ARCADIA BAY – My latest script, advice, feedback, criticisms welcome!

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Avatar of Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey on January 27, 2014 at 3:14 am

Hey everyone!

I know there might not be too many of you out there right now, but for the awesome few of you fellow Filmpunchers who frequent the site (that was a lot of “F’s”), I’d love some feedback/advice on a short film script I’ve been working on! (that was a lot of “F’s”) After originally writing and re-writing a version of the same basic story, and not really liking it after a few days, I trashed it and re-wrote a completely different version.

What I’m getting at is that the story has already gone through lots of re-writes, and I’m willing to go through more re-writes if you help me discover what can be better.

The script is 25 pages right now, so here’s a logline to help you determine if you want to take the time to read it:

Logline: A pair of military scientists discover they are living inside an experimental simulated world and set out to discover why they are there and if they can leave.

Thank you in advance to anyone who reads it! :)


  • This reply was modified 1421 days ago by Avatar of Josh Bailey Josh Bailey.
Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on January 30, 2014 at 12:38 am

Got it downloaded and I’ll give it a read tomorrow when I get a chance! The plot has me very intrigued. I’ll be sure to see if I can offer any critique/feedback!

Avatar of Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey on January 30, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Fantastic! Thanks so much Jesse!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on March 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Just read your script!

Really great concept ,Josh! Loved it.

I do have a few comments.

1. The relationship between Ian and Thomas progressed a bit too quickly for for me. Ian shows up at Thomas’ place and waltzes right in professing this crazy story and Ian immediately believes him. While I understand why he might, it comes across a little abrupt and too trusting. Thomas is about to have his whole idea of reality destroyed. His mind needs to resist a bit more. My suggestion might be to have Thomas also be currently questioning things. Maybe to a lesser degree than Ian. This way he is already ready to accept it. Rather than going from perfectly content and unaware to ‘holy crap my entire existence has been a computer program.’ Then when Ian barges in, maybe he let’s Thomas know that he knows him but doesn’t introduce him self by name yet. Instead he just goes in and starts making himself and Ian some tea. Ian has a strange familiarity with this house that he has never been in. While he’s doing this Thomas can be silently calling the cops. Then you can have Ian realize this like you already have in your script and after Ian has started explaining what’s up Thomas remembers Ian’s name and vaguely recognizes him. This will let you audience know that these guys do know each other from some past existence and that Ian is already testing his environment by inviting Thomas to rediscover him.

2. The only other thing is I might trim up the end a bit. Have him wake up and pass Thomas in the hall and get to the door like you have it. (I love the fact that he has been smelling this all along) Maybe once he opens it and walks up to the top of a hill of rubble or something show a big wide of him standing before a desolate waste land of ruins and whatnot and a beautiful sunset… then cut right to credits.
Tease me and let me wonder about the world and what he is going to do next.

Honestly I love this. This was a great story. Besides these little things and a few typos (you referred to Naomi as ‘him’ and ‘his’ a few times at the end) I think this could be a really epic short. Well done!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on March 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Also, only remotely related:
I’ve also been thinking about simulated worlds/universes recently. My thought is; at some point we will be able to create a simulated universe where even the inhabitants (sims) could be self aware. It’s then possible for these self aware sims to progress to a point where they too might be able to create a simulation in which the inhabitants could be self aware and also unaware of their simulated nature. This could go on and on infinitely.

If this is possible the question then becomes, where in the simulation chain are we? And would that change the validity of our our lives or our universe if we were in fact just self aware simulations…

Kind of crazy to think about.

Avatar of Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey on March 9, 2014 at 1:09 am

O’Ryan, thank you, this is super helpfu! I can definitely see how Ian and Thomas becoming buddies right away and Thomas just accepting his reality is fake, seems unrealistic. I think those are great suggestions, and I’ll definitely make some changes in Thomas & Ian’s first meeting scene. I think Thomas will be intrigued enough to take a ride with Ian, but won’t truly believe until Ian discovers the “wall/boundary”. I really like this idea of Thomas having more doubt (doubiting Thomas ha), and think that will make his character more interesting.

I like this idea of shortening the end up too. I had this idea of footprints tying the end and beginning together and the ideas of simulation and reality. But now that I think about this, I think I could easily still tie this in and not make that be the final shot, I like the idea of a wide shot of desolation being the final shot.

Haha, Naomi was actually Ian’s brother named Paul until like the 3rd re-write so that’s where that came from.

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