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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Scripts  /  Scooter
Posted by: Don, February 14th, 2013, 6:17pm
Scooter by L. Chambers - Short, Drama -  In the Suburbs of Sydney, in the 70s, an adolescent girl longs for a scooter...or at least she thinks she does. 11 pages - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: LC, February 14th, 2013, 6:40pm; Reply: 1
Don, thanks for posting this!
Posted by: Forgive, February 14th, 2013, 7:01pm; Reply: 2
Hey Libby. This is a nice script, has a touch of character about it. A soft, but touching twist at the end - made me feel empathy with the protag, and that's a plus. Some minors here and there with the writing, but apart from that ... a nice piece.
Posted by: _ghostwriters, February 14th, 2013, 8:29pm; Reply: 3
Libby,

How are you--?  Good to finally read one of your scripts.  I gotta say, I loved your characters descriptions.   The set-up was nice, maybe too perfect, because i wasn't surprised at the last present she got.  Yeah, I get it, but wasn't a big fan of the ending.

But nevertherless, you write very well, the read was engaging, and simple stories like this... I like.

Good Luck,

Ghostie
Posted by: Gary in Houston, February 14th, 2013, 9:23pm; Reply: 4
Libby, I will say I was impressed by this script for the most part.  Formatting was top-notch and dialogue was pretty much spot on.  There was a couple of instances where I thought you could have cut a shorter scene or some of the dialogue, but that's minor stuff and really didn't detract from the overall story.

SPOILER:

At first I was concerned that you had an ending too similar to "A Christmas Story" and I would have been disappointed if it had ended that way.  But the ending was a nice little twist and turn that reminds us all that we all continue to grow up and move on to bigger and better things.  A sweet little story and one that I enjoyed.  Good job!

Gary
Posted by: CoopBazinga, February 14th, 2013, 10:56pm; Reply: 5
Hey Libby,

I'll echo Ghostie and say how good it is to see some work from you. Don't think I've ever read any scripts by you so I wasn't sure what to expect...

I was kinda disappointed by the end of this one I'm afraid. I'll put it down to personal tastes and say that this didn't do a lot for me.

The ending is bittersweet and quite touching, but the whole 10 pages that preceded it are rather boring and maybe just a little too light and happy for my liking.

There is no tension or conflict to speak of - a girl wants a scooter and gets one on Christmas day. She didn't have to do anything to achieve this, thought her parents could offer up some obstacles or something. Even if it's to clean her room or better yet, a choice between a new scooter or staying away from Aaron. Maybe her parents aren't quite sure of him.

There is some nice awkward moments between Aaron and Lizzie but this relationship never fully got going which made the ending a little flat. Maybe by building a stronger relationship between the two, it will give the ending more punch when he rides past.

Everyone was so nice here - Nina and Lizzie got on so well for sisters for their respected ages, while the parents (Why not give them names? Dad had more lines than anyone) were kind and pleasant.

It made the whole "Did I forget a gift" routine (one I've done myself let me add) really quite predictable. On the bright side, I didn't see you ending it that way but I'm glad you did because it was a pleasant, yet sad surprise.

I couldn't help but feel this would work better without dialogue much like "The Snowman" which had a very gloomy ending. That is what your ending reminded me of here although not nearly as sad - I loved that snowman! ;D

The writing was good, felt a few lines could be tightened and there was the odd line that stuck out "(still) reading the  paper." Still? As in we've seen him reading it before? Or maybe you mean he's reading at the dinner table?

A few of the more grammar enthusiasts might question some of the commas but this is hardly my department.

I also felt the dialogue which isn't bad BTW could have some sprucing up. This is Australia in the 70s, would have loved to seem some more Aussie slang in there. Can imagine Jim (dad) with a tinny in hand telling Lizzie that they haven't got the bucks for a scooter and that she needs to start making a quid. ;D

A nice read but a little on the chirpy side for my liking which means nothing in the great scheme of things. It's just not my thing.

All the best with it. :)

Steve
Posted by: KAlbers, February 15th, 2013, 12:36am; Reply: 6
Hey Libby,

I liked this very much. You illustrated the visuals nicely without making it too blocky in words.

---* SPOILER ALERT *----
I liked your ending very much... oh poor Lizzie though ;). The sense I got from it was that she finally could be a part of the group, especially have something in common with Aaron that would allow them to interact with each other, but then that chance is robbed from her as they have moved on to bikes, leaving Lizzie once again out of the loop. I felt for her and for that, I liked it very much... I hope I interpreted that right.
---* END SPOILER * ---

I do agree with Steve that perhaps Lizzie could work for her scooter in some way or another, then the payoff in the end would be that much better both in the highs and the lows.

But well done, I enjoyed it a lot, and could see someone wanting to produce this. :)

Best,
Kev
Posted by: LC, February 15th, 2013, 2:10am; Reply: 7

Quoted from Forgive
Hey Libby. This is a nice script, has a touch of character about it.
A soft, but touching twist at the end - made me feel empathy with the protag,
and that's a plus. Some minors here and there with the writing,
but apart from that ... a nice piece.


Hey Simon, thanks for kicking off the reads on this one. I appreciate your feedback.
Feel free to elaborate on the 'minors' (and we don't mean kids, do we? :) ) as you see it.
Posted by: LC, February 15th, 2013, 2:19am; Reply: 8

Quoted from _ghostwriters
Libby,
How are you--?  Good to finally read one of your scripts.  I gotta say, I loved your characters descriptions.   The set-up was nice, maybe too perfect, because i wasn't surprised at the last present she got.  Yeah, I get it, but wasn't a big fan of the ending.

But nevertherless, you write very well, the read was engaging, and simple stories like this... I like.

Good Luck,


I'm very well thanks, Ghostie. And thanks for the read and compliments re character descriptions etc.

I'm happy it engaged you to the point it did, considering it wasn't exactly the ending you were hoping for. This is indeed a 'simple' slice of life story' nothing too complicated, but with a little more at its core, I hope.

Hope you're doing well. :)

Posted by: LC, February 15th, 2013, 2:30am; Reply: 9

Quoted from Gary in Houston
Libby, I will say I was impressed by this script for the most part.  ... There was a couple of instances where I thought you could have cut a shorter scene or some of the dialogue, but that's minor stuff and really didn't detract from the overall story.

Gary


Hey Gary, thanks for the read. I'm really pleased you enjoyed it overall and ta for the compliments.

Re your point of perhaps shortening a scene/dialogue etc. I will definitely go over this again. Am assuming you mean the scene with the father and Lizzie?? I was wondering if that should be cut a bit myself.

Thanks again. :)

Happy to hear you liked it overall.


Posted by: LC, February 15th, 2013, 2:37am; Reply: 10

Quoted from KAlbers
Hey Libby,

I liked this very much. You illustrated the visuals nicely without making it too blocky in words. I liked your ending very much... oh poor Lizzie though ;). I do agree with Steve that perhaps Lizzie could work for her scooter in some way or another, ... But well done, I enjoyed it a lot, and could see someone wanting to produce this. :)
Best,
Kev


Kev, how're you doing? I'm so pleased you enjoyed the read overall and felt empathy for poor Lizzie.

As for the points you bring up about Lizzie and chores, I'm about to address this point with Steve. Basically, I didn't want to go the 'chores' route cause it would labour the story too much imo, and I wanted to present a rather more streamlined tale.

Thanks for your suggestions though and I appreciate the read. Enjoyed your last very much. Hope you've another in the pipeline.

Posted by: LC, February 15th, 2013, 3:11am; Reply: 11
Hey Steve,

how's it going on the West Coast?

Big long stream of feedback - thankyou, so I'll reply a big long stream of clarification, hopefully.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
Hey Libby, I'll echo Ghostie and say how good it is to see some work from you. Don't think I've ever read any scripts by you so I wasn't sure what to expect...


Thanks Steve. Gotta' a couple on the boards - last OWC and another in the 2 day comp. and hopefully there'll be more to come, though quite different to this. Like to mix it up.


Quoted from CoopBazinga

I was kinda disappointed by the end of this one I'm afraid. I'll put it down to personal tastes and say that this didn't do a lot for me. The ending is bittersweet and quite touching, but the whole 10 pages that preceded it are rather boring and maybe just a little too light and happy for my liking.


Sorry this wasn't your bag, Steve. Can't please all of the people... it's actually not quite as happy as you paint it, but then that's just mho. I appreciate your opinion, though.


Quoted from CoopBazinga

There is no tension or conflict to speak of - a girl wants a scooter and gets one on Christmas day. She didn't have to do anything to achieve this, thought her parents could offer up some obstacles or something. Even if it's to clean her room or better yet, a choice between a new scooter or staying away from Aaron. Maybe her parents aren't quite sure of him.


Can't say I really agree with you on the 'no tension/conflict' aspect. The way I see it, it's a pretty straight forward little slice of life tale about a girl who wants something desperately, so a lot of it is initially inner conflict I suppose, and so by all accounts it may appear that way.

To answer your questions re adding more plot via Lizzie & Aaron and Lizzie having to work for the scooter - I didn't want to focus more on the relationship with Aaron because that would change the story to emphasise the girl/boy relationship that's only alluded to.

I wanted to leave it up to the audience to decide - i.e. is this about the 'boy'? or 'wanting to be in the 'in' crowd'? or is it just about the 'scooter'? Likewise if I were to complicate the plot further I felt it would turn this into a very different and drawn out tale.

Quoted from CoopBazinga
...the whole "Did I forget a gift" routine (one I've done myself let me add) is really quite predictable.


This is an interesting point in that it's a common parental ploy and is familiar to a lot of us growing up, but this bit is meant to be kinda predictable. The main thing is it's not to Lizzie - the character. She thinks Christmas Day, at that point, is all done and dusted. It's what's comes after that I hope isn't predictable, and so far so good.


Quoted from CoopBazinga
Why not give them (the parents) names?


I didn't see the point, really. They don’t use them. To Lizzie their names are Mum and Dad. The only dialogue is between the children and their parents so...


Quoted from CoopBazinga
On the bright side, I didn't see you ending it that way but I'm glad you did because it was a pleasant, yet sad surprise.


Glad you liked the ending!


Quoted from CoopBazinga
I couldn't help but feel this would work better without dialogue much like "The Snowman"...


I did give some thought to this being sans dialogue...

Steve, re the other couple of points you mention: the 'still reading the paper' bit - yes, the idea here is Dad is always reading something, so yes, he has the paper in front of him at the dinner table. It's meant to evoke Dad's character straight off.

Speaking of character:


Quoted from CoopBazinga
I also felt the dialogue which isn't bad BTW could have some sprucing up. This is Australia in the 70s, would have loved to seem some more Aussie slang in there. Can imagine Jim (dad) with a tinny in hand telling Lizzie that they haven't got the bucks for a scooter and that she needs to start making a quid. ;D


;D I didn't want to go the Crocodile Dundee route here. I understand what you're saying re using the Aussie vernacular but I think I run the risk of it sounding hackneyed and laid on thick. Without copious amounts of beer and cork hats Oz slang can sound cartoonish. Especially to foreign ears. Bit like Brits saying ‘Tally ho, my dear chap.’

We all don't speak that way  - maybe my Grandfather might use the word quid or bonza etc. but I also wanted this tale to translate to other settings/countries which it could easily do, so putting too much of that in might restrict it.

Sorry this wasn't your thing overall. Oh, and your comment about commas overuse(punctuation) I will definitely look at with a closer eye.

Thanks again for the read Steve. I appreciate your thoughts.
Posted by: Toby_E, February 15th, 2013, 4:44am; Reply: 12
Libby,

Cute little story here.

It reminded me of an episode of Recess (damn, I used to love that show), where Vince wants to see the latest movie that everyone has seen, and is quoting lines from, but his Mum didn't let him. And so he finally sneaks out to see it, but in doing so, he misses a show on TV which everyone watches, and so he's still 'behind-the-times' so to speak.

Now whilst I thought the story was cute, I did have a few issues with it.

Now whilst I liked the actual bittersweet ending, I didn't like the whole forgetting-the-present routine preceding it. It is something I have seen countless times before in film, and so I knew what was going to happen. Maybe keep the act going, but then she doesn't get the scooter until later, but by this point we think that she isn't going to be getting a scooter, so that the fact that she does surprises us? Maybe her Dad makes her take out the trash, and the scooter is sitting in the front drive, or something like that. I think it will reduce the predictability of your end.

I also agree wholeheartedly with the point Steve made about the lack of conflict throughout.

Conflict didn't really show up until page 7, when Lizzie was arguing with Nina. Maybe sprinkle some more throughout?

It was a clean read though, as well. I didn't spot any typos, which is always nice!

However, Dad's line of dialogue on page 5 felt a bit forced, a bit unnatural (this one: "You know, your mother and I met while I was playing district rugby, but I think we’ve probably told you that, right?”). But that was a minor issue.

So yeah, overall, I liked this one a lot.

Up the conflict a bit, and reduce the predictability of the ending, and you will have a very nice little short on your hands here :-)

All the best,

Toby.
Posted by: rc1107, February 15th, 2013, 2:37pm; Reply: 13
Hey Libby.

Found a plothole.  How come it's so sunny and perfect blue skies outside but yet it's Christmas-time?  It's supposed to be snowy and blizzardy.

Oh.  Wait.  Australia.  You're shoving it in my face again, aren't you?

:-)

I think you know I'd love this one.  A very down to earth realistic story that has something to say about society.  You can never go wrong with those kind of stories with me.

This was more of a double-punch for me, also.  I just saw that you said you didn't really want to focus on Aaron as being a focal point of the story, but for me, he was.  I kind of liked the fact that the scooter and Aaron shared Lizzie's attention.  It not only made me feel sad that Lizzie has to keep up with the Jones', but all the more heartbreaking that Aaron, (the way you wrote it), leaves her in the dust, so to speak.

A simple story that works on a few different levels.

I will say that it does read rather slow in the beginning and drags a little in the middle.  I'm wondering if there are a few things that can either be cut or re-worked to maybe get the ball rolling a little bit faster to get to that great ending.  It maybe a tad bit on the repetitious side, also.

But otherwise, this is a well-written piece, Libby.  Over-writing is never really an issue with me as long as it didn't get in the way of the story and for me, it didn't in this case.

Great job and I hope to see it made soon.  :-)

- Mark
Posted by: jwent6688, February 15th, 2013, 5:14pm; Reply: 14
Libby,

Nice to see some work. I liked this. I could probably sit here and read more into it, but it is a nice reflection of how life works for some. Always a step behind the times. Finally get what you want and then something else comes along.

What's a "dead-cert"?

I thought the characters were all well written, but too many nice people. I always have to have one dirt-bag kid, but that's just me and it wouldn't fit the story here.

Very solid action prose, was a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing it.

James
Posted by: Forgive, February 15th, 2013, 6:29pm; Reply: 15

Quoted from LC
Feel free to elaborate on the 'minors' ... as you see it.

Nothing major, and as you say, half of it's just IMO. So -

p.1 Garden sprinklers on perfectly manicured lawns
-- not only lacks a verb, but it lacks any active verb -- I'd have liked to have seen them 'spin gently' or something - it just feels like there's a nice creative word missing here - the water drops flicking out or something -- as it stands, they could just be lying there waiting to be turned on.

p1. ... blonde, cute, but not yet a ‘looker’,
-- I'd generally avoid negatives in writing: Michael, not a woman. The Twin Towers, not a cottage. The writer presents what is, not what is not.

p.1 One of the boys - AARON SPENCER, long dark hair falling over his eyes, deep tan, turns, glances in their direction.
... the missing 'and' after turns throws a little bit here as the commas are demarking the list, and 'turns' slips into the list.

p.1 Nina waits till he’s out of earshot.
-- this came across a bit vague, and I think softened the writing a little bit - again it's a bit to do with inaction. Maybe something along the lines of 'Nina spots the blush ...' or something, just to keep things active?

p.2 - no description of the bedroom?

p.4 Lizzie hesitates for a second, gets to her feet.
Lizzie hesitates for a second,(but) (and) (then) gets to her feet.
Sometimes missing connectives can enhance a sentence, but othertimes I think it does a little damage which builds exponentially.

p.4 from one foot to another
--from one foot to the other?

So I'll stop there ... like I say, JMO, but I just feel that when the little things pile up, they begin to make an impact; but feel free to shoot me down on them if you feel that it all adds to the style of the writing - it's not for me to dictate.

Good luck with it all.

Simon
Posted by: LC, February 16th, 2013, 3:13am; Reply: 16
Toby, thanks for the read and your comments.

Re the issue of conflict, I think there are different types of conflict, not to be confused with arguments and confrontations. There are no big arguments in this 'short', the heated exchange you mention on page 7 is as close as it gets to that. This is a quiet story with I hope a bit bigger message.

The set-up is that the main character, Lizzie, really wants a scooter - the obvious questions that follow throughout are: will she get one? Will she get the boy? Will she be accepted into the group? And ultimately, will she be happy once she gets what she wants. Universal theme, and imh, definitely conflict. Hopefully I set it up so that the audience ends up rooting for her. Not trying to change your mind... just saying the way I see it.

As a side note, the first draft of this was very very short and I felt it needed padding out a bit, so perhaps the slower build is diluting the tension/conflict a bit. And, I think it probably reads slower than it would look on film. I've taken your comments and Steve's comments on board though and will definitely look at tightening up a few things.

P.S. that line of dialogue you mention - I'm with you on that. :)
Posted by: LC, February 16th, 2013, 3:28am; Reply: 17

Quoted from rc1107
Hey Libby.
Found a plothole.  How come it's so sunny and perfect blue skies outside but yet it's Christmas-time?  It's supposed to be snowy and blizzardy. Oh.  Wait.  Australia.  You're shoving it in my face again, aren't you?...


Hey Mark, yeah, it's not all it's cracked up to be, you know. Try eating turkey with all the trimmings in 40degree heat. Thanks for all the nice comments. I had to put the bit in about Aaron cause that's what you guys were like to us girls when we were young.  :'( Girl's germs and all that...

James, thanks so much for your comments and compliments too, happy it was a decent read for you despite the lack of a 'dirt bag' kid. You summed up pretty well what I was going for here. Glad you liked it.

P.S. A 'dead cert' is Aussie slang for a 'certainty' or winner.





Posted by: LC, February 16th, 2013, 3:47am; Reply: 18
Simon, thanks for the follow-up post. Yep, I do think quite a few of the things you mention are personal style.

Having said that, when you mentioned the garden sprinklers 'spin gently' it instantly brought back that clickety-clack noise to me, but I've got to be careful here... you'll send me into over-writing frenzy and I'm trying to pare it down! Still, I might use it, ta.

And, I'm really not into using a lot of preposition or connecting words if they're not essential. Mind you it depends - if a certain rhythm is needed I'll def. use them. Like I said I'm trying to be a bit more economical.

I think you're right about the 'one foot to the other' - unless he's got three feet.  ;D So, thanks for that - good pickup!

Thanks again for taking the time to re-post.





Posted by: RegularJohn, February 16th, 2013, 2:18pm; Reply: 19
How's it going, Libby?

Like the others, I enjoyed the read.  Easy to follow and it sailed by rather smoothly.  Some mixed reactions on the ending but I felt it fit naturally into place.  I actually had a sneaking suspicion that something like that was going to happen after she took her scooter out for a spin.

The christmas "surprise" did bug me a bit and came off a tad bit cliche.  There was a good idea from a previous post that she could clean up the wrapping paper and stumble across it.  I liked that suggestion.

As far as conflict is concerned, I can see where you're coming from.  I think you were after the passive, suffer-in-silence kind of emotional distress in Lizzie being excluded from the gang but I wasn't really feeing it.  With the lack of confrontational conflict and all of the positive, happy characters, it came off kinda like a nice Sunday drive for me-a easygoing, relaxing trip but forgotten by Monday morning.  I don't mean to sound harsh but that's what I got from it.  Still a well written and technically sound script so great job, man.  Keep up the good work.

Johnny
Posted by: LC, February 17th, 2013, 4:27am; Reply: 20
Hi Johnny,

Don't think we've met... thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for your comments.

Also, if anyone would like a return read just send me a PM. I appreciate all the comments so far. :)

Posted by: Angela, February 17th, 2013, 10:18pm; Reply: 21
Hi Libby,

Going to start with the first thought I had after reading the screenplay - the ending made me chuckle. It reinforced the idea that sometimes when you strive to be 'in' or get to know the guy you like, you just cannot catch up and it isn't meant to be.

Couple of thoughts, please feel free to take them with a pinch of salt:

  • LIZZIE GARNER (12) blonde, cute, but not yet a "looker", lies on the grass with her head in her hands.
    I thought this was great description of the character.
  • Throughout the screenplay, the introduction of the five boys confused me as they were stated to be all 15 at the first time we meet them, but RICK was subsequently 14 at a point in the script.
  • Lizzie turns her head to see NINA GARNER (15) also blonde, behind her. She's got three years on Lizzie and it shows, she's more woman than girl.
  • Lizzie and Nina watch the boys push their scooters back up towards them.
  • INT. LOUNGE ROOM - CONTINUOUS.
  • Lizzie lies on her back, looks up at the sky. She shields her eyes from the sun, as birds soar overhead and the whir of spinning wheels and kids whoops and shrieks sound in her ears.
    This portion was slightly confusing for me -- though I eventually realized it was perhaps a dream.

I enjoyed the short dialogue at certain points, how not everything is said out, as it kept me guessing. However, I was also confused as to whether Lizzie wanted the scooter to hang out with the boys or to impress Aaron. Was it perhaps a combination of the two?

All the best!
Posted by: LC, February 18th, 2013, 12:51am; Reply: 22
Angela,

Good catch on the age of the boys. I think this was due to my indecision about age in the first place and the fact that in my head the boys are, and should be, younger - than I've got them - probably about 12, cause they're taking an awful long time to move up from scooters to bikes, if not, aren't they?!  ::) So, thanks for that. This will definitely be revised it in the next draft. Likewise Lizzie's age will be adjusted too.

The lack of INT. in the heading for the loungeroom is because this is a mini slug, i.e. moving from one area to another within the same location.

Hmm, I kinda like the more 'woman than girl' description but maybe it needs a bit of tweak and rethink. Thanks for the other compliment re Lizzie's description btw. Back up denotes the road going up - but I'll take another look at that.

As for, is it the scooter or the boy she wants? I'm leaving that up to personal interpretation. I like to think she's more into the scooter but I'll leave that up to you.

Thanks for the read Angela and welcome to SS. Look forward to reading something of yours.  :)

Posted by: DJuwes, February 18th, 2013, 2:33am; Reply: 23
Hey Libby,

I liked your script overall, and didn't feel there was a lack of conflict since the protag wanted a scooter so bad but could never express this want, to me that was enough conflict to keep the story going.

However I think the fantasy sequence was unnecessary, first because she'd be on the same location for the third time in the same position etc. and the sequence itself didn't add anything to the story, at that point we know she wants a scooter and we know she likes Aaron.

For the rest a great story and would love to see it get filmed!

- Joewi
Posted by: LC, February 18th, 2013, 3:10am; Reply: 24
Hi Joewi,

good to hear you enjoyed the script overall.

Re the fantasy sequence, I think it might work on film. I suppose with repetitive scenes there is always the risk it will feel a little... repetitive. ;D. Which is why I tried to incorporate a little fantasy scene. After all she's an adolescent girl, it's a hot day, she's watching those wheels spinning day in day out, so it was my way of breaking up a little of the same action.  

I'm open to suggestions however, so feel free to chime in if you have something further to add.

Thanks so much for the read and your feedback, Joewi.

And, it appears by the number of your posts that 'Welcome to SS' is also in order.

Hope to read something of yours soon.
Posted by: Electric Dreamer, February 18th, 2013, 11:39am; Reply: 25
Hey Libby!

Great to see some new work by you here on the boards!
It's my pleasure to dive in and check it out. ;D

P. 7
I think the "times are tough" part can be handled better.
No need to come from an expository daughter.
You can show it through cheap settings.
Headlines in the newspaper can show tough times.
Perhaps there's a busted washer in the kitchen or something.
They have to wait until next pay period to fix it, etc. :)
A lot of ways you can handle that data.

P. 9
The "surprise" gift recalls "A Christmas Story" a bit.
And a half dozen or so other films. :P
But since the parents were never lobbied by the kids, it feels a tad random.
We never saw how the parents know.
So, there's no set up for this pay off.

The ending worked and played the social status card.
Again, I think that would work better if I knew Lizzie was poor.
I didn't get much of that feeling from the script.
It could help sell the "keeping up with the Joneses" vibe you laid out.

This is a nice tale.
Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
E.D.
Posted by: Jeremiah Johnson, February 18th, 2013, 1:53pm; Reply: 26
LC,
I did not read any previous comments, so I apologize if anything is repeated.

I liked the story overall.  Being that age, I can definately feel for the characters and the time period.  You have everything correct about that age, boys and toys.  I like how you mixed both in Lizzie's world.  One didn't take precedence over the other.  She wanted them both equally.

I liked the twist at the end, and actually had similar moments in my life.  To me, that was the best "twist" you could put on this.  Very believable.

There was a few little hiccups (see my page by page notes below), but liked the story.  It took me back.  Good job.

Pg 1:
SUPER: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - CIRCA 1970sTo me, you should go ahead and put a solid year (1972, etc.).  If this was in the description part, circa would work.  That way we would know the time period.  Since it is going to be displayed in a superimpose, why not just give it a real date?  Just a thought.

Next scene there is no physical description of the Nature Strip.  I know it should be self explainitory, but you did good with the first description.  Just a little detail here wouldn't hurt, in my opinion.

One of the boys - AARON SPENCER, long dark hair
falling over his eyes, deep tan, turns, glances in their
direction.

This doesn't read good to me.  You might try breaking it up.  Something like, "One of the boys turns, glancing in their direction.  AARON SPENCER, deep tan, pushes his long dark hair from over his eyes and smiles at Lizzie."  Okay, you can probably make it better but you get the idea.

Pg 2:
I like MUM's description.  I can picture that.

Pg 5:
Not necessary to say Dad is watching a documentary on TV.  Just watches TV.

Pg 6:
Okay, now you may ignore my previous comment.

Pg 8:
No need for the parenthetical that Dad is still eyeing the magazine.  You said in the previous that he was engrossed already.
Posted by: LC, February 18th, 2013, 6:47pm; Reply: 27

Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Hey Libby! Great to see some new work by you here on the boards! It's my pleasure to dive in and check it out.


Hey Brett, thanks for chiming in on this. I'm getting lots of feedback which is great for the next draft.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I think the "times are tough" part can be handled better.
No need to come from an expository daughter. You can show it through cheap settings.


I think perhaps on film this would 'show' through the settings already in place, i.e. 'franks and beans', the 'fibro clad' house, and the 'artificial' Christmas tree'. I suppose I could add a few things, a formica table, no carpet etc. and perhaps a few touches remained in my head, (that often happens)  ::)


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

... since the parents were never lobbied by the kids, it feels a tad random. We never saw how the parents know...


I want this to go by fairly quickly so I would hope it's inferred through the quarrel with the girls that Nina has got to her parents - she already spilled the beans re Lizzie's infatuation with Aaron and there's a final 'wink' exchange between Lizzie and Nina so... I really don't feel everything should be spelled out. I want the audience to interpret what they will. I had thought about including a scene with Nina and Dad... perhaps without dialogue, so I may think about that. Something I will look at again.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

The ending worked and played the social status card.

The 'Keeping up with Jones's' thing is interesting. I think Mark mentioned it too. I don't see it as being predominantly this, but yes, it's there. It's great you thought the ending worked.

All good points to ponder overall.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer

This is a nice tale. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks Brett. :)

Posted by: LC, February 18th, 2013, 11:20pm; Reply: 28

Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
LC, I did not read any previous comments, so I apologize if anything is repeated.

I liked the story overall.  Being that age, I can definately feel for the characters and the time period.  You have everything correct about that age, boys and toys.  I like how you mixed both in Lizzie's world.  One didn't take precedence over the other.  She wanted them both equally. I liked the twist at the end, and actually had similar moments in my life.  To me, that was the best "twist" you could put on this.  Very believable .


Thanks Jeremiah! I'm glad it took you 'back there' and that the twist worked for you.


Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
SUPER: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - CIRCA 1970sTo me, you should go ahead and put a solid year (1972, etc.).  


It's my understanding that circa means, around about, or exact date unknown.

I want there to be flexibility with the decade i.e. general time/place etc. but naming an exact date might be more problematic in terms of reproducing it perfectly on film.

Speaking of which, it's a universal theme so could easily transpose to circa 1990's really, or even present day. Would just need to substitute for example, a 'Spice Girls' t-shirt for Lizzie and Oasis or PowerRangers t-shirts for boys - depending on how 'cool' they are, and change scooters and bikes, to bikes and skateboards perhaps. I wanted to set a mood more than an exact date.


Quoted from Jeremiah Johnson
Next scene there is no physical description of the Nature Strip.  I know it should be self explainitory, but you did good with the first description.  Just a little detail here wouldn't hurt, in my opinion.


I get what you're saying, but I didn't want to define & pigeonhole that exactly either. Nature strips are nature strips imo unless it's going to impact on the story further, it just needs a good view of the action.

Thanks for your other comments too Jeremiah, I'll bear them in mind. I appreciate you giving this a read. Let me know if you want a return read. :)
Posted by: CoopBazinga, February 20th, 2013, 12:25am; Reply: 29
Hey Libby,

Thanks for coming back - sorry I'm a bit late in replying.


Quoted from LC
how's it going on the West Coast?


All good, thank you. It's a bit hot at times but nothing that a cold beer can't solve. ;D

How about you? Hope the hubby from Manchester isn't missing the rain too much.


Quoted from LC
Thanks Steve. Gotta' a couple on the boards - last OWC


My bad - there was a lot in the last OWC. I probably read it but didn't realize it was from you.


Quoted from LC
Sorry this wasn't your bag, Steve. Can't please all of the people... it's actually not quite as happy as you paint it, but then that's just mho. I appreciate your opinion, though.


You definitely can't please everyone! Never try too.

I'm sorry but it all did come off very happy to me - I mean, the sun is shining, people are grinning, smiling, blushing and there is even the "cute" line thrown in one of the descriptions. The sisters/family are getting on well, the boys are enjoying going down the hill on their scooters.

Lines like "Another picture perfect day" and "smiles wistfully" also gave it a very cheerful tone. If it wasn't for the unhappy last page then this could mirror a Brady Bunch episode but this is just the way I read it.

If I missed a darker undertone then I apologize  Maybe it needs to be less subtle for stupid readers like me - I miss things. ;D


Quoted from LC
Can't say I really agree with you on the 'no tension/conflict' aspect. The way I see it, it's a pretty straight forward little slice of life tale about a girl who wants something desperately, so a lot of it is initially inner conflict I suppose, and so by all accounts it may appear that way.


Well you would know better than me on this - it's your story and characters. I will add that I never got the sense that she was desperate for it, more desired.

Maybe the desperation could be heightened in that scene with her dad.


Quoted from LC
To answer your questions re adding more plot via Lizzie & Aaron and Lizzie having to work for the scooter - I didn't want to focus more on the relationship with Aaron because that would change the story to emphasise the girl/boy relationship that's only alluded to.

I wanted to leave it up to the audience to decide - i.e. is this about the 'boy'? or 'wanting to be in the 'in' crowd'? or is it just about the 'scooter'? Likewise if I were to complicate the plot further I felt it would turn this into a very different and drawn out tale.


Fair enough, although an early scene between the two sisters indicates that it's the scooter that she really wants, not to mention the actual title.

I do think the ending would have more power though if the Aaron/Lizzie relationship was developed more. I actually thought she wanted the scooter to get closer to Aaron so I guess you got what you wanted in that respect. For the reader to decide I mean.


Quoted from LC
I didn't see the point, really. They don’t use them. To Lizzie their names are Mum and Dad. The only dialogue is between the children and their parents so...


Okay, that makes sense. The parents never actually spoke to one another.


Quoted from LC
I did give some thought to this being sans dialogue...


Shame you didn't go for it or at least write out another draft without dialogue - just to see how it played out.


Quoted from LC
Speaking of character:

;D I didn't want to go the Crocodile Dundee route here. I understand what you're saying re using the Aussie vernacular but I think I run the risk of it sounding hackneyed and laid on thick. Without copious amounts of beer and cork hats Oz slang can sound cartoonish. Especially to foreign ears. Bit like Brits saying ‘Tally ho, my dear chap.’

We all don't speak that way  - maybe my Grandfather might use the word quid or bonza etc. but I also wanted this tale to translate to other settings/countries which it could easily do, so putting too much of that in might restrict it.


I understand what you're saying in relation to this appealing to other settings/countries but any reader should be able to see through the words and get the picture. On the same note, any producer could easily have some words changed should they want to change the setting.

I certainly didn't mean anything like Mr. Dundee! ;D More to give this something different when reading the dialogue. We all read scripts and sometimes the dialogue can be bland and without panache (not saying yours was like this BTW) I felt that this was a good opportunity with your setting to give the dialogue another dimension and something that most folks (yes, our friends from across the sea) never normally read or hear.

Just a missed opportunity for me but I do understand why you didn't go down this route. It could go the other way and come off really cheesy.


Quoted from LC
Thanks again for the read Steve. I appreciate your thoughts.


No worries, Libby. Hope it was of some help and best of luck with it. :)

Steve
Posted by: LC, February 23rd, 2013, 10:43pm; Reply: 30

Quoted from CoopBazinga
Hey Libby, thanks for coming back - sorry I'm a bit late in replying. Steve


No problem Steve.

Just a couple of things in final reply to you.

You definitely made me think about, and examine the 'happy' tone of the script again.

I think ultimately I was trying to paint a picture of 'normal' or at least of Lizzie's POV of the world around her, and then juxtapose this with the final scene in which she learns a lesson about the harsh realities of life for the first time and then basically falls on her arse (metaphorically, of course).

Though the general picture of suburbia will remain the same overall - the feedback received so far means I will probably rough up a few things here and there, just so the read itself is not quite so 'sweet'.

And, I am going to attempt to write another version with no dialogue, as an experiment if nothing else, and to see if I'm even capable of doing it. Wish me luck.  ::)

Thanks again for your input, cobber.  ;D










Posted by: J.S., February 27th, 2013, 7:27pm; Reply: 31
Libby,

A couple things I'd like to say, variation from what's been already said.

"A quiet street, long and straight, crossing an intersection,
with a steep hill to the north end. "

I was really confused by this. I think you've got the wrong wording here. Is the street itself crossing the intersection that already exists, therefore there are three roadways at the intersection? Or is the street intersecting with another road? I read this like seven times to make heads or tails of it and I just couldn't.

"LIZZIE GARNER (12) blonde, cute, but not yet a �looker�" I don't fully know what you're trying to get across as her being "a 'looker'" I mean, she's twelve.

"Lizzie turns her head to see NINA GARNER (15) also blonde,
behind her. She�s got three years on Lizzie and it shows,
she�s more woman than girl. "

I don't understand how she can be more "woman" than girl when she's 15?? If she's more mature in appearance, fine. But that seems just odd kind of description.

I could never really understand if Lizzie liked the boy and that's why she wanted the scooter or if she just wanted the scooter to fit in with the other kids, or to be part of their group or what. It was unclear to me and it seems that if the former is the case (she cared about the boy) you should have emphasized this a lot more to gather more sympathy from your audience.

Pg. 4 INT. GARNER KITCHEN - NIGHT -- this scene seemed completely unnecessary to me.

"The family sit amongst the rubble of Christmas wrapping
paper. "

I don't think rubble is the right word here.

"
DAD
It�s got everything. Twelve and
half inch pump-up tyres, front and
rear lights, a bugle horn...
...chrome mudguards - also front
and rear, a flower basket for your
knick-knacks. It�s the latest
Cyclops, finished in iridescent
cherry-red."

This might be a technicality, but I don't think this line works. Why would the girl care? Why wouldn't the dad say something that she would understand?

I like what you did with it. It's not exactly original as a story, but I think you were able to pull off some of it.

That's about it. Good luck with writing and rewriting,

-J.S.
Posted by: LC, March 9th, 2013, 2:23am; Reply: 32
Just acknowledging your feedback J.S.

First off, I think a few of things you mention are definitely personal choice/style in writing, but I'll clarify a couple of the points you made, least the way I see them.

Re the description of the street, I didn't think it was confusing but I'll take another look at it, to be sure.

In answer to your question re the girls' ages/appearances. Lizzie (cute, not yet a looker) is at that awkward 'ugly duckling' stage. You know the kid you meet when you're also a kid, but maybe a couple of years older, and then you see that same kid again a couple of years down the track and she's morphed into a 'looker'. And, Nina? Well, she's already there... & beyond. She's the 15/16 year old who you'd swear is 25, if she's a day. So, yes she's definitely more woman than girl.

I can't really agree with you on the, 'is it the scooter' or the 'boy' she wants - i.e. in spelling it out for the audience. I did comment on this before, and I think it's kinda good that the audience can't work out which, or both. It's up to you, really, what you get from it. But, I appreciate your opinion.

As regards, Dad's speech. I don't know about you but in my neck of the woods, boys will be boys and love to quote specs. Dad's gone out and bought the top model and he's proud as punch. You're right in that Lizzie wouldn't care much in that particular moment - she's just thrilled she got her Scooter. Then again, remember being a kid? Remember getting the dud model, or the second hand model... I think in that moment she's thrilled it's got all the latest bells & whistles... or, she would have been if not for what happened next.

The scene at night with Lizzie and her Mum, is Lizzie trying to bring up the subject of the scooter, and then in the next room with Dad trying to do the same thing. Sorry that wasn't clear to you.

Having said that, I'm glad you liked it overall J.S. and thanks for taking the time to read & offer your thoughts.
Posted by: Andrew, March 9th, 2013, 6:34am; Reply: 33
Hey Libby,

Anything Sydney-related will catch my attention. It may be 2 years since I lived in that wonderful city, but I'll be living with it in my mind for the rest of my years. I recall the old footage of Sydney harbour in Man On A Wire and I'd have loved to experience 70s Sydney. Alas, I digress.

You do a very nice job of portraying the vulnerability of a little girl when she seemingly meets a boy who will send her little head off in a tizz. But that brings me to the central question, and underlying query about this script. There's a subtle probing of Lizzy's motivations that she never gets to air and I think that's crucial. Her family all assume the motivation is Aaron, but she's shutdown on questioning a few times, suggesting there was a different motivation - was this intentional?


Quoted Text

LIZZIE
It’s not about Aaron Spencer, you
know...
NINA
I know.
LIZZIE
...It’s about...
NINA
I know.
(pause)
Night.



Quoted Text

DAD
Nina tells us you’re pretty keen on
the boy up the road.
LIZZIE
What? No. I...I mean he seems nice,
but that’s not why I...


Unless I'm missing something, she never gets to ask that question and yet it seems so fundamental to the script and is left unresolved. If it's intentional, presumably it's a subtle message you're imbuing the script with and would appear to be the central conflict that I think others are right in mentioning is overtly missing.

Amusingly, the trick they play on her with the present reveal reminds me of the same trick my mum would play on me and my siblings when we were young, so you instantly reconnected me with my fond memories, and any good script needs that glue between the fiction unfolding in front of you and your own reality. Nice job.

I agree that the end lacks the punch it should have. Part of that is because I think the script is too long as it is. It does carry an interesting observation on life, though. Oh, and as others have said, your craft here is truly lovely.
Posted by: LC, March 9th, 2013, 7:56am; Reply: 34
Hi Andrew, it's been a while! Hope you're doing well. And thanks for giving this a read.

Re: the 70s I think the main thing that would be different about Sydney now would be that everything's just a bit bigger - bigger houses, bigger cars, and bigger toys in general.

You hit the nail on the head with those quoted dialogue lines btw! Ever have two things in your head competing with each other? And everyone around you keeps mentioning only one of them? I'm sure you have. In my mind it was always, not just about the boy. Like I said before somewhere, I didn't see any point really in only presenting one thing...


Quoted from Andrew
I agree that the end lacks the punch it should have. Part of that is because I think the script is too long as it is. It does carry an interesting observation on life, though. Oh, and as others have said, your craft here is truly lovely.


Hmm, I thought the general consensus was that the 'punch' ending works for most, but the length is something I'm taking a look at in the next draft - perhaps it is diluting it a bit. Thank you for your other compliments!

And, the good news is I'm getting quite a bit of interest in this - nothing firm yet, but here's hoping.

P.S.

Quoted from Andrew
Hey Libby, Anything Sydney-related will catch my attention. It may be 2 years since I lived in that wonderful city, but I'll be living with it in my mind for the rest of my years.

Hey, drop in and see us next time you're down here! You'll be most welcome. :)




Posted by: Colkurtz8, March 29th, 2013, 7:57pm; Reply: 35
Libby

Great opening page, love the writing, great sense of time and place, a certain nostalgia, acute character descriptions too.

“At the table - MUM (40s) an apron permanently tied to her
waist.”

- How can we, the audience, possibly discern that the apron is “permanently tied to her waist”. A small thing but unfilmmable nonetheless.

The bedroom scene between the two girls throws a nice curve ball getting you thinking that there is more going on, unknown for the time being, besides the potential pre-teen romance.

Seven pages in and I’m not sure where this is going, finding hard to get to grips with the tone which is not necessarily a bad thing. Is it as naïve and light as it lets itself on to be? Is she just nervous about asking her Dad for a scooter or is it setting things us up for a sucker punch, something more sinister.

You really had me going right to the end in that I thought this was just going to be a sweet, delicately told, if straight forward and relatively conflict-less trip down rose tinted memory lane. However the final twist is beautifully played and all my reservations vanished, well done.

Col.
Posted by: trickyb, March 29th, 2013, 10:48pm; Reply: 36
Hi Libby,

Good work on painting the picture of a time when kids could roam around the streets care free, I really enjoyed it.

You did get me at the end though, I thought she would ride like the wind and go arse over.

Anyway great job

Michael
Posted by: LC, April 1st, 2013, 5:47am; Reply: 37

Quoted from Colkurtz8
You really had me going right to the end in that I thought this was just going to be a sweet, delicately told, if straight forward and relatively conflict-less trip down rose tinted memory lane. However the final twist is beautifully played and all my reservations vanished, well done. Col.

Thanks so much for the read, Col. I was really touched by your comments and I'm glad the script ultimately worked for you and that the twist was satisfying. Point me in the direction of one of your scripts if you'd like a return read. I notice you have a few to choose from...


Quoted from trickyb
...You did get me at the end though, I thought she would ride like the wind and go arse over. Anyway great job Michael

Hi trickyb, (I like that username btw) that's a funny & vivid image you put into my head and I chuckled when I read it. Thanks for the read, and let me know if you'd also like a return read. And welcome to SS Michael.

Libby
Posted by: Loulou, April 2nd, 2013, 2:08am; Reply: 38
Hey Libby, I liked this script for the most part. 'A slice of life' story thats a nice read!

I'd like to second what Steve said about the Aussie slang. It would make it more interesting and add a touch of humour which would be nice!

Best Lou
Posted by: LC, April 5th, 2013, 9:35am; Reply: 39
Sorry it took me a while to respond Loulou.

While I appreciate your comments - if the story, setting and characters fitted then I'd use Aussie slang but to use it arbitrarily in this story would be insincere, & like I said to Steve I'd run the risk of it sounding cartoonish. All Aussies don't speak as the stereotype suggests. 'Dead-cert' was as far as I took it cause this was a common colloquialism of the 70's for a girl of Lizzie's age.

Happy you liked the story overall though. If you'd like anything read, let me know. :)
Posted by: Forgive, June 12th, 2014, 4:38am; Reply: 40
So... this is going into production?
Posted by: LC, June 12th, 2014, 5:09am; Reply: 41

Quoted from Forgive
So... this is going into production?


Hey Simon,

Well, it was...

Was slated for late last year. Producer told me she would update me re filming etc.

Not a word from her now, or her Production Company, which seems to have disappeared from the net. and my follow up email was ignored. A familiar story with many I expect and I'll be much more careful with contracts next time, - no time limit specified on mine with her, so...

I would have liked to offer it to someone else.
Frustrating, and really disappointing, but you live and learn.
Posted by: Forgive, June 12th, 2014, 7:19pm; Reply: 42
Yeah - sorry to hear about that. It's part of the territory I guess. If you're contracted, there should be an address for correspondence, so you could give notice and a time-frame for a response -- if you don't hear anything within a reasonable time, just give her notice that you assume the contract is void unless they direct otherwise. They can't keep you to it indefinitely, especially if they are no longer viable as a company.
Posted by: Dustin, June 13th, 2014, 2:16am; Reply: 43
Code

Mum and Dad exchange a glance the girls do not see.


Great line.



Excellent little story. Not my thing, but well executed and I didn't see the ending coming. Dialogue is great throughout, very visually told. Nice job.
Posted by: LC, June 16th, 2014, 3:36am; Reply: 44

Quoted from Forgive
Yeah - sorry to hear about that. It's part of the territory I guess. If you're contracted, there should be an address for correspondence, so you could give notice and a time-frame for a response -- if you don't hear anything within a reasonable time, just give her notice that you assume the contract is void unless they direct otherwise. They can't keep you to it indefinitely, especially if they are no longer viable as a company.


Good idea, Simon. I was planning on sending her a letter as opposed to an email, and your idea of giving her 'notice' is definitely the way to go. I looked through the agreement again and there's nothing about exclusivity except for her end product (film).

The original agreement stipulated she would actually own the story/script in perpetuity! Perhaps she got the contract off the Internet. I had her change that quick-smart.  

I'm looking forward now to hopefully somebody else picking it up. Had other offers and declined - silly me. Like I said, you live and learn. Thanks for your advice and for bringing this up to the portal again. Much appreciated.   :)
Posted by: LC, June 16th, 2014, 3:44am; Reply: 45

Quoted from Dustin
Code

Mum and Dad exchange a glance the girls do not see.


Great line.

Excellent little story. Not my thing, but well executed and I didn't see the ending coming. Dialogue is great throughout, very visually told. Nice job.


Thanks Dustin! I appreciate you giving this a read and considering it's not usually your thing I'm glad the ending came as a surprise. :)  



Posted by: SteveClark, June 17th, 2014, 9:45pm; Reply: 46
Libby,

Never read anything from you before, and you've read a bunch of my stuff, so...

Thought this was really good. Well written and cohesive. The only issue I had was that it could probably be trimmed down a little. Nothing major, page -- half page. You seem to have some unnecessary exposition in there that really doesn't add anything to your story. If you went back with a fine toothed comb I'm sure you'd find words you can chop off, as well. Anything to save a line or two.

But otherwise fine by me. Enjoyed your end reveal, too. You did a good job of capturing that special time in a twelve year olds life when they're just learning that they're really attracted to the opposite sex, and the awkwardness that goes with it. As well as doing what they can to impress that person.

Very good. Hope to see more from you soon!

Steve
Posted by: LC, January 26th, 2015, 10:41pm; Reply: 47
Hey Steve,

This one got buried - I had meant to reply, sorry. Thanks for the feedback mate. I will definitely look at the points you made.

This was with a production company in Florida for quite a while but I've since discovered the production company is no longer - gone from drama into advertising apparently.

So, Scooter is once again available for production. Little shameless self-promotion there but I think this would make a pretty good family-friendly (with a message) short film. Here's hoping anyway.
Posted by: Cmantics, May 20th, 2015, 6:13am; Reply: 48
Hi Libby

Nice to see something set in Sydney - my home town! Of course, it could be set anywhere and work so well. I enjoyed reading this one a lot, a touching and sweet piece with a sad(ish) ending (nothing wrong with that, though, as it makes us feel something deeper). It took me back to my own childhood, feelings of wanting that something special, having a crush on someone, interacting with an older sibling, how things in a kid's life can be so ephemeral - and parents loving me (at least one of my parents did!).

I read comments by others to this one. Somethings I agree with (e.g. some minor grammatical aspects e.g. doin versus doin'). But I disagree about it not having enough conflict. I felt Lizzie's inner conflict and her yearning. This story had an unspoken, underpinning core to it. So, I think Lizzie DID work for her scooter - certainly emotionally and socially.

For me the story was a reminder of how life can be growing up, with the excitement of wanting something then receiving it, wanting to be like the other kids - but also how life can disappoint us in a hearbeat.

I found it interesting that you had a mix of US English with Australian English - was this by design? When I write my pieces, I tend to write one way or the other depending on what I want to achieve.

A sweetly done piece.  :)

Julian
Posted by: Cmantics, May 20th, 2015, 6:28am; Reply: 49
Hi Libby

Meant to say, just a little thing for me: I wasn't too keen on the dad calling Lizzie both 'honey' and 'darling'. It may be a cultural linguistic thing, or a personal experience, but just for me it didn't work. I tend to think of 'honey' being used more for adults. And that a parent usually, but not exclusively, uses these diminutives in one form only i.e. either something like 'honey' or 'darling'.

I don't mean to pick, but for what it's worth I thought you may want to know.  :)

Julian
Posted by: LC, May 20th, 2015, 7:24am; Reply: 50
Hey Julian,

Nice of you to resurrect this. I have a soft spot for this one and hopefully soon it might be featured on a certain sister site. I'm very happy to hear you think Lizzie earned her Scooter - I think she did too.

Re your comment on the mix of US and Australian English - hmm, no, I don't recall doing a hybrid. James even commented he needed a translation for 'dead cert' - and 'tea' is in there for dinner etc.

Reading it through just now (cause I wanted to see for myself) I did notice that in hindsight 'gift' should really be 'pressie' - so, I should probably change that. Other than that I'd be interested in what you think is US lingo. I do concede that some word usages do creep in without me even knowing sometimes. I'm also influenced by hubby who hails from the northern hemisphere too so I do know I'm susceptible to picking up vernacular that's not local. The plus side to that is that I feel it/he has helped inadvertently with making my dialogue (especially male characters) much more colourful and varied. I tend to suck things up like a sieve and it's part and parcel of the influences around me I reckon.

This was with (as I've said) a producer in Florida for a while and I'm hoping someone else picks it up. Its universal theme does, as you commented, mean it can really be set anywhere with perhaps a few dialogue replacements etc.

As for your comment re the terms: 'honey' and 'darling' and Dad using them - hmm, I'd hazard a guess this might be more of a father/daughter thing. You make a good point about him probably not using both - I suppose I thought it being Christmas and this being a special gift he might pull the stronger endearment out of his hat. But along those same lines, I do remember my father always used to address my mother in conversation as 'love' a term of endearment reserved for her alone, and I think that one is quite a Brit influence of a certain era. Choice of words is endlessly fascinating in'it.  ;D All interesting points you make.

If ever someone does take me up on this one I'm sure the local usage can be modified depending on where they hail too.

Anyway, thanks again for your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Looking forward to seeing more of your work. :)
Posted by: DanC, May 20th, 2015, 12:14pm; Reply: 51
Hey Libby.

I don't know if you've met me, but, I'm dan, from the 70's and I was 5 in 1970.  You've got cooties....

Seriously, now, I enjoyed it a lot.  It was cute, real slice of life.  

I'm always amazed at how you can take the most mundane thing like a kid wanting a toy and making it really fun to read.  This was a fun read.

Oh, and I LOVE ABBA, did I just admit that online?  I have just submitted my man card and it 's being destroyed as I finish this.  

but, I do love Abba.  They were a great fun group and I love a lot of their biggest hits.  I have a 4 disc special that I paid for, and there goes my man card, now away for 2 months, should I stop talking about my love of Abba?  

And I saw the play and the movie.  up to 4 months now.

But, I gotta say, I LOVED the ending.  SPOILERS

She wants something so that she can hang out with the cool kids, one of which she's crushing on, and oops, they have their new toys too.

It's like the kid that gets the Atari game unit, but, his buddies are all playing on their Sega systems.  Except the conversation would go like this:

"Hey guys, I got the Atari, I can play Space Invaders with you now and go for your high score"

"Who plays with Atari?  We got the new Sega and am playing this amazing game called Sonic, the Hedgehog.  Watch this!"

And the kid looks at his Atari and slinks home...

No, that didn't happen to me, really...

But, yeah, that was a really nice story.  You're a really good writer.

Dan
Posted by: Cmantics, May 21st, 2015, 7:17am; Reply: 52

Quoted from LC
Hey Julian,

Re your comment on the mix of US and Australian English - hmm, no, I don't recall doing a hybrid. James even commented he needed a translation for 'dead cert' - and 'tea' is in there for dinner etc.

I'd be interested in what you think is US lingo. I do concede that some word usages do creep in without me even knowing sometimes. I'm also influenced by hubby who hails from the northern hemisphere too so I do know I'm susceptible to picking up vernacular that's not local. The plus side to that is that I feel it/he has helped inadvertently with making my dialogue (especially male characters) much more colourful and varied. I tend to suck things up like a sieve and it's part and parcel of the influences around me I reckon.



Hi Libby

With the US wording, I noticed:

(P. 10) Mum: Go on then. Go try it out.

Typically, Americans omit the conjunction 'and'  - as in 'go try it out'. Usually, Australians (not sure if same for Brits or other native English speakers) will include the conjunction 'and'  - as in 'go and try it out. Of course, there ar always exceptions - but I'm talking in general/typical terms.

Also: 'yard' versus 'lawn'. Americans usually refer to the 'yard' (same again re what is typical). And 'whoops and hollers' I also understand to be more in the American lexicon, certainly 'holler' (i.e. cf. Australian 'yell' / 'yelling').

I don't claim to be an expert on US English usage! And I'm sure any in the US on this site will correct me if I am wrong in any of the above. Let's see  :) But, I'm just calling it as I understand it. And I have come to hear US English through my American wife, and I lived in he US for a short time. I know that sometimes English usage across users is blended or interchangeable - again, I'm talking in a generally speaking context.

I hope you get this one picked up.

Julian

Posted by: Grandma Bear, May 21st, 2015, 7:56am; Reply: 53
I think you worry about stuff that doesn't matter. Filmmakers are looking for a good story. They don't worry so much about each word.

I write American English, I guess, since this is where I live it comes more naturally, but I've had films made in Ireland, UK, Oz,US and a bunch of other non English speaking countries. The filmmakers adjust the story to fit them, their actors and their country.

Mom, mum...front yard, front lawn....elevator, lift...  ;D

Just my take.  :)
Posted by: Cmantics, May 21st, 2015, 8:25am; Reply: 54

Quoted from Grandma Bear
I think you worry about stuff that doesn't matter. Filmmakers are looking for a good story. They don't worry so much about each word.

I write American English, I guess, since this is where I live it comes more naturally, but I've had films made in Ireland, UK, Oz,US and a bunch of other non English speaking countries. The filmmakers adjust the story to fit them, their actors and their country.

Mom, mum...front yard, front lawn....elevator, lift...  ;D

Just my take.  :)


Thanks, Angry B,

Actually, I was never worried about it. If you read my preceding/original comments about the language usage, I rose it as a point of interest and query about how Libby writes. I think it is obvious that whats counts is good story and that filmmakers adjust accordingly. In fact, I had said Libby's piece was a good story.

The flip side of the above, of course, is that individual words do and can count depending on context, intent and desired semantics (written or spoken). Words can be used to create nuance and cultural meaning, which, in turn, can contribute to overall meaning and impact of any story, and how it is conveyed and received by an audience. Culture is language and language is culture.

Julian

Posted by: Max, May 22nd, 2015, 10:05pm; Reply: 55
Just read this script, got linked from your sig LC.

I too was kind of upset that Lizzie was left out in the end, even after she got her new Scooter. I thought she was going to ride off into the sunset with the lad but it was not to be...

But isn't that life? It's not a happy ending, we try so hard to fit in sometimes but something new comes along and takes our place, it's a twisted metaphor for life.

I loved it, felt like it had heart and soul, innocence as well.
Posted by: DWLiu, May 24th, 2015, 11:30am; Reply: 56
I like the "sweatness" of the story, and setting it up in a suburb of Australia just adds more to it :-).

I enjoyed reading the script, but I have to say I was expecting more from this story. Someone commented about the conflict, or lack of it, earlier. I'm in the "for" conflict camp, not for the seek of just having it. I firmly believe that conflict--the bigger the better--is the best tool to reveal character's emotion, and thus necessary to connect the character with us emotionally.

A few specific suggestions:

The opening scene should combine with the next one. Aaron races downhill, loses control of his scooter, falls. Lizzie is horrified, gets up and runs to him, but stops a few feet away, for afraid of being ridiculed, etc.

The role of Lizzie's sister, Nina, is a bit too perfunctory in the story. It should be either eliminated or dialed up.

Lizzie's parents appear come out of a "Model Parents of the Year". They do exist in real life, but they are boring. It's hinted that her dad might lose his job. This side plot should not be wasted and can be used to expose some dark sides of the family and parenting.

David
Posted by: LC, June 13th, 2015, 6:45am; Reply: 57
Dan, sorry I didn't respond till now. I see you are an Abba fan, went above and beyond with your devotion, I'd say! Thank you for your very kind words re Scooter and in particular that you approve of the ending.

Julian, thank you for elaborating. I was concerned I'd perhaps gone and written something very un-Australian but I see you were really getting down to the nitty-gritty. It's interesting cause I think there are regional differences within Australia too but I won't labour the point. Suffice to say, you brought up some interesting points.

Pia, thanks for weighing in on this too.  Story is key, and the universal aspect of it too - so much so I had a Nigerian student wanting to film this, but unfortunately for a number of reasons he couldn't go ahead with it.

Fen, thank you also for your comments and for seeing the 'heart and soul' even though I notice another script of mine you cared for 10 x much more...  ;D

David, thanks for your in depth review... And, I hope you meant 'sweetness' btw.  ;D I'm glad you got the whole Aussie vibe too and thought it added something.

Onto your points about 'story' and expecting more - hmm, I'm probably repeating myself here but I feel the need to address a couple of points. I really think there is plenty of 'conflict' in the story but it's a quieter simmering conflict and a lot of it Lizzie's inner conflict.

Re your suggestion that Aaron lose control of his scooter in the opening - um, actually I couldn't disagree more. Aaron is top-dog - least he's a legend in his own lunch-time. He's the talented spunky guy a lot of us girls remember from our childhoods. They're masters of their games whether it be surfing, skateboarding or even scootering - if that is such a word. We admire them, have crushes on them, want to be able to do what they do.

As far as Nina goes, she's necessary to join the pieces of the narrative. She's the older wiser sister, but also confidant and the engineer behind the scenes. Without Nina, Lizzie would never get her scooter. There are things we'll often confide in our siblings which we would never tell our parents.

The 'Model Parents of the Year' - there's a couple of reasons they are so unashamedly (in my mind) portrayed as normal: -

Some kids actually do grow up with pretty normal parents in average houses and in nice but average neighbourhoods. In this case I actually want to show that even if you grow up in a 'normal' household with nice reasonably well adjusted parents etc., at some point life is going to throw you a curve-ball and teach you a hard lesson about life.

As for 'Dad perhaps losing his job' - that's a ruse created by Nina to prevent Lizzie pestering their father about the scooter so it can be a surprise Christmas gift - Dad and Nina, and Mum, are all working hard behind the scenes. If I'd gone the other route it would have defeated the whole purpose in my mind of what this story is about.

I'm not examining the dark underbelly of life in this script - no alcoholics, drug addicts, domestic violence, pregnant teenagers etc. I'm purely looking at that point in all of our lives (that coming of age) when we have to wake up to the fact that life's going to throw us some punches, that it doesn't play fair, that we don't always get what we want, and when we do sometimes it's not what we want after all. That's my whole point really - that's why it's set in the 'burbs where everything is nice and blue and sunny, and Mum and Dad get on fine. Sooner or later all of us have something happen where we land on our bums, and that's the time when we finally start to grow up.

David, thank you for the read - you say you were expecting 'more' when actually I think you were expecting 'different'. And I think it's no wonder. Seems you like stories explicitly dark judging by your script: 'An Incident' . Not saying I don't btw, just explains a bit of why this might not have been exactly up your alley. I'll will post my thoughts on it shortly. Thanks again for your thoughts.  
Posted by: Max, June 13th, 2015, 8:14am; Reply: 58

Quoted Text
Fen, thank you also for your comments and for seeing the 'heart and soul' even though I notice another script of mine you cared for 10 x much more...


Oh don't get me wrong, this one was still really nice.

Which one do you prefer?
Posted by: LC, June 13th, 2015, 8:25am; Reply: 59
I don't compare them at all, cause they're very different, and don't get me wrong, you're allowed to like whichever one you want over the other. I had a lot of fun writing Simpatico cause it came from nowhere, it seemed, and effortlessly, which is rare.  I'm thrilled if  anyone likes anything I put up, so thank you, Fen.  :)
Posted by: Max, June 13th, 2015, 8:29am; Reply: 60
No probs bruh.

Keep it rolling.
Posted by: Cmantics, June 13th, 2015, 9:05am; Reply: 61

Quoted from LC


Julian, thank you for elaborating. I was concerned I'd perhaps gone and written something very un-Australian but I see you were really getting down to the nitty-gritty. It's interesting cause I think there are regional differences within Australia too but I won't labour the point. Suffice to say, you brought up some interesting points.


No worries. Yes, I had hoped I didn't appear too picky - I'm just very interested in language usage and any nuances  :) I really thought the story was well done.

Julian
Posted by: DanC, June 14th, 2015, 1:51pm; Reply: 62

Quoted from LC
I don't compare them at all, cause they're very different, and don't get me wrong, you're allowed to like whichever one you want over the other. I had a lot of fun writing Simpatico cause it came from nowhere, it seemed, and effortlessly, which is rare.  I'm thrilled if  anyone likes anything I put up, so thank you, Fen.  :)


I actually think it's very hard to like one of your creations over another.  It's like asking which child do you like better?  It's easy if one is a CEO and the other is in prison for 50 trillion years, but, even then, a parent might not be able to really choose one over the other.

Yes, Libby, I love Abba actually.  I think my fav song is "Does Your Mother Know."  

Yes, I've turned in my man card again, I wonder when, if I will ever see it again...

I wonder how others feel about their stories, if they have favs or not.  I know I can't ever decide which story is better...

Dan
Posted by: Marcela, March 27th, 2019, 3:56pm; Reply: 63
Hi Libby,
I liked the script very much. The ending nicely shows how relative/pointless our dreams are. Not very optimistic! I think such ending is very good for a short film. If it was a feature, perhaps you would need a happy ending. Perhaps she would fall off the scooter, Aaron would help her back on her feet, they would start sharing his bike... a bit cheesy, I know...
Posted by: LC, March 27th, 2019, 4:53pm; Reply: 64
Marcela, thanks for your feedback.

Been a long time with this one.

Funny thing is I changed the ending of this to be more optimistic and female empowering.

I realised the ending was a bit of a downer and it could be improved upon.
I think dreams are important, striving for them, and though not all of them come to fruition, some do.

Seems this is not the updated draft.

I'll get on it and send Don the updated version.

Thanks so much for (inadvertently) alerting me to it. :)
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