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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Altered Perspective Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 4th, 2013, 9:36am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Altered Perspective by Mark Renshaw - Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy - A brother and sister wind down at the end of the day in a bar. Their language is quirky, their behavior rather odd but their intentions are Earth-shattering. Short Script, 10 pages. - pdf, format


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 4th, 2013, 2:52pm Report to Moderator
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where's my simply scripts thong?

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Not sure why mark but your logline attracted me...lets see...

Now the first para to some will be an issue.

First off, my tip, for what its worth, is start with one or two lines, not four going into three.  

Why have have a name you need to explain? This is a script so keep it simple.

'Executive or legal' - keep it crisp not one or the other - the reader 'has' to know where this is going.

ok - i'm mid p2 - the dialogue is interesting, i want to know where this is going, but there is a sense this is not as it could be - remember action/dialogue has to flow, be orderly etc

p4 typo/para errors

sorry p5 - it s a bit late for me, long day but this is beginning to drag. If you want mystery show it. now you do have a strange change with the breath but this is not pulling me foreword.

So far you have relied upon too much dialogue IMO

i may come back later

all the best




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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 7th, 2013, 2:23am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the feedback Reef, it is appreciated and will help me with the second draft. If you do get to finish it I'd love to hear your and anyone elses thoughts.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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rc1107
Posted: May 11th, 2013, 7:31am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark.

First of all, welcome to SS.

I was attracted to this because of the logline as well.  I don't know if I exactly liked the logline, but it was enough to intrigue me and make me read all the way until the end to find out what happens.  Good job on that.

Maybe it's because I got inspired to read some of his work yesterday morning and he was stuck in my head all day, but this had kind of a Bradbury-esque type feel to it.  However, I don't think the story actually worked for me.

It was a little too slapstick, (almost Family Guy-ish because of the cut to's and cut backs), to really work and have an effect on me.  In other words, I feel the characters were a little too over the top quirky and odd to pull off the significance you were going for.  In fact, so over the top charicaturish that I couldn't help but picture John Lithgow from '3rd Rock' playing Roi.

It just brought me out of the Bradbury-esque atmosphere I think you were going for and brought the story itself down a couple pegs.  It just felt more slapstick comedy than sci-fi fantasy.

Hope this helps some.

- Mark


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Heretic
Posted: May 11th, 2013, 1:38pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I agree with Mark above. The basic premise is sound, but the characters are so outlandish -- and unfortunately, too, in a somewhat familiar way, exaggeratedly "high" diction and so on -- that it's hard to connect with the mystery and the suspense that should be in this story. I think one thing that would really help is if we weren't tipped quite so immediately that these characters are non-human. You've got a lot of pages of dialogue here -- why not let us wonder for a bit and gradually build to the reveal? Right now, the only mystery that gradually develops is that of the power of the two main characters. But there's a lot more potential mystery here, I think, that shouldn't be given away. It would be neat if we went for thinking these were normal people, to thinking they were odd people, to thinking they were non-people, to e final realization. And I think that could easily be achieved in the same amount of pages and would be much more interesting.

A related main problem here, but one I think you've poised yourself to solve easily, is e lack of conflict. The two characters who do the most talking agree with each other, so there's not a lot of drama there. The interesting dynamic is between the two and the waitress, and that's something that I think could be played up a lot and also used to gradually reveal the mystery, of you decide to go that route. It would be neat if we were able to use the waitress as a sort of barometer for our own understanding of the main two -- we figure them out at the same time she does. I think some of the reveals of their weirdness, or power, or plans, would work best if they were sort of teased out by the waitress. If her attitude annoyed Roi into saying something he shouldn't have, for instance.

I don't like that the "male" and "female" characters have different methods of killing that match Earth stereotypes (he with a powerful hand, she with a kiss). Given their obvious lack of knowledge about humans and their bodies, this makes no sense.

Interesting stuff!


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J.S.
Posted: May 11th, 2013, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

I wish I could comment more thoroughly but the language is so unnatural it's difficult for me to keep focus. The dialogue gives me a strong feeling of Sheldon and Amy from The Big Bang Theory, although, sad to say, not as well done. I was constantly pulled away, not because the words are difficult, mind you, but because the lines are so unnatural and dull.

"HQ
wouldn't know a planet from an
ASS-teroid."

(sarcastically) Hil-arious!...no but seriously, that was actually mildly funny

So I didn't really get the story. Roi blows up planet for some reason unclear to me. Then a bunch of military guys saying there's never been a life form on this planet that's now, somehow, "back." How is it "back"? Is this a different planet simply similar to Earth, in the habitable zone? Or is this some kind of alien magic that I'm not getting here?

Now that I think about it, it would likely take more than "millions of years later" for a planet to be at a point where it has life. It took roughly 10 billion years before life emerged on planet Earth. It took a LONG time for the planet to actually have water, where life is known to begin. So I'm just curious why the military guys are asking and stating the things they're asking and stating.

Also, when they're naming the planet "Earth", on one hand I get why you're doing it, so we can understand what they're talking about. But on the other hand I think, realistically, they probably wouldn't call it that or "the name it's suppose to have" as I'm assuming there are a ton more Earth-like planets they've been to, maybe even their own planet is Earth-like and so they might call their own planet Earth since it basically means soil.

Maybe you'll be able to clear some of these things up.

Best,

-J.S.
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 13th, 2013, 3:21am Report to Moderator
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Great feedback all, thank you very much!

The story came out of a challenge to create a sci-fi short in 5 minutes or less that could be shot on a budget of $10,000. I came up with a cut down version of this but since have fleshed it out a bit more as I think it works better as a longer short.

The basic premise of the story is this - Roi and Eve are gods (or godlike) and Rois been sent to Earth by Jehova to deal with a bug problem; which is us humans. Roi tries for thousands of years to wipe us out without destroying the planet but fails, so Jev has ordered him to destroy Earth and hell rebuild it. Roi decides to visit Earth one last time in human form and chat to Eve about it as Eve liked Earth back in the day when it was unsullied by humans.

Jev rebuilds Earth, then millions of years later an advanced version of mankind returns to Earth to see how their colony is doing, only to find it empty. Thinking its a mistake in the database, they give the order to colonise it again.

I originally wrote it as if these seemed like two normal humans chatting about their daily life, only to have it revealed who they actually were at the end. However some friends who read it said it was quite dull and another said it was fairly obvious Roi was talking about humans and not bugs so then I changed it so they were two beings pretending to be human but not quite getting it right.

I really do not like spoon feeding the audience too much but if this is not obvious and you can think of any subtle ways to get this across better I would appreciate it.

Im heavily influenced by Doctor Who which can be slapstick, lol comedy one minute and then deadly serious, powerful and emotional the next but set in a sci-fi/fantasy genre.  It really works if you get the right actors but I do admit it may be difficult to grasp when reading it in script form.

Again, thanks for all the feedback. This is just what I need


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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J.S.
Posted: May 13th, 2013, 4:48am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from MarkRenshaw
Great feedback all, thank you very much!

The basic premise of the story is this - Roi and Eve are gods (or godlike) and Roi�s been sent to Earth by Jehova to deal with a bug problem; which is us humans. Roi tries for thousands of years to wipe us out without destroying the planet but fails, so Jev has ordered him to destroy Earth and he�ll rebuild it. Roi decides to visit Earth one last time in human form and chat to Eve about it as Eve liked Earth back in the day when it was unsullied by humans.

Jev rebuilds Earth, then millions of years later an advanced version of mankind returns to Earth to see how their colony is doing, only to find it empty. Thinking it�s a mistake in the database, they give the order to colonise it again.



I don't understand why you couldn't have just written that right there. That's better than what you did write, honest to goodness. Of course, you'll have to clear up some things here and there.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw


I originally wrote it as if these seemed like two normal humans chatting about their daily life, only to have it revealed who they actually were at the end. However some friends who read it said it was quite dull and another said it was fairly obvious Roi was talking about humans and not bugs so then I changed it so they were two beings pretending to be human but not quite getting it right.



I don't think the change you made really made a huge difference. The problem is that they're chatting about their daily lives. And nothing what they said I could understand or follow along or find interesting. That's the dull part. Being humans (or not) is a trait of telling the story. The problem is how you told the story, not the traits of it.


Quoted from MarkRenshaw


I really do not like spoon feeding the audience too much but if this is not obvious and you can think of any subtle ways to get this across better I would appreciate it.



I don't even know how you can spoon-feed an audience. That I've never heard of.

If I were you I would stick around, I see you're new around here, read some scripts and comments left on those scripts and you'll learn a lot. You're sure to improve.

-J.S.
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