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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  C. C. World - 7WC Moderators: bert
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  Author    C. C. World - 7WC  (currently 4864 views)
Don
Posted: September 5th, 2010, 3:18pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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C. C. World - 7WC by Catherine Hall (cmhall) - Thriller - Small business owners have to make a lot of difficult decisions -- like getting rid of a trusted employee, that's really difficult. 93 pages - pdf, format


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Coding Herman
Posted: September 5th, 2010, 11:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Catherine,

Congrats on completing the 7WC. I remembered you were like the first or second one to finish. Kudos to that! And I picked you as my first read.

I just read the first 10 pages and this is how I felt so far.

Sorry to say, but the first page is a mess with so many different characters and unnecessary capitalization.

For examples, SMALL STORES, FRONT COUNTER, CLOCK, SMILING FACE NAME TAG. I don't think these are that important to be capitalized. It just hurts the eyes. Not helping are the capitalization of character names.

Speaking of which, you introduced 5 characters and they all have first and last names. The Duffs sisters I understand, and maybe Celia, but definitely not Lu and Sue. It's just hard for the readers to know which characters to concentrate on.

You should also introduce them by names right away. Don't write THREE WOMEN, or ANOTHER WOMAN. See? More unnecessary capitalization and it reads clunky.

Another strategy is to introduce the characters when they become important. Lu and Sue didn't do anything on the first page. Introduce Lu before her first dialogue on the second page. The same thing goes for Sue.

I'm tired right now. I'll be back with more feedback from page 2 to 10 tomorrow.


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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Coding Herman
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Page 2 to 10.

The dialogue in Celia's living room sounds unnatural. Celia wouldn't tell Harry that James died because Harry already knows. Then she becomes suddenly melodramatic about missing James. Celia also wouldn't blunt out Harry's full name in that situation. Are you trying to show us that Celia is being psychotic or just being sad?

The exposition about how James got killed in a hit-and-run is, again, unnatural because they both know what happened.


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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c m hall
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Thanks for reading, Herman, your time and comments are appreciated.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Kathy, congrats on completing a feature length script in 7 weeks.  Just writing a feature in 7 weeks is tough, but we all managed to conceive an idea as well, based on a genre and theme, chosen by someone else.  You should be proud of this accomplishment.

I’m sorry, but that’s about all you can be proud of, IMO, because this thing is truly a disaster of epic proportions.  And it’s funny, because the writing itself doesn’t “look” that bad at all.  It’s relatively clean of typos and mistakes, grammar isn’t too bad, and all in all, it “looks” like a decent script.  There are issues with your SLUGS and over-writing, but lets’ worry about that later.

Problems arise like a mighty tsunami in terms of story, plot, characters, dialogue, logic, and most importantly, entertainment value.  Let’s look at each and see where things went wrong and what we can do to right this ship.

SPOILERS

STORY/PLOT

Right off the bat, we’ve got some major issues that are insurmountable.   As I read along, I kept thinking, something has to happen here….this can’t be the entire premise of this script.  But, it was.  There’s absolutely nothing happening here that can/should take up 92 pages and be the basis for a feature length script or film.  Nothing.

It’s downright laughable to think that some missing money, totaling $1,600 could be the basis for the majority of the plot and story here, but somehow it is.  I know there’s more going on in the past that you tried to bring out, but it didn’t work in any way, I’m sorry to say.

This is not a “thriller” in any way.  If anything, it’s a drama, and a slow one at that.

The story is almost 100% action free.  Dialogue goes on for days about literally nothing at all, to the point where I actually stopped reading last night, looked up, and wondered aloud if this was supposed to some sort of pisser, or joke.

Bottom line – plot and story are not well put together, not interesting or engaging, and need to be completely overhauled.  

CHARACTERS – Characters are far from engaging, interesting, and “real”.  I couldn’t relate with literally anyone. I know Celia and Harry are the 2 protags, but they’ve got to be 2 of the duller main characters I’ve ever come across.  And it goes all the way down to their professions, which play a HUGE role in the story here, but mean absolutely nothing, and is another head scratcher.

The antags are all zeroes as well.  No one has any life outside this Duff’s Space thing, whatever the Hell it is or is supposed to be.   I mean, literally, as far as I can remember, only Celia and Harry have any scenes outside of Duff’s, other than the finale where Donnella takes Celia somewhere for soil testing (which was just downright AWFUL!).  Pretty much 100% of these character’s lives are made up of their work life, and that’s never going to fly, unless they have an interesting work life.

No one comes across remotely believable.  I guess Harry seems to be the most relatable and believable, but he pops up all the time, as if he has nothing else to do in his “real life”, and we don’t even know where he lives, as in 1 scene he’s checking into a motel, and then decides not to.

Bottom line – characters are not well put together, not interesting or engaging, and need to be completely overhauled.

DIALOGUE – Easily one of the most glaring problems in the script.  I think it’ll be easier if I just list what’s wrong, basically.

1)      It’s absolutely insane how many times your characters use the name of the person they’re talking to in direct dialogue with them.  This does not happen in real life and just gets incredibly annoying.
2)     The actual conversations are utterly boring and have no place showing up in a script.
3)     Crazy amounts of exposition being thrown out.
4)     Wacky things being said by Celia, for no reason whatsoever on a regular basis.
5)     Way too much dialogue in general vs. action.
Bottom line – Dialogue is not well put together or thought out, not interesting or engaging, and needs to be completely overhauled.

LOGIC – The action here is not logical.  The actions and reactions of characters is not logical.  The scenes, settings, and proximity of them are not logical, and make zero sense.  The choices you made of what to show are not logical.

Just for starters, what is supposed to be going on with the finale?  Why in the world would Celia get in the car with Donnella at night to go and test water and soil samples out of the blue?   Why would Donnella even want to do this?  Who are the people with guns on the farm?  How does a 40 year old Celia climb a huge tree, jump from tree to tree, then jump 10 feet down into a river of some kind, pull out a soaking wet cell phone that still works, and walk right over to some tavern?  How does this same 40 year old woman just jump out of a moving car…or better yet, why would she even remotely think of attempting such a feat?  Why was everyone at Duff’s late at night?  What were they doing?  Why’d the girls (or 1 girl) beat up Celia in the beginning for $1,600, and how does a 40 year old woman recover so quickly and easily from this brutal beating?  Why is Celia’s trailer home right next to both Duff’s and this Diner?  Where in the world is this supposed to be set?  How could a business like Duff’s even think about making money and employing so many people in this apparently 1 horse town for seemingly 10 years?
I could go on and on, and on, Cathy.  Nothing here makes any sense to me, or seems well thought out and planned.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE – Whether or not things make sense, a script or movie has to do 1 thing well, and that’s entertain.  This does not, in any way, shape, or form.

I remember reading a scene involving the girls at the shop making and talking about coffee for at least 2 pages, and kept laughing, thinking this just can’t be.  The vast majority of the script is completely meaningless and void of entertainment value.  The conversations between characters were mostly all about nothingness, and/or things completely irrelevant to the story.

I hate to say it, but this is probably the single most dull script I’ve ever come across.  I have to wonder what you were thinking when you decided on this story, because I just don’t see a story here, especially for the genre of “thriller”.  There aren’t any thrills.  There really isn’t any mystery, because the mystery involving Celia’s dead husband isn’t played up to be a mystery.

Cathy, again, I am very sincere in complimenting you for finishing a feature in a short time period.  It is a great accomplishment.  I apologize for being so blunt and honest in my review, but I mean it all as help, and truly hope you take it that way.

This just didn’t work for me on any level, at any point, for any amount of time.  I honestly don’t see enough of a plot, story, engaging characters, action, or anything here to even go about rewriting, but I think there is a lot you can take from this experience, which will help in your next script writing effort.

I hope this makes sense and helps, and I truly hope you don’t take anything I said the wrong way.

Take care.

PS  What does the title have to do with anything and what does it mean?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ajr
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Jeff,

I haven't read this so it may be what you say it is, but honestly, how is repeating your criticisms over and over again helpful (as you claim at the end) in any way?

CathERINE is a regular at SS and out of her 66 posts I'd bet that 50 of them are reviews - of features, no less. And she didn't just write a feature - she completed the challenge in 7 weeks. I've read Catherine's stuff in the past and while I had some issues with her plot and choices, I recognized her writing talent.

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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c m hall
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"Cathy, again, I am very sincere in complimenting you for finishing a feature in a short time period."quote dreamscale  

Well, gee, Dreamscale, thanks for the sincere compliment!  I'll feed off of that for days!

"PS  What does the title have to do with anything and what does it mean?" quote dreamscale

C.C. World?  that's a reference to the magazine "Cold Cruel World", which is frequently mentioned in the story, and also the lead character's name is Celia Crapsey.  And, like, it's her world -- it's a cold, cruel world and it's also her world.  

I was the one who suggested that if any reader hates a script he or she quit reading and move along.  I'd like to mention it, again.



Cathy
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 1:02pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony, I was not aware that I repeated my criticisms over and over again.  Help me out here, bud.

I tried to be as exact as I could without going into a multiple post review.  I covered story/plot, characters, dialogue, logic, and entertainment value.  Each is a unique topic, so I'm not sure what you're saying here exactly.

Read the script, bud, and then post your thoughts, and we'll see where we differ in our opinions on it.

Also not sure what you're getting at by bringing up Cathy's posts.  I also mentioned that Cathy's writing was not the problem, that it was fairly clean and free of errors and that I had major issues with the plot and her choices.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 1:38pm Report to Moderator
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Cathy, I apologize, as my words have obviously upset you.

I'm a bit confused though, as Herman has posted twice on the script and neither was remotely positive and even used the word "mess" when describing the first page, yet you thanked him and didn't seem to have any issues with what he said.

The whole point of this challenge was for a group of writers to help each other conceive and write a feature length script in a 7 week time period, and then go about reviewing it and helping to make it all it can be.

If someone were simply to say "I hate this", and stop, what help is that?  It doesn't help at all.  I tried to give exact examples of everything I brought up, without going crazy with a multiple post review.

I stand by what I said 100%, and would be very surprised if others disagreed with me vehemently.  We'll see.  Hopefully Anthony gives this a read and throws some light on the points I brought up.

Again, I do apologize and feel bad about making you feel bad.  Not my intent at all.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ajr
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 1:53pm Report to Moderator
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A disaster of epic proportions... issues that are insurmountable... downright laughable... a slow drama and not a thriller... single most dull script you've ever read... doesn't work for you in any way, shape or form...

Jeff, it's not what you say when you're giving examples of why something doesn't work for you, it's the editorializing you do afterward and the choices of words. Can you not see that? And yes, you keep saying the same thing, in a different way, by saying what I've outlined above.

It's the single most dull script TO YOU. It doesn't work in any way, shape or form TO YOU. Again, pointing out plot issues and character development is a somewhat objective exercise, yet your statements and phrases are subjective - so why the hyperbole in a 7 week challenge? And to a regular SS member?

And yes, it's a major turnoff, BUD, that you did this to a woman. Criticize me if you want for intimating that there are two sets of rules, but what you did is definitely not how my parents raised me. And get her name right - she calls herself Catherine, at least as far as you know.


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony, I wasn’t aware that you and I had a problem.  I also wasn’t aware that you were involved in this 7WC in any way.  If you choose to read and review these scripts, that’s great, but to jump in and comment on someone else’s comments, on a script you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about, is pretty asinine.

Your quotes of my comments are taken out of context, when you don’t use the entire quote, or show how I used the piece of quote you decided to note.  And again, without reading the script, how and why are you questioning my point of view?

Why are you involving yourself in the way I comment on a script that has nothing to do with you?  Are you and Miss Hall secretly having a fling?  This is just bizarre.  Sometimes things need to be said again and again in different ways to get the point across.  Would you have a problem if I praised the script again and again in different ways?

Yeah, these are my comments…my thoughts…my opinions on this script.  That’s what everyone’s reviews are based on…their own feelings when reading the script.   Although many of the issues involved here are clearly written in stone and pretty much impossible to argue against, most reviews involve the reviewers’ feelings, pertaining to the script in question.

To a regular SS member, as opposed to what?  Should my feelings be different based on who wrote the script?  I don’t care if Steven Spielberg wrote this script.  My comments would be identical…probably worse, because I would expect more from Mr. Spielberg.

And now, you’re saying something about reviews should be different for women and men?  What fucking planet are you living on, BUD?  I HIGHLY doubt any women will agree with you on this point, and look forward to hearing the backlash.  Did I say something that was offensive to women or Miss Hall in general?  Did I put her down in some way that I’m not aware of?  Did I make sexist remarks and assumptions?

What did I do again that goes against the way your parents raised you?  Did they raise you to treat women and men differently in terms of reviewing their work?  Did they somehow infer for you to think women’s work is better than men’s work, just because they’re women?

DUDE, WTF?

As far as I know, she calls herself Cathy, or at least that’s what I’ve seen others call her and I don’t recall her chiming in, saying not to call her that.  Are you speaking for her, for some odd reason?  Is there more than meets the eye here, BUD?

Weird…really, really weird!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ajr
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 2:32pm Report to Moderator
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First, it's an issue of respect - if the writer completes an assignment in proper screenplay format, shows a talent for writing, and is an active reviewer on SS, then they're not wasting anyone's time, like a newbie would who doesn't know the craft or drops a script and runs. Your review is one that you'd give to a newbie. But why would I expect you to know that? You'd review Spielberg the same way. Be proud.

Second, your reply, especially your comments about me and "Ms. Hall", illuminates you better than any response from me would.

And frankly I'm not in the mood today. I'm a really easy-going guy - or a vindictive Neopolitan. Usually I let people choose which one they want to associate with.


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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c m hall
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Dreamscale, you did not upset me.  You did not please me but that's a long way away from upsetting me.
Obviously you just don't like my script and that's fine, maybe nobody will.  Maybe I'm writing for an audience that doesn't exist.  Could well be.

But I'm a grown up lady and have had much worse shots taken at me and I've survived it.

I thanked Herman for his remarks and I thanked you, too.  

AJR, baby, you're the greatest.

CMH
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 3:00pm Report to Moderator
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Anthony, as always, when these sort of things pop up, I try and stay level headed, and respond to exactly what is being thrown my way.

So, an issue of respect...you're saying I was disrespectful to CM Hall.  That was not my intent in any way.  I did not say her script was a waste of anyone's time.  Apparently, I'm the only one who's even read it, for God's sake!  My review was not what I would give a "newbie".  Check out some of the reviews I have given to "newbies" and you'll see the difference.  My point about Spielberg, obviously, is that my opinion would not be swayed based on who writes a script...if it's good, it's good, if it's not good, it's not good.  I don't jump on bandwagons and I don't play favorites.  I am 100% honest in the comments I give each and every time.

"Second, your reply, especially your comments about me and "Ms. Hall", illuminates you better than any response from me would." - HUH?  WTF is that supposed to mean?  You don't know a fuckin' joke when you see one?  Obviously, little Anthony, I was tying to make a point that unless you have some sort of relationship with CM Hall, it makes ZERO sense for you to get involved and get all worked up about something you know nothing about and have nothing to do  with. Capice?

You're not in the mood for what?  You're the one who started this entire thing, Anthony?  Am I wrong?  What am I missing here?  You're obviously in the mood or you wouldn't keep commenting over and over.  Is this an irritating bad dream?  I'm always an easy going guy.  I go out of my way to help people. I go above and beyond what others do on a daily basis.  I had to look up your Neapolitan comment...now that I understand, I'm wondering what your intent with that comment is.  Does it mean I better back off and apologize again? Should I be afraid...very afraid?

This whole thing just has me so confused.  I'm really sorry about all this, C.M. Hall.  You should probably jump in here and let us know your feelings about all this, you know?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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ajr
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I'm not going to hijack this thread any further with a back and forth Jeff, I just came here to say that yes, you're right, o Lord of the fair review - you shouldn't stick up for someone unless you're banging them...

*sigh*


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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grademan
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CMH,
Interesting premise, I’d never have thought of it.

I thought the title CC World stood for Carbon Copy World, which I thought was intriguing given the amnesia theme of this 7WC. Your explanation was clever but you might consider spelling it out CC.

I had difficulty with some formatting distractions in your writing.

-- Underlining, it’s like screaming in your eyes.  

-- Use of capital letters definitely overdone. When the counter was capped as The Counter, I thought I had missed a character not a counter top.

-- Use of very, instantly, suddenly and other “ly” words don’t add anything to a narrative. Usually.  

-- The opening scene was hard to follow due to number of characters, getting the setting down, the capping and underlining of multiple words. Made for a busy looking front page. It started flowing better when the conversations dwindled down to Celia and one other person.

-- The conversations were long and didn’t move the story along until long sequences passed. Action was limited.

-- The dots weren’t all connected at the end so I could follow. How did Celia jump to the conclusion that Elle/Donella had killed her husband? How did the perverse copy of the magazine tie into this? How did Harry’s book impact the ending? How were the famers with guns involved? I know most of this is noted in the ending sequence, I just didn’t pull it all together.

I did like the conversations with the librarian in it. Good use of narrative there. Loved Celia’s last name.

All in all, not bad for completing a feature. That is huge!

I've heard the biggest differences are between the first and second drafts.

Gary

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bert
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 3:45pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Anthony, as always, when these sort of things pop up...


And pop up they do, it would seem, for Dreamscale.

AJR, we all know by now that Jeff is not shy about slamming a script with a mallet in each hand.  What you are trying to do here is understandable, but you fail in that you deliver your point with about as much tact as ol' Jeff himself.  You throw somebody on the defensive like that, how do you expect them to react?

That, and the fact that you have not read the script also diminishes your moral high ground.

Jeff, on the other hand, should make note of the fact that he finds himself embroiled in these debates more often than most -- so maybe there is a kernel of truth there that demands a bit more self-examination.

We DO NOT want to become a back-patting club, AJR -- walking around "good job!"-ing everyone.  (We got Circalit for that)  Negative critiques are important, so attacking a negative critique, in and of itself, should be reserved for the most extreme cases.

Jeff is a reading machine, which does buy him some (but not unlimited) leeway, but he also needs to realize that tacking an obligatory "please don't take this the wrong way" on the end is often inadequate to remove the sting.

Mod ruling:  Jeff is not in the wrong here, but working on a "softer touch" is nevertheless encouraged.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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ajr
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Led,

Read CM Hall's first post here and then let me know if she wasn't upset...

[bert's edit:  Led's post deleted as it only fanned the flames we are trying to quash here...]

Bert,

I was wondering when you would weigh in... (0:

If it matters, I've read three other scripts by CMH and they're in essentially the same style (I skimmed this one and noticed similarities). She has a talent for quirky worlds and quirkier characters, the other things noted by Jeff notwithstanding.

I'd also like to point out that she received two glowing reviews for her script Pears and Singles on Circalit, one from a winner of best script of the month who holds two masters degrees and teaches film, and one from our own Craigcf. So yes, I had a reaction to Jeff's hyperbole.

Anthony


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 4:00pm Report to Moderator
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I have sent CM Hall a Pm, apologizing for all this.  I haven't heard back from her yet.

Bert, A softer touch is most likely something I should try for...and I will.

Anthony, you continue to base your comments on prior efforts from Miss Hall, which I just don't understand at all.  What do they have to do with her efforts here?  Please read this script and give us your honest feedback in general, as well as the points that I brought up in a fair amount of detail, with detailed examples of what I was referring to.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  September 6th, 2010, 8:17pm
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Jeff, my reading this aside, there's just no reason to tell anyone - let alone an SS regular who's competed in a challenge - and after listing everything you feel about the script in great detail - that it's the single dullest script you've ever read. I'm sorry, I will believe to my grave that's it's just a plain crappy thing to do.


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Dreamscale
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Then read the damn thing and form your own opinions!

Within everything, there is always going to be a single most...everything...best, worst, exciting, dull, action packed, dialogue packed, etc.  Basically, you're saying you wouldn't be honest when you come across something that falls into single most...

...and I disagree with that wholeheartedly!



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c m hall
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Thank you for your questions and comments, your time and effort are much appreciated.

"The dots weren’t all connected at the end so I could follow. How did Celia jump to the conclusion that Elle/Donella had killed her husband? How did the perverse copy of the magazine tie into this? How did Harry’s book impact the ending? How were the famers with guns involved? I know most of this is noted in the ending sequence, I just didn’t pull it all together" (quote grademan)

Once Celia realizes that the Duff girls have brutalized her and tried (repeatedly) to kill her, she wonders if they were responsible for her husband's hit-and-run death, too.  She's in a state of shock, at that point, and my feeling is that her husband's senseless death is always in the back of her mind.

The perverse version of the magazine:  I wanted that in there to show that Donnella and Wendianna are cold, cruel people.  They ruin their father's magazine, shame the family and all in all make the world a worse place.  The other purpose is to show Celia's reaction when she sees the new version; she refuses to believe that Donnella and Wendianna had anything to do with its publication, although their names are on the masthead.  Celia can be very stubborn.

Harry's book was used to present Harry's theory of human behavior (that people don't get braver as they get older, they get more stupid) and to give Celia a reason to want to get away from him.  
Celia walks out of the Diner feeling angry with Harry and then quite lonely -- so when Donnella drives up and implores Celia to go with her, Celia is easy prey.

The Farm couple: when shots are fired in the woods, Celia yells out a warning to them, it's (almost) funny, because they're carrying guns, too.  

Hope that helps.  
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Coding Herman
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Wow...when did this become the most popular 7WC script?

Hey Cathy, I didn't stop reading. I just caught up with work today.

But I still stand my ground that the first page is a "mess". Maybe "mess" is too strong of a word. What I meant is that you started off with the wrong step. A laundry list of characters is a no go. But it gets better afterwards.

SPOILERS....SORT OF

I'm up to page 36 after your first flashback scene.

On page 11, Celia calls Duff's Space at 5am. I'm not sure what time does the store open, but it couldn't be that early. So what was Wendianna doing there? I hope you'll explain it further into the script. If not, that's something you have to think about.

Page 14, good one. Finally we're onto some conflict and story.

Page 16, I think Elle is the first distinct character in the script. Sue and Lu are basically the same person for now. Same as Wendianna and Donnella. What's not helping is their similar sounding names, both end with "na" or "la". Although I can feel Wendianna is a bit reluctant and softer than her sister.

Page 18, "Elle sticks out her TONGUE at the bell." That's a funny image from a 70 year old woman.

Page 19, I don't understand what's going on: "Elle sighs dramatically, and rubs the WALL, as if to remove a spot, returns to hunt in Celia's desk drawers, and back to the spot on the wall." What's with the wall?

Page 21, I think it's better to end that scene after Celia exits. Those few passages about Wendianna and Elle's body movements don't do anything. They just take up space.

Page 29, it's a little too sudden for Donnella to change topic. She was in the midst of talking about the missing cash, which is the top-most concerned topic in the scene, so it's weird to have her jumping to Harry without anyone initiating it. Maybe have Celia said she's meeting Harry tonight. BTW, how did Donnella find out that Celia's meeting Harry?

Page 30-35, I can't tell how close Celia and Harry are. They sound like old friends, which they should be because of James. But then they're always talking about something that they should know already.

For example, from Harry, "We were like brothers -- myself and James and Conroy, that's Donnella and Wendianna's Uncle Conroy." This is pure exposition for the audience. How can Celia not know this?

There are more, from Harry, "When my wife died, that was almost twenty years ago", "Well, we lost the baby she was going to have and then Hannah, my wife--" And then a few passages down, Celia said she had visited Hannah's grave. So Celia knew all of these already, why is Harry being so informative?

And then Celia told Harry that Clark was Wendianna's father. Again, if Harry and Conroy were that close. I bet Harry knew about Conroy's family already.

All of these had me questioned Celia and Harry's relationship. How long have they known each other? Were they separated for a long time?

Now, over the 36 pages I've read, I found a lot of unnecessary scenes. By page 36, there should be something substantial happening that calls Celia onto a journey of some sort, but there isn't any right now. So that means you have to trim a lot of things to kick things started.

Right now, the scenes that I can recall are: Wendianna tells Celia to deposit $1600, Celia gets drowned, Harry meets Celia at her trailer, Elle's introduction, the argument about $1600 between Celia and the Duff's family, and the Diner scene.

The other scenes were a blur to me because they either didn't move the story forward or are just not interesting and unique enough. You need to have some special characteristics in each scene that sets it apart from the others.

All the others like the sleepy customer, getting and making coffee, the school bell, Elle's doctor appointment, and Elle pushing around Celia in the office can be trimmed or shortened. I still don't know how important they are, but if they're not, they're just taking up space.

I'll keep reading it.


Herman


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Coding Herman  -  September 6th, 2010, 7:51pm
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c m hall
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Thanks for your comments and questions, it's all much appreciated.

The relationship between Celia and Harry is this -- they had a connection in James, he was Celia's husband and Harry's friend.
Harry and Celia were never close, in the past, but that's mostly by circumstance; Harry doesn't live nearby anymore.
Harry and Celia talk about who's who because it's common ground for them -- it's a typical thing for people (especially older people) to go over (seemingly endlessly) information that is known or partly known to both parties -- it can form or strengthen a bond between them.  That's been my experience, anyway.

One important element that I think I've failed to convey to you in the script is that Celia's rambling conversations are motivated, at least in part, by her refusal to remember the violence that was done to her, she continually changes the subject when Harry tries to inquire about what caused her to be in such a wretched state that first night when he saw her sitting in her doorway.

The Duff family members grill Celia about the lost money only because they are trying to figure out what she remembers about the night before -- their conversation is almost nonsensical because they keep trying to catch her off guard, in case she might be on the verge of remembering that they attacked her.  Again, Celia refuses to let herself remember that these people place no value on her life, at all.

This is what I intended to show in the story, anyway.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 8:16pm Report to Moderator
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Catherine, in response to your response to Herman, I have some questions.

Why did anyone attack Celia?  What were they hoping to achieve?

Did they want to kill her?  If so, why, and why didn't they continue the attack until she was indeed dead?  If they didn't mean to kill her, why would they just beat her like they did and leave her there?

Why wouldn't/didn't Celia go to the police or the hospital?

If a 40 year old woman is brutally attacked and left apparently for dead, how is it that she didn't have any real injuries at all, to the point she went into work the next day like nothing happened?

I ask these things because I honestly don't know and maybe it will help to flesh things out more and add to the story.


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Coding Herman
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Page 37, when did Elle appear in that flashback scene?

Page 39, when Celia calls from the dark, that should be O.S.

Page 41, this is not the first instance, but I'll list an example of over-writing here.

"Mrs. Dawn puts a finger over her own mouth, acknowledges that Celia can't talk to her. Celia finishes with her phone call -- Mrs. Dawn reaches over the Counter and squeezes Celia's hands."

You're describing detailed body movements. Instead, you can just have Celia motions Mrs. Dawn to wait. Then when Celia finished with the call, just have Mrs. Dawn squeeze Celia's hands.

You know what? Scratch that. You don't even need Celia and her colleagues to be on the phone. Just have Mrs. Dawn walk in straightaway. And you know what? Scratch that as well. Just have Celia and her colleagues enjoying the cookies at the beginning. Remember, start as late as possible.

Page 43, something wrong with that slug. What's INT. BACK DOOR? I think what you meant is to use a mini-slug BACK OF THE STORE.

Page 44, how can we tell Harry's driving down Ocean Avenue and not another street?

Page 44, Celia "hangs" onto the railings? I don't think that's the correct word. She's not dangling from the railings.

Page 44, you told me Celia is smiling twice. The first time she just smiles, the second time she smiles like a sea goddess.

Page 48, what's with the exclamation marks? Are they yelling to each other?

Page 50, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, no more talking on the phone with the customers.

Page 50, the slug can simply be EXT. DUFF'S SPACE STORE - DAY


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c m hall
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Catherine, in response to your response to Herman, I have some questions.

Why did anyone attack Celia?  What were they hoping to achieve?

Did they want to kill her?  If so, why, and why didn't they continue the attack until she was indeed dead?  If they didn't mean to kill her, why would they just beat her like they did and leave her there?

Why wouldn't/didn't Celia go to the police or the hospital?

If a 40 year old woman is brutally attacked and left apparently for dead, how is it that she didn't have any real injuries at all, to the point she went into work the next day like nothing happened?

I ask these things because I honestly don't know and maybe it will help to flesh things out more and add to the story.


Here are my thoughts:
Celia, like so many people, is attacked not for any particular reason but because she is there.
The brutality starts as a result of Wendianna's childish yanking on the deposit pouch as Celia is on her way to the bank -- Celia starts to fall toward Wendianna and -- instead of helping Celia to her feet, Wendianna takes the opportunity to throw Celia to the ground.
This is odd behavior, for sure, but it happens.  When Celia is down on the ground and helpless, Donnella kicks her, mercilessly.  My thought is that the Duff sisters have anger issues.  
I don't think that it's important for the audience to know why they attack her, just that it was easy to do and it was probably unplanned.

Celia's worst injuries are probably the blows to her head and the fact that her head was held under water.   Celia has visible bruises that are mentioned in the script but no one discusses this; the Duff family choose to bait her with questions about the missing money and the other women she works with show evidence that they don't want to get involved.
Celia doesn't go to the police because she represses knowledge of the attack, it's a blank to her, she doesn't remember it.

Forty year old women can be quite strong and fit and limber-- mention is made of Celia having ballet-like movements and that she takes long walks almost every day.

Hope this helps.  Again, thank you for your questions and comments.
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Coding Herman
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Quoted from c m hall
Harry and Celia were never close, in the past, but that's mostly by circumstance; Harry doesn't live nearby anymore.


But the scene (p.7) where they first met never alluded us to that. I mean, Celia wasn't even remotely surprised that Harry came. And then they started talking about such personal and painful things. I was thinking, they gotta be old and close friends to be like that.


Quoted from c m hall
Harry and Celia talk about who's who because it's common ground for them -- it's a typical thing for people (especially older people) to go over (seemingly endlessly) information that is known or partly known to both parties -- it can form or strengthen a bond between them.


I'm sure these things happen in real life, but unfortunately, not in reel life. It just feels very heavy-handed with expositions. Try to do them visually. Like the picture that Harry showed to Celia was good. Without a single word, we know those three guys were good friends.

Another way to mask exposition is to do them through conflicts. Like during an argument, especially when one person is seeking the information. This way, you achieve two things at once: conflict and exposition.


Quoted from c m hall
Celia's rambling conversations are motivated, at least in part, by her refusal to remember the violence that was done to her, she continually changes the subject when Harry tries to inquire about what caused her to be in such a wretched state that first night when he saw her sitting in her doorway.


Where was that? I never came across Harry asking Celia about what happened that night. He just told her that she's all muddy.


Quoted from c m hall
The Duff family members grill Celia about the lost money only because they are trying to figure out what she remembers about the night before -- their conversation is almost nonsensical because they keep trying to catch her off guard, in case she might be on the verge of remembering that they attacked her.


Unfortunately, this just goes over my head. I understand that the Duff is up to something and I thought they want to blame Celia for the missing money. So that's why I didn't understand why the Duff change topic all of a sudden.

If you want to do what you intended, you should have a scene where the Duff talk to each other like: "Do you think she remembers?" "I don't know, we'll find out". Something to that effect.

Cheers.


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Memwipe
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Coding Herman
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Quoted from c m hall
Celia, like so many people, is attacked not for any particular reason but because she is there. I don't think that it's important for the audience to know why they attack her, just that it was easy to do and it was probably unplanned.


I completely disagree with you. Everything in a script is planned. Everything has a cause and effect. Not random.

The attack is on page 5, so we'd think this is the event that get things started. And we will question the motivation of the attack, thinking the reason behind it is the driving force of the entire story. Especially the attack is from the two antagonists.

If the incident that causes Celia to be amnesiac is a car accident or something, that'd be fine because it wasn't caused by any main characters. But it'd be even better if the accident is related in the story.


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c m hall
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[quote=coding]

"But the scene (p.7) where they first met never alluded us to that. I mean, Celia wasn't even remotely surprised that Harry came. And then they started talking about such personal and painful things. I was thinking, they gotta be old and close friends to be like that."quote Herman

Again, the scene where Harry and Celia first speak, in the script,  follows soon after the attack on Celia.  She's not even remotely sure where she is or what's going on.  Harry mistakenly thinks she's just drunk or high and tries to help her as best he can.

"I'm sure these things happen in real life, but unfortunately, not in reel life.
It just feels very heavy-handed with expositions. Try to do them visually. Like the picture that Harry showed to Celia was good. Without a single word, we know those three guys were good friends."quote Herman

Again, I may be writing for an audience that doesn't exit.  Or anyway, might be very difficult to find.

"Another way to mask exposition is to do them through conflicts. Like during an argument, especially when one person is seeking the information. This way, you achieve two things at once: conflict and exposition.

Where was that? I never came across Harry asking Celia about what happened that night. He just told her that she's all muddy."quote Herman

Celia notices and remarks that she's all muddy.  Harry tries to introduce the subject of "what happened to her that night" on several occasions when they meet in the next few days.  He makes mention of his own history of bar-hopping and he mistakenly thinks that Celia is trying to drown her sorrows.


"Unfortunately, this just goes over my head. I understand that the Duff is up to something and I thought they want to blame Celia for the missing money. So that's why I didn't understand why the Duff change topic all of a sudden.
If you want to do what you intended, you should have a scene where the Duff talk to each other like: "Do you think she remembers?" "I don't know, we'll find out". Something to that effect.

Cheers." end quote Herman

Well, that's something else to think about.  

With hope that I've addressed your questions adequately, best wishes.  I'll certainly make a point to read your script as soon as possible.


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c m hall
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Quoted from Coding Herman


I completely disagree with you. Everything in a script is planned. Everything has a cause and effect. Not random." quote Herman

Of course, I planned that the attack would happen, but the sisters did not.  Things just got out of control and they beat Celia, quite harshly.  (reply by CMH)

"The attack is on page 5, so we'd think this is the event that get things started. And we will question the motivation of the attack, thinking the reason behind it is the driving force of the entire story. Especially the attack is from the two antagonists.

If the incident that causes Celia to be amnesiac is a car accident or something, that'd be fine because it wasn't caused by any main characters. But it'd be even better if the accident is related in the story.
end quote Herman

The audience is being asked to consider that a brutal attack is made on a woman and there was no good reason for it.  As the story develops, it is revealed that Wendianna and Donnella are not nice, caring people.   If the audience can't accept that idea, then I guess the box office sales will not be so very good. (reply by CMH)
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 10:25pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I was actually going to post something very similar to what Herman is saying.  It just doesn't make any sense at all.

The "attack" is on page 5 and it is pretty clear what goes down and how.  It actually is a double attack as in there are 2 separate occasions when Celia is beat down.

It's also pretty clear that the intent is to kill her for some reason.  There's a line of dialogue about "is there enough water?", as in enough water for her to drown.  If that's the case, there has to be a meaning and reason for this all of a sudden.  I mean, these girls have worked together for what, 10 years or something?  Then, all of a sudden, for no reason at all, 2 separate characters try to kill their co-employee, but don't see it through for some reason, and then don't seem to do anything about it after the fact.

I also agree with what Herman is saying about when Harry comes into the picture.  There's nothing at all referencing that Celia has been in a life threatening altercation...twice, and left for dead, other than she's muddy.  

Catherine, the beauty of something like this is that we can all help each other throughout the entire writing process...from conception, through writing, and then in brainstorming for rewrites.

As I said originally, this just doesn't make any sense at all in a logical standpoint.  Your answers to Herman and my questions about it don't seem to shed any light on it either.  We're just trying to help here, and let you know what we see inside what you wrote.

Hope this makes sense.


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31 posts already!

Damn. I guess this thing is hot!  

I'll be on my best reading behavior tomorrow. Have been on a mini vacation!  


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c m hall
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Quoted from Dreamscale
"Yeah, I was actually going to post something very similar to what Herman is saying.  It just doesn't make any sense at all.

The "attack" is on page 5 and it is pretty clear what goes down and how.  It actually is a double attack as in there are 2 separate occasions when Celia is beat down.

It's also pretty clear that the intent is to kill her for some reason.  There's a line of dialogue about "is there enough water?", as in enough water for her to drown.  If that's the case, there has to be a meaning and reason for this all of a sudden.  I mean, these girls have worked together for what, 10 years or something?  Then, all of a sudden, for no reason at all, 2 separate characters try to kill their co-employee, but don't see it through for some reason, and then don't seem to do anything about it after the fact." end quote dreamscale

Yes, that's the story.  


"I also agree with what Herman is saying about when Harry comes into the picture.  There's nothing at all referencing that Celia has been in a life threatening altercation...twice, and left for dead, other than she's muddy." end quote dreamscale

I think it ought to be clear to the reader, or to the audience that Celia has been attacked, because they have witnessed it.  Harry, however, has not witnessed it, so he does not know about it.  He does, however, know that something is wrong; Celia's appearance and her manner give him that information.

"Catherine, the beauty of something like this is that we can all help each other throughout the entire writing process...from conception, through writing, and then in brainstorming for rewrites."

Yes, that's the idea.  It's a great idea.  


"As I said originally, this just doesn't make any sense at all in a logical standpoint.  Your answers to Herman and my questions about it don't seem to shed any light on it either.  We're just trying to help here, and let you know what we see inside what you wrote.

Hope this makes sense.
"

I think you've made your points, and I have addressed them to the best of my ability.  
I look forward to reading your screenplay in the near future.  
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 7th, 2010, 12:30am Report to Moderator
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OK, I'll move on then.  Wasn't trying to be repetitive.  Sorry.


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Coding Herman
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Hi Catherine, it's me again. This is the finale of my review. I'm sorry I took so many posts to do that, but I'm a slow reader and I just wanted to get my thoughts on the page right away.

Anyway, from the tone in my previous posts, I guess it's not a surprise that I'm with Jeff on this one.

The major problem is the lack of direction. Ask yourself, what do you want Celia to achieve by the end? What's her goal and motivation? Who and what are in her way?

Right now, we just caught a glimpse of Celia's life and all these events didn't come together at the end. For examples, the attack on Celia, the missing $1600, the saving of Ophilia, the front door buzzing, Harry's book, Jame's death, the toxic iron mills, and more.

The only thing that is remotely related to the story is the magazine Cold Cruel World, but that was underdeveloped due to the so many different story threads.

IMO, the story is only, at most, 20 pages long but is stretched to over 90.

The logline isn't representative of the script. From your logline, I thought the Duff are trying to get rid of Celia, and that's why they blame her for the missing $1600. But that's just the first quarter of the script and this storyline wasn't brought up at all afterward.

There are also many things that don't make sense in the second half of the script.

How come the Librarian got so chummy with Harry in such a short time? I mean, they went to the Diner together. Doesn't the Librarian have to work?

Celia's sexual approach is too sudden. This is her first time inviting Harry into her trailer, and they weren't really romantically involved at the time, so I don't think she'll be asking for sex. Her behavior makes me have second thoughts on her character.

When Donnella picked up Celia, I thought, finally we're onto some action and story. But then it took a strange turn into testing soil for toxic materials?! What for? What was Donnella trying to achieve here?

The most unbelievable thing happened in the woods. Is Celia a monkey or Tarzan? It's not about whether a 40 year old woman can do, is about whether she should do. She was depicted as a nice and sort of weak woman for the previous 70 pages. So this just comes out of her character.

I was also confused with that scene. Who fired the first shot? I thought it was the farm man and woman. But then you said they're the ones who respond to the first shot. Who's hacking Celia's tree with the ax?

I'm no expert on cell phone, but does it work after it got into the water?

I didn't like how you told us that Celia's trailer is a block away, around the corner.

The Celia's attack flashback scene doesn't match with what happened on page 5.  So the Duff sister beat up Celia for good, and then what I looked back at page 5, it was Donnella who told Wendianna to come and take a look at Celia. Didn't they know what happen already? They beat her up!

I'm also utterly confused with the finale. What is everyone doing there? Who are shooting who? Why are they doing that? What causes Celia to ask whether the Duff sister killed James? Wasn't James killed in a hit-and-run?

I think what you need to do is to get rid of all those talky scenes and story threads that don't contribute to your main story. You also need to put in more relevant scenes so that we can connect the dots as to what happened.

But the first thing you should do is to explain what is the story you wanna tell.


Herman


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c m hall
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Coding Herman, I understand that you don't like my screenplay and you've given many, many examples of things that you think are wrong with it.  I appreciate your time and the effort that you put in, reading it.

We have a very, very different perspective on human behavior.  Let's just leave it at that.  

Again, your time and effort are appreciated.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 7th, 2010, 11:45am Report to Moderator
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Catherine, I know I said I'd move on, but this entire thread just has me baffled.  I totally don't get it.

You've had 2 people read your script, who have both tried to help and ask many questions, trying to clarify things that don't make any sense, and for some reason, you have a problem answering the questions.  What am I missing here?

As I said earlier, this 7WC is so cool, because it allows each writer access to the entire group for help, support, and follow up.  You don't seem to want any of the help or follow up, and won't even answer simple questions posed about the script that we both spent 2-3 hours reading and formulating comments on.

I'm going to end this with 1 more question...just for clarity's sake.

What is your perspective on human behavior, anyway?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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seamus19382
Posted: September 7th, 2010, 11:56am Report to Moderator
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Jeff, just let it go.

I'm not trying to start a fight with you, I'm not trying to insult you, but at this point, you're just badgering her for badgering's sake.  

You've had your say.  Move on.  

And I think yours is the next one I'm reading.  Get ready for that ass whupping!  
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seamus19382
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Hey Catherine!  As to everybody, congratulations on getting this done.  Writing a screenplay in seven weeks is a real accomplishment.  NIcely done!

I really like the relationship between Celia and Harry.  It needs work, and a couple of beats need polish, but it's sweet nd tender and heartfelt, and is definitely a spine to hang a movie on.

The rest, unfortunately, is a bit muddled.  I think you're circling around the idea of a really good thriller.   Porn puts you in the Raymond CHandler, LA Confidential, Dragnet territory, and thats not a bad place to be.

I think you need to get the magazine in quicker, and you need to develop it more fully.  I'm assuming the $1,600, the James/Conroy murder mmistake, and Celia being in danger all have to do with the magazine, but I'm not sure why.  

And when you introduced Ophelia, I thought Celia was going to discover that she was in the magazine, and that would let to the confrontation at the end.  Instead, Ophelia just kind of disappears.

Also, I think you have too many characters.  You should definitely lose on, if not both of Lu and Sue.  They don't really do anything for the stoy.  

Like I said, this definitely needs some work, but I think there's a story here that's worth putting the work into.
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khamanna
Posted: September 10th, 2010, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hi C M Hall,

Read your screenplay - I started taking notes at the beginning but then I stopped and just enjoyed reading it. Because it's a Cinderella story is it not? Cinderella of age. Celia is your Cinderella - the set up, everything fits, everything? I'm sure I'm not mistaken about that, why didn't you say it's Cinderella remake though?

Anyway here's what I put down:

p1 - I wouldn't describe their hair.
Wendianna talks first, maybe you better introduce her first then. Is any of them your main character? I can't see your main character and I think you have to make it clear on the very first page.
p2 Your dialog is good - stuff in parenthesis is not that needed, I think.
I think if you have character lines twice in a row you could break it with the line of action (Donnella speaks twice in a row)
p12 I don't understand this "If she's still i there, we're not supposed to find her"
This is my first 7WC script  that's not about a couple and that's refreshing. Interesting too.
p14,15,16 - thier dialog could be cut in half, I think.
p22 - there's a lot of small movement/description of the small movement and small talk on this page (and throughout) for me. (same goes for mine - I'll tend to that in my rewrite btw).
p29 - I really like the love story progression between Celia and Harry. I'm on page 42 and I just realized that I've missed your first act break. (you didn't do it in three acts then?) Also there's no clear cut goal so I don't know where it's going. I'm sure you'll introduce one later - perhaps Celia acknowledges the meanness of "her step-sisters and step-mother" and starts acting - but I think it should happen now.
p42 - Now I'm sure it's a Cinderella story!

Not for everyone - it's a girly story after all. Great premise! Very original, i think.
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RayW
Posted: September 10th, 2010, 2:32pm Report to Moderator
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LOL, Khamanna!

I'm on page 30 and thought that about fifteen pages ago.
(Got a jump start on it due to the croup going around the household. Hack! Cough! Ugh!)

In fact, at the moment I have the Disney movie pulled up on wiki looking at the two daughters' names just to check n see.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella_(1950_film)



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c m hall
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Quoted from seamus19382
Hey Catherine!  As to everybody, congratulations on getting this done.  Writing a screenplay in seven weeks is a real accomplishment.  NIcely done!

I really like the relationship between Celia and Harry.  It needs work, and a couple of beats need polish, but it's sweet nd tender and heartfelt, and is definitely a spine to hang a movie on.

The rest, unfortunately, is a bit muddled.  I think you're circling around the idea of a really good thriller.   Porn puts you in the Raymond CHandler, LA Confidential, Dragnet territory, and thats not a bad place to be.

I think you need to get the magazine in quicker, and you need to develop it more fully.  I'm assuming the $1,600, the James/Conroy murder mmistake, and Celia being in danger all have to do with the magazine, but I'm not sure why.  

And when you introduced Ophelia, I thought Celia was going to discover that she was in the magazine, and that would let to the confrontation at the end.  Instead, Ophelia just kind of disappears.

Also, I think you have too many characters.  You should definitely lose on, if not both of Lu and Sue.  They don't really do anything for the stoy.  

Like I said, this definitely needs some work, but I think there's a story here that's worth putting the work into.


Thanks very much for your thoughts and comments,  there is certainly merit in considering everything you say.
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c m hall
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Quoted from khamanna
Hi C M Hall,

Read your screenplay - I started taking notes at the beginning but then I stopped and just enjoyed reading it. Because it's a Cinderella story is it not? Cinderella of age. Celia is your Cinderella - the set up, everything fits, everything? I'm sure I'm not mistaken about that, why didn't you say it's Cinderella remake though?

Anyway here's what I put down:

p1 - I wouldn't describe their hair.
Wendianna talks first, maybe you better introduce her first then. Is any of them your main character? I can't see your main character and I think you have to make it clear on the very first page.
p2 Your dialog is good - stuff in parenthesis is not that needed, I think.
I think if you have character lines twice in a row you could break it with the line of action (Donnella speaks twice in a row)
p12 I don't understand this "If she's still i there, we're not supposed to find her"
This is my first 7WC script  that's not about a couple and that's refreshing. Interesting too.
p14,15,16 - thier dialog could be cut in half, I think.
p22 - there's a lot of small movement/description of the small movement and small talk on this page (and throughout) for me. (same goes for mine - I'll tend to that in my rewrite btw).
p29 - I really like the love story progression between Celia and Harry. I'm on page 42 and I just realized that I've missed your first act break. (you didn't do it in three acts then?) Also there's no clear cut goal so I don't know where it's going. I'm sure you'll introduce one later - perhaps Celia acknowledges the meanness of "her step-sisters and step-mother" and starts acting - but I think it should happen now.
p42 - Now I'm sure it's a Cinderella story!

Not for everyone - it's a girly story after all. Great premise! Very original, i think.


Thank you very much for your kind words and your suggestions -- I hadn't been consciously following the Cinderella story but I can see the similarities and think it's a very charming idea, and I will give it much more thought.
My thoughts about the line you question on page 12 is that it implies that Wendianna and Donnella had agreed to pretend that they don't know what has happened to Celia, and hope that someone else will find her body.

I'm delighted that you enjoyed the story and thank you, again.

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Brian M
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Hey Catherine,

Well done for completing the challenge, I think you were the first to complete, also, so extra points for that. It’s also a fairly clean draft regarding typos etc, so that’s also a major plus. I noticed a few errors regarding formatting, particularly scene headings, but I’m going to assume someone has already pointed this out to you, as I haven’t read through all the comments. Anyway, onto the script.

SPOILERS

I think you need to focus more on the main story you want to tell. For me, after the promising start when Celia is attacked by her work ‘friends’, things got complicated and it felt like a series of random scenes that followed before we are brought back to the main story when she remembers the attack in the end. I don’t think the amnesia played as big a part as it should have, either. Celia should be remembering small parts of the attack and maybe find clues as to who attacked her during the script. Right now, you could be forgiven if you forgot the actual attack took place as it’s barely, if at all, mentioned. Even the sisters who tried to kill her act like nothing happened when she arrives back at work.

I also believe that it would make a great scene if you cut the part out when Celia makes the phone call the morning after the attack. It could work much better if she just wandered into the store, dressed for work. Imagine the sister’s faces when they actually see that she’s still alive.

This leads me to why. Why did the sisters want to kill Celia in the first place? It didn’t come across as random. She’s been working there for 9 years and they just decide to drown her? I didn’t buy that, sorry to say. There’s got to be a reason. Jealousy? Money? Maybe you could throw in a flashback to show how badly they treated Celia so she could be a little suspicious of them.

The Harry relationship just about worked, but it could use some work. The ages slightly baffled me. Celia is 30 years younger than Harry and was 39 years younger than Conroy. I don’t know if age gaps that size are common in America, but it amazed me.

Characters could be cut. First for the chop would be Sue and Lu. They didn’t do anything for me, and just wasted space that could be used to expand on your story.

I found the dialogue very mixed. It was quite good in places, but was brought down by a large amount of exposition and the constant use of the character’s names (especially in the first half). I’d watch out for that, especially as the sisters have longish names that stand out.

Overall, if the whole story could be about her coworkers attempting to kill Celia and she slowly but surely figures out why, then this could be a nice thriller. Right now, I think there’s just too much going on for me to really enjoy it. It’s a good effort, though. Any questions, just ask! Hope this helps.  

Brian
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c m hall
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Quoted from Brian M
Hey Catherine,

SPOILERS

I think you need to focus more on the main story you want to tell. For me, after the promising start when Celia is attacked by her work ‘friends’, things got complicated and it felt like a series of random scenes that followed before we are brought back to the main story when she remembers the attack in the end. I don’t think the amnesia played as big a part as it should have, either. Celia should be remembering small parts of the attack and maybe find clues as to who attacked her during the script. Right now, you could be forgiven if you forgot the actual attack took place as it’s barely, if at all, mentioned. Even the sisters who tried to kill her act like nothing happened when she arrives back at work." end quote Brian M

Do you mean that the reader would forget that the attack took place?  

"I also believe that it would make a great scene if you cut the part out when Celia makes the phone call the morning after the attack. It could work much better if she just wandered into the store, dressed for work. Imagine the sister’s faces when they actually see that she’s still alive."
end quote Brian M

Interesting idea.

"This leads me to why. Why did the sisters want to kill Celia in the first place? It didn’t come across as random. She’s been working there for 9 years and they just decide to drown her? I didn’t buy that, sorry to say. There’s got to be a reason. Jealousy? Money? Maybe you could throw in a flashback to show how badly they treated Celia so she could be a little suspicious of them." end quote Brian M

Clearly what I fail to convey is the kind of extreme hostility that can build up at a small business.  These are people who work in close quarters, every day and when they don't like each other things can become quite violent, quite suddenly.  I'll work on making that more obvious for the reader (audience).

"The Harry relationship just about worked, but it could use some work. The ages slightly baffled me. Celia is 30 years younger than Harry and was 39 years younger than Conroy. I don’t know if age gaps that size are common in America, but it amazed me.

Characters could be cut. First for the chop would be Sue and Lu. They didn’t do anything for me, and just wasted space that could be used to expand on your story.

I found the dialogue very mixed. It was quite good in places, but was brought down by a large amount of exposition and the constant use of the character’s names (especially in the first half). I’d watch out for that, especially as the sisters have longish names that stand out.

Overall, if the whole story could be about her coworkers attempting to kill Celia and she slowly but surely figures out why, then this could be a nice thriller. Right now, I think there’s just too much going on for me to really enjoy it. It’s a good effort, though. Any questions, just ask! Hope this helps.  

Brian


Your comments are very helpful, I'm grateful that you took the time to read and to post your thoughts.

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RayW
Posted: September 13th, 2010, 7:45pm Report to Moderator
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Page 1
Formatting: blah blah blah.
There.
Consider yourself admonished.
Moooovin' right along...

By page 40 it has just occurred to me that it's really only the first few pages that the formatting needs re-work.
Elsewhere, it's largely fine.

Being an inquisitive person afflicted with male-ness, I had to look up "piecie" hair.
http://images.google.com/image.....amp;oq=&gs_rfai=
Seems google wants to spell it piecey hair
Good to know what I'm lookin' at at work, now.
First page of your script and I'm already smarter. Thank you.

Each Saleswoman wears a SMILING FACE NAME TAG over her heart,
although none of the women are smiling.

Funny. Love "well intentioned/poorly executed" corporate propaganda.

Page 2
This is more of a technical software program thingie:
DONNELLA
(annoyed)
Could we get a little work done today, Lu?
DONNELLA (CONT'D)
(louder)
Celia! Would you watch where you
walk, please?

Do you know what caused the script program to insert (CONT'D) between two Donnella dialogs?
Sometimes my celtx download does goofy stuff like that and I can't figure it out.
Just somethin'.
Edit: On page 25 I figured it out when it happened again.
When one character speaks to a second and then third character you have a couple of choices.
Khamanna knocked it in my head to just change the dialog.
DONNELLA
Could we get a little work done today, Lu?
Celia! Would you watch where you walk, please?

Done. The reader can clearly see D first speaks to L then to C.
Alternatively, you can insert an action line between them.
DONNELLA
Could we get a little work done today, Lu?

She turns and yells.

DONNELLA (CONT'D)
Celia! Would you watch where you walk, please?
This sucks up more lines, which may or may not be a benefit.
Choices.

The Last Customer shrugs, notices the buzzer, finally, exits.
Quiet.
SUE
(softly)
Five o'clock.

This is why I asked about what you wanted to do with this script.
Big Six Major studios and independent producers (especially start ups) look for different things in a raw screenplay, the latter being much more forgiving than the former.
The gross majority of work posted at SS appears to be written for IndyProd, yet the Simply Scripts Samurai (SSS) hold every submission, great and small, to the studio standard.
Go figure. (I just go with it!)
The wrylies will give SSS conniptions.
(Don't tell no one: I think I'm gonna start including them just to p!ss off some of these folks! Ha!)
So, just to cut down on receiving cr@p, you'd simply re-write the above:
The Last Customer shrugs, notices the buzzer, finally, exits.
Quiet. Sue sighs.
SUE
Five o'clock.

Ta da! Irritating wryly gone.

And the Samurai have kittens over 'ly' & 'ing' words, too.
(Maybe I should write that as to, just to needle them?)
Lu and Sue quickly, quietly, straighten their Work Stations
at the Counter, turn the Open sign in the Front Door to
Closed, etc.


Lu and Sue straighten their work stations quick and quiet.
Lu flips the OPEN sign to CLOSED at the front door.


Outside the windows, DARKNESS rapidly falls.
Must be winter time if it's getting dark by 5pm.
Otherwise, for cinematic purposes, I'd change the time of year to late spring or early autumn. The colors look better on film and no one has to fool with snow, which I don't see being relevant to the story.

By page 4 this is a cute, hectic little small town shop sequence you've written.
I would like to have a better understanding of what product or service is provided at "Duff's Space".
On page 17 I see that its an advertising business of sorts.
Perhaps a name change of the business would make it more apparent.

Page 5
Darkness -- someone stands beside Celia's limp form --
Someone stands to the side, opens the Back Door.
The REFLECTION on the Back Door Window shows Wendianna's
untroubled face.

Wendianna! You b!tch!
This will be difficult to shoot as darkness + her reflection is recognizable in the window.
Reflections work best when it's brighter outside than inside, darkness has fallen and likely inside lights are on.
To address the time of day and time of year issue there could be dark storm clouds brewing and prior mention of rain.

Page 6
As Celia turns, Donnella pushes her down again, into the
ditch, holds her head under the water.

Ho-lee sh!t! LOL! Kray-zee! Love it. Whatta mean buncha b!tches!
I'm laughing all the way to the end of the sequence on page 7.

Page 7 I'd just go ahead and write it as "her trailer" rather than "a trailer" since she has the key to it.

Page 9 interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulgurite

Page 14
DONNELLA (CONT'D)
That sixteen hundred dollar deposit
never got there, yesterday.

These b!tches are some kinda galling riot!

Page 15
WENDIANNA
It was really busy...

I'm intrigued as to whether she's just screwin' around or she really can't remember.

Grandma Elle is a fine old b!tch. Love her. I see where her two girls get it from.

Page 19
Celia returns to her chair, sits quietly, distracted -- she
rubs the back of her neck, unconsciously.

strike unconsciously

Pg 20
Elle speaks into her CELL PHONE.
Elle reaches into her over-sized purse, pulls her cell phone then calls.

By page 21 Celia's a regular Cinderella whipping post, ain't she?

Pg 25
Celia (with jacket on, purse over her shoulder) counts the
money in the CASH DRAWER, locks it.

No need for those parenthesis

CELIA
Night, Lu.
CELIA (CONT'D)
(calls)
See you in the morning, Donnella.

See page 2 solution.

Pg 26 There're three slugs ending in MOMENTS LATER.
That looks kinda funny to me.
I'd be interested in finding out if that is screen writing industry acceptable or not.

Something isn't right on this page.
Wendi gripes at Celia "I told you I needed to talk to you, you were supposed to remind me!"
Immediately followed by "Not when I'm swamped! I'm begging you, remind me tomorrow, first thing.".
Wendi runs upstairs, sits with mom and sis then "Celia? It's about, it's about the --" money on pg 27
That was a weird jump from the exchange just downstairs.
Something to address in the re-write.

Pg 29
CELIA
The thing is, I never got that sixteen
hundred dollars. But it's missing and now
we have to find it.

insert hundred

Pg 31 Whut? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culottes
Makin' me smarter every day.
I'm surprised a 60yo trailer park kinda guy like Harry would recognize and remember what a culotte is to recite back to Celia.
He gets an A for tryin' in my book.

Pg 33
CELIA
That's how he meant it. It's just
sand, of course. Struck by lightning.

strike Struck by lightning.
Surely he would know by now.

Pg 37
ELLE
High tide brings the stink of the
whole ocean.

My God. Elle's quite a hag.

End of Celia and Henry at diner sequence.
I like that your aren't afraid to create an aspiring atypical... whatsit called? November/May? relationship between a 60yo fella and a 40yo woman. That's refreshing to see.
Additionally, I like how you've created a very realistic "She's obtuse to his amorous goals" scenario.
I find that especially realistic, as well.

Pg 40
Okay.
Harry the stalker? = Not cool.
It happens. Too often IRL, but definitely not cool,

Nobody believes her.
Unfilmable.
Lu and Sue lean heads together giggling and smirking in an ugly way.

From the reviews I see several suggestions for ditching Lu & Sue.
I say keep 'em.
Make them the Disney dopes whose sole purpose is to provide comic relief in their background shenanigans.
It doesn't have to be over the top stupid activity, but simple little things.
I think of the Flit & Meeko characters in Disney's Pocahontas.


Pg 43
Celia brushes past Donnella, coolly.
strike coolly

DONNELLA (O.S.)
Celia! Phones are ringing at the
Counter!

The line immediately before this needs to state the phones begin to ring.
Also, if I follow correctly, there's the downstairs shop space, a narrow hall to storage, back door and stairwell to the upstairs office (presumably there's a bathroom somewhere!). If Celia is at her upstairs office desk while Lu & Sue answer the phones where is Donnella to be yelling off screen? She has to be either on the stairs or in the hall passageway. Not that she isn't a hag and just yell for the halibut on general principles.

Pg 44 Beach front?! Ocean Avenue?! Is this setting a non-specific New England coastal town?

Harry tries again, to speak.
HARRY (CONT'D)
So... you like to walk on the
boardwalk? On your lunch break?

A: Since he actually DOES speak, you can cut the whole line about he tries again.
B: Harry the stalker. Creepin' me out. "She doesn't get it, you old perv! Move on!" LOL!

Pg 45
HARRY (CONT'D)
That's how you got all muddy, I mean.
CELIA
(uncomfortable)
It's no big deal.

Harry should be smart enough to know that if Celia had fallen off the boardwalk at the ocean beach that she'd be sandy not muddy.
He could reconsider his own statement.
Celia shouldn't be quite so easily dismissive.
She's an emotionally resilient woman, but not stupid.

HARRY (CONT'D)
That's how you got all muddy, I mean.

He looks at the beach sand, scowls.

HARRY
Or sandy.

CELIA
I almost forgotten about that!

She laughs.

CELIA
I thought it was a dream.
I've been so busy! Oh
well,
it's no big deal.

Celia shakes her head, starts walking and talking faster.
Not nice of her to run a 60yo man a little faster, even though he did kinda invite himself along for the walk.
And he just hopped out his truck, presumably not prepared for Celia's cardio-walk.



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RayW
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Page 2 of 2

Pg 47
CELIA (CONT'D)
And James said to me "My dear, your
beauty can be disruptive, but that's
just a fact of life."

Awwww! He loved her so.
(And just to be begrudgingly fair, Harry the stalker gets some brownie points for holding her arm across the street.)

HARRY
I never understood that name "Duff's
Space", what is it they sell, anyway?

Harry "We were like brothers -- myself and James and Conroy, that's Donnella and Wendianna's Uncle Conroy --" from page 31 should have a pretty good idea what goes on at Duff's Space.
And he isn't too bright to keep bringing up the subject of woman's dead husband as often as he does.
Harry needs to work on his small talk skills if he wants to get her culottes around her ankles. Ha!
However, I see the point in bringing the subject up for the audience.
Maybe he can just straight out ask "How's the ad space selling biz, these days?"

Pg 48
Harry searches for something to say.
I feel sorry for the poor old stalker.
The obtuse-ness of women makes it so difficult for us guys.
We JUST wanna shag. Is it that difficult to figure out?
Sigh... I suppose it is.
LOL!
You're writing is insightful. Keep this.

Pg 48
HARRY (CONT'D)
And I can try to remember where I
left my car...

SUV or truck

Pg 49
Elle, Wendianna and Donnella sweep the floor with small
brooms.

State names in descending age: Elle (70), Donnella (40) then Wendianna (38 ).

Wendianna and Elle make exaggerated scowls at each other and
giggle.

I hate these b!tches.

The above sequence looks kinda funny only in it's placement in context to the previous and following sequences.
Celia returns from her lunch-break cardio-walk along the boardwalk, jump to night time closing, jump to next day working the counter.
That's some funny time jumping.
And there should be another (griping/ugly) reference to the missing $1,600.

Pg 52
SUE
You have a daughter?

Co-worker, especially female, no matter how cookie-fixated she may be, would know by now if Celia had a daughter or not.
Change to "Niece in town?" or simply "Who's that?"

Pg 53
Lu and Sue laugh out loud.
I'm having a mildly difficult time figuring out just who Lu & Sue have an allegiance to, and suppose that's why most reviewers are suggesting cutting them.
If they are fickle, and their allegiance vacillates between Celia and the sisters then I guess I'm missing it.
I still think you should keep them, though.
But I don't have a strong opinion on HOW to develop them, just that their roles should be more apparent. Sorry!

Dozens of violets have sprung up through cracks in the
sidewalk -- Celia points to them ecstatically.

Okey dokey! Spring time it is! Wonderful.
Just need to fix that sun-setting time of day thingie.

Pg 54
HARRY (CONT'D)
I keep getting distracted by the
pretty scenery!

Oh, Harry. You slick, sweet talker, you.

Pg 56 Why does Harry stomp on the empty boxes? Weird.
And the buzzer thing is going to have a payoff later, right?
Kinda like the school bell thing?

Pg 56
A female LIBRARIAN (45) sits at the Circulation Desk. Harry
leans down to speak quietly to the Librarian.
Harry approaches the ...
HARRY
Do you know if you have a book by
Harry Jilbear?

Doesn't Harry "who wrote a book" know how to use the card catalog or look such things up himself on the library computer that he's about to use?
You could keep the hopeful/helpful/let down/sad/bemused change in emotions by having Harry actually looking at the appropriate section on the shelves where the librarian happens to be re-shelving books.
Include Harry pulling his reader glasses from his shirt pocket.
Pretty much the same sequence transpires.

Pg 59
MAN IN LIBRARY (CONT'D)
I love pornography as much as the
next guy, but that stuff, with the
frozen animals --
LIBRARIAN
And dead women! Well, they look
dead!
MAN IN LIBRARY
And one thing after another getting
rammed up the backside.
The three look at the screen a moment, unsmiling.
HARRY
It does stick to a theme.

LOL! OMG. I can't wait to see where this debaucherous little road goes.
I think it's hillarious that the librarian ALREADY knows what content is standard fare on an obscure little porn mag. LOL!

WAITRESS
Oh, you talking about that "Cold
Cruel World" shit?

LOL! OMG! Everyone in town knows this sh!t EXCEPT for Harry & Celia! Too funny.
You better not put Ophelia in a CCW publication!

Pg 60
As Elle turns the pages, her face shows plain confusion and
then horror, back and forth.

C'mon you old b!tch! Get with the program!
What follows is a nice sequence, BTW.

Pg 64
CELIA
(carefully)
That's the kind of sketches they
used to use in "Cold Cruel World".
HARRY
Yes, I guess it was, I thought of it
as kind of a poor man's Betty Grable.

Ol' Harry ought to be having a mild heart attack by now or at least some display of anxiety, having JUST had a lovely lunch with the librarian and waitress discussing this very same obscure, fetish publication out of the clear blue sky.

Pg 66
Celia pumps her fists in the air.
Oooooh-key dokey. Celia sure is some piece of work, ain't she? Goodness gracious.

HARRY
I wish I could, I mean I really wish
I could --

HOOORAY, Harry!

Pg 70
The Waitress approaches their table -- Celia stands, takes
one of the cinnamon buns, frowns at Harry, exits.

Celia is officially "off her nut".

Pg 71
Donnella drives -- she looks hungrily at the cinnamon bun in
Celia's hand --
Celia breaks it, passes half to Donnella, who wolfs it down.

So much for the "Mrs Dawn's Cookies" scene she made the day before.

Pg 74
DONNELLA
So I figure you and I can run some
tests, on the soil and water, just
random tests and get an idea.
CELIA
That's good thinking.

LOL. No. Not really. Sounds kinda... effed up and stupid, but Elle/Conroy/Don/Wen all seem kinda effed up and stupid so why the H not?
And Celia: You're an idiot, now. LOL!
Probably need to figure some other ruse for Donnella.

Pg 77
Celia leaps to a neighboring tree -- keeps climbing
horizontally, from branch to branch, tree to tree.

Nah.
40 year old women, no matter how healthy from their cardio-walks along the boardwalks, don't jump from tree to tree like lemurs.
Gotta figure out another escape sequence.

Pg 78
She swims carefully down the shore line, hanging on to rocks
when she can -- she pauses to catch her breath.
CELL PHONE RINGS.
Celia fumbles in her pockets, retrieves her phone, spits out
a mouthful of water.
CELIA
Hello? Listen, I can't really talk
now, would you meet me at the West
Allen Tavern?

I've ruined several cell phones by dropping them in water, briefly.
Her escape needs to stay out of the water.
I like how James Bond-ish sure of herself that she'll make an appointment shortly at the West Allen Tavern.

By the end of the page I'm wondering if Celia has any regard for Donnella back at the toxic ink dump.
And I don't understand the flashback or why Celia knew to slink away from Donnella's voice.

Pg 80 As Harry drives back through town there needs to be some more reference to them driving by Duff's before Celia remarks on it.

Pg 81
As Harry slows to make a left turn, Celia slips off her
seatbelt, opens the door and jumps out.

Ho-lee moley. The girl is nuts.

Pg 82
Celia gets to her feet -- starts walking, stumbling, toward
her trailer (a block and a half away, around the corner).

remove parenthesis.

Pg 85
Celia wraps her arms around her ribs, suddenly feels pain.
Flash back memory pain?

That shooting sequence was weird.
Did Mom, Elle, just start flippin' out and shot her own daughter, Donnella?

Pg 87
WENDIANNA
(shrieks)
Freedom of the Press! Somebody call
News Twelve New Jersey!


Ah! Finally. A setting.
Work this up to the front of the story somehow.

Pg 88
Elle makes a sign of dismissal.
Can't.
"Elle, in handcuffs, sits in the back seat of a Police Car", pg 87

Pg 89 Celia had one blanket from page 87, now she's getting another.

POLICE OFFICER
You want the medicals to have a look
at you, Celia? That might be a good
idea.

change to paramedics

POLICE DETECTIVE
Neighbor just said the Duff girls
attacked Celia on a previous occasion.
Is that right, Celia?

Need more detail on this like which neighbor and which attack?

Pg 91
POLICE OFFICER
I need somebody to sign a receipt --

Whut? What kind of receipts do police need in this situation?

LU
Will you come back, Celia? I'll
bring a plate of cookies --
CELIA
(laughs)
And we can get some holy people to
drive out the bad energy.
Celia and Lu hug, cry.
CELIA (CONT'D)
A Priest, a Rabbi and a Shaman walk
into a store...

Cookies make everything better!, and... there's a story missing there.

Pg 92
Police Car takes Wendianna --
Ambulances take Elle and Donnella.

Donnella was shot in the neck (lightly) but Elle was just knocked in the shins and tripped.
No need for a hospital visit there.
Police take away Wendianna and Elle.
Ambulance takes away Donnella.


Done-ola!

I really liked the first third.
Love the setting and setup.
I think the story loses steam at about the halfway point and the last third needs to rumminate some more.

Figure out what to do with the school bell, the door buzzer and the Ophelia leads. They go nowhere.
Or scratch 'em.
Remove all references to Harry doing stalker stuff. I like Harry.
I also like Lu & Sue. make 'e, funny w/o being stupid.
Have him already parked at the boardwalk finishing lunch, reading the paper, ask if she'd mind if he tags along.
Consider bringing his age closer to hers. I can swing with a 20yr gap, but it's not really relevant, so make him at least only ten years older. 40 & 50 = no biggie.
The reason the magazine crept from one format to another needs more clarification.
Dad's "problems" should be made into just plain, good old fashioned "mountains of debt".
Fix the swamp chase evasion thingie.
Have Celia get away, dry. Receive the call from Harry, Celia state "I think Donnella just tried to kill me", THEN have Donnella try to run her off the road forcing her into the water.
Definitely spring weather, otherwise hypothermia might be killing your protagonist!
The pipe thing at the end was weird.
The shoot out needs more... "WHO has WHAT goal" described into it.
And... I look forward to draft 2!

Oh, and change Celia's last name that doesn't have the word for excrement in it.
If it's all just arbitrary to you, Crepsey or Cressy or Craft would work just fine at keeping the Cold Cruel World / Celia C - whatever thing working.
Two thumbs up!



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c m hall
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Thank you, RayW, everything you say is helpful, and it's a great pleasure to hear that you hate my b!tches and laughed at things that I intended to be funny.

All of your comments will be useful while I'm working on the next version.  Useful and greatly appreciated.

Regarding Celia in the trees, what can I say, she's my idea of a superhero.  

And the waterproof cell phone, I figure it will be invented any day, now.

Thank you for your time and your enthusiasm.
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RayW
Posted: September 13th, 2010, 9:56pm Report to Moderator
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Regarding Celia in the trees, what can I say, she's my idea of a superhero.

You gotta sing this using the Wonder Woman song.

Lemur Woman!




LOL!
Gotta have fun where you can.
Remember: If you can't amuse yourself, other people won't stare at you and point as often!



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Grandma Bear
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Hi Cathy, (I think I saw you call yourself that someplace)

I haven't read all the comments to your script, but seem to remember there was some argument going on here in the beginning. I personally wouldn't call this one a thriller. Not really a drama either. I thought of it more like a comedy. Please don't take that the wrong way. I thought Celia was a really goofy character, but she seemed to have a heart and came across as a nice likable person.  That's more than people said about the characters in my script.    I thought everyone was a bit over the top in their emotional jumps and exaggerated motions. That made me read it more as a comedy. I also saw this a little bit as a Cinderella story and the Duffs being the evil step-sisters and step-mother.

The other characters were weird too, but not so interesting.

I felt weird about Celia and Harry though. She's 40 and he's 60. I know that happens, but I got the impression Celia only dates these "old" guys. Am I wrong?

Story wise I'm not sure what to say. I think the 16K disappearing wasn't really enough to create any real tension. They also seemed like they didn't worry that much about it either which further diminishes any kind of tension or seriousness.

I also was a little thrown about the sudden introduction of hard core porn. I don't think that suits this script as Celia is this good hearted kooky/absent minded person.

I didn't get why they drove out to the woods to take samples of the ground.  I'm assuming Donnella wanted to kill Celia, but she totally botched it?

Anyway, here are some of my thoughts as I read it.

No cover page?

pg  1.  You have five characters introduced right off the bat on the first page. That's a lot of character info to absorb. At least to me.

You also have them all, along with customers who are not named, in a store, but I have no idea what the store is about. Is it advertising or was the sign advertising? The store is 15' x 15' and has grey walls and floors with no furniture. That gives me absolutely no idea what it is they do in there. May want to rework that. Okay, so they do advertising. I only knew that after the Last Customer reveals it. Why not have some posters or something on the walls inside so we understand what they do earlier on.

Not much happens in the first four pages. None of the action or dialogue distinguishes the women from each other. I haven't really learned anything about them yet. Maybe you can do a little character reveal through some of the dialogue. I liked how you so lovingly described the women's movements.

pg  5.  Why is there another FADE OUT and FADE IN?

pg  6.  Confusion here. On the previous page, Wendianna is seen in the door window. On this page Donnella tells Wendianna to call 911, but then she pushes Celia into the water. Is that intentional or did you write the wrong character by mistake? Okay, I see. They are both in on it. But why then would she tell Wendianna to call 911 and then help Celia up if they're just going to push her under again?

pg  8.  I find the dialogue here a little hard to follow. Maybe because of Celia's confused state.

I'm having a little trouble believing that Celia can't remember the ditch incident and who did it. She wasn't unconscious when they tried to drown her and they were talking even. She must have heard their voices. If the incident gave her amnesia, how could she remember how to get home and that she has to call in to work?

I like the "smiley" face name tags. Works great against all the hostility and anger.  

pg 18.  I don't get if Elle is supposed to be in bad shape or if she's angry when she gasps and throws her purse. Maybe clarify that part.

Do you mean unconsciously or subconsciously?

pg 20.  Don't really get Elle's behavior. I'm assuming she's not supposed to be likable because she's not...

pg 23.  What was the reason for the coffee grounds? Sort of a set-up with no pay-off.

I'm almost getting a Cinderella feel here... Did you intend on that? I'm on page 27 and it almost seems more comedic than thriller'ish.

I'm also wondering how come Celia didn't get any injuries after those boards.

pg 32.  Not so sure we need to watch Celia and Harry talk about clothes for a whole minute. I think most of that can go.

pg 34.  Lots of exposition on this page...

pg 35.  No need to repeat that Conroy was their uncle.

pg 39.  It appears Celia does have bruises. Seems very weird to me that no one has mentioned them. I can understand Donnella and Wendianna, but what about the others. If they are involved in this, someone should still mention it for the story to resemble some truth so far. Even if they're lying because it will be frustrating for an audience to see them and no one in the film does. IMHO.

pg 40.  How do we know no one believes her?

pg 48.  Another FADE OUT and FADE IN?

A lot of talking about seemingly unimportant things. I hope they come into play later...

pg 63.  Don't really see how the talk about James funeral fits in here. Seems a bit odd to me.

pg 65.  "I have a feeling that I should have some really good clean sex right now"... That's a bit out of the blue, isn't it? Unless she was turned on by "Cold Cruel World" that is. Which would be weird since from what I could tell has kinky sex with frozen people. Wow. Somehow I have a feeling I totally must have misread something...please tell me I did.

pg 70.  Is Sheila's trailer right near the diner?

pg 77.  Celia is a monkey now? It's fine if you want this script to be comedic. Otherwise, I'd change that if I were you.

pg 78.  Wouldn't her cell phone be ruined after the swim? She doesn't care what happened to Donnella?

pg 86.  More FADE OUT and FADE in? That's more of an editing choice isn't it?

pg 87.  Police from neighboring tows arrive? Why not keep with the small town feel and let the local Police handle it?

pg 90.  The police wants someone to sign a receipt? For what?  Don't they usually have a police person overseeing things and keeps track of items removed from a crime scene? I don't know. Just seemed Like a really odd thing to say. To me at least.

Hope any of this will be helpful

Pia  










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c m hall
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Hi Cathy, (I think I saw you call yourself that someplace)

I haven't read all the comments to your script, but seem to remember there was some argument going on here in the beginning. I personally wouldn't call this one a thriller. Not really a drama either. I thought of it more like a comedy. Please don't take that the wrong way. I thought Celia was a really goofy character, but she seemed to have a heart and came across as a nice likable person.  That's more than people said about the characters in my script.    I thought everyone was a bit over the top in their emotional jumps and exaggerated motions. That made me read it more as a comedy.

Hope any of this will be helpful

Pia  




Pia, thank you for your comments, it is very useful to have your reactions.  I can understand that there are things in my screenplay that seem to defy understanding to many readers, evidently I need to work on many things.

I did intend there to be many comic elements, and for the characters to be over the top -- that's typical of my writing and I'm coming to realize that it's not particularly engaging to most readers.  
Oh, well -- back to the drawing (and quartering) board.

One point, about Celia suddenly wanting to have sex after being confronted with the Cold Cruel World porn -- my intension was to show that Celia wanted to redeem sex, for herself -- she wanted to shake off the images in the magazine through action with Harry.  By the reactions from readers, I guess this didn't work very well.

Much of what evidently seems to be unimportant conversation between Celia and Harry was intended to show that Celia goes into a panic whenever he tries to talk about her being all muddy and, he thought , drunk or stoned -- the idea is that Celia blocks out the reality that she was beaten and left for dead, she just doesn't accept that it happened until she is confronted with violence, again.

That was my plan, anyway.  

All of the questions that you raise are things that I will give much attention to during the next rewrite.
Your time and your comments are much appreciated.

Cathy
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seamus19382
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I don't think he problem is Celia wanting to have sex with Harry at that point.  It's just the bluntness with which she goes about it.  I'm a girl who likes a little seduction!
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RayW
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Quoted from c m hall
One point, about Celia suddenly wanting to have sex after being confronted with the Cold Cruel World porn -- my intension was to show that Celia wanted to redeem sex, for herself -- she wanted to shake off the images in the magazine through action with Harry.  By the reactions from readers, I guess this didn't work very well.

I got it exactly that way.
Looks like you and I were the only ones.

It may have been a non-standard response, but certainly within the realm of reasonable.
I think people/readers are getting hung up on any predictable aspect.
Was Celia's response predictable?
Likely not.
But is it understandable once she states it?
Oh, h3ll yeah. Easy.

Celia is very much wrapped up in her own sweet, little head.
The rest of the world is a very small snow globe which she looks into.
She MIGHT have had sex with Harry, but it wouldn't have been "making love".
Two different things.
She had therapeutic intents for purely personal reasons.
Not amorous.



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Grandma Bear
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All this time I thought you were a guy.

That part, to me is as if someone gave me kiddie porn to look at and in the next scene I want to have sex...  It would put me off for a long time. I do agree it's a bit blunt though.


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seamus19382
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I am a guy.   I was making a joke, which doesn't come off as well when you don't really know for sure.  
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 15th, 2010, 8:41pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, I was quite confused as well about Seamus' response.  Hmmm...especially after the last few soon to be deleted   "comments" in that other thread about how Pros do it...scary shit, man...


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Grandma Bear
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Trust no one!   :p


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