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Dustin
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 11:03am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from eldave1
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:



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.


I did take note of this in the new draft. Thanks for the read.


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Dustin
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 11:16am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Iancou
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.


It is a shooting script of sorts. But there's no point arguing the rights and wrongs now as I have deleted the scene.




Quoted Text
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."


Noted. That has been changed in the new draft.




Quoted Text
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."


I actually prefer my asides. They say exactly what I want the actor to do, then it is up to them to do their job and pull it off. If I were directing it, which I probably might, then we would discuss the best way to tackle it together.



Quoted Text

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?


Yes.




Quoted Text
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?


I disagree that it can't be portrayed visually. What that aside does is direct the editor. A cut to her looking toward her son, a concern look on her face, then a cut to her son. Within context and some good editing is what's needed to pull that off.




Quoted Text
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?


I'm not into writing facial reactions. I'd rather write asides and leave it up to actor/director discretion on this occasion. I suppose it might depend on who I'm writing for... but over all, I make style choices deliberately.


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


As you know, I started a whole thread about this very thing.


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

Best of luck.

Ian


Cheers mate, thanks for the read and pointers.





[/quote]


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Colkurtz8
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 8:34am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
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.


- Oh cool, I didn't know production was imminent, congrats. I see its more of a practical issue, fair enough.

Maybe, as a cheap alternative, you could reduce the prologue to the sound of a pen writing on paper over a black screen. Then tack on some VO at the end over a black screen reciting the suicide note (or just show the note sans VO) and boom! You got yourself a bookend


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DanC
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 9:00am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dustin
     I see that you put a new version of this up.  I HAVE to read it as it was really good the first time.  I want to know where you took it this time.  Here goes:

1.  Sergei doesn't have an age.

2.  page 2 after Darius wets himself, you simply have Vincent walk over and put tape over his mouth.  Why not play that out?  It could be really terrifying to wonder what he might do.  You could introduce the gun, have him pull out a knife to cut the tape with etc.

3.  When Michaela says "just get away from him"  the just seems weak.  Wouldn't she be angry?

4.  JMO when Sergei says "tell them what"  I'd put a wylie in there and make him pissed off or something.

5.  page 3, I think Sergei gives up that info way too easily.  He'd deny that he even knows him.  I think it'd take some mental mind game to get him to do that.  He's a predator, he's used to lying.

6.  page 5 you have Sergei with a gilt-ridden look.  Wouldn't he scowl instead b/c he hates that he isn't in charge and might be defiant?  

7.  I think that the transformation should happen when Sergei is forced to tell his family what Vincent's son typed.  That's when he's truly defeated.  When he's forced.  When he loses all his power.

8.  I miss the end.  I don't think you need the beginning, but, you need the end, a broken Sergei taking his own life after his wife leaves him.  Even if you have a SUPER 2 weeks later or something.

I loved the story the first time, you know that.  However, after reading many of the comments over the time, and knowing what I knew about the story, I wanted to see more of the cat and mouse breakdown of Sergei.  I didn't really get that.  

Vincent didn't seem as terrifying this time around.  Sergei didn't seem like anything.  He didn't act like he was tough (the typical "I will hunt you down for this") at the beginning.  Or his wife saying we have money, what do you want, etc.

It's a great story.  And perhaps if you shoot this yourself, you will direct the actors to include everything that I said, but, I had wished I saw that in the script.  This was one of my fav stories that I read when I joined the site.

Any rewrite you do, I'd be glad to read.  Again, it's soooooo close to being amazing as opposed to great.
Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 10th, 2015, 9:10am Report to Moderator
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Very easy and effective read.
A swift contained production like this is catnip for talented directors.

Two points weren't clear to me:

1) Why was Sergei trolling suicide sites in the first place?

2) What is Victor's connection to the kid?
I could make assumptions, I guess he raised the boy.
But I'd like to know for sure. All because this is a tight read.

As to the asides, the director that was attached to Deal Breaker dug them.
He felt they were a good jumping off point for the actors and setting the tone.
Actors do what they want, but I find most most want to know what the writer intended.
Thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing this one brought to life.

Regards,
EDreamer


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Dustin
Posted: June 11th, 2015, 3:30pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Colkurtz8


- Oh cool, I didn't know production was imminent, congrats. I see its more of a practical issue, fair enough.

Maybe, as a cheap alternative, you could reduce the prologue to the sound of a pen writing on paper over a black screen. Then tack on some VO at the end over a black screen reciting the suicide note (or just show the note sans VO) and boom! You got yourself a bookend


Cheers Col. I'll consider that.


Quoted from DanC
Hey Dustin
     I see that you put a new version of this up.  I HAVE to read it as it was really good the first time.  I want to know where you took it this time.  Here goes:

1.  Sergei doesn't have an age.


Very brave giving it another read. Cheers. There is another draft of this where I have included the age, I just haven't uploaded it to the website yet.

Quoted Text

2.  page 2 after Darius wets himself, you simply have Vincent walk over and put tape over his mouth.  Why not play that out?  It could be really terrifying to wonder what he might do.  You could introduce the gun, have him pull out a knife to cut the tape with etc.


Yeah, you're right. That is a weak area of the script. But I don't agree with intro'ing the gun yet. That needs to be served at the right time.


Quoted Text
3.  When Michaela says "just get away from him"  the just seems weak.  Wouldn't she be angry?


Can she afford to be angry? She's already had a slap across the face once for being belligerent. If you want people to comply then showing them a little violence is a good way to do it. I imagine the actress delivering this in a panicked tone. She's already seen Vincent be violent, felt it across her face, why would she risk her son suffering the same by acting angry?


Quoted Text
4.  JMO when Sergei says "tell them what"  I'd put a wylie in there and make him pissed off or something.


I'm not sure why in this regard, I believe it is clear enough from the context, and I'd like to see how the actor delivers once she fully appreciates all of the emotions at play.


Quoted Text
5.  page 3, I think Sergei gives up that info way too easily.  He'd deny that he even knows him.  I think it'd take some mental mind game to get him to do that.  He's a predator, he's used to lying.


I have already applied a little of that. I'm not sure if any more wouldn't be spoon feeding. I'll look into it though, it could be that an extra line of dialogue may help. I'll see.


Quoted Text
6.  page 5 you have Sergei with a gilt-ridden look.  Wouldn't he scowl instead b/c he hates that he isn't in charge and might be defiant?


No.


Quoted Text
7.  I think that the transformation should happen when Sergei is forced to tell his family what Vincent's son typed.  That's when he's truly defeated.  When he's forced.  When he loses all his power.


I disagree. Sergei lost all his power once he was tied to the chair and his wife was slapped without him being able to do a thing about it. He also could only watch as his young son had tape put over his mouth. He's truly defeated once his wife knows what he did, not when the final words are mentioned.


Quoted Text
8.  I miss the end.  I don't think you need the beginning, but, you need the end, a broken Sergei taking his own life after his wife leaves him.  Even if you have a SUPER 2 weeks later or something.


This is something I've thought long and hard about and discussed with others. The end is best left gone.


Quoted Text
I loved the story the first time, you know that.  However, after reading many of the comments over the time, and knowing what I knew about the story, I wanted to see more of the cat and mouse breakdown of Sergei.  I didn't really get that.  


It was never my intention to make it a cat and mouse game.


Quoted Text
Vincent didn't seem as terrifying this time around.  Sergei didn't seem like anything.  He didn't act like he was tough (the typical "I will hunt you down for this") at the beginning.  Or his wife saying we have money, what do you want, etc.


Maybe because you know what's coming. So Sergei not acting tough, which he wouldn't really, nobody would in that situation, not unless they're stupid. Why would anyone say 'we have money?' In my experience, people in that situation deny they have anything at all. Some fuckers would rather be tortured than admit they have a stash of cash. Nobody ever offers shit up for free, unless they're fools.


Quoted Text
It's a great story.  And perhaps if you shoot this yourself, you will direct the actors to include everything that I said, but, I had wished I saw that in the script.  This was one of my fav stories that I read when I joined the site.


Everything will be rehearsed and discussed.


Quoted Text
Any rewrite you do, I'd be glad to read.  Again, it's soooooo close to being amazing as opposed to great.
Dan


I agree, but for different reasons. Thanks for the thoughts mate.


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Max
Posted: June 11th, 2015, 4:36pm Report to Moderator
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Ain't nobody write like that, bruh.

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Did you change the ending of this one Dustin?

My problem originally was that it didn't end after the head topping but it seems as if you've changed that now.

For the better I might add, the ticking clock is a bonus at the end.
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Dustin
Posted: June 12th, 2015, 2:20am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Very easy and effective read.
A swift contained production like this is catnip for talented directors.

Two points weren't clear to me:

1) Why was Sergei trolling suicide sites in the first place?

2) What is Victor's connection to the kid?
I could make assumptions, I guess he raised the boy.
But I'd like to know for sure. All because this is a tight read.

As to the asides, the director that was attached to Deal Breaker dug them.
He felt they were a good jumping off point for the actors and setting the tone.
Actors do what they want, but I find most most want to know what the writer intended.
Thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing this one brought to life.

Regards,
EDreamer


I have mentioned in a later draft that Vincent is the kid's father. I just haven't uploaded it to the website yet as I'm waiting for the final draft. Yeah, Serge's reasons. I had a go at that in the last draft... but I'm not sure a reason is needed. He's just a dick that gets off on trolling on the internet. I don't think there needs to be an underlying cause. In a way, I'd rather that Sergei appeared just like any other person, meaning that anyone can be a troll. The nicest people can turn into trolls on line as there isn't any comeback.

Perhaps you're right. Perhaps a little of that logic I've just given thrown in would work to deliver the reasoning. I liken it to Hitler syndrome. Where normal people, if given complete control over another's life without any reprisals for actions, will go as far as killing them for noncompliance. There was also that experiment, where the large majority of people executed the actor. These are normal people. You and me.

So I think something like that may need to be added to the dialogue... but otherwise, I'm not particularly wanting to make Sergei out of the ordinary.

I'm all for asides. What other writers think about them doesn't bother me in the slightest. I think the only person that goes on about them is Jeff. Then others follow. I will mention them if I feel they don't work, but if they do something for the script, whether that's directing the actors or even the final edit, I believe it is our job to tell the story exactly as we see it.

Thanks for the read and well wishes, mate.



Quoted from Max
Did you change the ending of this one Dustin?

My problem originally was that it didn't end after the head topping but it seems as if you've changed that now.

For the better I might add, the ticking clock is a bonus at the end.


Yeah, I've ended it there now. We all know Sergei is fucked. I liked the idea of the silence after the shooting so have showed that with the final line regarding the clock.

Thanks again, mate.


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Max
Posted: June 12th, 2015, 10:14am Report to Moderator
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Alternatively, just throwing another idea out here...

As soon as he puts the gun in his mouth, cut to black.

No gunshot.
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Dustin
Posted: June 12th, 2015, 11:29am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Max
Alternatively, just throwing another idea out here...

As soon as he puts the gun in his mouth, cut to black.

No gunshot.


You know it could actually go like that. To set up the blood and brain isn't easy. It's special effects territory. There are DIY methods on line and it would be fun to have a go at it. Just nobody wants to spend anything, so it could well be that a conversation happens where everybody decides to cut to black at that moment. Because, really and truly, that's all that is needed. I am already anticipating that.


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simonscript
Posted: December 1st, 2015, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Dustin
On first read this seems good, but then afterwards, it's like - where is the action? It's all talking. I could get the same effect from an audio book.

I'm sure it might make a good, cheap short for filming but IMO it would be much better if throughout, Victor spent the time setting it up to look like he was going to murder Darius in a horrible manner, while all the time he was setting it up for Darius to actually pull the trigger in Victor's suicide. Something along the lines of a Hannibal Lecter set up but with a twist to the murder victim.

A much better revenge too. I can't see a family being too bothered about Victor's suicide when they thought he was just about to kill their son. They would mostly be relieved I would think (well I certainly would in that situation anyway).

Anyway - good luck and what happened to this, did it get produced?
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Dustin
Posted: December 2nd, 2015, 2:50am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from simonscript
Hi Dustin
On first read this seems good, but then afterwards, it's like - where is the action? It's all talking. I could get the same effect from an audio book.

I'm sure it might make a good, cheap short for filming but IMO it would be much better if throughout, Victor spent the time setting it up to look like he was going to murder Darius in a horrible manner, while all the time he was setting it up for Darius to actually pull the trigger in Victor's suicide. Something along the lines of a Hannibal Lecter set up but with a twist to the murder victim.

A much better revenge too. I can't see a family being too bothered about Victor's suicide when they thought he was just about to kill their son. They would mostly be relieved I would think (well I certainly would in that situation anyway).

Anyway - good luck and what happened to this, did it get produced?


Thanks for the feedback. It's been optioned twice and produced once. I like the sound of your story though, you should write it.


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Jose
Posted: March 11th, 2016, 4:50pm Report to Moderator
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what's up, dude!

Just finished reading it. I thought it was pretty interesting. Obviously well written. I think it escalated really good. I was hooked wanting to figure out what happened. I didn't see the ending coming. I was surprised he killed himself. I understand why, but I don't know, I feel like that might be too extreme? just my thoughts.

Jose.
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alffy
Posted: March 12th, 2016, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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Dustin, seems like an old one but as I've never read it I thought I would and I found it very good.  I have one niggling question though, what was Sergei's reply?

Great tension throughout and a bleak ending.  Good read.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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Nomad
Posted: March 19th, 2016, 8:05pm Report to Moderator
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Well done, Dustin.

Easy to read, envision, and empathize.  All goals for any writer.

I also appreciate the moral of the story:  Your actions online aren't confined to the virtual world.

The only suggestion I have is on page 5 when Vincent says, "Just stop."

He should slap Sergei across the face in stead of saying "Just stop."

This one act of vengeance is all he takes.  This would lead the reader to think that something more vicious is in store for Sergei and his family.

Overall:  Excellent.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
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