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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The Halloween 2021 One Week Challenge  ›  Mercy Dash - OWC
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  Author    Mercy Dash - OWC  (currently 277 views)
Don
Posted: October 16th, 2021, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Mercy Dash by Henry Ford - A Soccer Mom's undertakes a midnight mercy dash.  Short, Drama


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Anon
Posted: October 16th, 2021, 5:53pm Report to Moderator
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Well done on creating an unexpected villain!

With shorts written at this pace itís tough to get into motive a reasons and whatnot. So I took this at face value and enjoyed it.

One big logic issue bugged me. Why would she answer the phone? Let alone a video call. That took me out of it. Perhaps if it was a call she had to answer - her own family emergency rather than something trivial - that would have made for a better story.
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SteveClark
Posted: October 17th, 2021, 7:21am Report to Moderator
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Writer,

Yeah. Good on the unexpected part, but, um, WHY is she the villain and what did the victim do? Those are questions that need answering, otherwise there is no context, leaving you with not much of a story. That said, I would revisit this because it has potential. I can see it filmed. Maybe it's just me that thinks you need a WHY -- not sure!

Your dialogue flowed and sounded natural. Good job!

Steve


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RolandJ
Posted: October 17th, 2021, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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No mention of Halloween, unless I missed it? Interesting single location premise that needs to be expanded.
No problem with the dialogue. But it didn't advance the story.  
Good effort writer. But work on your motivation development.

Revision History (1 edits)
RolandJ  -  October 18th, 2021, 5:54pm
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LC
Posted: October 18th, 2021, 1:21am Report to Moderator
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That was pretty darned good!

I fell for the misdirection and was spooked by the possibility of someone being in the back seat so you got me there.

The sub-plot feels a bit thrown in. The PTA and talk about Aunts with broken legs is too pedestrian.  
You need something urgent going on in sub-plot too.

Alt: Focus on the real threat in the back seat and have it appear that Sally is playing it down for fear she might be harmed by the end of the call and then give us the reveal. Make the call a call she must take cause it's an emergency. Perhaps have texts insist she picks up and so she does.

You really had me though.
Revamp and rewrite with a few of the gaps filled in and I think you have a much in demand horror short on your hands.


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MarkRenshaw
Posted: October 18th, 2021, 7:20am Report to Moderator
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This was good, just needs some work. There is nothing more dangerous than a soccer mom so I suspected her of something from the start.

It was spooky and atmospheric when the caller said there was someone in the back seat and was going to call the police but when soccer mom dismissed it without checking, it telegraphs what is going on.

As others have said, we need to know who was in the back seat and why soccer mom had gone all Norman Bates. The telephone conversation was a missed opportunity to cover this. The person could have been mentioned, someone who had ticked her off - the referee of a soccer match perhaps? Then if the said referee is in the back seat it all ties up nicely.

Good job though. I'll have to deduct a point for not even mentioning Haloween though.


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irish eyes
Posted: October 18th, 2021, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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Took 5 pages to get somewhere and realistically it could only have been the soccer mom!

No reasoning as to why she is beating the shit outta this guy.

The writing was good.


Im sorry this  wasn't for me


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ColinS
Posted: October 18th, 2021, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this one. The writing was bang on, hence flowing so well. Definitely met the criteria as much as you could do for a six pager. IMO.

Having a POV from the phone camera looking out in to the dark black space of the car was really creepy and would likely scare the bejesus out of me on film. That set-up really worked for me.

I guess as mentioned the call probably needed to be an emergency and I also feel that you could have played a little bit more with Anj's perspective. Like perhaps gradual creepy sightings of what might be a person in the back seat as opposed to identifying it straight away as a somebody in the back seat. May have added a bit of punch to your reveal.

Any way, top writing and very good submission.
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Dukeman42
Posted: October 18th, 2021, 10:49pm Report to Moderator
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Solid reveal! I'd have liked to understand the villain's motivation, or their relation to their victim, which would have brought things together for me. Keeping the story contained to the car was a good choice, it kept the tension focused.

The call went on too long in my opinion; I think she'd have wanted to get off the call much faster once the caller became concerned. Share with a trusted reader to catch spelling and grammar errors (there were several in the first couple pages).

With more focus and more clarification on villain/character relationships and motivations, this is an imminently produceable concept.

Oh yeah...what's a Mercy Dash?
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Yuvraj
Posted: October 19th, 2021, 8:48am Report to Moderator
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Hi writer,

This one did not do it for me. The story was way too simple for my taste and the reveal was predictable. The casual banter between the characters did not help in providing any sort of heightened suspense. It did not help either that there was virtually no relationship between the victim and the killer. And I am not sure about the title of the story here. Who was on the mercy dash? If the killer? Then, how. If the victim? Then, I don't see that happening.  

Good luck.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Yuvraj  -  October 19th, 2021, 10:15am
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 20th, 2021, 3:36am Report to Moderator
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Hi writer

It's close but not quite satisfying yet. I would like her motivations hinted at a bit more, Anj mentions she missed the meeting exactly a year ago, so I am guessing an annual thing she does but I would expand on it a bit.

I enjoyed the "Man behind you thing" but the scene needs more to add some tension/suspense. Something to really make the audience think she is in danger, the man moving around more, coming from behind, making her lose control of the car or something.  would add to the reveal that he is actually the one in danger.

Personally, I also think it doesn't end soon enough. I think it would have more impact if we see him terrified, her menacing grin and tools of torture and a quick punch out corny horror line like "Those PTA meetings are murder, we're going to have our own fun"
The beating and her dialogue afterwards took away from it for me.


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Britman
Posted: October 20th, 2021, 9:55am Report to Moderator
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I liked the concept but you should've ended it when she turns to the victim in the backseat. Then chop it down to 3 pages and use the phone conversation to setup your story and you'd have a cool little short.

As it is, it's a miss for me.


Producer/Director of The Dollmaker by Matias Caruso
Producer/Director of So Pretty/Dark by James Williams
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Zack
Posted: October 20th, 2021, 10:31am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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The writing is solid, reads fast, though I do think you could afford to be more visual.

Dialog is good. Snappy with a natural flow. A few hiccups as things go along. (actually, after finishing, the dialog sorta nose-dives as the script goes along.)

A few typos.

Really creepy with Anj seeing someone in the backseat. Good stuff. But... Wouldn't Sally spin around and check!? I know I would. lol

Ah! Now I know why she didn't turn around. But now that brings up another(arguably bigger) question... If Sally knew she had someone in her backseat, why the Hell would she risk a face-time call? Not very smart.

Hmm... Who is the victim? Why is Sally doing this? And where is any mention of Halloween?

This one is disappointing, IMO. Just feels like random torture, with no hint as to why. Sorry, but this didn't work for me.

Good effort, though.




An example of my writing...

FOR SATAN - short, horror, 14 pgs (revised draft) - A group of thrill-seekers explore a creepy old house on Halloween night. Think you know this story? Think again.
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PKCardinal
Posted: October 20th, 2021, 3:31pm Report to Moderator
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The setup for a great, easily-filmed short is all here.

As it sits, it's unsatisfying, mainly because Sally's actions give away the twist. I can see her being dismissive once. But, after Anj keeps insisting and she doesn't react, we know something's up.

The good news is you have all the pieces to make this great. Make it reasonable for her to take the call in the first place (right now it's not), then make it reasonable for her to be dismissive. But, only once.

The entire piece needs to revolve around one idea: she doesn't know that a dangerous presence lurks in her backseat. Is it real? Is it a ghost? A killer? Then, after you've squeezed every ounce of tension from that setup... you hit us with the reveal: she's the dangerous one.

There are tricks you can employ. Ex: It's dark. The guy in the backseat is in deep shadow. She turns. All she sees is darkness. We think she missed it for that reason.

You can even have her pass under a street light, distracted. She doesn't see the man in the back, but we do. Now we KNOW she's in danger. (Except, of course, she's not.)

Like I said, you've got the hard part done. So, please, don't let this one die on the vine. Rewrite and make it great!


Oh, yeah, also... I have no idea what a mercy dash is.


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Spqr
Posted: October 21st, 2021, 10:02am Report to Moderator
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Funny as hell. The only thing that could improve it is adding a Halloween angle.
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