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The Venus Heist by Alex Mann - Short, Film Noir - Two women report a heist to the same detective. But can these two best friends turn in their suspects... each other? And which one of them actually committed the crime? 11 pages - pdf, format
The logline states the genre as film noir and two best friends are in a hurry to turn each other in after allegedly committing the crime.
So far, looks quite interesting.
Let's see the choices made.
The opening scene reads as a comedy which is an unusual slant on film noir but I'll go with it. Dialogue is laced with standards such as sister and hot cakes. The characters don't have any of the hardness of film noir. The story line is difficult to follow as is the ending. Changing the time line so the two vixens trade barbs while doing the heist and there meltdown as friends would be another way to go.
A romp like this needs to be nailed to work. Not sure what Hammer would say about that.
This reads as a parody of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Not sure if that was the intention but it doesn't quite work for me. A lot of dialogue and intercutting scenes, which made it difficult for me to follow.
The problem for me was I didn't buy into the premise. Do people report crimes to detectives or to the police? They normally report things they want investigating to detectives and crimes to the police, so I wasn't buying into this early on.
It also felt like some of these characters were male, the P.I. especially.
Sorry, not my cup of tea but others may love it.
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A tough one from a logic perspective at it's very premise - Two separate women report a bank heist to the same detective rather than to the police and the Detective takes the case rather than directing them to the police. Also a bit of a logic stretch that in all of the multiple heists involving dozens of customers - no men are around without any explanation is to why that would be.
Sorry, but right out of the gate, it's obvious this writing style ain't for me. It's trying so damn hard to be cool, but for me, it's irritating.
Why do we have "ESTABLISHING SHOT" in 3 scenes? Really? Completely unnecessary. There are also a whole lot of "DARK CORNER" scenes. Is this the exact same dark corner each time? If not, that's an obvious mistake that wold be Hell to try and figure out in production.
I really dislike the snarky style, not naming characters, but saying, "we'll call her...Asswiper, how about? Yeah...that's hat we'll call her. Does that work for you, Reader? If not, how about you call her anyfuckingthign you want to, because I'm not going to name her, because it's so cool to write like this and show everyone what a talented writer I really am.
End of rant.
OK, so what kind of bank is open at night? Really? Just a terribly fake setup here.
"OFFICE OF RIKKI WESSON, P.I." - Seeing (or writing) this Slug numerous times should have told the writer that it's not a great Slug...at all. It just sounds terrible.
So this "Witness" has only 1 eye? That's very odd.
Oh...now it's OK to reveal the Witness's name? Why is that?
Well, there is a heavy "noir" feel to the script and writing, so maybe I should try not to hate it so much?
Page 3 - Why are you repeating the Slug again? Looks to be exactly the same Slug we're already in. OK, so it's a different night or time, huh? Think how that will look on film? You end the scene with Amy talking, then the next scene is the same place with a different chick walking in. That's don't work, brother.
Page 8 - Wow...now we have INTERCUTS going on? Oh man...
OK, the end. I don't get the end at all, but at this point, I don't think it really matters.
This isn't for me in any way...the story, the writing, the characters, the dialogue...none of it.
But, it's a tough genre and you definitely seem to know your noir, so points for that for sure.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Full disclosure – There is no genre I’m less versed in than Film Noir. I would have been terrified if I got stuck writing in that genre. I would have just had every character talk about “dames and gams” and had them say “see” after every line of dialogue. So with that said I think you got a crappy draw and will judge accordingly from that.
I like the first page. That style of writing is snappy, and I personally appreciate it.
If I hadn’t already said I’d be lenient b/c of my lack of noir knowledge, I’d probably give you crap for describing your characters with just about the only 2 actors I know prominently from said genre. Also, Bogart as a woman is not drawing an image in my brain at all.
You. Slimy. Bitch. – Ok, what’s the poop? - not a big fan of this dialogue exchange.
Again with these descriptions. “This is noir, so just picture this old actress in this role… I’ll wait for you to google.” I’m not enough of a film historian to know what Marlene Dietrich looks like on the spot… but I appreciate you mixing her with a current day actress.
Oh and Rikki is in no way coming across as a woman to me.
“Back in black!” – I don’t get it.
Jeez, didn’t expect the teller to bite it.
It’s getting jumbled for at this point, kinda losing track which woman is which.
I guess this is a solid little story. Kinda figured they’d both be in on the robberies, but like I said, this had to be a tough genre to crack. Honestly, I don’t even know if it was successful. To me it just seems like you took the film noir archtype and turned him into a woman… unconvincingly and then just peppered in some nods to actresses of yore. But, like I said at the top, I don’t know any better, so all in all this isn’t bad.
I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.
"Career" Highlights -I have a single credit on my IMDB page. -One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back. -I have almost made $1000 with my writing! -I've won 2 mugs... and a thong. (polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)
How many customers are in the bank? You never specify.
"An unseen woman inches towards..." How do we know this if she is unseen?
You've now introduced "The Witness character three different times. Not good. It's actually slowing down the read for me.
You have Rikki pick up the newspaper in one action line, then you have Amy slam the paper down in the next. I'm confused.
"What's the poop?" I really hope this is a typo and you meant "Scoop".
You keep describing your characters by comparing them to other actresses (I'm assuming), but besides Jennifer Lawernce, I have no idea who you are talking about. This doesn't work.
The exchange between the Hamilton Bank Teller and The Robber on page 6 is awful.
I'm forcing myself to continue at this point. I'm sorry but I'm calling it quits. I really don't like to be so negative. I really like the title, for what it's worth. If you give this a rewrite let me know and I'll give you my thoughts on it.
This one was a bit of a wrestle, very messy and just couldn't get to grips with it. Some typos and formatting issues didn't help matters, but the story just roams all over the place and the dialogue isn't good enough to reign it in.
I also tried but couldn't really make head nor tail of the story.
I think the terms: 'sister' 'dame', 'hotcakes' 'dollface' et al really only work if it's a male noir character speaking to a female. Do cell phones belong in noir? I'd replace the cell phone with a cigarette (even though it's politically incorrect), wafting smoke, a black cat, someone skulking in the shadows in silhouette. In really capturing the essence of noir there needs to be a slower darker mood too. The opening read to me as a super hero villain heist with its high energy.
You captured some of the noir feel,, to your credit.
I was quite envious of the person who was allocated noir, now I see the challenge with it being a female cast only.
'You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together, and blow ...'
You need a guy and a gal imh, just to get off the starting blocks. So much of it is intrigue and sex and crime all mixed together. Good effort.