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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  At The Junction Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: January 28th, 2012, 7:31pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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At The Junction by Bill Sarre (Reef Dreamer) - Short, Drama - When at a junction, you may need help to move forward. 3.5 pages - pdf, format


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bert  -  January 29th, 2012, 12:06pm
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crookedowl
Posted: January 28th, 2012, 8:45pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bill,

This was good, but your slugs need work. I usually don't mind mini slugs when it makes the writing flow better. But sometimes it isn't necessary. Like this: "JUNCTION - NEXT DAY" There's no reason you can't write "EXT." at the beginning.

Also, instead of just writing "SIX MONTHS LATER," you should write "SUPER: SIX MONTHS LATER" because otherwise there's no way to tell how much time has passed when watching it on film.

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bert  -  January 28th, 2012, 9:10pm
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CoopBazinga
Posted: January 28th, 2012, 10:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bill,

This didnít work for me at all Iím afraid. If a junction causes you that much stress, then why not avoid it? Take a different route to work; I know thereís one junction or road I avoid when going to work in the morning. I just couldnít believe that he would keep driving through the same junction for 33 years? He could at least complain to the council or something, itís just a trivial conflict that is so easily avoided.

I donít like being harsh, itís just such a weak premise, Roy died so Dave had a life changing moment, was able to turn and drive away from the junction, no problem. The same junction which has caused him so much stress for 33 years that easily. If anything you could have had a comedic part with the hearse, they get stuck in the junction or something?

Also when Dave waitís with the bottle of whiskey, I thought it would be funny if the whisky was slowly diminishing in the bottle each day? I know I would drink standing by a junction with nothing to do other than watch cars.

The writing also didnít work for me personally. A lot of broken up action sentences which I feel wasnít needed, I understand this in action segments, fights, car chases etc because it helps to not confuse the reader but here, it didnít work for me.

Heavy traffic.

It flows too quickly to let them join.

They wait.

I thought this kind of thing could be one sentence; it would hardly confuse the reader IMO.

The slugs also need a lot of work, they were very confusing at times, example.

ďJUNCTION - NEXT DAYĒ

I immediately thought Dave and Amanda had been sitting at the junction all day and night. It wasnít clear enough IMO. I also think just having junction as a mini slug doesnít work; itís a completely new location so needs to be an EXT. slug.

A couple of awkward phrases which confused me

ďAmanda stops, giggles, goes back to the house and locks the
door.Ē

ďDave frowns, shakes his head...relaxes.Ē

ďThey jump in the car, drive down the estate roadĒ

Amanda locked herself in the house, and then they jump in the car? Why even have the sentence with Amanda going back into the house?

ďHe strides up to the front door, enters and walks into the--

KITCHENĒ

Donít know many houses where you walk straight into the kitchen from the front door?

This story needs a lot of work; I found it to be just so trivial, an easy solution to the problem which is never explained. I canít understand why you would drive through that same junction for so long? It doesnít make sense to me?

Sorry if Iím being harsh but I see no potential with this story, I donít even know where you could take it.

Just wondered, this is Bill Sarre(reef dreamer) right? I wasnít sure to be honest? Your username is missing from the logline?

All the best and keep writing.

Steve.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 8:14am Report to Moderator
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Message for the mods.

Could someone put my board name, Reef Dreamer, alongside my name. I think I put it on the entry. Indeed is there another way of flagging this whilst on the subject?  [bert's edit:  Done, and you can always send a PM, too]

Thanks

Crooked , Coop - thanks for the reads. I have to dash now so will answer later. Cheers.


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr

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bert  -  January 29th, 2012, 12:08pm
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irish eyes
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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Hi Bill

A couple of slug issues
Super: Six weeks later  Superne week later, otherwise we don`t know.

Amanda stops, giggles, goes back to the house and locks the
door.
Dave frowns, shakes his head...relaxes.... Why does he frown?  Because she locked the door to her house? I thought they were excited with a new sports car

The junction itself... Apparently the only way Dave can get out, if Ron shows up at exactly the same time as dave gets stuck , according to your series of shots...is at least 32 years!
I can`t believe nobody will let him out in 32 years.... this would only happen in New York City Not in a suburbia.

Again Super: One month Later

I`m a little confused, so the death of Ron, the guy who waved him on for 32 years triggered something in his mind about his own relationship with his wife.... So was the junction responsible for his deteriorating relationship?.... If I told my wife that a junction in the road was responsible for my bad mood for 32 years.... would not go down well

Sorry Bill
Apart from your writing itself, which is very tight and great descriptions... this actually just annoyed me, nothing of interest..

Mark


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darrentomalin
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Found this quite sweet, nice montage but thought the wife had died at the last shot of the montage when he was alone in the car - that section was soldily written and reminded me of the montage in UP..
I like the premise, 30 odd years is a bit of a stretch to believe this was going on but the IDEA that something seemingly so trivial and the actions of a stranger you've known for 3 decades can change a person is what I like about this story.

Some slug tinkering is needed.

I can imagine this as a music video!

Daz


http://darrentomalin.webs.com/index.htm

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Don for the post and everyone for the reads. All feedback is appreciated.

This was an experimental piece and i guessed it wouldn't be for everyone but it seemed to better to post it here so that we can kick it around and learn. It is a conscious effort to depart from the standard.

The first thing to note is this is as much metaphor as story. Like a parable or cautionary tale, so to speak. That was my intention. I am interested in what triggers change in people. Many know that they must appreciate life, but few actually do this. For those who are able to start putting words into practice, i've always been interested in what is the trigger and why?

This simple tale is about a man who neglects what he has. He becomes too wrapped up in the world around him and fails to see what is in front. Ron, by accident, by repetition and through giving, is the trigger.  Often people find it is outsiders that make them change, whilst they take their family for granted. But it is the family that is what makes life worthwhile.

So, back to the story which is not really about an annoying junction, it is a metaphor about awareness. One day Dave becomes aware that Ron is old and has always been kind. He realises he wishes to say thank you, but never gets the chance. He misses it. It is this lack of chance, with the crisp message from Rons children that makes dave aware that he could lose the same opportunity at home. He is at a junction of life, with choices and directions. He turns around.

Is it likely a man has let the same person out of the same junction for so many years (note we are not saying all of the time, just on the occasions shown) not likely, but as we can believe in landing on distant planets or vampires going to high school, the idea of  people living in the same street for most of their lives doesn't seem too unlikely. My dad has lived in the same street for 75 years, with a bad junction at the end. This is not so much about could it happen, rather what is the message. Like an Aesop fable.

The other challenge i set myself was to write a tale without dialogue. Let the actions move the story.



Quoted from crookedowl

Also, instead of just writing "SIX MONTHS LATER," you should write "SUPER: SIX MONTHS LATER" because otherwise there's no way to tell how much time has passed when watching it on film.


fair point and good suggestion.



Quoted from CoopBazinga

A couple of awkward phrases which confused me

ďAmanda stops, giggles, goes back to the house and locks the
door.Ē

ďDave frowns, shakes his head...relaxes.Ē

ďThey jump in the car, drive down the estate roadĒ

Amanda locked herself in the house, and then they jump in the car? Why even have the sentence with Amanda going back into the house?



Thanks for raising this.

The junction is where we see his life pass before him. To set this up i wanted to foreshadow his character with an action/reaction scene. What we see here is them [1] together happy, but[2] Amanda realises they haven't locked the door, she laughs - we see a warmed hearted character but [3] Dave frowns - he's a serious character, further [4] she has taken responsibility, he has not, so [5] he isn't aware that he was equally to blame but has tried to pass the buck. it then sets up the series of shots and the issue he must overcome to resolve his character arc movement.

As to her going back, that was just amanda locking the door (not sure why you think she would lock herself inside) before they drive off. She undertakes the duty, he just watches.

Otherwise, thanks for the feedback. Not every story will work for us when reading, but again thanks for honest feedback.




Quoted from darrentomalin
Found this quite sweet, nice montage but thought the wife had died at the last shot of the montage when he was alone in the car - that section was soldily written and reminded me of the montage in UP..
I like the premise, 30 odd years is a bit of a stretch to believe this was going on but the IDEA that something seemingly so trivial and the actions of a stranger you've known for 3 decades can change a person is what I like about this story.

Some slug tinkering is needed.

I can imagine this as a music video!

Daz


Thanks Daz, some good observations. I had never thought of the wife as being seen as dead! Interesting thought.

Thanks for spotting the trivial moment compounded into something deeper. Yeah, the 30 years sounds a bit long, but if made it 20 years the issues still remains.

I have this feeling a viewer watching this short would accept that more than us readers.

Music video - lovely idea. Dread to imagine the music. Almost a funeral march!!

Cheers Everyone.




My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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alffy
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Bill.

I too had issues with your slugs and the missing 'SUPER'S'.  I also echo the above concerns about how likely someone is to continually drive down a road that causes them so much grief. I also thought Amanda had died until the final scene.  I think I understand what you were aiming for here; you don't know what you've got till its gone?  I think it needs some work as it feels a little rushed in its present state.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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Forgive
Posted: January 29th, 2012, 9:30pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah - I quite liked this - it wasn't what I expected - I was almost going to give you a quote on how, according to one major scriptwriter, many execs are known to skip the action lines and go through the dialogue, but then I was at the end of the script - read like a breeze to me - I'm not saying that there's no issues with it - but my scripts are always dialogue-heavy so that's my focus, so I think you've achieved something here - action only scripts can be really difficult to make interesting, and I think you pulled it off - I'm not really interested in going to format - you kept the interest with the story, and I got what you were doing - and I felt the 'whiskey with a bow' - but too late was a really nice touch; but he knows what he has to do. Key to it really I think is that Dave is clearly flawed - people have asked  why he got so wound up etc - he's clearly not the greatest guy, but his redemption comes in his understanding - 30 years at a junction - I don't think the junction itself is important here is it - I'm guessing it just represents opportunities to make decisions, and then one day it changes, and he values that. I liked this all the way.
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CoopBazinga
Posted: January 30th, 2012, 2:18am Report to Moderator
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Hey Bill,


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
This was an experimental piece and i guessed it wouldn't be for everyone but it seemed to better to post it here so that we can kick it around and learn. It is a conscious effort to depart from the standard.


Okay, I donít think I gave you any credit for what youíre trying to achieve with this and for that, I apologise. Letís just say I was too quick out the gate with one quick read and didnít give it the time it deserves. My bad.

Iíve read this again today after your reply and it read a lot better the second time. The last scene between Dave and Amanda in the kitchen I sort of washed over the first time but again, it had a lot more substance on the second read. It was actually my favourite part of this little story.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
The other challenge i set myself was to write a tale without dialogue. Let the actions move the story.


I want to credit you for trying something different, expanding your writing techniques and telling a story without dialogue. Itís difficult to do and a challenge for any writer especially for newbs like me who is too scared to even try it, I could never pull it off!


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
the story which is not really about an annoying junction, it is a metaphor about awareness.


The junction still doesnít work for me even as a metaphor but that could be more to do with my hatred to traffic rather the particular junction here in your story.


Quoted from Reef Dreamer
What we see here is them [1] together happy, but[2] Amanda realises they haven't locked the door, she laughs - we see a warmed hearted character but [3] Dave frowns - he's a serious character, further [4] she has taken responsibility, he has not, so [5] he isn't aware that he was equally to blame but has tried to pass the buck. it then sets up the series of shots and the issue he must overcome to resolve his character arc movement.

As to her going back, that was just amanda locking the door (not sure why you think she would lock herself inside) before they drive off. She undertakes the duty, he just watches.


Now youíve explained how it was directed, this sentence makes a lot of sense(of course, she was closing the door) But I hope understand how some readers like myself will make that mistake when reading this over, maybe itís because Iím stupid and a fast reader but it wasnít clear enough on first read is all. Itís so simple to clarify that sentence as well, but again, if you the writer think its clear, thatís good enough

Overall, it still wasnít for me Iím afraid. The junction scenes just turn me off is all. I keep telling myself, go another route, go another route. I know itís not about that but I canít help it. This is just my opinion but others will like it like Simon and Darren who have commented above.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
itís just such a weak premise


Again, sorry for being so brash in my original post. Though I donít like the story, I do respect the effort and different form of technique youíve tried here, it will only help you develop as a writer.

Good effort

Steve
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 30th, 2012, 10:44am Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

No worries on that. When I posted this I knew that it wouldn't be for everyone but I was keen to get feedback and that's what you gave.

I don't know about you, but when I have read a script and then gone back to re read it following others comments, I find I learn more than virtually any other read. It becomes much deeper.

Apart from the story, two issues have arisen. Slugs - slimy  suckers. I did think they were fine but I take on board what people have said. Supers - now, that was more obvious and it was silly not to do those.

The beauty of Dropbox is that if I have time I can get them changed for future readers.

Simon, Alfy - thanks for the reads. I will reply separately but away from my computer at the moment so have limited capability eg quoting.


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: January 30th, 2012, 11:24am Report to Moderator
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Hey there Bill,

Always a pleasure to crack open new material from contributing members.
I see by the posts I should pull my metaphor hat out of the closet.

P. 1
I don't know what a "saloon car" is.

P. 2
The metaphorical traffic jam got me interested.

The time passages can be tricky.
Unless you're going to put it all on the wardrobe department or something.
If not, then SUPERs or a calendar motif may be the way to go.

The pages read pretty well, and I do get the life as art vibe here.
It's pretty good food for thought.
Think I missed out on Ron's importance.
Though I wish there was more to do with the cool car thing.
That's my fave idea on display here.

Regards,
E.D.


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Page 1:  I actually don't think the second scene achieves anything that the first and third don't.  We don't need to be shown that they got the house.  We know; it's right there in scenes 1 and 3.

Page 2:  Amanda is a little bit too perfect for my liking.  All she is is calm, peaceful, pretty, wonderful.  Be nice to see a little life outta her.

Page 3:  I'm on the fence about this one, but my gut reaction is, we know it's Ron.  Having his picture on the side of the hearse is over the top.  Actually, you know what would be cool is if we saw a hearse go by, Dave watching, then see Ron's vehicle following it, sans Ron...and perhaps avec grieving kids, family, etc.  Just an idea.

Thoughts:

So not an entirely unfamiliar story/message, but an always timely one and one which is uniquely presented.  My main complaint, as above, is Amanda.  She seems to exist only as a barometer by which to judge the development of Dave's character.  We understand that her character is different from Dave's, in terms of broad strokes, but in order for this story to have any kind of broad impact, I think it's necessary that we also feel the specificity of it on the page, and that's currently lacking due to Amanda being what I would call a "perfect" character.  I don't know if that complaint is sufficiently presented or if I should elaborate...anyway.  To a much lesser extent, I would argue that the same is true for Ron.  He works as a foil for Dave, but the less we know about him, the more transparent the nature of his character as device becomes.  I understand that it's a very brief story, but I don't think that there's any reason that we can't see some small signs of unique humanity in both Amanda and Ron.

I'm interested in how you would characterize the thematic relationship, if there is one, between Ron's kindness, or perhaps basic decency, and the (I presume) similar attributes of Amanda.  Is that a connection which it is your intent the reader draw?

Thanks, enjoyed this.

Chris


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 30th, 2012, 5:10pm Report to Moderator
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Allfy,

Thanks for the read. Not sure we have crossed paths before - i think i spotted you at Circalit - but if you have anything you would like read, let me know.


Quoted from alffy
Hey, Bill.

I too had issues with your slugs and the missing 'SUPER'S'.  I also echo the above concerns about how likely someone is to continually drive down a road that causes them so much grief. I also thought Amanda had died until the final scene.  I think I understand what you were aiming for here; you don't know what you've got till its gone?  I think it needs some work as it feels a little rushed in its present state.


Arh those blasted supers! I've amended the script now and hopefully it is clearer. It is an issue when a script bounces around how much you leave to the producer to show and how much you tell, but it did need a couple.

One issue i don't agree with, and you are not alone, is the idea that someone can drive down a road for a chunk of their life and meet their neighbour. Admittedly it is pushed a bit in this but the focus is really on Dave and how he fails to appreciate whats around. The act is not core to the film.

As there is NO chance of this being produced we will never know, but my gut feel is that the viewer could cope with that. Who knows.

PS like the two fingers - so to speak.


Quoted from Forgive
Yeah - I quite liked this - it wasn't what I expected - I was almost going to give you a quote on how, according to one major scriptwriter, many execs are known to skip the action lines and go through the dialogue, but then I was at the end of the script - read like a breeze to me - I'm not saying that there's no issues with it - but my scripts are always dialogue-heavy so that's my focus, so I think you've achieved something here - action only scripts can be really difficult to make interesting, and I think you pulled it off - I'm not really interested in going to format - you kept the interest with the story, and I got what you were doing - and I felt the 'whiskey with a bow' - but too late was a really nice touch; but he knows what he has to do. Key to it really I think is that Dave is clearly flawed - people have asked  why he got so wound up etc - he's clearly not the greatest guy, but his redemption comes in his understanding - 30 years at a junction - I don't think the junction itself is important here is it - I'm guessing it just represents opportunities to make decisions, and then one day it changes, and he values that. I liked this all the way.


Pretty much spot on. The junction not only forms the metaphor but the pinch of where it happens.

The script was a simple experiment.  I was impressed with a scene in the Illusionist where the lead character tries to go on stage three times, only to be kicked off each time. You would have to see the film (highly recommended) but I thought it was powerful and effective - without any words.

all the best.


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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I thought this was written very well..didn't have much of an issue with the SLUGS.

The story itself is sweet.  I just kept thinking it odd that Ron would show up at the same time to let them in.  But in the end it's a cool look at a man's life and how a stranger can make such an impact.  Nice to see him come around at the end so he and his wife can start a new chapter.

Nice job.  


ZERO tolerance for RUDE people.
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