'Just Breathe' by Lee Crompton

News of the impact forces a couple to confront their past whilst on a silent "marriage enrichment" yoga retreat.

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Comments: 6
  • #6

    Adam Harper (Tuesday, 12 February 2019 20:41)

    Hi Lee, I got chance to read your script. I enjoyed it.

    It feels almost like two stories in one, the first half being lighter, and comical but the second half packing a more serious and emotional gut punch.

    I think you do well to make the characters likeable quickly so that as a reader we're on board for the seriousness of the second half.

    It's difficult to think of suggestions. I'd be cautious with the exposition in the second half, the line "He was 4 times over the legal limit. It wasn't your fault." could be deemed a little on the nose. But, I don't think it really detracted from the story.

    Good work!

  • #5

    Carmen Radtke (Monday, 28 January 2019 12:29)

    Beautiful and touching. I love that imagine of him straining to get reception. I only wondered what kind of results, because he obviously doesn’t take this retreat seriously.
    Are they whispering, or is the teacher glaring at them to shut up? Tiny nights really. It’s a great story.

  • #4

    catherine williams (Monday, 28 January 2019 11:54)

    Hi Lee
    WOW, what a lot to pack into a 2 page script!!! I agree with the comments above that you've told a rich story well and economically.
    A few questions from me...
    What does Ian mean when he says he needs one more result? Football?? Is there a way to make this slightly clearer (albeit succintly)?
    Him doing this makes us understand that he is not taking the retreat seriously. Is that your intention? Does he not care, or is he in denial/not facing up to what happened?
    I'm not sure you need the two lines after her eye-roll... The gesture *might* say enough. Worth experimenting with maybe?
    Could the phone <beep> to show that a newsflash has just arrived? This could incur a reaction of annoyance from the yoga teacher (and other participants) sooner and more in passing, then - as someone suggests above - the couple read and react to the news and he storms out with his 'Fuck this' line.
    What happens in between scene 1 and scene 2? I feel like having read the news, realistically Katie would storm out straight away too. It doesn't feel true that she would stay in the yoga class or not be with him. Could the second scene be continuous action - or a short time later at most: more 'in the moment'.
    NB/ Actually does Katie even need to read the news report in the class? Can she not follow Ian out of the class, annoyed with him for not engaging properly in the experience, and then learn what's up?
    Does scene 2 begin with Katie trying to stop Ian from going into the water? Does he want to kill himself? Or could it begin with her looking up from reading the news on his phone?
    [BTW Is there a small beat missing when they consider whether to tell the rest of the group? They decide not to. After all, why know? This could raise a key question about their situation in fact - their daughter didn't know, at least, that she was going to die. Is there some small mercy in knowing/realising this at this moment for them?]
    The back story feels quite dense. So, he was driving with the daughter in the car when a drunk driver collided with them, yes? And the daughter died on impact...? So the retreat is about them as a couple dealing with their grief...?
    I like your idea above that actually it WAS Ian's fault - or maybe he blames himself, thinks he could have done more to protect her? [e.g. he swerved right when he should have swerved left, or whatever...] It feels darker and more pointed - he goes from blithe, disengaged denial to a tortured explosion of emotion. This also might give Katie a bit more room to go on a journey potentially too - she has to deal with him being very upset apparently about the news but revealing it is actually because he needs to confess to her that it was his fault/he could have done more. Her final line might be even more powerful and well-earned if she has got to that point regardless of what he's just told her.
    Personally I think I'd steer clear of having the reveal be shown through flashbacks on the phone. They're too easy to miss, and why would they have been filmed/not seen before? Again, my instinct would be to err you to stay *in the moment* more - but apologies if I'm not seeing it right. It's a very intriguing piece - my comments are just queries and ideas - to inspire or be ignored as you see fit! It is a very complex story actually and very original. I think the idea of being at a silent retreat when news like this arrives is the cornerstone of it all - really worth honing in on and exploring. Great stuff!
    Catherine

  • #3

    Lee (Saturday, 26 January 2019 16:22)

    Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t sure whether to give it a twist at the end and after she says “it wasn’t your fault” we see in the flashbacks as the phone images come to life that it actually WAS his fault (for whatever reason) and that’s the real reason he’s upset as he takes his secret to the grave. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on that.

  • #2

    Ben Marshall (Saturday, 26 January 2019 14:25)

    Hi Lee,

    Really enjoyed this. You have a great original set up. The peaceful yoga retreat is easy to picture and provides fertile ground for conflict and humour as the end of world news breaks. By the end of page one I liked the couple and you cut it well from news break to then just the two of them by the lake once news has been accepted.

    Not sure you need the line "excuse me there's something..." I think her gasp would be enough. And if she is learning of the news I think words are difficult to sum that feeling up. I also think the teacher could respond with "silence please" or just an angry shush "This is a silent retreat" felt a little on the nose.

    Like wise "That's why we are here" could be re-worked, for me. Perhaps along the lines "if you'd said that a month ago we could have saved ourselves this trip" and both smile at the thought.

    It was not clear to me who the "Anarchist" is. I assumed the other driver but if so I think a more biting put down would fit better.

    Overall, I really like how much you pack into the script about the marriage problems triggered by the loss of a child. It is economical and not too heavy. Could have great fun with the setting too. Perhaps a sunset shot depending where it is filmed.

    Great stuff and good luck with it.

    Ben

  • #1

    Katie White (Friday, 25 January 2019 17:18)

    I love how Lee has given us a complete story in such a short script, without exposition and heavy dialogue. Beautifully done and easily imagined as you read it. Great job!