Comments Made During the Contest
A.M. Wallace (Level 0)
Very creative, fun to read. Excellent story. You do an excellent job of setting the scene and describing the action without being too detail oriented. Fun to read something that has no dialog but tells a story so well. You don't need the title on the first page but other than that, I have no criticisms.
Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4)
I really loved this! I'm impressed that you were able to write such a human script given the month's challenge. I gave you a 5. I felt that the little world you created felt quite full. I'd really enjoy watching this unfold as a film as well. There's something about the name Little Belinda that I think is wonderful. Every time I read it, I was drawn in to the world anew. Something about it...The one thing I would say is you might consider eliminating the dog chase. I think there were enough other elements in play with the kiddos sneaking out, the threat of the ice cream guy, and the teenagers that you don't need anything else going on. When I got to yet another element chasing the trio, it kind of took me out of the story a little. Could just be me, though.
Ali Barr (Level 4)
Wonderful story and Great Action! I loved your characters. They had instant appeal for me. You stayed true to your story all the way through with no distractions. I was fully engaged in this delicious escape for children with so little to look forward to. Very clearly written and visualized. It was too well written for me to notice any mistakes or flaws. Thanks for the great escape.
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
I enjoyed this very much...a real old-fashioned story where the kids are the winners. Nicely done.
Austin Bennett (Level 4)
It was really cute. I liked it. Good format, good characters. Cute story.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
I thought this was a prety enjoyable little tale. You did a good job of keeping something that could very easily have been offensive very much nonoffensive so good job with that. I gave it a VERY GOOD.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
There IS action in this - the flight in the wheelchair - but is it an action script? - which is a different question.I liked the fact that it was a bit different. If you know me at all you'll know I'm a sucker for stories about special needs kids.I felt that the teenage gang and the dogs were bolted on to make the script more exciting and didn't work as well as the scenes with the kids.In general I got the feeling more of a family drama than an action script.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
This was so sweet in so many ways, not least of which being that it's the best thing I've read in 26 scripts, that I am pretty sure this one will come out on top or at least top 3 this month.Great job, love your use of these characters that we don't get to see much. Though not a word is spoken, the images you provide are so powerful that words would only detract in this script.The only problem I had was the part where the teenaged boys begin chasing them but are only just coming out of the woods by the time the ice creams have already been served and swiped. They need to encounter some delay, retrieving their cigarettes or something, to make it more realistic.This was extremely touching, Scream's gesture in the midst of their current circumstance is awesome. Excellent job, sure this one will fare well.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
Great story and wonderful characters.I love that you were able to do all of this without any dialogue - fantastic visuals. I really cared about these three. The ending is perfect.I loved it.
David Rabinowitz (Level 2)
I liked it, good action lines and visual storytelling, without the crutch of dialogue.There are only a few small things missing. Maybe the goal of getting ice cream could be established earlier - at first it seems like they're trying to escape, not to grab a snack. Also, only until they get the ice cream are they cahsed after - maybe someone (or something) could be chasing them earlier.Overall, very good job.
Deborah Mack (Level 3)
Good Job!!! I loved this script, it had such a dark tone to it and you explained so much by just showing, not telling.The only thing that I would change is maybe show that Scream is a deaf mute instead of telling us. I know you showed him signing and I thought that was good, but perhaps you could find a way to show so that you don't even have to tell.On the whole, great job! I loved it! :-)
DW Pollard (Level 4)
First impression: way too many words! Not enough white on the page. But now let me read it and see....Lots of action, and though it flowed easily, some dialogue would help break it up (though I certainly understand why no dialogue was necessary).I didn't feel much tension; everything was pretty easy for the trio. I think more suspense could have been added with cuts to the woman making her rounds and us wondering if they're going to make it back in time and how they make it in. It might also add something if we saw what wrath she can have on the young ones in the beginning caught doing something against the rules.Good story and would have fun visuals.
Gary Murphy (Level 3)
Ahhh, sweet! ;-) A little bit too sentimental and mushy maybe but made me smile, nicely written and enjoyable. There was a script last month with no dialogue which I marked down, That was because it was very action heavy with big blocks of text which made it quite hard going. This is an example of how a script with no dialogue can be a good read, the pacing was superb and you maintained a decent amount of white space on the page that made it much easier to read.The only negative I can think of it the Superimpose at the beginning, There is no need for that to be there at all and I would take it out.*Very Good
Graham Trelfer (Level 4)
A nice little chase scene but seemed to lack what what I would call set pieces. They basically ran around and the threats seemed minimal and they did not get a chance to use their brains to get out of problems you just had them run faster. Also they stole and stealing is wrong so can we really care for these petty criminals regardless of the difficulties they face?
Jay Knisely (Level 4)
A silent movie and a tough one to reviewPlus: reminiscent of Chaplinesque melodramaMinus: too pitiful protags (Aww) rip-off good humor man, too wretched antags (Boo) out of central castingLike a self-challenge within a challenge - write a screenplay with no dialogue (a little distracting). Good effort.
Jim Montgomery (Level 3)
Nice story. Sneaky little kids!
Jonah Yarden (Level 4)
considering the subject of the contest this was a great approach. Reading 5 pages of straight descriptive text could be a bore, which it was, but the action was well written, paced and compelling enough to warrant my continual interest. I guess scream didnt have to scream for ice cream...good job!
Michael Thede (Level 4)
It was difficult to see where this was going. In fact, I thought they were simply trying to make a clean break for it right up until the point they came around to the corner to the home again. Was the whole point of this just to ice cream? That part merely felt like a pit stop on what I was hoping was a bigger journey. Given their living conditions and that these are children, I don't think there's anything wrong with using ice cream as their goal, but I think that this story could be enriched with a larger dose of fantasy. I never really felt like we were really sutured into the world as the children saw it. Things like the older boys, the forest and the dogs could be rendered larger than life to make them more menacing. Think of stories like Peter Pan or Goonies or something like that. And go over the top! Still, you did manage to use the word "chortle", so I'll give you that :). I'm scoring you a GOOD.
Paul Jaworsky (Level 4)
Now this would make a great silent movie. I was reading along wondering why it was taking me so long and then I realized; Silent Treatment. No dialogue. Great stuff. I imagined this in my head ala Chaplin and I got goose bumps. I would love to see this on film. I love the way you broke up the action lines which made for a nice, clean read. Also, I loved the build up to the action parts. Can't really see anything here that needs to be fixed. Top notch effort!
Roger Pine (Level 3)
This script was very visual and action-packed, lighthearted yet fast-paced. I enjoyed it very much.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
This was beautiful. You should be proud of this one. I gave you a very good because there were a few action like sequences but this isn't an action short.You have wonderful characters with delightful names. A good producer/director and some talented child actors will make this a great short film.I can also imagine it being animated. It reminded me of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", but this was better.A nice technique or perhaps description would be to present us with an audio POV of Scream and we don't hear any sounds as we watch the world through his eyes. And maybe some back-story would be nice. Most "normal" kids have security blankets, toys etc.Give them some.Excellent on a different month different theme. It's script like these that make it a pleasure to review on the site.PS: I am confined to a wheelchair. When I was about 11 in India, an older cousin pulled the ice-cream trick you write about and had me hold the ice-cream while he ran off with me piggyback leaving a shocked ice-cream store owner speechless.Best ice-cream I had!!!
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
I'm so torn between good and very good on this one. This has the earmarks of a great visual story. And I guess that's what I'll review it on, is the story. With there being no dialogue it makes it harder for me to feel like I'm reading a script.There's something about it that's compelling though, and with the right actors, this could be something special.I really wish you'd change the name of Scream. It threw me time and time again, as I read it, and thought it was describing a scream, not a boys name.Anyway, I'm still torn on this one. I'll re read it at a later time this month and get back to you on it.
Spencer McDonald (Level 4)
A facinating story of special needs children out on the town to get ice cream. I kept wondering where the dialogue was. I understand one was a deaf mute and one was blind. The ones who could talks should have. Especially the ice cream dude when he was taken. Too much silence for me. All the description made this one hard to read and remain interested in. Overall, good job because writing five pages of sheer description must have been a chore.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Good premise, who among us has not snuck out for ice cream? The description was also good, and I like how the story was visual with sparse dialog.Some of the description was a bit novelish and overly lengthy; and I thought the characters/relationships could be better developed but they were cute anyway.
Tom Shipley (Level 4)
I liked it, sweet little story. Couple things:Action lines could use some rewriting. Reads like a first draft (which, it probably is...) Example: You says the boxes for the envelopes surround the children. that gave me the impression they were on the floor between the tables, but then later find they are on the tables. Why do the teenage boys dump the contents of their pockets into the river? I think you can get away with them just tossing their cigarettes and chasing the kids.Overall, I think you can cut down the first couple pages... for me, the story and action really start once they're outside the home. Ideally, you'd set up their escape in a page or little over a page, then get to the meat of the story.But I liked the action part. some good stuff in there. good job.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
This is another favorite of mine this month. Superb script with no dialogue. I loved it. I thought you were going to depress the sh** out of me when I began reading it, but that changed along the way.Loved Scream, fantastic character. His sense of others was wonderful and heart warming.The beauty of something simple to kids who have nothing is uplifting -- done with aplomb.Excellent job.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
Awesome work! I used to work in a "home for youth" and you captured some truths: the kids have no money in their possession, hence the ice cream theft, and peaking into the rooms with a flashlight from the "child care specialist". The link from the blue stickers and envelopes to the ice cream stand is perfect - and the rest is just a lot of fun. Hell, it's a "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for kids. Fantastic script to say the very least.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/1/2008 12:09 AM
Congratulations.Fantastic characters and story.
Gary Murphy (Level 3) ~ 3/1/2008 12:25 AM
well done David, nice one.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2008 12:37 AM
Congratulations, I was torn on this one. Nice story, lot's of great visuals. Well deserved.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/1/2008 12:49 AM
You should think of entering this in other contests.Loved it.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/1/2008 12:56 AM
You deserved your spot. Excellent story.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/1/2008 1:07 AM
David, great job. I really thought this would take it this month. kudos.
David D. DeBord (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2008 1:00 PM
Thanks for the kind comments. This is such a great site with a number of talented writers. I love taking a chance and putting myself out there and waiting for comments. Like many, I’m always looking for ways to improve. I take everyone’s words to heart.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 3/1/2008 10:16 PM
Congratulations David! Nice job on a memorably unique script!
Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4) ~ 3/1/2008 11:22 PM
I'm so glad you placed! This is really a wonderful story.
Ali Barr (Level 4) ~ 3/2/2008 1:27 AM
I really enjoyed this one. I really liked the way it was pure action at slower speed. Because it was thrilling for the kids it was thrilling for me.