View Full Version : Three Night Stay

Matthew R. Rodwell
05-03-2008, 03:29 PM
Insert criticism here... :beer:

05-03-2008, 04:42 PM
You begin by setting us up in New York, 1943. But you don’t give us details to bring us into that world. When starting out it helps to give the reader setting details to anchor and set your script in motion. Describe your characters. The only thing we know about your characters are their first names, other than that we don’t have a sense of age, ethnicity, nationality, etc. Be specific so the reader knows where they are.

TYPOS – Unfinished sentences: Your second sentence is an incomplete sentence.

Need more detail in the hotel. Mickey speaks but you didn’t give us any details to tell use what he looks like or where he’s situated in the hotel. Is he behind a lobby desk? Give us some specifics. And, give us a sleazy detail or two to show the reader the hotel. My idea of a sleazy hotel is probably much different than yours.

Good dialogue, short and punchy, it’s got a noir feel. I like the exchange between Mickie and Eddie.

Who is Victor? Rehash-Give us some details on Victor, something that differentiates him from Sam. Even if its just a brown hat versus a black hat, make them different.

In the hotel room cut out – “Music plays over the conversation,” unless you have a specific piece of music playing on a phonograph in the scene.

Introduce Sylvia and describe her.

The police chief’s wallet needs to be shown. It’s not enough to explain it in exposition. You could do this instead.

Eddie looks at the wallet.
An ID card catches his eye.
Frank McSweeney – CHIEF OF POLICE

I like your ending. This piece had shades of Pekinpah’s Pickup on South Street, which is good. I think this piece shows you have a decent understanding of script language, but you need more detail when establishing your settings, characters. This piece will be much stronger when you flesh out your details and provide specifics. Give more detail so we feel what the hotel looks and smells like, and give specifics so characters become distinct. This is a good start.

alex whitmer
05-03-2008, 05:09 PM
Script Critique

Right off the bat I’m left wondering how old Eddie and Sam are, and what they might look like, or even a clue as to idiosyncrasies.

Using character names in Dialogue is a bit irritating. Except on rare occasion, it just doesn’t happen in normal conversation (unless of course it is a character thing to do it).

You use fade out, then introduce a new slug with out a fade in. Maybe use FADE TO. Reading ahead, I see this occurs throughout.

This …


EDDIE enters a sleazy hotel lobby.

*You do not need to repeat in action what was pointed out in a slug. Hotel lobby is redundant.

*New character Victor introduced with no age or details. Reading ahead, this happen throughout.

Page 4


SAM rushes towards the room and pounds on the door.

*Actually Sam is in the hall, not the room. Eddie is in the room, so you need two separate slugs.

Page 5

EDDIE is waiting on a corner as a man walks by. He begins
following him.

*Pronoun confusion. You mention a man, then follow with he. That HE belongs to Eddie. Use proper names when this kind of action occurs, otherwise you reader needs to doa double-check to clear up who the pronoun refers to.

Page 6

Eddie is in the clear and opens the wallet. He takes the
$100 out and realizes it is the Police Chief’s.

*If the Police Chief gives half of his pay to the church, and there is only a hundred bucks in the wallet, one has to assume he only gets 200.00??

This …

I got Miller’s address and I found
someone to take the fall (pause) I
don’t know, just some low life who
was hard up for some cash.

*Needs a ref to phone, such as SYLVIA ( PHONE).

Page 7

He evades the officers and runs towards the meeting spot.

*Little hard to believe, but hey, it’s film. Also, there was no mention earlier of a meeting spot. Only a time.

I assume Eddie was shot in the back by the cop he just ran from?

Also, where did Eddie come from? Victor and Sam are alone, then all of a sudden Eddie is at Victor’s feet. I think a nice CU of feet running would have added a lot. The chase!!, then the shot.

Certainly an interesting take on pursuit, but the ending felt like something was missing. Not sure what.

What bothered me the most was the lack of character specifics. Did Eddie has a nervous ‘done drugs all my life’ twitch? Is Sam a clean kid, wrong friend at the wrong time?

And what about Sylvia? Was she some dame hanging out in the hotel looking for a fall guy, or was she one of the derelicts?

Nothing in this gave me the feeling it was 1943 other than the use of Dame. Pocket watch maybe.

Nice writing style. Kept it liner and moving in one direction. Best of all, no overkill on the action lines. Clear and to the point, with enough visuals to keep a reader part of the story.

Thanks for sharing!

Alex Whitmer

Matthew R. Rodwell
05-04-2008, 05:13 AM
Thanks for the wonderful feedback! I didn't even think to go into detail discribing my characters or settings because this is something I am filming myself and I already have the locations and cast figured out. I will be sure to remember that the people reading don't always have the mystical powers to see whats inside my head :D

BTW Alex, the $200 was a realistic amount for that police of that period. I originally had it as a larger amount until I started my research.

Time to begin the rewrites. Thanks again.

05-06-2008, 02:36 PM
I like the twists of the tale and the build up to the outcome of the script. Your progression of events is pretty sophisticated in my opinion and it's easy to get interested in the plot.

I'd echo what Isaac and Alex have said. Your story is there and good. The technical details of the script could use a little work.

Character wise I can accept not knowing a lot about Sylvia and having that be a mystery within the story. Victor is the character that I really want to know more about. What is it about this guy, or this watch, that makes him willing to kill to get it back?

Michael Anthony Horrigan
05-07-2008, 06:27 PM
Great dialogue! Very real sounding.
I personally could have used a little more action description. At least when he gets away from the cops who are frisking him down.

"He evades the officers and runs towards the meeting spot."

How far away is it? How did he get away? I know some people like minimal action descriptions but it left me wondering.

All in all the twists and turns were great and it was really well written.
Nice work.


Captain Pierce
05-10-2008, 04:34 PM
I think we could use just a little more here. First off, it's not clear exactly how Sylvia gets the badge to even sneak it into Eddie's pocket; maybe Eddie could pull it out along with the wallet (which helps with what Isaac was saying about making more of him realizing who it is he's just mugged) and hand it to her with the wallet, only to have her stealthily return it. Secondly, I think we could use a newspaper headline the next day about the chief's murder, before the cops show up to arrest Eddie for it. And, as has been mentioned, what is Victor's deal?

(For some reason, in my head I see this all being interconnected, like Sylvia is actually's the chief's wife, and she's having an affair with Victor, and she's the one who's given him the watch, and maybe he's even the one who kills the chief so he can have Sylvia all to himself (and good luck with that, Vic :D ). )

But those are pretty minor quibbles; I think this is a good script, and I like how Eddie goes to the length he does to help Sam out. I'll have to check out the film once TimeFest is over... :)

Russell Moore
05-14-2008, 10:14 AM
I like your idea.

But I have the same issues as others have stated. My main issue was I had no idea who these people were, how old they were, a little description to indicate their style or they way they carry themselves.

You certainly have a good story on your hands, but it need some more description throughout. Overall I think you did a good job.