Comments Made During the Contest
Alan Webb Munoz (Level 3)
The only thing I can suggest is to mention in the description of Addict #2 that he is smoking when he enters. When you wrote that he exhaled, I was not sure if he had some crack (hence addict) or if indeed it was a cigarette.
Amanda Sidorowicz (Level 4)
This is good. I did not see the twist at the end coming... that was written well into the script. The descriptions are okay. You used some great verbs. I would, however, try spliting up description paragraphs. Because this was only a page, it was difficult to do, but it really does make it easier to read. Also, this is totally minor, but I wouldn't be able to tell a bag of meth from a bag of cocaine. It doesn't show me anything. Maybe say, "white powder" or "rocks that looked like sugar cubes" to really show the reader and the watcher what it's in the bag. Finally, I'm not sure if I totally understand the title. I'm assuming the dealer/the son is the "man of the house." My assumption could be wrong, though.
Ammar Salmi (Level 5)
A very sad picture from our reality. This dark scene should've looked darker than this. Always try to shift the genre you've chosen to the top gear. A spark of light is needed even in the darkest stories. People needs hope to keep living and they need it to keep reading too.Good luck
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
Great characters and wonderful situation. It's a little bit "telling" at the end, but hey...whaddya gonna do in one page? When I read this, I see a CSI or Without a Trace episode starting...
Bill Delehanty (Level 4)
Some formatting is off, but nothing serious. As you read more scripts these little thing will fix themselves. Nice little twist at the end, I think you could have achieved it the same if you gave the characters names. I think there's also a little too much descriptions for the characters. It looks like two paragraphs dedicated just to introduce and describe the two of them, which makes it all look like a book, not a script, and thats not good.
Brad Huffman Parent (Level 4)
I see the point and it's an interesting one, but the way it's written makes it hard to get there. I can't pin it down but something was off and I had to read it a few times to follow what happened. First we have an unknown hand in a box, then we get Addict #1 talking before he's described. We have nothing solid to grab onto at first and it made it harder for me to get into it. Then it continues with addict 2 turning out to be dad. It felt like there was too much for such a short time. I never got used to one thing before it became something else.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
This was well written and paced. Pretty cool story that is probably an unfortunate reality for many families. Overall, thumbs up. I enjoyed this and didn't see much wrong with it. Good work.
Bryan Mora (Level 4)
This seems like you used drugs as a vain point. Like vanity-- all for show.This is something that could've been extremely morose as it had potential. But the end was just superficial and shallow. A bad punchline.When i use drugs i try to put some type of lesson or honesty. This was ... sad. But in a good way.Great writing though, I'd like to see a rewrite with the ending. Good luck.
Calvin Peat (Level 4)
This script is well-written, with a chilling story that shows the horrible consequences of drug addiction.The character of addict #2 is effectively nuanced; desperate but trying to keep his dignity.The dealer's last two lines are devastating, and show just how evil the character is.It's a very well-told story, but due to its nature, it's hardly entertaining."INT.HOME" should be "INT. HOME".
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
I thought this was a cracking script and have nothing to say that might improve it.Well done!
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
Wow, not at all what I was expecting. Pretty intense, and sad.Very nicely done, like the out of the box thinking. Would make a pretty cool short with a message from a different angle.Nice work.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Hah, what a great family tale. The descriptions were good, dialog fine and the format was spot on. I was distracted by the passive voice. Lose the word 'IS' and this problem will be close to handled. Good Job!
Chris Messineo (Founder)
Your craft is very good here.I just don't know that I believe in a dealer who has hooked his own parents. It feels more clever than authentic. Perhaps it's just because the story is so short (I know there is a one page limit), that it almost feels flippant. There isn't enough time to do this story justice.Still, your descriptions are excellent and this was a good read.
Chris Westfield (Level 3)
nice twist ending. good characters.
Dan Lennox (Level 5)
Wow..... that was good. Great twist at the end, would have never have guessed it would have gone in that direction. This is my favorite, and the best that I've read this month. I hope to see this in the winners circle.Great Job!
David Birch (Level 5)
very, very, very, very, very well written...two thumbs up...way up...you were able to convey a message without being preachy...the dialogue was spot on...you images were clear without being over-written...thanks i'm currently 59 submissions into this month's assignment, and this CLEARLY was the best so far (including mine)...thanks...p.s. it's to bad that you only had one page to work with...then you could have had the "dad" step outside, eyes filled with tears. COP: you did the right thing. DAD: Fuck you.he hands a "wire transmitter" to the Narc...fully armed SWAT units stream past them both...your writing was magnificent...
David D. DeBord (Level 5)
The story here is good. I like the setting, the close opening shot. The sequence.I always wonder how actors deal with script directions that say something like “an odd mix of sadness and loathing.” Maybe actors are fine with those descriptions but they seem at once quite illustrative but at the same time in many ways directionless. Maybe I believe that something has to emerge from within the actor that is true to his/her reaction to the plot’s situation. Any prescribed reaction may not really be how the actor senses the character would feel.
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
Okay, interesting enough drama. Not sure the first addict was necc. I think the "shortness of meth" could have been resolved another way, maybe through dialogue with dad. We could have felt more sorry and empathy.Good job for one page for sure.
Eddie Jamal (Level 1)
A pretty bizarre twist there. It made me laugh and feel sorry for the dad at the same time. Kudos :D
Erenik Beqiri (Level 3)
Really enjoyed this. The ending was really good. Don't really know what to add more to this, one of the best ones i've read till now. Congrats.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
Well written. Surprise ending. Sad and scarry at the same time.
Howard Jenson (Level 2)
Well done. this is my eighth read & you are top of the pile so far.You fleshed out more of a story here in one page that I could manage in five. ADDICT #2 A little light today, bud…Phrased a little too chirpy for my liking since we find out its father talking to son. DEALER I look like a charity?Putting "Do" before this would make it sound more natural.The final sequence when the twist is revealed is brilliantly done, kudos.Really good job, man.
James McConnell (Level 3)
Nice story with a good twist at the end. Addict #1 and Addict #2 are sexless. I wasn't sure if they were male or female until later on. Make it clearer, give us a visual - Male Addict, Female Addict, Skinny Addict, Thug Addict. Addict #1 and Addict #2 is too generic.A few cheats: "The Addict immediately regrets..." How can we see he regrets it? Regret is an internal thought. Give us something visual to suggest he regrets it."The addict turns to argue but thinks better of it..." Again, this is an internal thought. SHOW us something instead.Use active instead of passive descriptions: sweats v sweating, squirm v squirming.
Javier Torregrosa (Level 4)
You have a good story here that's interesting and I believe can be true. You have alot going on in the space provided. Writing no more than three lines which makes this quick & easy to read. It just doesn't have the wow factor. You need to fix your first slug to INT. HOME - NIGHTAside from that, you have a good script here.All the best
Jim Brown (Level 3)
This is well written. You did a good job with all the elements.That one word- Dad- is very powerful.This story has the potential to elicit a great deal of feeling.It starts out with a dark, gritty feel to it, which is interesting.But the ending turns it even darker: it's like you filled in the entire canvas with black paint.The interesting thing about darkness is the shadows, and for that you need some light.I'm not sure what reaction you're trying to evoke, but there are things you could do to illuminate the dealer's relationship with his father.
Joel Davis (Level 5)
Give them names, not ADDICT #'s. Good reveal and it was a nice twist. I think it would have worked with almost all of the stage direction, removed, the dialog is crisp and it's clear what's going on.Also, the title kind of tips your hand a bit too much.
John Brooke (Level 5)
What a shocker you have written here. Wonderful set-up for a fantastic fall. Good story telling here. Lots of visceral punch in only one page. I was confused at the beginning with the interaction between Addict #1 and the Dealer. I take it that the Addict was waiting outside a door, or has he dropped the twenty into the box? If the latter then Addict #1 dialog: “There’s a problem, bro? makes sense. I just think the action could be better delineated. All in the family!
Jon Hill (Level 4)
A kick in the teeth ending which I liked. Going forward I suggest you give Addict#2 and the Dealer proper names, give them a bit of character. I would also suggest replacing Addict#1’s appearance with extra dialogue between your two main characters.
Jose Batista (Level 5)
The premise is solid and well presented, but there's really not much of a story here. This would work so much better in a few more pages in order to tell a story around the event happening in this scene. The mom tapped the baggie and the dad is a stooly, but other than that it's too plain and doesn't say much other than establish who's the man of the house. This is a cool script, you did a good job of presenting the story and the characters were well described.
Kathy Thomas (Level 3)
I truly enjoyed this story. Well written. This is a prime example of what an one page script should look like. It was a great premise and the writing was clean and crisp. Enjoyed the set and the reveal at the end. Well done.
Kirk White (Level 5)
dark and twisted. A little hard to follow without a second read but I think it has potential to be genuinely haunting and sad.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
Whew. A tough little script. Good work.A very interesting title. I took it to mean that you're really critical of the idea of manhood in this relationship, that neither man is really fulfilling their duty. If that's what you meant, I applaud the effort.How do I know those baggies are filled with meth? You say so. I hope they're labelled.Why would the addict count the baggies if he's only taking one? And why does he "receive" one if his hand is in there? Wouldn't he "take" one?Why does the dealer look at his dad with loathing? He's practically created his father's pitiable dependence on the nasty stuff. Couldn't quite understand it.
Lewayne White (Level 4)
Great visuals. Good, effective, storytelling.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I love this story. What a sick twist at the end. It's well written and well paced. Your chararacters are sick and strongly crafted. The story is entire in one page and has a definite impact on the gut. I'm working on a psych degree and a dominant son taking over a family isn't as uncommon as it should be.Excellent work.
Marla Brecheen (Level 4)
I loved how Addict #2 is the father of the Dealer. I would have never second guessed it. I feel though that the characters all needed names...at least Addict #2 and Dealer if not Addict #1.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
Whoa. Seriously disfunctional family.I thought this was very well done. Great idea and well written with a twist at the end. Excellent job.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
One of those ones where I should've got it from the title. I feel really dumb now. I liked the simple, effective set up, and the totally left-field twist. I also like how calm the dealer is - in real life, aren't they normally as addicted as the addicts themselves? I guess this criticism isn't that valid, as the dealer takes a puff of a cigarette at the end, and it also adds to his calmness, a nice contrast with the frenzied addicts. Very good.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4)
Very good. Fantastic reveal at the end. A grim portrayal of a family in tatters. Two addict parents dependant on their dealer son. So much dramatic potential. The ending leaves you wondering how these characters came to be in this situation. There's a great deal of depth beyond what's on the page.Great work.
Matt Johnson (Level 3)
It was refreshing that you were able to produce emotion with a script. As I finished I felt for the family as if it was someone I knew and that's what people look for in a script, the ability to make the viewer or reader FEEL. A really liked the twist at the end and the reality of what drugs can turn you into. A very descriptive script and it made good use of the one page.
Melissa Mitchell (Level 4)
Nicely done. The twist works. But oh, such a dark, sad tale.
Mike Dominguez (Level 3)
Interesting premise. It's a little difficult to process because it's a very original idea. I really liked Addict #2 not immediately diving towards the baggie - an insightful glimpse into the character.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
I really liked this. I was going to comment on the numbering of the characters rather than naming them but in this case it works because of the twist at the end and I guess not many dealers know their client's names.This is terribly poignant and I found it refreshing and original.Your descriptions are strong and the dialogue excellent particularly for that Dad line.You convey complicated characters and relationships in a limited time and I applaud you hugely for that. Well done.
Neal Barringer (Level 0)
there was a lot of story packed in one page. I'd like to see Addict#2, since he's a main character, have a better designator. I know you don't want to give away the surprise ending. still, something needs to be done. I also question the need for Addict#1 to be on the page. he/she seems like an extraneous character. even though you managed to fit alot of story on one page, I think the paragraphs aren't spaced properly. the rule of thumb is start a new paragraph when the camera sets up a new shot. so, many of the 3-sentence paragraphs would break up into 3 paragraphs. I would like the read of this much better if it were broken up that way. can't hardly wait to see how the actors perform the subtext of the dialogue.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
Oh man, that was disturbing...Kid's gonna put his mom on the street. Again.Great title for the story.The situation feels a bit exaggerated, but I'd bet there are cases like this. Probably more than a few.Your screenwriting is fine, you don't have any narrative paragraphs past four lines, but just try to give the script a more lean look. Your first scene-heading is off a bit, no big deal though. Didn't detect any typos.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
This is an effective scene and the idea is good and you've described it well. I think this is one where the short length causes some trouble because I don't feel invested in what happens until right near the end. The family element creates that but perhaps it comes in too late.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
Best one I've read so far!Nice and gritty. A complete story with a nice twist at the end.Don't know what else to say. This one is tops!Excellent vote from me!!Good luck dude/dudette!! :-)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator)
I definitely think this twist would work better on film than in the script but I give you credit for turning it on its ear. Never saw that coming. There's not much that I could offer in terms of making this better. I think you met the rules of the challenge but I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters and felt nothing when the script was over.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
A really good character reveal this one. A slice of life glimpse about a drug peddler is not original but your way of presenting stuck to the basics and delivered a poignant twist towards the end.The lack of originality of situation and character is made up for with nice atmosphere and some good natural dialog. Your choice of images is quite good and makes this a cinematic attempt, which is difficult to do in a single page.Since you are also limited to a single page I didn't get much backstory about the deal except to maybe figure out from his father and mother through the dialog. I want to know how he decided to become a dealer when he too could have been an addict like his folks.You've shown me a character established a scene and gave it a nice end. Would have loved something more to make this stand apart from being relegated to a well written scene. But then again one pagers ain't easy.You're probably quite good with five. Carry on writing.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Very nice script. I think if you would have named the addicts it would have added a lot to the story. I wasn't expecting the revelation at the end, and I was very impressed by the layers that you have on this story. I wasn't sure if you needed the reference to Mom. That sort of took me out of the story, I think it would have been stronger to just have this be about the father and son. How humiliating it must be for the father. I think bringing in the mom, it weakens the impact in a way.Very nicely written and a good solid story, this will do well this month I am sure.
Sasha Clancy (Level 4)
Good story. You take an interesting twist on family dynamics. I like your brief descriptions and the fact that you get right to the point. Your dialog is good and you do a good job of getting necessary information in without making it too much exposition. To me, this feels like a part of something bigger instead of a stand-alone story.
Scott Merrow (Level 5)
A tragic story and a nice job of unfolding it in steps. The whole crux of the story is really told in one word, "Dad." Then we learn that Mom is even more pitiful, stealing from her dealer son to support her habit. And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The son is the most despicable of all, threatening to put Mom back out on the street if she ever steals from his stash again. A distasteful story, but nicely presented.
Shane Shearer (Level 4)
What a twisted concept. I enjoyed it though, and think it has the potential to go somewhere profound. Good Job! One of the better ones I've read thus far. I am getting a bit tired of the "twist endings" since nearly 22 of the 27 I've read thus far have them. But this was done right, and therefore deserves to be kept as a twist. A lot of the others have the appearance of being tacked on, when the author has ran out of ideas. You should be proud. I hope this isn't something that came from personal experience, as I'm sure you'd have helped your momma and poppa out with a higher quality of the junk, and in heaping portions. Then again, you don't want to kill your clientele.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4)
The last story I read was about sex. This one about drugs. I'm wondering if the next will be about rock and roll. Hmmm.Anyway, your story was just so-so. In my honest opinion, it was a tad cliche. Of drugs and drug dealers. The interesting part of the story was an introduction of the dealers father as Addict 2 is bent down. A nice twist and not enough to invoke me to like it better.I think I would like to see you work on the story. More honest irony with serious (physical) character flaws might spice this one up.Overall, the writing was good.
Stephen Brown (Level 5)
This one felt the most real and most complete of this month's batch. I think bringing the Mom and Dad into it was going a little far. I'm not sure if that was your attempt at dark comedy or if you just wanted to push this to the nth degree. I could see it being that sort of so sad you laugh moment if on screen, didn't really come across on paper though.I think the writing was superb and you had some great dialogue and action.Not giving any of your characters actual names was deliberate I think. To show that this is just another dealer and his customers are just addicts that you'd find anywhere...even still though, it made it a little awkward. Maybe give them unique names like 'young addict' 'old addict', something like that, only better you know. I don't really want to read numbers.Having said all that, I did really like this. It's up there and I could see it placing.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Too real, I liked the irony of this and thought it painted a great picture of what meth does to people. Lots of story packed onto one page, believable characters and snappy dialog. Well done.
Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)
You have a great story here, but you need to brush up you toolbos for the occasion -- some improvement in the vocabulary would go a long way. No, it's not bad; but it is too cliched for its own good, and you can do better.You tend to clump together description and action, as when you introduce Addict #1 linked with his actions. There is, of course, the limitation of space; but if you really trim your words down you'll find the lines.
Tim Westland (Moderator)
Effing awesome, dude.A great read, a great ending. Just plain excellent.Thank you for writing that!
Travis DeStein (Level 5)
Yikes! Very harsh, painful story. I like it. The ending was definitely a surprise, and I like how the title ties in to the theme of the story. I would not want to be the dad in this story. Great writing and grammar and punctuation.
Wes Worthing (Level 5)
"The addict doesn't dive to the floor. A moment of pride." Odd to tell us what he doesn't do. You did a fine job setting the tone; I read this as a black and white with several close-up and tilted shots. Working closely with Social Services I've seen meth overtake people's lives. Even if they quit, which is amazingly difficult, they still have this "poisoned" look to them. A dark and honest story with an enjoyable disturbing scenario.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I'm going to come back to this one -- not sure if it's Very Good or Excellent. But, having said that, I liked the juxtaposition on "Man of the House". Very well done and transparent until... "Dad..." Very well done.
William Coleman (Level 5)
Grim piece of work. You set up the twist at the end deftly. I certainly didn't see it coming. The tone was dark, dangerous, and ominous.I liked opening up on the box before you open up to reveal the entire scene. Visually, you set the tone of your piece without a line of dialog. You got rid of a lot of dialog, and I think this exercise is about getting rid of as much dialog as possible and showing it visually. I'm a sucker for the laconic - being older I was raised on Hemingway.The end bit was nicely understated. This is a hard, vicious man in a dangerous, very sick world.I suspect you may be someone new to MoviePoet since I haven't seen anythign quite as naturally tough and hard-boiled as this one after reviewing many, many scripts. I'm looking foward to your loner work. You have real talent.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
Beautifully well done! Excellent pace, well written, killer twist and perfect use of dialogue. A potent tale that says a hell of a lot - very powerful.Fantastic job - thank you!
William Dunbar (Level 5)
This was really good. Good twist, and good writing. I really didn't see it coming. Great job!
Comments Made After the Contest
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 12:31 AM
I gave this one an excellent!I'm surprised you didn't place!You did a great job!!!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 12:43 AM
Loved this one Erich. One of the two exellents I gave out. I'm definately drawn to your work.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 4:56 AM
This is a really strong piece Erich, thoroughly enjoyed it. Very gritty and original.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2009 11:23 AM
Congrats on your dishonorable mention, my dishonorable friend.Just took a look at this. It was top notch.As writers, when trying to come up with a twist, we usually think of the "what". What could be surprising? It's good to remember that the twist could also be buried in the "when", "where", or, like in this piece, in the "who".Not a big fan of one pagers, but this would have gotten high marks from me.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2009 1:17 PM
Nice job, Erich, really liked this one.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 1/1/2009 9:30 PM
Thanks everybody. I feel duly honored!
Nicky Muddle (Level 3) ~ 4/2/2009 6:27 PM
An amazingly powerful and moving script, finely crafted to reveal so much character and emotion in just one page. Personally I would ignore every one of the above suggestions for changes, this is incredibly close to perfect.A recurring theme in the comments is a rejection of the situation and the characters. They're evil, they're not like me. What I most admire about what you've achieved here is that you've shown they are just like us - they are human. They have mothers and fathers and children and they do the best they can in a horrible situation. They rarely do the "right" thing and spend their lives get caught in an endless cycle of abuse, exploitation, despair and addiction, but it is the best they know how.Perhaps it is the thought of what they would be today if they had grown up with two addicted parents that so horrifies the ones afraid of the darkness in this script?
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 4/2/2009 6:46 PM
You made my day Nicky. Thank you.I can't remember what writer said it, but man I believe it: Stories are not about extraordinary people, they're about extraordinary circumstances and the ordinary people that get caught up in them. In a perfect vacuum of circumstances, I think we're all very similar. But you hit the nail on the head when you said that this concept of "equality" is scary. It's terrifying. After all, who wants to believe that, under the right circumstances, they could be a drug dealer, a terrorist, a serial killer. Not particularly comforting thoughts.Thanks again for your comments...outstanding food for thought.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 4/28/2010 6:14 PM
Wow, this script blew me away. Easily the best in this contest in my opinion. I'm just preparing for the one pagers. I'm new to writing shorts, so writing a one pager is sure to be a difficult task. Thanks for the inspiration.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 4/28/2010 7:22 PM
Thanks JeanPierre.One pagers are tough, no doubt. They make you leave things UNSAID which, if you're anything like me, is really really hard. Man I love to EXPLAIN things.And that's why one pagers are so so valuable, I reckon. Good luck!