5 Aisle Clean Up
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Rating: 4.1/5 (13 votes cast)

5 Aisle Clean Up

Deceit, addiction, love and obsession — all in a day’s work for a group of disillusioned Gen-X grocery clerks and their bosses leading up to a horrific shooting ordeal inside a suburban neighborhood supermarket.

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  1. Profile photo of L.D.Pinson
    L.D.Pinson says
    January 9, 2016, 6:03 pm
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    This could be some serious fun!

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  2. mikeyz says
    March 17, 2015, 6:05 pm

    Wow, I totally concur with one other’s users comments when he said something to the effect of – “why spend money on costly screenwriting coverage services when I can just refer to the wonderful feedback of J Michael Parker!”

    Thank you ever so much for the enormously helpful and insightful comments. I have made a number of revisions to the story since I wrote this two years ago including the grammar and formatting issues you addressed.

    However, your advice on totally arching Millicent’s character 100% from the good-girl-next-door to wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing type who has seen quite a bit in her young life has given me so much to contemplate. She clearly has a deep-down passion for Mitchell and that just needs to come out more in some mind-blowing, unadulterated ways to really grab hold of the audience! Perhaps I need to make some further revisions now given your very profound and thought-provoking angles!

    Your point about walking the fine line with dialogue-driven stories such as this is also well-taken and something I totally have thought about myself for quite some time. Assuming I am able to get this made — which I admit has been a real challenge thus far — I will make sure your comments about the importance of cinematography and directing to give it a real stylish look and feel that would hopefully help to propel this to more of a ‘cult’ status.

    I should also point out that I have also since added a lot of 90’s pop culture /Grunge rock imagery that I felt was lacking initially to really drive home the Gen-X disillusionment of that era — an era that, in my humble opinion, has really been lacking in modern, mainstream Hollywood films.

    Again, thank you so much, J Michael, and I’m really hopeful that the next screenplay I put up on this site will be reviewed by yourself as well!

    Thanks again!

    Best,

    Michael.

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    • roknsrf says
      March 18, 2015, 10:54 pm

      Ahh, gee shucks…thanks. But I don’t think everyone here shares your enthusiasm with receiving a review from yours truly, and they know who they are. However, your script is a story that’s happening all across the country in every rural town in America. It’s a true American tragedy being played out everyday by millions of people, and so they can relate. Now, give them something they will never forget. I look forward to reading your finished version. Now you can do me a solid, PM me your e-mail and I’ll send you a PDF of my re-edited script. Then you can give me your take on it, which would help me tremendously.

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  3. roknsrf says
    March 17, 2015, 4:45 pm
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    Now here is a script with amazing potential. So I’ll get right to it. Minor point 1) Clean up the proof reading errors. 2) Give more concise script headings in just a couple of places. For example: the writer has “NIGHT PRIOR TO SHOOTING” it could be misunderstood. Try “NIGHT – ONE HOUR BEFORE THE SHOOTING.” That being said, this was overall a very clean script. Now to the important stuff. This is a script waiting to become a cult classic in the vein of Paris Texas, or Blue Velvet. But, the characters have to be all very individualized and have very real quirks that we see and feel. Give us a little through description and action but much more so in the dialogue. Use their words to transform them into who they need to be. However, dialogue alone will not be enough. The directing, cinematography, and set design must drive home the desperation, small town despair, and personal angst of the story. I disagree with anyone who says the writer needs to change much or explain the ending, it leaves the audience with the angst it should, and therein lies this stories artistry. Life is not also resolved to our satisfaction, sometimes we are left to ponder and wonder why. However, this is what will make this story, and especially the ending, truly work: A) Without a doubt, Mitch and Mill HAVE to be lovers, and their perceived attraction must be powerful right from the start. It is the only way to convince the audience of Mitch’s behavior through out. B) Mill cannot take the gun at the café, Mill nor the police can kill Mitch because Kevin has to kill him. C) Kevin’s conversations with Mitch need to imply that now Kevin is sleeping with Mill, and Mitch should render some subtle caution about what Kevin is getting himself into without giving it away. D) Kevin needs to be taken into custody at the end like he would after any shooting until the police sort things out, and then Mill needs to get in Mitch’s 67 mustang, throw her name tag out the window, and drive out of that crappy little town. Now the audience leaves the theater wondering if she is aware of what she’s done or is she subconsciously using men to kill off her demons, i. e. she uses Mitch to take care of her abusive step-father, now she uses Kevin to take care of her drug addicted boyfriend Mitch. Why? Because it was drugs that took her daddy when she was a little girl. Now we have a very real Freudian motivation for the protagonist but we don’t have to despise her for it. Bottomline, because it’s dialogue driven, this story could crumble into a mess with the feel of a soap opera if done wrong. So, it has to be micro-managed to the nth degree because the devil will be in the details. However, if done right, this screenplay could become an iconic masterpiece. Good luck.

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  4. susanv1 says
    September 13, 2014, 5:36 pm
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    Catchy title, interesting premise. I wish you continuing success as you put your efforts into motion.

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  5. Joseph-Day says
    February 13, 2014, 11:51 am
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    I really enjoyed this script. While it is not quite as clever a premise as your other script “Drive Thru” I was definitely entertained. I felt that another title for this script could be “Little Birdie” because practically every scene had a character gossiping to another character about something that he or she witnessed or overheard.

    The dialogue in this is still among the best in the contest, but could use a little bit more character development. Practically every male character in this script calls the female characters “babe.” I think that would be a good thing for one of the characters to say, but I would try to change up the dialogue a bit with the others.

    The ending wasn’t completely satisfying for me. You set up the ending just fine with Mill saying that Mitch did a favor for her, but I feel like something is missing. I guess if I had written the script I would have had the cop somehow know about the favor that Mitch did for her and have him bring it to light. She could ask the cop how he knows and assuming that the title is what I suggested earlier, he could say, “A little birdie told me.” I don’t know who that birdie would be, but I feel like it would tie your whole theme together perfectly if you thought it out a little further.

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    • mikeyz says
      February 13, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Joseph, thanks so much for the amazing feedback and for taking the time to read my script – really appreciate that!

      I love your comments and suggestions particularly with regard to the ending. That last scene has been the source of great obsession and stress for me for a long time in terms of how I wanted to present it to the reader, as well as how I wanted to tie that in to Mitch and Millicent’s troubling back-story. I will definitely consider a lot of the great advice you have given me in my next edit, particularly with the cop knowing about that so called favor and playing on that very important bit of detail. Great idea there indeed!

      I completely agree with you as well on the issue of better character development and I’m really glad that you enjoyed the dialogue since that is huge part of this rather modest budget-piece (and, not unlike Drive Thru as you eluded to!)

      Thanks again Joseph and good luck to you in the contest!

      Best,

      Mike.

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    TheElite09 says
    January 17, 2014, 1:51 pm

    I understand and again good luck.

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  7. mikeyz says
    January 16, 2014, 8:23 am

    Thanks so much for your review and I’m really glad you enjoyed this!
    I would be very interested in reading Hurt but I first have to read my 4 assigned scripts for my 2 entries in the finals (and I have read 1 so far!) I will get to it soon after though okay?

    Best,

    Mike.

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    TheElite09 says
    January 15, 2014, 4:22 pm
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    A strong script from beginning to end. There were a few typo/grammar errors (for example, continuous is spelled wrong), but nothing major. I really liked the twist at the end and you do an excellent job with the flashbacks. The reason I gave you three stars for character is because they honestly sound and somewhat act the same. Good luck with the contest and if you could, can you check out my screenplay Hurt (Part I).

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    petezog says
    November 1, 2013, 9:44 pm
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    great script, very entertaining from start to finish.. well done Mike!

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    big-bear says
    October 31, 2013, 11:01 am
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    As noted by other comments, the flashback moments made it a bit of a challenge to absorb, but the overall story concept was entertaining.

    Some dialogue could be cleaned up (ex: between Steff and Mill, their coinvresations seem ‘canned’, also not a big fan of the gratuitous use of profanity) but the interactions between the charachters was easy to follow.

    While hardly a hollywood blockbuster, I would still watch this on NetFlix if this was ever made into a movie.

    Keep up the good work

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    Rocky says
    October 28, 2013, 7:01 pm
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    I just finished reading this script and found the use of flashbacks to be very interesting. The story started out slow, but eventually the pace picked up speed and made you wanting to read more. With more than a few twists and turns, this would make for an entertaining movie.

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  12. mikeyz says
    October 23, 2013, 12:47 pm

    Thank you for your review. Your points are all very strong and well-taken. Mitch’s love and obsession for Millicent goes beyond the sexual realm and I really wanted to emphasize that in thier relationship … but I think you’re right in saying I perhaps haven’t explored that aspect enough for the reader / viewer to fully comprehend that. And Millicent clearly has an edge to her that I drop subtle hints on and reveal at the end … my purpose was to end the story on that note as a bit of a twist about her not-so-good-girl image (an image that has perhaps been transformed and shaped over time through her often troubling life events and circumstances.) As far as her being allowed to re-enter the supermarket … I think that would depend on a number of factors that may or may not restrict her from total access but I certainly see your point there. Hey, thanks again for taking time to read this and for the great feedback … really appreciate it!

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  13. fgross2006 says
    October 23, 2013, 11:38 am
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    Just finished reading 5 Aisle Clean Up. There are things I like about it and things that didn’t seem clear to the reader (or viewer).

    I like the concept. Its simple, low budget and should be easy to shoot. Although use of flashbacks is usually frowned upon, this screenplay made good use of them and the structure was easy to follow most of the time.

    The characters seemed generic and I think more character development is needed. Dialog was OK but not always true to life in some places. Grammar was fine, no typos that I noticed.

    Now I’d like to point out a few things. The relationship between Mitch and Mil was very obscure and hard to understand. Why would Mitch obsess on a chick that hasn’t put out in their entire 2 year relationship when he obviously has lots of options right there in the supermarket? I think the idea that Mil don’t put out is hard to accept with a grain of logic. Mitch would never stick around for 2 years waiting and certainly had no reason to go postal over a chick he never laid.

    The end for me had some issues as well. The scene where Mil is in the supermarket right after the interrogation and she tosses her ID badge in the can, never could have happened. The supermarket is a crime scene, would have been closed off to everyone including her. Possibly is she tossed her ID in a dumpster in the parking lot while surveying the scene. The scene where Mitch comes in with bloody hands from throwing someone a beat down on Mil’s behalf was murky. I had to scratch my brain to recall that there was a mention of an abusive step father early on, no definitive mention of him in the last scene could leave the viewer wondering WTF just happened. Mils disappointment with Mitch for not killing whomever is further proof that this story needs more character development and clearly understandable backstory.

    Overall it was a good read and has potential.

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  14. mikeyz says
    October 12, 2013, 9:06 am

    Thank you for the kind words Andrea and for taking the time to read my screenplay! I am a huge fan of dialogue-driven stories so my goal is to get that aspect as close to perfect as possible … so I’ll keep at it as you say! Best, Mike.

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  15. aweiss says
    October 12, 2013, 3:27 am
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    Mikeyz, I agree with the others that this should be made into a film, and I’m glad you’ve done so well with it. I don’t have much to add, except that the dialog is a bit too formal here, you might want to throw in some slang to remedy that. I’m not one for flashbacks either, but this was done right, I never lost the thread of the plot, even with the huge twist at the end. You also might want to put some more action here to break up the pages of dialog only, and that my last nit here. I hope to see this on the screen someday.

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  16. September 27, 2013, 2:46 am
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    I really enjoyed this script. I’m not one to really like movies that flash back and forth, but I thought you did very well in that aspect, because i didn’t have any problems following it. I think craighorst says it all! — It needs to be a movie.

    Vatican.

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  17. mikeyz says
    September 22, 2013, 8:37 am

    Thank you for the high praise Craig … I really appreciate your comments!
    I’m currently in discussions with a local production team here in Toronto and we’re looking at making this happen hopefully by the summer of 2014. Fingers crossed of course!

    Best,

    Mike.

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    craighorst says
    September 21, 2013, 4:48 pm
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    This deserves to be made into a movie at once. The format seems right on the mark. It was not always easy to follow all the flash backs, but I managed to do so and was on the edge of my seat. The story is great… but even greater is the author’s ability to piece together the the story a scene at a time, using flash backs and withholding information long enough to increase the drama and the viewers’ ineterest. I really and truly enjoyed it.

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  19. mikeyz says
    September 16, 2013, 1:33 pm

    Really appreciate the feedback and kind words Willie … thanks ever so much for taking time out of your day to read this. I have been editing and re-editing this thing for about one year now so any input you have is certainly welcome — I am still open to making addditonal changes for sure! Dialogue has always been my main concern here so I certainly want to work on that aspect as you say. Please send your suggestions to my inbox. FYI – my first draft of this story was an official finalist in the Canada International Film Festival this past year!
    Thanks again Willie and please stay in touch. A review on Sunflower will follow shortly!

    Best,

    Mike.

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  20. September 16, 2013, 10:58 am
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    As far as I can see this is a very well written story, with the exception of an occasional tyo/grammarslip. But Nothing that takes away from the flow or understanding of the story. The chronology of the flashbacks works from begining to end and thats impressive because more often than not, they are used incorrectly and/or unnecessarily. From technical screenwritting standpoint I think your work is Rock solid.
    I would recommend going back and re-examining the dialogue. I get that this is a small town and an even smaller group of miserable coworkers, so there may be a similarity to their mentality. But in many places (even the police officer) you get dangerously close to making many of the characters sound like the same person. You have a lot of dry wit, and humor that comes through in your dialogue and I think that is good as long as it is placed deliberately. But each character should still be carved out into a person all their own to add dimension to your story. There is a hint of scinicism in almost all of the characrters dialogue. And with the way the officer speaks with the “…my dears…” and Mitchell with his “…lad…” and the dry wit and sofistcated raunchiness of all the characters, its almost hard believe this many people, that are this smart, are all stuck working in a small town grocery store. For a moment I honestly thought this might be going the direction of a psycho-drama and leading to a reveal that all of this was just happening in one of the lead characters heads, and each one of the characters was a branch of a central personality.
    Anyway, great stuff over all. Definitley had me thinking and guessing the whole way through, and I’ve got serious A.D.D. so thats hard to do.
    I have a few simple suggestions. If you want to hear them let me know and I will shoot them to your inbox.

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    • September 16, 2013, 10:59 am

      Shit. Meant to put 5stars in Grammar. Writing the administrator to try to get that changed. My bad brother.

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