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Don
Posted: March 22nd, 2012, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Geek by Cindy L. Keller - Short - When a fifteen year old boy is unable to get any help from authorities for the bullying he's been suffering through for the past two years, he snaps and ends it himself. 4 pages - pdf, format



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Filmed by Aldrien Veon


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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  December 22nd, 2020, 12:02pm
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leitskev
Posted: March 22nd, 2012, 6:40pm Report to Moderator
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I like the ending, Cindy! Very classy touch, "I'm free" as the cops close in.

Very topical, too, so this could get a lot of looks from small producers.

I think the dialogue could be tweaked so that it sounds less on the nose. There are actually a lot of areas where this could be done with one quick polish. I suggest using this as a guideline: once we know the issue(bullying) we know what Jesse is feeling. There are some times you could get away with telling us less, because we know. Or even better, use some subtext where you use a few words to express what we know he is feeling or thinking. This is true even when he is writing.

For example. opening dialogue, you could just say:
"Dad's gonna be pissed."
Then he looks at his broken glasses.
"Gonna blow a gasket!" You might even add; "Glad I won't be here to see it", which further contributes to your attempt to make us think he is going to commit suicide.

You might consider showing the principal give the suspension, and lose the part right before where he mentions the principal.

"I wish I could see the look on the
principal's face when he finds out
what I've done."

Could just be: "I wish I could see the look on the Principal's face."

Good work, Cindy! You'll get contacts on this one for sure.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 22nd, 2012, 6:59pm Report to Moderator
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Very very very very very good work, Cindy. This really speaks to an issue that goes on everyday everywhere and for all kinds of reasons.

I'm so glad you wrote this script. I'm so glad I could read it.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: March 22nd, 2012, 8:30pm Report to Moderator
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Cindy, good work. Personal too I think since it seems I remember something about one of your grandkids having some issues with this type of thing.

Bullying is a horrible thing and today that kid that filmed and outed that gay kid in college got 10 years.  This is a subject I feel very strongly about as well. Remember Old Wounds? Same thing, but takes place later in life.

Good work and could be filmed easily.

My only complaint about this script would be, how did Jesse get Curt?



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greg
Posted: March 22nd, 2012, 10:26pm Report to Moderator
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Cindy,

Very relevant story and I like the ironic use of the note, but I didn't like the ending. The problem is that at the end of the day it's a kid killing a kid. What am I supposed to feel for Jesse at the end? I don't feel sympathy for a kid being a bully but I also don't feel sympathy for a kid who commits murder against another youth. This isn't like, say, Shaft for example where a murder victim's mother guns down the racist killer at the end (all of which were adults), but it's a kid killing another kid and IMO doesn't do justice for victims of bullying. I would have much rather preferred to see Jesse beat the crap out of Curt. You may need an extra page or two to get the same feel, but I think that's a better way for a victim to stand up for themselves rather than murder.

Also at 15, I think Curt would throw in some more colorful words between "Four Eyes" and "Fag", especially if he's violent.

So I like where your heart is for this one but as I said, the ending didn't work for me.

But nice work anyway.

Greg



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rc1107
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 12:48am Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy.

I love light-hearted little tales.  :-)

Hmm.  I'm trying to make my decision on how I felt about this.  On one hand, I don't like how Jesse really isn't totally free, (at least not for the next 6 years.  And Jesse thought the bullies were bad at school)  But I confused myself, because I'm glad he stuck up for himself.  I guess I just didn't want to see it have to come to murder.  I was really hoping that Jesse would be able to work it out with his smarts, rather than fighting fire with fire.

Not that this story had to end that way.  It's a very valid ending.  I myself just wanted a more tame background, like Jesse beats him up karate-style, then still shows Curt some sort of respect at the end.

It's easy to tell you're a very strong writer, though.  I felt comfortable reading your dialogue and actions.

I'm sure someone's bound to say something about all the V.O., but I actually don't mind V.O., as long as it works with the story.  With how important it was to get inside Jesse's head in this story, I don't think there's any other option to get his thoughts into the script without using V.O.

Overall, a small little story that packs a powerful punch.  I'm glad I read it and think I'll remember it for quite a while to come.

- Mark


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nawazm11
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 1:07am Report to Moderator
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Nice, work, Cindy. Pretty powerful for 4 pages and it can be easily filmed. Don't have much to say but I thought the ending was nicely done.

Bullying is a very serious issue but nobody notices so I'm glad you wrote this. Kind of reminded of of Felipe's entry for the OWC , which was very good in fact.

Best of Luck

Mohammad

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nawazm11  -  March 23rd, 2012, 8:24am
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 8:01am Report to Moderator
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Hi Kev,
I'm glad you liked the ending.   I wanted to do something totally different than what I've seen or heard about before. Something that might make the bullies stop and think of what they've been doing and what could possibly happen to them if they push someone too far.

I'm going to take your advice and tweak the dialogue. Thank you for your help.  

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 23rd, 2012, 8:02am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Sandra Elstree.

Very very very very very good work, Cindy. This really speaks to an issue that goes on everyday everywhere and for all kinds of reasons.

I'm so glad you wrote this script. I'm so glad I could read it.

Sandra


Thank you, Sandra.  

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 23rd, 2012, 8:08am Report to Moderator
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Hi Pia,

Yep, my granddaughter was getting bullied at school. There was NO HELP from the principal or teachers even though my daughter and I went to school and had meetings with the principal. My granddaughter finally fought back and SHE was the one who got in big trouble with the police.

In the script Jesse says Curt followed him home and Jesse had finally had enough and overpowered him, but Curt still got in two good licks and broke his glasses.

Thank you 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 23rd, 2012, 8:15am Report to Moderator
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Hey Greg,

Thanks for the read.  

I wanted a different ending for this one other than the bully gets beat up or the kid who is being bullied dies.

I've known a couple parents of kids who hung themselves after being bullied because they saw no way out. One poor girl put on some lipstick, kissed herself in the mirror, then hung herself in her room...

With no help from authorities, these kids feel like they are backed into a corner every day for the rest of their lives.

In my script, Jesse kept wiping tears from his face. He really didn't want to do it, but he didn't want to keep getting bullied either.

Thank you 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 23rd, 2012, 8:22am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark,

Thank you for the read.  

I think as long as bullies aren't held accountable for their actions, the person that they are bullying with be left with some kind of a scar that will carry over into adult life.

In this script, it had been going on for two years and no one would help him, so he took care of it himself and it looks like Jesse will be the one who pays the price for being bullied, just like they always do.

Thanks again,

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 (1 edits)
CindyLKeller  -  March 23rd, 2012, 8:36am
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CindyLKeller
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 8:31am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mohammad,

Thank you for giving this a read.  

I read Felipe's OWC. In his script the kids father who had been getting bullied beat up the bully. I even told Felipe that I'd like to see something worse than the bully getting beat up, maybe tortured. (Guess you see this subject of bullying really fires me up)

In fact, it was his OWC that made me want to write my own bullying short.

But I wanted something different than the norm.

I think the subject of bullying should be slapped in teacher's and principal's faces daily until they actually do something to stop it.

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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Reef Dreamer
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 9:45am Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy,

I enjoyed the read and for four pages, effectively with one character in one location, it packs a punch.

To be honest I won't repeat the advice given out above - all sensible stuff which could tidy the read. just one example to me was "belittlings" - not the word I would expect from a kid and one in that situation.

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


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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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 23rd, 2012, 10:12am Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from Reef Dreamer


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.


I think this is a good idea. It might settle any disputes as to whether the ending might encourage a bullied child somewhere to do just that.

It's definitely something to consider.

Sandra




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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
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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
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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
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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
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CindyLKeller
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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
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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
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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
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_ghostwriters
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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  


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CindyLKeller
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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

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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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albinopenguin
Posted: April 3rd, 2012, 11:41am Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy,

so i read this one yesterday, and wanted to sit on it a bit. overall i loved the story, especially the ending. however the VO's weren't doing it for me. when picturing this as a film, i can't help but think that the viewer would be completely confused. there are so many voices, it might be hard to determine who was saying what. i would much rather see this entire story played out with a series of flashbacks (or played out chronologically).

furthermore, i saw the ending coming. so i might disguise Jesse's words and intentions a bit thicker.

Lastly, not sure if you meant "don't" or "doesn't" but as is, this read a little awkwardly for me....
JESSE (V.O.)
The police doesn't have time for
the quarrels between a couple of
dumb kids. No one wants to help
me. I can't take this anymore.

overall an enjoyable read.


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alffy
Posted: April 11th, 2012, 1:39pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy.

I enjoyed this little read.  It caught me off guard with the ending which is always good.  Very moving and thought provoking too.  I thought the V.O.'s were fine as well.

Nice short.


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

You can find my scripts here
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Felipe
Posted: April 11th, 2012, 8:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Cindy!

I like where you took this. My main concern is the predictability of the story. You should probably use some misdirection to get our attention away from it. You need to make us really believe that he is about to kill himself.

I don't have a problem with how dark it turns out, but if you want people to be more sympathetic after finding out Curt died, you could make it an accident. Jesse tried to defend himself and ended up killing Curt. That will make it so that Jesse didn't actually want to kill him so Curt will have more of the blame.

If you want an awesome example of misdirection, check out Sham's script "Cooked" from the unofficial OWC in December. If you had something like that in your script, the end would be a much bigger surprise.

Great job!

P.S. you should check out the documentary BULLY. It's the reason I wrote my last OWC about bullying.


'Artist' is not a term you should use to refer to yourself. Let others, and your work, do it for you.
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kingcooky555
Posted: April 11th, 2012, 9:01pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this. I saw the ending coming, but the message is good.

I had no problems with the V.O. However, if you can rewrite this without the V.O., then you have something really powerful.
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steven8
Posted: April 12th, 2012, 12:40am Report to Moderator
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Very strong, Cindy.  Very strong.  When I was in school I had kids who followed me home and beat me up, so I know just what that is like.  I was one of the smaller kids in class, not to mention one of the weakest and slowest and meekest.  I kept to myself.  So I was a prime target for the bullies.  My own locker partner was one of those guys, and I caught him and another jerk stomping my science project one day in front of our locker.  They destroyed it.  I told no one, but my sister dragged it out of me after school when she saw I was upset.  She made me go in and tell the assistant teacher.  He told the teacher.  The next day the teacher brought it up in front of the whole class.  She relayed my story exactly as I told it to the assistant.  Then she made me apologize to the boys for lying about them -- because she asked them and they said they didn't do it.  That was the support I got.  She asked them and they said they didn't do it, so I was automatically branded a liar.  The boys were two of the more 'popular' in class, so there you go.

I hate to say it, but I see how a story like yours could wind up the way it did, and the poor boy who was driven to do what he did will pay.  My son has a video tape of 'hard hitting football action' call NFL Crunch Course, and in it, an ex-player gives the advice "Always be the the one to hit, never the one to hit back. . .they're the one who always gets in trouble."  It is so true.
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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 12th, 2012, 1:10pm Report to Moderator
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I just popped in on my lunch to see what was going on when I saw that my short had more reads. I want to reply to each of the posts so I will log back on after work. Not enough time now.
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: April 12th, 2012, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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Will,
Thanks for taking time to give this one a read. I thought out the story and wrote it in about an hour. It still needs rewording and reworking.
Others have mentioned that they saw the ending coming, too, so I'll have to work on that.

Hi alffy,
I haven't seen you around in a while. Glad you are back.
So you didn't see the ending coming?
Hummm...
I'm still going to do a polish on it.
Thanks for the read.

cinemachado,
I'm glad you liked where this script went.
I really do have to get on that rewrite soon.
I will definately check out Sham's script "Cooked".
Thanks for giving this a read.

kingcooky555,
Thanks for the read.

steven8,
I'm sorry that you had to go through that. Too many kids have and still will because of teachers like that. I heard that there is a case pending where a boy's parents are sueing the school system because their minor son kept getting bullied and the school did nothing. They are saying that the school is responsible for his safety (which they are). If a minor child got injured at a baby sitter's house, the baby sitter would be responsible, so I believe the schools are responsible, too.
I think if money is taken from the teacher's pockets (who watch and do nothing) as well as the school's money, then maybe we will see a change in how they deal with bullying.

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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Ectoplasm
Posted: April 21st, 2012, 12:24pm Report to Moderator
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Great job, didn't see the ending coming. I'm glad to see Bullying getting the attention it deserves recently, such as that new documentary. I think this has a really good message and should be filmed. Too many people avoid the subject when teens are going as far as killing themselves instead of facing such abuse.
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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 24th, 2012, 8:10am Report to Moderator
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I'm glad you liked it, Ectoplasm.


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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M.Alexander
Posted: April 24th, 2012, 9:31am Report to Moderator
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Definitely a powerful piece.  I can't help but wonder if there's a better way to tell it without all the voiceovers.  Nonetheless, good effort.
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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 28th, 2012, 10:32pm Report to Moderator
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Hey M.

Thank you for giving this one a read. A lot of people don't care for the V.O.s
Me, sometimes, too.
I wanted to show what was going on inside his head after being bullied...

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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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 28th, 2012, 10:34pm Report to Moderator
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Don,

Thank you for posting the rewrite.

The new draft is 7 pages.

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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danbotha
Posted: April 29th, 2012, 12:21am Report to Moderator
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I loved this one!

You portrayed Jesse's nervous breakdown brilliantly. I could easily picture this one on the screen.

Loved the way it ended with the news reporter. You unveiled the harsh reality that many people couldn't care less about bullying, perfectly. It's always great reading a script that leaves you thinking 'WOW...'

Thanks for sharing this script


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James McClung
Posted: April 29th, 2012, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Cindy,

I read through the entirety of this thread and I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with the general consensus; while I didn't dislike your script, my feelings on it are very much divided. I do have some praises reserved for it and as such, I will save them for the end of my review, so as to leave you on a high note.

The overall structure of the script is very problematic for me. I hate to sound like a broken record, given the countless responses concerning your use of V.O., but your script is utterly dependent on it and as such, I wouldn't say you overuse it so much as bombard us with it. There's a very haphazard feel to it as well. Jesse's personal thoughts mixed in with dialogue from other characters in the past. I'm not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, it could be an interesting and justifiable way to communicate Jesse's utter frustration and helplessness. On the other, it comes off as, like I said, haphazard and at worst, as if you tried to cram too much character background into too short a script using a device (V.O.) that works best in small doses.

It depends how you read it, I suppose, which is something that makes the script a little tricky. I, myself, didn't respond well to it, initially, and while I came to see its potential after several reads (especially with the right actor), it still doesn't quite sit right with me.

This is exacerbated by the fact that if you take the V.O. away, the script isn't particularly eventful until midway through (I say midway because Jesse's breakdown is an event). It's also peppered with Jesse talking to himself which I take great issue with in just about every script I read. It's as far from naturalistic as can be. I wouldn't say it was as forced or awkward as it could be here but it was not lost on me when you switched from V.O. to diegetic dialogue.

The general dialogue could be stronger as well. First and foremost, it seemed strange to me that Curt would go from insults like "geek" and "four-eyes" to "fag" and "pussy." They don't seem like they'd come from the same person and I'm not sure kids (even young kids) even use "geek" and "four-eyes" anymore, especially the former. For a character that attempts to hang his victim at the end, I'd keep his insults on the meaner side. I'd also like to hear more personal attacks from him. "Fag" and "pussy" seem too generic and don't contribute to the visceral quality of the script as much as they should.

Your reference to Ds and Es didn't work for me. I'm aware that somewhere out there, there's schools that give Es instead of (in addition to?) Fs. I'm not sure if this happened at some point or still goes on but it's strange and threw me off track briefly. Equally strange was Mom offering to make brownies after going to the police. I don't know what you were trying to convey with that line but it's just weird. I'd also lose Jesse looking back and calling to his dad after the daydream. Did he really think that actually just happened?

Other lines are hard to put my finger on as far as exactly what irks me. I'm not sure if the dialogue's weak or just arranged in an unconventional way but it didn't flow for some reason.

I suppose I'll make a transition into the good at this point. I was kind of shocked that Curt would actually try to hang Jesse upon entering the garage. I'm not sure a fifteen year old who, presumably lives a sheltered lifestyle in the suburbs, would react to the prospect of a victim hanging himself in quite the same manner. However considering that he was just beat up by said victim, I think you could sell it a little better. Indeed, he's got to be furious. The ending worked well for me, generally speaking. I think I'd have Curt try to strangle Jesse with the noose as opposed to actually trying to hang him (or did I miss something here?) and perhaps offer a more graceful transition into the news report. Initially, I didn't care for ending the script by adding so many characters and tying things together in such a simple way but there were things that came up that you probably wouldn't have been able to introduce otherwise (e.g. Jesse undergoing psychiatric evaluation).

As for Jesse killing Curt, I'm going to have to disagree with everyone who says this is against your cause. The complaints I've read seem to be moral issues more than anything but I don't think there could be a more moral way to end the script. There are kids out there who have been pushed into corners, possibly after failed attempts to stand up for themselves, and have seen no other options than to react violently, whether it be directed against the bullies or themselves. It's not right but... well, what other options are there? A person can only take so much.

I think the power of this script (and there is power) lies in the difficulty of coming to a consensus when it comes to bullying. It is a highly prevalent social issue which seems like it should have simple solutions but in reality doesn't at all. By having an ending that doesn't sit well with people, it encourages them to consider solutions or at least bring to their attention that the situation is utterly fucked. If there were a means by which bullying could be resolved that benefits everyone involved, no one would have to make films about it.

So yeah... Personally, I think this needs work but there is a great potential here that I think it worth working towards. I hope you continue to work on this in the future.


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CindyLKeller
Posted: April 30th, 2012, 11:15am Report to Moderator
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Hey danbotha,

I'm glad you liked it.

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: April 30th, 2012, 11:27am Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Thanks for the read.

As for the voice overs, well, Jesse was having a nervous breakdown.

All of this was running through his head, seeing his father (who wasn't there), the uncontrollable  crying, headaches, fits of rage (pounding his fist on the table), doubling over in pain, his mother saying they would go to the police and then says she will make him a nice batch of brownies... All a bunch of craziness running through his head.

Jesse was going to hang himself when Curt jumped him again.

Curt, being the bully he is, wrapped the noose around Jesse's neck after knocking him to the ground. I think he just wanted to be an idiot, not kill him, but Jesse thought he was going to kill him, and decided he didn't want to die afterall.

I just wanted to write something about bullying with a different kind of outcome. One where the bully actually loses. Something to make bullies think. If they might get hurt themselves, they might actually stop.

Thanks for the read again,

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  -  April 30th, 2012, 11:55am
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Don
Posted: December 22nd, 2020, 12:02pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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_ghostwriters
Posted: December 22nd, 2020, 11:49pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats Cindy!  A powerful message.


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CindyLKeller
Posted: December 23rd, 2020, 11:23am Report to Moderator
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Thank you.
I was so surprised when I opened up my email to find the short there.
Then a couple hours later I received another email from another producer who sent the movie to my short script,  "Blue Ribbon".
It was a very good day.
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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