Comments Made During the Contest
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
I like the concept of this, but the logic at the end indicates to me that if Joe and Maryanne hadn't gone into the movie theater that night, then none of the bad things that followed in their life would have happened. It doesn't quite sit right.On the screen, two lovers kiss. Joe scowls.The film ends. The audience empties out of the theater.These two lines back to back -- things happen awfully quickly. The passage of time of 90 minutes felt awkward. Perhaps if he's in the projection booth and the film is just wrapping up with a kiss that makes him scowl, that would give the same message as what you're going for.
Ayal Pinkus (Level 5)
I like the idea of this story, the young Joe seeing ahead how his life will end up with Maryanne. The one thing it misses is believabilily. At the end of the story I don't buy that Joe can see into the future. You have to find a way, a reason why he can look into the future, something that gives him that magical power somehow.As a young man he has a premonition things will end up badly, you need to find a way to make that premonition believable. Other than that a great story!
Basil Sunshine (Level 4)
Hmmm Hmmm Hmmm... Either this is inspired by "Wheels" or it was written by the man himself.I really dig it. It has a sort of magical realism element that so many of my favourite films have.The ending is subtle. I'm going to guess that at least a third of the reviewers aren't going to get it. This will be interesting.
Bob Johnson (Level 4)
Neatly written, no formatting issues.I found this screenplay relied too heavily on action sequences, it read too much like a novel and when the dialogue did arrive it was weak.I didn't quite understand the old Joe/young Joe film sequence, seemed a bit confusing.
Brian Howell (Level 5)
This is a fairly cool concept. He has regrets and plays his life's film backwards and it takes him back in time. I really like this actually. Unfortunately, the execution kind of got in the way. For instance, I kept thinking how a projectionist would afford a 35mm camera and film to film 'home movies'? I know that's not the case, this reel somehow, magically maybe, appeared. I get it, but I couldn't shake the thought from my mind. Perhaps there needs to be a little more set-up as to where this reel came from. This wasn't a huge deal, just something I thought of.What stumbled me the most was your excessive use of 'now'. Now this... now that... now this... If you separate the different actions by starting a new line, or by using the series of shots technique, this would eliminate this issue. The problem is that it calls attention to itself and it reads funny.Nothing really major, but enough that I felt it worth mentioning. Nice work.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
Written, paced and formatted perfectly. Really nice, tight script.While I feel like I was able to follow what happens, I felt like it could have been clearer. It just needs better clarification that everything is reversing to the point where he gets a do-over. I had to read those few lines multiple times to make sure I was understanding the script.Overall though, I really liked this. That's the only spot that needed clarification. Nice work and good luck!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
Very well done, very clever!Excellent!
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
The ending of this was great, but it really needs to be a much longer piece to give us something to care about this character and to see into his life.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
This is really intriguing, but I also think it's really hard to do in one page. There is so much happening here. Not only the images from his life, but going back in time.One of the challenges for me, is that I don't really like Joe. The choices that he made leave me unsympathetic and that in turn leaves me unmoved by the ending.Still, your craft is very good and there is a ton of promise in this story - this projectionist - and moving through time. I hope you rewrite this, expand it, and make it a little easier for us to really care about Joe and Maryanne
Dan Delgado (Level 5)
A complete story with a nice fantasy ending. In my opinion, you should have got lingered a little longer over fewer incidences to get to the ending. I think you tried to pack too much on a page, to the point were some of the paragraphs almost read like pigeon English. Too much of:"Joe opens a drawer to store the reel. He stops, surprised.Another reel, labelled JOE. He runs a hand over it.He threads the JOE reel into the projector. He starts it up."Slow down, say more with less. Give us some flavor and emotion.Great idea though, and nice ending. Good luck. Thanks for entering.
David D. DeBord (Level 5)
My quibble with this lies in the opening sequence which I think is too long. Yeah, even in a one page script I find some unnecessary actions that I don’t think add to the story. I don’t think we have to see the projectionist thread the film in the first action line. Could start with the kiss between the two on-screen images and the scowl from Joe. The kiss is the end of the film and the audience leaves. Then Joe runs the other reel.A dramatic change? No, but I think it is more time reality and sequence appropriate and as a director/editor, I would approach the opening in the simpler manner.The use of the word “now” also is distracting, especially as it seems to be repeated too often and is actually unnecessary.I like the end where Joe walks away, I think that is a more interesting twist than if he decided to approach their relationship again, only this time do a better job. The fact he doesn’t is a much more interesting choice.
David Serra (Level 4)
Wow! Your script has a clear beginning, middle, and end; and a cool twist at the climax. I enjoyed the fact that Joe get's a second chance at his life and corrects the mistake he made.I also emjoyed your script overall. Excellent.
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
Really liked this. I got caught up at the beginning when he inserts the film and the immediatly the next line, the movie is over. Kind of fast there.But cut to the chase - I loved the story you told about Joe and his life. I also really enjoyed him putting in Tails and then coming out of the theatre a young Joe. A little like Benjamin Button!I just thought this was super clever!Good luck!
Denise Jewell (Level 4)
Weird, kind of "Twilight Zone" feel to it, which I like. It's kind of hard to follow, so it could use some tweaking, but the concept is original and pretty well written.
Derek Anderson (Level 4)
I feel like there's an excessive use of the word "now" in your script. It's a pretty neat concept though. This would've made for a nice 5 pager, with a little more description on who or how his reel got put there and why. And of course a little more dialog.The subject is a little depressing, but it's a good story. I would like to see more. It's a good from me.
Ed Jones (Level 4)
Good title for the idea you attempt to portray but, for me, it does not quite come off. The problem hinges on the reel 'labelled JOE'. It is not believable that such a reel, chronicling his troubled relationship with Maryanne, should be so supernaturally available. There needs to be something in the description of Joe, more than just 'ancient', that makes this element acceptable.I define the existence of the reel as 'supernatural' as I cannot envisage how or why it otherwise could be made.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
All right, this is pretty fancy. How lovely the theme of redemption, I think. Oh well, here, have an excellent. This one is very unique. I like it. Should do well.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4)
This is a nicely written "life retrospective" montage...I see a lot of similarities in tone and concept to Dan Delgado's "Wheel" script that won last year's one-page contest. It's a little grittier, and takes the concept a step further...but it rings the same bell in my head, right or wrong.The choice you made that fascinated me had to do with the last line. It seems like the film showed a single horrible decision that Joe made, and that the last scene of the script offered Joe the chance to right his wrongs. But then he drops her hand and walks away. Whaaa?!?I guess the disconnect comes from the picture you've painted of a lonely old man who has condemned himself to an isolated existence, choosing ISOLATION when given a second chance. It seems really odd to me, I have to admit.If this is an altruistic decision on his part (e.g., "You're better off without me, my dear"), then it's really, really important that you hint at the pain that it's causing him to walk away. But if he's just thinking "oh hell with this I'm just going to punch her again," then that makes him a pretty despicable protagonist, doesn't it?
Gary Rademan (Level 5)
An old man is a projectionist at an old theatre.This one was a cool premise. The power of film to transport us to any point in time. Joe learned a hard lesson during this. But was it the right one? He avoided the woman but not his destructive attitude. VG
Greg Tonnon (Level 5)
The title works for the story. Your craft is fine and there isn't much dialogue but what there is seems realistic and natural. Your action lines are mostly good but now... was a little overused (three times)in one paragraph. The story is good but seems a little too similar to "Wheel" last years winner.
Heidtmann Oppong (Level 4)
Kinda confused. I will comment about the plot. I love the sequence of events: from slotting in a reel to show a movie to watching a movie of himself, one he's not seen. My addition: Started well but a clumsy end. Scripts don't have to involve much of the audience's or actor's mind....trying hard to figure out what the writer means here and there. They show speak for themselves without always consulting the writer.Anyway, congrats!
James Hughes (Level 5)
I like that this gives a twist to the scripts that recount a person's life. I thought this was going to be that kind of script again. This is a clever twist.I think the last line can use some work just because it doesn't end the script with a bang. Is there another way to write him walking away that has more pizazz to it.
James McConnell (Level 3)
I think I get the premise but there were a number of areas that confused me. First off, there is a major time cheat here. Joe starts a reel, the film ends and the audience leaves within the space of three lines. With one page equalling one minute then that sequence lasted less than ten seconds. You would need to show it as a montage or use some cuts.I liked the sequence where Joe puts in the reel with his name. I would lose all the "Now Joe pushes..." "Now Joe feeds..." "Now they..." Lose the "Now" and it still reads the same but draws less attention to the formatting.It wasn't clear what filmed was marked "tails." Was this the Joe reel? Just a minor tweak needed to clarify that. One final point: how does a director film: he looks at everything through new, fresh eyes?
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
"The film ends" This reads as if the film is like two seconds long. You need to add in "LATER" somewhere in a slug. I get where you were going with this but I found two things wrong. First, if you want us to show any sympathy for a character, you can't have him strike a woman, unless the story is focused around that event and he somehow redeems himself. Second, your pacing was all off. The story just didn't read like it was meant to. It felt really rushed, and I didn't understand what was going on the first time around either. You should have established a Montage. That would have really helped this story. Great and unique idea, but the presentation needs a lot of work.
Jeff Ferry (Level 4)
I thought the title was appropriate. The story was well written and easy to follow. I liked that you took the chance of having him actualy hit her and hurting her so as to make his pain realistic. Many people would have gone for something less dramatic. A very good story and the twist while not amazing was good enough to make it a good read.
Jo Gates (Level 3)
Interesting idea, and the story is definitely here in just one page. The first three paragraphs are a bit condensed; time must pass between him starting the movie and the audience leaving. Then, I couldn't help wondering what's heard during the JOE reel--does the film have no sound?The ending is good, and leaves it open as to whether Joe regrets the effect of his previous life on himself, on Maryanne, or both. And, of course, what he does instead. Nice job.
Josh Gonzalez (Level 3)
Why does Joe get to be the one to go back in time? Joe is abusive to his wife. He throws her down the stairs and cripples her for life. And as punishment he finds a magic projector which makes him young again so he can live his life over? Where is the justice for Maryanne? She never takes control of her life back from Joe. Joe ends up leaving HER.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
I think that you need two pages for this. It doesn't leave me with a good feeling - I think it would be so much better if he still decided to stick with her. --just a suggestion, but I have a really strong feeling it could be better if it was this way.The reel - I don't know if it was formatted properly. Maybe needs a MONTAGE, or INSERT. I understood everything though - so maybe not but I'd listen to someone who knows. I don't know... Good job, I think overall.
Kisha King (Level 4)
I really like the twist then the retwist of this story. This is one exciting one page story. Everything is written out good as a story, I can follow your every move in the story. But as a movie script you did not indicate if this is all Montage it reads like one but I don't know.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
With the limited dialogue, this story reads like an interesting silent movie. The visual aspects are well done.Assume that the "Joe" reel magically appears in the drawer to replay Joe's life for his benefit. Joe's not a likeable protagonist; seems that he doesn't get it. He scowls at the lovers kissing on the screen, he hits Maryanne, and "pushes (her) down the stairs." Given the opportunity at the end to, perhaps, relive his life in 1952, he flippantly says to Maryanne, "Nah. I already seen that picture." Maybe that's the point -- life can't be relived so Joe is stuck being Joe, however unpleasant he may be.The title is terrific.
Lewayne White (Level 4)
Not bad. Is there something distinctive about Joe that makes it clear to the audience that they're watching the 'same,' younger version of him?
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
Wow, I like how you present the feat of going back and taking different decisions and reworking your memories as a reel of film. I'm not sure exactly if the film playing backwards is the same one as the one playing forwards. Very good.
Michael Alberstadt (Level 4)
This is a great, well written story. A few thoughts:If Joe is 80, then "ancient" is probably implied.The first three paragraphs seem to indicate that time is passing (an entire movie). I think you need to spell that out for the reader.Small stuff, but little improvements can make all the difference. Nice job!
Michael Hughes (Level 4)
I like the idea of the character Joe restarting his life in a different direction. I think this might need more time to convey the emotion and change of heart to make it work though. The shots had to be described too briefly and came too quickly on each others heels. I think we would want to see how his earlier actions brought him unhappiness so that his decision to take another path would have more of an impact. As it is, the images of his past seemed too rapid fire. This might have more time to develop as a five-pager.
Mike Senkpiel (Level 4)
I thought this was very good.I have some philosophical differences with what I think is being said here, but that doesn't change its effectiveness, and may indeed be the point.It seems like Joe decided to avoid Maryanne instead of learning how to avoid violent outbursts. So in my mind, Joe is just gonna beat the wife in his "new life" as well.It is quite an acomplishment for one page of script to make me think and feel all of this.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)
Feels very much like my own entry, perhaps a bit stronger due to the symbolism. Love the images conveyed, though i dont know about the final lines. Strong absolutely.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
I like the sentimentality here and second-chances are one of my favorite themes to write and read about, but the ending has me a little confused. It seems Young Joe, given the knowledge of what his and MaryAnne's future holds, decides to walk away and not pursue a relationship with her instead of staying with her and being a better person.If Young Joe decides that he either can't or won't change his ways and that MaryAnne's life is better without him, then I like that tough, yet responsible choice he makes.I might change some of the horrible things Joe does in his life. Hitting MaryAnne and paralyzing her makes him loathable. There are other, less regrettable things he can do to her, and I think it would still work.Very Good.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
After a second read I'm changing my vote from Good to Very Good. A nice sentimental piece of what happened in the past and Joe no doubt wished never happened. I don't really have any suggestions or comments. I thought it worked really well as is.Good luck with it.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator)
Clever wording for the title. There was a lifetime of stories on the page and massive liberties with what happens in the movie theater. Even going back and forth from the screen action to the real action of Joe threading the film would have taken more space. I think this story takes more than a page to tell well. If you select a story that doesn't fit the challenge, hold it for a different challenge -- maybe the open challenge if none seem to work. From there, if you do something like this, select one key scene or memory and contrast it with Joe's life - the projected effect will be just as strong telling less story. Good luck.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Aww this was so good. Wonderful story, so well written and the ending was unexpected,and so perfect!! Wow, kudos. I am pretty sure this one will either win, or place in the top three. I loved how you had Joe turn back time, and I loved the setting of the old theatre and the 35mm reels.. the only thing I would change maybe is the title.The story is so strong, that the title doesn't match up to it's greatness.Beautiful story, well written and memorable. Awesome job!!!
Sean Chipman (Level 4)
All I can say is that I wish I had a projector that could make me go back in time. That'd be awesome.Side notes; I didn't like the way the action lines were written. Now, this happens. Now, that happens. At least begin with the character's name instead of "Now" because he's the focal point at least.Other than that, I thought the story was cute. It seemed like someone was trying to re-invent the "Wheel" if you know what I mean. But, that's ok. Who was it who said, "There's something to be said about the classics"?Anyway, I enjoyed the story and being that there were no fundamental flaws, I'd be able to make this Excellent, if it were a slightly more enjoyable read.Very good.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Awesome! Great story, wonderful ending. It's also a fine exercise in showing a visual story and "projecting" character even without dialog. Methinks a winner.
Tim Westland (Moderator)
I like a lot about this, but the end gets a little confusing. And your cuts between scenes on film are a little unorthodox. But over all, this is really well done.
Travis DeStein (Level 5)
Seems like such a selfish story. This guy goes back just to live a happier life without the woman he loved? Good writing and pacing here, though.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
This could've been amazing, but the end didn't pay off. Forgive me for "writing" an ending, but you missed a perfect opportunity for Joe to set things right. It would be best for him to say something that would indicate he wouldn't bring harm to her. Otherwise, he's just going to run off and do this to some other woman. With that change in the end, the audience can feel for Joe instead of still hate him. We need to know he's changed.Other than that, you write very well. I hope the revision works for you.
Zach Jansen (Level 4)
Short film...Nice twist on time travel and second chances.There are a few unusual formatting techniques that could be considered errors, but with the constraints of the one-page format I can understand their use. But I don't have to tolerate them.Still, good story overall.
Comments Made After the Contest
Basil Sunshine (Level 4) ~ 8/1/2011 12:07 AM
Well Pete, I sort of called this result, but it should have been #1 in my book. Sorry I thought you were Dan lol
Pete Barry (Level 5) ~ 8/1/2011 12:10 AM
Well, I was afraid of the "Wheel" comments.I tried the same experiment I tried with the logline contest this year - I wrote several different one-pagers, and then gave them to a couple of friends to grade. When they came back in favor of this one, I thought, yeah, I like it, but a lot of people are going to see similarities between this and "Wheel".Comments are spot on about Joe not really changing. I should have thought of that.Thanks for the thoughtful comments, everyone. Back to the drawing board.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 8/1/2011 12:50 AM
Well, this WAS my favourite. I just don't understand why it wasn't first!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 8/2/2011 3:08 PM
My gosh! I just had to search through all the results to find this script so I could comment on it. It was an awesome script, the best one pager I've ever read. So good!! I was SURE this one would win. Why why?I don't usually say stuff like this, but YOU WERE ROBBED!!!