SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
It is December 12th, 2019, 5:58pm
Please login or register.
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship

Scripts Studios are posting for award consideration
The Beginners Guide to the SimplyScripts Discussion Board (WIP)

Yes, I am running script reviews, again...

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the and domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  Between the Bars - OWC
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 1 Guests

 Pages: 1, 2 » : All
Recommend Print
  Author    Between the Bars - OWC  (currently 2777 views)
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 9:33am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

Posts Per Day
Between the Bars by Matt Layden (TheUsualSuspect) - Short, Drama - Elliott is in prison for a crime he did not commit. Upon a visit from family and friends, he learns that there are far worse things in life then being in a prison cell. - txt, format

Visit for what is new on the site.

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

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 8th, 2008, 4:05pm
Site Private Message
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 11:09am Report to Moderator

Newcastle, England
Posts Per Day
Hi, I really liked the story of this. Felt very true and was well told.

The desriptions are a little too long and you shouldn't have the child's name in capitals in the dialogue. That should only be in action and as they don't actually appear then you don't nned it in capitals at all.

Really did like it though apart from those two aspects

Site Private Message Reply: 1 - 16
Souter Fell
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 11:33am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
No need to tell Jill's hair and eye color unless it actually moves the story. You're just making casting harder.

If a character is first introduced in dialogue, don't capitolize it. You only do that in text.

Your (beat) should really be an ellipsis if any. Beats are hacky.

Okay finished it. A handful of typo's but that besides the point. Got a good laugh with Carl's last line. Elliott just seems like a total rube. Let's look at it. Luke's a two time loser and Elliott's a family man who gives up his freedom for this guy. He needs a better reason than "he's my brother." Luke needs to have something promising in his life. Either that or we have to see more of the shooting and it has to make us feel bad for Luke and make Elliott's choice justified. As it is now, if Elliott ever gets out, send him too me. I got some swamp land in Florida to sell him.

Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 2 - 16
Zombie Sean
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A boozer, a user, and a two-time loser

Anywhere there's a zombie...
Posts Per Day
You don't need to capitalize Sam's name in Jill's dialogue. Only capitalize it in actions, that is, if you even going to show the character later.

You don't need to say "So-and-So cuts What's-his-face off." You simply do something like:

I can't believe you—

I said shut up!

I really hated Luke. What an asshole. You really did make him the guy everyone wanted to hate, so I'll give you props to that. If someone did that to me, though, I'd be screaming and punching the glass, maybe even admitting to the cops that it was Luke who killed him and not me (like they'd believe me though).



Private Message Reply: 3 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


New York
Posts Per Day
Besides some formating problems such as  the house scene should be in a flashback, the story was kind of good. I agree with Souter Fell that their has to be a deeper reason for Elliot to make this sacrifice rather than that Luke's his brother. At that last scene, I would have ratted my brother out there and then if he ever did that. You portray Luke so negatively that I won't help him in that end scene. Give Luke some positive qualities to contrast the negative.  

Hope this helps,
Site Private Message Reply: 4 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 2:47pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
Posts Per Day

I think this was a good example of parallel storytelling I believe it's called.  One thing unfolds, then another unfolds on top of that, and then another, etc.  Things went from bad to awful to terrible for Elliott as each page went on.   I think the dialogue was pretty good for the most part, though there were some redundancies in words, such as using the same word twice in a sentence by accident.

When Elliott took the heat for Luke, though...I dunno.  That didn't entirely work for me.  Here Elliott has a family and then he's hanging out with his troublesome brother and then takes the heat for killing a man.  What did he expect would happen?  What you did convey very well, though, is that Luke obviously has no heart, he's scum, and that crime doesn't pay because you lose the things that are most valuable to you.

So yeah, pretty good overall.  

Site Private Message Reply: 5 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
This was decent.  

Some of it did come off as maybe a little implausible.  Mainly the fact if Jill needs somebody to help take care of her child so bad, why would she choose a known murderer in the first place?  And in only a matter of a couple of hours, at that.

The scene with Carl in the prison yard is a little pointless.  It doesn't drive the story at all.  The only information given is that Elliot's wife left him, and we already knew that.  It would've been different if you used that scene to tell us the murder flashback.

Also, the scene with Nathan is also unnecessary.  The story's not about Nathan getting out in a few days.  And we already know Elliot was depressed.  Those were the only things you tried to express in that scene.

The writing, however, was pretty decent.  A couple typo's here and there, but the story was fluent and you certainly put Elliot into a very down-hearted position.  I could feel a lot of the intense anger immuting from him.  I was actually kind of wondering if Elliot was going to take it out on Nathan by the end of the script.

One thing I'm kind of wondering, though, which you never answer in the story, was how long does Elliot have to serve?  You have Luke say 'Don't come looking for us' at the end, so I imagine it can't be a very long time.  Did he go with the self-defense angle and get the murder dropped down to manslaughter?  You might want to express how much time Elliot has somehow.

- Mark

Private Message YIM Reply: 6 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 9:06pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

That was a good story and it met the challenge.  You could use a bit of tightening on your actions and to me some of the dialogue seemed a bit forced - especially the beginning which seemed soapish – but overall the writing wasn’t bad.

I thought the weakest point was the motivation for Elliot to take the fall for Luke.  It was just barely plausible as it was and could use strengthening.

The ending could a bit more emotional.  They should drag him back kicking and screaming.  As a matter of fact it wouldn’t surprise me if he told the guards his brother did the murder.  I think if his brother is leaving with his wife then Elliot no longer has to protect him. The guards wouldn’t believe him, of course.

And that’s another thing about the beginning, his wife says ‘he choose to be here’.  I don’t see her saying that if she is leaving with his brother.

Anyway, I enjoyed the read. I give this a CONSIDER.
e-mail Reply: 7 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 10:29pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
Capilization ahs already been pointed i wont mention it. Also is there any specific reason you mention jills hair/ eye color. I would see that as a casting issue. If it doesn't take your story further i'd suggest taking it out.

There are minor thing in your dialogue i would change. I'd put more specifics in their speech. They all sound the same to me. (but this was written with a weeks time, so going into specifics in dialect isn't too much of an issue.

This was still good though, fit the theme of the challenge well. Great job!

Good Golly Miss Molly
No Place Like Home
New Moon Rising
The Ballad of Uncle Sam: An Anarchists Melody
Toy Soldier
This Modern Love
A Virgin State of Mind

Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 8 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 11:10pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
Why does his brother starting a new life bother him so much? It seems to me that he’d encourage this. Oh, I’ve just read the bit about the wife so may be he wouldn’t be encouraging it!

The story is good. It does not quite hang together perfectly. For example the scene with Carl does not really seem to add anything.


Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 9 - 16
Posted: February 23rd, 2008, 11:39pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Don't get it right. Get it written.

Posts Per Day
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that who ever wrote this is new to screen writing... No, don't take that as a bad thing. All I'm saying is that there are a few technical issues with the format. However, everyone's already mentioned the format problems.

So I'm gonna move onto the most important part, the story. I liked it. It was well paced and the ending really stuck with me. If my brother ever screwed me like that... I'd hunt him down and skin him alive. I really felt for Elliot.

Overall, this was a good read. It's held back by formatting issues, but the story is good. Good job.

I'll give it a B



  -  5/5
  -  4/5
  -  3/5
  -  2/5
  -  1/5
  -  0/5

Revision History (1 edits)
Zack  -  February 25th, 2008, 9:03pm
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 10 - 16
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 12:14am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Posts Per Day
This was a cool short. It'd be interesting to see this extended to 40 or 50 pages, really flesh out the story, see where it goes and answer a few questions. Like what happens with Nathan, or what was the reason why Elliot took the heat for his brother.

There are a few problems, as others have mentioned. Mostly format related. It's definitely not terrible, but there is a room for improvement.

What is the purpose of Carl's character, exactly? He shows up for that one scene in the yard and then disappears. Maybe I missed something, but the scene doesn't seem to relate to the story in a larger context.

Anyway, overall this was a good read. Fits very well within the genre/theme so well done in that regard. I liked it a lot. Well done.

Private Message Reply: 11 - 16
Pete B. Lane
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 1:43am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
This is a fair story, but there are number of issues that need addressing.

Technical: There's the already mentioned format problems along with spelling errors (responde) and a usage error (breaks instead of brakes).

Story: Again, as mentioned above, I also don't buy Elliott's reason for taking the blame for Luke's crime. In fact, no reason is given at all. That could be solved with just one line, something like: "He saved my life when we were kids".

Writing: Frankly, it was the writing style that put me off this script the most, particularly the dialog. It seemed very "on the nose", as they say. I know it's sometimes necessary to be overly expository when writing shorts, but I think you overdo that. Also, people don't always speak in complete sentences or say exactly what they mean, yet all your characters do just that.

A good effort for a week, but the above issues hurt it. I'll give it a C+.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 12 - 16
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 6:51am Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day
i thought it was interesting w/ a lot of potential. The dialogue tho was up n down. It started out flat. Rly boring, but then picked up when Carl asked Illiot if he was going to tell him why he was in prison. Illiot's answer, "I'll tell you the day I leave", piqued my interest.

What's rly at issue for me tho is that the story wasn't believable. I didn't buy the idea that Jill, who should be pissed beyond the beyonds at Luke, would run off with him. This just wasnt imo sold very well.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 13 - 16
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 11:27am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

Buy the ticket, take the ride

That's me in the corner
Posts Per Day
The formatting transgressions found here are so very minor -- those who are implying to the author that this is virtually unreadable are doing him or her a disservice.

The story, however, is another problem.  It is filled with characters whom I do not believe would act the way they do.  The way that anyone would.  Jill, Luke, and most of all, Elliot, do not seem like real people in the real world.  The script is just a construct for Elliot’s unfortunate but imaginary predicament.

Oddly, the minor conversations with Carl and Nathan were the ones that felt the most honest, and they hint at what might have been in this prison drama.

Sorry, but I just cannot suspend my disbelief for this one.

OWC Score:  75%.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
Private Message Reply: 14 - 16
 Pages: 1, 2 » : All
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    February, 2008 One Week Challenge  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on

Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006