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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Fate Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 26th, 2013, 4:30pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Fate by Michael Brown (trickyb) - Short - After a drunken night a young man wakes next to a distressed girl he doesn't know,  in a house he's never been and no idea how he got there.  17 pages - pdf, format


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trickyb
Posted: May 26th, 2013, 4:47pm Report to Moderator
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Thx Don,

My first crack at a short, all feedback welcomed and appreciated.

Cheers

Michael


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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: May 26th, 2013, 5:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michael (we have so many Michael's on this board, lol!) -- I think I'll call 'ya Tricky 'cayse that is much more "rad", haha.

Anyways, the log-line was enough to get a read out of me, although it is worded wrong.

I think it works better as:

"After a drunken night a young man wakes to a distressed girl he doesn't know, in a house he's never been in, with no idea of how he got there."

You should, IMO, cut this entirely:

"The morning light seems to bounce off the green, dew ridden
grass and into a well kept room, with queen size bed." -- just get straight to the point, like you did in the next line.

Your... "CUT TO:
SUPERIMPOSE: 3 DAYS EARLIER."  Should be --

                           CUT TO:

OVER BLACK

SUPER: 3 DAYS LATER

Heads up, and I think you also need another "FADE IN:" since your going from BLACK to another scene.

You introduce Jared as MAN and than as JARED.  In the scene in the bedroom at the start just give both the MAN and WOMAN their actual names.

"...up and through the wooden barriers of the stairs..." this did not visually make sense to me.

"Jared stands in the doorway shaking and looking very scared." -- reads awkward, try:

"Jared, shaking and scared, stands in the doorway."

WHY though would he be SHAKING or VERY SCARED in the first place?  This isn't exactly Michael Myers, it's a woman... crying... so maybe his shakes and "looking very scared" is a bit unrealistic.

I think Jared's assuming/coming to the conclusion he's dead is far too quick.  If that was happening to me, I'd first assume I was dreaming, or having a nightmare, and this wasn't real.  I wouldn't be all "O my God this must mean I'm dead!!!".

(All of my comments are made as I read), and I just want to say this is funny, I love Jared's dialogue here:

"JARED (CONTíD)
And Iím dressed like a whore with a
stocking wedgy and itchy balls.
Stunned, he looks up.
JARED (CONTíD)
I was killed by a fucking flying
fridge." -- LOL.

"Very bland." -- you've used bland THREE times to describe the location.  Once is enough.

"Wow. Youíve clearly got some
issues, not as bad as being dead
and dressed like a two dollar
hooker and on a ten meter leash to
a clearly disturbed woman, but
clearly thereís something wrong." -- consider rewording this, reads really awkward.

I'll finish the rest, soon.  I have to stop now, but I'll get back to it, so far it's a nice story, I feel like it's leading up to a reveal, so hopefully that happens.  At the moment, it's too cluttered to FULLY enjoy it 100%.

-- Curt


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

Short scripts

GONE
(6 pages, drama/thriller)
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trickyb
Posted: May 26th, 2013, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Curt, thx for checking this out so far.

I've made some adjustment as I think you make some good points.


Quoted from AmbitionIsKey

"Jared stands in the doorway shaking and looking very scared." -- reads awkward, try:

"Jared, shaking and scared, stands in the doorway."

WHY though would he be SHAKING or VERY SCARED in the first place?  This isn't exactly Michael Myers, it's a woman... crying... so maybe his shakes and "looking very scared" is a bit unrealistic.

I think Jared's assuming/coming to the conclusion he's dead is far too quick.  If that was happening to me, I'd first assume I was dreaming, or having a nightmare, and this wasn't real.  I wouldn't be all "O my God this must mean I'm dead!!!".


The reason I had him shaking and scared is because he's a good guy and he seriously believes he's hurt the girl in some way but cannot remember.

With Jared going through the motions of deduction trying to figure out what he is -  I didn't really want the short to go any longer, at 16 pages i'm already over what I wanted it to be, but i think I got the story out that i wanted in the end.  

I could map this out to become a feature quite easily and really go through the full range of emotions of the two main characters, maybe an option for the future

hope you enjoy the rest of the story

Cheers

Michael


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Ledbetter
Posted: May 26th, 2013, 10:42pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Trickster,

Iím gonna chime in with Curt. You definitely have some skill. Good job. Your formatting is great. All that really needs to be addressed are some of the things we all let slip by us.

One of the things youíre gonna watch are the wrylies. Better known as parentheticals.  Itís the little notations in parenthesis under the characters name.

On page 2, you are using them as an action line. If you have the character pointing to someone, use it as an action line. A parenthetical is best used as slight direction in the demeanor of a particular moment. (screams, whispers, gasps) something to denote an offset to the characters voice.   They should also be used very sparingly.

In fact, on page 3, you use it perfectly with-

JARED
(to himself)
What the fuck happened last night?

As I understand it, this is how it should be done.

By the way, you mentioned this is your first crack at a short.

Well done brother!

I mean it. You have excellent control of how to tell a story. Your action lines are all neatly written and within the generally line count of 3 lines or less.

One thing I will mention, and Iím guilty of this as well. You have a habit of starting your action lines off with the same word over and again.

I know how that happens as well. You get into a grove with your writing and you want it down on paper. A lot of times what any of us donít know when weíre writing is something as simple as the first word that becomes repetitive.

On page three for instance, you begin every action line with ďHEĒ or ďSHEĒ

Typically, you can simply rewrite the very same line with exactly the same information and make it sound different.

Hereís an example-

**************

He looks at the woman, stretches out his arm to touch her -
He hesitates and pulls it back in.
He takes a good look around - The room is bland.
He turns his attention back to the woman.

***************

All of this can be condensed to just a couple of lines and keep the primary characters name at the forefront of the readers mind.

Jared reaches out to touch the woman, but hesitates for a moment and pulls back.

The room conditions need to be set up at the start of the scene.

Here we combine the two actions to show the opening scene.

INT. TOWN HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY
Jared wakes with a scream. He looks around to see a room of complete filth.

As far as the woman goes, you need to introduce her. Give her a name. If you donít want to, at least capitalize WOMAN when you do.

By the way, your dialog is fresh. If you are a new writer, you have a really good style to your voice. Itís natural.

Thatís not something every writer has. Iíve read a hundred scripts here and to find a writer that has the ability to pen dialog naturally, is pretty rare. Thatís your strong suit.

Your descriptions are very easy to se in my minds eye and overall the story was clean and well written.

One thing I like to do and Iím not sure if itís industry standard or not, but I like it, isÖ

In a scene like you have on page 16, instead of Ė

DETECTIVE COLLINS
Rose, donít do this. Itís not the
answer, think about your family,
your friends.

I prefer to use-

DETECTIVE COLLINS
Rose, donít do this. Itís not the
AnswerÖthink about your familyÖyour friends.

For some reason, I dig (Ö) over (,) in these situations and I would suspect, that when you wrote it, you might have gone back and forth as to whether to use (beat).

Using a comma is perfectly acceptable, but in this sentence as well as several others I read in your story, this Öpause IMO would have given you a moment, a beat that would have given the dialog just a little more kick.

Again, a small nuance that someone taught me that I thought you might use.

I hope some of this helps.

Best of luck in your writing. From what Iíve seen, you have an excellent start.

ShawnÖ..><






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trickyb
Posted: May 27th, 2013, 1:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey Shawn,

Thanks for checking this out and for the encouragement

I've made some changes as per your suggestions so thank you for that.

In regards to the ...  I'm a big fan of them as well, I think they can make or break a dialogue.  Your spot on in suggesting where to put them.

As far as the He's and She's - it's something I have to work on, at times I try to spread action lines a little too much leaving myself with an issue on how to start the line.

Also, I saw you ended up putting your script on the site -  I'll definitely have a look at it and hope I can repay some suggestions

Thx again

Michael


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CoopBazinga
Posted: June 18th, 2013, 10:48am Report to Moderator
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Hey Michael,

Decided to check this one out, you've been busy around the boards and it's always good to see more peeps from Oz on SS.

It's a weird and inconceivable story to be honest, kinda felt like a spoof with "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Ghost" mixing into one tale. In saying that, there were laughs to be had and once I took off my plausible spectacles it was fun. Some great lines:

"Let the adventures of the Halloween whores begin."

"Destined to watch this chick cry
for the rest of her fucking life."

"Iím a transvestite Ken doll."

"You killed me with a flying fridge,
thatís pretty impressive."

These were just some of my highlights from many, the dialogue may have been a little sketchy but it worked in the scenario you created. In saying that, Rose and her mother's dialogue could be looked at and have some comedy injected to keep in with the story.

My main problem with the story was the last five pages when (spoiler) Rose when all psycho and killed Mark and Chris before committing suicide - this didn't fit in with the funny tone you had going and was just a little too ludicrous to look past even in spite of what had preceded it.

The writing had a few issues, nothing massive and definitely a fine effort for your first short (that's correct right?)

Overall, I found moments of this quite funny but it needs to be shortened (too long at the moment) and I would change the ending for sure which is way over the top at the moment. I would change it for an upbeat and funny ending which somehow connects Rose and Jared at the end.

Best of luck with it.

Steve
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trickyb
Posted: June 24th, 2013, 8:03am Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

Thx for the review, I would have replied earlier but have been busy lately with a new addition to the family, hopefully will get back to writing,reviewing and posting soon.

As far as this script goes I really didn't have a plan for it and I think it shows, it was more a case of writting for the sake of writting and seeing where I went with it.  Once things get back to normal here I may take another look at it and see if I can rework and hopefully make it into something producible.

Cheers

Michael


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Elmer
Posted: June 24th, 2013, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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Michael,

Just read through this. I thought it was well written and well paced. You used your pages wisely and even though we don't spend a whole lot of time with these characters, you introduce them in scenarios in which we can get quickly understand their personality, their quirks, etc. That's really well done, because I that's usually the one place that short films, well, fall short. (ba da PSH).

I haven't read any of the above comments, so I don't know if I'm rehashing anything. I'm not really one for pointing out grammatical/technical flaws because a dozen other people will probably do that. Plus, I didn't notice that many outstanding issues.

My primary suggestion - and feel free to disagree - is that the majority of Jared's dialogue would work better as voice over. It works fine as it is on the page, but were someone to film this, I would imagine the somewhat lengthy monologues by Jared would prove very awkward to watch him try to naturally say out loud. Most of what he says strikes me as more of a thought than something a person would say out loud.

The only other suggestion I have would be to change this:

REPORTER:
"Itís been three days since the
tragic death of Jared Foster and
although not confirmed as yet, Iím
led to believe Police are today
ready to charge Rose Turner over
the incident."

Writing dialogue for news anchors is always difficult for me. I hate it. Most of the time I throw down something like this that communicates the point I'm trying to get across but isn't actually that legitimate, and then I'll go back and revise it later when I feel like giving more thought to it. Most of the dialogue in this is very well done, which is why this one block kind of stuck out to me as extra awkward.

I think it'd actually go something like:

"It's been three days since the tragic death of twenty-two-year-old Jared Foster, just outside his apartment complex on Regatta Road. Investigators have yet to confirm if foul play was involved, but local police sources are telling us that twenty-five-year-old [town] local Rose Turner is wanted for questioning in regard to the incident."

Just an example. I just think that bit sticks out of some otherwise solid speaking roles.

Overall, this was a good effort, and an excellent first short. While I don't really see what the dramatic "point" of the story is, it does have a logical conclusion, and I think could simply work as a character study of individuals (both living and dead) trapped in an unfortunate situation like this.

Good work.

Cheers


"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -Thomas Mann

http://www.wordswithlandon.com
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