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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Scooter Moderators: bert
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Forgive
Posted: February 15th, 2013, 7:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Feel free to elaborate on the 'minors' ... as you see it.

Nothing major, and as you say, half of it's just IMO. So -

p.1 Garden sprinklers on perfectly manicured lawns
-- not only lacks a verb, but it lacks any active verb -- I'd have liked to have seen them 'spin gently' or something - it just feels like there's a nice creative word missing here - the water drops flicking out or something -- as it stands, they could just be lying there waiting to be turned on.

p1. ... blonde, cute, but not yet a ‘looker’,
-- I'd generally avoid negatives in writing: Michael, not a woman. The Twin Towers, not a cottage. The writer presents what is, not what is not.

p.1 One of the boys - AARON SPENCER, long dark hair falling over his eyes, deep tan, turns, glances in their direction.
... the missing 'and' after turns throws a little bit here as the commas are demarking the list, and 'turns' slips into the list.

p.1 Nina waits till he’s out of earshot.
-- this came across a bit vague, and I think softened the writing a little bit - again it's a bit to do with inaction. Maybe something along the lines of 'Nina spots the blush ...' or something, just to keep things active?

p.2 - no description of the bedroom?

p.4 Lizzie hesitates for a second, gets to her feet.
Lizzie hesitates for a second,(but) (and) (then) gets to her feet.
Sometimes missing connectives can enhance a sentence, but othertimes I think it does a little damage which builds exponentially.

p.4 from one foot to another
--from one foot to the other?

So I'll stop there ... like I say, JMO, but I just feel that when the little things pile up, they begin to make an impact; but feel free to shoot me down on them if you feel that it all adds to the style of the writing - it's not for me to dictate.

Good luck with it all.

Simon
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LC
Posted: February 16th, 2013, 4:13am Report to Moderator
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Toby, thanks for the read and your comments.

Re the issue of conflict, I think there are different types of conflict, not to be confused with arguments and confrontations. There are no big arguments in this 'short', the heated exchange you mention on page 7 is as close as it gets to that. This is a quiet story with I hope a bit bigger message.

The set-up is that the main character, Lizzie, really wants a scooter - the obvious questions that follow throughout are: will she get one? Will she get the boy? Will she be accepted into the group? And ultimately, will she be happy once she gets what she wants. Universal theme, and imh, definitely conflict. Hopefully I set it up so that the audience ends up rooting for her. Not trying to change your mind... just saying the way I see it.

As a side note, the first draft of this was very very short and I felt it needed padding out a bit, so perhaps the slower build is diluting the tension/conflict a bit. And, I think it probably reads slower than it would look on film. I've taken your comments and Steve's comments on board though and will definitely look at tightening up a few things.

P.S. that line of dialogue you mention - I'm with you on that.


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LC
Posted: February 16th, 2013, 4:28am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rc1107
Hey Libby.
Found a plothole.  How come it's so sunny and perfect blue skies outside but yet it's Christmas-time?  It's supposed to be snowy and blizzardy. Oh.  Wait.  Australia.  You're shoving it in my face again, aren't you?...


Hey Mark, yeah, it's not all it's cracked up to be, you know. Try eating turkey with all the trimmings in 40degree heat. Thanks for all the nice comments. I had to put the bit in about Aaron cause that's what you guys were like to us girls when we were young.  :'( Girl's germs and all that...

James, thanks so much for your comments and compliments too, happy it was a decent read for you despite the lack of a 'dirt bag' kid. You summed up pretty well what I was going for here. Glad you liked it.

P.S. A 'dead cert' is Aussie slang for a 'certainty' or winner.








Revision History (1 edits)
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LC
Posted: February 16th, 2013, 4:47am Report to Moderator
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Simon, thanks for the follow-up post. Yep, I do think quite a few of the things you mention are personal style.

Having said that, when you mentioned the garden sprinklers 'spin gently' it instantly brought back that clickety-clack noise to me, but I've got to be careful here... you'll send me into over-writing frenzy and I'm trying to pare it down! Still, I might use it, ta.

And, I'm really not into using a lot of preposition or connecting words if they're not essential. Mind you it depends - if a certain rhythm is needed I'll def. use them. Like I said I'm trying to be a bit more economical.

I think you're right about the 'one foot to the other' - unless he's got three feet.   So, thanks for that - good pickup!

Thanks again for taking the time to re-post.







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RegularJohn
Posted: February 16th, 2013, 3:18pm Report to Moderator
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How's it going, Libby?

Like the others, I enjoyed the read.  Easy to follow and it sailed by rather smoothly.  Some mixed reactions on the ending but I felt it fit naturally into place.  I actually had a sneaking suspicion that something like that was going to happen after she took her scooter out for a spin.

The christmas "surprise" did bug me a bit and came off a tad bit cliche.  There was a good idea from a previous post that she could clean up the wrapping paper and stumble across it.  I liked that suggestion.

As far as conflict is concerned, I can see where you're coming from.  I think you were after the passive, suffer-in-silence kind of emotional distress in Lizzie being excluded from the gang but I wasn't really feeing it.  With the lack of confrontational conflict and all of the positive, happy characters, it came off kinda like a nice Sunday drive for me-a easygoing, relaxing trip but forgotten by Monday morning.  I don't mean to sound harsh but that's what I got from it.  Still a well written and technically sound script so great job, man.  Keep up the good work.

Johnny


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LC
Posted: February 17th, 2013, 5:27am Report to Moderator
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Hi Johnny,

Don't think we've met... thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for your comments.

Also, if anyone would like a return read just send me a PM. I appreciate all the comments so far.



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Angela
Posted: February 17th, 2013, 11:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Libby,

Going to start with the first thought I had after reading the screenplay - the ending made me chuckle. It reinforced the idea that sometimes when you strive to be 'in' or get to know the guy you like, you just cannot catch up and it isn't meant to be.

Couple of thoughts, please feel free to take them with a pinch of salt:

  • LIZZIE GARNER (12) blonde, cute, but not yet a "looker", lies on the grass with her head in her hands.
    I thought this was great description of the character.
  • Throughout the screenplay, the introduction of the five boys confused me as they were stated to be all 15 at the first time we meet them, but RICK was subsequently 14 at a point in the script.
  • Lizzie turns her head to see NINA GARNER (15) also blonde, behind her. She's got three years on Lizzie and it shows, she's more woman than girl.
  • Lizzie and Nina watch the boys push their scooters back up towards them.
  • INT. LOUNGE ROOM - CONTINUOUS.
  • Lizzie lies on her back, looks up at the sky. She shields her eyes from the sun, as birds soar overhead and the whir of spinning wheels and kids whoops and shrieks sound in her ears.
    This portion was slightly confusing for me -- though I eventually realized it was perhaps a dream.

I enjoyed the short dialogue at certain points, how not everything is said out, as it kept me guessing. However, I was also confused as to whether Lizzie wanted the scooter to hang out with the boys or to impress Aaron. Was it perhaps a combination of the two?

All the best!
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LC
Posted: February 18th, 2013, 1:51am Report to Moderator
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Angela,

Good catch on the age of the boys. I think this was due to my indecision about age in the first place and the fact that in my head the boys are, and should be, younger - than I've got them - probably about 12, cause they're taking an awful long time to move up from scooters to bikes, if not, aren't they?!   So, thanks for that. This will definitely be revised it in the next draft. Likewise Lizzie's age will be adjusted too.

The lack of INT. in the heading for the loungeroom is because this is a mini slug, i.e. moving from one area to another within the same location.

Hmm, I kinda like the more 'woman than girl' description but maybe it needs a bit of tweak and rethink. Thanks for the other compliment re Lizzie's description btw. Back up denotes the road going up - but I'll take another look at that.

As for, is it the scooter or the boy she wants? I'm leaving that up to personal interpretation. I like to think she's more into the scooter but I'll leave that up to you.

Thanks for the read Angela and welcome to SS. Look forward to reading something of yours.  




Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  February 22nd, 2013, 9:17am
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DJuwes
Posted: February 18th, 2013, 3:33am Report to Moderator
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Hey Libby,

I liked your script overall, and didn't feel there was a lack of conflict since the protag wanted a scooter so bad but could never express this want, to me that was enough conflict to keep the story going.

However I think the fantasy sequence was unnecessary, first because she'd be on the same location for the third time in the same position etc. and the sequence itself didn't add anything to the story, at that point we know she wants a scooter and we know she likes Aaron.

For the rest a great story and would love to see it get filmed!

- Joewi
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LC
Posted: February 18th, 2013, 4:10am Report to Moderator
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Hi Joewi,

good to hear you enjoyed the script overall.

Re the fantasy sequence, I think it might work on film. I suppose with repetitive scenes there is always the risk it will feel a little... repetitive. . Which is why I tried to incorporate a little fantasy scene. After all she's an adolescent girl, it's a hot day, she's watching those wheels spinning day in day out, so it was my way of breaking up a little of the same action.  

I'm open to suggestions however, so feel free to chime in if you have something further to add.

Thanks so much for the read and your feedback, Joewi.

And, it appears by the number of your posts that 'Welcome to SS' is also in order.

Hope to read something of yours soon.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: February 18th, 2013, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Libby!

Great to see some new work by you here on the boards!
It's my pleasure to dive in and check it out.

P. 7
I think the "times are tough" part can be handled better.
No need to come from an expository daughter.
You can show it through cheap settings.
Headlines in the newspaper can show tough times.
Perhaps there's a busted washer in the kitchen or something.
They have to wait until next pay period to fix it, etc.
A lot of ways you can handle that data.

P. 9
The "surprise" gift recalls "A Christmas Story" a bit.
And a half dozen or so other films.
But since the parents were never lobbied by the kids, it feels a tad random.
We never saw how the parents know.
So, there's no set up for this pay off.

The ending worked and played the social status card.
Again, I think that would work better if I knew Lizzie was poor.
I didn't get much of that feeling from the script.
It could help sell the "keeping up with the Joneses" vibe you laid out.

This is a nice tale.
Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
E.D.


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Jeremiah Johnson
Posted: February 18th, 2013, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
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LC,
I did not read any previous comments, so I apologize if anything is repeated.

I liked the story overall.  Being that age, I can definately feel for the characters and the time period.  You have everything correct about that age, boys and toys.  I like how you mixed both in Lizzie's world.  One didn't take precedence over the other.  She wanted them both equally.

I liked the twist at the end, and actually had similar moments in my life.  To me, that was the best "twist" you could put on this.  Very believable.

There was a few little hiccups (see my page by page notes below), but liked the story.  It took me back.  Good job.

Pg 1:
SUPER: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - CIRCA 1970sTo me, you should go ahead and put a solid year (1972, etc.).  If this was in the description part, circa would work.  That way we would know the time period.  Since it is going to be displayed in a superimpose, why not just give it a real date?  Just a thought.

Next scene there is no physical description of the Nature Strip.  I know it should be self explainitory, but you did good with the first description.  Just a little detail here wouldn't hurt, in my opinion.

One of the boys - AARON SPENCER, long dark hair
falling over his eyes, deep tan, turns, glances in their
direction.

This doesn't read good to me.  You might try breaking it up.  Something like, "One of the boys turns, glancing in their direction.  AARON SPENCER, deep tan, pushes his long dark hair from over his eyes and smiles at Lizzie."  Okay, you can probably make it better but you get the idea.

Pg 2:
I like MUM's description.  I can picture that.

Pg 5:
Not necessary to say Dad is watching a documentary on TV.  Just watches TV.

Pg 6:
Okay, now you may ignore my previous comment.

Pg 8:
No need for the parenthetical that Dad is still eyeing the magazine.  You said in the previous that he was engrossed already.


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LC
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Hey Libby! Great to see some new work by you here on the boards! It's my pleasure to dive in and check it out.


Hey Brett, thanks for chiming in on this. I'm getting lots of feedback which is great for the next draft.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I think the "times are tough" part can be handled better.
No need to come from an expository daughter. You can show it through cheap settings.


I think perhaps on film this would 'show' through the settings already in place, i.e. 'franks and beans', the 'fibro clad' house, and the 'artificial' Christmas tree'. I suppose I could add a few things, a formica table, no carpet etc. and perhaps a few touches remained in my head, (that often happens)  


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

... since the parents were never lobbied by the kids, it feels a tad random. We never saw how the parents know...


I want this to go by fairly quickly so I would hope it's inferred through the quarrel with the girls that Nina has got to her parents - she already spilled the beans re Lizzie's infatuation with Aaron and there's a final 'wink' exchange between Lizzie and Nina so... I really don't feel everything should be spelled out. I want the audience to interpret what they will. I had thought about including a scene with Nina and Dad... perhaps without dialogue, so I may think about that. Something I will look at again.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

The ending worked and played the social status card.

The 'Keeping up with Jones's' thing is interesting. I think Mark mentioned it too. I don't see it as being predominantly this, but yes, it's there. It's great you thought the ending worked.

All good points to ponder overall.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

This is a nice tale. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks Brett.



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LC
Posted: February 19th, 2013, 12:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
LC, I did not read any previous comments, so I apologize if anything is repeated.

I liked the story overall.  Being that age, I can definately feel for the characters and the time period.  You have everything correct about that age, boys and toys.  I like how you mixed both in Lizzie's world.  One didn't take precedence over the other.  She wanted them both equally. I liked the twist at the end, and actually had similar moments in my life.  To me, that was the best "twist" you could put on this.  Very believable .


Thanks Jeremiah! I'm glad it took you 'back there' and that the twist worked for you.


Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
SUPER: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - CIRCA 1970sTo me, you should go ahead and put a solid year (1972, etc.).  


It's my understanding that circa means, around about, or exact date unknown.

I want there to be flexibility with the decade i.e. general time/place etc. but naming an exact date might be more problematic in terms of reproducing it perfectly on film.

Speaking of which, it's a universal theme so could easily transpose to circa 1990's really, or even present day. Would just need to substitute for example, a 'Spice Girls' t-shirt for Lizzie and Oasis or PowerRangers t-shirts for boys - depending on how 'cool' they are, and change scooters and bikes, to bikes and skateboards perhaps. I wanted to set a mood more than an exact date.


Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
Next scene there is no physical description of the Nature Strip.  I know it should be self explainitory, but you did good with the first description.  Just a little detail here wouldn't hurt, in my opinion.


I get what you're saying, but I didn't want to define & pigeonhole that exactly either. Nature strips are nature strips imo unless it's going to impact on the story further, it just needs a good view of the action.

Thanks for your other comments too Jeremiah, I'll bear them in mind. I appreciate you giving this a read. Let me know if you want a return read.


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CoopBazinga
Posted: February 20th, 2013, 1:25am Report to Moderator
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Hey Libby,

Thanks for coming back - sorry I'm a bit late in replying.


Quoted from LC
how's it going on the West Coast?


All good, thank you. It's a bit hot at times but nothing that a cold beer can't solve.

How about you? Hope the hubby from Manchester isn't missing the rain too much.


Quoted from LC
Thanks Steve. Gotta' a couple on the boards - last OWC


My bad - there was a lot in the last OWC. I probably read it but didn't realize it was from you.


Quoted from LC
Sorry this wasn't your bag, Steve. Can't please all of the people... it's actually not quite as happy as you paint it, but then that's just mho. I appreciate your opinion, though.


You definitely can't please everyone! Never try too.

I'm sorry but it all did come off very happy to me - I mean, the sun is shining, people are grinning, smiling, blushing and there is even the "cute" line thrown in one of the descriptions. The sisters/family are getting on well, the boys are enjoying going down the hill on their scooters.

Lines like "Another picture perfect day" and "smiles wistfully" also gave it a very cheerful tone. If it wasn't for the unhappy last page then this could mirror a Brady Bunch episode but this is just the way I read it.

If I missed a darker undertone then I apologize  Maybe it needs to be less subtle for stupid readers like me - I miss things.


Quoted from LC
Can't say I really agree with you on the 'no tension/conflict' aspect. The way I see it, it's a pretty straight forward little slice of life tale about a girl who wants something desperately, so a lot of it is initially inner conflict I suppose, and so by all accounts it may appear that way.


Well you would know better than me on this - it's your story and characters. I will add that I never got the sense that she was desperate for it, more desired.

Maybe the desperation could be heightened in that scene with her dad.


Quoted from LC
To answer your questions re adding more plot via Lizzie & Aaron and Lizzie having to work for the scooter - I didn't want to focus more on the relationship with Aaron because that would change the story to emphasise the girl/boy relationship that's only alluded to.

I wanted to leave it up to the audience to decide - i.e. is this about the 'boy'? or 'wanting to be in the 'in' crowd'? or is it just about the 'scooter'? Likewise if I were to complicate the plot further I felt it would turn this into a very different and drawn out tale.


Fair enough, although an early scene between the two sisters indicates that it's the scooter that she really wants, not to mention the actual title.

I do think the ending would have more power though if the Aaron/Lizzie relationship was developed more. I actually thought she wanted the scooter to get closer to Aaron so I guess you got what you wanted in that respect. For the reader to decide I mean.


Quoted from LC
I didn't see the point, really. They don’t use them. To Lizzie their names are Mum and Dad. The only dialogue is between the children and their parents so...


Okay, that makes sense. The parents never actually spoke to one another.


Quoted from LC
I did give some thought to this being sans dialogue...


Shame you didn't go for it or at least write out another draft without dialogue - just to see how it played out.


Quoted from LC
Speaking of character:

I didn't want to go the Crocodile Dundee route here. I understand what you're saying re using the Aussie vernacular but I think I run the risk of it sounding hackneyed and laid on thick. Without copious amounts of beer and cork hats Oz slang can sound cartoonish. Especially to foreign ears. Bit like Brits saying ‘Tally ho, my dear chap.’

We all don't speak that way  - maybe my Grandfather might use the word quid or bonza etc. but I also wanted this tale to translate to other settings/countries which it could easily do, so putting too much of that in might restrict it.


I understand what you're saying in relation to this appealing to other settings/countries but any reader should be able to see through the words and get the picture. On the same note, any producer could easily have some words changed should they want to change the setting.

I certainly didn't mean anything like Mr. Dundee! More to give this something different when reading the dialogue. We all read scripts and sometimes the dialogue can be bland and without panache (not saying yours was like this BTW) I felt that this was a good opportunity with your setting to give the dialogue another dimension and something that most folks (yes, our friends from across the sea) never normally read or hear.

Just a missed opportunity for me but I do understand why you didn't go down this route. It could go the other way and come off really cheesy.


Quoted from LC
Thanks again for the read Steve. I appreciate your thoughts.


No worries, Libby. Hope it was of some help and best of luck with it.

Steve
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