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    #21
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    Seriously check out DMT,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

    This is the drug you are talking about.
    Chris Keaton - Writer | Website | Email | imdb |
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    #22
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Keaton View Post
    Seriously check out DMT,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

    This is the drug you are talking about.
    I know all about DMT my man. Never tried it though. I watch a lot of Joe Rogan podcast on youtube and he talks about it alot too. That is what the substance in my short is suppossed to be modeled on. I didn't want to mention a specific drug though. Most people don't know what DMT is.


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    #23
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craighoit View Post
    The drug angle worked for me, but I suspect it could have worked a little harder. There is something intriguing about the notion of an alien race needing humans to take some organic substance to "open up" the pathways of communication. Sort of like the William Blake "Doors of Perception" thing - Oliver Stone does a pretty good job of this in his movie The Doors. I just wish the why and the how had been explained or explored more. Perhaps it was and I simply missed it. Most sci-fi tends to deal in the wires. The hardware. The stuff that's made of metal. There is huge possibilities for it being fresh and innovative when it drifts more into the chemical and natural I think (and I must as a parent put in a plug for "Just say no" for here - karma).

    As far as the dialogue - my sense is that some of Jason's wasn't needed or could have been less on the nose. His first "F**k off" maybe is better as just ignoring the guy... and his "I'm supposed to trust..." line felt like you're explaining story a bit rather than revealing character if that makes sense. We (and Jason) know he shouldn't trust this, so I think you could use this line to better convey this uncertainty and maybe hint that Jason may in fact take this guy up on the deal. And if you feel you need to show him feeling uncomfortable about the deal maybe the line references a recent celebrity death or something of that nature.... not sure.

    Anyway, a good read. Thanks

    Craig


    How can I clear this up? Hmmmm. The dealer was only dealing some new drug. Aliens weren't intentionally using him or the drugs. The drug just happens to open up some other part of the brain that the Aliens are sending messages on. The Aliens don't know to whom or where these messages are going, they just happen to be picked up here by unintentional means. Also, did anyone notice Jason was translating alien text into binary and then into the final English "message"?


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    #24
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Oh, okay. So the reason the shady guy wasn't there the second time was because he was into his own product, evidenced by the graffiti he left behind?...


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    #25
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STYLZ View Post
    Also, did anyone notice Jason was translating alien text into binary and then into the final English "message"?
    haha, ASCII - Alien Standard Code for Information Interchange


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    #26
    Senior Member STYLZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Born Son View Post
    Oh, okay. So the reason the shady guy wasn't there the second time was because he was into his own product, evidenced by the graffiti he left behind?...
    Bingo.


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    #27
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    I won't pretend that I "got" the whole script as I was reading it, because I didn't. But after reading the reviews and explanations, I really think you came up with a great idea with the use of the drug as a form of contact.

    I like that he goes back to find the dealer and finds more of the graffiti, kinda gives me a "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" vibe. While I think you are good at creating good visuals through your descriptions, I thought it could be tightened up and have the same result, but in a more efficient way.

    Example:

    Jason sits on his couch swigging some scotch from a scotch
    glass and watching the usual doom and gloom on CNN on his big
    screen TV. The TV dominates a whole corner of the studio.

    Does it really matter what type of glass he swigs scotch from? The size of the T.V. is described twice, you could combine them or lose the last part altogether, as it doesn't add to the story.

    This is direct and efficient.

    Jason lives in a modern studio that is sparsely decorated.
    It is functional.

    I think you have a really good idea, I was pulled into the story as far as trying to figure out what was going on and going to happen, so that's a good thing. Really a lot of good ideas going on here. Thanks.
    the writer formerly known as "Conlan Forever"

    Need a short script?
    Have an idea? Want to collaborate? Contact me.

    screenwriter75@yahoo.com


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    #28
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Page 1

    This …

    MALE (CONT’D)
    Bitch!


    Is he still OS? He already hung up, so where is this coming from?

    This …

    INT. CAR – NIGHT

    JASON (25) -is a white male with a five o’clock shadow
    cropping up although he is clean cut. He sits in his car
    gazing out the front window with a thousand mile stare.


    A few issues here …

    You can axe ‘is a’ before white male. Also, Jason is a masculine name, so you can axe male as well. Names like Pat or Jesse, Chris, Terry, and Alex can be either, and you should give a heads up if the character is male or female. Names like Ming or Duc or Chuy that may not be familiar to everyone should be distinguished as well.

    ‘He sits in his car …’.

    Your slug has already given us this info. No need to repeat it in text. And, as this is a car, use windshield instead of front window.

    Thousand mile stare is a compound adjective, should be thousand-mile stare.

    Dump an although and a with, maybe dump an ING, and all cleaned up this block can read along these lines …

    INT. CAR – NIGHT

    JASON (25) white and clean cut, a five o’clock shadow.
    He gazes out the windshield with a thousand-mile stare.


    33 words down to 18. Same information.

    This …

    After a few moments he breaks his stare and looks out to the front of an Albertson’s store.

    Is the store to the left or right, or in front, but he just wasn’t focusing on it? Where is Jason parked? On a street, or is he at a light or stop sign? This car needs to be somewhere to put what happens next into some loose perspective.

    And …

    Telling me he breaks his stare is redundant if you next tell me he looks at an Albertson’s. One begets the other.

    What caused him to notice the store? A noise? These kinds of places (supermarkets) have huge parking lots, so how is Jason seeing the character introduced in the next text block? It is night, afterall. And why Albertson’s? Why not just ‘Supermarket’? Does it matter? If I film this in Chicago or London, will I find an Albertson’s there?

    And, since he was ‘gazing’ in the preceding text block, which does infer a moment of time lapsing, I’m tempted to leave off ‘ after a few moments’

    Clarify!

    Maybe chop this block to …

    He blinks, glances out at a supermarket.

    We will come back and finish this in a few.

    This …

    He notices a SHADY GUY, a white male leaning up against a
    pillar close to the front door. One foot up on the pillar.
    The guy has on a sideways baseball cap and has several
    piercings in his face. He is staring straight at Jason.


    First off, don’t use ‘A’ before a character not introduced with a proper name, such as Mark or Ming. Shady Guy IS this character’s name. You wouldn’t write A MARK, or A SALLY, so don’t write A MYSTERY WOMAN either. And lose the ‘A’ before white male as well – by the way, race distinctions are capped. White male, Asian food, Latino music …

    That, and Shady Guy is by default a male, so leave off male.

    And …

    ‘Front door’ would be entrance.

    ‘Has on’ would be wears.

    You are intro’ing this character’s attributes all catywumpas. Leg up, piercings, cap sideways. I like to keep these in some kind of logical order. Here maybe separate physical characteristic from mannerism (body language).

    I’m going to try this …

    He notices SHADY GUY, White with face piercings, cap on sideways. He leans against a pillar by the store entrance, stares straight at Jason.


    I left off ‘foot up’. Don’t see how it really matters. Hopefully the director and actor will interpret it one way or the other based on the character. For the sake of brevity, however, I don’t see a reason for it. Yet.

    Anyways, 45 words down to 24. This really does matter in keeping your screenplay reader-friendly, so cut out any superfluous info that really doesn’t improve the story, or embellish a character. ‘Foot up’ is on the fence, I admit. Up there with ‘A toothpick hung from his lips’. I’ll see what happens going forward.

    This …

    The parking lot is sparsely populated by cars as it is
    midnight.


    Should have told us that when you first inro’d the store, like ‘Jason looks across a near-empty parking lot …’

    How do we know it’s midnight? It pops up moments later in dialogue, but no way to know it here.

    Okay, so bringing this all back together ...

    INT. CAR – NIGHT

    JASON (25) white and clean cut, a five o’clock shadow.
    He gazes out the windshield with a thousand-mile stare.


    He blinks, glances out across a near-empty supermarket parking lot. He notices SHADY GUY, White with face piercings, cap on sideways, leaning against a pillar by the store entrance. He stares straight at Jason.

    Your original had 100 words in 13 lines (including spaces) and three blocks. The edit is 56 words in 7 lines and 2 blocks. We'll call it halved.


    Note: I used an ING form for 'leaning' to avoid pronoun confusion. Like this ...

    He blinks, glances out across a near-empty supermarket parking lot. He notices SHADY GUY, White with face piercings, cap on sideways. He leans against a pillar by the store entrance. He stares straight at Jason.

    This part ...

    He leans against a pillar by the store entrance.

    ... could be construed as being Jason, since this block opened with Jason's HE, and follows with He notices SHADY GUY ... so it is false logic that the next HE would also be Jason, but it is SHADY GUY (there are 4 HE in total).

    So, to keep it clear, I axed that third HE pronoun in favor of a comma and the ING form. Make sense? Kinda?
    Pronoun confusion is one of the biggest issues in screenplays.


    Onward …

    There are several issues structure-wise going forward. This for example …

    INT. JASON’S APARTMENT - NIGHT.

    Jason lives in a modern studio that is sparsely decorated.
    It is functional.


    If you intro this as Jason’s aprtment, you don’t need ‘Jason lives in a …’ to follow.

    And, since he is using the space like it is his – as opposed to visiting - then you can even drop ‘Jason’s’ from the slug.

    Cut it to …

    INT. STUDIO APARTMENT - NIGHT

    Modern, sparsely decorated, functional.


    Seriously, that’s all you need. Get STUDIO up into the slug, and move on.

    Wait, do you mean sparsely decorated, or sparsely furnished?


    Page five needs to be broken up to give it some white space. This was a little hard to read all packed in like that. You had 8 pages to write this, so open it up and let it breathe. Forget the 52 lines per page, or 54, or what ever it is these days, and just make it readable.

    Lose all those ‘begins’. He is either doing it or he isn’t.

    ‘Jason heads into the store, Jason sits to write a letter.

    This ‘begins to write’ or ‘begins to walk’ is so not needed.

    Story …

    I like this concept. A lot. I think it has real potential, and could easily translate into a longer story with some interesting options for direction – as well as what came before. I’d like to know more about what’s happening in his relationship. Sounds like the chick is moving out. But why? Is Jason a dick?

    You really need to master your text block design, get your like-info together, and dump the ballast ! This could be a powerful 3-pager if you cleaned up all the round-about text and extra words to explain things. About every one of these text blocks need a serious edit. Dialogue is fair, but sufficient to get the story out.

    Nice story that left me wanting more of it – in a good way.

    a
    Last edited by alex whitmer; 06-26-2012 at 11:04 PM.


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