Hi Christopher, making notes as I go.
Woah, great opening and V.O. dialogue.
NINE YEAR-OLD BRYAN = should probably be Bryan (9). Same with 14-year old and etc.
GREY SEDAN - LATER = Should probably just be LATER if the location didn't change. That was a bit confusing.
(Pg 6-7) JUMP CUT TO: = I think you should maybe put new sluglines here instead. Maybe with different years, 1981, etc. Using cuts in spec scripts is discouraged. Alternately you could format it as a MONTAGE.
Do they let people wear necklaces for chest x-rays?
I'm not that keen on the part where he tells in V.O. about the last moments with his Dad. I think that would be more touching as a scene.
I thought the necklace was going to be important to the ending, because it was mentioned so often, then nothing happened with it. Maybe the Dad could give it to him if you write the above scene?
I like the end with the boy crying because of blood on the Dad's shirt. That might be kind of difficult to get across on film, though. Maybe he should hug his Dad tight after the tears well up.
EDIT: I totally missed page 10 at first (and only went back because the review above mine mentioned cremation which I missed) and thought the tears welling up was the end. I don't think page 10 is needed really. Ending on the couch flying makes the story circular and complete. We get that the Dad died so no need to show him with the ashes. Also, I agree with the other reviewer questioning whether a hospital would do cremations.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. It was a touching coming-of-age tale. Good job!
Thread: The Death of Superman
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09-07-2011 08:33 AM
Last edited by BasilSunshine; 09-07-2011 at 08:43 AM.
09-08-2011 08:38 AM
1 How would we know it's Southeast Asian?
1 Instead of a bold line addressing the reader how about starting with 'Face unseen, FATHER...' The bold line really distracts from the story. If you work that detail into the writing you won't have to stop and tell us which pulls us out of your world.
1 Numbers should be written out in dialogue.
10 Would dad be cremated at an ER? Or maybe Bryan was getting fixed up? Why would he have his dad's ashes. Confused on that one.
I like the cross sections and I think it has real emotional merit. My one tip would be to consider using less (V.O.) to convey story details. I liked when the narration was more poetic and less directive of what we were seeing. Heartfelt.
09-08-2011 10:27 PM
This was a really nice, personal feeling story. Whether or not it was drawn from real life, it feels that way, and that's always good. I wonder why you don't want the father's face seen? This made me wonder if we would eventually see it, and there would be some big twist inherent in seeing it. I think it's a fine artistic choice, I just wonder the purpose.
My only complaint really in this very touching story, is that there's something relatively generic about it. It's almost too universal, if that's possible. But really great job.
09-12-2011 02:07 PM
I just skyped my folks to see how they are...they were happy that I called.
So it worked for me.
09-12-2011 07:21 PM
Hey everyone thanks for the great feedback. This was a tough one to write as it is based on a true story.
I'll try to address some of the comments/questions:
Yeah I was hoping no one would get that the hospital doesn't do cremations. I thought it would be more touching to see the same image Dad carries Bryan from the ER and Bryan carries Dad's remains from the ER. And Hospitals have several entrances, going through the ER is where I entered and exited.
The necklace is a slight reference to Dad serving over in Vietnam in the Army and the son following in those same footsteps by joining the Army too. The subtext was deep down he really did look up to dad. Also, when a patient is sedated on a respirator they take x-rays with a mobile device, the necklace was actually on the x-ray.
Connecting Brian through the years, whether the audience would realize it was the same character. I gave him glasses and a red cap in several scenes at different ages so the connection is there.
I made a call with the bold text and having dad only shown from the neck down b/c I got sick of starting with "From the neck down..." every time Dad was in a scene.
@Keaton - I like that angle I'll dabble with it. But I tried to stay as true to real life events when I wrote this.
@jason - I went with the angle of never seeing Dad's face as sort of an angle on being all powerful, every present if that make sense and these are all memories so to me it's more abstract in a sense.
@simonpwood - Awesome, that's the point of writing this!