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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Family Day
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Don
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
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Family Day by Giovanni Esposito - Short, Drama - Family Day is supposed to be a pleasant get-together with relatives. But everything seems to be going wrong for Jason recently and he doesn't feel particularly sociable.   - pdf, format


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Zombie Sean
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 3:57pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure if I liked this one or not.

There was too much arguing going on, even for a drama piece. It actually got to the point where it got annoying and that everyone just needed to shut up for a minute. But then they had a good reason to start arguing towards the end after they found out that Maggie was cheating on Jason, which leads to...

...The descriptions. You left a lot of stuff out in your descriptions, which led to confusion. How were we supposed to know Anna got a camera? Through the characters' dialogue? No. It doesn't work that way. Same goes with the picture. I had no idea what the hell was happening until the very end when I found out that Maggie was having an affair with Peter, and it took me a while to realize they found this out through the picture. Actually, now that I think about it, what was in the picture? Maggie and Peter making out? Maggie giving Peter a blowjob? The two having sex? How did they find out that Peter and Maggie were together secretly?

The ending was just a huge let down. It's comedy that shouldn't have been added in there. It completely took away from the mood, and seriously, I really don't think his brother would say something like that after what had just happened. It's one part of the reason why I'm not sure if I liked this script or not. The dialogue is just...Out there, and people say stuff that shouldn't really be added in the first place. First they're arguing over Jason being unemployed, then about the affair, then how Anna isn't Jason's daughter, and there's just too much going on. That's probably why you went over the page limit (though, not too much). I'm sure that if you cut some of the arguing, you could make it the right page length.

Sean


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bobtheballa
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 5:34pm Report to Moderator
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This one felt almost like a soap opera because of how much arguing and crazy family struggle plot twists there were in so few pages.

The main thing that bothered me with this one was that you seemed to be doing a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. The two most obvious examples were brought up by Sean, where we don't know that the little girl recieved a camera until she says so and also that his wife and brother are in the background of one of the pictures doing something (I just watched "Blow Up" a week ago and probably caught onto this earlier than I should have.)

A lot of the dialogue is on-the-nose as well. After Jason's wife leaves and he gives a monologue about what a relief it is, this could just have easily been shown by having Jason let out a sigh of relief and drop his shoulders back as if a burden has been lifted.

Not a bad effort for one week and I did like the story. I just think the dialogue and everything else could be tightened up a bit to get you back to the page limit.
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with Sean and Bob.  Way too much dialogue and many pages of nothing but dialogue.  It would be very dull onscreen.  In terms of the camera, are we talking about a digital camera?  Who was shuffling through all the pics?  It came across like it was a Poloroid with pics just popping out all the time.

I don't like how you ran over the page limit. Not acceptable.  You could have easily cut a bunch back to get within 12 pages.

The last line is weak and shouldn't be in here.

Not terrible over all, but just too much talking, arguing, and revelations coming up in a few minutes of real time.


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Astrid
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 2:08am Report to Moderator
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Have to agree with some of the others, the ending didn't work. For me it was too "everything is going to be all right". It just didn't fit with the rest of the story. There was a huge build up and then that. Just that. Ice creme.

Most of the story I did enjoy tho. I liked the turns. I was surprised when it was revealed that Peter was Anna's real dad.  
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Brian M
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 2:10am Report to Moderator
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Format in the beginning is a bit off. First action paragraph is eight lines, they shouldn't be over four lines unless really important. That could be broken up. Characters names aren't in capitals when introduced, that is a must. Descriptions are few and far between. It would have been nice to know what exactly was on the picture although I have a good idea.

I did like the story. I had an idea about the woman getting on him early on, when the girl brought the first set of pictures up to her dad I thought we would find out then. I will say Jason finding out he was not the father was a surprise.

I like films with lots of talking, they can be entertaining when done right but I think this needs to be trimmed a bit. Going over the page count for this type of story really shouldn't happen. Dialogue was really smart in some areas and felt forced in others, a bit of a mixed bag.

Saying that, it was still a really solid effort.
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Sham
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 3:40am Report to Moderator
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This one was decent. The pacing was spot-on.

Format-wise, are your margins correct? They look very close to the edge of the paper, especially at the top. I wonder how many pages this script would really be when fixed.

You went over the 12-page limit because of repetitive dialogue. Just cutting back on some of it would be good, because while the dialogue you have is honest and realistic, there is just too much of it.

     MAX
Are you?

     JASON
No, I guess not. Since the layoff,
I feel useless.


I think it would be more effective if, instead of answering, Jason simply shook his head in disappointment. Sometimes silence can be a powerful thing, and I think it applies here.

I was disappointed no one took a swing at Peter. The guy was a jerk and needed his ass handed to him. I'm so glad Max was smart enough to hold Jason back but loyal enough to punch Peter if he didn't back off. Max was my favorite character because of this.

I had an inkling Maggie was seeing someone else, but the revelation of Jason not being the father came out of left field for me. Didn't see that coming at all.

Overall, I liked this, but it was too long. Just cutting out some of the dialogue should make it much better.


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The boy who could fly
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:06am Report to Moderator
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This fit the theme and genre perfectly well so good job there.  I actually could see some conversations going on right now all over the place...well at least the first part...kinda loses some steam half way through and I didn't buy the ending really, I figured that be the most heated part, anyways this fit the challenge well so congrats.


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George Willson
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:27am Report to Moderator
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Hm, ok. Obviously, I get it, so that's something. I'll say that my opinion will be slighted only because I prefer stories where the marriage works out in the end, not crumble to dust. The secrets were definitely there, and you have a decent zinger there in the end, so kudos to that.

However, you went over the page limit by one and didn't have to. The mid-section of the piece was very chatty with just the talking heads going back and forth about straight exposition. It wasn't all necessary, and you probably could have cut it down so it fell within the limits given. If you think you couldn't cut it down, consider this question: If I offered you $10,000 to cut that page out, could you have done it then? I thought so.

A bit of a writing complaint early on: you say Jason and Peter "face off" and then Peter says something while "standing." What the heck is facing off? I don't get it.

And I can't see a child saying "photos." Kids takes pictures or some possibly cuter word, but "photos" is too grown-up a word for a 8 year old.

So this was a complete entry, but way too chatty for its own good. It treads familiar ground, and has a nice zinger, but it takes too long to get there as well.


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JonnyBoy
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Meeting the competition criteria: This is certainly a drama, and it's based around secrets being revealed at a family picnic. So far, so good. BUT you went over the page allowance! Why would you do that? If this had been one page shorter, I'd have given you 10 out of 10. As it is, I must punish you very harshly for failing to stick to the most basic rule - 5/10
Characters: all pretty good, apart from, as I've said before, The Curious Case of Breastfeeding Belinda. Who is Belinda with? Is she Max's husband? Is she deaf, or just chooses not to get involved? It's like you forgot she was there. Apart from that, however, I thought the other characters worked pretty well - 7/10
Dialogue: that was the strong point of this. I really liked it, even though it really all just said the same basic things in a number of different ways. The trouble is, there's too much of it. It needs trimming, tightening, and SOME action needs to be added - 8/10
Story: I really like that you didn't see the photo. Let's your imagination fill in the missing piece. I agree with others that the ending feels misjudged, but generally I thought this worked quite well as a little tale of marital decay - 7/10
Writing/format: the formatting isn't right. Your very first action paragraph is way too long at 8 lines - 4 max. Character names should be capitalized when they are intro'd. I'm pretty sure something weird is going on with your top margin, too. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: whatever happened to Belinda while all this was going on?! Overall, though, fine - 6/10

TOTAL: 33/50


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seamus19382
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 9:02am Report to Moderator
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This one was ok.  The effort was there so good for that.  WAY too talky, and way on the nose.  I know 12 pages doesn't give a lot of room for subtext, but this was ALL right there.  

Particularly didn't like the exchange between Jason and Max about the Miracle.  Wouldn't Max have already known that?  

Again, good effort for a one week challenge.  WOuld like to see this after you had some time to clean it up.
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steven8
Posted: April 15th, 2009, 5:33am Report to Moderator
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This was incredibly depressing, which means you hit the mark pretty good.  At least the guy got the ice cream in the end.  When the marriage falls to pieces, both sides always feel it is not their fault.

You did really good with the dialogue.  This script could have easily had bad dialogue.  It worked for me.

I liked little Anna.  She was done nicely, and I feel very sorry for her as a result.  I never want a child to lose their dad, but I hope Peter has a bad accident so Maggie has to raise her on her own.  Ouch, that sounded mean, but Maggie and Peter are not nice either.

Anyway, good job and have a great day!!  
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mcornetto
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 7:20am Report to Moderator
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I thought this script had way too much dialogue. I'm sure you meant for it to be spoken fast so it probably wouldn't be 14 minutes of it, but just the same it could certainly have used more action.

Still it was a drama (the mellow kind) and it was a picnic and the secret was pretty good. Congratulation on meeting the challenge.
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grademan
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 9:27am Report to Moderator
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Good job. I liked the way you worked in the classic soap opera "Just whose baby is it?" wiith a dash of humor regarding the ice cream bars. It met the criteria. Soap operas are drama after all.
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