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Don
Posted: August 10th, 2014, 2:28pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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No More Tomorrows (original draft) by Mark Renshaw - Short, Drama, Fantasy - A young woman must learn to live for today if she is to have any chance of saving her family and surviving to see another tomorrow. 15 pages - pdf, format

No More Tomorrows (shooting script) by Mark Renshaw - Short, Drama, Fantasy - A self centered young woman on a family road trip encounters two strangers who are far more dangerous than they appear. As fate intervenes, she has to find the courage to learn to live for today if her family have any chance to see another tomorrow.  17 pages - pdf, format



No More Tomorrows from Saga Flight on Vimeo.

A self centered young woman on a family road trip encounters two strangers who are far more dangerous than they appear. As fate intervenes, she has to find the courage to learn to live for today if her family have any chance to see another tomorrow.




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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 7th, 2015, 11:07am
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DS
Posted: August 10th, 2014, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Mark - Just read this, my thoughts:

Logline: Double any in there.

P3:
MELVIN (V.O.)
You got many followers?


Think this should be (O.S) instead.

P5: You have MELVIN in parentheticals.

P7:

" But no, too obvious the
rest of the angles said. "

angels*

P9: No more
expectations the world can�t
possible live up to.

possibly*

P11:
MELVIN
(impressed)
Woo-ee! Look at the milk shake on
you baby girl!

I can't tell if this is an aside or something that every character should hear. Either way, I don't see it working. If it's the latter it's hard to believe he'd say something like this in front of the entire family. If it's an aside it leaves a negative effect on the script, as 99% of asides do in my opinion.

P12: ISABELLA
(to herself)
What the fuck is this?

I think it would have a better effect if Isabella just put on a "what the fuck" face. As I said earlier I just have a thing for asides. Don't think they look good on the paper or on the screen.

ISABELLA
Put him down you son of a fuck
face!
Carla struggles to hold Melvin up as a shield with one arm as
she tries to find his gun with the other.
MELVIN
Holy shit, I think my nuts have
exploded!
Isabella draws closer, tries to get a clean shot at Carla.
ISABELLA
Melvin! Melvin tell me what the
fuck to do?
He spews up.
MELVIN
My fucking nuts have exploded, oh
man!


This scene is far too OTT for me and I think it ruins the characters you've created. Isabella goes from a legitimately scary confident and seductive psycho to an angry and clueless one who has to ask Melvin what to do.

Melvin's dialogue here also seems to go against the character you've created and reads too comically. The spewing also seems unneccessary and just there for shock effect.

P14: I think it would work better without Abigail's line. Just have them all drive on into the night in aghast. The ending just leaves me mixed.


You clearly write well. Especially the characters. What you did with Carla in the first few pages of the script was seriously impressive. You created an annoying 21st century teenager who can be almost as horrific as the two psychos in the script, incorporating all of the modern nonsense going on into it, while making the character not a put-off but interesting.

Melvin and Isabelle were also both interesting and worked as psychos. Isabelle's character was ruined for me in her final scene (pointed it out above), but good job still.

I really liked the first half of the script, once it got hectic it dropped a little for me, but that is down to me, not you. It's an interesting short with a good message behind all the action.

- DS

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DS  -  August 10th, 2014, 5:09pm
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: August 11th, 2014, 5:49am Report to Moderator
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Hey DS.

Thanks for the read and for finding my typos. No matter how many times I read my stuff I always miss some, so I appreciate these - thanks


Quoted from DS

P11:
MELVIN
(impressed)
Woo-ee! Look at the milk shake on
you baby girl!

I can't tell if this is an aside or something that every character should hear. Either way, I don't see it working. If it's the latter it's hard to believe he'd say something like this in front of the entire family. If it's an aside it leaves a negative effect on the script, as 99% of asides do in my opinion.



Melvin is genuinely surprised by Carla's antics and they are away from the car at this point with the family inside. It's not intended to be aside, simply him responding to something unusual. I think it would be unusual, unnatural if he did nothing or just whistled. He is a lunatic who believes in living in the here and now and doing whatever he feels like it after all


Quoted from DS

P12: ISABELLA
(to herself)
What the fuck is this?

I think it would have a better effect if Isabella just put on a "what the fuck" face. As I said earlier I just have a thing for asides. Don't think they look good on the paper or on the screen.



Point taken. She doesn't need to say anything here, a confused face would be enough. I wanted to give here some more lines as she doesn't have many but maybe less is more?


Quoted from DS

This scene is far too OTT for me and I think it ruins the characters you've created. Isabella goes from a legitimately scary confident and seductive psycho to an angry and clueless one who has to ask Melvin what to do.

Melvin's dialogue here also seems to go against the character you've created and reads too comically. The spewing also seems unneccessary and just there for shock effect.


Indeed, I'm aiming for a drastic change in Carla's attitude to life and her taking extreme action on instinct to save her family and her life. I did aim for a kind of Tarantino 'Dusk till Dawn' type tone change here. Maybe it's too much but I do like that type of stuff when I see it on screen. No doubt I'm influenced by it when I visualise what I've written.

I imagined Isabella as a hot, psycopathic version of  Yolanda 'Honey Bunny' from Pulp Fiction in that she can be normal, friendly one moment, a deadly psycho the next and yet completely vulnerable when things go wrong. She does indeed need Melvin, they have a 'special' relationship so when things go wrong she looks to him for guidance like a lost child.

With the spewing I just wanted to emphasise how badly Calvin has been hurt. Too often in movies guys take such blows and recover seconds later; anyone who has been kicked properly in the nuts know how bad it can be and I just wanted to get that across. The audience have to believe he's incapacitated so that Carla can handle him the way she does.


Quoted from DS

P14: I think it would work better without Abigail's line. Just have them all drive on into the night in aghast. The ending just leaves me mixed


I struggled with the end. I didn't want a twist as the twist is kind of the norm now for shorts but I didn't want them to just drive off. I thought the final line from the kid would make people laugh in a way and be unexpected; again I think I'm influenced by Tarantino here but I'm up for any suggestions from anyone.

Many thanks for the read and the rest of your comments, I really appreciate what you've said.

Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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Colkurtz8
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Mark

“corn-fed”

- Loved that particular description.

“critical mass ego.”

- Liked that one too.

“Another pose is struck, another picture taken.”

- Shit, I’ve never taken such an instant dislike to a character as much as this bit?h. Which I imagine is your intention. Good characterisation.

CARLA
Over a thousand. And my Amazon Wish
List, there’s nothin’ on there
cheaper than 100 bucks, yet my fans
buy me stuff like all the time.

- Really? It’s one thing to be some hot tramp posting photos on your twitter account and having followers jerking off to them but to actually have them buying stuff for her? Does this happen to nobodys?

CARLA
Oh I wish. If there was a genie in
a bottle right here, right now I’d
give it such a hand job for just
one wish.

- Ha.

CARLA
The power of ‘If Only’.

- Wow, I’m almost impressed by the cleverness, if totally self serving nature, of her wish.

CARLA
So what’s your story? What are you
two doing out here in the middle of
fun central?

- I was just going to ask this. And given that Melvin and Isabella will probably play a big part in the story it might not do any harm to give them a bit of an introduction. It’s a pretty abrupt cut back on page 1 from the family driving along to these two strangers with one looking under the hood of their car and the other playing with the kids. Maybe that quick edit is significant, plays a part in the story. Reading on...

CARLA
(sarcastically)
Oh, yeah, I forgot about that!

- Ok, if I were her, I’d be getting scared at this point. I suppose being so narcissistic plays into her ignorance, clouds her assessment of the potential danger of the situation.

CARLA
(furious)
Oh yeah? Why didn’t you leave dad
in peace huh? Maybe then he
wouldn’t have drunk himself to
death yeah?

- Wow, what a cu?t. If there is some deranged lunatic murdering to be done here, I hope she’s the first to get it

MELVIN
Let it all out hun. Getting stuff
off your ample, beautiful chest is
the first step towards healin’.

- Highly inappropriate thing to say but he’s crazed so it comes with the mindset, right? I am wondering why Anna isn’t reacting to it though. Is she out of ear shot? If so, she should still be keeping an eye on her daughter, casting the odd cursory glance or whatever. She seems totally ignorant to all this, very removed from the scene.

“Anna smiles and nods. Isabella takes her by the hand and
leads her into the field.”

- Ok by now, alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear. If not Carla surely Anna, she’s not as conceited and self absorbed as her daughter, yet she willingly follows Isabella…or maybe you are setting us up to assume the worst before pulling the rug…

“She stares into the field, then back to Melvin; realization
finally setting in.”

- “Finally setting in” is an understatement alright. To quote Stewie Griffin, “Finally, the last horse crosses the finish line.” Man, this bit?h is slow on the uptake. Again, I’m thinking this is intentional on your part.

CARLA
It is you two! Oh my god.
(Shouting)
Mom? Jacob? Abigail?

- Whatever about her being vain and rude and all that, when a character is this dumb it’s very hard to give a toss about whatever may happen to them. I don’t need a protagonist to be likeable, they can still be engaging without that quality but stupidity is a difficult attribute to abide, in my opinion.

“are always yearn for it,”

- Should have “ing” at the end of “yearn”

MELVIN
And that’s why they locked us up.

- I know it’s the south but do they put people in mental institutions for incest?

MELVIN
Tell me, do
you appreciate life now? Are you
finally, for the first time in your
life aware of what’s going on right
here, right now?

- And herein lays the message of the piece I take it you are attempting to convey. I’m thinking now is this some elaborate, and rather extreme, set-up by Anna to make her teenage daughter see the true value of life, Carpe Diem, live in the moment, etc? Reading on…

“She is confused. Was it a dream?”

- This dream twist is as old as writing itself, it’s beyond cliché unless your David Lynch and you make something like Mulholland Dr. I suppose it explains the abrupt cut to Melvin and Isabella and their broken down car I talked about earlier but I hope there is more going on here.

“Carla clocks Melvin staring at them as they drive by.”

- Interesting development here, lets see where you take it…
“She exits the vehicle.”

- Just a habit I practice but I always specify the character when starting a new scene. I know Carla last spoke in the previous scene but this “she” could mean Anna or Carla upon first read.

“Carla struggles to hold Melvin up as a shield with one arm as
she tries to find his gun with the other.”

- During this whole scene we don’t get any indication of Carla’s family in the car, their expressions, reactions, etc. Surely Anna would’ve made her presence felt by now by calling out or exiting the car or something as there is a frickin’ Mexican standoff going on outside her car featuring her eldest!

“Carla drops Melvin to the ground. She casually fires a shot
into his kneecap which EXPLODES. Melvin SCREAMS.”

- Holy sh?t she has just gone from annoying teenager to an a?s kicking Nikita wannabe. What a character arc!

ANNA
I’m sorry. I saw the report on
Facebook this mornin’, that’s all.
We’ll get to the next town soon and
let the cops know.

- I’m presuming this should be Carla’s dialogue not Anna’s

I’m struggling to remember a script that, to quote Carla “flipped on a dime” so drastically. It practically turned into a blood and guts, all action graphic novel in the final scenes with Carla becoming a cold blooded killer of assassin-like proportions. It’s quite a turn which I imagine will put off some on the basis of plausibility and realism, etc. I’m still on the fence, I’m not sure. I did say after the dream sequence is revealed that I hoped there was more to this and to your credit you didn’t let me down in that regard, I certainly didn’t see what was coming.

In terms of it working as a script I’m unsure. The acute prophetic nature of her dream is questionable and gives the piece a definite fantastical edge. Not to mention her sudden proficiency with a gun, her cold dispatching of Melvin and Isabella. I mean, its action movie stuff. So I’m wondering is she actually an angel in the most (initially) unflattering form possible? Does any of it really happen? Is this another dream, a wishful fantasy?

Even the reactions of the family at the end, the apparent acceptance of Anna, the admiration of Abigail as opposed to severe post traumatic stress hints that we may still be Carla’s dream. Or, maybe the first encounter did happen, she was killed by Melvin and in the final synaptic firing of her brain before death she conjures up this alternative version complete with happy ending?

I was going to criticise the “theme” of “seizing the day” as being too on-the-nose and unoriginal but since it does take place within Carla’s dream (if it is in fact a dream) and it’s her own sub-conscious giving her a lesson in appreciating the important things as well as warning her of what’s ahead, it works better. Although, I must admit, Melvin is quite chilling, his odd calmness and outwardly benign nature is unsettling. You just know something is up with him before he admits to being an escaped loony. His final words and unfazed shooting of Carla is effective also.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this. I can see why it might jar for some with the sudden shift in the final quarter, it does push your suspension of disbelief to the limit. However, I do appreciate the boldness and audacity and its shows you’re, at least, trying to up the dramatic stakes.

Col.


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MarkRenshaw
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Hi Col,

Many thanks for your detailed notes. It was great to see your reaction and thinking process as you read the script.

There's a lot of useful comments but  I'll just try to cover the general main points..


Quoted from Colkurtz8


- Ok by now, alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear. If not Carla surely Anna, she’s not as conceited and self absorbed as her daughter, yet she willingly follows Isabella…or maybe you are setting us up to assume the worst before pulling the rug…

“She stares into the field, then back to Melvin; realization
finally setting in.”

- “Finally setting in” is an understatement alright. To quote Stewie Griffin, “Finally, the last horse crosses the finish line.” Man, this bit?h is slow on the uptake. Again, I’m thinking this is intentional on your part.


Should Carla become aware or suspicious earlier? A great question. Never underestimate the power of disbelief combined with the ego of self. Carla is so wrapped up in her own universe she fails to see what is happening right in front of her nose until it's obvious and too late.

Anna does start to suspect but she's a simple woman with a good heart and she wants to see the best in everyone.

So yes, my intention is for Carla not to realise her family are being murdered right under her nose, I think it adds real tension. But do I do enough to make it believable to the audience?


Quoted from Colkurtz8

- During this whole scene we don’t get any indication of Carla’s family in the car, their expressions, reactions, etc. Surely Anna would’ve made her presence felt by now by calling out or exiting the car or something as there is a frickin’ Mexican standoff going on outside her car featuring her eldest!


Yes I wondered if this might be an issue and I'm surprise that you're the first to mention it. I showed this to quite a few folk before posting on these boards and everyone so far forgot about the people in the car, which was great for me! But now you had to go notice it!!!

It's quick and they are in shock, plus Carla's told her mom in the strongest terms to stay in the car. I could cut to them looking shocked or have them react but I felt it would detract from what's going on outside.


Quoted from Colkurtz8

In terms of it working as a script I’m unsure. The acute prophetic nature of her dream is questionable and gives the piece a definite fantastical edge. Not to mention her sudden proficiency with a gun, her cold dispatching of Melvin and Isabella. I mean, its action movie stuff. So I’m wondering is she actually an angel in the most (initially) unflattering form possible? Does any of it really happen? Is this another dream, a wishful fantasy?


I did very much want a dramatic, powerful and surprising finale to this short. If you saw your family murdered, could do nothing about it and were also killed only to find you had a second chance what would you do? Play it safe or just bleeding go for it!

Carla just goes for it, she's in the zone with no self-conscious fears blocking her. She does what she has to do and pulls it off. It's either a fluke or she's had some practice with guns. I didn't have time in the story or any natural way to show she's already gifted in this area, however it seems every hot chick in TV and movies these days is kick-ass naturally lol!

My original idea had Carla just dying and that be the end of it but it seemed depressing. As annoying as she was, she is just a hormonal teenager who's daddy had died from drinking and she was just venting her frustrations on the world. She didn't deserve it.

So I toyed with giving her a second chance but wanted the audience to come up with their own ideas about what happened so I deliberately left it open.  

Is it all a dream? I hope not as that's the cheapest trick in the writer's book but you could interpret it that way.

Is she dead in the road? Was it all the final synapsis of her brain as she constructed a fantasy trying to fix what she failed to prevent?

Is God working in mysterious ways? Does this higher power intervene all the time and we are simply not aware of it, or was God just peed off at Melvin?

Is she an angel and not aware until she's killed and comes back? That's a good angle, I like that.

Did she have some sort of prophetic vision which allowed her to change the future or did she simply see those guys on Facebook, as she said to her mom (thanks for pointing out I put the wrong character there, I'll fix that later!) and had a scary dream, then put two and two together when they showed up for real?

It's open to interpretation and I'm sure others can think up of other possibilities but that's what I wanted. As to the extremes of it, yes it is. Imagine the scene in Dusk till Dawn where Salma Hayek suddenly turns into a Vampire 30 minutes into a movie that has nothing to do with Vampires up until that point. I didn't go as extreme as that but I wanted something different that pushes the boundaries and gives people an ending they'll remember.

Cheers again for the read.

Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK

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MarkRenshaw  -  August 12th, 2014, 7:05am
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Should Carla become aware or suspicious earlier? A great question. Never underestimate the power of disbelief combined with the ego of self. Carla is so wrapped up in her own universe she fails to see what is happening right in front of her nose until it's obvious and too late.


- Ya she does seem particularly wilfully ignorant but I get that was the point, in that she is so self-involved. Plus, it was a dream so there is the twisted logic which goes along with that in there too. It’s like when you wake up from a dream and marvel how fu?ked up it was but while in it, you never questioned the goings on. It works here.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Anna does start to suspect but she's a simple woman with a good heart and she wants to see the best in everyone.
So yes, my intention is for Carla not to realise her family are being murdered right under her nose, I think it adds real tension. But do I do enough to make it believable to the audience?


- Ya I got the impression Anna was a bit blithe and easy going to the point of negligence but maybe we need to see more from her or at least a greater indication of her character. Perhaps you played up this side of her too much in that she just comes off as a little slow, incompetent and ultimately excluded from the script altogether. She is their mother after all, that instinct should kick in at some point. Unless it’s revealed she'd dropped a couple of Valium to deal with her screeching kids before getting in the car


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Yes I wondered if this might be an issue and I'm surprise that you're the first to mention it. I showed this to quite a few folk before posting on these boards and everyone so far forgot about the people in the car, which was great for me! But now you had to go notice it!!!

It's quick and they are in shock, plus Carla's told her mom in the strongest terms to stay in the car. I could cut to them looking shocked or have them react but I felt it would detract from what's going on outside.


- It’s not a big deal in that it can be easily fixed, j a couple of well placed lines to indicate the family's shock in the car is all. I don't think it would detract from Carla's a?s kicking, just imagine it on a screen, a quick cut to the onlookers would totally fit. They are part of the scene too, passive spectators or not.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
I did very much want a dramatic, powerful and surprising finale to this short. If you saw your family murdered, could do nothing about it and were also killed only to find you had a second chance what would you do? Play it safe or just bleeding go for it!

Carla just goes for it, she's in the zone with no self-conscious fears blocking her. She does what she has to do and pulls it off. It's either a fluke or she's had some practice with guns. I didn't have time in the story or any natural way to show she's already gifted in this area, however it seems every hot chick in TV and movies these days is kick-ass naturally lol!


- I get that, she goes into instinct mode, there is something very primal about it, she is protecting her family at all costs but I wonder did you push it a little too far? Maybe you can have her kill Melvin and Isabella but in a less definitive way. In other words, she could struggle to shoot Melvin, maybe he gets the upper hand before she gets a stroke a luck and gains advantage. The same with killing Isabella, Carla could hesitate to shoot her, not have the balls, that killer instinct before Isabella charges at her thus giving Carla no choice but to defend herself. This would inject more drama and peril into the final standoff in which Carla isn't such an efficient killer, that she might not succeed while also humanising her. That way you get to keep her "defending her family at all costs" trait just not in such a bada?s, thus unrealistic way. Of course, this might go against what you were going for.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
My original idea had Carla just dying and that be the end of it but it seemed depressing. As annoying as she was, she is just a hormonal teenager who's daddy had died from drinking and she was just venting her frustrations on the world. She didn't deserve it.


- That would be a bleak one alright though a part of me would take a grim satisfaction in seeing a bullet actually pass through the back of her brain...then, Fade out:


Quoted from MarkRenshaw
So I toyed with giving her a second chance but wanted the audience to come up with their own ideas about what happened so I deliberately left it open.  

Is it all a dream? I hope not as that's the cheapest trick in the writer's book but you could interpret it that way.

Is she dead in the road? Was it all the final synapsis of her brain as she constructed a fantasy trying to fix what she failed to prevent?

Is God working in mysterious ways? Does this higher power intervene all the time and we are simply not aware of it, or was God just peed off at Melvin?

Is she an angel and not aware until she's killed and comes back? That's a good angle, I like that.

Did she have some sort of prophetic vision which allowed her to change the future or did she simply see those guys on Facebook, as she said to her mom (thanks for pointing out I put the wrong character there, I'll fix that later!) and had a scary dream, then put two and two together when they showed up for real?

It's open to interpretation and I'm sure others can think up of other possibilities but that's what I wanted. As to the extremes of it, yes it is. Imagine the scene in Dusk till Dawn where Salma Hayek suddenly turns into a Vampire 30 minutes into a movie that has nothing to do with Vampires up until that point. I didn't go as extreme as that but I wanted something different that pushes the boundaries and gives people an ending they'll remember.


- Yeah it’s good that you went that way. To be fair, you do put fantasy up front in the logline (I've stopped reading loglines when reading scripts here, only the writer's name, best to go in totally blindsided I reckon) so that allows some artistic licence when it comes to the overt prophetic dream. I was thinking of some Inception-like indication at the end that she is still dreaming but it’s not completely conclusive so it’s still left open for interpretation but, like you say, that can rub people up the wrong way as being too gimmicky.

Col.


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Quoted from Colkurtz8



- I get that, she goes into instinct mode, there is something very primal about it, she is protecting her family at all costs but I wonder did you push it a little too far? Maybe you can have her kill Melvin and Isabella but in a less definitive way. In other words, she could struggle to shoot Melvin, maybe he gets the upper hand before she gets a stroke a luck and gains advantage. The same with killing Isabella, Carla could hesitate to shoot her, not have the balls, that killer instinct before Isabella charges at her thus giving Carla no choice but to defend herself. This would inject more drama and peril into the final standoff in which Carla isn't such an efficient killer, that she might not succeed while also humanising her. That way you get to keep her "defending her family at all costs" trait just not in such a bada?s, thus unrealistic way. Of course, this might go against what you were going for.


Thanks again for the input Col. Your comments are really helping me come up with ideas for the second draft and I'll certainly incorporate the feedback into it.

The confrontation in the end I nearly wrote myself into a corner with because I already established Melvin and Isabella had guns and were ruthless. Having a gun in Anna's car would have seemed like cheating so whatever happens has to be quick as Carla's only advantage is one of surprise.

If the showdown takes too long one of her adversaries could get the upper hand and the longer it goes on, the more likely the rest of the family in the car would get involved.

So the kick in the nuts, I reckon she's naturally skilled in that area. The first shot I was hoping could be attributed to a fluke but maybe I'll change it so it takes 2-3 shots before she hits her shoulder.

The shot to the kneecap is point blank range, no special skill required. She wants Melvin incapacitated and sufferring.

It does take the rest of the ammo to kill Isabella, some shots do miss. Maybe I didn't emphasise that enough so I'll endevour to make that more obvious. She carries on shooting after the clip is empty as well, I thought this would help highlight her uncertainty she'd put Isabella down plus display her sheer rage at this point.

The kill shot on Melvin, again that's point blank. Doesn't take any skill but does require guts.

I hope that's enough. This is a fantasy short after all. Sure it's set in the real world and has points about life to make but ultimately the revenge and retribution part of this short is the sheer power of 'If Only' in action. Carla gets the power she wished a genie would grant her and uses it.  

Hey that's an idea! Maybe we cut from the car going off in the distance to a genie-like lamp on the side of the road with smoke bellowing out of it. Although I did want to make this short as low budget as possible and it might confuse people. Ah you can't win!

All the input so far has been invaluable - many thanks.

Mark


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Colkurtz8
Posted: August 13th, 2014, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
The confrontation in the end I nearly wrote myself into a corner with because I already established Melvin and Isabella had guns and were ruthless. Having a gun in Anna's car would have seemed like cheating so whatever happens has to be quick as Carla's only advantage is one of surprise.

If the showdown takes too long one of her adversaries could get the upper hand and the longer it goes on, the more likely the rest of the family in the car would get involved.

So the kick in the nuts, I reckon she's naturally skilled in that area. The first shot I was hoping could be attributed to a fluke but maybe I'll change it so it takes 2-3 shots before she hits her shoulder.

The shot to the kneecap is point blank range, no special skill required. She wants Melvin incapacitated and sufferring.

It does take the rest of the ammo to kill Isabella, some shots do miss. Maybe I didn't emphasise that enough so I'll endevour to make that more obvious. She carries on shooting after the clip is empty as well, I thought this would help highlight her uncertainty she'd put Isabella down plus display her sheer rage at this point.

The kill shot on Melvin, again that's point blank. Doesn't take any skill but does require guts.

I hope that's enough. This is a fantasy short after all. Sure it's set in the real world and has points about life to make but ultimately the revenge and retribution part of this short is the sheer power of 'If Only' in action. Carla gets the power she wished a genie would grant her and uses it.  

Hey that's an idea! Maybe we cut from the car going off in the distance to a genie-like lamp on the side of the road with smoke bellowing out of it. Although I did want to make this short as low budget as possible and it might confuse people. Ah you can't win!


- All fair points. They must have guns as per her dream and she does miss a few shots, I got that but its still an unarmed teenager taking out two armed adults so the suspension of disbelief is stretched by its very nature. Maybe you could look to her dream and see about changing something which would give her some advantage. Perhaps she has a knife or gun in her own car. It is the south after all, isn't everybody packing' heat down there? Anyway, you know what I'm getting at, I'll leave it to you to determine what works best.

Personally (regardless of it being a time for Robin Williams tributes) I wouldn't go down the genie or lamp route, just my opinion.

Glad my notes are of some help.

Col.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: August 14th, 2014, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
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Updated draft is up. Logline and typos are fixed,cheers for pointing those out.

Main changes:

Page 2 - Anna is poppin pills.

Page 4 - Slight change to the dialogue to help suggest the idea that Carla gains the power of 'if only' like she wishes.

Page 12 - We see some reaction from the family inside the car to the stand-off.

Page 13 - The shoot out isn't quite a s straight forward now, more tension and more of a challenge for Carla without making it go on for too long.

Page 14 - More tweaks to the dialogue to enforce the suggestion of 'if only.'

I hope the changes help, thanks for those that have taken the time to read this and for those who have commented.

Mark


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MarkRenshaw  -  August 15th, 2014, 2:26am
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Dustin
Posted: August 14th, 2014, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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'what can only be described' sounds like something from a child's novel. It has no place in your script. I was going to get over it, but I feel it's something you should know and I didn't want to forget.

I had no idea where this script was going. I thought the twist was going to be that it was all a set up to get her to learn a lesson and not be so self absorbed. And that's where I think you should take this.

She suddenly turning into calm, collected killer herself I really feel does not work.

Well written for the most part, but doesn't work for me for the reason stated.



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Dustin  -  August 14th, 2014, 4:27pm
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MarkRenshaw
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Quoted from Dustin
'what can only be described' sounds like something from a child's novel. It has no place in your script. I was going to get over it, but I feel it's something you should know and I didn't want to forget.

I had no idea where this script was going. I thought the twist was going to be that it was all a set up to get her to learn a lesson and not be so self absorbed. And that's where I think you should take this.

She suddenly turning into calm, collected killer herself I really feel does not work.

Well written for the most part, but doesn't work for me for the reason stated.


Cheers for the read and the comments. I'm glad you thought it was going in a certain direction when it wasn't and I appreciate why it didn't work for you.

That line you don't like, I saw something very similar in a script of a famous movie I was reading. Can't remember which one now but it stuck with me and I thought I'd use a variation of it in this. Just shows everyone's tastes are different but I like experimenting .



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Revision History (1 edits)
MarkRenshaw  -  August 15th, 2014, 6:13am
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Dustin
Posted: August 15th, 2014, 2:47am Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I'm more from a story-writing background and that sentence just made me cringe. It's something I may have used myself as a youngster. Maybe not childish exactly, just old and worn out.

You don't need it in a screenplay anyway, particularly as you are doing exactly that already. You are already describing something, so also telling us you're doing that is pointless. I'd be very interested in knowing who the pro writer was that did that in a screenplay. Just so I can laugh.

Short stories should deliver a message... or say something. She's self-centred and remains even more so at the end. The only arc you deliver is one of a character that's never physically hurt anyone in her life suddenly turning into a professional killer. Just because she had a dream.

I didn't know what direction it was going in... I was expecting the twist to match the arc of the story. The original way you were going to achieve that, I had no idea. The way you've set about this, for me it's like watching a film and the bad guys winning. I'm left thinking, wtf?


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Hey Mark,

I enjoyed the first half way more than the second, but the premise is cool, even if a familiar one. The character descriptions are top-notch, as is the writing that contains them. You took a few risks - whatever. What matters is the risks were grounded in solid writing. You wrote Carla to really stand out, and even though we can't stand what motivates her, we can relate to her disconnect toward family, and at the end you resolved it...

But after the twist, everything went way too fast. Instead of using what motivates Carla to change her circumstance, Carla uses the antagonists' means of resolution. I did like how she used "need" to catch Melvin off guard. Carla got her family and life back through violence, sure, but did she earn it? I also didn't buy in to the fact Anna let her do what she did; moreover, just watch it unfold with her kids from inside the car.

Good job and good luck with this. The writing has spirit.

Johnny
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MarkRenshaw
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Thanks for the read and the comments Johnny.

There's some things happening with the script at the moment, can't say anymore as it's not a done deal yet but I'll bear this in mind if I'm asked to do some changes.


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Angry Bear
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Had a read of your script. Pretty good.  

Page 1.    When you introduce a character for the first time, you should CAPITALIZE their names.

When you start a new scene or go back to a scene, you should name that character instead of just writing she. Even if it seems obvious who you mean. In other words, write Carla plugs in some headphones.

Page 2.    Seems odd that Anna would be smiling contently while watching the kids play and in the next breath she digs out a prescription bottle. If she's so content, why does she need pills? Perhaps show some other kind of emotion from her instead?

Is Melvin a stranger? If so, would Carla really say that to him?

Duck face! Funny. I hate those. Looks ridiculous.

Can't say I like Carla...at all.

Page 6.    Marvin?

Right now, I'm thinking, shouldn't someone have taken Melvin's comment about being escaped serial killers a little bit seriously? I mean, joking is one thing, but if I came across two strangers in the middle of nowhere and they said they were escaped lunatics from a mental hospital, I'd be a little moe than concerned.

Page 7.    The phone rises? That sounds like it's doing it on its own.  

Page 8.    IMHO, it would work better if you showed us Carla's reactions and emotions better when she's starting to realize who these people are. That tear just seemed to come out of nowhere.

Page 9.    Thunder thighs? You sure that's the word you want to use there?

Also, they locked them up for being a little to close for siblings? I know that's not healthy, but I don't think you get locked up for that. Weren't they killers or something?

Page 13.  Isabelle. Marvin.

Okay, reached the end. Overall, I think you did a pretty good job here. Easy to read and I was entertained. The ending wasn't as strong as it could've been though, IMHO. Since Carla is such an unpleasant person, I would rather have seen her being taught a lesson rather than become some sort of hero. I wanted to see her punished. How about Carla kills the couple, but it turns out they were just a regular nice couple and Carla is the one that gets put away. More of a poetic justice ending, I think.

Cheers!  


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