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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Adequate Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 10:38am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Adequate by Bill Sarre (reef dreamer) - Short, Drama - During a fatal car crash, a humble man reflects on the advice his father gave him, and how this affected his life. 6 pages - pdf, format


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alffy
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bill.

SPOILERS!!!

I was a bit unsure of the V.O's at first and thought this was heading down the humour road until you hit me with a real emotional ending.  I got to say I loved this, Bill.  It was great how you showed us how Meak saw his son and then how his son saw his father.

Very moving story.  Loved it.


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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rc1107
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Well, this certainly wasn't the story I was looking for to lift my spirits, was it?  :-)

What's up, Bill?

All right, so it was depressing, but it was quite an emotional read.  Those are the one's I love best, so I have to say you did a great job on this one.

I love voiceover, so I don't have any issues with that aspect of the story.

If anything, I'd probably have to put on my director or producer hat and bring up the subject of your extreme use of flashbacks.  From a production standpoint, (a short with a small budget), this will be incredibly hard to film.  Basically, there's too many different locations and too many different time-periods for it to make sense to make a short.

But of course, again, that's only from a production standpoint.  From a story standpoint, you have an emotional, depressing, realistic tale that works on the page.

I do have a question about the main character's name:  Meak

I love the name, but is that a regular name where you're from?  Or was he named Meak after the definition of the word meak?  I know I've heard of people nicknamed Meak, (short for McKinnon).  I'm just curious.

Anyway, great emotion in this one, Bill.  It's a downer, but I'm actually a big fan of downers as long as there's a good story and message behind them, and you make a good point about 'living your life the best you can' with this story.

- Mark


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dogglebe
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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I have to agree with RC.  This depressed the hell out of me.  I would've reached for the whiskey bottle if it wasn't for the fact that it's been in my hand since 1986.

For this story to work, you need to give us a little hope; I think that Billy is it.  You need to show him as better than his father, because of his father.  Billy breaks the vicious cycle of mediocrity somehow.


Phil

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dogglebe  -  May 27th, 2013, 11:58pm
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Gary Howell
Posted: April 28th, 2013, 11:05pm Report to Moderator
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Bill, I'm going to say I disagree with the others--while there were certainly some sad moments to it, I found a sort of humor to it combined with an empathetic character that you actually wanted to root for to finally get it right, and SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER -- it turns out, at least with Billy, he actually did.

I found this to be a strongly constructed story, well-written throughout.  I don't think the ending could have turned out any other way given the way it was set up.  Some nice visuals all the way through.   I could easily see this one being produced.  Great job on this, Bill!


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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spesh2k
Posted: April 29th, 2013, 4:14am Report to Moderator
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Well, this was depressing. It reminded me of Kevin Spacey's voice over at the end of "American Beauty" mixed with the opening to "Up".

Your protag was easy to like and root for. It just seemed like he'd been getting dumped on his whole life, but somehow, he keeps smiling. And though he never accomplishes anything more than being adequate in his own life, it seems as though he did raise his boy Billy the right way, which is somewhat redeeming.

Still, it would have been nice if Meak would have lived and stuck it to Faith somehow, but hey, that's your story. Overall, well done. Just a bit of a downer.


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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LC
Posted: April 29th, 2013, 8:18am Report to Moderator
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Bill, I'm really curious about the tone/theme you are going for here? And I admit to being perplexed.

From 'go to woe indeed' everything is very bleak. And the final image just before Fade Out, is just miserable frankly. Poor Billy.  

It's definitely a different concept you've come up with and I liked that it wasn't the usual 'Dad taught me to be the best' etc. - too much everybody's got to be a 'winner' today, but the story is a downer from one scene to the next, with no concluding redemption as far as I can see, and that spells a problem to me cause what exactly do you want your audience to come away with here?

The character of Meak (is it a play on the word 'meek' as Mark said?) comes across as so pathetic that I'm having trouble even feeling empathy for him. And yet I feel like there's a germ of an idea here that perhaps didn't get explored far enough.

A lot of what Meak does is, as Gary points out, humorous/funny just by the fact he is so oblivious to even obvious things and a real klutz, but unlike Gary the problem I had is that I'm not really rooting for the guy - I kinda just feel like he needed to 'grow a pair'.  

I really think you need to go the comedy route here - I don't mean funny ha ha, but along the lines you've already set up with Meak just not knowing his way around the world. and so your audience really wanting him to get something right, even if in his own demise. And develop further the idea that if you can't be the best it's all right to be adequate (I like that) as long as you're happy - but that's the key to me, I don't really feel Meak was ever that happy.

If I were you, I'd explore the theme of 'ignorance is bliss' further and perhaps have more of it rub off on Billy.

I definitely see this targeted towards animation too.

Good luck with it. Be interesting to read if any of the feedback so far is along the lines of what you were going for.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: April 29th, 2013, 9:02am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Alffy, Mark, Phil, splesh, LC, Gary.

Ok, hands up - it's not a comedy, I admit it.

I appreciate this is a tad depressing, and probably wouldn't be something I would like to watch for too long, hence why it is short, but I feel it deals with a handful of deep issues all at once. It has an emotional punch but i accept it has divided readers.

Is the ending sad? Well yes on the surface, but underneath I feel there is something positive. Had Billy not given a toss Meak's life would have been worthless to a degree. Yet what we discover is that whilst he wasn't always aware of what was going on around him, his principles of being there, being enthusiastic and being positive is what his child benefited from and loved.

In some ways it is a swipe at 'clever' adults, and corproate culture, seeking to be the best and missing core principles that can make us more rounded, more at peace.

The name Meak is indeed inspired by the word meek - a foreshadow of his character.

Should it be more upbeat? Well, it could be and the obvious one is for Meak to become aware of Billy during the funeral, and understand what he felt and what he did, but for now I will keep it dark.  

Getting produced - I agree with Mark, this is unlikely to be made the way it's written. I have worked on this with a producer who loved the emotional depth and punch of the script, but we struggled on how this could be done simply.

Thanks for the reads.


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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DV44
Posted: April 29th, 2013, 7:55pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bill,

Man do you like to tug at the heart. Really sad read but I enjoyed it. Nicely written.

A quick read with only one error that I found. You have Billy, 12, twice on page 4. Billy,12, in soccer kit and Billy, 12, watches. Other than that it was flawless. Good work.

Seems that poor Meak fumbled with issues his whole life, getting by unnoticed but saw life through his son Billy. I hated how everything ended because I would have loved to see Meak and Billy have a growing relationship with one another.

Take care.

- Dirk
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 1st, 2013, 6:12am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Dirk,

Yup nothing like making the reader cry, thats what i aim for. Death and despair.

Also, thanks for the spot on the repeated age.

As it happens i am giving this a major re write with a new outcome but i like the version that is posted for what it is.

cheers


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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Pale Yellow
Posted: May 1st, 2013, 11:12pm Report to Moderator
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Another great script from you! I appreciate the tone of the story..not all stories are happy go lucky. I hope my notes were of some help

Thanks for sharing this with us Bill....you rock!
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stevemiles
Posted: May 2nd, 2013, 7:00am Report to Moderator
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Bill,

thereís a subtle humour to the way you draw Meak's character (nicely done for such a short page count) which makes the ending just that little harder to accept.  Itís an interesting angle -- this guy takes life as it comes, gets up after every knock with a smile and still ends up alone and well, dead -- which begs the question of what exactly he Ďdeservedí out of life.  

If anything I could have done with a little more in the way of redemption -- something to let us know poor old Meak didnít die totally in vain.  

Regardless, I liked it. A sad tale thatís all the better for not feeling drawn out or overwrought.  Look forward to seeing the revision.

Steve.


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


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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Toby_E
Posted: May 2nd, 2013, 8:53am Report to Moderator
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Bill,

This was ace.

Depressing? Very. But a brilliant read, nonetheless. You packed greater emotional impact into 6 pages than most scripts manage in 100. So big congratulations on that.

The only thing I would say, and it echoes what has already been said previously (apologies for being unoriginal with the suggestions, ha-ha), would be to give us some sort of hope, so that the ending isn't a complete downer.

Now, be that through Billy rising above the ranks of a loser, or as Steve touches upon, finding some way to allow Meak to have not died in vain, I'm not sure. I feel that either would work, but I believe that the latter would make the end that bit more satisfying.

But regardless, I really enjoyed this.

Great writing, man.

Toby.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 3rd, 2013, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks dena (different version you read but great notes back - thanks), Steve and Toby,

This is what's great about SS. You get honest feedback.

As writers it is up to us to choose what to accept, what not. But the common response, to this script, is that...

...everyone wants some redemption and thats whats coming in the new and improved, ready for competition version of the the script (the version dena has read).

But as it is, a short, punchy yet depressing script, i am pleased it hits the spot. But it could be better.

thanks all


My scripts †HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.††Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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J.S.
Posted: May 3rd, 2013, 6:18pm Report to Moderator
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Bill,

I read this one a few days ago but just didn't have time to post.

I thought the beginning was hilarious. Then it sorted of tapered off into being very emotional and corny at times and I began to lose interest.

My advice would be to maybe try for more tragedy rather than playing up the sentimental angle.

Best,

-J.S.
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