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Shades Within by Joseph Cahill (medstudent) - Thriller - A washed-up boxer faces the fight of his life when he is accused of killing the woman he loves. After being shot and left for dead, he winds up losing more than his memory when all clues lead back to him. 127 pages - pdf, format
I just read this script, tell you the truth I could not stop reading. This is by far one of the best films I 've read, I could actulally visualize the whole thing. Very creative ploting, and the twist at the end was totally unexpected. So hats off to ya man, very good job. If you are ever intrested in putting this in pre-production, I would love to have a copy if ever filmed.
"A great numb feeling washes over me as I let go of the past and look forward to the future; everything is preordained. Manifest, destiny. You can stop time from happening no more than you can will the oceans to overwhelm the world or to cause the moon to drop from her outer sphere."
Sean, Thanks for the comments. As a novice screenwriter it gives me a little hope. I have been planning on re-writing some of the scenes but have taken some time off for other things...is there anything specific that you liked or disliked?
By the way, Do you have a script on the site? I would be glad to read it and give you some feedback.
Ghostwriter22, First, thanks for taking a look and taking time to comment. Sorry about getting back to you late. Was travelling this week.
When I got to page 56, I already knew who did it. No surprise here. Actually you gave it away within your first six pages.
The beginning was completely rewritten. Rudy's character along with it. Initially, he was the nicest guy who couldn't have possibly done it. But along the way Rudy, and the audience, discover that maybe he wasn't such a good guy and could have done it. Looking back, I think having his character that way keeps the reveal more of a mystery. I am rethinking that.
1) You don't need you scripts title on the first page.
I've done this since learning how to write scripts years ago. I took this from a screenwriting book, "Standard Script Format" and have continued to do it. The book is a few years old so things may be different but it is something I´m acustomed to doing. I like it.
2) Page 4... Alex, who is Alex?
Yeah, I know. This was the character's original name. I thought I replaced them all but realized I didn't after submitting.
4) Some parts of your script are to wordy, confusing. Go back and read it again sometime.
I agree mostly. I need to go over it again and trim my sentences.
5) I noticed you like the word "reflexively."
Was unaware that'd I'd used it too often. Need to check it.
Page# 17... The hooded stranger blocking their escape.
How about... The hooded stranger blocks their escape.
Okay, I know this is a contentious point. For some reason people have developed this habit of jumping on all the "ing" words in a script, when, in my opinion there are certain instances when it is more correct to use them than not. For instance, when you open a scene and a character or characters are already in the process of doing an action then, using progressive tense verbs is correct...
Present Progressive Tense Present progressive tense describes an ongoing action that is happening at the same time the statement is written. This tense is formed by using am/is/are with the verb form ending in -ing.
The sociologist is examining the effects that racial discrimination has on society.
So if your character is initially sitting when you begin your scene then stands it would be most correct to write it as such...
Alex stands to face the audience.
If your character is already standing and facing the audience when you open the scene then it is most correct to use...
Alex facing the audience.
Now the other argument is that using "ing" words means using a passive voice. This too is an incorrect interpetation of "passive verb/voice".
In sentences written in passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed in the verb; the subject is acted upon. The agent performing the action may appear in a "by the . . ." phrase or may be omitted.
ie: The dog bit the boy. vs The boy was bit by the dog.
I'm surprised this one didn't get more reads back then. And I wanted to read it too... but I was even more surprised to find... some "rookie," by the name of "Ghostwriter," beat me to it. WTFeck!!! I forgot all about this one. I had just recently joined SS back then. What little, I knew. Oh well...
Anyway again JCahill/MedStudent congrats man... that is really good news to hear.
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Hi all. I want to comment on some of the stuff above. Wow! I think Joe is bit blessed to get those WONDERFUL notes. All good. And yes, the story needs work but the bones are there. A script is a blueprint that is rock solid enough to invite COLLABORATION. I always wanted to see what would happen if a script was written in RELAY style, like a race but no clock ticking. Might want to do that and then if it goes well and looks as if it could be sold I would run with it. I mean look at A-Team, what did they have, twenty writers? lol. Point is about the above that those of you offered such fine comments, so respectfully submitted I wanted to jump for joy. WHOMP! There. I just did. One thing; title needs to come off page one; just FADE IN; that's it. Otherwise it repeats for no reason. I really need features. Solid and well written. Visual on the page. In fact, I told Michael, I just read A PERFECT script. Every page, utterly perfect. I even told the writer she may want to shoot it herself to preserve it's perfection. She's considering that. Sadly, she is not my client. Happily, I have already experienced 'seeing' the film by reading her script and that can't be taken from me. And THAT'S why I keep at this...I see more good to great movies in one year and I don't leave my house. I READ them. I am beyond blessed and it's an honor to do this for all of you. WOULDN'T MIND seeing one on the big screen however. I'm just sayin'....hugs till next month. BABZ
First, thanks to Babz for the attention this script is getting (and will get in the future, I hope). This script has come along way since it was first conceived in 2004. This thing has changed more than a kid's dirty diapers. Mostly with the feedback I've gotten over the years from those inside and outside of the "business". It still needs some work. It may never be truly finished. What Babz has given me regarding it has been tremendous. And motivating. Believe it or not, her advice falls in line with advice that I have been given in the past from SSers from this and other scripts. I think the most important thing I've learned is to listen to advice from people. Even if you think they are wrong, put the advice your given away and store it somewhere in your brain. After you've accumulated enough of these pieces of advice, you can pull them out and see if they work with what you are doing.
I also think that you should treat conversations with people who might be interested in your work on the same level you would if they were already paying you. You should keep to deadlines, be professional and try to accommodate things as much as possible. I think writers are under the impression that whoever is interested owes them something or that professionalism doesn't matter. It does. When we all become famous, well-paid screenwriters we can tell them what we want to do. Until then we should be humble and willing to work to get our stuff out there.
Babz is a true professional and anyone that is privileged to work with her is lucky. If she believes in the script, I think she will do what it takes to get it sold. I'm grateful to have been able to get her to read my crap and be interested in it. I just have to keep her interested in my crap.
I know that I will have a feature on the big screen one day. When, I don't know. But I am sure of it. The only way I will fail is if I give up. I wish I could be on SS more often but have been extremely busy these last couple of years. Most of my time has been taken up finishing medical school and applying for residency. Though, I still find time to write when I can.
Screenrider, thanks for the suggestion. I promise, when I sell my first feature (or have it produced) I will pass along whatever knowledge I can. Because if it weren't for this website, I would be nowhere near the writer I am today. I'll be the first to pay it forward when it happens. We'll all owe Don our first screenwriting paychecks.
Finally, never give up on your writing. Believe in what you do. Keep working on it long enough and I'm convinced you can turn a turd into a pearl (or a shiny turd).
Audience will be all over that. Might as well have him cocking the revolver, too.
But I don't know what kinda rewrites Mrs. Bitela has you working on, so... Headzup.
Congratulations, just the same.
Pg 42 of PDF/41 of screenplay >> Rudy leans over and quickly grabs the manâ€™s weapon from his lap. He clumsily points the polished, silver revolver at the man. << points the nickel plated revolver
Pg 47/46 A RING can be heard on Rudyâ€™s cell phone receiver. Simultaneously, A house phone RINGS from inside the apartment building. It RINGS again. Change to: A moment later a house phone RINGS... Try it. It takes a few moments to relay the signal. You can only get away with so much Hollywood hogwash. You don't want the audiences to fall out of suspension over details.
49/48 >>Hearing this, Rudy grows angrier and pulls back the hammer on the pistol and pushes the barrel into Footeâ€™s nostril. << Ugh. I know this is Hollywood fare and that it's supposed to add a little drama to a scene, and maybe even if you wrote it sensibly the director would change it anyway just because the audience demands this sort of stupid thing even though they gripe about it if you do it, but... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver#Double-action Most double-action revolvers may be fired in two ways. The first way is single-action, that is, exactly the same as a single-action revolver; the hammer is cocked with the thumb, which indexes the cylinder, and when the trigger is pulled, the hammer is tripped. The second way is double action, that is, from a hammer-down position. In this case, the trigger first cocks the hammer and revolves the cylinder, and then trips the hammer at the rear of the trigger stroke, firing the round in the chamber.
It's just a pet peeve of mine. There's never a need to cock a double action modern pistol. It's just stupidity Hollywood perpetuates.
55/54 RUDY You ever been to prison, Detective? Itâ€™s a place where only the toughest survive. You do what you have to to stay alive. Captain bada$$ here just got finished "immediately cover[ing] his mouth, turns away." down in the morgue. Hmm...
>>Before leaving, Rudy pulls out a dollar bill from his pocket and throws it on the table.<< Time out. Rudy didn't say nothin' about Foote or the businessman or volunteer that he has the businessman's revolver back at his hotel (page 53/53 aborted suicide)? That pistol could be traced back to another person or crime, take the po-po heat offa him, but swinging Richard is gonna play do-it-yourself cop? Fine. Doesn't matter anyway if you already have a deal goin'. Just sayin'...
@ Breanne, thanks. We spoke a few years back briefly after I read one of your scripts.
@RayW, first, thanks for taking the time to read. Even though this draft doesn't represent the current draft that I have. Still, most of the elements you bring up remain and should be addressed.
You can't fire blanks at your head or anything close.
This was mentioned by someone who read the script a few years ago. I didn't think blanks used a projectile. Obviously they do. Should rethink this. Thanks...
I know this is Hollywood fare and that it's supposed to add a little drama to a scene, and maybe even if you wrote it sensibly the director would change it anyway just because the audience demands this sort of stupid thing even though they gripe about it if you do it, but... There's never a need to cock a double action modern pistol. It's just stupidity Hollywood perpetuates.
Point taken. Unlike my last missed detail with the blanks, this one has legs. The meaning behind a character cocking the hammer on a pistol in a film is not whether he has to do it in order for the thing to work. It is done not only to add suspense to the scene but it is a way for the character holding the gun to let the other character know he is serious. I think of it a s sort of a count down without actually counting down. The point is that there is an intentional dramatic pause from the point of demand to the actual pulling of the trigger. But, again, point taken.
Captain bada$$ here just got finished "immediately cover[ing] his mouth, turns away." down in the morgue.
This is the point of the film... we aren't sure who the character is or what he's done. There are assumptions made along the way, sure, but they are not all correct. I want the audience to not be sure about who they are dealing with. All they know is what they see. Think about it, a person has been forced into a position making him do things he may not do in ordinary circumstances. That point at the morgue does two things... one, it shows some vulnerability for our character and we understand that seeing his "dead" wife gives him a visceral reaction and two, he's not so much of a bad ass as a guy who is in a desperate situation.
Rudy didn't say nothin' about Foote or the businessman or volunteer that he has the businessman's revolver back at his hotel (page 53/53 aborted suicide)? That pistol could be traced back to another person or crime, take the po-po heat offa him, but swinging Richard is gonna play do-it-yourself cop?
Didn't realize this until you brought it up. No one else has mentioned it either. But, in this case, I think you are right. He would mention things that he's found out unless we give him a hell of a reason not to. I want him to be put in the position of not being able to ask for help. One, because he isn't sure that he had anything to do with it and two, he doesn't trust anyone. This scene needs to be clear on this point. Thanks.
I would love for you to read the newest draft. If you're interested and don't want to wait until I'm able to post it I can email it to you. Can't post any new scripts until next week for some reason. Don must be drinking coronas getting some sun.
Also, would be happy to read and review anything that you have.