Close Encounters by Phil Berard Draft 2

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Draft Two Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Marion Raak (Wednesday, 19 February 2014 05:29)

    I feel the raw emotion of this "Close Encounters".
    Excellent work by Phil Berard

Close Encounters by Phil Berard Draft 1

Two exes meet in the street, but what they say and what they mean are entirely different.
Close Encounters DRAFT 1.pdf
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. We liked this script, we felt that most people can relate to that awful moment of running into an ex when they least expect it. However, we felt it would be better ending on the “what if”. Don’t have them turn around, and the groceries dramatically fall, just have them keep wondering if they other looked back.

2. Logistically the Voice Over and speaking would probably happen at the same time – it might well be that a director “visualises” this script with the VO as speech bubbles and thus you may have to expand what they say to each other.

3. Really look at the dialogue – can you write any further subtext into what they ARE saying to each other, when the voiceover is saying so much about what they are NOT saying?

Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 22 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Andre Lang (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:48)

    I’m sorry for my bad English

    1. The story is banal.
    2. The characters are speaking (V.O) too much but nothing doing.

    There are in the Near Kisses many scripts better than this one.

    Just my opinion, I’m sorry very much.

  • #2

    Andre Lang (Friday, 03 August 2012 12:37)

    congratulation and all the best!!!

  • #3

    Margaret Ricke (Friday, 03 August 2012 15:12)

    Like this one! Easy to produce and direct.

  • #4

    Mark (Friday, 03 August 2012 16:41)

    Hi Phil,

    I enjoyed this.

    For me the best bit was when they wonder whether the other person is looking back. I can really see that moment, and feel the tension.

    From a script development point of view, I think it might be worth trimming a few of the lines from the previous page in order to give this moment at the end a bit more time to play... so that we're there thinking "Turn Round, Turn Round!" then they don't.

    I also wonder whether it might be nice to set up the VO before the first line of dialogue. Just with a something simple to indicate one of the character's take on all the love that's going on around them.

    Well done! Looking forward to seeing this get made. My film is called "Practice Makes Perfect", I'd welcome any thoughts you have on it.

  • #5

    C Bacon (Friday, 03 August 2012 16:46)

    Liked the ending of this very much!

  • #6

    Brenda (Friday, 03 August 2012 17:54)

    Congratulations, nice work.

  • #7

    Stephen Cooper (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:09)

    I liked it. Nice woody Allen feel about it.
    Not sure if it would work or not but think it would have been interesting if one of the voice over parts was accidently said aloud rather than in their head.
    Still enjoyed it, was a really nice read and is going to work brilliantly up on screen.

  • #8

    Ryan La Via (Friday, 03 August 2012 21:40)

    Great script!

    Very universal theme that many can relate to. Would have liked there to be less V/O, but it works as is.

  • #9

    Coven delacruz (Friday, 03 August 2012 22:58)


  • #10

    Angela (Friday, 03 August 2012 23:26)

    Think the development of this could be on the ending. Perhaps we see them go towards each other after the girl drops her shopping then flashback to real life and they are still standing there?
    I think this is good simple story nicely told - something a lot of people with connect with.

  • #11

    James (Friday, 03 August 2012 23:49)

    Good idea and well executed.

  • #12

    Damian Mallon (Saturday, 04 August 2012 04:49)

    The awkward moment is good but I wasn't really feeling the build up. Maybe some trimming as #4 suggests.

    1) I feel the turning should be a slower, more cautious one; an abrupt turn doesn't feel right to me after the awkwardness that immediately preceeded.
    2)Do we need to see their romantice gaze and reaction at the end or does the action of them each turning sell the emotion better?

  • #13

    Michelle Golder (Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:16)

    Not a new idea, of course. And I don't think this does anything new WITH the idea either. But, nevertheless I liked it. Their interior monologues seemed quite true, and sad, poignant. Better, for me, if they didn't turn around though. Or turned around at different times, so don't see the other one turn, and thus assume they don't care...the happy ending didn't work for me.

  • #14

    Marc Lockier (Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:30)

    Nice, simple story, and with the ending we all feel ourselves, "are they looking at us, as we walk away"

    I'd get rid of the first V.Os as you can tell by their body language with each other that they would be exs and the dialouge then shows us this.

    Are you going to write the rest of the characters dialouge as the voiceover plays over them or is that for the director and actors to imrpov, as be good to hear the end of each answer as well as the start.

    And like the ending,f ade to black after the bag drop as it's up to us the audience to decide what happens next.

  • #15

    helene jackson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 16:07)

    not an original concept and far too much voice over. the trick is to convey these feelings by action or dialogue, voice overs are a bit of a get out that i was always taught to try and avoid.

  • #16

    Craig (Saturday, 04 August 2012 17:22)

    The V.O.'s are ok for me but what is the other person doing? By leaving that out you could get it into the pages but that's a bit of a cop out.

    Also nothing new and as for what happens next, they obviously get back together. No need for the audience to decide. If it is differant then show it. Make it original.

  • #17

    helene jackson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 20:18)

    phil, i have to apologise for my harsh criticism previously, having read 12 scripts now, you have stuck to the idea of it being crowd-sourced and there being a kiss involved, others have taken a different view. and the reason i seem to have taken against the voice overs is that writing tutors and developers over the years have always insisted it was a no, no unless there was absolutely no other way to convey your message. as for being unoriginal, i actually dont think you should pay any attention there are a lot of scripts here that have been seen before, just concentrate on making yours different somehow.

  • #18

    Phil (Sunday, 05 August 2012 01:07)

    I just want to thank everyone for all of the great comments and criticisms. It is helpful to me as a writer to hear that many of you had similar concerns to my own in regards to this script.

    Just to contextualize this a little. My mindset when writing this was that doing dialogue the way that I like was going to be impossible in a two page script. So, I decided on the V.O. trope, obviously not for its originality, but conversely because it is something that most people are familiar with and would not require a ton of exposition. It was also my understanding in the rules that directors were going to have some wiggle room with the filmed product, so I figured the clunky dialogue could be cleaned up prior to shooting.

    As for the ending, in my mind I was writing it semi-ambiguous, but several of you have pointed out that you aren't buying that. I will work on this in the developmental phase to see what I can do to make the ending more poignant. I had never really considered it a happy ending, and to hear that this is how it is being perceived tells me that it's just not working. I think maybe an additional line or two of dialogue of the characters expressing doubts in their inner feelings could help...I am open to suggestions.

    Someone suggested that they don't ever actually look at each other and carry on believing that the other person didn't care. I feel like that ending, the near miss, has been done more than the ambiguous stare down, though I am in no way contesting that is an original idea.

    I would really like the opportunity to work with any director interested in producing this to clean up some of the shortcomings.

    Thank you all for reading and congratulations to every one who entered the competition. Win, lose, or draw, this has really been a lot of fun!

  • #19

    Jaimee Poipoi (Sunday, 05 August 2012 04:46)

    Very cute story. I loved the thoughts in their minds coz we all know we do this when we see an old ex lol. I agree with Stephen in his comment, I think if one of the V.O was said out loud by mistake it would be hilarious and add something the audience wouldn't expect. Good story, would be simple to shoot.

  • #20

    Milethia (Monday, 06 August 2012 10:31)

    A nice, easy to film piece; folk should relate to it.

    Some thoughts.

    "Just look at her. Her hair, her eyes, the way she gently bits her bottom lip after every sentence. Oh you hopeless sap, you’re still in love with her!"

    I think that you're VO pieces could be stripped back, as at present it seems as if you're 'filling' everything in - too written.

    'Just look at her...'

    Then why don't you have him looking at her eyes, lips, etc., rather than vocalising everything?

    The ending...for me it's too...neat. I think they should just be left wondering if the other person is looking. But that's just me.

    All the best with the rest of this fantastic process.

  • #21

    Bobby D (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:32)

    I thought it was okay. Again, I agree with some of the comments that the dialogue could be stripped back a bit. I think I would have liked to see a bit more ambiguity about their present situation. We should know it's Valentine's day by the shop fronts etc, blatant advertising, so he doesn't really need to ask what she's doing for Valentines, rather assume this by him wanting to know what's in her bag (maybe).

    Also, another idea, have them both carrying bags. I won't get into the metaphors about people carrying baggage in their lives etc, but this is precisely what they're both doing. Plus it's one of those ice-breaker, mundane focal points, when presented with an awkward situation.

    Rather than on-the-nose VO about their true feelings, make the audience feel that there was once something special between them, something conveyed by body language, hesitations, everything but what we want to say. Often people are too scared to ever communicate their true emotions.

    Lastly, I like the ending, the whole mystery between them, but why does she drop the bag? I mean I know what you're trying to do here but I think the audience needs a little more. Maybe it's heavy? Again, I might be reading a little too much into this but if so, that's another great metaphor for how their relationship was. Not saying she was carrying too much weight (Ha!) but maybe she felt the weight of the metaphorical baggage, i.e. she feels worse about what happened than him.

    And to add a cherry on top of the cake, a nice little twist, she drops the bag, and out falls on to the pavement a dinner for one :)

    Overall, has promise I reckon. Good work.

  • #22

    Stuart (Friday, 10 August 2012 17:28)

    Thought the VO wasn't needed ... the awkwardness stands and leaves us wondering why and mybe we'd guess by the end