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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Five Till Close Moderators: bert
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  Author    Five Till Close  (currently 2442 views)
Don
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 8:57pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Five Till Close by Sean Chipman (mr. blonde) - Short, Suspense, Drama - It's a phone call no parent wants to hear. Especially a second time. 7 pages - pdf, format


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 5th, 2009, 9:47pm Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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Thanks for putting it up, Don. It's a little, crime story and the logline is mis-leading, but I couldn't think of any other real way to describe it.

Hope you enjoy it.


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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 1:08am Report to Moderator
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The logline is a bit misleading - I assumed it to be a story of a couple waiting to hear about the whereabouts of their child and getting the call that she was dead - which, in a way, it is, but not the way we would expect from reading this!

This probably the least interesting of the pieces of yours that I have read so far. It seemed, by your standards, very...ordinary.

I'd say that the telephone conversation needs to be rendered differently - it's fairly long for a voice to be heard off screen, and maybe intercutting with Jason (even if we only see his lips or eyes or something) would be more effective.

I didn't see the point of the twist (not to give it away). Why not just take the money? I did actually expect it to turn out to be some kind of con, and Chris be taken in by it, so can't say I saw what happened coming, but am not sure it served any point except to be a twist for it's own sake. Maybe it would have worked better if Chris had actually done what he did just to steal the money, rather than as part of the plot.

I did think the daughter would be older and part of the scheme. Again it did not ring true that she was hidden at the cafe.

I also didn't believe he'd phone the Police - why? Why not just walk away? It would have been unfortunate for him if there was a Police car just passing!

Maybe if there was something more to this - David mentions killing a drug dealer, which suggested a bigger plot struggling to be free! Maybe the kidnap plot could prove to be part of something more complex?

As it stands, this didn't work for me.
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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 2:41am Report to Moderator
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Mr. Blonde,

How are you?  I read a few of your other scripts, thought I'd comment of this one.

I'd re-do the log line.  Maybe even the title to be honest.

I wont give away the twist but I thought it was good.  I didn't see it coming.

The only thing I saw with the phone conversation is... you should have used V.O. instead of O.S.  Unless I'm missing something.   Other then that, I thought the phone conversation was fine.

I do agree with Miles... why not just have Chris take the money... but then I thought about it again... I can see what you were going for.

For the most part, your formatting was pretty good.  Your writing... some parts could read better.  Repetitiveness comes to mind.

Page#7... I don't want to re-write the whole thing.  I'm talking about the utility closet scene.

I'd remove... He takes the lock off and opens the door.  You don't need to show every single thing.

As he opens the door slowly, the wind pulls it all the way open, as the wind blows snow into the utility closet.

That doesn't read right?

Maybe, try this...

As he opens the door slowly, a strong GUSH of wind damn near blows it off it's hinges.  Snow accumulates in the room.  Heck... throw in a starts or begins.  Yea, I know it's passage verbiage but lots of major scripts are filled with them.  One or two can't hurt, but that's just me.

Just something to think about.  By my standards, even what I just wrote isn't that good but I think it reads alittle better.

And this passage...

She stops for a moment and looks out the window.  Heather watches as Chris walks along the window to the restaurant.

She watches him as he walks into the street and disappears into the blizzard.

If it was me, Id probably take out... Heather watches Chris walks along the window to the restuarant.  And then in the last sentence, replace him with Chris.

But I'm not writing it, this is your script.  Something to think about in the future.

Anyway, other then the killing, I did like this little piece of yours.

Good Luck,

Ghostwriter22


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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harrietb
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 2:44am Report to Moderator
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Ghistwirter 22,
the links in your sig don;t work for me. Where can I read your scripts?

best,

H


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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 3:10am Report to Moderator
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Harriet,

I'm waiting to get a PURPLE, whenever that is? I'll send you a PM... I don't want to steal Mr. Blondes thunder.

Thanks,

Ghostwriter22


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 9:29am Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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Quoted from Niles_Crane
The logline is a bit misleading - I assumed it to be a story of a couple waiting to hear about the whereabouts of their child and getting the call that she was dead - which, in a way, it is, but not the way we would expect from reading this!

This probably the least interesting of the pieces of yours that I have read so far. It seemed, by your standards, very...ordinary.

I'd say that the telephone conversation needs to be rendered differently - it's fairly long for a voice to be heard off screen, and maybe intercutting with Jason (even if we only see his lips or eyes or something) would be more effective.

I didn't see the point of the twist (not to give it away). Why not just take the money? I did actually expect it to turn out to be some kind of con, and Chris be taken in by it, so can't say I saw what happened coming, but am not sure it served any point except to be a twist for it's own sake. Maybe it would have worked better if Chris had actually done what he did just to steal the money, rather than as part of the plot.

I did think the daughter would be older and part of the scheme. Again it did not ring true that she was hidden at the cafe.

I also didn't believe he'd phone the Police - why? Why not just walk away? It would have been unfortunate for him if there was a Police car just passing!

Maybe if there was something more to this - David mentions killing a drug dealer, which suggested a bigger plot struggling to be free! Maybe the kidnap plot could prove to be part of something more complex?

As it stands, this didn't work for me.


Thank you for the read, Niles. I'll go part by part here, just for fun.

Yep, least interesting. No surprise, as you've caught me again with a scene from something else. Lol. I changed it up to make it its own thing, as it was originally part of a Grand Theft Auto script I was doing. Shame on me! =)

As for the twist, it also worked better in its original form. Worked better when it was a drug deal instead of a kidnapping.

Maybe so, but it's not likely to have that one, eager cop car drive by at that exact moment. Although, maybe falling into cliche hell would've actually serves this a bit more properly.

You hit the nail on the head, Niles. Something more to it. Don't ask about the GTA script, though. It's long since retired, although this and two other scenes from it still remain.

Maybe I'll give that script another go, if I can get a new take on it.

Thanks for the helpful words. =)


Quoted from _ghostwriters
Mr. Blonde,

How are you?  I read a few of your other scripts, thought I'd comment of this one.

I'd re-do the log line.  Maybe even the title to be honest.

I wont give away the twist but I thought it was good.  I didn't see it coming.

The only thing I saw with the phone conversation is... you should have used V.O. instead of O.S.  Unless I'm missing something.   Other then that, I thought the phone conversation was fine.

I do agree with Miles... why not just have Chris take the money... but then I thought about it again... I can see what you were going for.

For the most part, your formatting was pretty good.  Your writing... some parts could read better.  Repetitiveness comes to mind.

Page#7... I don't want to re-write the whole thing.  I'm talking about the utility closet scene.

I'd remove... He takes the lock off and opens the door.  You don't need to show every single thing.

As he opens the door slowly, the wind pulls it all the way open, as the wind blows snow into the utility closet.

That doesn't read right?

Maybe, try this...

As he opens the door slowly, a strong GUSH of wind damn near blows it off it's hinges.  Snow accumulates in the room.  Heck... throw in a starts or begins.  Yea, I know it's passage verbiage but lots of major scripts are filled with them.  One or two can't hurt, but that's just me.

Just something to think about.  By my standards, even what I just wrote isn't that good but I think it reads alittle better.

And this passage...

She stops for a moment and looks out the window.  Heather watches as Chris walks along the window to the restaurant.

She watches him as he walks into the street and disappears into the blizzard.

If it was me, Id probably take out... Heather watches Chris walks along the window to the restuarant.  And then in the last sentence, replace him with Chris.

But I'm not writing it, this is your script.  Something to think about in the future.

Anyway, other then the killing, I did like this little piece of yours.

Good Luck,

Ghostwriter22


Thank you for the read, Ghost.

Logline, definitely. Title, maybe...

I believe V.O. is used as a narrator tool. In this case, O.S. or O.C. would've been the way to go, I'm pretty sure.

Yep, repetitiveness. That's me. When I write, I have a bad habit of throwing in every little detail. No real reason, I just can't shake it.

I'll look into the last page, Ghost. Thank you.

And, thanks for your encouraging words.


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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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OS is right for telephone conversations. It's a voice "off screen", as in a voice on the other end of a telephone.

VO - a voice "over the scene" is more properly used for things like internal thoughts and so on.

By "Grand Theft Auto" do you mean the 1970s movie that launched Ron Howard's career or the video game?
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_ghostwriters
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 1:22pm Report to Moderator
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In phone conversations where the person on the other line is not, "in the scene," but we hear her or his voice, this would be VOICE OVER.  (SEE "Telephone Voice" on page 140.)  The SCREENWRITERS BIBLE.

NOTE:  (Some writers use O.S. and V.O.)


You can you use both.  V.O. is the COMMON methhod. I stand corrected though, O.S. is okay too.

Ghostwriter22


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Niles_Crane
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 1:33pm Report to Moderator
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I've also seen the term (filtered) used - to indicate the distorted voice on the end of the phone!

As with many things in screenplays there are probably as many ways to do this as there are writers!
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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 6th, 2009, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Niles_Crane
By "Grand Theft Auto" do you mean the 1970s movie that launched Ron Howard's career or the video game?


For this particular one, the game. But, I also had in mind, a "re-imagining" for GTA (1977). Yeah, re-imaginings are a fucking joke, but everyone is doing them. Lol.


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jackx
Posted: October 21st, 2009, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, decent piece.
I agree the logline needs work, though I do like the title quite a bit.
I liked the substance of the story, I just think the pacing was off.  This could have to do with the fact this was taken from a longer piece.  I'm sorry I dont have a specific part that I can explain, just all the following chris around, then the long pause and the daughter looking at dad, then outside.  I would just stay with Chris as he leaves.  Him just telling her to go to her dad is more powerful than the stereotyped shaking his shoulder "are you sleeping, daddy?" stuff.

I agree mentioning the drug dealer is off.  I would just leave it more vague.  "You dont know what I had to do to get this"  kind of thing.

Personally I would cut out a fair amount of the dialogue.  Just my opinion, but to me this plays as a pretty noiry piece, big empty restaraunt, everyone well dressed and solemn.  You dont need all those bits of dialogue between Chris and the dad, or dad and the phone, or the kid.

Anyways, cool stuff, well written and easy to read.  Good luck with any revisions.


Mine:
HARD CASE
††††††††††† (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
††††††††††† (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 21st, 2009, 3:29pm Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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Quoted from jackx
Hey, decent piece.
I agree the logline needs work, though I do like the title quite a bit.
I liked the substance of the story, I just think the pacing was off.  This could have to do with the fact this was taken from a longer piece.  I'm sorry I dont have a specific part that I can explain, just all the following chris around, then the long pause and the daughter looking at dad, then outside.  I would just stay with Chris as he leaves.  Him just telling her to go to her dad is more powerful than the stereotyped shaking his shoulder "are you sleeping, daddy?" stuff.

I agree mentioning the drug dealer is off.  I would just leave it more vague.  "You dont know what I had to do to get this"  kind of thing.

Personally I would cut out a fair amount of the dialogue.  Just my opinion, but to me this plays as a pretty noiry piece, big empty restaraunt, everyone well dressed and solemn.  You dont need all those bits of dialogue between Chris and the dad, or dad and the phone, or the kid.

Anyways, cool stuff, well written and easy to read.  Good luck with any revisions.


Thanks for the read, Jack.

Ok, the first time I tried replying, the internet froze up so I lost my entire response. Angry, so this response will be a bit shorter and simpler. =)

Logline is awful. Had absolutely nothing else.

Stereotypical should be my middle name. I promise, when I write something that is of any discernable quality, I'll be sure and let you know so we can come back to this script and laugh at how horrible it is. Should be fun. =)

I'll try a re-write, as its own story, and see if that makes this work better.

I was hoping no one would reply to this story so it would just die and goes into the depths of page 3 and later. Lol.


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Ophelia
Posted: October 25th, 2009, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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Cool little snippet.  I think all of my gripes are covered by the previous comments.  I agree that this would be better served emphasizing the noir aspect, since it is a pretty sad and hard story.  I would just try to cut out some of the narrative bits, let the reader figure it out a little.
Did enjoy it though, I like the cruelty of leaving the daughter alive.  good stuff.



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Ophelia  -  October 26th, 2009, 2:14pm
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Colkurtz8
Posted: October 27th, 2009, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
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Sean

Cool intro to this, the setting, the tone, the ominous loner alone at the bar with the briefcase, I was sucked in immediately.

Some of your descriptive is a bit long winded at times though and needs tightening in places. I say this because I often fall guilty to the same problem in my own scripts.

"The upscale bistro/bar combo is expansive and spacious and
made more spacious by the fact that only one person is
sitting in the entire restaurant."

"Chris stares around outside. He canít see too far with snow
coming down hard outside and wind blowing the snow in every
which direction."

Cut out the "ing" if possible & try to keep the sentences as short and functional as possible thus aiding the overall speed of the read.

I was wondering would the barman accept the money and close the restaurant that readily? I suppose for that kind of cash could you blame him but it seems a bit of a risk, I mean, who knows what this stranger could do, once the doors are closed.

The barman (CHRIS DeJESUS, possibly the greatest EVER! by the way) seemed to accept the money all too eagerly...but still 100 bucks is a nice tip for holding on for 5 minutes.

The opening dialogue on the phone was great, sharp, effective and punchy, the only snag came with the line:

JASON (O.S.)
Iíll do no such thing. -- It took me out of the conversation and betrayed what kind of character I had Jason made out to be in my mind; cool, suave and in control. I dunno, this line didn't seem to fit him and totally stood out while I was reading an otherwise very enjoyable opening dialogue. In reality though it depends hugely on the actor and his delivery, it could work if lets say...Daniel Plainview uttered it but on the page the wrong impression can easily be got.

Ah, I see now, that conniving DeJESUS muthafu?ker was in on the whole thing it makes sense now. I should've copped something when you made a point of introducing him with that glorious name. I mean, how many scripts have the barman as just "BARMAN" since they usually do their job and nothing more.

There was a nice twist here, handled well I must say. One might complain that it drags a little near the end. I know you wanted to describe going through the motions of the aftermath once the deed was done but you maybe lingered a little too long on it.

I think Ophelia summed it up rather well by calling it ""a cool little snippet" as this definitely feels like something from a bigger story. Good job all the same there were some cool dialogue and characters in here with the potential for an intriguing noir-ish story if you planned to expand it.

Solid job.

Col.


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