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Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-01-2008, 07:34 PM
PRIME

A man encounters a hostile alien life-form.




Hope you like it.

Mike

Nektonic
05-01-2008, 10:05 PM
I love anything with a hostile alien life-form in it.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-02-2008, 05:20 AM
Love your avatar! Bioshock is too cool for school! :D

Mark Harris
05-02-2008, 05:26 AM
Def looking forward to it, Michael.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-02-2008, 06:22 AM
Thanks, Mark. Don't get your hopes up though. It was thrown together at the very last minute. I just felt compelled to enter something.

I enjoyed writing it though. It's a story that has been kicking around in my skull for quite some time. :)

Mark Harris
05-02-2008, 07:07 AM
Well, your stories are always unique, so even if it's a work in progress, this might be a good place for you to shake it out.

Farnsworth
05-04-2008, 01:38 PM
Damn, Mike, could it BE any more epic? What you have here is not so much a short film as the first ten minutes of a major intergalactic throwdown. :)

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-04-2008, 03:50 PM
LOL! :)

Thanks. I hope that means you liked it.

It is definitely the beginning of something more.

Cheers,

Mike

Mobie540
05-05-2008, 07:47 AM
I'd show less of the first alien. Keep's it more of a mystery when you do finally reveal. Once you gave a description of the alien in it's space ship, I figured it wasn't there to harm your main character.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-05-2008, 08:32 AM
I'd show less of the first alien. Keep's it more of a mystery when you do finally reveal. Once you gave a description of the alien in it's space ship, I figured it wasn't there to harm your main character.
That's cool. I didn't really intend for it to be a surprise. Obviously the character being chased has no idea, but I did let the audience in on it early I thought.
As well as the condition of the Alien.

I still believe that not everyone will get that right off the bat though. Still, in no way was it intended as a "gotcha" reveal.

Thanks for reading!

Mike

aegriffin
05-05-2008, 11:50 AM
Mr. Horrigan!

This was a fun little read. It's chock full of narrtive though but it's really good and easy to read narritive. Very visual.

I agree with Mobie540's suggestion that you should consider skipping past the first scene with the alien and just jump right to Michael's discovery of the crash. It may be an intersting take just to start with Michael investigating the crash in the woods and let us discover with him what is happening and what he is seeing

Cut right to the chase as it were. ;)

Also consider dropping the "continues" from the script. They are no longer necessary and in Final Draft that option can be turned off.

Keep up the "stellar" work, sir. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-05-2008, 02:24 PM
Thanks. It's definitely a creative choice. I chose to reveal the Alien to the audience before Michael actually sees it. I wanted them to know what was coming to a certain degree, and what shape it was in.

I can see it working the other way though. It would definitely cause a little more suspense I'm sure. That's what I love about the editing process. I have yet to have a short movie play out exactly as scripted. I always make changes during post. Maybe your suggestion would be one of those changes.

Thanks for reading! Glad you liked it.

Mike

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-05-2008, 02:26 PM
Also consider dropping the "continues" from the script. They are no longer necessary and in Final Draft that option can be turned off.

Keep up the "stellar" work, sir. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

PS- I'm not sure if I can turn this off in Celtx. It also seems that only some pages have it?

Thanks again.

Mike

STYLZ
05-05-2008, 11:50 PM
Well..all the detail put into the chase part seemed to slow the pacing down just a little bit. But once I got to the part where the Alien started talking telepathically to Prime, it seemed to make up for it. Gave me that wow factor. Well told story. Good ole American epic superhero movie. No real constructive criticism to give. Good job.

Mark Harris
05-06-2008, 05:28 AM
There was a comic like this in the 80s. I used to love it, but it was only around for a while.

I guess if I had any criticism, it would be that the script read a little like direction. What I mean is, that whole chase section is more blocking to me, and not really script stuff. Not really content. It was definitely fun, but nothing specific to the story really happened in that whole section, and I think you could have just as easily written: "The Alien chases him through the forest," and then let the director block the chase.

Or have some actual story stuff happen in there during the chase. Like give us some more specific examples of why THIS kid gets it. I know the running and reflexes and all, but that stuff didn't hit me as quite specific enough.

Or, like for the Alien, maybe have that chase be a test. And the kid's reactions to the chase will determine whether or not the Alien really think he is worthy.

Just an idea, but I think that chase needs some more content.

I always love your stuff!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-06-2008, 05:29 AM
Well..all the detail put into the chase part seemed to slow the pacing down just a little bit. But once I got to the part where the Alien started talking telepathically to Prime, it seemed to make up for it. Gave me that wow factor. Well told story. Good ole American epic superhero movie. No real constructive criticism to give. Good job.Wow. Thanks, man.

Glad you liked it. :)

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-06-2008, 05:57 AM
There was a comic like this in the 80s. I used to love it, but it was only around for a while.

I guess if I had any criticism, it would be that the script read a little like direction. What I mean is, that whole chase section is more blocking to me, and not really script stuff. Not really content. It was definitely fun, but nothing specific to the story really happened in that whole section, and I think you could have just as easily written: "The Alien chases him through the forest," and then let the director block the chase.

Or have some actual story stuff happen in there during the chase. Like give us some more specific examples of why THIS kid gets it. I know the running and reflexes and all, but that stuff didn't hit me as quite specific enough.

Or, like for the Alien, maybe have that chase be a test. And the kid's reactions to the chase will determine whether or not the Alien really think he is worthy.

Just an idea, but I think that chase needs some more content.

I always love your stuff!Almost missed this one as we posted a minute apart. I like the idea of adding in the fact that the chase is actually part of a test. That sounds like a good idea.

I disagree that I could have summed up the whole chase in one line. I wanted to show that Michael cared enough about his dog not to leave him. I also wanted it clear that the blasts of light were not blowing apart trees in the process. And finally, the audience got a glimpse into the aliens view of the world via the Heads Up Display.

I read a lot of comics growing up so there probably is some influence for sure.

To sum up... making the chase scene part of a test to see if he is worthy of receiving the power of the star is a nice addition. I like it.

Thanks again,

Mike

Farnsworth
05-06-2008, 06:48 AM
LOL! :)

Thanks. I hope that means you liked it.




I did, yes! My only question would be, did you try to cram too much into it? It's certainly chock full of big-budget goodness.

My only other question (I guess I lied about that being the only one) would be... do you need the voice-over at the beginning? All it seems to do is justify him moving to the telescope, but do you really need the telescope? The falling object passes so close to him anyway that the telescope seems beside the point.

Otherwise, it's super delicious!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-06-2008, 11:11 AM
I did, yes! My only question would be, did you try to cram too much into it? It's certainly chock full of big-budget goodness.

My only other question (I guess I lied about that being the only one) would be... do you need the voice-over at the beginning? All it seems to do is justify him moving to the telescope, but do you really need the telescope? The falling object passes so close to him anyway that the telescope seems beside the point.

Otherwise, it's super delicious!Thanks!

Well, I guess I just wanted to point out that he felt compelled to look up at the stars that night. Almost as if some sort of extra sense was pulling him in the right direction. I could lose that part though, you're right.

Funny story, when I was younger I sometimes played a Role Playing Game that went by the name of Champions. It was a Superhero RPG.

A buddy of mine had a character by the name of Prime, he loved the transformers. His character flew and had powers based on a star. He had a star on his chest as part of the uniform. I remember distinctly that we were facing this huge robotic enemy and he put everything he had into this one attack. It was called "pushing it" I believe in the rulebook.

Anyway, right before he rolled he said... "Now you will feel the true power of a star!" He was really into it. :)

He rolled a PILE of six sided dice for damage and almost every one of them came up sixes.

It was a cool/geeky moment that I'll probably always remember. :laugh:

Definitely an inspiration.

Mike

Farnsworth
05-06-2008, 05:55 PM
PS- I'm not sure if I can turn this off in Celtx. It also seems that only some pages have it?



I believe you can. When you're on the Typeset tab, choose the "Format Options" menu, and look under "Mores and Continueds". It lets you customize what goes where.

I personally don't have a problem with them being there. Pretty standard formatting, AFAIK.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 05:26 AM
I believe you can. When you're on the Typeset tab, choose the "Format Options" menu, and look under "Mores and Continueds". It lets you customize what goes where.

I personally don't have a problem with them being there. Pretty standard formatting, AFAIK.Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it.

Mike

Russell Moore
05-07-2008, 08:00 AM
This is definitely the first 50 million dollar short I've read in the fest so far. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

I enjoyed the chase through the forest and I was in suspense as to why the alien was actually after Michael, especially after he waited for them to be clear of the door before he blew through it.
I could see how leaving the alien out at the beginning could work to build suspense, but I was fine with the way you wrote it.

At one point the Alien tells Michael... "I'm sorry but you have been chosen"
Up to this point I thought the crash site was random. I don't know if there would be an easy way to explain why Michael was the chosen one.
I'm just nitpicking anyway, because I didn't even think about it the first time I read it, I was just along for the ride.

This was a blast to read and I thought overall you wrote a very good script. Definitely felt like it was part of something much bigger.
So now, I'm just looking forward to the 1 billion dollar feature length script.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the high praise. I'm glad that you enjoyed the ride. I've responded to your comments below in bold text.


This is definitely the first 50 million dollar short I've read in the fest so far. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Well, I knew that it might be beyond the contest budget but many of the effects could be done on the cheap. Some of the guys on this forum are extremely talented.

I enjoyed the chase through the forest and I was in suspense as to why the alien was actually after Michael, especially after he waited for them to be clear of the door before he blew through it. I could see how leaving the alien out at the beginning could work to build suspense, but I was fine with the way you wrote it.

Excellent. Even though it wasn't written as a "Surprise" I figured that many people would be left wondering exactly what it wanted with Michael.
Until the reveal of course...

At one point the Alien tells Michael... "I'm sorry but you have been chosen"
Up to this point I thought the crash site was random. I don't know if there would be an easy way to explain why Michael was the chosen one.
I'm just nitpicking anyway, because I didn't even think about it the first time I read it, I was just along for the ride.

This is actually just part of a much larger story that lurks in my mind. I actually struggled with the idea that Michael was chosen. There is much more to this story that could not possibly fit within 10 pages. For instance, is the Alien truly dead? Maybe just a part of it died that night. I have a few ideas.

This was a blast to read and I thought overall you wrote a very good script. Definitely felt like it was part of something much bigger.
So now, I'm just looking forward to the 1 billion dollar feature length script.

Great! Will you produce it? :grin:


Thanks again,

Mike

krestofre
05-07-2008, 09:45 AM
I enjoyed the script, but I would refer back to Mark's comments. This may just be a style thing, but to me the details of the chase are the perogative of the director. To me a script that can boil it down to "The Alien chases him through the forest" is actually a little sharper because it doesn't get into the blocking of the scene. That doesn't mean that you can't insert the story elements that are absolutely essential, like the HUD shot and stuff like that, but your action elements read more like a novel and less like a script. This is completely a nit-picky comment.

The story and idea are good. The execution needs a little more polish in my opinion. However, I would love to see this one produced to see how the visuals turned out. Definitely some striking scenes here.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 11:05 AM
I enjoyed the script, but I would refer back to Mark's comments. This may just be a style thing, but to me the details of the chase are the perogative of the director. To me a script that can boil it down to "The Alien chases him through the forest" is actually a little sharper because it doesn't get into the blocking of the scene. That doesn't mean that you can't insert the story elements that are absolutely essential, like the HUD shot and stuff like that, but your action elements read more like a novel and less like a script. This is completely a nit-picky comment.

The story and idea are good. The execution needs a little more polish in my opinion. However, I would love to see this one produced to see how the visuals turned out. Definitely some striking scenes here.Thanks so much for taking the time to critique! I think maybe I wrote it a little more like a screenplay which is probably the issue. As I explained earlier, I'm letting the audience know a little bit more about what occurs during the chase.

I'll take these notes down and think about it further upon a second review. Thanks again! Glad you liked the scenes.

Cheers,

Mike

Farnsworth
05-07-2008, 11:31 AM
This may just be a style thing, but to me the details of the chase are the perogative of the director. To me a script that can boil it down to "The Alien chases him through the forest" is actually a little sharper because it doesn't get into the blocking of the scene.


I'm not sure I agree. Written that way it may still turn out to be an exciting scene when filmed, but it would read really boring and greatly lessen the impact. And even though a screenplay is not a finished product, you still need to write in a way that draws the reader in. It's the director's perogative to later cross out all the stuff (s)he doesn't need.

IMHO!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 12:39 PM
I'm not sure I agree. Written that way it may still turn out to be an exciting scene when filmed, but it would read really boring and greatly lessen the impact. And even though a screenplay is not a finished product, you still need to write in a way that draws the reader in. It's the director's perogative to later cross out all the stuff (s)he doesn't need.

IMHO!
Thanks!

I did want to get a few points across during the chase through the forest as well.

1. Michael avoids the first ray from the star because his is agile.
2. He avoids the second one due to a last second decision to free his dog. This tells us a lot about his character.
3. We learn that the Alien can indeed fly! That and it is injured.
4. Lastly, I would lose all the cool H.U.D. action from within the helmet as he tracks his target. :D

If I sum all that up as "The Alien chases him through the forest" I lose too much.

I will look at it again after all this is over and see what changes I can make though.

Regardless, I appreciate all the praise and criticism.

BTW, I want to mention that John LaBonney gave me a few good ideas concerning the cool H.U.D. Thanks again, John.

Thanks, guys!

Mike

mjjason
05-07-2008, 01:10 PM
I really liked about 95% of this script. The end was the only part that I am not to thrilled about. It just had a B-movie feel with the fight and the dialog. The beginning portion was excellent. It was more low key like the best parts of Close-Encounters and Signs. I really enjoyed that. I think this would work much better as a feature though, especially with the ending of him becoming a super-hero.

One thing I would recommend is to consider making Michael a reluctant hero. Instead of the star-athlete he could be a person unsure of himself. It just seems that he turns to a super-hero and accepts his role really quickly. In one sentence actually. If this were a feature I would prefer to see him struggle to fill into that role. It would play on the 'Was he chosen?' or 'Was it a mistake to give him that power?' type question that people will have.

All in all it was good read.

John LaBonney
05-07-2008, 02:13 PM
Mike:

I think the initial voice-over is unnecessary.

Formatting-wise, you've got action formatted as dialog for the Alien. Initially I thought this was a typo, but as I continued reading I saw you were doing it intentionally. If somebody says it out loud, it's dialog. I know in the initial draft you had these portions described using "POV," but you can simply get rid of the dialog heading and format this as action.

I like how the door is blown of its hinges.

I think the Alien's dialog is a little canned. I liked "I am sorry, but you have been chosen," but I think you could have ended that block of dialog right there. When I read the "power of the star" I felt like going to the sink to wash the geekyness off my hands.

There are a couple of other places I think that the dialog could be trimmed to increase impact. "I know what I must do," end right there and go to "There are more of them left. You must defeat them."

I liked the sci-fi theme and the chase. We don't know what the Alien wants from him and we think that he's just out to kill him.

Making Michael a more reluctant of a hero is a good idea, although I think it's okay as-is for a short script.

I know that this was a last-minute entry, and as I was lucky enough to have a sneak-peak at the initial draft, I can say that there was some significant improvement to this version. Good job.

krestofre
05-07-2008, 04:31 PM
I'm not sure I agree. Written that way it may still turn out to be an exciting scene when filmed, but it would read really boring and greatly lessen the impact. And even though a screenplay is not a finished product, you still need to write in a way that draws the reader in. It's the director's perogative to later cross out all the stuff (s)he doesn't need.

IMHO!

Fair enough. Now that you mention it I think of myself as a director first and a writer second, so with that mindset any script I read that is overly descriptive ... well, it kind of bugs me because I feel like that's my job. I'm sure the script is perfectly viable to everyone else in the world. And again, to reiterate, I liked it. :thumbsup:

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 05:54 PM
I really liked about 95% of this script. The end was the only part that I am not to thrilled about. It just had a B-movie feel with the fight and the dialog. The beginning portion was excellent. It was more low key like the best parts of Close-Encounters and Signs. I really enjoyed that. I think this would work much better as a feature though, especially with the ending of him becoming a super-hero.

One thing I would recommend is to consider making Michael a reluctant hero. Instead of the star-athlete he could be a person unsure of himself. It just seems that he turns to a super-hero and accepts his role really quickly. In one sentence actually. If this were a feature I would prefer to see him struggle to fill into that role. It would play on the 'Was he chosen?' or 'Was it a mistake to give him that power?' type question that people will have.

All in all it was good read.Quite the compliment! Thanks.

As for Michael not being more reluctant...
Something I hinted to was Michael answering to the name of Prime. That together with his response...
"I can feel it now... I know what I must do. Your knowledge will not be wasted." This was a hint to the reader that the Alien gave him more than just the power of a Star. That coupled with his confident and detailed response to the Carindrinaught let the cat out of the bag. He knew far more than what he should have. I did that on purpose. If I had a Feature to flesh it out I would have made him a little more reluctant. As it was... I wanted to go out with a bang. :D

Great points all around. With more time I would definitely go in your direction.

Thanks again.

Mike

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 06:07 PM
Responses in bold below.


Mike:

I think the initial voice-over is unnecessary.
I like it. :)
But you are not the first to mention it so I should probably look at it.

Formatting-wise, you've got action formatted as dialog for the Alien. Initially I thought this was a typo, but as I continued reading I saw you were doing it intentionally. If somebody says it out loud, it's dialog. I know in the initial draft you had these portions described using "POV," but you can simply get rid of the dialog heading and format this as action.

Which part exactly? I thought most of the Alien stuff was formatted as action? Until he actually speaks to him telepathically. Unless you are just referring to the Alien header before its action. That was done on purpose just to be clear.

I like how the door is blown of its hinges.
Thanks!

I think the Alien's dialog is a little canned. I liked "I am sorry, but you have been chosen," but I think you could have ended that block of dialog right there. When I read the "power of the star" I felt like going to the sink to wash the geekyness off my hands.
I'm a Geek at heart! :)

There are a couple of other places I think that the dialog could be trimmed to increase impact. "I know what I must do," end right there and go to "There are more of them left. You must defeat them."

Yes, I just wanted to let the audience know that he is fully aware and was granted more than just power. It needs fixing though.

I liked the sci-fi theme and the chase. We don't know what the Alien wants from him and we think that he's just out to kill him.

Making Michael a more reluctant of a hero is a good idea, although I think it's okay as-is for a short script.

Agreed. In a longer script I would go in that direction as well.

I know that this was a last-minute entry, and as I was lucky enough to have a sneak-peak at the initial draft, I can say that there was some significant improvement to this version. Good job.

Thanks! I mentioned your help a few times in this thread. Considering that this was written hours before the deadline I needed all the critiquing I could get!

Thanks again, John!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 06:08 PM
Fair enough. Now that you mention it I think of myself as a director first and a writer second, so with that mindset any script I read that is overly descriptive ... well, it kind of bugs me because I feel like that's my job. I'm sure the script is perfectly viable to everyone else in the world. And again, to reiterate, I liked it. :thumbsup:No problem. I appreciate the time and detail that you put into your response.
Glad you liked it.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

John LaBonney
05-07-2008, 06:11 PM
Yeah, you're right, you did format it as action, but the header ALIEN says "this part is dialog" to a script reader, so you need to get rid of the header.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-08-2008, 05:29 AM
Yeah, you're right, you did format it as action, but the header ALIEN says "this part is dialog" to a script reader, so you need to get rid of the header.I'll think about it. :evil:

:grin:

Thanks, John.

Mike

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-10-2008, 12:56 PM
Well, I'm doing a bit of a rewrite and making this just the first chapter of a much longer series. We'll see how it goes.
Thanks for all the critiques!

Mike

Captain Pierce
05-10-2008, 07:05 PM
I just have to wonder, has anybody with a muscular build and a room full of athletic trophies every actually owned a telescope? :D

Seriously, though, Michael, I liked this. I think it works both as a short and as a setup for something longer. And I did get how you let Michael/PRIME have the knowledge of the Carindrinaut that he couldn't have had without absorbing the memories of the Alien..

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-11-2008, 05:18 PM
I just have to wonder, has anybody with a muscular build and a room full of athletic trophies every actually owned a telescope? :D

Seriously, though, Michael, I liked this. I think it works both as a short and as a setup for something longer. And I did get how you let Michael/PRIME have the knowledge of the Carindrinaut that he couldn't have had without absorbing the memories of the Alien..Glad you liked it! I'm also happy that you got the fact that once he received his powers he also took on a the knowledge that went with it.


Mike

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-18-2008, 05:32 AM
Voted this morning. Commented on over half I believe. More comments to come.
Thanks for a great fest guys!

I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to comment.

Cheers,

Mike

Jeff_L
05-18-2008, 09:38 PM
Michael Anthony,


Nice job. You set the scene well. We’re out in the country, and a superhero is about to be born. I like the Alien’s motivation to pass the torch, or star, as it may be. And Michael must protect his people with his new powers; if he stays reluctant, they’ll perish. (Which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be reluctant at first.)

One thing I’m not sure about is how old Michael is. He’s a young man, with trophies still on display. So is he still in high school? Why is he alone at home? I’m curious.

I don’t need his voice over or telescope at the beginning. I’d rather see him doing something else that gives us more information about who this guy is. What else could he be doing? It could be something with his dog, his car, his phone, whatever… What and/ or whom else is he in to?

I do like the fact that you gave us his trophies as a physical reflection of who he is. (If, in a rewrite, you make him something other than a jock, give us some other character objects in lieu of the trophies.)

I think the basic story is good. It definitely feels like the beginning of a larger story. But it takes a while to grab me. My interest picks up when the Alien reveals himself as a benevolent being who has come to pass on a super power. So... can you spice up the outside action a little and/or get inside sooner? (One thing I did like outside, was the Alien shooting up 50ft, then sort of stumbling to his knee on landing. That was fresh.)



Like other readers, I could bear losing the Alien in his spaceship scene. You reveal the Alien’s character later, with Michael in the room.

You could also get the flow moving with some editing of your action/description paragraphs. Try taking out unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, using more specific verbs, getting rid of redundancies, shortening/fragmenting sentences, and using other prose techniques to up the pace.

I do think that you need to describe the chase in the woods scene. It should be exciting for the reader to read, regardless of whether it has dialogue. And it’ll help you, or whomever you work with, time and budget your script. Of course your director can re-stage the chase, but until he/she does, give the reader something exciting to watch in their mind’s eye. Something they haven't seen before, based on goals and obstacles, successes and setbacks.

On a niggly technical note, you’ve got a few formatting errors. As mentioned by another ScriptFester, typing ALIEN in a character cue and then following it with an action paragraph can confuse a reader who is expecting industry standard format.

A couple of problematic sluglines:

EXT. HOUSE. NIGHT. BACKYARD.

Should be

EXT. HOUSE - BACKYARD - NIGHT

(go from EXT. or INT., to the general location, to the more specific location, and then to the time of day; you could even leave out HOUSE here as it is implied by BACKYARD)

and

EXT. NIGHT. DOWN THE PATH.

Should be

EXT. DOWN THE PATH - NIGHT

Anyhow, I think you’ve got a great start here, and I’d love to know where your superhero goes - does he vanquish the alien nasties who are out to get his people? (Which makes me wonder, who are his people? His inner people? Does he have a girlfriend to protect, family, friends, classmates, etc… Can you introduce them indirectly in this first sequence?)

- Jeff (“Charlie and Claire”)

P.S. The lead character’s name is Michael. Is this story autobiographical?

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-19-2008, 01:43 PM
Thanks! I have responded below in bold.


Michael Anthony,


Nice job. You set the scene well. We’re out in the country, and a superhero is about to be born. I like the Alien’s motivation to pass the torch, or star, as it may be. And Michael must protect his people with his new powers; if he stays reluctant, they’ll perish. (Which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be reluctant at first.)

One thing I’m not sure about is how old Michael is. He’s a young man, with trophies still on display. So is he still in high school? Why is he alone at home? I’m curious.

I wanted to be vague about his age. I find that when you let people fill in the blanks that they pick an age that suits them. He is obviously a young man as described. Not a boy. If I had to label him I would say 19 or 20.

I don’t need his voice over or telescope at the beginning. I’d rather see him doing something else that gives us more information about who this guy is. What else could he be doing? It could be something with his dog, his car, his phone, whatever… What and/ or whom else is he in to?

I do like the fact that you gave us his trophies as a physical reflection of who he is. (If, in a rewrite, you make him something other than a jock, give us some other character objects in lieu of the trophies.)

I think the basic story is good. It definitely feels like the beginning of a larger story. But it takes a while to grab me. My interest picks up when the Alien reveals himself as a benevolent being who has come to pass on a super power. So... can you spice up the outside action a little and/or get inside sooner? (One thing I did like outside, was the Alien shooting up 50ft, then sort of stumbling to his knee on landing. That was fresh.)

Thanks!



Like other readers, I could bear losing the Alien in his spaceship scene. You reveal the Alien’s character later, with Michael in the room.

Some like it, some do not. That could very well end up on the cutting room floor for sure. I like it though. I wanted to let the reader in on what was about to happen.

You could also get the flow moving with some editing of your action/description paragraphs. Try taking out unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, using more specific verbs, getting rid of redundancies, shortening/fragmenting sentences, and using other prose techniques to up the pace.

I do think that you need to describe the chase in the woods scene. It should be exciting for the reader to read, regardless of whether it has dialogue. And it’ll help you, or whomever you work with, time and budget your script. Of course your director can re-stage the chase, but until he/she does, give the reader something exciting to watch in their mind’s eye. Something they haven't seen before, based on goals and obstacles, successes and setbacks.

I agree.

On a niggly technical note, you’ve got a few formatting errors. As mentioned by another ScriptFester, typing ALIEN in a character cue and then following it with an action paragraph can confuse a reader who is expecting industry standard format.

A couple of problematic sluglines:

EXT. HOUSE. NIGHT. BACKYARD.

Should be

EXT. HOUSE - BACKYARD - NIGHT

(go from EXT. or INT., to the general location, to the more specific location, and then to the time of day; you could even leave out HOUSE here as it is implied by BACKYARD)

and

EXT. NIGHT. DOWN THE PATH.

Should be

EXT. DOWN THE PATH - NIGHT

Thanks for the tip!

Anyhow, I think you’ve got a great start here, and I’d love to know where your superhero goes - does he vanquish the alien nasties who are out to get his people? (Which makes me wonder, who are his people? His inner people? Does he have a girlfriend to protect, family, friends, classmates, etc… Can you introduce them indirectly in this first sequence?)

Glad you liked it.

- Jeff (“Charlie and Claire”)

P.S. The lead character’s name is Michael. Is this story autobiographical?
Of course! :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Thanks again! Glad it got your juices flowing enough to inquire about it further.

Cheers,

Mike