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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  A Flip Side to That Coin Moderators: bert
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  Author    A Flip Side to That Coin  (currently 1762 views)
Don
Posted: November 11th, 2010, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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A Flip Side to That Coin by Sean Chipman (mr. blonde) - Short, Drama - Two men discuss their favorite weapons, but is something more sinister going on? 13 pages - pdf, format


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Craiger6
Posted: November 12th, 2010, 6:46pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Sean,

This one was hit and miss for me if I'm being totally honest.  I don't have any problem with two guys sitting at a table having a conversation, if that conversation is interesting.  To your credit, I thought this convo about weapons and such was interesting and different.  I also like the fact that once we realize, as you log suggests, that something more is going on, there is added tension between Chris and David.

***SPOILERS***

That said, once Mr. Carson arrives, I think you start to enter territory that has been done before.  I also didn't really care for the use of Jason either.  I would have much rather had David somehow get himself out of the situation by some other means.  Using a guy who is just sitting at a counter seems to easy.  Unfortunately, I don't really have any suggestions, but I would look to find another way to dispatch with Chris and Mr. Caron sans Jason.

Ultimately, as I said, it was hit and miss for me.  I enjoyed the beginning, but as we got further along, it lost a little something for me.  I'd concentrate on finding another way out for David.  Anyway, hope that helps.

CR


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: November 12th, 2010, 7:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Craiger6
Hi Sean,

This one was hit and miss for me if I'm being totally honest.  I don't have any problem with two guys sitting at a table having a conversation, if that conversation is interesting.  To your credit, I thought this convo about weapons and such was interesting and different.  I also like the fact that once we realize, as you log suggests, that something more is going on, there is added tension between Chris and David.

***SPOILERS***

That said, once Mr. Carson arrives, I think you start to enter territory that has been done before.  I also didn't really care for the use of Jason either.  I would have much rather had David somehow get himself out of the situation by some other means.  Using a guy who is just sitting at a counter seems to easy.  Unfortunately, I don't really have any suggestions, but I would look to find another way to dispatch with Chris and Mr. Caron sans Jason.

Ultimately, as I said, it was hit and miss for me.  I enjoyed the beginning, but as we got further along, it lost a little something for me.  I'd concentrate on finding another way out for David.  Anyway, hope that helps.

CR


Well, thanks for reading anyway. I did my best and the ending was rushed. I'm not too fond of the ending, either. The original idea for this story was very different, but I couldn't make it make sense, so I went with this, instead.

Yeah, I tried my best to build it slowly but keep building. It sounds like the further I went, the less you liked it. Sorry.

You didn't like the Jason explanation? I tried to give little hints about what he was there for but subtly. Guess you didn't really like that, either.

**SPOILERS**

I'm sure you got this but you may have missed a little bit. The idea was that David stole about $800K from Mr. Carson. Chris, Mr. Carson's right-hand man, basically takes him hostage and holds him until his boss shows up. Now, David took $200K of the money he stole and paid a hitman-type to protect him and get him out of there alive. His line, "I only really wanted $500,000, anyway" or something like that, was meant to signify it.

**END SPOILERS**

Of course, if you did get all that and didn't like it anyway, that's ok, too. I just didn't want you to not like it due to not understanding the little things.

Once again, Craig, thank you for the read. =)


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 13th, 2010, 11:33am Report to Moderator
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Greetings Sean,

Quentin the cook, Mr. Blonde? Heh. =p
I thought this read fairly well, there were a few sticking points.
Is there a reason why there's no page numbers on the script?
I didn't care for the "standard diner". Everything else in that line works.
Using the word "standard" to open a script, grinds my teeth a bit, you know?
I would have liked the intro of Jason to be held until he's mentioned.
On p. 1, I get the connection to David, but on p. 5, I went back to be sure.
So, I stopped reading to review, might want to look into that.
I dig the Molotov and weapons banter. Milk drinking hitman, I approve.
Around p. 5 things started to sag a bit, the mention of Jason seemed off.
David admits that's he's familiar, that should be a red flag to Chris.
Unless David says something like, "He looks like the guy that was f*cking my wife.
You mind if I go have a few words with him, trade sex tips?"
Something kinda playful, something to keep the flow going, you know?
It's very obvious to me at this point that Jason is in on the deal.
When Mr. Carson pulls up and David makes an offer to Chris, things get stale.
All of a sudden there seems to be much on the nose type dialog.
For me it got pretty standard here on out, on p. 9 there was something odd...

Jason stands at the tableís side, holding two silenced
handguns. He sets them down on the table.
Lisa walks back into the dining area. Jason turns and points
both of his guns at her. She shrieks and puts her hands up.

Why have him put them down at all? It stopped me for a moment.
I enjoyed the first half of this and was excited to see how it would play out.
I'm curious as to the ending you couldn't figure out how to write.
Care to share? Thanks for the read, there's some good stuff in here.
Keep writing!

Regards,
E.D.


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Craiger6
Posted: November 13th, 2010, 5:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Sean,

Don't get me wrong, I have mostly positive feelings about the read, but as E.D. mentioned above, I thought you started out much stronger than you finished.  I don't think that is an all together uncommon affliction for screenwriters.

Again, for my money, I'd just like to see you re-work the Jason part, or get rid of him all together.  I mean David is obviously a crafty guy who just took his boss for $800K, surely he can come up with a way to keep all the dough and dispatch of the boss and his right hand man sans Jason.

(Of course I say that having no idea how you would do that, but that is what I feel might improve this piece).

Good luck, man.

CR


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: November 13th, 2010, 8:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Craiger6
Hey Sean,

Don't get me wrong, I have mostly positive feelings about the read, but as E.D. mentioned above, I thought you started out much stronger than you finished.  I don't think that is an all together uncommon affliction for screenwriters.

Again, for my money, I'd just like to see you re-work the Jason part, or get rid of him all together.  I mean David is obviously a crafty guy who just took his boss for $800K, surely he can come up with a way to keep all the dough and dispatch of the boss and his right hand man sans Jason.

(Of course I say that having no idea how you would do that, but that is what I feel might improve this piece).

Good luck, man.

CR


Yeah, I know. I ran out of steam at the end where it took me three days to write the first half and 2 hours to write the second half. Naturally, there's a discrepency there.

The original ending I wanted to do was something similar to what I had seen in an X-Files episode one time. The idea was that it was a restaurant and full of people (6-12 diners). At one point something happens which causes everyone to draw guns on each other and everyone gets shot.

This was before the stealing money and Jason (although he was part of the original plan, he wasn't in it the way he is in this version) and Mr. Carson and I couldn't figure out a way to make it make sense, so I did this version.

I'm glad you liked what you did and I'll be the first to admit that I don't like the second half nearly as much as the first half, either. =)


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RayW
Posted: November 14th, 2010, 2:50am Report to Moderator
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Howdy, Sean

PDF pg 2 - The last names serve no story purpose.
Lose them.
Also, (and this is largely my poor, name recollection issue) the names DAVID and CHRIS are kinda generic, white-bread names with little association with their drastic differences in attire and presentation:

David - A ragged-looking man in a black trench coat and jeans.
Chris - clean shaven, businesssuit and glasses.

I certainly don't advocate finding ludicrous names to differentiate, but... something.
(I loathe the over-the-top name "Necromongers" in CoR. Trying too hard. Ridiculous)
SlackNblack could be... Mingo, or something less WASPy.

PDF pg 6
CHRIS Why don?t you go over there and say hi to him?
Chris just finished stating on PDF pg 5
CHRIS I wouldn?t bring anyone into this more than they have to be.
It's inconsistant for the character.

A .357 magnum long barrel is NOT too heavy?
Really?
Compared to what?
They bounce around the 40oz neighborhood.
Under the table you might wanna specify it as a revolver.
And have David, being the cool cucumber, lean up slowly and smile.

Pg 9
DAVID And, here I thought Kingpin was only a comic book character.
Remove the comma.

Pg 10 - Yeah, fix that "pistols on the table" bit.
Those are likely Jason's personal effects.
He's likely to reholster them in a customized, dual under-arm carriage.
Pops them out again at Lisa.


Cool.
I don't have a first half/second half issue.
Some people want the whole story to be consistant.
Others want some change across the story.
And then they'll complain that they wanted "something differenter than that".
Different strokes.

The whole thing runs as controlled anxiety, to me; front to finish. Cool.

Professionally, Chris is a dipsh!t for allowing this meet to take place at the diner.
No kidding David engaged in asymetrical warfare.
I would.

I'm such a mean SOB I woulda had Jason distract Chris while Lisa pops a cap in his melon leaving David to square off against MrC with a table knife.
David - "Favorite weapon: Knife."

And if I was feeling really foul, I'd have David provoke Chris just as boss' Merck-a-deeze pulls up by knocking off his glass of milk to the floor, breaking the glass, "Oops. My bad." Jason distracts jumpy Chris in front of the boss, Lisa pop's MrC's melon and David crams the broken milk glass from the floor into Chris' neck.
David - "Favorite weapon: Improvised."

But I'm not a very nice person.
I bring snipers to knife fights.  

And I really like that slackNblack David is a very thoughtful bad guy paying off Lisa and... Quentin, was it?  


EDIT: And if you really wanna keep the twists and turns coming...
Chris + second banana have David outnumbered at the table.
Lisa distracts second banana with "generous attributes".
They give David the "team" song and dance, implying that Dave never got into the team spirit, always out doing his own thing.
But for a 3/4 cut of Dave's pinch they'll give him a head start for the border.
Boss pulls up.
Dave knocks the glass. Breaks.
Mr C stands next to Chris while Lisa leans over to clean up spilt milk.
Second banana ogles.
Chris & Davis eye each other.
Mr C. - "Did he offer?"
David - "Just like you said he would".
Distracted second banana doesn't see Jason unload into him.
Lisa jabs broken milk glass into Chris' throat.
David - "Favorite weapon? Teamwork."
Chris - "Gaaack!"
Dies.




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RayW  -  November 14th, 2010, 4:20am
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tailbest
Posted: November 15th, 2010, 6:01pm Report to Moderator
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Sean,

As this is part of the Lines From Heat Series, I wanted to give this a read.

I pretty much have the same feelings as the previous reviews. The beginning was very strong. The banter back and forth between David and Chris was well-written and very enticing and kept me interested.

The way you initially cut to Jason reminded me of a scene from Snake Eyes. During the assassination, we cut to the "drunk" prior to him yelling "Here comes the pain!" This gave away the twist that he was in on the assassination later in the film. Kind of the same thing with Jason, here.

Mr. Carson was your standard "heavy" character. Much less interesting than Chris and David. I know you stated that you liked the first half better than the second half, so my review is probably not surprising.

I think your dialogue was still strong overall though. Keep up the writing!

Rob


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Colkurtz8
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Sean

The influence of Pulp Fiction is obvious here right down to the cook being named Quentin. Which is cool, I adore PF, although it has possibly been cheapened over the years due to relentless parodying. Still, I'd prefer to read a script drawing from Tarantino then say...the horrendous writer/director duo of Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, you know.

Anyway, the opening dialogue about guns only partially worked for me, personally I've no interest in them so I couldn't relate to the excitement these two got from waxing lyrical on the subject. One could say the dialogue was a bit on the nose but then again, so is Tarantino's some of the time. Like his, the dialogue sounds like dialogue as opposed to real people talking, it was sharp, snappy & relatively arbitrary.  

Unfortunately, I anticipated the two major twists before they happened, firstly, the gun being pointed under the table (actually I predicted both would do it in a kind of concealed Mexican stand-off style) and that David had devised means to kill Chris & Mr. Carson before they could whack him. When he said he had spent 200k already and spent itĒ wiselyĒ I knew for sure he was gonna get out of this alive at the expense of the two others.

In terms of the second twist I, like Craig, felt the Jason device was a little weak & unimaginative. I mean, to pull that off in a cafe, they really had to hope that no significant number of customers were about at that particular time, not to mention the possibility of passer-by noticing what was going down. Basically itís a plan that could very easily go very wrong.

How about David hires a sniper who takes them out from a safe vantage point? Two shots through the window and its curtains for Chris & his boss. This way you donít have some shifty looking dude hanging about thus instantly stirring suspicions in the mind of the reader. Instead you have something out of the blue that still achieves the same goal of David assassinating his former colleague and boss with the help of money he stole from them. Not a perfect idea by any means but you get where Iím coming from. Possibly have the occasional furtive glance out the window from David as if trying to spot the awaiting sharpshooter. Chris might even comment on it but puts it down to Davidís apprehension over the impending arrival of Mr. Carson.

Also I found David a little too clever and smart as?ed at the end when dealing with Lisa. I know heís a gangster, this is his bread and butter and you wanted the guy to strut out of the place, into the night without a care in the world, a true badass, etc but I think you over done it a tad. It undermined any danger  or  tension whilst adding a couple of extra pages at the end that probably donít need to be there.

How about changing the tone of the final third to something like The Godfather when Michael has to knock off Sollozzo & Capt. McCluskey in the restaurant. The increasing tension of what David has set up continually mounts on him as their conversation goes on, particularly after its realised that Chris has a gun (his favourite) pointed at him. Again, Chris might detect this growing unease in David but puts it down to the gun or his imminent fate. When Jason (or the sniper) do the business David could freak out with Lisa, scare her into silence as well as hurriedly throwing the 10k at her before bailing out (taking Mr. Carsonís keys are optional.)  As a result, it will come as more of a shock to us that the nervous, jittery David possessed the audacity to pull off such a stunt and come out on top. They way you have it, with David so ice cool under seemingly grave circumstances, only signposts that a twist is on the way, and more specifically a twist that will give David the advantage over Chris.

Anyway, this still has a lot going for it, a decent set up, (if not entirely original) with the potential for multiple conclusion should you chose to explore them. Well written/formatted too and easily produced.

Col..


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: November 18th, 2010, 1:32pm Report to Moderator
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@Ray

It's a habit, using the last names. I recycle a list of names in my stories and do the last names because it would seem weird if I didn't do it.

As for the difference in looks, I don't think that plays any role in this. For example, if you saw a black kid walking down the street who looks like he's from the "hood", would you automatically assume his name's Jamaal or something? I don't like to assume and my names don't reflect on that.

Chris wasn't serious when he said that. It was a joke. Must've missed that line.

A .357 isn't nearly as heavy as, for instance, a desert eagle .50 cal (eight pounds, fully loaded). It's literally about two pounds, maybe three.

As for the meeting place, it wasn't Chris' call, it was Mr. Carson's. I hinted at that earlier in the story.

It seems like you liked it and thanks for reading. =)

@Rob

Well, I do what I can with dialogue. Sometimes it's good stuff, other times? Well...

Yeah, it was kind of like that, but you know, so was the final scene to The Sopranos. They cut back to that guy at the counter and would focus on him so you know how he's involved. Granted, the writing was about on par with Snake Eyes and not The Sopranos, so that's probably where I failed. And, besides, did Jason or did he not bring the pain? =)

"Heavy". What does that even mean? Really... Well, you kind of get to know the other two, but he shows up too late and is too super serious to be enjoyable. But, you've gotta tie it all up somehow.

Thank you and you know I will. Sort of. =)


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