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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  A Message of Hope - WT5 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    A Message of Hope - WT5  (currently 752 views)
Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 7:35pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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A Message of Hope by I Wish I Was Asleep - An orphaned alien on Earth has given up all hope of finding home, but his homemade friend has not. - Short, Sci Fi

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 8:34pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Quoted Text
If you are reading this script... sorry

I'll adjust my expectations accordingly

Quoted Text
BARNEY (40's) moth eaten
suit and thick glasses.

You intro him as BARNEY, then call him BARNEY HILL as a character, not a massive issue, just odd.

Hope as a male robot's name? Hmm... not sure about that.

I think this was a rush job, lots of easy to see and easy to fix writing errors, seems like a waste of points. Stuff like words not capitalised and no commas when addressing someone in dialogue.

Trying to elicit emotion in a relationship that hasn’t been fully developed is tough to do, especially in 5 pages. It’s not quite working here, but I think it would work with more time and more pages.

Quoted Text
Received what?
A message from Hope.

Cringe   Sorry.

You also tried to condense too much story into the first and last pages.

So for the challenge this doesn’t work, I do think you have a nice idea that is worth pursuing though. It just needs more meat and time to build that relationship. Not a bad attempt but ultimately it doesn’t get there.

Criteria has been met.

All the best.

Revision History (1 edits)
Warren  -  July 3rd, 2019, 5:31pm
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Gary in Houston
Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 9:34pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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It's a sweet little story, but the writing is just a wee bit of a mess in conveying what's going on.  First of all, Mahli is getting tests done, but no one is concerned about an alien just being out in the world until they complete all their tests?  I was also curious why Mahli was so attached to something (Hope) that he had created out of spare parts and junk.  At the end, if he had let go, couldn't he have just built another robot like him?  Apparently all he did was wiggle his finger, so it can't be too difficult.

Why introduce Barney as BARNEY, but then call him BARNEY HILL for the dialogue?

The ending was pretty good, Mahli's people recover him because of Hope's message -- a nice double-layered meaning there.

Overall, not a bad story, just needs a bit of a clean up in the writing.

Best of luck and congrats on finishing the challenge!


Some of my scripts:

Bounty (TV Pilot) -- Top 1% of discoverable screenplays on Coverfly
I'll Be Seeing You (short) - OWC winner
The Gambler (short) - OWC winner
Skip (short) - filmed
Country Road 12 (short) - filmed
The Family Man (short) - filmed
The Journeyers (feature) - optioned

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Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 7:46am Report to Moderator

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Meets the criteria. Loved the use of handsaw. Very emotional.
As the above reviewers said, it's a bit messy. Overall story-wise it doesn't appeal that much. But has a lot of potential if re-written.
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Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Glowing finger, phoning home... there's a bit of ET in here.

A nice little story. Meets the criteria.

I'd like to feel more connection between the boy and his robot. The ending, as it sits, doesn't feel earned emotionally for me.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 8:17pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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Barney was a douchebag. Was he acting as a foster parent to the alien? He should've split years ago. Barney and the whole lab thing was too mysterious. There should've been a little context.

Yup, sweet and sappy. Not bad. Met the crit.
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Posted: July 4th, 2019, 3:17pm Report to Moderator

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Cute story. Good characters with clear-cut motivations.
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Posted: July 5th, 2019, 10:44am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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Not bad, especially for the time limits. You have a some clean-up to do. e.g.,

Quoted Text
you're all I have.

Several places where dialogue starts lower- case

Good job on making it all the way to round five.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: July 5th, 2019, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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So, looks like only me who knows who Barney Hill is then... extra points for that writer

I liked this, yes there are some errors that will no doubt be fixed with a polish, but I liked the premise and the tone of the script.

Good job

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: July 6th, 2019, 11:22am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Between Chair and Keyboard
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What are you apologizing for? Nothing's happened yet.
A lot of cases where words should be capitalized but aren't.
Calling his own "kid" a freak... sounds like such a loving home.

Quoted Text
Mahli places a hand on hope, his eye glows a happy green.

One can correctly parse that Hope has the glowing green eye, but two males and a "his" in the same sentence gets unclear fast.

Quoted Text
I'd rather fall with him; I'm not letting go.

Mahli confirmed as an alien... he used a semicolon in dialogue
At least Barney got what he deserved.
A script should end with FADE OUT. It looks like there was room for it.
The car technically wasn't broken down, but it stopped working when needed so I'll count it.
Nice job here, nothing to apologize for other than some uncapitalized words.

Feature-length scripts:
Who Wants to Be a Princess? (Family)
Glass House (Horror anthology)

TV pilots:
"Kord" (Fantasy)
"Mal Suerte" (Superhero)

Additional scripts are listed here.
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Posted: July 8th, 2019, 9:43am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Vancouver, BC
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It's rough, but not a bad story. I like what you were going for. The idea of the alien child constructing a robot friend named Hope (of course it is) who turns out to be the means of his rescue is good.

It's ambitious for five pages, and it shows. The end is rushed, the emotion not hitting enough. Which is a shame because there's plenty of emotion in this, it just isn't set up well enough to resonate.

Where's Betty Hill?  

This could be pretty good with a rewrite. As it is, it's not great but not bad. Middle of the road for me.

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Posted: July 8th, 2019, 11:52am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Another one that squeezes what looks like a lifetime into 5 pages. Which is nice but hard to do.
You lose my attention a lot as your characters are a bit bland and your story is presented in a series of small scenes. I never liked that. I think that in a very first scene your two aliens have to say something personal and lovely to each other so I can get invested in the story. Otherwise, I'm elsewhere. And you didn't do anything about it in the later scenes. And then, when you did try to elicit emotion from me it became too late.
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Posted: July 8th, 2019, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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A Message of Hope

It reads like a rushed work. You have a power tool here and I think the big task was to combine a SF script with a hand saw which by nature does not belong in a futuristic whatever fiction surrounding…

The overall concept wasn't bad. I liked the chemistry between the main characters. The dramaturgy was there and delivered a fine, well-minded spirit, no doubt. Some imagery as well as the connection between beginning and ending lacked the needed precision, because, as said, it seems you were pressed for time. However, good characters (except for Barney – underdeveloped) and dialogue, the presentation is untidy though; concept is okay, reminded me of Alf mixed with ET, plus the robot side-kick felt familiar too.  So, not bad, it's rather a positive attempt, I think.

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Posted: July 9th, 2019, 12:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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I was a bit bored reading it.  Wasn't to my liking.  The criteria is met.  I didn't like the character Hope.

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