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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Comedy Scripts  /  What Lies Beyond?
Posted by: Don, March 22nd, 2019, 10:54pm
What Lies Beyond? by Matthew Taylor - Short, Comedy - Two friends debate their beliefs on what happens after death and how it affects the way they live their lives. But one of them is closer to discovering the truth than they realise. 3 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: HyperMatt, March 23rd, 2019, 11:09am; Reply: 1
Some slightly amusing bits, but more of a dramedy.
Didn't get the overall message though. I think you're trying to balance between belief and non-belief but it falls towards atheistic sentiments. You could see that falling sign coming a mile off.
Some will like it more than me I am sure.
Posted by: Andrew, March 23rd, 2019, 1:27pm; Reply: 2
This is a skit, essentially. Feels a little light on the comedy, though.

Maybe it's just me, but it wasn't clear where Connor ended up? Purgatory?
Posted by: Zack, March 23rd, 2019, 2:21pm; Reply: 3
This didn't work for me at all, sorry to say. Very bland. Just two characters talking in circles, then a dud of a punchline. The writing itself is fine, but the story and characters need to be reworked.
Posted by: HyperMatt, March 23rd, 2019, 4:01pm; Reply: 4

Quoted from Andrew
This is a skit, essentially. Feels a little light on the comedy, though.

Maybe it's just me, but it wasn't clear where Connor ended up? Purgatory?

I thought it was supposed to be deliberately ambiguous.
Posted by: eldave1, March 24th, 2019, 10:35am; Reply: 5
Matthew: First a few nits:

Quoted Text
Jesus Connor. See, you could have
easily died. And you haven't lived!

Typo - Need a comma after Jesus

Quoted Text
Stop! You get hit, that's suicide!
A one-way trip to Hell.

You'll not you

Quoted Text
Through the windscreen, Greg crosses the road. The driver
drops a cigarette onto the floor, he takes his eyes off the
road to pick it up.

This struck as backwards action wise. Seems like the driver should drop his cig first then Greg appears in the street. i.e., as is - the driver would have seen him.

The story:

Liked the premise - it is an interesting one.

I would have liked the debate between them to be a little more nuanced - a little more doubt by each of them on their positions.

Posted by: Matthew Taylor, March 25th, 2019, 4:38am; Reply: 6
Hey folks - Wasn't expecting this many reads already lol

Quoted from HyperMatt
...Didn't get the overall message though... You could see that falling sign coming a mile off.

There is no overall message. It was just a bit of fun really -- I'm procrastinating from writing my features by writing shorts lol. And yes, I hope the sign falling was foreseeable, I tried to make it as obvious as I could.

Quoted from Andrew
...Maybe it's just me, but it wasn't clear where Connor ended up? Purgatory?

In the beginning, Greg says there is no afterlife, just blackness, and nothingness - This is where Connor ends up. He realizes his life spent being good to get into heaven is wasted, hence the blasphemous last line.

Eldave: - Arghhhhh so annoying that I missed the comma before the name in dialogue - It's been pointed out to me so many times that I go through and try to find them, but this one slipped the net.

The "you" in the dialogue isn't a typo though, that's what I want him to say - Full sentence would be "If you get hit, that's suicide" but being dialogue he omitted the "if" at the beginning.

Spot on with the action through the windscreen being backward - will clear this up.

I wasn't really going for a comedy, more just light-hearted - but light-hearted isn't a genre choice.

Anyway - Many thanks for the read and comments  :)


Posted by: eldave1, March 25th, 2019, 10:10am; Reply: 7
My pleasure - best of luck with it
Posted by: AlsoBen, April 13th, 2019, 8:09pm; Reply: 8
Hey Matt! This was an easy 3 page read so I thought I'd share. You've already gotten some great thoughts from everyone else so I won't add much, so these are thoughts that I've written in no particular order:


I'm not British, but I do know what a High Street is (it's like an old street lined by retail shops, right?). Not everybody will, but that's their issue - the problem is, what is an "out of town" high street and why is it important in the slug? You drop the out of town part later so I assume it's not important at all.

I get your physical descriptions of these guys are to aide in our assessment of them - the slacker atheist wears a rock band tee, messy hair, the other dude is basically dressed like missionary - but you've written 3 pages and two of those lines are just clothes and hair of characters who ultimately explain their views entirely by dialogue anyway.

I found the actual description of what happened - the billboard, then the switch to the driver's POV, and then ultimate lightning strike that hits a tree that a falls and kills them, to be confusing. I ended up figuring it out, but it was hard to parse. It could be explained more efficiently.

I "got" your ending -- the slacker was right, there's nothing beyond -- but it wasn't worth it. The guys have very basically an clasically diametrically opposed views on the afterlife - religion vs atheism - which has been explored so, so, so much and isn't unique enough. We don't know why these two dudes are even shopping together. There's little nuance to the missionary dude's religious zeal and the other one is annoyingly rude about it all, and then he's right in the end. OK.

I just read your post Matt and I see now that this was something you write, like, whilst writing other things. I feel a little silly giving you so much feedback now. But I mean, there's an idea here, if you wanted, that you turn from  skit into a short so yeah.

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