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aegriffin
05-04-2008, 10:48 AM
Here is Justin's official Scriptfest entry (http://www.dvxfest.com/scriptfest/Beached-Justin_Muschong.pdf).

I'm sure Justin would post this feedback thread himself but he'd never pimp himself out over his talents like I will.

I've worked with Justin on several award winning films and he is a fantastic, clever writer/actor/director. He's for hire and he's fast and completely egoless in the process. Read his script for his contact info and if one has an idea for a screenplay and/or needs some assistance please feel free to drop him a line.

Peace!

Mobie540
05-04-2008, 11:56 AM
Maybe I missed something but you have this buildup and relationship between these two characters then at the end it just fizzles. Is that what you were trying to show? That Jackie, despite this small ‘romance’ between Andy, she chooses to run.

And was it suppose to be the briefcase or accordian case on the beach?

Justin Muschong
05-04-2008, 06:57 PM
Maybe I missed something but you have this buildup and relationship between these two characters then at the end it just fizzles. Is that what you were trying to show? That Jackie, despite this small ‘romance’ between Andy, she chooses to run.

And was it suppose to be the briefcase or accordian case on the beach?
Thanks for taking the time to offer some feedback.

I wouldn't classify what happens between Andy and Jackie as a romance. To me, they are two people using each other. Jackie is on the run from some unknown force. She uses Andy to secure a place where she can hide out for a while. On his part, Andy is lonely, and no doubt hasn't touched a woman in years. He posted an advertisement for a room at his cabin and went with the person who responded who would most likely be somewhat attractive. Jackie senses this, and plays along with Andy to keep him docile. At the end of the script, the question of whether she actually has feelings for him is answered with the sound of his neck snapping. Her self preservation takes precedence, as it would with anyone in her situation, and perhaps there are a couple of other Andys in her past.

For what was on the beach, there's only one case: an accordion briefcase (like this one (http://www.bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2082424359&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2056705947&CAWELAID=154218899&cm_mmc=ca_froogle-_-na-_-men_bags_briefcases-_-2142117&referer=ca_froogle)).

aegriffin
05-05-2008, 07:56 AM
Yeah, for some reason I thougt she had a briefcase and an accordian case with her as well. Call me quirky to a fault but I liked that about her even if it was all invented in my head by misreading it as well.

mjjason
05-06-2008, 12:17 PM
I enjoyed the characters and the overall feel of the story but in the end I have no idea what I just read. What was the story about? The story needs more explaination. Why was she running and from what? Why did Andy take her in? I was confused by that and as a result the ending had little impact.

The characters were really good and the dialog between them was interesting but they were let down by the ending. I think with a bit retooling and further developing Jackie's character this would be a good script.

mjjason
05-06-2008, 12:21 PM
Thanks for taking the time to offer some feedback.

I wouldn't classify what happens between Andy and Jackie as a romance. To me, they are two people using each other. Jackie is on the run from some unknown force. She uses Andy to secure a place where she can hide out for a while. On his part, Andy is lonely, and no doubt hasn't touched a woman in years. He posted an advertisement for a room at his cabin and went with the person who responded who would most likely be somewhat attractive. Jackie senses this, and plays along with Andy to keep him docile. At the end of the script, the question of whether she actually has feelings for him is answered with the sound of his neck snapping. Her self preservation takes precedence, as it would with anyone in her situation, and perhaps there are a couple of other Andys in her past.

For what was on the beach, there's only one case: an accordion briefcase (like this one (http://www.bluefly.com/pages/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=2082424359&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2056705947&CAWELAID=154218899&cm_mmc=ca_froogle-_-na-_-men_bags_briefcases-_-2142117&referer=ca_froogle)).
I can see what you were going for here. The wierd thing is I liked the characters and there interaction so much that I felt let down by the fact that we learn little about them. I think you have a strength in creating good characters which you did here. I just wanted the story to provide more explanation for their actions.

Captain Pierce
05-06-2008, 05:28 PM
Jackie's described in her first appearance as having a small suitcase and the accordion briefcase. The accordion case was what she liked to keep within sight. Oddly enough, all the cash comes out of the suitcase, so the briefcase must have the really interesting stuff. :D

As for the ending, it's not a "Hollywood" ending, but then again I imagine it's emphatically meant not to be. :) The thing that I liked about it was, it was "real." If she's running with something that's more important to her than all the cash that's in her suitcase, then she's not going to risk it just to save the life of some dude who's only income is the deposit on beer bottles that he empties himself.

The only thing I felt needed a little more explanation was how the Man found her at Andy's place. But that's a minor thing. Since this is all from Andy's point of view, I thought it was appropriate that we didn't get any more of a "big picture" kind of thing. Again, that's edging toward "Hollywood" territory; what "The Incredibles" poked fun at as "monologuing." :D (For that matter, my suggestion for more info on how the Man winds up at Andy's is in that direction as well, I realize, but I'm thinking just one line, right after Andy asks "What are you doing in my house," then a beat before the Man says "I would have protected her, too.")

I think this will make a nice short.

alex whitmer
05-06-2008, 10:16 PM
Beached – review

Page 1

EXT. CABIN – DAY

A cabin beside an inland lake.

*Cabin in both slug and action is redundant.

*Why ‘inland’ lake? Does it matter? Inland from what?

*Nice opening shot.

Up to page 4 …

Dialogue and action are really in sync with each other - same pace and same voice. Nicely done.

Great lines …

ANDY
I’ll tell you about me.

JACKIE
I don’t wanna know.

Page 8

She doesn’t answer as she disappears into her bedroom.
He finishes his beer.

*I’d use Andy’s name here. Too many pronouns all piled up.

Here too …

He stands in the cabin, watching her swim in the lake far
below.

Behind him, the man appears.

*All this action and no names.

This …

ANDY
What are you doing in my house?


*I thought they were on the beach. Maybe, ‘What are you doing on my property?’

::::::::::::::::::::

Great mystery, interesting ending. What the hell is in that case??!!

A thought …

This …

The briefcase sits between them.

Follows this …

On the beach, just beyond the surf’s reach, lies the accordion briefcase.

But then goes back to this …

The briefcase sits on the beach.

What came to mind was (and I thought it was going to go this way), maybe each time they go to the beach, the briefcase is closer to Andy, like she’s trusting him more each time. Her trust builds along with his anticipation.

Finally it’s by his side while she is in the water, but then … sorry Andy!

I was disappointed when the case was back on the beach.


Alex

www.alexwhitmer.wordpress.com (http://www.alexwhitmer.wordpress.com)

Detached
05-06-2008, 10:58 PM
This script started out really interesting and kept me intriqued... but I notice a few things.

Jackie is described as person that "shifts..." and that is kind of hard to film, however, I did visualize what you meant at the very end. That was about the only set up that was satisfied I feel.

I was confused and waiting for answers the whole time I was reading.

Was there a point to the card game they played? Where did she get the money, what was she running from? Why did the guy ask Andy what his job is? Does he care? It seemed like there was a lot of "filler" in the script, to get it to the end, but not really add to the story. I must have missed a lot. Maybe I am tired! ;-)

There is a lot, A LOT of potential for this story, but this draft just really left to many questions unanswered and wasn't buttoned up as tight as could be.

What was in the case? Why did Andy die? Did the man catch Jackie and why was he chasing her?

The writing style was good and kept me reading for sure!

Good luck!

krestofre
05-07-2008, 07:18 AM
I liked a lot about this script. The characters are very real, and that's a hard thing to capture. Jackie is immediatly intriguing because of her behavior and her dialog and as a reader I couldn't help but feel a little bit like Andy. I should totally turn the other way and let Jackie be, but I always have her in the corner of my eye and wonder what the key to the mystery is. To that end, as a reader / viewer I feel just as betrayed by Jackie as Andy must feel and I think that's a pretty central hook to the story.

Plot wise, I was happy with it. It's more of a character study than anything else and seeing how Andy and Jackie deal with each other was a treat. I'm not a huge fan of Macguffins, but I understand that sometimes they're necessary, so I don't fault you for the mysterious briefcase angle.

As I was reading it I took the impression that the drinking game was somewhat a ploy by Andy to get some information out of Jackie. Get her drunk and then ask questions. If that's the case I think you could set this up a little better in the script so that there's no question in our minds that this is Andy's plan. As it is I kept questioning if Andy was really smart enough to try to figure out the mystery or if he was just an alcoholic. :)

Good script. I very much enjoyed it.

Russell Moore
05-07-2008, 09:27 AM
I really liked this script. The tone, the characters, the dialogue, it was all solid.

For some reason I thought there were two briefcases too.

But that aside, I was fine with the unanswered questions. I thought it was pretty clear that Jackie was just using Andy, even for sex. Which Andy was too drunk and lonely to see.

I loved the ending, I think any other ending would have been out of place.

Great script.

Justin Muschong
05-07-2008, 06:05 PM
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I always love this part of the process.


*Why ‘inland’ lake? Does it matter? Inland from what?

I suspect that's the Michigander in me acting up. To my mind, everything that's not the Great Lakes is an inland lake. As a matter of fact, I originally envisioned this as taking place on Lake Michigan, but then I figured that if it was chosen, the filmmakers wouldn't be making the trek, so I changed it to a smaller lake. And for some reason felt the need to further differentiate it with the redundant "inland" description.


*All this action and no names.

It didn't occur to me until right after I clicked "Submit" that I should give the "Man" character a name that was a bit more descriptive. DAPPER MAN, or TALL MAN, or something. Now when I read it "the man" and "MAN" stare back at me with scorn.


*I thought they were on the beach. Maybe, ‘What are you doing on my property?’


It's kind of a confusing set-up. The previous scene takes place in the cabin at night, and the next scene also takes place in the cabin, but the next day. I skipped the slug line because repeating the "INT. CABIN" would feel a bit redundant. Maybe I should use "THE FOLLOWING MORNING" as a slug line?



What came to mind was (and I thought it was going to go this way), maybe each time they go to the beach, the briefcase is closer to Andy, like she’s trusting him more each time. Her trust builds along with his anticipation.

Finally it’s by his side while she is in the water, but then … sorry Andy!

I was disappointed when the case was back on the beach.

That's interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way.


Was there a point to the card game they played?

I saw it as Andy's clumsy way of seducing her, both physically and as a way to get her to open up.


Why did the guy ask Andy what his job is? Does he care?

It was his way of looking down his nose at Andy.

Isaac_Brody
05-09-2008, 01:39 PM
Hey Justin,

I liked the writing and pacing of this. The descriptions are vivid, and I really like the setup and scenario for this piece.

Just a couple notes:

Jackie's dialogue on page 3 stood out, specifically: "Now Andy, I'm not gonna have to worry..."
It doesn't sound natural to me. You could visualize the moment by having Jackie catch Andy look at her suitcase a little too longingly. Maybe she says, "See something you like?"

Page 4: Briefcase dialogue, Andy's line: "Do I get to find out what it is?"
Feels too on the nose and unnatural, at least to my ears.

Page 4: The night description of moths and bugs is great. It evokes a mood and I'm there.

Page 8: Andy's line: "What are you doing in my house?" Seems unnecessary, and it sounds weak to my ears.

I really like this piece, I think you can play with genre a little more. This is noir, but treated very subtly which is cool. The details are very mundane, and it might be fun to play with and some visual noir details, perhaps making the tall dapper man more of a noir fixture. Good work.

Justin Muschong
05-12-2008, 07:10 PM
Jackie's dialogue on page 3 stood out, specifically: "Now Andy, I'm not gonna have to worry..."
It doesn't sound natural to me. You could visualize the moment by having Jackie catch Andy look at her suitcase a little too longingly. Maybe she says, "See something you like?"

I sort of pictured the line as being delivered in a patronizing-Mom kind of voice. "Nnooooww Andy" But I see what you mean about it being unnatural, same with the other lines.

Thanks for the feedback. And I must also say, Once Upon a Time in the West is by far my favorite Leone movie. Every line Bronson utters is gold.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-13-2008, 12:14 PM
The characters in this script seemed very real to me, nice work.
I'm not sure if I liked the ending with the guy snapping his neck. That part seemed a little Hollywood to me. I did like that she used him and left him to die though.

Cheers,

Mike

Justin Muschong
05-14-2008, 10:40 PM
I'm not sure if I liked the ending with the guy snapping his neck. That part seemed a little Hollywood to me.

Me too. But I ended up going with it because...

1. It's a little different from the standard gun/knife scenario.
2. It saves the filmmakers on have to get a prop gun or knife and the necessary prop blood, or squibs, or whatever else they might need to successfully pull off the stunt.
3. It shows that the man is a bonafide killer. Pointing a gun and pulling the trigger is hard enough, but the Man snaps someone's neck like he does it every day.

aegriffin
05-15-2008, 08:48 AM
Me too. But I ended up going with it because...

1. It's a little different from the standard gun/knife scenario.
2. It saves the filmmakers on have to get a prop gun or knife and the necessary prop blood, or squibs, or whatever else they might need to successfully pull off the stunt.
3. It shows that the man is a bonafide killer. Pointing a gun and pulling the trigger is hard enough, but the Man snaps someone's neck like he does it every day.

That and you were running out of space - again - kind sir. ;)

Russell Moore
05-15-2008, 09:25 AM
I like the way it ends, nice and simple.


The man snaps his neck and drops him to the ground.

Like the guy just stepped on a twig in his pursuit of Jackie.

seansshack
05-15-2008, 11:54 AM
Would avoid describing want we can't see "with a personality that shifts with the situation" - hard to do sometimes, but we have to remember we are writing for the screen not books.

Structure and formatting outside of this are spot on. Tight action and descriptions make for an easy and well written read. Would have given the "man" a name (but made the same mistake in mine, so can't say too much). Give them one name and stick to it throughout (as they say).

Ending worked. But doubt she could outrun a guy that was strong enough to snap someones neck.

Also overall I think this might work better as a shorter piece. Shave off a couple of pages/minutes.

But overall a solid story. Well told. Best of luck with it.