PDA

View Full Version : Ruby



Sunk99
01-07-2012, 11:02 AM
Ruby inherits a mansion.
A simple task.
Extraordinarily complicated.

45844






Before you ask - yes she's trapped.
No you can't join her - just wish.
Final draft completed 6 Jan 2012.
Teaser - Ruby's last name is Goldberg.
Cpn

DarrenJSeeley
02-07-2012, 06:55 PM
Title Page
- Get the logline off the title page.
- use your real name too.

Script
- Lots of passive voice. Keep it active.
- Lots of block text. Break it up 3-4 lines but no more.
- Lots of 'starts' 'begins' 'finally'...all words you can do without.
- Just write 'Hello'.

This does feel like an aim for animation, I almost expected the old flyin' utensils gag. Liked the ping pong gag a little bit though.
Needs work. The author states 'final draft' earlier in the month. Reads more like a rough one. Had time to correct some mistakes, make it more readable. That's too bad. This could have been fun stuff.

Eric Boellner
02-07-2012, 08:04 PM
It's well-written, and that kept me going despite the massive blocks of sometimes confusing text. About halfway through, I was 90% certain she was a moving "chess piece" in a life-sized game of CLUE, but that turned out not to be true. Not really sure what I ended up with instead, though. It was fun, but the ending was a slight let down. Particularly, "Lawyers. You're welcome I'm sure." I was also confused because it sets it up toward the end as if the lawyer had engineered all of those scares in order to get the mansion for his own, but then he himself appears to be trapped by it?

Loved the stylish writing early on. Especially lines like, "The view gets better the higher you go." It creates a "shot," with using outdated language like "tilt slowly up as we see..." I would avoid putting anything on the title page other than basic information, though, which should include (at MOST) the title, your name, and contact info. I'd also avoid references to old movies as a descriptor -- it's been too long since I've seen Ghostbusters, and I don't remember if I ever saw Roger Rabbit, so while I got a solid image of Ruby from your description, the movie references felt unnecessary, and also made me feel out of the loop, which is something you won't want to do to someone of actual importance reading your script.

I did have to "dock points," though, because your script passes the 6-page limit by a page and a half.

-JMT

ZellJr
02-08-2012, 02:53 AM
Passes the page limit, as already noted by JMT.

I had a lot of trouble following what was going on. It was very confusing, especially towards the end. And there was a lot of heavy descriptions. The whole pingpong balls thing took up atleast a page and had a very weak payoff. You could have practically removed it and the script would be the same, from what I took from it.

I'd suggest simplifying things, actions and descriptions. And of course, break up these large blocks of text into shots. I had to fight myself from just skimming this, but by the time I finished, I was disappointed, because I could have just skimmed it and gotten the same result.

I didn't see the purpose of Ruby's character being described the way she was. It added nothing to the story. And I didn't understand the lawyers line at the end. I didn't understand the story at all, really. I kind of thought I did, but then the lawyer guy apparently died? I don't know. But I do give you respect for not hammering it over our heads.

Your writing style I'm sure many people will find fun. It just needs trimming and clarity.

taylormade
02-08-2012, 09:01 AM
I'm not sure why this script was posted as it exceeds the fest limit by a page and a half.

A fun story that could have been told in three pages. Once we get that everything she touches starts the mansion moving against her it begins to get terribly repaticious. That, combined with massive blocks of description, really slows things down.

You TELL us the lawyer planned the whole thing and intended to scare her. How are you going to show that on the screen? And if he knew all this stuff was going to happen, why the heck did he stay inside after Ruby left?

Some of this was fun, but you need an editor!

Chris_Keaton
02-08-2012, 03:06 PM
Ouch, sorry. I didn't notice this exceeded the page count. It'll become exhibition.

Sunk99
02-08-2012, 07:13 PM
Title Page
- Get the logline off the title page.
- use your real name too.

Script
- Lots of passive voice. Keep it active.
- Lots of block text. Break it up 3-4 lines but no more.
- Lots of 'starts' 'begins' 'finally'...all words you can do without.
- Just write 'Hello'.

This does feel like an aim for animation, I almost expected the old flyin' utensils gag. Liked the ping pong gag a little bit though.
Needs work. The author states 'final draft' earlier in the month. Reads more like a rough one. Had time to correct some mistakes, make it more readable. That's too bad. This could have been fun stuff.

Thanks for the critique. Agree I shouldn't have posted final as it has received editing since.
Don't recall if those were posted here or not.
A few comments. I don't plan to sell my scripts. I gave up those dreams well over 20 years ago.
I may or may produce them locally (depends on budget).
This one is already in the works and should be filmed this summer here in Metro Detroit.
Hopefully the machines will be far more complex visually. Maybe you'd like to help or do some other films with us?
Michael mentions in the next review post about style. Mine is I'm a rule breaker.
I like to direct the camera as Michael points out. I do it through visuals.
I like my Logline on the cover. I never use my real name. I love Pen names. Hmmm...was Mark Twain his real name? :)
I also add my tag - Tellin the Tale...
You weren't specific pointing out issues. Could you be specific to help an old buzzards writing?
Passive voice to me are forms of "to be." The word "be" is not found in the script.
There is one "start", two "begins", and three "finally"s.
I have to agree I do like the sentences better without them. Taught an old dog a new trick.
Again thanks for the read and comments.

Sunk99
02-08-2012, 07:35 PM
<cut & snip>
...massive blocks of sometimes confusing text.
...in a life-sized game of CLUE,
...if the lawyer had engineered all of those scares in order to get the mansion for his own, but then he himself appears to be trapped by it?
...Loved the stylish writing early on.
...avoid references to old movies as a descriptor
...your script passes the 6-page limit by a page and a half.
-JMT
Michael thanks so much for the read and review.
Agree the action blocks were big. Funny. I was saving space to keep it under ten pages. Now I read there was a six page limit! Too funny! Too many scripts flying around. :)
Clue. Thrown in to show her dead uncle liked weird things. A whole lot of things thrown into a short space and I see how they didn't translate as well as I hoped.
The entire story was based on things aren't how they always appear. The Lawyer had planned to scare her away. He thought the weird house would do the job for him.
He showed up late on purpose. He had no clue what the one button did. If you check the actually machines and what they did inside from a homeowners perspective, they have functions.
My fault I didn't get these points across in the space allotted.
Thanks again for the review.

Sunk99
02-08-2012, 07:54 PM
<cut & snip>
...It was very confusing,
The whole pingpong balls thing ... could have removed it...

I didn't see the purpose of Ruby's character being described the way she was. It added nothing to the story.

And I didn't understand the lawyers line at the end.
... lawyer guy apparently died?
... Your writing style I'm sure many people will find fun.

Xell,
I deeply appreciate your review and viewpoints. You don't have to like it. We all don't like the same things. It would be a boring world if we did. I appreciate the candor.
If it was a confusing read that's my fault. The ping pong balls ... ehhhhh .... that's my story ticking clock. I like stories that have time limits more than option limits.
Makes for excitement I think. BTW, we don't know if the lawyer dies. I didn't see the house explode. If you don't know Jersey talk then you likely don't get some of the lines
spoken. They don't speak like the rest of us or make perfect sense. That makes them great fun characters - not boring.
I've had a few people elsewhere makes comments about my decryption of Ruby. Overdone. Not script format. Ya-da, ya-da. (more Jersey talk) Yes I know how to spell description.
Its my style. Anyhow, if you got a minute to read below is a cut & paster answer-
TimMc

Here is the text from the script:
RUBY drives into the circular driveway and stops at the main doors to the mansion. Through the windshield it appears pretty much your standard - HAUNTED MANSION.
The moon peeks in and out of the clouds casting an eerie blue glow upon the ground fog. The car door opens and a sexy leg sporting a red stiletto steps on the gravel.
Work it - Ruby's calves rock as they strut toward the mansion door. The view gets better the higher you go. Her nylons with the black seam peak through the slit of her red
sequin dress. Smoking! Bummer - she also wears a faux black and white animal print coat. Her red hair spills down her back. An owl hoots somewhere behind her in the trees.
Ruby looks back revealing moist red lipstick and huge gaudy glasses from 1950. Ruby reminds you of a cross between the secretary in Ghost Busters and Roger Rabbit's girlfriend Jessica.


Now let me explain why these descriptions were picked - really taking the reader on trip viewed through my camera. See what you think.


1- RUBY drives into the circular driveway and stops at the main doors to the mansion.
CU shot of Ruby then establishing shot of mansion


2- Through the windshield it appears pretty much your standard - HAUNTED MANSION.
WS Ruby POV through windshield, then pulling back to super WS to show property still expanding...


3- The moon peeks in and out of the clouds casting an eerie blue glow upon the ground fog.
...to include the scary moon and ground fog rolling across the property.


4- The car door opens and a sexy leg sporting a red stiletto steps on the gravel.
The reader has not seen Ruby up to this point and I wanted to reveal her a little at a time.
So the camera view is limited to the shoes.


5-Work it - Ruby's calves rock as they strut toward the mansion door.
And as she walks the camera shifts upward. "Work it" was a purposefully used verb used as an adjective. I believe most readers recognize the saying to mean act extra sexy.


6-The view gets better the higher you go. Her nylons with the black seam peak through the slit of her red sequin dress. Smoking!
The camera continues to slowly pan up revealing her super sexy and very short red dress.


7- Bummer - she also wears a faux black and white animal print coat.
Male readers will almost be at a voyeuristic point here expecting an up-dress camera view. But alas, a gaudy, cheap animal print blocks the view.


8- Her red hair spills down her back.
The camera continues to pan up showing her hair.


9- An owl hoots somewhere behind her in the trees.
Break-away from Ruby as we spent a lot of time panning her and now we need to pull back for the reveal.


10-Ruby looks back revealing moist red lipstick and huge gaudy glasses from 1950.
This is a WS shot of Ruby walking from behind which flies in as she turns to look toward the owl hoot revealing her face and lowering her glasses to show her eyes.


11- Ruby reminds you of a cross between the secretary in Ghost Busters and Roger Rabbit's girlfriend Jessica.
Finally we see a front shot of Ruby in total - hot.


So as you can see I gave a lot of thought to that sequence. Could I cut it - yes. Is it camera direction? Yes, but not explicitly so. Will a Director see the sequence in
my camera view, but not think I am directing? I hope so. To me this is how one should screen write. Visuals from a cameras perspective. Not always used.


Same sequence edited to the rules-


RUBY drives into the driveway and stops at the main doors of a HAUNTED MANSION. She gets out revealing a sexy red dress and gaudy faux jacket. Ruby herself
is stunning, although she wear glasses.

BORING!

Sunk99
02-08-2012, 08:20 PM
<cut & snip>
A fun story that could have been told in three pages.
...slows things down.
You TELL us the lawyer planned the whole thing and intended to scare her. How are you going to show that on the screen?

And if he knew all this stuff was going to happen, why the heck did he stay inside after Ruby left?

Some of this was fun, but you need an editor!

Thanks Mr. TaylorMade for the review. Sorry I'm a Ping sort, but none the less I hear ya.
Yep, Ruby could have been done in a boring 3 pages. Agree.
I know a lot of people comment about big blocks of text slowing things down. I'm familiar with pacing and how to get a reader to fly from page to page.
I didn't have the space, yet I needed the space to describe complex Rube Goldberg machines! I know - my fault. But as to to pacing, most people I've
asked thought this script read fast and the pacing very fast. Do the big blocks break the rules so much that just in themselves slow the story? I'm curious.
I have no problem breaking rules. You should read the short script I'm working on now. I totally direct the camera 100% as well as the SFX. I also never show a
character or location. I love a teaser. :)

Another discussion item-
LAWYER
(sing-song)
I get the mansion.
His smile is evil. He had planned to scare her all along.

Agree the last sentence is novelistic. I knew it when I put it there. Others have pointed it out too. I need help with it. I wish the first sentence was enough.
That the reader might understand him suddenly smiling evil means he is evil and was plotting. But it doesn't. I know a good actor could pull this off and
relay it to the viewer. Any suggestions on how to write it in a script?

Why did the lawyer go back inside you ask?
The lawyer had no clue what that other button did. He even said so. He knew what normally could happen inside and that is why he arrived late.

Again thanks for the read.

ZellJr
02-08-2012, 10:25 PM
Xell,
I deeply appreciate your review and viewpoints. You don't have to like it. We all don't like the same things. It would be a boring world if we did. I appreciate the candor.
If it was a confusing read that's my fault. The ping pong balls ... ehhhhh .... that's my story ticking clock. I like stories that have time limits more than option limits.
Makes for excitement I think. BTW, we don't know if the lawyer dies. I didn't see the house explode. If you don't know Jersey talk then you likely don't get some of the lines
spoken. They don't speak like the rest of us or make perfect sense. That makes them great fun characters - not boring.
I've had a few people elsewhere makes comments about my decryption of Ruby. Overdone. Not script format. Ya-da, ya-da. (more Jersey talk) Yes I know how to spell description.
Its my style. Anyhow, if you got a minute to read below is a cut & paster answer-
TimMc

Here is the text from the script:
RUBY drives into the circular driveway and stops at the main doors to the mansion. Through the windshield it appears pretty much your standard - HAUNTED MANSION.
The moon peeks in and out of the clouds casting an eerie blue glow upon the ground fog. The car door opens and a sexy leg sporting a red stiletto steps on the gravel.
Work it - Ruby's calves rock as they strut toward the mansion door. The view gets better the higher you go. Her nylons with the black seam peak through the slit of her red
sequin dress. Smoking! Bummer - she also wears a faux black and white animal print coat. Her red hair spills down her back. An owl hoots somewhere behind her in the trees.
Ruby looks back revealing moist red lipstick and huge gaudy glasses from 1950. Ruby reminds you of a cross between the secretary in Ghost Busters and Roger Rabbit's girlfriend Jessica.


Now let me explain why these descriptions were picked - really taking the reader on trip viewed through my camera. See what you think.


1- RUBY drives into the circular driveway and stops at the main doors to the mansion.
CU shot of Ruby then establishing shot of mansion


2- Through the windshield it appears pretty much your standard - HAUNTED MANSION.
WS Ruby POV through windshield, then pulling back to super WS to show property still expanding...


3- The moon peeks in and out of the clouds casting an eerie blue glow upon the ground fog.
...to include the scary moon and ground fog rolling across the property.


4- The car door opens and a sexy leg sporting a red stiletto steps on the gravel.
The reader has not seen Ruby up to this point and I wanted to reveal her a little at a time.
So the camera view is limited to the shoes.


5-Work it - Ruby's calves rock as they strut toward the mansion door.
And as she walks the camera shifts upward. "Work it" was a purposefully used verb used as an adjective. I believe most readers recognize the saying to mean act extra sexy.


6-The view gets better the higher you go. Her nylons with the black seam peak through the slit of her red sequin dress. Smoking!
The camera continues to slowly pan up revealing her super sexy and very short red dress.


7- Bummer - she also wears a faux black and white animal print coat.
Male readers will almost be at a voyeuristic point here expecting an up-dress camera view. But alas, a gaudy, cheap animal print blocks the view.


8- Her red hair spills down her back.
The camera continues to pan up showing her hair.


9- An owl hoots somewhere behind her in the trees.
Break-away from Ruby as we spent a lot of time panning her and now we need to pull back for the reveal.


10-Ruby looks back revealing moist red lipstick and huge gaudy glasses from 1950.
This is a WS shot of Ruby walking from behind which flies in as she turns to look toward the owl hoot revealing her face and lowering her glasses to show her eyes.


11- Ruby reminds you of a cross between the secretary in Ghost Busters and Roger Rabbit's girlfriend Jessica.
Finally we see a front shot of Ruby in total - hot.


So as you can see I gave a lot of thought to that sequence. Could I cut it - yes. Is it camera direction? Yes, but not explicitly so. Will a Director see the sequence in
my camera view, but not think I am directing? I hope so. To me this is how one should screen write. Visuals from a cameras perspective. Not always used.


Same sequence edited to the rules-


RUBY drives into the driveway and stops at the main doors of a HAUNTED MANSION. She gets out revealing a sexy red dress and gaudy faux jacket. Ruby herself
is stunning, although she wear glasses.

BORING!yeah i had no troubles with the language. that wasnt a problem. i just didnt see the use in describing ruby in such detail. her looks played no role in the story. she could just have easily been ugly betty and the story would be exactly the same.

as for the camera directions, i never have a problem with those in the technical sense. i just dont really care for camera movement. it doesnt do anything for me. i much prefer a still camera with limited changing shots. i find specific shots to be a bit intrusive more often than not. boring really. but thats just me.

please excuse the sloppiness. posting from my phone.

Sunk99
02-09-2012, 11:30 AM
she could just have easily been ugly betty and the story would be exactly the same.
Good point - you're right. Thanks. Another reader suggested, which I will incorporate, having Ruby's looks getting worse ending
up with a tilted wig, a jacket sleeve torn off (she did it by accident, not the house), shoe missing, make-up smeared.
It is really great having so much feedback and ideas. Thanks.

MML
02-09-2012, 03:39 PM
I feel like grading every aspect of your entry but I'll hold back from that since I find that sort of, I don't know...rude. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

First impression is yikes...big chunks of narrative and 8 pages. So obviously this isn't in the running since you went over the page limit. But kudos for entering anyway and completing a short. That's always a positive thing.

I found Ruby to be so very cliche. You show a pic of Jessica Rabbit on your poster and somehow I thought the character you created would be different but she wasn't. She was a carbon copy. So if I were to grade this, which I won't, I'd give you a very low score in the originality department.

Pg. 1 - this is a VERY long set up. We learn nothing here except Ruby, a Jessica Rabbit clone, is at the front door of a haunted mansion. No hint on the genre...is it a comedy, horror, drama??

Pg. 2 - Again, nothing happens. Toooooooo much description and no story.

Pg. 3 - Yikes. Still nothing. And so far her dialog is repetetive. She's walking through this weird place, we need more.

Pg. 4 - Okay, we still have no story, she's just wandering around this weird house. Four full pages of this. You have to see this is bad, right?

Pg. 5 - I assume this is supposed to be a giant game of Clue? Then what are the ping pong balls? And one main slug of MANSION doesn't cut it. If she's in the kitchen that needs a new slug. New location, new slug.

Pg. 6 - Sorry - no lightning. -- What does this mean?? Can this statement be filmed?
You don't properly intro the Lawyer. I had to go back because I thought I must have missed him earlier. That's why you CAP characters when first intro'd.

Pg. 7 - (opening his briefcase and pulling out a folder) -- This should be written as action.
He had planned to scare her all along. -- Whoa...Are you really telling us this?? Screenwriting 101...show don't tell.

Pg. 8 - Didn't really understand the ending and Ruby's last line of dialog.


Capn Keel, I don't know you but if you're going to be so bold as to grade other's work I think you'd better have the chops to back it up.

This story, atmosphere and characters were totally cliche and you knocked me for being unoriginal. Yikes. I was liking the "Clue" aspect of this, although not original, but you were inconsistant with it. It was there then it wasn't. Focus. And give us an actual story instead of just a weird haunted house. And give us an original character with some actual depth instead of just looks.

Best of luck to you.

Sunk99
02-09-2012, 04:07 PM
I feel like grading every aspect of your entry but I'll hold back from that since I find that sort of, I don't know...rude. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)
Capn Keel, I don't know you but if you're going to be so bold as to grade other's work I think you'd better have the chops to back it up.

Wow - I'm sorry if I offended or was rude. Not intended. I like in-depth reviews personally. I like people to show me specifically where they have beefs.
I like to do the same for others. I spend time with their scripts. The review format is taken from a major agency.
I don't compare my scripts to others. They each stand on their own. People don't have to write at all to have an opinion do they? Must I be better than you to comment?

I also don't discard others opinions either simply because they find fault with my own writing. My script got trashed in this forum. You didn't like it. Okay. That a
good reason to flame me? I have thick skin - its storytelling - people have opinions. I actually want positive and negative opinions.

A couple of points your bring up are quite valid. In other posts here I asked for help to come up with something better in a few areas.

I also wish you the best of luck young lady.

ZellJr
02-09-2012, 04:33 PM
yeah i have no idea where this hostility came from lol.

Sunk is a pretty cool guy. I haven't sensed any animosity in any of his posts.

MML
02-09-2012, 04:56 PM
Didn't think I came across as hostile. Sorry about that. I was just being straight forward which I thought was a safe way to be with Sunk since he is straight forward as well. I'm sure he didn't mean to be insulting in his review when he said, "I found both characters un-plausible or at the least stupid."

My personal opinion, although I feel pretty strongly that I'm not alone, is that I very much dislike being graded. And if I am being graded it better be by someone who can stand behind it. That's all I'm saying. It's like finding out that the Professor who's been slamming you all semester never graduated High School. That's what I meant by "you'd better have the chops". Also, if youre going to dish it out, you'd better be able to take it.

I'm sure you are a pretty cool guy as Zell states. Review in whatever way makes you happy. Just realize that some people may not appreciate the grading system. Bestof luck with your story and your writing. :laugh:

Sunk99
02-09-2012, 06:28 PM
"I found both characters un-plausible or at the least stupid."
I very much dislike being graded.
if youre going to dish it out, you'd better be able to take it.
some people may not appreciate the grading system. Bestof luck with your story and your writing. :laugh:

Marnie, I'm sure if we were face to face you'd realize I am 100% with you. I'm sure we could have a great conversation about your story over a cup of joe. I apologize I shouldn't have used the term stupid without further elaboration. I take offense at people who knock down women, call them the weaker sex, etc. My experience in life is over-all you women have us men beat hands down brain-wise. We do so much stupid stuff. Ask any guy - we all know we should be dead many times over.
Your female character walked into the woods with a creepy guy then into a building with him. Women sense these things. They're smarter than this. The character as is, is the same teenager who goes down into the basement where she knows Jason is waiting. I don't buy the stupid character. Now, if she went looking for the cat and was cautious of this guy, and he walloped her from behind - different opinion. She had enough sense to plan out how to escape didn't she? The male character had similar issues that made him either not plausible or a stupid person - sorry I call strikes and balls. You didn't make him all the way stupid. You showed him think. Then he untied a full grown women and took no precautions. Heck a kid can kick ya in the balls. Anyhow, sorry I didn't explain "enough" in-depth. :)

As to grading - don't post your stuff in scoring contests if you don't like grading as that is what those stars are about. To me those stars aren't enough. That's an overall score. You're writing skills can be top of the heap, but your storytelling at the bottom. And entertainment and cinema qualities are very important. I have many people write me saying thanks for the in-depth reviews rather than the glossy, your script sucks - 2! What good does that do to help you write?

Finally - yes I can take it. I could give a rats ass about scores. I am an old buzzard with no dreams of my scripts being up there on the big screen. I dropped those ideas many, many, years ago. I write because I love it. I review because I think I provide better help than most.

I see you are a photog. Me too - many years. Retiring in two. Was planning to shoot yachts for something to do then. Now, I've pulled my writing back out and plan to do shorts. I have the equipment and crew. Ruby, the one you hate, will be filmed this summer in metro-Detroit. We have the lead (a blond) and are making arrangement for a house/mansion. The Clue stuff - totally dropped. The Rube Goldberg machines will be much more elaborate. I take it you never built a Rube Goldberg machine in high school? Sad - very fun. I don't think you caught her name was Ruby Goldberg and her uncle was named Rube? You are not my target audience. Jessica Rabbit - I don't draw. Best graphic and description I could come up with.
Clique? You bet - on purpose. I wanted people to hit on things they recall.

Well like always - long winded. Honestly. I only read a couple out of all the entires that I considered producible within a reasonable budget with some hope of having an entertainment interest.
You take care and I hope to see something you write produced some day.
Sunk
or just plain Tim
P.S. We hope to produce six shorts this year - fingers crossed. Lots of fun. Community theater actors. One full feature - top secret project - literally a cast of hundreds. I love teasers.

Chris_Keaton
02-09-2012, 06:28 PM
Notes:
- Ok you went over the page count, so you know there won't be an end score, but that doesn't mean you can't get some good reviews.
- Oh no, I hate Jersey accents :)
- Wow you just love flowery prose. You may want to write that instead. There's at least a market for that and people will read it besides other screenwriters.
- I can so visualize Jessica Rabbit and The Secretary.
- Rube Goldberg ;)
- Ruby and that guy in the glass box should get together.

There's no way this short could get filmed live action without a load of computer effects. But then why. I really think you could've got this into the page count. I think you have a fun concept, but didn't it delivered. It could be that neither character was likeable enough or evil enough to really care about. Keep the concept and rework it.

Sunk99
02-09-2012, 06:51 PM
Notes:
- Ok you went over the page count, so you know there won't be an end score, but that doesn't mean you can't get some good reviews.
- Oh no, I hate Jersey accents :)
- Wow you just love flowery prose. You may want to write that instead. There's at least a market for that and people will read it besides other screenwriters.
- I can so visualize Jessica Rabbit and The Secretary.
- Rube Goldberg ;)
- Ruby and that guy in the glass box should get together.

There's no way this short could get filmed live action without a load of computer effects. But then why. I really think you could've got this into the page count. I think you have a fun concept, but didn't it delivered. It could be that neither character was likeable enough or evil enough to really care about. Keep the concept and rework it.

Thanks for the review Chris. I loved your story. I laugh about my page count. I finished it and proofed early on in Jan. Also had two other "10 page" contests with different scripts. Guess I got them all mixed up. Hell getting old. Yes I could easily have cut out fluff and got it to 6. I thought I was two pages under at 8. :)

I don't care about the score - the opinions are what matter to me. Good reviews? HA! Ruby got raped! :)
There will be a lot of After Effects work for Ruby. Many of the machines however, will be built and shot in piece meal and pasted together in post. That's easy stuff.
Yeah I got'ta beat that glass box guy up - stealing my idea! :) Old gag. What is really funny is all the people who doubt such happens. Watch this Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgstON22SbY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgstON22SbY)
Nothing new under the sun, just different ways to look at it.

DarkElastic
02-09-2012, 09:03 PM
Hi Sunk99,

Thanks for the read.

Good:
The story is set up well.
The intricate details are very nicely done, like the door closing switching the lights on.
The tension is built well with the ping-pong balls.

Not so Good:
The expressions 'work it' 'bummer' you don't need. This is a script, show us not tell us.
Break your action up to help the pacing and show the shots. It is so heavy with words. Simplify it and it will flow far better.
A lot of the dialogue seems unnecessary, e.g. "I'm sure." I would read the dialogue out loud, as some of it just doesn't read right.
I don't think legally word of mouth would work when it comes to a property. But that's nit-picky.

Overall, there are some really nice things here, but it's just too much. It becomes a slog to read. I'm not even sure at the end there is a payoff for getting through it... Straight away I thought, "was this house owned by Willy Wonka or Michael Jackson?" I think it needs work to work as a script, but as a story writer I think you would be very good. Well done.

Sunk99
02-10-2012, 01:58 PM
Hi Sunk99,

Thanks for the read.

Good:
The story is set up well.
The intricate details are very nicely done, like the door closing switching the lights on.
The tension is built well with the ping-pong balls.

Not so Good:
The expressions 'work it' 'bummer' you don't need. This is a script, show us not tell us.
Break your action up to help the pacing and show the shots. It is so heavy with words. Simplify it and it will flow far better.
A lot of the dialogue seems unnecessary, e.g. "I'm sure." I would read the dialogue out loud, as some of it just doesn't read right.
I don't think legally word of mouth would work when it comes to a property. But that's nit-picky.

Overall, there are some really nice things here, but it's just too much. It becomes a slog to read. I'm not even sure at the end there is a payoff for getting through it... Straight away I thought, "was this house owned by Willy Wonka or Michael Jackson?" I think it needs work to work as a script, but as a story writer I think you would be very good. Well done.

Thanks for the review. Agree, verbal would not hold up in court. Your wondering what weirdo owned the house tells me you are not familiar with Rube Goldberg or his machines. I'm surprised and finding out that a lot of people never heard of him or at least recognize similar contraptions. I've moved all about the U.S. and put five kids through school. They all, at some time or another for school, built Rube Goldberg machines. There is even a national championship each year. Some people call them Mousetrap machines. The game Mousetrap was based on Rube Goldberg's newspaper cartoons in the early to mid 1900s. Throughout my script, I tried to pound the Goldberg name, and yet not get into a copyright issue. I may or may not have legally accomplished that. Honda made a really cool machine that is posted on Youtube. Check it out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo) Anyhow, I thank you for the read and input.

Rustom Irani
02-10-2012, 01:58 PM
I just feel like I walked into a live action version of a Ralph Bakshi animation. Not necessarily a bad thing if you get the reference.

Whenever I've come across a script that reads so detailed with specific sound, prop and production design cues, I know that the author probably intends to shoot this himself/herself.

This could be challenging to pull-off without detailed c.g.

I can see this as a Sky Captain meets Sin-cty effort on a low budget, since in actuality your script reads very much like a detailed storyboard, which in all probability you'll definitely need to shoot this.

What I can't figure is, how does one then critique this effort which is obviously no longer in the running for being a couple of pages over than limit?

Based on writing? Well, this is a writer's competition and you'll get most comments aimed at the prose style, deviating from "white-space" and how there isn't much inner conflict.

All I can then add is my two cents on a different approach to tackle this in execution. Try blending retro with this, take out all dialog and add cue cards. Those will lend a lot of atmosphere to the kitschy premise.

"Who framed Roger Rabbit?" is my all time favorite film, and while your character might have Jessica's body, I think she's a lot more "Betty Boop" in personality.

I do hope that in future contests we get to read a script written by you which you intend someone else to probably shoot, just think like a writer without any other caps. Tis' hard, I know, but having read your reviews I get the feeling that you're primarily looking for visual narrative to take precedence over sub-text and carry the plot forward.

I totally get that, some people think visually, others prefer to have some room for their imagination to fill in.

As long as critiquing provides fixers and supports its argument, the end result can only benefit everyone involved.

I'd like to see this once you shoot it, if you wish for feedback on it. :)

All the best!

I love Goldberg devices, they're really awesome!

Sunk99
02-11-2012, 09:17 AM
I just feel like I walked into a live action version of a Ralph Bakshi animation. Not necessarily a bad thing if you get the reference.
Whenever I've come across a script that reads so detailed with specific sound, prop and production design cues, I know that the author probably intends to shoot this himself/herself.
This could be challenging to pull-off without detailed c.g.
I can see this as a Sky Captain meets Sin-cty effort on a low budget, since in actuality your script reads very much like a detailed storyboard, which in all probability you'll definitely need to shoot this.
What I can't figure is, how does one then critique this effort which is obviously no longer in the running for being a couple of pages over than limit?
Based on writing? Well, this is a writer's competition and you'll get most comments aimed at the prose style, deviating from "white-space" and how there isn't much inner conflict.
All I can then add is my two cents on a different approach to tackle this in execution. Try blending retro with this, take out all dialog and add cue cards. Those will lend a lot of atmosphere to the kitschy premise.
"Who framed Roger Rabbit?" is my all time favorite film, and while your character might have Jessica's body, I think she's a lot more "Betty Boop" in personality.
I do hope that in future contests we get to read a script written by you which you intend someone else to probably shoot, just think like a writer without any other caps.
Tis' hard, I know, but having read your reviews I get the feeling that you're primarily looking for visual narrative to take precedence over sub-text and carry the plot forward.
I totally get that, some people think visually, others prefer to have some room for their imagination to fill in.
As long as critiquing provides fixers and supports its argument, the end result can only benefit everyone involved.
I'd like to see this once you shoot it, if you wish for feedback on it. :)
All the best!
I love Goldberg devices, they're really awesome!

Wow Rustom - I'm humbled. So well written. Thanks.
Although this script was written specifically for this contest, you are correct the intention was it could be made locally on a shoe string budget.
I've written numerous scripts that needed Spielberg budgets. Of course, they never went anywhere. Older and hopefully wiser now.
Yes it will need CG. But actually these are simple in After Effects.
I do like your recommendation about cue cards. It could add some humor in a quirky way. I'll seriously consider the change.
Betty Boop? She was supposed to have the secretary from Ghost Busters personality. :) Dry, grinding. wah-wah - I failed on that. Back to studying the film again.
You have me nailed on visuals, and that is my preferred style, but I do write drama as well.
I would be more than happy to send a short for personal review. Simply ask.

I think I am capable of imagining visuals, with few cues, and doing the same in my writing.
Did you notice in Ruby the main location is simply described "HAUNTED HOUSE." There are others as well.
I do prefer to control the camera (storyboard) depending on occasion as do others. I recall someone panning through the ground.

I know some people are taking offense at my review format - which shows my scoring.
I'm the only one doing such and so I'm getting bashed where I score low.
That's okay - just trying to be honest. Some very emotional types - writers.
I'm not afraid to tell a writer my rating and give the breakdown as to why.
To me such information would be very useful for my writing to get better. 1-10 stars, likely have Facebook friend results.

I am sad about one flame where I totally did not get some omni-meta-physical I don't know what thing.
I re-read the script three times and still come way not seeing how an audience would arrive at such.
I asked a couple others to read it. They agreed with me.
But, reviewers here commented on how deep it was and how you have to ignore practical lighting.
I'm sorry I simply didn't get it. Nothing bad meant by it.

In a way I'm getting the same reactions to Ruby.
It appears many simply do not know of Rube Goldberg or his machines or the Mousetrap game for that matter.
Without that "recollection" they get lost in the story. I fully understand why and have learned that I need to survey wider groups.
I know how to resolve this issue in this story. I pause due to copyright concerns.
If I add in a Rube Goldberg newspaper cartoon clipping of one of his machines at the start, it should help a lot.
I've decided - I'm going to write them and discuss it. It's a local film, small time beans. Maybe they'll like the
added publicity and not want money. An aside - The guy who invented Mousetrap based the game on
Rube Goldberg Machines. He was never sued though Rube thought it fair that he get royalties. Never did.

Thanks again for the review - sharing your ideas. You got me thinking which is the name of the game.
TimMc

lawriejaffa
02-15-2012, 02:55 PM
I know some people are taking offense at my review format - which shows my scoring.
I'm the only one doing such and so I'm getting bashed where I score low.

I think its simply because your own script is a bit floppy (no offence) and thus it comes across as a bit comical when you give 'rated' critiques, as it comes across as pretentious... which it is. I can sympathise im a pretentious git as well, but you need to have the goods to back up such a review format when it is supposedly a contest of equal peers. So you may be entitled to do as you wish review wise, but naturally you can expect it back ;) Your attitude (and how it came across) actually put me off reading your script (but i will and i do intend to get on to the others.) So as a note of reference, id reconsider such review formats in future. I say that as no-angel on this forum (my critiques have been legendary in their comical offence to some) but as a gentle bastard that understands your fellow crudeness.

Sarah Daly
02-22-2012, 08:13 PM
I basically agree with Rustom. He had some great stylistic ideas. And yep it's deffo over the page limit, and quite substantially since you've also shoe-horned quite a lot of action into your paragraphs, not enough white space etc etc :) You could rectify this by not spending the first page giving such a detailed and erotic description of your cliched hottie :P A line or two should suffice. We all know this character already so no need to write an essay about the shape of her calves.

I didn't get the Rube reference but I don't think that's a problem in understanding the premise. It's a pretty typical screwball inventor set-up - we're all familiar with these type of contraptions from various 90s kids comedies. So knowing or nor knowing Mister Goldberg's reputation isn't an issue I don't think as long as the whole purpose of the script isn't for us to realise that this is his house, when the characters don't - which really isn't enough of a premise for a story anyway unless you have the Ruby reveal at the end, sort of like the Wizard of Oz, and make some kind of statement with that reveal too.

And you don't, so what IS an issue for me, is that I don't see a theme or a message here. No message is fine - plenty of mainstream entertaining scripts don't have them but a theme is pretty important. Even the most mainstream/pulpy films have a theme. This script feels to me more like a series of events rather than a purposeful story. There's no twist and no arc since we know exactly the same amount about the house and the characters at the start as we do at the end. A sexy woman goes to see the house she's inherited, but it's rigged to seem like a haunted house so she gives it to her lawyer who is glad until he too realises that it's 'haunted' and then he...stands there in coloured light? Why doesn't she deserve the house? Why doesn't he? What was Ruby's intention in rigging the house? What did the character's learn or how did they change?

The devices in the house could work really well to get a message across. Maybe if you set up the lady to be this abhorrent money-grabber it would work better. Then, we would enjoy watching her be foiled by the house's traps ala the burglars in Home Alone. But as it stands we don't feel anything about her (except perhaps horny if you're a dude after reading the first page) :P so we just sorta think - 'oh that's a shame - but if I was her I'd probably sell the place rather than giving it to some random lawyer.' Also what happens in the end? Does the lawyer realise it's just a hoax and then get to keep the house? Or does the house devour him somehow when the boot falls? (Ps. I think we need to have an idea of what happens when the barrel is full of balls for that device to create the right tense response)

A jimmy-rigged house has huge comedic/scary potential but I don't think you exploited that to the full.

Overall, some good visuals and your concept has potential, but I was put off very badly by the first page. And by all the action/description chunks. This is probably more like a 12 minute film the way it stands? But if you're going to go to all the effort with the CGI and location, it might actually be worth making this longer rather than shorter. Seems more like the premise for a feature than a short. (Albeit with a fleshed out cast and a definite theme).

Hopefully that was helpful. I'm not normally so brutally honest but I figured I'd return the favour since you obviously want thorough feedback. When one gives it out, one must be willing to take it. My apologies for my reaction to your review, but I do feel that your reviews in general have been very blunt and unnecessarily scathing rather than constructive and unbiased. You're welcome to your opinion, but you won't make any friends that way and we all need all the friends we can get in this business. Even in my time as a script consultant I was instructed to add a little sugar to help the medicine go down.

Perhaps if I had described my actress in more lurid detail and had some neon lights in the coffin you woulda scored me higher. :P I'm being cheeky now ha.

No hard feelings though eh? :) (Genuinely not being sarcastic there!) :P

Sunk99
02-23-2012, 02:32 PM
Thanks Sarah for the review.
I've written you privately to personally apologize for my own review which totally failed to say what I found right about your script.
As it was posted it was all negative which I agree is an improper review. I publicly apologize for such and have edited/deleted it.
Water under the bridge.
TimMc