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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Action / Adventure Scripts  ›  Reprisal Recoil
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  Author    Reprisal Recoil  (currently 229 views)
Don
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 8:54am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Reprisal Recoil by Zack Akers - Short, Action, Thriller - An act of vengeance puts a distraught man in a very bad situation. 11 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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
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Zack
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for getting this one up, Don.

Wanted to try something a little different with this one. I mainly stick to the horror genre, but thought I'd try my hand at action.

Anyone want to give this a peak and tell me how I did?

Zack


*NEW*

SOMETHING'S OUT THERE - (short,horror)

REPRISAL RECOIL - (short,action,thriller)

*COMING SOON*

DON'T BLINK - (short,horror)

STALKED - (short,horror)
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eldave1
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 3:58pm Report to Moderator
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Zack:


Quoted Text
INT. CAR - NIGHT

The car speeds down a dark back-road in the woods.


Seems to be that this is an EXT shot. or at best:

INT/EXT. CAR ON BACK ROAD (TRAVELLING) - NIGHT


Quoted Text
Through the windshield, a trailer-home comes into view. The
small building sits in a clearing in the woods, a cozy spot.

The car pulls onto the gravel drive-way, slows to a stop.
On the other end of the phone, Mom starts to CRY.

MOM (V.O.)
I canít lose both of my babies.

Brandon stares through the windshield, at the building.

Cal it a trailer home or a building - but not both - it adds confusion,


Quoted Text
Brandon stares through the windshield, at the building.


A bit clunky - and you don't need through the windshield. We know he's in the car. Just

Brandon stares at the trailer home.


Quoted Text
The inside lights brighten the blinds that cover the windows
of the trailer-home.


I would combine with the above. e.g.,

Brandon stares at the trailer home. The window blinds glow from the interior lights.


Quoted Text
EXT. TRAILER-HOME - FRONT YARD


Need - NIGHT


Quoted Text
INT. TRAILER-HOME - LIVING ROOM


Need - NIGHT


Quoted Text
The small room is casually furnished, very neat and clean.


Lost the "is's" and you don't need room - it's in the header.

Just

Small, casually furnished. Neat and clean.

On the couch sits DANIEL MILLER, 24, tan and muscular, has a
tribal-sleeve tattoo on his left arm. He is completely
strung-out, his arm still tied off with a syringe stuck in
his forearm.

Heís covered in bruises, both eyes blacked, nose broken, a
nasty gash on his lip. His left eye is swollen shut.

Daniel stares at the ceiling, mouth agape.

Don't like the sequencing here. Describe Dan as we see him in order. i.e.,

A muscular DANIEL MILLER, 24, both eyes blackened, one swollen shut, nose broken, nasty gash on his lip sits on the couch. He stares at the ceiling, mouth agape.

His tribal-sleeve tattooed left arm tied still tied off - a syringe stuck in
his forearm.

The story - well told for the most part. The ending was just all right for me.

SPOILERS

The killing of the two black guys adds nothing thematically to the story. i.e., it's really the same tale whether they show up or not -  You hero is going to kill someone for vengeance only to find out his sister is okay.

A different ending for consideration.

- Have Brandon find Daniel unconscious - drug stupor.
- Just as he's about to put bullet in his head - black guys show up
- Your gunfight ensues - black guys get killed
- Brandon returns to trailer - Daniel not waking up - says all the derisive stuff about his sister
- Brandon goes outside - with a rag, takes shot gun from dead Black guy
- Goes back in trailer
- Raises shot gun at Daniel  phone rings - it's Mom - sister alright. Don't do anything rash! Brandon - I won't Mom.
- Daniel laughing - mocking Brandon. Brandon wastes him. Last line - vengeance is never rash.

Or something like that. i.e., the twist becomes he's going to kill Daniel anyway knowing that his sister's survival was a matter of luck and justice still needs to be served. Conveniently, he has a dead guy in the yard that he can make it look like did the shooting.

Hope all this helps.




My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts

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eldave1  -  July 24th, 2018, 4:46pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 4:58pm Report to Moderator
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I read it all, Zack.

Not going to go into any great detail here, but I'll say a few things...

Dave is correct...lots of out of place/order descriptions.

All characters seem to be pieces of shit, and because of that, I don't really care about any of them.  Even the sister, but we know so little about her...or the Mom...or even the main character.

Finally, I see some exact same descriptors used from other scripts you've written, which is never a good sign.

I'd love to see you write something vastly different, with likeable characters, meaningful dialogue, and a story that doesn't always center on death and mayhem.

Just my 2 cents.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Zack
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dave,

Thank you very much for giving this a look.

The beginning is set entirely in the interior of the car. We see through the car windows that the vehicle speeds down a back-road. I suppose I could write that better. Will be sure to look at it.

The reason I refered to the trailer-home as a building few time was that I was simply trying to avoid repitition, although I can see how it might be confusing. I will fix this.

Completely agree with you that some of the descriptions are a bit clunky. I will do my best to address this in the rewrite. Thank you for the suggestions you've given.

Do I really need to put the time of day at the end of each SLUG? Even if it's basically all continous?

Only Big-T is Black, Mac is supposed to be white.

I'm torn on your suggestion for the ending. On one hand, I really like the ending I wrote. But I also like your suggestion. Hmm. You've really given me a lot to think about.

Thanks a ton for your help, Dave. I truly appreciatte it. Anything of yours that I can look at in return?

Zack


*NEW*

SOMETHING'S OUT THERE - (short,horror)

REPRISAL RECOIL - (short,action,thriller)

*COMING SOON*

DON'T BLINK - (short,horror)

STALKED - (short,horror)
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Zack
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Jeff,

Thanks again for giving my work another shot. I promise, Dude, one day I will write something you enjoy. That's my mission.

Most of these characters are supposed to be scumbags. Brandon is not supposed to be. Did he really come across as a piece of shit? He's an emotianl wreck and wants to avenge his sister. Any suggestions on how I can make him more likable?

Not sure what you mean by same descriptors? Do you want me to completely change the way I write? I've work very hard for years on my writing craft. What can I do to improve?

As for writing something vastly different. Don't hold your breath, Man. No romantic comedies are coming from me anytime soon.

Please don't get me wrong, I greatly respect you and your opinions. As I've said in the past, you've taught me a lot and I belive I'm a better writer today in part because of your harsh critisms.

Would you mind if I pm/email you with further questions I have?

Thanks again, Jeff.

Zack


*NEW*

SOMETHING'S OUT THERE - (short,horror)

REPRISAL RECOIL - (short,action,thriller)

*COMING SOON*

DON'T BLINK - (short,horror)

STALKED - (short,horror)
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eldave1
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
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My pleasure, Zack:


Quoted Text
The beginning is set entirely in the interior of the car. We see through the car windows that the vehicle speeds down a back-road. I suppose I could write that better. Will be sure to look at it.


I got the through the window part. But IMO, if you are describing things set outside the car - like this:

Through the windshield, a trailer-home comes into view. The
small building sits in a clearing in the woods, a cozy spot.


You are better off with INT/EXT. It certainly isn't fatal to go your route. I understood what I was seeing so it was clear which is the number one thing.


Quoted Text
The reason I refered to the trailer-home as a building few time was that I was simply trying to avoid repitition, although I can see how it might be confusing. I will fix this.


I did get confused on whether there was a separate building.


Quoted Text
Completely agree with you that some of the descriptions are a bit clunky. I will do my best to address this in the rewrite. Thank you for the suggestions you've given.


Glad it helped.


Quoted Text
Do I really need to put the time of day at the end of each SLUG? Even if it's basically all continous?


IMO - yes. Especially as you are moving from EXT to INT.

This is for the director. It tells them if they are filming a night scene or a day scene.


Quoted Text
Only Big-T is Black, Mac is supposed to be white.


Got it.


Quoted Text
I'm torn on your suggestion for the ending. On one hand, I really like the ending I wrote. But I also like your suggestion. Hmm. You've really given me a lot to think about.

Thanks a ton for your help, Dave. I truly appreciatte it. Anything of yours that I can look at in return?


If you like your ending - go with it. Mine's just an alternative. If it gave you food for thought than cool.

Best of luck, mate


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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StevenClark
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Hey Zack,

I think you got a really good story here. Your writing and pacing come off really well--so do the characterizations. I saw everything well, and was never confused. Well done. Never heard of a man getting his nut popped--nice touch! However... You don't have a satisfying ending. Meaning, like, it just kind of ends and that's it. The package isn't knotted and bowed. And that left me  disappointed because I was expecting to have a script like this end in a way deserving of its build up.

It's almost like you wrote this without an ending in mind, kind of making the story as you went along. Then when you got to the end you did not know how to end it. Something like that anyway.


Overall, enjoyable read. Needs an ending.


Steve

p.s.-- Just now read the other comments. Not to say I'm super perceptive, but I noticed a few of the phrasing issues mentioned. There's stuff I'd do different, that's just me. But nothing that jumped out and took me out of the read at all. I always choose to focus mainly on story, and cohesiveness of the writing. Don't want you to think I'm mailing it in.


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EscapeVelocity13
Posted: July 25th, 2018, 2:04am Report to Moderator
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Hello,

Entertaining read, only issue I had with it was the Big T character came off very stereotypical. Also, the twist made  the guy look a little foolish in the end (which I think was your intention), like he's the type to blow up at the drop of a hat and regret things later.

Overall, it's solid but kind of thin.
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ajr
Posted: July 25th, 2018, 6:42am Report to Moderator
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Hey Zack,

I remember reading this a few days back and then it disappeared before I could get my comments together for you.

So going from memory -

You write well, and I think your character descriptions and a lot of your dialogue was fine. I mostly agree with Dave though, in that the hitmen didn't need to be killed.  The word 'need' is big for me here, because I think you have a story that lacks motivation from top to bottom. I also agree with Jeff in that there's no one here to root for.

I'd like to ask a question at this point - what's the "why" in why you wrote this? You said you wanted to see if you could write an action piece. Was that the sole motivation?

I say this all the time, but at the risk of repeating myself - "I have an idea for a film" is never a good reason to write. What do you want to say, meaning what is the theme of this?

It's a revenge plot, for sure - so more Greek tragedy than anything else. So I ask you - you end this with an unlikeable triple murderer on your hands - so does he deserve to live?

So he's motivated by his love for his sister, who is set up here as a thieving junkie. I agree that all people are worth saving, however you never give us a setup. You never show the depth of his love, or that she's worthy of him committing murder. You need to figure out a way to do it.

Even the mother's motivation for me is suspect. First, Brandon TELLS his mother he's going to commit murder? Then her reaction is to call him and say please don't do it.  I would think that any mother would say live kid in jail is better than dead kid or murderer serving a life sentence, and would call the cops.

And I agree with those before me that the killing of the hitmen is gratuitous. Wrong place, wrong time, I get that. But is it really? He chose to be there. So again, whatever Brandon has coming, he has coming. I would argue again - does he deserve to live?

Theme is the master every writer should serve, and then you hang plot, narrative, characters and dialogue on top of it.  Here's a good example - take Bonnie Bedelia out of DIE HARD and you have Bruce Willis getting trapped in a building and killing a bunch of bad guys. And that's kind of what you have here.

Good luck with this - AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Dreamscale
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Quoted from Zack
Hey Jeff,

Thanks again for giving my work another shot. I promise, Dude, one day I will write something you enjoy. That's my mission.


HA!!!  You can do it, Brother!  


Quoted from Zack
Most of these characters are supposed to be scumbags. Brandon is not supposed to be. Did he really come across as a piece of shit? He's an emotional wreck and wants to avenge his sister. Any suggestions on how I can make him more likable?


Yeah, Brandon is a total A-Hole and triple murderer!  How could he not come across this way?  Again, with no setup or backstory, we know nothing about him, his sister,his relationship with his sister, or his motivation to do anything like this.  We really don't even know what happened with his sister.

How can you change these facts?  Easily, actually.  You need backstory. Brandon needs a reason to go to the trailer.  Brandon has to come across as a good guy.


Quoted from Zack
Not sure what you mean by same descriptors? Do you want me to completely change the way I write? I've work very hard for years on my writing craft. What can I do to improve?


For instance (not going back and comparing scripts), I know for a fact you used the descriptor, "mangled corpse" in this script and your last short horror script.  How do I remember or know that?  I'm amazing!  HA!

I do not want you to completely change your style, as that's your style, but what I'm saying is, your scripts all have exact wording in places and all follow the exact same path.  Your characters are all throwaway, and dialogue is usually very limited and doesn't show any character to your characters.


Quoted from Zack
As for writing something vastly different. Don't hold your breath, Man. No romantic comedies are coming from me anytime soon.


Not at all what I'm suggesting, but think about this.  The genre you choose to write is really based on how you write or what you decide to show.  So many very popular drama/thriller/action/etc. movies could very easily be horror if just a few tweaks were made in mood, dialogue, etc., and the reverse is also true that horror movies that play it straight could easily become downright comedies by changing the delivery of dialogue and changing up the mood and feel.


Quoted from Zack
Please don't get me wrong, I greatly respect you and your opinions. As I've said in the past, you've taught me a lot and I believe I'm a better writer today in part because of your harsh criticisms.


I hear ya, Bro.


Quoted from Zack
Would you mind if I pm/email you with further questions I have?


Feel free to PM me.


Quoted from Zack
Thanks again, Jeff.


You got it, man.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Zack
Posted: August 7th, 2018, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Steve,

Sorry for the delay on my reponse. Thanks for giving this a read. I'm glad you enjoyed it for the most part.
About the ending, I actually thought of the ending first and worked my way back for this one.

As for the writing/phrasing issues, I'll be fixing those with the rewrite.
Thanks again for reading, man.

Zack


*NEW*

SOMETHING'S OUT THERE - (short,horror)

REPRISAL RECOIL - (short,action,thriller)

*COMING SOON*

DON'T BLINK - (short,horror)

STALKED - (short,horror)
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Zack
Posted: August 17th, 2018, 7:49pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry Velocity and AJR, not sure how I missed your comments. Thanks for reading this. I'm hard at work on the rewrite.

Zack


*NEW*

SOMETHING'S OUT THERE - (short,horror)

REPRISAL RECOIL - (short,action,thriller)

*COMING SOON*

DON'T BLINK - (short,horror)

STALKED - (short,horror)
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