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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Sanctuary - WT4 - In Kickstarter! Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Sanctuary - WT4 - In Kickstarter!  (currently 2688 views)
Posted: June 24th, 2019, 10:53pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Sanctuary by Paul Knauer (PKCardinal)  writing as Anonymous46
- Two young boys seek an escape from the horrors of the world around them. - Short, Action, Drama


Visit for what is new on the site.

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

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  July 20th, 2023, 9:27am
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 9:40am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Criteria met on action and the trading cards.

I think this is a decently written piece by a very capable writer. But turning the boys into bank robbers (and attempted cop killers) donít make them very sympathetic despite how their fathers treated them.

I think you tried to disguise the fact that the young Clint and Johnny turned into the bank robbers by not using FLASHBACK to open their scenes.  Thatís a bit of a cheat and I donít think it really accomplishes anything. I probably would have felt better about you using the flashback designation and then weaving the stories together a little better. As it stands, thereís not really a twist or surprise. The card also really never factors into the story other than to try and force a connection onto the two boys.  But since neither of them ever used the card and left it to basically deteriorate in the church, was there really any meaning in the card itself?

While writing is very good here, I just didnít necessarily buy into the storyline.

Best of luck,

An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 10:54am Report to Moderator
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Good... at last... first decent action script I've read so far. Nice opening. It's 5 pages, so you start with action, right? Right! Then we dive into the story.

I like Clint... he's a good kid. Tough if you fuck with him, but your loyal friend otherwise.


No. Take me to the church.

This is a moment... milk it.


Their eyes meet in the rearview mirror.

The church.


The Driver, Older Johnny, drops the dying Gunman, Older
Clint, onto a pew.

Unnecessary. We get it!

OK. I'd have liked to see the kid kill the father. This was good. Lots of action and a nice fast flow. Well done.
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 8:25pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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This was written well enough and meets the challenge, no sweat. The 'twist' was an obvious turn for me. No real surprise. The boys, talking about good being out there, were little creeps and I didn't care for them much. Dialog was a bit sappy in places but there were some good lines to be had too.

For some reason, I envisioned this with their childhood in the 1920's and young adults in late 1930's. Driving big Packards, shooting revolvers and the cops with Thompsons. I don't know why, it just showed up in my head that way.

Nice job here, writer.
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 8:36pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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Well written and I really like the premise - good job here.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 9:46pm Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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Yes! You started right in the thick of it on page 1,  which I think a decent Action script should do.  Or, at least start with only a short build up when it's a five minute Short.

The 'older' bit flummoxed me at first and I wasn't sure who was who. I do think more clarity is needed in the writing there.

Most of your action descriptions were pretty good but some I thought needed ramping up, case in point:

The Driver pours on the speed. The car drifts with every
bump, barely maintaining contact with the road.

Pours? It's okay, but you want verbs that jump with your action, imh.
The Driver accelerates
Driver plants his foot on the gas, hits the gas, guns it, cranks it, ...
The Car blasts through an intersection,
'drifts' is too sedate a word for action, in my world.

Barely maintaining ? Again, too laboured.
Perhaps the car clips something, hits a bump, becomes airborne.

Just suggestions. Yours resonated, made me feel it more cause it's got heart combined with action.

I'm torn with them ultimately being bad guys but it's all in the upbringing I suppose.  

Nice job.

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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Down Under
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Yeah this is pretty good but needs to establish early that itís two different years. Itís very similar to the end of the It novel when the Losers are in the sewers, flitting back and forth.

Prolly just have the year when they are kids then in the future bits again show the year and say Clint (now 30) or whatever   Then just have the current year in the slug or as a mini slug  

Would be so much cleaner to read   As it is I was skimming and didnít click what the go was for a tick lol

Agree with JE about making a period piece too, in both timelines. The card?  Will re-read it to see its tokenly whacked in

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Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:19pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Not sure why you went with Gunman and Driver, it's pretty easy to piece together early on whatís going on. It's not really a secret. I say name them and do a flashback.

Quoted Text
The Driver, Older Johnny

I think what I suggested is a better way to handle this, then when you come to this part you arenít dealing with awkward names like Older Johnny.

Quoted Text
A bullet shatters the cross, shot from the Police outside.

Could be written better.

The dialogue on page 5 is a little too sappy for me, and the OLDER JOHNNY/OLDER CLINT just doesnít look good on the page.

Quoted Text
It gave me hope -- for the world,
you know? Thereís good out there.

A bit ironic (I think that's the right word) as these guys arenít actually good, good to each other, but not good.

Writing is top notch, I just think a few changes could make it cleaner. Story wasnít bad, better than most I've read. The page 5 lovefest dialogue was just too much for me.

All the best.

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 26th, 2019, 7:09am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Shakespeare's county
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Hello writer

Why no flashback's for this? Maybe you thought it would give the story away too early - maybe it would for someone reading the script, but a viewer wouldn't see FLASHBACK, they would just see the scene.
The flashback would be for the producer, so it is crystal clear - just my opinion.

Same thing with the characters DRIVER and GUNMAN - the producer needs to know who these characters are from the start, revealing their names early in the script would not reveal them early to the viewer, so would keep that story element alive.... or I could be wrong, who knows.

Writing is great, story is great - thoroughly enjoyable read. I think as a movie it would be pretty damn good too.

Dialogue at the end is a bit too gushy for my liking - but you put their friendship across very well and the final image of them together was very fitting.

Top job writer



Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 6:44pm Report to Moderator

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Posted: June 27th, 2019, 10:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The boys speak a bit too premature.

top p3 I think I know where it's going :-)
now it comes to the 'how'

All right. Lots to say hereÖ
First, it reminded me a lot of The Way of the Gun. Two friends, a criminal history, a late firework, and eventually some pathos in their united fate when reflecting life before it all ends.

Truly great. I even like the 'cheesy' dialogue in the last scene, felt human and fit well considering these people's arc ending soon at this place with the inevitable; epic needs epic. Thumbs up.

I can understand that you haven't marked the flashbacks. I'd wish it would become state of the art because it's just a better, more enjoyable story experience to follow the plot exactly as the audience does. So, why not leave it to the shooting draft and production side to include such stuff. I absolutely understand your decision here and applaud you for it.

It had a lot of heart. The execution felt like custom-tailored.

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Pale Yellow
Posted: June 28th, 2019, 10:03am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Like title and logline.

LOVE your character development... best I've read yet in this challenge. The two boys remind me of the boys in the movie MUD. Dialogue sounds so natural and organic the way you've set them up. Really nice work.

Wow and that moment when the Gunman says take me to the church... hits us like a COLLISION. Great midpoint!

And then we realize it's their older selves we are watching OMG this is amazing.

OH super wow... I wish I could write like this! GREAT job.
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Posted: June 28th, 2019, 2:29pm Report to Moderator
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Great script, loved it.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays -
Available Feature screenplays -
Screenwriting articles -
IMDB Link -
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Posted: June 30th, 2019, 7:33am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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I didnít like this one.  In the beginning it seemed good but by the end I didnít like it.  It meets the criteria.

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Posted: July 4th, 2019, 2:17pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Between Chair and Keyboard
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Holy misleading time-jumps, Batman! Clever setup. The church and the trading card both get some attention, and it's definitely an action script, so no problems with the criteria. That's especially impressive since you don't seem to know anything about baseball.
The kids sound like teens to me, but maybe kids are just growing faster these days. Get off my lawn
You shouldn't change the labels for character dialouge just because we've finally learned their names. Seems to be acceptable if a character was in disguise, but in your case I would have continued calling them GUNMAN and DRIVER. They are distinct from CLINT and JOHNNY since the kids would be played by different actors.
Also, "Older Clint" implies an elderly man. "Adult Clint" would be clearer.
Nice way to cram a lot of story into five pages... despite there being a lot of action.

Feature-length scripts:
Who Wants to Be a Princess? (Family)
Glass House (Horror anthology)

TV pilots:
"Kord" (Fantasy)
"Mal Suerte" (Superhero)

Additional scripts are listed here.
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