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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Cover Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: January 20th, 2008, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Cover by Mark Lyons (rc1107) - Short, Drama - Tenses rise for an Arabic couple under investigation after arriving in America.  11 pages. - pdf, format


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dkw208
Posted: January 21st, 2008, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
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please read my script: http://www.simplyscripts.ne

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hey, just had a read.  here are some notes:

it felt too on the nose when marvin said "less civilian casualties in case they decide to fight back".  i was also confused that marvin would ask for his passport over a traffic stop.  i think if he just asked for ID and hanif gave him the passport, that would suffice.  those were just the two minor details i noticed.  you have an interesting story, but i think you need to add a twist to it.  pretty early on we figure out that the arabic couple was good, and the other guys were bad.  i think it would be more interesting if throughout we think the foreign couple is up to no good and the guys tailing them are really fbi agents or whetever, but then in fact it turns out that it was the other way around.  there's an episode of 30 rock where the tina fey character gets suspicious of her middle eastern neighbor because she sees in his apartment he has maps of the world on the wall and they are all marked up, and she sees him in the park doing drills like you see in taliban camps (like running, and rolling on the ground and dodging stuff), and then at the end the twist is that he's not a terrorist, but he was training for that show "the amazing race".  i think if you added something like that to play off our expectations, it would strengthen your piece.  hope this helps


please read:
canyon lake-21 pages - american gem quarterfinalist (contest ongoing):
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1200534890/



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Abe from LA
Posted: January 28th, 2008, 1:30am Report to Moderator
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Mark,

I enjoyed the read, but when finished I didn't feel the same satisfaction as with "Glim Dropper."
Probably because this is more of a one-trick pony.

*Spoilers Ahead*
The robbery was OK.  Nothing special for a movie.  As dkw208 mentioned, it felt like something more was needed.  He suggested a twist and that's a pretty good idea.
You bounce from good formatting to bad.  And although very minor, I do see some passive writing in the action sequences.

Pretty good dialog for the Arab couple.  Short and realistic.  I could hear the trace of accent.  They were likable and believable.
Remember to give us sluglines for scene changes.  Especially in the cars as the characters are driving.
The passive writing I mentioned would be lines like "Things become a bit more relaxed in the bar.." on Page 2.
Thorndell... "starts to tail Hanif and Adara from a distance."   P 4.
Rent-a-Car agent "rushes to help place the other two suitcases gently into the trunk."  Page 4.

A hint that Thorndell and Marvin aren’t the real deal – P 5… a make-shift siren?

I think T & M are just looking for a victim with $$$.  Right?  Thorndell is in the lounge prior to the Arab couple's arrival.
At what point did they target the Arab (opposed to Arabic) couple?
When Thorndell gets on the walkie-talkie, he makes it sounds as if he and Marvin have been tracking Hanif and Adara all along.

Quoted Text
They just left the lounge. They're walking towards the West exit now to get their luggage.

You're not selling us on the Arab couple being suspicious.  Work on that if you want to cast some doubt about their motives.

I think Thorndell carries on the charade a bit too long.  There is a point he can just cuff the woman and guy and drop the investigator act.

As for twists, maybe when Thorndell pulls out his wallet with the fake badge, he drops something incriminating.  The bad guys shouldn't just get away.  Or maybe the Arabs are terrorists.  

Ever see an old Hitchcock Presents story called "The Crooked Road"?
A man and woman traveling through a small town get pulled over by the police for a false traffic violation. This is followed by a series of other misfortunes that end up costing the man and woman mucho bucks.  The corruption never ends.
When the man and woman are finally able to escape the town, we learn that they are investigators for the State Highway Commission.  And they just got a ton of evidence.

Well, that's all I can say for now.  It wasn't a boring piece, just didn't feel there was any more to it than what you presented.  Nothing for us to wonder about.

Abe
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rc1107
Posted: January 28th, 2008, 11:29am Report to Moderator
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Hey dkw and Abe,

Sorry, dk, I didn't even know you had replied to this before today.

Thanks to both of you for taking a read and letting me know what you thought.  I must admit, I know this definately isn't my strongest work.  I wrote three stories in a row that all had some very morbid moments in them, and this story is what I wrote while I was focusing on them: something non-gruesome and, although this isn't very light-hearted, it was still something to get my mind off of and ground me from violence, just for a little while.  'The Glim Dropper' was written in the same way.  Lol, I was hoping you wouldn't go straight from reading 'Glim Dropper' to 'Cover', Abe.  I promise I write more than just con jobs and capers.

I know I definately need some more work on making the story a little bit more interesting.  I have a whole storyboard written for Marvin and Thorndell.  They pull off a huge and exciting job early on, a couple small ones here and there along the way, mainly to build personality, and build up to another huge job (that I came up with myself, so it's unheard of).  This was one of the smaller ones in between the two biggies.  Oh yeah, Abe.  I forgot if I told you what I got arrested for in Florida, but it doesn't have anything to do with pulling a job or anything like that.  I promise I'm not a con man.  (Although, isn't that the first thing a con man would say?  :-)  )


Quoted from Abe
At what point did they target the Arab (opposed to Arabic) couple?


In the airport bar, as soon as Thorndell sees the foreign couple dressed rather expensively, that's when he decides on them.  Marvin and Thorndell weren't tailing them, they were scouting anybody who looked like they had money and would be an easy mark.  Hanif and Adara happened to be the first people to come along.

There's definately a lot more I see now that I have to work on for this story to work by itself without the rest of it, and a few more twists to add in also.

And, I really like that idea, Abe.  Thorndell dropping something incriminating will definately play well into the bigger picture of things when, and if, I decide to write the entire storyboard as a whole.

As for right now, I'm not interested, or don't think I have anything exciting enough, to work on the whole picture yet.  That's usually how I work on features, though.  Just sit and stew about things for a very long time.  Eventually, everything seems to come together and I get really excited about it.

Thanks again for reading these.


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RobertSpence
Posted: February 16th, 2008, 4:30pm Report to Moderator
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A very good script you have here. It flows really well, and from your format, descriptions and flow of action, I am given the impression you are fairly experienced in this field. I thought I would give this a go because I read Pearl Dive and thought it was very good, and I was not disappointed. For a second I thought the script was going to go another way, like the officers following the couple because of the stereotype but that sleek little twist at the end was very good.


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rc1107
Posted: February 17th, 2008, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Robert,

Thanks for taking a look at this one.  I'm actually a little surprised by a couple of the favorable comments I've received (most of them from e-mails from guest users wanting to film this).  I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it.

I wrote it mainly because I wanted to work on my dramatic prose.  Perfect timing, I guess, with the theme of the OWC this week.  I still think I can go farther with the story, but I still haven't made any final decisions on wanting to write the entire feature storyboard I had slated to write from.  It's still early in the process, though.

Thanks again for telling me what you think.

- Mark


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sniper
Posted: February 18th, 2008, 5:42am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark,

This was a really clever script - reminded me of Newman/Redford's The Sting, though on a smaller scale. I thought it was gonna be some kind of US paranoia with Middle-Easternes script but you managed to pull a nice one in the end.

And excellently written too, every scene added something new to the story and that's always important. You may wanna OOOOMPH the endning a bit more cos' it lacks a little punch. Maybe there really was a bomb in one of the suitcases.

Thanks for a good read.

Cheers
Rob


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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rc1107
Posted: February 18th, 2008, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Rob,

Glad you seemed to have enjoyed it.

Originally, this was just a minor little scheme in a much grander picture, but I've decided to scrap that idea for right now, so I definately am going to ponder on the bigger oooomph for this one.  An actual bomb has crossed my mind a few times, but this whole story's still on the back-burner for right now while I focus on a couple of my other features.

Thanks for taking a gander at this one.

- Mark


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stebrown
Posted: February 19th, 2008, 11:20am Report to Moderator
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Hi Mark, don't think the New York tourist board would thank you for this one lol Good tight script tho.
Gotta agree with Dkw tho that a twist would improve it. As it is it's an interesting read but could be very good if we're left guessing a bit more.
I think the lesson to learn from this is always use travellers cheque or American Express haha


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