SimplyScripts Discussion Board
Blog Home - Produced Movie Script Library - TV Scripts - Unproduced Scripts - Contact - Site Map
ScriptSearch
Welcome, Guest.
It is September 20th, 2019, 12:06pm
Please login or register.
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login
If you wish to join this discussion board, please send me a message. Please do read the guidelines that govern behavior on the discussion board. It will make for a much more pleasant experience for everyone. A word about SimplyScripts and Censorship


Scripts Studios are posting for award consideration
The August/September Challenge has begun!

Short Script of the Day | Featured Script of the Month | Featured Short Scripts Available for Production | Submit Your Script

How do I get my film's link and banner here?
All screenplays on the simplyscripts.com and simplyscripts.net domain are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. This screenplaymay not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
Forum Login
Username: Create a new Account
Password:     Forgot Password

SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  An Incident Moderators: bert
Users Browsing Forum
No Members and 1 Guests

 Pages: 1
Recommend Print
  Author    An Incident  (currently 1595 views)
Don
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
Administrator
Administrator


So, what are you writing?

Location
Virginia
Posts
13273
Posts Per Day
1.95
An Incident by D.W. Liu - Short, Drama - The mother begs her son, a Harvard freshman, to lie to the police after a domestic violence went terribly wrong in this seemingly perfect Asian-American family on the Thanksgiving night.

One location. Three characters (an Asian female, an Asian male, a White male).  9 pages - pdf, format


Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
Logged
Site Private Message
DWLiu
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 2:47pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01
I'd appreciate any comments, particularly on the two questions:
(1)     Is Mrs. Han’s action in the end credible?
(2)     Is the comparison between the “Ranch House” and “Colonial House” necessary?

Thanks,

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 1 - 14
bjamin
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Location
Austin
Posts
103
Posts Per Day
0.04
when I clicked on the link it takes me to the log on page of Dropbox. So I have to log in to read it?


Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 2 - 14
DanC
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 3:37pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


Killing villains since 1980!

Location
Buffalo NY
Posts
1246
Posts Per Day
0.76
Hi there,
    I took the time to read your screenplay.  Overall, not bad.  Some errors are evident however.

You use the word IS far too often.  For ex.  The Ranch House IS decorated with colorful lights for the holiday.  I'd find other words to show an active voice, rather then a passive voice.  Words like is and some words that end in ing imply passive.

The ending is very hard to follow.  What does the other house have to do with anything?

What does the officer going to the other house have to do with anything?  How does he come back with extra knowledge?  Did I miss something?

Too much happens at the end that makes no sense.  What is the relationship between the cop and the boy?  There is just too much left unspoken to follow smoothly at the end.

You have the beginnings of a decent story, but, you kinda fly off the rails in the last act.  Spend more time explaining in dialog or description and show us what is going on.

Overall, your dialog to me seemed pretty good actually.  Lots of ambiguous statements that lead to more questions then answers, but, at the end, you gotta tie them together.  This isn't a series, right?

Good luck with it
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
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 3 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 3:47pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01
Just ignore the sign-up window and close it. It should start to download automatically afterward.  

Let me know if you continue having the problem, and I'll send you the PDF file directly.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 4 - 14
DS
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Posts
373
Posts Per Day
0.20

Quoted from DWLiu
I'd appreciate any comments, particularly on the two questions:
(1)     Is Mrs. Han’s action in the end credible?
(2)     Is the comparison between the “Ranch House” and “Colonial House” necessary?

Thanks,

David


Hey DW, just gave this a read. I also had trouble opening this, got a "preview failed" error, but was able to download it and open it from there. My thoughts below -- all completely subjective:

Going to start with answering your questions.

1. Maybe, but I think it would work better if she stayed alive. Charles wanted to confess and there's every chance he was still going to. The way I saw it, the mother's character blames her for staying with her husband and wanting her son to not ruin his future, so she'd have a reason to make sure that she will 100% take the fall and that her son will have a bright future ahead of him. This is how I interpreted the main gist of the story, at least.

2. Yeah, the contrast between the two came through well for me. But I agree with DanC... not sure what the point of the ranch is in the story and why it's necessary.

Overall I think I got the idea you were going for, but the script felt too melodramatic and the dialogue forced -- too much of a blatant information dump, for me to say that I liked it. I'd recommend showing the interior of the house, playing with their actions and looks instead of telling it all through dialogue. The backstory can be cut too. We don't necessarily need to know everything about the father getting a scholarship as the only person in the village and graduating with a PhD in 3 years. Maybe add some angry emotion and slang to the line along with shortening it to sound more realistic - for example: "Yeah, just because he was the only one walking into a college instead of a hut doesn't mean you had to tie the knot with him" or the likes.

Writing-wise too: There were some broken sentences, I'm not sure whether that's because of the characters being asian or because of your writing, but I was confused about the title which made me ponder about it in the first place. I think you mean accident instead of incident? Incident doesn't make much sense in this context... or is it just me?

You also have room to make the action lines more concise and along with that merge some sentences for the sake of the flow.


Quoted Text
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT
The RANCH HOUSE is decorated with the colorful lights for
the holiday. The tree in front of the house is also lighted.
The lights color the snow on the lawn and the car parked on
the driveway.

Through the front window, a happy family is seen sitting
around the dining table. Their laughing and talking can be
heard, barely. It's picture perfect of a joyful Thanksgiving
dinner gathering.


can be shortened to something like:


Quoted Text
EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT

Lights from the roof and a Christmas tree flicker onto the lawn, bouncing off the fancy car parked in the driveway.

Through the front window, a family sits around the dining table, their laughing and talking during a picture perfect Thanksgiving dinner almost audible.


It's also customary to capitalize both first and last names during character introductions, if the last name is mentioned in it.

Hope this helped. Good luck.
Logged
Private Message Reply: 5 - 14
bjamin
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Location
Austin
Posts
103
Posts Per Day
0.04

Quoted from DWLiu
I'd appreciate any comments, particularly on the two questions:
(1)     Is Mrs. Hanï¿¿s action in the end credible?
(2)     Is the comparison between the ï¿¿Ranch Houseï¿¿ and ï¿¿Colonial Houseï¿¿ necessary?

Thanks,

David



I can see her sacrificing herself for her son. But now her son must face the world alone. Btw, wouldn't the officer pat them both down upon arrival-- for his personal safety?

You handled the two houses well enough that I wasn't confused.  I felt you were trying to juxtapose the two families.  One happy family and one troubled family. *And them closing the blinds at the end as if they can't be bothered was a nice touch.

I was thrown every time you used incident.  Are you sure you don't mean accident -- murder can be considered an incident.  

Watch your are and is 's. The kids and the dogs are at the window looking out. Can easily be shaved down to The kids and dog watch from out the window.  OR  Sheï¿¿s cleaning the blood...she cleans blood --> I'm not a stickler but jus be conscious of how often you do it.

Also, Charles looks ahead, his face twisted.  I like that but you need to elaborate on what you mean by twisted.  Charles looks ahead, his face twisted in remorse-- in contempt -- in regret.  

Overall, it's an easy breeze read.  Not sure why it all goes down in their driveway but whatever's clever.  * And some of the dialogue is repetitive, maybe you can figure out a way to say certain things in different ways that provide us more insight.  Thanks for sharing.



Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
bjamin  -  April 19th, 2015, 9:10pm
tweaks
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 6 - 14
Lightfoot
Posted: April 19th, 2015, 8:18pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Location
London, Ontario
Posts
341
Posts Per Day
0.08
Opened up fine for me, but a few people have had issues with the drop box lately.


Quoted Text
She drags him toward the house, but he doesn’t move.


Should say she attempts to drag him, or have her start walking then stop and realize her son isn't following her, have him look uncertainly at the house or something or even not being able to look at it.

I see what you are going for with the comparison between the two houses and family's one house is dark and the family has troubles while the other family seems to be loving and their home is lit up. To a point it does make me feel for the Haung family a bit more but I think it will be fine if you cut all the scenes of the ranch house, actually just keep the first and last one and get rid of the rest, that alone I think will suffice for what you want to achieve with the two houses.

With that said I will have to agree with DS's post in regards to the first couple of scene descriptions, I believe you can find a better way to describe this that will make it shorter and/or more smoother to read. This is just my own opinion but I would describe the ranch house as we see it from Charles's POV, describe the lights and maybe the car, but for the family I'd do something like...

A warm lights spills out through a large kitchen window. Inside a small family hustles about putting the final touches on their mouth watering holiday dinner.

...then I'd have that image interrupted by a hand placing a cigarette inside a pair of lips followed by a shaky hand holding the lighter. This is where I'd introduce Charles, I won't describe the house until Mrs. Haung goes in it to get some bandages.

I think you need to give Charles some sort of reaction to his mother wanting him to go into the house, considering what took place in there.

Also I'd like to see Officer Neal have a bit more compassion added to his character, clearly he knows what's been going on and it wasn't the first time they have been called to that house. I'd show a bit of a struggle for him to try and arrest Charles, he understands what Charles had to do but yet it's his job to uphold the law.

as for your first question " Is Mrs. Han’s action in the end credible?" I'm leaning more towards the no side, I don't really see the point, having her did what she did will cause more pain for her son than what his father has done to him imo, Charles seems to be an honest person too, to me he made it clear that he was going to confess to the cops no matter what. Here's another idea, have her not speak English at all? Have her desperately want to confess that she did it but is unable to get that across due to the language barrier, the only way she can get through to officer Neal is by her son...who is determined to take full responsibility for what he did.
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 7 - 14
RichardR
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 7:15am Report to Moderator
Regular


Posts
922
Posts Per Day
0.52
D.W.

Good comments make for a happy family. Bad comments...well, read on.

You give us a nice little tale of family woe.  On one side of the street, in the dark house, are dark secrets.  Opposite them in the bright house are bright lives.  I get it.  We're comparing the two.  But wouldn't it be more clever and surprising if the dark secrets came from the bright house, and the bright lives came from the dark house?  You wouldn't have to change the dialogue much.  The audience will follow you down that path until the police arrive and go into the bright house, not the dark one.  The absent dad appears and they watch the man across the street perp walked to the cruiser?  The reversal would be delicious and would enforce a deeper meaning.

Let me take a  moment to offer something about the compact the writer forms with the audience.  In a short, you have a page or two to signal what kind of story you're telling.  The audience will pick up on the genre and know what to expect.  It forms the compact between the writer and the audience.  The audience expects certain things to happen.  The writer promises to provide those events.  If the writer fails, the audience feels cheated and dissatisfied.  Yet, this isn't the end of the compact.  While the audience knows 'what' to expect, it wants to be thoroughly surprised when the 'what' is presented.  Seems oxymoronic, doesn't it.  But your job as writer is to provide the 'what' inside a clever and surprising 'how'.  

In your story, the audience knows there is a domestic issue and expects the actions you provide.  Sacrifice, secrets, pain.  Yet, the audience also wants to be surprised when you expose those elements.  They want you to fool them while you give them exactly what they expect.  That's the difficulty of writing these stories.  The audience will follow you down the primrose path, and it's your job to make the path veer in a different direction at some point.

Do I think the Chinese mother would sacrifice for her son?  Absolutely.  Do I think she would do it by killing herself?  I would hope for a more clever solution.  But that's me.  I love to be surprised.  

The dialogue is too  much on the nose, and far too informational for a  mother and son.  They know everything already.  They don't need to rehash their lives for the benefit of the audience.  

Best
Richard
Logged Offline
Private Message Reply: 8 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 4:37pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01

Quoted from DanC
Hi there,
    I took the time to read your screenplay.  Overall, not bad.  Some errors are evident however.

You use the word IS far too often.  For ex.  The Ranch House IS decorated with colorful lights for the holiday.  I'd find other words to show an active voice, rather then a passive voice.  Words like is and some words that end in ing imply passive.
....

Dan


Dan,

Thanks for your comments. Appreciate it.

Your point on an active vs. passive voice is well taken. Will work on it.

Regarding to your confusion about the two houses, it appears that having two houses in alternate scenes might not work as I expected. I'll figure out a way to fix it.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 9 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 8:59pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01

Quoted from DS


Hey DW, just gave this a read. I also had trouble opening this, got a "preview failed" error, but was able to download it and open it from there. My thoughts below -- all completely subjective:

....

Hope this helped. Good luck.


DS,

Thanks a lot for your critique. Really appreciate it.

"EXT. RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT

Lights from the roof and a Christmas tree flicker onto the lawn, bouncing off the fancy car parked in the driveway.

Through the front window, a family sits around the dining table, their laughing and talking during a picture perfect Thanksgiving dinner almost audible."

Your rewrite is beautifully. Love the conciseness and accuracy.

"1. Maybe, but I think it would work better if she stayed alive. "
I thought her suicide would be a better reflection of the tragic life they had lived through. Maybe the alternative could also have the same impact.

"but the script felt too melodramatic and the dialogue forced -- too much of a blatant information dump"
Agreed, and the point well taken. Will work on it in the rewrite. It's been a big learning curve for me to get the dialogue right--both authentic and with unique voice.

"The backstory can be cut too."
I was struggling with this. But I think your suggestion is better.

"I think you mean accident instead of incident?"
You are right. It's clear that "Accident" would be the right word.

"There were some broken sentences, I'm not sure whether that's because of the characters being asian or because of your writing"
Mix of the both. As English is my second language, I often make grammartical mistakes. Should not be an excuse, though.

"It's also customary to capitalize both first and last names during character introductions, if the last name is mentioned in it."
Yes. My ignorance. Will fix it in the next draft.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 10 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 9:07pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01

Quoted from bjamin

I can see her sacrificing herself for her son. But now her son must face the world alone. Btw, wouldn't the officer pat them both down upon arrival-- for his personal safety?

...
Overall, it's an easy breeze read.  Not sure why it all goes down in their driveway but whatever's clever.  * And some of the dialogue is repetitive, maybe you can figure out a way to say certain things in different ways that provide us more insight.  Thanks for sharing.


Pendulousnads,

Thanks for the feedback, really appreciate it.

"wouldn't the officer pat them both down upon arrival-- for his personal safety?"
Presumingly, the officer answered the call for domestic violence, and it wasn't his first time to visit this family.

"I was thrown every time you used incident.  Are you sure you don't mean accident"
You are right. Will fix it later.

"Charles looks ahead, his face twisted in remorse-- in contempt -- in regret. "
Agreed. Great example.




Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 11 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 9:17pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01

Quoted from Lightfoot
Opened up fine for me, but a few people have had issues with the drop box lately.

Should say she attempts to drag him, or have her start walking then stop and realize her son isn't following her, have him look uncertainly at the house or something or even not being able to look at it.
....


Lightfoot,

Thanks a lot for the comments.

"Should say she attempts to drag him,"
You are right. Will fix it later.

"To a point it does make me feel for the Haung family a bit more but I think it will be fine if you cut all the scenes of the ranch house, actually just keep the first and last one and get rid of the rest, that alone I think will suffice for what you want to achieve with the two houses."
Given that the ranch house scenes also confused a couple of people, it might be a good idea to go with your suggestion.

"Also I'd like to see Officer Neal have a bit more compassion added to his character, clearly he knows what's been going on and it wasn't the first time they have been called to that house. "
Very good point. Will think about it in rewriting.

"Here's another idea, have her not speak English at all? Have her desperately want to confess that she did it but is unable to get that across due to the language barrier, the only way she can get through to officer Neal is by her son...who is determined to take full responsibility for what he did."
Very interesting idea. In an earlier draft, I had Mrs. Huang speak Chinese primarily, and only a few broken English. Will revisit this later.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 12 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: April 20th, 2015, 9:43pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01

Quoted from RichardR
D.W.

Good comments make for a happy family. Bad comments...well, read on.
....

Best
Richard


Richard,

Thanks for your great comments. Enjoy reading them!

"But wouldn't it be more clever and surprising if the dark secrets came from the bright house, and the bright lives came from the dark house? "
This is a great suggestion. I love it! I want to write another short with this plot.

"Let me take a  moment to offer something about the compact the writer forms with the audience.  In a short, you have a page or two to signal what kind of story you're telling.  The audience will pick up on the genre and know what to expect.  It forms the compact between the writer and the audience.  The audience expects certain things to happen.  The writer promises to provide those events.  If the writer fails, the audience feels cheated and dissatisfied.  Yet, this isn't the end of the compact.  While the audience knows 'what' to expect, it wants to be thoroughly surprised when the 'what' is presented.  Seems oxymoronic, doesn't it.  But your job as writer is to provide the 'what' inside a clever and surprising 'how'.  "
Great points and very well said. Completely agreed.

"Do I think the Chinese mother would sacrifice for her son?  Absolutely.  Do I think she would do it by killing herself?  I would hope for a more clever solution. "
The point well taken. Will definitely think about it in the rewrite.

"The dialogue is too  much on the nose, and far too informational for a  mother and son.  "
Agreed. As I mentioned in another reply, I need to work on dialogues a lot.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 13 - 14
DWLiu
Posted: May 8th, 2015, 1:24pm Report to Moderator
New-ish



Posts
19
Posts Per Day
0.01
Based on the critiques I received, I've done another draft. Here are the changes that I made:
1. Added some interior scenes.
2. Added a twist in the final scene.
3. Changed the context of the "Ranch House".
4. Corrected the title to "An Accident"
5. Changed the names of the Mom and Son characters.

You can download the PDF file from the following link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/86g1rtdnj2lg3wi/An%20Accident%20SS%200508.pdf?dl=0
(If you have problem downloading it please let me know.)

I'd appreciate any feedbacks and comments.

David


Read my scripts:
"American Girl" - Drama --19 pages
"An Incident" - Drama --9 pages
Logged Offline
Site Private Message Reply: 14 - 14
 Pages: 1
Recommend Print

Locked Board Board Index    Short Scripts  [ previous | next ] Switch to:
Was Portal Recent Posts Home Help Calendar Search Register Login

Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post polls
You may not post attachments
HTML is on
Blah Code is on
Smilies are on


Powered by E-Blah Platinum 9.71B © 2001-2006