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I liked it when she dialed the number and then saw it on the paper - that's very visual, I think.
I got it was Essense as soon as he started complaining about the person who infected him. A double twist may work here better. He starts writing numbers, and then adds one more perhaps. Can't think of anything else to suggest though.
I agree, the twist was a bit predictable. I would suggest her not mentioning that she forgot the reservation before she dials the number. Also, why would she call this mystery number from her cell phone instead of from the office phone? I don't think doctors are in the habit of making patient calls from their personal numbers. But I could be wrong.
I know she has to use her phone so that Essence says "Hi, Mom", but it could be more like she calls from the office phone, the voice on the other end answers, Donna says "Hello, this is Dr. So-and-So" and then the voice says "Mom?", and then "Essence?" and then the stunned silence.
That, I think, would add more to the big reveal and keep it hidden more until it happens.
Also, she would normally recognize the number she is about to call, so in the earlier scene, you could say that Essence got a new phone and she says the number, but the mom is too distracted to hear what it is. That way, it would make sense if she didn't know the number she was dialing. Then this leads to the visual of her looking down at the same number written out on the paper at the end.
Edit*: I just had another thought also. If the guy gives the doctor a phone number, wouldn't he also give her a name of the person she is calling? I am not sure how you would manage this without him saying the girl's name is Essence, but maybe you could establish a nickname the mom uses in the earlier scene, so when the guy gives the daughter's real name, she wouldn't make the connection that it was her daughter (thinking there could be 100 Megans or Susans or whatever)
I'm not sure about this one, yes it was predictable, but even then i felt the twist fell a bit flat. Perhaps because we have already been introduced to a character who is dealing with the news of having HIV which lessens the impact, and further to which Donna was fairly calm and encouraging about. With only a page to introduce donna and essence, i'm not sure we emotionally engage with them much more than we do the male patient.
It feels like a segment of a soap, i find myself far more interested in the aftermath and the emotional drama that would ensue rather than this specific scene.
Here it is. same writer. Looks like he may have made a few changes. Now I'll have to read and compare.
EDIT: McBride the outcome is still too predictable. Maybe this was on purpose. It seems like you're planning on filming this one yourself. Show don't tell. I'd adjust the third part of your sluglines. No such thing as "LUNCH." Some of the writing needs to be tightened.
+++++++ Don's edit. Yes, it is a re-write of 5:47. I've cleaned up the posting.
"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."
Here is a bit of a review, hoping that it can help. I am still reading the script that I write this, it keeps my thoughts on the moment alive.
First, I have to pile on the 'show don't tell' that noted Ghostwriter: - '[patients are] trying to appear as calm as possible', how do we know that by just watching them? What is their attitude that will reflect on the screen that will make the audience understand that it is what they are trying to do? - 'Depends on the results', Donna is given both a reaction and a line which takes too much screen time, is not necessary and clashes with her following behaviour.
Then, the male patient is being announced that he has aids and the doctor is rushing, she's dry and uncarring. Really? Is that what humans do when one's diagnosed with aids? I'm not sure I want to know more about Diana.
Then, she feels simpathy where she didn't care before and once the moment's passed, she 'dials nonchalently'. There is a linearity problem with the main character. She should either not care at all, totally care or not care and then come up to care. Now if she doesn't care, then cares and then acts as she doesn't care again, it is confusing and makes the character unreal.
To conclude, the main character needs some re-work done and even though the plot is easy to unveal, if the characters are more believable, it will take the reader's mind away from the plot. Also, it would be good to get rid of all the things that are irrelevant and distracting such as the brand of the mobile phones, those indications bring nothing to the story.
There are more things to ad to that but too much info kills the creativity. Also, I might well be wrong but, isn't it supposed to be 'It Affects Us All' instead of 'It Effects Us All'?
Congrats on the left justified FADE IN:. For some unknown reason that seems to be toughy. I dunno.
EXT. FAST FOOD RESTAURANT - LUNCH Your first slug needs to made DAY or NIGHT (sometimes... you can even get away with MORNING or EVENING!) But LUNCH isn't cool.
MILF is a capitalized acronym. And it turns out to be irrelevant to the story.
The apple did not fall far from the tree Delete these sorta things. Although "cute", it's redundant to the following sentence.
Donna fiddles with her blackberry. Giving Jennifer less than half her attention. That's not two sentences. Comma splice that fat bastard and change giving to gives. Donna fiddles with her blackberry, gives Jennifer less than half her attention. Could probably be shortened even more: Donna is distracted by her Blackberry.
(BTW, Blackberry is a product of RIMM, making it a proper name, so it get capitalized - like Ford, Texaco & Oreos. Product categories, such as car, gas station & cookies, are not capitalized.)
I'd begin by stating Donna and Jennifer are mid-conversation, such that it is. Otherwise, that's a curious way to begin a conversation. And lose the parentheticals.
But-didn't-you just- see him I know Donna is distracted while she texts, but use ellipses rather than dashes. But... didn't... you just... see him
summers Contraction of "summer" and "is". Needs apostrophe. summer's
Hooray! Made it through page one! On with the rest for content and continuity... (mostly)
INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY - LATER ON Delete the LATER On part (we can figure that part out).
Fairly decent story. The "small world" situation would suck.
In legalese and industry jargon, a medical professional would avoid confrontational wording such as "drug problem" and "anyone you could have possibly infected with the disease?"
Keep on writing these shorts and read a few others. Quite a few. You'll get better every time.
Ok story but predictable as said already. There were several times when I felt you should show us instead of telling: pg 2 "Feels bad" pg 3 "she definitely got bad news" "muscle man decides he ain't strong enough" * wouldn't have used ain't either
I think instead of giving us too much information maybe the whole HIV thing could have been done a bit different, perhaps when Donna leaves work, could show the door as it swings shut reading HIV testing ..or something just less information would have made me more interested.
Overall ok story...seems like a commercial or something.
It's just a little thing, but that's why I never opened the doc. I might have missed something really good, but I can't read everything no matter how much I would like to be able to help out. It sometimes comes down to the little things in titles and loglines that might be make or break.