Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

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  • #16
    Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

    I may even try and enter, if time is kind to me, but it won't be off a completed script, I'll work out the plot points for that, it would be just the ending, because I don't see why you can't write and ending first, or a middle, or a beginning, and build around that...
    Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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    • #17
      Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

      Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post

      But you know, I still don't know.

      So this compet could be a good tester of that, and make people read back and guess at what has happened up to that point.

      ??
      I'm trying to think of great or nearly great films that would look pretty pedestrian if I just read the last 8 pages or so. I'm sure that there are examples, but my mind is just not working well today.

      For the most part, all I can think of are pretty amazing endings (although I'm not sure if they'd actually fall in the last 8 pages).

      Maybe something like No Country for Old Men would seem very odd in this competition. Million Dollar Baby, from what I can remember of it, might seem ordinary. I guess a lot of love stories and romcoms might not do as well since you probably don't have that build up. On the other hand, something like Transformers might look like the best script ever written. So, this could be a fun thing to try out and see what happens.

      My only thinking about someone writing an ending specifically for the exercise is that a writer could kind of "game" the system and write something completely outlandish that isn't really connected to anything, but, really, if they do, who cares?
      On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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      • #18
        Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

        Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
        to me, if you do this kind of contest, my "winner" would be whoever makes me want to know what happened leading up to that ending....which is different from our other writing exercises where we are mostly judging skill and story.
        This approach has my vote.

        Keeping it to 3 pages also has my vote.

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        • #19
          Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

          I'm totally up for this exercise, looking back at my last two scripts. I would say the last 3-5 pages would work.

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          • #20
            Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

            Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
            I'm trying to think of great or nearly great films that would look pretty pedestrian if I just read the last 8 pages or so. I'm sure that there are examples, but my mind is just not working well today.

            For the most part, all I can think of are pretty amazing endings (although I'm not sure if they'd actually fall in the last 8 pages).

            Maybe something like No Country for Old Men would seem very odd in this competition. Million Dollar Baby, from what I can remember of it, might seem ordinary. I guess a lot of love stories and romcoms might not do as well since you probably don't have that build up. On the other hand, something like Transformers might look like the best script ever written. So, this could be a fun thing to try out and see what happens.

            My only thinking about someone writing an ending specifically for the exercise is that a writer could kind of "game" the system and write something completely outlandish that isn't really connected to anything, but, really, if they do, who cares?

            Maybe something with WONDER and REVELATION at the end, where the entire cast is just left standing around staring at the sky or something, and we are left thinking - "what the heck are all of these people doing!"


            A Close Encounters type film...
            Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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            • #21
              Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

              With all due respect to the folks that thought this up and are willing to put the time in to do this...

              This type of exercise is an exercise in futility. It does not teach us anything. There is absolutely NO ending that would have any sort of impact as just a stand alone set of pages because there is no context for it.

              An ending works because we've invested the time to get to know the story and the characters. Just posting pages of an ending wouldn't make us "feel" anything, other than curiosity. So this would be no different than posting the first five pages or so, where we'd know if we're in capable hands.

              Basically, this sounds more gimmicky than educational.

              There. I've said my piece and will go back to yelling at the kids on my lawn.

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              • #22
                Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                Originally posted by Richmond Weems View Post
                With all due respect to the folks that thought this up and are willing to put the time in to do this...

                This type of exercise is an exercise in futility. It does not teach us anything. There is absolutely NO ending that would have any sort of impact as just a stand alone set of pages because there is no context for it.

                An ending works because we've invested the time to get to know the story and the characters. Just posting pages of an ending wouldn't make us "feel" anything, other than curiosity. So this would be no different than posting the first five pages or so, where we'd know if we're in capable hands.

                Basically, this sounds more gimmicky than educational.

                There. I've said my piece and will go back to yelling at the kids on my lawn.
                I think I agree with all this, but I'm not against exercises in futility just to see what actually happens.
                On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                • #23
                  Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                  Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post
                  Maybe something with WONDER and REVELATION at the end, where the entire cast is just left standing around staring at the sky or something, and we are left thinking - "what the heck are all of these people doing!"


                  A Close Encounters type film...
                  Hmmm, good point. I guess as far as Close Encounters it would depend on which version it was. In my mind the alien ship and families coming out of it would fall within the last 8 pages or so, which would probably seem pretty interesting. If it was the director's cut, though, it would probably be the opposite...but I guess it could be argued that's why that ending was cut.

                  I'm wondering how a BIG reveal or twist would play out, but I would think something like Sixth Sense would provide enough of a hook to make most readers say "I need to read more of this."

                  I guess something like Memento would be a really wild entry, but again, that could be its appeal, too.

                  The more I think about this, comedies might suffer the most since you would probably be dealing with punchlines from set ups that happened earlier and resolutions that might not really be for laughs.
                  On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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                  • #24
                    Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                    Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
                    I think I agree with all this, but I'm not against exercises in futility just to see what actually happens.
                    That's a valid point.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                      Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
                      I think I agree with all this, but I'm not against exercises in futility just to see what actually happens.
                      That was the POV expressed by Lloyd at the end of Dumb & Dumber - "So you're telling me there's a chance."

                      Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
                      The more I think about this, comedies might suffer the most since you would probably be dealing with punchlines from set ups that happened earlier and resolutions that might not really be for laughs.
                      There are some number of jokes (I suppose someone has cataloged them) that guys (of the male persuasion) seem to know immediately just from the punchline. As in, "And it's deep, too."

                      But otherwise, assuming OP's idea could work at all - as to a comedy, I agree.

                      I recall seeing this Youtube clip of Buddy Hackett on the Tonight Show - his story about a duck hunter - and afterwards, I wondered if he came up with the end first and then the setup, or vice-versa.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                        Dipping in here and there, more there than here...

                        What happned, did this go cool, or is it still warm, luke warm... tepid even?
                        Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                          I think we're at Defcom status lukewarm, with 4 interested, or 5 including the member who suggested the exercise. Is that enough? Not sure!
                          Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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                          • #28
                            Re: Polling for interest: Last Few Pages exercise

                            Seems like Defcon 3.5 to me!
                            Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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