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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Western Scripts  ›  Impasse Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: July 30th, 2016, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Impasse by John Staats - Western - Ambushed and besieged, a U.S. Cavalry command is outnumbered with little hope of rescue. Heroism and sacrifice are their last lines of defense. Based on the most decorated single battle in U.S. Military history. 98 pages ! - pdf, format

Now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle! Just in time for Christmas! HO-HO-HO

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit SimplyScripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  November 12th, 2017, 4:55pm
revised draft
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Idunno
Posted: August 2nd, 2016, 1:47pm Report to Moderator
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Well written for the most part, but WAY to many supers on screen, you don't need all that. If you can cut down the supers to maybe 1 or 2 at a time. All the supers will turn off the reader, but other than that so far so good.

All the best

- Max
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JEStaats
Posted: August 3rd, 2016, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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Max - Thank you for your comments. You verified the comment made by my editor (wife) regarding the 'supers' and I've already rewritten the opening sequence to all but eliminate the narratives. Not sure if you read the entire script but keep the comments coming. Thanks again - John
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Idunno
Posted: August 4th, 2016, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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I'd love to read the re-wright. So far while reading it seems very "the revenant" esc (a good thing)  It's very scenic and would make for a wonderful piece of cinema, I will comment more as I get farther in, thanks again for sharing.

- Max
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JEStaats
Posted: August 18th, 2016, 4:41pm Report to Moderator
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Hey all - The new revised draft for Impasse has just been uploaded with the new opening sequence (thanks again Max). Take a read and give me feedback. Pull no punches!

Thanks - John
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PrussianMosby
Posted: August 19th, 2016, 12:28pm Report to Moderator
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Of course I'd like to help/read you since you're a regular member- saw you at the OWC.

A) I looked over the script for a first impression and saw some differences in format you should fix imo:

1. too many progressive forms in descriptions and action lines

2. In spec scripts Continued at page breaks is only necessary when the break interrupts a character's dialogue
(MORE)
(CONT'D)
Erase all other versions if you want.

3. Call me nitpicky but your page numbers should be in Courier too and have a dot placed after.
+ p1 , in standard format, has NO number

4. Some sluglines have "Same" in brackets following; also some have Same after NIGHT or DAY. Don't invent new ways of formatting. Be 100% consistent.

B) Your logline here could be actually pitching a documentary. It sounds just serious about a historical subject (an interesting one, no doubt) but there's nothing about characters.

Where is the old drinker, who, together with a little girl, hunts a shooter across the landscape? True Grit.
Where is the brutal killer who changes and takes care of the gang that exploits the whores of a small village? Unforgiven

In summary: What does happen to whom during the siege???????

I look into your material soon, gimme some days, but I think all those "little" points above should be checked by you. In the end it's the little things that count (too).


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

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JEStaats
Posted: August 19th, 2016, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for taking a read and your comments. I'm new at this (obviously) and have seen so many variations to format. I'm not using any software, just formatting a template in Word based on what I've read.

Good point re: the log-line as it does sound like a documentary. I could easily include the Buffalo Soldiers in the descriptor.

I think you'll enjoy the story. I look forward to hearing more from you.
- John
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SimonM
Posted: August 19th, 2016, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JEStaats
I'm not using any software, just formatting a template in Word based on what I've read.



I'd definitely avoid that - it will just create more problems in the long term.

Although there are not as many as there used to be, you can still find free software around - Trelby for example, and the trial version of FadeIn (you can't export to PDF with that unless you buy it though). Even Amazon gives you access to free online script writing software nowadays (though I've never used it to cannot recommend it - others might).

If you have a tablet, there are also apps, free or cheap.

If you put out a call I am sure SS members will be more than willing to recommend various options.

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JEStaats
Posted: August 19th, 2016, 5:03pm Report to Moderator
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You rock! I just downloaded Trelby - sweet. Easy to import my existing scripts too. I'll have to send Don the revision over the weekend.

Thanks for your help!
John
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LC
Posted: August 19th, 2016, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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Celtx looks still to be free, too, FYI.



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  August 20th, 2016, 1:02am
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SimonM
Posted: August 20th, 2016, 1:50am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Celtx looks still to be free, too, FYI.


The very basic version is I believe:

https://www.celtx.com/index.html

Adobe Story also has free elements as well as paid:

https://story.adobe.com

There's one called "Highland" which is new to me (is this the one John August is behind?), which is cheap for writing software but I believe it's Mac only.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/highland/id499329572?mt=12

Another Mac one is "Slugline", which has a Free Trial -

http://slugline.co/

Beyond that, and the big ones like Final Draft, there doesn't seem to be much around nowadays.

I write on my iPad and have found FD to be really buggy on that working on the OWC script, so might give the Celtx app a try.

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PrussianMosby
Posted: August 25th, 2016, 12:52am Report to Moderator
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Yo, I'm back.

I researched a bit and it seems Westerns have a hard time currently.

Title: Impasse - Isn't that a French term originally?? I mean, if it's about a deep American conflict, should you choose a word which is derived and added to your origin language; especially when dealing with a historical piece…? So rethink if you like… Although, perhaps I'm wrong and impasse is a traditional American term. Then just forget what I said

John, I know you like notes on story, as any writer here, but the script over-challenges me. While there is a touchable authenticity and you seem to know your subject very well, I had major problems with the way you translate your story to the page and into my head. This kind of delivery is completely unfamiliar to me when it comes to screenwriting. Especially, I don't understand why you don't write active and in present (from the bottom of p2 it almost completely derails into progressive forms). I can send you a pm but it'd be only about technical things that I believe you should think over and work on for a while.

Perhaps others see it different. Max seems to have no problems with your style f.i…

All the best


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)

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JEStaats
Posted: August 25th, 2016, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for getting back to me. Interesting comment re: the title and it being of French origin. The Native Americans, especially of the west, were probably more fluent in French than English due to the French trappers influence. I also used the term 'parley' (pronounced like the French parlez) further in when wanting to converse with the Indians. I feel pretty good about using Impasse instead of something like 'Deadlock' or 'Stalemate'.

I realize that westerns have a hard time getting sold for many years now but with the success of Revenant, Hell or High Water, and the re-make of the Magnificent Seven, I'm being hopeful for it's resurgence (not that I'm even hopeful for Impasse). I thought of classifying this as an action/adventure but stayed with western.

Writing-wise, I'm a story teller. My technical writing skills, especially when it comes to screenplays, is novice at best. If there was any interest in this story going further, I would definitely be putting out the feelers for a writer of talent for a fix. Interested?

Thanks again and I'll see what I can do about my progressive form.
~John
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SimonM
Posted: August 25th, 2016, 11:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JEStaats

Writing-wise, I'm a story teller. My technical writing skills, especially when it comes to screenplays, is novice at best.


Perhaps an informative story:

A man working in an office gets fed up of his job and decides to write a screenplay. This is pre-internet, so he has no idea what one looks like. He writes it anyway and sends it to a major agency. They've never seen anything like it, format wise - but they love the story, so work with the writer to turn it into a proper script.

The story was called "Blood on the Snow". Eventually it become known as "The Thomas Crown Affair" - and the author who knew nothing about screenplay formatting went on to write "Bullitt" as well.

Moral of the Story - if the story is good and compelling, no one will care if you cross your t's and dot your i's - that can be sorted out later. Don't let the Formatting Obsessives tell you otherwise.

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PrussianMosby
Posted: August 26th, 2016, 2:35am Report to Moderator
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As you see, everybody got a different opinion on screenwriting and I don't want to have a bad influence on you in any way as the previous speaker implies. The kind of judging on opinion of this certain member I give a wide berth here and in the future. So definitely my last comment. It's all said from my side here anyway. I don't want to bring in any negativity but the form needs indeed massive work imo.  And to write an expertise that gives advice to invest in necessary basics isn't easy. At least to me. It makes me feel uncomfortable to do that, all along. And if I haven't known you and said that I look into the script before, I wouldn't have commented. Fact. But as I said before, perhaps I'm wrong and others see your execution differently. Maybe Judge Simon f.i. when he once truly reads into your script, he may advice to push more ings forward and to completely avoid simple present. Who knows.    


Quoted from JEStaats
Writing-wise, I'm a story teller. My technical writing skills, especially when it comes to screenplays, is novice at best. If there was any interest in this story going further, I would definitely be putting out the feelers for a writer of talent for a fix. Interested?

Seriously, you can do it yourself, John. If you got the confidence to say I'm a qualified storyteller, got passion, and want to draft screenplays properly – then work up your abilities and get more insight into the craft of that specific medium. I don't see it very critically in your case but you will, IMO, need at least a few months to research, learn, and internalize active translation of story: To restrict the use of filler words as all those ing forms, forms of to be and all the different tenses other than simple present, avoid slow and repetitive writing, and reduce long sentences. Then you should rather walk with power verbs, stay in SVO simple present writing, break up paragraphs properly, think in shots as paragraphs, develop clear images with few words, move quick on the page etc.…  First step is to write in simple present at 99,5%.

If you rewrite, I'll give it a new shot of course. Let's see what happens… Good luck with your story.


No End of Wolves   (9p - psychological horror)


Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
PrussianMosby  -  August 26th, 2016, 2:51am
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