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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  The Avondale Park Killer - 7WC Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Avondale Park Killer - 7WC  (currently 2987 views)
Don
Posted: September 5th, 2010, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Avondale Park Killer - 7WC by Brian McCluskey - Thriller - When a horrific car crash on a young bride's wedding day leaves her with severe amnesia, she begins to suspect her new husband, who she has no recollection of whatsoever, may be responsible for a handful of recent murders in town. 94 pages - pdf, format


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bert  -  September 7th, 2010, 5:19pm
fixed typo with best guess
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c m hall
Posted: September 5th, 2010, 5:27pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS, of course.

Quick notes:

The twists and turns in the story work, I think -- you mix predictable and unpredictable elements so that I followed along, maintained interest.

It felt like you had to fight the story back into shape a few times (that poor woman gets hit in the head every dozen pages, it seemed).

The ending was energetic and pulled a lot of the story into place in a good way.

I'd recommend you re-think everything about the baby -- Mel's complete lack of memories (even physical memory) about Dylan seem to me to be a forced element -- even when her memory starts to return, Mel seems distant from the baby, (even though she goes to extreme measures to take Dylan away from Tom, it just seems like a sign that Mel is unstable).

All of your characters, especially Tom and Mel, have complexity.  I think you've done a terrific job on this, especially considering the frantic pace of 7 weeks.  

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c m hall  -  September 5th, 2010, 11:33pm
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Brian M
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Thanks to Don for posting this and allowing this challenge to go ahead!

Hi Catherine,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and post your thoughts.

I have to agree with you about the baby, I had a feeling I was making her look more and more unstable and you've confirmed my suspicions. I also didn't realize how much she is hit over the head... OOPS... I should fix that!

Again, thanks for reading! I'll hopefully get round to your script soon enough.

Brian


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The Forgotten Christmas Tape - Short, Dark Thriller (9 pages)

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seamus19382
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First, congratulations on finishing.  That's a real acomplishment and you should be proud of yourself.  

Second, I think you're a real good writer.  Your descriptons are clear and concise.  I never had any question as to who was doing hat and where they were when they were doing it.

Having said that, this one doesn't really work for me.  

Adams toast needs work.  It's too long, it's not funny, and it doesn't tell us anything about any of the characters.

How does Carrie know Tom for five years, know Melissa since they were kids, but Tom and Mellisa meet each other at a diner?  

I find it strange that Melissa has had this tragic accident, and her little surprise, and no one from her family is there.  Maybe Carrie should be her sister?

Melissa should discover the locked door on her own, instead of Tom telling her about it.

The flashbacks don't work for me.  You keep flashing back to stuff we alrady know.  We see them get married, then you flash back to how they met.  After we find out about Dylan, you flash back to her finding out she's pregnant.  (In fact, if that flashback had happened beforehand, then we'd have some suspense!)

I also don't like he way she does all this stuff while Tom's in the house.  If you're living with someone you suspct is a killer, would you really investigate under his nose?

Try to get your characters out more.  Most of this takes place inside the house, which wouldn't be a problem if you used it to establish a sense of claustrapobia, but i never really get that feeling.

In general, I understand you want to keep us guessing as to who the killer is.  My problem is, you don't really give us any clues as to it actually is.  The killer only shows up in two short scenes before he revealself, and does nothing to make us suspect him.  No Fair!!!

Sorry if that seems a bit harsh.  But this is a really solid effort for seven weeks.  
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Brian M
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Hey seamus19382,

SPOILERS AND SUCH...

Thanks a bunch for reading and posting your thoughts. I can't believe I left out the explanation for Carrie knowing Tom for longer than Melissa. I actually had this down in my notes at the last minute and have forgot to add it in there. I'm kicking myself.

In the toast, I really only wanted to get two things across about the characters. Tom's love of golf and Melissa's bad driving. Both come into play later on. I can see how it's too long though, and it could definitely do with a joke or two.

I had a line in there somewhere about Mel's parents living in Europe... but to be honest, that's a bit of a cop out on my part. Carrie being her sister is an excellent idea and one I will definitely think about.

The flashbacks, I would probably have done differently if I had the time. I tried to hint at a baby with the sickness at Tom's father's funeral (a VERY small hint, I'll admit).

Hinting towards Adam is a tough one as he's only responsible for the one murder, Carrie's. I'm not sure where to start to fix this, as Tom is still the man behind the murders in the park, like Melissa suspected. I actually wanted people to suspect Kevin, and I'm not sure if that worked. I think I missed the mark somewhere here.

Again, thanks for reading. It's very much appreciated. Do you have anything you'd like me to read? Thanks again!

Brian


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grademan
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Brian,

Good entry for the 7WC!

I liked the story and the double tap on the twist at the end. Your story telling was straightforward which made it a page turner.

There were a handful of phrasing issues in the narrative re: unneeded words but nothing I care to detail.

The dialogue was okay – nothing stood out as noteworthy. Nothing wrong with that.  I agree with a prior comment that the best man’s speech can be made a tad more exciting or interesting. Tantalize us. “I’d do anything to help my brother.”

Use of quick flashes was a strong point, a nice change from the longer flashes.

The opening scene was not compelling but essential to the script. How many times has a movie started with the wedding vows? The scene with the 18 wheeler was memorable.

Character work was definitely improved compared to Publicity Whore.

A little more foreshadowing re: Adam and maybe a look at how the mother could forget her baby even while they were at the wedding.  A mother looking for her baby with teaser flashbacks would be compelling viewing.

Gary
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Brian M
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Gary,

Thanks so much for the read and review. Dialogue is on a long list of things I'm desperately trying to improve on, I do struggle with that at times.

Nice to see you liked the quick flashes.

I agree about the opening scene. I couldn't think of any other way to start it otherwise, and I had a feeling when I was writing that people may be turned off by this. I couldn't wait to get that 18 wheeler skidding towards them!

Very relieved you thought the character's were better. That's right at the top of the list next to dialogue!

Nice suggestion about the baby teaser flashbacks. It's something I'll definitely look into.

Again, many thanks for reading. It's much appreciated. Do you have anything new up that you'd like me to take a look at?

Brian


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Coding Herman
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Hey Brian,

I'm returning the read here. But first, congratulation on completing the challenge. We all deserve a pat on our backs.

I read up to what I presumably think is the end of Act I -- Kevin arrives at the house. It was a breeze to read through it. Your writing is crisp and concise, and at the same time, gives a visual image in my head. I think yours is actually better than mine. You're the one who has no trouble looking for the right word. I envy you.

I'm not good at catching typos and grammar mistakes. Or maybe you just didn't have any for the first 30 pages.

But I notice on page 8, I think it's the Nurse asking Melissa, not the News Reporter.

Here are some of my thoughts:

The pace is very good. Everything keeps moving in a logical order without any dull spot. The car crash happens at the right time as well.

I think the first quick flash occurs a little too fast in the script. It was too easy for Melissa to remember who Tom is. Just by kissing her hand? But I guess you need her to remember to have Melissa stay at Tom home.

Loved the descriptions of the house. Very vivid. I wanna live in one of those.

I'm okay with Melissa overhearing Tom's phone conversation. I know it's a little bit contrived, but it's in the beginning and you have to get things started now, eh? Maybe you can work harder on delivering the same info without using this plot device? Just a suggestion.

Loved the flashback in the restaurant. Sounds so real.

Good conflict between Melissa and Tom during their breakfast.

I didn't get the relationship between Melissa, Tom, and Carrie. So Melissa and Carrie were grade school friends. And Melissa met Tom a year ago through coincidence. But Carrie and Tom know each other for over five years? Unless Carrie never told Melissa about Tom, this doesn't seem to make sense.

The appearance of Kevin is intriguing. A contrast to the rich neighborhood.

I'll keep reading it.


Herman


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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Coding Herman
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Hey Brian, my review - Part II.

I think you missed a great thrilling scene when Tom comes back from home. He could be suspicious that someone had visited Melissa. Maybe dirt on the floor or something. And Tom nonchalantly searches around the house.

Page 35, seems like you had Claudia first before you changed her name to Jennifer.

I'm no expert on this, but I think the News Broadcast on the radio should be (V.O.)

I didn't understand how Melissa came to the conclusion that the latest victim, Claire Jackson, but not the previous victims, has anything to do with Kevin. Furthermore, why would Melissa call Carrie when Melissa knew Carrie will not listen to her? Okay, never mind, you explained that Melissa panicked.

Loved the sight that Andrea spotted Melissa with Kevin together. Good foreshadowing of tension.

I thought Carrie is married already. She has a baby boy, didn't she? Or is that someone else's? Just feel weird that Carrie is talking about dating and flirting with Adam.

Ooohhhh.....So that was Melissa's baby. BUT that is a bit impossible because Dylan would have been crying, so Melissa should have known about this on the first or second day. Unless there is some good soundproof walls, which I doubt because Tom and Andreas need to know what Dylan's up to, then this is a plot hole.

Another thing, it's still a stretch about Tom's explanation how he doesn't want Melissa to know about the baby. I didn't think it was a big deal.

I'll finish this later tonight or tomorrow. It's interesting so far.

Herman


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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Dreamscale
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OK, Brian, you're up, bud!  First things first, though...

Congrats on completing this script in 7 weeks.  That's quite an accomplishment.  You can and should be proud.

Before I even start though, there's a glaring error in your logline, which I'd recommend you fix immediately.

It reads, "When a horror car crash..." - Obviously, I'm sure you meant, "horrible". As I always say, when you see errors in the log, it sends up red flags, and nobody wants that before a single word of the actual script has been read.

[bert's edit:  Fixed logline, but I would choose horrific over horrible.  Brian can weigh in on this later]

OK, I'm going to read it now.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Brian, I’m going to post my page by pages notes first and then come back later with my comments and take on everything, as I want to get this in, and it's dinner time here.

Page 1 – I think you could do without the vows from both…maybe start with the 2nd set, just to move things along.

Page 2/3 – I think Adam’s speech is a bit long, but for me, it is funny and shows character traits for all involved.  I don’t think you want to use 2 whole pages for it, though.

GENERAL NOTE – Although I definitely like this intro, it is slow, and a bit long winded.  It’s full of cliché stuff that probably doesn’t need to be here.  No major complaints though.

Page 5 – Flying to the Caribbean requires a 2 hour advance check in usually.  If they’re just leaving the reception, they’re going to be late.

Page 6 – “overtake” – “pass”

The crash is well done, IMO.  Only complaint would be the word “BLACKNESS” – I’d suggest either putting it on its own line or using a transition like “SMASH TO BLACK” – I rarely if ever recommend such things, but here it would work perfectly.

Same thing with the 2nd use of “BLACKNESS” – here, its own line would be perfect, IMO.

Page 7 – Good transition to the reporter on TV.  Well done!

“barley” – “barely”

Page 8 – Incorrect dialogue box – states “news reporter” – should be “nurse”

The more I see “BLACKNESS”, the more I think you need to make a choice how best to show this. I think it at least has to be on its own line.

Page 9 – First passage is awkward and confusingly written.

I would recommend that a doctor talks with Tom, not this same nurse.  I don’t think it’s her place to be telling him the situation with her.

Is this “HUGE SCAR” supposed to be from the accident?  It would not b a scar yet, I’d rethink the description.

Page 10 – “her face” – “his face”

Page 11 – “SHE HAS QUICK FLASHES” – Personally, I don’t like how this reads.  “QUICK FLASHES” would look much better.

GENERAL NOTE – I’m liking this!  Well set up, well written, clean.  I’m impressed.

GENERAL NOTE – This “NURSE” has a lot of screen time and dialogue.  I think you need to name her, but I also think you need a doctor involved, as it would be the doctor that does many of the things she is doing.

Page 14 – “…in the street” – “…on the street”

Page 18 – “what she done wrong” – “what she did wrong”

Page 19 – This is Tom’s Flashback, right?  If so, I don’t think it quite works based on the fact you end the prior scene on Melissa’s open eyes.  If it’s Mel’s Flashback, it doesn’t work either because it starts out with Tom and Andrew, and Mel wasn’t privy to their conversation.  IMO, the scene is too long for what it offers.  Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but for your first BIG Flashback, it’s a bit slow, long, and not interesting enough – I’d also question why Tom would be remotely interested in her, being a waitress and all, when he can most likely have the pick of the litter.

Page 20 – “Tom’s” – “Tom”

Page 24 – “conversion” – “conversation”

GENERAL NOTE – There are an awful lot of “orphans” running around.  I know it’s first draft, but I’d concentrate on them when you look to rewrite it.

Page 26 – “He’s not been…” – “He hasn’t been…”

Page 28 – “…there’s nothing weird about him…” – “…there’s anything weird about him…” – I know this is dialogue and your characters can speak anyway you want them to, but these last examples make Mel out to be an idiot.

“…several bags of shopping.” – An orphan and a perfect example of how to correct them – just drop the “of shopping” – reads better, and saves a line.

Page 29 – get rid of “of shopping” again.  Sounds really odd.  If anything, it would be “shopping bags”.

GENERAL NOTE involving Kevin – We don’t know who he is, but Mel sure seems to remember him, which is odd to me.  Also, the entire scene with them searching for clues seems very strange.  Why would she tell him anything?  Why would they immediately do this?  It’s bad timing anyway you look at it, and doesn’t compute for me – let’s see where it goes from here.

Page 34 – It’s also weird that this super rich dude, who has his own maid, brings chicken home.  The maid should be cooking them gourmet meals.

“A girl turns her head, walks towards him. Her name is JENNIFER (2, with the good looks of a Playboy model.” – Really awkward intro.  How about, “JENNIFER (2, good looks of a Playboy model, turns her head, walks towards him.”

Another issue with the Flashback – who is having this Flashback?  It can’t be Mel again, because she wasn’t involved in the beginning of it, so I have to assume it’s Tom’s, but Mel is the one with amnesia and should be the one having the Flashbacks.  Also, like before, it’s not staged properly, as in, it doesn’t fit where you have it.

Page 35 – Who is Claudia?

Page 36 – “You’re memories…” – “Your memories…”

“Every little helps” – “Every little bit helps”

Page 39 – “peak” – “peek”

Page 41 – “too” – “to”

“trials” – “trails”

Page 47 – A baby’s been in that locked room all along?  C’mon now…that’s not working for me.  Let’s see where it goes…wait a minute…the baby is only a few months old?  Mel would still be showing, and in a filmed version, we’d know this.  DECEPTION…unfair deception!

Page 50 – Adam says “Don’t wait 3 months before you call again”, meaning it’s been at least 3 months since the wedding?  This doesn’t make sense.

Same issues with this Flashback again.  It’s written from Tom’s POV, or memory, and I have to assume it’s actually Mel remembering the stuff.  You have to be very careful in what you show in these Flashbacks for them to make sense from her standpoint.

Page 56 – Tom’s sudden change in demeanor doesn’t come off as believable.  His dialogue doesn’t work here, IMO.

Page 59 – I’m not following the dialogue here about Claire, the girl who married Tom’s father, or the sudden reference to Jennifer – and this Kevin guy is still a complete mystery.

Page 62 – Possible time problem – Mel cut her hand (not her arm, I thought) and it seems like it was quite awhile ago, the way time seems to be passing…or am I wrong?

Page 63 – “retraining” – “restraining”

Page 65-67 – Some issues with this scene – apparently, you’re saying there is a staircase that leads into the garage…not a door, since Tom can see her in the garage from the staircase.  This doesn’t make sense.  Also, the garage door would be closed and Mel didn’t open it.  We also have to assume that of all these cars in the garage, the Porsche is in front, with nothing blocking it in.  I think some more attention to detail is needed here, or earlier, so we have a better picture of this garage.

GENERAL NOTE – I doubt Mel would be calling her son, “boy”.  She’s done it at least twice now.

Page 67 – Here’s a serious problem.  Mel did not strap Dylan into any car seat, so he’s just laying there in the front seat of a Porsche.  With the collision of a street lamp, this kid’s dead, or in really bad shape and Mel is in deep shit now!

Another problem with the Flashback – it says 1 month ago. Adam said earlier that 3 months had passed since Tom called him, meaning it was after the wedding, and now we’re talking about the wedding being 1 month ago.  Either I’m really missing something, confused, or there are time problems going on here.  And, once again, the Flashback contains things Mel was not privy to, meaning she can’t have the Flashback cause she never knew or saw this stuff.

Page 71 – Again, I don’t buy it.  This was a major car crash.  People would have seen it, the police would be involved, Mel would be in deep shit.  How’d they get the car back?  It had to of been wrecked?  Too many things don’ add up here at all.

Page 72 – OK, you tried to explain it but it still doesn’t really fly, IMO.  I’d rethink the scene.

Page 75 – Any woman would not abandon her baby and run. She would take him with her and fight anything to the death.

“peak” – “peek’

Page 76 – “stagger” – “staggers”

Page 77 – “As she nears, the house the police are outside is familiar.” – Awkward and something’s wrong with it.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to be saying.

Page 83 – “her” – “his” – but again, this Flashback seems like it’s coming from Tom’s perspective, which doesn’t make sense.  I think you need to rethink and rewrite each and every Flashback.  Also, I’m questioning the “3 weeks ago” SUPER.  Either I’m way off on the time line here or there are major issues with your time line.

Page 86 – OK, another logic flaw here.  How’d she get to the church?  She’s not allowed to drive, doesn’t seem to have her own car, and just got knocked out.  Based on the fact they live in an extravagant mansion, I’m sure the church is far from walking distance.

Page 87 – So you’re saying Adam somehow got a hold of Tom’s phone and sent this message?  Like Tom just left Mel lying somewhere after he knocked her out?  Adam lives really close by as well…and the church is really close too?  Lots of things aren’t working for me logically, Brian, and I hope you take them into account when you rewrite the next draft.

Uh oh, the old James Bond villain speech, explaining why he did what he did.

The church is open, but no one’s around?

Page 88 – And he’s going to rape her in the church in broad daylight?  Reality check…reality check in aisle 14!!!

Page 89 – And he’s a complete psycho freak all of a sudden!

Page 90 – An iron bar?  Huh?  Where’d she get that from?

“iron bar still in hand” – used twice almost back to back – unless you tell us she drops it, we understand it’s still there.

Page 91 – Of all the possible first things Mel would say to Tom, this is definitely not one of them.

“he was my best man” – he was his brother, wasn’t he?  Who cares about being a best man?

“meet you” – “met you”

In jail for attempted rape?  HUH?  Mel didn’t know jackshit about anything…which is an ongoing problem in this script, which I’ll discuss later.

No time given in the SUV SLUG.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 7th, 2010, 11:26pm Report to Moderator
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Brian, I’m back.  So, I wanted to go into some more detail on your script, cause I really think it deserves it.

I bet it’s difficult to tell whether or not I liked the script.  I did. I really did.  And for a 7 weeks effort, I think you did an outstanding job.

IMO, things definitely went downhill in the 2nd half, there were many logic issues/problems, as well as time line issues, and as noted, I feel like all your Flashbacks are seriously flawed, but fuck, this is a first draft, written and conceived in a mere 7 weeks…that stuff can easily be fixed.

You did a really good job in putting this together.  I can tell there was a lot of thought and planning.  It’s got a good flow and feel to it, things move along at a decent clip, there’s action, mystery, suspense, and intrigue.   It has a definite thriller vibe and feel, and it easily passes with a PG13 rating, so a bigger audience.

Other than what I brought up as I read, I do feel there are many, many issues that should be addressed, fixed up, changed, etc, but in terms of movies of this nature, I bet most of the issues are things most won’t even see or think about, and most of these films get away with far more.  So, if I were you, I’d be damn proud of what you’ve put together…not just in terms of 7 weeks, but any time period for a strong first draft.

OK, what didn’t work and why?  Well, the biggest issue I think is a simple question, Why?  Why?  Why?  And, why?  There are so many things to pose that question to, starting simply with, why would Tom suddenly go on a killing spree like this?  Why would Adam attempt to do what he did to Mel, in a church, in broad daylight, for God’s sake?  Why would Adam kill Carrie?  Why would Tom want to be with Mel?  Why didn’t Mel have a single friend or family member at her side once during the entire script, and based on everything that happened to her, why wouldn’t she let someone in on what was going on?

OK, there’re a lot more, but I think you get my drift.

So, without going into more detail (I will if you want and we get some back and forth going here), I did like this and think it’s tremendous for a 7 week effort.  I liked it a lot more in the lead up though. Things definitely started falling apart for me, the further it went, and I was less than thrilled with the way things turned out in the last 20-30 pages.  But all these little quips I have can easily be fixed, or you can clean it up and maybe it’s still good to go.

Let’s make a point to discuss the Flashback scenes.  I’m curious what your responses will be to what I brought up about them in the notes.  Also, wondering WTF was up with Kevin, and what happened to him, as he had no “ending” did he?

Great effort here, Brian!  Nice work!


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Brian M
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Thanks to everyone for reading and posting! I've got a long day ahead at work but I will reply to everyone's comments in as much detail as I can when I get home.


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Brian M
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Hey Herman and Jeff,

Thanks to both of you for reading and posting some very detailed notes. They will be a great help when I get to the rewrite. I'll try and go through all the comments and answer them to the best of my ability. To start...


Quoted from Dreamscale
Before I even start though, there's a glaring error in your logline, which I'd recommend you fix immediately.

It reads, "When a horror car crash..." - Obviously, I'm sure you meant, "horrible". As I always say, when you see errors in the log, it sends up red flags, and nobody wants that before a single word of the actual script has been read.

[bert's edit:  Fixed logline, but I would choose horrific over horrible.  Brian can weigh in on this later]


Thanks for the edit, Bert, horrific sounds good to me! I don't know if it's a British/American thing, but the phrase "a horror car crash" or "a horror accident" and the like are used quite often over here. I'm looking at a daily newspaper right now and they are also using that exact phrase. I still struggle with British/American spellings and such. This story is set in America so if it reads awkward to American readers, then it's best changed. Horrible and horrific are better, anyway.


Quoted from Coding Herman
But I notice on page 8, I think it's the Nurse asking Melissa, not the News Reporter.


Damn Final Draft smart type thing... It's always so useful when you're not in a rush! Thanks for pointing that out.


Quoted from Coding Herman
I think the first quick flash occurs a little too fast in the script. It was too easy for Melissa to remember who Tom is. Just by kissing her hand? But I guess you need her to remember to have Melissa stay at Tom home.


I think you have a point here. But it's true, I need her to remember something, just something small, so she will go home with him. I'm 50/50 on what to do, to be honest.


Quoted from Coding Herman
I'm okay with Melissa overhearing Tom's phone conversation. I know it's a little bit contrived, but it's in the beginning and you have to get things started now, eh? Maybe you can work harder on delivering the same info without using this plot device? Just a suggestion.


And a good suggestion. I'll try and think of something that could work.


Quoted from Coding Herman
I didn't get the relationship between Melissa, Tom, and Carrie. So Melissa and Carrie were grade school friends. And Melissa met Tom a year ago through coincidence. But Carrie and Tom know each other for over five years? Unless Carrie never told Melissa about Tom, this doesn't seem to make sense.


I can't believe the mess I made here. I should have made it so Melissa met Tom through Carrie, or that Carrie has lived in the same neighborhood as Tom for a few years and was friends with Melissa at school. I'll need to fix this for sure as it's confusing me too, and that's not a good sign!


Quoted from Coding Herman
I think you missed a great thrilling scene when Tom comes back from home. He could be suspicious that someone had visited Melissa. Maybe dirt on the floor or something. And Tom nonchalantly searches around the house.


Great suggestion. I'll definitely look to add something like this in the rewrite.


Quoted from Coding Herman
Page 35, seems like you had Claudia first before you changed her name to Jennifer.

I'm no expert on this, but I think the News Broadcast on the radio should be (V.O.)


Correct and correct. Damn, seems like I should really have given this another quick read over before submitting.


Quoted from Coding Herman
Ooohhhh.....So that was Melissa's baby. BUT that is a bit impossible because Dylan would have been crying, so Melissa should have known about this on the first or second day. Unless there is some good soundproof walls, which I doubt because Tom and Andreas need to know what Dylan's up to, then this is a plot hole.


I meant to add that the Carrie was taking care of the baby while Mel was in hospital and for the first few days when she returned home. That's why the door was locked, to stop Mel entering the room and looking at all the baby stuff. The baby would not be locked in the room at any point. I should have made that clear. Another thing I'll need to fix ASAP.

Thank you for your comments so far. They've been very helpful.

Hey Jeff,


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 1 – I think you could do without the vows from both…maybe start with the 2nd set, just to move things along.

Page 2/3 – I think Adam’s speech is a bit long, but for me, it is funny and shows character traits for all involved.  I don’t think you want to use 2 whole pages for it, though.

GENERAL NOTE – Although I definitely like this intro, it is slow, and a bit long winded.  It’s full of cliché stuff that probably doesn’t need to be here.  No major complaints though.


It's definitely cliché, and maybe a bit long. I'll have to agree. I don't think it would feel right with only one set of vows, though. I think, on screen, we're talking about an extra 30 seconds or so to do both sets and I can't see many finding a problem with that. It does read boring on paper, though, which is a bit of a problem. I'm not sure.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 5 – Flying to the Caribbean requires a 2 hour advance check in usually.  If they’re just leaving the reception, they’re going to be late.

Page 6 – “overtake” – “pass”

The crash is well done, IMO.  Only complaint would be the word “BLACKNESS” – I’d suggest either putting it on its own line or using a transition like “SMASH TO BLACK” – I rarely if ever recommend such things, but here it would work perfectly.


True about the 2 hour advance check in. He is a millionaire, though. Maybe they'll let him away with it.

British/American spellings again! Damn!

I like the idea of BLACKNESS on its own line. Thanks.


Quoted from Dreamscale
I would recommend that a doctor talks with Tom, not this same nurse.  I don’t think it’s her place to be telling him the situation with her.

Is this “HUGE SCAR” supposed to be from the accident?  It would not b a scar yet, I’d rethink the description.


A doctor would work much better. I'll change that.

I'm not sure about how long it takes for a scar to form. Ideally, I wanted Melissa to be unconscious in the hospital for a few days before she wakes up. I don't know if that's enough time. I can change this.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 18 – “what she done wrong” – “what she did wrong”

Page 19 – This is Tom’s Flashback, right?  If so, I don’t think it quite works based on the fact you end the prior scene on Melissa’s open eyes.  If it’s Mel’s Flashback, it doesn’t work either because it starts out with Tom and Andrew, and Mel wasn’t privy to their conversation.  IMO, the scene is too long for what it offers.  Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but for your first BIG Flashback, it’s a bit slow, long, and not interesting enough – I’d also question why Tom would be remotely interested in her, being a waitress and all, when he can most likely have the pick of the litter.


Damn it! Did...Done... I do that all the time! Thanks for pointing that out.

Ah, the flashbacks. I didn't really do them from Melissa's point of view, and I know I probably should have. I wanted to show the audience what they were like before the accident, and although Melissa remembers some of the stuff we see later on in the script, I didn't write it from her point of view. Maybe it would work better if I do them from her point of view. In fact, it probably would work better if I did that.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 26 – “He’s not been…” – “He hasn’t been…”

Page 28 – “…there’s nothing weird about him…” – “…there’s anything weird about him…” – I know this is dialogue and your characters can speak anyway you want them to, but these last examples make Mel out to be an idiot.


Haha... I fall into the same traps every time. Lots of people over here talk like that and I pick up some very bad habits. I've got friends who don't know what 'grammer' means. Seriously.

I've got to go to a quick kicking match/game of football, but I'll get to the rest of your comments as soon as I get home. I'm enjoying reading them so far.

Thanks to both of you.


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The Forgotten Christmas Tape - Short, Dark Thriller (9 pages)
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Coding Herman
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Hey, Brian, I just finished reading it, so this is the last part of my review.

SPOILERS

Page 55-57, Tom's reaction seems too sudden, he was nice and understanding a few minutes ago, and now he sounds like a bad guy to me. He should plead Melissa to give up Dylan first, when that doesn't work, then he can threaten her.

Page 58-62, I wasn't gonna question about who Kevin is in the beginning because I thought you're gonna explain it later on. But then he keeps popping up all the time and now I became frustrated. Like what does he do? Why would Melissa trust him? Why does he believe Melissa that Tom's a killer right away? I just wanna know where he came from so it'll feel less out of the blue.

Page 82 now, I'm getting a little tired of Melissa trying to run away now, this is like the fourth time she's been doing that. And the third time with Dylan. Maybe you should take her somewhere else to spice things up a little. I couldn't tell apart how each escape is different from another.

Page 86, Tom didn't put her back in her room but just left her on the floor bleeding? And instead of just carrying her to the church, Tom messaged her to go to the church by herself?! What if she's not going?

Okay, so it's Adam. But still....that makes Adam not so bright. And does that mean Adam stole Tom's cell phone to message Melissa?

I don't know, it's not that it doesn't make sense because that could definitely happen. But it's just seems you're trying too hard to deceive the audience as Adam's plan is kinda wacky.

Page 91, wasn't Adam Tom's brother? Not just his best man.


Okay, here are my general impressions and thoughts of the entire script.

I really liked the setup and the first half of your script. They're clean, thrilling, easily relatable, makes us want to know more about the murders, etc. But things start to fall apart in the second half after Dylan is discovered.

Let's talk about the flashbacks and the quick flashes. I don't have any problems with the flashbacks not originated from any of the characters but from a omniscient perspective. What I have problem with is the content of the flashbacks.

I thought flashbacks are used because we want to show the audience, instead of telling, about a past event that is crucial in revealing characters and/or moving the story forward.

Here is a list of flashbacks that don't do that: Tom meeting Melissa for the first time a year ago, Melissa discovers that she's pregnant nine months ago, and Tom arguing with Melissa about not going to Jennifer's funeral three weeks ago. We already know about these events from the dialogue and the effects they have on present times.

But I know what you're trying to do. You're showing the flashbacks in chronological order that represent crucial events that happen between Tom and Melissa. Unfortunately, some of these crucial events have been alluded to more than once.

And now the ending. When I found out it's Adam, I was only like, "Oh, okay." I wasn't surprised because it kinda came out of nowhere. You haven't really allude us to any suspect other than Tom.

Furthermore, you're telling us that Tom is the real killer. But why?

And Kevin, where's he after he got hit in the head?

So my overall suggestions are: trim some of the flashbacks, give us more info on Kevin, allude us to more suspects other than Tom (but then that'll change your story), be more creative with Melissa's escape because they get tiring after she failed to escape twice, and provide us a reason why Tom needs to kill those girls.

Don't get me wrong. I think you did a pretty good job for a 7WC. You did what thriller scripts have do to, and that's entertaining.

I have read two scripts only, but this is the best one so far.


Herman


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- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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