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steph9289 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 1:05pm
Well that was fast! Apparently I have no idea how the fantasy genre works (okay, I sort of knew that going in...but still!). Not unexpected feedback overall.

''Prints Charming''    


WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY  


{1610} 

Well, this was fluffy and fun!

~ The animated envelope was a playfully bewitching element.

~ I appreciated that Mandy held her own with Steve as he was such a narcissistic lout, that she didn't let his rejection devastate her.  


{1628}  

Cute short with innovative twist being Mandy's Prints Charming being a dog-like man.  The Envelope badgering Mandy is charming in itself.  


{820}  

Mandy is a likeable character and her situation is relatable. Hank's dog-like nature is funny.  


WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK


{1610} 

I guess Mandy sealed her fate when she confided to the Corgi that she wished men were more like dogs. But it didn't seem like a great improvement to go from a series of rejections to being stuck in a relationship not really of her choosing: just the other side of an unlucky coin.

~ How was she going to feed this hefty man-dog?

~ And how was she going to explain his presence in her life to her next potential paramour?  


{1628}  

"Something small and white flutters by Mandy’s head. It flashes like glitter in the sun. It follows her down the block, growling." -- what, the Corgi?  Unclear in places, also Mandy takes the living envelope in stride without batting an eyelash, but the rules of magic in her world are not explained. Clarity could help amplify the comedy that is relatively unexploited.  


{820}  Is this a world where it's normal for envelopes to arrive at windows and flap around one's head? She doesn't react to the magic at all.

FFC Challenge 2 Mom Knows Best
FFC Challenge 1 The Exchange [6 points]
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stephenmatlock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 1:31pm
Good feedback! And they all picked up on what you-all were saying. One nit pick was that the script wasn't showing the investigation on-screen, which was a decision I made to emphasize the plot/people over the action.

Well, lesson learned.

BEST OF BREED

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY
* I thought the dialogue was strong throughout the piece. I liked the pacing as well.
* The dialogue in this screenplay is very realistic and unique to each character. This is a very character driven story with strong characters that are both interesting and well developed.
* The whole environment was nice and vivid with solid characters set up.  The drama created at the beginning set up some nice red herrings.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK
* The ending was jarring. Perhaps because there was a few too many threads/characters to follow, the ending didn't feel quite fleshed out. I wanted to have a little more space in the death scene.
* It's unclear why the writer chose to set this story in the future - GOMEZ ISLAND 1851-2021 - when this is not a futuristic story and there is no relative tie-in. The mystery starts off strong - a sudden death deemed a homicide and a suspect with a motive, and then the plot starts to weaken from this point. Jenae comes across as a caring, nurturing person, yet when her "son" (we later learn) is accused of the murder and carted off to jail, she defends him verbally but does not react in the way you would expect of a mother. Her reaction seems out of character. Then when the sheriff comes to arrest Jenae, the real murderer, she poisons herself. Again, this seems out of character for a caring person. Prairie Jones sums it up with "Poor bastard. Lost his dad. Now his mom." The ending would be more realistic if Jenae confessed to the crime to save Kody rather than let him get arrested and later kill herself  when the truth comes out.  The poison she used, however, was very much in character. Try  rewriting the ending to make it more realistic and it will greatly improve the screenplay.
* There is no real investigation here.  Everything Prairie Jones does to clear the boy of the crime should be on screen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aerolissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 1:45pm
I was glad to get mine so fast, too, and that the judges were thorough and specific Thumbs Up stings a little now, but I'll just take the note and not argue, as they say... except to read into it that I think I went a little too fairy tale ("things just are the way they are!/archetypes") and not enough fantasy ("things are deeper than that, so be specific"), which was my genre. Thumbs Down oops

''Lonely Magic'' 
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY -

{1610} 
~ Very nicely atmospheric: transports one back into another era.

~ This description of Gerda was immediately impactful: " permanently scowling and fresh out of love for her work."

~ The elementary magical elements with the pebbles worked wonderfully as they were something even a child like Elisse could readily handle.

~ It was poignant that Lilith could discern the private loneliness of Elisse's Soul. 

{820} 

Good use of fairy tale trope--they feel familiar, but not cliché. Lilith is an intriguing character. 

{1628} 

Though you opened with a lot of description the fact you broke it down to shots instead of clumping it all together gave me confidence of your skill.  Good dialogue nuanced by character. The story flowed nicely save for a few confusing sentences here and there. 


WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK -

{1610}

~ The Baker & Wife just seem sterotypically nasty for nasty's sake. If you think back to Old Tales you've read, the evil characters have some backstory that explains their wounds and/or ambitions.

~ Since you describe Lilith as "a young-looking woman," she seemed too vernal to be a maternal figure for such a large brood. She could be older, "a handsome woman in her prime," which would still provide surprising contrast to "the old witch" expectation.

~ I know that we're meant to hate the couple, Gerda & Duncan, and that Lilith is meant to provide salvation.

And of course, no one would begrudge a child such good fortune after such negligent care.

But still, the welcoming in the forest abode came about a little too easily, even with the temporary trepidation around the capture of the fairy.

Usually, in such stories, there is some measure of testing: of the need for accomplishing tasks in order to gain initiation into a better life. 

{820}

it would have been nice to see the mean "parent" get their comeuppance. With as much as they hate and distrust Elisse, it seems unlikely they would trust her with the coupon, which they seem to think is very important. 

{1628}

MAN should be (O.S.) on p.2. "They give her a small pouch in return and waste no time unwrapping it."- should be reversed for clarity "...wasted no time unwrapping it and hand her a small pouch in return." "Gerda causes a flash of matching light to create a watery puddle of ashes in the shape of Elisse's foot." - the combo of light, water, heat and ashes was confusing to visualize. "Gerda, however, perks up." - odd use of "however."  The Guardians don't seem so wicked? - Gerda seemingly saved Elisse's life! Okay - they sold her off. The "rules" of the pebbles are murky - how can Elisse tell the pebbles from the wagon are "Magic pebbles" instead of just common pebbles?

SS -
R1
R2

SP -
https://tinyurl.com/jw99rvw
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Zblugg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zblugg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 1:45pm
I felt some odd mix of gooey pride and genuine humility reading the judge's comments. It was weird. And, at least for the "needs work" part, dead on, I feel. I expected the grammatical errors, mind you - English is not my first language - but I'm still somewhat mad that I left some in there. Dang. 
(I'm kind of praying for Comedy for next assignment, but then again, new territory is most gratifying...)

EDIT: Just went to check on the voiceover comment, because I thought I had bookended with V.O. And, as it turns out, I did. So there's that... ;)

''Junkfood''
 
WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY 
{1576}  It was fun, nice moments of comedy, fun action, fun dog, and I really like the idea of using hyperosmia in a story (and thank you for defining it). It's got a solid theme and it was an enjoyable read overall.  

{1733}  The visuals to set up the critic were excellent. You really have a flair for showing and not telling, which is lovely.  

{1812}  This screenplay looks and reads professional. A well developed character arc and a flawless plot. The humor really lifts the entire screenplay to a different level. I love the scene where Ben meets up with the huge dog in the kitchen. The "Hyperosmiac" theme was a great touch! Overall, a fun and entertaining read! I can actually visualize this screenplay as a short movie feature and encourage the writer to pursue it as such.  

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK 

{1576}  If you're going to start with voiceover, you should end with voiceover because otherwise, the voiceover like unnecessary narration. Keep it bookended with voiceover. At 23 scenes, this would be a hard and expensive short to film. Most 12 pages shorts have about 6-8 scenes. The line from Sam about "wonder what it would be like to play garbage man" could be cut. It's a stronger beat without that line and just go to "it's the junkmail or us, Benny". Also, the scene heading should say EXT. instead of OUT.  

{1733}  The critic was so well set up visually that touching back on that characterization when we see him in the flesh would really cinch it and make this go from good to great. Even something as simple as him coming in, reading a copy of a food critique and blanching at it, or looking at leftovers and smelling then saying "Not on your life," would really just add a kick of flair. You're a great writer. Now add the little touches that make scripts exceptional.  

{1812}  Technically, the screenplay is sound. The writer should now concentrate on fixing the grammatical errors to turn the screenplay into a polished, marketable product.


Edited by Zblugg - 14 Jun 2017 at 1:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 2:46pm
This is probably some of the best, most balanced, and fair feedback I've received in any NYC Midnight comp that I've entered to date (Thank you, judges!). The holes they mentioned are holes I was aware of and just simply couldn't reconcile in 12 pages or decided to fill otherwise - I was hoping that "willing suspension of disbelief" would carry me. But all absolutely fair points. And way cool that the one judge referenced "Duel" - that was the movie I had in my brain as I was writing!

"Seeing Red"
  • Really great opening sequence.  Intriguing characters.   You pepper information in without making it seem like exposition.  This is not a simple task. 
  • Strong title. The whole sage of the Man killing Emme's husband because he fell for her in prison and wanted her for himself was creepily compelling. The road rage scenes with the Red truck were also quite thrilling and heartpounding.  
  • One of the few actual thrillers in this group.  Emme is well-drawn and credible; her fear is palpable.  The Man is seriously creepy and his actions are consistent, whether we can see him or just see his truck.  Darla's an interesting addition to the character-set; a sister who isn't a cop or other authority figure is a nice change of pace for this kind of story.  The older couple in the Buick fit in well.  Visually, the whole thing feels very much like Duel, but at night, which is a good look.  

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK 
  •  I didn't like that Emme just falls down when a strange man enters her home.  I get that she's fragile and was in a near accident, but this makes her a very passive character. Also, Darla knows that the inmate killed Michael.  Why would he be out of prison?  Perhaps have him say he framed someone else.  
  • You could really strengthen this piece by filling Emme out as a character more (her drives, motivations, and dreams beyond bartending and getting to her destination safely). She is more than a victim, so sharing that would bring depth to her character. Darla's disbelief of her sister would come off less uncaring if it was precipitated by a past of imagined targeting, and you might explain why the frightened Emme didn't ask someone to wait and ride with her to ensure her safety. Also, there's a real opportunity for added thrills if you amp up that ending.  
  • It begs credulity on a lot of different levels; the idea that the cops simply aren't interested in a woman who keeps claiming that she's being harassed by a maniac in a red pick-up truck doesn't scan, even if she can't get a license plate.  And her sister simply not believing her, especially given Emme's history?  Also doesn't work.  And a dash-cam is $29.99, and would be the first thing anybody in her situation would purchase after the second attack, making her situation concrete.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 3:55pm

First time anyone has said I couldn't improve something. I'm sure I could. Big smile

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY

- Laramie really pops off the page. You do a good job of infusing her dialogue and general demeanor with an endlessly bubbly exuberance, and not in a way that's too over the top, which can be a difficult balance to strike. The Glinda reference is a clever way of giving a nod to Laramie's inspiration. You also do a nice job of bringing everything full circle with the salt and pepper shakers at the end. 

- Amazing! Wonderful work - great characterizations, great pacing, excellent use of subtext in a short piece. The beat with the salt and pepper shakers at the end is the perfect way to wrap up the story. 

- I love your big idea of a designer who specializes in bringing back to life the magic that lives inside of everyone. The relationship between Laramie and Dilwyn is spot on—the moment when she turns into a black cat on the way out the door is priceless. Laramie’s kind ministrations toward the broken Wendy work perfectly—especially those moments when Wendy decides to put aside her doubts about herself and what Laramie has done and simply embrace the magic of kindness.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK
 
- I feel like Wendy is more defined by the needs of the story than her own individual personality, particularly in her first scene with Laramie. It feels a little off that the first thing she would mention when asked about her parents is their ethnicity. Obviously, this is an important detail for what comes later, I'd just like to see worked into the conversation more organically. 

- No suggestions for improvement - excellent work! 

- Don’t change much as your story is working beautifully. However, I would love to understand Laramie’s wounds a little better: why is helping others so essential to her well-being? Your ending is touching and beautiful—so I don’t want you to miss with it too much, but I would challenge you to try to get the same message and imagery across without spelling it out quite so much. Is that possible?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 4:21pm
Originally posted by aerolissa aerolissa wrote:

If you think back to Old Tales you've read, the evil characters have some backstory that explains their wounds and/or ambitions.

Yeah I call bullsh*t on that...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

  • And a dash-cam is $29.99, and would be the first thing anybody in her situation would purchase after the second attack, making her situation concrete.

And if there's a killer on the phone you use caller ID. And if an alien's terrorising your crew you all get in the escape pod. This comment ignores the deliberate naivety that so many of the best thrillers embrace; it's the magic of the movies! I'd not worry too much about it.

Also it was totally evocative of Duel for me too. Not derivative, just that sense of WHY ME?


Edited by Tim G - 14 Jun 2017 at 4:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tim G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 4:29pm
In my experience; there's always one Smile
I do agree my final scene wasn't as cute as I thought it was when I clicked 'send' though!

''Through the Pane'' by Tim Gomersall

WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {1634}  This was great. The use of smart phones was...smart and there were lots of great details that felt clever (reveal of blood, but on the inside of the window). There's a lot of tension throughout and the Hitwoman was probably my favorite assassin that appeared in this particular heat of scripts.  {1609}  Pete is a likeable character, briskly established in the opening scene. The attempt to use his phone's virtual assistant provides great tension once the action kicks in, and escalates satisfyingly during the race to the roof.  {1807}  Decent comedy thriller. Tight, well-executed beginning, middle and end. Writing is clean, functional, and professional. Portions of the dialogue work very well. Some great lines, like "I don't like this. He's thinking."  

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {1634}  I really don't have much to pick apart. I wonder if the script could have gotten off to a stronger start if we saw a little more of the setup of the assassins trying to set up the suicide rather than coming in after it occurred.  {1609}  While there is obvious chemistry between Pete and Lexi, the closing scene fizzles slightly because the dialogue doesn't close with a "button." Consider reworking the dialogue so the last lines bring more closure, or references the action that has passed.  {1807}  Some of the dialogue is a bit rote. Overall concept is a bit bogus, and corners are cut along the way. I'm not sold on the significance of the final scene. I imagine you're going for elliptical, but the scene comes off as irrelevant. A little originality would go a long way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zblugg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2017 at 5:07pm
Originally posted by Tim G Tim G wrote:

Originally posted by lisafox10800 lisafox10800 wrote:

  • And a dash-cam is $29.99, and would be the first thing anybody in her situation would purchase after the second attack, making her situation concrete.

And if there's a killer on the phone you use caller ID. And if an alien's terrorising your crew you all get in the escape pod. This comment ignores the deliberate naivety that so many of the best thrillers embrace; it's the magic of the movies! I'd not worry too much about it.

Also it was totally evocative of Duel for me too. Not derivative, just that sense of WHY ME?

True. So true.

So many movies wouldn't be made if authors couldn't count on some level of voluntary "stupidity" on the characters' part. Horror movies and thrillers being prime candidates for it.
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