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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Thriller Scripts  ›  Hero - optioned
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  Author    Hero - optioned  (currently 637 views)
Don
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 11:37am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Hero by PH Cook - Short, Thriller - A man gets unexpected help in order to save his wife and future child. 5 pages - pdf format

Currently under option


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 (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Grandma Bear  -  February 4th, 2020, 6:17pm
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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 11:50am Report to Moderator
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Oh wow, Don! That must be a record. At least for me.  

Someone asked me to write several short thriller/sci-fi scripts with few locations and few actors. This one is the first one out of the gate. Hit or miss? Not sure yet. Any input is always appreciated.  


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eldave1
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 12:59pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS

First the nit issues i.e., the type of stuff that may not matter if you already got filming lined up.


Quoted Text
PARKING GARAGE NIGHT


Id go with MULTI-LEVEL PARKING GARAGE as later on we are going to discover there are more levels.


Quoted Text
The door to the stairway bursts open.


Id have a sound here for effect. E.g., Dead quiet and then BANG the sound of the stairwell door hitting a concrete wall as it bursts open.  - Something like that.


Quoted Text
MIA (30), beautiful, but angry stomps out. Her footsteps echo


Beautiful but angry was an odd contrast for me. i.e., would one write ugly but angry? Show us anger instead. Mia, jaw clenched, eyes narrowed stomps out. whatever.  

This dialogue block:


Quoted Text
RAYMOND
Mia... Its not what you think. I
can explain everything.

MIA
I dont need an explanation for
something I saw with my own eyes.
Now give me the key.

Was meh for me. Ive read or seen it a thousand times. But the real issue is that it never plays a part in the story anyway. Im guessing the implication is that Ray was diddling around with someone and Mia caught him.  Whatever the point being bring it back in the death scene. i.e., just before Raymond dies, he does explain things.  Now what you do allude to at the end is Mias pregnancy so why not have their fight be about that?  Ala hes not ready to be a father shes angry because hes never ready for anything, blah blah blah.  

The Drone delivery of the VR Headset creates a logic problem, IMO. It is there literally just seconds after Mia storms off not nearly enough time for the fate that ultimately befalls Mia to occur shed have to be kidnapped, put in a van, tied up etc all within seconds and all without making a sound or a scream as Ray as just one level away and certainly would hear the commotion.  How about him saying well then fuck you and storming back to his office in the building there he finds the headset on his desk.  Regardless of how it is ultimately done I think there needs to be some time passage here.

Overall its a cool concept that I think will resonate with folks.
Best of luck with it.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 1:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dave. Thanks for reading and offering input. All sound suggestions. This is a first draft and he has read it. He suggested I put it up here, so I'm sure he'll read all input. I'll be tinkering with a re-write this coming week.  


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eldave1
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 7:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Hey Dave. Thanks for reading and offering input. All sound suggestions. This is a first draft and he has read it. He suggested I put it up here, so I'm sure he'll read all input. I'll be tinkering with a re-write this coming week.  


My pleasure.  Hope you get some more feedback


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
Posted: January 12th, 2020, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
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Grrr, had a bunch of feedback and lost it all. I hate when that happens!

Coming back to this later, Pia.
...

Thank God for the preview function.

Love, love the idea.

Feel free to disregard any, or all.

As soon as the drone appeared (should it be capped btw, it has a line - 'please take the package') I was all in. Hmm, I suppose the Drone's voice and Raymond VR are one and the same?

Love techie stuff in screenplays, as you know

he is slightly translucent. Is he a hologram? I think that specific description might add something.

The thing that I think needs improving (forgive me for saying this) is that the dialogue comes across a bit expositional and corny.

VR RAYMOND
Cmon! If you dont save her, she
will die.
VR Raymond heads off towards the down ramp.
RAYMOND (O.S.)
What the fuck is going on here?
VR RAYMOND
A guy named Trent will attack and
kill Mia if you dont stop him.


Suggestion:
RAYMOND VR
Mia's life's in danger.
RAYMOND
What? The fuck are you talking about?
RAYMOND VR
Move, now! If you don't, Mia's going to die.
This can be said while he's following RAYMOND down the ramp.

Basically, I think Raymond's initial resistance could do with more resistance to up credibility, and could add some levity.

Suggestion:
Who are...? What the hell...?
If this is some kind of game, I'm not playing...

You think this is some crazy punked stunt.
This is life and death. Hers. And...

See that van over there? Its
Trents.


This kind of implies the characters know who Trent is.
See that van over there? It belongs to Trent (insert surname). Or: It's registered to one Trent Rogers... It needs to sound more official. VR RAYMOND knows who Trent is, Raymond doesn't. Giving him a last name adds gravitas to the line and situation imho.

Mia is in the back of that van

Suggestion: As we speak, my, your, - our wife, is bound and gagged in the back of that van.

RAYMOND (O.S.)
Who are you?
VR RAYMOND
Cant you see Im you?


It seems obvious if we're watching this on screen that he'd recognise instantly his own doppleganger.
Maybe use this opportunity to add some levity to that line, some humour perhaps to add another layer to character and likeability... Cause later on we're going to get to the touching contrast with his demise, so - foregone conclusion.

VR RAYMOND
Im you. I'm a spirit from the
future
.

RAYMOND (O.S.)
Who...?
RAYMOND VR
Listen, I'm here so you can save
Mia. I'm you. Youre me. We're the same, I'm just from a...different plane.
RAYMOND
What do you mean a different...?

Presumably, like some groundhog scenario he may have tried this before and failed? If not this could be his last chance and add a ticking-time bomb element?

If not, he could say words to the effect:
This is our one and only last chance.

You could have him finally convince Raymond, and the penny drop with VR Raymond playing a party trick knock the briefcase out of his hand spilling papers everywhere, or flip his tie etc. (ala Ghost,) I know this is budget but a small sound/visual effect, which then convinces Raymond, and segues to:

RAYMOND
I'm dead?
RAYMOND
Not yet, you're not.

I don't think further on you need this:

MIA
Raymond! He grabbed me from behind.
Jmho.

At the start I have no idea why they're arguing, maybe another woman... I'm not sure it matters. No idea either why Mia gets nabbed.

This:
MIA
I dont need an explanation for
something I saw with my own eyes.
Now give me the key
.

Might be just as effective as:
I saw you with my own eyes.

Anyway, great story, just needs a few tweaks, and I get this is a first draft.
Hope it gets made.



Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  January 12th, 2020, 11:34pm
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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 13th, 2020, 7:35am Report to Moderator
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Awesome suggestions Libby! I will take it all onboard and see if I can do a re-write today or tomorrow. He said I would hear back with his thoughts today as well.

Thanks so much for taking the time!  


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StevenClark
Posted: January 13th, 2020, 9:00am Report to Moderator
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Hey Pia,

I liked this. Quickly, you use the word angry twice and pissed off once within the space of half a page to describe Mia's mood. Maybe a little much?

Anyway...

I really want to know why Mia was so angry at Raymond. What did she see with her own eyes? If you can answer that question and somehow tie it in to the end of the story, then I think you have a winner! Just my opinion of course.

Steve


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khamanna
Posted: January 14th, 2020, 5:15am Report to Moderator
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Hi Pia,

I read the story and was very much in it while reading.

My suggestion is to make it apparent that Mia was in it with VR Raymond. I mean I inferred it was all her idea but Im not sure since vr Raymond says the last words. I wish the last words belonged to Mia.

Also Im not sure why they did it. I think some of it could be highlighted at the beginning of the story. But maybe its just me, Im always looking for the why aspect of it.

Otherwise nice use of the headset and all.
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MarkItZero
Posted: January 15th, 2020, 11:05pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Pia,

Thought it moved fast, had some good energy to it.

It's possible I'm missing something obvious so disregard the following if that's the case...

But I don't understand how it's a spirit from the dead. Someone had to have created a VR device with this technology and then sent it to him by drone. Unless this is like time travel with an alternate dimension Raymond sending him it.

I think you need to establish right off the bat that VR technology which lets spirit communicate is a thing in this sci-fi world. It could be a corporation that allows (rich) people to send a final farewell from beyond the grave to their loved ones. Maybe Raymond works at the company, or there's just a giant billboard ad in the opening scene.

If I've misread what you're going for here, again, disregard.


That rug really tied the room together.
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Grandma Bear
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Quoted from StevenClark

I really want to know why Mia was so angry at Raymond. What did she see with her own eyes? If you can answer that question and somehow tie it in to the end of the story, then I think you have a winner!

Yes, I believe you're right. Now I just have to figure out how.  Thanks!  

HI Khamanna. Thanks for the read.


Quoted from khamanna

My suggestion is to make it apparent that Mia was in it with VR Raymond. I mean I inferred it was all her idea but Im not sure since vr Raymond says the last words. I wish the last words belonged to Mia.

Also Im not sure why they did it. I think some of it could be highlighted at the beginning of the story. But maybe its just me, Im always looking for the why aspect of it.


My thinking with this story is that Raymond's ghost/spirit has found a away to come back and communicate with his mortal self and make Raymond save Mia and their baby from a random abduction that otherwise will end with Mia killed. Maybe too complicated to make a short out of.


Thanks for reading and your thoughts.


Quoted from MarkItZero

It's possible I'm missing something obvious so disregard the following if that's the case...

But I don't understand how it's a spirit from the dead. Someone had to have created a VR device with this technology and then sent it to him by drone. Unless this is like time travel with an alternate dimension Raymond sending him it.

I think you need to establish right off the bat that VR technology which lets spirit communicate is a thing in this sci-fi world. It could be a corporation that allows (rich) people to send a final farewell from beyond the grave to their loved ones. Maybe Raymond works at the company, or there's just a giant billboard ad in the opening scene.

You are absolutely right, but but but...    I agree that it would be nice to get all the answers. And, in a feature this would be absolutely necessary. Hard to do in a 5 page max short though. I'll see if I can clear some of this up today. Thanks again for the read and suggestions.  


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Abe from LA
Posted: January 17th, 2020, 3:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Pia,

Good concept here. I like where youre going, but wish the journey did not have so much exposition.
Some of the setup needs adjusting.

My suggestions:

A)     Need one more location building office or at the third-floor elevator. Start the breakup of Raymond and Mia there and that creates distance from the parking structure, while adding time and tension.

B)     The drone, while interesting, seems forced in this story. Why would a spirit use a drone to deliver a VR headset.

But I do like the VR element, if tweaked.

C)     The tech aspect of the VR scene can be used to greater capacity. As is, I think its purpose is so Raymond can see VR Raymond? True?
Do we need VR Raymond in this story?

If hes already dead, didnt the Real Raymond die when he saved Mia? If so, then hes already gone to her rescue. No need for VR Raymond to return unless both he and Mia die together.

In which case, the story is similar to Dead Zone. The ending can be altered.

D)     Back to the breakup: Maybe Mia saw Raymond and another woman through the VR Headset. She can throw the headset at him when she declares, I dont need an explanation for something I saw with my own eyes.

Mia storms off. Raymond picks up his precious piece of tech and checks to see that it still operates.   You wont need VR Raymond in this case.

   How about the headset showing glimpses of the past and the future in 10-second intervals each sequence followed by a blackout and time gap.
Mia sees Raymond with another woman five minutes in the past.
Raymond will see Mia five minutes into the future, as he takes the elevator down. Example:

VIDEO SNAPSHOTS Though the headset, Raymond can see Mia exit the elevator at 1 minutes, sees Mia walking to her car at 2 minutes,  Mias purse and its contents spilled on the ground next to her car at three minutes, so on.
We know there is danger...

This wont give away the storys end.

E)     Change Raymonds motivation.  He goes to Mia to pledge his love for her and save their marriage.
In the process, he sees that she is in danger. He ends up saving her life at the risk of his own.
This story is metaphorical.

By changing his motivation, it ties the ending to the beginning.
Its not just a heroic rescue, but a heroic rescue borne out of love.

I know I tend to be over-analytical, so if none of the above works for you, lets go back to what youve already written.
_______

   Add the office/elevator scene to deal with the time and distance issue that Dave mention in his review.

   Cut down on the dialogue and keep VR Raymonds presence more mysterious. Perhaps his image keeps fading in and out, as well as his dialogue so we arent getting all the details.

  Add one more element to the rescue. Maybe Mia is not only hogtied but also there is a plastic bag over her head. She struggles to get air. Raymond struggles to get air, but is able to remove the bag, so Mia can breathe.
Life returns to Mia. Life leaves Raymond. He should die clutching her with his head resting on her belly.

There are some good possibilities here. I hope this gets made. Nice start.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: January 21st, 2020, 8:25pm Report to Moderator
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Gary! Good to see you here. Been awhile.

I have not heard back from the guy that requested this short. I guess it wasn't up to par. I should know better than to send people first drafts even when they say it's fine. Oh well...

As always, you put in a lot of thought and great suggestions into your reviews.

A) I agree that one more location will add to this. I was under the 5 page limit, so things got shorter than I would prefer. I believe adding to it will help though, so that's what I will do.

B) I don't know!   I liked the idea of a drone and I guess I was hoping this would be too short for people to stop and ask questions. Can't you get away with stuff like that in sci-fi? Does everything really need to be explained how it works?

C) Yes, you are correct. It was the only way the dead Raymond could come up with in order to communicate with the still live Raymond.

The Dead Zone? As in Stephen King? I've read that one, but don't quite remember. I will google the plot. Maybe that will jog my memory?

D) Hmmmm... Kinda like where you're going with this.

E) I like this too.

We really should do Wolf. I'm 100x better at this stuff these days.  

Thanks again for chiming in. Excellent as always.


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LC
Posted: January 21st, 2020, 10:22pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with you, Pia. Sometimes too many explanations can drag something down.  Leave all the SciFi drone stuff as is imh.


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JohnMcCarthy
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I liked this. A lot. But, can't really tell if this is a time-travel story or a ghost story. Who is responsible for the VR set? Raymond? Mia? The unborn child? All three of them? VR Raymond uses the plural ("We did it.") at the end. I guess I wanted a bit more. But, again, I really liked it. Beautifully written.
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