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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    July 2017 OWC  ›  The Hangman With No Name - OWC Moderators: Dreamscale
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  Author    The Hangman With No Name - OWC  (currently 1098 views)
Don
Posted: July 21st, 2017, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Hangman With No Name by Cook - Short, Thriller, Drama - A man awakens handcuffed in a mysterious room. Though no recollection of how he got there, a masked duo wrongly interrogates him.  9 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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Cam Gray
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 9:00am Report to Moderator
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Hey Writer,

Yep, checked all of the parameters, well done.

Studying all of the different writing styles is interesting. This one spent about half of the script being short and punchy, a bit too staccato for my liking, and I found it quite difficult to build a rhythm or flow because of it. However, the counter point to the short descriptions seems to be that they are quite vivid in places and do build a scene without over elaboration. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

The story itself, I kinda worked out where it was going once Samuel becomes a captive, and I'm not so sure that the talk of the "wrong guy last time" really helps, but rather adds a semi humorous element to it which doesn't feel like it belongs. Overall the story was okay, and as I said the writing style half worked for me.

Not going to win it for me, but none the less was a decent enough script. Others may really like it.

Cam


23 Mu Mu’s in an ice cream van...
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Tyler King
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 10:47am Report to Moderator
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I am one that actually likes this! It was a quick read for me, very smooth and the pace flowed nicely. A few small issues here and there, such as you should've named Samuel at the very beginning of the script instead of toward the middle after one of the kidnappers says his names. That's just my own opinion, I understand why some people do it that way, but overall is less confusing for most readers. Also, didn't really care for the ending. I don't think the kidnappers would've let him go that easily. That made them seem pretty dumb and out of character for me. Just didn't fit right. Overall though, I think this fits the parameter and like I said, it was a fast read. I enjoyed it, good job.
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eldave1
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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4/5ths of this was relatively solid other than some over description at both of the scene openings.

Did not like the ending at all.  Aside from implausible, it is a beat I've read too many times. This story has great potential with a different ending, IMO anyway.




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khamanna
Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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The Hangmen are not that convincing when they decide that Samuel is not their guy. I mean - why not? Because he said no when they pointed a gun at him - that's not enough.
When he cried and started behaving like a weenie - yes, that's when I believed him.
So maybe you can omit that pointing gun test.

The bit on p 5 about Emily McLure - sounds a bit stilted.
Good story, I think. I was curious to see the reveal.
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Heretic
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 10:46am Report to Moderator
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I'm not sure how funny it's supposed to be that the Hangmen are incompetent (for me, it's fairly funny -- but is that the intent?).

There's no tension here beyond the original premise. We just replay the same beat with the same tactics, over and over. Interrogations/tortures are only fun to watch if there's a progression of how each character tries to deal with the situation.

If I were producing this, I'd cut the first sequence. Doesn't add anything in the way of plot or character. Money better spent doing something more interesting in the main location, I would think.


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CameronD
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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I don't know why you need to mention the type of trees in the park or that it has a baseball field unless it's important later on. Does it have drinking fountains? A lake? Sidewalks? Bathrooms? Who cares if it's not important to the story.


"The Ford presses on the brake."This reads as if the car itself is pressing it's own brake pedal. Just say the Ford brakes.

"His lack of sight causes us to--" You don't need this line. A cut to black gets the point across I think.

After that sack, you need to say if the scene in the room is day or night. Yes the audience will never know if it is one or another but the scripts needs to know.

"Despite his effort, the endurance of the handcuff�s chain withstands." This just reads funny to me as if it was ever in doubt the handcuffs would break?

OWL MAN or OWL MASK? Pick one.

Sooooooo these self appointed hangmen just picked up a kid from the street off a random tip? What?

Samuel gnaws off Tiger's artery deep enough he falls down deep? Ouch.

So Samuel is a killer? Or he isn't? Why stare at the camera? Breaks the 4th wall for me. Just have him smile.

Some little mistakes here and there as I mentioned above. You need more setup to pull this off instead off. Show us a picture of Emily. Do a real interrogation instead of just asking for a confession. Where was Samuel the night of the murder? What was he doing? What did the witness describe? Put doubt into the audience's mind, ratchet up the tension.




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Dustin
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 11:29am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Adding a few bells and whistles never does any harm but your first action block takes things too far. It smacks of a writer trying too hard. The flow is off and so are some of the word choices.

Yeah, we see the kidnapping. Usually, these type of stories start with a guy tied up and the blindfold being ripped off. From that alone, we get the idea he's been kidnapped and held against his will. So we're already into 'too long' territory. Maybe you did it to make the page count.

The English in this seems as though it has come from a non-native which makes it a difficult read for me.

Code

He aims it at our poor protagonist and squeezes the
trigger.



I have to leave this script at the above line. I'm just not with you and the line comes across as though we share a connection.

You need to improve your English. Read lots of English novels.


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stevie
Posted: July 23rd, 2017, 9:12pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm not sure about this. The title was intriguing but the actual story was all over the place.

Wouldn't a Glock at close range almost blow Samuel's leg off? Wouldn't he bleed out or pass out with the incredible pain? Also, Samuel must have a huge pain threshold and very sharp teeth later when he gnaws in to Tiger Mask's neck lol.

I think the writer meant well here but kind of lost control of it. Nice try at least


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PrussianMosby
Posted: July 24th, 2017, 9:11am Report to Moderator
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Good title

"He aims it at our poor protagonist"

Some parts like this read too passive presented. Why not give him a name? Same goes for all those "beat" references. They take me away from the story. There are other ways to make clear there's a pause.  

Some nice thriller moments are there. The ending is perhaps too simplistic.

I can imagine an allusion that he's actually going to f*** them could work. Cough, I mean the foregone established necrophilia angle could be pretty shocking there if well delivered. Like, he walks to the door, then turns and thinks why don't spend some time and have a little romance here, so he pulls off the pants of Mr. Owl mask -> And then he smiles into the camera.

All in all, pretty solid work. The ending could need a bit of salt and pepper.


In the Head of the Driver (3p - drama, sports, SF)

Those Infinite Wolves  (8p - psychological horror)

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MarkRenshaw
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 2:44am Report to Moderator
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Some very awkward writing here. Either the writer's first language isn't English or this is someone new to screenwriting. Either way it made it a bit of a chore to read but I'll ignore the writing and focus on the story.

A very interesting concept. I like the idea of a vigilante neighborhood watch scheme - it shows promise in a Purge kind of way. Tiger and Owl seem quite incompetent in their role, which is fine as they are not professionals. I think this would have worked better if you had used this in a more comedic tone instead of trying to play it serious. A bumbling interrogation by two idiots would have been far more entertaining.

It ends rather suddenly with no real twist. Although it's not very clear, I take it they have indeed come across the killer. You had three more pages to play with. You could have raised the tension a bit more, keep us guessing - would they kill him? Would he confess? Had they got the wrong guy? And the twist, well it could be the guy who gave them the tip is the killer.

I hope my notes are useful.

-Mark


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George Willson
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 8:41am Report to Moderator
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Well, that ended ... abruptly. I think I know what you were wanting to go for (maybe?), but it didn't work out. And man, talk about overly dramatically written. This thing has overblown student film scrabbled all over it. One cliche after another.

Anyway, so do we have our stranger in fish out of a water land theme? Not really. The main was kidnapped which isn't exactly the same thing. Then he goes all Black Ops on the guys which was unexpected (not in a good way) and came off as a bit ... hasty.

You know what a better ending would have been? They let him go. The next scene shows your Samuel with a bandaged leg walking up behind some other little girl (you had a spare character). A bus obscures the view for a moment. They're gone. Or perhaps something else that shows that he did, in fact, do the crime they accused him of. I got the idea that was what the ending was supposed to mean (if I'm wrong about that, you really did fail hard), but without some kind of firm indicator, it'll be lost and it'll just feel like you ran out of time and had to end it.

The only thing that bothered me that would have probably worked fine on screen was the first time you named the character Samuel. When it came up in the dialogue, I expected one of the guys to be like "Dude, I said we don't use our names" or maybe someone else. It took a sec to realize that Samuel was the man and you changed it. It wouldn't hurt to use his proper name right from the beginning.

Overall, however, it was fairly forgettable with very little to set it apart from the pack of regular old scripts we see at any given time.


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JEStaats
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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I've a pretty good idea of the writer's identity with this one. Very confident that English is their second, so the grammatical issue are understood. It is a bit overwritten and I think it should've just started at the waking scene handcuffed to the radiator. The realism is off in regards to the gunshot, the wound and how Samuel would be so responsive still. A one line dialog ending of "Amateurs" as he walks out the door might add to the ending.

Good effort. Revisit it a few times and it could make for a good thriller.
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 2:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmm...so...is it "hangman" as indicated in the post, or "hangmen", as indicated in the title?

Either way, this title sounds goofy.

Opening passage is very poor and overwritten.  Phrasing is off and awkward.

Very awkwardly worded - where does this "white sneaker" come from?

"The Ford presses on the brake." - Huh?  Is the Ford alive?  What's going on?

No clue what's going on - this unnamed man is running full tilt and somehow he gets "blinded with a burlap sack over his head"?  How's that work?

"His lack of sight causes us to--"  As in cut to a black screen?  No, bro.  No need to attempt things like this.  Just isn't working at all.

"A small, empty room. The ambiguity of its architecture insinuates the possibility of it being in a warehouse, but doesn’t quite stem of the realm of possibility of it being a
storage or industrial room." - OK, listen, I think this is where I bow out, but let me explain something before I do.  So, you've set this scene with the wonderful Slug of "ROOM", right?  OK, so we as readers, know we're in a room.  Why, then, would you want to start your action/description passage with repeating the Slug?  You say it's empty, but then, in the next passage, you contradict yourself by telling us the room actually isn't empty at all - the man is in it.  But, how would e know this i the same man, since we've never seen his face?

If this is the stranger in a strange land, IMO it does not qualify, as this is simply a kidnapping and not anything about a fish out of water.

I don't know, but I know I'm only going to get upset if I keep reading, so I'm out, sorry to say.

NO GRADE


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ReneC
Posted: July 25th, 2017, 10:30pm Report to Moderator
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This was a whole lot of tell instead of show. I feel it's a green writer with good instincts for cinematic visuals but still working on translating that into dramatic writing.

I liked most of it as a story, but I also found the ending lacking. It doesn't help that I didn't care about the Samuel character at all, there wasn't much reason to except as a victim. And he turned out to not be a victim, so the ending had us siding with a villain which doesn't work unless we care about them.

Oh, and there's nothing strangerish or even fish out of water about it.

Good effort, it has potential.


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