SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
ScriptSearch
Welcome, Guest.
It is February 21st, 2024, 7:34pm
Please login or register.
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login
Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship


Produced Script Database (Updated!)
Click here -> The February One Week Challenge Theme

Submit OWC scripts to Simplyscripts.com/owc

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production
Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Drama Scripts  ›  The Gambler - OWC
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 1 Guests

 Pages: 1, 2 : All
Recommend Print
  Author    The Gambler - OWC  (currently 937 views)
Don
Posted: September 10th, 2023, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
Administrator
Administrator


So, what are you writing?

Location
Virginia
Posts
16321
Posts Per Day
1.94
The Gambler by Gary Howell (Gary in Houston) writing as Kenny Rogers - Short, Drama - A man diagnosed with a terminal illness makes a drastic choice. 5 pages

Production:Limited budget (utilizing stock footage of Vegas and tight camera angles that focus only on the characters).
Contest: Winner of September 2023 Simply Scripts One Week Challenge.

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.

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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 15th, 2023, 1:31pm
revised draft
Logged Offline
Site Private Message
Matthew Taylor
Posted: September 10th, 2023, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Shakespeare's county
Posts
1738
Posts Per Day
0.89
Hi writer

Funnily enough I saw a live singer last night and he played this song. Great choice.

“Resembles joes office” we haven’t seen Joes office have we?

Fantastically written and great story with a positive ending. Some great cinematic choices with the cutting of the black jack game.

Very enjoyable.

All the best


Feature

42.2

Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
Logged
Private Message Reply: 1 - 28
LC
Posted: September 11th, 2023, 1:13am Report to Moderator
Administrator



Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
7519
Posts Per Day
1.34
Very well written and very enjoyable.

Ditto to what Matthew said about the office.
At least they didn't cut the wrong leg off. (Surgical mistakes)  

Love the font, suits the title perfectly.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 2 - 28
PKCardinal
Posted: September 11th, 2023, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Kansas
Posts
1415
Posts Per Day
0.63
I see the office thing's been mentioned, so I won't mention it all.

Funny, I was thinking as he was heading into the casino..."Might want to get a second opinion, buddy."

And, Joe, Buck. Was that intentional? I actually met Joe Buck once, back in the day. Not a very interesting story, so I won't bore you...but, the combination of the names did throw me from the read just a little bit. If it wasn't intentional, well...you might not even know who Joe Buck is.

Anyway...worst review ever. Sorry about that. Bottom line: I enjoyed this. Fun story with a fun inspirational song.

Best,
Paul


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 3 - 28
Heretic
Posted: September 11th, 2023, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Posts
2023
Posts Per Day
0.28
Second script, second fancy title page. Huh.

I'd avoid the description "ordinary-looking." Means nothing.

I love the description of the doctor but his doctor dialogue feels very rote. Could use some character flavour here.

I really enjoyed the story in general. Fun and funny. My main thought is that Buck gets kind of a generic role to play here, just kinda echoing the stakes we already understand. I think it would be more fun if Buck didn't know what was going on with Joe; that way, there'd be some fun irony in this sequence where Buck just thinks Joe has gone crazy and he's pleading with him not to lose it all, he has so much to live for.

This connects to my other note, which is that it'd be great to know a *tiny* bit more about Joe's life so we feel more invested in what his life will be like going forward. Paying off bills is great, but what does he want to do, what is his dream?

Fun stuff here overall.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 4 - 28
kcranford
Posted: September 11th, 2023, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
New


Features:  Christmas Joe

Posts
342
Posts Per Day
0.64
I immediately got vibes of “Last Holiday” (Queen Latifah) here. Terminal diagnosis equals spend the money. This is so very well thought out and written. I personally love the game of Blackjack and the suspense of “hit me”.  IMO you brought another dimension to the song and created something that should ultimately appeal to filmmakers looking for a worthwhile short. Excellent work.  Thanks for sharing.


Scripts Available:
Christmas Joe (Holiday Drama)
Every Time It Snows (Holiday Drama)
Happy Holi-DNA (Holiday Romance)
Let That Pony Run (Family Drama)
With Love, From Romance (Holiday Romance)
Essex (Historical Drama)

Shorts:
Santuario (OWC Writers' Choice)
Death  (OWC)
Savior  (OWC)
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 5 - 28
steven8
Posted: September 12th, 2023, 1:37am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


The Ed Wood of Simply Scripts

Location
Barberton, OH
Posts
1156
Posts Per Day
0.22
I wonder if he counted it while he was sitting at the table, or if he waited until the dealing was done?  Sorry, couldn't resist.  I hope he got lucky three times that day...


...in no particular order

Revision History (1 edits)
steven8  -  September 12th, 2023, 2:10am
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 6 - 28
Shakespeare on Toast
Posted: September 12th, 2023, 6:40am Report to Moderator
New


Challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries

Location
London. England
Posts
270
Posts Per Day
0.47
Yeah. Enjoyed reading his. Great choice and decent plot. I must admit I guessed that something like that would happen at the end.

But enjoyed this one.


“Asking for comments can sometimes be a disaster .”
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 7 - 28
Arundel
Posted: September 12th, 2023, 8:29am Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts
265
Posts Per Day
0.15
Good song choice. Setting didn't feel like it took place in Las Vegas except for the casino. Felt like kt should have taken place in another city/town and then have the characters fly there for the big gamble, but perhaps too much clutter. Nice enough try.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 8 - 28
AnthonyCawood
Posted: September 12th, 2023, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
UK
Posts
4277
Posts Per Day
1.14
Entertaining read even if I did see the twists coming, well written and paced.

Dr could do with a little work to give him more umph, but overall this was great,


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
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 9 - 28
ColinS
Posted: September 13th, 2023, 9:57am Report to Moderator
January Project Group


Serve the Public Trust

Location
UK
Posts
221
Posts Per Day
0.23
Shocking.... Shocking Doctor! Somebody sack Dr Williston, his diagnosis's suck. Mind you, ended up making Joe a lotta money by the looks of it.

Hey Writer,

Terrific writing,  proper enjoyable read.

The only thing  - I kinda wanted an open ending as in we don't know for sure whether he won or lost you could have maybe crafted something that points to both. It's just that you very skilfully deprive us of that last dealer card.

Anyway, that was just my take, great work!


"Some day I'll Be Saturday Night..."
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 10 - 28
bert
Posted: September 13th, 2023, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
Administrator


Buy the ticket, take the ride

Location
That's me in the corner
Posts
4231
Posts Per Day
0.61
This is nice, smoothly written and easy to follow, though a bit tough to swallow the incompetent doctor angle, but willing to set that aside for the sake of the story. A good entry.

Not much to add as you have it written here, but for me, I might have preferred to watch Joe digest that call from Dr. Williston without us knowing whether he'd won or lost.  


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
Logged
Private Message Reply: 11 - 28
big lew
Posted: September 13th, 2023, 1:36pm Report to Moderator
New


Rewriting Sucks!

Location
Water Mill, New York
Posts
77
Posts Per Day
0.01
Nicely written, rooting for the unlucky good guy story.
Even without the doctor's misdiagnosis, Joe came out a winner whether he went to Paris with the young woman, or J.C. Penny with Buck for a new wardrobe. I saw the ending coming and was rooting for him with every flip of the card. (Great tension builder.)
Very enjoyable!
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 12 - 28
Gary in Houston
Posted: September 13th, 2023, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Texas
Posts
1281
Posts Per Day
0.31
Liked this one quite a bit for a few reasons.  It played into the theme -- the song references an old gambler about to die, and telling the person on the train that "every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser", which proved to be true in this case.

One thing I think you did a good job at, which a lot of newer writers still have a hard time pulling off, is the adage of "getting in a scene late, and leaving early".  You did that in the opening scene, where Joe has already gotten the diagnosis before we even meet him.   You pull it off even better in the blackjack scene, by cutting away from the final card reveal before we know whether Joe won or lost.  That's a great way to grab the audience's attention and make them wonder, "what happened? I gotta know!"

Some sure and steady writing on display, for sure, but just a couple of things I would pick nits with, and they're fairly small.  One is maybe you need to get into the actual reasoning behind his wanting to bet his entire fortune on one hand.  I understand the concept of "he can't take it with him", but maybe there's just a throwaway line of "okay, look, if I do win, it's all going to my niece in my Will.  Tell her to go to a really nice college."  Or something like that where there's an understanding of his reasoning behind it all.

Second, I do like Bert's suggestion that maybe you don't show whether he won or lost.  Just have  him looking out at the fountains after the call, maybe even telling Buck that "fate is a helluva thing." Still don't know what happened inside and I kind of like films that you get to choose your own ending.

Good job here, writer.


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 13 - 28
ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: September 13th, 2023, 3:59pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer



Location
A helluva long way from LA
Posts
1545
Posts Per Day
0.29
Writer,

I am coming in late here. It seems most found this funny, I didn't, but then again I'm known for not having a sense of humor.

The story was very good and it fits the song. Bottom line: I liked it, an enjoyable read. Nothing to add that hasn't been said.

All the best,

Ghost


Logged
Private Message Reply: 14 - 28
Pleb
Posted: September 14th, 2023, 5:48am Report to Moderator
New


Location
UK
Posts
419
Posts Per Day
0.15
Nice! I liked this. Really easy to read and although I thought it was going that way it was still a satisfying ending for me.

Not sure what the line of description about Joe's office is meant to be there for though as we never actually see him in his office, so could be cut. No need to open that part with "Inside" either as we know that from the slugline. But I'm sure you know that and was probably only in there because of the limited timeframe to write it.

Good job!


Logged
Private Message Reply: 15 - 28
Rob
Posted: September 15th, 2023, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
New


Posts
202
Posts Per Day
0.10
Great work. This is nicely paced and fun to read. We can't help but to root for Joe given his circumstances. Nice twist at the end. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. I like how the dealer flipped the card over at the end of page 4, taking us to page 5 for the payoff. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it was pretty cool. I like the name Buck Calloway, by the way. My only suggestion would be to add some distant family for Joe, so if he loses, there's someone who will pay the price. Nice script.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 16 - 28
Abe from LA
Posted: September 15th, 2023, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
Been Around



Location
Downey, California
Posts
556
Posts Per Day
0.08
Not bad at all. I third what Bert said about getting the call
before we know the outcome of his hand. Maybe even getting
the call once the cards are dealt. Buck couldn't give Joe the
"good" news then and there.  
Predictable in that I knew the diagnosis was wrong, but it didn't
take away from the story.
Good writing, nice ending and excellent choice of song.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 17 - 28
D.A.Banaszak
Posted: September 15th, 2023, 8:29pm Report to Moderator
New



Location
Northeast, kind of.
Posts
173
Posts Per Day
0.43
This was crisply written and easy to read. I was delighted by the ending. I expected Joe Ferguson to win. I wondered if a character named OJ. Simpson was going to make an appearance.

I didn’t see the wrong diagnosis coming.

However, I was left with a question. What was causing his symptoms if not impending death?
Yes, I’m kidding.


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 18 - 28
Kevin_L
Posted: September 15th, 2023, 8:46pm Report to Moderator
New



Posts
137
Posts Per Day
0.02
Writer,

This was a fun read.  The writing flowed well, and the story kept me engaged. I liked your song choice.   It was very fitting to the story.  I wasn't expecting a good outcome,  so kudos for making it end that way.  Really nice work.
Logged
Private Message Reply: 19 - 28
SAC
Posted: September 16th, 2023, 7:22pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


… but some dreams do

Location
Upstate NY
Posts
3185
Posts Per Day
0.79
Writer,

My apologies I got late to this one. This is a good story for five measly pages. Writing style and tone was just right — I saw everything you wanted me to. I’m surprised Buck went back in, but I guess after everything he went through, he probably feels it’s his luckiest of days. Anyway, really good one here!

Steve


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 20 - 28
Gary in Houston
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 10:15am Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Texas
Posts
1281
Posts Per Day
0.31
Thanks to everyone who read and commented on this script.  I greatly appreciate the kind words and especially for elevating this to the top of the OWC.  Feel very honored in the midst of so many great scripts.

I know several of you mentioned my blunder of saying “Joe’s Office”.  That was meant to say “Dr. Williston’s Office”, so complete whiff on my part!

After reading all the comments, I think the two things that I would change in a future rewrite is to provide a more coherent reason why he is doing this — in a five page short you don’t get a lot of opportunity at exposition, so I kind of skimmed over that.  But I think I would make some provision for where the money would go if he actually did win.

The second thing I would do is end it with the reader (and ultimately, the viewer of the film) not knowing whether he won or lost the hand.  I think it would be best to end it right after he gets the phone call and just let the camera end on him looking out over the fountains, deep in thought.  Let the viewer decide for themselves whether he won or lost.  

I’m thinking hard about turning this into a full-length script, but would need to figure out whether I can come up with enough of a plot to carry it out 90-95 pages.

Thanks again for all your wonderful comments!


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 21 - 28
Heretic
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 10:29am Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Posts
2023
Posts Per Day
0.28
Gary, are you familiar with Let It Ride (1989), the Richard Dreyfuss gambling comedy? I think that could be a fun touchstone when thinking about taking this feature-length. I thought of that while reading this and I think they both have a similar nice warm 'lucky' vibe.
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 22 - 28
Gary in Houston
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 10:48am Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Texas
Posts
1281
Posts Per Day
0.31
Chris, thanks for the “tip”!  I’d heard of this film but never had seen it.  I’ll try to find it on streaming and give it a watch.  Thanks!


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 23 - 28
LC
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
Administrator



Location
The Great Southern Land
Posts
7519
Posts Per Day
1.34

Quoted from Gary in Houston
...

After reading all the comments, I think the two things that I would change in a future rewrite is to provide a more coherent reason why he is doing this — in a five page short you don’t get a lot of opportunity at exposition, so I kind of skimmed over that.  But I think I would make some provision for where the money would go if he actually did win.

Hmm, I kinda thought the reason is obvious, he has nothing to lose, go out with a bang etc. I presume you're thinking something specific so I won't harp on there.


Quoted from Gary in Houston

The second thing I would do is end it with the reader (and ultimately, the viewer of the film) not knowing whether he won or lost the hand.  I think it would be best to end it right after he gets the phone call and just let the camera end on him looking out over the fountains, deep in thought.  Let the viewer decide for themselves whether he won or lost.  

Okay, this particular viewer would hate that revised ending. This story is a crowd pleaser for obvious reasons and that's why it came out on top imho. Everyone loves a winner, and an underdog. Take that ending away and replace it with 'hmm, the ending is whatever you want it to be' and I would feel ripped off.


Quoted from Gary in Houston

I’m thinking hard about turning this into a full-length script, but would need to figure out whether I can come up with enough of a plot to carry it out 90-95 pages.


I would start with what you have with the diagnosis - that gets an audience straight away.

Maybe take this the way of lottery winners (after he wins)  - you know those stories of people winning big, then blowing the lot. Maybe he's altruistic, (instead of buying up big for himself) he gives to good causes. But then there's always people wanting to jump on the bandwagon - friends and rels he hasn't heard from in years. Maybe prior to this his wife left him. Maybe none of  this matters to your guy cause afterall he thinks he's not going to be around anyway. So, when the diagnosis is reversed he's in somewhat of a pickle. Maybe he gambles again and loses. Or wins again - that's not unheard of.

The obvious arc might be that he realises it's not about the money at all. But the debate here is we all need enough money to survive.

You could even touch on the theme of gambling addiction.
Big problem here in Oz.

I think there's lots to mine here.
This has Steve Carell or Will Ferrell written all over it.

Anyway Gary, just my thoughts and ramblings.


Logged
Private Message Reply: 24 - 28
PKCardinal
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 8:28pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Kansas
Posts
1415
Posts Per Day
0.63
It's called The Gambler... so, I'd explore the idea that the short represents your first act...what does the winning do to him? It makes him think he can't lose. So, he begins to gamble in every aspect of his life...which you already have in the short...he can't lose, that's why he's going to approach the woman.

And, for awhile, it works. (First half of second act.) Until it doesn't. (Midpoint maybe?)

But, he hangs onto the idea...slowly devolving, losing over and over but not accepting it...to the turn into three where he has an epiphany. (Maybe, "he's lost everything...what does he fight to get back? Family? Friends?) Big finish is the big win...sacrifices what he THOUGHT was important for what really IS important...

Just spitballing. I've seen you spin feature gold...so, you don't need any help.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 25 - 28
Gary in Houston
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 9:38pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Texas
Posts
1281
Posts Per Day
0.31
I'm constantly reminded why I enjoyed this site so much, and it's because of helpful people like Libby and Paul with their constant support and great suggestions!  

I appreciate the insights -- you given me the impetus to begin jotting out an outline for a potential feature!

Now, if I could just have the script magically appear on my Final Draft...  


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 26 - 28
PKCardinal
Posted: September 19th, 2023, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Kansas
Posts
1415
Posts Per Day
0.63

Quoted from Gary in Houston
I'm constantly reminded why I enjoyed this site so much, and it's because of helpful people like Libby and Paul with their constant support and great suggestions!  

I appreciate the insights -- you given me the impetus to begin jotting out an outline for a potential feature!

Now, if I could just have the script magically appear on my Final Draft...  


Anytime, man. You're the best. And, I'll always be grateful for your support (and for turning me on to this site.)

Key thing, I think, is to explore that question: What does the winning do to him? I gave the one suggestion up top, but there's many different directions you can take it. Turn that crazy brain of yours loose for awhile. (I DO like the initial reaction that you have in the script already.)

Let me know when you want eyes on pages!


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 27 - 28
Gary in Houston
Posted: December 28th, 2023, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group



Location
Texas
Posts
1281
Posts Per Day
0.31
Thanks again to Paul for reviewing this script and Don for posting the review.  Made some minor changes to it in response to some of the feedback.  Been working on an outline for a feature script based on this short which I hope will take place in 2024.


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 28 - 28
 Pages: 1, 2 : All
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    Short Drama Scripts  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on


Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006