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polfilmblog
02-06-2010, 06:29 PM
A spy drags a young woman toward a life or death choice. Will she trust him or not?


http://static.zooomr.com/images/8884870_061258f5fe_b.jpg

Isaac_Brody
02-06-2010, 06:42 PM
Can I post the logline yet?

Yes, go for it. :thumbup:

Russell Moore
02-13-2010, 12:10 PM
Nice. Its got me interested. Looking forward to the script.

Anthony Todaro
02-23-2010, 06:18 PM
Cool poster, sounds great.

Gwenhwyfar
02-24-2010, 04:45 AM
Wow - the poster alone makes me really want to see this. It sounds brilliant!

jamiejay
03-14-2010, 04:52 PM
excellent poster. well done! excited to read the script that goes with it. :)

Chris_Keaton
03-15-2010, 08:05 PM
Ok, I'm going to review this as I read. "Don't get mad I could've just said 'nice script'.

Pg 1
- We already got your title and name on the title page, why am I seeing it again?
- Use single dashes in your scene heading, well that's the norm at least.
- Write active! Passive is dull and uninspiring. So lose the word 'is' from your scriptwriting language and mose words ending in 'ing', oh and adverbs while you're are at it.
- Turn off MS Word's 'autotype' so you don't get those little 'nd' things and heck why not spell out second.
- How can he shh someone when he's in a death race?
- Seperate some of you action blocks to build the tension and highlight action.
- 'Henry! I don't want to know you anymore!' That's some awesome 50s dialog. I'm guessing this is a period piece and that just nailed it!!
Pg 3
- Is 'Pop Beers' a game. I think you might be missing a word or two there. and no 'Heather Pop Beers' still isn't a sentence.
- Wait '21' this isn't in the 50s.
Pg 7
- 'CELL' phone. This is deffinately not a period piece. :( Why does the dialog strike me as classic?
Pg 9
- Lose the camera directions, it takes the reader right out of the story.
- Man I thought he was dead, but this was a dream sequence. Maybe you should've clued us in a little to begin with.

Is he a good guy or a bad guy. Dang, I guess I'll never find out. Great Job!

KhamIsk
03-15-2010, 10:34 PM
Hi Joe,

Finished your story. Some compelling visuals and nice tension!

The only thing - Henry says he saved Heather, when looks like he didn't, he brought trouble. Or so I think:)

Is he a CIA, protecting some Coke recipe?

Enjoyable. Thanks.

polfilmblog
03-15-2010, 10:39 PM
"Pg 1
- We already got your title and name on the title page, why am I seeing it again."

Ah, one of those nitpicky, obsessed with trivialties people. Well, Chris, every produced spec script I can remember gave the title and author on the first page of the manuscript. I know how stressful it must be to skip right over that, since you already knew it. Grand apologies.

"- Use single dashes in your scene heading, well that's the norm at least."

Yes, it's the norm. So what?

"- Write active! Passive is dull and uninspiring. So lose the word 'is' from your scriptwriting language and mose words ending in 'ing', oh and adverbs while you're are at it."

My friend, I've seen your work. Pontificating about screenwriting? Really?


"- Turn off words 'autotype' so we don't get those little 'nd' things and heck why not spell out second."

I didn't know what the hell you were referring to. Now I see you don't like "2nd." Yes, I typed that manually (a trick I picked up in the 1950s apparently). Was it too esoteric to call a 2nd car a 2nd car? Is this really keeping you from understanding what's going on there?


"- How can he shh someone when he's in a death race?"

Because it's quite an easy sound to make.


"- Seperate some of you action blocks to build the tension and highlight action."

Again, preaching to me on how to craft a script? Really?


"- 'Henry! I don't want to know you anymore!' That's soem awesome 50s dialog. I'm guessing this is a period piece and that just nailed it."

I guess I forgot to turn on the AUTO-SARCASM function. Gen Y.2ers may not understand that sometimes people do say things plainly.


Pg 3
"- Is 'Pop Beers' a game. I think you might be missing a word or two there."

The line is, "Heather pops beers."

This is a game introduced in 1946 in Roswell New Mexico, around the time of the strange sightings. You'll have to wiki the associated rules and lexicon.


"- Wait '21' this isn't in the 50s."

Do you live in some sort of cave? Now I'm no lawyer, but I have noticed that laws vary across this great nation of ours, nevermind the rest of the planet. Things like, oh, say the age of consent, gambling, speed limits, and yes even the drinking age are not all the same. This is fascinating stuff really that not all places on this earth are exactly as the they are in Chris land.

"- 'CELL' phone. This is deffinately not a period piece. Why does the dialog strike me as classic?"

Okay, an inoffensive question. Perhaps the easy answer is not best here (because I wanted it that way).

This entire contest is, of course, an homage to Alfred Hitchcock (which most seemed to ignore).

But, seeing how the theme of the piece is trust, and the deceit of the male lead is obvious, front and center, I didn't feel the need to complicate matters further with deceptive dialogue and unnecessary games.


"- Lose the camera directions, it takes the reader right out of the story."

Except, that's exactly how the transition should play. It's the clearest, most efficient way of conveying it. It's what needs to be done. If sluglines, or in your case the boorish repetition of "TICK TOCK," don't damage the storytelling, then my money shot can stand, thank you very much.


"- Man I thought he was dead, but this was a dream sequence. Maybe you should've clued us in a little to begin with."

Or not.

"Is he a good guy or a bad guy. Dang, I guess I'll never find out."

No. You won't.

"Great Job!"

Must check the Sarcasometer (purchased in 1957). Damn. It's broken.

polfilmblog
03-15-2010, 10:42 PM
Hi Khamisk,

"The only thing - Henry says he saved Heather, when looks like he didn't, he brought trouble. Or so I think:)"

That definitely is a place where confusion could set in. The idea was that he stopped them from being detected by a 911 call, but they had another way of locating the device -- the flash drive. Perhaps it has a transmitter of some sort?


"Is he a CIA, protecting some Coke recipe?"

That's the MacGuffin. He's fighting to keep something the other side wants back.

"Enjoyable. Thanks."

Thank you.

Chris_Keaton
03-16-2010, 06:26 AM
Sorry, I had to fix a few typos in my review. I'm glad you liked it and found it helpful, that's what I was aiming for.

It's level headed writers like you that really renew my faith in reviewing on DVXUser.com.

Peace out. :)

Bridget D.
03-16-2010, 06:41 PM
Hey - just finished your script - enjoyed all the action. I did wonder how Iliana started off with the flashdrive in the first place - wanted to know more of the story. I liked the last line. Think I was thinking the same thing.

DarkElastic
03-16-2010, 08:40 PM
Hi Polfilm, I just read your script.

It was funny to see the title and your name twice. When you're battling to keep a script within 10 pages for a competition, it seems unecessary.

Your clumping your action together. It should be a new line for each new camera shot. I know, limited space.

The dialogue needs work. You should read it aloud to yourself. Just as it is finding a flow, it jars with badly constructed, and chosen, dialogue.

I got a little lost near the end... Was Henry dead? Did we flash back? If we did, then you need to clearly identify this.

Overall, not a bad idea. It was just difficult to get through. Somethings were written really well, but a lot of it wasn't and jarred, pulling me out of the story. More work, you'll improve this script vastly, just take in what is being said. We're all here to help one another.
Well done for entering, I hope to see you in the next Fest putting the things you learnt to practice.

polfilmblog
03-17-2010, 09:53 AM
"Your clumping your action together."

See, it's like this. Your advice only carries as much weight as your writing.

What's wrong with the above?

Anyone?

DarkElastic
03-17-2010, 10:05 AM
Here you go - You're.

Here you go - http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/clump?view=uk

The problem with you, Pol, is you can't take good advice. So, your scripts will always be full of problems and you will never learn. Shame.

Chris_Keaton
03-17-2010, 10:57 AM
You are here, so I guess maybe you have something to learn, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I guess you are one of those people who will mark down the scores of all your competition and claim victory.

I only came back to this well, because I just can't pass up a good train wreck. :)

Anthony Todaro
03-17-2010, 04:40 PM
Some format and grammar issues to work on. No biggie. My only gripe is that I'm a lazy bastard so I hate reading direction, but I get it, if your directing it gotta have it. Overall I enjoyed the car chase and your visuals were great. MacGuffin was clear as a bell. Nice work.

mary.susanna
03-17-2010, 06:03 PM
I was confused about the two endings. I see what you were trying to do now, but it didn't make sense to me at the time and it kinda took me out of the story. Also, how did the teenage girl end up with him? Interesting read, but some explanation would make it better.

jamiejay
03-18-2010, 11:22 AM
nice script.

i do agree that some background knowledge would tie up some loose ends. it felt like the end of a longer story. still... good job.

MrSeth
03-20-2010, 12:52 PM
great work! wanted to know more.. you describe action really well!

polfilmblog
03-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Well, thanks for the nice comments.

Yeah, you can't get a lot of background into 10 pages, so I hope allowances will be made that the story starts 'in progress.'

As for the haters:

"Physician, heal thyself."
-Luke 4:23

Chris_Keaton
03-20-2010, 03:57 PM
Well, thanks for the nice comments.

Yeah, you can't get a lot of background into 10 pages, so I hope allowances will be made that the story starts 'in progress.'

As for the haters:

"Physician, heal thyself."
-Luke 4:23


No biggie, remember you want to start scenes late and leave 'em early. It adds drama and frankly cuts the boring stuff anyway. Shorts have about a minute to grab the audience's attention.

And there are no HATERS here. You are on a feedback board, we're here to learn and help.

preston
03-23-2010, 06:49 AM
reading now, notes as i go..

nice, jumping right into a car chase near a cliff.

i'm not sure why HENRY needs ILIANA, but we'll see.

so now he's letting her leave and go up the road to catch a bus? i don't get it..

HENRY's being vague with them about the whole situation, but it's just confusing me. and why does ILIANA think he's a burglar?

ok, you're losing me here.. she sews him up, but then lets an assassin into the house and tells the guy where HENRY is?

everybody's dead.. but now ILIANA is in the bathroom, alive? oh there's HENRY alive, too. i'm confused, sorry.

ok.. HENRY's alive and hiding in the closet, but now he wants help out. why did he go in there in the first place then?

now HENRY has killed the intruders and gets a hug.

the relationships between the characters are confusing and frustrating. who is ILIANA to HENRY? a hostage, a teenage friend? a stranger? and why would HENRY go to that house and put kids in danger? and who did he call on the phone?

sorry, i'm just too confused by all the randomness to really understand what happened.

polfilmblog
03-23-2010, 09:35 AM
Hi Preston,

There's an unstated romantic attraction that has landed them together in the first place. He's a handsome, older spy. She's a younger, wide eyed ingenue.

The ending is sort of like Run Lola Run, where two different outcomes play out. In the first, she doesn't trust him, and acts accordingly.

In the second, she does trust him.

It's about the nature of trust, and the sometimes thin rationales we use to make such a decision.

preston
03-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Hi Preston,

There's an unstated romantic attraction that has landed them together in the first place. He's a handsome, older spy. She's a younger, wide eyed ingenue.

The ending is sort of like Run Lola Run, where two different outcomes play out. In the first, she doesn't trust him, and acts accordingly.

In the second, she does trust him.

It's about the nature of trust, and the sometimes thin rationales we use to make such a decision.

ok, thanks.. i didn't see the attraction, so i guess you gotta show it a little more with their dialog and interactions.

polfilmblog
03-25-2010, 09:31 AM
Public Service Announcement:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/03/23/a-letter-from-david-mamet-to-the-writers-of-the-unit/

vickyn
03-31-2010, 09:54 PM
I'm not really getting the quick cuts. I think these are meant to be like a series of shots, but with the way it's formatted, it makes comprehension harder. I would use the heading SERIES OF SHOTS and list each shot seperately after double dashes. Make the read as easy and clear as possible for the reader.

Be careful with the use of he/she and him/her in action lines. Most writers I see aren't even aware that they get a little careless with these and that can affect how people comprehend what they are reading. You don't want to confuse the reader for a moment. An example would be on page 2. Henry's first dialogue there. After he speaks, you say she hands a jewel case from her purse. Since this is the first action following Henry speaking, we are inclined to think this is referring to Henry, but it isn't. When there's a he and a she in a scene, it's easier for a reader to sort out whom you mean, but if there are more than two people, or both people are the same gender, there can be confusion.

We are outside a house on page 2. It's good to say whose house in the slug so there's never any confusion. When we go inside, the slug should tell whose kitchen. If you have more than one kitchen in the script, we wouldn't know which is which until we read into the scene. The slug should give us enough specific info where we know exactly where the scene takes place without any guessing.

As he slides out his wallet (you have 'slides his wallet out). Very nit picky, yes, but action lines should be written properly so the writer showcases great writing ability in every way. This is correct use of prepositions. In dialogue, it doesn't matter because most people do not speak properly.

Put O.C. in () so the letters don't blend in with the dialogue heading and look for even a moment like they're connected to it.

What are you intercutting? The bedroom and the living room? An intercut is tricky because it has to be clear what you are going back and forth between. After you establish the second location, use INTERCUT - BEDROOM AND LIVING ROOM (or whatever you are intercutting at the time).

Lots of excitement. It would be kind of expensive to shoot because of that, but it would be possible. Henry was likeable enough. Very mysterious. Good job!

polfilmblog
04-01-2010, 10:08 AM
I'm obliged to sort the wheat from the chaff.

"I'm not really getting the quick cuts. I think these are meant to be like a series of shots, but with the way it's formatted..."

I don't think you're taking into account the intended audience. People filming a car chase on a mountain road will understand "quck cuts" means exactly what it says. There isn't much need to labor over a series of shots of cars. This is standard, even cliche movie making.

"Be careful with the use of he/she and him/her in action lines. ... After he speaks, you say she hands a jewel case from her purse. "

There are only two characters in the film at this point, a he and a she. I do expect readers to be at least slightly above retarded.

" Most writers I see aren't even aware that they get a little careless with these"

It's not careless, and I'm not "most writers." The two main characters are established. They are accounted for in their actions. I can't help it if "people" hereabouts aren't used to reading screenplays and can't follow basic two person conversations.

"We are outside a house on page 2. It's good to say whose house in the slug so there's never any confusion. "

Nonsense. I keep getting this "advice" that's really not competent or grounded in scripts and films. When someone shows up at a house in a movie, is there a neon glowing sign advertising whose house it is? What exactly are you basing this wisdom on?

It's a house. The audience doesn't know whose house it is. The reader doesn't know whose house it is. That's the way it is.

"When we go inside, the slug should tell whose kitchen."

There is only one house in this film. They just arrived there. They just had a conversation on the doorstep with the owner. If you can't accept that it's the same house from that information, I suggest you read it again.

Scripts are not novels. They are not short stories. They are blueprints for making a film. They describe what the final intended recipient -- the viewer -- will experience. What they need is enough information to paint that picture, no more, no less.

" If you have more than one kitchen in the script, we wouldn't know which is which until we read into the scene."

Since there is only one house, one kitchen, this is completely irrelevant.

"The slug should give us enough specific info where we know exactly where the scene takes place without any guessing."

Answered above.

"As he slides out his wallet (you have 'slides his wallet out). Very nit picky, yes, but action lines should be written properly so the writer showcases great writing ability in every way. This is correct use of prepositions."

Is it? And what's the reasoning behind slides out wallet vs. slides wallet out? Is there some grammatical law I've broken with this?

"Put O.C. in () so the letters don't blend in with the dialogue heading and look for even a moment like they're connected to it."

Yes the anal "Final Draft does it so you have to too."

"What are you intercutting? The bedroom and the living room? An intercut is tricky because it has to be clear what you are going back and forth between. After you establish the second location, use INTERCUT - BEDROOM AND LIVING ROOM (or whatever you are intercutting at the time)."

You know what I'm intercutting.

"Lots of excitement. It would be kind of expensive to shoot because of that, but it would be possible."

I have hope that the car over cliff could be done by an After Effects whiz kid.

" Henry was likeable enough. Very mysterious. Good job!"

Thank you.

I reject the dogmatic nature of a lot of this amateur "format" talk. People seem to be obsessed with the conventions of Final Draft as if that was the only way to present a script. I've seen hundreds of scripts from various periods of Hollywood, and it's just not so. This stifling adherence to the latest set of expectations makes for a lot of god awful, dense, boring screenwriting in my opinion.

Numerous scripts look like the rest on the surface. But they do not provide drama. They do not provide a structured story. They do not provide any mastery of language. No real characters. Numerous amateur symptoms are masked by feeding it through the software, so that appears sort of like what's expected.

It gets tiresome when these people pose as if they were Billy Wilder, now they've made a few backyard Youtube videos. Laughable actually.

That's my mood today. Peace.

Chris_Keaton
04-01-2010, 10:51 AM
That's your mood everyday. It's a shame really. The script is half way decent, but your shitty attitude isn't going to help you get work. Believe me one director/producer has a bad experience with you and they'll pass it on to the next one, until the well of people willing to work with you runs dry.

I really hope you get a clue and get over yourself. Actually, maybe some self confidence would help, then you wouldn't feel the need to defend everything you do. A confident person can be satisfied that they are right without trying to convince everyone else. But then looking at your website you might be drinking from an extremist well and probably will just defend being a prick.

Yes, I know trying to teach a pig English isn't going to work, you'll just get dirty and make the pig angry. But dammit if I don't love helping everyone, even pigs.

KhamIsk
04-01-2010, 11:02 AM
It's such a pity that vickyn and some others chose to read yours when they could have read and commented on someone's who appreciates, tries to see the viewpoint, selectively applies (I'm not saying that all comments should work for you)...

Very few scripts are good as is, most of them need to be rewritten. I read the comments, I prepare for the rewrite - that's what the comments are for. Aren't you even thinking about rewriting?

polfilmblog
04-01-2010, 11:44 AM
Hi Chris. Don't you have anyone else to harass?

I think it's important that bad advice be called out and scrutinized. Certainly if my script is fair game, so are the comments said about it. Or is it supposed to be all one way, and I didn't get the memo?

Do you accept what every knob on the internet tells you, at face value?

Are you people f ing kidding me?

Consider the source.

What I have gleaned, for the interested, is that I probably had too much dialogue, and explained a little too much. Some could be cut. I actually did rewrite a couple of times based upon some comments I received before the contest began.

I do not intend on butchering my script based upon the comments of people who don't understand the story in the first place. If you're going to play doctor you should come up with the correct diagnosis before you obsess over your favorite course of treatment.

As for minor style choices over a word here or there, you should understand that's your style, and not necessarily mine. Style, while important in the total effect of the thing, is not something I'm looking for from feedback.

For an example of what I am looking for, there was some genuine omitted information that led to understandable confusion. This was a result of chopping down to 10 pages. I put the info back, and so the character appeared in a scene where she would not have as written. That was good advice, and relevant.

Now Chris, I'm sure you're due for another tantrum. Carry on. Nice avatar.

Chris_Keaton
04-01-2010, 12:16 PM
Nope I've done what I could. Peace.

polfilmblog
04-01-2010, 12:32 PM
I guess my main point in bitch slapping you, Chris, was the harsh medicine of getting through to you that you are no oracle of screenwriting. Fronting like you are is painful to witness.

I found your latest script unreadable, terrible. No lie. No hyperbole. This was before you showed up here. I read them all as soon as they were made available on the site.

Note, I didn't run over to s--t all over your thread.

MML
04-01-2010, 01:32 PM
I read your screenplay before I saw your thread here. I won't waste my time on feedback since you don't appear to take anyone's comments seriously and obviously don't appreciate that people have taken their time to read your work.

What I will do is offer you a "tip. Much like you did on the thread I started on the screenwriting page titled "Lots of Screenplays", to try and get some filmmakers to look at my work...remember? "Just a tip. Nobody is looking for "lots of screenplays." Just one great one."

Anyhoo...my tip is to get over yourself. You aren't as good a writer as you think. You're okay but your inability to take anyone's comments seriously means you will stay at this level. If you know so much more than anyone here...why are you here? Why even bother with this step? Because the rest of us are here to learn and to improve and to help one another. You've insulted people who have read your work. How selfish of you. And what a waste of time for us.

polfilmblog
04-01-2010, 03:58 PM
"You're okay but your inability to take anyone's comments seriously means you will stay at this level."

Wow, it's a chorus. Thanks ever so for stopping by.

Actually, the factual record seems to dispute you. I've responded to every comment posted. I've "seriously" considered them, and given my honest opinion of them. If that's not enough for you, then please just go away.

I'm very busy actually, trying to cast some beautiful actresses in a tv pilot I'm putting together, and get a production on track.

I really don't have time or desire to waste words on kids who want to be taken seriously, but don't have the chops ... to be taken seriously.

Seriously.

Chris_Keaton
04-01-2010, 04:04 PM
I smell a troll.

Hey, did anyone notice the sites name change to DSLRuser? At least in the header.

jamiejay
04-02-2010, 08:03 AM
i noticed... april fools ;)

Jack Daniel Stanley
04-03-2010, 08:26 PM
Don't participate in these contests if you can't take criticism. Even harsh criticism that you don't agree with.

And if someone won't take the criticism you're giving, move on.