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View Full Version : "Cold Calls," by Xrayspecs



Xrayspecs
05-05-2008, 06:02 PM
Logline: Phone stalker meets girl.

Here's the script download link: http://www.dvxfest.com/scriptfest/Cold_Calls-Xrayspecs.pdf

STYLZ
05-05-2008, 06:15 PM
OK I read this yesterday then went to look for your thread and there wasn't one. Anyways, your script was pretty entertaining. Funny in a "The Office" sort of way. Campy. I would see this fit better in a comedy scriptfest. That being said it was well fleshed out in my opinion. Well put together. Good job. Question-How long did it take you to write this?

Xrayspecs
05-05-2008, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Stylz.

It didn't take long to write the script after I came up with the basic concept: All told, a couple of hours, factoring in the subsequent rewrite sessions.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-05-2008, 07:26 PM
"That's probably for you...."

I laughed out loud. :D

This was pretty damn funny. I thought for one moment that you might be going serious when she found out where the calls were coming from. I'm glad that you didn't disappoint.

Very nice work. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cheers,

Mike

Xrayspecs
05-06-2008, 01:16 PM
Thanks, Mike!

Isaac_Brody
05-06-2008, 02:49 PM
This piece was great, really simple and funny. And the tone shift in the end is good. This was really spare and really visually clear.

Detached
05-06-2008, 04:01 PM
This script paced at a good clip. I enjoyed reading it. At first it was so serious and then shifted. Couple of things...

When someone is on the phone you need a VO or something like Intercut or just VO in this case I think.

I wondered why an obviously single woman would give out the kind of information she did to a stranger, "There is no Mr. Ewing", etc.

I loved the changing of the item he was selling... good and funny and very clever!

Didn't buy into the detective showing up for such a call though and then to tap, but I will be willing to believe it if it was a SNL script or something. This was funny!

Your writing is clear and easy to follow.

Good job and good luck!

Xrayspecs
05-06-2008, 10:25 PM
Thanks, Issac.

Detached: Yes, you've hit upon the script's Achille's heel: The detective agreeing to make a house call and then tap the phone is pretty far-fetched. I think it might work in a heightened comedy universe, but the farcical switcheroo has not yet happened in the story, and the overall tone is still semi-realistic, so the suspension of disbelief hasn't yet been earned. Mea culpa. I thought a lot about this problem while writing the script but wasn't able to come up with an adequate workaround.

If you have any ideas about how to make it work better, I'm all ears.

Thanks for the spot-on feedback!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 06:29 AM
If you have any ideas about how to make it work better, I'm all ears.

Thanks for the spot-on feedback!Instead of a Detective it could be a close friend who works for the phone company. That could work.

Captain Pierce
05-07-2008, 01:14 PM
OK, I'm reading this at work (slow day), and I think the people around me are starting to wonder why I'm laughing my [censored] off right now. :-Laugh(DBG)-1 This is a very funny script, starting with the mangling of her name, the company names (Combustogas was a favorite) and the outrageous scripts Tim was reading ("Did you know that ninety-nine-point nine percent of people prefer safe drinking water?"); through the use of the cliche "The calls are coming from inside the house!" (like Michael, I thought you might be going serious there, but I should have known better by then); and then to the line about "outsourcing," "at least it's not Calcutta," and, of course, "That's probably for you..."

Given that the detective is shown as trying to impress Dana, I didn't really have a problem with him tapping the phone. It usually seems pretty easy to have done in the movies, anyway...

Detached has already made the only suggestion I'd make formatting wise, to designate Tim's phone line as being V.O. or something like that, so all I can say is: Well done. :)

STYLZ
05-07-2008, 01:24 PM
I asked him how long this took to write because I imagine comedy being really hard to write, well good comedy. This one was spot on. Guess he has a knack for writing comedy. You can just imagine the fast talking D-Bag telemarketer.

Xrayspecs
05-07-2008, 02:11 PM
Instead of a Detective it could be a close friend who works for the phone company. That could work.

That could work. I guess I wanted the guy to be a cop so I could lampoon the "Call is coming from inside the house!" cliche of slasher movies. But, yeah, doing so sacrificed a bit of plausibility.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 07:15 PM
That could work. I guess I wanted the guy to be a cop so I could lampoon the "Call is coming from inside the house!" cliche of slasher movies. But, yeah, doing so sacrificed a bit of plausibility.It's all good. Considering that this is an outright comedy... a Detective will do just fine in my book. In fact, just make it so when she calls the police they transfer her to the Detective and he falls in love with her voice. :D

John LaBonney
05-07-2008, 07:24 PM
Loved the humor. I wish my script was this funny. You must have had a ton of fun writing the Tim character.

As others did, I thought that perhaps you were going serious, at which point I was a little disappointed, but I was glad it turned out all humor.

I haven't received a telemarketing call in years, thank goodness, since they changed the laws, so there's a small issue with this material being somewhat dated.

Nice work, I'm sure this is destined to be a fest fave!

Captain Pierce
05-07-2008, 08:05 PM
John, I can tell you from personal experience, if you let your number slip off the Do Not Call Registry (stupid three-year expiration, and why the hell can't they email you to let you know you're about to expire?), the level of telemarketing ramps right back up really fast. :)

John LaBonney
05-08-2008, 01:56 PM
John, I can tell you from personal experience, if you let your number slip off the Do Not Call Registry (stupid three-year expiration, and why the hell can't they email you to let you know you're about to expire?), the level of telemarketing ramps right back up really fast. :)

Really, I'm surprised. I thought most companies had simply given up this method of selling because it was too much aggravation. Perhaps since I've gone totally cellular with no landline is why I haven't heard from these folks.

krestofre
05-09-2008, 10:23 AM
Clever concept, well written.

"That's ... what it says on the sides of our cars...." was the highlight for me. That line made me lose it.

Great job.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-09-2008, 11:56 AM
Really, I'm surprised. I thought most companies had simply given up this method of selling because it was too much aggravation. Perhaps since I've gone totally cellular with no landline is why I haven't heard from these folks.I would say that's it. Everyone I know is still hassled by telemarketers.
I've thought about going completely cellular but I want 911 at my disposal at all times. You never know...

btangonan
05-11-2008, 01:00 AM
Smart and hilarious. Like MAH, I was worried it was going to have a horror flick ending, and was relieved to find out you didn't go that route. Great ending. (SPOILER ALERT) The imagery of a man in a utility closet with a desk and a coffeemaker is brilliant. Is he wearing one of those bookie visors too? I can't remember.

The small details really make this script work. For example, the various things Tim tries to sell Dana--long-distance, electricity, pens, and cheese--are perfect. I can't really say why. They're plain, but clever, and charmingly wholesome in a black-and-white sit-com kind of way. I laughed out loud when Tim says "I'm sorry for your loss." Dana's speech is also just really ordinary and believable. Also, the pun about "cold calls" and Tim getting cold with the draft was nice.

I really wouldn't worry about the plausibility of the police officer making a house call and doing a phone tap. It's really not that far-fetched (especially compared to the ending). If anyone in the audience finds the cop bit hard to bite they'll surely forgive you when they get to the end.

If this script doesn't win, I think you should definitely find a way to make it yourself. Three characters, one location--easy as pie!

P.S. Please give my script a read, when you get the chance. It's at the link below.

Russell Moore
05-11-2008, 12:42 PM
This is one funny script. It was paced well the dialgogue was funny.
I liked the mangling of her name, Tim's overall oblivious happy attitude.

I had no problem with the phone tapping, you had me in a comedic state of mind at that point anyway, so I thought a little creative flexibility was in order anyway.
The ending was great, just funny stuff all the way through.

Forsooth
05-15-2008, 09:38 PM
What a scream! A great read. I enjoyed this a lot. A top entry, IMHO.

Xrayspecs
05-16-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the feedback, all. I appreciate the kind words and the suggestions on how to improve the script.