Thread: High Roller

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    #31
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    I think you know, after trimming and compressing the page count will drop. I know you know, but, this thick writing makes the script a weighty read.

    Give people time and they'll waste it. I feel the building drama, but it's taking a long time to get to it. This is a short after all.

    I really would like this man to have a name, make it cryptic, but 'man' is just not holding me.

    Page 12 - When your dialog crosses a page give us a (break) and (continued). If you get a Final Draft it does this for you.

    jumps/is? It's your story, tell us how we should see it.

    This is an interesting piece. I get the horror of bad decisions, but it didn't pack the punch that I'd have preferred. Maybe make the choices clear and the consequences, so that we see what he'd be losing. Maybe give him some threat, not to make the decision, but the situation in general. I'm not sure what I'm saying except I'd like more tension. It may be there, but hidden in the weight of your action. You'll get it.
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    #32
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KhamIsk View Post
    Hey, thanks for your reply - you write lengthy ones I've yet to read it (skimmed).
    Want to point out one more thing - your writing.
    I was going to mention that it's a bit heavy for me at first and then scratched that. I saw pros write like that and I think you create more of a visual, mood and atmosphere this way. So I won't try to divert you towards economy because there's a benefit to the way you do it perhaps.
    And one last thing - you wrote off the character. I really liked your Man and the stuff he says here and there sounds clever (like "Are you a victim or do you rule your fate. Do you fall or do you jump?")

    Forgot one thing - The Man called Joe's wife "bitch" at first (the very first time he spoke to Joe) and I don't think he would. I think he'll need a slow start here to affect Joe psychologically. --just a thought.
    Thanks for the further comment Khamanna. You honed in on several issues I put a lot of consideration into and had reservations about. It has been gratifying and useful to receive the feedback.

    It IS too heavy, I'm working on it but I've got a ways to go. I write my prose cinematically, atmospherically so that has come through to my scripts. But I'm coming to think that scripts ironically shouldn't be cinematic. I'm painting the film when I should be writing a blueprint. Perhaps I'm just being too clever and directing by implication rather than slugs. While it makes for a good read does it fulfil it's function? Some are telling me yes, others no. I'm inclined to agree with those that say no based on the fact the best scripts I've read have been of the lean and mean variety.

    On the other hand my film preferences lean towards atmosphere, slow build and ambiguity so maybe my writing style does suit my material. I prefer movies that a few people love over those many people like. I don't know. Meet halfway I guess. It would be nice to be able to write both ways, never hurts to have the tools; and I always focus on developing my weaknesses rather than strengths. Hopefully next fest I will be lean and mean (if the story lets me!).

    As for the Man, don't worry about him. Maybe notsomuch the way the script ended up but his initial purpose in choosing to jump rather than fall was to rule in hell rather than be a victim. Probably not with the final edit but if nothing more he took control of his destiny and I like to think he is amongst the ranks of the fallen wielding the hot pokers, not the on the receiving end! I enjoyed writing him and his point of view, glad it shows.

    As for 'bitch' I was hesitant to put that in because I worried it might not clear on the page. His use of the word is meant so show early on that the manners and eloquence are a facade. He is speaking to Joe in Joe's vernacular just to get his attention. That is why he doesn't use vulgar language thereafter. If you've ever seen a proper upperclass gentleman or proper butler break convention and curse in a movie, it was supposed to be like that. That said, only his clothes had established his character by that stage so perhaps missed the mark. I was working with the idea demons are attractive, they have a glamour and that his civilised manner was a veneer; and, if he was a 'Joe' seven years ago, also an affectation. The rot is under the surface. Much as in real life.

    Isn't it funny how often a single word and whether it reads as intended can so often make or break a section? And layfolk think it's just stringing words together


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    #33
    Senior Member Bill Clar's Avatar
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    Good description of the alley.

    Great introduction for Joe. Throwing him out on his ass tells a lot about his character.

    I like the shadows on the Man's face. Very mysterious.

    I love the dialogue. Not a word wasted. It feels like something Jack Nicholson would say in "Batman" before he became the Joker.

    Your story starts out strong but I'm on page 11 and still waiting for the game to be played. The pace is slowing down for me.

    When the man removes his hat on page 12, shouldn't his face be revealed.

    Your writing is colorful and full of life but your action paragraphs are long and numerous. It makes for a longer read.

    I don't fully understand the ending and the roles of all the players. I assumed Joe was the devil, then the Croupier shows fangs and the Escort reveals a snake tongue. If there's symbolism it's lost on me.

    Overall, I love the mystery around the Man. He's a great character.
    So, you hate your job? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYONE. We meet at the bar at 5:00.


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    #34
    Member DarrenJSeeley's Avatar
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    While I liked the alley description, I think i would have liked the lights coming first. Why are they last to be mentioned? Did they need to be mentioned at all? I ask that because Joe is thrown out of the club. There most likely will be some light source coming from the club.

    Milton - as in Paradise Lost. Sometimes I'm not a huge, huge fan of winks like that, but it is a club, and nightspots can have funky names now and then. Speaking of poetry, some of this script seemed to have some prose. I'm not entirely against it, but despite painting a visual canvas, it does tend to get a bit long in the tooth.

    The Man -- Man, do I have a problem with The Man. I would have assigned him a name other than The Man. I understand you want to be mysterious and all, but I would have better reaction if you called him 'Mister X' or some other alias.

    A good read in any case. I liked it overall.


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    #35
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    This ...

    EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT
    An alley behind a multi-storey venue in the entertainment
    district.


    If ALLEY is in the slug, leave it out of the description. Also, from the alley, how do I know I'm in the entertainment district?


    This ...

    Wet. Brick walls. Steam rises from drains.
    Rubbish piles high around bins.


    That sounds like an alley, and I'd open with that, leave the above off entirely.

    This ...

    Two concrete steps lead up to a fire door. High above, a sodium lamp illuminates.

    Sucinct and visual. Woks for me.

    This ...

    A slick dressed MAN leans against the wall opposite,
    smoking.


    Slick dressed should be slick-dressed. I assume he's opposite the fire door?

    This ...

    Overcoat over shoulders, suit, gloves, expensive
    shoes, walking cane, money.


    Overcoat is over his shoes too? I'd shuffle this around ...

    His suit, gloves, shoes, a walking stick, and an overcoat hung from his shoulders all say money. Or along those lines.

    This ...

    A brimmed hat casts his face
    into shadow.


    So the hat is tossing the mans face into the shadow? Hmm. Maybe you mean ...

    His face in shadow under a brimmd hat.

    or

    A brimmed hat casts a shadow over his face.

    These ...

    The Man observes casually.
    The Bouncer returns inside,


    Remember, titles serve as a character name, so leave THE off. You don't say The Susan, so don't say The Man if he is introduced as MAN.

    More soon ...

    Dang, all of these are freakin' long.

    A


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    #36
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Arg, I'm really fighting to find even a second with this pre-prod lliving in my head.

    I did read this, and really enjoyed the hell out of it. Not sure I got it 1000%, but it is beautifully visual, and I always like your command of English, and the peppered use of some words that appear to be dying, since so many writers (and speakers) just cannot be bothered with language beyond the texting level. We are devo.

    Alex


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    #37
    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Thx 4 ur .... nah can't do it. Thanks for your kind words, Alex. Glad you had the chance to read it and your appreciation means a lot. But put your production first, don't stretch yourself too thin. Whip it, whip it good.


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