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LC
Posted: May 9th, 2015, 6:58am Report to Moderator
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Dustin, congrats on getting so much interest in this, and so fast!

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

Just get away from him

This is a motherly instinctive reaction. I think she'd say: Get away from him without the qualification of 'just - it's a demand.

Sergei looks at Michaela, ’Hey, it’s me, your lover, the man
you’ve known for ten years’.


At first I balked at this line and thought it was a bit much, and then I thought about it some more. I think it's actually quite effective and will give a quite nice layered directive to the actress playing the role. It also resonates further on when Sergei's true amoral nature is revealed through his extra curricular activities with 'the other woman'. Some will like it and I suspect some not, but I'd keep it in.

Darius stares into Vincent’s soul.
Hmm, maybe pushing it. I suppose I'd say something like 'a penetrating look' or equivalent - but you're the writer here, not me, and it's a small gripe and more in line with creative choice. The meaning is inherent and that's all that really matters in the end.

Then, what was your reply?

Just do what you
have to, then leave.


Bit of repetition with the 'thens'. I'd change one of them to an 'and'. Or possibly even leave out the 'then' in 'What was your reply.'

Vincent    raises the gun.
There's an extra unneeded space in there. p.7 midway.

(VO)
Have you ceased with the periods between the letters? I've just read a feature length with this all the way through and it annoyed me - suppose formatting is all about what we become accustomed to.

going sour after complications
I would have said 'gone sour' given it's something I gather is in the past.

The strongest part of the story for me is when the little boy is blindfolded and I had a distinct flashback to 'Funny Games'.

During that particular scene (yours, I mean) we as an audience really have no idea which way this is going to go and I think this is the strength of any good thriller narrative - suspense - you got me there. Will Sergei be shot, will it be Michaela, or will it be Darius. And though I should have, I didn't pick what did happen and it actually jolted me.

I loved Vincent kissing Darius' head btw - at face value it's a display of affection but it's also the kind of contradictory thing you see from someone unhinged and unpredictable - what he says, what he does, and how he acts may be completely different things. I have a suggestion along those same lines re your denouement.

Sergei's ultimate demise is shocking and ironic but that denouement did leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I would have loved to have seen Sergei deny more - he appears rather passive - at least up until the moment Vincent reveals he knows all about his life right down to his shameful affair with the other woman.

If there's one thing I've learned about people who are trolls, or people in general who are just liars and cheaters, it's that it's in their DNA to deny everything right to the end. I thought Sergei was just a little too quiet and accepting throughout and then when we get to his actual demise where he admits it's his fault and he hangs himself.

I'm not suggesting he not kill himself - he has to do that, but I do wonder if when played out on screen it might appear a bit predictable - on screen we'll get a distinct echo of what's to come with your opener cause here he is back in the same location and and when we come to that scene again at the end it might not be quite as shocking as it is when it's read.

But, if Sergei were to keep denying right to the end (particularly in that voice over) and correspondingly in that letter - saying it wasn't his fault i.e., the kid was fragile and weak, nobody can make someone else kill themselves etc. etc., and then we jump cut to the chair being kicked out from beneath him and the noose around his neck, I think that might be more shocking and cinematic.

Just as you did with Vincent pulling the gun it'd be nice if you toy with audience some more with this misdirect. And his ultimate action contradicts everything he's saying. After all the jury came back (his family, his friends - and he's been found guilty) doesn't mean he's going to go down easy though - why not make them live with the guilt. It's great when characters say one thing and then do something altogether different - that's real life.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Disregard what you will.

Great job, look forward to seeing this one.


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stebrown
Posted: May 9th, 2015, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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Hi Dustin,

I thought this was a very effective script and really well written. I don't have a lot to say about it because I think it works well as is.

***possible spoilers***

The way I understand Sergei's character, he does this quite often? If so, I think you can get this point across by him being shocked when he sees the profile on the laptop. Up til that point he's probably forgotten all about it and doesn't know why this is happening? I think this would also add more tension to the middle of the script as by Sergei's reaction to seeing the profile we're left wondering even more what he's done.

I don't have a problem with your descriptions and the 'hey, it's me...' line works well for me.

Good stuff.

***addition*** I just realised that the three of them are still tied up at the end. Unable to contact anyone. This is a pretty horrific thought, especially with a small child there. I'd maybe play on this a little and have a bit more in that room after the gun shot. What are the three of them doing or saying? Is it just silence? That's maybe something for the director to work with but I think it would be a waste of that situation to just cut away from it.

Ste


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DWLiu
Posted: May 9th, 2015, 10:59am Report to Moderator
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Dustin,

I'm not quite sure that the opening scene (letter-writing) and the closing scene (moving in to a new apartment) are necessary, especially for a short. Going to the kidnapping scene directly might be more gripping.

Given that Vincent doesn't want to hurt them but just being extremely angry, it might be a bit out of the character for him to tying up Sergei's wife and son in the same room. Also, from a production stand of point, you might be able accomplish the same with just Seigei's family photos present, and save the room for more intense exchange between Vincent and Seigei.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
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Colkurtz8
Posted: May 10th, 2015, 12:18am Report to Moderator
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Dustin

“Sergei looks at Michaela, ’Hey, it’s me, your lover, the man
you’ve known for ten years’.”

- Wow, that's a helluva specific and nuanced "look"!

“Darius stares into Vincent’s soul.”

- Eek, soul searching stares are always the most disconcerting but jokes aside, shouldn't it be the other way around:

"Vincent stares in Darius's soul"

VINCENT
You taunted them.

- Ok, so it’s more of cyber bullying thing. Topical yes but I thought, knowing your propensity for darkness that the website was some kind of twisted, snuff thing, offering people a chance to, shall we say, euthanize these suicidal people as per their own request. Like the polar opposite of a Make-a-Wish foundation. And yes, that assumption probably says more about me than anything else.

Also, I find it curious that you would tackle this subject in this manner since I remember you being unsympathetic towards suicidal people (and those who actually follow through with it) before on some thread. That is your point of view of course and I'm not here to wag my finger or challenge you on it. I just found it interesting that you would take such a sympathetic approach here.

VINCENT
I understand your reasons. The
shitty job. Overbearing boss... the
love affair with a work colleague
going sour after complications with
an abortion.

- I dunno, most people hate their jobs and respective bosses, nothing particularly trying there. Sergei has a wife and kid (or should I say "had") and was tapping a work colleague, things weren’t so bad!

“Michaela cries out in despair, looks to Darius, empathising
instantly with what it would be like to lose a son.”

- I wonder do we need this line telling us all that?  Have more faith in your writing, although I understand your desire to convey exactly what Michaela’s look implies. Perhaps "empathizing" would be enough. The rest is too much in my opinion.

VINCENT
You’re disassociated. You believe
you’re sorry. But that is only
because I am here. Tangible.

VINCENT
He was never very strong, always
took things to heart. Quick to
suffer.

VINCENT
You didn’t care... you still don’t.
Your tears and pleas for
understanding sicken me.

- Vincent's dialogue is a little over ripe at times which I recognize and understand because I am guilty of it too. It’s very hard to avoid especially when you have a vengeful/remorseful/crazed character like this in control of a scene and is been given the license to let it all out.

Overall, this was a solid script, it packs a punch and would be easily produced. I liked the circle of violence/suicide element, how one spawns another. You could speculate that down the line Darius may wrestle with similar emotions as a direct result of this harrowing experience.

However, I feel the way in which you structured the piece is problematic and negates a lot of the potential tension. Thankfully, it can be easily fixed.

What I mean is the opening scene shows Sergei alone, crying and writing a note. Thus, straight away we know this guy is at the end of his tether. Crying, lonely men writing notes is never a good thing As a result of this prologue I knew that Sergei was going to survive the ordeal, at least in a physical sense, and since Vincent assures Darius early on that he won’t get hurt and there is no real reason for him to shoot Michaela, most readers will deduce the outcome by process of elimination that Vincent is going to top himself long before the act is carried out.

Once we know that, we can assume Michaela and Darius will leave Sergei which takes us up to the prologue so we can witness the next link in this tragic chain. So step-by step, I anticipated events before they happened.

This is a pity because the script is written with an assured hand, very economical and purposeful. I just wish the key plot points weren’t so signposted which is primarily due to that unnecessarily explicit prologue. I appreciate you want to prime the main sequence of the script with some kind of introduction that can be called back to at the end but right now I feel you give us too much.

Col.



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Colkurtz8  -  May 20th, 2015, 12:56pm
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Iancou
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Dustin,

Overall, I enjoyed how you set up the story and the way it played out. It is a strong one and could be easily filmed on a low budget, which is definitely helpful. I hope it gets picked up.

From a technical perspective, is this a shooting script? I saw the "roll credits." I also saw several "fade ins" and "fade out." Normally, fade ins are only at the start and fade out at the beginning. Recommend the first "fade out" be "return to scene" and not put in the "roll credits." The second and third "fade ins" can probably be removed. The second would be covered by the "cut to:" and the third is covered by the subsequent slug.


Quoted Text
Darius has a panic attack, urine spreads from the crotch of
his trousers.


A panic attack is understood through a visual. Suggest a slight change along the lines of "Darius quivers, a wet spot spreads from the crotch of his trousers."


Quoted Text
Michaela stares at Sergei, she hates him already.


Staring can convey a range of emotional states. What particular looks can the actor give/make to convey this state. Perhaps:

"Michaela glares at Sergei, a mix of loathing, anger, and hatred."


Quoted Text
Michaela gasps, tears form in her eyes as she looks at the man she loves, desperately wanting him to deny the accusations.


She desperately wants Sergei to deny Vincent's claims, but how does she show it? It this purposely left open to the director and actress to portray?


Quoted Text
Michaela cries out in despair, looks to Darius, empathising instantly with what it would be like to lose a son.


The part "empathising instantly with what it would be like to lose a son" is unnecessary and not something you can portray visually. When she displays emotion as what Vincent said, the audience can come to its own conclusions as to why she is reacting. I believe the only other way would be to have Micheala say something. What came to mind was something like:
MICHAELA
(to Sergei)
You son-of-a-bitch. What if someone had done that to Darius? How would that feel, you prick?


Quoted Text
Michaela cries.
Sergei wants to offer her comfort but can’t.


How does he physically show that he wants to comfort her? He is tied up, so what are his facial expressions? His posture? Does he struggle in his constraints? Tries to move in her direction?

Final minor point, I believe "voice over" is written as (V.O.).

I hope to see this filmed. I think you have a strong one here, Dustin.

Best of luck.

Ian







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eldave1
Posted: May 10th, 2015, 1:02pm Report to Moderator
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Enjoyed this. It was  really well written and gripping (a page turner).  The only hiccup for me was the motivation for Sergei to be on the suicide site. I know that you addressed it here:


Quoted Text
VINCENT
I understand your reasons. The
shitty job. Overbearing boss... the
love affair with a work colleague
going sour after complications with
an abortion.


But it just didn't directly connect for me. Maybe just a line somewhere (e.g., you thought preying on the weak would give you strength again - or you never forgave your mother for her suicide) - or something. Long winded way of saying that the issues listed (job, bad boss, affair) are relatively common life conditions. I guess I was looking for something less common that caused Sergei's  dysfunctional behavior).

Anyway - this was a great effort. I could see it on film.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: May 10th, 2015, 1:15pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Another great short Dustin, dark and gritty, felt real.

There was one thing that took me out of it a little... Sergei Gorelev... I immeadiately thought we were in Russia, but then the other character names didn't necessarily seem consistent with that... not sure if him being Russian matters?

Anthony  


No, the Russian thing is just that I look for not oft used names. The people could be literally from anywhere. I made the ages like that based on people I think could play the parts.

Thanks for the read, mate.


Quoted from RichardR
Dustin,

Comments can prove deadly. Read with a jaundiced eye.

First, you've done a good job, but comments should help make it better. Here we go.

Opening.  I am no expert on suicide notes, but I don't know why he needs to tell his name. They will find his body, and the landlord knows his name, so the introduction is for the audience and necessary?  I would buy a note addressed to miahaela or Darius or even 'to whom it may concern'.   This is a nit.  It's me.


I suppose I wanted to personalise it, to make things easy for the police. I really have no idea how a suicide note would be started. Food for thought. I'll mull that one over.


Quoted Text
You do a great job of juxtapositioning Vincent and Sergei.  We think Vincent is the antagonist when he's really the protagonist.  Wonderful. But take a look at the attributes of your combatants. You make Sergei weak and Vincent strong. For drama, reverse the power. The protagonist is the weaker. How?  Think of Sergei as a psychopath?  When confronted what does he do?  It's in the playbook.  Deny, deny deny.  He was never online.  The userid isn't his.  Make Vincent break down every issue.  Vincent grows. Sergei shrinks.   Give Vincent a worthy foe.


Nice idea.


Quoted Text
Of course, if you make Sergei stronger, then his suicide becomes more problematic.  


Well that's Vincent's point. He expects Sergei to not really care. Just to pretend to to get out of the situation. I think your point is valid and stands well with the plot.


Quoted Text
Vincent's suicide is well done, complete with blindfolding the boy. Good job. I'm not sure I buy michaela's response.  She doesn't know he's a psychopath ?


He's not actually a psychopath. That was a comparison you made.


Quoted Text
Overall, this is good work if you can make things harder for you protagonist, you'll have a nice reversal.  The audience will wonder how they got fooled.

Best
Richard


Thanks. You've definitely helped out. Thanks a lot.


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Dustin
Posted: May 10th, 2015, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Almost missed this one. That wouldn't have looked good. Good to see you posting here again.


Quoted from spesh2k
Hey Dustin,

I really enjoyed this one. I'm drawn to darker material and this was indeed dark. I thought the characters, particularly their arcs, were very strong and well thought out, especially Sergei's arc.

The writing was good overall, though two things caught my eye (and I'm just nitpicking):

Page 1, opening paragraph --

On the bed, eyes red from hours of crying, SERGEI GORELEV (25), writes a letter.

Could have been worded differently, read a bit off to me --

On the bed --

SERGEI GORELEV (25), eyes red from hours of crying, writes a letter.


Don't necessarily have to say On the bed with a double-dash then start a new paragraph. Maybe --

SERGEI GORELEV (25) sits at the edge of his bed, eyes red from hours of crying, and writes a letter.


I honestly prefer mine.


Quoted Text
The other thing that caught my eye was an aside on page 3:

Sergei looks at Michaela, ’Hey, it’s me, your lover, the man you’ve known for ten years’.

I don't mind asides much, but this seemed a bit long-winded. And though it provides the reader with information (I suppose they've been together for 10 years), it doesn't provide the viewing audience with any information because they never see this and they never learn that they've been together for that exact amount of time. We get that they're husband and wife. Just a simple:

Sergei looks at Michaela, desperation in his eyes -- "Honey, it's me". Or something like that. Again, I'm nitpicking.


I feel this is something we just have to trust our actors with. It is their job to convey what we want them to say with either looks or tone. I'm not an actor. I could write... Jules looks to Alena and scrunches his face.

Or I can just tell the actor what I want and trust them to convey it in the right way.


Quoted Text
Everything else was very strong. Just one suggestion, though. I'd begin the story with a VO so that the VO later doesn't seem like it's coming out of nowhere.

It may be considered redundant, but I feel that it would play strong on screen if you accompanied the letter with a V.O., as he was writing.

Also, is this V.O. a continuation of the letter from the beginning? If so, who exactly is he leaving the letter for? It kind of just sounds like he's providing the audience with information, how everything went down after Vincent killed himself in front of him.

Overall, nice work, Dustin.

-- Michael


Something to think about. What I like about the opening is that the timeline isn't actually known. Although everything is signposted, I don't believe it becomes obvious just how clearly everything was signposted until the end. Definitely something to think about though mate, cheers.



Quoted from LC
Dustin, congrats on getting so much interest in this, and so fast!

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

Just get away from him

This is a motherly instinctive reaction. I think she'd say: Get away from him without the qualification of 'just - it's a demand.


Yes. You're correct. Thanks. I have a habit with the word 'just'. I tend to edit it out a lot in my writing.


Quoted Text
Sergei looks at Michaela, ’Hey, it’s me, your lover, the man
you’ve known for ten years’.


At first I balked at this line and thought it was a bit much, and then I thought about it some more. I think it's actually quite effective and will give a quite nice layered directive to the actress playing the role. It also resonates further on when Sergei's true amoral nature is revealed through his extra curricular activities with 'the other woman'. Some will like it and I suspect some not, but I'd keep it in.


Yeah, again this comes down to actor direction. This is my story, and if I were writing a novel I'd describe exactly what each character did, and this is the same thing. I don't know how the actor could convey that look, that's their job.


Quoted Text
Darius stares into Vincent’s soul.
Hmm, maybe pushing it. I suppose I'd say something like 'a penetrating look' or equivalent - but you're the writer here, not me, and it's a small gripe and more in line with creative choice. The meaning is inherent and that's all that really matters in the end.


I like it.


Quoted Text
Then, what was your reply?

Just do what you
have to, then leave.


Bit of repetition with the 'thens'. I'd change one of them to an 'and'. Or possibly even leave out the 'then' in 'What was your reply.'


I think there is a different inflection on each then which nullifies the 'rule', but, I suppose, changing the first one for 'and' is a good move. Thanks.


Quoted Text
Vincent    raises the gun.
There's an extra unneeded space in there. p.7 midway.


Thanks.


Quoted Text
(VO)
Have you ceased with the periods between the letters? I've just read a feature length with this all the way through and it annoyed me - suppose formatting is all about what we become accustomed to.


I've never really used them. I have on occasion, but I tend to not use them. It's very longwinded throwing in all those full stops... especially when commas and other types of punctuation needs to be added afterwards. Far easier to not use them and probably more grammatically correct.


Quoted Text
going sour after complications
I would have said 'gone sour' given it's something I gather is in the past.


I'll have to look into that some more.


Quoted Text
The strongest part of the story for me is when the little boy is blindfolded and I had a distinct flashback to 'Funny Games'.

During that particular scene (yours, I mean) we as an audience really have no idea which way this is going to go and I think this is the strength of any good thriller narrative - suspense - you got me there. Will Sergei be shot, will it be Michaela, or will it be Darius. And though I should have, I didn't pick what did happen and it actually jolted me.


Thanks, I've never seen Funny Games, but wanted the viewer to think exactly what you did, although his real intention is simply to spare him the sight of what is about to happen.


Quoted Text
I loved Vincent kissing Darius' head btw - at face value it's a display of affection but it's also the kind of contradictory thing you see from someone unhinged and unpredictable - what he says, what he does, and how he acts may be completely different things. I have a suggestion along those same lines re your denouement.

Sergei's ultimate demise is shocking and ironic but that denouement did leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I would have loved to have seen Sergei deny more - he appears rather passive - at least up until the moment Vincent reveals he knows all about his life right down to his shameful affair with the other woman.


Yeah, I agree.


Quoted Text
If there's one thing I've learned about people who are trolls, or people in general who are just liars and cheaters, it's that it's in their DNA to deny everything right to the end. I thought Sergei was just a little too quiet and accepting throughout and then when we get to his actual demise where he admits it's his fault and he hangs himself.

I'm not suggesting he not kill himself - he has to do that, but I do wonder if when played out on screen it might appear a bit predictable - on screen we'll get a distinct echo of what's to come with your opener cause here he is back in the same location and and when we come to that scene again at the end it might not be quite as shocking as it is when it's read.

But, if Sergei were to keep denying right to the end (particularly in that voice over) and correspondingly in that letter - saying it wasn't his fault i.e., the kid was fragile and weak, nobody can make someone else kill themselves etc. etc., and then we jump cut to the chair being kicked out from beneath him and the noose around his neck, I think that might be more shocking and cinematic.

Just as you did with Vincent pulling the gun it'd be nice if you toy with audience some more with this misdirect. And his ultimate action contradicts everything he's saying. After all the jury came back (his family, his friends - and he's been found guilty) doesn't mean he's going to go down easy though - why not make them live with the guilt. It's great when characters say one thing and then do something altogether different - that's real life.


Ooh... I really like that. That is just brilliant. That's poetic shit, thank you very much.

Thanks for the read and review.


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Dustin
Posted: May 18th, 2015, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stebrown
Hi Dustin,

I thought this was a very effective script and really well written. I don't have a lot to say about it because I think it works well as is.

***possible spoilers***

The way I understand Sergei's character, he does this quite often? If so, I think you can get this point across by him being shocked when he sees the profile on the laptop. Up til that point he's probably forgotten all about it and doesn't know why this is happening? I think this would also add more tension to the middle of the script as by Sergei's reaction to seeing the profile we're left wondering even more what he's done.

I don't have a problem with your descriptions and the 'hey, it's me...' line works well for me.

Good stuff.

***addition*** I just realised that the three of them are still tied up at the end. Unable to contact anyone. This is a pretty horrific thought, especially with a small child there. I'd maybe play on this a little and have a bit more in that room after the gun shot. What are the three of them doing or saying? Is it just silence? That's maybe something for the director to work with but I think it would be a waste of that situation to just cut away from it.

Ste


Both very interesting points that I'll come back to. I'm still thinking about them. I definitely agree that Sergei's reaction should be changed up. The silence, or 'what's said afterward' thing is very interesting.


Quoted from DWLiu
Dustin,

I'm not quite sure that the opening scene (letter-writing) and the closing scene (moving in to a new apartment) are necessary, especially for a short. Going to the kidnapping scene directly might be more gripping.

Given that Vincent doesn't want to hurt them but just being extremely angry, it might be a bit out of the character for him to tying up Sergei's wife and son in the same room. Also, from a production stand of point, you might be able accomplish the same with just Seigei's family photos present, and save the room for more intense exchange between Vincent and Seigei.

David


Re the tying up... he wanted to show Sergei how it felt to be totally out of control and unable to protect the ones he loves. Just like his own son.

Food for thought though mate, thanks for the read. Much appreciated. I considered long and hard (still am) not adding the bedsit and letter writing stuff, but I like it too much to get rid.


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Max
Posted: May 19th, 2015, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this piece a lot, on the plus side it's something that can be filmed.

The only problem I had with it and it's nothing which you probably didn't think about already, I think it should've ended after he killed himself.

The voice-over wasn't necessary IMO, all I know is that when I read the "he inserts gun into his own mouth" bit I was like... whoah... and if it would've ended on that note it would've hit harder.

Apart from that, I enjoyed it very much and I breezed through it.

Great work IMO.

You don't need a goofball like me giving you any advice anyway, you've got a nice gig.
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Dustin
Posted: May 20th, 2015, 6:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Colkurtz8
Dustin
“Darius stares into Vincent’s soul.”

- Eek, soul searching stares are always the most disconcerting but jokes aside, shouldn't it be the other way around:

"Vincent stares in Darius's soul"


I prefer it my way because it is Darius that wants to see Vincent's intention. Darius' intentions are pretty obvious, he just wants to survive.



Quoted Text
Also, I find it curious that you would tackle this subject in this manner since I remember you being unsympathetic towards suicidal people (and those who actually follow through with it) before on some thread. That is your point of view of course and I'm not hear to wag my finger or challenge you on it. I just found it interesting that you would take such a sympathetic approach here.


Well spotted. I am unsympathetic to most suicides but that doesn't make for the best story. I don't have any problems pushing my personal beliefs to the side if it makes for a better story.


Quoted Text
VINCENT
I understand your reasons. The
shitty job. Overbearing boss... the
love affair with a work colleague
going sour after complications with
an abortion.

- I dunno, most people hate their jobs and respective bosses, nothing particularly trying there. Sergei has a wife and kid (or should I say "had") and was tapping a work colleague, things weren’t so bad!


Yeah, I need to work on the reasons.


Quoted Text
“Michaela cries out in despair, looks to Darius, empathising
instantly with what it would be like to lose a son.”

- I wonder do we need this line telling us all that?  Have more faith in your writing, although I understand your desire to convey exactly what Michaela’s look implies. Perhaps "empathizing" would be enough. The rest is too much in my opinion.


We differ here.


Quoted Text
VINCENT
You’re disassociated. You believe
you’re sorry. But that is only
because I am here. Tangible.

VINCENT
He was never very strong, always
took things to heart. Quick to
suffer.

VINCENT
You didn’t care... you still don’t.
Your tears and pleas for
understanding sicken me.

- Vincent's dialogue is a little over ripe at times which I recognize and understand because I am guilty of it too. It’s very hard to avoid especially when you have a vengeful/remorseful/crazed character like this in control of a scene and is been given the license to let it all out.


Getting the dialogue right with this is difficult. I've rewritten it quite a few times. I think it comes down to balance.


Quoted Text
Overall, this was a solid script, it packs a punch and would be easily produced. I liked the circle of violence/suicide element, how one spawns another. You could speculate that down the line Darius may wrestle with similar emotions as a direct result of this harrowing experience.


Yes, I did consider Darius' future, which is why the blindfold. I understood that it would serve a dual purpose. Darius' would not have a visual memory of a man killing himself, but would be left with the education. It also, of course added to the suspense of the moment.


Quoted Text
What I mean is the opening scene shows Sergei alone, crying and writing a note. Thus, straight away we know this guy is at the end of his tether. Crying, lonely men writing notes is never a good thing As a result of this prologue I knew that Sergei was going to survive the ordeal, at least in a physical sense, and since Vincent assures Darius early on that he won’t get hurt and there is no real reason for him to shoot Michaela, most readers will deduce the outcome by process of elimination that Vincent is going to top himself long before the act is carried out.


They may deduce it as a possibility, but they certainly cannot be sure until the end. Vincent may well be about to kill Darius. A man with a gun saying he isn't going to hurt you doesn't mean that he isn't. I can't agree that most readers will deduce the outcome, merely the possibility of one, which is apparent in all stories anyway.



Thanks for the read and lengthy review. On the points I don't agree on now, it doesn't mean I will feel the same five minutes from now. So plenty of food for thought. Appreciated.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: May 22nd, 2015, 7:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
I prefer it my way because it is Darius that wants to see Vincent's intention. Darius' intentions are pretty obvious, he just wants to survive.


- Ok, it’s just that Darius is 5 years old. I mean, how penetrating a stare can one muster at that age?

Quoted from Dustin
Well spotted. I am unsympathetic to most suicides but that doesn't make for the best story. I don't have any problems pushing my personal beliefs to the side if it makes for a better story.


- Fair enough. Although, I think there are stories to be told about those who think a “good clip around the ears" is all a suicide case requires to snap them out of their funk.


Quoted from Dustin
Yeah, I need to work on the reasons.


- I was being a tad facetious in regards his cheating but yeah Sergei just seems to embody the standard working class existence which I guess is just cause to go projecting your frustrations and self loathing onto others. In a way, it’s almost more indicative and realistic that Sergei doesn't have any extreme hang-up or conventional motivation, he's just a normal bloke pissed off with his lot.


Quoted from Dustin
They may deduce it as a possibility, but they certainly cannot be sure until the end. Vincent may well be about to kill Darius. A man with a gun saying he isn't going to hurt you doesn't mean that he isn't. I can't agree that most readers will deduce the outcome, merely the possibility of one, which is apparent in all stories anyway.


- True, it doesn't entirely negate all but one possibility but why reduce those potential outcomes with, what I deem is, an overly explicit prologue? By keeping it as elliptical and abstract as possible you won't give anything away, yet those opening images (and perhaps dialogue) could be conveyed in such a way that only make sense in the epilogue when you call back to them. At least by then we will have moved through the central sequence so only understanding the significance of the prologue then would be more satisfying.

Anyway, it’s just a suggestion.

Col.


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Dustin
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 3:55am Report to Moderator
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OK, you guys win. I got rid of the beginning and the end. Now it all happens in just one room. I've added a little more dialogue and stripped others. Maybe one or two more drafts to tighten dialogue but it's pretty much done. Thank you all for the excellent advice.


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Colkurtz8
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 9:28am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
OK, you guys win. I got rid of the beginning and the end. Now it all happens in just one room. I've added a little more dialogue and stripped others. Maybe one or two more drafts to tighten dialogue but it's pretty much done. Thank you all for the excellent advice.


- Your call of course but I would think twice about omitting those book-ended scenes entirely. I think they can serve as an extra set up and pay if they were made a little less explicit. As I said, the opening scene could be very oblique, drawing us in, making us wonder what has happened, etc. The answer then only becomes clear during the main sequence. Thus, it can be paid off at the end when we return to that opening scene. Something to consider perhaps.


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Dustin
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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When it comes down to filming I think most would strip the bookends out. Although serving some small purpose, to set up all the equipment at a new location, source the location and spend another day filming, with the expenses it entails... I think just the one room serves this story the best.

Be nice to do the extra little bits, but I can't see anyone else being up for that. I bet if those other guys make this that they'll cut the bookends too. It just makes more sense.

Thanks for looking out Col, much appreciated.


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