View Full Version : Age Of Reason - Chris Keaton

03-24-2012, 10:12 AM

Two children discover the mythological creatures that have them trapped in their village are very real.

* Two Kids
* Woods
* and a Door

Sarah Daly
03-27-2012, 04:00 PM
I'm suitably intrigued!

03-27-2012, 04:09 PM
I have to start writing. This has been a busy month, so I haven't had much of a chance to advertise or think of ideas.

Anthony Todaro
04-06-2012, 05:05 PM
Stop getting better at making posters. What will you need me for then? Don't answer that...

04-06-2012, 10:07 PM
The poster was easy, just clip some (steal) a piece of a Geiger landscape and slap some words on it. I have to apologize for not having crap for time to get this script actually good though, ugh.

04-08-2012, 07:44 AM
I actually like your list as a log line as it stirs the imagination: Two kids, woods, and a door.

04-11-2012, 11:32 PM
Let's see, this is where comments should go, yes?

First of all, I really enjoyed the story as just that - a story. It held me from the beginning to the end - I wanted to follow along, to find out what "happens next." For me, this is huge. The pacing and flow of the action was quite good. In such a short piece it's hard to develop character, and while there is a physicality about the two that is well defined (her being a few inches taller was a nice bit) I wonder if their actions could better define them. I do like how she is somehow the "older and wiser" of the two based upon her being out in that transitional zone a bit longer, but I'm wondering if this can be further pushed. I absolutely LOVE the bit about the map being buried in a book in a garden. Why? Who knows, but it somehow strikes me as "real" if that makes any sense at all. It simply fits with the world you've created.

If this weren't so good, I wouldn't get into minutia (believe me, I don't have the time) and my comments are more of a reflection on my tastes and likes than they are the script, so with that in mind...

Mar's first line about "no such thing as demons and monsters" feels a bit too "explaining the what this is about" to me. It's a neon arrow pointing to the thematic underpinnings of the story. I think you could lose it all together, replacing it perhaps with a head shake to indicate he disagrees with the man in the village or perhaps it could be reworked to be a bit more oblique and character defining.

Fantastic condensing of the action to the next thing being Mar is being chased. It's like BAM, I'm in to it. Kudos. For what it's worth, nice writing too.

Cylia's first line, "Stay down or die" is again great. Defines her character and sets her in the mold of Sarah Connor (this chick is bad ass).

Following lines about the conclaves - wondering if they can be abbreviated somewhat. Not sure. I do, however really like Mar's "I'm not going back." Not only is it how people talk in slightly round-about non sequiters, but it's a wonderful line to define/describe his character and his objectives - he has left the security of childhood/barbed wire fences and all, and there really is no turning back.

OK, I kind of F'ing hate this when people do this to me, but i'm tired so I'll do it- that is jump to a solution before stating the issue with something and letting the actual creator of the thing solve it. It's the "oh, you can do this..." syndrome. But what the Hell. I'd end this particular scene on the line "Don't worry, they won't let us" and then move to a new scene where they are battling some physical obstacle in their environment - a river, a mountain, whatever. Then I'd have Cylia deliver the line about they're pushing us to the northwest and be done with it - into a following scene. Not that there is a problem per se with what you have, but I think it speeds things up, and provides another obstacle (this time the physical environment itself) for the two to battle (you could even show Mar as somewhat beat up, tears from brambles, etc to show the arduous nature of the journey. Again, sorry for jumping right to the "hey, you could do this..."

The first time I read this, this whole scene (pushing me to the northwest, they want me heading to the mountains, etc) was problematic for me. Not sure why, but the fantastic narrative flow just seemed to slow down. For whatever reason it just didn't fit. I suspect it was too much saying and not enough showing. Cylia "knows" too much (they want me heading to the mountains) for it to feel right or real. Again, I think something like:

Cylia: They're pushing us to the northwest.
Mar looks at the jutting peaks in that direction - a wall of granite and ice and sharp crags in front of them.
Mar: Over those? Hope it's not their feeding ground.
Cylia: No choice.
She smiles.
'Sides, the mountains will probably kill us.

(sorry, couldn't resist the Butch Casidy and the Sundance Kid reference)

Not sure if you need her "wake up" line. We know this from what we see. Seems like you could dial up the drama here - maybe it's "get up now because I heard something" Also, might be a nice time to make Mar the one who "saves" them or is in control. Not sure...

Antique compass is a f'ing awesome detail. Really like it. Tells a lot of story for me. Again, the bit about the map from the garden is pure gold. Why? Who knows, but it totally works.

The herding bit at the end is nice. Wonder if there is a bit more to this - do the beasts have cattle type prods? (Yeah, stupid, I know) Are they on horses, do dogs help out... dunno, something in the action that really gives the sense of herding. I don't know that any of these are right, but I suspect there is something out there that can reinforce this point.

The ending. Crap. The hardest thing for me about being a writer. I've heard it for years and have screamed like a petulant child about how wrong it is. Only now am I sorta coming to terms with it. Just today I got rid of line "Next stop, Cooperstown" that I just loved. Kill your darlings. As I said, I'm only "sorta" coming to terms with this. I suspect that "You've reached the age of reason" is one of your darlings. It is, after all the title of the script. I'd lose it. Again, purely subjective and you're the writer here. It doesn't ring true - like the beginning, it feels a bit like "this is what this is about" Now, the "you're at the end of childhood" or "your childhood ends at this moment" is a STAGGERINGLY good line. It is brilliant. It is also getting lost next to the "age of reason" stuff. One to me is intellectual, one is visceral. I FEEL it. Seriously, it's awesome. I would also try to interject (not sure how you do this, but it may be baked in earlier into the structure of the script) the sense of loss that comes with the loss of being a child. On the one hand, it's wonderful (the city beyond the door) but on the other there is a sadness and melancholy quality to it too. I think if you could somehow capture this (and perhaps you did, but I was too dense to see it) this script would move from excellent to spectacular.

I've blathered on a lot here. I hope you don't mind. Everything was suggested with the intention of constructive criticism. I really did enjoy the story, and ultimately that's what matters....


04-12-2012, 05:42 AM
Wow! Great feedback! I think you really shined a light on and frankly hit the rough spots with a stick. I didn't have much hope for this story, but I can see now that it could work. Thanks!

04-12-2012, 10:38 AM
Nothing I can say that Craig didn't cover...in depth. If that review was a script it would have been 10 pages! :D
Not your best work, but still, there's hope.

04-12-2012, 03:50 PM
Dusk, how do you shoot dusk. Night or Day, my opinion.
Tear in the fence, trying to picture that. Is it a plastic snow fence and that has a tear?
Missing a comma after few Farms(,) and is farms capitalized?
Fence wall? Is it a fence or wall?
“In a flash cloaked figure leaps on Mar…” clunky sentence.
Red eyed, hairy beasts? I’m just going to picture the mutant dogs from Hunger Games.
Last sentence has a typo “and the (they) step through the doorway)
Neat story, nice world you painted at the end there. Nice fake left then punch right overall. Seems pretty cookie cutter for your stuff. Initially it was hard for me to get in it because of some of the early mistakes.

04-12-2012, 07:09 PM
While I wasn't crazy about the wolves with glowing red eyes (monsters with these written features almost reads cliche to me) but when it is revealed that the wolves are really robots (not quite sure why they are under wolves clothing) and then we enter into Utopia I'm puzzled.

After all, what is an 'age of reason' and the loss of imagination really effective when the eyes are opened to the equivalent, if not a little more than Fritz Lang's Metropolis or Disney's Tommorowland? If anything, it's not exactly so and the imagination - adventure is really just starting.

That all said, I liked it.

Rustom Irani
04-16-2012, 04:15 AM
Aw man, this ends much, much before I want it to! I can actually read your struggle in deciding how much exposition and visuals were important to the plot and how much could you get away with whilst still giving this some structure.

The set-up with both characters, their immediate conflict and the world, works without too much explanation for the conclaves, a post-apocalyptic Vegas and robotic beasts. I am intrigued and do empathise with their peril.

The end just feels like you running out of space and since they haven’t really, and I mean high dramatic stakes kinda “really” earned the utopia reward, I feel a bit letdown.

Sure, they strive forth despite dangers and the conversation at night hints at it, I still would prefer some more concrete action on their part.

Expand this, with all the others in your kitty you’ve got a great series of ideas for multiple features.

Write ‘em brother! J

04-16-2012, 05:24 AM
Thanks Rusty. This is a called a first draft. :) But yeah I see what you mean, every idea I came up with was too big. I'm really working on feature ideas lately.

Rustom Irani
04-16-2012, 08:18 AM
This is a called a first draft.

Is that a typo or a really bad a Italian accent? :P

If that's a first draft mine's an idea on a paper napkin.

04-16-2012, 09:13 AM
Is that a typo or a really bad a Italian accent? :P

If that's a first draft mine's an idea on a paper napkin.

That reply was a rough draft.

Sarah Daly
04-21-2012, 04:27 PM
Well! Chris I do believe you've made me think :) I like this a lot - the metaphorical sci-fi stuff is right up my alley. You established your conflict right bam at the beginning and carried it through to the final revelation. Gotta say that a myth-laiden rural conclave sounds a lot more utopian to me than a monorailed metropolis hehe but it takes all sorts :P I liked that you aid something with this and it managed to be tense and entertaining at the same time. Nice job!

04-21-2012, 08:34 PM

This is my last review for the contest. It seems as if everyone already commented on your screenplay and touched all the bases. There is really nothing more to add except that I really enjoyed your script. It showed much imagination. While I am not the best judge of this genre, I did appreciate what you accomplished.
Nice work.