View Full Version : The Liquidators
08-26-2009, 10:46 AM
Title: The Liquidators
Tagline: Involved with heart and soul.
Logline: One decade after the nuclear power plant disaster near Kyshtym, an mutated ecosystem has formed in the exclusion zone, and this evening a military squad known as The Liquidators, led by former Kyshtym inhabitant Sergei, is sent into the zone to investigate a communications blackout with a group of scientists.
08-26-2009, 11:19 AM
Very nice... The logline makes it sound like a similar world to Tarkovshy's Stalker.
08-27-2009, 01:49 AM
09-09-2009, 05:02 PM
Script uploaded. :)
Don't really know if I'm happy with the uploaded version, but it seems the best I can do with the story in 6 pages.
First draft was way too long. Going already to 12+ pages and still missing important parts of the story. Was impossible to really get under ten pages so had to cut a lot.
Biggest victim of this is prolly what DarkElastic had in mind when he thought of similarities to Stalker's world. There's just no room to make the whole eco-system come to life.
Pacing is maybe a bit too fast compared to what I was intending when I started writing it.
Looking forward to your opinions.
09-15-2009, 10:31 PM
There's a lot to this and the idea is a strong one however it just didn't flow well. It feels choppy and abrupt.
There were too many characters and no way to tell them apart, all the sergeants look and act the same and I was unsure who was who. I gain no connection to these people.
Itís the radiation. He was one of the first liquidators. Cleaning the mess, but also searching for his lost brother who was working in the nuclear power plant when the accident happened. Back then they didnít have these bio-suits. His attacks are getting much worse lately.Here's an example of when there is just too much exposition, you've explained away all of the subtleties and motivations that could be developed with the character opting for the easy dialogue explanation of SERGEI (?), instead of giving him characteristics and showing us over time, develop these characters and let them grow naturally with the story.
It seems like you were trying to create something too big for the 6 pages, which isn't a bad thing, I'm sure in a longer version character's and motivations were more distinct and clear, it has room to breathe.
09-16-2009, 06:34 AM
I agree MrKilloran. I can see how this was easily a much larger piece. I won't drone on, but I think you could tighten up the writing which'll give you more white space and build the impact of your words.
09-16-2009, 09:46 AM
Hi TheAlchemist, thanks for the read mate.
You explained it a while back in the thread, this was easily over the 10 page mark and you lost a lot with getting it down to 6 and it showed. There is a lot of good here and I found the 6 pages flew by as I read it.
The characters need work, they need to be better developed and they need to speak like soldiers, example:
Timur, everything clean there?
Seems so yes.
Sergei should have berated him for not being 100% sure the room was clear.
I think you could have done more with the mutant and Sergei relationship, I expected that to be his brother but there were no clues, just his devotion to saving it.
I hope to write this up fully and really explore the characters, the story and create a long short or a feature out of it.
Overall, a good script, but needs a lot of work and should be developed further. Well done mate.
09-21-2009, 07:28 PM
Certainly you deserve credit for an ambitious script, but of course (as has been mentioned) ambition is not always a plus when you have a 6-page limit. :) Speaking from experience, there comes a time when you just have to say "I can't do this idea justice in this format" and put it on the shelf in favor of a concept that maybe can work in fewer pages. (Of course, given that once I put the idea on the shelf I never actually take it back down and work on it again later, that may not be the best advice in the world...)
DarkElastic already mentioned something that bugged me, which was that the soldiers don't sound like soldiers. I also have to wonder, why do they keep sending Sergei back in if he's getting worse? We know why he wants to go back in, to find out something about his brother, but if he's going to start having attacks at random moments, he's not really the guy you want leading your team.
I could spend a long time writing about what I'd like to see in a longer version, but I won't. :) I'm certainly intrigued by the concept, and I could easily see this going to feature length and telling an interesting story. In that respect, it's a success, but considered just as a short, it can't quite hold up. Not awful by any means, I should say, just not quite successful.
09-23-2009, 08:39 PM
The transport helicopter flies above The Mayek Exclusion
Zone. An radioactive contaminated area of 10 square miles
surrounded by high walls. The forested areas in the zone
look reddish from above.How does the audience know it's radioactively contaminated?
We’ve lost contact with a team of
scientists. They were working
inside the zone at location Omega
#1. We’re going to this location
and check things out. Could be
Sounds like Aliens so far...
The character introductions should have ages at the very least.
I also have no idea which one of these guys is the main character yet...you can often make that distinction by describing one person in more detail than all the others.
EXT. OMEGA #1 - LATERYou don't need a LATER tag here. It's a brand new scene, brand new slugline, and should have a brand new time of day designation.
It’s the radiation. He was one of
the first liquidators. Cleaning
the mess, but also searching for
his lost brother who was working
in the nuclear power plant when
the accident happened. Back then
they didn’t have these bio-suits.
His attacks are getting much
worse lately.Exposition is an art in of itself. It need a careful touch to not be obvious in it's intentions. It is obvious here. Perhaps instead of all these details, choose one and see if it reads more naturally.
The mutant has no intention to attack Sergei. It seems
scared.Why is it scared all of a sudden? What changed? A second ago it killed a dude while two of his armed friends stood behind him. A minute before that, it killed two armed men. That seems like the opposite of "scared".
I didn't understand Sergei's motivation and therefore didn't understand the crux of this story. That would be the first thing, in my opinion, to work on in the rewrite.
09-24-2009, 03:54 AM
09-26-2009, 11:04 AM
Technical - FADE IN comes in first before masterslugline.
How do we know they are flying above the "Mayek Exclusion Zone?" Are there signs?
When using military names you must also put in all caps their rank because that is part of their name: CAPTAIN SERGEI.
Try to keep your action paragraphs two 4 lines at the most.
Kirill - that's a lot of exposition.
How does the Captain contact the Colonel a base? Radio? laptop? helicopter radio? Unless we see the Colonel it has to be V.O.
... what were in these cages...
DOSSIER - all cap - any object of any significance to the place in all capitals.
...then he starts moving away... - just put 'he moves away.'
How do we know that the dossier has his brother's name? you are telling us not showing us.
It would be more properly said, "lower your weapons."
Content: I'm not sure I understand the title to the short. The all appeared to be Russian but they speak with a very English slang syntax, I would have preferred an accident for authenticity.
I understand what you were trying to do but I think there were too many characters but the story got a little muddled.
10-08-2009, 03:26 AM
Thx for all the feedback.
Think I will try and recreate a longer version and take an extra look at the things you all mentioned. Must be able to fix most of the things mentioned.
About the title:
The Liquidators refers to the men that helped after the Chernobyl accident. Sergei and the rest of the original squad were assigned to do the same things after the Mayek accident in my story.