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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April 2014 One Week Challange  ›  The Stillness in the Water - OWC
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  Author    The Stillness in the Water - OWC  (currently 3361 views)
Don
Posted: April 6th, 2014, 5:35pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Stillness in the Water by Dakuwaqa - Short, Shark - An author attempts to teach his nephew the power of stories by recalling a time when a novel he wrote lead to a close encounter with a great white shark. - pdf, format


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rendevous
Posted: April 6th, 2014, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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Starts with a flashback. Hang on. It's not started yet. How can you flash back?

Now I have my annoying teacher head on I will state for the record, just once, quiet at the back! That this -


Quoted from TSITW
Peter is sat...


- is wrong. It'd be fine in a novel. But this isn't.

'Peter sits'. Tense. Present. Pulease.

I'll stop that now. Getting annoying. If it's not already got there.

The story's has an interesting idea at its heart. I heard he felt that way at the end of his life.

The approach was interesting. I've seen it done in several films and it works well. It's always a lot harder to imagine it from the page than see it, but that's true of most things. I'd say this internet malarkey is making people lazier with their imaginations. But that's another story.

Unfortunately these days the phrase 'great responsibility' has been grasped firmly by Peter Parker and his friends. Much in the same way as 'use the force' has by Jedi types.

This was alright. Original story, to me at least. It is a bit too cute for the likes of myself, I'd have liked a little more edge. But rather good, all the same.

R


Out Of Character - updated


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The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

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Ledbetter
Posted: April 6th, 2014, 7:57pm Report to Moderator
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Good enough story for sure.

Here's the slowdown. The dialoge. It's very on the nose.

Example-

   HOLDEN
This is intense!

              PETER
Strangely enough I wasn’t scared.
It felt like natural justice, karma
served up on a plate and I was the
main course.

The interaction between the two felt forced.

I'll give you this. The bones of the story are good. You just need to soften the dialoge where it feels more natural and you may have something here.

Shawn....><

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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
Posted: April 6th, 2014, 9:08pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with comments above. The dialogue is on the nose, awkward writing, and a heart felt story.

The bit at the end was great, the on the nose dialogue almost helped it, ironically.  Sorry I don't have more, good effort.

Johnny
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nawazm11
Posted: April 6th, 2014, 10:14pm Report to Moderator
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You can't have a flashback at the start of a script, what are we flashing back from? Nothing. Take it away. Your first slug is also very poor, and you're bound to get a few comments on it.

Dialogue on the first page doesn't work for me at all.

"Holden shrugs his shoulders; whatever!" Mmm, I try not to harp on asides, I probably have half a dozen in the script I submitted but this is one of the reasons why a lot of people hate them so much. Not so much the 'whatever' but the exclamation mark that's almost forcing it to be cute in a cringe worthy way.

Peter and his nephew(?) seem awfully bipolar, with being angry and then suddenly curious and a load of other emotions in just two pages...

I don't believe a word of what Peter says since it's so damn outrageous. You have the be a real big hick to go around and kill sharks after reading a book, can hicks even read? This just plain makes no sense, did we get an influx of serial killers after American Psycho was published? Of course not. Seriously considering about stopping here, which is very rare for me with a short.

"Stood next to him, figuratively speaking, is Holden." What? So he's not there? Why mention it if he's not there? Another reason why asides get a bad rap.

Wait, what? So he is there? I have no clue what's going on here.

"the ways our
lives benefit materially as well as
spiritually are nearly infinite.
And we are well on our way to
ruining it all. What madness is
this, what suicidal folly?" He must be a damn smart 11 year old if he can understand that nonsense...

Why do they say wow together? What?

"They all circle the boat in a clockwise rotation." Wasn't it meant to be a rogue shark?

"So
that’s what I did and will continue
to do so until my last dying
breath." Uhhh, what did he do again? Just go out and look for sharks? Not the best atonement, I'd say...

"Jayne has replaced Holden as a floating witness." See this, this makes the scene lose all its effect and it's the exact same thing that happened earlier with the kid. We don't need a constant voice over guiding us through the script, I made that mistake with one of my features, let the scenes speak for themselves and or else it takes all the tension and meaning away. I've felt nothing so far.

"I’ll leave that for you, the
audience to figure out." This is so on the nose that I want to rip my eyes out.

Jayne seems like a good mother, what with throwing the word asshole around and all.

Well... I don't want to carry on being an asshole, but I obviously had huge problems with most of the script. A LOT of problems actually... Needs work...
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EWall433
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 9:21am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from nawazm11
I don't believe a word of what Peter says since it's so damn outrageous. You have the be a real big hick to go around and kill sharks after reading a book, can hicks even read? This just plain makes no sense, did we get an influx of serial killers after American Psycho was published? Of course not. Seriously considering about stopping here, which is very rare for me with a short.


http://www.igorilla.com/gorilla/animal/2000/sharks_peter_benchley.html

Humans killing things is pretty much our default mode. It takes an active push to stop it, not start it. Dolphins get The Cove, Killer Whales get Blackfish, Sharks get… Sharknado. Good luck passing their collection plate.

-------------------------------------------------------

So this is Peter Benchley and Holden Caulfield? He certainly broods like a Caulfield.

Pg.7 Gin-clear water? Just clear water is fine, hold the gin.

I find myself with not a lot to add. The cheese definitely kills the story. Things are a little too happy go lucky, especially if you take into account the source material. In real life, despite putting a lot of effort in and having his heart in the right place, Peter never really undid the damage before he died. So to write a story based on that where everything is honky-dory at the end feels false. This probably should’ve been a bit more wistful and contemplative than what you’ve got here, and as such needs a substantial revision to set right.

But I think a biographical take on Benchley could go pretty far. A man who comes to see his greatest success as his greatest failure is Oscar bait in the right hands.

Congrats on entering the OWC
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marnieml
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 3:32pm Report to Moderator
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Odd to start with a flashback. I think you should just start it and then the next scene, if it' years in advance or something, put it as a title.

This supposed to be Peter Benchley? "Did you know I wrote a book once?" -- He wrote more than one book, including "The Deep".

Okay, I like the idea here very much but unfortunately, not the execution. The dialog felt preachy and forced and the flashbacks got confusing. I wasn't a fan of the last two lines either. A great idea though, but one week wasn't long enough to flesh it out.


  
“If someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 3:46pm Report to Moderator
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Dakuwaqa - where in earth do folk get them. I really must try harder

Let's see, please not a pisser, I'm a little pisser over burdened at the mo....

First slug - going to need INT or EXT
How can Holden be standing next to him, and if he isn't then VO
NOOOOOO - it's got the bigger boat (almost) quote

Oh I see it's gone all a but surreal, that's fine

I have a vague idea on the writer of this one, time will tell.

The concept has something, the writer of jaws, his story, his regrets at the consequences etc , probably a Nicholls feature entry in there!

Short wise a little on the nose, felt a tad rushed. The lose parallel of teaching the boy to be careful with his words and his book was ok, but maybe there are stronger options out there.

Nice basis and decent potential.


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Forgive
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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I see people got Benchley pretty quick, good calls. I zoned out when I got the p$sstake angle, but then thought maybe if it'd been taken seriously it could have been quite good. I guess you know that both Gottlieb & Benchley where characters in the film? Probably based it on that. Interesting take though, just maybe deserved a little bit more to it? Maybe not. I don't know.
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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Terrible opening – you can’t open with a FLASHBACK.  Your opening line ends in an orphan.  Then a V.O. and finally a completely incorrectly formatted END OF FLASHBACK.  Not the way to start, my friend.

Oh boy – “Peter is sat” – Really?  Patience is leaving me quickly…

Man, oh man…how many mistakes can you make in ½ a page?  Really?  And the writing is so awkward.

Dialogue is so OTN and unrealistic.

Page 2 – “whatever!” – Huh?  Is this an aside?  Damn, bro…I may be baling prior to Page 3 and that’s saying a lot, as I’ve done everything in my power to get through each script in its entirety.  Let’s see if I can hold on…

Page 3 – OK, I’m sorry, but this dialogue is borderline pisser territory.  It’s really bad and I’m out.

Congrats on entering!


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stevie
Posted: April 7th, 2014, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
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Can someone tell Reef Dreamer that the writers pseudonyms are made up by Don and not the actual writer?  Sheesh, that has been driving me mad for 2 days, lol.

Um, ok, yeah this was a very ambitious piece and I loved the concept. But it doesn't really come off. Quite a few errors.

But with a decent rewrite, this could become a cool little script.

I give it a 6, mainly for effort.


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wonkavite
Posted: April 8th, 2014, 9:57pm Report to Moderator
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*Spoilers*

Well, this one's *pretty* close to a pisser.  I give the writer credit for pulling off a tongue-and-cheek wink-wink script using "Peter" as the primary story teller.  (I wonder what Mr. B. would think of this tale?)

Competent writing - though I felt that the ending left a bit to be desired.  IMO, it tried to be "spiritual" with the shark experience... and then, well, I'm not quite sure what the significance of Peter's scars really were at the end.  Was it all an elaborate joke complete with FX makeup?  Not sure...  and it feels like the writer was purposely going for goofy at that stage.

But kudos on the submission for the OWC!  
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Dustin
Posted: April 9th, 2014, 7:09am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stevie
Can someone tell Reef Dreamer that the writers pseudonyms are made up by Don and not the actual writer?  Sheesh, that has been driving me mad for 2 days, lol.



I make up my own pseudonyms... and they're used. I don't think Don would go to all the trouble of inventing individual pseudonyms to any degree of real creativity. It is hard enough listing the title and cut n pasting the logline without adding more to the workload.


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Dustin
Posted: April 9th, 2014, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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OK. I skipped 3 pages of preachy dialogue. I couldn't care less what this wise old guy has to say so early in the story. Wise man say...

Ah, it continues in the same vein during page 4 too. I wonder if the guy will still be talking once the shark chomps down on him. That's if there is a rogue shark in this story.

Well... no. No rogue shark and not even a decent story to make up for it this time.


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Angry Bear
Posted: April 9th, 2014, 7:33am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin


I make up my own pseudonyms... and they're used. I don't think Don would go to all the trouble of inventing individual pseudonyms to any degree of real creativity. It is hard enough listing the title and cut n pasting the logline without adding more to the workload.

If the script already have a bogus name on the cover page, then Don goes with that name. If the scripts are turned in without a name on it, Don makes them up. If you look at all the "writers' names" you'll see that Don has a theme going. He always does.  


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