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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Skinny Samaritan Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Skinny Samaritan  (currently 3010 views)
Don
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 6:59am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Skinny Samaritan by Mark Lyons (rc1107) - Short - After a local hero is released from the hospital, people at a nearby bus stop discuss the events that made him a legend in the area. 11 pages - pdf, format


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LC
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 9:38am Report to Moderator
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Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

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Hello Mark. Jeez, do you ever put that pen down?  

I don't have too much to say about this one because it is what it is. But, I mean that in a good way.  

At first glance this is a sweet tale, straight forward and to the point, but quite deceptively simple I reckon, with a quite clever underlying message and surprisingly a lot of layers to it. There's quite a bit going on here about 'small town mentality', and the Establishment, acting individually, or with the crowd etc. I got lots out of this for what first might appear as 'not too much going on'. And, I notice a recurring theme with this recent lot of your 'shorts' too, of how one life can affect others... least that's how I see it.

On a side note, I did have to go back and check who was who, at first, but that's always going to happen with intro'ing quite a few characters at the top but I was happy that about mid-way the 'voices' are clearly defined. Some quite witty, if low-key exchanges too.

I was wondering how it was all going to end too, but you wound it up nicely with that little 'pay it forward' resolution.

I'm interested to see what others think of this.

Good job Mark.


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rc1107
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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Hey Libby!

Thanks for taking a read.


Quoted from Libby
Jeez, do you ever put that pen down?


Unfortunately, yeah.  About 12 hours a day while I'm at work.  Luckily, I had that month and a half to get a good head start on some stuff.

I smiled when I saw you mention 'deceptively simple'.  I love simple stories that deal with big issues.  I just think they're taken more seriously than big, broad stories that aren't really about anything.  (I think I mentioned this just earlier, didn't I, with another work.  :-)

I know movies are supposed to be about entertainment and escaping reality and all, and I understand and respect people who say that, but I guess I'm just wired differently.  I can't watch or enjoy a movie that I don't take anything away from.


Quoted from Libby
On a side note, I did have to go back and check who was who, at first, but that's always going to happen with intro'ing quite a few characters at the top but I was happy that about mid-way the 'voices' are clearly defined. Some quite witty, if low-key exchanges too.


Yeah, having a second-look at those intro's, I should've spread them apart somehow.  I'm glad their voices shined through by the end, but I will go back and find a way to intro them a little more naturally, rather than listing them.  And since this is a talking heads piece, it'll be all the more beneficial to make it clear from the start.

Thank you again for taking a read and letting me know your thoughts.  It's always appreciated from

- Mark


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stevemiles
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 1:04pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

I like that you managed to keep a somewhat feel-good vibe to this despite the idea of Kenneth slowly starving himself.  Thought it could have been the tenth person to board the bus (or join the queue?) that Jarvis hands the money to, rather than just a guy walking past, in order to bring the story full circle -- perhaps a budgetary concern?

Which leads me to my only issue in that Iíd rather have seen Kennethís story -- maybe by way of flashback/cut-aways as Gregory and Rosalie talk.  My guess is youíre writing this as a no-budget piece, in which case I can appreciate why youíve chosen to opt for a simple talking heads approach.  All the best with it.

Steve.


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


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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rc1107
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve.

Thanks for taking a read.


Quoted from steveohville
Thought it could have been the tenth person to board the bus (or join the queue?) that Jarvis hands the money to, rather than just a guy walking past, in order to bring the story full circle


Actually, Jarvis does give it to the tenth person walking by the bus station.  He starts counting as soon as he learns of Mr. Kenny's generosity.  It starts at the bottom of page 5 when 2 pedestrians walk by, then Gregory raises his voice as 3 loud teens walk by.  That's also why Jarvis out of nowhere says 'Seven' as the nurse walks by and everybody looks at him confused.  Then when the random guy walks by, Jarvis calls out ten.

I kind of buried it, I know, but I thought it was unique to the story and I wanted to keep it low key so only those following super closely might get it.

You're spot on about writing this as a no-budget piece, and that's why I chose talking heads to tell the story.  I originally set out to tell Kenny's story with him in person, but it'll be too much trouble to film on the cheap, so I went this way with it.

Thanks again for checking this out Steve!

- Mark


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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 9:40pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark

Haven't read anything from you in a while so opened this one up.

I enjoyed it.  Not too shabby.  A quick read and very interesting, indeed.  I'm on Gregory's side.  Mr. Kenny was giving back out into the world, he was doing a good deed, I liked him.

I really don't have a lot to say.  Other than I totally got what Jarvis was doing, when he said "seven" I had to go back and I was confused, and then I was like "is he counting people..." and yes the people came to a total of seven -- I felt so proud, lol.

The writing was really smooth and basic, suited the story you were going for here.  Jarvis was pretty cool, my favourite out of the bunch.  At time's Rosalie's dialogue to me came off a little "eh" but as a whole I think this is a strong short with a nice message behind it.

Curt


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

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NickSedario
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 10:23pm Report to Moderator
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I read this this morning and had mixed feelings. The message is good, but seems like something's missing. Like maybe another twist.  How 'bout when Jarvis gives the man ten bucks, he goes back to the Gregory, Rosalie and Susan, and then they see the man approach a drug dealer and he buys crack?  Ha.  Okay, maybe not.  But still, just seems like the payoff at the end lacked "punch" cosisdering it's basically a ten page script of mostly talking heads.

As for the writing style you're pretty much the opposite of staccato.  Makes for kind of a heavy read. But those two things are my only gripe with this script.  All in all, good job and again I'll say "a good positive message".  Could definitely see this get filmed.

One last thing - the title.  Seems you could come up with something better, IMO.  How 'bout "A Ten Shun".   Okay, maybe not.  That's enough out of me.  

On a sidenote, there's been a rash of real-life stories lately on the Internet about random acts of kindness.

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NickSedario  -  August 9th, 2013, 12:00am
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spesh2k
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 12:33am Report to Moderator
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Hey Mark,

I've read quite a few shorts of yours that you've had posted here, so I decided to take a peek at this one.

It's not my favorite Mark Lyons script, but it was nice. You seem to have found a nice little niche with your writing... and you do it very well. The writing is good as always, though I felt that there were a few mundane lines of description that were only used to break up dialogue, e.g. people just walking by... but it turned out that your Jarvis character was counting each person that was walking by, leading to the "pay it forward" kind of ending you had there.

This could easily be filmed as it's only a few characters talking at a bus stop. I wasn't too sure about all the hoopla about Kenneth being a hero, this whole legend about him. I think "legend" may be a bit of an overstatement there. What he reminded me of was like an old uncle who always used to give me a dollar or something every time I saw him. Legend? I suppose it's a small town where nothing much happens. Not sure if it would be a big enough story for someone to want to do a news story on... I did recently hear of a story about a guy who's fixed shoes for like 20 years in a private shop (he may have had a mental condition), but he never spent a dime of the money he made, and when he heard of a little girl in the community who needed money for a major transplant or something, he gave that family everything he made over that period of time. To me, that seems like legend material.

Nevertheless, I'm just nitpicking. The story works for what it is, and it made me smile at the end.

Fine work, Mark.

-- Michael


MY FEATURE FILMS:

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Visit my website to see more of my produced work![b] http://michaeljkospiah.mystrikingly.com/

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courhaw
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 2:25am Report to Moderator
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Hey rc, I feel some kind of way about this. the parts about morality and all, but i have to say that, overall, the spirit of it is good-hearted. the story definitely is cogent, the message never faded from the forefront and the characters were, for the most part, well-defined. I'd look into trimming some of the action lines down, they seem a little bit wordy in spots. i also like that you played against a couple of stock types, or so it seems that way to me.

good deal. i hope to read more from you, rc.
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MarkRenshaw
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 5:56am Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed reading that. A feel good story where a normal guy makes a stance and inspires another to do the same, sending a few positive ripples out into the world. I do enjoy that type of thing.

The dialogue was good, I liked the conversations. You made me think as well about the morality of his actions. Where they good and charitable or was he handing out money that didnít really belong to him in the first place? Iím of the opinion that it was a good deed but I can see the argument from the other angle as well, which shows how well you wrote this.

I have a minor nit-pick in that if Kenneth was on hunger strike and was so emaciated, so close to the end, I donít think he could walk or even be able to even get out of bed. Maybe have him at a half way stage? Itís a small suggestion anyway, I think the script works really well.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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rc1107
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Curt.

I wrote this one for the extras!  I figured it's about time somebody makes them important to the story rather than just the background.  :-)

I appreciate you taking a look and letting me know your thoughts.



Hey Silverback.

I thought a lot about the ending when I first wrote it.  There was actually another twist where Rosalie loses her bus pass and Gregory pays her way, but with his social security money so she's stuck having to take it.  But it was kind of drawn out and took away from the simple message I was going for.

I always get slammed for my titles for some reason.  :-)  Dang it!  I actually liked the title for this one though, for some reason.

But thanks for checking the story out, though, and welcome to the site, by the way.  I see you've been around for a bit, but yesterday was our first time getting acqainted.

- Mark


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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 2:48pm Report to Moderator
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Mark,

A friend of mine from Washington Heights would always tell me stories of neighborhood "heroes" every time I went to visit him.  It was fascinating to me when I'd hear the different tales of how the community looked out for one another, and knew each other so well.  Anyway, that's what the script reminded me of.

I kept picturing Kenneth and Jarvis much younger than they where, just something my brain kept doing as I read it, lol!  So, ol Kenneth was the case study for the bus stop regulars, which was unfortunately so true, because folks always love to speak their mind when when the person isn't around.

I sort of got the vibe through all of this that Jarvis would step up to the plate here, but it would have far out (but could raise some potential confusion to the reader) if the bus stop regulars had no idea of Kenneth's methods of distrubuting the cash.  Then, a giant light bulb to all when Jarvis, new kid on the block, reveals it to them by doing the same.  Makes them all cut the gossip out and makes them realize Kenneth's depth.  Just a suggestion.  

Some of the dialogue was a bit on the nose intent-wise.  I think it would have been better to maybe throw in some dialogue that goes on further ends of a person's belief spectrum, as many discussions of this nature can turn into ridiculous statements not very well thought out.

Good one buddy,

Johnny
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rc1107
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 3:22pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michael.


Quoted from spesh
The writing is good as always, though I felt that there were a few mundane lines of description that were only used to break up dialogue


Guilty as charged.  Although there was purpose in this story for those lines of description that you mentioned.  But the truth is, I notice I'm doing it more and more in my writing.  I was just working on a feature yesterday and noticed during one scene I had my characters nodding a lot just to break up the dialogue.  I got to watch that.  If the dialogue's good and I feel comfortable with it, I have to learn to just let it flow.

You might just be surprised what local journalists report on around here.  This story wasn't based on anyone and it is purely fiction, but I remember they did this whole five-minute expose about a woman who goes around and decorates abandoned houses during the holidays.  Not a big story at all, but they did spend a lot of time on it, and it was rather refreshing to see things like that, rather than what dealer just got busted.

And I'm glad it made you smile in the end.  I'll be getting around to 'Yesterday Syndrome' in the next week or so.  I have just a few other features I promised to read first.  Having read 'Morphine', I'm excited to check it out.  (I had 'Morphine' downloaded to my computer and read it when I didn't have internet for about a week, so that's why I haven't commented on it yet.  I'll leave a couple words when I go back and read it again.)

Thanks for checking this one out.

- Mark


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rc1107
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 3:30pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Norman.

I want to say thank you, it's been a while since I had to use a dictionary.  :-)  I've never heard of cogent before.  I got a new word of the day now.

And thanks also for checking this one out.  I'm glad it  adj. - Appealed to your intellect or powers of reasoning.  :-)

I see you got a new story up.  I don't think I've ever read any of yours before, though I know I've looked for them before.  I'll check it out as soon as I get the chance.

- Mark


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courhaw
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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rc, thank you, man. it was a very compelling read. any read you give me would be appreciated. very much so. but no rush. and it's not necessary. i'm just reading stuff as i go.
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