Comments Made During the Contest
Andrew Zhou (Level 3)
show dont tell, show dont tell...And there are somethings, such as "for some reason" that you should Save for the novel. Anything here is visual and audio.And maybe it's because I don't quite get it, but the ending seems a bit sudden.Yet, I really like the concept, and the development of character was well done.
Brian Howell (Level 5)
Well paced and well written. A cool concept that had me interested. I wasn't sure what I was interested in, but I was interested. I felt a little let down in the end. The reveal that he is a reaper didn't really end such a cool script for me. I just feel it lacked a little in the end.Outside of that though, this is VERY GOOD.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
Wow, this is great. My second to last review and the first Excellent I'm giving out. Wonderfully creative and well written. My only real suggestion to you is to turn this concept in to a feature asap! It's a fabulously unique concept and it has endless potential.Great job. Excellent.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Was this one of those rejected number script.I'm getting sick of reading this story. I can't believe how many people have copied this idea. Who could say they had the idea first, but it's used a lot.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
Excellent story.I love the concept behind the numbers and the way you interweave the rules of this world with these two troubled characters.The ending is perfect. This would make an awesome short film.
Doug Wintemute (Level 3)
Loved this piece. One thing has me guessing though. Can he not see ages? If her number dropped then he is clearly a reaper, but why would he think it was an age unless he has seen it before?? Small piece to a great puzzle though. Loved this through and through. I especially like how you didn't end with her number going down and the realization of his being a reaper (if only for a short period of time). The small extra ending made it all the more special. Very Good idea and great follow through. This would be an interesting script on a larger scale.
Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)
It took me awhile to understand what was going on. You've created this amazing world that's imaginative and clever and completely new territory and you've done it most impressively! At first, because of the peculiar nature of your world, and jumping in solidly with both feet, it was off setting. But once the newness factor settled down, you were off in running in a very polished and tightly controlled manner. The world became more and more interesting and the twist at the end well executed. So my final thought is thank you for a very enjoyable read. (It would be so much easier offering meaningful criticism if I could find things I didn't like about this script. But it's simply that great!
Gail Hackston (Level 3)
Thank you for letting me read you script. This was a really interesting concept. I thought perhaps it was a little too large for the 5 minute format and may be better explored in a longer piece – with more character development and more time to let the story “marinade”. Although a great idea, I felt the exposition was a little forced in the pages you had. She was telling us too much, too quickly. How did she suddenly build rapport with this guy? Yes, he can read numbers but that seemed to be the only pre requisite to opening up to him. I look forward to seeing how this could be developed.
James Hughes (Level 5)
I thought this was excellent. I was going to rate it very good because it wasn't too visual. After we see the numbers over people's heads, it becomes a conversation between two people standing/sitting still so not much action. But the story and characters were developed very well through the dialogue. I thought you did a really good job setting up a strange world with your dialogue and we knew all the ground rules of your world, we learn about the characters, etc and it never seemed expository. It always seemed natural and like a real conversation. So, thinking about this changed my mind and I am putting it at excellent.When he says that she can see numbers, I think her first line should be "what's your pattern" instead of "you see them too . . .". She knows he sees them too and she seems to be a grizzled veteran, so I think she would just skip to what's your pattern. You can take out the exclamation point near the end!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
What a nice little story! At first I liked it, then hated it, then thought it was okay, and at the end loved it! You packed so much useful info, I loved it. I predicted that he was a Reaper when she said the power they had, though. But when he kissed her and it disappeared... that was so sweet. It tugged at my heart a little bit. The story kind of reminded me of "Push" just with these people in a world filled with powers. But not in a random Xmen kind of way, but more structured. I think this would make a great feature if you have the right story to add with the power. Excellent.
Jeroen Bouva (Level 3)
Quite simple but interesting idea with the numbers. At the moment can't think of anything where I've seen it before, so feels refreshing to me. You do a pretty good job in explaining the dynamical meaning of these numbers and picking one of the meanings to create the nice "twist" in your five pages.I do feel there's something lacking in the execution of the story. Time to breathe. With this page limit of five pages and a must to explain this numbers stuff you end up with a very limited amount of time to create a dramatic relation between the two main characters and in my opinion it needs more time to make the reaction of the lead at the end believable.So I think biggest improvement you can make is use more pages to tell your story. And use those pages to build up the dramatic relation between your two main characters. For the rest all elements seem to be there so I certainly think it has more future.
John Brown (Level 2)
Nice! Well written, confusing, but not in a good or bad way, and a great concept. It seemed like the guy should have known more about the numbers though... Didn't he go to the doctor and tell him about it or something? But in the words of MST3K, "It's just a [screenplay], I should really just relax"!
Kevin Bloomfield (Level 1)
Wasn't there a commercial or something to that effect on something like this...?Maybe I'm being insane but I thought I remembered something similar.I liked this new interpretation on it, though. I really liked how each person had a different thing they saw in the numbers.This could be a really good screenplay, I'd love to see more of it!
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
I liked your script very very much. From a tick-tocker - I noticed no time gaps. And thus the perfect flow. Snappy dialog and very original idea too. I had to read it twice to get that he's a reaper. Had to pay attention to "they get to see their numbers drop at midnight". It's pretty sad story but an excellent. Original and fun. I just loved it.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
A great story idea. Clear and easy to follow. Stan and Mila are well defined. Dialogue is crafted well and effective. Not a fan of all-dialogue shorts, but the finesse with which each character delivers their lines, provides exposition, and moves the story forward is interesting and entertaining. One particular favorite is when Mila's comment, "Rookies only see the good side," gets turned back on her by Stan when she reveals, as a drifter, she tried to save friends from making relationship mistakes. Really well written. Love surprises, and Stan as a "Reaper" is a good one. Mila's lead into the reveal is terrific as she tells Stan that the reason he still sees the numbers when he reopens his eyes is "Because (he's) missing the secret ingredient. Pain." Well deserved excellent.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
The first two paragraphs are almost too choppy with all the two-word sentences. Concise is good, but choppy interrupts the reading flow. I should know, I tend to be choppy myself.It's okay to leave the "mythology" behind the numbers unexplained, but it's not okay to have a character say that they'll be unexplained. By having Mila say "I met others like us but... nobody has a clue. Sorry.", it makes it sound as though you anticipated the question but couldn't be bothered to come up with a suitable explanation. However, if no one mentions it at all, then it sounds like a really cool mystery that you're unwilling to reveal for some interesting reason. Far better to leave it alone, otherwise it seems like you're just saying, "I have no idea why the rules in my screenplay exist."I don't believe that Stan is the only adult she's met with four-digit lies to his credit. I simply don't believe it.I wonder how many people will get the ending? I thought it was fantastic. He suddenly learns that he's a Reaper.I think this script is really, really good. A lot of interesting setup/payoffs throughout the script. Only real downside: there's not a lot of character depth, which I would desperately like to see. It's almost like most of the script is necessarily taken up with giving the rules of the numbers, leaving the people as background images to the intellectual gadgetry of the script. Beef up that character development (especially for Stan, who seems oddly two-dimensional even though he's supposedly told all these lies), and you'll have an Excellent. Right now, Very Good.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
This was really good! The concept is one I've never heard of - which is fairly rare. It's well thought out and smoothly executed.This is very well written. I didn't notice any spelling or punctuation errors. You've got character development going through both action and dialogue, and I appreciate that. Each character has a distinct voice and the dialogue sounds natural.Very good work.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
The idea of seeing numbers above someone's head is still strange and interesting, even though I've seen it a few times before. Treating it in a X-Men way (i.e., as a mutation that the people who have it don't fully understand) is a good idea. I like how you set out the rules without using obvious exposition. It really makes the scene work. I did guess the ending from when she started talking about 'Reapers'. Very good.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5)
Great title for the story.This was really unique. You kept me hooked all the way through. The pace was easy, and visually it was easy to follow. I liked the verteran/rookie idea. It was a great way to explain what was going on.In the end I was curious if Mila had discoved over the years, through her talent, what her number was? I was thinking this must be the reason for her pain, and the reason Stan decided to kiss her.I'm giving this an excellent.
Millar Prescott (Level 3)
Yeah, I liked it. Pretty good.You may not believe this, but my wife had the EXACT same "reapers" idea for a script. Seriously! She had no name for them, but the number-of-days-left over the head idea is exactly the same thing. HAH!What can I say, the concept is great. Execution is good. Visually it's good.Nice.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)
Very very strong. I liked the idea, but I totally dislike the setting. Its too simple for a strong like this. Too dialogue driven. But I must admist, wow, the premise/concept is really good. Drifters, Reapers, Cupids. Love that absolutely, but I don't like the way you limit yourself by letting it all take place at the same time.I think the 30-29 twist is good. Really liked that part of it. I find the title a bit mundane though, along with the setting. Really want to give this excellent because of the concept, but you could work on some areas. Very Good still.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
It's a great visual start, I can picture that bar.Overall this is a really strong concept and I like the detail you've included in it. You written a very filmable version of this, but that comes with the draw back that the story is very talk based. I could see a version of this as a much longer, much more visual story. Another comment I'll make is that the numbers over peoples' heads thing feels familiar, although I realize that you have taken it a step further.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator)
I really liked this but of course I'm partial. The basic premise behind this, knowing when you're going to die, was the root of my feature "Expiration" from the feature contest last year. If you haven't read it, I'd love your take. This was very cool. I liked the way you revealed character throughout the story and I felt drawn in and surprised by some of the turns you took. This could be easily shot as is and I wonder if it would be better to break up the meeting once and have them come together again by some stroke of the numbers for the second half. Still, I really enjoyed this and it fit the contest requirements. Very strong script and again, if you can manage the time, I'd love to exchange ideas on my feature "Expiration." Best of luck.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
Great job, I really liked this concept a lot. It fascinated me. The characters were good, especially Mila.Your dialog was very strong and I liked that this was in one location, perfect for filming, which I hope you do. You'll have to do some special effects though.Anyway, I enjoyed the story, and the uniqueness of the story. The ending was solid and satisfying.Nice work.
Stephen Brown (Level 5)
I thought this was brilliant. A very interesting premise that got me hooked straight away. The idea of people seeing numbers for how long someone is going to live isn't all that original - I've written a script with that premise myself before, on here, called 'Countdown'. What makes it interesting and original is all the other stuff. The idea of a 'drifter' and how each pattern is unique.The only thing that hurts the script a little, is the whole coincidence of these two meeting up, just before midnight. If you found a way to get these two together that felt less contrived, I think that would improve the script as a whole.I'm still giving this script top marks because even with the above problem I had with it, as a whole the script deserves an excellent. Great work!
Suzanne Smith (Level 4)
Nice read! I really enjoyed the premise, very cool. I was happy to read lots of dialogue too. The best part for me was at the end - I realized the numbers pushed the story forward, and tied the plot up nicely. Awesome writing!
Teo Gonzalez (Level 4)
This concept is awesome; the story, not so much. As a matter of fact, the main reason why I can give it more points than I am going to give it is that there is not a lot of story here. Most of ot is exposition thorugh dialogue.My suggestion is that you give free range to the concept -write a feature so that you can show rather than you have to explain your great idea.As it is, a Very Good grade - just for the concept, though.Good luck.
Travis DeStein (Level 5)
Reminded me a LOT of a Nickelback(?) music video. But whatever. I thought this was a pretty nifty idea. I think you threw a lot of crazy rules for your story out there that don't really make much sense in the big picture. Maybe if this story was expanded, instead of EVERYTHING going down in just 5 pages, you could pace it out a bit better and make everything flow more nicely. But it was fun while it lasted.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I enjoyed this script. It was interesting, had great pace and some style. The dialogue was snappy, Stan was very likable and Mila was equally layered.Well done.
Comments Made After the Contest
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 9/1/2010 12:23 AM
Great stuff Matias - loved it!(Just reading my review it seems to be for Jon Hill's entry! - can't think how that happened but at least I managed the Excellent!)
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2010 12:43 AM
My one and only Excellent of the month. Another great script Matias! Congrats!
Stephen Brown (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2010 2:40 AM
Well done Matias. My only excellent of the month too.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 9/1/2010 2:47 AM
Muy bueno, amigo.That means "good job" in Spanish.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 9/1/2010 9:59 AM
Congratulations!Someone is going to film this soon and it will be pure awesomeness.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2010 11:11 AM
Well done, Matias!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2010 11:23 AM
Thanks folks, glad you enjoyed this one. Had a blast writing this. Like I said from the start, "White Out" is a great contest. :)@Caroline: nO pRobLEm abOut THe mIx Up. :)@Erich: We are not amigos (friends). I thought we had already discussed that. :D
Michael Harrop (Level 2) ~ 9/1/2010 12:42 PM
Bizarre. Very, very bizarre. Matias, you're like a reincarnated version of Rod Serling.
Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 9/1/2010 1:49 PM
Huh. I always thought amigo meant "bird poop."Stupid public schools.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/1/2010 1:55 PM
It's good to see you here, Michael. Hope you stick around. Cool place to hang. And thanks for the read.And Erich, "bird poop" would be "popó de pájaro". You're welcome.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2010 12:22 AM
Congrats Z!!!!!You're the man! Mr. Man!You're one of the few that I have pinned for making it one day! ;)
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2010 12:48 AM
Oh, there you are. You better get your ass back here once you finish that feature. :)
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 9/2/2010 1:27 AM
Congrats to you Mattias, as always, amazing!
Jon Hill (Level 4) ~ 9/2/2010 2:57 AM
Great script Matias. (: I absolutely love the concept and the dialogue has a nice zippy flow to it all. Excellent!
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2010 5:53 AM
I think this is a perfect example where concept trumps execution. Everything about the numbers concept is just so well thought-out, the bar-guy-girl discussion on itself is just so-so, but the concept carries it to amazing heights.To be honest, I didn't realize this was yours, I thought you usually wrote bigger set pieces. But it absolutely worked. I'm just amazed by the depth of the concept. Other scripts would settle on one aspect, perhaps the 'reaper' or 'cupid' angle. You did them all.How long have you been working on this concept? Just curious.If there's one thing you could do to elevate the script just a bit, it would be a more interesting location and title.But still, absolutely amazing. Amazing.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2010 10:59 AM
Thanks Sally and Jon, I appreciate the read.@Paul: Yes, the execution here is a bit "smaller" than usual. Lately I've been trying to really keep the budget down, something I'm not very good at it seems; I usually end up with two talking heads in a room. (The same happened to me with a short western I posted on simplyscripts).I had the numbers idea back in the day when the numbers contest was announced. The first failed incarnation was completely different though; it was about a bunch of vigilantes who used their number abbilities to do good. It didn't work. Not by a long shot. So I tossed the idea into the idea vault and moved on.Since this month's requirement was pretty loose (as far as content goes) I digged into my idea stash, picked this one, and decided to try to give it another spin. Luckly, this time I found an angle I liked and it kinda wrote itself in the first few days. The rest of the month was just tweaking and revising.Thanks for asking, and I'm glad you enjoyed the read.
Travis DeStein (Level 5) ~ 9/2/2010 11:32 AM
Here's the video I was talkin about.www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JQiEs32SqQ&ob=av3e
William Dunbar (Level 5) ~ 9/8/2010 8:39 AM
If I remember correctly, there was also a very similar concept in the movie "Death Note."Good script, though, even if not completely original.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 9/10/2010 2:18 AM
Hey Matias... another excellent script. Several people mentioned this idea having been done before. Me... I've never seen it before, so I got the full and wonderful impact of it. Well thought out and well written. The ending is cool, poignant and sad - in a great way.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/10/2010 11:47 AM
Thanks for the read, guys. :)
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5) ~ 9/22/2010 12:59 PM
I didn't get to read this during voting month, but if I had I would have given it an excellent. What a cool and unique story idea. Kudos!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/22/2010 7:04 PM
Glad you enjoyed it, Jeannie. Thank you.
Ashley Gwen Patrick (Level 2) ~ 9/26/2010 12:34 PM
I only hope that I can write short full circle scripts like this...I really enjoyed the idea and the two characters as they encountered their unique gift(?). I thought it was excellent!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/26/2010 2:39 PM
Thanks for the read and comments, Ashley. :)
Nidal Khan (Level 0) ~ 9/28/2010 6:39 AM
This is amazing i loved it !NidZ !
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 9/28/2010 10:30 AM
Welcome to the site, Nidal. And thanks for reading.
James Resendes (Level 2) ~ 11/10/2010 6:59 PM
Absolutely loved it. This is a concept I've wanted to explore for quite a while, and you nailed every one of my ideas on the nose. If anything, I would say the ending is a tad rushed. but just a tad. It's still one of my favourite scripts that I've read so far. Great work. Keep it up.
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 11/11/2010 10:36 AM
Thanks for the read, James. Glad you enhoyed it.