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Spiritual Connections - Episode One by Craig Cooper-Flintstone - Short, Comedy - Comedy set at a welfare centre's weekly spiritualist night, where Mary, the alcoholic medium, lets the spirits do the talking. 26 pages - pdf, format
Spiritual Connections Episode 2: Revelations by Craig Cooper - Series, Short, Comedy - Details of Mary's sordid past are exposed by Sam. Meanwhile Mary 'shares' all too sensitive details of the audience's private lives. - pdf, format
Spiritual Connections Episode 6: Armageddon by Craig Cooper - Series, Short, Comedy - Iona and Mary agree to meet up to talk things through. Unfortunately, this leads to an all-day drinking session. Secrets are uncovered and grudges are settled. 26 pages - pdf, format
Firstly, I need to declare a vested interest. My father is a Medium. So the themes of this piece are familiar.
I quite enjoyed it. It was funny, and the dialogue was realistic. There were some nice little touches - Gladys and her unfortunate tea making habits, for example.
I did feel that it went by a bit quickly - the "evening" didn't last long, did it! (I'm not surprised that people didn't feel like donating at the end!). Maybe a couple of time dissolves would help give the impression of a full event rather than a few minutes.
I would also say, for the sake of realism, that events like this would (or should) have a fee charged at the door and the money properly counted, so that no one can come back with any accusations of shady dealings (as we see here). Oh, and by law in the UK now, such events have to start with a statement that they are for "entertainment" only.
A couple of things: You say in the scene description that the car has been vandalised. But no mention in the actual dialogue, so this might not be apparent (I assume it was because of another rather too accurate message?).
I also thought that Danielle was going to play rather more of a part in proceedings than she did. Given the ending (which was quite neat), perhaps it was Andrea who you should have introduced?
All in all, though, enjoyable - and it made a change to read a story in which the Medium is not portrayed as a fake.
Hi Niles, that's interesting that your father is a medium, and I'm glad that you like the portrait of a 'legit' clairvoyant, albeit an offensive one!
I'm happy that you find it funny too, I think the humour is quite 'British'!
Regarding the fee, one of the opening lines states that a queue of people are waiting to pay their admission fees.
Of all the spiritualist events I've been to, in my home town, and neighbouring towns, I have never heard them once state that it is for entertainment purposes only. Maybe this is for the big scale events maybe? The ones I've been to have all been low-key affairs, and they take it very seriously indeed.
The visual gag with the vandalised car was further added to later, as Andrea, appalled at her reading, dents the door and such.
Cheers for your feedback
PS, another of my shorts 'heavenly intentions' may interest you (if you've not already read it), as it follows the same scenario, but is a serious drama. Libby suggested I tried a comedy version so 'spiritual connections' is the twisted offspring!
Craig, I’m glad you gave this a different title because it is a completely different 'vision' - no pun intended. A few things - but overall I really enjoyed this.
Terrific opening images conveyed in your descriptions. Ditto the arrival of Mary, but I have to agree with ‘Frasier’s brother’ about that ‘unfilmable’ reference to the car ‘vandalism’.
‘Mediums do it with the lights off’ – funny opening one-liner – and also the “hungrier ….” ‘than you know what line (can’t give away all your funny lines in this review) can I – even with the spoiler alert.
I was going to comment on tightening up the rather long lead-in but then it occurs to me – I see this as an English comedy Series and so with that being said characterization is really important, so imo, I'd leave it the way it is. Casting would be all-important with this one btw.
Mary’s dialogue on page 8/9 – the reference to power of ‘healing power’ combined with traditional medicine really made me laugh.
Mary’s surname doesn’t quite work for me (on paper, at least) who knows on screen once again it may be a different matter – that surname doesn’t appear in my phone book – does it in yours? Creative license, I get that.
Watch out for habits like “begins to” – ‘starts to cry’ works for me and I’m sure there are other exceptions – but, in this context Danielle may as well just ‘blush’ or go red in face, whatever.
Danielle eases a little – be more specific, I get what you mean but perhaps she could for example, relax into her chair, sit back. Enough of the pedantic stuff, right?
Onto page 11 and 12 – you’ve got me laughing here – some great examples of comedic dialogue flair (then again it may be my sense of humour) – we Aussies and Brits tend to be on a similar wavelength. Still I think this comedy is pretty universal – more reviews will tell the story. Ok, and the silly stuff continues on – really, really impressive.
I didn’t recognize this in your other work – you been taking lessons from the Re-Man? Just joking. Don’t give up the serious stuff though, ok. I would like to see a rewrite of ‘Four’.
Right, so the only weak points for me are in the story-lines of Danielle and Andrea – not because they offend me (they don’t). It’s just you’ve got so much comedy in there I find, (in particular) the ending a little jarring – on screen that wouldn’t work for me. I mean you’ve got that guy in the cupboard and then we ... boom – fade out. That’s really my only criticism.
Won’t mention any further formatting/grammar/typos etc cause I see you’ve got them sussed already.
Overall, a really entertaining read with some really well executed comedic moments and great one-liners.
I'm glad that you really enjoyed this overall, I was a little worried what you would make of it to be honest!
Regarding Mary's surname, hirsute means 'hairy'. Happy that you seem to share my sense of humour, and you loved some of the one liners. Credit to RE for the car sticker gag, it was originally 'spirit guide on board'.
I've still not got around to the re-hash of 'four' yet, it's on the cards though. I'll let you know when I've done any significant work on it.
I was going to add another scene on the end, with Barry burying his laptop in the garden, but I decided on a 'slap in the face' image, maybe this was the wrong thing to do, but I still think it is justified as an extention to Andrea's message from her 'dead' husband.
Really happy that you were entertained by this. I'm still going to work to your original idea, and extend it to a sitcom style length over the coming months, as time permits.
Thank you Libby for the suggestion, it is greatly appreciated, and cheers also for the feedback.
Yep, I'm aware Hirsute means hairy - I just looked it up in my phone-book 'cause I actually did wonder if anyone was unfortunate enough to have that surname. I mean think of poor Hyacinth Buckket! to name but one.
And regarding the 'ending' that's of course just my take on it. That's why I'll be watching this thread to gauge others reactions.
You done real good, some really funny stuff in this one.
P.S. Yep, some pretty funny names out there. Check ya later
Definately a funny little piece, I enjoyed the alcohol/spirit jokes. I do have to agree with Libby that the ending is a little jarring. it would be great if you could find a way to format it into the story so there were jokes after it, though I kind of see how it needs o be at the end. The other option would be to make andrea seem a little bitchier, so the audience is happy when she gets hers (cruel as that is).
I think the rest of my issues were already covered, good read tho.
Mine: HARD CASE (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...
APU (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
Itnteresting idea and quite different from Heavenly Intentions in both content and intent. Have to say, impressive too.
Good well rounded characters that seem genuine. And there's a lot of laughs to be had.
The bumper sticker is bloody funny. And Mary's a fine comic character, the funniest as she has no intention of being amusing,
You'll get grief for the end, understandably, however I think the end is a real touch of genius. And I save that word for special occasions. This is a vast improvement on its predecessor. I for one say well done that man.
Jackx- glad you enjoyed reading it and had a laugh or two.
Rendevous- It seems to be split down the middle about the ending, I must admit though I love the nasty ending as it is, and it's high praise for you to call it a touch of genius. Indeed it is a special occasion.
Happy that you found lots of laughs, and thanks for the bumper sticker joke, much better than the original one.
Hi Criag, well to start off. I want to say I enjoyed this piece a little more than your other piece. You do write dialogue rather eloquently, it may be because of your british background. There isn't the usual Americana slang that often peppers most of these scripts. From my point of view it is a little refreshing. I think that is why it appealed to me the most.
I really liked your ending but I have to say it doesn't fit this story.
The problem starts that you delayed your inciting incident to page 18 which is when your story actually begins. As a result, Libby is right, your ending doesn't work for this story because it doesn't offer us real "closure".
You made a similar mistake in Heavenly Intentions where you left the inciting incident off the map altogether. Maybe it is your style, or artistic expression but as a reader it doesn't work for me and it will not help you when you start writing for feature films. Without an inciting incident you will have no story.
As a piece your ending was nice. From my point of view I didn't think it was jarring, and if you had made the story about Andrea, then it would have complimented the rest of the telling.
The short is about Mary, it is about her business, it is about smaller stories of her audience, but it is NOT about Andrea or her dark secret which is IMO is missleading.
As a fellow writer I don't feel it is my place to tell you how to paint your master piece, so I am not going to get into the small details like the medium business or what to say or what not to say. That's all you Criag. You are the painter you paint the message as you see fit.
But please, put your inciting incident at the beginning of the short not at the end.
Thanks for the read, and thanks also for your comments.
I'm glad you enjoyed it in someways, and that you liked the dialogue- that's great to hear.
There's a bit of controversy regarding the ending, and although I see your point, if you imagine it as a sitcom episode (as Libby suggested), then the bleak ending kinda makes sense (well, to me and Rendevous at least!), the image that comes to mind is the 'We didn't burn him' line from the 1st ep of 'the league of gentlemen', followed by a shot of a corpse burning on a bonfire!
I also recognise that it may be a little to brief (even for a short), and I have lots of further ideas to expand it even more. Everyone's feedback is wonderful- It's great to hear your opinions, good or bad.
Thanks again for taking the time to read it, and glad you had a laugh or two.
Hey Craig, I gather this is the one you sent me, I didn't realise it was here.
I'm sure i've heard the Ellen MacArthur realising she's a lesbian joke somewhere before? Still funny mind lol.
Mary's message to Danielle is very funny in a crude and distateful way lol. I also liked her message for Barry lol.
I'm not sure you need the last couple of scenes with Andrea but they still worked though.
I thought this was really funny and I hope you're planning to submit it. I did notice one or two spelling and grammer errors but I forgot to mention them, sorry. Anyway, really funny script Craig and Mary was hilarious throughout, she's a great character.
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