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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  Heels Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: August 6th, 2017, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Heels by Christopher Brown - Series, Action - A reformed criminal debates returning to a life of crime despite superheroes that want to catch him and supervillains that could kill him. 56 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



Visit http://www.simplyscripts.com for what is new on the site.


-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Cacutshaw
Posted: August 8th, 2017, 10:20am Report to Moderator
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Thanks in advance to anyone with feedback. It is really appreciated.

I have a meeting this week with a couple folks who want to option the feature version of this, and I'm just curious if I should do a hard sell for the series as well.
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eldave1
Posted: August 8th, 2017, 7:27pm Report to Moderator
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Much congrats on the progress so far.  In terms of your first question - I would not risk a feature option hoping to sell a series (i.e., I would not go "hard ball").  There's nothing that prevents you from offering it as a suggestion.  But - that's me - only you can really answer the question.

I feel kind of stupid commenting on the script since you already have someone interested in this.  But what the heck - I looked at the first page and I think there are so opportunities for enhancement. I think your descriptive passages are inefficient.


Quoted Text
INT. COFFEE SHOP - MORNING

It is morning in a very modern coffee shop in the downtown
business district. Men and women in business suits order
their cappuccinos, frappuccinos and espressos and rush their
way out the door.


We open inside the coffee shop. How do we know it's located in a downtown business district? It's a nit issue, I know. But I would either add an establishing scene (DOWNTOWN) or at a minimum change the opening slug to:

INT. COFFEE SHOP/BUSINESS DISTRICT - MORNING

As a note, you don't need to repeat it's morning since that is already in your scene heading. Also think that men and Women should be capped. So. I think the scene should open as:


Quoted Text
Entering the coffee shop is an average looking middle-aged
man, JACK PARKER. He is dressed in a nice button up shirt and
slacks, but wearing a ratty brown leather jacket. He has
obviously preened himself recently, but it is apparent that
this is not his regular “look”.


You don't need to mention the coffee shop - again - it is already in your scene heading. You don't need to say Jack is a man (implied by the name). It is also pretty passive writing. To me it would read better as:

JACK PARKER,  average looking, middle-aged, enters.....


Quoted Text
Taking a seat at one of the few empty tables against the
wall, he takes out his laptop and sets it up at his table.


Again - very passive. Should be:

Jack takes a seat at a table against the wall....


Quoted Text
On Jack’s computer desktop is a picture that probably was a
default photo that came with the computer. He brings up a
Workopolis style webpage and begins to scan through the new
job postings.


Why is the default photo important??? Hardly seems worth mentioning.


Quoted Text
Almost immediately a message window pops up,
asking if he would like to have a chat with SAM. The man hits


Again - wasted words here. We know he just sat down. You don't need almost immediately. Just - a message pops up.


Quoted Text
Jack looks up from his computer and gestures to Becky that he
is ready to order. Becky seems not to notice and walks by.
Dismissing anything out of the ordinary, he returns to his
chat.


Again - way over written and you don't need the anything out of the ordinary.

Jack spots Becky, gestures that he is ready to order. Becky approaches the table, passes right by him.

etc. etc.

I found almost all of the descriptive and action lines to be about twice as long as they need be.  I really think they could be trimmed. But again - remember I haven't sold zip - so if this is getting interest, perhaps you should stick to what you got. Would be interesting to see other peeps weigh in.

Oh - and sincere best of luck with this - keep us posted on the option.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Cacutshaw
Posted: August 8th, 2017, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks eldave! Your comments are much appreciated. I definitely, positively, absolutely, positively... wait, I already wrote that...  almost always overwrite everything   An old habit I'm trying to break.

I'll let you know how it progresses.
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eldave1
Posted: August 8th, 2017, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Cacutshaw
Thanks eldave! Your comments are much appreciated. I definitely, positively, absolutely, positively... wait, I already wrote that...  almost always overwrite everything   An old habit I'm trying to break.

I'll let you know how it progresses.


Priceless- thanks for the laugh. Will be rooting for you.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Cacutshaw
Posted: August 13th, 2017, 8:51pm Report to Moderator
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So, since no the filmmakers cannot pay for an option right now (they are in the middle of shooting something else) they want to work on a 10 or 15 page treatement right now with no option. Then when they are finished the film they are on now, option it then.

They seem to want to completely change the story, but keep the world it takes place in. If that's the case, I wonder if there's a way I can option it to them, but still maintain rights to the story that takes place in the "world". Certainly, with a little bit of creativity, I can tell "Jack's" story without it taking place in the same setting.
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Dustin
Posted: August 14th, 2017, 2:56am Report to Moderator
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Wilhelm Steinitz

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10-15 page treatment... wtf?
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eldave1
Posted: August 14th, 2017, 10:00am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Cacutshaw
So, since no the filmmakers cannot pay for an option right now (they are in the middle of shooting something else) they want to work on a 10 or 15 page treatement right now with no option. Then when they are finished the film they are on now, option it then.

They seem to want to completely change the story, but keep the world it takes place in. If that's the case, I wonder if there's a way I can option it to them, but still maintain rights to the story that takes place in the "world". Certainly, with a little bit of creativity, I can tell "Jack's" story without it taking place in the same setting.


Hmm.

Just my thoughts - obviously, I'm not a lawyer.

- At least they are honest enough to tell you they are not ready.  

- I would not write the treatment. I always write a one-page synopsis regardless since that is often required for queries anyway. Often - folks confuse the two so you make want to ask them for clarification.

- When you say - they want to completely change...do you mean that they want you to change... - if not, who is going to write the revised version and will you lose credit as sole writer? ANd by the way - why do they need a treatment for a script that they are changing??

Anyway - for me - synopsis - sure. Treatment talk to me when you are ready to option - we'll handle compensation for that task then.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Cacutshaw
Posted: August 14th, 2017, 10:57am Report to Moderator
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I did find it odd that they want to present me with a 10 to 15 page treatment (that they write) before optioning it. They said it's so I can say yes or no. It seems they want to almost completely discard the story of the reformed criminal and just put their own story in the script while using some of the characters I wrote. The director kept stressing he "has to make it his own" to want to work on it. If he does a great job, I can't see saying no just because I don't get full credit, I care more about the film that gets made (and I have to receive a certain amount of credit, of course) and some of my favourite directors (Takashi Miike for example) are notorious for completely altering the script they are working on, and I admire them for doing that.

I really didn't want to get too much into who gets what credit at this point. Heels was optioned a few years ago with a writer who wanted to do a rewrite attached, and it seemed we talked about what people's credits are more than developing the actual script. And of course, nothing came of it because people were worried more about who's name appears first in the opening titles rather than plot, characters, pacing, etc etc.

I'm hopeful that the filmmakers present me with a treatment that is thoughtful and smart and I'm happy to let them go ahead. But if not, I totally have the option to say "nope" and no harm done.
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khamanna
Posted: August 17th, 2017, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Cacutshaw,

I started reading this and it reminds me of a short here on the site:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1461507445/

Maybe it'll somehow help you with your question about using the world for the series (or characters within the world)

I'm on p30 and enjoying it so far.
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Cacutshaw
Posted: August 17th, 2017, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks khamanna,

Glad you're enjoying it so far! Love to hear your opinion when you're done. You gave great notes on the found footage horror script I wrote!

The world that is in the feature script is a quite different than the one in this pilot. The feature begins with the scene between IQ and Champion that the pilot ends with. So the feature deals with the aftermath of that scene and the problems it causes in this "world".

Will definitely give Johnny Come Lately a read tonight! Thanks for the heads up!
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