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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Cruel and Unusual Moderators: bert
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  Author    Cruel and Unusual  (currently 2177 views)
Don
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 4:48pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Cruel and Unusual by James Williams (jwent668 - Short - The law in big Texas isn't always black and white. 7 pages - pdf, format


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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jwent6688
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 5:06pm Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Thanks for posting Don!

Also huge thanks to Bert and Pia for reading this eons ago. The copyright is 2010. And, I'm sorry guys, I didn't rewrite it. I just never knew where to go so it sat on my PC. Felt, might as well post it, maybe get some ideas...

Anywho, their reviews weren't what I hoped for. They didn't bash it, they just both agreed the ending needed more punch, better set-up. I still think I have their comments on Email if they want me to post them.

This will be the last short I post for awhile.(outside of an OWC) Feel I either need to start writing features or get behind the camera on a few shorts myself. Having stuff filmed by students and amatuers doesn't fire me up like I thought it would.

I did buy a camera! thanks to Rick for the suggestion! Getting to love it. Probably just end up making home sex videos with it.

This was just something I wrote after reading an article that inspired me. Sometimes the laws do bother me. They're too general for very specific cases...

James


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jwent6688
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Damn Kev, your fast. Thanks for the read. And, you snagged my first post.


SPOILERS

The attempted twist was to get you to think it was racism as to why he was being treated so bad. Unfortunately it didn't work for you. Was just something I felt like I wanted to get off my chest after reading an article about a 16 year old who slept with a 14 year old runaway him and his parents took in. The kids 21 now and still can't live within 200 yards of a school and is a registered sex offender. Can't find work or a girlfriend to save his life...

James


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leitskev
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 5:22pm Report to Moderator
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Well written, the dialogue natural. Paints a believable portrait.

Not much happens, no twists or arcs, unless I missed something. But the portrait was well crafted.
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leitskev
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 5:25pm Report to Moderator
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And there it was, right in the beginning description, and I missed it! I didn't even know he was black, and that does make this very different. I can see where you were going now.
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
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Good to see a new script from you, James.

This is OK for me...nothing great, but definitely not bad.  It's got a nice, dark feel to it, and I can see how you tried to make it rather deep...but for me, it doesn't quite work as is.

There just isn't enough going on, now good or interesting visuals, and IMO, is too ambiguous, or just not enough info is available.

You know I'm not a fan of your Slug use here, as you're using Mini Slugs quite often, and they're not quite right (IMO, that is).  Wouldn't take up any extra space for Full Slugs.

A coupe meaningless asides thrown in, some missing punctuation (commas), and some awkward sounding lines, but overall, pretty clean and well written.

For me, it comes down to not knowing enough about Tye to really care about him or his death, and that's based on your obvious choice of not providing any real, usable info, until the very end, but even that's rather ambiguous.

IMO, you need to flesh this out to 10 pages or so, and make it so that we care for Tye and care what happens to him.  maybe even start out years ago and show us what happened, or who he used to be, then cut forward to where you start and go from there.

Definitely not a bad effort though, any way you look at it.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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jwent6688
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Quoted from Dreamscale
Good to see a new script from you, James.

This is OK for me...nothing great, but definitely not bad.  It's got a nice, dark feel to it, and I can see how you tried to make it rather deep...but for me, it doesn't quite work as is.

There just isn't enough going on, now good or interesting visuals, and IMO, is too ambiguous, or just not enough info is available.

You know I'm not a fan of your Slug use here, as you're using Mini Slugs quite often, and they're not quite right (IMO, that is).  Wouldn't take up any extra space for Full Slugs.

A coupe meaningless asides thrown in, some missing punctuation (commas), and some awkward sounding lines, but overall, pretty clean and well written.

For me, it comes down to not knowing enough about Tye to really care about him or his death, and that's based on your obvious choice of not providing any real, usable info, until the very end, but even that's rather ambiguous.

IMO, you need to flesh this out to 10 pages or so, and make it so that we care for Tye and care what happens to him.  maybe even start out years ago and show us what happened, or who he used to be, then cut forward to where you start and go from there.

Definitely not a bad effort though, any way you look at it.


Thanks for the read, Jeff! I know i can always count on my Cleveland buddy.

I rarely tango with drama. It's very foreign to me. I know this is a bit sub-par from my own standards as far as story. I would never post something I didn't think was good with hope my fiends here would waste their time reading it. I want to make this better, I just couldn't come up with the ideas.

I know you don't like mini-slugs. But, they are all double spaced! ha ha, double checked that so Cornie doesn't come crashing down on me after our last argument.

I've got no problem adding pages to this. I didn't really want you to like or hate Tye, but just feel sorry for him. Bert suggested this may work better if I mess with the timeline. Don't tell it in such linear fashion. That was the idea i kept working around in my head with this, just couldn't come up with a solid structure.

Thanks for the read man....

James



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Grandma Bear
Posted: July 18th, 2011, 8:47pm Report to Moderator
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I don't remember this one James. I'll reread it tomorrow then you can compare my comments. I'm sure my thoughts and how I comment have changed since then.  


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albinopenguin
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 10:56am Report to Moderator
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hey James,

after finishing this one, i thought it was okay. after thinking about it (and reading everyone's comments) however, i started to like it more and more.

i think Jeff's suggestion is right on point. if i cared about tye more, then the ending would have been much more powerful. furthermore, i didnt get the whole racism feel to it while reading the short. i suspected that tye had done something wrong in the past to warrant the way people were treating him. then again, this might become all the more apparent while watching the short rather than reading the script.

the ending for me was alright. i was kind of felt like "geez that sucks for him" rather than feeling bad for tye. which all comes back to Jeff's remarks. the ending brings up a lot of questions too such as "can someone really be prosecuted for doing that?" (i'm curious which real life story inspired you to write this). furthermore, the reader kind of despises Jenny. here some guy is forever labeled as a pedo because of his former relationship with him, and she didnt stick with him. at the same time, i doubt his family would snub him for something so trivial. if anything, you'd think his family would back him up.

nevertheless, i enjoyed the read and this one will stick with me for a bit. goal accomplished.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 11:13am Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Nice to have something newish from you to read.
The pages are pretty clean to me.
I don't mind mini slugs at all, so long as they don't confuse the read.

By about half way through, I started to get fidgety.
I wanted to know what happened.
I tend to distance myself from pages that are deliberately hiding things from me.
More to the point, when I feel the author is holding back a crucial fact.

I lose touch with the characters and just try to guess the answers.
I may get more involved in Tye's plight if I knew what the issue was sooner.
To me, this is a script that would greatly benefit from some non-linear storytelling.

Also, nailing down a time period could help out too.
This feels like a 70s piece, somewhere thereabouts.

As it stands, it's a pretty solid read.
But I want more character to pull me in and less game show guessing.

Regards,
E.D.


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Nomad
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
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I liked it.  I felt for Tye.  I picked up on the discrimination, though it could have been more inetense.  Jenny's dialogue at the end where she tells how old they were is expository.  I'm not too big on flashbacks but a couple here might help.

Suggestions:

- Flashbacks:  
   Tye calmly being arrested at home as young Jenny watches from down the street.
   Tye being processed at jail.
   Shot of Tye's sex offender page online, reverse angle to show young Jenny viewing the page, match shot to older Jenny now viewing dead Tye.  Jenny simply says, "We were just kids".

- White mother hurries to unlock her apartment door while her daughter scowls at Tye as he walks down the hallway.
- Have Tye thrown out of the bar.

I'm new to screenwriting so if any of my terms are off or if there's a better way to say something, please correct me.  Thanks for posting.


Read my scripts here:
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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Nomad  -  July 19th, 2011, 3:37pm
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Grandma Bear
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 4:00pm Report to Moderator
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I remembered it after I was halfway through. I thought you did well with it.

IMHO, you do not need to flesh it out. It would work just fine as a 5 pager, but you need to fix the ending some. IMO, you need to save the reveal that Jenny and Tye were in love to the very end. The later the better. The way you have it right now it's slowly revealed over a few pages. It loses any punch or twist that way.

This one has enough conflict/prejudice going on in it that I wouldn't be surprised if someone would want to produce it It wouldn't be very hard.

Good job.  


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jwent6688
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 4:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from albinopenguin
hey James,

after finishing this one, i thought it was okay. after thinking about it (and reading everyone's comments) however, i started to like it more and more.

i think Jeff's suggestion is right on point. if i cared about tye more, then the ending would have been much more powerful. furthermore, i didnt get the whole racism feel to it while reading the short. i suspected that tye had done something wrong in the past to warrant the way people were treating him. then again, this might become all the more apparent while watching the short rather than reading the script.

the ending for me was alright. i was kind of felt like "geez that sucks for him" rather than feeling bad for tye. which all comes back to Jeff's remarks. the ending brings up a lot of questions too such as "can someone really be prosecuted for doing that?" (i'm curious which real life story inspired you to write this). furthermore, the reader kind of despises Jenny. here some guy is forever labeled as a pedo because of his former relationship with him, and she didnt stick with him. at the same time, i doubt his family would snub him for something so trivial. if anything, you'd think his family would back him up.

nevertheless, i enjoyed the read and this one will stick with me for a bit. goal accomplished.


Thanks for the read will. When I find that article, I'll post it here. Read it on my phone at work a long time ago. I've read several other articles just like it. I used to Dj at a local bar every weekend. This one douche would come in all the way from the west side and harass the bartenders. The owner had a cop run his plates. When he found out, he told the guy to never come back. I certainly didn't build Tye's character off this asshole. He really was a pedo and solicited sex from a minor. But, Thats how the bar scene came to mind.

I also chose Texas for this because they have a zero-tolerance policy for sex offenders. The law is riddled with flaws. They're currently rewriting many of them to have levels, but at first these laws included people who had consentual relationships with people of slightly different ages.

Sorry Jenny came off as a bitch. That was not my goal. I could definitely fix that in the opening conversation. As far as his family? I meant that he really didn't have any. She was the closest thing.

James



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albinopenguin
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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interesting. very good choice of location for sure. yeah if they were typical hicks then i would perceived the whole racism thing. since it was set present day (presumably), i didnt think much of it (i just thought tye did something wrong). but i like the whole sex offender angle to this script and if you set it back in the 70's for example, it would have some plot holes. most notably the time since the incident occurred and how come people still humiliate him because of his deeds. our country went through this witch hunt phase with pedophilia, and its only because of the internet did a lot of past sex offenders come to light. then again, you could also make the characters older. just thinking out loud.


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jwent6688
Posted: July 19th, 2011, 4:19pm Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Hey James,

Nice to have something newish from you to read.
The pages are pretty clean to me.
I don't mind mini slugs at all, so long as they don't confuse the read.

By about half way through, I started to get fidgety.
I wanted to know what happened.
I tend to distance myself from pages that are deliberately hiding things from me.
More to the point, when I feel the author is holding back a crucial fact.

I lose touch with the characters and just try to guess the answers.
I may get more involved in Tye's plight if I knew what the issue was sooner.
To me, this is a script that would greatly benefit from some non-linear storytelling.

Also, nailing down a time period could help out too.
This feels like a 70s piece, somewhere thereabouts.

As it stands, it's a pretty solid read.
But I want more character to pull me in and less game show guessing.

Regards,
E.D.


Thanks for reading Brett,

I really wanted this to be a quick view of a day in the life of a sex offender. I know 99% are whackos that deserved to be snubbed by society and have an X carved into their forehead.I just felt really bad for a very select few I read about.

This will probably just sit here as is for now unless I get some interest in it. I can see where you were becoming impatient with the story, but thats my favorite part. I was hoping people would say to themselves "What the fuck did this guy do?"

I think the ending is where its lacking most. Thanks again, one of these days I'll move over to ZP. I read the first 20 pages of the first draft, never commented. I think i probably owe you a feature read by now...

James



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