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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2012 One Week Challenge  ›  Jericho - 10/12 OWC
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  Author    Jericho - 10/12 OWC  (currently 3515 views)
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 7:12pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Jericho by Anonymous Karen - Short - A priest and a harlot take refuge in a desolate motel. - pdf, format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 8:08pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Perth, Australia
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Well, I expected a few these.

The dialogue is very heavy and that’s understandable with this challenge but I think you’ve overdone it. Just way too much exposition thrown at the reader here, I followed it okay but it sure as hell slowed the read which normally isn’t the case when reading such a script.

I think you stuck to most of the parameters, motel, hurricane, supernatural past and what not. I would question the opening “establishing” shot which should probably go to keep it low budget, it’s probably expensive to flood a parking lot but I do understand why you showed this.

What you did do well here.

You knew the subject matter (Rahab, prostitute etc) and used it to push the story forward with the hurricane being conjured up for cleansing the city of its sinners. Not a bad effort but it’s a shame it was all lost in a sea of dialogue which needs to be trimmed to make this piece more reader friendly.

The writing was a tad rushed it seemed, a few typos spread about (cofee) and lots of awkward sentences which hurt the read. Get rid of those “continued” on the pages – unnecessary.

And this line stuck out to me rather odd – “Coffee SIZZLES” Does coffee sizzle like acid upon hitting someone’s skin? And Ababuo drank that “hot” coffee with tremendous speed which was made from an “electric coffee pot” I got the impression with the “boarded up windows” that this motel was abandoned but it has electricity and coffee pots?

Little things like this did make me stop and think but maybe I’m being picky… it was a tough challenge.

Not a bad effort but it needs a good clean up for clarity sake.

Congrats on completing the OWC.

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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Los Angeles, CA
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I have to agree with Coop here. A lot of the dialogue really slows this down. I actually did like the connection to Katrina. I'm usually a big fan of putting fiction within real history.

What doesn't work for me is the story between Joshua and Ababue. It just doesn't seem plausible to me. The whole traveling from Africa to destroy New Orleans business seemed forced.

The ending also felt a bit like Batman Begins too with the whole "I don't have to save you" talk.

Overall I think I liked the premise behind it but think the overall story behind the characters could use an upgrade.

This isn't bad by any means, though! Great job completing the challenge!

'Artist' is not a term you should use to refer to yourself. Let others, and your work, do it for you.
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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 9:36pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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I thought this was pretty good.  A little talkative at times that didn't seem to move the story along but for the most part the material was presented well.  

Good imagery, too, most notably Ababuo's scars.  Character-wise it started pretty traditional and then did a complete 180 and I think it worked.  Ababuo was pathetic, creepy, and heroic all at the same time.  

Overall I liked it.

Nice job.


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 9:49pm Report to Moderator

What good are choices if they're all bad?

Nowhere special.
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This story should have worked better than it did. I'll be honest when I say that I have no idea how you'd improve it, story-wise, because you painted yourself into a very dark corner.

The dialogue kept going and going. Not the worst thing in the world, but there are very easy ways to trim it all down.

I did enjoy the ending with the seven horns and the "twist", although I don't think it was a true twist but it just never was able to gain any momentum.


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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Wow, as I keep saying...the quality of this new batch is shocking compared to the earlier scripts.

I'm very impressed with this overall.  Lots of attention to detail, research, some good writing overall, and some great dialogue, all wraped up in a very strong story that's well set up adn well executed.

As others have said, it is very dialogue heavy adn very expositional in delivery.  Also, lots of what i call "speeches" from a single character which never plays well on film.

But much of the dialogue is the stuff that most writers will neve be able to write in their life, let alone in a week or maybe even a few days.

Some mistakes and awkward lines, but I almost wonder if some of these were intentional to throw off their identity.  Hmmm...

I don't think this will transfer to film nearly as well as it looks on the page, but again, heads and shoulders above the dreck from earlier.

Very impressive effort here!

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 10:47pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Hmm, I like the story behind this one, but there feels like too much to be a short.  So much had to be covered in exposition-dialogue that I wondered why we weren't seeing what the harlot was explaining to us.  I'd see this as a good short film, possibly thirty to forty-five minutes, but in only twelve pages, it felt a little busy.

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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 11:25pm Report to Moderator

Invercargill, New Zealand
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I like this one. You've reached all the challenge requirements perfectly and even got a little creative with it. Your two characters are very interesting.

As far as improving it, I'd suggest having a look at that dialogue as some of it does come across as a little awkward. I originally thought that this one was set during medieval times, based on the dialogue. Nope, it's just weirdly written. Not sure if that was your intention.

A good short, which suited the challenge requirements well.

Well Done


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Jeremiah Johnson
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:13am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Pg 1:  
“Its curtains...”  Should be “it's”
Your opening scene already takes on too many SFX.  Already pushing the rules.  Let's see what happens.

Pg 2:
Where did Joshua enter the room from?  Outside?  The bathroom?  Specify.

Pg 4:
Joshua continued speaking, should have had (CONT'D)

Pg 5:
“glass shatter.”  Should be “shatters”
“completely unconscious.”  Unconscious assumes completely.
“He’s surrouded by darkness.”  Think you meant surrounded.

Pg 6:
“But we won’t go into specifics.”  You have a lot of specifics already.  I want to know now.

Pg 8:
“I am not here for revenge. That would be unchristian like.”  Wait, didn't she use and like magic?  And is looking for a witchdoctor?  That is unchristian.  She might as well take revenge!

I guess I should first say good job completing a script for this challenge.  Simply written, with some mistakes – shown in my notes.  Nothing fancy about the descriptions, and would have liked more vivid writing.  This is the OWC, so I guess I can't fault you too much there.  The dialogue was pretty good.  It was somewhat heavy on exposition, but probably was necessary in this case.  The story, well, let's just say it didn't work for me.  Applying the story of Jericho to the flood of New Orleans didn't work for me.  Also, I didn't agree with how you handled the religious parts (sorry, won't go into detail on that).  Thanks for the read though.

My Scripts:
Bed Bugs
I Got The Shaft
No Clowning Around
Fool's Gold
Five Days for Redemption

Father, Forgive Me
Sheriff of Nowhere
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Private Message Reply: 8 - 31
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:43am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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I don't mind reading exposition in dialogue, even in large blocks, but this case it was a bit of a chore.
I think it was how it was presented didn't draw me in.

Agree with Jeff on the meticulous background and research but I feel the overall story didn't shine through as it could've.

Cheers stevie

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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 2:06am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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There was plenty to like in this.  I thought the metaphor of New Orleans as a modern day Jericho was cleverly done.  Memorable, vivid characters.  Had to google Rahab and it was a perfect name for the motel.

However, the pacing felt a little off to me.  I think Ababuo turned the tables too soon.  She incapacitates Joshua on page five, so he spends most of the script just talking from his chair, with both characters delivering vast amounts of expo.  It got to be a bit much.

And like cinemachado said, the final line felt borrowed from Batman.

But, I can tell a good amount of time and effort went into this, so well done.
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 2:15am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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Yep, it's a bit talky and I wonder if it contains enough of a story i.e. visuals when translated to screen. Hmm, maybe.

Lots of long dialogue passages but it held my interest, regardless of some stilted passages - you should use contractions for words as people do in everyday conversation, (I get you might be going for character-speech here) but watch words like 'no where' for nowhere, for example, makes for a more fluid read.

And your last line 'I wouldn't kill you' but 'I won't save you either' I think would read far better as 'I won't kill you' present tense. Hey, I'm being picky.

A pretty good effort imh.

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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:03pm Report to Moderator

I wish my brain was half as wise as my ass.

Asheville, NC
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A little writing tip...try not to start your action lines with the character's name.  So and so does and so does that.  Once in a while fine but too much becomes monotonous.

The story itself is intersting but the fact that it's told mainly through dialog just came across like a  history lesson at times.  

Good job though...this was a difficult OWC.

“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:59pm Report to Moderator
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FADE IN goes to the left.

Don't use "ESTABLISHING" in your slugs.

Your writing is good, very solid.

Some of the dialogue needs work. Doesn't sound very natural, IMO.

Still, this was really good. One of my favorites so far.

Great job completing the OWC.
e-mail Reply: 13 - 31
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 2:09pm Report to Moderator

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MICRO BUDGET: Yes. Put an eye patch on her.
HURRICANE: Katrina key to story.
CHARACTERS: Say what you will about the dialogue but these two characters had a “real” quality to their oddness.
SUPERNATURAL: Yes - witch doctor
DECISION: To kill Joshua or not

Good read. Here’s some things to think on:

The turns in this were a bit unsubstantiated. For example when she reveals she’s the daughter she should have some token to prove it’s her. Also, when he reveals the guy she’s looking for is in the tub it could be a little sound or something to say there’s someone in there.  

Unsubstantiated also applies to both character’s surprise alter egos. When people reveal themselves like that I get bummed because you could do that in any show. I prefer to see a glimmer or a place where I can say ‘Okay, I can see that had double meaning, I got it.’

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