Thread: Endgame

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    #11
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    This script really kept my interest from beginning to end. I liked the three main characters and the dialogue that they shared.

    One minor note, in the beginning you have HEAR captilized a few times and I think it should be the actual sound that is captilized, e.g. RING and BEEP. In those cases you wouldn't have to write "hear" at all, Just "the phone RINGS"

    My only real quandry revolves around the sniper. Who is he/she? Maybe they see him/her and "Oh s*%t its his crazy girlfriend that married him while he was in prison!" or a brother or a mother or something. Unless it was actually Eggers, in which case I misread it. Also why would Montanaro find it hard to believe that a serial killer with nothing to lose would be shooting at them?

    I like your writing style and found it very entertaining, like this...
    This should be one of those barns where the hayloft (the
    "top floor," for you city types)

    I liked how you wrapped it all together with the envelope and Marie at the end.

    I had a lot of fun reading this script and thought you kept it exciting.

    Oh yeah, I did feel you needed more "giant handguns" in the script, if you're interested, I know a guy. ;)


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    #12
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    I'm sure you do.

    You're probably right about the capitalization thing, I do that wrong a lot. I can also self-critique that a lot of the characters really have no description given.

    And yeah, the sniper thing is a bit of a loose end that I just didn't feel I had time to wrap up properly. In the extended version that I mentioned earlier, I think I had an off-hand line about the other cops having taken out the sniper, but even then I really didn't spend a lot of time on it. He's really just a plot device to keep the cops outside busy for a little while. I suppose, if the barn has a back door that I use later, Eggers could have just gone that way, and then Harney could be the first one up and after him; but then I do lose the Harney/Montanaro interaction when they're under fire.

    Speaking of which, the thing about not believing it's Eggers shooting: the idea behind that was to try and sell the backstory a little more, to play up the idea that Harney has spent three years trying to get inside Eggers' head; and, in all that time, Harney's never seen him using a gun. (Obviously I didn't sell it well enough. )

    Thanks for the feedback.

    BTW, just as a little Easter egg hunt, anybody spotted the line lifted directly from Aliens yet?
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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    #13
    Junior Member Justin Muschong's Avatar
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    This is a really good beginning, but I think you can make it more dramatic for Detective Harney. The whole time he knows he's going to quit the force, so he remains a static character. I think you can make him dynamic by having him make up his mind in the course of the short. For example, you could begin with him and his wife obviously unhappy and arguing, then he goes off to tangle with the Chief and Eggers, and it's those events that lead him to realize that he will be a much happier person if he quits. On the other hand, you could also start with him having made the decision, but something happens to make him reverse himself.

    That's what I find interesting: what does it take to get that point where someone decides "Things have to change"? To me, making that decision is the climax.
    This screenwriter for hire.


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    #14
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, Justin.

    The funny thing is, the arc for Harney was supposed to be exactly what you suggested in your first scenario. At the beginning, he's supposed to be not entirely sure that he's going to quit, even if it costs his marriage (although admittedly his conversation with Marie's voicemail suggests that he's pretty sure), but then what happens to him the rest of the day convinces him that he doesn't want to be a part of this anymore. So that part needs some more work.
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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    #15
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    I liked it a lot. Excellent straight lined cop story.

    Like Mark, I found it amusing that your action elements had cheaper options built into them. It was a little distracting though, and had I been reading this in any context outside of ScriptFest I would have had a problem with it.

    The payoff at the end was really good too. Not where I was thinking you were heading, but actually far, far better than where I thought it was going. This one scores high with me.
    Chris Johnson


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    #16
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't have put anything like that in if it wasn't for the circumstances of ScriptFest; and I probably shouldn't have even then.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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    #17
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    Captain,
    Yeah I second Mr. Harris. See Se7en, not even to help your script but because it is a great little film.

    On to your script though. First off I would go over some basic formatting rules. While I understand the desire to make it a low budget, write for a high budget and let the production team figure that out. All of the explanations were unnecessary. Also make sure you go over what to capitalize, sounds, important objects like envelopes, even exciting actions sometimes. Also make sure you keep things in the present tense, no "is" or "are."

    I liked how we left your main character, Harney, for a while in the script. I think that expands the world and really lets you broaden the scope. I even liked the introduction of the media, but I think they could come back at the end or should just be cut. They sort of disappear.

    Also you never really explain the sniper. If he is being rescued by a tea, then there should be more than just the sniper. And personally I think Eggers would use a gun if he is escaping. Purposely avoiding a firearm due to "style" doesn't really fit. If you really want to sell this than we need to know more about Eggers and his past and motivation. What kind of serial killer is he?

    I like the ending with him quitting and going back to his wife. The only problem I have is that it happens pretty close to this awfully tense situation. Cops are bleeding everywhere, there is a sniper, and he is calling up his wife. It works but I think you could up the plausibility.

    Otherwise good job. I hope you consider some rewrites.

    BTW I liked that you used the name Eggers. I really enjoy the author Dave Eggers.


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    #18
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    Technically, the media does make a (very understated) return at the end as Harney returns to his car, but I should have made it more clear.

    It's becoming more and more clear to me that even I don't know what the hell is up with the sniper. It needs to be another person than Eggers, so Eggers can run while the sniper is keeping the cops pinned down; honestly, even if I had known who he was and what his story was, there wasn't really room here to do it justice, but at the very least I should have found a way to work in that he's been taken out of the picture.

    As for Eggers' "style," what I was going for was that he's a torture/mutilate kind of guy, but there again, I could have done more to sell it. The reporter at the beginning could be more descriptive, as could Harney when he and Montanaro are under fire, and even Harney near the end, when he mentions that Eggers would only want to help find the bodies so that the families could see what he'd done to them (which is about the only time I did try to sell it), could definitely do more.

    As for upping the plausibility at the end... if we know the sniper has been taken out, does that get it there? Or what more would you suggest? (That sounds sarcastic when I read it, but it's not meant that way, I'm really asking. ) What I was going for was that, with the sniper taken care of, Eggers back in custody, and Harney having quit, that he just doesn't care anymore. One thing I just thought of was that he should check on the cop that got injured and make sure he's going to be OK on his way back to the car.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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    #19
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    -"Hi, this is Marie's phone. Leave
    her a message and she'll call you
    back."
    Why is she referring to herself in the third person?

    I don't know about everyone, but I'm sure it's good to avoid the "we see" or we hear in action descriptions. For me it reminds me I am reading a story meant to be filmed/shot. Takes me out of the story.

    -"While this means nothing to us, it clearly means a lot to
    Harney."

    Describe this, what does Harney look like when he hears the news.

    -"I'd think at
    least one carload should be SWAT guys in tactical gear and
    heavy weapons (SMG's, M4's, G36's, something like that); the
    other carload could be the same or uniformed guys with
    shotguns."

    -"It would be nice if this could look like a police car inside,
    with the barrier between the front and back seats, so we
    could get close"

    I don't get this, are you asking us the audience what the cops should be? Not a good idea. Upon further reading I see you do this alot.

    I find it hard to believe when the explosion occurs that Eggers has time to dig for keys and take off his hand/ankle cuffs.

    -"until they take you to the
    chair next month."

    Sounds too fake. Obviously exposition. Guess you wouldn't have the punchline "see you next month" without it though.

    So what was the deal with the sniper? Who? Did they get him?

    Decent story. Honestly it seemed too contrived, and its missing a certain element. Like the whole story was a setup for "the big news". This is my kinda story, but with the cop/serial killer being so overly done these days, stories like this need to have something a little different than what's already been done.


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    #20
    Senior Member Captain Pierce's Avatar
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    She's referring to herself because I was going for one of those silly/stupid things that people do with their answering machine/voicemail messages. (I used to have the "Stand by to receive our transmission" sequence from Star Trek II as my message. ) It's kind of like those stupid AT&T Wireless commercials where the person's phone is supposed to be talking to you. (And if I'd realized that, I never would have used it. )

    I don't know if I'm old fashioned or what, but I guess my approach to writing the screenplay is writing a script, not a novel with scene headings. While I agree that I have way too much of a tendency to use the passive voice, I guess I don't see the problem with "we see" or "we hear," as I've seen them in actual produced scripts that I've read. As I've already admitted, I let too many suggestions about how to lowball the budget sneak into this; as krestofre suggested to another entrant, I should have just said how I wanted it to look and worried about that if/when the script was actually being produced. I guess I was proceeding from a false idea of how the the fest was going to work, thinking that the scripts would be picked by a panel of judges, maybe even the "Mod Squad" themselves, rather than being voted on, so I was trying too hard to talk to them.

    The odd thing about the "take you to the chair next month" line is that the idea of the execution has already been brought up by the reporter. So at this point I don't know that it can technically be called "exposition," but I suppose it might not be necessary. That line could probably just be "It's over, Jason," and then the reporter has already set us up for "see you next month."

    Another odd thing is that the idea of Harney quitting was about the last element that made its way into the script, and that I went there pretty much in order to try to do something different than what's already been done. Seems like a little bit of a no-win scenario there (and now I've come full circle back to Star Trek II ).

    Thanks for the feedback, Stylz. I know I picked it apart a little here , but it is appreciated.
    The Plinkett Equation:

    TOS16 + TNG5 + DS94 + VOY11 + ENT 8
    __________________________________________________ = History is changing every 23 millionths of a second

    F649 + Alp987 + Bet934 + Gam764 + Del837 * 100,000,000,000


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