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16+ Language

Grow Out - Pretending

by Slobst


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

TRAVELLING- INT. CAR – NIGHT

MARC (20) anxiously moves about in the passenger seat, unable to keep his legs still. His restlessness makes small noises which seem to be amplified in the small vacuum of the car. JUSTIN (25), the driver and Marc’s older brother, notices this. We see Justin look back at the road as he struggles to find conversation starters. He attempts to say something but his voice comes out raspy. Marc looks away to gather his strength. Justin clears his throat.

JUSTIN

So who’s, uh, who’s party is it?

MARC

A friend.

Justin is taken aback. He’s not sure how to proceed.

JUSTIN

Right. You nervous?

Marc hesitates

MARC

Yeah.

JUSTIN

Well, if it helps. It’s basically just a hangout, with people you like. I mean, all you have to do is smile and laugh and chat and just be yourself.

Marc chuckles

MARC

Maybe you should try that now and then.

JUSTIN

Come again?

MARC

I said, maybe you should stop pretending for everybody...

INT. CHRIS’S HOUSE – LOUNGE – NIGHT

It’s a party! Big house. Loud music. MARC is surrounded by a dozen friends (and beer cans). He speaks too loudly and attempts crack jokes.

Later, CHRIS (19) followed by the remaining party-goers file into the room as Chris calls the attention for an announcement. A few people help him quiet the party.

CHRIS

Uh hey guys, thanks everybody for coming but I actually wanted to say something.

Two teenagers in the corner continue to make out. Marc shouts at them

MARC

Hey, stop it! Chris is finally coming out.

CHRIS

Hahahaha! No, no,

(beat.) 

Well not yet anyway.

The party laugh.

CHRIS

No, I actually wanted to say that I’m not going to be here for much longer because, as many of you know, I applied to this super prestigious music college in London and well I just found out that I got accepted!

The party-goers, after getting over the initial shock, congratulate him with lots of cheering, hugging and drinking. Marc stays where he is.

INT. PARTY – NIGHT

Marc is slumped over at the dinner table with JULIA (20) and SANDISO (19). They glumly watch the others dance away.

MARC

Why does it feel like all of our friends are leaving?

JULIA

Because they are.

MARC

I mean, London! What the fuck. What’s wrong with here?

SANDISO

I guess, this is what happens when all your friends are rich and from private schools.

MARC

I hate rich people.

SANDISO

Marc, you are rich.

MARC

I know…

Marc SLAMS his head against the table and drunkenly sobs.

INT. MARC’S BEDROOM – DAY

SANDRA (~50), Marc’s mother, creaks his bedroom door open to find MARC still sleeping. It’s 11am

MOTHER

Hey, sweetheart don’t you think it’s time to get up.

We cut to Marc who groans in response but as we cut back to Sandra a day has past and now she’s  wearing completely different clothing

MOTHER

Are you going to write today?

When we cut back to Marc another day has passed. Marc has grown some facial hair

MARC

You know the story, ma. Hangover days are non-writing days.

Yet another day has passed. Sandra is more impatient now.

MOTHER

It seems you have a lot of non-writing days.

Another day has passed

MARC

I don’t feel inspired today, ma… I’m gonna go and hang with Sandiso maybe?

Another day has passed but this time RICHARD (~50), Marc’s father, replaces Sandra in the scene.

RICHARD

Okay, Marc. Enough of this. We’re finding you a job okay?

MARC

No, no, no. That’s not necessary.

Marc stumbles out of his bed and to his laptop on his desk. Richard disappears from the scene

MARC

I can write today… I can… write?

Marc is met with a blinking curser. Marc is almost hypnotised by it.

SANDISO (V.O)

Marc! Marc!

INT. HARDWARE STORE – INT

SANDISO tries to bring MARC back to this universe.

SANDISO

Marc!

Marc snaps out of it and becomes aware of where he is. They’re both wearing employee uniform

SANDISO

You kinda blanked out on me there, buddy?

MARC

Sorry, my head’s gone.

SANDISO

Listen, I recommended you and I really don’t need you fucking this up for me, okay?

MARC

I won’t. I’m fully committed to the 

(quoting his handbook)

The big ol’ Mica Family

INT. HARDWARE STORE - NIGHT

At the till Marc is scanning items as he forces a smile. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep

MARC (V.O)

There has to be something better for me, right?

INT. JULIA’S BEDROOM – DAY

JULIA lies on her bed as MARC sits in the corner of the room. They continue their conversation

JULIA

Oh come on, you’ve been working for a week. It can’t be that bad

MARC

Oh it’s bad. It’s just boring and I don’t want to do it

JULIA

Marc, It’s called work

MARC

Yeah, well, I hate it

JULIA

Ah, so this is why you dropped out

MARC

Ouch… Low blow, Julia

Julia laughs. She gets up to sit next to Marc

JULIA

Dude, you’re just in a slump right now. You just need to find something that breaks it. Something that just lights up your core and then you’ll be writing till the end of time.

MARC

I don’t know what that could be

JULIA

Most of us don’t until it happens. I mean, we’re all trying to figure it out: Me, Sandiso, Chris, everybody


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Sun May 06, 2018 3:35 am
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Elinor wrote a review...



Hey Slobst!

Super glad to see another script writer around these parts. I'm Elinor, and I'm here to give you a review. I'm assuming that this is the beginning of the feature? If so, I'm definitely intrigued by it so far, so good work! I like all of the characters and I'm curious to see where this ends up going, seeing as how it's placed in romance. It maybe seems like Marc has some kind of feelings for Chris, but I wouldn't be tell that super clearly yet. This is a good thing though. When you're writing a script, you don't want to reveal too much, too early.

A lot of my notes have to do with formatting. I don't like to get too technical in my reviews, so I wanted to mainly focus on how this affected my understanding of the story. What I was missing was a sense of the world that these characters inhabit. Because this is a screenplay and not a novel, it's obviously not going to be as in depth, but there's still a lot you can do with very little. I recommend checking out screenplays of movies you like, many of which are available online, to see how they do it. Same goes for characters. What can you tell us about them in a line or two that will give us a strong sense of their personality? Because I was missing that, it made this a little hard to follow.

Another small note I had, in the scene where he's in the bedroom and there's a passage of multiple days, indicate each new day with a new scene heading. That makes it clear to everyone, but mainly the director and production designer, that there's a passage of multiple days and thus the scene should reflect that. Also, just watch out for grammar and make sure your scene headings are correct. "INT/EXT. LOCATION - DAY/NIGHT" is the format. Craz also gave you some good notes regarding grammar and flow.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions or want to discuss further, I'd be happy to.

All the best.




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Sat May 05, 2018 2:10 am
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Craz wrote a review...



Hey there! I study film, so I hope my feedback can help you out a bit! The first thing I would like to address is your logline:

"Two young men slowly fall in love as they try to solve a local murder."


This is great. However, I feel that it could use a bit more detail to it. Loglines are important because often when you're pitching your script to a potential buyer you have roughly 10 seconds to grab their attention. That sounds a bit overdramatic, but about 90% of the time you aren't sitting in a meeting with them to talk about it; instead, you happen to get into the elevator with them and you have only a few precious moments before they get off on their floor and subsequently leave you in their dust. You need to interest them enough to get invited into that meeting, where you can fully present your case. They most likely hear hundreds of people just like you trying to get their script on screen, so it's imperative you kick-butt on your logline.

You need to include just about all of the basics in it, including characters (protagonist and antagonist/force against protagonist), action/plot, setting, and a handful of adjectives. For instance, here's one I pulled from the web:
"An alcoholic ex-superhero searches for his daughter after she is kidnapped by his dementing, jealous former sidekick."


Stories that are placed in a world that has some sci-fi elements are best with a setup like:
"In a world where all children are grown in vats…"


Opening scenes are always important! You should be able to tell/see foreshadowing of just about everything mentioned in your logline within the first five minutes of the film, which roughly translates to the first 5 pages of your script. If you're really good at it, the first fifteen seconds will introduce just about all of the basics that can be inferred about your main character (though most of this is left to the director, some direction in the script is always good).

First paragraph: Always set the scene first. Is it raining? Is it dark out? Minute details like that always play a part in how the director will interpret the scene. Since writing a script isn't like traditional novel writing, you have to keep in mind that most likely someone else who might not have your perception of how the scene plays out is interpreting it on their own, and explaining it in grandeur detail within the script is not how scripts go. Therefore, descriptions are necessary, but they also need to be succinct.
"SANDISO tries to bring MARC back to this universe."


When I first read this, I was a bit confused. Obviously, I understand the phrase, but I wouldn't suggest using sayings in the action lines. Be a bit more literal with what's happening in those sections of your scripts.

Jumping between scenes: They don't seem long enough for me to grasp everything or to understand their importance. I would suggest making the first scene when they're in the car longer, maybe make the resentment/nervousness/ feelings of being left behind Marc seems to be feeling more apparent in their conversation. There isn't enough information that should be presented in the first five pages that's here. These scenes here seem more like filler scenes that do go at the beginning but not at the beginning beginning. There isn't any mention of the murder yet, and while the protagonist (Marc) is present, the second character that he falls in love with isn't. I am assuming that Justin is intended to be that second character, but he appears at the beginning and then disappears, so as someone seeing this on screen I would have no clue who the love interest is supposed to be.

Now, usually love interests in films do not appear until 10-15 minutes into the film. However, since this script is focused on the two's romantic relationship, this character needs to be introduced and their importance needs to be obvious within the first five minutes. It needs to be clear that this is about two characters, even though your main protagonist would be introduced first.

A good practice tool in writing scripts and learning how to direct is to watch some really good movies, stop at certain times within the film, and take note about what is happening just then. As a rule, usually about every 15 minutes something significant/noteworthy happens.

Boring Grammar/Typo Barf:
"His restlessness makes small noises, which seem to be amplified in the small vacuum of the car."

"The party laughs."

"It’s 11am."

Hey, sweetheart don’t you think it’s time to get up?
We cut to Marc who groans in response. but as we cut The camera cuts back to Sandra. A day has past and now she’s wearing completely different clothing."

"Richard disappears from the scene."

"They are both wearing employee uniforms."

"They continue their conversation."


I hope my advice has helped!





I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
— Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest