Thread: The Western Way

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    #11
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    ****Don't read reviews until you've read the script.

    Notes:
    - Compress, your first action block is longer than it needs to be. Act as if each word costs you money. It just makes for a smoother and faster read.
    - Do you expect people to read all of the letter on the screen or should this be voiced over? or maybe Ross would read key parts?
    - It seems you are just telling us the backstory instead of playing it out. Showing is more exciting that telling.
    - Try to avoid the word 'is', it takes the life out of your writing. Always use the 'active' voice when possible.
    - Peter Murphy lead singing of Bauhaus was murdered! Again you are expecting a lot of reading to be done by your viewers. You could have this play out as radio, but probably just need to trim to show just the important bits.
    - Try not to direct through your script. Directors hate that.

    I actually think you could start this story at the prison when Ross is picked up. I would try to play down the exposition until absolutely needed. Some mystery can add to the thrill. Nothing wrong a good rewrite can't fix.
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
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    #12
    Senior Member Anthony Todaro's Avatar
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    **REVIEW COMING

    SIDE NOTE--

    If you get a chance to read mine, the script I uploaded to DVX has a clerical error.
    So if you download it, it's not the right one...

    Here's the proper one.
    DEATH BY COP: http://bit.ly/qq2c1G
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    #13
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    Hi,

    I think you have a nice story here.

    It might be a bit silly to complain about the names but I'm Friends generation, the names Ross and Joe send me the wrong way

    You're relaying most of what happened in the past through dialog. Much expected of the actors and also, you probably can find a more visual way to do it. And to do it gradually perhaps.
    It's just - given this way it's bound to have some exposition and you don't want that.

    The action blocks - not that it was hard to plow through or anything but the writing always looks more alluring without them.

    I think you could cut on dialog. Nice story though.


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    #14
    Senior Member Sunk99's Avatar
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    Simon,

    I give script criticism by the line as I read.


    Pg 1 **interesting opening - got my interest
    Pg 2 out to get him, and his family were in danger. **Shouldn't this be "We were in danger"?
    wont **typo won't
    newspaper articles **headlines are too long for an audience to read. Simplify.
    Pg 3 Connemara **average person know what this is?
    Pg 4 Fade to the location pictured on the computer screen **This rips the reader from the story and puts on a directors hat. Not good.
    Could have simply stated the prison entrance looks exactly like the computer screen. Let the director decide how to shoot.
    Pg 6 Who the poo poo are you really? **The language limits the audience and isn't needed.
    Ross has a flashback of the newspaper articles. **Novelistic. Show us visually what is to be seen.
    That was my deal! **This entire dialogue from Joe is not very realistic.
    While JOE tells his story we see a blurry montage of flashbacks during the original deal at St. Patrick’s Shrine. **Again novelistic.
    Show us intercutting the dialogue.
    Pg 9 dead boys face **Hmmm...killing a kid or female on screen is usually a bad thing unless it's a horror flick.
    Don’t move DONAL **So Donal kills his son, but Joe isn't simply reacting and shooting back?
    Okay - explained later - the boy is Donal's unknown illegitimate son.
    Pg 10 No..no...no... **Not sure if he would react that emotionally.
    DONAL gets up and starts to walk away **You mean Joe walks away.
    **Interesting ending off to kill the ex.

    I think the story needs much simplified for an audience to follow.
    It's a good basic story. If you have Dramatica Pro I'd run it through and check for holes.
    Good concept.


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    #15
    Member BasilSunshine's Avatar
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    ***SPOILERS***
    Hi Simon, Here we go, making notes as I read.
    see’s = sees.
    "Hey man. You better get going." = Maybe think of a better way to get him out of the scene. This makes it seem like his character was only there for convenience. A good friend might offer to help clean up.
    "ROSS if you’ve read any..." ROSS shouldn't be in caps except the first time he is introduced and never in dialogue (same with other characters). Also there is too much exposition in this dialogue. This would be stronger as a flashback in my opinion.
    Action blocks over 4 lines are discouraged, so you might want to tighten or break up a few of those.
    "Nobody tells me anything." Good line!
    "He has a look in the shrine." Did he look in a window or something? I wasn't sure.
    "Ross has a flashback of the newspaper articles." I just learned how to do this yesterday when I was revising my script for this contest after getting feedback:
    MEMORY FLASH: The newspaper articles.
    BACK TO SCENE
    That's one way to do it, anyway.
    "While JOE tells his story..." Here you want to do something like this:
    FLASHBACK TO: (right justified)
    SLUGLINE (with Year)
    Describe exactly what happens and intersperse dialogue as a voice over.
    BACK TO PRESENT
    I don't understand why he says, "The car...The registration! We have to get out of here..." Because he thinks the bad guy will know he's the son?
    Why doesn't he tell his son to run or something? He doesn't even try to bargain for his life, just puts the ties on him.
    boys = boy's (p10)... UGH he killed the kid
    OH wicked twist... it was his grandkid... how horrid...
    OH Man... great ending... really ominous.
    Well this is a killer story that just needs some technical issues ironed out... Nice work!


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    #16
    Senior Member Anthony Todaro's Avatar
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    1 That's a big block of action
    1 IT SAYS (Are you intending for the letter to be (V.O.) or viewed by the audience? It's a lot of info to convey in one sitting. Maybe concentrate on the most important part.
    2 I'm worried I will forget details.
    3 Giant action blocks. Lots of quotes and info being conveyed.


    Dig that ending. some format issues, but that's easy to fix. Also you might consider telling the story in real time or finding a visual way to illuminate the past. Inventive stuff.
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    #17
    Senior Member taylormade's Avatar
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    I really liked the concept and story, but I have to agree with some of the other reviewers that the execution leaves something to be desired. As written it reads more like a short story than a script - a good short story. It seems like you're really trying to cram a longer tale into the ten page limit, and it shows. Still, the ending is haunting. Write it as a short story or expand it into a real script.
    "If they move, kill'em!"


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    #18
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    Everyone who has read this so far; thanks a lot for your constructive feedback! I am sorry that I have not yet returned the favor as I've been massively busy editing a documentary this last week so I have not had a chance to deal with this properly as yet. I'll be reading the other scripts this weekend and will try to offer my insights, and to follow up on all of your critiques of my script. I appreciate all of your input and thanks for being patient with me!


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    #19
    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    Really compelling story. The writing, in the beginning especially, is a bit clumsy, and the formatting (names, flashbacks) needs some fixing. But there's a lot of interesting action and twists. I always love a good kneecapping. Biggest problem I see story-wise is that you kill off your most likable character. But it's a short, so you can probably get away with it on the strength of the reveal that the grandfather has just killed his own grandson. That is a very powerful moment.


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    #20
    Senior Member Mobie540's Avatar
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    This story was a bit too big for ten pages. It has a good twist. My only complaint is the big paragraphs of dialogue that seem to only serve for exposition...goes back to my first point of it being too big a story for ten pages. Great job overall.


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