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.
Company Stress Test by Bill S. Guier - Short, Science Fiction, Satire Comedy, Surreal - There's something wrong with the stairs, so four employees take the new elevator. There's something wrong with that, too. 12 pages - pdf, format
On the positive side - I loved the premise of using an elevator for a company stress test. That being said, I had a very hard time visualizing the elevator moving as it is were a stairwell and I think there could have been a more inventive stress test.
The dialogue got a bit mundane for my tastes and I thought several of the action blocks could have been written crisper.
A long winded way of saying I started out with a positive feeling about this but it went downhill for me.
Security cameras loom above the company logo on a wall with the slogan “We are always on the watch!”. Some EMPLOYEES, dressed professional, attempt to either hide from the camera or move past it as quickly as possible. FELIX (30s) stand out from his colleagues for three reasons. One, his clothes are a size too big. Two, his tie is loosened a bit more. Third, he whistles as
So many problems here. I get what you are TELLING ME, but I'm not really SEEING IT happen. I'm out.
Bill S. Preston Esquire -- is this you? Or just some random coincidence...
Like the concept -- well suited to the surreal. A decent enough payoff. On the flip-side the dialogue began to drag around the halfway mark. There’s some amusement that builds in the repetition (whose fault/what did you do! etc.) but a good trim would ease this along no end.
Not sure if it fits the challenge -- is it an elevator cause you say it is? Perhaps -- a contained environment I suppose. Also not sure what I was ‘seeing’ -- tricky to visualise this ‘stairlevator’ -- no doubt even trickier to budget for...
Challenge aside, as surreal satire I think it hits the mark -- take care of the length and I think you’d have a decent little swipe at corporate culture.
Pretty sure Bill Sarre's not behind this. Sense of humour does feel familiar though...
My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
I can tell early on there are going to be loads and loads of problems. The big, incorrectly broken up blocks of text, the completely unnecessary dialogue that I'm not sure is supposed to be funny or just poorly written, and the fact that by page 3, nothing remotely entertaining has taken place.
I glanced ahead and it looks like they never even are on an elevator, and it's just pages and pages of dialogue.
I'm way out...sorry.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I think that you have a good feel of dialog in general and I think it would be a good short if you considerably shortened this, gave your characters something to talk about and made your characters somewhat memorable.
My problem is - they talk about broken stairs for several pages, then broken elevator for pages and pages. The twist is very good though and I think you should rewrite this.
I'd try get rid of "what's wrong with the stairs" talk and "that's weird" talk, look for the ways to skip it. Maybe add a bit to their relationship, explore it more, so that the reader could stick with the characters and emphathise with them.
A kind of surreal Charlie and the Chocolate factory meets Alice in Officeland story. It’s an unusual concept for sure and a bold effort but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. You tease the audience too much without giving them anything to keep them interested and fail to deliver satisfactory answers.
I found this odd from the start but not because an elevator is a set of stairs, as this is actually the coolest part of your script. No I questioned why employees would choose the take the stairs over an elevator. I questioned why the audience is not allowed to see the memo. I questioned everything and hoped to get something which would keep me going to the end and the explanations I sought. Unfortunately the characters and dialogue are annoying and repetitive, they failed to carry me through the story. So I scanned through the last few pages and caught that it was some stress test but I was totally lost by then.
You complied by the rules of the OWC though and you entered so well done for taking part and kudos for such a bold and somewhat different approach to the challenge.
For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
Not for me. Lots of chat but no real talk. An odd surreal place but nothing worse than some time lost. If this were a stress test, then there needs to be more stress. Heat, perhaps a fake heart attack, fire, something besides whining and going around and around in circles.
Honestly, I thought it was funny/bizarre you had them going into a stairwell disguised as an elevator, weird. The dialog and banter between the initial character set was funny as well; all chaotic and such. It really did put me in mind of a Seinfeld episode.
Unfortunately, you lost me somewhere around 8 pages of WTF’s between everyone, then more characters adding to the mix, with more WTF’s from them. IMO this could easily be trimmed. Just seems like a whole lot of needless banter for the payoff.
I glanced over the comments and see that I don’t have much to add. I also had trouble visualizing the stairs and the characters drove me bonkers. I’m not sure this was set up properly because the characters seem to overreact to everything. They don’t seem to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they are in or why. It’s just a string of assumptions with nothing to back it up and then freaking out even though I still didn’t feel like I’d heard anything concrete about what was going on. There were just a slew of questions.
Why did they not just do Felix’s plan? Why didn’t Felix think of that quicker? Why did anyone believe that some girl’s paperwork would have the answers? Did it? What kind of company owns something like this? Why do they assume it’s a test? I know there’s a camera watching people, but that doesn’t really set me up for this insanity. What even happens if they fail the test? Are they fired? Are they murdered? Have there been other tests? This is need to know. Without knowing the answers to these questions I don’t know whether to fear for your characters or think they’re morons. In the end it tilted toward the latter.
I do like the idea of a two level elevator and characters stuck on it because only one door opens at a time. Figure out a better puzzle from that and you can make this interesting.
I think the premise has plenty of potential... but for me, I felt the dialogue dragged on too long - you could chop off a few pages, and ratchet up the tension several notches by doing so. The characters felt interchangeable, and nothing was adequately explained. IE: what exactly IS this strange company, and how did they pull off an elevator with stairs?
Visually, I think that could be amazing. But too much in this script felt... incomplete. Which isn't really surprising, given that this is an OWC. Which tends to cause a writer to rush their work. )
The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr