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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    My Work In Progress  ›  The Pinball Warrior Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Pinball Warrior  (currently 892 views)
DanBall
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 12:47pm Report to Moderator
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Okay, this is the first sampling of my work that I'm presenting here at SS. Hopefully, I haven't made any huge industry standard type mistakes. Generally, I avoid wrylies and fancy editing montages, try to present my specs as a blueprint of a film, and write the best damn dialogue I can muster.

http://thedanballbrand.com/screen/pinballwarr-1st10.pdf

Anyway, this is The Pinball Warrior!


"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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Steex
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 2:04pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not even supposed to be here today.

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I'm just going to list a few quick errors I found.
I only had time to skim. I'll give you the good once I have a chance to really pay attention to it.

You need a title page.

A colon after FADE IN.

Unless it's important to the character or story, try to avoid describing the way a character looks, ie, blonde hair, orange polo, jeans, etc.
Although it may seem like something that needs to be done, in the end, if you get it made, it will almost certainly be changed.

When introducing a new character, put their name in ALL CAPS, followed by the age, then description.

You have:
Xavier Robert �XR� SWORD is in his late teens. He wears a red nylon windbreaker, jeans, and high-tops. His dark blonde hair is long and combed over on top and buzzed on all sides.

He�s focused on a game of pinball, playing it with a certain amount of precision and calculation, devoid of emotion.

Should look something more like this:
XAVIER ROBERT "XR" SWORD, late teens, DESCRIPTION, is focused on a game of pinball. Etc.

Also, you have:
The bells and tings of the game are melodic,

Most people put sounds in all caps. BELLS and TINGS of the game.
I've read that both caps or uncaps for sounds is acceptable, but the overwhelming majority say that using caps is the way to go.

Avoid putting numbers in dialogue.
Example:
JAMI
It�s almost 4.
--instead, use "four".

Final Draft automatically puts it in, but you don't need (CONT'D) when a character continues talking after action/description. It used to be the way to go, but not anymore.
You can disable it, just go to DOCUMENT > MORES AND CONTINUEDS > AUTOMATIC CHARACTER CONTINUEDS.

And lastly, your script should end with FADE OUT, FADE TO BLACK and/or THE END.


Hopefully this helps.
I don't want to just give you the negative, but like I said, when I get some more time, I'll get you an actual review, not just a typo/problem hunt.

Every mistake I found can be easily and quickly rectified, and I didn't find anything that was major.

Congrats on your script!


If I had a gun with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice.
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DanBall
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Steex! I actually omitted the title page for the purposes of posting the first 10 pages. The fdx file with the whole script has one. I completed this script back in high school, but started a second draft mid-2011, then came back to it just in the last month. Right now, the whole thing's at 31 pages.

It's strange, because I capitalized every other character except for my protag. As for the sounds, I'd heard both things myself, but always thought it best to stay conservative and keep it all lowercase. I fixed the rest, too. Thanks!


"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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Forgive
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dan - I've seen that you've given a couple of nice pin-sharp reviews, so I thought I'd give this one a quick read.

Going with one or two things you've said in your reviews, I'm just going to go with a one-page read on this (which some people hate) but I've got a feeling you'll be cool with it. (I love being proved wrong btw).

I'm with Steex on the first page, and FADE IN.

Nice to see your SUPER followed by quotations - often missed.

This may be deemed for a USA audience, not too sure, but I thought 'KY' had something to do with the US. Otherwise you've lost me on that. Double dash? Maybe aesthetic - can't see any other reason. Maybe space needed either side. Nothing major.

It'd be good to see a DAY/NIGHT indicator follow INT. ARCADE - they're often omitted with a mini-slug, but really should be there for a full slug, especially when it's an opener.

You introduce your character before you introduce your location. Needs to be the other way around.

I'm with Steex on the description, but if it's your protag, and it's important to the script, then you can go for something more detailed. If it's longer, try and shorten it more, so that:

Xavier Robert XR SWORD is in his late teens.

Becomes:

XAVIER ROBERT XR SWORD (19).

Try brevity without losing character:

Hes focused on a game of pinball, playing it with a certain
amount of precision and calculation, devoid of emotion.

Becomes:

He's focused on a game of pinball, playing with precision, calculation, devoid of emotion.

-- I've only used deletion here, not introduced any of my own words, and I don't think that anything's been lost.

Your professor was right. Show don't tell:

'like a song with a strange, wonderful rhythm.'

... it's just that you didn't listen that well.

The dialogue was better, I had the feeling these people had issues, and there were elements of character to be had there (stepped briefly over the 1st page).

So, some good there - I wanted to read on, but stopped myself as I said just the one - no bad thing.

Best with it

Simon.
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Eoin
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 5:22pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't read this yet, but the idea sounds a lot like "The Last Starfighter" from 1984. You might want to check that out.
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DanBall
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Forgive
Hey Dan - I've seen that you've given a couple of nice pin-sharp reviews, so I thought I'd give this one a quick read.


That's the first reaction I've had to one of my reviews. Are you saying pin-sharp in a nice way or are you saying I was a bit harsh?


Quoted Text
Going with one or two things you've said in your reviews, I'm just going to go with a one-page read on this (which some people hate) but I've got a feeling you'll be cool with it. (I love being proved wrong btw).


Again, a little unclear on your meaning. Are you giving less of a review of my work because there was something wrong with my reviews of other peoples' work or is this your standard review unless I request more of you?


Quoted Text
I'm with Steex on the first page, and FADE IN.

Nice to see your SUPER followed by quotations - often missed.

This may be deemed for a USA audience, not too sure, but I thought 'KY' had something to do with the US. Otherwise you've lost me on that. Double dash? Maybe aesthetic - can't see any other reason. Maybe space needed either side. Nothing major.


Thanks about the super. I usually avoid supers to stay safe, since I see it more as something that's added later in production, but I wanted it to specifically be in Winchester, KY, which is short for Kentucky. Should I add USA to that or will just "Kentucky" suffice? As for the FADE IN, that's been fixed. I'm not sure if I should update things as I go or just leave it until I add more later.


Quoted Text
It'd be good to see a DAY/NIGHT indicator follow INT. ARCADE - they're often omitted with a mini-slug, but really should be there for a full slug, especially when it's an opener.


This is probably a bad habit I've picked up from school. We avoided using these, since our professor said they were kind of out-of-style. But I guess it's not bad to use them to indicate a change between DAY/NIGHT?


Quoted Text
You introduce your character before you introduce your location. Needs to be the other way around.


I agree here. Winchester is a real town, and a beautiful one at that, and it should be fleshed out more.


Quoted Text
I'm with Steex on the description, but if it's your protag, and it's important to the script, then you can go for something more detailed. If it's longer, try and shorten it more, so that:

Xavier Robert XR SWORD is in his late teens.

Becomes:

XAVIER ROBERT XR SWORD (19).

Try brevity without losing character:

Hes focused on a game of pinball, playing it with a certain
amount of precision and calculation, devoid of emotion.

Becomes:

He's focused on a game of pinball, playing with precision, calculation, devoid of emotion.

-- I've only used deletion here, not introduced any of my own words, and I don't think that anything's been lost.


Noted. I'm pretty unfamiliar with putting the age in parentheses. Guess that's one new thing I've learned already.


Quoted Text
Your professor was right. Show don't tell:

'like a song with a strange, wonderful rhythm.'

... it's just that you didn't listen that well.


Is my description more of a post-production note that shouldn't be in a spec script? Otherwise, I'm not sure I see the issue.


Quoted Text
The dialogue was better, I had the feeling these people had issues, and there were elements of character to be had there (stepped briefly over the 1st page).


Thanks! One of the fun things I like about The Big Lebowski is how The Dude tries to cultivate this air of lax, chillness to the outside world, but he's constantly arguing or raising his voice towards those closest to him. Plus, conflict's always sexier. The Village of the Happy People is boring.


Quoted Text
So, some good there - I wanted to read on, but stopped myself as I said just the one - no bad thing.


Thanks for taking a look at this, Simon! Maybe because I'm still new to this, I'm probably less concerned with the formatting and more concerned with the actual flow of the story and the characters. Obviously, I want to get the formatting completely right, but that's fixed with a matter of keystrokes. Getting the mechanics of the story and the dynamics right takes a whole lot more work and it's easy to get it wrong.

I have definitely taken your words to heart and I think they make for some valuable changes. Sorry if I seem combative.


"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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ABennettWriter
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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I skimmed the first page and then started reading this thread. I stopped when you said,

Quoted from danball
"We avoided using these, since our professor said they were kind of out-of-style. But I guess it's not bad to use them to indicate a change between DAY/NIGHT?"


Why would your instructor tell you that including the time of day in a slug was out of style? Your teacher's a hack. What school do/did you attend? I've never, ever read or been told that including the time of day is out of style.

That's just crazy talk!
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Forgive
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DanBall
That's the first reaction I've had to one of my reviews. Are you saying pin-sharp in a nice way or are you saying I was a bit harsh?


... as in accurate.


Quoted from DanBall
Again, a little unclear on your meaning. Are you giving less of a review of my work because there was something wrong with my reviews of other peoples' work or is this your standard review unless I request more of you?


Some people are of the opinion that in order to say something about a script you have to read it all. This is incorrect and all of those people are wrong. I saw you did a 10-pager and guessed you were cool with a 'quick-dip' style.



Quoted from DanBall
I usually avoid supers to stay safe ... I wanted it to specifically be in Winchester, KY


There's a place in England called Winchester, so could have been anywhere.




Quoted from DanBall
This is probably a bad habit I've picked up ... our professor said they were kind of out-of-style


Sorry ... he's wrong on that.


Quoted from DanBall
Winchester is a real town ... and it should be fleshed out more.


Not so much the town, but the Arcade he was in.


Quoted from DanBall
Is my description more of a post-production note


Maybe. But it doesn't belong in a spec.


Quoted from DanBall
Maybe because I'm still new to this, I'm probably less concerned with the formatting and more concerned with the actual flow of the story and the characters.


That's cool, but having an unobtrusive format helps the story to flow.


Quoted from DanBall
Sorry if I seem combative.


... you are new!

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Forgive  -  October 17th, 2012, 7:33pm
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pale yellow
Posted: October 16th, 2012, 10:24pm Report to Moderator
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Dan...

Glad you posted this...I'll give it a read as promised....swamped this week but will do over the weekend!! Glad you made it here to SS too!


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DanBall
Posted: October 17th, 2012, 9:31am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Eoin
I haven't read this yet, but the idea sounds a lot like "The Last Starfighter" from 1984. You might want to check that out.


I can see why that might be a concern. There are similarities, but more in a throwback kind of way. My movie kind of takes a lot of elements from many sources. It's part-TLS, part-Back to the Future, part-Flash Gordon, part-Buckaroo Banzai, part-Star Wars. It's TLS in the sense that a human teen has to play a video game in order to save the Earth. It's Back to the Future in its tone. It's Flash Gordon because alien overlords are wanting to conquer Earth. It's Buckaroo Banzai because Buckaroo Banzai's a major supporting character. It's Star Wars because I want to have the characters split up in the 2nd act at the tournament and have different tasks to achieve in order for them to survive into Act III.


"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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DanBall
Posted: October 17th, 2012, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from pale yellow
Dan...

Glad you posted this...I'll give it a read as promised....swamped this week but will do over the weekend!! Glad you made it here to SS too!


Thanks! It's been a blast!



"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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DanBall
Posted: October 17th, 2012, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Forgive
Some people are of the opinion that in order to say something about a script you have to read it all. This is incorrect and all of those people are wrong. I saw you did a 10-pager and guessed you were cool with a 'quick-dip' style.


Well, if that's all you had time for, I was cool with you reading one page. I didn't want to inundate a bunch of strangers with my work right off the bat. I won't go so far as to say my script's better than Shakespeare translated into Klingon, but if you like a good 80s scifi romp, then this is probably good reading for you.

Even though I've posted 10 pages, I've got all of the first act written for this draft. It's a feature and will likely be the first installment of a trilogy. The story for the second installment came out of overflow from the first. As for the third movie, I don't have any ideas for it yet, but it will probably echo the first one in a lot of ways, because that's what all good little third acts do.


Quoted Text
There's a place in England called Winchester, so could have been anywhere. KY is also short for KY Jelly, which is a lubricant commonly abused by homosexuals. It just threw me a little, that's all.


Yeah, the KY jelly thing is a pretty common mix-up.


Quoted Text
Sorry ... he's wrong on that.


Even though I'm kind of proud of him for teaching us most of the basics and I'm grateful that he imparted that knowledge, my prof did have his shortcomings too. I don't think he even liked me that much. So I guess I'll use the slugs from now on!


Quoted Text
Not so much the town, but the Arcade he was in.


Sure thing!


Quoted Text
Maybe. But it doesn't belong in a spec.


Makes sense. It was only my favorite line of description. But one thing my prof did say that was wise, "Don't marry anything in your script."


Quoted Text
That's cool, but having an unobtrusive format helps the story to flow.


I can see that.


"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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ABennettWriter
Posted: October 17th, 2012, 6:53pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
I guess I'll use the slugs from now on!


Thank you!
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