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Submersion by Jared Cole Shipley - Thriller, Film Noir - When a college student suspects his ex-girlfriend's new beau of cheating on her, he delves into an investigation to prove it, but begins to lose control and slowly spiral out of control. 100 pages - pdf, format
Jared, I like the way your narrative switches from present to past and intermingles this guy's thoughts with his perceived reality; it draws you in and holds you captive. Have you ever entered any contests? I'ma new writer and wouldlike to get involved in writing contests, so any advice you can share would go a long way with me. Hope to read more from you really soon.
I only read through the first ten pages of your script, and I think it's very good. I have some suggestions, and by all means they're only suggestions. First, on the title page, there's no need to write what draft the script is, especially when submitting it to agents/producers. I saw on the title page that you registered it with WGA, which is a must, but did you register it with Copyright? If not then you should do so. Once you do, then put that on the title page as well, like this: Copyright 2007. When revising the title page, put the copyright and WGA information on the bottom left side, and your contact information on the bottom right side.
Next, I was wondering why you put FADE IN on the far right side of the first page?
Why did you put your scene headings in bold letters? As long as they're in upper case it's enough.
When revising your script, consider your music descriptions. Are they necessary to the story? Usually music is left up the music department.
Also please consider your use of SMASH CUT TO, etc. Your script must be a straight-forward read, with minimal if any technical stuff.
Finally, be careful with using voice over. Use it only if absolutely necessary.
Again, these are just suggestions. You're a very talented writer, and I wish you the best.
Hey Jared, I'll try to take a look at this later and in the meantime. This is a community board. You might wanna spend some time reading and review other scripts. You'll get a better turn out for responses
Jared, I feel that the story is a little bit rushed. It has that Revenge of the Sith feel to it where the character makes a huge personality change/choice based on little. For one I think its a little far fetched to believe he'd act like this based on a relationship that lasted one month. Is it possible? yes, but it is hard to swallow without being shown much of the relationship itself. Another thing that jumped out at me - the image system of swimming in the pool. I know the script is called Submersion and often he submerges in the pool but it seems a little gimmicky like you are forcing symbolism. It would work better if each time he was getting a little deeper he would act a little deeper in life. So what if he doesn't want to hang out with a friend or checks on someone he thinks is cheating? That's not murderous obsession. I think using the hallway at his work more could be a possible help in this area, if he discovers that early on; continuously looks down it; perhaps have it morph ala Vertigo when Scottie looks down from heights; Use the hallway as a metaphor for his insanity and the pool as a metaphor for trying to keep afloat (sane).
Have the audience question his sanity through out, is he sane to begin with? is he functionally psycho? Have the compact show up in his bathroom one morning when he gets out of the shower and when he rubs his eyes its gone. Things like that.
Lastly, I dunno how well the V.O. dream sequences work. Think about trying to display that differently.
All in all you have the base of a thriller here just need to work it out. Check out The Machinist just for reference.
It's Drew Hester! I apologize for it taking so long to get back to you on the topic of "Submersion". But I definitely have wanted to get back to you on it! When you first sent me the link I literally ran out and read the entire thing that night. I was truly excited to have something new from you to read after being so excited with your last project "White Picket Fence".
Let me start it off by saying you truly have the gift of writing! My review comes more from the Actor's POV than the Writer's, and with that in mind the visuals you give in the opening scenes are great!
I have read both sides saying it's slow or rushed, and I think I would have to agree on the side of it being a 'LITTLE slow' in the beginning, however; with that said, I find it appropriately builds to its climax.
I believe my expectations were a little high, again, due to having read "White Picket Fence", and coming into reading this I was a little let down at how the story progressed. I'm not saying it's bad, by all means it's the opposite, but to me I was reading what seemed to keep building into a psychological thriller, that quickly turned into a 'psycho thriller'. I don't know if this is what you were going for, but I seemed to find myself expecting more to happen only for it to die down again.
The ending you have chosen is what caused me to rethink the whole read, which can be a good thing, although for me there was a lack of satisfaction. To sum it up better may be to say I kept expecting the unexpected twist ending, and I what I ended up getting was the obvious actions of a character in dismay. Thinking back on it, could it be that the twist was, there was no twist?
I felt the ending was rushed.
I didn't get lost in translation though, I followed it fine, but the road it took me on kept making me think that there was more to be said or shown that wasn't...
Again you have a great idea, a great base, and a great mind! I think fleshing out some of the scenes, omit, add, etc. will help the project as a whole!
I'm definitely looking forward to future revisions, and I know with time, you will have something truly special to offer us all yet again!