Comments Made During the Contest
Adam Grage (Level 4)
Great concept and wonderful execution. Vety tight and the dialogue works well. But I just knew how this was going to end. I was hoping for more of a twist or perhaps the clarification of what 'Memores Acti' means is held back till the end instead.Still this is one of the best this month. Would love to see any rewrites you may do.
Ali Barr (Level 4)
You really know how to do a lot with five pages. Everything was so good. Every page was intense and kept me reading and asking myself questions. The bride dress is a great visual. At first I thought it was ruined when she came right out and said she was conned and lost everything, but you kept building the story and the intensity right to the end.Great use of repeated themes. How can I give it anything but an excellent? I have work to do if I want to write at this level. How long do you take to write your scripts?
Ben Usher (Level 1)
That ruled! Your structure and notation were a little wierd, but it doesn't even matter because the story was just awesome. It was like something out of the twilight zone. Even the atmosphere was good for a screenplay, I could really see that mexican shit jump out at me. The story had a good pace and was mysterious the whole way through. The mysterious bums dialouge was cool. It was all really cool. I sort of saw the ending coming but that's probobly the only way to end. tottaly awesome, You could definatly make that a half our episode of twilight zone or outer limits.
Bill Delehanty (Level 4)
Was a little lost on the first read, but it was very well done. Easy to read and nice balance between the dialogue and action. I liked it alot!
Brad Huffman Parent (Level 4)
You title is spelled "Memores Acti", and that's how it's spelled with the pharmacist, but the inscription on the chest you have it spelled “Memoris Acti" with an "I". Typo or some hidden meaning?Neat story. I've seen the basic idea before, I knew what was going to happen at the end, but I still enjoyed it. Good writing can do that. I liked the bride's conversation with bartender. Could really hear the defeat in her voice.Light and easy read overall. A few typos where I wasn't quite sure what the line was supposed to be, like this one: "Knotted jaw, she hates ask:" I'm guessing "she hates to ask".
Brian Wind (Level 5)
This was written very well but I felt like you stole your own thunder. By giving too much foreshadowing, the ending became predictable. Otherwise, well done though. Interesting story, nice job.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
Excellent! I can't really add anything to that! Except - why the black vomit, why the blood on the seat?
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
Nicely done, well written and interesting, but a bit disappointing in the end. She goes through all that to "forget" a man, then just happens to step into a murderer's truck because she's forgotten how bad men can be? A bit convenient, no? Would she not have taken the ride had she not forgotten?Really great images here, love the setting and the players, you can really craft a story. However, the ending misses the mark for me. With the foreshadowing you can see that something "bad" is going to happen. That a serial killer shows up right after is just a bit too contrived.Great writing, mediocre story.**
Chris Messineo (Founder)
Great story. Very original.Your craft is excellent and this was a very fun read. Wonderful characters and great dialogue. I love all the details and the authenticity of it all. I felt like I could smell the town and taste the tequila.My only complaint (and it is a very small one) is I saw the end coming.Still, this was very well done.
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
Okay...but what happened?! What does the guy in the pickup have to do with the trunk and the whole line of people in the end. This totally lost me.The dialogue was not badk, not too much description, points there... ! I just felt really let down by the way it was built up and then ended so... oddly.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
I like the Latin title but some may think it is a typo because it looks like "memories act." Even though they are known as "Latino, it does seem odd for Mexicans to be citing Latin phrases. The mallet is convenient, but if the attic is "barren" wouldn't the mallet just have magically appeared? I'm noticing this in scripts I'm reading, other items in the attic, so, I don't know if my complaint is valid. I'm not scoring lowere because of it.After the bride smashes the lock she, "heads toward the trunk," isn't she standing right in front of it already?I thought the story was funny, and I loved the descriptions, I could visualize the entire story. The pharmacy was a hoot. Very interesting and surreal, I hesitate to ask but it appears the bride had - - an abortion?
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4)
Loved it. Great stuff. A few ticky-tack things:1) Misspelled "Memores" in the second paragraph (you could argue that this is not a ticky-tack typo, considering how central to the script this word is, but...it didn't distract me too much).2)Why a dozen Mexicans in line to go to the trunk? Something with this power wouldn't just draw a local crowd, would it? Would it set a more ominous tone if there were only one or two people willing to turn their key? Maybe...3)Black vomit. Hey I've got nothing against a good vomit scene...okay maybe I do...9 times out of 10 they are gratuitous and unnecessary...and the 1 out of 10 is in a movie that is reveling in the gratuitous and unnecessary, which is not your script.The ending was fantastic. The voice over, the message, the exit...the last page hit me perfectly and erased pretty much any other gripe I had about the script. Great work.
John Brooke (Level 5)
You’ve scripted a perfectly super title and a damned good parable encompassing it. Your format is packed full of action descriptions, which works well. I would have preferred knowing that what was going on was occurring somewhere specific in Mexico, right from the beginning. Mexico is a large diversified country. I did catch that clue of “a dozen MEXICANS that wait in line …” in your first page. I find out as I read that the Bride is a gringa and almost the entire dialog is in English. If this were a boarder town with the USA this would probably be okay. But please tell/show me. The Spanish phrase the Bartender uses in response to the Brides comment about Ramón is muy cruda. Your marvelous Mexicano Bum, that speaks perfect English, with a Latin Pharmacia in his head and drugs in his hat, was hilarious. Especially when he spouts that age-old warning.¡Maravilloso!
John LaBonney (Level 4)
Wow, this script is awesome! I loved the concept. Very well written scenes--this is the kind of material I look to as a model for my own writing.
Kathleen Clevenger (Level 4)
I thought this was very well written. Great visual imagery. Very thought provoking ending... Thanks for keying the reader in to what the latin? words on the chest mean. Nice moral to the story... learning from our painful mistakes/experiences and so on. I'm dying to know what happens next. Great job!
Kenneth Hurd (Level 4)
Excellent script! The characters were all very developed and believable. My only thing is that I knew how it would end once the words were translated. Maybe you could have it to where during the conversation between the Bride and the Pharmacist, he doesn't translate the words so soon so that we get the revelation of what the words mean when she meets the Driver again.
Laureen Muller (Level 4)
Great story, dialog flowed nicely, you could envision each character and scene. Cut down on the scene descriptions, this is wasted space, no need for things like (Sunblades fall on the precarious houses.... or Wham!). Remember we will be seeing this on screen, based on what the director wants, we do not need to hear it in our minds like in a book. Love the ending. Shorten the line to the trunk, you have it long and endless when she leaves the house yet she gets back to the front in seconds, how? Good Luck.
Leigh Fenty (Level 3)
Very interesting and well written. I just saw a couple of spelling errors. Good job.
Lewayne White (Level 4)
Points on for the Latin. Interesting. The bum's line about learning from mistakes you've forgotten is a good one.
Margaret Avnet (Level 4)
An interesting premise. I also like the fact that bum just didn't give her the key. But warned her that if she forgets she wouldn't learn from her mistakes. With that being said you could almost guess that she was going to go back to the man who did her wrong. I'm a bit confused as to why when her boyfriend wipes the seat in the truck that there is blood. It doesn't seem to fit in with the story. Also I don't know if I would have used WHAM! in describing the lock flying off. It just seems to come off a bit too comic bookish.I think it would make for an interesting short if anyone would decide to produce it.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
This is the first "excellent" I've given to any attic script. This is really, really good work.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
Well...this was incredible. The writing is expert. The only thing that I didn't get was at the end when he wiped a spot of blood off the passenger seat. The VO at the end was brilliantly done. This is a perfect example of what screenwriting should be. It was visual, your action lines were descriptive and to the point. Your story was unique to say the least and characters had their own voice. Not sure how you're able to do this in 5 pages. Remarkable work (that's the mark after Excellent). :)
Michael Leath (Level 3)
That was brilliant. The imagery was terrific. Each detail stood alone but married with the others was a quilt your story thrives on.The dialog was superb. Saying the minimum, but each comment was choice.I saw QT in this. Not because of the bride or the Mexicans. But the way the story unfolded. There was something haunting in the tale that kept me glued to the next passage.The Trunk of Sorrows. Absolutely top notch.
Michael Rome (Level 4)
Extremely well written. Great imagery. Wonderful story with an intriguing theme. Also felt there was an implied insight about the psychology of abused spouses and one of the reasons why they might stay or get back with the abuser. I have no bias against Voice Over, but the only weakness I see is that you may not have needed the voice over in the last scene. Here is a possible alternative approach:EXT. DESERT ROADThe Bride turns to the sound of the pick-up truck as itcrunches to a stop.The driver beams a toothpaste commercial smile.She smiles back. Their eyes lock, instant chemistry.BRIDEYou seem so familiar?DRIVERDon't think I've had the pleasure.She confidently hops in and swings the door shut.Congratulations on an excellent piece.
Patrick Sweeney (Level 4)
Well done. Intriguing take on the premise of a trunk in an attic. Format & style are good. Excellent use of voice-over at the end. Vivid, clear descriptive & action text. Dialogue is good. Characters are well-drawn & compelling.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
A sad, cautionary tale, reminiscent of W.W. Jacob's "The Monkey's Paw," in which a person's wish is granted with ironic, tragic results. I know it was a conscious decision not to give any characters proper names, but I think you might get criticized for naming the protagonist, "The Bride," which tends to encompass all females and leads one to believe all women are rushing into marriage or can get easily conned by any handsome man. If you had given The Bride a proper name and provided a little more back-story for her, we could make these circumstances specific to her.Properly formatted, a few typos, but overall, well-written, very descriptive.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
Great script with a very simple moral. Since I think I know who wrote this I'm going to judge it against a high bar. I didn't feel any sympathy with The Bride because there is nothing much to like about her in this. She is self serving and unpleasant so I didn't care much about what happened to her. The script would be improved if she had a more tragic but likable character and then at the end instead of thinking "Hah, she got what was coming to her!" I'd be thinking "Oh no look where tragic misfortune and cruelty can drive someone. Boo hoo hoo, snuffle, wah, boo hoo hoo, where do we keep the spare tissues...".I had a problem with the huge mallet that was against the wall. Since it would be well known that it would not work it seems like a bizarrely convenient and useless thing to be lying around in a barren attic. The scene with the Bartender is nearly two pages long and is peculiar in several ways. "BARTENDER: What happened to him?" -- This line seems too nosey and obvious for me. I think it would be better if he said something non-committal, or perhaps just grunted. In fact for a guy with much sort after wisdom he is very forth coming, easy to find, and easily convinced to help. Where was the long line of other people looking for the easy path to open the trunk?Another specific problem with this scene is that I didn't see anything that would make him give her the answer. She does nothing to seem specially deserving of it and shows no redeeming qualities that might make him sympathetic towards her problem. So what actually happens in this scene is she bums a drink, bitches unpleasantly, demonstrates she is feeling sorry for herself, and in response the Bartender gives her a drink, steers the conversation to what she wants to talk about, and gives her the information she wants for no apparent reason!Then the next scene with the Pharmacist is pretty much a repeat performance of the previous scene. Again she easily gets what she wants without doing anything for it. This scene also gave away what was coming for me. It's not necessarily a bad thing but it was clearly sign posted that she would open the trunk, forget, repeat her mistakes, and end up back in a tragic position.The other issue I had on this one relates to the pacing of the story. This script opens big and dramatic. Distressed woman in wedding dress fails to open the magical trunk and then the real stunner, the line of people waiting to try. Great stuff. Then it kind of plods along with a couple of interesting (if problematic) conversation scenes. Then a short bit of spewing volcano woman followed by a studied perhaps intriguing but thoughtful last scene. The danger here is of a decelerating or flat story and I think this might be one. "Knotted jaw, she hates ask:" -- This line needs fixing."You don’t know what the Trunk of Sorrows really does, ##do## you?"As I mentioned at the top this is really well done but given your track record I thought it would be more useful to you to apply a high standard for judging. If you are someone else then sorry!
Pia Cook (Level 5)
Well well well. My first script to read this month and it's Mr. Z's. ;DWhat a treat!I loved it! I think you've written another winner!I have no suggestions really. I enjoyed just the way it is.
Rob Gross (Level 4)
A well told story. At first read, I thought you were flashing back at the end, but then I realized she didn't learn from her mistake. She's about to get in the car with another loser!This story had me the whole way. I was drawn in and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen. I love the writing style. Keep it up.very good.
Robert Newcomer (Level 4)
Haha – I recognize this brand. Do I simply give it five stars and move on? If the author here ain't my friend Z, then take it as a compliment that you share his company.I am not sure I would have named your trunk "The Trunk of Sorrows" though -- that seems so maudlin. Better to leave it nameless -- it is more mysterious that way -- and everybody knows what she is talking about anyways. Just call it the trunk. Like you did with the pharmacist. He is not "the keeper of the keys" or anything, and he is a better character for it.And I am not sure we need all the vomit and such when she opens the trunk. It seems too much, almost. A blinding light from the trunk could easily have transitioned into the blazing sun beating upon the bride as she wanders down the dusty desert road.The ending, with your VO interspersed with the actions, is just right. A very satisfying conclusion to this cautionary tale -- although the penalty seems a little harsh for the poor bride. Tough day for this girl haha.Great work, this one.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Very good work. I was pulled in from the beginning, and you never lost my attention the whole way through the script. The story has so much going on, and the imagery is wonderful. The story is strong throughout.I don't know how you managed to make this short film seem like an epic, but you did. Well done, this will win or place this month.Excellent is my vote.
Shaheryar Ahmed (Level 3)
I loved it. Very different and exactly the kind of scripts I like. It was amazing.I like the story as a visual. I could see each and every action taking place. I could see a girl in a bride's dress running here and there in some kind of panic. Conceptually it was great. Sometimes things happen they way they want to happen and nobody can change that. She wanted to forget the dude but there he is back in the end. I really like the end. It is complete and is a powerful story. I don't know why your style reminds me a little about Tarantino or Rodriguez. I guess that is a compliment.
Stan Askew (Level 3)
Good story. Minor mistakes are easily avoided with proofreading.Woman tries to open the trunk. We don't know why. She fails. Then, as she leaves, we see a line of people also lined up. Later, we see her come upon the key a bit too easily. Taking the line of people into consideration. Story could be improved by making the key. . . well, more key to the story.We learn she has been tricked by her groom on her wedding day out of her life's savings. She wants the key. Gets the key. Is warned that it ain't all good to forget, because then you won't learn your lesson. She chooses to forget. Rather than having the guy wiping blood from his passenger seat, it may have been cooler to see the money in a bag behind the passenger seat. Or, she meets a rich guy who saves her from a bad situation in the streets. Cleans her up. Buys her a bus ticket out of town and a change of clothes. Thing is, he's rich because he stole all her money. But she doesn't remember that part. Violence or the threat of violence isn't always the most interesting way to go, even if it is the default way for most people, at least it seems that way to me.This is a good story that could be turned into a great story. Oh yeah, one caveat. Having the ol' memory wiped of a lover and then getting back together with said lover? . . .Charlie Kaufman done done it. That is one dude I wouldn't want to go head to head with in a writing contest.
Stephen Brown (Level 5)
The writing here is fantastic, I suspect I know who wrote this haha.Seriously, top quality descriptions and the dialogue is great too.I couldn't help thinking of Kill Bill all the way through this, which kind of affected my enjoyment. I was a little confused with the ending too. Is that a flashback (her memory of meeting him) or is present and she's meeting him again, now she's forgotting him it's gonna all happen again.Did have this as VERY GOOD, but it gets a last minute bump up to EXCELLENT. I was being too picky with the Kill Bill linkI'll be surprised if this isn't by who I think it is, great style whoever it is though.
Stina Carlstedt (Level 3)
Loved it, even though I was pretty sure how it would end I was blown away the execution of it. The imagery was strong amd I loved how economical you were with the information you provided (we don't need to know the back story of the chest, or where she's from, or what the deal is with the blood in the car, or anything). I can't fault anything, but consider if you have to set it in Mexico, to avoid the Kill Bill connection.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Intriguing tale, well told. I was riveted. I enjoyed how it was surreal and original w/interesting characters. I especially liked the use of Spanish and Latin, and the bar scene was priceless.I gave this a VG despite formatting issues (the female hand/bride are the same, the Bum/Pharmacist segue was handled poorly), excessive details (the seahorse tattoo serves no purpose, give the same tattoo to the guy in the truck & it would make perfect sense), loads of redundancies (repetitive dialog, especially in the VO, get rid of it and give me a visual clue) and a few typos (she hates ask - this is also editorial). I leave other nitpicks to my fellow MPs critiques.But I so loved this story; it's my personal favorite script this month and I would have rated it Excellent except it's just too messy. A tighter, cleaner version might have won for all its flaws.
Tony Oldham (Level 4)
I love th estyle of the writing. It's very quick paced and visual. I woul dsay style wise very good.You have a few typos, and also the format is a bit crushed with the spacing pre slugline, but these are no big deal.Storywise, you get a great sense of place, adventure and characters. From that point of view it's highly original. It feels like a really well rounded story. I just felt slight confused by the ending and wasn't quite sure of her outcome.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I enjoyed this script -- creative. My only criticism:Be a bit less "on-the-nose" with the dialogue -- "You don't know what the trunk of sorrows really does, don't you?" That could be more aloof and mysterious, rather than 'right there'."Stretching into infinity. A heat wave-distorted silhouette inthe distance.It’s the Bride. Tequila bottle in hand, she bumbles along,taking long swigs. Completely wasted."I think this reads better -- "Stretching to infinity, a heat wave-distorted silhouette -- the Bride. Tequila bottle in hand, she stumbles along, pausing for long swigs."I think you have an excellent idea here, and with a revision and maybe a few more pages, this premise will shine and I would love to see the finished film.Very Good.
William Coleman (Level 5)
Your script is nicely atmospheric, your story a neat parable, and in your ending you cap the parable. The dialog has a nice sense of the antique, the formal, which sets your scene away from our present reality.I liked your opening without dialog. Telling a story visually with few - if any - words is a good objective for a screenwriter. You do interject dialog, but there are always visuals between the dialog patches.My only qualification is I had a sense of narrative sag near the middle. I needed a little more tension. With just a little tweaking, this could be top-rated. Somehow, I don't sense one of our regulars writing this. This strikes me as a new voice, and a voice that will develop in challenges to come. If you are a regular, you have gained a new voice.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
Great stuff. Very original with a great pace and very solid ending. Just tighten up some of the dialogue to keep it more realistic. Fix: "Knotted jaw, she hates ask" (Huh?) and don't prod the actor with "shaky voice" and "sarcastic" - let the actor do their job and act without your stage direction. Excellent work.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 9/1/2008 12:08 AM
Congratulations again. Yet another wonderful story. Your consistency is truly amazing.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:26 AM
Hey Z! Congrats yet again. I didn't read this one this month so maybe I'll wait and give it a read on SS.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:26 AM
Matias, you are the man!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:44 AM
This was brilliant. The story was so original. What an imagination! I said it in my review and I'll say it again...your writing style is expert.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:49 AM
Congrats Z!I knew you wrote this one. Thanks for enjoying and understanding my script. ;DOver and out. I'm done here.Kick ass, I'm rooting for you.
Stephen Brown (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:51 AM
Well done Z!I thought this was yours. Great story man.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 9/1/2008 1:04 AM
You rock, Matias. Great story, congrats again!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 9/1/2008 1:57 AM
Beautiful as always Matias! Congrats.
Gary Murphy (Level 3) ~ 9/1/2008 3:32 AM
Amazing. Sorry I never got round to reading this, I will read it though. I have a special folder on my Mac just for your scripts. Well done indeed.
Ali Barr (Level 4) ~ 9/1/2008 9:15 AM
Great job on this one. One of my favorites on MP ever. Great consistency! Your style is so characteristic that it's fun to read and recognize, "Oh this one is Matias' script."And thanks for the links on structure in the forum!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 9:45 AM
Thank you so much. I’m really flattered and I’m so happy you liked this story.It’s daunting how many of you recognized this was mine, haha!Now that the voting month is over, I can finally announce that this one was sold to a producer in Alaska who will be shooting it for the dvxuser’s Twilight Fest (Chris, I owe you yet another beer, thanks man).If anyone’s interested in production updates, you can check the production journal here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=141951Thanks again for your reviews and kind comments. :)
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 10:00 AM
I think I put that link wrong...Testing: www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=141951
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 10:25 AM
Wow! I can't wait to see this one on film. Congrats!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 9/1/2008 11:21 AM
Fantastic news! I can't wait to see the finished film.So, do I have to come to South America to get my beers?
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 12:03 PM
Haha, finally I can find an advantage in being "out of town". I can get away with not paying my debts. :)
Dawn Calvin (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 1:18 PM
Awesome news Matias. Now quit writing shorts and get to work with the big boys! ;-) Congrats and I virtually bow, even though I am not supposed to!
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 9/1/2008 1:25 PM
Great work as always, Matias. And congrats on selling this one off so quickly!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2008 3:04 PM
Haha, thanks Dawn and Erich. :)
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 9/2/2008 9:08 AM
Congratulations on the production. I hope it films as good as it reads.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2008 9:23 AM
Thanks Bill. There will be changes, but the producer is a great guy and he seems to know what he's doing. I'm optimist.