Comments Made During the Contest
Aimee Parrott (Level 4)
For the most part, I liked this. For some reason, the "Wosie" thing bothered me a bit, maybe because I think if Mattie would say "Wosie" she would also say "tweaded." I like that Rosie was wise beyond her years, though, and that she was able to feel some compassion for Lydia. Nice job.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
I really enjoyed this one, nice story, very well written (except for an error or two). I think you did a great job with the dialogue, "Wosie". Also really like the title's double meaning. Really good job!
Chris Messineo (Founder)
I love the ending of this story. It's not easy to capture that moment when one child becomes aware of the humanity and pain of another. My only complaint (a small one) is that some of the dialogue, especially Mattie's, felt a little too cute or old. One last thing, great title.
Dennis Khaye (Level 2)
Nicely done. A couple of picks. The two boys could have been used to provide some more comedy. It would have off set what's to come nicely I think.Page 4 you have a fantasy/dream scene but it's not labeld as such. The first time we see Lydia, it's too short. I run this scene through my mind's eye and it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. I'd cut it. Maybe add some sibling dialog that Rosie and Lydia have a clash of social rank as well as being spelling competitors. Here's an interesting thing. As it reads on the top of page three, Rosie blames Jack for dooming her chances and allowing Lydia to win the spelling bee. It's subtle. Did you want it that way? Did you want Rosie to feel badly about her anger? I think it works both ways but it would be very easy to ask a counselor/pschyciatrist how things like these develop in young people and get out of hand as they get older.It's really good. I like this story a lot.
Jeanette Miller (Level 3)
I like the interaction between the siblings, although I've never heard a four-year-old use the word "treaded." :-)
Jeremy Goodlander (Level 3)
Good message here, but I would of liked to see what had happened if they had given her the potion.
Julie Stewart (Level 3)
A good story comparing kids who are allowed to enjoy childhood and kids who are not. I'm not sure whether a 10 year old would have realised what Lydia's game with the dolls signified. However, I am having a problem with these reviews as to what level of language / comprehension etc children would have at certain ages. Maybe you know a girl who at 1O would have understood Lydia's misery at a glance - but (in my limited experience of kids) I don't and when I try to picture this denouément on film I find it a little forced and unnatural.
Kirsten Bischoff (Level 3)
I like the idea for this. A couple of things though - the little boy saying "wosie" really got on my nerves. I think that in this case - as in the case of people who speak with accents, or lisps, or whatever - you say that the kid speaks with a lisp - you set it up somewhere - and let the actor take care of doing it - reading it really took something away from reading for me. You don't want to do that. As for the story - actually - once I think about you taking that out - it already seems better to me in my mind.
Larry Basch (Level 3)
Wonderful job of a surprise ending that makes sense and just feels "right". Rosie recognizes the cause of Lydia's behavior yet simply acknowledges it, doesn't speechify. Her internal growth is handled with a deft delicacy.
Lee Carlisle (Level 4)
I liked your writing style and thought you had a good story going until the end, where it lost me. The end seemed to come on very abruptly and didn't make too much sense. Why was Rosie crying? Was it implied that Lydia was the way she was because of overbearing or abusive parents? If thats the case, would Rosie be mature enough to realize this? It just didn't seem to come to much of a conclusion.(on a second read it made a little more sense to me, but still seemed too vague and I didnt buy Rosie's reaction. I think you should explicitly state that Rosie pours out the concoction onto the ground - completely missed that the first time around - I thought she was contemplating drinking it herself out of curiosity [as odd as that sounds])
Liz Messineo (Level 4)
I liked your siblings and how they interacted. I also like the title because I thought this would be a movie with magic in it. It was fun that the "spell" was a small child invention. Well written.
Margaret Avnet (Level 4)
I don't believe you are supposed to underline words. But overall I like the play on a spell with a spelling contest. I don't know if times have really changed that much but would a ten year old, especially a girl, go to such means to win a spelling contest?
Martin Lancaster (Level 4)
Brilliant! Great choice of words for the spelling practice. The denouement (sp) could've been a little longer but I think this script is great the way it is. I love the scene descriptions, how you convey character purely by describing the location. e.g."Regimented flowers stand to attention round an immaculately manicured lawn. On a shiny steel-framed swing sits LYDIA, 10." - tells us everything we need to know about Lydia.There are no wasted words here and it's very cleverly written.My personal favourite.
Matthew Phillips (Level 4)
Great way to keep the cast only children. The dialog was written well. Obviously the different ages of the children dictated their manner of speaking. You did a nice job with that.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
I read this twice and just like a couple of the other script, I raised my vote after the second time.It is nicely written, but I think for a screenplay, you can actually be a little less descriptive.The story itself is very good and I felt sad for Lydia just like Rosie did. It is true that you can tell a lot about a childs life, just by observing how they play.Great job.
Rich Keel (Level 4)
Nice work. I thought the story flowed very well but it seemed to end so quickly.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator)
Wow. Loved this one. Really kept me guessing. I have commented on this before but I absolutely cannot resist a script by someone who draws vivid images with words in scene description - things like "a riot of blossoms" and "whiter than white ankle socks." Especially for this site and these contests, the visual picture conjured up by such a few words impresses me so much. On top of that though was the heartfelt tug of the story. I pulled for Rosie and her warmth all through the story, wanting for her to be able to win as the scrappy underdog but upon seeing what Lydia enacts upon her dolls -- all bets are off. I'm sure this could be drawn out to a longer short that would no doubt be a killer script but the use of children in response to the challenge was exceptional. I'm deeply envious of your skills and imagination. Well done. One of my top three for the month.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
Great title. I did not need the tag line with it.Your pacing and plot kept me glued to the script and I kept wondering about dark twists or comedic ones and was pleasantly surprised by the end. Good job.The only reason I did not deem this excellent was because of a couple of scenes. The second time when we see Lydia and the pitcher of lemonade, threw me off, because I wondered about the time frame, and whether Rosie had seen Lydia practicing with the pitcher sitting unattended or maybe Lydia did this everyday.The second scene was the school auditorium. Now I know it was a dream/fantasy/nightmare sequence and a mention in the slug would have helped. It's that and the dissolve that made it seem like time had passed.Otherwise it was well written. I also think characters like Mattie can come across as cute and adorable through their dialog and you proved that a lot of description about the cuteness of a character is not necessary, like some descriptions I have read in a few of the other scripts.Good job and thanks for submitting your script.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4)
Nice story. Only thing I saw that was off was your formatting. You had one character name on the far right. Surely, it was an innocent error.Your story was good. I did feel it dragged just a bit. Really thought Rosie was going to cast a spell on those brothers or her competition. Maybe next time.Spencer
Wenonah Wilms (Level 0)
I love the inflection in the dialog w/relation to the ages and genders of the kids, it really gives them their own voice - it's a very hard thing to nail and you did a great job with that. The story is really good too, I can totally imagine this little sibling trio coming up with this concoction to get rid of the competition. The ending is very strong and heartfelt and this is one of my favorites this month! Great job.
Wes Worthing (Level 5)
I like your double meaning title. Also liked very much the words the girls were spelling fit their personalities or current agenda. The ending came from left field and I like that very much! This would be fun to watch as we anticipate Lydia drinking the mixture, then our faces and hearts of course would change with the ending.
William Coleman (Level 5)
The dialog fit the age very well, a difficult feat for us grown-ups to accomplish. Either we aim too high or low. This dialog was on the nose. A lot was accomplished in 5 pages. While there was a lot of dialog, this was cinematic all the way. Superior script.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/1/2007 12:14 AM
Congratulations on winning first place. I loved your script and I couldn't be happier for you.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2007 12:17 AM
Way to go, Caroline, great script. Congrats!
Julie Stewart (Level 3) ~ 5/1/2007 4:19 AM
Well done Caroline, and know that you had a very hectic April with all your other projects - and still you came up with this winner. xx
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2007 4:36 AM
Thank you so very much you guys. I would say...'you don't know how much this means to me,' but you all DO!I've learned such a lot since MoviePoets began and it's all due to the excellent challenges set by you, Chris, and by the constructive reviews from my peers, which are worth far more than some competition judge skimming through and ticking boxes. Sometimes it's been tough to handle (see below!)but always worthwhile in the end.Major lessons for me:That I write so much better, with such freedom, when I'm not writing about 'myself' either indirectly or directly, or about things that have happened to me or family members.For a start, doing that means that I'm so far up my own backside that I never see the sunshine (!) and it also means that critical reviews seem to invalidate my experiences and the pain that I've felt or witnessed, so are especially hard to take on board.The other thought I had today, which I'm SURE is not original, was that if I treated each scene in my features as a 'short' with the same economy and paring down to the bone as I am learning to do here (not to mention the One Pager, Charlie!)then how tight my work would be!Thanks again everyone.Caroline
Wes Worthing (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2007 6:19 AM
Excellent comment Caroline about the feature writing. My next feature I too will have that attitude. Would each scene I write have a beginning/middle/end, and conflict, and brevity; would this scene compete on that wonderful site MoviePoet?
Aimee Parrott (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2007 8:24 AM
Congratulations, Caroline! I love what you said above about features -- I think we should all do that.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 5/1/2007 8:52 AM
Caroline, I love what you had to say about the contest and your "lessons" learned. You are such a talented writer, I knew it was just a matter of time before you won.
Wenonah Wilms (Level 0) ~ 5/1/2007 9:03 AM
Congrats, Caroline! :-) Forgive me for acting like a child under 12 but...Girls rule, boys drool!!!!well deserved.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2007 9:35 AM
Oh, Wenonah...the gauntlet has been laid down, girl!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/1/2007 11:18 AM
Congratulations, Caroline. I agree with you about the writing of features. Though this restriction of 5 pains me to no end, it has helped my feature writing beyond expectation.Thanks, Chris.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4) ~ 5/1/2007 11:44 AM
Well done. Congratulations.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 5/1/2007 1:46 PM
Congratulations Caroline!Nicely done! :-)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 5/2/2007 7:18 AM
Caroline, I can't tell you how happy I am for you! Way to go! I knew some the opening lines that this script was something special and I'm thrilled that you won! Well deserved.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 5/2/2007 7:40 AM
Again - thanks all you guys. I'm still all whirly!
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 12/4/2008 10:13 AM
I really enjoyed this Caroline, I'm slowly getting around to reading older scripts by MP members and I'm loving them.This is a very strong script and I learnt a lot from your descriptive passages, esp. the one introducing Lydia (someone else picks up on this) with the regimented garden - it really gives a tiny clue to the kind of parents and life she has.Wosie - didn't jar for me, really gave Mattie a 'voice' a very cute voice. So glad to be a part of this site.