Comments Made During the Contest
Ammar Salmi (Level 5)
Hmm, I didn't understand the ending quite well. Did an angel take him? Even if this is what you meant, I don't think I liked the ending. The woman, the comb-over man, the desperate, I thought they'll all play a role in the ending when you tie up all the loose ends. It just felt that every character has his own story. As if they weren't meant to play a role in the plot. It just felt detached.
Bill Sarre (Level 4)
Nice, I like that. Ok, ther Einstein one core story but still it works as almost a day in the life of an ATM. A few personal stories being played out and recorded.In terms of the camera, the sedan and the action played out there had to be quite close to the ATM, so I'm not sure how that plays. Also quite what Athens with desperate man is unclear, I assume some "from" takes him, but quite how that happens is unsure.Good effort
Byron Matthews (Level 4)
So, a few things really stand out to me after I read this. First, I've never seen "nonchalantly" used like that before. And secondly, I was wondered if you made this all up, or if you watched the on-goings at a locatl ATM, because the premise is pretty interesting. As for the story, it's an interesting way of meeting this month's objective. The whole idea of black and white and no sound was a nice touch. Even some of the characters were interesting -- granted some had more depth than others. Great format and it was easy to follow. The erie feel at the end with the spirit coming to pick up the man was...okay for me. It just seemed like a convenient way to wrap up the story. Other than that, I applaud your work. Very good.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
it's funny you put the bit in italics for clarity/ reference because it immediately made me feel confused!A bit too much of your own commentary...'this hurts.' Yes, we can SEE that!Not sure why the man enters a deposit envelope with no money in it. Not sure about the last scene with the same man. Did he die? Was the wing an angel?Still, I thought this was very well done indeed. I'm wondering if no sound and B & W will work? ( be engaging enough?)
Chris Setten (Level 4)
This story has some cool elements and I think I figured out what MOS means (mouthing off screen?). Some of the dialogued mouthed would not be lip read accurately on film in my opinion. The end was a touch tough to decipher but I take it an angel (or devil?) came to claim the desparate man. It was cool and I think you have pieces of greatness here alhough I'm not sure this story was put together tightly enough. Keep working it, you're almost there.Post note: Just found at that MOS is Mitt Out Sound
Chris Westfield (Level 3)
Concise writing, lots of good white space given that there was little dialogue. I liked the intersecting stories and the one point of view. I was a little taken out of it when the angel showed up, not sure the fantasy aspect did anything for me. I liked the voyeur aspect of slices of life better.
Christina Anderson (Level 4)
Jeez. I've seen ATM footage before-- I get it.Don't fill in the blanks for us. The action/facial expressions will be all the video audience gets; it's all we should get too.We can't hear sound, but Desperate Man is called off-screen by a sound? Now he's making demands! -- No.No.NO-- this is lazy (and forget about that caveat at the beginning-- HOW IS THE VIDEO AUDIENCE SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHATS GOING ON?) --DM gets scared off: he startles, looks left, and leaves right. --DM wants Girl's money: he shakes her with his off-hand. holds the knife in front of her eyes. he presses the blade at her neck. then he draws his hand up, and lifts her chin with the blade...So, God just comes after he tried to rob somebody at knife point-- how scary. Did he even pray? at any point at all? And why did it take so long. The teens-- felt like filler, by then I'm over the depravity train, the story should be in it's next phase, but it's stuck in Act 1.I like the guardian angel and the blackout, but without any idea about DM's condition it's hard to get involved in the story.
Christina Kishpaugh (Level 3)
Very interesting looking into the lives of others as they go about their business through an ATM camera. I like the idea but I almost felt there should be more normal things going on at the ATM- a bunch of people who aren't with whores or trying to mug someone or drunk. It would make the rest of the craziness more believable with everyday ho-hum also happening along with it.The ending is strange and unexpected and honestly doesn't go with the rest of the story. I'm assuming it was an angel? Why would an angel suddenly take this man? Or even if it wasn't an angel, why would whatever it was suddenly take this man? I would have connected him some way to religion or the occult or whatever so it's not so random and I'm not sitting here thinking- "Why is he so special?"
Christopher Pedersen Cook (Level 3)
Very well written and extremely interesting. I didn't understand everything, but it's one of those stories where you don't really want to. I have a feeling I will like this more and more as it sinks in.
Crystal Kelly (Level 1)
I thought this concept was really good. I enjoyed the story and from the very beginning I was hooked just by the fact that it was an ATM camera...I thought that was interesting. I enjoyed the different individuals that came through the camera's view. The characters were creative and not in the least boring. I would love to see more scripts like this. Great job!!!
Darren Seeley (Level 3)
No need to give me the note, but, if you put a TITLE CARD with it (impying the found footage was taken and someone added the text) with a bit of rewording, it can look something like:TITLE CARD : "Note: all footage is captured through this camera; specificactions--buttons being pushed, cash spitting out or dollaramounts--and other sound effects exist for clarity and reference"Or something to that effect. Otherwise, leave it off. Specific actions may not be "seen" by a ATM camera that's true. But we have seen ATM footage before. A person reaches at one angle to his/her right and make eight taps, for example. Nobody will question that said person is putting in code and/or instructions from the prompt. They reach down and walk away, the camera will see person put the cash in a pocket or purse. Correct? So, if we can't actually see a number or code punched in, a card being swiped etc. it's not that big of a deal I think. We can easily assume that is the case. Putting the note to the reader, however, isn't a good way to start the script.As for the woman adding zero, I'll make a suggestion. Since there is no sound, have her say it as she presses it. That's right. You read that correctly. *Since there is no sound, have her say it" Let me go back to that title card and be more specific.We can't hear her. We can see her. Have her lips move. SUPER BOTTOM SUBTITLE : "One more zero" See what I mean?As the script continued, there were some orphan issues, repetition issues and ...moment...brief moment....wait for it....get on to it. A great ff idea that missed the intended mark. If...it....wasn't...for...moments it might have worked better. And then there's characters who DO speak. And we DO hear them. And when we do, it's mispelled word in favor of a word phonetically pronouced. Ugh. (again, you can get away with this through a subtitle)Breaking one's own rule isn't good. You could have gotten away with it, if you thought it out instead of rushing it. It reads very rushed.
David M Troop (Level 4)
First of all, this is a tough contest. I applaud you for entering.You tried something different with the ATM machine. You give us three or four stories packed into five pages. I would like to see one complete story instead. (Probably the one with the hooker.)The problem is that the contest immediately puts limitations on the writer. The writer shouldn't put more limitations (a stationary camera, no sound, etc.) on himself.Although you gave us many characters and situations, it still seemed very repetitive.
David Serra (Level 4)
This seemed to stretch on forever. Although the concept and idea is cool I think if you narrowed it down to three people this would make a decent film.Overall, Fair.
Derek Anderson (Level 4)
Not sure what (M.O.S.) stands for.Since this is an ATM camera, I know there is no sound. Plus you also said there was no sound... so how are we able to know what these people are saying? I can understand some short, easy to understand phrases through lip-reading like "Come on!" But some of the other longer lines of dialog had me saying what the hell!She LICKS the ATM camera? Ew, who does that?The last two pages are the definition of LEAN writing.The more and more I think about this, the more I like it. I loved the idea, the angle, the quirky, every-day (yet stereotypical) characters... it all worked well for me. If you would add something about lip-reading before those lines of dialog, then I would say this is an Excellent. Still a VERY GOOD from me. Good job!
Derek Collins (Level 4)
Wow... I am so mad right now because I just found out chalantly isn't a real word... what's up with that? how can you be nonchalant if you can't be chalant in the first place?Anyways, um yeah you pretty much nailed the 5 types of people that use an atm. Without dialog its kind of hard for me to judge this fairly, I mean your descriptions of the action were really good, with the exception of the lady busting her "sweet ass judo move" that was just plain wrong, I mean everything is so normal then "sweet ass judo move" I'll be honest with you those words echoed in my brain for the rest of the script.Overall I just can't justify giving you a higher score because of the lack of dialog and the fact that its all just one big long shot. Also your ending was just a little too ummmmm, for lack of a better term, The Crow, for me.This whole Found Footage thing doesn't suit everyone, so you are on my list of people I can't wait to read in a different contest.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
I was glad to see the last scene because that gave the story an ending. This entry earned an excellent from me. The writer has a firm understanding of screenwriting format. I am not sure if the “note” on page one is needed.
Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)
Very entertaining and clever on a whole. Tightly written and not much room for improvement that I can see.Not entirely sure that having your WOMAN IN A TIGHT SKIRT hit the keypad will have much visual meaning if the numbers aren't seen.Wonderful characters that show the diversity and complications of humanity.Continued good success.
Gary Rademan (Level 5)
The story played out well with a beginning and middle then it slid away after The Shape was introduced. An ending that gathered all the threads together into one could make this killer.
Jordan Littleton (Level 4)
Title: 6Story: 3Originality: 8Action: 7Dialogue: 5Readability: 7I had high hopes for this one, once I got a couple pages into it. Unfortunately it just never really seemed to tell a story. There was never any one character that I cared about. It was just a bunch of clips thrown together.
Joseph Conway (Level 2)
Didn't think showing a whole story from an ATM machine was engaging, sorry. Didn't really understand what was going on. You're writing style/prose is spot on though e.g. "And another", "A moment...".Maybe I have high expectations since I seen Chronicle a few days ago though. Keep up the work and you'll improve.
Kelley Allen (Level 3)
First off, kudos for being gutsy enough to enter this month's MP contest. Not a lot of folks did enter(including myself out of sheer laziness) and I was intrigued to see how this topic would be handled. Funny and clever use of the ATM camera with lots of juvenile humor. I don't quite get the end with all the static. Not much of a story here though. To improve this, I would recommend some sort of story arc. Perhaps, the depressed man meets one of the ladies who saves him or have a tech glitch where all the money shoots out to the depressed dude. Formatting: Although this technically seems alright, there is some awkwardness. For example, THE NOTE. Good luck and keep on writing!
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
I liked the fact that it's all through one POV - an ATM machine camera. ATM camera is original angle too.The stories could be weaved into one storyline a bit better, I think. These several stories do not work very well together. I understand that it's all about the desperate man but the other two couples got on the way for me somehow. Also, the mousy woman being so strong and well trained to defend herself is a bit sudden. It's still a good script I think.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Riveting. Wondered where all these visits to the ATM were going to lead. Terrific buildup.Think a better ending might be with Mousey Young Lady grabbed by Desperate Man. She uses her self-defense training, shoves him "face first...into the camera" where he crumbles to the ground disabled, and she runs away. Revisiting Combover Man seems rather anti-climatic; it's quite clear that Woman in the Tight Dress cleans him out. May not be necessary that he discovers his missing money for the reader/audience. Obviously he'd learn eventually. The Shape with a Wing, a hint at divine intervention, may not be as good a fit as letting Mousey get the upper hand.A really good story idea, especially considering the prompt.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I love this! There's so much going on in such a short span of time. Great drama.The formatting, spelling and punctuation are good, but you might get some comments from others on the use of ellipses. I speak from experience on that.This is so well-thought out and constructed. I hope someone films it for you.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
This is a neat idea. "rather non-non-chalantly"Couldn't you just say something like "awkwardly"? "She silently reads aloud"This doesn't make sense. I'm not really sure what the ending means. I know you're trying to tell a story in a different way in a short time, but the characters at times feel like just broad archetypes. Good.
Masoud Soheili (Level 4)
Tittle is OK and related enough!The idea is good and move me to read it to the end...Stories are good but its possible to be better,Just a question:How could it possible?We couldn't hear someones voice and we could hear some others ???!
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
As soon as I saw your title I got excited by the possibilities of the ATM footage idea.You have some great moments, the drunk girlfriend laughing at her boobs so hard she falls over - the whole drunk couple scene is my favourite, very well executed.The rest feel a little forced and cliched - the angel isn't cliched and is done well but the lead up to it is too much, I don't think you need so much with the desperate man, one shot of him not able to get money, then of him attempting a mugging and then the angel. Maybe. The hooker scenario is just a bit too cliched.But this is a very strong idea and mainly well done. Good job!
Pete Barry (Level 5)
This whole concept pleased me, right from the title. I'm glad you took your time to explain how the camera was going to work, and it didn't interrupt the flow of the script.I'm not sure you pulled it off. First of all, there are certain gags (the extra zero punched in, for instance) that can't work based on how you describe the scene. We'd just see him stop, look, then punch something. To infer he's upping the money would be a stretch. I'm not sure how well the various pleadings from the desperate man would read without sound, but it would probably work in general. The biggest issue is that there's no connection between these various excursions. I'm all right with that in principle, but I can't even see a thematic connection. You also don't much like the Desperate Guy - he blows his pitiable stays when he attacks the woman. It's funny that he gets his comeuppance, but after that, he's despicable. We don't know what's happened to him, so we can't make judgement, other than by what he does on camera. The "angel" (that's what I gathered) is also hard to explain. At first I assume it was the thing coming for him, and maybe it is. But the wing needs description - it's all we get to go on. Is he eaten? Or, as I thought, raptured/taken by Death? It's hard to understand - we get so little information.It's a good start, but it needs some working out.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
There’s an array of interesting stuff in here. It might be that it’s a bit aimless, but that’s the nature of this kind of story. I’ll admit that I found the early parts of this a little slow, since the limitations of the format are quite restrictive.
R. L. Robinson (Level 3)
Found it very good. You selected many great possible events that an ATM machine could or would witness on any given day or night. The hint to divine intervention on the desperate man's behalf was well done. Well done.
Raymond Kwok (Level 3)
Interesting concept. My thought is that you tried to cram too much into the story. Four different strands is just too much. If they were somehow interrelated that would be ok but they are not. The "Shape" episode is just way out there and really doesn't seem to belong. I did like the comb over guy and the girl. I thought that was well written. Although I couldn't see how thr audience will ever know that she comes in to punch an extra zero (albeit that was the funniest part).
Reginald Beltran (Level 4)
It's a quick fast read, but there are times where the author overdoes it. For example at end of page 4 "He" starts in almost every sentence. Page 5 has "the" repeated numerous times. Maybe it's just my own little quirk, but this repetition was noticeable.I liked how almost all the stories tied in somehow. The lone exception was the teenage couple. Everyone else involved was tied one way or another.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0)
Can you really see the note on screen? Is it a SUPER? That really don't bother me. That's just something I want to point out.If I am interpreting this right, this is the story of a group, starting with the Comb headed Man, is sold to a prostitute, gets drunk, steals the car, and forgets about the prostitute carrying his ATM card. Then a poor man is desperate for money, so he attempts to steal cash from an ATM customer, the woman, and I guess “The Shape” appears to be someone who delivers him when he kills himself, I think. I get the message, but I don’t see how the story connects with the other characters. I also don’t see why the comb-headed man wants to go back to the same prostitute after she took her cash. Maybe he returned the car back to the girl and returned their possessions back. I don’t know. I just don’t find it believable that it would happen. You did a good job making us see everything through the lens of a camera though. I see the message behind the poor man killing himself because he’s broke, but I don’t see how the entire group of individual customers connect. The dialogue is real. You advanced the dialogue by telling us what they want and do not repeat the action. We also get the sense that these characters are from different cultures. You got me engaged as to where these different people come from by their dialogue.The description lines are all told well. You accomplished the storyline only through visuals without relying on dialogue. We can still see everything without having to trust dialogue. With that in mind, the descriptions, not only make this an interesting film to watch, but makes it feel as though we are reading a blueprint to a screenplay instead of just reading a story.The characters, on the other hand, are parallel with the other characters in some way. But like I said, the connection between these characters make it hard to see the overall connections of the story. That’s probably your intentions, is to tell without character connection in this story.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
The writer has this note in the opening:---Note: all footage is captured through this camera; specificactions--buttons being pushed, cash spitting out or dollaramounts--exist for clarity/reference only and are “unseen”.---But, I still don't see how this can be conveyed/clarified/referenced without being seen?---She reads the number on thescreen. Leans in, adds a ZERO to the total and hits ENTER.---How could we- see the screen?- see the zero added?
Scott Merrow (Level 5)
Yikes! Where is this ATM anyway? In a span of five minutes, we see car sex, a credit card theft, an attempted armed robbery (thwarted by judo), an attempted suicide, and a guy carried away (I think) by some kind of supernatural winged monster. Holy cow! It's a reality show waiting for a producer! (Move over Hillbilly Handfishin'.)This was very enjoyable, especially in the beginning when it seemed like it was just random ATM-cam wackiness, but the appearance of "The Shape" just made me scratch my head. It reminded me of that song on Sesame Street, "One of These Things is Not Like the Others". You have several comical ATM vignettes, then a dark mysterious winged monster carries off a guy, then back to comedy with the comb-over guy. It just seemed so out-of-place.I also wondered throughout just how this would present itself onscreen. Your note in the beginning is helpful, but I'm just not sure a movie audience will understand some of the button pushing and receipt reading and MOS pleading that are central to some of the vignettes.For the most part, though, it was pretty funny, and I enjoyed reading it.My score: Good.
Shane Harkin (Level 3)
I liked how you played with the camera POV a bit, very immersive. But it got a bit disjointed and confusing towards the end, and I would have liked the vignettes to tie into each other a bit more. Also since the action is seen through one stationary camera, I'm not sure how clearly certain important actions would translate.
Steven Gulotta (Level 3)
IT was alright. Nothing to special about it. Kind of hard to actually connect with the characters since there were so many. Hard to identify with the characters as well, save for the Desperate Man. Most understand that need for cash, and the undeniable strain it brings when you have none. I suppose many have thought of suicide and robbery due to money problems, but, the rest of the cast was not great. FAIR.
Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)
Excellent job and creative use of the "found footage" theme. The characters and interactions were believable and it's almost as though the ATM itself is a character in the unfolding drama.
Comments Made After the Contest
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 7/1/2012 1:41 AM
I really thought this would place, Kirk.
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 7/1/2012 5:11 AM
Sorry for the curt review, Kirk! I meant to come back and finish it off. This did get a VG from me and it's also a favorite.
Derek Anderson (Level 4) ~ 7/3/2012 11:07 AM
This was one of my favorites as well. I wish I would've given it an Excellent instead of a VG. It's the one script that still stands out to me from this competition. Good job!