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"Angus and Robbie" by Sally Meyer ~ Honorable Mention

Logline: Angus and Robbie spend their whole lives looking for the Loch Ness Monster, but each one has a secret that he can't share with the other.

Genre: Drama - Fantasy

Cast Size: 3

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: Monster Vision (Sep. 2010)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent
0%9%47%26%18%

Comments Made During the Contest

Ammar Salmi (Level 5)

That was a heart-wholeming tale. I think the idea of fooling us into believing that the wrong man has seen the monster is perfect. The story still need more than drama to stand out. I don't really know how you may make this work. I guess it's wow moment that's missing here.

Keep writing, your ability to play with the time element is great.

Antoine Mizel (Level 1)

Although I thought it was well written, this wasn't a "monster movie" at all. More of a "Lady of The Lake". You set up with the some very good visuals in the beginning. Very touching ending, also. This story just went too far from the rules, I think. I see no reason why they would consider this beautiful lake woman a monster. All around "good", just not a "monster movie".

Aralis Bloise (Level 4)

Aw, this was so sad. But also very pretty. I liked it. It's a very moody/melancholy piece, I can see it making an interesting short. It fullfills the requirement of an unseen monster and yet it's not scary, which makes a different variation on the theme.

Bill Clar (Level 5)

The title doesn't roll off the tongue. It feels blunt. Your story focuses on Nessie, perhaps that could be part of the title?

Introduce Robbie at the same time you introduce Angus. They're right next to each other.

You made no mention of trees in your description of the first scene. If you're going to use the environment in your scene, then you have to clue the reader in on it.

"Darkness envelops them." This statement is unnecessary. Robbie and Angus are outside at night. Darkness is implied.

Your concept is good but the execution drags on for far too long. The entire story is Angus and Robbie standing by the lake waiting to see a monster. There is no suspense or tension and the pacing is slow.

Brian Howell (Level 5)

This is GOOD. It's written well; I didn't see any major errors. It flows nicely. The rules of the contest were adhered to well.

For me, this was about it. It is a little gooey, and doesn't really move the dial anywhere. It feels safe and sweet. Don't be ashamed or feel bad, I think this is what you were going for, and you've done a really good job with it.

The title is kind of weak too.

GOOD job overall.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was a nice tight script, but there were a few punctuation errors that provided for minor distractions. The script worked pretty well within the confines of the contest.

Overall, I don't have much criticism for you. I do think you could have come up with a better title. This was a pretty well done story. Nice work!

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

For some reason, the title puts me off. To me it = soppy, sappy story. Now prove me wrong!

LAKE INVERNESS - why don't you just say Loch Ness?

A strange mix of Scottish and American.

Sucks on the edge of his pipe - ouch! Hope he doesn't burn his mouth. Do you mean end?

Well...this was a cute tale but didn't sing out 'monster' to me. Not a monster movie as I understand them.

I expect it to do well in the contest because this sort of story appeals, in general.

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

Notes:
- I really don't like 'a large expanse of water' followed by 'as far as the eye can see'. Don't they sorta mean the same thing?
- Add some more space before your scene heading, it makes it easier to read and looks more professional.
- For some reason that felt much longer.
- You went through a whole lifetime in only 5 pages, congrats.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This was the the sweetest monster movie I've ever read.

I really liked how you covered so much time with Angus and Robbie. I liked them both very much and the ending was touching.

Very well done.

Christina Anderson (Level 4)

Oi, how unique!

I’m probably a little more gushy right now because of the draw, but it’s incredibly enjoyable when a story bucks the trend.

This isn’t a very helpful critique I know, but there really isn’t anything wrong. Although if it weren't for Angus's confession I'm not sure I'd have liked it half as much...

Dan Delgado (Level 5)

Not a bad story and completely different than the others this month. It's always strange to say this about something that's five pages long but I think this one could have been shorter, maybe even by a page or two. It was a set-up and a payoff, and in my opinion just lingered a little too long.

The description was too sparse. All the characters were introduced with just their ages and nothing visual. Almost every action paragraph started with a characters name, most were short, only one line, and there wasn't much to break it up.

A lot of the dialogue was on-the-nose. Formatting was good and I didn't spot any spelling or grammar errors.

All in all it was kind of a nice, sentimental story, but it was slow and nothing really stood out for me.

Thanks for entering. I gave this one a rating of "Good".

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

This is a well written script with little waste of words, a precise picture is formed. A nice maudlin tale, if you like maudlin.

I like that so many years are jammed into so few pages. Your makeup artist has their work to do. Good job altogether.

Elvira Elzinga (Level 2)

I think it is a moving story but maybe a little too predictable. And in the story the monster will be visible although only on pictures but still, and the assignment was write a story without seeing the monster? I also think that the genre is not really monster movie more something like drama or something.

Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)

What can I write except to thank you for a charming and heartwarming story. I wouldn't change a thing.

And I find it interesting that most of the previous entries into this month's contest selected graphic violence, suicide, dismemberment for their "invisible monster".

My hats off to you for bucking the common trend! And just between you and me, your movie is the one I'd want to go to. Be well.

Gail Hackston (Level 3)

Thank you for letting me read your script

As a Scot, I'm always pleased when a good Scottish story is realised.

However, just a note, there is no such thing as a lake in Scotland. Lakes are called Lochs and Loch Ness is where the monster is, not Lake Inverness. And we pretty much speak like most of the westernised world - the "ye" "ayes" are for Brigadoon and the movies only. : )

Herman Chow (Level 5)

I really liked this. The relationship between Angus and Robbie was very well illustrated throughout the years. It was very emotional.

It was a surprise for me that Augus never saw the monster. I thought Robbie stayed in the old house because he was waiting for the monster to come out all these years. But then when Robbie actually saw it, why would he stay then?

I also wish the monster can come more into play than merely a plot device to link the relationship between the two brothers.

Overall, I really enjoyed it.

VERY GOOD.

Hitaish Sharma (Level 2)

Good story. It is refreshing to have a monster movie where the monster is not the cause of pain and suffering for the main characters. However I am a little confused about Robbie's pain that he is suffering in the bedroom scene on page 3. It is unclear whether the pain is only caused by not seeing the monster or some other not mentioned action. Also there are a few references to their mother that do not seem to fit into the overall narrative of the story. I did like the interactions between the brothers and the evolution of their relationship over a lifetime, including the final scene in the end where the actual truth is revealed. I do not know what to make of Robbie's behavior at the end. He comes across as a little vindicative but at the same time is kind to Angus in the final scene. I guess this is supposed to be an illustration of the nature of brotherhood.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)

"ye" I read it like "Yee" not "Ya" or "Yuh" which I think you are going for.

"Crawls along along a branch" Cut the double word.

Young men? Haha, I though Angus was a girl this entire time. I'm not sure why though, it's definitely not a girls name. Strange...

Hmm, I really liked this one. No "blood curdling scream" or "puddle of blood" It was refreshing. A touching story of life long friends. I wish we knew WHAT they were looking for though. Or maybe just why. One of the two would have made the story complete, but I can easily see people argue that they loved the fact that you didn't mention it, so stick to how you like it.

Hm... VG or excellent..?

Jose Batista (Level 5)

A very nice and touching tale. The feeling and the mood were properly set by your well described settings and descriptions. The beginning started off really well, but after they started growing up the script started loosing pace with each successive 10 year period.

Robbie and Angus carrying out the same conversation about the Lochness Monster and throwing in those cliched lines about their mother and moving out to the city threw the tale off. However, your execution in whole was Very Good and I enjoyed reading the script.

I didn't think that the script was predictable at all, I only feel that it should have contained a more original circumstance besides them aging, their mother dying and the college bound brother trying to convince his country sibling to move into the city. Perhaps something subtly connecting to the elusive Nessie and their lifelong quest to see her would have propelled this story to the top. Cheers on a Very Good entry.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)

I like the story, the characters and the ending.

My question is why didn't Robbie show Angus the pictures long time ago. There's no reason for it (have I missed something?).
It's a bit too sweet for me, however I did like the ending. I guess it's because something happened in it. You raced through their lives, which is fine but not much happened - one left the city the other one stayed... - enough ground for a drama, would be better as a full featured drama as we'd feel for them.

But I did like the beginning and the end very much and the way they talked about missing their mother. For some reason this wasn't too sweet or too cute at all, it was just right.

KP Mackie (Level 5)

Charming and sentimental story about Nessie and the love between two brothers.
Angus and Robbie's roles are just different enough that, portrayed by different actors, they will be even more distinguishable from each other. The dialogue is particularly well done. Concise writing. No unnecessary words. The lake location will be easy to shoot and provide some nice color.
Enjoyable and easy to read. Excellent.

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

The Loch Ness Monster is cool, although it has been pretty thoroughly disproved at this point, making it harder to care about it as either Angus or Robbie do. Also it's not a touching moment to realise that one brother's little lie has caused the other to effectively waste his life.

Some descriptions and some of the dialogue also hit me as cliché or the obvious choice to make (for example, "strapping young men").

Matias Caruso (Level 5)

This is well written. You take your time with your characters and story, letting it slowly unfold through the years.

My only grip is that (despite the monster mystery) there doesn't seem to be a central conflict to drive the narrative. Seems like a recolection of moments in these characters' lives.

Take this with a grain of salt though. These type of character-driven dramas aren't usually my cup of tea, so I'm not your target audience.

Nick Miranda (Level 4)

Have you ever read a script and just known that it was going to beat yours?

This was a touching and moving “monster” story. I was wondering when someone was going to avoid the horror genre.

Besides the strangeness in reading the Scottish dialect, I found this to be a great piece. The focus was on the characters, not the monster, but the monster played a huge part in the story itself. I loved the visual dynamic of aging the two main characters a little at a time. It takes the shortness of the script and turns it into a life-long journey.

Nickolay Kolomilskov (Level 2)

I've always been interested in old nessy, bigfoot and the like. When Robbie rubs his backside, it really paints a picture, good writing. The end is the best, a nice little twist that makes you feel good. Two old Scotts having an unusual hobbie/dream and at the end they are still friends doing exactly the same thing when they were kids.

Pete Barry (Level 5)

It's a touching story, a little saccharine, but its heart's in the right place. You move through the ages deftly, and we understand visually what's going on. The children Angus and Robbie are the most enjoyable: I like the subtle way you indicate the spankings, and how the boys are both close and competitive. The very premise (which was instantly clear) made me smile, simply because of the contest - it's so obvious, but still genius, that Nessie is the ultimate unseen monster.

I understand the payoff reversal at the end in terms of its necessity, but its logic fails. If Robbie really had pictures from long ago, he would have shown Angus before. As a boy, it would be a trophy to hold over him, but also to enjoy with him. To hold out until Angus is in a wheelchair seems a touch sadistic: why deprive him of such wonder, especially if Robbie knows, as he claims, that Angus really never saw Nessie? It puts a damper on an otherwise enjoyable piece.

Still, well written. Good luck in the competition.

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

This is a nice telling of a story theme that has been played with many times. I particularly liked the ending for its feel good factor.

Perhaps you could consider if it’s possible to inject a little more variety into the different trips to the lake and the discussions that happen when they are there.

Also, maybe because I’m not concentrating, I found myself not being able to recall which was Robbie and which was Angus, which might suggest that they are a little similar as characters. You might say that we’d see this more clearly on screen, but actually with the big age jumps used here the characters will need clear visual and character motifs so that it remains clear which is which.

“LAKE INVERNESS” – LOCH NESS?

Rob Centros (Level 3)

Well written, a bit slow paced, but I guess it fit the story. Good mood. Good grammar, good formatting -- the ending was a bit predictable. The hardest thing for me to believe is that Robbie would hide the pictures of the creature for years and years, knowing how badly Angus wanted to see them. Seemed too cruel to fit into the rest of the story.

Robert Kent (Level 3)

This was an enjoyable and delightful story to read. I like how you had the requisite "monster" in your script, but you turned the idea around so that the monster in this story was not threatening to the main characters. Also, you turned the central idea around by having the story be about the relationship between the two brothers rather than the monster itself.

There were a few grammatical errors but not enough to interfere with the telling of the story. I hope that you'll consider turning this into a children's picture book, not an extensive one like "Harry Potter", but one in which you would have more room to explore the brothers' relationship.

Robert Newcomer (Level 4)

Hey, a Nessie tale. What a grand idea for this challenge! She -- and of course it is a she -- is probably one of my favorite beasties.

And a very touching treatment you have delivered here, as well. Never once did the dialogue ring false, and the relationship between the two boys never wavered as they matured -- save for the poignant turnabout in the final scene.

Repetition is a nice device to use in a story like this, but I wonder if a piece this short lends itself to such repetition. It achieved the desired effect here -- I even liked it -- but I am just tossing it out as a random thought to consider. I might be wrong on that.

The only problem for me in this piece was the photos. Given their mutual obsession, it just seemed impossible -- if not uncharacteristically cruel -- that Robbie would harbor such a secret for their entire lives.

That does not mean the final scene does not work. It is great. I would just do that final scene without the pictures.

That unfortunate improbability in the story is what edges it down from an otherwise excellent. If we could award very-good-plus, this would surely deserve it. Very nice work.

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

This feels very much like a few of the dramas I've read on MP with characters that age and reminisce.

Very well written, mind you but the content feels recycled to fit the monster genre rather than the other way around.

Like our recent one page winner "Wheel" we see the characters grow-up, move on with life and yet return to their roots like clockwork.

There's some brilliant back-story weaved in and the dialogs are a treat.

But the basic element of the monster in the theme feels lacking a bit. The photograph reveal for Angus is a nice twist and I also like how their roles are reversed by life.

If this were another month with different a theme this'd earn a very good from me.

Right now I'll give you a good.

Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)

Very touchy story and well told.

I just wish that there was some conflic, and I don't mean simply blood or dead people. The way it is now, this script has a nice character arc but not much more. Nothing seems to be at stake with the esception of two kids risking to be spanked.

My guess is that this story would go very well in some other contest. As a monster story. I believe that it needs something more.

Good luck.

Trent Carroll (Level 4)

The story is very well portrayed and reaches an appropriate emotional peak. My only problem was the constant use of the word "ye" in the dialogue. For me, it was an eyesore. I'm not any kind of expert on Scottish dialogue, so I decided to look up the use of "ye" in Scottish dialogue. I found the following passage from the book, "The Outlandish Companion", by Diana Galdon, "It's a common mistake among authors writing Scottish characters to write straight English dialogue, merely substituting 'ye' for 'you' throughout... If you listen to Scots speak, they don't invariably say 'ye'--sometimes the word sounds like "ye" and sometimes it is clearly 'you'... Making it 'ye' every time makes the sentence read awkwardly." Other than that, great job on the script.

Zach Jansen (Level 4)

Nice job. The best one I've read so far. But I'm a sucker for brother stories...

Great dialogue. It pours out the characters' mouth with such ease and really captures the setting. I can still hear the cadence and inflection.

Wonderful description of the lake - I was right there with Angus and Robbie.

One suggestion: Move the supers into the slugs and save a few lines --
EXT. LAKE INVERNESS - SCOTLAND - NIGHT (TEN YEARS LATER)

As a film, the audience will know that the boys are growing older and that these new actors are Angus and Robbie.

Great script overall.


Comments Made After the Contest

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 1:03 AM

Great job, Sally. As I said before, I LOVED how you didn't go on a killing spree like most did. I really liked this entry. :)

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 1:13 AM

Thanks JeanPierre. I am not a fan of horror or gore, so I decided to write something a little different. I appreciate your comments.

KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 11/1/2010 2:21 AM

My excellent says it all. Charming and sentimental horror. You are good...

Robert Newcomer (Level 4) ~ 11/1/2010 8:55 AM

Tossing a heartwarming piece into the mix this month seemed like poor judgment at first -- but this is one that lingered with me once the reading was done. The setting and dialogue and tone all came together so well. This is one of the entries I really enjoyed -- a pleasure to read.

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 9:22 AM

Thanks so much KP! It was a challenge for sure.

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 9:23 AM

Thank you Robert! I want to shoot this film next year. It will be a huge challenge to find the right cast though. I appreciate your comments.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/1/2010 10:52 AM

Great script and best of luck with the film. I'm sure it will be wonderful.

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 12:32 PM

Sally, how do you write such wonderfully human stories even in a monster themed contest?

Do let the audience know in our monthly winners tell all thread:

www.moviepoet.com/reply.aspx?thread=2693&forum=1#footer

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/1/2010 12:49 PM

Thank you Rusty. I just did.


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Nick Miranda ~ KP Mackie ~ Margaret Ricke ~ Zach Jansen