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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Cliff and Wendy Moderators: bert
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  Author    Cliff and Wendy  (currently 1196 views)
Don
Posted: January 20th, 2009, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Cliff and Wendy by Tanner Murray (directoboy12) - Short - The party Wendy is attending is an excruciating dull until she stumbles upon a man that unexpectedly sparks her interest. 12 pages - pdf, format


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bobtheballa
Posted: January 23rd, 2009, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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This one's interesting. The dialogue felt a little dated to me combined with the boombox would make me think this took place several years earlier if it wasn't for the Windows 98 comment.

I could definitely relate to Cliff's line about writing and I think you did a good job setting up the isolation Wendy felt at the beginning.

I think this one needs a little more background first. With Wendy so different than everyone else at the party, I'm wondering why she's even there. Did a friend drag her along? Did she used to like these people but is now growing tired of them? Is she getting over a break-up and just hoping to be alone, or possibly find someone that reminds her of him but having no luck until she's exposed to Cliff's artistic side?

Giving Wendy a background story of some sort, even if not much time is spent on it, should improve the ending. She was offended that Cliff tried to make a move on her so quickly but given the way she walked away from the video gamers the second they pissed her off, I have a hard time right now believing that she would not only stay in the room with Cliff but be so willing to lay beside him a page later.

You've clearly got talent and I think the writing's pretty good, and the dialogue was for the most part believable aside from the slightly outdated references. I just think the characters could be fleshed out a bit more. Good luck!
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tonkatough
Posted: January 25th, 2009, 6:51am Report to Moderator
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This felt more like a scene out of a featue rather then a self contained short story.

I liked the personality of two main character. You did a superb job. I liked Wendy's unimpressed, unfazed "yeah whatever" attitude. As I read everyone of her lines of dialouge I got a mental picutre of Zooey Deschanel. She do the part of Wendy on auto pilot.  

So yeah this is a great example of well written characters and interchange of dlalouge between them, but as for a story, not much is going on.


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directoboy12
Posted: January 27th, 2009, 3:32pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for giving this a read. I was worried that this felt more like a scene than a short so I understand that comment. I kind of wanted the audience not to know why Wendy is at the party, I thought of her like Alley Sheedy in The Breakfast Club and she really just had nothing better to do so she went to some random party. I might include that into the dialouge somewhere to make it more apparent to the audience.


Quoted from bobtheballa

She was offended that Cliff tried to make a move on her so quickly but given the way she walked away from the video gamers the second they pissed her off, I have a hard time right now believing that she would not only stay in the room with Cliff but be so willing to lay beside him a page later.


I was going more for Wendy is drunk, maybe on other drugs, and something about this man interests her and she can't figure it out. The fact that he quickly apologizes makes her stay, and when he reveals his artistic side it catches her off guard making her forget about everything that has previously happened. I wanted Wendy to be a sort of "you never know what she's gonna say or what she's gonna do" character and I think Cliff is just as surprised as the reader that she wants him to lay with her, but its just the type of character she is...she's not the type of girl who gets pregnant cause she wants a baby, she's the type of girl who get pregnant to make sure her man never leaves her.

Thanks for giving this a read your comments are much appreciated.

-Tanner



Check out my Script:

Feature:
"Candy: Inspired by the Houston Mass Murders"
Horror, Drama - 15 year old drunkard Wayne Henley gets caught up in procuring his teenage friends for a serial killing psychopath. 117 pages
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colkurtz8
Posted: January 28th, 2009, 11:50am Report to Moderator
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Tanner

I like this very enjoyable & touching read, well done

GAME PLAYER
You donít like games baby? -- Comma before "baby"


"ABRUPT CUT TO:" -- CUT TO: will do.


ďINT. PARTY HOUSE-KITCHEN-NIGHTĒ

"LATER: Wendy leans against theÖĒ

-- "LATER:" -- Include this in the scene heading instead of "NIGHT"

DITZY GIRL
-I was like "Iím not anorexic Iím
just skinny so donít tell me to go
and eat bitch". -- Comma before "bitch"

I liked the opening dialogue between Cliff & Wendy very natural & easy.

Would Wendy follow him into the room? I mean we get the impression from her earlier interactions with people that she can be a little cold. Cliff is half pissed & doesn't come across too much better then the previous two people she encountered.

"Meh," - Ha, I love that word.

Spicoli -- Good reference?

"Cliff hits the bong again and blows out another cloud of
smoke, this time practically in Wendyís face. She fans the
smoke away with her hand." -- He's really not doin' himself any favours here, is he?

WENDY
Well though I do despise most
mindless trendy things like
Starbucks, MTV, and of course pants
with words on the ass I have a
strange love for ecstasy.

-- I see what you are saying here, it is a good piece of dialogue, except for the lack of punctuation at certain parts. e.g Comma before "I do", Full stop after "I have" . I noticed this in other parts of the script too.

I totally agree with the "pants with words on the ass" comment, spot on.

CLIFF
Damn. Thatís hardcore. -- Assuming that both are the same age. (You never specified Cliff's) this is a childish thing for him to say, especially since you get the impression he is a regular party goer. Heroin or crack (to name a few) would warrant such a reaction from someone his age, but not ecstasy.

WENDY
Yeah, My only fear is that Iím
gonna end up cooking a baby in the
oven like in that one Urban Legend. -- This makes no sense to me.

Cliff continues to it the bong whiles looking at Wendy. Ė Read this aloud to yourself, there is a couple of errors.

WENDY
Oh you know commitment, monogamy
just the typical girly things. -- Good answer

WENDY(CONTíD)
-if thatís all you want because you
are not getting up mine. -- The "up" sounds odd, change it to something like "near"

Cliff stands up, grabs the bong off the floor, and continues
to smoke it. -- Are we to take it that he smokes it standing up, a little strange, no?

CLIFF
FYI I donít look up pussy on the
internet, do I look like someone
who can afford the internet? Iím
drinking a Milwaukeeís Best, my
prized possession is a 35 dollar
piece of plastic. -- Another good passage.

CLIFF(CONTíD)
This is a Windows 98 for Christ
sake. -- ha, very good.

Is the dual dialogue necessary for the next exchange??

CLIFF(CONTíD)
Most of my time writing is spent
staring blankly into this screen,
with my fingers levitating above
the keys waiting for me to punch
some words out, but itís never the
way I envisioned it. When I wanna
think I canít, when I donít wanna
think I can. Iíll never understand
why sometimes Iím blank and other
times ideas never stop pulsating
into my mind. What are these ideas,
and why do they haunt me?

This is a nice speech bar the last line, which feels a little forced. Great dialogue once again though, summed up the whole writer's anxiety complex quite well.

"As the typing stops" -- "The typing stops" would do here.

Not so sure a bout the closing lines. I think it would have packed more of a punch if they had remained silent looking at the ceiling, as it is it comes across a little corny but I'm sure you have your motivations for ending it the way you did. (Maybe itís based on a personal experience)

That aside, I really enjoyed this...a lot. I loved the exchanges between Wendy & Cliff, crisp, smart, funny & flowed seamlessly...for the majority of it anyway.

I really dug both Cliff & Wendy as characters, which always helps the reader empathise with them, laugh with them, get angry with them, etc. This in turn enhances the overall impression of the script for the reader & gets them on your side.

My only criticism is, the typo's/ grammar/Tech errors etc but they can be easily fixed.

Really good job here, man

Col.


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directoboy12
Posted: January 28th, 2009, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for giving this a read, glad you enjoyed it.

Quoted from colkurtz8

WENDY
Yeah, My only fear is that Iím
gonna end up cooking a baby in the
oven like in that one Urban Legend. -- This makes no sense to me.


There's this old urban legend where a babysitter takes a psychedelic drug while watching a newborn and she cooks it in the oven thinking its a Turkey.
You can read more about it here...
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/drugs/babysitter.asp



Quoted from colkurtz8
Cliff stands up, grabs the bong off the floor, and continues
to smoke it. -- Are we to take it that he smokes it standing up, a little strange, no?


I've totally smoked a bong standing up before.


Quoted from colkurtz8
Not so sure a bout the closing lines. I think it would have packed more of a punch if they had remained silent looking at the ceiling, as it is it comes across a little corny but I'm sure you have your motivations for ending it the way you did. (Maybe itís based on a personal experience)


I just thought it need some type of closure, in words. And no this is not based on a personally experience I'm gay lol...this all fiction.


Well thanks for taking the time out to write so much about this it will help me a lot for my next draft.

-Tanner


Check out my Script:

Feature:
"Candy: Inspired by the Houston Mass Murders"
Horror, Drama - 15 year old drunkard Wayne Henley gets caught up in procuring his teenage friends for a serial killing psychopath. 117 pages
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colkurtz8
Posted: January 28th, 2009, 2:15pm Report to Moderator
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Tanner

I understand the Urban legend being what it is, my point is that taking E is a completely different experience to taking psychedelics.

The Legend has some degree of plausibility when concerning the latter but not the former, which is the drug in question here. E wouldn't make you do that unless you were dealt some seriously bad sh?t.

I presume Wendy was half joking anyway.


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bobtheballa
Posted: January 29th, 2009, 3:23pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from directoboy12
I was going more for Wendy is drunk, maybe on other drugs, and something about this man interests her and she can't figure it out. The fact that he quickly apologizes makes her stay, and when he reveals his artistic side it catches her off guard making her forget about everything that has previously happened. I wanted Wendy to be a sort of "you never know what she's gonna say or what she's gonna do" character and I think Cliff is just as surprised as the reader that she wants him to lay with her, but its just the type of character she is...she's not the type of girl who gets pregnant cause she wants a baby, she's the type of girl who get pregnant to make sure her man never leaves her.


I see what you're going for but I'm not completely sure it came out that way. I agree with the earlier comment about this making a good scene in something bigger rather than as a stand-alone short. That way we can get more introduction to Wendy's character and her spontaneity, so that her actions are more clear in this scene... especially if you show Cliff as a good guy as well, so that coming into the scene, the audience knows the two would work well together but we have to wait and find out whether either one of them will do somethng stupid to ruin it.
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jayrex
Posted: February 2nd, 2009, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
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Cut to three weeks earlier

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Hello Tanner,

That's an interesting story to a point.  The ending could be redone.  As Tonka said, it sounds like a passage in a feature.

I liked the Wendy character and I didn't care much for the Cliff character until near the end.  So when Wendy got interested I was interest too.  Although that kinda lasted not long.

Maybe you could entwine this urban legend into his comic books early on?  It'll give Cliff an idea when he sits down at his computer to write.

Aside from that it was not bad.  A few typos and grammar issues but not too much of a big deal.

After the opening title, the first scene sounds like a montage.  Is this what you were aiming for?

I really don't think it's a good idea to shorten dialogue or description into letters when you wrote FYI.

The continued words at the bottom of every page could do with getting dropped.

Money, do you write $35..., 35 dollar... or thirty five dollar...?  I prefer to write using words only.

Overall, not bad but could do with a rewrite to punch up the ending.

All the best,


Javier


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ReaperCreeper
Posted: February 14th, 2009, 5:32am Report to Moderator
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I'll be entirely honest here -- I enjoyed this read. The dialogue flowed well and the two characters worked well within the confines of your...ahem...sequence. Because let's face it, this thing just doesn't stand on its own. It feels like part of a feature, or at least part of a longer Short.

I felt like things were kind of dull until Wendy met Cliff. I'm not sure if this is good or bad since that was the whole point of your premise; but I did get pretty bored, to be honest. In fact, I was about to stop reading until they met eachother -- luckily, the script picked up right then and there.

After they meet, you build up a nice little relationship between these characters and do -- what with it, exactly? Their story did not 'end', it just 'stopped'.

Technical details --

1) I suggest you work on your punctuation, particularly in dialogue. Sometimes, it reads incoherently. Work on periods, commas, question marks, etc.

2) Is the first scene, before the opening credits (no need to write that, either), necessary at all to the rest of the script? I think you could remove it and no harm would be done.

I might sound overly critical (I feel like I say this in every review of mine -- lol) but I DID enjoy this little piece of yours. I liked the interactions between Cliff and Wendy, and I really admired how you managed to show their imperfections, their personalities, etc. in only thirteen pages. I'm sure you could pop out an awesome Feature if you set your mind to it.

--Julio

  
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Shawnkjr
Posted: February 15th, 2009, 5:48am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Tanner

Glad to see you back. I remember reading Apocalypse a long time ago...I think I was fourteen or something and really enjoying it. I always looked forward to your follow up.
I really enjoyed your characters in this. My favorite bit of Dialogue is "Well though, I do despise most mindless trendy things like Starbucks, MTV, and of course pants with words on the ass. I have a strange love for ecstasy."
This really didn't tell a full story it seemed like a random scene from a full-length. For some reason this put in the mind of Dazed & Confused. I guess because its sorta plotless and more observant in the time the characters are experiencing.
I did indeed enjoy the little nugget of interesting characters and funny dialogue. I would like more of it. There's definately something missing here and I'm sure its the rest of the movie.

-SHAWN


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JonnyBoy
Posted: February 19th, 2009, 11:56am Report to Moderator
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Hey Tanner, sorry it's taken me so long to return the read!

I did really enjoy this, although I have to agree with others that it doesn't really work as a standalone short. That's a good thing in a way though, because surely you're going to try and expand these two characters into a sequel? Glenn jumped to Zooey Deshchanel...I see Ellen Page, doing her sarcastic Juno character. Or maybe an Evan Rachel Wood, or Kristen Stewart. You did an incredible job of showing us these characters in such a short space of time. One slightly odd moment was when Wendy very suddenly got angry and threw Cliff's arm off. It just seemed a little abrupt to me.

Basically, like Raymond's 'The Brawler', this is a great piece of writing but also a failure because it needs something more. I'm just gonna quote Shawn here, because he's bang on: "there's definately something missing here and I'm sure its the rest of the movie." Now write it!

Jon


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Higgonaitor
Posted: March 24th, 2009, 10:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hey,
first off I wanted to apologize for the forever and a half it took me to read this.

I really liked it.  All your dialogue seemed to flow pretty well, and the characters were honest and as a consequence endearing.

All I have to say is that you really need to work on your punctuation, as it would make this script much cleare if you could improve it.

I also would like just a little bit more of cliff and wendy connecting---maybe she does look at some of the drawings, and while she might think most of them are crap, maybe one thing catches her eye.  If you do end up doing something like that, i would reccomend changing Wendy's reaction to what Cliff said about writing--maybe just have her regain interest in him after he says that.

I hope that made sense, please tell me to clarify if it didnt.

Good Job,
Tyler


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cloroxmartini
Posted: March 24th, 2009, 11:37pm Report to Moderator
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nice little scene
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Yosef91
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I liked this, but it is a scene more than a short (as others have said).  You have some serious punctuation problems.  In fact, it was difficult to find anything that didn't have an error.  You definitely need to work on that.  The dialog was good, and I love the scene where you introduced Cliff.

I felt Wendy went back to him way too easily.  You could have made her acceptance of her a little more gradual.  

Overall, a nice little scene.
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