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Considering this is just a phone conversation, it's a surpirse that this story compelled me to read on. But you have such an interesting situation that it works fine. I am guessing this would be more effective on film then it would be as words on paper. The fun you could have with sound effects telling the story.
Now the only beef I have with this script is that it is way, way to long. Part of that problem is Tim giving out instructions to Susan and guiding her through her little adventure. As it is, your story read more like a session of Dungeons & Dragons where the Dungeon Master talks the players through a werewolf encounter and less like an urgent life threatening 9-1-1 call.
I feel the story should be much more shorter, tighter and way more chaotic. Have the woman just screaming her way through the house and Tim trying to warn her to get out of the house, but he can't get her to listen cause she can't hear him above her screams. Tim being helpess and have to listen in horror as this poor women is trapped in her house and ripped apart would be more powrerful then just Tim talking her through her situation and using the questions and answers of the conversation as the narrative. Less dialouge and let the sound effects tell the story. But I'm not sure how you would do that as a script writer but I'm sure you could discuss it with whatever film maker who chooses to produce this as I'm sure it would make a great short film.
Shawn, thanks for reading. Glad you found it enjoyable. Yeah, people haven't really enjoyed Tim's execution of his job, so I tried working that out in the new draft which I am going to submit soon.
Tonka, thanks, too, for reading. I can understand why people may get turned off from this script since it only focuses on one character throughout the entire thing...But I'm glad you were compelled to keep reading. I tried shortening this down to the point where there aren't too many pauses, but as I was doing it, it was hard to try and pick out what needed to be in there and what didn't. But I am going to give it a quick look over before I resubmit this next draft to see if I can pick out any more things. I even changed Tim's dialog to where he isn't guiding her as much anymore, so hopefully that will change things up a bit.
Ooo...freaky. I really like the dialogue and the atmosphere you've created. The conversation, although it's only one person talking to the phone, was very effective.
Nothing much to say. Loved this.
Memwipe - Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
Sorry that I'm just now getting to your comments. Finals had popped up in the past 2 weeks so I've been a bit busy lately. I'm glad you enjoyed this, and that it gave a good freaky feeling for you. Thanks for the read!
I've submitted a second draft. It's a couple pages shorter (I seriously went through every page and wiped out anything that could have been removed and not take away from the suspense or story). I've also took your guys' advice about Tim giving the advice to Mary about getting a shotgun. In this draft, she'll have it with her to begin with. I also made Tim more pleading with Mary to get out of the house, rather than have him help her try and find Susan, so I tried making it more believable.
If you guys decide to take a look at the new draft when it's up, I hope you all enjoy!
I thought it was pretty clever the way you took a real-life situation and gave it a supernatural twist. Art imitating life. I remember hearing the original 9-11 call. You could still trim this down more. Some of the action descriptions seemed clunky, over-written and repetitious.
As for the blashphemy...hated it. But you already know that. As for the ending it would've been nice to add a twist within the twist. Or maybe even a bit of an explanation as to what the heck Mary was. I also would've liked to have seen a final scene with Tim outside of the 9-1-1 Call Center. All in all, it was an interesting experiment.
I just read your latest script version. Thought it looked familiar. Still pretty good, but I do have one suggestion.
You should have an actual 911 dispatcher read it and write down what he/she would do at certain plot points. Now don't call 911, but you might want to take paper copies to the police station and fire station in your neighborhood and ask them to pass it onto the dispatchers.
I found the fire department to be most helpful when I asked them what flame-retardant material was used in their uniforms for one of my sci-fi stories. They called me the next day with the information.
I strongly believe that having an expert's opinion of your story would make it even more scary. Just a thought.
16 pages? I feel that is still to high a page count for this short. I looked at my previous reveiw and I will still pretty much say the same about this new draft. You're on the right track but you still have unesscery dialouge that a simple sound effect could put us in the picture rather then have chunks of dialouge of woman explaining every detail.
But I would leave as it is and once a director picks it up they should know what to keep and what to change and what to replace with sound effects.
and if this doesn't get picked up for production, then I would be very dissapointed cause i think this has amazing potential and all it is to film is just a dude looking at a monitor with a head set on.
Post production sound effects and voice over work would require some heavy lifting but would be a sound technicians wet dream.
Screenrider, thanks for reading. The descriptions are repetitive, and that's something I still need to work on. And I don't know how to develop a twist within a twist. I figured that if I made it to where the twist is revealed at the end, with Susan, and everything cut off there, it would leave for an ambiguous ending, and only the start of a story, which may or may not leave the audience wanting more.
Daniel, glad you got chills. That was what I was hoping for (plus, I, myself, got chills while writing this script). I'm glad you liked it!
TheRichCraft, that IS a good idea. I've seen plenty of real 9-1-1 recordings on YouTube to get a general idea of how they'd perform a situation, but you're right, to make it more realistic, I'd need to get someone with first-hand experience who would have their own way of figuring out what to do rather than my way. I don't know where to find a 9-1-1 call center around my area unless I asked my local police station (because in one of the previous comments left for this script, I was told that the call center is most likely located outside of the police station). Thanks for reading!
Tonka, I know what you're talking about when it comes to Mary explaining every detail about what she's doing that COULD be replaced by a sound effect, but then, realistically, I'd imagine the operator asking "What are you doing?" over and over again. That's just me though. I'm working with someone right now who is interested in filming this about the length and seeing what we can cut down to make it even shorter than it is now, which would be great. Thanks for reading again, and your suggestions!
You may want to email your fire and police departments. I'm sure your town has a website, and you can send your request to several departments like the mayor's or city manager's officers. The more city employees hearing about your script will more likely raise interest in the 911 operators.
I asked the mayor's secretary to locate whoever was in charge of designing and making wheelchair ramps on roads and bridges. I got a response within hours. He was a good source of information for my scripts. And the secretary thanked me for making her an "official advisor" to a screenwriter.
Personally I think every city employee would love the chance to discuss a script with writers if it gives them an opportunity not to deal with irate people. Of course, you may offer them a lilttle money, too, lol.
Rich Craft, I could do that. That'd be very helpful to really get someone who knows how to handle this kind of stuff, since they need to be prepared for any kind of 9-1-1 call. But, I could also go by Jack's way, and call in and play out the script in the way that it's presented here...But, unless I want to go to jail, I'm better off going with the former decision. Right now, I'm okay with what I have, but if things really do need to be changed, I can cross that bridge when I come to it.