View Full Version : Parental Betrayal

Faith Nelson
12-08-2009, 04:09 AM
LOGLINE: Parental dysfunction leads to the worst kind of betrayal.

3 characters: mom, dad, and 10-12 year old girl.

(Note: The 10-12 year old girl could be a boy, easy to rewrite.

Location: House: (1) kitchen, (2) girl's BR, (3) living room with tv & couch, (4) master bedroom, (5) closet - must be large enough for an adult to lie down in.

Russell Moore
12-09-2009, 05:53 AM
Looking forward to reading this based on the fact that you need a closet big enough for an adult to lie down in. Sounds like my kind of script already.

01-12-2010, 11:42 AM

It was good all the way up to the argument. From there it was a bit confusing with all of the off screen action. The ending wasn't really a payoff, as the foreshadowing more than alluded to someone getting squirreled.

I think it's more a matter of motive. I don't really see Missy killing the dude for being an argumentative drunk. Sure, he's setting a bad example, the daughter says she doesn't want to drink any, so maybe he's a good example. But I don't think that anything he did warranted being murdered, and her suicidal escape at the end was another "saw it coming" moment.

I'm not ragging on you, so don't take it that way. I finished the script, and I've done a lot of first page trash masters in my time. The story was good, but the delivery needed a little something more.

Russell Moore
01-12-2010, 03:59 PM
I agree, the script is moving nicely until the argument. Up to that point, I was right there, well written, nice dialogue. I got a clear idea of your characters.

Minor technical format nitpick, I believe in this situation O.S. would be appropriate in place of V.O.

The fact that they're having an argument is completely believable, I would just like to see more of it visually, maybe intercut between the argument and Cassie's reactions to the argument.

Your writing flows nicely and the dialogue sounded natural.

I too, felt that the murder/suicide needed a bit more motivation. I like the idea of it.

Your writing style is easy to follow and I liked the set up.

Sarah Daly
01-13-2010, 03:08 PM
Gosh this is harrowing Faith! I was right there with Cassie throughout - I like how you've take her perspective but I think you could take this further by starting with her, and following her throughout. She is clearly our protagonist. I'm not so worried about the murder/suicide motivations - these are things can can be hidden under the surface until one thing becomes the final straw. It's totally within the realms of possibility that this was it for Missy. I like how the daughter becomes the parent at the end, as is often the case with alcoholics. This felt real to me, and I really felt for the little girl. So it worked! Very smooth writing, very nice job Faith! You write domestic and family stories very well indeed!

01-13-2010, 07:16 PM
Some well written dialogue but I too got a little lost around the argument.

It's just the amount of off-screen action, we're hearing so much but you could show it or give us more of a reaction out of Cassie in her bedroom besides just putting her head under a pillow just to better move us through the story.

The murder/suicide is a tad strong and could use a bit more background to show how this is the final tipping point. Outside of that it felt very natural and real and I love Cassie's arc, how she has to grow up so quickly to becoming what is essentially the parent.

01-14-2010, 05:06 PM
Hi Faith, just read your script.

The characters felt very real. This is based on a very real situation, that too many kids find themselves in. I agree with Sarah that keeping with Cassie is the way to go.

But, I will echo some of the other comments, as I also got a little lost. I was unsure why the dad was snoring, but also had a knife coming out of his side? Is he on drugs as well?

I feel a little more work, a good think about your structure, and this will be a very good script. Thanks for the read and well done.

Captain Pierce
01-14-2010, 07:07 PM
There seem to be two threads for this script, this one and http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=195328 Could a mod maybe combine them? :)

01-15-2010, 09:29 AM
This was fast paced and very real. Your dialogue is to the point and effective. I really like your decision to focus on Cassie throughout this script. It really helps the viewer not pick a side. Even though Ken was in the wrong, I also didn't like Missy's actions. The thought that Missy would leave her child home with a drunk like that is pretty horrific. Everything about your script works really well and you kept me engaged from the get go. Good job!

Anthony Todaro
01-15-2010, 01:02 PM
A powerful read. Great form and pace. I followed through the argument fine.

The knife seemed a bit brutal for Missy. IMO, poison, would have been more fitting.
Nothing like strychnine, in the beer... Just a thought.

I would have liked to have felt sadder for Missy, to justify her suicide. Maybe she has brusies on her face or something... Maybe that's to much.... Just another thought. =)

I read this lightning quick. Good job there. I felt the betrayal was actually, Missy betraying Cassie, by leaving her orphaned, but in turn free of abuse. Well done.

01-16-2010, 06:54 PM
Poor Cassie. Man...that was a rough family portrait.

The only thing that confused me was Ken snoring when Cassie went into her Mom's room to get him a blanket then when she came out she sees the knife in him and he's dead. Would he snore before he dies?

Great writing, very, very easy to read...which is exactly what I expect from Faith. Nice work. :)

01-18-2010, 07:33 PM
Definitely made you feel bad for the daughter. Nicely written for the most part. The V.O's should be O.S's and a lot of the arguing was hard to visualize what was actually happening. I like that Cassie didn't realize what was going on at the end. It really makes you think about what she'll do when she does find out. Getting readers to wonder "what happens next" after you've already ended the story is a great skill.

The only thing I didn't like was the title which could not have been more "on the nose" as they say.

High marks from me, for this one. Great job.

02-23-2010, 04:48 PM
I really like the tag..."Parental dysfunction leads to the worst kind of betrayal" It's great because it is, in some ways, horrifically true in real life. Tried to open the script but my computer went crazy and wouldn't let me! I'd be interested in reading what you've got and to see how you're getting on - it's got a really premise.