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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  A Cat of One Colour Moderators: bert
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  Author    A Cat of One Colour  (currently 2532 views)
Don
Posted: May 29th, 2012, 5:32pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Cat of One Colour by Steve Miles - Short, Comedy, Documentary - Documentary following an amateur big cat enthusiast in his pursuit of the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor.  19 pages. - pdf, format


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Gage
Posted: May 29th, 2012, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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This was absolutely excellent.  Can definitely see this being turned into a short film.  The writing was clean and the plot had me hooked.  It's not groundbreaking, but it is a very entertaining short film.


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danbotha
Posted: May 29th, 2012, 11:46pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve

FINALLY! A script I was actually able to finish!

Not much to say about this one, except that it was awesome! It was well-written and had me attached through to the end.

One small thing... I didn't really get the comedy behind it. The only place I actually laughed at was the screaming kids on page 15. To me, It was more of a documentary with one funny part. Maybe I just didn't get the humour behind it.

I agree with AsteroidJuice. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was entertaining. I think this one would work well filmed.

Daniel


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 30th, 2012, 3:28am Report to Moderator
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The effects of writing again....

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Hi Steve,

Glad to return the read after your review of Pagan.

As i go;

Strong regional english accent, i my first guess was up north, but its around bodmin? - hope it doesn't lose some International readers

P2 - i think i would have capitalised FOOTAGE to make it clear we are watching a recording
Hoax? - interesting as i know what you mean but would we get all you have described from hazy footage of a distant cat?
P3 you intercut between the two scenes. i quite like this style but i think you may find there are simpler ways than a full slug each time
p5 cameraman off screen - i have to admit that threw me. Not sure why but i felt it was self recorded. Just saying.
P5 bottom - why is graham VO?
p6 sniff badger scat - liked that
p7 do you need moving in slug as he drives?
p7 continuous - not sure you need it. we have recently discussed this title and one conclusion, i am open to others, is that it is useful for different shots within a big scene or room. IE the slug stays the same but we are in different points e.g. within a church.  Not sure a shot of the bumper sticker applies.
P8 VO needs another )
P8 good interaction with wife
p10 on account of his dying - nice
p11 nice tone of repression, dampened emotions, life passing by yet not too much
p13 millets ad - again may not be understood everywhere. not a problem but a reminder that if you post on an international site you may want bear that in mind for your descriptions. i used Boot, as in a car boot in one story and someone thought in had an open truck
BCA - nice touch
p14 i like the classification
p14 slug moorland - is this bodmin moor?
p17 is there a need for the car pulls away from the car park?
p19 ending - humm?

Overall

A decent script, good dialogue and character exposition. I liked the way you started off with him alone, then with wife, then with mates. Distinct phases.

However, after all that good work, it felt flat at the end. I appreciate the life and the character you have set up, the longing for something that won't happen and therefore what happens if it does. But you raise this as a question to him rather than something he does.

One option would be to make him reflective as if he has realised its not worth it, just about to give up BUT theres another sighting and he's off as though can't shake the bug. Just a thought. Our last sight is of him running away.

Actually i can see a feature in this in terms of the characters and life and deeper emotional aspects that could be explored in a lighthearted comedy. The consequences of not having a family, pursuing a weird dream, of following someone who does that and how the world perceives you both. The long suffering wife and the obsessed husband. Need a decent story underneath which is lacking at present, but the characters and situation are well drawn.


well done.




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B.C.
Posted: May 30th, 2012, 3:27pm Report to Moderator
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There are some excellent observations about the British condition, here. Really wonderful, lovely phrases in the dialogue, alot of which made me laugh out loud. The author really nailed that. Yeah, it might not translate well for some international readers, but if filmed I think they would get it when they hear the rhythm of the accents.

Having said that, I think there's a fair bit of fat that could be trimmed, and maybe this would be better at around 12-15 pages. Just saying.

The last line is wonderful. Worked perfectly for me.

I had no problems with any of the format. Some if it might not be technically 'correct' but it didn't matter, you could put 'mockumentary' in the logline to make it 100% clear, but I was never lost once.

Impressive.

Someone will pick this up to be filmed in this country, no doubts about that.
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stevemiles
Posted: May 30th, 2012, 4:53pm Report to Moderator
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Firstly, thank-you for the comments, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Daniel and Asteroid Juice, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really wasn’t sure how this would come across, as the subject is quite particular to the UK.  Let me know if I can return the favour.

Basket Case, it is pretty dialogue driven, especially the 'humour'. I’d like to see what seems to work and start trimming around that for a shorter read.  Thanks for the thoughtful insight.

Reef Dreamer,

You’re absolutely right with the regional accent. I was aiming for a rural/country feel just to give it some character and for some reason it’s come out with a Northern slant.  I’ll look into tweaking it to a west country feel.

I struggled with the footage/eyewitness sequence p.2-3.  Kind of pictured it as an opening sequence that lends Graham’s story some context.  Wasn’t really sure how best to write this in terms of how it was seen on screen (back and forth between the different footage) so I opted for a straight forward ‘scene by scene’ approach.  Will probably re-write and intercut the two eyewitnesses as it would indeed be a quicker approach without the need for a slug each time.

Same with the cameraman off-screen, wasn’t sure of the best way to present this.  I was aiming for a natural feel where the camera/interviewer is never heard asking the questions and we just get the characters responses. It never occurred to me that people might think Graham is filming himself.  

For the V.O. on p.5, I was thinking that Graham was a long way from the camera, wandering from tree to tree, before getting in close to show the ‘claw-mark’.

Good catch on the ‘moving’ slug, I can omit that.

I’m still a little uncertain as to the use of ‘continuous’ in a slug.  If in doubt I leave it in for consistency.  I’m open as to how others would present that, and I’m always keen to trim.

Had a feeling the Millets thing might be too particular to the UK...

Again on the Moorland/Bodmin slug.

I could take out the car driving away from the flea-market.  It just felt right before jumping straight into the ‘hide’ scene.

I can understand how you feel about the ending.  I was thinking about it more literally, that he’d simply be satisfied and go home.  I was also getting conscious of the length for a short.

It’s interesting you feel there’s scope for a longer piece.  I am indeed toying with the idea, but as you point out it really needs a stronger understory to make it work.  I chose the documentary style approach for a short as it allowed me to dip in and out of this characters life at will and I wonder if this approach would get tiresome for a feature?  Your response has certainly got me thinking.

Again, thanks for taking the time to go through this, it’s invaluable to get an idea of how it comes across to others.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for a rewrite of Pagan Man.

Steve.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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Steex
Posted: May 31st, 2012, 6:08pm Report to Moderator
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100% Pretty Cool.

Good job, sir!


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Nomad
Posted: June 1st, 2012, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
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It would be funny if he dabbed the his scat coated finger on his tongue, then said, "Badger".

Show Val in the car eating the bag of crisps, through the window.  The cameraman wouldn't go outside to film that.

A two-B could be a very long description:  An unsubstantiated, rural sighting in the rain, by a credible witness, (on a Wednesday, looking north, from the edge of a major highway, in June, at 9:48).

A four-b could be:  Child

"Three hides, side by side."  You could have one scanning the horizon with his eyes, the second one uses binoculars, and the third one has an obscenely large telescope.

This was well written for the most part.  I see the dry humor in it, but it could be funnier.

Jordan


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SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
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stevemiles
Posted: June 4th, 2012, 9:46am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Jordan and Steex,

Jordan I appreciate the input.  I like seeing Val eating in the car through the house window, that makes more sense.  The 'verification system' could have gone in any number of directions, I've yet to decide if i'll stick with that as is.  And it could always be funnier -- I'll work on that.  Thanks.

Steve  


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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CoopBazinga
Posted: June 5th, 2012, 7:19am Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

I haven’t seen you around the boards but you have some good reviews here so I thought I would take a peek.

I think you’ve done a good job here, the dialogue is well executed but I can understand other reviewer’s comments about this not translating well across the pond.

I do think it’s a tad long for what it is and you might want to think of chopping it down.

I also feel some of the voiceovers need looking at as it became confusing at times and this harmed the read IMO.

Other than that, this is a solid piece and one I could definitely see being filmed. I wish you all the luck with it.

These are the notes I took during the read:

P. 1 The voice over stops at the end of page one? I’m unsure if this is a mistake or he’s intended to be speaking?

P.2  “Domestic cat? Hoax? It’s hard to tell.” Not a fan of this in the action. Would rather Graham have said this line in V.O over the footage? Just a thought.

P.3 “Black panther.” Panther should be capped.

3/4 A personal nitpick but I would try to avoid the dialogue going over two pages, looks messy.

P.5 “cameraman” I wonder if he needs to be capped? Maybe he’s never seen… I’ll find out.

Some of the voiceovers are confusing me and I don’t know if it’s intentional or not.

Now we have the cameraman I thought he was talking into the camera but then there’s a V.O suddenly?

P.8 Missing Parenthesis…  “(O.S”

P.12 “Val irked, re-directs his attention to a passing field.” Either this needs to be
reworked or add “he” before re-directs to make this sentence clearer.

EDIT: “his” needs to be her.

P.13 “(60s)” A constant nitpick of mine is consistency in a script. You’ve added parenthesis suddenly to the ages of your characters when before you didn’t have them. Sorry to be picky.

P.14 “GRAHAM (V.O.)” again another voiceover here when I don’t think it’s supposed to be… this has been a common problem for me and harmed the read… something to think about.

P.15 “Heroin addict” Why not “LSD” Think that would be funny.

“flyer” “fliers” Again consistency, and this could cause confusion to some readers.

P.16 “MOMENTS LATER” I said to someone else before and I’ll say it here. I think this is overused.

“Had to choose.” Wondered if this should have been “hard” instead of had?

P.17 The dialogue at the top of this page between Val and Graham felt wrong like they were speaking the wrong the lines? I’m not sure and I could be wrong of course.

“EXT. FLEA MARKET - CAR PARK – DAY

Graham’s car reverses from a space and pulls away.”

Thought this was superfluous.

P.19 ‘what would you do if you saw it?’ Maybe change “it” for one.

I have to be honest and say I love the last line… good ending but I wished he’d added “and have me tea” Nah, really good line and in keeping with the rest of the script.

Good work and keep writing.

Steve
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stevemiles
Posted: June 10th, 2012, 4:13am Report to Moderator
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Steve,

thanks for taking a look.

I can see how the V.Os could get a little confusing, think they would make more sense on screen. But they are where I intended them to be, except for the one you mention on p.14, that should of been an O.S. with Graham speaking as Tarney holds up the book.

Cameraman capped?  Not sure, he's a character in a way, but unseen.  I'm going to find a better way to present that whole action.

No problems with being picky, consistency is key.

An earlier draft had 'Acid Freak' instead of 'Heroin Addict' -- for some reason I went with the former, though in hindsight I think the latter works better.

Thanks for taking the time.  There seems to be a theme with the issues picked up on, gives me an idea what stays and what changes.

Steve.  


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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1211kellie
Posted: June 21st, 2012, 5:10am Report to Moderator
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Absolutely loved this! It flows along beautifully. I found myself chuckling throughout. Love the use of the northern accent – is it Geordie?

As a newbie I learnt a lot about good formatting from this piece.  Would love to see this produced!

Kellie


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JimElder
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G'day Steve,
My first post, I've read probably 25, 26 scripts, really liked this one. It might sound strange but if you read it imagining a broad Engilsh accent it works better.

Regards

Aussie Jim.
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stevemiles
Posted: March 6th, 2013, 11:59am Report to Moderator
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Jim,

thanks for taking the time to read this, it's appreciated.  It's been a while since I worked on this one -- there's a revised version I've yet to post (some minor trims/changes) but I'm glad you liked it.  Let me know if I can return the read.

Steve.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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alffy
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Son of a Bitch!!!   I just wrote a nice long review and my computer crashed lol

I'll see if I can remember what I wrote?

I liked the idea for this so thought I'd give it a read.

I was a little confused about what was said to camera and what wasn't as there was a lack of continuity at times.  The Farmer addresses the camera but Judy's dialogue has a parenthetical (to camera).

The local dialect was great throughout and had me chuckling at times.  It gave the piece a real feel to it.

Jarvis somes out with some corking lines.  Also love the name 'Mack Cheesetone'.

This line had me confused 'Val irked, re-directs his attention to a passing field.'?

Not sure if some of Graham's dialogue should be V.O. or O.S.?  When Tarney holds up the notebook, Graham's dialogue is V.O. not sure if this should be O.S?  Also he then speaks as if in shot, so does Tarney move the notebbok from view?  I'm picky but it's not very clear.

The stand out thing for me though was that this could be seen as a genuine documentary, no seriously!  Some of the ones I seen on TV are really like this.  A piece of possible evidence is immediately dashes by a obvious explaination lol.  I honestly think that some peolpe would believe this to be a real documentary about the BCA.

Overall this was excellent.


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You can find my scripts here
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