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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Doorway Moderators: bert
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  Author    Doorway  (currently 1185 views)
Don
Posted: January 8th, 2009, 5:46pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Doorway by Patrick Sweeney - Short - Two reporters investigate an interdimensional doorway. 7 pages - pdf, format


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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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PatrickS
Posted: January 9th, 2009, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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I originally wrote 'Doorway' for a MoviePoet science-fiction contest. This is a slightly longer rewrite. I hope you enjoy it!


Feedback welcome!

Ghost Train - 28 pp horror-western

Astonishing - 5 pp horror-comedy

Doorway - 7 pp science fiction
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silverwolf
Posted: January 9th, 2009, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hey PatrickS,

I love sci-fi, and this was great!

You have a very clean and crisp writing style which is something I aspire to.

I liked the concept.  The mind boggles when you think of such endless possibilities!

Take a look at my script, 'Hard Black' if you have time.  Tell me what you think.
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Cam17
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 10:15am Report to Moderator
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This was a well-written piece.  As silverwolf said, you have a quick, economical writing style.  This was an interesting take on the whole parallel earths theory we've seen before in Star Trek, etc.  The fact that people were willing to deliberately risk their lives in order to find a better world is very intriguing.

The only things I found a bit confusing were how exactly the reporters found the warehouse and how did those other people who left graffiti and notes find the place?  Other than that, it was a fast, fascinating read for me.


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JonnyBoy
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 12:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hey PatrickS, read this and enjoyed it. As people have said, your economical style makes for a lightning-fast read...got through this in about five minutes.

My only problem with this is that the reactions of the characters to what they're seeing seems strangely muted. When they enter the warehouse, for instance, all we get is a 'Jackpot' from Bud. Surely they'd say more than that? This is a pretty big scoop for any reporter - something guarenteed to make them famous - and yet Bud doesn't seem particularly excited. Kat being subdued seems even less likely, since this is her chance to get her daughter back.

Apart from that this was a good, quick read. Thanks!

Jon


Guess who's back? Back again?
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Martinus
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 2:47pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with the others that it was a nice, quick read, and an interesting story. You're very to the point in your writing, which is something I aspire to, like silverwolf.

The characters reminded me a bit of what I remember from Mulder and Scully from the X-Files. Did they serve as an influence when you wrote this script?


I will return reads as fast as possible!

My scripts:

Shattered - Short: Two men who meet each other in a prison cell find that they have more in common than they'd like...

Tough as Pins (work in progress)
Bulletbound (work in progress)
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Xavier
Posted: January 15th, 2009, 8:21pm Report to Moderator
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It was a good script. Well written except for one or two typos. But I think it was written like a TV drama. I myself don't think that people would watch a short like this unless it's on The Sci-Fi channel or Fox. But it was well written and well plotted and I like that about a script. Good job.

Good Luck in the future,

Xavier


Those who believe that they are the best, the most popular, the go to guy, those are usually the ones who need the most help.
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rjbelair
Posted: January 16th, 2009, 10:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Patrick,

I’ll start by echoing the praise of previous reviewers on your writing style.  Well done!  The only quibble I can muster is your use of all caps for sounds and actions.  Though it is generally out of fashion to cap sounds, it doesn’t bother me that much if people still like to do it, but capping minor actions (like CRACKS and SHUTS on the first page) I find distracts from the flow of the story.

I like the concept.  I especially like how you tie the sci-fi MacGuffin in with your character’s personal problem.  The main issue I have with the story is the lack of tension.  You set up your characters on page 1 – Kat suffered some sort of tragedy involving a little girl, and Bud is on the outs with his boss.  Necessary ground work, but we don’t know what they want.  On page 2 we learn they are looking for an inter-dimensional door for a science story for a newspaper, which they find by the end of the page.  We learn their goal, the dramatic question becomes “will they find the doorway?” and this is immediately answered with a “Yes” – so that bit of tension is quickly tidied up.  Pages 3 and 4 have them playing around with the device and learning how others have been using it.  Interesting, but no conflict here.  

Then we hit page 5 and things get juicy.  Kat reveals a ulterior motive in finding the doorway and lays out her plan to Bud, who advises against it.  There’s a smidge of conflict here, but ultimately Bud doesn’t have a strong motivation to stop Kat from going through with her plan.  As a matter of fact, he benefits from her going through the doorway.  He makes some intellectual arguments, but we know that he isn’t invested enough to do anything but eventually step aside.  Kat follows through with her plan as intended with no real surprises.

One problem with this through line is that Kat’s decision was made before this story began.  Because of this we miss out on seeing her in that moment of choice.  Even if we could go back to it, it really isn’t a difficult choice at all.  Do I go on living an empty life without my daughter, or take a chance that I could be with her again in another world?  That’s a no-brainer choice, so no real conflict there either.

There are a lot of different ways you could go about upping the stakes here.  For example, perhaps it is Bud who’s searching for this “mystical” doorway, and he has enlisted Kat’s help. Her job performance has suffered since the accident and she’s at risk of losing her job.  Bud believes if she is in on his big scoop it will launch his career, and save hers.  They find the door, he explains the workings to her, she finds the mementoes and realizes that there are worlds out there where Zoe lived and she died (moment of discovery).  She gets the idea that she can find one of those worlds, and decides to use the doorway (moment of choice) but Bud tries to talk her out of it (conflict).  She’s not buying any of his intellectual arguments, so he hits her with a confession.  He loves her (bigger conflict).  She has feelings for him, too, but her grief held her back (perhaps another moment of discovery for her).  Now she must choose between chasing a fantasy she might not be able to attain, or staying in the “real” world, accepting love, and moving on.  This might not be the direction you want to go, but a scenario like this at least gives us a stronger, more immediate conflict and a real choice with pros and cons either way she goes.  If it were set up this way, I couldn’t predict what choice she would make, and that’s what creates the drama.

Format/Mechanical Notes:
Pg. 1: “commute” should be “commuter” or “rush hour”
Pg. 1: “Kat, look.” Sounds like he’s pointing out something for her to look at.  I think he’s being interrupted before he can say something, which you should do as, “Kat, look--”
Pg. 6/7: You start the countdown with numerals, then switch to words toward the end.  I would recommend using words for the whole countdown.
Pg. 7: “Mommy’s coming, Baby” should be “Mommy’s coming, baby” (no cap for endearments).

Good luck!



Why do things that only happen to stupid people keep happening to me?

My Scriptography
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ReaperCreeper
Posted: January 17th, 2009, 12:44am Report to Moderator
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Hello. I really enjoyed this. It felt like a small part of a feature length script; but at the same time, it did not feel incomplete. Kat and Bud both seem like very likeable characters. It was a decent read but I feel like there is still a lot more ground to cover here. Good effort.

--Julio  
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PatrickS
Posted: January 20th, 2009, 11:21pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone for your feedback, and special thanks to RJbelair for the in-depth analysis on the story - a lot to think about there. I especially appreciate the compliments on my writing. When I began trying my hand at screenwriting about a year ago, I really wrestled with finding my 'voice' in the action & descriptive text, so it's nice to hear that folks seem to like it. I'm in the midst of a feature project - not Doorway, something new - but I will reciprocate reads as I'm able. Thanks again, and I'm glad you enjoyed Doorway.


Feedback welcome!

Ghost Train - 28 pp horror-western

Astonishing - 5 pp horror-comedy

Doorway - 7 pp science fiction
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: January 25th, 2009, 2:04am Report to Moderator
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I basically had to read this because the feature I’m working on has a dimensional door, or at least something that characters will describe as a dimensional door. Anyway, the similarities don’t go beyond that.

I’ve read Ghost Train so I was confident this would be well written. And it is.

Nice job of staying focused on the story and not getting bogged down with techno jargon or informer dialogue. You kept the science generic and concentrated on moving the story forward.

Not much to criticize. The only thing I could offer is that I don’t feel it packed the emotional punch it had the potential for. With Kat at the beginning, we have no real way of knowing she’s depressed. For all we know, she could just be messy. The picture suggests subtly what might be going on but I think it needs more. I think the ending will carry more weight if we get a clearer glimpse of Kat’s suffering earlier on. It doesn’t have to be totally obvious, just a little more foreshadowing.

Both characters come off as a little too calm given the situation. There was very little doubt as to this machine’s authenticity. Kat accepted it utterly and Bud seemed to accept the premise of it with little effort. Realistically I would think both would doubt it rather heavily at least until they turned it on. Unless of course Kat already knew the inventor and knew he was capable of such a thing.

One spelling error not yet mentioned: P3 - Fluorescent lighs - lights

Other than that, it’s well written and a job well done.


Breanne



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