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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  A Picture is Worth... Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 10th, 2011, 7:12pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Picture is WorthÖ by Matthew Layden (theusualsuspect) - Short - Sally loves taking pictures and soon discovers that a picture really is worth a thousand words. 6 pages - pdf, format


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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grademan
Posted: June 10th, 2011, 10:16pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matthew,

Overall, I liked it.

The writing was okay though stuff like ďItís salamiĒ could be done without.

The buildup between the butcher and the little girl was going somewhere interesting. I liked that.

The twist at the end can be done with any famous or infamous person. I felt the slightest bit miffed at the device. I canít believe he got me with that!

Iím curious why the font looks like it came off a typewriter? Kinda cool looking.

Why is the title different from the logline?

You have your own production company? Cooler.

Iíll be interested to see which entry is yours for the OWC.

GARY
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TheUsualSuspect
Posted: June 11th, 2011, 2:17am Report to Moderator
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There was a mix-up in the submission and the one I submitted had the older title for the title page.

Thanks for the comments.

These piece is actually a part of a challenge I took part in. I was given 3 specifics (location/genre/prop) to use and had two days to write a 5 page script.

Location: Butcher Shop
Genre: Historical Fiction
Prop: Photo Album

Just thought I'd throw that in.


A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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grademan
Posted: June 11th, 2011, 9:07am Report to Moderator
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Two days. Pretty damn good! How'd you do?

Gary
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 11th, 2011, 10:56am Report to Moderator
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Matthew, this is an interesting story.  It's a much better story, knowing why it was written and what specifics you had to work with.

Like Gary briefly mentioned, there were a number of issues in the writing itself.  Nothing drastically horrible, but enough to make the writing have a stilted feel to it, but that could easily be due to the time constraint.

Biggest issues are...

The amount of times Sally, or "Sal" is used in her uncle's dialogue.  It begun to sound ridiculous.

Sally is 12 in 1963.  48 years later, she's 47...uh, I'm not familiar with that kind of math.  She should be 60, if it's truly "present", as in when the script was written and posted.

Interesting, engaging story you have here.  Good job!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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TheUsualSuspect
Posted: June 11th, 2011, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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Ha, I was wondering if someone would catch that. I mistakenly put 47 because that was the time difference between the two periods, instead of adding her age.

:/

To go more into detail, I was in a group of 15 other writers and placed third, which meant I advanced to the next stage with new location/prop/genre.

Overall I made into the top 25, out of 300 plus writers. Don't know my actual placing though because they only named the top ten at the end.


A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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albinopenguin
Posted: June 13th, 2011, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt,

thought your script was above average after first reading it. then i read your comments and learned how this was part of a contest (where you had to include 3 specific items) and then liked it a lot more. you did a lot with what you were given. sometimes i feel that having constraints make better screenplays and this certainly proves my point.

i was a little confused by your descriptors. i feel like some of them could have flowed better to help the reader get a clearer picture of what was going on, but now im just being nit-picky.

overall, nicely done. this certainly deserved to rank amongst the top 25


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 14th, 2011, 10:28am Report to Moderator
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Hello Matthew,

Thought I'd give this one a look see.
Gary mentioned some overall format and description snafus.
I agree with Jeff that we hear the little girl's name far too much.
And yeah, the bad math aging does leave a bad taste in the mouth.
As to your device, I was onto half way through the first page.

As part of a contest, this is a pretty solid effort. Kudos.
Telling a human story in the context of a world event is a good structure.
It lets the reader into a "secret world", but one with familiar elements.
I'd like to see the your protags relationship unfold with more detail.
You may be onto something worthy of production with a stout rewrite.

Regards,
E.D.


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rc1107
Posted: June 15th, 2011, 9:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey Matthew.

I really liked this one a lot.  There were some elements to it that didn't add up, but overall, I think it was still a very intriguing story.

The first thing that jumped to mind was what was already brought up about Sally's age from 1963 to present day.  Your present day would have actually been 1998.

Then, after I thought about it again, I thought about another time element problem.  Why would Lee Oswald buy meat before he's about to assassinate the president?  At first, I didn't question it because it made sense that Oswald would need food if, while he's waiting hours and hours for JFK to show up, so I thought that was pretty smart.  But then I realized, in your script, Oswald shoots JFK like 3 minutes after buying the salami.  He would need a lot more than three minutes to set up and get his shot ready.  Just something that struck me funny after reading it.

Plus, (I know this is getting nitpicky, but my mind is running now), wouldn't Uncle Sam want to take Sally to see the president, instead of just letting him pass by like it's no big deal?  Because weren't businesses in Dealey Plaza closed that day?  Or did they close after the assassination?

Anyway, it was still a really good story that I enjoyed.  Great job coming up with it.


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 15th, 2011, 11:18am Report to Moderator
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These are good pints by mark, and I also was wondering about them, but didn't want to be the prick I usually am.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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TheUsualSuspect
Posted: June 15th, 2011, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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The buying of the meat and the time discrepancies all add to the mystery behind the whole thing.

-weak alibi?
-Shooting makes him hungry?
-enough for a snack?
-to get him inside the building, eating makes him less conspicuous.
-It's all part of a conspiracy theory, one of many. Conspiracy theorist run wild!!!!

That's why it didn't concern me that much because so many different things went on that day, so many different theories, this could be one of them.

Hell, I can nit pick at this thing too, instant cameras weren't exactly how I described them in the script either.

One of the things I hoped for in writing this, was to have people go back and pick up on some small things. Like the name, duffle bag, movie theatre, month, year, etc.

I allude to her it being a big day for her father, in my mind, her father is a police officer and this was a huge deal for him. Not being able to watch his daughter, gets Uncle Sam to do it, who wants to run his business. Whether or not they were open, I did not know.

I guess I did have him say her name too often. I used it because he's talking to a young child, so saying her name would always get her attention. Please no one read into the Uncle Sam name being all American.

Bah, I'm rambling on now.


A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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jwent6688
Posted: July 1st, 2011, 3:53pm Report to Moderator
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Your opening slug lets us know its 1963. I would change this. How does the audience know its 1963 on film? Leave the date out of the slug and pop a SUPER: DALLAS, 1963. Very next line. I don't think it would give your ending away.


Pg. 3

Sam's dialogue... "She made me promise her to take care of you." Just sounds funny off the tongue. "She made me promise to take care of you." wokrs a little better IMO...

pg 4

People panic and are in a frenzy - this line could be better. I would like a specific action here. "People panic. A MAN runs into a WOMAN. She drops her groceries. " Jst an example. Describe what we are seeing.

It was good work. It has flaws, some stated above, but also has potential. Glad to have read it. Good luck with it...

EDIT: These were notes as I read. The SUPER thing I left because that is how you would want to write it properly in the future. I get how you setup that its 1963 with your ending. I almost think this would work better if a slightly older Sally was given back the picture by her father in uniform. He can say something like... "You can have this back. We don't need it anymore." Then she writes the inscription on the back. Just seems odd she would wait almost 50 years to label that picture and it would help the audience learn what her father's big day was all about. I didn't get that he was a cop whilst reading it.

James



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jwent6688  -  July 1st, 2011, 4:06pm
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TheUsualSuspect
Posted: July 2nd, 2011, 7:03pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read.

It's not my intention for people to think he's a cop while reading, just something in the back of my mind while I wrote it.

Maybe I can have Sam reading a newspaper in the butcher shop, which would indicate the place and year.

Again, thanks for the read and the comments.


A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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mcornetto
Posted: July 2nd, 2011, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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I think the concept is a good one but the filler in this is fairly boring matter of fact stuff.  It could do with being upped a bit.  I really get no feeling of character from the characters themselves.

That's largely because there's no conflict and you're left with a feeling of 'big deal she met Lee Harvey Oswald'.  There needs to be something else going on for this to really work.    

Michael

EDIT:  Just read the other crit.  rc1107 brings up some excellent points that should be addressed.

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jwent6688  -  July 3rd, 2011, 12:11am
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GM
Posted: July 4th, 2011, 3:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey The Usual Suspect,

Decided to give this a read. I think you can build more out of this. It's an interesting premise but there's no conflict as Cornetto points out. There needs to be something driving the story forward.

Maybe Sally takes a picture of Lee aiming his rifle and she tries to do something about it? Just a suggestion.

I like the idea but there needs to be conflict to drive the story forward.

Hope this helps,
Gabe
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