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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  July 2017 OWC  /  Red on Yellow - OWC
Posted by: Don, July 21st, 2017, 11:03pm
Red on Yellow by Sir Vival - Short, Dramedy - Two Amazonian tribesmen encounter a mysterious beast destroying their forest. - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Cam Gray, July 22nd, 2017, 5:43am; Reply: 1
Hey writer,

Think I recognise the style and humour here.

Theme matching time. Less than 4 characters, yup. Foreign land alien to person, yup. 9-12 pages, excluding title, yup. All good!

It's quirky, and really well thought out. If I was to be negative, I'd say it was fairly obvious where you were going straight from the title page, and if the script wasn't any good you'd be in trouble. Fortunately, I really liked it. Easy to read, had me smirking all the way through and you kept a simple premise running over the duration without me losing any interest.

Quick nitpick. You've obviously written before, the formatting and style was pretty good. Just remember to CAPS the character intros!

Good work

Cam
Posted by: khamanna, July 22nd, 2017, 5:50am; Reply: 2
Haha, a really funny one, writer.

I think he and the beast are one - that's the highlight for me.
Well, I have to say something... It's like a rule - to show you I really read it. So here it goes - it needs some tidying.
And, they wouldn't know how badly Jake smells while he's inside the beast - the first time they said it he was inside the bulldozer, wasn't he?
Anyway this is my second read and it's going to make my second recommend. Great challenge I guess. (I also read Dream and would recommend it to you)
Posted by: eldave1, July 22nd, 2017, 11:30am; Reply: 3
A few typos and two issue:


Quoted Text
Ururu dresses out the peccary and pulls out the liver. He
hands it to Konibu as a prize.


Given that they had just shot the thing, I thought you should have a transitional scene heading here, Something like: UNDER A TREE - LATER.

The Indian Character names are very close Urubu - Konibu.  Would have been a clearer read if they sounded differently - had to go back a few times and make sure I was clear on which was which.

The Story - loved it. Very cleaver and well told. I think this is a real solid effort.
Posted by: StevenClark, July 22nd, 2017, 9:05pm; Reply: 4
Writer,

I kinda liked this. Nothing surprising here, though. Pretty much knew where this was going, but it was told so well that I didn't mind much. Very vivid, descriptive writing. Nice job overall, but story wise it didn't cover any new ground.

Steve
Posted by: Heretic, July 23rd, 2017, 10:20am; Reply: 5
Good fun and well written. I feel like Jake could be introduced earlier -- or something needs to connect the sequence with the peccary to the sequence with Jake more clearly. This kinda felt like two separate vignettes, and the ending really demands that it all feel like one big sequence, I think.

Told well and entertaining.
Posted by: CameronD, July 23rd, 2017, 12:47pm; Reply: 6
Establishing is not a time of day. Is it Day or night? For an establishing shot info like this is important.

"From above, the rainforest is seemingly endless. The tree canopies arch and blend together like a dark green carpet that allows very little sunlight through to the ground." Unless we are on the ground we won't know if any sunlight makes it through the trees. No need for that last line. Cut it.

CAP characters the first time we see them. Like the two TRIBESMAN and even the PECCARY.

"A huge yellow beast with one fang and claws pushes against the trunk of a massive tree. As it struggles, it growls and belches black soot from it's snout. When the roots finally give, it crashes." Ok, problem. This is written as if it was an actual yellow beast. We know it's a tractor so why not say so? Or are we supposed to see this through Ururru's eyes and it actually is like a yellow beast? You gotta be clear in your descriptions and what you are saying. Or else issues like this arise.

Also, whatever it's supposed to be should be in caps. TRACTOR. BEAST. TRACTOR BEAST.

"It's a shame that the operator has no respect for the equipment as it's trashed with litter and old food." Unfilmable. How do you film shame? Just describe the floor as littered.

Ten-four not 10-4 in dialogue.

Ok, some funny attempts at humor at the end. I didn't laugh but I understood the gags and the angle of the humor. Problem is there is no real conflict here. The tribesmen aren't really trying to stop the beast or if they are it isn't set up as so to drive the story forward. Without stakes of any kind the script spins in place.

Not bad but not great. Meh.


Posted by: Dustin, July 23rd, 2017, 3:54pm; Reply: 7
Something a little different. Well written but I can't see it winning any awards... often when I say things like that I have to eat my words. Hopefully, that happens here. Good luck.
Posted by: ReneC, July 23rd, 2017, 7:40pm; Reply: 8
Overall, I like it. It's predictable, but there's enough of your style and specific voice to make it original. It must have been fun to write.

I had an issue at first with describing events from the perspective of the aboriginals. It's how you write prose, not a screenplay. But there's a nice juxtaposition when we're suddenly in Jake's POV that makes it work. I completely get what I'm seeing and it's still an engaging, well-dramatized read. Excellent choice.

Most of my beefs are with the dialogue. It's well-written, I just don't think aboriginals would talk the way they do. "Nice shot." "I have no idea." Those phrases seem out of place, culturally wrong.

The only question I'm left with is the title. Red on Yellow? It seems like a foreshadow of the ending, a strange choice for a title.

Great job!
Posted by: stevie, July 23rd, 2017, 9:35pm; Reply: 9
Yeah not bad. Well written and to the point. No real concerns with anything for me. Good effort
Posted by: MarkItZero, July 23rd, 2017, 10:22pm; Reply: 10
Solid job. It could use another pass through but considering the time limit its understandable. Definitely had its moments. Hard to fault an ending like that.
Posted by: Dreamscale, July 24th, 2017, 2:35pm; Reply: 11
This starts out well enough, and seems to be serious, but once the 2 characters start "talking, it moves to comedy - as in think about the limited "dialogue" these 2 would actually have.

Page 2 - The "moments later" part needs to be a Mini Slug.

From here, things get goofy and I'm not enjoying the read.  Is this a comedy?  I just don't know.

Who is the fish out of water or stranger in a strange land?

Not bad and definitely different, but not for me, sorry to say.

Grade - ** 1/2
Posted by: DanC, July 24th, 2017, 3:03pm; Reply: 12
I kinda liked it.  Guy goes off to a foreign land to work.  Meets natives.  Natives kill him.  Isn't that how it works?

I kinda agree with Jeff in that it starts off as a serious story, then goes to comedy.  

This is always a pet peeve of mine, but, if the tribe is that isolated, how many words will they even know?  I mean, they've never seen a bulldozer, so, their dialog read too "American" for me.

Also, wouldn't the guy be aware of natives?  And other wild animals.  

Don't know if you're a South Park fan, but, they had a rainforest episode and trust me, there are a lot of deadly things in it.

Dan
Posted by: oJOHNNYoNUTSo, July 24th, 2017, 4:31pm; Reply: 13
Enjoyed the writing on the page, easy and quick read. What I enjoyed even more was the writing in regard to the characters' perspectives. One sees a beast and the other sees a machine - I thought the technique was amazing.

The oddities go both ways, and I thought the dialogue from the tribesmen was clever, part of why the read flowed so well. One of the better entries, probably translates solid to film too.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, July 25th, 2017, 6:16am; Reply: 14
P3 wait here

Introduction of beast was confusing. Don't like these kinds of decisions writing for style instead of clarity, not reader-friendly…

Cap characters when first time appearing

Okay now I understand the foregone decision concerning the beast concept and I really like it how you continue with it later. Still, I'd differentiate the first appearance of the beast a bit and make at least clear it's seen from the view/perspective of these natives: so, maybe a POV… or URURU'S VIEW something like that… (**rethought, somehow you should tell it's a dozer (as a sidenote) when first appearing, it just feels not right to me as it is.)

It's a very interesting confrontation. I like the characters.

Hmm, actually it's hard to believe that there are still tribes that live without any knowledge about the existence of machines since the industrial countries already shredded and mined in each spot of our planet, no matter who actually owns it… PERHAPS you just walked in there with some irony which is completely fine to me -- there's a message one way or the other

And anyway I in fact like the charming touch of the script and the innocence of those people as well as the complete difference between them and Jake's world…

Good conflict and characterization.

"It's...called...a selfie."
Very niiiice ending.

Well done. I enjoyed it. The best I read so far. A high quality script I think.
Posted by: George Willson, July 25th, 2017, 9:27am; Reply: 15
How I know you're young: 35 counts as an "old man." Haha. At 38, I five-starred the hardest song on the hardest difficulty on Dance Central 3 as judged by a Kinect. 35 isn't even remotely old.

Anyway, did we hit the theme on this one? Hm, contrasting civilizations meet with disastrous consequences. Who is the stranger in whose land? If we lean to the fish out of water idea... Obviously, neither side is well-equipped to handle the other. I suppose I can see where you had the theme in your head while writing it...

The native interpretations of the "white man" are amusing, and it probably works to your benefit that you went with an absolute stereotype when dealing with the "civilized world." On a first read, it flowed pretty well from point to point. I even like the casual nature of the dialogue between the tribesmen. Too many times, they are portrayed rather coldly and hard to relate to.

Really, the worst thing you have in this is the constant use of subtitles. Now, reading their dialogue would be hilarious against the potentially frightening presentation. Of course, that could turn a lot of people off as well.

Overall, you have something pretty good here. Well done.
Posted by: MarkRenshaw, July 25th, 2017, 10:10am; Reply: 16
I didn't think I was going to like this as I guessed what was going to happen based on the logline. I then saw that this was again another script with heavy descriptions. Every script I've read so far has been overly descriptive in this OWC, in my opinion of course. Some prefer it that way.  

So I didn't really want to like this, but I loved it.

It ticks all the boxes, right page length, correct restrictions on characters and stranger in a stranger land. Yes it didn't have any surprises but it worked. The two tribesmen were hilarious and I can imagine the humor working really well on screen. in fact I think the subtitles will add to the humor.  

Jake was an idiot who was begging to be killed but that really worked as well, it was simply his character.

The writer either really knows about this topic or did their research as it all seemed viable and real to me. Even if it isn't, I believed it was.  Either way the writer did the work and it paid off.  Great job, my favorite so far.

-Mark

Posted by: Spqr, July 25th, 2017, 3:54pm; Reply: 17
This was very good! Except for the expense, of course. The only thing I might add, is Jake making an attempt to get to the radio, or using his smart phone, to call Dispatch about the trouble he's in.
Posted by: Reef Dreamer, July 27th, 2017, 2:25pm; Reply: 18
Happy to read this on request. As promised I've not read any comments by anybody else.

Logline - quite like that, sounds different.

Is it me, or does the format seem a little off initially?

Picky point but he opening could be crisper and if we see above, we don't see the light below. I get the idea, sometimes fine tuning the words helps out.

Game trail - I personally would add this is within the forest, slugs can have two parts to them
Until scene I'm thinking Indiana jones opening...
Wait her..page 2 I'm sure you are noted with this comment now

Ok finished.

I like the setting. I think this is a real opportunity. The miscommunication. The hopes, dashed etc A clash of worlds.

The fat American felt a tad obvious, as was his death. The tribesmen I struggled a tad with their dialogue. I get where you were coming from, but on occasions simpler words could have helped.

Also some foreshadowing would help.

Not easy to film, but a good idea and one that could work with some adjustment.

A worthy OWC entry
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., July 28th, 2017, 2:57pm; Reply: 19
I'm guessing this is supposed to be funny, but it's not.

For one thing, how can you make fun of this:

>The forest is decimated. Trees are cleared and stacked.
Slash piles burn with columns of black smoke.

And all the "Whoa Dude", dialogue. It's tiresome.

Sandra
Posted by: ajr, July 29th, 2017, 7:35am; Reply: 20
So if you google it, the Kawahiva are a real tribe in Brazil, listed as 'non-contacted', and deforestation is one of the primary threats to their existence.  Of course only the reader knows it's supposed to be the Kawahiva tribe and Brazil, so the filmgoer gets a generic experience in the Amazon rainforest and would undoubtedly have the questions related above as to how and why the natives behave like they do.

I liked this one because it's clever and winky and even though we know Jake will be killed in the end, the reasoning - that he's been captured by a large yellow beast - is plausible and somewhat humorous.

Little nitpicks - from what little I read about them, the Kawahiva run away whenever they see 'the enemy', which I assume is all humans outside of their tribe. So what is their motivation for helping the enemy escape the beast?  I would think that they'd know about deforestation, having seen it impact their land for who knows how long already, and would either run away, or be angry enough to kill Jake on sight.

But then I understand this is a drama infused with comedic irony to make its point.

Agree with what was said earlier, that the dialogue sounds too American. I get that they probably don't have native words that correspond to a great many American words so we are hearing what we understand, as Americans, what they're conveying to each other, however contractions are a very American thing.

Also agree that this would be tough to film. I guess you can now fly a drone over a forest, and it's possible that the Pacific Northwestern U.S. has forests that could double? Then you have to rent the heavy equipment (not cheap) and find a logging site, and literally start knocking down some trees. Yes, this works as a parable, however isn't screenwriting about getting the material onto film? Otherwise we would just write novels. This would cost too much per page to film for the payoff we eventually get.

I'd also like to hear the author's explanation for the title. Of course I get the Yellow, however the Red? Other than the pejorative for Indian or Native, I'm at a loss. Bloodshed perhaps?

My ramblings aside, I did like this as a story, and the writer has great command of language, and the idea is clever.  Good job.

Oh and someone called the choice of the fat American obvious. It's obvious for a reason, and there's no more scathing commentary than that, is there?  ;D
Posted by: JEStaats, August 4th, 2017, 11:14am; Reply: 21
Now that the results have been posted (Congrats Rene), some explanation:

- "Red on Yellow" comes from the old adage to identify the deadly Coral snake "Red on yellow, kill a fellow". In this case the tribesmen with the face paint and hair dyed red, and the yellow beast/dozer.

- The Kawahiva are considered one of the last non-contacted tribes in the Amazon.

- Ururu and Konibu were the only two authentic names I could find on short notice.

- I'm glad some folks understood where I was coming from with the two different P.O.V. describing the beast/dozer. If ever produced (never happen), some CG could make the dozer look beastly when first introduced.

- Okay, so their subtitled dialect came off too modern. I've been called out in the past for having Native Americans come off too Hollywood (i.e. 'me likem smoke' but never that bad). So...how would an Amazonian dialect translate into subtitles? You tell me.

- The comment on my age...HA! I'm 54! I don't think my age has anything to do with how a 20 year old native might think of a 35 year old Elder. That could be old, IDK.

- Finally...me making fun of the rampant uncontrolled clear cutting and burning of the Amazon rain forest?! What? Far from that! Pisses me off like you wouldn't believe.

So there you have it. Thanks for all the reads, the likes, and feedback!
~ John
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