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To The Moon and Back by L Chambers (LC) writing as Whoohoo... - Short, Thriller, Romance - A widowed mother and her young daughter receive an unexpected and potentially deadly visit on Christmas Eve when her past comes back to haunt them. 7 pages - pdf format
I gotta say, the logline sure doesn't sound like the genres you've listed. Let's see...
Writing is not good. Lots of mistakes all over and your Flashback is a problem any way you look at it.
This story is very run of the mill and has been told over and over and for me, there's nothing very fresh or entertaining here.
For me, the structure is what really sends this downhill. I mean, most of the script or right around half, is a Flashback, and it's NOT a well done Flashback. We know Claire is 30, but in the Flashback, Sean is "30s", but it appears he was in prison for 6 years, and we don't even have a clue how long ago this really was. So, ages don't match up at all, and then in the newscast, they're saying Spike got an early Christmas present, by being released after "only" 6 years, and then they say, Sean died 2 days later - so why would this be current news? It just doesn't make alot of sense to me.
SUPERIMPOSE: CHRISTMAS EVE Somewhere outside of Dublin, Ireland. ‘Otherwise known as the arse-end of nowhere’...
I really like the line – but I think you should have a space between.
I liked the description of the apartment - vivid.
CLAIRE (CONT'D) It just magically appeared there then, did it, all on its own?
A real nit – but this would read better with a “So,” at the start of the dialogue.
CLAIRE Before I met you I did but not now.
Need a comma after did.
EXT. PARK - DAY – FLASHBACK
Would be helpful to know how long ago this was.
I liked this - quite a bit. The secret in the ornament was nicely played. I think the Flashback could have been a little bit shorter and the space used to dedicate a little more time on our heroes desperate state of poverty.
All in all a good job and a favorable impression from me.
I like that you took a different approach to enchanted - not magical but so special that it holds its own power over the owner. Kind of strange that Sean would put the coordinates inside an ornament that someone would cherish and may never find the clue to the money. Crappy time to have a generational heirloom.
This was okay for me. Not great, but not bad either. Good work, writer.
I thought the secret in the ornament was danged good. People are suckers for romance and will forgive a few missteps if drawn into the tale. Methinks. And I was despite my feelings about the ending. That said, I still really really like your story. Keep rollin! -A
I liked the start of this. Had a few errors and overwritten in a few spots, but the build up was good. I think the flashback could be done a bit better though, more seamlessly. Maybe some like Molly hangs up the ornament and Claire, once seeing it up there once again, stares at it remembering the day she got it.
The ending was okay, but think it could be better if Michael knew exactly just how valuable that bauble was to them.
Ah, I see our Grinch in residence got in first with his textbook on ill informed flashback advice. Blah, it worked so if you were even in the slightest bit stressed, don’t be.
So, the opening descriptions were absolutely outstanding, I felt I could practically smell the damn place, really top work. The dialogue at the beginning too had some real heart and left a genuine impression of a blossoming love, nice.
The end sort of lost its way I feel, kinda lost the individualism that you weaved so expertly at the start and faltered with unfortunate cliche. Fix it up, I think it’s worth it as there’s a boom in Irish cinema and filmmakers so no reason not to try to sort the final third.
Anyway, I did still enjoy it regardless of the closing movements, nice one.
P.S. listened to with more IDLES, A Hymn seemed to really fit this one, nice and moving.
This was really good. You scored in all the right areas - the right tone, great descriptions, tight dialogue.
I don't think it's over written. You paint a good picture, it wasn't boring and you kept it moving.
One thing that's not super clear is the flashback; how long ago? Six years?
Maybe I'm the the odd man out, but I actually DIG the ending. But more to the point, I may not know what I'm talking about here, but I think the reason why a lot of studio films are predictable is because that's what the audience wants. Ex; they want the guy to end up with the girl. Real life is much more complicated.
I would have had no idea there was a flashback in this story if it didn't say so in the scene heading, so I'd suggest tightening that aspect up.
Apart from that, a solid job with some lovely visuals. I didn't see any real evidence of an actual enchanted object in the magical sense but that's a minor thing.
Claire could have gone her whole life not knowing the answer to all her financial problems was hidden in a bauble. Sean even tells her to be careful with it as it is fragile. That's a loose thread that needs tidying up but great job.
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I knew there were bound to be some really good scripts in here and this is one of them. I enjoyed the set-up, flowed well, easy read. Good, original story -- at least, apart from what I've read in this challenge so far. Felt like a breath of fresh air, really. Great job. Could have used a little more Christmas somehow, I feel. Hell. Who cares. My fav so far.
Yep this is my fave too. The Irish lingo and imagery was evoked well. The writing was efficient and to the point but still had a good touch of atmosphere. POSSIBLE SPOILER
The ending was telegraphed in the news report (well,I could see it lol) but no less dramatic when it happened. A couple of peeps mentioned the ornament isn’t enchanted or magical but it’s more the feel and the way it’s used - very inventively I thought - that’s all that matters.
When seeing the title, anyone else start singing Savage Garden to themselves... just me?
Grungy and grimy. Rising damp, peeling paint - the type of place where headboards rattle against bedroom walls, footfalls clomp overhead, and you can smell the grease from your neighbour’s fry-up.
So, it's set in my old Uni flat, awesome!
MOLLY You kept your promise, Mammy. CLAIRE What? How can you possibly know...?
It's been really good so far, but this bit stumped me - probably just me. But why does the mom immediately think her daughter is referring to a promise she made years earlier when she wasn't there? shouldn't there have been a bit like "What promise, darlin'?" "The one to Da"
Wow that was really good. Great writing, dialogue, characters and descriptions. It pulled me in and I felt I was there in the thick of it.
Personally, I liked the ending. Finding the actual cash would have been a bigger payoff, but this worked in its subtlety.
Colour me confused about one thing though, and someone feel free to correct me - But he gave her the bauble before he did that "last job", so how did the coordinates get in there? I Suppose the news said he died two days after the job, so plenty of time to stash it in the bauble...
Anyway, one of the better ones I have read so far - A bit light on the enchanted though, even if you are going for the "Filled with delight" definition.
Wow, there was a lot of gloom on the first page--gloom piled upon gloom. I don't mean this in a bad way. It was effective gloom.
I liked this.
Let me work out the timeline: Sean robs a bank. He gives the ornament to Claire for Christmas. Roughly a day or so later he is gunned down. He had the foresight to hide the coordinates for the location of the money in the ornament. Okay. Sure. Seemed a little off at first, but now that I write it out it seems possible. Should Sean have given Claire another clue about the value of the ornament? Conceivably, she could have gone her whole life without realizing what was inside.
A "halo of light glowing within" is mentioned at the end. Is this supposed to be supernatural? Not sure if that is the path you want for this one.
I really enjoyed the writing on this one. The interactions felt lived and real. The descriptions were on point, very vivid. A lot of showing as opposed to telling. Some dialogue and action lines could be streamlined, but it’s mostly minor stuff.
My only issue was that there was too much going on storywise. I was vibing with the mother-daughter stuff, the romance, the missing partner- it was all feeling pretty cohesive. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but at some point after this set-up I felt overwhelmed with the different themes.
Honestly, I think the fix could be adding pages to let the story breathe a bit more. Great stuff, one of my favorites~