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    PRECIPICE by Larry Sullivan
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    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    First contact won't be what you think.


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    #2
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Nice!
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
    ______________________________________________
    Samurai ScriptFest: A Dream of Electric Revolution (1st Place)
    Suspense ScriptFest: A Clockwork Darkened(2nd Place)
    Trapped ScriptFest: Trapped (3rd Place)


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    #3
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    I don't have any issues with your writing or storytelling, but I didn't get a strong alien component from the script. Given the theme, I can obviously see how an extraterrestrial component could be in play, but if I had read this script under different circumstances I would never have thought this was first contact with aliens. That's neither here nor there, but it was something I was expecting from the script and didn't get.

    Still, thanks for the entertaining read and for entering the fest!
    Chris Johnson


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    #4
    Senior Member taylormade's Avatar
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    I didn't really get this one. It comes off more as a drug buy gone bad than an alien encounter. Many, many sentences needed commas to break things up. I'd try to avoid the use of "is" as much as possible. Thanks for the read.
    "If they move, kill'em!"


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    #5
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Definitely my worst short to date. I actually considered asking to have it pulled after I read it a couple days after submission. Every first contact story involves some grande epic contact. My vision was "what if first contact was some messege that slips through to a nobody via technology or drugs...or both. And lets throw in a near death experience." I just executed poorly as I haven't written anything in years. I'll make up for it next scriptfest


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    Senior Member taylormade's Avatar
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    You wrote one and entered it - more than most do. No sense in posting if you think your stuff is perfect. It's supposed to be a learning experience for all of us, not an exercise in ego.
    "If they move, kill'em!"


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    #7
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    I don't think the shady guy actually being shady helps to bring intrigue.
    What's the purpose of this line?

    "I’m supposed to trust some shady
    motherpoo pooer I don’t know standing
    out by an Albertson’s at midnight
    selling drugs?"

    Overall I liked the mystery of it, but I did guess it really early on. I don't want to call the story predictable, because I'm sure some people would be thrown off. But for me, from the first time we saw the strange guy, I knew he would be an alien and what would happen next.

    If there are some underlying parallels and red herrings and such that I missed, that would make the story all the more interesting. Whenever drugs are involved, it's easy to blur reality and make the audience second-guess.

    I do like the idea of using these drugs to communicate to humans.

    But if you could add some layers to the story and some consequences, some stakes, it could be much better.


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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    As others have mentioned, the alien component is only obvious by virtue of the fact it is alien fest. The drug angle overshadowed that interpretation but it didn't really fall apart until he returned to the parking lot. I think if you reimagined from that point and then rewrote the whole thing to fit the new direction it would work out pretty good.

    My dad had a whole omnibus of alien/drug stories written (surprise surpise) sometime in the 60s/70s. There was a similar story in there where the aliens were selling some good 's*%t' down on the corner for a nickel a bag. The hippies were loving it, best high ever. The punchline was that they needed nickel to repair their spaceship and that the 's*%t' was their s*%t! A logic behind what the shady guy was up to, whether fully explained or not would have gone a long way. As far as I can make out (and only because I knew he was supposed to be an alien) his goal was to announce 'their' presence. It begs the question what motivation do they have for revealing themselves? Why use drug users to deliver the message? Why use drugs as the vehicle? What do the aliens think will happen next? Work out this logic and whether or not you fully explain it in the story it will come through. The audience will have some confidence that the writer at least does have some of these answers.

    Other than that the big issue is that the story doesn't go anywhere. The beginning sets up a number of angles you could work and asks a number of questions in the reader's mind and I read on with interest. But it doesn't pay them off later in the script. You actually had me until he went back and the shady guy wasn't there. Nothing the shady guy says is really true and no reason or hint is given as to what he is really up to. Why say he'll be there if he won't? What is the reason for not being there? Why promise it will make him see more clearly? Why demand money if the goal is to announce the alien presence? It would have been better to have him make cryptic claims that make more sense after he tries the drug. Alternatively the drug angle could have been played stronger asking the question of whether the alien experience was even real. There's nothing in the competition that says the first contact can't be hallucinatory. Actually surprised noone did.

    I don't mind the fact that he takes the drugs from a stranger. The hesitation and a musical cue would take care of that. And people do make bad decisions. And the idea of aliens making use of the drug community is certainly usable. It plays into the idea that aliens specifically target people that are isolated or lack credibility for visitations and abductions. The alien element just needed to be more prominent for this competition. You've used your imagination and thought outside the box. Doing this sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss. But this dangerous territory is where the best stories come from. Keep writing, this isn't as bad as you think and I see potential in this. Consider it a draft.


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    #9
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Wow, some detailed reviews. Thanks for taking the time. You guys might be surprised to find out that I didn't intend for the Shady Guy to be labeled or thought of as an Alien. More of a semi unwittingly distributor of the "tools" necessary for the receipt of the message. The lack of an overt Alien feeling was intentional, albeit poorly executed. Once again the idea was "first Alien contact" might be some obscure signal received by some nobody through "questionable means". Intent was for the reader to question if the experience was real or not. Was it achieved through technology(TV), drugs, or a near death experience? OR all three? Instead I left questions unanswered, a story unresolved and abundant confusion. But damn it still seems awesome in my head and it would be relativey easy to actually make(with some rewrites of course).


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    #10
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Here is the review. Some of this may be repeated above.

    - Why a huge gap before Fade In.
    - Is this interaction in any way supposed to be realistic. From his 'poo poo off' to his accepting the drug, it all seems wrong to me.
    - Ok, maybe Jason is the kind of guy to just buy drugs at an Albertsons.

    Uh, I didn't get it. Ok, the drug was a conduit for the alien's to talk, but it could've just been is subconscious. Just look up DMT. But back to the I don't get it part. So this was a story of a guy who broke up and tried a new drug which let alien's talk to him. So maybe I got that right, but why? I think there is a deeper meaning here that I'm missing.
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
    ______________________________________________
    Samurai ScriptFest: A Dream of Electric Revolution (1st Place)
    Suspense ScriptFest: A Clockwork Darkened(2nd Place)
    Trapped ScriptFest: Trapped (3rd Place)


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