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    #31
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjjason;1271892Th
    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.
    Quite the compliment! Thanks.

    As for Michael not being more reluctant...
    Something I hinted to was Michael answering to the name of Prime. That together with his response...
    "I can feel it now... I know what I must do. Your knowledge will not be wasted."
    This was a hint to the reader that the Alien gave him more than just the power of a Star. That coupled with his confident and detailed response to the Carindrinaught let the cat out of the bag. He knew far more than what he should have. I did that on purpose. If I had a Feature to flesh it out I would have made him a little more reluctant. As it was... I wanted to go out with a bang.

    Great points all around. With more time I would definitely go in your direction.

    Thanks again.

    Mike


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    #32
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Responses in bold below.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlabonney View Post
    Mike:

    I think the initial voice-over is unnecessary.
    I like it.
    But you are not the first to mention it so I should probably look at it.

    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.

    Which part exactly? I thought most of the Alien stuff was formatted as action? Until he actually speaks to him telepathically. Unless you are just referring to the Alien header before its action. That was done on purpose just to be clear.

    I like how the door is blown of its hinges.
    Thanks!

    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.
    I'm a Geek at heart!

    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."

    Yes, I just wanted to let the audience know that he is fully aware and was granted more than just power. It needs fixing though.

    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.

    Agreed. In a longer script I would go in that direction as well.

    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.

    Thanks! I mentioned your help a few times in this thread. Considering that this was written hours before the deadline I needed all the critiquing I could get!
    Thanks again, John!


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    #33
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krestofre View Post
    Fair enough. Now that you mention it I think of myself as a director first and a writer second, so with that mindset any script I read that is overly descriptive ... well, it kind of bugs me because I feel like that's my job. I'm sure the script is perfectly viable to everyone else in the world. And again, to reiterate, I liked it.
    No problem. I appreciate the time and detail that you put into your response.
    Glad you liked it.

    Thanks!


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    #34
    Senior Member John LaBonney's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're right, you did format it as action, but the header ALIEN says "this part is dialog" to a script reader, so you need to get rid of the header.
    John LaBonney
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    #35
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlabonney View Post
    Yeah, you're right, you did format it as action, but the header ALIEN says "this part is dialog" to a script reader, so you need to get rid of the header.
    I'll think about it.



    Thanks, John.

    Mike


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    #36
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Well, I'm doing a bit of a rewrite and making this just the first chapter of a much longer series. We'll see how it goes.
    Thanks for all the critiques!

    Mike


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    #37
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    I just have to wonder, has anybody with a muscular build and a room full of athletic trophies every actually owned a telescope?

    Seriously, though, Michael, I liked this. I think it works both as a short and as a setup for something longer. And I did get how you let Michael/PRIME have the knowledge of the Carindrinaut that he couldn't have had without absorbing the memories of the Alien..
    The Plinkett Equation:

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    #38
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Pierce View Post
    I just have to wonder, has anybody with a muscular build and a room full of athletic trophies every actually owned a telescope?

    Seriously, though, Michael, I liked this. I think it works both as a short and as a setup for something longer. And I did get how you let Michael/PRIME have the knowledge of the Carindrinaut that he couldn't have had without absorbing the memories of the Alien..
    Glad you liked it! I'm also happy that you got the fact that once he received his powers he also took on a the knowledge that went with it.


    Mike


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    #39
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Voted this morning. Commented on over half I believe. More comments to come.
    Thanks for a great fest guys!

    I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to comment.

    Cheers,

    Mike


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    Michael Anthony,


    Nice job. You set the scene well. We’re out in the country, and a superhero is about to be born. I like the Alien’s motivation to pass the torch, or star, as it may be. And Michael must protect his people with his new powers; if he stays reluctant, they’ll perish. (Which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be reluctant at first.)

    One thing I’m not sure about is how old Michael is. He’s a young man, with trophies still on display. So is he still in high school? Why is he alone at home? I’m curious.

    I don’t need his voice over or telescope at the beginning. I’d rather see him doing something else that gives us more information about who this guy is. What else could he be doing? It could be something with his dog, his car, his phone, whatever… What and/ or whom else is he in to?

    I do like the fact that you gave us his trophies as a physical reflection of who he is. (If, in a rewrite, you make him something other than a jock, give us some other character objects in lieu of the trophies.)

    I think the basic story is good. It definitely feels like the beginning of a larger story. But it takes a while to grab me. My interest picks up when the Alien reveals himself as a benevolent being who has come to pass on a super power. So... can you spice up the outside action a little and/or get inside sooner? (One thing I did like outside, was the Alien shooting up 50ft, then sort of stumbling to his knee on landing. That was fresh.)



    Like other readers, I could bear losing the Alien in his spaceship scene. You reveal the Alien’s character later, with Michael in the room.

    You could also get the flow moving with some editing of your action/description paragraphs. Try taking out unnecessary adjectives and adverbs, using more specific verbs, getting rid of redundancies, shortening/fragmenting sentences, and using other prose techniques to up the pace.

    I do think that you need to describe the chase in the woods scene. It should be exciting for the reader to read, regardless of whether it has dialogue. And it’ll help you, or whomever you work with, time and budget your script. Of course your director can re-stage the chase, but until he/she does, give the reader something exciting to watch in their mind’s eye. Something they haven't seen before, based on goals and obstacles, successes and setbacks.

    On a niggly technical note, you’ve got a few formatting errors. As mentioned by another ScriptFester, typing ALIEN in a character cue and then following it with an action paragraph can confuse a reader who is expecting industry standard format.

    A couple of problematic sluglines:

    EXT. HOUSE. NIGHT. BACKYARD.

    Should be

    EXT. HOUSE - BACKYARD - NIGHT

    (go from EXT. or INT., to the general location, to the more specific location, and then to the time of day; you could even leave out HOUSE here as it is implied by BACKYARD)

    and

    EXT. NIGHT. DOWN THE PATH.

    Should be

    EXT. DOWN THE PATH - NIGHT

    Anyhow, I think you’ve got a great start here, and I’d love to know where your superhero goes - does he vanquish the alien nasties who are out to get his people? (Which makes me wonder, who are his people? His inner people? Does he have a girlfriend to protect, family, friends, classmates, etc… Can you introduce them indirectly in this first sequence?)

    - Jeff (“Charlie and Claire”)

    P.S. The lead character’s name is Michael. Is this story autobiographical?


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