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A premise like this is well-trodden ground, but still... this was quite good. The writing evoked a sparse, desolate tone, matching the despair and dread of the story. It felt like I was listening to you tell a story, rather than reading a script.
Not sure you needed the last bit (one word) of dialog because it was clearly evident that the Observer was in fact, his son. Well, at least for me. But I suspect in the overall grand scheme of things it still works. So, fair enough.
I'm sure this will be well received. Good luck with it,
Hey again. Really appreciated what you were going for here, and wasn't expecting the ending. So that's a good thing. I liked the build up, and I liked when the students were revealed. One key piece of dialogue stood out and that was the line about the body shows something about the life lived. You know which one it is.
I think the end line -- "I'm sorry, son," is way on the nose for the reveal. I mean, yeah, it fits, it works. For me, I'd be racking my brain trying to think of another way to put this. Something more subtle, but just as effective.
Also, I would think a doctor who is performing an autopsy on his own son wouldn't want an audience, though I understand you used that so the doctor can give his dialogue. Perhaps just a lone assistant? That's just me, though.
It works as is, but I just think it can be better!
I believe this is the best written of yours that I have come across. The dialog worked in that it revealed the story one layer at a time. The reader was able to come to the conclusion that was made at the end. However, one section of dialog was lost on me:
OBSERVER October 1st, nineteen ninetyfour. She went into labour while we were on shift. We ran through the corridors so fast we tripped over a gurney. We made the nurse stitch us up in the delivery room so we didn't miss the birth. when did it change?
The observer/son mentions he wanted to be a father and this sounds like maybe this was a lost pregnancy he and his partner experienced?
Thank you both for the reads and comments, appreciated
(N.B apologise for my brevity, writing on my phone)
Seems something may have been lost. The observer is not the son, only the cadaver is the son. The observer is a younger version of the Surgeon who is judging the man he has become - (I hoped having the same scar and the line "when did I become you" would have made it clear. Originally I had the observer be the son but it seemed too obvious a choice.
The last line will deffo be cut.
Steve - I too had slight issues with the surgeon choosing his own son as a cadaver to train the students, but then I thought it fits his character of loveless father. Whether it works or not, no idea lol I'm mainly just guessing when it comes to my stories
Really grateful for the reads. I owe you all. If you want an untrained eye on any of your scripts in particular, let me know.
The Observer is a younger version of the Surgeon? I thought for sure that the Observer was the son lying on the slab. Got confused obviously with the whole scene in the delivery suite and the stitches, just as Arundel did.
My other advice is you need to up some of the Surgeon's dialogue with proper medical terminology which I can give you examples of later, if you want.
Mind you I'm going to need to go for a fourth read bearing in mind I had it wrong with who was who. I'm rather partial to the son being the Observer.
Yea I'm partial to the son being the observer as well (and is how it was originally intended) but I thought I would be lynched for being too obvious. I may write both versions and see how they compare.
I'm always happy for the help (RE medical terminology)
Hey Matt, I don't have the time to read right now. A lot of os stuff going on, including my daughter and her family moving to Texas tomorrow, I just wanted to say I LOVE the title!
Thanks! I realized recently that I very much judge a book by it's cover when it comes to script titles. And for some reason, I am really disliking single word titles at the moment (Not all of them are bad, but most appear lazy) - So I am making a conscious effort to try and make mine better.
Sent you a big PM with some extra thoughts, terminology etc.
Thank you so much! All really helpful stuff.... a single "thank you" doesn't really seem sufficient for all the help you have been giving me, feel like I should be sending you a bottle of scotch or something.
Anyway - I really appreciate it. Working on the rewrite now so hopefully, it's an improvement (I can't put all of the suggestions in as I want to keep it at 3 pages for a script comp in London)
A bottle of whisky sold for $1.9 million on Thursday, October 24, exploding records -- again. The Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 became the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned
I doubt I'd be able to tell the difference between that and a bottle of Jameson.
Looking forward to reading the final draft of this, Matt. Whenever that may be... All the best of luck with the comps!
That's what happens when people have more money than sense... I bet they don't even drink it!
I've submitted the update (It is already up on script revolution if you just can't bear to wait ) Although I must admit, after all the help you have given I am a bit apprehensive that you won't like the new version lol
Deadline isn't until November 30th, so I got plenty of time
(Also noticed that I put this as a horror originally, i didn't mean to, drama?)
Amount to nothing – not mount 7 inch scars? Whew! Bit much?
STUDENT (O.C.) Suicide. Not needed imho. Spoon feeding your audience. Or is it you've promised a speaking role to a friend?
Cadaver’s hair. (insert apostrophe)
Okay, you've got a grinding rib cutter, organ removal, the Observer slicing open his wrists, plus the supernatural element, but you think this is drama? I say 'horror'.
What's everyone else think? If I was going to sit down and watch a drama I'd be a tiny bit shocked if this started playing especially if I had kids in tow.
His father broke it so often I bet it has more scars than a blind carpenter. I guess you're going for a little light relief but this doesn't quite work for me. I'm not your only audience though, so again see what others think.
on the cubital fossa (checks groin) And on the femoral vein.
Up to you but I've worked transcribing doctor reports and I've only ever heard them remark on damage 'to', not 'damage 'on'.
Bright clothes on the Observer? I thought you might reference that changed by the end? Otherwise, why?
And a note about: (O.C.). Warren often remarks this is a TV thing only. And I looked it up, see below:
(O.C.) O.C. stands for “Off Camera,” which is different than Off Screen. Off Camera means the person we cannot see is in the same room as another character he/she is speaking with but cannot be seen because maybe the camera is trained on only one person.
So if Adam is at a table and the director has the camera at a close up on Adam, Adam will fill the screen. We can’t see anyone else. So if Stacey is at the other end of the table carrying on a conversation with Adam, all of her dialogue would be labeled as (O.C.) until she was brought into the shot, that is to say, appears on screen.
So, there's all that which tallies, but then this:
It’s important to remember that if you are writing a movie script you do not use (O.C.), you will use (O.S.) you will use (O.C.) when you are writing for television. (O.S.) = film (O.C.) = TV.
I'm used to seeing (O.S.) in film scripts. Just one for the format police.
... Yep, they'd be mad to drink that plonk. Imagine if you dropped that bottle of whiskey?