Author Topic: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!  (Read 6453 times)

Offline ericthehalfabee

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Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« on: February 12, 2014, 10:04:53 AM »
Opening scene for a movie or a TV series.

"DEAD RECKONING"

FADE IN:
INT. COFFEE SHOP Ė DAY

SALLY, an attractive woman in her late 20ís walks into a busy coffee shop looking flustered. A male BARISTA is attending to a customer. Sally walks up to the front of the queue.

SALLY:   
Excuse me. Sorry for interrupting, but I was
in here yesterday. I may have left my C.V.  here by accident?

BARISTA:  
(looking up) Oh okay. You must be Sally then.

SALLY:
How do you know my name? Did you read it?

BARISTA:
Well, I read your name on the front.
 I was meaning to look you up to see
 if I could get it back to you. I know
 you could probably print another one,
but I know I wouldnít want to leave a
summary of my personal life somewhere
other people could read it.

SALLY:
Well thanks. Iím here now if you can get it for me?

BARISTA:
Sure.

The BARISTA finishes serving the customer then picks up the CV
from behind the counter. He hesitates.

BARISTA:  
How did you leave it here anyway? Seems a bit absent minded.

SALLY:
Well not that itís any of your business, but I had to leave in a hurry.
I went to the loo and thought Iíd packed it in my bag.

BARISTA:
You seem a bit wound up. Can I get you a coffee? My treat.  
In fact Iím due a break if you want to have a coffee together?

SALLY:  
Iím not really in the habit of having a coffee with complete strangers.

BARISTA:
Well I know a bit about you. Youíve been working as a receptionist
 since you left school. You like reading horror novels and singing
karaoke. And letís seeÖwhat else? Oh yeah, marital status was
ďsingleĒ if I remember correctly.  I remember thinking it was a
strange thing to put in your CV. Itís not like itís  a Facebook status.

SALLY:    
So you did read it all?

BARISTA:
Well it was kind of hard not to. Like when you know a secret
and youíre bursting to tell somebody. It could use a bit of work
if you want some free advice?  Come on, what can I get you?

SALLY looks at her watch then sighs.

SALLY:
Americano with hot skimmed milk please.

BARISTA:   
I like a girl who knows what she wants.

SALLY smiles.  

BARISTA (continued)
Take a seat, Iíll be over in a minute. Iím Riley by the way.
I knew youíd ask eventually.

SALLY:  Sorry, itís been a bad day.

BARISTA: Well hopefully itís getting better.

SALLY sits down at an available table. A TV screen is showing the news. She looks at the screen.

Close up of TV Screen showing a riot in Central London. Various people seem out of control and police crowds are trying to control the scene.  

She picks up her phone and brings up the news on the screen.

Close up of breaking news story on the phone which reads ďBreaking News: Airborne Virus causes havoc in London. Hundreds dead.Ē Sally dials her mother.

SALLY:
Mum. Have you seen this on the news? Whatís going on?

RILEY arrives at the table with two take away coffees.

RILEY:
Iíve got large ones. You get more in the takeaway cups. Insider secret.

RILEY notices SALLY is on her phone.

RILEY (continued)
(whispering) Oh sorry.

SALLY (on phone):

Should we be worried? It looks pretty bad on the news?

RILEY looks at the TV. He sits and stares for a moment then goes over to turn up the volume. Other people in the coffee shop look up.

NEWSREADER:
Öunconfirmed reports that there are now over 400 people dead or
unaccounted for in Central London. Police are urging people to stay
indoors until further noticeÖ

The window in the coffee shop smashes. A scream is heard.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 10:52:33 AM by ericthehalfabee »

Offline 2par

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 11:00:46 AM »
Eric,
First of all, you're calling Riley "Barista". If his name is Riley, then introduce him as Riley, the barista.
2.  The dialogue is very unrealistic. He can coax her to have a coffee 'on' him and then cautiously joins her at her table with his own and asks permission to join her on his break. As she can see, "the place is pretty crowded." Once someone has read all your personal stuff, you don't smile and say 'sorry' and act like you're old friends. Men aren't so stupid as not to know that. He can ask her name and to describe the CV  and then show it to her and she's grateful. That's when he can offer her a coffee.

Also, you say this is for a movie or TV series. Don't you know?  Actually, no matter...some great films have been made on only an idea or a scene.  But after one gets the idea or scene or whatever, one talks about a story line. One writes a story line or outline and peoples it.

If this is for a movie:  you have to be careful not to give directions to actors, the camera or director. Your job is to only write the dialogue. Movies are a Director's medium. He/She starts with a bare script and fills it in. It's HIS/HER vision that gets made. Only certain, important actions can be written, such as the window breaking. But whether the director decides to have a scream or not is his/her decision, not the writer's.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 11:02:36 AM by 2par »

Offline ericthehalfabee

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 11:23:27 AM »
Thanks 2par, great advice. I will work on the dialogue with him being kind of an arrogant idiot and not handing it back, reading bits out then trying to make up by buying her a coffee. I have a rough outline for the story but just wanted to try to get an opening scene down on paper.

Offline Fin Burn

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 01:07:27 AM »
it seems like your dialogue could improve with having actors, or perhaps just friends, read it aloud, and that way it would be easier to notice when an unrealistic conversation is happening.

Offline irallan

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 01:25:30 AM »
am interested to know more. One thing that stood out forme was the bringing the news up on the phone.Sounded quite clumsy to me. Perhaps she could read the text on the bottom of the screen as most news and social media seem to do nowadays. Dialogue seems to be a little formal. Both characters sounding very similar. Are they from the same area? Socioeconomic demographic?
for eg.
BARISTA (continued)
Take a seat, Iíll be over in a minute. Iím Riley by the way
I, knew youíd ask eventually.

 etc..just some thoughts. A good start in my eyes though.

regards Iain
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 01:30:01 AM by irallan »
"You can take the boy out of the country...."

Offline Jackson_Leigh

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 01:18:21 PM »
To be all honest the Barista comes off as all kinds of creepy and stalk-ish. Reading her CV to find out all of her information, which is none of his business anyway. I do like the way Salley sticks up for herself though. The way you introduced things kinda feels a little rushed, we should get to know theses characters before you put them into any kind of action, at least that is how I felt when I read the scream at the end of the script. Take the time flesh out these characters, make Riley not be such of a creep, and let us get to love these people before you move the plot along so fast.

Jackson
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bananna86

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 10:39:01 PM »
I am no professional, but overall I did understand your idea in this scene and I also agree with irallan's feedback on your dialogue. Additionally, the Batista comes off as cheeky and ballsy to me, possibly borderline creepy. But maybe with a few dialogue changes that can be corrected. I did enjoy reading this. Goodluck

Offline ericthehalfabee

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2014, 05:00:24 AM »
Thanks for the feedback guys. It was a few weeks ago I posted this, and it's actually mutated into a short story instead of a script since then. I did still use some of the advice on dialogue and I'm quite happy with most of the story I've written, just trying to tweak it now.

Offline brookev

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 02:33:47 PM »
I think you have the right concept but I do have to agree with what others have said Riley does first come off a little creepy; again I think you have a great concept. I'm curious to see how the virus ties in with everything.

Offline greyman

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Re: Dead reckoning...642 Words. It started as a romantic scene!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 03:55:47 PM »
Read the dialogue out loud; have a friend or family member play the other character. The pieces of dialogue that come off unnatural will stick out easier that way. You'll find that you can't imagine people talking this way in some cases.