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"Last Huddle at Desert Rock" by Jay Knisely

Logline: After a father dispenses career counseling to his three sons, they decide to dispense their own.

Genre: Comedy - Drama

Cast Size: 4

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)

I kinda liked this script with its humorous moments. I thought killing the father was abit harsh for a comedy. However, I liked what ended happening to the brothers unfortunately it seemed rushed with the narrator's bit at the end.

I know you were limited with pages but with a rewrite I think it would be more appealing to see this events happen visually.

Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4)

It's kind of got a Mel Brooks feel to it...which I enjoyed.

At times, the modern phrasing feels a little jarring to me though. "wacked" jumped out as a little too forced (or something). I liked the content of the narration at the end, especially the last line. The phrasing of it, I think, could use a once-over. There's something about it that doesn't quite work with the rest of the script.

Austin Bennett (Level 4)

Interesting story. It was cute and clever. I didn't catch any mistakes with formatting or spelling.

Austin Jones (Level 4)

To me this seems to need alot of polish. I like that you are going for a sketch comedy style short but some of your dialogue sounds "period" and some does not. I think you should be consistent otherwise it looks sloppy. I think how the objects represented trades was very clever but the ending was just wrapped up with the narrator like you didn't know how to close it out. Maybe having narration in the beginning could tie it all together more?

Barbara Lewis (Level 4)

This was very funny and extremely well written. I do like the narration at the end wrapping up the story, because the story is too large for five pages - well done!

"ass grabbing days" took me out of the moment though I do in general like what you did with modern language in this setting. It was funny - this particular one came so early in the script it felt out of place, but it's not a big deal.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

Unique & enjoyable, although the language made it a bit hard to follow at times. Nice work.

Bryan Mora (Level 4)

Not a fan of this one, put simply it wasn't my taste. The language was just too bland for me., and it wasn't the old style that got me bored... It was probably just your idea.

Good job finishing and all, but the idea to start off with wasn't great. Narrorator also came out of nowhere in the ending. What was that about?
There's some stuff to sort through. But maybe, theres a story in this worth telling.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

This started with way too much directorial content - we are wanting the story in the script, not how you think it should be filmed!

This was a strange mixture of modern phrases and dated speech, which didn't quite come off as a mix, in my opinion. I would have preferred one or the other.

It made me laugh in parts though, and I liked the story.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

Very creative and imaginative.
You're definately in the running.
Love how you weaved the 3 round things into the story.
I love the way it's written. You might get a little flak about intermingling today's "speach" with that of 2000 years ago, but if you do, don't listen, those people never saw Monte Python. Personally, I find it funny and very effective.
Great job, thanks for a fun and interesting read.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

This was a very fun read.

I loved the black humor and the ending with the Narrator was great. Some of the jokes were a little too broad for my taste, but that is a minor quibble.

I really liked all the characters and I enjoyed this script a lot. Well done.

David Rabinowitz (Level 2)

The script is unique and interesting. In the end, it is quite funny in sort of an off-kilter way.

I think my major problem with it is that I didn't know I was supposed to laugh until late in the story. The script feels like one big joke - a setup and punchline. The punchline is satisfying but the setup is a little slow.

The writing style is clear and concise, and generally easy to visualize. Overall, despite some reservations, this script entertained me.

Dawn Calvin (Level 5)

Wow, great story. I really liked the way the father doled out the props for career choices!

I loved the "who's jesus" Oh just some guy! FUNNY STUFF!!

This was cleverly done. I only found one typo in the following sentence. "Selling will you get coins." Unless I read it wrong, it doesn't read right. I could be mistaken.

I loved the whole story, it was really quite good and I foresee this to be a story told over and over again!

Kind of a lesson to kids to listen to their wise parents! :-) Good job and good luck!

DW Pollard (Level 4)

Very humorous read. The writing and dialogue was tight and concise. Liked this one a lot.

"Alpha! Omega! My other son!" Too funny!

Sorry, can't find much too criticize on this one. I'll read it again later and try to offer more constructive feedback. You just did a great job.

Graham Trelfer (Level 4)

I was loving this, the line "Alpha, Omega, My other son" made me laugh out loud. Herkimer was a great character and I could really picture him. Then we cut away to the three sons and their plotting and it got disappointing, they all spoke with the same voice and there was nothing clever about what they did. The dialogue seemed to be from a different script and the jokes were not so subtle. Why you didn't make "the other son" cook for the tribe and poison them was beyond me. Also watch out for modern language mixing with ye olde language, it can pull you right out of the scene.

Jane Beckwith (Level 4)

Clever use of the mandatory props. Nice work -quirky and funny to those with a taste for the macabre. The narrative was fun to read. I think the voice over in the end is anti-climactic though. The image of the pot in the end may not be the most humorous choice. Could we see the sons in their ridiculous career moves, maybe skipping their deaths?

Jason Goldstein (Level 2)

For the most part I like the story. A father gives advice to his son's who ignore it and it turns out poorly for them.

What I don't like is the dialogue. You switch between dialogue that sounds appropriate for the time period to more modern day. I imagine you're doing it for comedic effect, but I don't think it works. I'd prefer you pick one style and stick with it throughout the script.

John Foley (Level 4)

I liked your take on the Prodical Son. Very funny. I think that you could use another few pages for this script. Show us want happened to the sons. I know the five page limitation for these scripts. But the nararator at the end was use (and I guessing) to be under the five pages. I want to see it and not just hear it.

Kirk White (Level 5)

Giving it a very good! super clever and funny...kinda Monty Pythonesque. Great job!

Margaret Avnet (Level 4)

I like how you incorporated all the props in the script. It worked nicely with what the father wanted each son to do. But I don't believe the language you use is believeable, it's more modern then ancient. And this tends to distract from the story. Try working on the dialogue and I'm sure it will be much improved, since you do have an interesting story to work with here.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5)

That was quite good. I thought you used the items cleverly and that you even made it amusing. I'm pretty sure I know who wrote this btw. The one issue I had with this was the conversation after the father gave the sons the items where I thought some of the dialogue was a bit clumsy, I thought you should have played it a bit straighter. Other than that well done.

Pia Cook (Level 5)

I enjoyed this one, the writing was good and the story too, but could be improved IMHO.

I liked your use of the three small round items.

I think the killing, chopping up and cooking of Herkimer was a tad too much.

I'm not sure I liked the very last narrator piece. It didn't tie the story together as well as I had hoped. It seemed a little too tagged on. Other than that I really enjoyed it and I'm pleased to see so many of the scripts this month to be either fantasy or take place in the past.

Good Job!

Rob Gross (Level 4)

Great title.

I guess each son got what they wanted.

I came across a few typos, but nothing too bad.

The story kept me turning the pages. I wanted to know what happened next.

I liked the character "the other son". Very creative.

I think this story would be better if it were almost "dark" throughout the whole story. It seemed to start off seriously, then, in the middle, it got kind of "cute". You tried to infuse some humor and it took some of the impact.

Don't get me wrong, it's good the way it is. Just thought you may want to think about that.

well done.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

Well this is one of the most unusual of scripts. I think there's a little gem here, that with some work, could be a really fun short film. There's a lot of humor going on and the brothers are great!

The concept is good and I think the last page is one of the best of the five. Which is a good thing! A nice snappy ending and a twist of humor.

I think a little work on a rewrite and you'll have a winner.

Stephenie Ruffin (Level 4)

I thought this was pretty funny. The descriptions were written well and the story had nice pacing. The dialog however was a little off. This story goes way way back in time. I thought most of the dialog reflected that time line but, some of the dialog pulled me out and back to todays time. Some examples are;
1) ass-grabbing days...
2) No buts about it.
3) you guys' crap...
4) you...blabbermouth
Just to name a few. I'm not sure if that was suppose to be a part of the story or for the comedy, but for me, it took me out of the story momentarily. Nice job though.

Sylvia Dahlby (Level 5)

I enjoyed the mix of bibical setting and modern touches. I didn't get there was enough hostility or resentment in the sons to warrant the casual killing of the dad - would have made for darker comedy & maybe more funny to inject more rage/disappointment or strong emotions so they would get behind murder as a solution (they didn't even argue about it much). Also, I'd suggest no VO at the end, maybe do it more visually w/the face shot & a blurb beneath it like in Animal House. If I had to guess, I'd say Stan the WriterMan wrote this...

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

I love the entire concept. I think this has great, great promise as a dramedy.

I'm not sure how I feel about current speak for the time period. On one hand, I like it -- part of the comedy of it all. On the other hand, I don't like it -- want dialogue more appropriate of its time. Now that I think about it more, I lean toward the latter, allowing for even more of a high-brow punch.

This is a very original piece and that in and of itself makes it refreshing.

I would have loved to see the "desert rock" go on fire and speak the words of the narrator at the end.

Well done.

Comments Made After the Contest

Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/14/2007 9:56 AM

I really liked this story a lot. I thought it was very clever and a great read. I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories in the future.

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus) ~ 12/14/2007 4:26 PM

Jay, this was fabulous. I gave it an excellent and thought it would at least place. As I warned, the dialogue got you, for some reason a lot of people here just don't get it, especially in a COMEDY - they think it has to be in "old speak". And no way you deserved a single "fair" for this one - even a "good" is pushing it.
Looking forward to much more.
Thanks for a great read.

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