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Nicely handled from set-up to pay-off. You know exactly what we need to see to make the connections without it becoming gratuitous - it makes what we donít see all the more horrific and from a practical standpoint easier to film. Could see a couple of actors really getting into the dialogue as well.
On p.8 when Burrows realises he is live - had he not been live throughout? I wasnít quite sure if the latter part of the phone call had taken place Ďoff airí at that point.
I will say Iím not entirely sure why the killer chose to go after Burrows - feels like without the D.J heíd lose part of what was driving him - but thatís perhaps diving in deeper than this short needs to be.
Solid story with a slick twist. Hoping this gets picked up.
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Some of the dialogue here is excellent. Most of it, actually. I totally bought into this character as a radio DJ. His little one-liners, the rhythm of his speech, 100% bought it. Only issue I had is maybe you can trim some parts down. I feel like this could easily be under ten pages. Here's some suggestions for places that IMO could be trimmed/cut:
pg. 6 -- CALLER (V.O.) So, anyway, the reason I called was to thank you personally for your help. I've been racking my brain trying to find a suitable way to thank you. I was considering sending you a fruit basket, but that's not a proper gift for one guy to give another guy. And, I thought, what if Dave is allergic to strawberries?
**Not sure you really need the fruit basket stuff after the bold portion.
pg. 7 -- CALLER (V.O.) You don't believe me? Do you think I'm joking, Dave? Do you think I'm some high school kid with acne jerking off in my parents' basement? You think I have nothing better to do with my life than call you in the middle of the night and tell you some sick, perverted story just to get off? Is that what you think?
**Maybe stick with the bold portion and cut the rest.
pg. 8 -- CALLER (V.O.) You really have no idea, do you? Two weeks ago, I was at the end of my rope. You told me to take a walk, get some air, clear my head - so I did. I met this girl out walking her dog. I couldn't control myself. The next thing I know, I'm waking up in my bed. My sheets are bloody. I have no idea what happened. But, then I realize that I am awake. Awake. And I feel the best I've ever felt in my life.
**I get that you want to emphasize Burrows unintentionally set this guy off (and his subsequent guilt about it). But we already have that sense. The killers thanked him, said they're fifty-fifty partners, we know Burrows gave him the idea to take a walk... not sure he needs to rehash the whole story of taking a walk and picking up the girl again.
pg. 8 -- STEVE (V.O.) What the hell was that? What do we do? Do we call the cops?
BURROWS (into mic) And tell them what? We just talked to some nut job? We get calls like this all the time.
STEVE (V.O.) Not like this.
BURROWS (into mic) Okay, Steve, call nine one one. What are you gonna say? We don't know anything.
**Maybe just go with Burrows looking freaked out and asking "You don't think that was real, do you?"... then Steve just shakes his head lazily from the booth and says "Nutjob".
pg. 9 -- STEVE Why don't you go home. You look like crap. I can finish up here.
BURROWS I can't get that call out of my head.
STEVE Don't worry about it. Like you said, it was probably a prank.
BURROWS And what if it wasn't. What if it was real? What if two innocent girls are dead because I talked some psycho into killing them?
STEVE Go home. Get some sleep. If I hear anything, I'll call you.
**Again, I think this is overkill. Just have Burrows staring off into space a moment and Steve pats him on the shoulder, says "Let it go, man. Catch some shut eye. Promise I won't tell your listeners the famous Insomniac took a nap".
Also, I've got a crazy idea for this I have to throw out there. What if Steve's not in the booth and it's just a one man show... then when Burrows finally leaves, all shaken up, he runs into Steve entering the building for the first time.
Burrows asks Steve if he heard the crazy call and Steve goes "What call? You went off the air for half an hour. The hell you been doing?"
Then Burrows races home in a trance, opens his apartment door, there's blood on the floor, torn sheets, a foot tied to the bed...
So he's basically insane and the last call-in was him talking to his alter ego self.
This is a nice easy read. I think it should move faster. You give us a single episode, and several would not be out of order, but that's probably the stuff of a feature.
I think you might start the show later. Midnight is too soon. Insomnia would begin about 2-3 AM the dark hour of the soul. Of course, that makes it harder for the killer to do it on air, but I think it's workable.
The ending works for me. Dave's a funny guy. Although I'm not certain the detective would risk it. He didn't disguise his voice on the phone, did he? And I think radio shows tape their shows, no? In which case, the voice would become something to be analyzed. And could you make the detective look as if he's up half the night?
I really liked this one. The dialogue was very good on the most part, though I think the story would have benefited more if Burrows had dismissed the call completely as a prank. I believe someone else mentioned this, but I think it would be stronger if you SHOWED that he was bothered, a little freaked out. Rather than him expressing via dialogue, asking "What if it was real?" It would add a little more punch to the payoff.
Also, during the intro, he kind of just flies through phone calls, hanging up after brief answers. I didn't really buy that Burrows would stay on the line this long with this guy. I'd probably have him disconnect the call a few times. But the killer keeps calling in, continuing his story -- perhaps getting angry that he keeps getting disconnected.
Something felt like it was missing from the reveal. You intro a new character here and the twist is revealed too quickly. I'd extend this conversation between the Detective and Burrows, let the character settle in. It doesn't even have to be too long, maybe a few blocks of dialogue. Then I'd have Burrows say something funny and THEN Detective does the "You're a funny guy" line.
The writing was good here, no issues. Overall, nice work.
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