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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Soda Machine - Sold Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Soda Machine - Sold  (currently 7270 views)
spesh2k
Posted: September 17th, 2013, 8:15pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Tobey, thanks for reading man.


Quoted Text
Johnson: "Who the f*** brings an axe to a F**king laundromat?!" This line made me chuckle, but I found Johnson's reaction to the whole event to be a tad too unbelievable. I know you are purposely going for an over-the-top script, but this crossed the line too far, in my opinion. I love this line though, so I'd definitely say keep it. Just maybe have Johnson say it earlier? Like, when the old dude is advancing on him with the axe?


The reason he doesn't say it before (and I did have the line as Old Man was advancing w/ the axe) is b/c it's still not clear whether Old Man is going to cut off his hand. Johnson is screaming for help b/c his hand is stuck... he sees Old Man and tells him there's something in the machine. He's not quite sure if Old Man is advancing on him or going to axe the machine... though it's obvious he's going attack Johnson with the axe, that character wouldn't be too sure.

The line fit better after his hand is cut off... he is screaming on the floor in "sheer agony" as I have it and screams the line whilst screaming.


Quoted Text
Page 10- I feel that you missed a great opportunity with Johnson's final line of dialogue for a clever pun/ play on words, more related to what actually happened in the laundromat. Because I feel that "I got held up at the laundromat" is too much of an ordinary line for this different, twisted story to end on.


Meh, that would have been expected, don't you think? I tried taking the story into every unexpected direction possible... I thought about having Johnson's Johnson caught in the machine, but that would have been expected at this point.

I wanted to play this as straight to contrast the weirdness of what happens. Yeah, the Old Man is jerking off to an appliance magazine, but the first 6 minutes of this is actually fairly understated... quiet and still on the most part. A pun at the end would have been kinda cheap IMO. The story's silly enough, but is quiet for most of it and starts off kinda serious, as if it were just another day. I wanted to end it that way.


Quoted Text
The only other suggestion I would make would be to have Johnson care more about getting his soda. Because he seems to be more annoyed about not having a dollar for the dryer, as opposed to getting a soda, but yet still f***s the machine with the old guy's dick? No way would I do that for a soda I didn't really care about! Or, maybe the machine tells him she will refund his dollar, if he pleasures her, or something like that.


Well, the theme of the anthology is a $1 bill, not soda. Johnson fucking the machine was a weird impulsive thing... it's as if he were drawn to it in some mysterious way. And he acts on that impulse. He doesn't need the soda, which makes him not giving Homeless Man a dollar look like even more of a dick move. The soda is not the driving force of the story. It's the dollar and getting that dollar back so that he can dry his work uniform (remember, he needs his uniform for work in a few hours). Feeling cheated and bitter, he says "Well, if I'm not gonna get that dollar, I sure as hell am gonna get that soda!" I thought that was enough.


Quoted Text
I am really looking forward to seeing the end product for this anthology. One recommendation I would make, in regards to the actual filming, is for you to ensure that all the directors use the same camera and lenses to film their segments on, as this will allow the shorts to feel like a piece of a bigger anthology, as opposed to a bunch of unrelated shorts. Linked to this, I would also recommend that the directors do not color grade their footage, and instead one person color grades everything, for the same reason.


Nah, that's not fun. The reason I brought on different writers and different directors was to have contrasting ideas, and some of those ideas require contrasting visions and looks. Each director will color grade, score and everything else post production on their own film -- only thing that will be the same throughout is the title intro to each film. As I mentioned, this is more "Coffee and Cigarettes" if it were a horror film. But each film will look different, the tones will vary. Kinda like the VHS films or ABC's of Death.

This is not just some random horror anthology... the theme, again, is that each story revolves around a $1 bill. So it's not like we're just stringing together a bunch of random horror tales... the $1 bill has enough continuity throughout (along w/ a running theme/motif I won't mention yet). Giving each film the same exact look is boring IMO, and makes it just like any other lame horror anthology (Tales of Terror for instance). Think of it as like sitting at a drive-in movie theater, but instead of just watching 2 feature length films, you're watching 10 horror films (but with the running theme).

We're going for a gritty, grindhouse style kinda horror anthology... making every film look the same sucks away at that appeal we're going for IMO.

Thanks for reading dude, glad you enjoyed it.

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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SteveClark
Posted: September 17th, 2013, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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Mike,

You know, I always approach your stories as sort of a learning experiece.  I start out looking at the structure, then your action lines, watching how you do it, possibly looking for a mistake or something that seems awkward.  And then...I'm done!  I get so caught up in the story itself that everything else just falls by the wayside!  Bravo.

Excellent little tale here.  Reads kinda like a Stephen King short story:  gory, amusing, and perverted.  This had all of that.  Gore doesn't always make me cringe, but perversion like this always gets a laugh out of me.

The hand with a soda in it was genius.

The woman walking her dog looking in is worth the price of admission.

And you tied it up nicely too with Johnson dropping money into the bum's cup.

Great silly little tale!  Every character served a purpose, no loose ends.  Nice job.

Steve


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spesh2k
Posted: September 18th, 2013, 1:38am Report to Moderator
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You're too kind Steve, thanks. I was actually watching Videodrome and really dug how straight Cronenberg played it... the tone was so serious, but everything that was happening was so absurd, yet it came across as creepy. Wanted to do something like that, kinda. Glad you enjoyed it, bud!

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: September 19th, 2013, 11:08pm Report to Moderator
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Michael,

Is it weird that I cracked open a soda and lit a cigarette after I read this?  Throughout I kept telling myself if that hand doesn't come out of the machine holding a soda, I'll be upset.

Hahaha!  Thank you for delivering!  Dialogue on the old man's end was great.  Nice visual on the the homeless dude grabbing his hand going for the cup.  I also will say I enjoyed the living soda machine.  I kinda have mixed feelings overall, but its pretty funny in an Army of Darkness sort of way.

Gosh, this is being produced?  I'm not sure if I can watch a severed penis wiggle all over the place, lol!  Fuck it, I'll check it out.

WTF did I just read!?!

Later,

Johnny
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spesh2k
Posted: September 20th, 2013, 5:46am Report to Moderator
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Hey Johnny, the WTF reaction was what I was going for. Yeah, it's being produced, they're working on a shot list, casting, etc. All part of the anthology. Kinda following the ABC's of Death template here... that film was 26 letters in the alphabet, 26 ways to die, 26 directors... each production had their own post production, score, color grading (minimum color grading) and a budget of approx. 5 grand. Our anthology is 10-13 tales (based on the length - shooting for 3-10 pages/minutes) with even lower budgets. Highest budget segment is probably The Soda Machine (due to prosthetics).

I have 5 directors thus far and I'm getting more interest from directors... but the other writers have been a bit slow with their tales, so I haven't been able to show a complete script for the directors/producers to check out, so...

Submissions are open... if anybody wants to give it a shot... 3-10 minute micro budget horror w/ a dollar bill placed somewhere in the tale. If you wish to read the tales we do have just to get a better idea of what we're doing (they're not all like the Soda machine), or have any questions, PM me or shoot me an email.

spesh2k at msn dot com

Can't guarantee it makes the cut, but if it's really awesome, it will make the anthology. Just remember, micro budget and the theme is a dollar bill...

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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James McClung
Posted: September 24th, 2013, 9:24pm Report to Moderator
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Hey man. Checked this out like I said.

I think there's a way to read this that makes it very effective. Unfortunately, that's not the way I went into it. I expected something more spooky and suspense-driven with perhaps something of a campy Stephen King angle to it so as not to come off too serious. Read like that, it doesn't work. It's just too ridiculous.

I didn't get the Cronenberg vibe you were going for either. I think without the psychological component, it's just not the same. In addition, it's probably too vulgar and trashy to bare all that much resemblance to the work of our Canadian friend.

Speaking of vulgar and trashy, I was really put off by this at first but after some time to digest, I think this works best seen through sleaze-colored glasses, if you will. I think Frank Hennenlotter (sp?) would be a fair comparison. His films feel very comfortable reveling in trash but they're also clever, somewhat surreal, and make no bones about how ludicrous their plots are.

The homeless man particularly made me think of this type of stuff. On the one hand, you've got all the dirty language, severed penises, and such. Then you've got this guy who grabs Johnson with this kung fu grip. Not dirty, violent, or anything like that; just weird. And never explained, which makes it work even better.

If this is not anything close to what you were going for then you've got a problem. The dialogue's too over the top and vulgarity-ridden to be taken seriously and... well, you've got a guy fucking a soda machine. Enough said.

The one thing that irked me either way though is Johnson's whole reason for being at the laundromat in the first place. He's got to be at work in an hour, eh? Yeah. Ample time to do laundry... except not really. Sorta irresponsible, really.

Also, where does this guy work that he needs to clock in at 3 in the morning. Not that these jobs don't exist. It seems weird not to elaborate though.

That's about it, really. Writing was fine, more or less. No nitpicks really to speak of. Hope this helps.


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spesh2k
Posted: September 25th, 2013, 1:53am Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

I'm about 30 pages into your zombie script, but I'll comment on that via email. As for Soda Machine...

What I was going for was pretty much "weird". And I got the exact reaction I was hoping for, overall. Will probably be quite the task for the Aussies producing/directing this piece, but they seem to be enjoying theirselves w/ pre-production process, getting together prosthetics, etc.

As for Cronenberg vibe, I wasn't going strictly for a Cronenberg carbon copy, but injecting just an element that exists in many of his earlier works. I didn't intend to dig too deeply into psyche as it's only a 10 page short about a guy, who, more or less, wants to get his dollar back from a soda machine... and things take a strange turn. As for being serious, I wanted to play it as straight as I possibly could given the ridiculous and over-the-top circumstances of the story.

And as for going to work at 3 in the morning, I worked 6 years night shift and early morning shift (4 a.m.) working security in the tri-state area (Philly, NJ and NYC). What's irresponsible about finishing laundry? His clothes were supposed to be done drying an hour before he was supposed to go to work, so IMO, he timed it pretty well. If he had gotten that dollar back for the machine (or had another dollar to pop into the dryer), dry his clothes for another 15-20 minutes, it would have been done just in time.

And "weird" not to elaborate? In my mind, I had him as a security guard, but how, in any way, does that have anything to do with what happens in the story? Is he going to use his security guard skills to get out of this situation? I highly doubt the audience will be bothered by the fact that they don't know what he does for a living or will be scratching their heads saying to themselves "Who the hell works at that time? Ugh, I don't buy it!"

I don't know what you thought I was going for, but in the 1st 2 pages, there's a guy jerking off to an appliance magazine... should pretty much give at least some indication what the audience is in for. And, again, as to what I was going for -- I think a dude fucking a soda machine pretty much says it all.


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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James McClung
Posted: September 25th, 2013, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from spesh2k
And as for going to work at 3 in the morning, I worked 6 years night shift and early morning shift (4 a.m.) working security in the tri-state area (Philly, NJ and NYC). What's irresponsible about finishing laundry? His clothes were supposed to be done drying an hour before he was supposed to go to work, so IMO, he timed it pretty well. If he had gotten that dollar back for the machine (or had another dollar to pop into the dryer), dry his clothes for another 15-20 minutes, it would have been done just in time.


Fair enough. Like I said, I know late night jobs exist.

The laundry, I think I might've missed something. I figured he'd only been washing his clothes for a little while at this point, meaning it'd still take a while before they were dry and he'd be off to go to work. I say irresponsible because I figure something as time-consuming as this wouldn't be done within an hour of one needing to be at work (he still needs to put on his uniform, assuming he has to go home to do that, and make his commute, assuming he doesn't live 5-10 minutes away), not to mention I'd figure he'd have his uniform good to go within an hour of his shift.


Quoted from spesh2k
And "weird" not to elaborate? In my mind, I had him as a security guard, but how, in any way, does that have anything to do with what happens in the story? Is he going to use his security guard skills to get out of this situation? I highly doubt the audience will be bothered by the fact that they don't know what he does for a living or will be scratching their heads saying to themselves "Who the hell works at that time? Ugh, I don't buy it!"


Again, fair enough, although I wasn't really getting at "Who the hell works at that time?" Just wasn't expecting it, I guess

I should probably just leave things like this alone. I sometimes get caught up in this kind of minutia when I'm writing but at a certain point, people don't really notice. I just like to mention everything that jumps out at me, however minor or random it may be.


Quoted from spesh2k
I don't know what you thought I was going for, but in the 1st 2 pages, there's a guy jerking off to an appliance magazine... should pretty much give at least some indication what the audience is in for. And, again, as to what I was going for -- I think a dude fucking a soda machine pretty much says it all.


I guess. You said you wanted to play it straight though and with a guy jerking off to appliances, I just can't wrap my head around it. Figure it'd have to be played like something trashy and 80s to really work.

But then I don't know. Screenplays are words on pages. Films are films. I guess sometimes it's just easier to take things in when you've got the images and all right in front of you. Maybe there's a way this can play out onscreen that I haven't considered yet.


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Elmer
Posted: September 25th, 2013, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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I really don't know what to make of this script. It was technically well written but otherwise lacking. I just don't understand what the point is. It isn't scary, it isn't thrilling, it isn't amusing, it isn't dramatic...it's just gross and weird for its own sake. Ordinarily, even when I find something to be an appalling waste of time, I try to chalk it up to the fact that perhaps I wasn't the intended target audience. I really don't enjoy being harsh. But I can't imagine that this actually has a target audience.

Just weird. Mega, mega weird. I don't get the point of it.


"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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spesh2k
Posted: September 25th, 2013, 6:32pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for checking it out Elmer... no it isn't scary, thrilling or very dramatic... but most people who fit the target audience found it amusing and schlocky, which is what I was going for... when you write a story about a guy having sex w/ a soda machine, you know it's not going to be for everybody... in fact, the audience that would enjoy something like this is probably thin. But I feel like the film (segment 3 in the anthology) will find a little niche.

As for the point... I doubt anyone, even the target audience, wouldn't get the point. It's a disgusting and repulsive little tale, but IMO, amusing and obviously, anyone else who would find this amusing would be the target audience. Very excited to see how the director handles this one... through talks, it sounds like he's sticking very closely to the script... at the worst, it'll be a topic for conversation.

Thanks again!

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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DV44
Posted: September 26th, 2013, 12:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michael,

In some sick way I really enjoyed this. Great job, man! As I was reading I was thinking this was going to be a standard thriller/horror. Old man versus Johnson in some sort of standoff but then things took a dramatic turn when the old man stuck his junk into the soda machine and began to have sex with it. WTF!! You took it to another level when the old man's penis got cut off. WTF!! But you didn't stop there,  Johnson started to have sex with the machine. Holy s**t!! Wow! Loved it!! I didn't see that coming. Very strange but oh so very entertaining.

Nothing more to add but it was nicely written with outstanding visuals. Overall, great job.

Congrats on getting this filmed. I would love to see it when it's finished.

Best of luck.

- Dirk
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spesh2k
Posted: September 26th, 2013, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dirk,

Thanks, man. As I said, I knew this wouldn't be for everybody. But I really think I went to a place where nobody expected the story to go... and when I thought of taking a more conventional turn, it felt boring and predictable, so I tried going as far and as unexpected as I can go.

A lot of people might not "get it", though I don't really think there's much to get, and many people might wonder why the story went where it went... but the formula has been done to death... not saying the "formula" doesn't work, but it doesn't matter which way you go, it's been done before... so, my goal was to go where nobody thought it would go... the reason there is a formula in the first place is because people want a story to go in a certain direction, whether they admit to it or not, based on genre, etc... there's always expectations... sometimes, when a story takes a different turn, they like it, but if it goes completely off course, most likely nobody will like it.... especially when it's as perverse and repulsive as something like this. I feel like a short film is the perfect way to experiment w/ something super weird. And it's getting made (part of a feature film, a horror anthology that I've somehow put together and got a bunch of producers, directors and writers together for)...

Thanks again, Dirk, you've always been a huge supporter of my writing, especially during times when I was down on myself... hopefully the anthology at least builds somewhat of a following, and Soda Machine has people talking, whether they hate it or not...

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2


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spesh2k  -  September 26th, 2013, 11:35pm
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spesh2k
Posted: August 6th, 2020, 10:20pm Report to Moderator
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Well, after 7 long years, someone is actually going to make this. Just sold the script to Table 8 Productions/Majestic Repertory Theatre in Las Vegas -- it will be my second collaboration with director Troy Heard, who starts filming my comedy short, "Reverse Psychology" this weekend. This might be one of my favorite things that I've written -- I've been obsessed with trying to get this thing made since 2013 and not getting it made ate at me, even after 2 feature films, a theatrical release and everything else. This script has ALWAYS been on my mind. But due to its, uh, content, it was hard to find anyone with enough balls to film this lol. So, thank God for Troy and our shared fucked up sense of humor.

They're location scouting at the moment for The Soda Machine and cameras won't roll until the end of September -- there's a few prosthetics they need to make first (if you read the script, you know what I mean). But we already have a practical FX guy on board. You can check out this article on him -- he was the one who created the naked Trump statues you may have heard about. https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2016/09/qa_with_joshua_ginger_monroe_t.html


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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LC
Posted: August 6th, 2020, 11:47pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats, Michael! Great News. Just shows to persevere too.


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stevemiles
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Congratulations. Still remember this one - can't believe it's 7 years.  Hopefully they can do it justice.  Best of luck.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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