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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Personal Prisons Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 17th, 2015, 9:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Personal Prisons by Jonny Taylor - Short, Drama, Suspense - A man enters a game show locking him in a room for 10 years and is shocked by not only the events that take place in the room, but also by what he sees when he gets out. 16 pages - pdf, format


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DanC
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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Hi there,
    You're screenplay doesn't have any reviews yet, so, I'm gonna start the boat.  I will make notes as I see them.  If I spot a mistake more then once, I only list it once.    Here goes:

1.  Watch out for the word IS and other passive terms.  On page 1, you say the room IS immaculately clean.  I'd go with Germs don't have a chance in this immaculately clean room.  Or something else.

2.  You're giving us a lot of description of the place that Wesley lives in.  You don't want to spend so much time unless it matters to the script.  If it does later on, ignore this comment.  If it doesn't, the reason you don't want to give too much description about his living conditions is b/c the director will set up the apartment as they see fit, or the location manager will find the cheapest place, which might not line up with your vision at all.

A good rule of thumb is, NEVER do the job of a director, producer, location manager, cameraman etc.  It's their job.  Only list stuff that is important to the story.  This isn't a novel or even a short story, it's a screenplay.  Hope that helps.

SPOILERS

3.  Don't number your shots unless you are also the producer.  

4.  I'm on page 2 and nothing is really going on.  You have to sell someone, and you have a very limited time.  Keep that in mind.

5.  Never use real people.  That costs money.  Same with music.  Unless you want to drive up the cost of your production, keep names like Seacrest out of it.

6.  Wait, so, he's been in the room for 10 years alone?  It's your story, but, there is no way that would ever happen.  He'd go insane.  A person can't be alone without anyone to talk to for that time period.  It's like psychically impossible.

7.  Wait, are you telling me that in ONE YEAR that neither could communicate?  Not buying that either.

8.  I'm at the end of page 10.  I understand this is a game, but, there is no game that would condone a man hitting a woman.  Sorry, but, I'm having a hard time believing the choices both of them have made and continue to make.

9.  Now, you're talking rape.  I'm almost at the point of stopping reading this.  There is no way this would happen on a reality show.  No way.

10.  The dialog, what there is of it, is too flat.  Wes stabs her and her response is "you stabbed me?"  Really?

11.  I did finish it.  The twist at the end was okay, not great, but, okay.  

But, at no point did the characters act smart.  Why are they being allowed to do these things.  Not once did they ask WHY?  

It could be a good story.  I'm fine with tensions running high, but, it has to be handled a lot better.  

Good luck with it.

Dan

Oh, and at the end, you don't even say the end.  Or fade out


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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RichardR
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 8:27am Report to Moderator
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Johnny,

Doomsday comments should come with a trigger warning.

What you have here is an interesting premise.  A man agrees to go into isolation for 10 years in order to win money.  He gets some goodies to go with him.  His unit is self-contained.  He as a woman who doesn't speak English and is in no mood to  learn.  Nor does he learn Russian.  Here are my problems.

Reality shows always, always show the participants back to the hungry audience.  There is no reason for a network to put a man in a box without getting daily product to show to the masses.  Ain't gonna happen.  So, all the interactions between these two would be fodder for the audience.

In the normal course of human interactions, people try to get along.  There is no good reason for these two to be antagonists.  I would think that they would both try to learn each other's language, at least enough for basic conversation.  Of course there will be spats and agruments, but they have to live with each other.  Give them the normal up and down relationship we all have.  Everyone has moments when they need human contact.

Why doesn't she push the red button if she hates being there?  And what is she being paid to be there with him?  He sleeps, she's pissed, press the button and get out.

The ending works.  Doomsday has happened.  He's the last, and he's not even Adam since there is no Eve.  It's a downer because he's all alone and going to die as soon as the virus gets him.  Although, it's difficult to imagine how nukes could rid the world of a virus.  

The dialogue is wooden and obvious.  But it's the monotone of the relationship that needs to be addressed.  

best
Richard
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DanC
Posted: April 24th, 2015, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RichardR
Johnny,

Doomsday comments should come with a trigger warning.

What you have here is an interesting premise.  A man agrees to go into isolation for 10 years in order to win money.  He gets some goodies to go with him.  His unit is self-contained.  He as a woman who doesn't speak English and is in no mood to  learn.  Nor does he learn Russian.  Here are my problems.

Reality shows always, always show the participants back to the hungry audience.  There is no reason for a network to put a man in a box without getting daily product to show to the masses.  Ain't gonna happen.  So, all the interactions between these two would be fodder for the audience.

In the normal course of human interactions, people try to get along.  There is no good reason for these two to be antagonists.  I would think that they would both try to learn each other's language, at least enough for basic conversation.  Of course there will be spats and agruments, but they have to live with each other.  Give them the normal up and down relationship we all have.  Everyone has moments when they need human contact.

Why doesn't she push the red button if she hates being there?  And what is she being paid to be there with him?  He sleeps, she's pissed, press the button and get out.

The ending works.  Doomsday has happened.  He's the last, and he's not even Adam since there is no Eve.  It's a downer because he's all alone and going to die as soon as the virus gets him.  Although, it's difficult to imagine how nukes could rid the world of a virus.  

The dialogue is wooden and obvious.  But it's the monotone of the relationship that needs to be addressed.  

best
Richard



Richard, for the most part, I agree with your assessment.  I do think they were initially being watched all the time.  However, when they all die, obviously, no one can watch them.  

I am not sure that he will catch the virus.  It depends on how the pathogen was spread in the first place.  If it is human to human, he won't get it, unless there are others still alive.

My issue with his screenplay was that the main character has committed rape and murder on tape.  If anything, he should be terrified of that time coming to an end.  Yet, none of that is dealt with.

I hope the author shows up and defends these viewpoints.

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

Thanks
Dan
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