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"Love Nest" by Don Riemer

Logline: A middle aged man finally discovers the safety and security he's always dreamed of.

Genre: Fantasy

Cast Size: 3

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: Phobic (Jul. 2007)

Contest Scores
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Comments Made During the Contest

Adam Grage (Level 4)

Liked the characters and the situation with the UPS guy. Alot of simple detail like the video monitor and script by the door etc. Really enjoyed most of it. Didnt feel the need for showing them having sex was necessary. I thought the relationship was implied well enough at the beginning.

Aimee Parrott (Level 4)

After reading this, I'm not sure if Jane's real. I think she's not -- that she's Franklin's invention so he doesn't have to feel so alone? When I started reading, I thought the dialogue was very on the nose... but if it was all in his head, then I actually think it works. And it made me sad. What's confusing is, I guess I'm not 100% sure that she is imaginary...

Andrew Jones (Level 2)

A very good script, with a good twist at the end.

I like how when I read it back things become obvious, such as why the woman is attractive.

A few small issues, like some parts seem like they could have been made more relevant to the story, such as the bedroom and the home office part. The dialogue between the man and woman seemed slightly unrealistic, though this could be explained by the twist at the end.

Also, i'm not quite sure why he needed the nail gun at the end.

All in all, a very good script that I enjoyed.

Antonio Gangemi (Level 3)

The writing is professional and crisp. Good dialogue. Personally, I would've opted for a different twist at the end. Like have Franklin overcome his reclusiveness rather than succumb to it - mainly because it would have required more from him as the protagonist.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

So Jane was a figment of his imagination? If so, I liked it. If not, I missed something somewhere. Either way, well written and an interesting portrayal of his phobia. Good work.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I read this several times, and I STILL couldn't understand it very well. It was well-written, stylistically, but the focus seemed to slip between Jane and Franklin, so it wasn't that clear whose story this was.

Some of the scenes seemed to be superfluous - the spider, the lovemaking, Franklin at work - they didn't further the plot. Some were repeats of other scenes with minor variations - the mailman, the UPS man - would have been better to think of different ways of showing what it was you wanted to show about Franklin.

I couldn't at all understand why Franklin had to have a script. Couldn't he read? But he read the letter from Catherine didn't he?

You have a good style of writing, but the story needs work to make it clear what it is you are trying to tell us.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

I really liked this one. Moved well, got my curiosity up, and you really held the tension. Loved how it ended, the Kathunk of the nail gun as he slips further and further into his solitude and the fact that Jane was never really there (nice how she never communicates with the outside world.) I thought she was homebound too. (At least I think she was never there, was she?).

Think you could have done a better job explaining who Jane is/was (wife, girlfriend, ex??). Also, you had one typo, "Franklin's".

Other than that, really nice job. High marks from me.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

I read this one a few times and my sense of it is this, Franklin is agoraphobic and Jane is his imaginary partner.

While I love the twist, the reveal of it at the end is so subtle, that I'm still not 100% sure I'm correct.

A simple change that might make it a bit clearer and more powerful, would be to have the letter actually come from Jane - the realization that his dream lover was his real lover once before.

Deborah Zaniolli (Level 3)

It's a good script. I loved the end.

DW Pollard (Level 4)

The imagery is decent and it all comes together well, but it seemed to drag on for a long while. Didn't quite get the ending. I did like the dark, somber tone of the whole piece, but I didn't quite get it.

Elaine Curtis (Level 1)

I hope you don't receive multiple copies of this review from me...

Overall, I think you did an adequate job with the fundamental aspects of screenwriting -- the descriptive/action paragraphs conveyed a proper visual sense to the story.

You also did a good job handling the contest challenge of presenting a character with a phobia.

On the negative side... I came away uncertain who Jane was. Was she a real person from his past? Was she a construct of his ideal woman? Was she the personification of Cathy? Obviously she wasn't there...

Which brings me to a couple of the scenes, which, in retrospect (and with the knowledge that Jane is imaginary) don't make much sense. The first being her calling Franklin's attention to the spider in the kitchen sink. Doesn't it seem odd and illogical to have an imaginary character call his attention to the spider? And if he doesn't like contact with the outside world, would he really not mind having a spider in his house?

The other scene which didn't make sense in retrospect was the sex scene. Granted, you were working toward the surprise ending that Jane is imaginary... but this scene just seems to be misleading the audience, which, when you get down to it, is a cheat.

Were it me, I'd probably have spent more time on the backstory -- what led Franklin to this point... who Cathy was to him... why she thought he'd end up this way -- and less on these confusing scenes.

Perhaps you could've had Jane "exist" merely as a voiceover, giving us the impression that she's right beside him -- maybe even allowing the audience to see Franklin from her POV... and then we realize at the end that Jane isn't real at all. She's merely some fantasy of an ideal woman, and in that sense, a window into his unbalanced mind.

Hope this review has been helpful...

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

I saw some unnecessary caps, use them only when introducing a character for the first time, or for sounds.

Ethelyn Boddy (Level 4)

This maintains tension, but I’m not clear on what it’s all about. I understand he has agoraphobia, but I need to reread to clarify the who, what and why of the total script.

Kim Kirchner (Level 3)

Nice job. I loved the fact that Jane didn't actually exist. It wasn't to obvious, but it wasn't so sudden that it was jolting, either. The only possible improvemen I could see was maybe a little trimming. There were a few scenes that I didn't think were really all that necessary, but they didn't detract anything from the story. Outstanding!

Liz Messineo (Level 4)

Nice twist. Well written.

Margaret Avnet (Level 4)

Whenever you have Franklin moving to another room you put it in the descriptive leaving off with... then you go to the slugline. I think it would be better to actually put where he is going and ending it with one period.

Be careful of typos. You write "Franklin's turns back to TV." I think you wanted "Franklin turns back to the TV."

I don't think you need to used wider in the description. And that description should be put at the beginning of the script.

I'm confused about two things. One who is Cathy? Franklin's daughter,sister? And why is Jane in the house if at the end she isn't there?

I think though you did a fairly good job in getting across Franklin's phobia.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

That was pretty good.

The only comment I have is that I felt Jane wasn't developed enough of a character. If she was his fears, as you imply at the end, then I didn't get that impression of her from the script.

Otherwise, well done.

Michael Thede (Level 4)

I loved the way, despite their being different, that Jane and Franklin really did compliment each other (in an odd way). Good twist at the end, as well, that Jane was just part of Franklin's imagination to help him cope with his agoraphobia (I'm assuming I've got it right, here!).

Pia Cook (Level 5)

I think I was somewhat confused here. First I thought it was going to be about Jane's fear of spiders, but it turned into Franklin's fear of people? I was with you I think until Jane disappeared after the nail gun arrived. What happened to her? What was the significance of nailing the window frames shut?

The writing was good and all, I just felt confused by the ending.

:-)

Randy Bigger (Level 4)

I'm thinking there were mulitiple phobias in play. Didn't get the ending. Jane leaving and all so quickly. Was she just a dream?

Rick Hansberry (Moderator)

I wondered where this was going and I wasn't disappointed. Clearly, everything is not what it seems and you did a good job of sustaining the intrigue. The guise of introducing Jane right in the opening as a real person really makes the twist at the end that much more powerful. I like how you even had Jane rub his back etc. It's how Franklin comforts himself. The nail gun at the end fulfills the letter's foreshadow. Really well executed and thought out. An original presentation of an interesting phobia. Great job. This one would leave people talking. It stayed with me for a while after I read it. Really imaginative and a joy to read.

Rob Gross (Level 4)

There were a few things that I couldn't figure out in this story.

Who is Cathy? What was the purpose of the nail gun? Why would Jane know what it means to him?

Did Jane leave him?

Rustom Irani (Moderator)

This was a good use of the phobia but it needs a few readings to get the clues as to Jane's secret.

The viewer won't get this liberty. The messy state of the house, the dishes in the sink, are clues. And twice I thought that Jane was singing as she was "vacuuming."

That tells me that your descriptions are wonderful and convincing. For a while I also thought they were in a witness protection program.

I am more curious about the cause of franklin's phobia. Maybe if you could hint at how he came to be so or establish who Cathy is then it will be much clearer.

I think you can have Franklin's conflict come up much sooner on page one itself and it will be more effective and round of the end well.

Technically you have no problems.

Good title.

Stephenie Ruffin (Level 4)

I'm a little confused about the end. Jane is gone. Was she a figment of his imagination or was she actually there. I'm thinking she was actually there. If she left him, maybe you could have the door slam then show she's gone. I like the descriptions but I think Janes dialog was a little forced. I thought it was a great story of phobia.

Tom Shipley (Level 4)

Spider scene seems like it’s supposed to be a decoy. But doesn’t really work… only people who knew this script is supposed to be about phobias might be duped. But even then, it doesn’t seem to fit the script.

The sex scene seemed very gratuitous and interrupted the flow of the story for me.

Twist seems to be that Jane is not real. But it doesn’t seem to be set up at all – unless I just missed it. She just kind of disappears. Thought it might be better is after Jane asks “End up like what?” Franklin just responded by nailing the boards over the windows.

I think a different ending – or at least a better set-up one – would greatly improve the script.

Trevor Bryon (Level 3)

Good, but you didn't need that line, 'Alone. Trapped in this house, with nothing for company but my fear.'

It's blatant exposition of something that should be shown, not said.

It's an OK scene, but there is no change for any of the characters, just a revelation for the reader. Nothing is at stake.

Wes Worthing (Level 5)

Well that would explain why she didn't get the package from the UPS guy, because she wasn't there at all. It does leave me wondering who is Cathy and Jane and what do they mean to him? I think it's cool that he has this imaginary girl who adores him AND can achieve orgasms from him. He's a stud in his own mind. Franklin is a fun, complex character. I was going to tell you the sex scene was not important to the story, but the end clarifies that it has more meaning than one first realizes. Fun story. Thanks.

William Coleman (Level 5)

I'm intrigued by this piece, but I'm also puzzled by it. The spider led me down one direction, then I was diverted to another. This is not always bad, but I'm not sure if it all worked together. I gather Franklyn's phobia is the world outside his house. Jane is a fantasy. His real wife has given up. He nails himself deeper into his solitary world. It almost works, but not quite.


Comments Made After the Contest

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 9/2/2007 4:05 PM

I'm not surprised this is yours. The craft as always is excellent and the twist is fun and unexpected. Well done.


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