Thread: Bad Intel

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    Bad Intel
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    BAD INTEL

    A burned out soldier must decide to fight with his allies or his fellow countrymen.

    Set in Afghanistan - present day

    I found out about this contest through a local writing group. I've been on a two year hiatus from writing. It feels good to be back. I have screened short films at festivals ,but this will be the first screenwriting contest I have participated in. This will be interesting.
    Last edited by Quincy Minor; 01-06-2010 at 06:53 PM.


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    Welcome aboard!

    I've just started writing again as well, not as long hiatus as you but this will be my first completed script since last february
    I'm also on Moviepoet under name William Flink,
    Why must I insist on writing my name backwards?

    Scripts on MP:
    Pirouette
    Lighter
    Farewell, André


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    Senior Member DarkElastic's Avatar
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    Welcome Quincy, I look forward to the read.


    Marshall Dean

    Writer/Producer


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    Senior Member DarkElastic's Avatar
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    Hi Quincy, Just read your script.

    I won't pretend I know that much about American military and the jargon that goes with it. So it seemed fine. As soon as I saw a Captain Mohammed, I knew he would do something bad and that isn't a good thing. Also, when he does defect, and snipers his own, there is nothing from his team... It's like they just accept it. I know 6 pages don't help, but there must be a way around to show us the mayhem.
    I appreciated the ending, and that defecting isn't that simple. Good attempt though.


    Marshall Dean

    Writer/Producer


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    Senior Member dougspice's Avatar
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    I'll agree with DarkElastic's comments. His betrayal seemed pretty empty, and while he got the unexpected justice that he deserved, I just didn't feel like it completed the story.

    Unlike DarkElastic, I do know a good amount about the military. I've done tons of work for the Army and Marines and know quite a few of those guys. So I gotta say that most of your jargon and the overall posturing of the characters was unfortunately pretty far off the mark. For one thing, call a Marine a "soldier" one day and see how he reacts. Little details like that add up.

    The reality is that if this guy was expressing those sorts of concerns before the mission, he almost certainly wouldn't be sent out at all. He'd be sent for combat stress counseling or just given latrine detail by his commander.

    It's also been a good number of years since the USS Cole bombing, so no one that you could call a "kid" would have any involvement.

    Basically there were just far too many things in the details and the character motivation that rang false for me to buy into this script.

    The good news: details can be fixed. You actually have a core story here that could be made pretty strong. A soldier (or marine) decides he is going to defect. Maybe it's because he has seen his own side cause some atrocity, maybe it's because he's been some kind of mole all along. But he's decided to defect. He tries to do so and finds that the other side doesn't welcome him, but rather imprisons/tortures/kills him. That's a pretty interesting story. Done well, it could be powerful. I suggest focusing less on "the mission" and the military jargon and more on the characters. I also suggest veering away from the race-based allegiance that you have now (like DarkElastic said, it was instantly questionable when "Mohammed" started questioning the mission), unless that is somehow part of the point you were trying to make.

    Good luck with this.

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    I found out about this contest through a local writing group.
    That's great to hear...

    Later,
    Jason

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    cool little "title" Charli's Avatar
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    I'm going to agree on the jargon, it's very generic and the betrayal didn't get me emotionally invested.
    I did like the military theme, though.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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    I don't know too much about military tactics or jargon so I went with it.
    I just didn't get wrapped up in this one as much as I would have liked.

    Tough story to get right in six pages though so good effort there.

    MAH


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    Pain In The Ass 2.0 Ben Sliker's Avatar
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    As a navy brat and having numerous family members/friends in all 4 branches of the military, i can echo the statement that most all details in this script were REALLY far off the mark, a little research would have made this script a lot better.

    You lost me when a captain, two sergeants, a private and a colonel are all in the same meeting. A better way to go would be a captain delivering orders to his squad of marines, marine squads are 13 men led by a corporal. And each gunner would have a spotter as well. Just a little internet research would have gotten you off to a better start.

    Dissent within a squad is more believable, especially if squad rags on him and calls him names for being Muslim and in the US military. A captain challenging Colonel's orders? I don't think so.


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    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougspice View Post
    The good news: details can be fixed. You actually have a core story here that could be made pretty strong. A soldier (or marine) decides he is going to defect. Maybe it's because he has seen his own side cause some atrocity, maybe it's because he's been some kind of mole all along. But he's decided to defect. He tries to do so and finds that the other side doesn't welcome him, but rather imprisons/tortures/kills him. That's a pretty interesting story. Done well, it could be powerful. I suggest focusing less on "the mission" and the military jargon and more on the characters.
    I agree with this 100%. This is actually the best critique / advice I've seen for the entire fest. I was initially very blah on your script, but by the end of it my feelings are exactly those of dougspice's. The core story is very interesting. Just hone that some more.
    Chris Johnson


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