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View Full Version : Godwin's Law by Layi Babalola



mentatDUKE
05-01-2008, 06:40 PM
Logline: Nazis, Klan Members, and Mercs. Oh my.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-01-2008, 08:09 PM
LOL! Can't wait. :)

Russell Moore
05-01-2008, 09:19 PM
Okay, this logline wins! lol

Nektonic
05-01-2008, 09:28 PM
Are we having a logline fest ever? I think that would be real neat.

STYLZ
05-04-2008, 12:46 PM
OK. We start off with many characters and no descriptions of these characters. Kind of confusing. Are we supposed to assume ethnicities based on names? If so it works on a couple names. Did you you not have enough room for descriptions?

When you have the old woman transition "OLD WOMAN" should have "(O.S.)" or "(V.O.)" next to it. When I first read this I was like, where did the old lady come from in this scene. Just a minor nitpick.

The dialog between Marcus and Old Woman is spot on. Thought that was good.
The description for the next scene "aftermath" is an excellent one very discriptive, except for "the fireearms are still warm from battle" how do you see warmth of guns? Maybe still smoking from the battle.

Some of the military jargon seemed fake, like some kids trying to play military guy. Other than that all dialog was on point.

The ending. Yes the ending. Took me completely by surprise. Had alot of emotion to it. I had to sit back for a second and say "damn, why did she do that" Good ending. Leaves an opening for another movie too.

Question. Did you write this knowing it couldn't be made on a reasonable budget. Would be great to see this made, but who has the budget for this?

mentatDUKE
05-04-2008, 04:09 PM
Hey STYLZ. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Glad you liked the ending. I'd definitely like to do a series based in this universe.

Regarding this being made on a reasonable budget: hmm.... I don't know. I mean "Broken" got made and that was years ago. Is this really that much more complex than "Broken"?

I think I may be able to shoot this one day. The only things that may be expensive are the costumes and blanks. I may end up doing muzzle flashes in post though. I'm hoping that I can figure out an inexpensive way to shoot this within the next year or so.

Thanks again for the feeback. Would you mind reading "Thalia" also and offering a critique? Take care.

mentatDUKE
05-04-2008, 04:35 PM
Script Teaser:


ELI ROSENFELD: (Pulling gun slide back and looking down sight) When somebody dies, whose responsibility is it to message everyone on their buddy list?


DUSTIN PRATT: Same guy who’s supposed to delete all their porn.


ELI ROSENFELD: (Pulls trigger, causing slide to leap forward and lock into place) Good call.

Jeff_L
05-06-2008, 11:17 AM
mentatDUKE... Nice job, good story, well told.

Some specific likes:

I like a lot of the visuals. The dying of the hair and the blue contact lens in the first scene is a great example of visuals carrying concise information without need for dialogue.

I buy the sound of these guys' dialogue. I believe these guys would speak in that kind of vernacular.

I like the way you generally start scenes late and end them early.

Ending is nice, gave me a good "whoa!"


Things you might consider:

I think it might increase readability if you dropped the guys' first names and just used their last ones.

End of first scene - old woman's line should be (vo).

It was unclear until my second reading who/what Erika was. You might clarify action/description to make it easier for reader to get. (Minor note: some of your other action/description paragraphs could also be polished a little for better readability... eg. final paragraph)

Scene two. Probably don't need to indicate "week later" in slug. Let the reader, like the audience, get the time jump from the difference in Oliver's attire and the new setting. (Also, not sure, but the scene may be a beat or two too short to intercut with main story clearly.)

Don't need to say it's New Years Day in the description. It was in the dialogue. And you set-dressed for the holidays which was good (including multiple holiday traditions, which characterized the group of guys through their surroundings).

Having the old woman and Oliver call each other by their first names made me wonder about their relationship. Not sure if it took me out, and/or made the ending more resonant.

If the Old Woman is Pratt's mom, maybe it can be established earlier that Pratt has a mom.

Again. Well done. I enjoyed reading your script. If you have any questions, let me know.

- Jeff_L ("Charlie and Claire")

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-06-2008, 11:33 AM
I too was caught off guard by the ending, in a good way.
I also have to say that I love the dialogue. It really rings true to life considering the characters involved.

This could be one of those scripts that I have to read twice in order to grasp the entire plot. That might not necessarily be your fault though.

Great work.

Mike

Russell Moore
05-06-2008, 02:14 PM
You gave the script plenty of good visual action. I liked a lot of the dialogue especially when they were just bantering between each other.

DUSTIN PRATT: Same guy who’s supposed to delete all their porn.
I thought that was genuinely funny.

I only have couple of small points, I don't think you can actually pour bleach on your hair or your head without doing some serious burn damage. Even though its called bleaching, generally they use something from the store, though I've heard of people using hydrogen peroxide, but I think that can fry your hair too.

Near the end you say he rolls his wheelchair forward and then a bit later you say he puts his cup down and stands up. So I'm not sure if I missed something or if it was just a small oversight.

I liked the old woman as a character and the fact that the knife that they had been gutting people with was named after her, I love that.
I didn't see the ending coming and I liked it. Very good.

mentatDUKE
05-06-2008, 03:36 PM
Jeff. Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked the imagery and the ending. As for some of the technical/readability problems, I think a polish for clarification should fix those, so thanks for pointing them out. Glad you noticed the Old Woman and Oliver being on first name basis. If this becomes a series, I'd like to delve into why that is...

I think it'd be a mistake for Pratt's mom to be mentioned as it would telegraph the Old Woman's identity too early, but I understand where you're coming from.

Michael, I appreciate your feedback also. I actually love the fact that one may need to read this twice to absorb the whole thing. I like stories like that. I am a Dune fan after all. :)

Conlan, glad you like the banter. Band of Brothers, Aliens, and other great films w/ banter btwn soldiers was a major inspiration. I love films with that stuff. Heck, even Glengarry Glen Ross had some great discourse between men. Can't get enough of it.

About the bleach in the hair: S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" was one of my favorite books growing up. I love the Copolla film also. I could have sworn Ponyboy and Sodapop used actual bleach on the hair, but I could be remembering it wrong. Maybe they actually used peroxide. I was essentially trying to homage "The Outsiders". I'll go back and double check what they used, and change it appropriately. Thanks for bringing this up. As for Oliver standing up, I think you may have misread. It's the Old Woman that actually stands. :)

Glad you liked the knife reveal and the ending.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Now PLEASE. Go read "Thalia". It doesn't have Nazis, but the story is special to me. It's part 1 of the "Heartache Trilogy" (chick did me wrong recently) and I'd really like to have it workshopped before I finish the other 2 parts.

Thanks again.

Detached
05-06-2008, 08:46 PM
Not sure I understand this story at all, so I won't pretend to. But I will say that the action kept me interested, I wanted to try to figure out what all these guys with guns were going to do.

I also could not wait to see what the old woman had to do with it all.

Your writing stle is good, your dialogue is tight. Your action lines could be a little shorter, but still really good.

Good job and good luck!

mentatDUKE
05-07-2008, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Detached. Appreciate it.

Mark Harris
05-07-2008, 05:15 PM
Duuuuuuuude, this rocks out with its cock out. I love love love it. I love how you plop us right into this bizarre fascist future. It's similar to what I'm trying to do with my timefest entry.

And I love all of the military jargon. I love how you don't explain it, just let it roll out of their mouths.

Not sure I have anything to critique. I was with the ride from page one. I like the reveal at the end as well. I thought from the old woman's general attitude, something was up, but you kept it back nicely.

Really good, solid, tight and original work.

mentatDUKE
05-07-2008, 06:22 PM
Mark. Thanks so much for the feedback. It definitely means a lot coming from you. I respect your work greatly.

Looking forward to your TimeFest entry. It's cool that we both enjoy setting stories in dystopias.

Expect a ScripFest review soon also.

Thanks again.

smashedburrito
05-10-2008, 10:27 AM
Meta,
It took me a while to get the fact that while this was in the "future," it is not the traditional future. Once I grasped that, it was easy reading. As much as I enjoy your witty dialog, I wonder if it really fits these characters. I mean they're soldiers, I wonder if they would even have buddy lists. Then again this isn't the traditional world, so don't take my word for it. Just consider.

It took me a while to get the knife. Now that I understand, it works. But maybe make it a little more clear. Also bleach would wreck the skull. Go with peroxide. Also I agree with the first name thing. In band of brothers they all use last names or nicknames, consider that.

I like that Marcus is eating a cookie. Just wanted to say it.

As much as I believe this "no man left behind," I wonder if it needs something else. Maybe she already lost two sons in the war ala "Private Ryan" or maybe this soldier is their top analyst. Just going in after him seems a little weird to me.

Also on a formatting note, be careful what you put in parentheticals as opposed to the action of the page. Actors hate parentheticals so if a particular action like removing a hood is important then add it to the action.

I'm not sure if I understand the motivation for the scuffle that breaks out between Sylvian and Curt. Maybe that's just me.

Page 7, a firefight ensues. We need to know what happens. Who fires what, who gets hit, who dives behind what for cover. Write out all the action for the director and such.

Page 10, "My soul hurts." I like the line, but what does it mean?

I enjoyed your ending. Overall I liked this script, it shows off a weird world you created. I nitpicked a lot, but I think it is a strong idea. Good work.

mentatDUKE
05-10-2008, 10:50 PM
Thanks for the feedback, smashed.

I don't think you should think of the characters as prototypical soldiers, but more as guerilla resistance fighters. In other words, they're really just normal people, not seasoned servicemen.

Glad you liked the cookie.

Regarding Sylvan and Pratt: There are hints that Pratt is ex-Neo-Klan. Sylvan doesn't trust him at all. Hence the tensions that eventually boil over.

Regarding writing out all the action, I've found that the "pros" don't usually work this way. The director actually boards, blocks, and choreographs the action. I don't think I've read a script with a gun battle spelled out letter for letter. I would think directors would hate that.

Thanks again for reading and giving feedback.

krestofre
05-12-2008, 01:42 PM
I think the only critique I have, and it's a small one, is when Goddard says "It's a hemostatic paste." to Sylvan. When I read it my thought was if Sylvan is a part of this elite unit and doesn't know what hemostatic paste is, then he probably shouldn't be involved in the op. The line seemd like it was too much for the audience's benefit when really we probably don't need it. He's shoving goop into the guy's wound, it's probably meant to heal it.

Nice action in the script too.

Captain Pierce
05-12-2008, 05:36 PM
I think specifying "2011" in the opening scene restricts you; I'd lean more toward (if I may borrow from MST3K) something like "the not-too-distant future" or something along those lines. That way, everyone can make up their own minds as to how long it'll take for something like this to happen to the country.

Also, speaking of how long it'll take, "6th Reich?" Did I miss a couple? :D

Seriously, though, another decent script. The title is a touch obscure, but once you Google it, it makes a certain amount of sense... :)

mentatDUKE
05-12-2008, 05:36 PM
Thanks for the feedback, krestofre. I agree with you regarding that bit of dialog. It could definiely be rewritten in order to not sound so expository. I'll keep this in mind for when I do a polish.

Pierce, thanks for reading both of my scripts. Appreciate it! I agree regarding the time. I want to be specific about the year though since everyone is so vague with stuff like this. Maybe I'll go in a completely different direction, so the title card reads thus:

New Year's Eve
Year 11 A.R.

Thanks again. Valuable feedback.

krestofre
05-12-2008, 05:42 PM
The title is a touch obscure, but once you Google it, it makes a certain amount of sense... :)

Oh cool. Just googled it. That didn't even cross my mind to start with. Pretty cool. It's a good script and it taught me something. :)

Captain Pierce
05-12-2008, 05:49 PM
Maybe I'll go in a completely different direction, so the title card reads thus:

New Year's Eve
Year 11 A.R.

That could work. It's specific without being specific. :) (Specific as in how long since the revolution, without being specific to our current calendar.)

jasonthewho
05-16-2008, 06:37 AM
Really liked this one. Very detailed and precise. You clearly put a lot of thought into it. Some of the dialogue reminded me of dialogue from my favorite writers. Love dystopias (Brazil is my fav movie). With two great entries in this fest, you have really impressed me. I'm wondering though, were these screenplays already in the works before the fest?

mentatDUKE
05-16-2008, 08:42 AM
Hi Jason. Thanks for the compliments. I'm flattered. Who are your favorite writers?

I confess: "Godwin's Law" I came up with before the fest, but "Thalia" was a late idea born of heartache, that I finished on the day of the deadline.

Thanks again.

jasonthewho
05-16-2008, 02:24 PM
Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, and the gaggle of writers of Lost are up there.