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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  When Age Counts Moderators: bert
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  Author    When Age Counts  (currently 4118 views)
Don
Posted: April 4th, 2013, 3:28pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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When Age Counts by Daniel Botha - Short, Drama - An old man attempts to raise his young son in a harsh and changing environment. 9 pages - pdf, format


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CrusaderVoice
Posted: April 4th, 2013, 6:20pm Report to Moderator
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Awesome! Take THAT mean kids!

Nice story. Rupert Murdoch and Larry King need to read this since they should be able to relate.

Almost heart-breaking but then a fun spin late.

If there's any flaw here at all, it might be Natalie's tone when telling Doug to take Scott to the beach. It's sounds like she's barking out a order. "Try to see it done" read a little harsh...but maybe that's how I heard it in my head. Maybe the delivery could be softened and it doesn't really come off that way.

Anyway...anice tale and interesting take on the reality of this kind of blended family.
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Forgive
Posted: April 4th, 2013, 8:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Dan - nice piece, nothing major, but nicely worked, and some nice referencing at the begining.

Doug ages 6 years since the photo, but Natalie only 4? Now, I know that I said maths is for numb-nuts, but ...

Anyway Doug cries a little too easy - that's a feature of yours (as is school ...), but I was thinking that maybe a simple way of showing him struggle, or coming to the realisation that he was too old for this - self-doubt, rather than the tears?

Aside from that, there's some nice contrasts in here, attempts to show emotional impact and range, and the characters do come across.

Nice work.
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trickyb
Posted: April 4th, 2013, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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great read,

flows nicely, ends with a smile.

Good job.

Michael


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danbotha
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 1:28am Report to Moderator
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Big shout out to Don for posting this. I don't think you've ever posted one of my screenplays as quickly as this. Seriously, you rock

@CrusaderVoice: Thank you so much for the read and for providing some feedback. I'm glad you liked it. My original feedback on this one was somewhat negative when I first submitted it to MP a couple months back. I've done some re-working since then. Added quite a bit and removed quite a bit. Hopefully it's worked.

As for the dialogue with Natalie... You're not the only one who left the comment on that. It wasn't a priority when I originally re-wrote this, but I'll put it to the top of the list with the next re-write.

@Simon: Thanks for the read, Simon. You know I'm a fan, so hearing that you liked some of my work is great to hear.


Quoted from SiCol007
Now, I know that I said maths is for numb-nuts, but ...


I finally dropped that stupid subject . My friends still judge me for it. Apparently it makes me a dropkick?? Oh well, I at least have the knowledge that I have another two years of school free of stressful maths periods. Right. There's a point to this... Good pick-up on Natalie's age. Honest mistake, which can be easily fixed.

I understand your note with Doug's tears. I'm a fan of crying characters, for some reason, but I am aware that it can look awkward on screen and probably should be avoided. I'll fix that up, if I can.

Thanks for reading Simon. It pleases me to see you liked it.

@Michael: Thanks for the read there, mate. Great to see you liked the ending and were able to get a smile from it. Hopefully this one gets produced and it makes people around the world smile. From across the ditch, a genuine feeling of gratitude out to ya. Welcome to SS.

Thanks guys. Feels good to have a new script up for scrutiny.

Dan


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Toby_E
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 8:26am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan,

I really liked this one.

It was very heartfelt, and contained a range of different emotions. The ending was very sweet, and made me smile. Doug and Scott's relationship read very believable as well. We could see how much each character meant to the other.

Not really too much of anything negative for me to pick up on here. Maybe have Doug struggle more when he is modifying the scooter, due to his age/ frailness? By doing that, you would make the end more linked to the whole theme/ conflict of Doug being too old for Scott. Have him struggle more physically, but then he's able to overcome this for his son, and modify the scooter?

There was the occasional miss of commas before "Dad" and "mate" as well. Very minor point, though.

Page 2- Something about this line spoken by Natalie read awkwardly: "Scott wants to go to the beach today. Try to see it done."

I think it might be better if Scott asks Doug to race? That way, when Doug 'loses' and then wants to go home, it makes more sense. Because at the minute, he suggests the race, but then it seems that he is annoyed/ punishing Scott by wanting to go home?

But yeah, as I said at the start, I really enjoyed this one.

It contained a level of emotion not seen in most shorts.

Good work man.

All the best.

Toby.


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Dustin
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 10:56am Report to Moderator
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I read this before and it doesn't look like anything has changed. I summed up with the word, quaint. Good voice, nicely written... actually put me in mind of the Roald Dahl novels I read as a kid. Not normally my sort of genre, but I'm glad I read it.


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danbotha
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 3:57pm Report to Moderator
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Hey there Toby and Dustin. Thanks for having a read of this one. Truly appreciate the time.

Toby, Glad you liked it. I think this is one of the pieces I've re-worked more than any other piece. Good to see that work is paying off in some aspects.


Quoted from Toby
Maybe have Doug struggle more when he is modifying the scooter, due to his age/ frailness? By doing that, you would make the end more linked to the whole theme/ conflict of Doug being too old for Scott. Have him struggle more physically, but then he's able to overcome this for his son, and modify the scooter?


I've had this suggestion before and I will try and focus on that aspect for the next draft. I was thinking of having Doug struggle with the physical side of things, so he just gets himself some power tools instead. Not sure. Just an idea at the moment.


Quoted from Toby
There was the occasional miss of commas before "Dad" and "mate" as well. Very minor point, though.


Whoops! Will see that it's fixed


Quoted from Toby
Page 2- Something about this line spoken by Natalie read awkwardly: "Scott wants to go to the beach today. Try to see it done."


That line is going to be the death of me . Honestly, I've been trying to fix this line since the first draft entered for MP. Still no luck, apparently. I'll see what else I can do.


Quoted from Toby
I think it might be better if Scott asks Doug to race? That way, when Doug 'loses' and then wants to go home, it makes more sense. Because at the minute, he suggests the race, but then it seems that he is annoyed/ punishing Scott by wanting to go home?


Valid point on that one. I think it would definitely make more sense if it was Scott who wanted to race, instead.

Thanks again Toby. I'm glad you liked it. I don't often write shorts with happy endings, so it was a bit of a change-up for me. I usually prefer dramatic endings, but it's nice to have something that will make people smile for a change. I just hope it's for the right reasons.

Dustin,

You're quite right, nothing has changed with it. Haven't taken your original feedback on board just yet. I will be doing that when things quieten down on my end.

Glad this one reminded you of Roald Dahl. He was one of my favorite authors back in the day.

Cheers, guys. Thanks for the reads.

Dan


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alffy
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Dan.

Not got much to say really.  I wondered why Doug was so miserable at the beginning, I'm guessing he already felt too old to play with Scott?  I did think Scott was a little young to be racing to school on a scooter, but I'm guessing it wasn't too fast...how fast does a mobility scooter go?

Anywho, other than that this was a heart warming little tale.


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danbotha
Posted: April 5th, 2013, 10:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Anthony,

Thanks for having a look at this one. Shot for taking the time to leave your thoughts.

The racing on the scooter was a one-off thing. Mobility scooters go slightly faster than walking pace at most, so it's not too dangerous at all. The scooter scene was just Scott having his moment of redemption. He wouldn't ride the thing to school every day, I don't imagine.

Anyway, thanks for having a read. Glad you enjoyed it.

Dan


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KAlbers
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 3:04am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan,

This is an actual fear of mine, having kids when I'm too old and useless to be of any good to them... Ah but that aside.  This was a nice read. I like the sentiment and where you took it.

If I were to say anything, it would be, I think a father of any age would not be able to have a game of chess with a child that young, so I thought the trigger for his crying felt a little contrived. Perhaps something else that would be more related to the vast age difference. Also, what if you brought in the car earlier, as if Doug has been working on the car through out, even though he can't even drive it.. this would put the thought in to Scott's head to say that at school, and show that Doug has a mechanic skills.  And last, I second Toby's race suggestion, I was actually thinking the same thing, it would feel more natural if Scott wants to race his dad.

This was a very nice piece, it was enjoyable to read and brought a smile to my face at the end.

Best,
Kev


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Gaviano
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 5:16am Report to Moderator
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Hi Dan,

Nice read. Good piece of work. Its a heartfelt story that I think a lot of us men are actually a little afraid of.

It well written and you convey emotion significantly appropriate to the piece. The ending was sweet.

well done

-Gavin


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danbotha
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 4:10pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Kevin and Gavin. Thanks for having a read.

Kevin: I think you'll find most men fear this. Being unable to care for your kids/family must be something that nags men all the time. Anyway, glad you liked it.


Quoted from KAlbers
If I were to say anything, it would be, I think a father of any age would not be able to have a game of chess with a child that young, so I thought the trigger for his crying felt a little contrived.


Playing chess with a child Scott's age is easy. I'm pretty sure I was playing chess at six... Then again, I was also walking around the back yard with a pink microphone screaming out songs about my dead cat. Wasn't exactly a normal kid.

I do get the note on the crying and I do think it would be bet if it wasn't there. Actually I think I'm just never gonna write crying into my scripts from now on. It never works out

Scott's reaction in the classroom was really just him scraping the bottom of the barrel to impress his "friends". I agree with you, the idea should be planted in his head in some way or the other.

The race scene will be changed. Promise.

Thanks Kevin. Good to see you liked it. I haven't forgotten about that coverage. You're next on my list. Should be through to you by next weekend at the most.

Gavin: Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts. Most men will be able to relate to this one, which is why I hope it gets picked up. I think there's a story in this one for everyone.

Good to see my emotion came across well for you. And the ending works!?!? I never have endings that work!

Thanks Gavin. I owe you a read.

Dan


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AmbitionIsKey
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Certainly improved since the last time I read it!  I like this tidier edition a lot more, Dan.

I don't really have any fresh feedback, other than this, like everyone else has said: this is still a great read and is indeed very heartwarming.  I can totally see maybe a student filmmaker wanting to add to his/her profile wanting to film this, so good luck my man!

-- Curt


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danbotha
Posted: April 6th, 2013, 5:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AmbitionIsKey
Certainly improved since the last time I read it!  I like this tidier edition a lot more, Dan.

I don't really have any fresh feedback, other than this, like everyone else has said: this is still a great read and is indeed very heartwarming.  I can totally see maybe a student filmmaker wanting to add to his/her profile wanting to film this, so good luck my man!

-- Curt


No random scene this time round, eh? Sorry you had to read that version.

Thanks for being one of the first to read this, Curt. Your feedback was quite helpful and helped me shape this draft. I'm open to any filmmaker taking this one in, although I'm not too confident just yet. I've had offers before and nothing has turned into a film just yet. We'll see what happens.

Thanks Curt,

Dan


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