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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Thriller Scripts  ›  No Recollection
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Don
Posted: November 30th, 2018, 11:28am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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No Recollection by PH Cook (Angry Bear) - Short, Thriller - An alcoholic woman wakes up in a stranger's bed with no recollection of what went down the night before. 12 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work


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-------------
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eldave1
Posted: November 30th, 2018, 9:35pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
Yes, maam. There will be a canine
team coming and theres a
helicopter nearby. Try to reach an
open area if you can and when you
here the helicopter, stay where you
are and wave your hands, so they
know its you


Typo - should be "hear" the helicopter

In terms of the story - I like the gist of it.  

MAJOR SPOILERS

Two things I didn't quite get.

- Why was Jenn so afraid of Robert right out of the gate? She hadn't seen the dried blood, heard his creepy stories, etc. It just struck me as odd that her first thoughts were to run off into the woods rather than simply asking for a life back to town.  For me, if you started there - i.e., she wakes up - WTF did I do and then Robert starts acting creepy or she notices stuff that raises alarm, then there is a catalyst for the foray in the woods.


Quoted Text
Robert bursts out laughing as the helicopter circles above.
Police dogs close in.


Robert helped in the murder yet doesn't care that his capture is imminent. That didn't make sense to me.

Like I said - liked the story thread and premise



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Angry Bear
Posted: November 30th, 2018, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dave, thanks for reading!

This is sort of a collaboration between me and Kevin. I write the script, he writes the short story. The reason I posted it here is because we discussed all the backstory and emotions and stuff and I knew it would affect the script and I would miss things in the script and things wouldn't make sense.

The thing about Jenn being afraid of Robert right out of the gate needs to be re-written. In the short story, we're given the information that she's a severe alcoholic and often has blackouts. She's married and when she wakes up at a stranger's house, she's not really panicked about him, just panicked about not knowing what the hell she has done. I need to work on this so thank you for pointing that out!

The second point you make needs to be re-worked too. In the story, Robert really didn't do anything. He was just there when she killed him, but again, this is something that needs to be clarified in the script.

Thank you so much. Sometimes it's hard to step back far enough to see the issues, so any criticism is gold IMO.  


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GM
Posted: November 30th, 2018, 11:22pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Pia

Spoilers!

Good to see another short.

I guess it�s a writing style but I think it would be interesting to have the opening be Jenn�s POV.

Wouldn�t she notice the dried blood on her when she wakes up?  Wouldn�t she feel different?

Like eldave, I think it�s strange she wakes up already scared. Prob have him wake up as she�s planning to leave? You do describe him as a fox lol.

Can’t wait for this to be picked up.

Hope this helps.

Gabe




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GM  -  December 1st, 2018, 8:16am
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LC
Posted: December 1st, 2018, 2:04am Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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Pia, don't hurt me   for pointing to a couple of things I think you could revamp.

This description line:
Not much daylight manage to invade the room
through the cracks in the blinds.

'Manages' plural, at the very least.
Suggestion:
Faint daylight creeps through cracks in the blinds. Or: Early dawn's light...

Hair 'tussled' is in this case 'tousled'.
Hey, you might like 'tussled' - a vigorous struggle, as opposed to 'untidy hair' - tousled.
We get the meaning overall that she's a mess.

A handsome face on top a lean body.
'on top a' ? I know a lot of U.S. writers leave out the 'of' lately, and I'm being picky (and I know you're a Swede btw)  
What's wrong with: 'lean body, handsome face?' Don't mind me.

Sharp eyes scans the area
Sharp eyes scan the area...

Dave picked up the other typo.

Debatable, but I think 'why are you running' would be more immediate and threatening. I know she sat down there but she's still escaping. Same with ' I have to go/get home' instead of 'had' past tense.

Remember we had drinks?
Remember, we had drinks?
Remember...? We had drinks.

JENN
I did not kill my husband.

She repeats this because she's emphatic but it might add another nice layer if she were to say:

There's no way I could kill my husband.
Or:
I love my husband. I couldn't kill him.
Or:
You're crazy.

And then it dawning on her.

Jenn finds where the ringtone comes from.
From the newly dug grave...

Suggestion: A faint but distinct ringtone emits from the freshly dug grave.

'finds' is a bit static imho. Her face would be stricken too.

I like the misdirect with Jenn appearing to be the victim and Robert in pursuit. I do however wish Robert had heard her get out of bed straight away and come running. It could be trimmed, seems a touch long  all the running around. Jenn could wake and be shocked and scared at the blood all over herself.

The ending is a bit flippant. If they're in it together Robert should appear to be in pursuit but actually be desperate to stop her from calling the authorities - to save his own skin and hers.

Nothing comes of the dogs either. We should hear them barking and scrambling through the woods, or not at all. The 911 (dialogue) seems a bit too obliging and quick to send in the Calvary. Jenn needs to sound more desperate, breathless. In that regard  I'd delete Jenn saying ' that's why', delete the very accommodating 911 operator too - it's too quick. Have her get cut off, and then we see/hear the helicopter above.

All just suggestions.
Very entertaining.

P.S. The logline reminded me of your feature (alcoholic woman waking to a dead man in her bed). That was you, right?


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eldave1
Posted: December 1st, 2018, 10:53am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Hey Dave, thanks for reading!

This is sort of a collaboration between me and Kevin. I write the script, he writes the short story. The reason I posted it here is because we discussed all the backstory and emotions and stuff and I knew it would affect the script and I would miss things in the script and things wouldn't make sense.

The thing about Jenn being afraid of Robert right out of the gate needs to be re-written. In the short story, we're given the information that she's a severe alcoholic and often has blackouts. She's married and when she wakes up at a stranger's house, she's not really panicked about him, just panicked about not knowing what the hell she has done. I need to work on this so thank you for pointing that out!

The second point you make needs to be re-worked too. In the story, Robert really didn't do anything. He was just there when she killed him, but again, this is something that needs to be clarified in the script.

Thank you so much. Sometimes it's hard to step back far enough to see the issues, so any criticism is gold IMO.  


My pleasure - glad you found it helpful


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Angry Bear
Posted: December 2nd, 2018, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GM
Hey Pia
I guess it�s a writing style but I think it would be interesting to have the opening be Jenn�s POV.

Wouldn�t she notice the dried blood on her when she wakes up?  Wouldn�t she feel different?

Like eldave, I think it�s strange she wakes up already scared. Prob have him wake up as she�s planning to leave? You do describe him as a fox lol.


Thanks for reading and providing feedback, Gabe.

I see what you're saying about doing it from Jenn's POV, but then I have to sort of stick with that, I think and I'm not sure I want to do that.

I need to clarify why she's horrified when she wakes up. She's horrified at her own behavior and wonder what the hell she's done. She doesn't wake up scared of him. I just have to try to figure out how exactly to do that. Tricky stuff.  

Thanks again.  

PS: What happened to your 7WC script? Did you finish it?


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Angry Bear
Posted: December 2nd, 2018, 8:46am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Pia, don't hurt me   for pointing to a couple of things I think you could revamp.

Never ever would. You're a star in my book and such a helpful member that never asks for anything in return. Everything you suggests is taken seriously.


Quoted from LC

This description line:
Not much daylight manage to invade the room
through the cracks in the blinds.

'Manages' plural, at the very least.
Suggestion:
Faint daylight creeps through cracks in the blinds. Or: Early dawn's light...

Hair 'tussled' is in this case 'tousled'.
Hey, you might like 'tussled' - a vigorous struggle, as opposed to 'untidy hair' - tousled.
We get the meaning overall that she's a mess.

A handsome face on top a lean body.
'on top a' ? I know a lot of U.S. writers leave out the 'of' lately, and I'm being picky (and I know you're a Swede btw)  
What's wrong with: 'lean body, handsome face?' Don't mind me.

Sharp eyes scans the area
Sharp eyes scan the area...


Awesome! I have come such a long way when it comes to my English. Ask anyone who's been around here long enough to have read my stuff 10  years ago. I'm a slow learner, but I am getting better.


Quoted from LC

Debatable, but I think 'why are you running' would be more immediate and threatening. I know she sat down there but she's still escaping. Same with ' I have to go/get home' instead of 'had' past tense.

Remember we had drinks?
Remember, we had drinks?
Remember...? We had drinks.

JENN
I did not kill my husband.

She repeats this because she's emphatic but it might add another nice layer if she were to say:

There's no way I could kill my husband.
Or:
I love my husband. I couldn't kill him.
Or:
You're crazy.

And then it dawning on her.

Jenn finds where the ringtone comes from.
From the newly dug grave...

Suggestion: A faint but distinct ringtone emits from the freshly dug grave.

'finds' is a bit static imho. Her face would be stricken too.

Again, all good suggestions.


Quoted from LC

I like the misdirect with Jenn appearing to be the victim and Robert in pursuit. I do however wish Robert had heard her get out of bed straight away and come running. It could be trimmed, seems a touch long  all the running around. Jenn could wake and be shocked and scared at the blood all over herself.

I was thinking as a director there about the "running around". There would be lots of different shots of it and would play out longer on film than on the page, but agree that it might seem too long while reading.

I think I will do something with Robert straight away to make him seem more of a threat.

I put the room in darkness so that we the audience and Jenn too, would not see the blood on her.


Quoted from LC

The ending is a bit flippant. If they're in it together Robert should appear to be in pursuit but actually be desperate to stop her from calling the authorities - to save his own skin and hers.

Good thinking there!


Quoted from LC

Nothing comes of the dogs either. We should hear them barking and scrambling through the woods, or not at all. The 911 (dialogue) seems a bit too obliging and quick to send in the Calvary. Jenn needs to sound more desperate, breathless. In that regard  I'd delete Jenn saying ' that's why', delete the very accommodating 911 operator too - it's too quick. Have her get cut off, and then we see/hear the helicopter above.

All just suggestions.
Very entertaining.

P.S. The logline reminded me of your feature (alcoholic woman waking to a dead man in her bed). That was you, right?

Will look over that again. It's been a few days since I wrote it now, so most likely some of these things stick out like sore thumbs for me as well.

About the dogs. I was thinking again as a filmmaker here. A filmmaker with no budget. It's easier to add sound in post than actual dogs in the film.

You have an amazing memory. Yes, that was Blackout. My fist feature to be filmed and it was a 6WC script from here.

Thanks again Libby for your very helpful input.  


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GM
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Im in rewrite hell with my 7owc entry lol.

Gabe



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khamanna
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Hey, Pia.

It was a fun read filled with suspense. I was very much in the read.
The ending didn't work for me though for some reason.

At first, I couldn't' understand why Robert would want to help her but after some consideration, I think you got it covered. She's going to tell on him anyway, so the only way for him to keep all quiet is to convince her to keep her mouth shut.

But why would he help her? I think you left some things unsaid and that hurt the ending.

I loved the story though, all the unexpected turns, her fear and actually everything about it except for the ending.
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leitskev
Posted: December 2nd, 2018, 9:48pm Report to Moderator
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Working on the prose version.

My main problem was with the helicopter, which seems very over the top. I am trying to find some more subtle way to create that sense of enclosing danger. For example, I might have Robert's brother on the land nearby plowing with a tractor. I know a tractor is slow, but still threatening, and she ain't running anywhere.

If we really needed to, maybe there are a couple dogs running along with the tractor, playing, but a clear menace.

Robert's action at the end with the police closing in would have to be adjusted. He is an accomplice after all.

Can make it work.
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GM
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Well, Pia did make a valid point in that you can just have the sound of the helicopter and dogs. We don�t need to see it. Lol.

Gabe



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ABennettWriter
Posted: December 2nd, 2018, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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I liked it, although it needs work. It feels like a scene from a feature instead of a contained short.

Jenn wakes up and sees Robert in bed. What tips her off that he's dangerous? I still think I'd shower after killing someone, even if I was dead drunk.

There's a lot of details that don't add up when you think about it.
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LC
Posted: December 3rd, 2018, 4:15am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
...
Awesome! I have come such a long way when it comes to my English. Ask anyone who's been around here long enough to have read my stuff 10  years ago. I'm a slow learner, but I am getting better.

Again, all good suggestions.
...

Will look over that again. It's been a few days since I wrote it now, so most likely some of these things stick out like sore thumb for me as well.
...
Thanks again Libby for your very helpful input.  

You're very welcome. Glad some of my comments were useful.

You have an amazing grasp of the English language considering it's not your native tongue, Pia. You must have worked hard at it.


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LC
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Quoted from ABennettWriter
I still think I'd shower after killing someone, even if I was dead drunk.  

The thing is that's what you would do, and probably the majority of people. An acting tutor of mine (years ago) reminded the class that what 'we might do is not necessarily the action someone else would take. This applies to writing characters too imh.

Jenn is a drunk. Not just someone on a one night bender.



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