View Full Version : Foolish Things

01-04-2012, 02:00 AM
A middle school bully victim recounts his life, trapped in a toilet bowl.


01-04-2012, 02:09 AM
s**t how do I get those "Attached Thumbnails" off this post?

Edit: think I figured it out.

01-04-2012, 02:10 AM
Really? We can't say shit here?

alex whitmer
01-14-2012, 07:59 AM
Really? We can't say s**t here?

Too funny!

01-14-2012, 08:43 AM
lol, trapped in a poo pooing toilet bowl.

^see you can't say F**k**g either

01-14-2012, 04:58 PM
I know right? In a forum of film people. Take it from me, don't talk politics, either. No, no, no, no.... And if you do, make sure you have found out certain Moderators' politics first. Will not mention which one...

=) Hooray for opinions!

01-15-2012, 08:21 AM
Oh, I'd love to hear some political opinions. Some Mitt R****y fans out there? Barack O***a, R*n P**l?

01-15-2012, 08:21 AM
You've gotta be s**tting me...

01-16-2012, 10:11 AM
Foolish Things is an awful title. Someone help me think of a better one.

01-16-2012, 10:31 AM
Hey would anyone be interested in swapping rough drafts for notes? I'm discreet.

01-16-2012, 12:15 PM
you've gotta be s**tting me...


02-08-2012, 02:57 PM
Hi Cherry,

Thanks for the read.

I liked the story.
I really enjoyed the way Ben was justifying their actions. The friendless kid making friends any means necessary.
The main characters were good.
The dialogue was fine.
I thought the VO really helped here to understand Ben.

Not so good:
Clumped action. I know why here you didn't, but it would read better if you did break it up and simplify.
I knew how it was going to end.

Overall, a good read. Thanks.

02-08-2012, 06:05 PM
- What happened to the title page?
- I'd like to see someone film that opening shot. :)
- You can lose the 'Cut To's they ain't needed.
- This is a sick kid.
- Wish you would've paced that ending a little better, but I guess you ran into the time limit.

I guess this is a twist on being trapped. This kid was sick and the kids drowning him were sick, the whole thing was sick. Congrats, I believe that's what you were going for. Sure we knew he would die, but it was like watching a train wreck, you just can't look away. Good Job.

02-09-2012, 09:53 AM
Just finished reading your screenplay. Really dark stuff, man. It made me feel and think. That is definitely good.
I loved interaction between parents. Must say this was a good read.

02-09-2012, 10:32 AM
Foolish Things by Ben Conner

Overall: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 6
Dialogue: 8
Structure: 7
Originality: 5
Style/Quality of Writing: 7
Entertainment Value: 3
Cinematic Quality: 4

Synopsis: A new boy in school, who puts up with anything to have friends, allows
two boys to dunk him in the toilet and time how long he can hold his breath.
This is repeated until he drowns.

***Interesting :)
Pg 1
I can hold my breath
***He is putting his face in a school toilet of his own free will?
on a pipe and penis stat
Pg 2
***So actually he was forced, but he didn't struggle at all?
***This was also his first day, and he calls the guys dunking him fiends.
Pg 3
This is the 47th second.
Words shouldn't be spoken VO
Pg 5
***Home Ec in Elementary?
Quick slide show
***Assume this is a montage done wrong
Pg 6
yelling in voiceover:

And he drowns. I don't see trapped here, but rather held.
There would need to be more character groundwork laid I think to make this
story plausible. Man there are some mean twisted characters/stories in
this Trapped Fest. Who is the audience? Do you want such an audience?

02-09-2012, 05:09 PM
Man, this was a real downer. I'm just gonna...gonna go sit over here for a second. Clear my head.

Jeez, man. The kid was so happy and was so excited to be "making friends".

Great story. Smooth read. No real stumbling(though get rid of the cut to's). Just a joy to read and the end hurt me.

Good job.

Sarah Daly
02-10-2012, 09:19 AM
Yep this is great. The difference between Ben's perception and reality is so so tragic, and made even more so when it eventually kills him. The only niggle I had was the teacher talking to himself in the bathroom - which I think would seem a bit odd on film. But apart from that, great building of conflict, very sympathetic main character and a hardhitting ending. Great job!!

Bill Clar
02-10-2012, 11:21 AM
In your opening scene, tell us Ben's face is underwater. If we see an air bubble escape his nose, then we're underwater with him. Other than that, a solid opening. I'm hooked.

Kyle is quick to ask how long Ben can hold his breath. No attempt at small talk or intimidation.

"They argue quietly and civilized, without looking away from their entertainment." Delete this line. You've shown us Mom and Dad are distracted and the dialogue is civil.

Unnecessary use of "CUT TO:" throughout the script. I'm not 100% certain but you only need to use it when the action must immediately jump to the next scene without transition.

"Pat looks worried; Kyle just looks annoyed." Can you give us some physical characteristics to convey worry and annoyance? Rapid, shallow breaths? Pursed lips? Grit teeth?

Your ending is in limbo. We don't know if Ben lives or dies. Don't leave it undecided.

02-10-2012, 11:25 AM
i like the ending. the reader decides. and most everyone chose dies. the ending is fine.

02-11-2012, 07:40 PM
I think this story has one of the best hooks in the Fest. Your set up was really well done and done with economy. I admire the way you portrayed Ben's rationalization of his predicament and the ambivalence he must have felt about his circumstances, just a great idea and you executed well. Towards the end, however, things got too over the top for me and I struggled to believe that this could happen with this level of intensity in a way that eluded discovery. Even though the possibility of Ben's dying crossed my mind early on, I felt satisfied that you chose this denouement. So, for me, if you could finesse things a bit at the end I think this would truly be outstanding.

02-20-2012, 06:21 PM
If a bad prank were played on Ben and he were locked in the stall or limited to the bathroom, I think this would be a nifty dark comic twist on the 'trapped' theme. I suppose it is open for interpretation. As for me, I have low tolerance levels for crass gutter humor. Still, someone out there still likes Adam Sandler movies, so what do I know. Iy just isn't for me.

That said, aside from not spelling out a few numbers (fifth) and that odd title page, the writing is good overall.

Rustom Irani
02-21-2012, 03:41 AM
I don't know why but this reminds me of "South Park" with the twisted little premise involving the kids.

Kids do tend to be quite dark amongst themselves and you've done an excellent job of conveying that through their actions and the VO. My only little concern is Ben choosing to be involved with this of his own volition, so the element of being trapped works well for the first time, but as it escalates he's doing this on his own free will, except when Kyle pins him down at the end. So, a bit of dilution as far as the theme is concerned.

The other thing related to the same aspect is the directly blunt trigger of "How long can you hold your breath?" I wish he'd walk into their trap rather than them baiting him up.

It's a minor niggle, in a story that has great exposition, back-story and an end that's really, really chilly.

Also reminds me quite a bit of "Let the Right One In" with the whole, hold your breath underwater.

Still, great craft, nicely done!

02-25-2012, 08:41 AM
Hey everyone-- I really appreciate the feedback. It's cool to see so many intelligent critics on this site. Everyone had something interesting to say, and I think that's really great. I'll certainly be considering some of the criticisms while writing my next short. And as for the compliments, those are always very welcome :P

Eric Boellner
02-27-2012, 06:47 PM
This was weird, and I'm really not sure how I feel about it. It had a dark, quirky nature that was certainly entertaining, but my reaction to a lot of it was "What the f--k?" There are a number of mistakes in the writing, and some of the lines are very on-the-nose, such as:

Christ almighty, Linda, donít you
do anything but read and worry?

Donít YOU do anything but watch TV
and criticize me all day?

I think with a polish, maybe a rewrite, this could be something special. It's got the dark humor, the quirk, the inherent sadness brought about by watching a kid let himself go through something like that. On a side-note, I actually think "Foolish Things" is a very good title. It sums the story up very accurately without necessarily being obvious.