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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The L Equation Moderators: bert
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  Author    The L Equation  (currently 2820 views)
Don
Posted: January 29th, 2015, 6:19pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The L Equation by Anthony Cawood - Short, Romantic Comedy, Drama - A talented mathematician slaves over an equation that could change the face of humanity, as his dedicated assistant struggles to tell him exactly how she feels. 9 pages - pdf, format

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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 13th, 2017, 10:20am
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: January 30th, 2015, 9:53am Report to Moderator
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Hey Anthony - There are two spelling mistakes and a missing word in the logline. That's bad dude, if I wasn't familiar with your previous work I would have taken this for a newbie and may not even have read any further. The logline and title are the first thing we read so take your time with it, don't rush it as an after thought!

The script itself is fine if a little predictable. I had to read it a couple of times to realise he was trying to get the program to match him up with Anna but he ignores the result anyway so I didn't see the point.

As a scientist his character would be more inclined to believe the data and results we've seen so far.  He should think he has no chance with Anna, only for her to them prove him and the algorithm wrong maybe.

Another possible angle is for him to be completely oblivious to Anna as she thinks. In desperation she types in her name, then his name and  for it to say 'MATCHED' for the penny to drop with him.

I hope that helps.

-Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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RichardR
Posted: January 30th, 2015, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony,

People love to get comments that praise, so accept them.  The others?  Yours to keep or toss.

I understand the gist here.  Our nerd is working on an algorithm to predict successful matches of men and women.  Think E-harmony.  It works for everyone except the one crucial to him--ironic.  So, he tosses the algorithm to get the woman he desires.  

I think you can take this idea and make it work better.  For one, I didn't get the scene with the woman and mum.  Is that supposed to say she likes the nerd as much as the nerd likes her?  Or is there something else there?  

The dialogue needs cleaning.  It's a bit longish and on the nose.  Take a look.  Also, the tension between these two could be ratcheted up.  When she arrives, she makes sure she looks good, alluring.  When he interacts, he tries like hell to be charming.  Give us some sexual tension.

You might get more play out of this one if the algorithm works in real time for other couples.  Not the classics who have already matched but people who are looking to match.  The irony heightens if the nerd can match everyone but himself and the woman he wants.  The pain deepens also.  At least, until he realizes that it's only probability...not infalliability.

Or if he discovers that he's classified her as something she isn't.  And only discovers a data mistake at the end.  Or double cross the audience and have even the data fix fail.  Lots of ways to get more audience buy in.  Give it a thought.  

Best
Richard  
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: January 30th, 2015, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Mark, Richard,

Many thanks for the reads, much appreciated.

Cannot believe the typos in the logline, rookie error, DOH - will see if I can get that fixed.

What I was going for was that he's created a program that can 100% accurately predict compatability... but he realises through the course of working on it that maybe it working perfectly doesn't make it the right thing to do. So cold hard science versus emotions and nature... he sacrifices his work for a chance with Anna.

You both make some good points though so will be looking to revise in next draft.

Many thanks

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Stumpzian
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 7:49am Report to Moderator
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Anthony,

I like the way this develops. That is, we don't know right away what he's working on and keep reading to find out. Your writing makes this easy. The dialgue seems fine to me, including the  understated scene with Mum. A necessary scene, in my view.

Criticism? The ending. I had  a "huh?" moment with it, maybe because it came on too quickly.

Regards, Henry



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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 8:38am Report to Moderator
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Hi Henry and thanks for taking a read, really appreciated.

There's some tweaks I've made since the original comments above, so glad it reads well for you.

Re the ending, thanks will have a look at this, any specific bit you'd call out?

Cheers

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Stumpzian
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 9:00am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
any specific bit you'd call out?


Just went back for a second read. The ending is fine. My fault -- usually I read "problem areas" twice before commenting. I didn't do that this time. My attention must've wandered without  my being aware of it. I'll go back and edit my earlier comment. No, wait. Then your comment won't make sense.

Henry




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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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No worries Henry, glad it made sense on second read, will still review just to make sure it's as clear as possible.

Thanks

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Heretic
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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Not a big fan of the first scene. The attractive woman walks in with no purpose other than to tell the guy he's a genius -- we've seen a lot of useless female characters hovering soulfully around the men they support, over the years. Gotta be a more interesting way to frame this discovery -- which I'm assuming based on the first scene is some sort of scientific proof for love? I don't read loglines -- and a more interesting dynamic to frame our two leads, here.

The second scene is entirely exposition of her unrequited love. This can be established in the first scene, guaranteed (even with the script as is). I'd cut this scene if there's not more to it.

On 5, Brendan says he's "almost there." I know this is soft sci-fi (math-fi?), but I don't think math proofs are an "almost there" kinda thing, y'know? Not a quantifiable task with a project-able ending time.

--

I very much like the basic premise of a mathematician frustratedly trying to prove the emotion that he's subjectively aware of. I don't think the execution is working at the moment. There's very little conflict, and there's very little character. There's not much of a hint of personality for either of these people, really, except that they're the sort of unattractive characters that get played by very attractive actors. The key element of the story is Brendan's obsession -- a mathematician who believes in proofs but doesn't trust himself. Anna, too, doesn't trust herself -- essentially, she doesn't trust that she is deserving of reciprocated love. But these traits don't really drive the story. Rather, they're just sort of incidental, because we know where the story's going and it never deviates from that track.

In order for romantic stories like this to work, the key weaknesses of characters need to push them apart as well as bringing them together -- drama is different people in the same space with different objectives, or whatever, so Brendan and Anna's divergent approaches to the same goal would ideally result in different objectives scene to scene, and thereby nearly push them apart forever before bringing them together. Maybe it's cute the first time Brendan ignores Anna because he's engrossed in his work, but the second time, once she's decided she has to tell him, it's suddenly way more painful for her to be ignored, and she storms out just when we think they're finally gonna get together. Y'know? I won't go through a list of cliches, but it's that sort of dramatic moves that this script is currently missing.

I do think that part of this stems from them just not being very dimensional characters. Almost all of the dialogue is essentially expositional, and it's hard to fall in love with characters (in a rom-com way, I mean) when that's the case. These are people with pretty amazing jobs, and they must be pretty interesting people. It'd be nice to see 'em breathe a bit, hear what they're like.

By the way, I liked the un-ironic, sincere approach to romance, here. That's needed sometimes.


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TonyDionisio
Posted: February 6th, 2015, 2:07am Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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Dialog exchange read smoothly. I kinda liked the relationship -- had no problem with her dolling up and flirting. Office romance FTW!
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 6th, 2015, 4:07pm Report to Moderator
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Heretic / Tony - many thanks for the reads and the feedback much appreciated.

Heretic - think you have some really valid points re conflict and it being a little too straightforward, torn on this a bit because I also think that the conflict in romantic drama's is also often overdone (you mention cliches)... there's a balance to be found and not sure I've found it yet.

I don't intend for them to be played by attractive actors, but will leave that to whoever picks up the scripts up (fingers crossed)

Tony - thanks glad it worked for you.

I am seriously considering re-writing this with a gender swap for the protags too,

Thanks

Both


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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TonyDionisio
Posted: February 6th, 2015, 5:28pm Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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Ugly fat people look twice as ugly and three times as fat on screen.
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Dustin
Posted: February 7th, 2015, 3:19am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from TonyDionisio
Ugly fat people look twice as ugly and three times as fat on screen.


Plenty of great actors out there that don't score high in the looks department. Neither weight nor looks should be a barrier to anyone acting... nor should it be a consideration for producers.

Unfortunately, the prettiest, less able actors usually get through because the producer either wants to bed them or already has.

If you want people to be staring at a bit of tit on screen rather than concentrating on your story... go for the prettiest actors. If you want people to concentrate on the story, cast real people.


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Dustin
Posted: February 7th, 2015, 3:31am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Read the script and it's a nice idea. It just needs some work to make it special. Not quite sure how you will accomplish that at the moment. It's written well with some nice subtext that keeps the viewer guessing.

I was expecting a twist at the end that never came and I did feel a little let down by that. I think that could be what is missing. Maybe he destroys all of his work only to discover that she really doesn't love him.

Good luck with it mate.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 7th, 2015, 7:17am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for taking a look Dustin, I know you normally swerve Romance, so appreciated.

Re twist, yes possibly, the most obvious one is to go further in setting up their comparability and having him denying the evidence of his heart and accepting his algorithm... Feels a bit harsh

I'll keep working on it.

Agree totally re actors point, as a writer I want people who can play the role not distract from it.

Thanks

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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