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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Seven Deadly Sins: Anger - Four Leather Balls Moderators: bert
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  Author    Seven Deadly Sins: Anger - Four Leather Balls  (currently 1721 views)
Don
Posted: May 29th, 2009, 4:47pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Seven Deadly Sins: Anger - Four Leather Balls by Michel J. Duthin - Series - A boxer has to fight his greatest challenger to keep his girl: his own anger. 16 pages - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 3rd, 2009, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
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OK, Michel, I read it.  Here we go…

I think your writing here is fine.  I know that English isn’t your first language, and I’d say you did an admirable job, considering that.  There are some examples of awkward phrasing, grammar issues, and some typos, and the like, but pretty good overall.

You have a nice way of writing very visually.  You set the tone here nicely, and I could really see the boxing stuff.  I’ve always been a huge boxing fan, although lately, I’ve switched gears and now follow MMA, as I feel it’s the evolution of boxing.  Obviously, I have no idea if you’re a boxing fan or maybe even former or current boxer.  You did a pretty good job of describing a boxer’s life, as well as the actual fight itself.  I say pretty good, because there are issues still, in terms of a filmed version.

First of all, serious injury in boxing is very rare.  But more importantly, serious injury in a fight that lasts less then 2 rounds is unheard of (as far as I can recall).  Injuries of this sort are the result of long, drawn out wars, where massive amounts of punishment are taken.  I didn’t see that here at all…only a handful of punches even landed it seemed.  The actual fight starts on page 9 and ends on page 11, so we’ve got about 2 minutes of actual fighting, including the break after round 1.  I guess I’m saying that based on that, there really isn’t a lot of actual fighting in this script, and I think you could have shown more detail and more action.  I think it needed more brutality in terms of the fight.

These are just minor issues, but my biggest issue has to do with the theme here. I don’t really see it.  As apposed to anger, I see much more jealousy.  Every single fighter has to have anger in his head when he steps into the ring (or the cage).  They literally want to kill their opponent…not in a literal sense, but without that mentality, they’re not a real fighter.  So even though you tried to show Johnny’s anger being taken out on his opponent, it didn’t work for me.

We don’t know enough, or really anything, about Johnny and Lucia’s relationship.  We only see Friday through a flashback and his name is never mentioned, so in a filmed version, no one would even know his name, and we only see his face 1 time in a quick shot of some photos.  I think you needed to beef up this aspect of the script, and downplay all the training and the like.  I actually liked the flow of the script, in terms of it being a fight script, but that’s not what you were going for, and because of that, it left me a bit empty, and confused even.

If you took out a few lines here and there, this would seem like a good little slice of a boxer’s life script that ends in tragedy, because of the death.  Why Lucia leaves in the end is also a mystery to me.  She apparently knows Johnny well enough to understand the mindset that a boxer has to have, especially just prior and during an actual fight.  The amount of mental fortitude it takes is amazing, and any partner of a fighter should be well aware of it.

OK, so in terms of this being a script about the 7 deadly sins, and anger to be exact, it doesn’t work for me.  As a dark, gritty boxing script, I think it’s pretty good.

Hope this makes sense and helps.  Take care!


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grademan
Posted: June 3rd, 2009, 6:51pm Report to Moderator
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Michel,

You've been a very productive writer lately. I liked your previous Portrait script with some reservations. The same for thiis one.

> Too much like Rocky in the opening scene. I could hear "Gonna fly now!" in the background.

> I liked the poster being defaced to read defeated instead of undefeated.

> I liked how Lucia was the focus of the fighter's of anger and love. At first, I thought she had been doing that on purpose. It would have been intriguing to see that Lucia and the manager were driving him to be so angry he'd beat up his opponents.

> "As if God's finger had touched him" is a little over the top.

> The phrasing of "One-eyed, because he has only one eye." was curious. It might have been better to say how he got one eyed - perhaps in a anger related event.

Gary
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Souter Fell
Posted: June 3rd, 2009, 7:47pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michel,

Guy put's out seven shorts in a week, I gotta take a look. I think Dreamscale hit the fundamental nail on the head: this seems more like envy than anger or wrath. Had Johnny's anger been some kinda unfunded reason it might have been more suited but his anger has reasoning in the the jealousy over another man with his woman. It wouldn't seem like that much of a problem but if you're trying to create an anthology that addresses and defines each cardinal sin...

Not sure what you're native tongue is but it ain't english and it shows. I applaud you for trying but in the future you may wanna buddy up with someone who is fluent to edit you. Some examples:

disused, usually a verb or a noun as in "fallen into disuse." You may wanna just use "closed" or something like it.

"Counterattack." Problem here is that he's not counterring anything. Prior to it's use, you name three specific punches thrown by Johnny that follow another series by Johnny. He's owning Marley so by definition he isn't counterring anything.

There's a bunch more that will probably be point out.

The God angle feels really shoehorned in and on the nose. It's as if during "Amazing Stories" from the 80's the characters actually said "Wow, this would make an AMAZING STORY."

You use devices and actions a lot but it begins to feel repeatitive. It seems like he's always stuck in the rain or hitting the walls. Used spaingly it's symbolic, used a lot it's cliche.

I wouldn't call this the strongest outing but anyone who commits to a project like this can definitly handle the constructive criticism and I applaud the effort. Hell, you got me to review for the first time in months.


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steven8
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 2:16am Report to Moderator
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I really liked the pacing and dramatic visuals in this.  I believe that you could enhance the physical abuse taken during the fight, as Dreamscale suggested, by just stretching a little during the montage to cover more rounds.  That would take care of that.

This is an anger-fueled-by-jealousy situation, which covers two of those pesky sins.  But then again, anger has to come from something, doesn't it?

More than seven folks wanted to write for this, and all I could think was, "What this contest needs is more sins!"  
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Michel,

First off, I want you to know that I selected your script to read next because of the title, "Four Leather Balls. It is very unique; however, they weren't mentioned in the script and this disappointed me.

To be honest, I didn't feel like this script accomplished what it set out to do.

From the title, I understand that this is a script about anger. I'm reminded of this only at the end when he kills Marley. Actually, what happened during my read was a total "forgetting" that this was about anger. It's a good insight, I think for us as writers to weigh over and over again what it is we're writing about in terms of scene vs. the whole picture.

If I learn anything from doing this critique here today, it's to remember yet again, that the audience does not read minds.

Sometimes it can be hard nailing down the problem, but I think that the problem here is that there simply isn't enough interaction.

Your description I think is very strong. For instance:

>Out of breath and unsteady, Johnny looks down to the waste
land fifty feet below.

>He looks tiny on this huge piece of concrete, facing the
precipice.

Is a very well drawn image.

The trouble is, that this story feels like a whole series of images with no real conflict.

When the fight happens, and then later we find out he killed Marley, it felt out of place.

The reason it felt out of place is because John was not shown to be building in his anger.

I remember this:

>Anger clasps Johnny's jaw.

At the time of reading it, it felt very weak to me.

Now I ask why. The words are good. Nice and concise and definitely show one of the first corporeal anger reactions-- a tight jaw.

What is weak then must be the context of where and how it sits.

1.     It exists inside of a flashback that comes after some extremely limited dialogue between Lucia and John.

2.     The man named Friday doesn't really mean anything to us at this point except that he's in the pictures kissing with Lucia.

3.     It seems strange that he wouldn't head straight to that shower, hall her ass out and demand an explanation.

I did however like the wall getting that solid punch.

The driving force behind John's ultimate action isn't really drawn up here. We need to see both he an Lucia interacting. Perhaps even before she does her cheating. Or were they committed to each other?

The focus of this piece seemed to be the boxing itself and pointed by

-the first image of John working the training aspect on the freeway

-in Hugo's Gym with his trainer

-the boxing posters particularly the DEFEATED one

-the fight itself

Yet it wants to work with the themes of jealousy and anger as pointed by the title and the ending when John kills Marley.

What's coming to my mind is that maybe that's why Lucia is seeing other men. Maybe Lucia told him flat out:

"That's all you care about Johnny! Your boxing!"

Because maybe she's fought with him on that point for awhile already and he has a hard time with his emotions somehow.

There has to be a reason why she's seeing other guys. Even if it's as simple as: She's just not sure that he's the one.

Go back and work on the crux of this piece and it will be very interesting to read again to see what you come up with.

I hope that this helps,

Sandra



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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 1:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Souter Fell
Hey Michel,

You use devices and actions a lot but it begins to feel repeatitive. It seems like he's always stuck in the rain or hitting the walls. Used spaingly it's symbolic, used a lot it's cliche.


Yes, you've hit the nail on the head here. The way I had put it: Using description without any interaction (or proper set up within context) is part of it, but definitely the using of any kind of descriptive device to generate mood without it (being?) no seeming real is what screws us up when we're writing.

Movies can use those wonderful dark night and rain scenes to good effect obviously, but they need to not seem forced. Maybe the answer to that one specifically is just set it in Vancouver or Seattle.  

Sandra




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michel
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Dreamscale, Gary, Souter F. and Sandra. I was writing to you all in a long reply, when nearly to the end I f*cked up and all my text disappeared.

I feel desperate and rather irritate.   But don't worry, I won't forget you and will reply tomorrow, due to the time difference between France and you. This time I will save my reply before sending it.

Thanks anyway for your reviews, even if there not the one I was expecting.

One last thing. I was expecting more from that script than from the Lust. It just goes to show you that anyone can make a mistake.

Michel



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michel  -  June 4th, 2009, 5:23pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 3:03pm Report to Moderator
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I liked Lust much better for what it was...in terms of it being a part of this 7 deadly sins series.


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cloroxmartini
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Grin with anguish and then fear...that threw me off. I think all the expressions on Johnny's face are driving me crazy. My take is that you try to invoke emotion by telling what the emotion is, not what someone does because of it. If one is angry, maybe they pick something up to throw it. If they are in control, the squeeze the object, then tenderly set it back down. If they are not in control, then they throw it...against the wall...through the window...at their lover.

I get the picture here - a tragic one - but I see jealousy, not anger for the sake of anger. Road Rage is anger for anger's sake. This is anger driven by jealousy.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 8:36pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from michel
Dreamscale, Gary, Souter F. and Sandra. I was writing to you all in a long reply, when nearly to the end I f*cked up and all my text disappeared.

I feel desperate and rather irritate.   But don't worry, I won't forget you and will reply tomorrow, due to the time difference between France and you. This time I will save my reply before sending it.

Thanks anyway for your reviews, even if there not the one I was expecting.

One last thing. I was expecting more from that script than from the Lust. It just goes to show you that anyone can make a mistake.

Michel


That has happened to be too. Now I usually copy into notepad while I'm entering text just in case. I know that it really sucks when you lose "anything" you're working on. I also send myself frequent emails of documents of WIPS just in case my computer blows up.

And don't worry about mistakes. Mistakes are our best friends. Besides our gorgeous friends here at Simply who point them out.  

Sandra




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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: June 4th, 2009, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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Quoted from cloroxmartini
Grin with anguish and then fear...that threw me off. I think all the expressions on Johnny's face are driving me crazy. My take is that you try to invoke emotion by telling what the emotion is, not what someone does because of it. If one is angry, maybe they pick something up to throw it. If they are in control, the squeeze the object, then tenderly set it back down. If they are not in control, then they throw it...against the wall...through the window...at their lover.

I get the picture here - a tragic one - but I see jealousy, not anger for the sake of anger. Road Rage is anger for anger's sake. This is anger driven by jealousy.


I really appreciate this comment. Sometimes we get so busy trying to be visual, we forget the internal connections. Your example of how someone might show control, but underneath they're steaming is a good one.

Sandra




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michel
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Quoted from cloroxmartini
This is anger driven by jealousy.

but it's still anger.

I, myself, never knew anyone angry only driven by anger. And I didn't want to fall in the cliché of someone angry all the time against everything. Johnny is not only eaten away by jealousy, but also by his will to stay undefeated, to please his manager and to keep his girl. Somewhere, he knows he's lost her already.

Michel


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cloroxmartini
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Quoted from michel

but it's still anger.

I, myself, never knew anyone angry only driven by anger. And I didn't want to fall in the cliché of someone angry all the time against everything. Johnny is not only eaten away by jealousy, but also by his will to stay undefeated, to please his manager and to keep his girl. Somewhere, he knows he's lost her already.

Michel


i went and read up on the 7 sins and anger for any reason is still anger, so it works, my mistake. i was originally thinking that jealousy could be it's own sin, but in the context of the 7 it's not.

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Souter Fell
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Quoted Text
I, myself, never knew anyone angry only driven by anger. And I didn't want to fall in the cliché of someone angry all the time against everything. Johnny is not only eaten away by jealousy, but also by his will to stay undefeated, to please his manager and to keep his girl. Somewhere, he knows he's lost her already.


There in is the problem. In an exercise such as this you have anger as an manifestation of pride and envy. With this fundamental problem it just kinda weakens the purpose of the story. That's the danger of doing, for lack of a better word, a gimmick script. A stand alone script wouldn't have this problem.

A purer source of anger may center around a quest for revenge or prejudice (although this one can also be anger manifesting as a result of pride and envy). It's tricky but nothing to beat yourself up over.


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