Loss by Layla Zakaria

A GRITTY DRAMA - Foster child, Marla, is forced by her abuser to confront her one true fear. Her Father.
LOSS by Layla Zakaria 50 Kisses Comp.pdf
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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Milethia (Friday, 27 July 2012 22:59)

    This screenplay has some potential, the notion of a girl in foster care, who is abused, with an issue surrounding her father; but in its present form, I feel needs clarification and tightening of the themes in it. Formatting is fine.

    The premise of the screenplay is that a girl who is fostered is being abused, but her greatest fear is seeing her father. It isn’t clear that she is fostered as you’ve written it. Lewis could be someone she knows – a bully – not (I assume) the son of the woman we don’t see who is fostering Marla.

    I don’t know why Lewis would be the one to force Marla to see her father. What are Lewis’s motives for making her see her father? At present, his forcing her into her father’s room came out of the blue.

    “Perhaps after her date your ma’d like to play your game.” I don’t understand this.

    Then we’re at a care home, where Lewis pins her down. It seemed as if something horrible was going to happen, but then he’s leaving through the door, which he locks. Is he pinning her down to keep her in the room; or do you mean an assault happened.

    Also, how would Lewis be able to lock the door of a care home? Is this his mother’s care home?

    I can understand why a young girl would not want to see a father who has suffered a stroke, but viewers have had no build up this.

    “Flustered, Marla pushes a metal hanger into the door lock.
    We hear the key turn through her efforts.”

    I think that it’s best to avoid ‘We hear…’ rather writer, perhaps, ‘The key RATTLES’ or something like this.

    I think that the 2-page limit of the competition might have restricted development of your short; feel that the themes you’re working with demand a bigger telling.

    All the best with your writing.

  • #2

    Layla (Monday, 30 July 2012 14:22)

    Hi Milethia,

    Thanks very much for your comments. Really appreciate it. I've realised I need to get my scripts read more before sending them out, asI wasn't sure whetehr clarification ws needed. AS it was a short space to write a story on, each line I tried to move the story on. For example, Lewis saying his ma wants Marla back home for dinner, was to show she doesn't live with her own family, it's his mother, not her own.

    Marla is angry with Lewis and this line reveals why she spat the chocolate at him, "Perhaps after her date your ma’d like to play your game". So, the mother's going on a Valentine's date and Marla's threatening to tell her about a game Lewis played with Marla on her return. That game being a sexual game. The idea of a foster child being abused isn't a new one, so thought people would pick up on it quickly. I didn't think it needed to be spelt out and with the subtle reference, the audience would understand. Her threat to expose him to his mother is the catalyst which sends Lewis to take his revenge.

    When they get to the care home, the audience is supposed to be thinking that she is trying to get away from Lewis' clutches and the care home, may be her care home. The twist comes when he doesn't force himself on her but leaves the room without her. We wouldn't expect her to try to keep hold of him and wonder what she is scared of if not him. This is why I didn't build up to that moment.

    I agree with the other comments you've made and see where I could have clarified the situation. Helps for me to see where I'm going wrong!

    Have you entered a script?