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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  A Man For All Time Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 21st, 2009, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Man For All Time by Steve McDonell - Short - An executed outlaw finds himself in a strange afterlife… 6 pages - pdf, format


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Lightfoot
Posted: April 21st, 2009, 9:56pm Report to Moderator
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Strange but an interesting piece I thought.

Don't really have any dislikes with it, the action and grammar were all perfect,

SPOILER

To me that whole waking up in the middle of an invasion seemed random, maybe  you should add something in between where he's executed and when he's waking up on the boat so you can explain a bit more how or why he's there.
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stevie
Posted: April 22nd, 2009, 4:49pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read Lightfoot. this was my first short and it was interesting for me to write in a new style. My thanks to Slabby for his advice re voiceovers. His suggestion to look at the Casino script was a great help.
I wasn't sure how many people would know much about Ned Kelly, except for my fellow Aussies, of course. Ned is considered our greatest folk hero, similiar to the standing Jesse James or Butch and Sundance have in the U.S.
Naturally Ned is villified by a lot of people, especially the descendants of the police he killed, but most Aussies agree he is truly a part of the national psyche.
I was always intrigued by the fact that Ned's nephew was killed on the battlefields of WW1 France, and had Ned been born in a different era, he and his mates would've been at Gallipoli. As our sacred Anzac Day approaches, I wanted to use this to imagine Ned reincarnated at Gallipoli. This whole story was written in text a few years back, before I discovered script writing. I was going to write different aspects of Ned's life in various years, including him as a top footballer, bomber piot, even prime minister. Maybe one day I will finish this.
A good website for more info on Ned is http://www.ironoutlaw.com
PS i forgot that Heath Ledger portrayed Ned in 2003, so SS people might be familiar with his story. Cheers


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steven8
Posted: April 23rd, 2009, 3:37am Report to Moderator
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I would cap these priest, altar boy, a doctor and the prison
sheriff, Kelly gang, judge, sad woman, hangman, doctor because they are going to be right up front characters, and will be pretty specific casting.  With all the talk of how Caps should be used, I'd say this is true?

I liked the story.  I've read a little about Ned Kelly and I see where you are coming from.  He was a pretty amazing guy.  Nice story!  Well told.

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steven8  -  April 23rd, 2009, 2:49pm
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Trojan
Posted: April 23rd, 2009, 10:41am Report to Moderator
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Hey mate just gave this a read through, I think it's a good story idea. The writing was good as was the formatting, but I agree with the other poster that the character names should have been capped.

It's an interesting idea to have Ned Kelly's final moments and what his thoughts might have been. One thing I'd suggest you could try is during the voiceovers, instead of having him describe the action on screen he could be revealing his thoughts on his life. Like whether he regrets the actions that have led to this position or if he views himself as the hero or villain. I'd imagine that with the actions being shown onscreen  then his voiceover stating what is happening would be made redundant.

Good story though, would be interesting to see if you expanded on this and had him as a footballer etc.

Cheers,
Tim.
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 23rd, 2009, 12:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve, not being an Aussie or familiar with Ned or Gallipoli, I kind of struggled with this.

As Steven recommended, you defintely should use all caps on the characters you intro'd early on...or where ever, actually.  I also think you need a super when you get to the boat scene. You start with a super in Melbourne, 1880, why not have one when we jump in time to Turkey?  I was confused by this ommission.

I'm also confused witn the entire thing, actually.  I read your comments, but if I hadn't, I'd be completely clueless. What is the true meaning here?

The extensive V.O.s were also a distraction for me.  I think you wrote them fine and everything, but for me, it was just too much and I don't really see the resoning or payoff behind them.  Because of them, it's a very long 6 page read.

Steve, I think your writing here is pretty well done.  I think it's cool that you are experiementing with different ideas and writing styles also.  For me, though, this one didn't really do it, but I do applaud the effort.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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stevie
Posted: April 23rd, 2009, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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Steven, Tim and Jeff, thanks for the comments, very much appreciated. I wasn't sure how this would turn out. I guess I wanted to try a different style and also wanted to have it out there for Anzac Day.
Because this was taken from a longer text form, I wasn't sure how the V.O would work. I knew there was too much of Ned's narration, but his words were the most imporatnt part of the script, and I couldn't see another way of doing it.
Tim, you're suggestion of expanding Ned's musing on his life is a good one. In the future I may do more with this piece. The original doesn't end at anzac Cove, rather the next bit is a letter written by Joe to Ned's mother, explaining about his death in action, and his recommnendation for the V.C. But i couldn't fit this in as it would've been all voiceover.
Jeff, I understand how it was hard for you to get into. As usual, you are willing to read people's stuff to help them - thanks again for the encouragement.

With the CAPS issue, I have been following the great thread elsewhere on SS that is discussing this. I think it comes down to a personal taste: i find it rather distracting seeing a whole lot of objects CAPPED in a script, even in a produced one. I know most of these are for shooting but it makes it tough to read. I work on the principle that only characters with actual dialogue should be CAPPED when first introduced.
I take steven's comments onboard about the other characters at Neds execution. But then, do you have stuff like NOOSE and WHITE HOOD capped too? Where does it stop?

Anyway enough from me. Thanks again guys.

PS jeff, re the missing super at the start of the boat scene? I cheated, I suppose. I didn't want to give anyway the final line of where exactly they were. I guees I should omit the Melbourne super and have Ned mention the location. eg: 'I arrive at the Old Melbourne Gaol scaffold'...   cheers


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 23rd, 2009, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I'd agree on just losing the first super as well.

As for the capping of objects...I'd recommend capping an object that you want to draw attention to, that is "out of place" in the scene.  Meaning that in your gallows setting, I don't think you'd want to cap anything.  But let's say you're looking at the scipt for Final Destination (2, I think), in the gym scene.  An important prop here are the large swords hanging on the wall.  You're not going to find swords hanging on many gym walls, first of all, and secondly, they prove to be an instrument of death, thus a very necessary and important prop.

Yeah, I guess everyone does it differently and I can see all sides to this argument.  Whatever works for you, as long as you understand the meaning behind both sides.

Again, I do applaud you as this was an intersting and unique script.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Astrid
Posted: April 24th, 2009, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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This is a story that I didn't understand untill I read your comments here in the thread. Still, it is so well written, especially the voice overs, that I read it twice. It had a Poe like feel to it. Poe could write something about chopping someone up and I'd think, omg, thats so beautiful. Something about the words, the language.

An example of what I liked "....preparing for the abrupt halt that will break my neck, and usher me through to a higher court".

Enjoyed it!
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stevie
Posted: April 25th, 2009, 2:48am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the kind words, Astrid. I tried to write the dialogue in a tone to suit the times. This probably explains your feeling it to be Poe-like; Ned lived and died in the 19th century. Although he was born in Australia, his parents were Irish, so his speaking voice retained that wonderful lilt. Heath Ledger gave a pretty good performance as Ned in the 2003 film. Cheers again.


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rich wells
Posted: April 25th, 2009, 11:18am Report to Moderator
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You have good writing skills, and the visual imagery is good.  Not being an Aussie, I did not know the references.

If one is writing a script for a movie, the emphasis should be on what will appear on the screen.... the visuals.  The rule, as you probably know, is "show, don't tell".  In this case, the emphasis is on telling the story (the VOs), so I think you lose a lot of impact IF this is to be a movie. You have talent.
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stevie
Posted: April 25th, 2009, 5:00pm Report to Moderator
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thanks rich. yeah, i knew the voiceovers would be a little overbearing; i tried to mix it in with the action and real time dialogue. but as i said earlier, Ned's words were the vital part of the script and needed to be in the forefront. Cheers mate.


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jayrex
Posted: April 26th, 2009, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Steve,

I found this to be an interesting script.

I wasn't so clued up on Ned and had to just read a bit about him.

So now I know that he died and came back to fight in the first WWI.

I thought the V.O.'s were a little too much.  Once you get to the boat scene, you should drop them.

I also think you should break up the large chunks of dialogue to make this a faster read.

Overall, an interesting idea that's a little slow to read.

All the best,


Javier


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stevie
Posted: April 26th, 2009, 8:17pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the comments Javier. Yeah, i thought about dropping the VO for the boat scene. It would've been the 'right' way to do it I guess, in film terms. But like I said earlier, Ned's words were the crux of this script. When going from VO to real time I knew it was sort of odd but wanted to see how it went. Cheers and I'll have a look at some of your stuff.


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n7
Posted: May 5th, 2009, 12:03am Report to Moderator
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Hi Stevie,
Right from the beginning there's a certain sense of dread that fills the story that gives it more depth than your average six page short. I'm not overly familiar with Ned Kelly's story, but I couldn't help but be invested in how the story played out, knowing all along that the end result wasn't going to be good.

I think the V.O. works really well, but would try to trim any dialogue that isn't absolutely necessary. That being said, I think about 80% of the V.O. works, but trimming that additional 20% would make a world of difference. It's a good quick read, but think it's worthy of being a more fleshed out story.
Nate
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