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  Author    Run  (currently 254 views)
Don
Posted: May 2nd, 2020, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Run by Jefferson Baugh - Short, Action - A Young Woman is pursued on her walk home at night. Hijinx ensue. 3 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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LC
Posted: May 2nd, 2020, 9:19pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Jefferson, this one caught my eye, there’s a nice fast and flashy vibe to it.

A few observations, and I'll preface by saying the good outweighs the bad.

That rap song – copyright? I listened to a lil bit but I guessed the intention - loud, dominating audio overlay, no dialogue.

Interesting hybrid of the woman v us (the audience) in your writing choices. 'We this and that' etc.

We can't quite make out the three
GUYS inside, but they're yelling at us - it breaks through
etc.
You write: (it?)

...the MUSIC, and the WOMAN takes out her earbud and looks back
briefly at the MEN. Then back to the road, walking ahead
They pull up directly beside her, slowing to a crawl (missing a period)


She doesn't say anything, but they do (what do they say?)

thr street (the) typo

HEADLIGHTS casting her in
stark SILHOUETTE (
reads well, but is that what the high beam of headlights front-on would do?)

.a HAND grabs her
BACKPACK from the backseat window
(so it is a backpack and not a packback, as written at the top of p.1?)

The WOMAN SLIPS out of it like a cat, JUST AS: A PILLAR (again with the 'It' - slips out of his grasp – you omit the object of the phrase a lot)comes between them (was that a brief smile?)! Well, I don't know, was it?
I love the first part of that sentence but I'd personally write a brief struggle/better yet, scuffle... And, why is a PILLAR capped?

You'll likely raise some eyebrows with your aside - (was that a brief smile?)! Are we to see onscreen there that she does crack a smile, cause I'd just write that in.

as the WOMAN SCRAMBLES, nearly DIVING behind the DUMPSTER

Capping locations that way? Unconventional to say the least.
My main criticism however would be the adverb: nearly. Again, what are we seeing? Diving behind the dumpster is more powerful without the qualifier.

The TRUCK GUNS IT. But she doesn't move - it's coming
straight for her - and US! CLOSER. . .CLOSER - -!

^  Some weird punctuation going on there.

.to the LARGE ROCK she's holding.
That'd be 'a large rock... ‘ in the first instance.

Leone style - we PAN DOWN
I'm going to assume with all these camera directions you’re filming this yourself?

violent SHATTERING IT!!
violently

by the chainlink fence (have we seen it before?) If not it's be 'by a chain link fence'
sloppily HITTING IT (slamming into it, perhaps?)

REBOUNDING OFF
Rebounding does the job, no need technically for 'off'

Or. Bottom page 2. ??? Are you actually giving us a choice here of which action/descriptive passage might work better? Not seen that before, except in Run Lola Run, but then that's a deliberate split narrative.

she SETS on
HIM! After a moment, he's done too.

(bit too telling, and a trifle lazy that, but I'll go with it).

weird lamplight (is the lamplight  weird? Or, the look of her face under it, weird?)

As she walks off, the Driver's TWITCHING HAND in the
immediate FOREGROUND, retrieves her backpack and rounds the
corner - (CREDITS OVER).

So, she retrieves the backpack? As written that line's ambiguous.

...
Seems like I'm picking this apart but quite apart from my quibbles this is a terrific three pager, and your style definitely caught my eye. A very straight forward narrative with not too much in the way of surprises other than 'girl-power’ which is substantive enough in this #metoo era.

Nice work. I hope we see more of you.

P.S. Meant to say re your logline - the word: hijinx implies lightweight fun and games to me and the tone of this is more life or death.

P.P.S. Van v truck? You really want to list it as a heavy-duty truck?
Btw, love the title.



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  May 2nd, 2020, 9:33pm
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Jefferson
Posted: June 15th, 2020, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Hi Jefferson, this one caught my eye, there�s a nice fast and flashy vibe to it.


Thanks so much!


Quoted Text
A few observations, and I'll preface by saying the good outweighs the bad.

That rap song � copyright? I listened to a lil bit but I guessed the intention - loud, dominating audio overlay, no dialogue.


Copyright would definitely be an issue, but I originally wrote this to direct (and still might, at some point) purely as a style exercise to put up on Youtube, a few years back - or, as a demo to show interested parties. I wouldn't ever want to receive money for it, but I'm not sure if that changes anything.

The intent was definitely to reduce everything down to an almost purely visual, lyrical thing with subtle and minute but choreographed movement that makes the audience's brain go a little fuzzy, to create a small but sudden confusion between diegetic and non-diegetic music - make it feel a little like a bad dream.


Quoted Text
Interesting hybrid of the woman v us (the audience) in your writing choices. 'We this and that' etc.

We can't quite make out the three
GUYS inside, but they're yelling at us - it breaks through
etc.
You write: (it?)


Thanks so much! I wrote this to direct but I didn't have any specific shots in mind, because I wanted to really storyboard it up with whoever was shooting when we got it going, so I wasn't entirely sure on how to imply a certain subjectivity in the camera movement without locking it down. I'm glad it worked!

Also, you're right - could have been more clear there. The "it" refers to the sound of their yelling, breaking through the music. Didn't catch that!


Quoted Text
...the MUSIC, and the WOMAN takes out her earbud and looks back
briefly at the MEN. Then back to the road, walking ahead
They pull up directly beside her, slowing to a crawl (missing a period)


She doesn't say anything, but they do (what do they say?)

thr street (the) typo


I think I may have blazed through these portions a bit too fast.

Also, that's another portion where I could've made my intent more clear, you're right - what I was going for with what they were saying was something vague and indistinct, mumbled.


Quoted Text
HEADLIGHTS casting her in
stark SILHOUETTE (
reads well, but is that what the high beam of headlights front-on would do?)


Good point!


Quoted Text
.a HAND grabs her
BACKPACK from the backseat window
(so it is a backpack and not a packback, as written at the top of p.1?)


True enough.


Quoted Text
The WOMAN SLIPS out of it like a cat, JUST AS: A PILLAR (again with the 'It' - slips out of his grasp � you omit the object of the phrase a lot)comes between them (was that a brief smile?)! Well, I don't know, was it?


Ah, this is also true. I went back and read that specific passage and it's not clear whether the "it" is the man's grasp or her backpack. Will amend! Also, with the smile - I wanted that to be our first indication as a reader that she might be enjoying this a little, but I wanted to keep it very vague and allow the prospective actress room to play with it, in that moment.


Quoted Text
I love the first part of that sentence but I'd personally write a brief struggle/better yet, scuffle... And, why is a PILLAR capped?


I tend to cap new visual elements in a scene, or important physical actions - at least, that's how I've always understood their purpose.


Quoted Text
You'll likely raise some eyebrows with your aside - (was that a brief smile?)! Are we to see onscreen there that she does crack a smile, cause I'd just write that in.


That's fair! The more I think of it, I'd rather just lose the smile altogether, at least in that moment.


Quoted Text
as the WOMAN SCRAMBLES, nearly DIVING behind the DUMPSTER

Capping locations that way? Unconventional to say the least.
My main criticism however would be the adverb: nearly. Again, what are we seeing? Diving behind the dumpster is more powerful without the qualifier.


This is very true!


Quoted Text
The TRUCK GUNS IT. But she doesn't move - it's coming
straight for her - and US! CLOSER. . .CLOSER - -!

^  Some weird punctuation going on there.

.to the LARGE ROCK she's holding.
That'd be 'a large rock... � in the first instance.


It definitely should be 'a' in the second example. For the first, I've always written action in a pretty staccato way, to imply a certain frenetic quality in the tension and cutting. But, I can see where it might not come off so clear.


Quoted Text
Leone style - we PAN DOWN
I'm going to assume with all these camera directions you�re filming this yourself?


Like I said, for sure! Most of my shorts that I post are things that I got very close to shooting and then, for whatever reason, they fell apart - for the time being, at least.


Quoted Text
by the chainlink fence (have we seen it before?) If not it's be 'by a chain link fence'
sloppily HITTING IT (slamming into it, perhaps?)

REBOUNDING OFF
Rebounding does the job, no need technically for 'off'

Or. Bottom page 2. ??? Are you actually giving us a choice here of which action/descriptive passage might work better? Not seen that before, except in Run Lola Run, but then that's a deliberate split narrative.


Ah, gotcha. I think I may have just over-described the same moment, in my attempt to stay visceral.


Quoted Text
she SETS on
HIM! After a moment, he's done too.

(bit too telling, and a trifle lazy that, but I'll go with it).


That's fair! That was particularly because I wasn't too certain of the choreography in that moment, and wanted it to be something we could develop further in the boards and/or with the actors. . .which never happened.


Quoted Text
weird lamplight (is the lamplight  weird? Or, the look of her face under it, weird?)


Could've been more clear, definitely! A little of both, however - it's a dim halogen street-light, flickering from disuse, and her face is cast in a dim twilight shadow, turned away from it.

Come to think of it, I should've just said that.


Quoted Text
As she walks off, the Driver's TWITCHING HAND in the
immediate FOREGROUND, retrieves her backpack and rounds the
corner - (CREDITS OVER).

So, she retrieves the backpack? As written that line's ambiguous.


Heard that!

...

Quoted Text
Seems like I'm picking this apart but quite apart from my quibbles this is a terrific three pager, and your style definitely caught my eye. A very straight forward narrative with not too much in the way of surprises other than 'girl-power� which is substantive enough in this #metoo era.

Nice work. I hope we see more of you.


Again, thanks so much! I appreciate you taking the time to read it, and your feedback's definitely made a lot of stuff more clear. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!


Quoted Text
P.S. Meant to say re your logline - the word: hijinx implies lightweight fun and games to me and the tone of this is more life or death.


Oh, sure. That was a little joke, on my end.


Quoted Text
P.P.S. Van v truck? You really want to list it as a heavy-duty truck?
Btw, love the title.


Good idea!
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