View Full Version : "A New Beginning"- by Ryan Gill
05-05-2008, 12:06 AM
This is just a thread for my second scriptfest entry, A New Beginning.
Please, only honest feedback, thanks!
My other entry, Behind Closed Eyes, is here....
05-05-2008, 01:09 PM
Not bad. It seems like a more ambitious story than the fest allowed for. You're already skimming 13 pages, and the end is a little abrupt. I think it you wrote it without the page count confines it would be even stronger.
The scene where Ed "snaps" or "reverts" or whatever you want to call it is pretty good and pretty chilling. I like that he offs the hitman without a second thought and then pretty much mowes down anyone who gets in his way, even people that considered him a friend. On that note, the connection between Ed and the Johnson's isn't very clear. I kind of get the impression that he was living with them, but thinking about the script visually it seems like he just shows up at this house and they mention that they had eggs and bacon ready for him. It struck me as odd. I think an establishing scene at the beginning of Ed leaving for work and telling Mrs. Johnson that he didn't have time for breakfast or what have you would establish that relationship and then we he kills them it's a more powerful moment and further villifies Ed. Just a suggestion.
As I said, I think the end comes a little fast. Extending the hostage scene at the coffee shop would help the rising action of the script. As it is now it feels a little like Plot Turn, Climax. With nothing in between to help the audience build with the narrative.
Rache's role the in script is a little obvious too. If it were me I might eliminate the hitman altogether and just have it be Rache from the start. That would require some restructuring, but maybe if Ed snapped just because of Rache's presence and started murduring people, leading up to the coffee shop scene, that might be kind of interesting. Just thinking out loud here. Take what you will.
Overall though, I enjoyed reading the script. I look forward to getting to your second entry in the fest.
EDIT TO ADD: I forgot something. During the hostage moments, the police chief says that the waitress is a single mom of small children because their father was killed at Normandy. I gather that this is a period piece, but that wasn't clear to me at the beginning of the script. You mention posters of troops returning from war, and I just assumed that you meant modern-day war, but I think your intention was WWII. There's nothing wrong with dating your script at the very beginning. Either put the date in the first action paragraph, or specifically mention that these posters are troops returning from WWII. As the script is now I stumbled on the Normandy line because I kept trying to resolve the dates in my head and the math wasn't working. :)
05-05-2008, 02:54 PM
This is a good story, it really kept my interest. Nice twist at the end with the good guy being the bad guy. A couple of things -
You never mentioned how old Ed is.
Vic Mazetti should be caps when we first read of him.
When you say he drives "off to work" we can't really tell that, it doesn't matter.
Dialogue, "this isn't funny" could be left out and left to audiance by implication.
Under slug line INT ED'S ROOM - EVENING. you wrote,
When Ed gets in.... seems redundant, cause we know he is already in by the slug line.
1946 buick - gives a good indication of when this is supposed to take place, but that is the only indication.
Outa is OUTTA
Old lady should be capped
Enterance is spelled incorrectly
I loved the part when Rache says "make him suffer". I couldn't wait to find out who and why!
You need a slugline after "Don't send others to do your work, then you have Rache talk in another room/place
There are a few other silly nit piccky things but I hope I have helped you a little. I am new, so what do I know?
Good job and good luck!
05-07-2008, 10:16 AM
As already mentioned, if this is supposed to be 1946, that should be made clear right in the first shot. It also begs the question of is this really 1946, because this sort of personality modification really isn't even possible today, let alone 60 years ago, or is it some sort of specially crafted town and society (as in M. Night's "The Village")? If the latter, I'm honestly not sure how you'd handle that in a script--would you just describe your setting as Clarkstown, 1946, and let the appearance of the Tall Man in a late-model police cruiser be a surprise to the reader as well? Somebody with more experience than me would have to answer that one. :)
From the confusion over whether or not "Ed" was in the 82nd, and when his mom died, it would seem that his personality "implant" is already breaking down before Fletcher arrives to start riling him up. Oh, wait, I just got it--Fletcher is supposed to be the guy who mentioned the 82nd at the coffee shop and the guy who told "Ed's" coworkers that his mom had died. That might need to be a little clearer, or it could just be me missing something that made it clearer (which happens :) ).
At the bottom of page 3, EXT. BAR - NIGHT, I think you meant to say that Fletcher gets into the 1946 Buick, not Ed.
Twice, you describe smells that aren't really important to the script (unless Smell-O-Vision is invented soon :) ). I think you're better off here to make a bigger deal of showing Mrs. Johnson making breakfast both times and (as krestofre mentioned) use this to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, give us a little more of a connection with them, so that we feel a little more shocked when they're killed. A nice old couple, maybe renting out the room of their son who was killed in the war (works whether or not this really 1946)... instant sympathetic characters, and a much bigger jolt when he turns on them.
During the phone conversation, you should probably identify the dialogue of the person who's not in the room as "V.O." in parentheses after their name. Also, when you cut away from the phone conversation, you should just remind us that Fletcher is still talking into the phone.
When Ed picks up the phone, if you want to show Rache "quickly regaining his composure" and then "hanging up," then you'll need to cut to wherever he is. In this case, it might be a good idea to show his earlier conversation with Fletcher at least partially from Rache's location to establish it. Same thing when Vic calls in to dispatch--you need to be showing dispatch when Vic's transmission cuts off. (Speaking of that, and this may be stupid question, but did the police have radios in 1946?)
I'm guessing that the Man who talks to Chief Byron, and the Tall Man who shows up later in person, are the same guy; if so, he should probably be identified consistently. Again, this is something I'm not sure about the proper procedure for; I would probably just identify him by name as Dr. Martin both times, but that might not be the "right" way to do it. The other thing about his scene is, I wonder if maybe Chief Byron shouldn't be calling Dr. Martin to tell him there's a problem with Ed; otherwise, I wonder how Dr. Martin heard about it all. This would have the added benefit of doing away with the naming confusion entirely, as you could have the Chief call and ask for Dr. Martin, and then cut to Dr. Martin's office and describe at least the basics of who he is there.
Finally, I think the end just sort of fizzles. They take Rache off in handcuffs and we just fade out. I think there needs to something more there to wrap things up, but I'm honestly not sure what.
Overall, I'd have to agree with krestofre in that I think this was too ambitious a project for this fest. Even going a little more than two pages long, it still feels a little rushed in places. There's definitely potential here, but I think it needs to find its own length.
05-07-2008, 04:14 PM
I would agree that length is a problem in this script. But you could easily trim it up to comfortably fit in the ten page limit for this fest. Or as Captain suggests, you could expand the number of pages to fit the story. Considering the length of the buildup, the ending is pretty abrupt.
I think that a key moment in this script is when Ed shoots Mr. and Mrs. Johnson with no explanation. It left me wanting to follow Ed and see what he would do next. I think if it somehow came before he killed Fletcher at the motel that it would have even more impact.
It's confusing to me about killing Fletcher because he (through his conversation on the phone) appears to know something about what's going on with Fletcher and Rache and why they're stalking him. I was thinking that Ed had a past which he was hiding, but the rest of the script gave me the feeling that he was simply on a nonsensical rampage, not really in control of his faculties, killing just because he was a killer. The two ideas don't mesh together.
Thanks for sharing this script, I think it has some potential.
05-09-2008, 05:13 AM
I enjoyed reading this script. I agree with some of the pints made above,so I won't be redundant. As stated above, I'm not sure why its set in 1946 and I was already seeing it in present tense until you mentioned the new Buick.
I really liked when he killed Fletcher so coldly, it just came out of nowhere.
Afterwards you mention he feels no guilt about it, thats okay for the reader but for a film you need to "show" it.
Maybe when he gets out of his truck he could be whistling a happy tune or something similar.
Then he goes in and whcks the Johnson's this really caught me by surprise, in a good way.
I agree the end needs to be developed a bit more, but you have good stuff there to work with.
You have a lot of good things going on in this script and I had fun reading it.