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18+ Language

Grow Out - First Scene

by Slobst


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT

MARC (17), a confident, tall teenager with shoddy-done black eyeliner and black hair, swaggers across the street as he smokes a cigarette.

He stops outside the church and scans the area. Nobody is around. The church is guarded by big ugly grey gates.

Marc signals for ADAM (17) and CALEB (17) to join him. Adam, bursting with energy, bounds to join Marc while Caleb shuffles behind, concealing his face with the hoodie of his jersey.

Adam pulls out a flashlight and turns it on while Caleb reluctantly hands Marc a can of spray paint.

Marc throws his cigarette on the ground, stomps on it, waves his hand forward and dashes for the gates. Adam follows. They throw themselves up onto it, almost puncturing themselves on the spikes and over onto the other side.

Marc signals for Caleb to follow but he can't. He's frozen.

MARC

Caleb! Come on!

CALEB

No. I can't do this. This is crazy!

MARC

(whispering)

Oh come on? You wanna change your mind now? Just look at this shit.

Adam shines the flashlight on the wall of the church. It's a mural with a message: "God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust his will."

MARC

Isn't that messed up?

CALEB

They're not talking about Jesse.

MARC

Of course they are. They're talking about everything. They're saying that every shitty thing that's ever happened is all apart of "His plan". Isn't that fucked up?

CALEB

That's just what Christians say, they don't know any better.

MARC

I don't give a fuck if that's what they say. They should be held accountable for the crappy things they say.

CALEB

Yeah but not like this

MARC

Please. Do it for me and for Adam.

ADAM

And for Jesse. If she was here she would have done it, for all of us.

MARC

All we need is for you to keep watch.

CALEB

(A beat.)

Okay, fine.

Caleb forces himself up and over the fence.

ADAM

Why does the church have a massive gate anyway?

The three make their way through the church gardens and to the mural. 

MARC

They didn't like all the homeless people who slept here.

ADAM

The church didn't like the homeless people?

Marc shakes the spray paint.

MARC

Yeah cause they're fuckers.

Marc tags the wall.

ADAM

Including your dad?

MARC

Yeah, he probably paid for them!

ADAM

Your dad would probably freak if he saw you doing this

MARC

Yeah my Mum too. They think I'm hanging out with my "youth friends"

ADAM

(letting out a massive laugh)

Oh my God. That's hilarious!

CALEB

Guys, shut it! If somebody hears us-

MARC

They won't.

CALEB

But if they do and we get caught, you know who they're gonna blame, right?

MARC

We won't get caught-

ADAM

Oh dear. You messed it up.

MARC

What?

ADAM

It's the wrong article. It should be a not an.

MARC

What the hell's an article?

ADAM

(reading Marc's graffiti)

'An fucking asshole.' Doesn't make any sense.

MARC

Who cares about fucking articles? It's the statement-

ADAM

Yeah but now it just sounds stupid-

MARC

You're stupid. It doesn't even matter-

ADAM

Oh so just because we're vandalisers now means we don't adhere to the rules-!

MARC

Fuck the rules. That's what this is abo-!

ADAM

They're rules to make you not sound-!

CALEB

Oh my god, shut up! 

Marc and Adam fall silent.

CALEB

Can we just go!

Across the road, a light from within a home is turned on. Caleb turns around.

CALEB

Oh shit.

Marc, Adam and Caleb dash to the left, heading for the gates, revealing the graffiti in full "Either that's bullshit or God's an fucking asshole. Choose one".

A MAN emerges from the house in his pajamas and shines a light on the church

MAN

Hey, you kids. What are you doing in there.

One by one they force themselves up and over the fence. Their landings make a noise and the MAN shines his spotlight on them.

Marc, Adam and Caleb as quickly as they can dash up the road and turn left at a fourway.

CALEB

Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God. If I lose my job. I'll lose my life. I'll lose everything. Everything!

MARC

We're gonna be fine. Just shut it

They almost run past a house surrounded by a small white wall when Marc stops.

MARC

Wait. We can hide here. Come.

CALEB

Haven't we trespassed enough?

MARC

If you wanna keep running be my guest

Marc quickly hops over the wall, Adam and Caleb follow and they all crouch behind it. Slowly the MAN walks past shining his torch everywhere but behind the wall. He finally gives up and turns around. 

Caleb lets out a sigh of relief and attempts to gain his breath back. Marc shakes his head at Caleb and then turns his head to stare at  Adam, who smirks at him which causes  them both to burst into laughter and as they laugh they lean in closer and closer into each other, their hands almost touching.


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Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:11 pm
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Slobst! Dropping by for that review you requested!

Now I can't promise I can give you the most helpful feedback ever (haven't really reviewed scripts before), but I'm going to try my best! First time for everything, right?

Oh come on? You wanna change your mind now? Just look at this shit.


I would add a comma after 'Oh', and then change the question mark to a period, because I don't think you meant 'Oh, come on?' to be a question.

-I would consider mentioning Jesse earlier, or explain her character just a little more, because I have no idea who she is or what significance she has to the other characters. Obviously, something happened with her and the boys are vengeful about it, but the mention of her feels pretty random here.

Yeah but not like this


'Yeah, but not like this.' with that added comma and period.

Yeah, he probably paid for them.


I'm going to assume you mean the gates, but this makes it sound almost as if his dad paid for homeless people. You might want to make the conversation or the follow-up to this a little clearer.

-This might just be me, but I find the way Adam and Marc are cutting each other off when Marc puts the 'an' instead of 'a' somewhat strange. You might try reading the conversation aloud to see what you think, but the repetitive interrupting and the places they interrupt each other doesn't fit right to me.

Hey, you kids. What are you doing in there.


Since the second sentence is a question, change the period to a question mark. And I'll recommend changing the first period to an exclamation mark, because it gives the sentence a little more 'oomf', because I think he's yelling at them (obviously they're being shifty here), but it sounds like he's just saying it.

-I really like premises of this story. I love coming of age stories, and characters who are still in that sort of 'who am I?' stage and trying to figure out what the heck if going on (based off what you said in your summary). I'd be interested to see where you take this from here!

-I also really like that Marc messed that graffiti up! It adds a little sprinkle of characterisation to him and Adam, so kudos to you for that!

Overall, great job! Like I said, I'm interested to see where you take this, so I might follow along if/when you post more of it.

I hope you found this review somewhat helpful! Have a lovely day :D

-scribbleinks




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Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:43 pm
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inktopus wrote a review...



Heya, Slobst! Storm here to review, as requested. I just want to say that I've never written or reviewed a script, so I might be utterly unhelpful. With that said, here I go!

Isn't that fucked in the head?

I have a rather filthy vocabulary, so I'd say I know the nuances of curses rather well, and 'fucked in the head' doesn't really work here because they're not talking about a person. Just plain 'ol 'fucked up' makes more sense in my opinion.

I don't give a fuck if that's what they say. It's fucked and they should pay.

There's a bit of unintentional rhyme here which might take away from the gravity of the scene. Also "It's fucked and they should pay" is a redundant phrase. Maybe use something that stresses that they're wrong in Marc's eyes?

No. Not like this.

I'm really hearing the melodrama here. Just a "no" or something defending the church and how they don't deserve being vandalized could work better.

We need you to keep watch.

This is a bit of a jarring subject change. I think rewording it to: "All we need you to do is keep watch." would help it flow a bit better.

Oh dear. You messed it up.

I love this! The juxtaposition of the mild phrase 'oh dear' and the illegal situation they're in makes it even better.

They laugh and laugh as they lean closer and closer into each other, their hands almost touching

Who is 'they'? Is it all three of them, or is it a specific duo? If a specific duo, you need to specify who's doing what. Also, *eyebrows raise* is this implying a romantic relationship in the future? If so, good job! I think that for those watching this, it'll be subtle which is good for your first few hints at it. It's a little more obvious in the script, but I think that's only natural.

Since I haven't seen a synopsis for this script, I don't have a clue where it's going. I think could turn into a spiritual, preachy sort of play or it could be something entirely different. I like it so far, but I'm afraid that it will get rather preachy, so if that's not your intention just know that it was my first impression.

Overall, I thought this was fun to read. I was entertained and I think you have a good sense of how dialogue flows from one person to the next. I did see some grammar issues, but I never point those out in reviews. Just be vigilant when you edit, and I have faith that you'll catch them. (If you're really bad at grammar, I'd suggest you check out this website: https://app.grammarly.com/ )

If you have any questions or comments for this review, just leave a reply down below or feel free to pm me.

Edit: tag me when you update this next. I'd like to see where this leads!

~Storm




Slobst says...


Hey! Thanks for reviewing! I'm happy you enjoyed it!

And oh my I can't believe I totally missed that the last bit wasn't clear. Yes, it is implying a romantic relationship between Marc and Adam and you're 100% right that onscreen it would be way more subtle than I could ever be in a script

And on concerns of it being preachy it definitely isn't. More along the lines of a coming of age story. The church does play a major motif in the story but it's mostly a negative one



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Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, SlobstLiketoWrite! Pan here to review, as promised. It's a pretty short scene, so I'm going to take this chronologically and give you my thoughts as I go along. I'll cross out any small things I think you can delete and make small grammar/expression changes in blue, if necessary.

EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT

MARC (17), a confident, tall teenager with shoddy-done black eyeliner and black hair, swaggers across the street as he smokes a cigarette.

He stops outside the church and scans the area. Nobody is around. Although The church is guarded by big UGLY GREY GATES

Marc signals for ADAM (17) and CALEB (17) to join him. Adam, bursting with energy, bounds to join Marc while Caleb shuffles behind, concealing his face with the hoodie of his jersey

Adam pulls out a FLASHLIGHT and turns it on while Caleb reluctantly hands Marc a can of SPRAY PAINT

Marc throws his cigarette on the ground, stomps on it, flashes a secret signal and dashes for the gates. Adam follows. They throw themselves up onto it, almost puncturing themselves on the spikes and over onto the other side

Marc signals for Caleb to follow but he can't. He's frozen


1) I don't really get the rationale for capitalising 'UGLY GREY GATES' and 'FLASHLIGHT' and 'SPRAY PAINT'. Why are they capitalised but 'cigarette' isn't? As far as I've been taught, you only need to capitalise names when they first appear. I've never heard anything about capitalising props, and haven't seen that kind of formatting apply in any of the film or television scripts I've read. That said, I am a scripting newbie, so maybe I've just not come across that rule.

2) Could you elaborate a little on what the 'secret signal' actually looks like? Does he just wave his hand, or is there a particular movement to it?

3) Otherwise, this opening segment is really good. Clear, concise, easy to follow. It gets straight to the point and asks a simple, engaging question, as well: why are these teenagers breaking into a church?

MARC

Caleb! Come on!

CALEB

No. I can't do this. This is crazy!

MARC

(whispering)

Oh come on? You wanna change your mind now? Just look at this shit

Adam shines the flashlight on the wall of the church. It's a mural with a message:

CALEB

(reading the message off the wall)

God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will

MARC

Isn't that messed up?

CALEB

They're not talking about Jesse

MARC

Of course they are. They're talking about everything. They're saying that every shitty thing that's ever happened is all apart of "His plan". Isn't that fucked in the head?

CALEB

That's just what Christians say, they don't know any better

MARC

I don't give a fuck if that's what they say. It's fucked and they should pay

CALEB

No. Not like this


(Sorry that I can't format it right in the quotes).

I've not got any real complaints for this section. It's good dialogue; it shows character; it's got conflict and drama and all that lovely stuff. Part of me thinks that it might be better if, rather than having Caleb read the message on the side of the church out loud, you just showed Marc shining the light on it and let the audience read it for themselves. There's something about Caleb reading it aloud that doesn't sit quite right with me - maybe it's because he probably already knows what it says, given that it's the reason they're here to vandalise the place. It feels like he's reading it purely for the audience's benefit. It's a picky point, though - as I said, this section is really good. I like how you handle Caleb trying to disagree with Marc. You do well to capture that kind of awkwardness that comes from trying to challenge a friend that's very touchy and passionate about something. I can relate.

One small thing I have noticed is that you're not closing your dialogue with full stops, so make sure you fix that in editing.

ADAM

Including your dad?

MARC

Yeah, he probably paid for them!

CALEB

Guys, shut it! If somebody hears us-

MARC

They won't

CALEB

But if they do and we get caught, you know who they're gonna blame, right?

MARC

We won't get caught

Adam's flashlight flickers

ADAM

My light is running out

MARC

Just use your phone

ADAM

My phone? And risk getting mugged?

MARC

Oh my God. You're worried about getting mugged?

ADAM

Yeah, it's dark. You don't know who's lurking

MARC

Hello. We're the criminals. Criminals don't steal from other criminals

(SAME TIME)

ADAM

Okay. Now that's bullshit. Criminals steal from anyone! Yeah well I can't do fuck all without my phone!

MARC

Nobody is here even. It's just us. Just take your phone out! I can't just fuck all without light here!


This section is fine (apart from the occasional grammar mishaps) up until the bit of simultaneous dialogue. That last part just feels weird to me, maybe because people rarely talk over one another in full sentences. I feel like it would be better if Adam started talking and then got interrupted by Marc, for example:

ADAM

That's bullshit-

MARC

For god's sake, there's no one even here! Get your fucking phone out.


This is just an example, but something along these lines would work. It just seems a bit more true to real speech.

Maybe it is just a character thing, but I did find it weird that Adam would be worried about being mugged. I mean, there's three of them? They're outside a church? It's not exactly a likely occurrence, is it? Maybe he is just that paranoid, but part of me thinks it would make more sense if they were squabbling about low battery or something, like if Adam didn't want to use the phone because he thought it would drain it.

CALEB

Oh god, oh god, oh god. Somebody's there

VOICES [Just have it be one voice - no need for two]

Hey, you kids!

MARC

Fuck. Let's get out of here.

Marc, Adam and Caleb dash to the left. The voices get closer and closer as the lights get brighter. One by one they force themselves up and over the fence and they all run across the street and slide into a side alley. They seem to have lost them.

Caleb, however, keeps running for his life. while Marc and Adam laugh their heads off as they watch him run away

TITLE CARD: "Grow Out"


1) I put a few more suggested grammar and expression changes in here, as I think the writing gets a tad sloppier towards the end of the scene.

2) Can you illustrate exactly how 'they seem to have lost them'? How is that shown onscreen? Does the torch flicker past them? Does the voice get fainter? Remember that a script is supposed to be an instruction manual, so there's not much room for vagueness.

3) Rather than having a whole bunch of people chasing after the boys, I'd recommend keeping it to one person. In a script, you have to justify the existence of extra characters (and thus the payment of more actors). If you've got a bunch of characters fulfilling the same role, you may as well collapse them into one.

That's all for this review! Sorry if I came of as harsh, because I definitely believe the good in this opening far outweighs my criticisms. It's a clearly written scene, well-paced, and it provides a really strong introduction to the characters and the story. There's enough mystery and intrigue to keep me hooked, so I can definitely say I'd love to read (or indeed watch) more of this. I'd like to know where you intend to take the plot, as well as what actually happened to Jesse. The characters seem to have a good dynamic, as well.

Let me know if you post any more of this!

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




Slobst says...


Hey. Thanks so much for taking a look at it! :D

1. I 100% agree with you about capitalizing props. I was only doing it because I had seen it done in other scripts... but then in other scripts they don't capitalize props so I'm not sure what the rule is but I'd rather keep the capitalization to characters only

2. And Yup! I agree with literally everything else you said. These are some really good pointers thank you.

3. One question though. What are your thoughts on the whole religion "message" of the scene. Do you think what they're doing is right? or at least understandable? I would never ever do something like this in real life and I want to know if it seems real enough

4. Actually two questions. The story is set in my hometown in South Africa and I want to know if I should indicate that in the story and how? (obviously I won't put my hometown here on the internet) but am I allowed to put where the story is set or is that the location manger's job? It's just that the politics of South Africa come into play a bit later in the story and I feel it's important that the story is set there

Thank you again for taking the time to review it. Means a lot :D



Panikos says...


I feel like their behaviour is definitely understandable, if not right. Obviously I'm not the sort of person who would ever go vandalising a church, but I get their annoyance at the church dismissing everything as 'part of God's plan' because it's a feeling I often share. It does depend somewhat on what actually happened to Jesse. If it was something really terrible, I feel like it would definitely make sense for them to do something like this.

As for setting it in your home town, I'd suggest that you just write the script with the hometown in mind if you don't want to explicitly state whereabouts you live. The writer can absolutely choose the location, though. Lots of stories are impossible to untangle from the setting, so I don't see any problem with making the politics of South Africa a prevalent topic.

I hope that answers your questions. And I'm glad the review helped! :D



Slobst says...


Hey! I've finally been able to make the changes you suggested and I changed the entire ending of the scene. Would you mind giving it a quick read and tell me if it's any better? (The changes start happening when Marc says "We won't get caught-" to Caleb) Thanks



Panikos says...


Yep, this is much better! I love the argument about the article; it gives me a way better insight into Adam's character. One tiny thing I did notice was this bit:

ADAM

(reading Marc's graffiti)

An fucking asshole.

(talking to Marc)

Doesn't make any sense.


I don't really feel like you need to represent it like this - it looks a bit choppy. You could just as easily have:

ADAM

(reading Marc's graffiti)

'An fucking asshole'. Doesn't make any sense.


It's just more succinct. You don't really need to specify that he's speaking to Marc, because I think that's fairly obvious as it is. But, like I said, this is definitely a better opening. The ending where they escape the guy who sees them is a lot clearer, too! :)



Slobst says...


Awesome. Thank you!



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Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:33 pm
Slobst says...



I seem to have accidentally posted this comment and I can't seem to delete it?

Weird...

Anyway. Thanks if you actually read it. That's pretty cool. This was mostly a stab at trying to write an opening scene.

Thanks
(Also how do I delete my comment?)




inktopus says...


Just pm a mod (someone in green) with a link to this and they should be able to take it down for you.




Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santayana