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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  January 2018 Two Week Challenge  /  A New Plan For Fat Man - 2WC
Posted by: Don, January 27th, 2018, 10:05am
A New Plan For Fat Man by Ny Name Here - Short, Drama - Leaders of the United States Armed Forces debate whether they should declare war with Germany or stay home and savor their victory in the Pacific. 11 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: CameronD, January 27th, 2018, 12:11pm; Reply: 1
More nuclear bomb fun. ;)

No need to bold FADE IN and your slugs. Do make sure to CAPITALIZE characters the first time we see them. ADMIRALS, GENERALS and OFFICERS.

Oh no. FDR ho-ho-hoing in a Christmas hat? Is this going to be a pisser or the next Strangelove?

It's a pisser. No irony. No charm. No jokes. :(

Ugh. The nuclear bombs as a Christmas present would have had some legs but you missed that opportunity.

Because it's a pisser I don't know if it's worth going over the historical inaccuracies but having Germany not declare war on the US after Pearl is an interesting what if scenario. But because the script is in jest it's not worth breaking down.


Fun fact: The atomic bomb was originally developed to be dropped on Berlin.
Posted by: Dreamscale, January 27th, 2018, 12:55pm; Reply: 2
And away we go!

First of all, it looks like the opening FADE IN is too close to the top of the page...hmmm.

"Admirals, Generals, and other officials..." - since this is the initial intro of these "people", they should be CAPPED, actually, even though none are mentioned by name.

"SARGEANT" - is misspelled.  Should be "SERGEANT".

Again, every time a character or characters are fist introed, whether by name, woman, women, man, men, etc, it should be CAPPED.

"MacArthur" is the correct spelling.  Several times, here it's spelled McArthur.

Well, this really isn't much of a screenplay, IMO, as nothing at all happens except for lots of talking between historical figures.  I have little to no interest in such history,a nd there's just no story here at all,

I completely disagree with the prior review calling this a pisser, as IMO, there's no urine here at all.

Except for the mistakes outlined above, this is well written, as far as I can tell, well researched or just known, and overall, far from bad.  It's just not at all for me, nor do I think it will be for the masses.

I think you missed what the challenge was actually after, but that's understandable, as IMO, it was  extremely difficult to write a "story" that didn't involve the history we were to do away with...and still have it obvious what that historic event was.

Since we a not to doll out grades, I'll play along and not give my usual 0 to 5 star ratings, but will say this is well done for what it is, but again, for me, it's just not an actual story.

Good job entering, though.
Posted by: StevenClark, January 27th, 2018, 9:36pm; Reply: 3

Hmm. Pretty damn good, I thought. I was entertaining an entry revolving around Japan and WWII, but it never came to fruition. Visual without overdoing it, the dialogue flowed nicely. The actions were well placed, and put emphasis on the right moments. The only point where you lost me was the end. Didn’t care for it. It feels like it left us hanging. No resolution. And you had me up until that point, too. Overall, a solid entry. Good job.

Posted by: stevie, January 28th, 2018, 11:30pm; Reply: 4
If you rewrite this as serious and not a comedy then it will be so much better! It doesn�t work at the moment as it�s not remotely funny. As Jeff pointed out, it is well written and researched just doesn�t need to be a comedy.
Posted by: heyDaddyStudios, January 29th, 2018, 5:00pm; Reply: 5
I let this one digest for a bit before giving my thoughts.

I don’t know much about these characters personalities, so this might be wrong, but these characters felt a bit like caricatures of the real people, in the way that their dialogue all felt slightly interchangeable. So, maybe you got the characters right, but didn’t know what you wanted them to say.

I would of liked to see more action, maybe like a power play between Roosevelt and Truman portrayed with Truman starting at Roosevelt’s side, but when Truman starts to take over the discussion have him stand behind Roosevelt, almost like he is about to start pushing the president around in his wheel chair.

So, for this whole movie Roosevelt is dressed like Santa?? XD

Truman changed his tune REAL QUICK, just an observation.

Well written, I think, but maybe explore a way to make this a more visual story.
Posted by: ChrisBodily, January 30th, 2018, 1:27am; Reply: 6
You clue us in on page 1. Nice.

Quoted Text
As the room begins to cheer and bust out in laughter.

Sentence fragment.

Quoted Text
This man needs his personal space.

Be careful here. Make sure everything is filmable.

Quoted Text
Truman was in mid-conversation with a high ranking officer.

Past tense. Everything should be happening "now."

"Y'all"? Roosevelt was from New York... unless that's he changed event. :D

Quoted Text
[...] as the attendees recognize the new, and first ever, five-star Generals.


I would have CAPPED Admiral King in the action line, rather than the dialogue. So far, the only character I had never heard of.

"Sargeant" = Sergeant.

[quote](throws the Santa hat on
the table)

Too long for a parenthetical. Should be an action line instead.

Had to Google this Omar Bradley dude. Too bad Harry Morgan isn't alive to play him.

Quoted Text
Yes, sir. It seems that Europe is
in a bad state of affairs. Rommel
has defeated Montgomery in North
Africa. The Italians have secured
Turkey and much of the Middle East,
and the eastern front is into
Moscow. England, well, it's hard to
say where the line through the U.K.
is, these days.

Try to keep large blocks of dialogue to a bare minimum.

Quoted Text
He speaks as if a politician in training.


Quoted Text
Attention getting, yes, but it's more from whom the slam came from.

Careful with these asides. I know I've said it several times, but make sure every word you write is filmable. That being said, character intros allow for a little wiggle room. Some people call it cheating, but whatever.

Foreshadowing Truman. Nice. Had to Google Wallace. Interesting change of history.

What does Tarzan have to do with the atomic bomb?

All this time, I thought Fat Man was gonna be Santa. :D

I love how the whole script is set in one room, just like 12 Angry Men. I can't help but get Dr. Strangelove vibes, even though this isn't (mecessarily) a comedy. So they...


bombed Berlin and Rome instead of Hiroshima?


I love this. Every just jumps off the page, instead of being a mere caricature or impersonation.

Excellent job!
Posted by: DanC, January 30th, 2018, 1:39am; Reply: 7
I'm confused.  What was the event that's changed?  

This was the second war story I've read in a row.  I hope there aren't too many more.

So, the change is


That we drop it on Germany instead of Japan?  If so, then this fails the challenge.  

Sorry, I had to stop reading.  I hate to bail, but, I have the feeling the bomb gets dropped on a different country instead and that wasn't the challenge.

Posted by: MarkRenshaw, January 30th, 2018, 4:01am; Reply: 8

Quoted from DanC

So, the change is


That we drop it on Germany instead of Japan?  If so, then this fails the challenge.  

Sorry, I had to stop reading.  I hate to bail, but, I have the feeling the bomb gets dropped on a different country instead and that wasn't the challenge.


No, the change is Germany didn't declare war on the U.S.A after Perl Harbour. So in this timeline the writer is suggesting the US could have taken care of Japan quicker and without using the atomic bomb if they had been focused on one enemy.

As for the script itself, it was nicely written. I could follow what was going on and the dialogue felt very natural. However, I don't feel like this is a story, this is a bunch of guys discussing the war. Cinematically it is always better to show and not tell. You should show the war and it's consequences, yet this for me does none of that, it's just talking.

I have to say and I'm going to say this for every script in this challenge (so I'm basically cut and pasting this last bit into all of them lol) that well done on entering! This was creatively an extremely challenging outline, one in which quite a few didn't even attempt or dropped out of. To have a completed script in the running deserves a pat on the back and a collective high-five!


Posted by: JEStaats, January 30th, 2018, 8:09am; Reply: 9
Interesting, three entries with a Japan ground assault. Let's see where this one goes.

I'm with Mark in regards to the action. Although with good actors, it could keep my attention. Good actors could solve a lot of the issues with this one, especially the unfilmables. MacArthur could definitely exude a politicians character and a man needing space. I only know most of these guys from actors portrayal in films anyway.

A couple spelling issues and introduction faux pas, but not bad.

Even in wartime, I kind of doubt it would be a room full of brass that would make a decision like dropping the A-Bomb. Even if they didn't fully understand the consequences at that time. Decent fact finding and good effort.
Posted by: FrankM, January 30th, 2018, 3:05pm; Reply: 10
Sorry to be late to the party, I agree with pretty much everything above except that I don't see it as an intentionally bad pisser.

It's almost as if Truman walked in from a different story. The generals seem like slightly goofy caricatures, which is plausible given the combination of Christmas time and the euphoria of recent victory... but if Truman can be serious so can they.

Nitpicks not already mentioned:


(1) "Split the atom" wouldn't mean a damned thing to these men. With 3 pages left under the page limit, there was room for a couple lines in 1940's terms about a super-bomb. "Split the atom" can still be in there, but as more of a summation than an intro.

(2) Congress declares war, not anyone in that room, so what Truman would really be deciding to do is mount a campaign to influence key Congresscritters and/or the public. Obviously this would just be described in a few lines of dialogue (perhaps with generals interjecting their opinions of politicians or newsmen). Without any of that, you have the Executive seizing autocratic control of the US which is a very different outcome than what I think was intended.
Posted by: Stumpzian, February 1st, 2018, 11:27am; Reply: 11
This seems almost a comedy. FDR in a Santa Hat, Truman pushing his wheelchair, Patton loudmouthing, particpants arguing in the War Room (as in Strangelove: "Gentlemen, no fighting in the War Room").

None of these people ring true to me. They're more like cutouts from assorted movies and plugged in the script in a careless manner. Even down to misspelling MacArthur.

In short, this alternative history would not have played this way -- unless you were trying to be funny. That might work.

Posted by: Spqr, February 1st, 2018, 3:27pm; Reply: 12
I love this script as it is. Giving a fifth star to the generals and Admiral King as a Christmas gift is funny, but you left out Admiral Nimitz, who commanded the Pacific fleets.

I have a small problem with your General Patton.  He is channeling a little too much of George C. Scott’s General “Buck” Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove.

For what it’s worth, here are my suggestions for extending this script:

MacArthur suggests that since he’s the real hero of the war, he deserves a sixth star. Patton, of course, disagrees, and they come to blows.

They quickly agree to use the atomic bombs, but Truman suggests they need a casus belli for declaring war on the Axis powers. On their blank looks he explains that casus belli  is the justification for going to war.

They finally agree to release the classified story of the Nazis’ Final Solution, in the hopes of persuading an American submarine commander of “Hebraic extraction” into torpedoing an American passenger ship.

The question of which ship to sink, and when, is settled when Ike suggests a ship with a specific sailing date which, it just so happens, will be carrying his mother-in-law. Some of the others suggest people they’d like to put on that ship, as well.
Posted by: Warren, February 1st, 2018, 7:36pm; Reply: 13

I haven’t read any of the previous comments so I apologise if I repeat anything.

I’m not a fan of an unconventional title page, completely a personal preference thing.

Quoted Text
Admirals, Generals, and other officials

Need to capitalise character introductions.

Quoted Text


Quoted Text
Through the door enters a wheelchair with a man in a Santa
Claus hat. He waves with one hand and holds a sack of gifts
with the other.
The man in the wheelchair is PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT.

Would have been better to just introduce Roosevelt when he first comes through the door.

Quite a few new characters that aren’t introduced in caps.

Quoted Text
For GENERAL MACARTHUR, he's downright giddy.
Merry Christmas, Mister President.
Why, General McArthur! Contain
yourself, sir! You don't want to
give everyone the impression that
you actually have emotions!
Yes, sir. I'll try to tone it down.


Quoted Text


Quoted Text
Truman was in mid-conversation with a high ranking officer
and seems a bit put off

Stay away from past tense where possible.

I'm not a fan of capitalised dialogue.

Quoted Text
Now, Harry---

Lose one of the dashes.


Great title.

Not being American or having a great interest in history this story is lost on me a bit. I did however enjoy the character interactions and chuckled to myself several times.

The writing is good, with minimal errors which would all be easy to fix.

Great job getting a script up.
Posted by: Dustin, February 2nd, 2018, 5:01am; Reply: 14
Presidents. Not for me. I don't know any of them and nor do I care to know. I have as much interest in these as you would John Major, or Tony Blair, or Theresa May. In fact, I don't care about those either.
Posted by: Angry Bear, February 3rd, 2018, 3:33pm; Reply: 15
Well written, IMO. It did however feel more like a scene from a bigger piece though. Not really a stand alone story right now.

There's also a lot of dialogue. Not much visuals to go with it. The dialogue was good though. Not sure if they were true to the characters or not. Although I know who these people were, I have no idea what type of characters they were and how they spoke. Other than what I've seen in movies.

This was a decent piece for the challenge, I think. I do not see how some thought it was a comedy or even a pisser.

I wish I could think of more to say, but I can't. I'm a bit tired of war movies and such, to be honest. I used to like them, but since I've move to the US, I have sort of got tired of wars.

Good luck with this.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, February 4th, 2018, 3:29pm; Reply: 16

P2/p3 end page with full sentence

P3 here here -- hear, hear?

Well, I read it through and except for some overwriting, few repetitive asides and some typos, all marginal stuff here, it's a clean presentation from my view. The characters feel authentic for what they stand for here, developed well, dialogue fits, let's just say it's consistent in that whole area… but overall concept as a story experience… I don't believe in it… much. It does not read attractive to watch an alternate "what if" war plan drama. If any it would work as is, if you could in fact pull a "rather" patriotic audience who just worships these historical people and enjoys following them on screen no matter what. Possibly it's actually "enough" up to even quite satisfying to some.

However, there are some interesting thoughts about the whole ww2 scenario; only that driven as a full light drama, to me, it's too dry and even. But that's just a personal perception since Americans might like such stuff around their former statesmen. No clue. For my taste such a theme works better with far more satiric elements, genre probably comedy, I think. There are some quirks and charming points already in that direction, which were well placed. Hmm, I need to be careful to not give you wrong advice because I simply do not know how such stuff works on your/the U.S.A market.

The craft is good.
Posted by: Shakey, February 5th, 2018, 5:04am; Reply: 17
Sorry to come late to the party - I’ve been away and I read and wrote in response to the TWC scripts in a highly jet-lagged state. Apologies for any lack of precision, or humanity!

So, I’m not so big on American history so a few of the references went over my head, but we have a solid premise here. And it’s easily understood.

In fact, the story pretty much is exposition of what’s going on in this Brave New World. It’s a one-scene dialogue explaining to the audience what the premise is, and suggesting that we all think about how that could have turned out.

There’s a bit of character development in there, but not really a developmental arc, not even for the main characters. I wonder if it’s not quite convincingly deep enough to be historical drama (since the characters currently play pretty fast and loose with world-changing decisions). So what sort of a film would this be? With a bit of a rewrite it could be more strongly stylised and I think that would help. For instance, more character development could make it more of a drama, or more plotting could make it a thriller... or it could make a great black comedy.

Interesting idea, for sure... and it would do better as a longer and deeper story imho.
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