'Freedom' by Christopher Dane

Two women huddled together in a dark basement just trying to survive.

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'Freedom' by Christopher Dane
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Comments: 16
  • #1

    Leilani Holmes (Monday, 03 June 2019 22:06)

    Wonderfully grim and twisted. I particularly liked the look at the end, it seemed fitting. Not sure there's much I'd change except for the initial dialogue maybe seemed a bit desperate for people who'd been locked down there a long time, but other than that, everything is clear.

  • #2

    Liz Briggs (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 08:18)

    I really like this idea of the two women in the basement being related to the captor, and his twisted action of setting them free to die. Perhaps the girl would be desperate to get out rather than reluctant, but there could be a back story there hasn't been time for here.

  • #3

    Alice Rosso (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 08:22)

    Love how twisted it is and the fact that the reveal of the abusive father is kept up until the very end. My only question is, wouldn't he want to die with them? As I get he wants to set them free to die but if he's psycho enough to prison them and abuse them for all these years, why becoming so kind now? Maybe there could be a further twist where he kills them as he wants to be the one who finishes them? Just a thought! But really loved it!

  • #4

    Jaye Nolan (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 10:42)

    The twisted logic of an abuser, chillingly displayed. You might need to lose the SFX at the end to make it doable, but it's a dark subject to tackle and you did it bravely.

  • #5

    Michelle (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 14:27)

    Hi Chris, loved this idea, a dark subject indeed.. I would simply reiterate Alice's comments above; would a Psychopath really show empathy at the very end? I might have him laying a trap for them or plotting a tripple suicide!

  • #6

    Natalie Teming-Amoako (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 15:12)

    This is a fantastic script, there is suspense from start to finish, the pace is fast, it's packed with action and it answers the audience's questions right at the end. Well done!

  • #7

    Simon Olivier (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 15:41)

    Really good fresh approach to the brief... I really like the setup, in classic horror movie mode, and I feel like even more strength could be drawn from that...
    For me, there's such power in the confinement of the basement, that some of the script's energy dwindles when we get to see the rest of the house... I think you could avoid this (and cheapen the budget) by starting in the basement, as you've written, and then remaining in the basement as the women are dragged upstairs. They are dragged into the house, but we remain below, in the basement. We can hear them being dragged through the house, to what we likely assume is their death.... but then we hear the sound of the front door opening... and a great tumult of wind from outside... then cut to outside the house and reveal the payoff as you have done... sorry if that's being too specific, it just came vividly to mind.... also, I think your villain/father character is great, but is also lessened by suddenly becoming quite normal and tearful. If he was more stoic and unemotional in his delivery, it might be more powerful. What he's doing shows his emotions (if in a very twisted way), he doesn't need to be emotional while doing it.

  • #8

    Josephine Samson (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 21:18)

    This has interesting twists to it where my expectation changed from beginning to middle to end. I'm not sure the tears at the end work with the way you set the man up, it was enough that he let them go, I don't think the visible emotion is needed. I do have some questions that aren't answered though. If he has kept them captive for years and the girl is heavily pregnant, I'm guessing he's the father of the unborn child, and so if he is that cruel I'm not sure he would cry at the end unless the tears are for his own regret. Also if he is the father of the unborn child then the woman hadn't done a good job at protecting the girl as she said in her line in the beginning which makes me question why she would say that. All in all, I like the build up of suspense from beginning to middle, but the end threw up story questions for me.

  • #9

    Chris Arosnten (Wednesday, 05 June 2019 08:29)

    I think the script is moody, tense, and full of foreboding. For better or worse, we are all familiar with the scenario of people being trapped in basements or kept as slaves. So your script probably has to work less hard establishing this - you could even lose almost all of the dialogue. Have you considered beginning with the women just listening to the man cross the floor above, the dust falling, the tension of his approach rising. They think he's going to do the same thing he always does. But this time he lets them go, for a reason they don't understand and he doesn't explain. Even without the dialogue, you have here, we already know the world is ending, we know he is letting them have a moment of ironic freedom. Might make the ending more powerful? I wasn't sure about his tears here. Maybe he's doing it out of guilt more than compassion?

  • #10

    Thandi Lubimbi (Wednesday, 05 June 2019 19:48)

    That was dark but really well written. I don’t have a criticism, I thought it was dark and twisted with a fitting and realistic end.

  • #11

    Bianca (Thursday, 06 June 2019 13:28)

    The twist is really surprising and unexpected. In that sense you’ve found a way to bring something new to such an ‘overly’ used scenario of imprisoned sex victims. What I would find interesting is some progression towards this twist. It’s hard to believe someone who has inflicted so much pain, could have any regard or empathy for them. Although that’s the point of your piece. What if you start with that scene? How would the women and girl react? Does he seek their forgiveness or is this another way of playing God by ‘gifting them their freedom’? By the way the choice of words is hilarious and says a lot about the character! Well done! Overall I like your descriptions and the tone, but I agree with others, that the audience is probably quite familiar with that setting, so use that to advance quicker and maybe explore more the logic of the twist and its consequences. For a moment, I expected him to just want to see them die before his eyes, which is another option.

  • #12

    Navdip Sandhu (Sunday, 09 June 2019 17:27)

    Christopher, this is very dark, and interesting. Would he let them go is my question.
    May be he takes a tv into the basement and makes them watch what is about to happen to the world so that his depravity is fed further. May be uses the end of the world to torture them further
    But then his character, in my mind, is unlikely to believe anything he sees in the news.
    But a very original take on the brief. Clearly written - I could picture the story the whole way through. Well done.

  • #13

    Shuk Gant (Sunday, 09 June 2019 21:59)

    This was very atmospheric and gripping. I could see everything very clearly when reading. I see from the comments you have had much feedback about the ending. Personally I would love to see a breakaway meteor fragment squash the bastard flat when he tells them he's letting them go because he loves them. But yes, there was something in that ending... He is clearly a psychopath... so it is an unexpected reaction and somehow sticky... but then is that a bad thing?! Its haunted me... so who knows! It will be interesting to see what/if anything is stirred in you to change if you write a redraft. Well done!

  • #14

    David H Navarro (Sunday, 09 June 2019 23:58)

    I found it very suspenseful and the ending quite dark. Great character work. I really enjoyed it! Thank you.

  • #15

    Kim Ramsay (Monday, 10 June 2019 13:21)

    I enjoyed this dark and twisted concept - your description is visually evocative, and use of sound atmospheric. I liked the reveal that he is the father of the teenager, and the father of her unborn child - sick but also fascinating!
    I agree that the dialogue can be significantly pulled back on the first page, we understand they've likely been in this scenario for many years, and the action description raises the tension.
    I wondered if the women would have a stronger reaction to seeing the bright daylight, if they've been kept in the dark for so long?
    Lastly, I wondered if the man had any other intentions for setting them free right before they died - is it to watch their demise, before his own? Or for the three of them to all die together?

  • #16

    Kim Ramsay (Monday, 10 June 2019 13:22)

    I enjoyed this dark and twisted concept - your description is visually evocative, and use of sound atmospheric. I liked the reveal that he is the father of the teenager, and the father of her unborn child - sick but also fascinating!
    I agree that the dialogue can be significantly pulled back on the first page, we understand they've likely been in this scenario for many years, and the action description raises the tension.
    I wondered if the women would have a stronger reaction to seeing the bright daylight, if they've been kept in the dark for so long?
    Lastly, I wondered if the man had any other intentions for setting them free right before they died - is it to watch their demise, before his own? Or for the three of them to all die together?