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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  Last Cigarette - OWC
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  Author    Last Cigarette - OWC  (currently 4988 views)
Don
Posted: February 27th, 2008, 3:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Last Cigarette by Pete Lane - Short, Drama - Over thirty years of imprisonment have left Stan Blythe a hollow, withered old man with nothing to look forward to but that next cigarette. Will the next be his last? - pdf, format





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bert  -  March 11th, 2008, 6:37am
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chism
Posted: February 27th, 2008, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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After reading this, I'm very glad I'm not a smoker.

This was a great short, easily one of my favourite OWC scripts. It's well-written, although some of the descriptions are too long. They should never be in blocks of more than four lines. I also think you have a few too many instances of Stan's voice over saying "fuck me" or "fuck this" or "fuck that". They're not really necessary, so I would cut back on those.

I liked the characters, they were very individualistic; especially Tyler. His rants about rhyming Stan with man and plan had me laughing. I thought he was a great character, even though he was an evil sonavabitch, I still enjoyed him. It was also a relief to read something that was not a revenge story. I suppose it became a kind of revenge story towards the end, but not in the same manner as a lot of the other scripts I've read.

This is also the only challenge script I can remember reading that really tries to open up the prison world. Most of the others take place either in the cell or in the cafeteria. Here, you've used a myriad of other locations that really opens up the prison world. From the yard, to the laundry room and the prison store. There are a lot of different locations which make for a broader story. I think the script benefited from this.

I really don't know what else to say. I thought this was dark and funny and twisted and amusing all at once. It was fast, well-written, well-plotted with strong characters and a real killer of an ending (no pun intended). Excellent work.


Matt.
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pwhitcroft
Posted: February 27th, 2008, 9:45pm Report to Moderator
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This is very good. I agree with Matt's comments. This one is definitely one of my favorites. I really like the way you set the thing up carefully and then switch gears for a thrilling finale.

It's also amazing that you managed to resist the temptation to play on the fact that smoking kills. I'd have put that pun on every other line!

Near the beginning you had a couple of things that distracted me. The first is that when the guard (who turns out to be nice) sees the work piling up he calls for a 10 minute break. Without knowing he is actually a nice guy this seems strange.

The second distraction was the line “Just then, all other noise drops out”. It is an odd line that at least does not need the “Just then,”.

Philip


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bert
Posted: February 28th, 2008, 8:49am Report to Moderator
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Strongest dialogue yet this go round -- bar none.  Especially when we meet Tyler.  In fact, I may know Tyler.  The dialogue is offset in a very odd manner, format-wise, but I am hard-pressed to trifle with that when it works so well.

Can I hazard a guess that this one was written by a smoker?  You can really feel Stan’s pain.  The small details of prison life incorporated into this script also serve it well.

It builds to a nice, dramatic climax with a sick sense of irony.  While I am not sure a strapping fellow like Tyler would be killed by a single drag -- or if Stan's plan is even possible -- I suppose we can buy into it for the sake of the story.

Not the strongest contender for me, but certainly a top-five so far.

OWC Score: 90%


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ABennettWriter
Posted: February 28th, 2008, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with the others. It's great.

I think if it was soaked in bleach or some other form of strong, toxic chemical, it could work.

Good job.
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stebrown
Posted: February 28th, 2008, 1:28pm Report to Moderator
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Really loved this script. Not only is he in a real life prison but also the prison of old age and the main one of his addiction to nicotine.
Dialogue was really well written especially for Tyler. He had a humour that made him very likeable even though he was a bully.
Only real complaint is some of the descriptions are a little long and slowed down the pace of it.
Other than that though top marks. This one is in my top 3, decisions decisions.


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The boy who could fly
Posted: February 28th, 2008, 6:11pm Report to Moderator
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Another good one.  I really enjoyed Stan's dialogue to himself "fuck me, fuck him"  the dialogue seemed to have a rhythm to it which was nice.  The theme and genre fit very well here.  I think Tyler was a good opposition for Stan, he was one fierce jerk.  I also enjoyed the payback Stan gets on Tyler.  The dialogue format seemed a bit off, but no biggie.  Good job.  Now I'm gonna go have a cigarette


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BPeterson
Posted: February 29th, 2008, 5:30am Report to Moderator
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this is one of my favorite of the revenge scripts. my only small complaint is the same as others have said, the action could be leaner. otherwise, it's got good characters, good format and good dialogue. nice job.
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Maede
Posted: February 29th, 2008, 9:40am Report to Moderator
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First OWC script I read.  I liked it.  The formatting was good and I didn't notice any typos.  A lot of jails don't allow smoking anymore, did you know that?  Just another reason not to get arrested.  I liked the old guy well enough.  I thought his reaction to the guard in the beginning could have been a little less meek.  He should have told the guy off.  Would have made him a little more interesting.  For that matter he should have told the kid in his cell off too.  The result could be the same, but at least he doesn't submit so easily.  Most young punks in the joint quickly learn to steer clear of the older guys because at the very least they have friends that could make their lives miserable.  So he could be trading on his seniority instead of his strength, something like that.  

Also, I took the challenge to be "prison cell" not the whole prison.  I'm not sure what the rules are exactly, but it felt like you took some license here.    Anyway, solid effort.
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mcornetto
Posted: February 29th, 2008, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this one was nicely written and the challenge was handled quite effectively.  I not sure about the whole toxic cigarette killing someone instantly thing. I don't think it's that easy. But I enjoyed the read and I though it would make an interesting film. I'm giving it a GREENLIGHT.
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Zombie Sean
Posted: February 29th, 2008, 6:33pm Report to Moderator
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Apart from the clunky paragraphs of descriptions, I liked this one. Another revenge script, but it was good. Who cares if it may stretch the truth that a cigarette dipped in a toxic chemical may kill a man instantly? It's a good script if you don't think about logical...happenings, I guess.

I really liked Tyler when we first met him. His whole rhyming deal made me smile, but afterwards, he was a bitch. I thought he was gonna be a good guy, too.

What was up the way Stan's voice-overs were formatted? They looked more like poem formats rather than dialogue formats.

This is a good reason for why I don't smoke.

Sean


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Blakkwolfe
Posted: February 29th, 2008, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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Really, really good. Seems to be the most realistic view of prison life that I've seen so far (including mine). Liked how this kept to the singular theme of the cigarettes...It never strayed far from it's plot thread at all...Great set up, great characters . They were all real to me, not over the top-even the guard and the trustee selling a desperate man two coffin nails seemed human.
Good story, good execution and a good entry.

It's definitely ironic that the Banner Ad up there is about quitting smoking...


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: March 1st, 2008, 8:45pm Report to Moderator
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The descriptions here were lengthy, but I could go through them easily. I suppose it doesn't matter if descriptions are lengthy as long as long as the writer can make us feel compelled to read.

The story here was well-developed.  It was realistic and I liked how Stan's V.O told us what he is currently thinking rather than telling a story in past tense. At least that's how I understood it (what the hell was up with the V.O structure anyway?)

That's it for the good...I mean, it's realistic, but only that. Realistic. There's no real hook here. Just an ordinary day in prison. But well-written regardless.

--Julio

      
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cybercelt
Posted: March 2nd, 2008, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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  Very good read, telegraphed but in the "Yeah, so?" mode.
  Nothing jarring, nothing to bring the characters out of line. Good story, well told.

  Now give me my smoke.
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Murphy
Posted: March 3rd, 2008, 5:46am Report to Moderator
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This was great, a really decent read. I will echo what has already been said about your characters, really good job here. Tyler was really good and never took much imagination to see him clearly in my mind.

I will just answer to pwhitcroft however, you say it was strange that the guard called for a break before we got to find out he was a nice guy? I thought the opposite, this is what made us believe he was a nice guy. A really good way to build character through actions as well as dialogue.

The prison life seemed realistic (okay I don't actually know but it seemed real) and was great that you showed us more of prison life rather than just a cell.

Overall a really good job here, nice one!
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