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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2012 One Week Challenge  ›  Damages - 10/12 OWC
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Don
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 7:14pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Damages by Anonymous Greg - Short - When a priest chooses an old motel as sanctuary from a hurricane, he must protect his entrusted companion from an unstable resident, the violent elements, and possibly, even himself. - pdf, format


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Mr. Blonde
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. I mean, you definitely set up a misdirection with the ending, but I'm not sure what the point of it all was. You kept cutting back to news on the storm and this backstory which connected the three people (which I enjoyed, by the way) but you skipped over the climax, No Country For Old Men-style.

I'm guessing he exorcised her while she was asleep, but to be honest, I still think he should've killed the Priest in the end. It would've made for a better ending if the true holy man killed the Priest to protect the girl, only to find out that the Priest was helping her.

Anyway, just my take.

C+.


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Dreamscale
Posted: October 20th, 2012, 9:23pm Report to Moderator
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There seems to be a marked improvement in the quality of these latter batches of scripts - I wonder if the first few were the first turned in?  Hmmm...

I really like the writing here as well as the brooding feel of approaching ill will.  Very well done.

But, if I were to nitpick, I'd say the although the writing is very strong, it's a bit overwritten, as it's not a quick read by any means.

Wasn't sure where exactly we were goiing to go here, but for me, the end was both a surprise and a letdown.

THis had a imilar feel to another scrt...not sure which, but the way the storm was incorporated - frequently referenced, but not really anything to do with the story, IMO.

Heads and shoulders above the vast majority and maybe the best written script so far.

Good job here, but I wish the end was...different.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Ryan1
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:26am Report to Moderator
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Hmm, another one that I'm not sure I followed.  One of the reviews said the priest exorcised Destiny, but I thought Destiny was a drug addict that the Priest was trying to help.   Amir is the survivor of sex abuse from his days in the orphanage, and mistook Father Thomas for the priest who molested him.  Or, that's how I read it.  

So, I felt sort of a disconnect between the two storylines.  They never really met until the very end, when Amir's apparent epiphany happens.  But then he just runs out the door.  Gave the script a "meh" conclusion.

Anyway, pretty good descriptions and the dialogue was decent, but got a little hammy at the end there.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 5:50am Report to Moderator
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Not bad but the ending wasted it for me.

Amid - I wasn't sure whether he was set up as a killer or self harmer? I went for killer which...

Then confused as to why we walks away at the end, just like that.
I liked the tension of is the father good or bad, is destiny at the whim of two killers, but even then she freaks, runs out, fears for him, then does a 180 with little reason. Wasn't sold on that. Did I miss something?

Because of the ending I felt Amir wasn't resolved, besides during the script a little too much bible talk. We got the message early on.

Decent effort. What were there previous suprenatural events? Did the storm play much of a part? Hey, it won't for most.


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jwent6688
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 7:21am Report to Moderator
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Pretty good entry. The ending was the highlight for me. To find out the priest was truly trying to help her. Wish there was some more backstory there. Definitely found it odd that he was carrying her down the street in the beginning.

There was some decisions made, Samir decides not to kill the priest eventhough he was obbviously violated by one. Destiny defends the priest even before she realizes why he took her shirt off. This could probably make a great little short with a rewrite and without the constraints of the challenge.

Good job entering the owc.

James


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grademan
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 10:07am Report to Moderator
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Motel: Check
Hurricane: Check
Micro budget: Check
Characters: More stereotypical then odd. The honorable priest, the innocent girl, and the troubled believer
Choice: To kill or not kill the priest
Supernatural: Not clear

Plenty of time is spent on Amir's facets: a cutter, a victim, a believer and a lunatic. A little more time on the back story for the priest and girl would help.
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crookedowl
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:33pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the overall tone of this. The writing is good, and you have some nice visuals here.

I think the dialogue needs some work. Some of it doesn't come across as natural, IMO.

I agree that you need some more back story for the priest and girl. There isn't much character development here.

Get rid of the extra blank page at the end.

I liked this overall. Good job completing the OWC.
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marnieml
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 12:44pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the portrayal of Amir, a very troubled soul.  Nice set up with Father Thomas and Destiny.  The end felt rushed though.  Maybe too much set up and weather reports.  If some of that were trimmed and we saw a bit more of Father Thomas it may have flowed better.  But it was still good.

I was breezing through this story until this--"but where is her shirt?"  Took me right out. You had a great flow up until that point.  There are more creative ways to let us know she realizes her shirt is off.

A tear rolls down her cheek ‘she was wrong’. -- "she was wrong" is not needed here.  You conveyed that when she said she was sorry.

GREAT job on this difficult OWC.  One of my faves in the first 20.


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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stevie
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 6:33pm Report to Moderator
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Really good writing here, the author knows his craft.

But, as others have noted, a lot of over description, making it far too long. Needs to cut about 4 pages off it, which would be achieved by shorter action lines.

Still unsure exactly what happened at the end - will re-read it but reading all these has been a chore. i started off reading them and writing down a list, but thats gone by the wayside sadly.

But i can understand the quality of the scripts mostly being down - this was possibly the hardest OWC I've been involved in. I very nearly gave up and wasn't gonna enter.

Cheers stevie


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greg
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
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This didn't work for me.  While the writing itself isn't bad, it feels very overwritten and dragged majorly.  Can't really tell you what the supernatural aspect was either.  

The priest being a good guy I did like, as he was being pointed as a bad guy.  That was a nice touch I felt.  But outside of that I had trouble really getting into this.

Toning down the descriptions I think would help.

For a week though nice job.

Greg


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CoopBazinga
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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This one's good but the ending didn't live up to the billing - it was little flat.

I enjoyed this for most part, Amir is a tortured soul well captured, and it's just a shame that this his burning anger didn't have far worse consequences at the end which would have gave this a more satisfying ending IMO.

Could the Priest and Destiny be better set-up? Maybe but this was a difficult challenge and I think you've ticked of most if not all the requirements - maybe the supernatural past was missing but otherwise, it's all here. A really good effort but this reminded me of a steady Eddy type story which is solid but safe - I wasn't blown away by it. On the other hand, this is top of the pile for me so far but I've still got 30 to go so let's see if it can stay there

This is by far the best written one from the first six I've read. Looks like it's written by one of the more experienced members and other than a few nitpicks, excellent stuff for a week's worth.

I was getting concerned about half a page in with the amount of capping going on but this died down as the piece moved on but I still think it was overused... sparingly some say but maybe this is preference.

A good entry. Well done.

Congrats on completing the OWC.

Steve
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pale yellow
Posted: October 21st, 2012, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Well done. This one is at the top of my pile....

Have to say though...the ending may need a rewrite. I do not feel as mentioned before that it was overwritten...however I tend to overwrite everything I write!!

Good job. One of the best in my stack!


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SteveUK
Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 7:51am Report to Moderator
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This one was just okay for me. You certainly manage to create a good atmosphere and a build up of tension, but this then leads to a disappointing ending that kinda falls flat.

You did an excellent job of creating a troubled character in Amir, showing glimpses of his self harming and an insight into his troubled past. It's a shame that after such a strong build up he just ends up crying and running out of the door.

It might have made for a more powerful ending had he killed the Father before realising he had made a mistake. Although this wouldn't have then fit into the 'survive the night' criteria, it would certainly have been a more explosive climax.

While you clearly have a lot of talent, this does tend to veer form well-written to over-written on occasion. And also - the constant weather updates on the TV seemed like a waste. Establish the hurricane situation and leave it at that.

Taking refuge from a hurricane in a beat-up motel?
Check.

Odd but interesting character(s)?
Check. Every character was interesting, especially Amir.

Choosing between good & evil to survive the night?
Check. WIth the intervention from Destiny, Amir sees the light and spares the Father his life.

Past supernatural event?
Fail. I don't think being abused by a man of the cloth counts as supernatural.

Micro budget?
Check. Although this takes place in several locations within the motel and has a couple of outer scenes, if shot cleverly it could easily be done on a modest budget.

Congratulations on completing the OWC.
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ReneC
Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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Exceptionally well written. You have a very strong command of technique and flair, and an eye for the cinematic. A solid foundation to build upon, good for you.

The story here is the problem. There are some great elements, some fantastic details, great characterization, but they never come together to form a whole. Amir's introduction is so powerful I wanted more about him, but instead we get a pseudo-exorcism that's really just a mundane detox or overdose treatment. That's a huge let-down after hinting at more interesting things. Amir's reaction was too forced for the climax, there wasn't enough story to support it so it felt spoon-fed to me.

The other problem here is the read was far more interesting than the filming would be. So much of what's on the page wouldn't be seen on the screen. We get a lot of strong action words and supernatural descriptions to propel the reader, but when it comes to filming they wouldn't translate visually with the same impact.

Good attempt from an obviously skilled writer, but the story needs to be stronger and more focused.


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