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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2012 One Week Challenge  ›  Johnny - 10/12 OWC
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  Author    Johnny - 10/12 OWC  (currently 4085 views)
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 7:14pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Johnny by Anonymous Harry - Short -  On the brink of insanity, Johnny makes a life altering decision.  - pdf, format

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pale yellow
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 7:34pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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For a dialogue heavy script, I liked this one.

The two guys did seem a bit immature for their ages...and they weren't extremely interesting....but this was an enjoyable read.

Good job.

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Posted: October 20th, 2012, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Yeah, this isn't too bad.  I kinda like it...well, I was liking it, but it went on a little long and for me, it lost its power with the visions thingy, which, IMO, is also breaking outside the challenge requirements.

Couple things to help...

You often use lines like, "The heard." - Stay away from things like that.  It's really the exact same thing as "We see..."

When you use a name or anything being used as a name, in dialogue, you almost always will have to set it off with a comma(s).

Your dialogue was strong at times, and weak at others.  There are some lines that don't sound at all natural, while others are very on the nose.

I think a number of OWC rewquirements are busted or missed here, but overall, it's definitely one of the better entries.  Good job.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  October 21st, 2012, 9:25am
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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 9:06pm Report to Moderator

What good are choices if they're all bad?

Nowhere special.
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I can't say the dialogue was doing it for me, but the story worked well enough. For some reason, I felt this story had the same vibe as the "The Pool Guy" episode of "The Twilight Zone".

Anyway, I agree that the characters didn't sound their age, but I liked the flashbacks without actually flashing back. That was good stuff but I don't feel it had a resolution. I mean, sure, we get the idea he killed Tommy, but we never find out if the Woman was telling the truth. I, personally, think it would be better if she were lying. Of course, that may just be me and my enjoyment of unhappy endings.


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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 1:38am Report to Moderator

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The Great Southern Land
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I was entertained by the story in this one.

Good and not so good dialogue and writing in general.

The only thing was that the ending was a bit of an anti-climax for me, I really thought something more was going to happen.

Mr Blonde's suggestion of her perhaps lying is a good one.
It just needed some sort of twist. But not bad at all.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 9:53am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Simple, yet effective.

I think if we picked this apart there are a few issues, e.g. the OLD MAN is not introduced but i liked the way it flowed. One to fine tune.

Should be simple to be produced, effectively one room and a few actors.

The sinking ship was an interesting idea but i would careful with involving things that are quite different, but i think it added. Also, if the woman did have children, then why wouldn't she mentioned them to Johnny, in terms of what he's done.

The exposition through the TV is needed but again be careful on how this is done. i think you could have cut straight to a headline of two men wanted for killing at failed robbery etc

For a sense of irony, you could get tommy holding medication for johnny as he dies, leaving us with a question of whether he is ill or not etc

all the best

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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 10:55am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I tried to get into this, but it didn't do much for me. Quite a number of typs (women for woman, for example0 and characters who say 'Nooooooooooo!" - I mean, when i see stuff like that where a character 'speaks' like that? It turns me off and tunes me out.
The dialog itself was unven as well.

On the bright side, it can be filmed on  the cheap and be effective.
Congats on entering OWC

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:22pm Report to Moderator

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

Asheville, NC
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I really liked this.  Great idea for this challenge.  Good portrait of a man losing his mind.  I liked the ending although I thought it was abrupt.  Like maybe after he shoots his brother they should have convinced him to kill himself.  

"Tommy! Can you hear me!" -- am I the only one who sang this line?  LOL.  Sorry, I'm a WHO fan.

GREAT job on this 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, 2:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This is a great story. You kept me glued to the screen.

You made me wonder if Johnny really did smth in the past or he's just going insane but I don't mind. Really liked the build up and the story. Thinking he's just going insane for no reason - that's a good analysis of the way it may happen. Very chilling.
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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Opening sentence/paragraph read awkwardly, but maybe that's just me.

First dialogue... "I have a bad feeling about this" is a mostly cliched line that I'd avoid.

Some on-the-nose lines here and there.

Typo: "The wind alone we’ll force us off the road..." will, not we'll.

The names "Tommy" and "Johnny" are similar enough to mix up, so I'd consider changing one of them.

Overall this was good, could definitely be filmed on a low budget.

Good job finishing the OWC.
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 5:25pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

New York
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The ranting of "Kill Tommy" was chilling. It felt like a bunch of kids using peer pressure to get another kid to do something he doesn't want to. Made me wonder if this was just in his head or was this really happening.

Good job. Bonus points for being one location literally in just one room.
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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 7:17pm Report to Moderator

Invercargill, New Zealand
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I quite liked this one, although it's not the best I've read for this OWC. It'd be quite interesting to see this one on film. I was looking at it from a director's perspective and it's not an easy ask. The movement would be quite hard to do right, so kudos for that.

The writing, for me felt a little rushed, which is understandable for a OWC. There are a few typos that pop up every now and then, but no big deal.

I'm not sure about that opening slug. Wouldn't say it's wrong but to say "DARK" instead of "NIGHT" rings a little weird to me.

I'd suggest avoiding a frequent use of parentheticals. You use them quite often in this script to show emotion, facial feature, that sort of thing. Leave it to the actors to decide. Don't direct too much with your narrative.

Dialogue gets a little awkward at times. As Jeff said, you have these moments where it's really strong, then the dialogue that had me cringing. Have a read-through. Check how the lines sound out loud

The names Johnny and Tommy got a little confusing for me.

Otherwise, good job. One of my favourites so far.

Congrats on finishing the OWC.


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Posted: October 21st, 2012, 10:41pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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This had some good things going for it.  A breeze to read, loved the usage of the spotlights - very inventive of how to integrate another setting into the room without actually breaking one of the challenge requirements.  Also liked the part with the ship picture - that would be a very cool scene if filmed.

The woman's dialogue was strange and almost comical at times which I don't think is what you were going for.  I guess that makes her odd and interesting, but at the same time I think it threw off the atmosphere.  Also Tommy coming out of the bathroom asking what Johnny was screaming about was pointless - Tommy should already know what he's screaming about based on their opening conversation about hallucinations and stuff.

Overall I liked this.  

Nice job.


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Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Los Angeles, CA
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You had an interesting way of getting exposition out of the way with the news anchor and the victims being shot. I'm not sure it would translate well on the screen, but I like that you tried something different.

I wasn't a big fan of the woman, but it was cool to see how she convinced him to kill his brother. Overall an enjoyable and easy read.

Good job!

'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 22nd, 2012, 5:55pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This one had its moments.  Fairly boring first three pages.  Not much happened, and the description of the motel and the action could've been handled better.  I'm personally against ever having a character yell "Noooooo!"  No matter how tense the situation, that's always going to read comical.

I liked the inventive use of the news reporter and victims appearing in front of Johnny.  It's almost like this ghost is giving a spectral Powerpoint presentation.  The image of the painting of the ship rocking back and forth and spilling water had me laughing.  I thought, "God, I really don't hope the writer thought this was scary."  But then the ghost says she threw that line in for fun.  It was a clever line, but I also think it disrupted the tone of the piece.  Very hard to be frightened after a ghost does something like that.

I think you could have used that last page to clarify for us whether this was really happening or all in Johnny's head.  I personally think it would be a sick climax if all of this was a hallucination, and there was no bank robbery at all.  Tommy is completely innocent, and backs away as Johnny approaches with the knife, with the chorus of imaginary victims screaming for Tommy to kill.

I think you nailed the micro budget aspect and with a rewrite this could make a cool little film.
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