Poll

Which three screenplays do you think best met the challenge?

A Southerly Blows
1 (3.8%)
Jack Flannigan
5 (19.2%)
Know Thyself
2 (7.7%)
Sleeping With Fishes
8 (30.8%)
Small Boat Big Water
5 (19.2%)
The Leak
2 (7.7%)
The River Styx
1 (3.8%)
With Grace
2 (7.7%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: August 18, 2013, 09:20:50 AM

Author Topic: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!  (Read 3290 times)

Writer Arena

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Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« on: August 10, 2013, 09:35:41 AM »

Read the eight screenplays attached below and vote on the three you think met the challenge best. Voting closes in 7 days. You can vote even if you didn't enter a screenplay.

The challenge was:

  • Write a 5 - 12 page screenplay in one week.
  • Using the pictured rowboat.
  • Any genre but it has to have meaning.
  • Micro or low budget.

It's always good if you can comment on the screenplay without telling us specifically which ones you voted for.

Good luck everybody!


Daniel Botha

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2013, 10:50:03 AM »
Know Thyself

I wish I could say I knew exactly what was going on with this one. I think it has some good meaning behind it. People rediscovering themselves. It's a nice touch. However, I think there execution is lacking somewhat. Maybe it's just me, but I don't actually get the thing with the water. I get that it's drugged, but why Honey does it isn't made clear enough for me to understand. Phil's discovery of how things actually went down is incredibly confusing as well. It seems to me that suddenly, he just KNOWS how everything went down. I get that cops probably would be able to do this, but as an audience member, I don't.

Nice inclusion of the rowing boat. Can't fault you there.

Overall, a decent job, but lacking somewhat in clear clarity with how things in your story actually work.

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 11:10:54 AM »
Small Boat Big Water

This was an intriguing short definitely within the realm of the challenge.   A kind of take on the Santo Niño de Atocha myth.  The main issue I had with this was that I couldn't really picture when it was happening or where.  There was mention of earth history, so that set it on earth but other than that?   It worked as a script, however.  Good job. 

Mo

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2013, 12:46:50 PM »
The Leak

Well, the title page kind of gives the writer away, unless someone copied this from said writer. Anyway... Not a fan of this one sorry to say. It's a hard one to explain but the story is, I suppose, manipulated to fit the intention of the characters - if that makes sense... The ending with Carlos is kind of cheating the reader, the whole concept doesn't really work IMO. Guy has sex with some other dude's wife and then wants to set up this role play since he thinks she still loves him? I mean why did you have sex with her in the first place ;D! And the wife always seems to come across as a bitch in most these stories, which I really hate. Especially when Leman is such a nice guy, the reader would rather have him just ditch her than for them to get together. Sorry I didn't have a lot of good things to say about this.

Dave Troop

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2013, 12:57:26 PM »
A Southerly Blows

The script starts off innocently enough with children playing at a lake,then turns to horror when Amanda is pulled under and killed by some unseen creature.
Flash foreward to a group of friends visiting the lake one night for some midnight fishing.  Who do they encounter? 

The first seven pages serve as the back story...the origins of the Amanda legend.  I'm not sure what killed Amanda. Is the lake already haunted?
If the boys pushed Amanda in the lake and she drowns and there is no body...that may be good enough to go foreward.

I would have liked to see Amanda get revenge on Mark and Joe rather than three new knuckleheads.

Overall, I thought it was written and formatted very well.  The descriptions were srong as were the images.
I just think the story was a little familiar. 

The boat makes an appearance in the second half of the script.  Maybe too many actors for a low budget short?

Nice effort.  Thanks for entering.

Daniel Botha

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2013, 01:58:20 PM »
Small Boat, Big Water

I like that you managed to stick to the challenge parameters. You set this entire thing inside the boat, it was meaningful, it definitely works within a low-budget film. So, in terms of sticking to what you were asked to do, props to you. Well done.

If I was reading this outside of a challenge, I'm not sure I would like it so much. It's well-written, descriptive and effective for what it does, but to me it was all a little slow. It seems that the story doesn't really go anywhere. This little boy is stuck in a boat after a disaster, he meets a man who apparantly helps him. Turns out to be Jesus. I just wonder if it needs something extra to make it tick? Once you establish the premise it really doesn't go anywhere IMO.

I get that you're trying to go for a surprise-type ending, but on film I don't think it would work out as well. Any viewer of the film is going to know this guy is Jesus when they first see him. This sort of makes your ending a bit redundant. In the script it works, but on film, people are going to know it's Jesus from the very start, purely because everybody has their own idea of what Jesus is going to look like.

A nice effort.

denamckinnon

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 02:21:40 PM »
A Southerly Blows
I feel like this would've been a great little story IF the writer had gotten to the good part faster. I thought the last third of it was quite good. Visually nice. One thing, this is going to be very hard for someone on a low budget to film...especially with the night shots, and all of the extra scenes. The boat didn't come in til the very last part. Overall, I liked it...just think if it's a ghost story, the writer should get to the ghost part faster...Get in, set the tone, then let'r rip. IMO. Good job.

Jack Flannigan
I liked this one a lot. I think the writer was very clever to tell the story while showing the scenes the way they do. Very clever. Nice story. I think it fits the parameters nicely. Again some of the shoot may pose a problem at night...but all in all...great job.

Know Thyself
Honey Gray...love that name! Now I really wanted to like this – bad. I like the idea. I like the characters good enough. But the clarity at the end I did not get. At first, I was thinking was Honey his wife? What I wanted to happen was for the bottle of stuff to be water and maybe Phil really was crazy. I dunno, there is a clarity problem for me...not until the last part though. The dialogue needs some work, too. Decent job though overall.

Sleeping With Fishes
Love the title of this one. The dialogue in this one was superior. It fits the characters perfectly. For one minute, I thought Jimmy was going to end up in the lake for sure! The ending was left open, but it's good that way. This is my favorite.

The River Styx
I did like the intrigue and mystery of this one. I assume that it was a tale of finding one's afterlife and for the main character, finding his lover in the afterlife. As far as the end, I'm afraid for me, it was not very clear. The writer did a good job with this, just with lack of some clarity IMO. Good job.

With Grace
This one was also enveloped in mystery for me. I liked Grace. I wasn't sure what the deal was though with the priest and John. I felt like Grace killed those who knew of the priest's wrong doings....am I wrong? I dunno. Confusing read to me. But decent job. Nice easy to read writing. Clean dialogue. Maybe it's too late to be reading :) Anyway, good job!

Mo

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 03:55:22 PM »
Jack Flannigan

Sounds like a cheesy 60s action title ;D.

I think a lake with a usable house next to it might be hard/time consuming to find, and they're not usually seen in many lakes. I think a little more information on the lake in the challenge would've been beneficial to us.

About halfway through, I'm hoping the Old Man isn't Jack since I cannot count how many times that's been done before.

Yeah... Okay, I probably shouldn't say "I told you so" but I really do think writers should avoid this specific twist, it's just become the norm nowadays and isn't very refreshing.

Not a bad piece, pretty good actually but in my honest opinion, I don't think this fits the guidelines at all, except maybe the boat. I assume the biggest thing the producer(?) was looking for was the micro budget. And this is far from it. From the fog to the house by the lake to the kids with the Scottish accents, the money does piles up. Although I do like the script, I do think a lot of time and effort has to go into production if this was ever filmed.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 11:32:37 PM by Mo »

Daniel Botha

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 04:34:36 PM »
With Grace

I'm going to echo what Dena said and say this one was shrouded in doubt for me as well. I think I have a vague idea of what's going on, but it's so vague that it's a bit lost in ambiguity. To save myself the embarrassment of getting it completely wrong, I'm going to say I don't get it.

It's some nice writing and some nice meeting of the challenge outlines, but as a story it seems like it's just another one where more talking happens than anything else. Not an issue, to me, but when you don't know what's going on, it becomes a bit of a chore.

Sorry.

Perhaps we need to include loglines in the future?

Dan

Mo

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 04:49:09 PM »
The River

Gotta go easy on those eye colours, we really don't need to know every single one - unless it matters to the story.

Nailed the meaning part, story was a little unfocused but I like what you did here. This reminds me of this feature I've written, we've got a similar premise but mine is set in space, even some of the dialogue and scenes are exactly the same! This was enjoyable, it's hard to pack emotion into a script and that's what you did. Nice job.

Mo

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 05:09:57 PM »
Small Boat, Big Water

Another one of those title pages, now I'm in doubt whether I know the writer or not... I like the way this one looks though.

Would you use INT. on a row boat? Should check up on that.

Yo, gotta avoid so many Yos :).

"Citta Ragusa sounds like spaghetti or something, and I’m starving so..." I laughed out loud, great line.

A character explaining what I was thinking - good job there.

Finished. Yeah, I liked this, great job. Dialogue, except maybe the last page, was nice too. I was expecting a few religious themes for this challenge, and that's what you got. The underwater scenes might be a little hard to film though. But regardless, this was a good piece.

LC

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Writing Challenge 4 - The 'Boat' one.
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2013, 05:26:32 PM »
Okay, hope I'm doing this right.  ???

'Sleeping with Fishes' is a great little story. I imagined Walter and Jesse out of Breaking Bad in the boat. You did well with this, it's a great little scenario, the writing for the most part is smooth and the dialogue (apart from a couple of repetitive instances) is spot on.

I just hoped for a little more twist/payoff to the ending. First part of this is solid, second part like I said, something a bit more 'out of nowhere' and more satisfying was needed, but really I'm nitpicking cause this was very entertaining. Well done to the writer.

Just wanted to add, I agree with Mo (below) about calling the other guy 'Noodles' too.

'With Grace'

I think this could have done with a little more time. The story is good. I understand (if I'm correct?) that Grace has done a deal (with the devil?) to get rid of everyone who knew of Father Francis's wrong doing - his paedophilia etc.,

The execution of this one is just a little unclear and doesn't quite work for me.

I'm not sure you need the V.O. in the beginning - Grace talking out loud is what I kept imagining her doing and the whispered words over black didn't quite work for me in terms of establishing the tone. I also reckon your wrylies are redundant considering your dialogue in those instances does the trick, and Father Francis' dialogue on top of page 5 read a little unnaturally to me. Having said this, I think there's the crux of a good story here, I just think a lot of it stayed in the author's head. A bit convoluted and confusing though I'm sure the writer knows what's going on.  :)

I do like the idea of the ghosts/apparations in the boat. And, there's also a nice creepy atmosphere to this. Well done.

The River Styx

Another 'after death' one it seems. This has a nice outerworldly feel to it and the same sort of theme as the one I previously read. Same author? Hmm, I do have to wonder about why the writer mentions the eye colours of each character? Is this some symbolic meaning that I'm missing? And, as with the prev. one the wrylies seem redundant - i.e., where your dialogue says: 'I beg of you' the (pleading) is unnecessary.

I think 'the deeds, both good and bad' should be 'your deeds' but I'm being picky. My understanding is this was a heaven and hell type test and if your main character passes the test he may be worthy and find Portia.

I like the imagery in some of those quick flashbacks btw, but I feel some of the 'story' was lost on me. Okay, I get that this is based on the Ancient Greek legend.

Nice work. I enjoyed it.

............................

Will review the rest a bit later. Really enjoyable reads so far and interesting to see what people have done with the 'boat' idea.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 12:40:39 AM by LC »

Mo

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2013, 05:29:00 PM »
Sleeping With Fishes

I highly suggest not using Jimmy and Harry together as names, especially in a script where (I assume) we'll have two talking heads. If there's a mix up between the characters, a reader can go on to about page 5 then realize he mixed up the names on page 3. I would've liked if you called him Noodles though.

Quite liked this, except for the underwhelming ending but that's hard to do with these kind of scripts. The dialogue was nice, perhaps trying a little too hard to copy other films. Read could've been a little refreshing as well, would've liked some more twists and turns but again, the time frame and the guidelines, it was probably hard to do so. I think this could use a little more meaning, the comedy element definitely took some of it away but I would've preferred a little more here. Maybe explain his fascination with France, or expand upon Harry's interesting back story.

Dave Troop

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2013, 10:07:13 PM »
Jack Flannagan

I loved the story telling in this one.  The formatting and editing between time and storylines were masterful.  Kudos for that.

Unfortunately I must agree that this would be quite expensive to produce unless the location already exists.
And although it is a nicely done little ghost story, I was wondering what special meaning it had in regards to the contest.

Overall, well done on the writing.  I enjoyed this one even if it is a wee bit predictable.

Dave Troop

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Re: Writing Challenge #4 - Vote!
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2013, 11:01:31 PM »
Know Thyself

I might need a little of Honey's special medicine to figure this one out.

It always amazes me how many different directions these scripts can go given the collection of writers.

Sorry to say I didn't get this one. 
I understood the water was drugged, but was it drugged to help the patients with their recovery or to kill them?  What is Honey's intent?
I liked when Phil went out into the lake to solve the crime and was cured of his own demons in the process.  Maybe this happened too easily, or was it because of the special water that Phil had his moment of clarity?

The formatting was great, no problems there. 

Overall, even though Phil knew what had happened and explained it to us at the end, my mind was still in a fog.