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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Reality Fiction Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Reality Fiction by Daniel J. Toemta (Alfred Hitchcock) - Short, Action - J.P., a man in his forties, is sitting down at a table in a booth. He's drinking a cup of coffee. Without a word, a waitress comes over and gives him his bill. She leaves. J.P. then turns his head and looks directly at us. 6 pages - pdf, format



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  February 3rd, 2007, 11:01am
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dogglebe
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 9:32pm Report to Moderator
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This script was very problematic, starting with the poor formatting and ending with dull characters.  Never start a script with two pages of monologue.  If you need to have someone talk that long, break it up with some sort of action.  JP can stir his coffee.  He was play with sugar packets.  He can blow a straw wrapper across the diner.  Anything!  REading this was like reading a newpaper column.

You wrote 'without a word, the waitress comes over and gives him the bill.  It's unnecessary to say 'without a word' if she has no dialogue.  It's like saying 'the waitress does not wear a red hair clip.'  Don't describe things that aren't there; describe things that are.

Is it important to mention what Stanley and Robert are wearing?  Is it important mention what type of gun is used?  If not, then don't mention them.

None of these characters caught my interest.  I understand it's sometimes hard to develop characters in such a short piece, but you have to try.


Phil
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George Willson
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 9:54pm Report to Moderator
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Doctor who? Yes, quite right.

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This one read like a general complaint about the film industry and then what you want to do to them. I get that your main character kills the guys out of frustration because they disagree with them, and I get the irony of the bad guy winning lik ein his pitch, but what does your main character get out of this? His satisfaction will be short-lived when he gets no where on his next pitch. Killing these execs won't get him any deals. It all felt rather pointless to me. There has to be a goal of some sort somewhere in there. Some sort of action to drive us forward. Something that the character wants and aims for. His violence came out of no where.

And I agree with Phil on the monologue. That was way, way, way too long, and just felt like a commentary.


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James Fields
Posted: May 31st, 2006, 9:56pm Report to Moderator
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I'm sure everyone has said everything I'm about to say, but this is a big blow towards Hollywood if that's what you're trying to get at. The dialogue for the first one or two pages dragged on and on until I wanted to just close the script.

It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, but it lagged.

You make a good point, but your script here isn't very... Superb???

2/5


Coming Soon:

I finally found the title for my short.

Acronym- You've been warned...

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Alfred Hitchcock
Posted: June 1st, 2006, 4:40am Report to Moderator
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Ok quite a few things to comment on here.

first off Phil,

ok you've had your "format" revenge with me. say we bury the hatchet on that alright?

other than that you make a few good points.

too long and reads like a newspaper column. well when i wrote it i set out to write something totally NOT realistic so whenever you say something like "it read like a newspaper column." then, to me, that's a compliment to my writing.

you make a point with the whole "without a word" thing and i appologise for this. my mistake.

it IS in fact important to say what they're wearing and what gun is used. it's important to mention what they're wearing cos A. you usually do that in a script when you describe a character. and B. it suggests that Stanley is smarter and more sophisticated than Robert when he wears a better suit which only adds to his character and also may help to explain why only Stanley and not Robert understood the joke about rene descartes.

i meantioned the gun type because the script isn't supposed to read like a realistic one and last time i checked they don't use those kinds of guns anymore.

about your complaint on my characters... nothing to do about that really. i'll try harder next time.



George,

yes it was a complaint about film industry. i'm glad you caught the message.

now although i wrote it i don't know EVERYTHING about the characters and the scene. it's your job, as a reader, to figure out for yourself why he did what he did. although if you desperately want an answer i'll make one up for you?

once again thanks for making my point about the monolouge.


James,

not a pop culture fan are we? that's fine, it's not for everyone. but all the NON writers i've shown this to loved it to death! glad you didn't thought it sucked though.  

about it lagging i'm sorry i can't do nothing about that. i guess next time i write something like this i'll work harder on the dialouge.


thanks to everyone who read it and replied!


When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood

Revision History (1 edits)
Alfred Hitchcock  -  June 1st, 2006, 7:33am
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dogglebe
Posted: June 1st, 2006, 6:50am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
ok you've had your "format" revenge with me. say we bury the hatchet on that alright?


What format revenge?  I reviewed your script and I pointed out the problems with it.  Don't use 'format revenge' as an an explanation for other people's criticism.



Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
too long and reads like a newspaper column. well when i wrote it i set out to write something totally NOT realistic so whenever you say something like "it read like a newspaper column." then, to me, that's a compliment to my writing.


It's a compliment?  It was a big screenwriting mistake and made for a dull and difficult read.  How is that a compliment?



Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
it IS in fact important to say what they're wearing and what gun is used. it's important to mention what they're wearing cos A. you usually do that in a script when you describe a character. and B. it suggests that Stanley is smarter and more sophisticated than Robert when he wears a better suit which only adds to his character and also may help to explain why only Stanley and not Robert understood the joke about rene descartes.


The only way I'd be able to tell Robert and Stanley apart would be through their suits.  Stanley didn't come off smarter or more sophisticated than Robert.  I've read enough scripts here where the writer describes the four main characters as a jock, a geek, a pot head and a romantic, but never go into character development past that.  The four's dialogue and actions are all the same.  You have the same problem here.



Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
i meantioned the gun type because the script isn't supposed to read like a realistic one and last time i checked they don't use those kinds of guns anymore.


Spec scripts don't include such information.  And don't say this was a shooting script, because it didn't read like one.



Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
about your complaint on my characters... nothing to do about that really. i'll try harder next time.

There's always rewrites.


[quote=Alfred_Hitchcock]now although i wrote it i don't know EVERYTHING about the characters and the scene. it's your job, as a reader, to figure out for yourself why he did what he did. although if you desperately want an answer i'll make one up for you?


We can only figure out the characters if they're developed.



Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
not a pop culture fan are we? that's fine, it's not for everyone. but all the NON writers i've shown this to loved it to death!


Now, you're showing it to writers.  We demand more.  We're a tougher audience.


Phil
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James Fields
Posted: June 1st, 2006, 7:07am Report to Moderator
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I'm into pop culture. I may have sounded like I didn't like your script. I did, but that lagging dialogue until we get to the point got me a little bored with it. Other than that it was fine.

So basically my only problem was lagging dialogue in the beginning, and for some reason at the end I felt confused, but now it's all making sense. I change the 2 to a 3.


Coming Soon:

I finally found the title for my short.

Acronym- You've been warned...

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TheUsualSuspect
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 12:15am Report to Moderator
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Wow, what a ripoff of Swordfish.


A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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George Willson
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 12:32am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
now although i wrote it i don't know EVERYTHING about the characters and the scene. it's your job, as a reader, to figure out for yourself why he did what he did. although if you desperately want an answer i'll make one up for you?


It's actually your job as a writer to know everything about the characters. Do I want you to make something up? NO! I want you to define this character so completely that his action is not only explained, but it is inevitable. I want to see the character make the decision based on what he does and what happens to him, but to do that, you have to know him. It is said when Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace, he had a notebook as thick as the final novel with information about every character in the book. Characters are important, and while you don't write every detail about the characters in the script, you have to know them inside and out. You have to know why J.P. did what he did. You have to know where the characters came from and where they intended to go before their life changed. You have to know YOUR vision of what they look like, what they're wearing, and all tat stuff that as screenwriters, we don't put in, but we know because that information affects how we write them. You have a short script here with 3 characters that are underdeveloped and you admit that you don't know that well. It is NOT the audience's job to figure out YOUR characters. That is your job. If you don't know them, you did not write them well enough for us to figure them out.

I wrote a dramatic script once that has six characters. Before I wrote the just over 90 page script, I had 10 pages of note for these characters. I detailed everything they did not only in the scenes they were in, but justified where they were between scenes. I gave thoughts, emotions, reactions, and a lot of stuff I can't write in a screenplay, but have to show there through dialogue and action. I wrote the script for someone else, but I feel it's one of my best works because I felt I knew the characters so strongly by the end.

If you won't listen to anything else, listen to this: if you can't define characters in a short, how are we to think that you can do it in a feature?


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Alfred Hitchcock
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 1:37am Report to Moderator
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eh.... i'm 15?


no seriously i'll try harder with that next time.


When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
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George Willson
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 1:43am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
eh.... i'm 15?

no seriously i'll try harder with that next time.


I gather you were kidding with the 15 comment, but you might keep in mind that age does not exist here in cyberspace. We're all on the same level and everyone gets the same level of scrutiny regardless of how old or young they are. This is both a blessing and a curse of the net. When I open something, I don't care how old the writer is. I read good and bad work from all age groups on here. One guy who had some notoriety was supposed to be in his forties and he couldn't string two words together and never listed to anyone. Others are younger than you and can develop their characters in a way I was never able to do in my early 20's. Everyone develops at different rates, but here, everyone is measured by the same scale. It doesn't matter if I'm reading your scripts or Phil's scripts, I use the same ruler on you both. Keep that in mind. Keep writing.


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Alfred Hitchcock
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 7:26am Report to Moderator
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yeah i was kidding.

and i can deal with what you said. just keep in mind my signature.


When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
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michel
Posted: June 7th, 2006, 2:24am Report to Moderator
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Alfred, are you trying to be the next Tarantino? Try best, please


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Alfred Hitchcock
Posted: January 11th, 2007, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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No. Realized it today, I'm gonna be my own writer. I re-wrote this script a bit (I didn't fix the monolouge which I basicly just wrote to write) and re-submitted it. Should be up in a while. I'm also working on another J.P. story Which I will submit as soon as I've finished.


When things go wrong I seem to be bad
But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood
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Parker
Posted: January 12th, 2007, 7:07am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Alfred Hitchcock
I re-wrote this script a bit (I didn't fix the monolouge which I basicly just wrote to write) and re-submitted it.


I think most, if not all, who read this brought up that the monologue is the first thing that should be altered, if just a little. You re-submitted a rewrite without fixing it? I don't think that's a smart move. I know you want to be your own writer and all, everyone does. But I think it'd be smart if you took in the advise. That monologue was enormous and it was very hard to keep going with it at times. Breaking it up with what Phil has already mentioned would make this a much better script to read. Right now, I couldn't even think about reading the rewrite, unless I skipped past the monologue, which is half your story I think.

Besides all that, it was a good story. A little psychotic, but good, and I liked it despite the first half of it. Please break it up a little. It'd help greatly.


I may be an idiot, but I'm no idiot.
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