'Big Bear' by Bianca Jaeger Montobbio


Jamal watches the news with his kid sister Zosia, and has to decide if he rather spends his last minutes with his ex or Zosia.
'Big Bear' by Bianca Jaeger Montobbio
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Comments: 7
  • #1

    Christopher Dane (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 12:24)

    I really like the interaction between Jamal and his daughter (?) but I'm very confused by the ending... first he seems to abandon her for meeting a friend in town, which you would question the logic of, they talk about seeing the end of the world together but in the next scene Jamal is dressed as Batman back home... what happened in between?

  • #2

    Michelle (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 13:54)

    Hi Bianca, there's a lot of really nice dialogue in this piece and I can easily get a sense of the visuals, but I was a little confused about the age of Jamal at the begining. I had to read it twice to understand that Jamal was Zosia's 'big' brother rather than her father, which was obviously confusing for the scene that followed. I'm guessing then that there are no parents anywhere, so who's looking after Zosia when Jamal meets up with Lars? Perhaps you could end each scene with some conclusive action or dialogue, rather than jumping from Lars to Sofia so quickly? Nice work though.

  • #3

    Chris Aronsten (Wednesday, 05 June 2019 09:35)

    As I see it, this is a story about a man choosing who he wants to spend his last moments on earth with. The dialogue is so natural and believable and the characters and setting felt very real. As others have said, it isn't exactly clear that Jamal is Zosia's brother. I think in the next draft, you should really refine and nail what his dilemma is. Is it choosing between the love of family and the intimacy of a former lover? It ought to be a torturous decision for Jamal, and right now it seems a bit easy for him.

  • #4

    Theo Schofield (Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:43)

    Bianca, there were aspects of your writing that were strong and/or original. For example, you clearly had the situation between Jamal, Lars and Zosia in your mind. I also liked how you move from a street scene, to the life of specific individuals’, Jamal’s and Zosia’s, life. That was something that we did not see a lot of in the other scripts around. But echoing other people’s observations, I wasn’t sure whether Zosia was the daughter or the sister of Jamal, (perhaps it does not matter), and whether it was a choice between a lover or family. More than that, if it is a choice between a lover or a family member, then you could kill two birds with one stone, and stop just short of telling us which Jamal chooses, and instead build in perhaps a little more exposition and tension.

  • #5

    Jonathan Oakamn (Wednesday, 05 June 2019 18:28)

    I like this piece. The end has some really lovely visual flair so congrats on that! The character that stuck with me most was (perhaps unintentionally) Lars. There’s a great mystique to him and just a few lines. I’d like to know a little more about Jamal. I’m conscious that Jamal is playing up to Zosia in his dialogue but it might be nice if we see him break from this during the first section to make the impact of the dilemma a little clearer. It’s a very filmable piece, especially on a low budget, and I’d be keen to see what you do with it next.

  • #6

    Leilani Holmes (Sunday, 09 June 2019 00:20)

    I liked this, there was an essential quality to it, Jamal making a difficult choice and finding it shallow, he returns to make something more meaningful happen for someone else. There's something about the flow of information though, in the second scene particularly. Adding their ages to their character introduction might make that more immediately clear, it seemed odd to me that this little kid wanted the news left on too? The middle interaction of the ex lovers reads really well, and it's clear what's happening and the end pays off very well though I wonder if his 'Big Bear' identity was set up well enough for her realisation that it's her brother to register. I guess some of that will depend on direction. All round it's a very touching piece though.

  • #7

    Andy Erlam (Monday, 10 June 2019 10:44)

    I like this piece. Partly because it raises issues no-one wishes to consider.

    Have you given any thought to background music?

    It is very interesting to consider how one and others would behave in this situation.