View Full Version : Open Wound

11-24-2008, 07:42 PM
Retired tough guy Ira Hartwell isn't the only one who can't forget his past.

11-25-2008, 06:52 AM
Hey Peter. Great tag-line and great banner! I can't wait to read this.


11-26-2008, 12:25 AM
Nice tag line looking forward to reading this one.

12-10-2008, 06:23 PM
Locked and uploaded!

12-10-2008, 07:28 PM
Locked and uploaded!

Great - look forward to reading it.

12-12-2008, 11:45 AM

Things I liked: The different take on the P.I. story. I liked that it was an old detective, long retired that had a case come back to haunt him, very interesting concept.

I also liked that Kitty (great name for a dame) was still a very femme fatal character even though she's in her sixties.

I loved the ebay thing. That just made me laugh. Esspecially when Ira started explaining ebay to her. Funny stuff.

Things I didn't like: If Ira was so obsessed with Kitty, then I think he would have recognized her from the moment she set foot in his office. That he took a moment to remember her seemed at odds with the character's past. I think the story would have actually been stronger if she meant nothing to Ira and she really was just another case. That would have fueled Kitty's anger a bit more during their confrontation.

I also didn't like Darlene showing up to save the day. I thought the line about getting through the door was good, but it seemed way to convenient that she would happen to be there again saving Ira's skin.

Overall, I really liked this one.

12-12-2008, 12:22 PM
Good read, thank you. I really liked the battle of characters between Ira and Kitty. Darlene could have had more early on as we only hear about her just before she turns up and it makes you wonder how and why. Good stuff though.

12-12-2008, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the meaningful reviews.

12-13-2008, 12:21 AM
I also really dug your new approach to the detective genre.
The golden-aged retired ex-dick, to my knowledge, has never been done (or done well anyway). My hat's off to you there:beer: - Job well done.

I loved the dialogue, but some of the monologues may have been a hair long-winded. If so, not by much.

I have a minor technical quibble...your action lines (and transitions) sometimes seemed a bit jumbled which led to a little confusion.


If I may make an assumption...I read it as Ira ended up marrying Darlene, hence why she showed up. If that is the case...bravo! Great poo pooing ending! If not. (as krestofre said) it is way too coincidental - especially considering he is not in that racket anymore. Assuming that is what you intended, it honestly is not clear to the reader.

Favorite Line:
"...She knew that when I finally got to you I was gonna poo poo your brains out or kill you. She wasn't taking chances either way."

12-13-2008, 08:26 AM
If I may make an assumption...I read it as Ira ended up marrying Darlene, hence why she showed up.

That thought had crossed my mind, and if that's the case you could easily fix this by having Ira say something like "Good thing I married you for your aim." or something like that. Then the ending would work perfectly.

12-13-2008, 11:38 AM
Again, thanks for all the great feedback. Ira and Darlene are still together. I don't know if they are married; in my mind it's a common law relationship. Darlene may have had feelings for Ira but he always kept her at arms length. They sort of always looked out for each other and for all intents and purposes, acted like an old married couple. I wanted Darlene to be a little protective of Ira; back then she was his gatekeeper and now she obviously still has his back. AND, she helps him with his ebay stuff. :) Thanks everyon for the thoughtful comments.

12-13-2008, 11:57 AM
Righto well the first thing that struck me was BANG a huge block of action. It might just be because ive read so many short scripts but i was a bit Arghh.. Anyway I would consider condensing that a bit!

Likewise with the second block of action - quite a few directors will skip through long actions (skim reading them!) Never good because often they contain vital info - some of the dialogue is a little overlong en monologue (which isnt banned in film lol but does translate imo better on stage.)

Finally the ending did come across as a bit twee and cute (especially given that it relates to shooting someone haha) So that didn't quite work out for me!

Annnnnyway enough of my moaning because overall i really enjoyed it- the dialogue was amusing and kept my interest. The set up however was excellent, the idea of a retired PI and his past chasing up with him is great - i don't think it has been done yet too much either!

So don't take my criticisms too severely as I count this script among one of my favourites :)

12-14-2008, 08:40 PM
I really liked the concept of the characters being in their later years. It brought a sullen mood and a reflection of better times that really added to the script.

I think this idea was too big for the script length. It was good, I just thought there could be more done with it, but it's hard to do so with such a limit. Having her hire him to find something precious and their adventure together reuniting again would have been cool.

But it flowed well, and was solid. Good job!

12-15-2008, 04:47 AM
Would short the two big chunks of description or break them up (into smaller paragraphs). The first on intro is a distraction and makes for harder reading. Gave the impression that you were trying to squeeze this into less pages - when you had extra pages to use.

Dialog was solid - although voice over on page 4 was a little long.

Solid story. Told well. Not much to complain about or changes to suggest.

Well done.

12-16-2008, 07:55 PM
I loved the dialog in this one, it sounded like authentic early 40's gumshoe talk. It tentatively gets my #1 dialog award (tentatively because I have a few more to read). The e-Bay reference was hilarious, but in the end I wish it wasn't there: it clearly set the period to be modern, contrasting with the awesome 40's dialog.

The shooting script format slowed me down a bit, with all the cut to this/that/some-other-thing info. It was a great story, you might consider leaving that to the director and just letting the story flow.

Not sure, but did you really mean for Kitty's long voice over at the bottom of page 4 to really be a voice over? Ira obviously heard it because he reacts to it at the top of page 5.

Good work!

12-18-2008, 07:18 PM
This was a good read. Yes the intro description was a bit long, but the idea of an old private eye who now dabbles in e-bay more than made up for it. The story was easy to follow and had a good twist at the end when Darlene saves Ira. My main comment is that I was really invested emotionally in both Ira and Kitty in about equal terms. You didn't really have a clear hero or a clear villain. This meant that I was rather sorry to see Kitty get shot. Of course, on the positive side, it meant that I thought it might be Ira who was going to go down (or that they would make it up and end off drinking whisky together!!). I enjoyed it, thanks.

12-19-2008, 01:18 PM
This almost felt like a noir parody for an e-bay commercial. It didn't take itself too seriously, which I like, but, at the same time, I wanted a clear good guy too. I think I would have not minded them killing her so much if she wasn't already terminally ill and if she had been more evil.

The concept of a retired, washed-up detective is a good one and I really liked the tone of your dialogue. Nice job. Thanks for the entertainment!:)

Russell Moore
12-19-2008, 04:50 PM
I like the set up, retired detective, past comes back to haunt him.

The camera direction took me out of the story a bit. Especially the flashback and dialogue on page 4. Maybe get rid of the camera direction and then break the block up into more easily digestible chunks. Tighten or break up the dialogue that follows it.

Generally you can get what you want without writing the camera direction, just write what you want them to see, an easy example.

Zoom to his eyes painfully transfixed
on the images of Kitty.

Ira's eyes painfully transfixed on the images of Kitty.

The first thing the reader pictures are his eyes.

I loved the E Bay angle and when he starts explaining it to Kitty. Very funny.
Overall I enjoyed the story. Maybe Darlene was getting him some take out or something? Good job.

12-19-2008, 06:19 PM
In re-reading my post, the parody comment seems harsh and I hope you know I didn't mean it that way. I thought the e-bay idea was funny. ;)

12-22-2008, 04:23 PM
I loved the concept of this script, and I think you executed it really well. You need to work on your formatting and action style though. If you leave your action as one big dialogue, it not only means that some people will skim it, as lawriejaffa said, but those that do read all of it tend to get a bit bogged down, because it's not prose so it can be a little hard to follow. A good rule that I find is that if something new is happening, put it in a new paragraph. For example -

Mork walks through the door into the bar and looks around. He see's Mindy.

Mindy stop drinking her beer and waves at Mork. She accidentally knocks over her drink and it spills all over the bar.

Mork laughs and finds her a paper towel to wipe up the mess.

It makes it a lot easier to read quickly and efficiently. You could also do with condensing your dialogue a little bit, although that's not really a massive issue, more down to personal tastes.

Really great story though, and it panned out nicely. Like others have already said - I loved the eBay idea, it really made me laugh.