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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Geek - Filmed! Moderators: bert
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Heretic
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 8:11pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Cindy,

This is one of my absolute favourites of your work.  Compelling and original.  I do think it is incompletely realized in its current state, however.

We are presented with what is ostensibly a suicide-due-to-bullying story, before we get this terrific gotcha.  The thing about the twist, though, is that at that point the story is no longer about the effects of bullying, at least to the extent that it's not about what harm bully can drive one to do to oneself.  Now we discover that it's a story about what harm bullying can drive one to do to someone else.  

Here's the thing.  We're given a protagonist who is massively sympathetic who we then discover is actually unsympathetic, in the sense that he's done something awful.  While this twist is incredibly effective in the context of the story as a story, I do wonder if it's a little bit irresponsible in the context of its topic.  What I mean by that is that as it stands, for me (and I think for Greg, above), this is actually a story about how the bullied person does something worse than what the bully does; in a way, it's a revenge story, in which the protagonist is at least as evil as the antagonist.  This is fine, but it isn't in itself I think the way you want to portray bullied people in general.  HOWEVER...

I think you've intended to address these concerns in the script, I just don't think it's there yet.  What's missing for me is a very clear depiction of Jesse as victim not just of bullying but as a victim in the sense that he has been driven to become something evil.  The great, and effective, tragedy of the script is that the bullying seems to have forced him to this point, but as it is, I don't buy that he really feels he has no other option.  I think a big part of this is that when we're "gotcha'd", that gives a great deal of power to Jesse as a character; he's been one step ahead of us the whole time.  When we as the audience are put in the position of being fooled by someone, we tend to get the impression that they are in control, which is the exact opposite of what Jesse needs to be for this story to work.

I'm not quite sure if there's a "fix" for this that I had in mind.  I just wanted to let you know that that was my initial response.  I realize I've been a little bit roundabout in getting to my point, and that the point itself may be a little vague.  I will revisit this one in a few days and see if I can clarify that feeling.

But this script is really good.


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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 24th, 2012, 11:37am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Reef Dreamer
Hey Cindy,

Nothing raises emotions quiet like an innocent victim not being looked after, treated poorly etc! So it should work well on screen.

I had one idea. It is tidier to have one outcome but I wonder what it would look like if several alternatives were rehearsed out, with the conclusion being the last scene - ie which one happened.

Hope this gets produced.

Cheers


That is a good idea.  Maybe I'll do another script like that. I know what you mean about belittleings. I'll have to find a better word. I haven't gotten a lot of sleep lately due to my neighbors five roosters...

Thanks for the read,

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 24th, 2012, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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Hey Heretic,


I see what you mean. It was more clearer in my head (all the emotional trouble the kid was having) than in what I was trying to explain to Gary.

I'll definately beef that part up in the rewrite.   Thank you.

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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CoopBazinga
Posted: March 24th, 2012, 12:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy,

A very good and powerful 4 pages here. A subject matter that maybe not all of us have experienced personally but can definitely feel for and hope their own children don’t have to go through the same situation.

I think you’ve done a fine job with the topic but would question the boy murdering the bully at the end.  Does this send out the right message? As a reader I find it difficult to side with him anymore after this but I can completely believe in it if I’m honest. If you’re pushed that far, of course you’re going to crack and do the worst.

SPOLIERS

On a story note, I think you should have ended it with the hanging and the note “BULLY”. I think this has more of an impact with the voice over of “I’m free” than the cops showing up.

These are the notes I took during the read:

P.3  “He only got in two good licks...” I hope you mean kicks unless this is the weirdest bully I’ve ever known.

“INSERT PAPER: "I'M SO SORRY." You had a “back to scene” on the insert last time but not here? Just curious and it’s good to be consistent.

“and dials 911” I wonder if the 911 could be taken out? It would be hard to be seen on screen and the audience would know from the proceeding dialogue who he called.

“CURT (15) medium build” Jesse was also medium build, I’d avoid the same description for characters.

Overall this is a strong script with such a difficult topic matter which has been so hotly talked about in the last few years with all the socializing sites online now. I think you’ve done a good job on the subject that so many could easily get wrong and make it read wrong (me personally) so well done. Although I didn’t like that it came to down to murder of the bully, it’s still a powerful story and it’s hard not to like it.

Good job.

Steve
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Forgive
Posted: March 24th, 2012, 10:32pm Report to Moderator
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Interesting piece of work - I was tempted into thinking it was a suitable riposte to the OWC, but then thought again.

I was not entirely surprised that it appears to be based on second-hand knowledge - I wasn't too sure that you'd experienced bullying when I was reading it - but then you haven't actually denied that in any post.

You have a dark and intense style of writing.

Would you like to see this produced? I wouldn't. Like many other people I have fantasized about what I'd like to do to people.

I think that you are exploring an alternative. What worries me is that a produced work would promote a solution. People who haven't been bullied rarely understand the frustration of those who have - this often includes those in authority. That's if the 'scar' that you refer to can actually hold you back. You decide on that one.

It is a difficult call. You outlined killing an aggressor. I find that difficult to deal with. It's powerful yes - inspirational, no.

Final question: There's a lot of kids being bullied out there. What solution do you have for them? I'm assuming this isn't it?
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 26th, 2012, 8:01am Report to Moderator
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Hi Steve,

Thank you for giving this one a read.  

A lot of people have questioned the bullies death at the end.

I wanted to show what could also happen other than the bullied kid killing himself.
Murders are an everyday occurance where I'm from (Detroit). There are at least two every day.

Also I wanted to give the victims of bullying some power in my script because I'm sick of what goes on in real life.

I also wondered about licks. Licks is slang for hits. I'll change it.

There will be a rewrite coming up.  

Thanks again for the read.
Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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CoopBazinga
Posted: March 26th, 2012, 11:24am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from CindyLKeller
I also wondered about licks. Licks is slang for hits.


Is that right...you learn something new everyday.


Quoted from CindyLKeller
There will be a rewrite coming up.  


Cool! look forward to see what you've changed.
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Nomad
Posted: March 26th, 2012, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
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Not a bad little short but there was too much Voice Over for my taste.  I prefer the , "show, don't tell" approach.

There were a couple grammar errors but nothing to get upset about.  I'd just recommend proofreading it a couple times more before posting.

The script was pretty clean, with a predictable ending.


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 27th, 2012, 10:04am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Forgive
You have a dark and intense style of writing.

Would you like to see this produced? I wouldn't. Like many other people I have fantasized about what I'd like to do to people.

You outlined killing an aggressor. I find that difficult to deal with. It's powerful yes - inspirational, no.

Final question: There's a lot of kids being bullied out there. What solution do you have for them? I'm assuming this isn't it?



I think bullies bully because they get a kick out of it AND no one stands up to them.
INCLUDING the schools and police. Sh***y, I know, but that's what happens.

I'm so tired of seeing the bullied kids kill themselves... too many of them... gone because of these little **icks.

Yeah, if the bullies, teachers, principals, and cops were to see a film like this, MAYBE it might stop some of the bullying. MAYBE authorities might change the way they do things to hold these pr**ks accountable for their actions.

I don't think that every script has to be inspirational, it could be a lesson learned.

Thanks for the read,

Cindy



Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
CindyLKeller  -  March 27th, 2012, 10:18am
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 27th, 2012, 10:12am Report to Moderator
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Hey Nomad,

Thanks for giving this one a read. V.O. aren't for everyone.

It was another exercise for me.
So far I've written a silent short, comedy, horror, drama, anime, a documentary, and now one with heavy V.O.

Sorry the ending was predictable for you.

Thanks again for the read,

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Nomad
Posted: March 27th, 2012, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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I have nothing against V.O. Cindy.  Forrest Gump was a great movie that used V.O. perfectly.  I just see it being used too much in scripts to describe things that could be shown.  I'm not saying you did that at all but when I see a lot of "V.O." in a script, I become weary.


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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_ghostwriters
Posted: April 2nd, 2012, 12:38am Report to Moderator
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Cindy,

I try not to read too much into shorts, they are what they are.  But It's always nice to see things from a different perspective and you gave us a good one.  Yeah I seen the twist coming, of course it helps with only four pages.  You can only include so much.

Overall, enjoyed the read,

Good luck with it.

Ghostie  


"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 2nd, 2012, 10:31am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read, Ghostie.  

I've been meaning to do a rewrite, but it seems that lately I'm lucky to have the time to READ one short per day... Stupid swing shift at work. I hate it.

Hopefully, there will be a rewrite done soon. I need to tidy it up.

I don't think there were a lot of twists I could have used for this type of script, but I tried to make it a surprise.

Thanks again for the read,
Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: April 2nd, 2012, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy!

Good to see new work from you.
Always glad to lend an opinion on your work...

P. 2
Your choice of narrative is a strong subject.
However, Jesse's V.O. here strains credibility for me.
Jesse sounds like an adult on the page.
Perhaps it's the word choice. I just don't hear kids talk like that.

P. 3
Again here... Jesse using the word, overpowers.
Rings false to me on the page.

Certain omissions here lead me to think of a twist on the way...

P. 4
I don't recall a beat where Jesse collapsed...
So, I was confused by the line before the police arrived.

This is good stuff. I'd like to see this get made.
Makes me want to go cross town to see "Bully" even more.
Aforementioned tweaks aside, that's all I got.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 2nd, 2012, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brett,

Thanks for giving this one a read. Always so nice to hear what you have to say.

I think I'll try and do the rewrite today since I have the day off of work. I'm going to work on the dialogue and some other things to tune it up some.

I've seen previews of the movie Bully. I gotta hope that something, somehow, somewhere will jar people in power to do something to stop this.

All the best,
Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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