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Anyone fancy lending an opinion on the themes and directions of this potential disasterpiece? I was struggling away with it a while ago, but now I've got a new lap top (finally) I'm able to revisit some of the stuff I was working on a while back.
This one plagued me. Conceptually based around the UK Government 60 odd years from now, and their relationship with the "useless class" as I've tragically heard them called (basically most of us, scarily), and what to do with technology induced redundancy.
It's a bit dark, not that funny, and I just couldn't take it where it needed to go. Any ideas or thoughts as to where this could end up would be really appreciated, as I'm struggling.
I quite liked this. I'm surprised as it's 50 pages of set-up and I have no idea where you're headed, but you laid out enough mystery and character to pull me in. It wobbled a bit after the wolf scene - during those final few pages - but there's enough of a contrast between your odd couple of Thomas and Nicole that keeps this entertaining.
Kind of disappointed this wasn't a stand alone pilot I thought it might be from the page count - I'm hoping you've got some idea of where to take it? Are you writing this as a film script or a mini-series or..? From the page count and pacing I thought this was geared towards a pilot episode of something larger - that's the big question for me.
Big themes and ideas to work with, but I found the characters, and dialogue in particular, appealing. I'll get some more detailed notes up soon as I get some time.
My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
I was going for the pilot actually and realised I was nearing the maximum page count, but just decided to carry on getting stuff down which could be trimmed later.
Basically, I'd worked out in my head where this was kinda going, but you are right that everything post checkpoint was just me free wheeling it with no real clear direction. If you've got any ideas where it can go that'd be amazing, as it's starting to bug me as I think the front end is decent.
Where I am at the moment is that Thomas upon leaving the cottage can go left to London, or right to the North, chooses right to try to find his daughter. And his grandson, other Thomas, is causing trouble up North, and there's some kind of a revolt going on...that's about all the mapping I've got done!
Anyway, if you've got anything on top, hit me with your scripting stick, so to speak,
Cam - I am swamped now but did have a chance to look at the first tem.
Riveting (really solid) opening other than this:
MIDWIFE (O.S.) Listen to your son, listen to Thomas!
It's unnatural. I know that you have to hammer home the name for the connection to the next scene. Think it would work better if the woman, now knowing that she is not going to make it - with her last breaths tells the mid-wife the boy's name - Thomas - his name is to be Thomas. This would also allow you to lose the Samantha stuff earlier - not really needed.
GILLIAN This country is booming, absolutelybooming. Our GDP is up, our banksare awash with cash, and my party,the Conservatives, have overseen astable government for the last 40years. If the honourable memberreally thinks the Labour Red canoffer anything, other than aparliamentary nusciance, then sheis most unfortunately mistaken
The "my party" is unnatural - OTN - I would delete those two words.
Other than that - great stuff!!! Your dialogue is perfect and the tone of your scenes pours through. This was top notch IMO.
Dave!! Cheers for taking a look at all, really appreciate it mate.
If the dialogue is good from your perspective, then I think I've got a fighters chance with this one as you always nail yours. Will sort out the couple of bit pointed out too, and have a scan myself for similar as I'm sure they're hiding in there.
It's really not my usual tone at all, so a trained eye like yours is good to have. Thanks Dave, hope all's well with the projects,
Not a huge fan of the title - unless it turns out to carry some deeper meaning?
Itís a WIP so Iím not going to get into the writing/grammar side, but I would revise that opening as the first few paragraphs give us - ĎDARK ROOMí, Ďdark roomí and Ďdarknessí in quick succession.
Dialogue is by far the best aspect. Thereís a fun cadence between characters and I got a strong sense of who they are. The House of Commons scenes sounded right with the tone of address and protocol. I had to go back a few times and figure out who was who. The names donít help, fairly generic (the kind that donít stand out): Thomas, David, Adam, Andrew. With this being 60 years in the future would there be some subtler changes in the names - and language in general?
This has a very UK flavour to the characters, dialogue and pacing - felt familiar - not a criticism. Andrewís secret at the bar; the question of where the PM actually is; the picture of the bodies (and what becomes of Andrew afterwards); the question of what lies beyond the checkpoint, the wolf etc. - the story carries something of a slower pace, but all those little mysteries are nicely worked in to keep me reading.
Not a huge issue, but is there enough leverage hanging over Thomas to let Nicole into his life so easily? He could owe Adam a lot more than be in hock for the wine. Politicians usually have something over one another. Maybe his and Adamís relationship is explored more later? It feels like thereís an awful lot at stake here (the entire social order) with Nicole digging at the truth and Thomas reluctant to indulge her - at least at the outset. I got the sense heís the reluctant hero in all this?
Iím on the fence about Nicole rushing to tend a dying wolf. Her character feels outgoing enough to do such a thing, but then it also felt a bit much for a young woman, who moments before, had never left the comfort of the city. But I do like the wolf - very out of place. More intrigue.
Started to lose me in those next few pages - mostly as I realised this wasnít actually leading to a conclusion or cliffhanger of sorts. In any case, it lost that earlier subtlety and fell back on exposition and flashback to explain Thomasí family history and how things came to be after the crash. Not against flashbacks, but they did feel a little jarring given the tone of what had come before.
Presumably this has to head north into the Ďotherí side of England. As long as Thomas has a truly compelling reason to go - and take Nicole along then I like what youíre proposing with the Daughter and Grandson.
I would consider holding back on showing this great industrial sprawl too soon. Iíd weigh the benefits of building on the mystery of Ďwhatís out thereí and how much Thomas knows of the situation up north - or is willing to let on. The shock contrast between these two worlds would be a key moment, one that might carry more impact were it revealed/seen through the eyes of Nicole (rather than in flashback).
Anyways, I donít know where this is going, but I like where youíve gone so far. As to the Grandson idea, I like it, kind of a rabble rouser threatening the perceived order with Thomas caught in the middle. Itís ambitious no doubt - sci-fi with a social conscience - Iím keen to see where you take it. ...Unless youíre going for the epic seven season box set approach.
Good luck with it.
My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
Hey Steve, sorry just getting to this now (work is killing me at the moment, hopefully not literally),
Massive thanks for going into it in so much detail, appreciate it mate.
Not a huge fan of the title
Yeh I just whacked that down. It's actually the street that Andrew Carnegie was born on, I was piecing together something on him and somehow the two seemed related on some levels, but definitely not the final name.
The names donít help, fairly generic (the kind that donít stand out): Thomas, David, Adam, Andrew.
The names is a good point. There aren't that many memorable characters with boring ones, are there? Guess I'll hit the internet and start scanning the "most popular names" sections for some inspiration.
Not a huge issue, but is there enough leverage hanging over Thomas to let Nicole into his life so easily?
There could be some extra stuff going on here, one thing I found which I quite enjoyed in trying to create this one is there seems to be a lot of strands appearing. I listened to a Chris Morris podcast recently and he stated he quite enjoyed leaving things left untied, and unexplained, but the nice thing about a series is that these can appear and reappear at want.
Iím on the fence about Nicole rushing to tend a dying wolf.
This bit just appeared in a flurry of typing with relatively little thought, but I disappeared down a rabbit hole and it became some kind analogy of Darwinism/survival of the fittest in a comparison to society. Definitely needs fleshed out. Another thing was giving the country back to the wildlife, as no one lives there, also wanted to emphasise the removal of road signs (just posts now), to stop anyone from finding where they were going.
I would consider holding back on showing this great industrial sprawl too soon.
This I've been playing with the most. When to bring it in? Allude to it early and intercut or, like you've said, hold it back. I basically crow barred the explanation in as I kinda felt like it had to pop up somewhere, but yeh pulling it back to the end could help build suspense...
Steve, serious thanks, been great to get help from you and Dave on this one, and you've really broken it down. Now to find the time to get back to the drawing board and write the bastard!!!
If you've got something you want me to cast an eye over hit me up,