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Don
Posted: May 17th, 2009, 2:40pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Four by Craig Cooper - Short - A Foursome arranged between two disillusioned couples spirals out of control, leading to lies, deceit, betrayal and eventually murder. 40 pages - pdf, format


Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (5 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  August 12th, 2009, 8:20pm
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LC
Posted: August 5th, 2009, 8:30am Report to Moderator
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Hi Craig.  Quite a few tips. And bear in mind you can ignore my ‘tips’ if they’ve already been pointed out to you.  This was the first script you posted correct? I see you've posted others.

Unfortunately you’ve got rather a lot of formatting problems and this in turn doesn’t make for an easy read.

CAP all of your characters when you first introduce them.

Put (CONT’D) next the character’s name not as a (wrylie)underneath.

You’ve got a lot of (wrylies) btw, verging on too many.

Delete the CONTINUED at top and bottom of pages. If your software does this automatically – there’s probably a way to remove it.

Incomplete sluglines – example: “INT. 4X4” Make sure to include time of day, CONTINUOUS or MOMENTS LATER for example.

CUT TO: EXT: COUNTRY LANE- DUSK
“We see the car they are in is a red Jaguar as it drives away from the camera and out of shot.”
The use of CUT TO: is extraneous here – you’ve already set up a new scene with the new slug.

Use of audio/songs – (I break this ‘rule’ myself sometimes) to convey the tone but technically it’s a no-no unless you are the Director and you’re writing a “shooting script”.  You use it continuously. “He leans over and turns on the stereo, ’The principles of lust’ by ’Enigma’ is playing.”

The use of “We see” – (a contentious issue with a lot of SS members). A lot of prof. screenwriters use it and I think there’s a place for it but too much of it is tedious imo. Unless you feel it’s necessary, experiment with writing the “action” without it.

“Paul is sat” in a white dressing gown at the island in the centre of the kitchen on a bar stool”.
“Paul takes the mug from Louise, who is now sat bolt upright.”
Not only do these sentences mix past and present tense but they are “passive” not “active” lines of action, or at least one of them is. Please, get out of this habit, and fast.

Descriptions of characters: You're giving us way too much detail - tone it down and try not to resort to stereotypes.
EXAMPLE: “LOUISE late 30’s beautiful pale skinned woman with short blonde hair in her late 30’s with bright red lip-gloss which contrasts with her complexion is at the wheel, and PAUL, a handsome, muscular, blonde man with piercing blue eyes sits beside her. The stereo is on at a low volume, playing ’Boy’ by ’Book of love’.

This is way too “Ken & Barbie” for me and just way too much detail, period.

Ever see a movie called “Consenting Adults” Kevin Spacey & Kevin Kline?? Not perfect looking specimens at all, are they? And it’s more interesting because of it. Likewise, in a “scenario” like yours it’s better if we can imagine ‘real people’.

Description & Action Lines: also are filled with unnecessary minutiae.  

EXAMPLE: “Theirs is an averaged sized house in a pretty little suburban area. Two large baskets hang either side of the front door, their flowers and foliage spilling out, decorating the wall. On the front yard there is a blue mini, and a space for another vehicle. The Jaguar pull in beside the mini and Paul and Louise get out. Paul locks the car and they head towards the front door in silence. He fumbles through his keys until he finds the right one. The door is unlocked, and Louise enters, followed by Paul, still in complete silence.”

To top this off you also include: Camera directions - “Gregg walks into shot” out of shot etc. You’ve got forty-one pages of “script” here – and an awful lot of this can be cut. It's  impeding the flow of the story.

On page 10 – you’ve got RETURN TO SCENE. No need for this.
Also, delete the “FADE TO” then “BLACK SCREEN” then FADE IN. FADE IN & FADE OUT is all you need.  

Also, you’ve got a lot of unfilm-able asides.
Punctuation – few problems, not many.
Passive verbiage – too much.
Dialogue – some great, some not so great.

And lastly, from page 38 -41 – your dénouement is spoiled because you’ve resorted to this “RETURN TO SCENE thing” again, instead of using proper sluglines and showing the inter-cutting of action sequences, to the point I don’t know where I’m at.

I hope you understand I usually like to give equal time to story as to format but in this instance your formatting problems have impeded my ability to get into the story.

Having said this, I do feel you’ve got the basis of a good story here and you’re by no means a bad writer, it’s just in this example your formatting problems are letting you down. I’d love to read another draft without all the extraneous stuff in there.




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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 3:55am Report to Moderator
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Hi, thanks for your comments, yes, this was my first stab at writing!

The script has been tinkered with somewhat, using the suggestions and comments from the other submissions. I'm just waiting to upload it, which I can't do until 8th Aug.

All the best


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LC
Posted: August 6th, 2009, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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Hey Craig,
Just wanted to add a couple of things about the story itself seeing as you’re going to post another draft.

SEMI SPOILERS

You might want to think about developing the Greg & Amanda relationship in the initial scene where they’re waiting on their guests. With Paul & Louise you show us through dialogue that they're quite nervous about embarking on their sexual adventure and maybe having second thoughts. But Greg & Amanda’s troubled relationship (after the event) came through to me as being completely 'out of left field.'  I didn’t even get a hint of any preceding 'trouble in paradise' with them, and would have at least liked to have seen a little chink in the armour - even if just a bit of "coolness" towards each other. Just a thought.

Also, the way the two couples decide to “end things” i.e. after seeing that true-crime news story. Ok, so your ending carries a twist but they weren't to know how it would all end so, bearing that in mind would they really have chosen the same method which resulted in the previous perpetrator going to gaol?

Good morality tale anyway.

Look forward to the next draft.

Libby



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  August 6th, 2009, 7:31am
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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: August 7th, 2009, 5:30am Report to Moderator
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Hi Libby,

    I totally agree with you about defining Greg and Amanda's relationship a little more at the beginning, I'm going to do that before I upload the new draft. As for the 'method', the woman on the crime story only got busted because she'd used it again and again, see your point though.

I'm glad you enjoyed it in part, and look forward to hearing your views on the updated version. Thanks again for your feedback and help.

All the best,

Craig


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rendevous
Posted: August 10th, 2009, 2:54pm Report to Moderator
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Craig,

Looking forward to a new draft of this. I see Libby pointed out the formatting errors, they do slow the whole thing down a lot.

This is a shame as there's a really good story in here.

She also made a good point about the ant powder stuff. I'm not completely against it but it might be worth a think through.

Good luck with it.

Re


Out Of Character - updated


New Used Car

Green

Right Back

The Deuce - OWC - now on STS

Other scripts here
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Ophelia
Posted: August 17th, 2009, 8:32pm Report to Moderator
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Gave it a quick read, not sure if this is the newest version, so these may not be entirely useful, but here are some ideas anyways:
I like amanda checking her breath, seems very realistic.
p4 'Greg offers the open bottle of wine to the guests who hold out their empty glasses which are swiftly and clumsily filled.'  This is a bit of a run on sentence.  I think it would read better if you found a way to chop it somewhere.
p5 Amanda says 'any many more'  should be 'and many more'
p5  'Greg walks away to the side of the room and switches on the Hi-Fi and quickly makes a selection from the neat pile of CDs at the side'  Another overlong sentence.
I think the switch to the sex is a little abrupt.  It works well how Greg turns his back to change the music and they're suddenly started behind him, but there didn't seem to be any sexual tension before, other than Amanda's remarks.  Maybe some reaction from the others, or looks being exchanged.
Seems a little odd for Greg to say 'Probs' if hes in his thirties.
Is tatty like tattered?
I would get rid of Gregs VO.  We will understand the kind of things he's thinking anyways.
p37, when they're having all the conversations about poisoning each other, it seems like they are being a little more explicit than is realistic.  If possible, imply more.  Like instead of him saying, "yea in her gin."  just have him say the rest, and be looking at a gin bottle on the counter.  We'll get the point.

Overall good story, maybe a little slower than it needs to be.  A lot of time is just the couples in their respective houses sending messages to each other and being rude to one another.  Maybe mix up the locations a little, bring in a few other characters.
The writings definately good though, so a little work and this will be a good story.


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jackx
Posted: August 17th, 2009, 9:23pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Craig, figured I'd check this out, not sure if its the new shiny version but here is is:
p3 I dont think gin or wine should be capitalized.
Nothing wrong with a little four on the floor, but spending the night? thats just crazy!  No wonder things went wrong.
p12 Is there a reason the clock is in military time?
Bottom of page 9 you can get rid of "we hear"  just have his footsteps going up the stairs.
I like the reappearences of the cat, nice way to show scenes with an absence of people.
I feel like there's a missing scene where one of the couples tries to be intimate after the foursome, and it kinda fails to click.  Probably Paul and Louise since they seem a little sweeter than the others.  I think its a little more realistic than everyone immediately seperating.
Bottom of twenty, 'he feels a pang of guilt?'  how is this shown?
Definately agree that things drag on a bit in the middle.  Just try not to have scenes that sound like each other, set in the same place, the same characters, etc.

I think it would be better if the two couples were a little more different.  Like it kind of sounds like greg/amanda are pretty jaded, they openly talk about divorce/prenup.  Whereas Louise and Paul seem to be slightly more closeted in their seperation.  Play this up a little, are there other differences between them?  It sounds like they drive the same kind of cars and live in the same kind of neighborhood.  Amanda and gregs characters are a bit developed, do the same for the others.

anyways, I enjoyed it, keep it up.


Mine:
HARD CASE
            (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
            (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...

Revision History (1 edits)
jackx  -  August 19th, 2009, 2:23pm
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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: August 21st, 2009, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks jackx,

Glad you enjoyed it.

Rendevous has also pointed out how much of a 'capitalist' I am in inappropriate places! It's definitely something I have to stop myself doing.

I'm going to try and 'cut the flab' in the middle.

Ophelia,

Thanks for your comments, really pleased you think the writing is good, and you are right; more work is needed- and that's why everyones feedback is really helping me.

I'll let you know when I've had a bit of time to work on it.

(PS I'm in my mid thirties, and I say 'no probs'! Is that a Brit thing?)

Thanks to all,

Craig



Revision History (1 edits)
craig cooper-flintstone  -  August 22nd, 2009, 4:57am
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Ophelia
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haha, it seems like half my comments are just the difference in lingo between here and there.  Anyways look forward to the new version, good luck


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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: August 23rd, 2009, 4:47am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Ophelia,

I'll wait until the OWC is over before I post it. Glad you are taking the time to read all my work.

Have you any scripts of yours that I can have a look at? I'd be very interested.

Craig


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CrazyArtist
Posted: December 8th, 2009, 8:03pm Report to Moderator
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Craig,

Wow... twisted, but a fun read.

Not going to get really indepth...there seems to be no shortage of people doing that already.  Plus most of what I wanted to say has already been said.

I did however notice that a lot of the earlier comments no longer apply, which means rewrites.  You addressed a lot of those comments in this current draft -- and quite well.

Not having seen the original draft I can’t for certain say how much you’ve improved, but from what I can piece together I think it’s to safe to say that you have.  Which, is really the whole reason of posting here -- and the sign of a promising writing.  Keep it up.
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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: December 9th, 2009, 4:41am Report to Moderator
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Hi Brian,


Quoted from CrazyArtist
Wow... twisted, but a fun read.


Twisted was the exact angle I was going for here, thanks for that!


Quoted from CrazyArtist
I did however notice that a lot of the earlier comments no longer apply, which means rewrites.  You addressed a lot of those comments in this current draft -- and quite well.


You're correct, I did address all the feedback given as this was my first ever script. I'd be the first to admit it still needs work though. I'm going to have a serious look at it over the Christmas holidays.


Quoted from CrazyArtist
Not having seen the original draft I can’t for certain say how much you’ve improved, but from what I can piece together I think it’s to safe to say that you have.  Which, is really the whole reason of posting here -- and the sign of a promising writing.  Keep it up.


It has changed quite significantly from the first posting. I'm still not 100% happy with it yet though. And yes, the reason for posting here is for feedback and is a great learning process.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this- I know 40 pages is pretty long for a 'short'. Many thanks.

Craig


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stebrown
Posted: December 28th, 2009, 12:27pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Craig, I haven't read any other comments so apologies if there are any repeats.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW

First off, I enjoyed the script. Good level of suspence and mystery going on. Keeps you wanting to read on, so good work with that.

I thought you handled the build up of character very well. From the different ways the character's talk to what cars they drive. This all helped to create individual characters and I felt they were quite vivid and interesting. I particular like the fruit bowl being empty apart from keys and a pen. Kind of symbolism for how hollow and empty our characters truly are deep down? Or am I reading too much into that?

The prenup confused me a little. To me, a prenup covers the person with money going into a marriage. In your story, who ever gets divorced gets the lot. I'm no lawyer (Grade E GCSE haha) but I can't figure out the point in a prenup like that. Maybe some further explanation in the story would help?

I won't give the story away but I'll just say as far as that goes you did very well. Only possible problem is I guessed the twist almost right away. I don't really see that as a big problem though.

On a technical side, some notes I made while reading...

Page 17, you call Louise 'Amanda' in your description. There are quite a few typos in actually - nothing that damages the read - but if you wanted to send this off to anyone or enter it into a competition it could use another proofread.

Greg's V.O., when we can hear his thoughts, felt a little out of place. It's the only point in the script where that happens and it only lasts a couple of seconds. I would maybe look to do that another way. For some reason, it felt to me like that scene in itself, would work better at the start. Where we don't know who his lover is or where we are chronolgically. It just didn't work for me how it is now... might just be me though.

Some of the sluglines could maybe be improved. You seem to have things like...

'INT. PAUL AND LOUISE'S BEDROOM'

or

'INT. PAUL AND LOUISE'S LIVING ROOM'

If you're going to do that I would, personally, just go ahead and write the full slug, of eg;

'INT. PAUL AND LOUISE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM'

Your way doesn't save much room and the full one is clearer. The only time I would shorten it is if we're in the same house, moving from room to room, where I would just have. 'LIVING ROOM' or 'BEDROOM'.

...again, possibly just a personal thing though.

The postman should be capped when introduced.

Near the end, you have Greg saying that his course is "only in the next county". That doesn't sound natural to me. I live in Northumberland as far as counties go, and if I was telling someone I was going into Newcastle I'd just say that, not i'm only going into the next county. That could maybe be a local thing though.

Overall though, really suspenceful script with a good story.

Ste


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craig cooper-flintstone
Posted: December 28th, 2009, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Ste,

Thanks for your in depth review and feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and it's good that you felt compelled to read on.

I'm sure there are lots of typos and mistakes in here- this was my first ever attempt at writing, and although some edits have been made after previous feedback, there's probably a bucketload to sort out. I still like 'four', and I was very proud of it when I finished it. I think it warrants a bit of a re-write when time permits.

Cheers again for the thoughts, all greatly appreciated buddy.

Can you recommend me another of yours to read?

Craig.


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