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GentlemanSquid

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Jules Verne

It just kind led to no where and there wasn't even a shocker value. Also your natural flow is kinda out of wack. Here's my take on the story and advise on what you should do, there is a guy and he has a girlfriend. They are drifters living in a motel. The girlfriend lands a part in a movie. She's excited, they are going to have some money come in and she might get discovered. The Boyfriends reaction to this is all off. He just says "Congrats." Where as I imagine he would be really excited and happy and all that as in "Whoa! My God that's great!" this then could lead up to the boyfriend saying "I know we are really short on cash, but I saw this camera and had to get it for you" the girl would naturally react positively if she was an aspiring actress. The boyfriend gets playful with her and starts to film and they are laughing having a good time, suddenly the girl falls to the ground has some kind of medical problem, the guy goes to her and picks her up and it cuts to him bringing her into emergency room. Then you cut to a doctor explaining what happened and that she should be fine, etc. later girl goes into shock or something and the guy is rushed out, when the doctors come out they explain there were complications with her heart or something and she died. The guy is devastated, Perhaps cut to his car with him behind the wheel cursing and crying. It cuts to him in back at the motel getting his things, and he finds the camera...(don't make him write "Allison's last performance" or whatever on the tape.. that's so morbid and if you lost someone you loved it would be your last to concern to write on a vhs tape anyway. He takes the tape out and puts in the vcr and watches it quietly, he pauses it on her smile, and begins to cry. Somewhere between his sob's he say's I love you, and he hears her voice say "I love you too" and finds she is talking to him through the tape. Somehow he gets inside the tape with her and gets to be with her, forever. A random Janitor comes in (assuming the guy left) cleans the room and see's a tape playing in the vcr he ejects the tape throws in the garbage bag and flicks off the TV. I mean it's really rushed and everything either way, and just kind of a cute little story in the end, nothing to shocking. If you wana make it impacting.. make the guy wait to watch the tape, make him wait like 10 years or something so he's older and has been alone but has been afraid to watch the tape. He finally watches it and gets to see her again. That would make the story much more emotional rather than it happen over the course of two days. Thats my advise.

Edited by opnoright
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GentlemanSquid

I don't think you got the ending, the twist is that he is in the TV world. They are university students, the actress thing I must admit I should have put a but more care in to.

 

How was the dialogue, was it believable?

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Since screenwriting is like one of my Fortes. I'll throw my two cents in. The talk was believable to an extent. A flaw I find with some screenwriters is that everything they write sounds cheesy to them, until you see it on screen. When Christian is explaining how he had a gut feeling, it seemed like he was narrating a little like a V.O. Try to word that differently.

 

The script was set out really well. It's good, what is this for? A short film?

"I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings."

 

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GentlemanSquid

Yes I have that problem, when I read the text out it seems cheesy, but when I hear an actor say it then it sounds okay. Yeah the gut feeling bit I have never liked.

 

The script is for a short film that I hopefully will film one day.

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Yes I have that problem, when I read the text out it seems cheesy, but when I hear an actor say it then it sounds okay. Yeah the gut feeling bit I have never liked.

 

The script is for a short film that I hopefully will film one day.

Well if you ever need some help script wise, just PM me. I'm learning too, but I've gone through many mistakes to know what works and doesn't.

"I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings."

 

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The dialogue at the start is far too on-the-nose. It's not only sort of explaining what they're doing, but it's stuffed full of exposition.

 

"How can I convey to the audience that the lead female is an aspiring actress?" - "I know, I'll have her tell the audience with her first line!"

 

That's exactly how it reads. There's no subtext at all - no emotion under the surface of their interaction. It's just basic, unnatural dialogue. Show instead of telling. The camera is your way into this - find another way of giving the audience this information instead of her coming out and saying it herself... and the same for the male lead, too.

 

I wouldn't dismiss what opnoright is saying, either. I didn't really get the twist ending. I think the message all started getting a little confused, and I couldn't really tell where we were or were supposed to be. Maybe I just read too fast. tounge.gif But either way, it didn't really have any impact on me, if it was supposed to be a clever little "they're inside the TV" thing or something.

 

However, I think opnoright is spot on when he mentions tweaking the script to truly be about the emotional connection between the couple and their interaction after her death through the videotape. That, alone, is a really, really fantastic short film idea. I really got into it when you had her speak to him from beyond the grave through the videotape - I thought it was a great concept. But then you pulled away from it, and any emotional impact it was building up was sacrificed for... what?... a murky, muddled up twist ending?

 

Go back to the basics - think economy of scenes, of characters, of locations. This story doesn't really need the janitor, the supermarket, the cars, etc. For me, you've got a dynamite idea in the middle of it all - and I think you could be onto a real winner if you pulled back, realigned your focus and went in for that emotional impact instead of a bit of a muddy, unrelated twist.

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However, I think opnoright is spot on when he mentions tweaking the script to truly be about the emotional connection between the couple and their interaction after her death through the videotape. That, alone, is a really, really fantastic short film idea. I really got into it when you had her speak to him from beyond the grave through the videotape - I thought it was a great concept.

I mirror this sentiment.

 

I don't know if it's exactly fair for me to post because I find reading through scripts rather boring. It isn't that you're bad at it, because you're not, but I just can't get involved the same as I do with prose. Having the lines presented in the way they are with the directions and actions as headers or notes really throws me off, and while I'm getting the picture and you've set the scene well, I just don't find anything to really sink my teeth into. I suppose what you could say is I read it, I do enjoy it to a degree, but I don't feel quite the same emotions that I do when reading something narrative and written with paragraphs if you get me.

 

Keep doing what you're doing. We don't have many scriptwriters here and you've obviously got a good idea of what you're doing. I think taking key elements and trimming some excess fuzz off them is the best way to go. As Phil said, you've got some good ideas, plots and themes here. With a bit of tweaking you could have a more refined, concise script that loses none of the length if you build on it. smile.gif

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GentlemanSquid

Thanks Eminence and Craig for your feedback.

 

I really liked the ending and have been getting good feedback about the ending. There must be a reason the ending is not working, maybe I didn't give it enough time.

 

For the janitor, he was mean't be a nod toward Death.

 

Damn, I was too focused on creating realistic I didn't think about sub-text and showing. So for the showing that she is an actress, I could have her practicing in the mirror, or have Chris grab the camera and say "are you ready?" then she starts acting?

Edited by gta_talk
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Damn, I was too focused on creating realistic I didn't think about sub-text and showing. So for the showing that she is an actress, I could have her practicing in the mirror, or have Chris grab the camera and say "are you ready?" then she starts acting?

Yeah, something like this. I mean, realism is good - but it's got to be stylised in some way.

 

Would you care to elaborate on why you like the ending and what good feedback you've been getting? It seems a little counterintuitive to say it's been getting good feedback then say there must be a reason it's not working - which one is it?

 

Always be aware that sometimes you have to get rid of things you like to enhance the whole - the famous phrase 'murder your darlings' should always be in the back of your mind. Sometimes you get attached to something you 'like' that you don't realise it has a negative effect on the story you're trying to convey.

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GentlemanSquid

The whole project started around the camera, it was the main focus of the script. When he first uses the camera on her it takes her soul, which is somehow transferred to the tape. Then she tells him to go where she is, although it isn't her just an emotionless double, which is why she isn't there when he wakes up, then it is revealed when he is in the supermarket that he to was transferred into the tape/TV.

 

The love was secondary plot line, just so we would feel an emotion connection when the twist is revealed.

 

I was told that the ending was quite a unique ending, something that didn't expect.

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The problem for me is that I had no idea that that was what was going on... like, at all. I think it's saying something that you had to explain it rather than letting the story do the telling, don't you?

 

I don't know. I just think your 'secondary' plot line is a lot stronger, more primal.

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GentlemanSquid

This is my second screenplay that I have ever written fully. So it's helpful that I got the c&c so I can fix the problems.

 

Also could you expand on what you said here.

 

 

Yeah, something like this. I mean, realism is good - but it's got to be stylised in some way.
Edited by gta_talk
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Well basically, it's good to have dialogue, plot and characters that are grounded in reality, but when it comes down to it, there has to be something more to them - they have to be cinematic. It's sort of about showing us the highlight reel of the story in a way. Nobody wants to follow the character as they wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, etc. Nobody wants to follow a boring, routine conversation.

 

"Hey, how are you?"

"Hi, I'm good, you?"

"I'm good. Done anything lately?"

"Nah, not much."

 

That sort of exchange could happen a few times daily - it's real. But have you ever seen that in a film? I very much doubt it. The moment I did I'd probably start pulling my hair out and asking who got paid to write it. Because while it's real, it's just not cinematic - it's boring and unnecessary. It's kind of the way phone calls in movies end in that weird, ridiculously unrealistic way where nobody says goodbye. They just say something like "meet me in half an hour, we've gotta finish this" - SLAM THE PHONE DOWN. Nobody would do that in real life; the conversation would extend to "okay, see you then" and a response of "cool, goodbye" or something. But nobody wants to go through this boring dialogue.

 

Now, the first bit was an extreme example, obviously. Nobody's ever going to write like this, really. But what it comes down to in practice is thinking through a scene and going through the process of 'what would these characters actually say in this moment?' It seems like a great way to plot out the course of the conversation and stay true to the characters, doesn't it? But you're likely to come up with dialogue that's just completely flat and boring.

 

You kind of need to take what they'd realistically say, and then say it in a different way. Maybe say it all through the subtext. Have them talk about something else. Yeah, it's not specifically realistic - people don't necessarily talk this way in real life, but it will give the scene more of a dramatic spin. The problem comes when the dialogue just sounds cheesy or completely wrong for the character.

 

Having them talk realistically about something sort of cinematic is good; having them talk realistically about something literal is boring. Does that make sense or am I being a bit too vague haha?

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GentlemanSquid

I get what you mean. In screenwriting books is says that every piece of information must be able to move the story forward, if not it must be scraped. Another is can you cut a scene down and still give out the same information.

 

Thanks Eminence for your help, I will get to work on a rewrite and post it here soon.

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