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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  The Making of Prisoners Dilemma Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Making of Prisoners Dilemma  (currently 1095 views)
Don
Posted: February 5th, 2015, 6:45pm Report to Moderator
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The Making of Prisoners Dilemma by Jon Poland (JonP) - Short, Comedy - The shocking true story of attempted character assassination of completely innocent Romanian non-vampire by evil American. 24 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  February 23rd, 2015, 2:01pm
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Colkurtz8
Posted: February 8th, 2015, 5:51am Report to Moderator
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Include a possessive apostrophe in the title. It should be: “The Making of Prisoner’s Dilemma” After reading the script though it might be worth considering dropping the “s” altogether to have “The Making of Prisoner Dilemma”. Just to reflect how Macular would say it.

You don’t need the logline in the title page, No big deal but it’ll save you having to endure this type of comment every time someone reads it. Maybe you could put it on screen as superimposed text after the title just to set up the tone of the piece.

I see you’re in Chiang Mai. I made the obligatory stop there when doing the obligatory backpacking excursion through South East Asia back in 2011.

I’m sure others will tell you but try to keep your blocks of prose to four lines or less.

“We are in the great hall of a medieval castle.”

- You don’t need to preface every scene with this line, that’s what the sluglines are for.

I liked the different methods of portrait capturing from oil painting to selfie to indicate how long the Count and his ancestors have been around. The shadow is a good visual gag too.

MACULAR
You can imagine
horror of arithmetic class.

- Good line.

A solidly written opening piece of dialogue, funny too, sets the scene. Its considered a sin to have your first page essentially a block of speech but if it’s well written I don’t mind. It’s like one of those old horror TV shows where a Vincent Price-like presenter introduces the story of the episode.

“As we learn later, about the only thing Jon and David share in common are a Y-chromosome, the English language, and the same generation.”

- You really don’t need to tell us this because if your characters are drawn properly we will get this impression from their interactions together. It’s that old filmmaking adage of “show, don’t tell”

And to your credit, from their opening scenes its clear they don’t see eye to eye, there is friction there. These are polar opposites with their partnership being more out of convenience than a friendship.

Great back and forth between Jon and David on page 2, loved the interjections from David.

JON (O.S.)
(defensive)
Hey, I’m paying them a fair wage!

- Good line.

I like the intercuts between Jon and David parsing the footage while Macular comments on it, putting his own spin on their interpretations.

MOM (O.S.)
You gonna do what you gonna do.
You gonna do what you gonna do.

- I don’t get why she keeps repeating this line. Is it a reference to a vampire film or something?

The Moldavian insult were amusing, especially “Horse thief” Would she say “humper” though? I reckon “fu?ker” would be a more common word for them to have heard given English isn’t their first language? Or are you aiming for a 12s rating;)

DAVID
Mom would never approve.

- This line feels like something Macular might say, not David. Even if he’s that much of a pussy would he say something this chicken sh?t in front of Jon who he knows will roast him over it?

MACULAR
There is precedent.

- Like the “humper” usage from Mom, would Macular use the word “precedent”?

MACULAR
(hypnotic again)
But neither make movie. Macular
make movie. This is Macular movie.
Mine mine mine.
(MORE)
Macular hire these bozo to assist
Macular. Bozo turn on Macular;
treat Macular like clown. But
Macular get last laugh.

- I understand that Macular is acting as narrator but I would consider withholding this dialogue as it essentially gives away some of the story about to unfold. Maybe include it in tandem with the events as they happen on screen.

I appreciate why you have David tell us about his research in regards the mysterious deaths and locating Macular’s castle while the dilettante Jon only half listens but I’m surprised the latter let David go in front of the camera. Would he grant him that moment of exposure?

I would definitely retain the scene but could it take place off camera? Or to maintain the found footage technique, set it up as if they don’t know the camera is switched on and are just having a normal conversation.

“Macular is back to his original pose, but forgot to change
back to his original shadow.”

- Ha, good use of that running visual gag.

MACULAR
It skew data.

- Again, would he use “skew”? Try something a little more common.

MACULAR
This is normalize Romanian behavior.

- Here I like that he says “normalize” as it’s a call back to David using it.

I’m wondering how Jon and David were able to fund their first trip to Romania to film a short and now to fly back to investigate Macular. Who’s putting up the cash here?!

I enjoyed the MacGyver-like practical ingenuity of David compared with the useless Jon simply going to the market to by all the things we’re told repels them. Well observed and humorous to highlight their different approaches and sensibilities.

JON
I expect our target to
cooperate.

- I know he’s vain and clueless but why is Jon so confident of Macular’s cooperation? Don’t they believe he’s a blood sucker responsible for many killings?

Ha, I enjoyed Jon’s philosophizing on the “trifecta of humanoid motivation”, pretty much answered my previous note.

“He is dressed in POKEMON PAJAMAS.”

- How old is this guy? The watch was one thing, I could see a nerd wearing that but matching pajamas! Can you even get them in adult sizes?

Having said that I did get a chuckle out of his last will and testament, good writing. Macular’s defense of the other Pokemon worked great too.

“Taxi Driver #1 peels off and spits.”

- A small thing but I would have the cab driver spit first before driving off.

JON
(dropping Geraldo-speak)
Suck it up buttercup; we’re on the march.
The exercise  and fresh air will do you good.

- Although he’s your classic, self centered douchbag I’m starting to admire his fearlessness even if it’s driven by ignorance.

DAVID (O.S.)
Oh come on. You got that trust
fund money. Buy new tickets.

- Ah, I guess that explain the funding note I had. Nicely dropped in there without it feeling expository.

“David turns scary-intense and gets into David’s face”

- It should be “Jon’s face”

I love the implication that he screwed the Pikachu toy via piecing together the bits of information we’ve already been given at different points in the script. Good job with that.

DAVID (O.S.)
Rolling and streaming. We’re
tapped into a strong hot spot.

- Well, given the compromised security of data clouds, I would be steering the conversation away from his doll fu?king exploits. Who knows who might be watching.

JON
I was prepared to scale the castle with nothing more
than a rope, grappling hook and raw
determination, but to my surprise I
find the door to be ajar.

- Ha, good lines.

DAVID (O.S.)
Okay, I’ll try to act more like an
entitled trust fund baby.

- “Baby”? Says the guy with the Pokemon jammies!

Like I said, although Jon is meant to be the di?ckhead and we’re supposed to be sympathizing with David, I’ve become rather endeared to the foolhardy idiot.

MACULAR
Really, it drafty old castle. Door
blow open. Door blow close. Door stick.
Pikachu-butt weak and no can open. No trap.

- Ha, nice play on the door-slamming-shut-behind-our-heroes cliché.

“a CAT races by and screeches, startling Jon and David.”

- Another knowing nod to a horror trope; the errant cat! All that’s missing are the dustbins.

The farting bit didn’t work for me though. The script’s tone is silly but self aware and clever, this joke feels below that, a lame aside.

Good changing of positions with Jon becoming frightened and David showing some steel. The former’s desperate offer of money and the latter’s threat that it’s all been uploaded were amusing too when Macular makes his presence felt.

MOM (O.S.)
Kinky bastard, those Moldavian.

- Sorry to be nitpicky with this but I don’t think she would say “kinky” either.

MACULAR (O.S.)
Oh come on, that was good one!

- I’m with Macular on this one, I thought that was funny too. Very tough crowd indeed1

The climax felt a little flat. As you can see from my notes, I dug the script up this point. I loved the dialogue and tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with the faux documentary style but the ending sort of comes and goes before you know it. The two are basically scared witless by Macular’s “boo” and flee leaving behind their camera for Macular to take up the baton, so to speak…according to Macular that is since it’s through his perspective...I’m not so sure. Did Macular feed on them and dispose of the bodies? Although, he continually denies being a vampire, everything points to it actually being true.

Macular claims Jon and David were talking about going to Moldavia but we don’t hear that first hand and get no closure on what happened to them. This is all just speculation on my part because Macular’s innocence (as claimed by him throughout the piece) is maintained until the end without any hint to suggest otherwise. He portrays himself as harmless, good natured and very very misunderstood

However, with the abrupt way in which we last see Jon and David and the emergence of the angry mob, I wondered was there something more going on, something implied in those final scenes that what we are led to believe happened from the perspective of Macular, didn’t transpire.

Just to be clear, this ambiguity isn’t a criticism, just my interpretation on what may or may not have happened.

Either way, I still think it concludes in a rather rushed, unsatisfactory manner which is a backhanded compliment because it illustrates how much I was digging the script up to that point.

The credits and song feel like filler at the end, I mean it takes up 3 pages of a 23 page script but there is real craft in the song and shows your obvious passion for the script. You could probably lose the outtakes part though.

Anyway, overall I liked this, lots of good stuff in here. Unfortunately, I can see a lot of readers dismissing it within the first few pages because of the overwritten prose and wordy dialogue but the prose, although baggy, is well written (it’s just not suitable for a screenplay) and the verbose dialogue is where the script’s real strength lies.

I don’t know how long you have been writing scripts for but this certainly shows you have a flair for character and story which are the most important things, the formatting can come later through reading other scripts and absorbing/applying what you learn from them. Take on board what works for you, discard the rest.

Col.


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JonP
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Quoted Text
Include a possessive apostrophe in the title. It should be: “The Making of Prisoner’s Dilemma” After reading the script though it might be worth considering dropping the “s” altogether to have “The Making of Prisoner Dilemma”. Just to reflect how Macular would say it.


Perfect, thanks.


Quoted Text
You don’t need the logline in the title page, No big deal but it’ll save you having to endure this type of comment every time someone reads it. Maybe you could put it on screen as superimposed text after the title just to set up the tone of the piece.


Actually I'm conflicted about the logline because of the twist at the end.


Quoted Text
I see you’re in Chiang Mai. I made the obligatory stop there when doing the obligatory backpacking excursion through South East Asia back in 2011.


I got a spare room if you're ever back this way.


Quoted Text
I’m sure others will tell you but try to keep your blocks of prose to four lines or less.


Heh, heh, I'll work on that.


Quoted Text
“We are in the great hall of a medieval castle.”

- You don’t need to preface every scene with this line, that’s what the sluglines are for.


I'm a slow-learner.  Thanks for that.


Quoted Text
I liked the different methods of portrait capturing from oil painting to selfie to indicate how long the Count and his ancestors have been around. The shadow is a good visual gag too.


It's actually the same guy in all the pictures, but I didn't want to be obvious about it.  Maybe I should.


Quoted Text
A solidly written opening piece of dialogue, funny too, sets the scene. Its considered a sin to have your first page essentially a block of speech but if it’s well written I don’t mind. It’s like one of those old horror TV shows where a Vincent Price-like presenter introduces the story of the episode.


My fear is that the large block will be so off-putting, that they won't even bother to read it, and move on to the next screenplay.


Quoted Text
“As we learn later, about the only thing Jon and David share in common are a Y-chromosome, the English language, and the same generation.”

- You really don’t need to tell us this because if your characters are drawn properly we will get this impression from their interactions together. It’s that old filmmaking adage of “show, don’t tell”


Good point.


Quoted Text
And to your credit, from their opening scenes its clear they don’t see eye to eye, there is friction there. These are polar opposites with their partnership being more out of convenience than a friendship.


Thanks.  My philosophy of storytelling is:  When in doubt, add conflict.


Quoted Text
MOM (O.S.)
You gonna do what you gonna do.
You gonna do what you gonna do.

- I don’t get why she keeps repeating this line. Is it a reference to a vampire film or something?


No, it's a mom's pout/rant.  She's frustrated with her son's decision after all the expense to help him train for his new career in software development.  My mom gave me the exact same repeated line when I told her I was going to travel Asia for a 2nd 6-month journey.


Quoted Text
The Moldavian insult were amusing, especially “Horse thief” Would she say “humper” though? I reckon “fu?ker” would be a more common word for them to have heard given English isn’t their first language? Or are you aiming for a 12s rating;)


Yeah, I was trying to keep it clean.  It's a fair point, but I'll assume they watch a lot of American TV.  Maybe I'll throw in a reference to that.


Quoted Text
DAVID
Mom would never approve.

- This line feels like something Macular might say, not David. Even if he’s that much of a pussy would he say something this chicken sh?t in front of Jon who he knows will roast him over it?


That was intentional.  I wanted to play off the similarity of David and Macular with regard to their dorkishness and their strong mothers.  I was also playing off the similarity of Jon and Macular on their ambition and willingness to claim other people's work as their own (parasite).  Any way I could strengthen that?


Quoted Text
MACULAR
There is precedent.

- Like the “humper” usage from Mom, would Macular use the word “precedent”?


Vampires in the old-timey movies are fairly eloquent, so I think I'm good.


Quoted Text
MACULAR
(hypnotic again)
But neither make movie. Macular
make movie. This is Macular movie.
Mine mine mine.
(MORE)
Macular hire these bozo to assist
Macular. Bozo turn on Macular;
treat Macular like clown. But
Macular get last laugh.

- I understand that Macular is acting as narrator but I would consider withholding this dialogue as it essentially gives away some of the story about to unfold. Maybe include it in tandem with the events as they happen on screen.


I can see ending the dialog on mine mine mine.


Quoted Text
I appreciate why you have David tell us about his research in regards the mysterious deaths and locating Macular’s castle while the dilettante Jon only half listens but I’m surprised the latter let David go in front of the camera. Would he grant him that moment of exposure?


Yeah, I was worried about that.  Jon's ego probably wouldn't go for it.  I wanted to emphasize David as the competent of the two as well as show how he tracked down Macular.


Quoted Text
I would definitely retain the scene but could it take place off camera? Or to maintain the found footage technique, set it up as if they don’t know the camera is switched on and are just having a normal conversation.


I think I'll have Jon make the presentation, but he screws-up the delivery because he doesn't understand the material he's being fed.  David, bitter about not getting the credit, keeps correcting him from behind the camera in snarky ways.  That would also tie in nicely to the train station scene.  Actually, that would be very cool.  Thanks.


Quoted Text
“Macular is back to his original pose, but forgot to change
back to his original shadow.”

- Ha, good use of that running visual gag.


I was having fun with that.


Quoted Text
I enjoyed the MacGyver-like practical ingenuity of David compared with the useless Jon simply going to the market to by all the things we’re told repels them. Well observed and humorous to highlight their different approaches and sensibilities.


But it's the same problem of David being allowed on camera for the statistical analysis.  I might fix it the same way.  And if I re-work the vampire discovery scene in the editing room, then we don't actually see David until his last will and testament, which might work well.  Any thoughts?


Quoted Text
“He is dressed in POKEMON PAJAMAS.”

- How old is this guy? The watch was one thing, I could see a nerd wearing that but matching pajamas! Can you even get them in adult sizes?


Yeah, if I produce it, I might just blow my budget on custom-made pajamas.    I wanted to emphasize David as emotionally stunted, an overgrown child (thanks to the Pikachu incident) who can't stand-up to Jon.


Quoted Text
Having said that I did get a chuckle out of his last will and testament, good writing. Macular’s defense of the other Pokemon worked great too.


Yeah, I had a lot of fun with that.


Quoted Text
“Taxi Driver #1 peels off and spits.”

- A small thing but I would have the cab driver spit first before driving off.


Good call.


Quoted Text
JON
(dropping Geraldo-speak)
Suck it up buttercup; we’re on the march.
The exercise  and fresh air will do you good.

- Although he’s your classic, self centered douchbag I’m starting to admire his fearlessness even if it’s driven by ignorance.


Thanks.  I wanted to contrast Jon with David's spinelessness, which in this case is warranted.


Quoted Text
DAVID (O.S.)
Oh come on. You got that trust
fund money. Buy new tickets.

- Ah, I guess that explain the funding note I had. Nicely dropped in there without it feeling expository.


I've found that conflict is a great way to sneak in exposition.


Quoted Text
“David turns scary-intense and gets into David’s face”

- It should be “Jon’s face”


Oops!


Quoted Text
I love the implication that he screwed the Pikachu toy via piecing together the bits of information we’ve already been given at different points in the script. Good job with that.


Correction:  Was screwed by the Pikachu toy.  David is Pikachu's bitch.  


Quoted Text
DAVID (O.S.)
Rolling and streaming. We’re
tapped into a strong hot spot.

- Well, given the compromised security of data clouds, I would be steering the conversation away from his doll fu?king exploits. Who knows who might be watching.


True, but again I need to show why Macular feels the need to explain away everything.


Quoted Text
JON
I was prepared to scale the castle with nothing more
than a rope, grappling hook and raw
determination, but to my surprise I
find the door to be ajar.

- Ha, good lines.


Thanks.  It's fun writing douchey lines.  Maybe I should make Jon shirtless in that scene?


Quoted Text
DAVID (O.S.)
Okay, I’ll try to act more like an
entitled trust fund baby.

- “Baby”? Says the guy with the Pokemon jammies!

Like I said, although Jon is meant to be the di?ckhead and we’re supposed to be sympathizing with David, I’ve become rather endeared to the foolhardy idiot.


I have no problem with that.  They'd actually make a good team if Jon wasn't so reckless and selfish.


Quoted Text
The farting bit didn’t work for me though. The script’s tone is silly but self aware and clever, this joke feels below that, a lame aside.


Fine, no fart jokes.  [sob]


Quoted Text
Good changing of positions with Jon becoming frightened and David showing some steel. The former’s desperate offer of money and the latter’s threat that it’s all been uploaded were amusing too when Macular makes his presence felt.


Did the V.O. work?  I was trying to show Macular editing the footage to support his version of events.


Quoted Text
MACULAR (O.S.)
Oh come on, that was good one!

- I’m with Macular on this one, I thought that was funny too. Very tough crowd indeed.


Yeah, I find that mobs tend to be somewhat humor-challenged.    I'm thinking about including an O.S. of David's mother on a bullhorn.  "Release my son."


Quoted Text
The climax felt a little flat. As you can see from my notes, I dug the script up this point. I loved the dialogue and tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with the faux documentary style but the ending sort of comes and goes before you know it. The two are basically scared witless by Macular’s “boo” and flee leaving behind their camera for Macular to take up the baton, so to speak…according to Macular that is since it’s through his perspective...I’m not so sure. Did Macular feed on them and dispose of the bodies? Although, he continually denies being a vampire, everything points to it actually being true.

Macular claims Jon and David were talking about going to Moldavia but we don’t hear that first hand and get no closure on what happened to them. This is all just speculation on my part because Macular’s innocence (as claimed by him throughout the piece) is maintained until the end without any hint to suggest otherwise. He portrays himself as harmless, good natured and very very misunderstood

However, with the abrupt way in which we last see Jon and David and the emergence of the angry mob, I wondered was there something more going on, something implied in those final scenes that what we are led to believe happened from the perspective of Macular, didn’t transpire.

Just to be clear, this ambiguity isn’t a criticism, just my interpretation on what may or may not have happened.

Either way, I still think it concludes in a rather rushed, unsatisfactory manner which is a backhanded compliment because it illustrates how much I was digging the script up to that point.


Everyone who has provided me feedback misses the twist that David's mom has gotten hold of the footage.  The fake credits establish that David and Jon are dead and suggest by the fact that she's got the footage, that Macular and his mother are dead.  I guess no one reads fake credits anymore.  That's why I'm thinking of having David's mom on the bullhorn.


Quoted Text
The credits and song feel like filler at the end, I mean it takes up 3 pages of a 23 page script but there is real craft in the song and shows your obvious passion for the script. You could probably lose the outtakes part though.


Good point on the outtakes.  Like I said before, the "credits" were integral to the story.


Quoted Text
Anyway, overall I liked this, lots of good stuff in here. Unfortunately, I can see a lot of readers dismissing it within the first few pages because of the overwritten prose and wordy dialogue but the prose, although baggy, is well written (it’s just not suitable for a screenplay) and the verbose dialogue is where the script’s real strength lies.


Is that a nice way of saying I'm screwed?  


Quoted Text
I don’t know how long you have been writing scripts for but this certainly shows you have a flair for character and story which are the most important things, the formatting can come later through reading other scripts and absorbing/applying what you learn from them. Take on board what works for you, discard the rest.

Col.


There's a lot I'm going to take on board.  This is excellent advice.  Thank you for being so thorough.


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Colkurtz8
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Quoted from JonP
It's actually the same guy in all the pictures, but I didn't want to be obvious about it.  Maybe I should.


- No, its fine as its written I just wasn't sure Macular was an actual vampire since he denies it literally to the death. See, I thought you were going with the dumb-Americans-racially-stereotyping-a-pale-face-guy-from-Romania-as-automatically-being-a-vampire angle and then it would turn out to be not sure...but in fact it was. That's what threw me, Macular is portrayed as being so benign, goofy and harmless, out to defend his name, that I figured Jon and David would be the last to find out that they were on a wild goose chase, that there are no such things as vampires. This preconception skewed my overall impressions of the story, particularly my misinterpretation of the ending.

Having said that, you will have seen from my initial notes that I had suspicions over the conclusion in that Macular's version of events weren't telling us the whole truth.


Quoted from JonP
My fear is that the large block will be so off-putting, that they won't even bother to read it, and move on to the next screenplay.


- Yup, unfortunately that is a valid concern. A lot of the most beloved films are heavy on dialogue yet when it comes to the page, people get turned off by it very quick. Not me though, like I say, if its well written and true to the character, it earns its place.


Quoted from JonP
That was intentional.  I wanted to play off the similarity of David and Macular with regard to their dorkishness and their strong mothers.  I was also playing off the similarity of Jon and Macular on their ambition and willingness to claim other people's work as their own (parasite).  Any way I could strengthen that?


- Ok, I can see how you were drawing parallels there. It just felt a tad too puerile coming out of David's mouth. With Macular you can pretty much get away with anything.


Quoted from JonP
Vampires in the old-timey movies are fairly eloquent, so I think I'm good.


- Fair point.


Quoted from JonP
I can see ending the dialog on mine mine mine.


- Having read the script though, events obviously don't unfold the way Macular would have us believe. So keeping this dialogue could work as a red herring. Its clear now that I underestimated the sheer unreliable(ness) of your nocturnal narrator


Quoted from JonP
Yeah, I was worried about that.  Jon's ego probably wouldn't go for it.  I wanted to emphasize David as the competent of the two as well as show how he tracked down Macular.


- Yeah, as I said, I get why the scene is there and I think its should stay, just execute it in a different manner.


Quoted from JonP
I think I'll have Jon make the presentation, but he screws-up the delivery because he doesn't understand the material he's being fed.  David, bitter about not getting the credit, keeps correcting him from behind the camera in snarky ways.  That would also tie in nicely to the train station scene.  Actually, that would be very cool. Thanks.


- That could work. Or Jon says something like “As if you could do any better” or “I’d like to see you try” So David calls his bluff, gets before the camera and does it in one go. It would be like that part in The Simpsons when Kent Brockman can’t pronounce Kuala Lumpur so he just scribbles it out and changes it to France. Then during the broadcast he gets all diva-ish about not getting his Danish or something, spouting off how indispensable he is to the network before Bumblebee Man pushes him out of the way and delivers the headlines (w/Kuala Lumpur) with perfect pronunciation…You know, something like that


Quoted from JonP
But it's the same problem of David being allowed on camera for the statistical analysis.  I might fix it the same way.  And if I re-work the vampire discovery scene in the editing room, then we don't actually see David until his last will and testament, which might work well.  Any thoughts? .


- I’m of the same opinion, retain the scene just find a different way to convey it. Keeping David completely off camera until his last will and testament scene is a good idea actually, definitely worth trying out.
-     

Quoted from JonP
Yeah, if I produce it, I might just blow my budget on custom-made pajamas.    I wanted to emphasize David as emotionally stunted, an overgrown child (thanks to the Pikachu incident) who can't stand-up to Jon.


- Ha, yeah, at least you have your priories straight anyway. For me, this got the same reaction as David’s “Mom wouldn’t approve” line. It just felt a little too silly and childish…but then again the whole script is intentionally ridiculous so it’s not out of step contextually.


Quoted from JonP
True, but again I need to show why Macular feels the need to explain away everything.


- I wasn’t criticizing the line from a writing perspective but more shouting a David to change the conversation due the recent controversy over celebrities’ personal files on data clouds being hacked/leaked and disseminated.


Quoted from JonP
Did the V.O. work?  I was trying to show Macular editing the footage to support his version of events.


- Yeah, I enjoyed the intercutting between Macular and the footage.


Quoted from JonP
Everyone who has provided me feedback misses the twist that David's mom has gotten hold of the footage.  The fake credits establish that David and Jon are dead and suggest by the fact that she's got the footage, that Macular and his mother are dead.  I guess no one reads fake credits anymore.  That's why I'm thinking of having David's mom on the bullhorn. .


- True, I didn’t fully grasp this. I presumed that the fake credits by David’s mother were done by Macular because he would’ve seen the numerous diffident references made to her by David and related to it. This was him paying a tribute to her, a peer to his own loving, if intrusive mother. As I've mentioned, I foolishly took Macular’s word as truth more than what you intended.

Still, even though I hold my hand up in not getting a firmer understanding of the ending, I think David’s-mother-getting-hold-of-the-footage twist needs to be constructed and woven into the plot better, have a more concrete tie in rather then just leaving us to speculate. I like the idea of the credits but what are you leaving us to assume here...

That she came across the footage on David's cloud, accessed it and cut it together to make the film? That’s a pretty big hole in events for us to leap over and join the dots. A sizable chunk of actions which occur off screen and without reference. How about including a short epilogue with David's mother addressing the camera thus revealing that it is her documentary and what we have witnessed is a doc within a doc, you know. This is her closing statement, a final personal farewell to her beloved son. A "that was his story" kind of thing. It could be played totally straight for laughs.

Perhaps this is spelling it out too much and hitting us over the head with the meta element but as its written, it does feel rather tacked on, an afterthought to pull the wool over our eyes. I mean, we don't even see David's mother, or even hear her (your bullhorn suggestion would remedy this ), yet she is technically responsible for what we have just "watched." Such an influential, yet non-existent character, if you know what I mean.

It might be worth considering because if you say no one whose read it has gotten the twist that maybe its too subtle and buried under the theatrics of the final few pages i.e. the song, fake ending, etc. I'm always resistant of signposting things but this is an instance that could do with a bit more emphasis.

With all that said, having learned of your intentions it does make the ending far more interesting than what I gave it credit for. I'm a sucker for a bit of meta!


Quoted from JonP
Is that a nice way of saying I'm screwed?  


- All I‘ll say is that readers of screenplays can be a lazy, goldfish-attention-spanned bunch while others are sticklers for format, only looking for excuses to move on to the next script. Basically, you don’t get as much time on the page as you would on screen. A double standard exists there which can be exasperating. Brevity is highly valued, sometimes to a fault I reckon. Its something I struggle with too in my own work.

Col.


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JonP
Posted: February 9th, 2015, 11:39am Report to Moderator
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This is really excellent feedback, thank you.  I now know exactly what I need to do to polish this up...and yet I'm probably still screwed.  

Sorry about the fake credits rant.  I clearly assume way too much.  I definitely need to prime the pump.  David's mom on a bullhorn, leading a mob of angry Moldovians, who can't take a joke.  That should do the trick.


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eldave1
Posted: February 9th, 2015, 4:08pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
name is Count Count
Macular and no, Macular no have
stutter. Count is both designation
and first name, like Judge, Prince
and Butthead. Both parent have
sense of humor. You can imagine
horror of arithmetic class. But
this is not why Macular address
you. You see, Macular is being
frame. Yes, frame Macular tell
you, by two American, who accuse
Macular of being blood-suck
parasite vampire. While Macular is
producer and, as such, must make
unpopular decision from time to
time, Macular no vampire, and will
prove this so-call evidence on
internet to be vicious lie. You
will see. Macular show you.


Jon - I concur with all the notes you got from Colkurtz so I won't repeat those. An enjoyable read. However, in Macular's dialogue (sample above), I got more of a caveman, rather than vampire feel. Maybe it's just me.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JonP
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Quoted from eldave1


Jon - I concur with all the notes you got from Colkurtz so I won't repeat those. An enjoyable read. However, in Macular's dialogue (sample above), I got more of a caveman, rather than vampire feel. Maybe it's just me.


Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I decided to play with the genre a little bit in that I made Macular sound like a modern Romanian where they drop their prepositions, don't use the plural and often neglect adding "ing" to the end of verbs.  You could argue that's cheating since he has an otherwise excellent vocabulary, but I'm comfortable with that.


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