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05-07-2008 08:00 AM
This is definitely the first 50 million dollar short I've read in the fest so far.
I enjoyed the chase through the forest and I was in suspense as to why the alien was actually after Michael, especially after he waited for them to be clear of the door before he blew through it.
I could see how leaving the alien out at the beginning could work to build suspense, but I was fine with the way you wrote it.
At one point the Alien tells Michael... "I'm sorry but you have been chosen"
Up to this point I thought the crash site was random. I don't know if there would be an easy way to explain why Michael was the chosen one.
I'm just nitpicking anyway, because I didn't even think about it the first time I read it, I was just along for the ride.
This was a blast to read and I thought overall you wrote a very good script. Definitely felt like it was part of something much bigger.
So now, I'm just looking forward to the 1 billion dollar feature length script.
05-07-2008 09:45 AM
I enjoyed the script, but I would refer back to Mark's comments. This may just be a style thing, but to me the details of the chase are the perogative of the director. To me a script that can boil it down to "The Alien chases him through the forest" is actually a little sharper because it doesn't get into the blocking of the scene. That doesn't mean that you can't insert the story elements that are absolutely essential, like the HUD shot and stuff like that, but your action elements read more like a novel and less like a script. This is completely a nit-picky comment.
The story and idea are good. The execution needs a little more polish in my opinion. However, I would love to see this one produced to see how the visuals turned out. Definitely some striking scenes here.Chris Johnson
05-07-2008 11:05 AM
I'll take these notes down and think about it further upon a second review. Thanks again! Glad you liked the scenes.
05-07-2008 11:31 AM
I'm not sure I agree. Written that way it may still turn out to be an exciting scene when filmed, but it would read really boring and greatly lessen the impact. And even though a screenplay is not a finished product, you still need to write in a way that draws the reader in. It's the director's perogative to later cross out all the stuff (s)he doesn't need.
05-07-2008 12:39 PM
I did want to get a few points across during the chase through the forest as well.
1. Michael avoids the first ray from the star because his is agile.
2. He avoids the second one due to a last second decision to free his dog. This tells us a lot about his character.
3. We learn that the Alien can indeed fly! That and it is injured.
4. Lastly, I would lose all the cool H.U.D. action from within the helmet as he tracks his target.
If I sum all that up as "The Alien chases him through the forest" I lose too much.
I will look at it again after all this is over and see what changes I can make though.
Regardless, I appreciate all the praise and criticism.
BTW, I want to mention that John LaBonney gave me a few good ideas concerning the cool H.U.D. Thanks again, John.
05-07-2008 01:10 PM
I really liked about 95% of this script. The end was the only part that I am not to thrilled about. It just had a B-movie feel with the fight and the dialog. The beginning portion was excellent. It was more low key like the best parts of Close-Encounters and Signs. I really enjoyed that. I think this would work much better as a feature though, especially with the ending of him becoming a super-hero.
One thing I would recommend is to consider making Michael a reluctant hero. Instead of the star-athlete he could be a person unsure of himself. It just seems that he turns to a super-hero and accepts his role really quickly. In one sentence actually. If this were a feature I would prefer to see him struggle to fill into that role. It would play on the 'Was he chosen?' or 'Was it a mistake to give him that power?' type question that people will have.
All in all it was good read.
05-07-2008 02:13 PM
I think the initial voice-over is unnecessary.
Formatting-wise, you've got action formatted as dialog for the Alien. Initially I thought this was a typo, but as I continued reading I saw you were doing it intentionally. If somebody says it out loud, it's dialog. I know in the initial draft you had these portions described using "POV," but you can simply get rid of the dialog heading and format this as action.
I like how the door is blown of its hinges.
I think the Alien's dialog is a little canned. I liked "I am sorry, but you have been chosen," but I think you could have ended that block of dialog right there. When I read the "power of the star" I felt like going to the sink to wash the geekyness off my hands.
There are a couple of other places I think that the dialog could be trimmed to increase impact. "I know what I must do," end right there and go to "There are more of them left. You must defeat them."
I liked the sci-fi theme and the chase. We don't know what the Alien wants from him and we think that he's just out to kill him.
Making Michael a more reluctant of a hero is a good idea, although I think it's okay as-is for a short script.
I know that this was a last-minute entry, and as I was lucky enough to have a sneak-peak at the initial draft, I can say that there was some significant improvement to this version. Good job.
05-07-2008 04:31 PMChris Johnson