, which becomes more obvious when Dexter shows up, but in the buildup to the that, there's the little things like the mention of killing the one guy and how he ended up hating her, and then the little wink and "See you up there" before she does him in.
  
  

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
4. Her explanations don't set the end up at all well because they give the game away. If she is trying to get a boyfriend she should be more flirty or more sympathetic to the guy.


The sympathy angle could be a nice touch when it gets down to it. The flirting was already in there at the beginning.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
5. The idea that she is trying to get young guys into heaven is a good one, although it begs the question why can't she have a live one? She seems able to visit whenever she wants.


That comes back to her doing something that she's not supposed to be.  She's really just a messenger of death, and should be out collecting souls.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. It had a good premise but I think the mood of the piece was fairly confused and It feels like a first draft.


I can deal with that.  I wouldn't say that it's a first draft though.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted Text
I can deal with that.  I wouldn't say that it's a first draft though.


Sorry, that comes across as rather more insulting than I intended. I just meant it didn't feel quite solid enough as yet.

Rick.
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The boy who could fly
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Hey Mike.

Well this was a fun read.  First off this started off great, the coffee shop(I'm gonna sound like a total dingbat, but what in the hell is a barista, is that like a turistas, i have no clue since i never been in a coffee shop before)

I thought Selena's motivation was funny, her main purpose to find a beau....LOL, funny idea.

the dialogue was god, like usual for you, still not as strong as your earlier stuff, but still very funny.

I think Matt should have stayed dead at the end, that's the twisted immoral part of me, would have made the ending a little darker, I think it's always best to go all the way, but then again I'm can be an idiot so it might just be me.

In the end this was a quick fun read.


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Dethan
Posted: May 28th, 2007, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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On first read, I really enjoyed it.  The concept reminded me a lot of other stories... which I liked.

On the critical side, some of the dialogue was goofy. Pg.3, definitely goes on that side, and it brings out the fact that if you were going to kill someone for a boyfriend... would it really be this guy? I guess she wanted someone noone would miss, but that could be made more clear.  

Also, she should really be trying to keep on his good side throughout the death process if she wants him in the romantic sense in the afterlife.  In fact, I think there could be a good deal more comedy in her attempting to make him want to die.  Him not wanting to go... already means her plan has failed. Then, if she succeeds in the seduction it'll be even funnier when the Drexel brings him back to life because he would have been happy to die.

I still like it.  The set-up and ending were both great.  The middle part could be strengthened and the seduction part could be funnier.  But it was still a good read.  Nice job.

Dethan


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mgj
Posted: May 29th, 2007, 1:50am Report to Moderator
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This was kind of what I expected from you Mike.  You seem to have a knack for working the humor into the overall fabric of your story without resorting to gags.

There were a few loose ends though.  *Spoiler*  Is Selena supposed to be the Grim Reaper?  Or is she just some wayward angel interfearing where she's not supposed to?  If so then what are the consequences for her actions?

This could have tied-up a little better at the end.  I think there also needs to be more at stake.  As it stands, I'm not sure either Selena or Matt have learned anything from the experience.   They're both in pretty much the same boat as when they started.

Nice segue from the coffee shop to the bedroom.  If only it were that simple.

Anyway, nice job.  As usual with you, the dialogue was the high point.


"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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Shelton
Posted: May 29th, 2007, 11:06pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the reads guys.

Jordan,

A barista is basically the "Starbucks" title for someone that works in the'r shop.  I believe the term applies to both male and female workers, since the only male sounding one that made sense was "barrister", but that's what they call lawyers in England I think.  I tend to use it when a scene is in a coffee shop (which happens a lot in my scripts) and the employee isn't a main character (which doesn't happen as much).

I think if I left Matt dead, it would change the entire context of the sotry, to where instead of being an actual messenger of death from above, she's just some sicko who sleeps with guys and smothers them to death or something.  He came back because it wasn't his time, and Dexter pointed that out.

There's something about my scripts and my dialogue lately where everything is just really subtle.  It's probably the subject matter I'm choosing, but with this and the one week challenge they were for the most part just normal people.  I'm actually outlining a short at the moment that I think is extremely ridiculous in concept, so hopefully I'll be able to make the dialogue more colorful because of it.

Dethan,

You're pretty much on the same page as Rick with not liking page three, but when the additional comments added to it are taken into consideration, I'm starting to wonder if this couldn't be a feature by developing Selena more and having her on this "hunt" before she even gets to Matt.  Could be worth a shot since I don't have any scripts with a true female lead.  Except for a partial horror script anyway.

MGJ,

Selena is a messenger of death, where as she's like a grim reaper but there are many more people like her.  There's a line of dialogue where she tells Matt that he should hear some of the stories the other messengers have, but I can see where the confusion is.

As far as learning anything from it, Selena definitely didn't since Dexter has to call her off of someone else out in the hallway.  Matt, yeah that's definitely unknown.  He's not sure what just happened to him but he knows he's got these red shoes in his room and it freaks him out a little.  Going back to the feature thing, I could extend it in a way to where Selena ends up coming back for Matt at a later point and spends the rest of the time trying to avoid her.  My only fear is in having it end like Splash that way.

Dialogue, Dialogue, Dialogue.   I think I'll just write plays full time from now on.  


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