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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Ignoble Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Ignoble by Brian Howell (reuel51) - Short, Drama, Horror - A teenage girl goes to a clinic for help with a problem, but things aren't all that they seem. 5 pages - pdf, format


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leitskev
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 7:58pm Report to Moderator
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Wow. This has award winning potential, but what do I know, and my opinions seem to kind of drift in a different direction than from most people here. For a 5 pages script, this was extremely powerful, effective, and if it matters, very well written too.

Spoiler:


The skinny Jesus on the crucifix was classic foreshadow. I was totally wondering why it was there, until the very end.

This and Dressel's short posted this week are two of the best shorts I've ever seen. Congrats on this work. I hope my complements on this are not the kiss of death.
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screenrider
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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I seem to be following Kevin like a bad habit today, so after reading his review I had to take a look and...

Ouch.  This was powerful.   Some of the descriptions were slightly clunky and could be shaved down, but story-wise it's a gut punch.   Good job on tackling such a sensitive subject.  You hit it like a bull in a china shop.

EDIT:  There could be more to this.  Seems like it's missing one more scene at the end.

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screenrider  -  May 8th, 2011, 9:04pm
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rc1107
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 10:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Brian.

Pretty intense stuff.  Just the kind of stories I like.

If there's anything about this I didn't like, it was the logline.  It ended up being exactly what it seemed.

But the story's great and nothing bad to say or give advice to make it better.  Sure, it might have been a little thick in description, but that just added to the great atmosphere and tension.  I will never complain about that.

Great title by the way, too.

Good job.

Again.  :-)

- Mark


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mcornetto
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 10:38pm Report to Moderator
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I remember this script from Movie Poet.  I'm not sure if you changed it since then.  If you haven't, you have my comments over there.
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LC
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 11:24pm Report to Moderator
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**SOME SPOILERS BELOW**


I expected big things from this based on your feedback so far.

Unfortunately I don't agree. From a female point of view (obv. only mine at this stage) if I was watching this, I'd just think that ending is kinda' nasty, and I'd groan, not be impressed, or enlightened, or learn anything new, or even be that shocked seeing as the foreshadowing of the slimy doctor 'Call me Wade' is already inherent imo.

Film often has a purpose other than to entertain. It is all about evoking a reaction; eliciting a visceral response rather than an intellectual one, but I just found this sort of corny.

Abortion will always be a contentious issue, but when it comes down to it, this just reads IMHO, as a cheap party-trick.

Having said this, you write competently Brian.


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Dressel
Posted: May 8th, 2011, 11:28pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with LC.

While the piece was well-written, it was incredibly implausible and emotionally manipulative (and not in a good way).  I know it's hard to talk about this one without emotions flaring up and all that, but I think the manner in which you chose to end it makes it impossible to do so.

This would just flat-out never happen.  Especially multiple times in the same office, as it's implied.


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Dressel  -  May 8th, 2011, 11:42pm
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Vaproductions
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 1:24am Report to Moderator
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Lol Brian let me guess you done had a SPOILER!!! abortion recently.
While the story is very well written and the jesus picture in the doctor office is quite weird I would say. This story isn't for me. I'm actually against the nature of abortions. But once again this was well written.
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JonnyBoy
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 6:27am Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure I'd call this a horror. More like a hard-hitting drama. And everyone is right - it did pack a punch.

BUT I also agree that as it stands, this is pretty shallow in its message (abortion is wrong), and that the doctor gave photos to everyone tips it over into 'would never happen' territory. I have a quick suggestion which I think would help: tweak your focus. Make this a story about a doctor who's had enough of doing abortions, and so decides to shock this one girl before quitting. A story about a jaded doctor who's fallen into self-loathing and so decides to do something like this - that's an interesting tale.

All it would need is a couple of scenes at the start with him waking up, perhaps alone in his house. Maybe he had a child that died young, which is why he just can't stomach abortion anymore? And that cost him his marriage. Or maybe that's too far. But at the moment this is a hair's breadth away from being an anti-abortion PSA - it wouldn't have seemed out of place if you'd closed with:

OVER BLACK

CARD:    
                                 DON'T KILL BABIES

                                                                                               FADE OUT


Making this about the last act of a grieving, jaded doctor gives the story more emotional, human grounding while retaining the visceral reaction you'd get to that final image. You'd still have the impact, but it would seem less purely exploitative. In my opinion. But hey, it's your short, and it's powerful as it is, so congrats.


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Leon
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 8:25am Report to Moderator
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Hi Brian
A contentious issue, which i'm sure is going to polarise quiet a few people.  Personally i'm not particularly opinionated either way.

However, while it sure does have an impact it feels decidedly one-note, I'd agree that this goes into the realms of the unrealistic, and this is my main problem.  Abortion is a very real issue and in my opinion needs to be approached in a very real way, in this sense I didn't find it particularly enlightening or honest.
It was an interesting piece though, but i think the subject matter threw me off.

Leon


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leitskev
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 8:45am Report to Moderator
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Reading the other reviews, updating my thoughts.

First of all, I have no real agenda on the issue. I like the story because it is clever. I do want to say that Johhny Boy's suggestion is really a great way to go with this. This would really allow you to make the doctor's role very powerful. As a man who has seen so many girls come into his office, and who has killed so many babies, he has become tormented. By having this be a one time thing, you avoid the accusation of it not being real.

But this does change a lot of the creepy feel you were after here, so I don't know. Perhaps people are being a bit hasty in saying this is not realistic. First of all, it is a film, so the threshold for realism is lower than, say, a documentary. Secondly, this is clearly a very small clinic. There was no line of people in the waiting room. And he's not doing anything illegal far as I can tell, though hard to say with that crowd.

Not sure if you want the doctor having the patient call him by his first name. That was the one part I didn't really get.

I still think this was creative and well crafted, with the fetus like Jesus on the wall.
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Dressel
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 10:29am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from leitskev

But this does change a lot of the creepy feel you were after here, so I don't know. Perhaps people are being a bit hasty in saying this is not realistic. First of all, it is a film, so the threshold for realism is lower than, say, a documentary. Secondly, this is clearly a very small clinic. There was no line of people in the waiting room. And he's not doing anything illegal far as I can tell, though hard to say with that crowd.


Kevin, it's not realistic for several reasons.  One, in this day and age, if there was a doctor that was doing this, it would be ALL over very quickly.  Yelp, google, newspapers, etc.  Especially seeing as there are some very strong women that go into abortion clinics who would have a very strong reaction to this.  They wouldn't all break down.

Second, if the doctor is a Christian (which it implies), it's unrealistic that ANY Christian would ever perform abortions just so he could rub it in the face of those he's doing it to.  It just flat out makes no sense.  The idea would make any actual Christian sick.

I think Jonny's idea is probably the best way to go because it makes sense.  It adds some depth to the situation and doesn't just make it a shock value piece.


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leitskev
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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Matt, no one is saying the scenario is likely. But it's a film, one that describes itself as horror, though it's not so much horror as shock drama. The girl arrives at a quiet place that has no other patients. So it's not very well known. Maybe it's more of a referral service. Perhaps the procedure is paid for by some charity, and confidentiality is part of it. Maybe they will get exposed soon, but have not yet.

Is it normal Christianity? No, of course not. It's a twisted version, perhaps just the a distinct twist of this doctor. Thus the strange fetus like Jesus crucifix. This doctor has decided this is the best way to stop abortions. And perhaps it justifies some personal perversion he has.

Look at Inquisition torturers who used their sanctioned work to justify their own perverted impulses and desires.

Would it make a normal Christian sick? Yes, but isn't that the point of this story? Shock, horror, revulsion?
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Dressel
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Quoted from leitskev

Would it make a normal Christian sick? Yes, but isn't that the point of this story? Shock, horror, revulsion?


I guess then my point would be that it's not a very good horror film and it's not twisted enough.  If he's going to push out of the realm of reality into the twisted world of horror, he needs to push further.  As it stands right now, it's just melodrama.


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albinopenguin
Posted: May 9th, 2011, 12:51pm Report to Moderator
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While reading this, I was somewhere in between Dressel and leitskev. I liked the ending, but was a little disappointed based on everyone's initial comments. It was a little disturbing and a bit deranged, but it was nothing too upsetting (then again, I've been known to go up to pro-life rallies, salivate over their signs, and ask where i can get a free sample of that delicious looking red meat). would this ever happen in real life? no. but i never judge a script based on plausibility. if it could happen in the film's world, then i'll entertain the idea. so could this happen in your short's reality? sure, given the fact that you've established the doctor as some creepy religious doctor. could it pack a more powerful punch? absolutely. to be honest with you, i was hoping that this would last a bit longer. so you could easily kill two birds with one stone.

as for your writing style, i definitely enjoyed it. not all the descriptors were needed, but it helped set the mood...

kudos on a great short. it was definitely worth checking out.


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