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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Drama Scripts  ›  Dialled Up
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  Author    Dialled Up  (currently 414 views)
Don
Posted: February 28th, 2020, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Dialled Up by Matthew Taylor - Short, Drama - A grieving old man tries to hold off the bailiffs in order to answer one last call. 7 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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LC
Posted: February 28th, 2020, 7:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matthew, nice, if slightly familiar idea, but I like it.

The title font I'd dial down   (just one knotch). I do like elaborate titles but it does look slightly too large imho, but you stick to your guns if you decide to.

The title? I personally think Dial Up might work better than Dials Up. That said, I'm undecided on that...
Last Call or Final Call?

Your montage is technically a Sequence of shots. This ain't a RomCom and there's no swirling background music.

Overall, this strangely was a discombobulated read for me and I wonder if the time changes/flashbacks can be streamlined a bit.

Use Supers or Title Cards in some instances - example: LIVING ROOM [1977]

I'm also not convinced the eviction subplot is optimal though I understand you need something else going on to thwart Frank's actions.

I came away from this thinking you've gone with the overall theme that you can't change fate - what's destined to be is just that, and Frank at least manages to tell Andy he loves him  - mission accomplished - after attempts to change history fail.

This line: Dad, are you dying? doesn't quite work for me as is. 'Are you okay, Dad?' might suffice, or at least a chuckle from Andy when saying that line?

No need for the continued reference to the 'avocado' phone imho.

A couple of awkward lines but not too many. Just watch your doubling up in description:

He scrunches his face as scores of tears fall onto the floor.
Frank bawls his eyes out.
That's a bit overkill. I'd edit that to one line if I were you. Scores of tears - meh.

Whoever this is, you are a sick!
You are sick? Delete the (a).

The date: "22-Nov 15:00"
So the accident happens in the afternoon? It might work better in the dead of night?

It's a good story that has lots of potential for suspense. I just wish you'd gone with a continuing build up of suspense route and changed the course of events so that it's more of an edge of seat thrill ride and ticking clock story for an audience, rather than bittersweet father and son drama - i.e., at least I told him I loved him.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  February 28th, 2020, 7:27pm
Keep adding... :)
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Max Ruddock
Posted: February 29th, 2020, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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Hey Matthew,

I'm gonna agree with what LC said, plus suggest switching "waddle" for shuffle as I think it seems more of an old person thing. Maybe it's just me but I tend to think of ducks waddling rather than old folks haha

Overall I really liked it though. Like LC mentioned, it can feel a little discombobulating with the jumps in time, but as it's short, and a second read doesn't take long, I found it a better read on a second read.

It'd probably be a piece of piss to shoot too, so wouldn't be surprised if this gets picked up in no time.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: March 2nd, 2020, 5:26am Report to Moderator
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Hi Guys

Many thanks for the read. This was one of those "procrastinating from my feature shorts"

It was also a conscious effort to write something budget-friendly - I get carried away with shorts, write something that I would love to see with no consideration to the plausibility of production. Turns out writing that way is hard when I can't rely on great special effects lol

Theme - Is obviously subjective as to what you take away from it. The intention, however, was grief/regret. He regrets the last phone call because he wasn't nice. So every day he relives that last phone call - at first, he tries to change the past by telling his son to drive a different way (bargaining) - but his son is dead, doesn't change anything.
Eventually, he moves to have the phonecall he should have had in the first place - forgiving his son and telling him he loves him.
But he relives this phonecall over and over for the rest of his life - unable to move on - hence the house is the same as it was in the 70's (fear of letting go).
He hasn't lived a life, grief holds him back - even when the wolves come knocking on the door, he remains defiant, has to answer that phone.

Don't think I did a great job there - might have to let this ferment in the back of my mind for a little bit and then give it another pass.

Thanks for the tips and advice - appreciated

Matt

Oh, the title - I hate it lol It was originally "Dialled up Grief" - trying to play on the informal phrase Dialled up (Increase in intensity), and dial of a phone
I'm open to suggestions for a new title


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JohnMcCarthy
Posted: March 5th, 2020, 1:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt,

This was a cool (and moving) little story, though it did take me a couple of reads (paying extra attention to the dates and times on the clock) before I fully got it.

Tips and advice on formatting and so on have been well-stated by the other readers, nothing to add or suggest here. Except that I liked the title and even the decorative font on the title page.

Also, to many American readers of a certain age (that is: "Old-as-fuck") the date November 22 instantly suggests a reference to the assassination of President Kennedy. 11/22/1963. No need to change it, of course. Just a reminder that some of your readers may be as ancient as I am.

Revision History (1 edits)
JohnMcCarthy  -  March 5th, 2020, 4:44pm
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khamanna
Posted: March 5th, 2020, 2:20pm Report to Moderator
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Oh I thoroughly enjoyed this. I really donít think thereís anything to change here. I know it might be hard to understand with the flashbacks times on the clock and all the calls but once you get the idea it falls into places.
Very nice
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: March 6th, 2020, 4:27am Report to Moderator
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Thank you both for the read and comments. Appreciated.

Not sure how to make it less confusing of a read - I did originally have FLASHBACK and END FLASHBACK for every flashback but it got really annoying lol so I just popped the date in the slug, maybe FLASHBACK in the slug would be better.

Oh, the date, I didn't know that. The date in my story is inconsequential so I might change it to one that won't spark thoughts of an unrelated event - thanks for pointing it out.



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Dustin
Posted: March 6th, 2020, 7:49am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Wow. Great work, mate. Not confusing at all. I wouldn't touch this until a director picks it up and then work with them on the rewrites.

Good luck.


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khamanna
Posted: March 6th, 2020, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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It didnít confuse me either, Matt. I was speaking about other people, that others might get confused. I think here once you get the concept the confusion should go away. And I started getting the concept as soon as the confusion started. So I canít say I got confused. I donít think you need to make any changes. And I agree with Dustin - wait for your director.
My two cents
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: March 7th, 2020, 4:03pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you both - nice little ego boost lol

Hopefully, someone picks it up. Would be nice to actually see something of mine come to life.


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Cedric
Posted: March 21st, 2020, 9:41am Report to Moderator
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Loved it. Great story. I'm sitting here asking myself, what would Frank say this time if he had the chance to answer  the phone 😂🙆‍♂️. And also, does he accept the fact that he cannot change fate? These are the questions that this story leaves me with. I enjoyed it 👌
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StevenClark
Posted: March 21st, 2020, 10:24pm Report to Moderator
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Matthew,

Nice little story here. Very good work. Just me and my sensibilities, of course, but how nice would it have been had Andy come through the door at the last second to stop the balliff's from removing Frank from the house? Hey, that's my father! That sort of thing would have brought the story full circle, if you ask me. And of course, you didn't. Like I said, that's just me.

Otherwise, I agree with most here. Very good story, man.

Steve


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