please read. 1st timer testing my ability.

Babyjenks

New member
Hey Everyone,

i need some feedback, this is the first time i have written a screenplay and I just want to know if i'm on the right track. Sophocles says its 4 min long, so i don't kniw if its too much for the beginning scene. I do need some help with camera direction. Please let me know what you think.

Its about a girl (noel) who is the product of a rape. she's 18, hates her life, mother & grand parents. basically bitter that she's treated poorly by her family. Goal: wants to kill her "father" and fix the problems in her life. Problem: she doesn't know anything about him.

Question: Would it be more interesting if my protagonist was a male?

Act 1, scene 1. Inside the Maple Residence

FADE IN:

INT. NOEL'S BEDROOM - DAY

MS - NOEL is laying face up on her bed. It is the middle of the day. She looks around her room. Everything appears unwanted. A desk because she needed a desk, chair, drapes. Nothing matches. Dresser is old and ragged, bottom drawer breaking, slight lean to the left. She lays there and does nothing. Her chest rising up and down. Taking a deep breath in, she holds her breath. Face remains still and unknowing, show no sign of struggle. She see a cross hanging above her door. She breathes out, expressionless face, cold eyes, she turns her head to the side, away
from the cross.

O.S. - SHRIEKING, PANICKED SCREAMING FROM OUT IN THE HALL.

HEAR SOUNDS OF FOOTSTEPS RUNNING IN THE HOUSE CAMERA REMAINS ON NOEL

C/U - Noel doesn't move. Face becomes ashen, sickly looking. Turning completely onto her side, curling her legs up under her a single tear runs down her face. Noel moves slightly so that her arm is hanging off the edge of the bed.

Pan down along noel's arm, following to the wood floor. where we see that there is a pile of tissue laying on the ground.

JOHN
(SCREAMING FROM ANOTHER ROOM)
NOEL

FADE OUT.

FADE IN:

INT. MOTHER'S ROOM - DAY

GLORIA is frantically screaming, she wont let GRANDPA (JOHN)help her. John is trying to grab her hands and hold them down to the side. Tears are streaming down her face, John feels hopeless, looking frantically around the room, he calls again for Noel.

JOHN
(looking towards the door)
NOEL.....Shit
(whispers under his breath)
Where is that girl? Gloria, please darling, no one is here
to hurt you.

GLORIA
He's here John. I saw him, he's coming.

JOHN
NOEL......

JOHN
(Wiping the tear from her cheeks)
He's not coming. You need to rest.

Looking at the bedside table he searches for something. He turns around to look at the dresser.

JOHN
(looks at Gloria)
Where are your meds?

NOEL
(leaning up against the door frame)
She knows what they do to her. She's not stupid. They make
her sleep, but the pain doesn't go away.

John turns to look at his granddaughter standing at the door. giving her a look of disappointment he barely, but still noticeably, shakes his head. Giving a deep sigh he then rises from the edge of the bed.

JOHN
(he points to Noel)
Stay with her, keep her company. I'll make some tea and
find her medication.

CAMERA FOLLOWS JOHN OUT OF THE ROOM AS HE SQUEEZES PAST NOEL STILL BLOCKING THE DOORWAY.

Noel remains at the door, staring at her mother. Gloria unable to remain sitting up in bed decides to lay back down. Curled on her side, holding an old crumpled tissue, she blots her nose and stares at her daughter.

GLORIA
He's here. I saw him.

NOEL
He's far away. Every morning you do this. 19 years you have
done this. He's not coming.
(Angry and frustrated)
Snap out of it, MOM.

GLORIA
(Screaming)
DON'T CALL ME THAT! I didn't want to be one. HE MADE ME.
(Turned around not to face NOEL)
Get out.

NOEL
Wish I could. Maybe if you slit your wrist, you can finish
tormenting us all. Better yet, how about I go slit his
wrists. Would that make you feel better? Maybe then you can
get up, get off the drugs, feel better. ME A MOM.
(walks over to the bed, in front of Gloria,
kneels down, and looks directly in her face)
What's his name?

GLORIA
(whimpering)
Get out.

NOEL
(louder)
What's his name? What's his name? WHAT'S HIS NAME?

GLORIA
(Screaming hysterically)
GET OUT. GET OUT. GET OUT. AHHHHH

John enters the room, rushes over to the bed, places the tea and meds on the night stand, grabs Noel by the arm and pushes he towards the door. Returning to Gloria he begins to calm her down. Patting her hair and rubbing her back, she leans against his chest.

JOHN
(takes the meds and pours a couple into her hand)
Here take these with some tea. This afternoon we can go on
a walk, its nice out. Elaine can join us too. She's home
this afternoon.

John watches as Mary takes the meds and begins to drink her tea. Walking over to the door, he push Noel out of the room.

INT. HALLWAYS. DAY
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
5th draft

5th draft

I want to say something positive first. The fact that you took the time to write something and post it here and ask for criticism is a sign that you want to do something and I think that is good. I think it takes writing and then most important many re writes to make something really good. I have heard that really great writers have said they don’t start sounding good until the 5th draft or so.

I think that you are thinking of emotional content that is on a gut level which I think is good and I think with a little work this could make a good script.

It is choppy and a little hard to follow for me. I think the characters need some work. It might help if there is a good character description. It was a little hard to follow for me. I did not know who was who while I was reading or what was going on. Was she talking to her mom when she is asking her to tell her his name?

Basically I think you need to rewrite this a few times and possibly read it aloud each time you edit it.

I think you have a start and it could be made into something.


Truly
Kim
 
M

Michael

Guest
Babyjenks,

I am glad to found somone like you, who has written the first script. Because I am about to write my first screenplay too. I have copied and saved your script on my harddrive. I hope the next days I will have time to read it. I have one question: Do you use the screenwriters software "Sophocles"? Is it a good one?
 

NiceGuyTommy

New member
Camera directions

Camera directions

Overall, good, but the use of camera directions is a pretty big no-no in a spec script. Unless of course you're writing this to direct yourself, in which case you needn't worry much at all about format.

But if you want critique on the story, I thought it was an intruiging start to a screenplay, and was well written. I don't think that your story would be better with a male lead.

I recommend you reading ANY screenwriting books you can get your hands on. From the narrative driven semi-autobiographical works such as William Goldman's Hollywood expose screenwriting classics, to the likes of Syd Field's books on the subject (they are dated, but very helpful). Read, read and read some more. And all the time you're reading, try and write a bit too.
 

Lazlo

New member
I disagree with the "read read read some more". You need to "do do do some more". If there is one thing I have learned, it is that books can only take you so far, and doing can take you much further. Keep writing. I thought the dialogue was better than the average script I have read.
 
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