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Viral Effect by David Voss - Sci Fi, Fantasy, Action - When America's attitude towards those infected with a zombie-like virus becomes increasingly cruel, a man must fight to protect his infected wife and son from an extermination. 97 pages - pdf, format
So I just finished your script this morning. I have to say I really dug the concept. The opening scenes, in fact the whole first act is very intriguing. You've taken the zombie trope and given it a twist. There's been quite a few different TV shows and film recently that have started to treat zombies more sympathetically as oppose to just flesh eating savages. I commend you for this originality.
Unfortunately though, I feel that the script loses it's way and more specifically, it's originality. What begins as a study of the human responses to those who are vulnerable and in need of help but also potentially dangerous -- descends into your standard action fare.
The political aspects are interesting. The TV debates are essential and I think should say. But you should maybe consider looking at whether the scenes with the President and other politicians are needed. Not enough time is given to that aspect of the story and I don't think it's necessarily needed. Just hearing about it during newsfeeds is enough for me.
What is needed is Dillon's story and I don't think it's not developed enough. That flashback scene of him and his wife hiding zombies seemed kinda throwaway. What's his ARC? How does he change over the course of the film? He didn't seem to express any strong opinion of the Zombie debate until it involved his family. What you need is more focus. Dillon is the bedrock. Everything else should flow from his story. Okay, he wants to save his family but what are his inner demons. Does he feel guilty about something he did? If so, show us. Then show us how it connects with the theme of the script.
I'm more interested in the moral and ethical conflicts. Not the car chases and shootouts. But that's me. Maybe that's what you want this film to be.
All I can do is offer my thoughts. Hopefully they give you some ideas of how to proceed. I think it could be something great.
Thanks for giving this a read. If you're still around to read this, my apologies for getting back to you so belated (years later) - I haven't been active on this forum for quite some time.
I'm working on some other projects right now, but considering the relevant state of affairs (the COVID-19 pandemic), I'm thinking about returning to this script.
I'm glad you liked the concept and much of the first act. That really is what drove me to write this screenplay - the ideas and themes behind it - so positive feedback on these aspects is important to me.
This script has issues, and I'd say one of the biggest is the lack of a consistent tone. Roughly midway through the script I realized I wasn't sure if I wanted to write this as humanistic science fiction, a thriller, or an action flick. I wound up attempting to mix all three. In the end, as you've also alluded to, I think the script's ethical ponderings sometimes get bludgeoned out by the action scenes.
With that said, I don't think it's necessary to drop the action scenes... at least not in their entirety. Rather, it's more vital to add scenes to further the character development of Dillon. It might also be a decent idea to connect him to one of the script's villains. Brock in particular seems a bit too one-dimensional; maybe Dillon could have formerly been in the military, working alongside Brock. Such a backstory would provide an opportunity to better establish these character's motivations and inner-conflicts.