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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  The 2019 Writers' Tournament  /  A Message of Hope - WT5
Posted by: Don, July 2nd, 2019, 7:35pm
A Message of Hope by I Wish I Was Asleep - An orphaned alien on Earth has given up all hope of finding home, but his homemade friend has not. - Short, Sci Fi
Posted by: Warren, July 2nd, 2019, 8:34pm; Reply: 1
Hi writer,

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If you are reading this script... sorry

I'll adjust my expectations accordingly :P

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BARNEY (40's) moth eaten
suit and thick glasses.

You intro him as BARNEY, then call him BARNEY HILL as a character, not a massive issue, just odd.

Hope as a male robot's name? Hmm... not sure about that.

I think this was a rush job, lots of easy to see and easy to fix writing errors, seems like a waste of points. Stuff like words not capitalised and no commas when addressing someone in dialogue.

Trying to elicit emotion in a relationship that hasn’t been fully developed is tough to do, especially in 5 pages. It’s not quite working here, but I think it would work with more time and more pages.

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Received what?
A message from Hope.

Cringe  :-/ Sorry.

You also tried to condense too much story into the first and last pages.

So for the challenge this doesn’t work, I do think you have a nice idea that is worth pursuing though. It just needs more meat and time to build that relationship. Not a bad attempt but ultimately it doesn’t get there.

Criteria has been met.

All the best.
Posted by: Gary in Houston, July 2nd, 2019, 9:34pm; Reply: 2
It's a sweet little story, but the writing is just a wee bit of a mess in conveying what's going on.  First of all, Mahli is getting tests done, but no one is concerned about an alien just being out in the world until they complete all their tests?  I was also curious why Mahli was so attached to something (Hope) that he had created out of spare parts and junk.  At the end, if he had let go, couldn't he have just built another robot like him?  Apparently all he did was wiggle his finger, so it can't be too difficult.

Why introduce Barney as BARNEY, but then call him BARNEY HILL for the dialogue?

The ending was pretty good, Mahli's people recover him because of Hope's message -- a nice double-layered meaning there.

Overall, not a bad story, just needs a bit of a clean up in the writing.

Best of luck and congrats on finishing the challenge!

Posted by: Fais85, July 3rd, 2019, 7:46am; Reply: 3
Meets the criteria. Loved the use of handsaw. Very emotional.
As the above reviewers said, it's a bit messy. Overall story-wise it doesn't appeal that much. But has a lot of potential if re-written.
Posted by: PKCardinal, July 3rd, 2019, 5:23pm; Reply: 4
Glowing finger, phoning home... there's a bit of ET in here.

A nice little story. Meets the criteria.

I'd like to feel more connection between the boy and his robot. The ending, as it sits, doesn't feel earned emotionally for me.
Posted by: JEStaats, July 3rd, 2019, 8:17pm; Reply: 5
Barney was a douchebag. Was he acting as a foster parent to the alien? He should've split years ago. Barney and the whole lab thing was too mysterious. There should've been a little context.

Yup, sweet and sappy. Not bad. Met the crit.
Posted by: Spqr, July 4th, 2019, 3:17pm; Reply: 6
Cute story. Good characters with clear-cut motivations.
Posted by: eldave1, July 5th, 2019, 10:44am; Reply: 7
Not bad, especially for the time limits. You have a some clean-up to do. e.g.,

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you're all I have.

Several places where dialogue starts lower- case

Good job on making it all the way to round five.
Posted by: AnthonyCawood, July 5th, 2019, 5:37pm; Reply: 8
So, looks like only me who knows who Barney Hill is then... extra points for that writer ;-)

I liked this, yes there are some errors that will no doubt be fixed with a polish, but I liked the premise and the tone of the script.

Good job
Posted by: FrankM, July 6th, 2019, 11:22am; Reply: 9
What are you apologizing for? Nothing's happened yet.
A lot of cases where words should be capitalized but aren't.
Calling his own "kid" a freak... sounds like such a loving home. :'(

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Mahli places a hand on hope, his eye glows a happy green.

One can correctly parse that Hope has the glowing green eye, but two males and a "his" in the same sentence gets unclear fast.

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I'd rather fall with him; I'm not letting go.

Mahli confirmed as an alien... he used a semicolon in dialogue :)
At least Barney got what he deserved.
A script should end with FADE OUT. It looks like there was room for it.
The car technically wasn't broken down, but it stopped working when needed so I'll count it.
Nice job here, nothing to apologize for other than some uncapitalized words.
Posted by: ReneC, July 8th, 2019, 9:43am; Reply: 10
It's rough, but not a bad story. I like what you were going for. The idea of the alien child constructing a robot friend named Hope (of course it is) who turns out to be the means of his rescue is good.

It's ambitious for five pages, and it shows. The end is rushed, the emotion not hitting enough. Which is a shame because there's plenty of emotion in this, it just isn't set up well enough to resonate.

Where's Betty Hill?  ;)

This could be pretty good with a rewrite. As it is, it's not great but not bad. Middle of the road for me.

Posted by: khamanna, July 8th, 2019, 11:52am; Reply: 11
Another one that squeezes what looks like a lifetime into 5 pages. Which is nice but hard to do.
You lose my attention a lot as your characters are a bit bland and your story is presented in a series of small scenes. I never liked that. I think that in a very first scene your two aliens have to say something personal and lovely to each other so I can get invested in the story. Otherwise, I'm elsewhere. And you didn't do anything about it in the later scenes. And then, when you did try to elicit emotion from me it became too late.
Posted by: PrussianMosby, July 8th, 2019, 5:37pm; Reply: 12
A Message of Hope

It reads like a rushed work. You have a power tool here and I think the big task was to combine a SF script with a hand saw which by nature does not belong in a futuristic whatever fiction surrounding…

The overall concept wasn't bad. I liked the chemistry between the main characters. The dramaturgy was there and delivered a fine, well-minded spirit, no doubt. Some imagery as well as the connection between beginning and ending lacked the needed precision, because, as said, it seems you were pressed for time. However, good characters (except for Barney – underdeveloped) and dialogue, the presentation is untidy though; concept is okay, reminded me of Alf mixed with ET, plus the robot side-kick felt familiar too.  So, not bad, it's rather a positive attempt, I think.
Posted by: jayrex, July 9th, 2019, 12:11pm; Reply: 13
I was a bit bored reading it.  Wasn't to my liking.  The criteria is met.  I didn't like the character Hope.
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