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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  070705 Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 24th, 2008, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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070705 by Stephen Brown (stebrown) - Short - 7th July 2005. London. A love story unfolds. 3 pages - pdf, format


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Angry Bear
Posted: June 24th, 2008, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmm.....

I'm not sure what my emotions was here.

This was very serious stuff.

We have a girl who's trying to make up with her bf and a muslim man blowing up a crowded bus. In just 3 pages it's important I think to really get your point across and establish the characters. IMHO, I think you might have spent too much time on text messages and not enough time with the muslim man.

I think this might work better if the muslim man is not identified as such. You can perhaps give him "arab" features, but don't call him a muslim man. As soon as I read that I knew where this was heading. Make him a little more normal looking. An Arab man, but maybe in western clothing. Make him a little more mysterious too. By stating he's a muslim man clutching a bag and sweating you give it all away.

I also would have like some interaction between the girl and the terrorist. Even if just a quick look and a smile. Just something.

Anyway, not too much you can say about 3 pages. Good, but can be made just a tad better IMHO.  


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stebrown
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 4:57am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for checking this out Pia

First, I have to blame Jeff Buckley and Quentin Tarantino for this. I was listening to 'Last Goodbye' when I thought of this and had just watched 'Death Proof' the day before. Hence the love song and the text messages. This was an idea I was thinking of for the moviepoet silence comp but decided against it.

Muslim was a complete mistake. I actually meant to use the word Arabian, so I totally agree with you about that. It's based on the London bombings of the same date.

I wanted the outcome to be obvious early on to the audience/reader though, as I thought that would make her emotions more tragic. 'We' know that her making up with her boyfriend is going to be pointless but she doesn't. I just kind of wanted two stories unfolding at once, the bg story making the main story irrelevant but more harrowing.....that was the aim anyways.

Thanks again

Ste



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stebrown  -  June 25th, 2008, 7:52am
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dogglebe
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 9:31am Report to Moderator
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I agree with Pia.  You put way too much into a three page story.

There was no time to feel anything for the characters so, when the shit hit the fan, I just didn't care.  And the 'muslim' character was over-the-top obvious.

IMHO, the best thing for this story is to expand on it to build a little suspense.  Maybe even include other passengers on the bus.  Everything came at us too fast.


Phil
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stebrown
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 9:56am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Phil

The suspense of the story is supposed to come from her texts to her ex. That is the main story of the script. Because she's listening to the music, she isn't interacting with anyone on the bus. That's just how I chose to do it.

The story of the muslim man is going on, apparent only to the other passangers and to the reader/viewer. I take your point that it's a little too obvious but I didn't want the end to be a shock.

I appreciate you checking it out and both your's and Pia's points are probably right, but it isn't the way I wanted to go with this.

Ste


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alffy
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 10:12am Report to Moderator
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Hey Ste, I'm gonna echo Phil's comments here, things just happened a little too fast.  If you had  a few different characters on the bus, each telling their own little story I think it would have a bigger impact.

This is a tough subject and I remember the day well, the news alerts seemed almost unreal at the time.  A pat on the back for tackling a strong subject mind.  I'm not saying it was bad but just lacked the emotion it deserves.


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stebrown
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 10:40am Report to Moderator
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Yeah okay, I'll accept that this one didn't work and again I'll blame Tarantino and Jeff Buckley haha

It's something that I thought would look good on screen, but maybe it doesn't come across in reading it. Normally I would do a rewrite based on people's suggestions but I'm not with this one. I really didn't want to get into the story of the terrorist at all really, it's more supposed to be the effect on an innocent victim.

Your idea of a little story for each passanger is good though. The subject matter is just something I didn't want to dive too deep into.

Cheers for the read.

Ste


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Zombie Sean
Posted: June 25th, 2008, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
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This was an intense 3-page script! Like Pia, I feel as though stating that it was a Muslim man sweating while rummaging through his bag just gives too much away. I knew immediately what was gonna happen.

I really hope nobody texts like that anymore. I'm sorry, but I hate it when people do tat, it's so immature and 8th grader-ish. Just a pet peeve of mine.

What would have been cool was to focus on people in the area, as Phil suggested. Focus on Sophie as she's sitting right next to the Muslim man. Focus on Joe as he's walking through the city streets. Focus on a person on the top of the bus, on a person on the bottom of the bus, on a person inside a clothing store next to the explosion or something. It would be really cool to introduce all those characters smoothly, and then show their POVs of what it's like to be caught up in the explosion (except for Joe, who you can have him--and everyone around him--stop when they hear the explosion).


Sean


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stebrown
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 5:02am Report to Moderator
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CHeers for checking it out Sean, I hate texts like that too. Didn't know how it would be taken having it as the main part of a script.

I wanted kind of a music video feel to this. Was just listening to a song on the bus and kind of pictured this playing out. That's why I'm not thinking of expanding it and just really posted it to see what people thought of it. Anyone who would want to expand it and use it themselves have my full permission.

Ste


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CindyLKeller
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 5:04am Report to Moderator
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Hey ste,

What do you mean this didn't work?
I think it could with only a little work. ..
but I don't like the text messages. I guess I'm lazy when it comes to viewing a movie. I don't want to have to do any work at all. Not even read...

So I think maybe her calling her guy, then getting his answering machine would be better.

There could be little shots, like her twisting her ring. Her staring outside the bus.

Then what if the terrorist sat next to her while she was waiting to hear back from her guy?

And I don't think you should give away his bag until the end, After she gets a phone call  from her man and they make up. Maybe she notices wires in his bag?

Cindy


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ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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stebrown
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 5:35am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Cindy

The text messages were based on the scene in 'Death Proof'. I just thought it was really clever how it was kind of a love scene played out over a mobile phone. Also, I wanted to show how she changes her mind about saying that she loves him - hence her deleting the first message she types. I couldn't have done that with a voice message.

I'm accepting it didn't work because the points people are saying are totally valid, but I kinda like it as it is. Maybe, this will just be a scene that I use in a future feature.

Appreciate your comments.

Ste


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Scarlet101
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 6:39am Report to Moderator
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Hey Ste

I think if you where to focus on four or five different characters on the bus and write each of there POV as they get on the bus that day you would need to stretch the script to a full feature.
Oliver Stone did the same thing on WORLD TRADE CENTER but i dont think it worked at all

However if your main and only character was the terrorist you could focus on all the thoughts going through his head and show the demons he fights as he is about to do the unthinkable. I think this would be much more interesting to read and write about.
And should be more suited to a short script.

Scarlet
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Mr.Z
Posted: June 26th, 2008, 5:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Stephen,

Powerfull stuff. Lots of conflict here.

I agree with the readers before me. The second I read “muslim” I knew how it would end; you need to describe him in a more subtle way.

There’s nothing wrong with the ending, but IMHO, is a bit weak, since it’s just the obvious aftermath of what happened before.

I think you need to brainstorm  additional dramatic layers and add some kind of reveal or surprise. Like (stupid example) Sophie’s boyfriend was the one who planned the attack and didn’t know she was there.

Not a bad idea for a 3 pager. With a little more work, it could really shine.

Hope this helps.


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stebrown
Posted: June 27th, 2008, 2:27am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the comments Scarlet/Z

This is one I might come back to at a later date.

Ste


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NiK
Posted: June 27th, 2008, 3:17am Report to Moderator
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Hi Stephen

Well first let me say that i have written a script of this kind myself but it's very
different. It in nonlinear structure. But thats not the matter. Also i didn't read the previous reviews, so this is my thought after reading it.

SPOILER!

As soon as i read MUSLIM i knew how it was going to end up. I would advice you to find another name for the character, plus that name includes every Muslim person. So when i read it, it included even me. Yes, I'm Muslim, imagine if the name Muslim would be changed with Christian or Buddhist?
I know it wouldn't lead you to terrorism, because since 9/11 the word Muslim is associated to terrorism
And that's not true.

I would suggest that you go more deeply inside that character and expand him. Then your mention of the bag at his knees doesn't leave us thinking about anything, because we already know how it will end up!

I watched Paradise Now and that was my inspiration for the short I'm writing. If you watch it you'll see that it treats terrorists very differently. The ending sequence [also in a bus] doesn't leave clues to what that person is.

To conclude it i would say that you should try to expand it, 3 page do not fulfill your quest!

All the best Stephen!

NiK



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