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"The Tower of Wishes" by Matias Caruso ~ First Place

Rewrite: 1/20/2008 12:00 AM

Logline: Hell has many gates. Lust and greed are two of them.

Genre: Fantasy

Cast Size: 10+

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

Contest: Small Round Things (Oct. 2007)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent

Comments Made During the Contest

Adam Grage (Level 4)

Wow. Loved it. I'm already a fantasy buff so I'm sure that helps. But because I'm a fantasy buff I can say a job well done. Great interaction between the Guardian and Drake. Dialogue was tight and realistic. Wonderful twist at the end.

Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4)

It's an interesting story with an interesting twist at the end. I like how much ground it covers in 5 pages. I might tighten up the dialog a little in certain spots. The explanation of what our knight has really won is one place that jumped out at me as having the potential for a little more character specificity. It works, but it could work even better.

Austin Bennett (Level 4)

Oh, wow... One of the best I've read. I expect this to place.

Austin Jones (Level 4)

Really well done. Good work. Like the narration and the twist. Very precise descriptions I could really watch this film unfold.

Barbara Lewis (Level 4)

Whoa. Not only am I scoring this excellent and I have nothing negative to say about it, I don't even feel qualified to try and come up with anything negative to say about this. This script is the whole package. I don't know what else to tell you except please write a lot of scripts. :)

Brian Wind (Level 5)

This was very well done. Fresh concept, great writing, egaging story. Great job.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

Who are you?
The GUARDIAN OF WISHES (60’s) looks up to Drake.
You know who I am.
Then you know why I’m here.

This section of dialogue just didn't quite work. Seemed to be a non sequitur.

Apart from that, I thought it was a fine tale. I had to read the prophesies a few times through to grasp their meaning - so I wonder if they could, or should be simplified?

This would make a great animation.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

Great story, very well told.
Very clever, love how it unfolds and the double meaning of so many things said.
The typos were a bit distracting, but not enough to dock you for it. The VO in the beginning was a bit tedious, think you could cut it down a bit so it doesn't sound like we're being told a story.
All in all, very good job. Really enjoyed it. You get high marks from me.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This was a fantastic story and well told.

I loved the way you used the three objects and the twist at the end is absolutely perfect.

This felt like a classic fable and it made for a great read.

The only negative thing I can say is, as great as this script is, it's hard to imagine this ever getting filmed.

Dawn Calvin (Level 5)

This is really good. I don't normally like these kinds of stories but this one was set up so well and ended so well.

I thought it was very clever and not a description or line was wasted. I only noticed one typo but I am sure someone or you have already found it.

It was right after he landed in chains and he asked what happened? The next line has an extra "it" in it I think.

I like the symbolism used, the phallic tower, mans yearning for riches and women. Really nicely done!

Good job!

DW Pollard (Level 4)

I liked this story. The only slight problem I had with it was that it came off much like a story rather than a screenplay - it was very long-winded and lots of explaining.

This isn't to say it wouldn't make great for the screen: there are excellent despriptions and visuals and the characters are very colorful.

Very good writing and excellent use of the craft.

Barbed wire didn't come about until the 1800's; need another choice for the dragon's reins.

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

This is very much like another script I enjoyed this month, with use of the objects. But it is much better, excellent in fact.

George L. Heredia (Level 3)

Man, this brought back memories of D&D games way back when... richly detailed descriptions, and tone. I would have liked Drake "scoff" than "chuckle"...but that's just me.

Great reveal and twist at the end...almost saw it coming, but not quite. So it was rewarding. Definitely has a lot of potential.

A bit much on the VO's particularly in the beginning.

Minor spelling issue..."the tower has a mind OF it's own".

Read well, nicely paced. A story of Biblical proportions.

Graham Trelfer (Level 4)

Very nice piece, really enjoyed it. My main concern is that you have such a beautiful prose that is ruined when you use slang "horseshit" and "badass" just threw me right out of the script.

I think there is still some room to play around with and try some different things. For example the knight is our hero and we should end on him and his torment. there is a little too much explaining at the end as i think we understand right away what has happened.
Good job.

Jane Beckwith (Level 4)

Terrific execution of a noble (dare I say it?) theme. Very well done. The dilemma created suspense, the pay off was HUGE.

Jay Knisely (Level 4)

Just about fantastic on both levels. Well told tale that nailed the challenge. The wooden cups briefly became vases, and I needed to read twice what fell with a splash.

John Foley (Level 4)

This turned out to be a very interesting plot. I liked how you worked the choosing of the items.

Kirk White (Level 5)

I gave this one an Excellent. It was superb. Well crafted. Clever twist with the button. I can't think of a thing to say about it. I stopped caring about feedback and just enjoyed the story. Great Job

Liz Messineo (Level 4)

This was very well conceived and executed. I had to go back and read exactly what was promised, but it all fit and made sense. Nice story! The only nit-picky comment I could make is the word "badass" - it just doesn't fit the feel and language of the script, which you work so hard at.

Margaret Avnet (Level 4)

I thought you did an excellent job. You cleverly used all three props and it made for an interesting story. Well done.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

Well done. You managed to capture a fantasy in five pages. That is really hard to do. The only comment I have is that it was a bit heavy on exposition and VO.

Pia Cook (Level 5)

What a great story!!

I loved it.

It had a storybook feel and a great message.

I can't think of anything else to say about it. I really thought it was great.
I'm giving it my first ever EXCELLENT!

Rick Hansberry (Moderator)

Terrific script. Dynamic execution and completely original. I loved the theatrical opening and the set up. At first, I wanted to know more about the Guardian when the character was introduced. But I loved the way you disclosed things in the dialogue - phrases like 'old man.' Ultimately, what I admired most about the script was it's tightness. No excess. Everything moved the plot to its ultimate finale that was both satisfying and complete. the story matched the challenge page length. Awesome writing and vision. I'm deeply envious of your talent and imagination. Highest marks.

Rob Gross (Level 4)

You said "knights are scattered around the tower". I pictured them standing around the bottom. When I read on, I realized they were actually climbing.

I liked the barbed wire reins.

This is a great story. Loved the flow and I was thoroughly entertained. A good lesson was told.

This should be a contender this month.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

What an interesting little saga. I enjoyed this and felt it was a solid script with a great beginning middle and end.

There are a few spelling errors that tripped me up and took me out of the story.

However, this was a very good short, and I think it would be fun to see it onscreen.

There's a lot of humor and irony in the script, that works. I think this is one of the better scripts this month. You've packed a lot of detail into just five pages!

well done.

Stephenie Ruffin (Level 4)

WOW...that was really good. Great read. Great story.

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)

Charming fable. I was all set to hate it when you started with a VO narration, but you won me over immediately with vultures and half-eaten corpses. Very visual and fun, loved the shell game and twist at the end.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

The writing was very good, interesting and imaginative. I do like the concept as well as being a sucker for knights and towers. Having said that, I would like to see more mystery in obtaining the button – it was too easy.

I did not like or enjoy the WOMAN V.O.’s. I feel the piece would be more powerful if they were actually dialogue lines or maybe a combination of lines and V.O.’s from possibly DRAKE or the GUARDIAN, instead of the WOMAN.

The images were wonderful, I loved them – vivid and strong.

Comments Made After the Contest

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2007 12:05 AM

Dude... Like I said at SS... you should be banned for winning too much.

Absolutely awesome Mr. Z!!!

You're amazing!!!!!!!!!

Love Pia

(now that's a first too ;-) )

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 12/1/2007 12:08 AM

Well done.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/1/2007 12:14 AM

Congratulations on finally breaking into the top spot!

This was an incredible story and a well deserved win.

Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 12/1/2007 12:42 AM

Congratulations, this was awesome, one of my favorites!! Good work!

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2007 1:18 AM

Wow, I’m really flattered. Thanks a lot everyone for the useful feedback and the kind after-the-contest comments. I even thank those who proposed to ban me :-)

I’m really thrilled that you enjoyed my story so much. And I liked your stories as well; this month’s scripts were really a blast to read.

Good luck next month!

Spencer McDonald (Level 4) ~ 12/1/2007 6:51 AM

Great story Mr. Z. I am making it my goal to read the winning script each month, if not in the contest, after the fact.

You are quite talented and deserve this win. An awesome story and quite and imagination.

From your script I picked up the QUICK FLASH thingy. Something to add to my toolbox as I learn.

As well, a fabulous title.

Spencer McDonald

Austin Jones (Level 4) ~ 12/1/2007 8:45 AM

Man you are like a placing machine! Well done!

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/1/2007 9:15 AM

Thanks for the read, Spencer. I'm glad you liked it. Hope you enjoy the quick flash thingy, it really comes in handy sometimes :-)

Thanks for the kind words, Austin. It means a lot.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 12/2/2007 5:37 PM

Well done Matias!

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/2/2007 6:02 PM

Thanks, Michael. Well done you too :-)

Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 12/3/2007 5:07 AM

Matias, Great job! Congrats on a fantastic script.

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/3/2007 8:28 AM

Thanks Rick, I'm very happy you enjoyed reading it :-)

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 12/6/2007 11:11 AM

Bravo. This may just be the highest score ever received at And well deserved.
Guess they won't have to worry about you placing this month, looks like you'll get snagged by the rules.
Congrats, can't wait to see what you come up with in January.

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 12/6/2007 1:40 PM

Thanks Charlie. Too bad I didn't get to read yours, but from the scores I can tell you did a pretty good job.

Won't be writing anything this month but I try to look at the bright side: I'll have more time to work on my feature.

Thanks again for the encouraging words.

Ali Barr (Level 4) ~ 5/30/2008 1:30 AM

You've earned enough of a (GOOD) reputation that I came back to check this out. What a great epic story, with a moral as well. I love your style and especially the way that you have something to say in each story. Great tone and delivery.

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 5/30/2008 9:30 AM

Thank you, Ali. This one would be kind of my favorite so it makes me very happy when others injoy it as well.

If you're in the mood for some more reading, allow me to recommend Michael's and Chris' entries to the "Small Round Things" month, which also placed.

Thanks again, your kind words mean a lot.

Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 3/29/2009 2:00 PM

Had I been around for this contest, I would have graded it Excellent. There is so much to like about this script. And of all of the scripts I've read here on MP, this is top 3. An excellent read !!!!
Thank you for writing it!

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 3/29/2009 4:58 PM

Thanks for taking a look, Tim. I'm glad it was worth the read. :)

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 3/29/2009 7:03 PM

I just noticed that this script is in pre-production - how exciting. I can't wait to see the film some day.

BTW, After over 1,000 scripts this is still the highest scoring and the only script to receive nothing but Very Goods and Excellents.

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 3/30/2009 10:10 AM

There's hope, but I don't know if we'll get to see the finished film, Chris. Last update I got from the producer was that things were moving slow (or not at all) because the economic crisis.

Of course, the economy is 100% to blame, not the script's astronomical budget. :)

Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 3/30/2009 12:53 PM

So I just had to see what all the fuss was about, and read this one for the first time. The legendary exception proving the rule that you can't be all things to all people. Pretty darn cool, 7.0!!

I got to say, I LOVE the ambition of the producer who took this one on, too! Admit it, it's George Lucas isn't it? James Cameron?

Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 3/30/2009 1:49 PM

It's Ron Howard, Poindexter!

He's big in Argentina. They call him El Ron Howardo!

Great news as usual Matias.

When's Sex Doll coming out?

And you know my favorite. Any news on that one? ;)

I promise Erich won't bother you too much man, do show up from time to time. :)

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/30/2009 3:15 PM

It's fantastic that you've got so many of your scripts in production Matias - how did that happen, did they approach you or you them or a mixture of both? How's your feature script coming along?

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 3/30/2009 3:22 PM

"I got to say, I LOVE the ambition of the producer who took this one on, too!"

Yeah, when he told me he wanted to do this live action I thought he was on crack. But, turns out, he usually takes on ambitious projects. And even managed to pull off a few. Check out Sands of Time in the production website.

"When's Sex Doll coming out?"

I wish I knew. :)

"And you know my favorite. Any news on that one?"

Last news was "If I find an animator, I'll get back to you". Pussies. How much could it cost to chop down a jungle for real?

"I promise Erich won't bother you too much man, do show up from time to time."

Hmm... last time you said I needed to pay for "protection". :)

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 3/30/2009 3:26 PM

MJ - I just post scripts on MP, simplyscripts, and Inktip (free for shorts). All three are wonderful resources that can help you connect with filmmakers.

The feature is coming along well - thanks for asking!

Erich VonHeeder (Level 4) ~ 3/31/2009 11:50 AM

Don't be fooled MJ.
Matias has what is commonly referred to as "Latin Flavor."

It makes women swoon, men cower, and amateur filmmakers believe that they can shoot a live-action film featuring an impossibly tall tower of stone.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/31/2009 3:27 PM

Ha! My father's Brazillian - hopefully that means I have 50% of those powers!!!

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/31/2009 3:34 PM

Although I'd rather men swooned....

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 3/31/2009 3:49 PM

Erich - LOL

MJ - I can swoon if you want me to. :)

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/31/2009 5:57 PM

Matias, don't joke, I've had a crush on you ever since I arrived at movie poet and read The rose, dolphin, butterfly thing, then The Black Rose Garden, then Invalid Directive and at risk of revealing my stalker status I even googled you and some hot (though slightly feminine) 21 year old Argentinian model with your name popped up and I couldn't believe that someone soo pretty and soo muscly could also write better in a 2nd language than most natives in my favourite genre...

but then your IMDB profile appeared on here and I realised you were a decade older and I heaved a welcome sigh of relief.

someone take this wonderful Chardonnay away from me...

Actually , no, don't , I'm earning super money for the first time ever and now when I buy a bottle of wine, it's actual wine and not plonk and I savour it rather than cane it...

oh... for my youth...

Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 4/1/2009 12:03 AM

You should have known better. Writers aren't supposed to be hot, hehe.

If I cross the guy on the street, I'll tell him you say hi. :)

Reginald McGhee (Level 0) ~ 12/20/2011 3:24 PM

This is the first script I ever saw on the monthly website with a 50/50 percent of Very Good and Excelent. Congrats on this one.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 12/20/2011 8:05 PM

It's the first and only Reginald. I'm 99.9% sure that this is the highest scoring script in MP history.

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/21/2011 2:41 PM

You are correct. As of today, that is the highest scoring script in MP history.

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The following members have selected this script as one of their favorites:

Rob Gross ~ Chris Messineo ~ Stephen Brown ~ Brian Wind ~ Tim Westland ~ Adam Grage ~ Ali Barr ~ Margaret Ricke ~ JeanPierre Chapoteau ~ Herman Chow ~ Hitaish Sharma ~ Debra Johnson ~ Olga Tremaine