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critique Short Script

I would be interested to know what people think of my short script. I would appreciate it if anyone would read it and give me their HONEST opinion.
I have added the script so please have a read and feedback is welcome. It's only 3 pages so not to taxing :contract:

Thanks in advance
 

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Geezer, it's a great story you've got there. Well written. But my question is - what's the idea behind that story? I mean, like, what are you trying to tell us with it?

It's my first attempt at writing a script. I wanted to get into screenwriting to adapt my book and this is basically the short short short version lol

I just wanted to see how I could do with writing and formatting. Since I've been learning I realise there is normally some sort of twist with short stories so if I were to change it for that reason I would have the flashback but have a child, her child stab him.

This is actually based on a true story about a girl who loses everything and ended up an alcoholic and had to prostitute herself, there is also a rape scene in the novel. Obviously there was way too much to cram into three pages. Why three pages? I saw a contest for a three page script and thought I would see if I could do anything.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read and to give your feedback.
 
It's my first attempt at writing a script. I wanted to get into screenwriting to adapt my book and this is basically the short short short version lol

I just wanted to see how I could do with writing and formatting. Since I've been learning I realise there is normally some sort of twist with short stories so if I were to change it for that reason I would have the flashback but have a child, her child stab him.

This is actually based on a true story about a girl who loses everything and ended up an alcoholic and had to prostitute herself, there is also a rape scene in the novel. Obviously there was way too much to cram into three pages. Why three pages? I saw a contest for a three page script and thought I would see if I could do anything.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read and to give your feedback.
Well, i can tell you why the twist doesn't work from where i see it. The beginning is great. There is some kind of mystery. Then you tell us that she almost killed someone through Rachel's dialog with the police officer. You tell us that she had a reason for killing that someone (it's not quite obvious thogh). And then (the part i'm not quite keen on) you show us how it's happened. Basically you repeate the dialog with the action. There is no surprise he was stabbed, because you just told us that on previous page. You see where i'm going?
 
Well, i can tell you why the twist doesn't work from where i see it. The beginning is great. There is some kind of mystery. Then you tell us that she almost killed someone through Rachel's dialog with the police officer. You tell us that she had a reason for killing that someone (it's not quite obvious thogh). And then (the part i'm not quite keen on) you show us how it's happened. Basically you repeate the dialog with the action. There is no surprise he was stabbed, because you just told us that on previous page. You see where i'm going?

Yeah I know what you are saying but like I said I wasn't writing it with a twist, just telling the story of her "downfall".

I could write it without the stabbing at the beginning and then changing who stabbed him. Although, to be honest this is done so I won't be changing it. I am more interested in how it was written and the formatting, which I think is OK.

Thanks again, I appreciate it
 
Hi Geezer,

I read both drafts of the story. The format is fine - I use Celtx software. The story is good I would only say leave out the actual stabbing (suggestion is far better for jeopardy). I don't believe that police actually interview people under the influence of any substance but I could be wrong.
 
Hi Geezer,

I read both drafts of the story. The format is fine - I use Celtx software. The is good I would only say leave out the actual stabbing (suggestion is far better for jeopardy). I don't believe that police actually interview people under the influence of any substance but I could be wrong.

Thanks for that. I was going to have it so we didn't know why she was arrested until the flashback, but I wanted to show her being an alcoholic so did it with the interview and V.O. As for the "interviewing under the influence," it was the following day 😉

INT. POLICE STATION - DAY
 
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I know you said that it was for a competition but I think if you made a trailer you could generate interest for a feature in the future.

That's exactly what I was thinking. It's adapted from my novel and the reason I started screenwriting was to adapt my novel into a feature.

I would love to have it produced and to be involved, are you offering? :director:
 
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It's been a long ten days for me ;) but here's my take on the revised script: first of all - a significant improvement! :thumbsup: Not trying to tell all the story (with all the flashbacks) helps focus attention on Rachel's tragic state (rather than how she got to that point).

As the others have said, it still feels "not quite right" but I disagree with them on the "why" and the "what to do about it". The thing that bothered me most on first reading this version is the double end: we see Rachel coming out of prison, in (presumably) a sort-of-OK-ish state of health; then we see her days/weeks/months/years later in a mess. That doesn't make sense from a story telling point of view: she's ended up in such a state when she should have been enjoying a "fresh start" - there's a whole story there and you've just skipped over it!

Now because you've filled us in on the background, we know that you want to tell the rest of the story, but someone watching without that knowledge would almost certainly think ... huh??? However, if this is intended to be a teaser to sell the full work to a producer, I would move that last scene to the start. So we see Rachel in a mess, then go back to the police interview, then back to "that night" (keeping the other clues), and finish with her coming out of prison. That gives us a partial explanation for her descent into misery, but leaves some of the story untold.

I would drop the scene with the child and the social worker, for two reasons:
(1) practical - it's hard enough to get releases for children when they have a good "positive" role; you're complicating things by needing a screaming, struggling child! Also, you've added another cast member who has to be dressed, not to mention three adults, two of whom need uniforms that require special permission to be used ... how big did you say your budget was?
(2) That's essentially an "action" scene, and you've already got a much more relevant action scene in the kitchen. Two in such a short piece is too much. It's understandable that, in the novel (and in real life) the taking of the child represents a key trauma in Rachel's life, but in this story, it's of no real importance. In fact, if we don't see the child at the beginning, and you keep the clues that there was a child involved at some point in Rachel's past (the ante-natal depression book, baby things in the room, etc) then we start wondering who she attacked - was it her husband or her child?

At this point, you're down to one lead and two supporting actors, two main locations (counting the three rooms in the house as one location; you could probably dress a garage up as a police interview room if you wanted to shoot everything at one site) and a couple of exterior scenes. That's well within scope of a small, local film-maker.
 
OK, thanks for your input and I suppose it does make sense. I don't really think about budget and cast but I suppose thats something I need to think about if I hope to get anything made. If anyone wants to make this short then I would consider different options if it would make it easier to shoot. I might have a last play with it, but I don't want too spend much more if any more time on it. I want to learn and move on. I might actually write a longer script for this, 6 or 7 pages. Maybe 3 pages is just too short for me.

Thanks everyone
 
I don't really think about budget and cast but I suppose thats something I need to think about if I hope to get anything made. If anyone wants to make this short then I would consider different options if it would make it easier to shoot.

Strictly speaking, it's not your job to think about budget and cast ... but if you don't "pre-manage" these aspects, then the producer/director - whose job it is - might take a hatchet to the script in a way that you don't like or agree with.

I would say that as you have a bigger work in mind, you should devote a little more time to this. You're really close to having a tight "teaser" that's complete in itself but leaves loads of room for development. Get it right, find a local film-maker (or student group) and get them interested in taking it on. Then, with a copy saved on a USB key or your phone, you'll have something to show to a potential partner for the bigger work if/when they cross your path. ;)
 
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