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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Lie Detector Moderators: bert
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  Author    Lie Detector  (currently 18047 views)
Don
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 8:11pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Lie Detector by Brett Martin (electric dreamer) - Short, Action, Thriller - A polygraph expert tests an evasive witness with a hidden agenda.  10 pages - pdf, format


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (6 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  January 14th, 2012, 12:19pm
revised script
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jwent6688
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,

This one borders between okay and pretty good for me. I hope you net a good deal of reads from it and some good advice. You deserve it.

I liked how Carson turned the tables on Peter. It was interesting.

I don't think they would let Carson bring his own sandwich into interrogation without at least looking at it.

notes as i go....

No FADE IN:??

I don't like wyrlies in dialogue. To me, this is direction, not screenwriting. It's almost like camera angles. Trust your actors are good enough to interpret the lines IMO.

PETER
Melissa. Sean. -I think these should be question marks. Not periods. At least the way i picture Peter saying this.

PETER
You forgot to cut the bread. - This felt like and odd statement for Peter at the time. He had already lost the high ground. Wtf does he care about whether the sandwich is halved or not.

I thought his reaction was very light to the finger. Think it needs to be intensified. Also, would think Peter would stop right there and call his family.

The ending came off a bit over the top for me. Bad guy taking off on rope latter from a helicopter? Why does the bad guy need to get away? Why can't he be a sacrificial lamb for his employer. Just happy to get his message across and go to jail...

Like I said, thought this was pretty good for a mostly dialogue piece. Had fun reading it.

James


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 10:36pm Report to Moderator
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AUTHOR'S NOTE:

OK, sobriety has taken hold and the proper draft is now available. Apologies to all.

Lie Detector started out as a single image while watching a Burn Notice episode.
I wanted to see if I could run with it same day, just go.
Stare down the great white blank beast and just write it out.
I've never made pages without notes and/or a treatment or some kind.

I also wanted to wrangle my overstuffed descriptions in service of this kind of story.
A sleek action piece demands a certain pace. I tried my best to emulate that.
This piece wouldn't exist without the sage advice of this site and its active members.
I hope some of what I've learned here is shown through the work.



LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.

Revision History (1 edits)
Electric Dreamer  -  January 22nd, 2011, 1:53pm
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Ledbetter
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 10:48pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,
I liked it. I don't know why you would want to resubmit this. If it was the wrong script, then Okay but I did find this enjoyable.

The banter back and forth between the two was very good. There was a couple of times where the dialog was a little on the nose but for the most part, it read very smooth and was enjoyable.

If you post the "better" version, let me know because I thought this one was just fine.

Shawn.....><
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Dreamscale
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 11:31pm Report to Moderator
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Brett, E-Mail me the better version so I can so I can read it now, while I'm not sober!

I've got 30 minutes to kill and am ready for a quick read!!!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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mcornetto
Posted: January 21st, 2011, 11:34pm Report to Moderator
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This thread is locked.   And I've done away with the link of the script until the correct one is uploaded.  EDs wanted the thread deleted but I didn't feel comfortable doing that since this is berts board.  
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Don
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 1:03pm Report to Moderator
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The revised script is up.

Don


Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 2:10pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jwent6688
Brett,

This one borders between okay and pretty good for me. I hope you net a good deal of reads from it and some good advice. You deserve it.

I liked how Carson turned the tables on Peter. It was interesting.

I don't think they would let Carson bring his own sandwich into interrogation without at least looking at it.

notes as i go....

No FADE IN:??

I don't like wyrlies in dialogue. To me, this is direction, not screenwriting. It's almost like camera angles. Trust your actors are good enough to interpret the lines IMO.

PETER
Melissa. Sean. -I think these should be question marks. Not periods. At least the way i picture Peter saying this.

PETER
You forgot to cut the bread. - This felt like and odd statement for Peter at the time. He had already lost the high ground. Wtf does he care about whether the sandwich is halved or not.

I thought his reaction was very light to the finger. Think it needs to be intensified. Also, would think Peter would stop right there and call his family.

The ending came off a bit over the top for me. Bad guy taking off on rope latter from a helicopter? Why does the bad guy need to get away? Why can't he be a sacrificial lamb for his employer. Just happy to get his message across and go to jail...

Like I said, thought this was pretty good for a mostly dialogue piece. Had fun reading it.

James


James,

I'm much obliged for the quicksilver read, comments and your note.
I think the proper draft, now available, addresses most of what you wrote here.
When you refer to wrylies you mean the "beats"?
They are something I'm messing with as I wrangle my format.
I see the conclusion needs some clarification perhaps.
As your interpretation of was not what I intended.
If you have the time, check out the draft that I should have submitted.

Thanks for the read and keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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bert
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
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I did not look at the original script you put up, E.D., nor have I read any of the comments.  For those confused by E.D.'s original snafu, suffice to say that I have been privy to the full story, and his excuse is an acceptable one.

For this one, whether it was intentional or not, I noticed an uncanny resemblance between your opening scenes and the opening interview with Leon in "Blade Runner."   I am just putting that out there in case it was an instance of "subconscious lifting" -- we all do it -- as opposed to an intentional homage of sorts. If it was intentional, you should also know that, unbidden, I could not shake the image of Carson and Peter as Leon and the other guy (whose name escapes me now).

Being a Florida native myself, I am not sure what you mean by "candy cane palm trees".  Are you implying Christmas decorations?  Better to be specific there, I think.

And just as I was going to commend you on such a simple setting, you go and introduce some challenging SFX into this.  I think it works, though, and it is clever in that you never actually show the explosions or the chopper, so the script is not totally out of reach, either.  I also liked the finger haha.  That is also fairly simple, but could work very well.

While much of the dialogue was good -- tossing about the concept of who is lying to whom for very good effect -- I must admit that I was ultimately left a little confused about the scenario being played out here.  Specifically, I mean the relationship between these two men.

That started around page 4, when Peter asks if his life is in danger.  I think this is where the conversation makes a big "leap" -- and it is hard to follow Peter's logic for asking such a question. It is also a little difficult to understand why Peter would feel culpable for the explosion.  I mean, it kind of makes sense in the quick-logic world of this scenario and the script -- but not if you pause to really think about it.

We can assume that Carson is some sort of assassin, and the big change you have made to this set-up is that nobody dies.  Everybody knows that a hit-man script is supposed to end with somebody dying!  Either the assassin or the target.  I am kidding, of course, and note that you end here with the implications of a larger story about to begin.  This works in one way, but is less satisfying in another way.  It will likely come down to reader preferences.

Me, I liked it just fine as it is -- knowing that these two were going to continue interacting, albeit somewhere unseen.  The dialogue is snappy, though I found Carson far more entertaining than Peter -- when one character is particularly strong, the other character usually suffers.  That is difficult to avoid

I do not want to suggest changes simply for the sake of suggesting them.  To me, the work is fine as it stands, and it reads well -- unless you have some ideas about cementing the actual relationship between these two men rather than leaving it sort of ambiguous.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Angry Bear
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 2:50pm Report to Moderator
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Just read this.

I thought it was well written and easy to read.

Like Bert, I had no idea what a candy cane palm tree is, but I assumed it would be one of those that have circles around the trunk.

On the very first page, I almost expected Carson to say "what are you going to do? Charge me with smoking?". Bert saw Blade Runner in the beginning, I saw Basic Instinct.  

I was a little confused about the story to be honest. I hate when other people say this about stuff I write, but I feel I have to here and that is that this felt like a scene out of a much longer piece rather than a stand alone story. We don't find out what this really is about and the ending is not an end... Can't remember the word I want to use here, but maybe you know what I'm trying to say.

Carson was far more interesting than Peter. Peter has a bland name and a bland personality, IMHO.

...and don't worry about posting scripts while drunk. I've done that many times.  


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jwent6688
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 4:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
It is also a little difficult to understand why Peter would feel culpable for the explosion.  I mean, it kind of makes sense in the quick-logic world of this scenario and the script -- but not if you pause to really think about it.


Brett, I was going to bring this up as well. Just started to feel like I was throwing too many negatives at you. This script has a good deal of questions due to its complexity.

I think you should lose the explosion, Carson bailing out on a rope latter. Just concentrate on the dialogue here and shorten it. I've read both versions. My comments for the first still stand.

This has great potential to get filmed if you leave those theatrics out of it...

James



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Asconch
Posted: January 22nd, 2011, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this was a fantastic story!

I will agree with someones comment about the ending seeming a bit over the top though.

Some of Peter's dialogue seemed a bit stiff as well. For instance:

                       PETER
        Is there something I can do to make
        sure my wife and son remain safe?

                       PETER
        Does my compliance with your
        demands guarantee their safety?

Professional or not, if I saw my kid's finger roll out of a sandwich I don't think I'd be asking such proper questions. lol

Just my opinion though.


"The ideas dictate everything, you have to be true to that or you're dead." -David Lynch
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cloroxmartini
Posted: January 23rd, 2011, 12:02am Report to Moderator
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Pretty cool. I like the interaction, the reveal, as the two went along. I like the way you ended it, keeping the suspense intact.
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khamanna
Posted: January 23rd, 2011, 1:20am Report to Moderator
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Hi E.D.
Thanks for reviewing my script on the other thread. I just read yours and these are the thoughts:

It ends quite abrupt for me. I was waiting for some kind of closure... not that I was confused by the story but still could not understand what Peter did and if Carson was lying and why he mentions the "long flight" at the end. I also could not understand which one is good and which is bad, which one should I root for.
Real fussy notes: Carson calls him by the name (he says "Mr. Briggs") bit too often. Also I did not believe Peter actually would go for the sadwich - but these are easily fixable bits (if you choose to fix them, of course)

2 actors - you may shop around for it perhaps.
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GM
Posted: January 23rd, 2011, 7:49am Report to Moderator
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Hey Brett

I have mixed feelings about this.

I liked Carson. I liked the interaction between the two. Your descriptions were appropriate for this short.  

I disliked that it ends abruptly. It feels more like a scene to a bigger story. I would probably suggest to expand it more. Make it to a feature or a longer short.

That's what i can come up with so far.

Hope this helps,

Gabe
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