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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Card Chase - WT4 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Card Chase - WT4  (currently 1307 views)
Don
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 12:01am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Card Chase by Anonymouse 50 - Nathan's most prized possession, a limited-edition Detective Pikachu card, has been stolen. Will his detective skills be up to the challenge of chasing down the culprit? - Short, Action, Family


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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  June 25th, 2019, 12:11am
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 11:13am Report to Moderator
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Okay, Iíve never watched Pikachu (my kids did so I know what it is, but thatís about it), so some of this story is a little lost on me. But I got through it without too much difficulty.

I canít tell if this is supposed to be animated like the cartoon Pikachu, but it feels like itís taking on an animated format, with jet skis (how did he chase  a kid on a jet ski down using a canoe?) and transparent helicopters and imaginary detective hats and whatnot. Speaking of which, there was a lot of transparent objects. What does that mean here? We can see them, but only their outlines?

Aaron is going to prove the card is fake? If itís by stealing the card, he doesnít get to show anyone that it is a fake, and so we still donít know, right?  Iíd rather Aaron just steal the card because he wanted it for himself ó seems like that would make him a better bad kid.

The story was okay for me, although I see you trying to utilize the detective Pikachu character traits to help him advance in his goals. But it was a standard story ó something was stolen, now He has to chase down who did it to get it back. I will give you full credit for meeting the parameters of this difficult challenge. Wiring was fairly solid but I just felt the story wasnít enough to really sustain my interest.

Best of luck,
Gary


An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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ReneC
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 3:15pm Report to Moderator
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Neat way to show him with his "detective cap" on, and his deducing the clues visually. However, what starts off as obvious clues turns into a James Bond caper complete with jet skis and helicopters, way beyond what kids would be able to do, and I don't know how he could possibly deduce any of it. But he really does get in a canoe (convenient) and goes after Aaron, so was that supposed to be real? And why take such a convoluted, roundabout and ridiculous route just to go back to the church?

I don't get Aaron's plan. He set out to prove the card was a fake, but steals it instead. To what end, though? Claim it's his own? Prove he can take what he wants?

The chase is neat, the visuals are cool, they felt like children (nice change there). It isn't much of a story, it doesn't make much sense, but the opening and ending work at least. Not bad, but it does need work.


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Warren
Posted: June 25th, 2019, 7:52pm Report to Moderator
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A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

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Hi writer,


Quoted Text
the oldest child not staring at a smartphone.


This could be written better. Tell us what is happening, not what isnít happening. You havenít set up that the rest of the children are staring at smartphones.


Quoted Text
Aaron four henchmen on his.


This would be hard to portray on screen without some sort of visual, as in, how do we know they are henchmen?


Quoted Text
one of Aaronís henchmen, er, henchpersons.


I get that a script should be entertaining, I like an aside or unfilmable that aides the visual, but something like this is entirely for the entertainment of the reader, it canít transfer to the screen in any way whatsoever, it's pointless. I think people kind of forget that when writing for an OWC or WT. We are still attempting to create scripts that would ultimately be used to make a film, yes the criteria is stupid and they will never be made, but I still think we should be trying to produce a working script, even if it will never be used.


Quoted Text
slaloms


Ha, this has been used in 2 of the 4 scripts Iíve read.

I'm getting lost in some of the action description. The whole apparition and transparent stuff is confusing.

From about midway through page 2 this really didnít keep me interested.

The writing isnít too bad and it definitely meets the criteria.

All the best.


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PKCardinal
Posted: June 26th, 2019, 11:53am Report to Moderator
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The story is broken on this one. It's set up as one kid going to prove that the card is fake... but, that never happens. It's a fundamental flaw that is never overcome.

The "transparent" device worked fine for me. It was confusing on first mention, but once I realized that he was "visualizing" things, it fell into place just fine.

I was good with the action until the helicopter. Jet ski was pushing it, but, helicopter was too far.

It was a fun little read, but ultimately too broken to work as a whole.

Wouldn't take too much to fix, though.

Thanks for sharing!


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 26th, 2019, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hello writer


Quoted Text

SLOW MOTION: A student on a green bike whooshes by, plucks
the mylar sleeve from Nathanís back pocket. The rider is
ASHLEY (10), one of Aaronís henchmen, er, henchpersons.
NATHAN
Hey! Thatís mine!
Resume normal speed as Nathan falls on his side.


Did you mean for the dialogue to be in slow motion? can't tell if on-screen it would be funny or annoying.

The transparent items - at first were confusing - but given the tone of the script, are these meant to be imaginary? as in, they aren't really there but this kid is imagining himself to be a detective... think I get it.


Quoted Text
Tracks consistent with a girl walking a bike lead toward the
sliding board.


what the fudge does that mean?

Methinks this kid is imagining a much more elaborate heist than what actually took place lol either that or I am missing the plot completely.


Quoted Text
NATHAN
Wait... I donít have to follow him.
I know where heís going!


That's convenient! write yourself into a corner, perhaps?

I kinda like this - the kid is bullied and has his shit stolen, but he's got a big imagination and sets off and a grand, half imaginary, adventure. It was clever, kinda cute, and enjoyable.

The writing is rough - overwritten in places, errors - I'm guessing you had little time.

Overall, really nice, well done


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LC
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 3:21am Report to Moderator
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Okay, you can obviously tell me to rack-off if you want because I didn't even get an entry over the line for this one, but I'll offer my 2c anyway.

You need to up your action rhythm and pace by editing extraneous words which slow everything down.

SLOW MOTION:
A student on a green bike whooshes by, plucks
the mylar sleeve from Nathanís back pocket. The rider is
ASHLEY (10), one of Aaronís henchmen, er, henchpersons.


Suggestion:

IN SLOW MOTION:
A green bicycle whooshes by Nathan.
ASHLEY, 10, plucks the mylar sleeve
from his back pocket -

NATHAN
Hey! Thatís mine!

- As she speeds past him.

Nathan quickly needs to dodge LITTLE KIDS on swings
Suggestion: Nathan dodges two little kids on swings,

Nathan quickly needs to dodge LITTLE KIDS on swings, which
steers him toward a gate slowly swinging shut.
Nathan slides
through the gate, but loses his imaginary detective hat.
He reaches back, snatches the transparent hat just as the
gate snaps shut.

The bolded text slows the pace.

Delete the Imaginary cap and all the invisible malarkey. Set it up, then just write what you want your audience to see..

Nathan dodges two LITTLE KIDS on swings, careers towards -
a gate slowly swinging shut,
slides through the gap, but
loses his detective hat

Nathan dodges two LITTLE KIDS on swings

Panicked, he reaches back, snatches it or, grasps it)
just as...
The gate snaps shut.

Action lines are too dense and it's messing with the fast flow.
Nathan watches Ashley turn right out of sight.

Suggestion: Ashley disappears around a corner/bend.
Or: Ashley cycles around a corner, disappears out of sight.

We know we're switching view from Nathan to Ashley but here we know it's Nathan's POV so delete: Nathan watches... is my advice.

Just picture the camera on her,  she disappears, then the camera on him.

Resume normal speed  or: Everything speeds up to normal again? I'm not sure what the correct way to format that is exactly. But as soon as we resume I'd have something like:
Nathan falls hard to the ground

He immediately rushes after Ashley along the sidewalk. I'd delete that line, personally. It's filler.

Instead of: Nathan skateboard zooms downhill, but the bike pulls away.

Just write:
Nathan zooms downhill (or down the hill) on his skateboard.

His attention snaps back to his own situation as two WORKMEN carry a ladder
across his path.

Just write what we see next:

Two WORKMEN, carrying a ladder...

But here I'd go with the well worn trope of glaziers carrying a pane of glass myself, have Nathan skate under it, clearing it, just as the workmen juggle to right it.

He leans back, arms wide, and limbos under the ladder.
Add a comma, take the 'and' out there.
Or:
Nathan leans back, throws his arms wide, limbos under the ladder.

Slight contact scrapes off one of the buttons from Nathanís jacket. (I don't think this is needed or adds at all).
If anything: He connects, pops a button off his jacket.

Upright again, Nathan slaloms around PEDESTRIANS and turns right
onto a side street.

Make it an alleyway so as not to repeat the alliteration of sidestreet, sidewalk)

Instead of: turns right, have him 'hurtle or bolt or careen' into an alleyway.

Nathan spots skidmarks on the sidewalk the same green as the
rubber on Ashleyís tires. He stops.


Suggestion: Nathan skids/grinds to a halt -

Telltale green skidmarks (or tiremarks) on the sidewalk.(would suffice)

Surveys every which way...
No sign of Ashley.

...
All just suggestions I hope you won't take offence to.
I could see what was in your head.

Great title.
Another chapter in the Pikachu franchise.
The original script was leaked apparently.

https://daily.pokecommunity.com/2017/04/01/detective-pikachu-movie-script-leaked/


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Dustin
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 3:31am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from LC
He leans back, arms wide, and limbos under the ladder.

Add a comma, take the 'and' out there.

Or:
Nathan leans back, throws his arms wide, limbos under the ladder.


Omitting the 'and' makes one question the veracity of the sentence. This also takes time to digest.

It has also been proven that people read groups of words at once, rather than one at time. It's not a good idea to encourage people to deliberately use poor grammar. Whoever started this shit needs shooting.


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Dustin
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 3:41am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

...where the nominally sound-proof
ÔŅĹcrying roomÔŅĹ is located...



How do we know this? This is very confusing.

Code

INT. CHURCH SEATING AREA - CONTINUOUS

Sounds of the choir continue...



Yeah, it says continuous in the slug. Unless you write that the choir stops, why would we assume they hadn't?

Page 2 and I'm bored. Yeah, I get this is a family/action... there's just no action.


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LC
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 4:07am Report to Moderator
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I'm not averse to using 'and' when needed. Nathan's on a skateboard performing a duck manouvre under a ladder. My suggestions are that the writing overall needs streamlining.

Edit: Was on my phone before.

To clarify, imho, this is not advocating bad grammar per se. This is a screenplay.  Fragmented sentences have their uses in scripts, especially when pace is being dragged down by laboured descriptions.

The writer can cherry-pick my suggestions and advice, or ignore it altogether.



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Dustin
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 6:30am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder...

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Fragmented sentences can have their uses. However, they usually have ellipses to signify the missing words. In the instance you pointed out, omitting the 'and' actually makes the sentence incomplete.


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LC
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 7:11am Report to Moderator
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Fair enough, Dustin. Re the comma and omission of 'and'... If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I stand corrected.

I'm doing my homework on this...
I hate being wrong. Certainly don't want to be shot for it.  




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Dustin
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 10:26am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from LC
Fair enough, Dustin. Re the comma and omission of 'and'... If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I stand corrected.

I'm doing my homework on this...
I hate being wrong. Certainly don't want to be shot for it.  


I'm not sure there is a right and wrong, precisely. I know Dave does this and his scripts are good enough to get to the finals of Page.

I do know that I am more right... if that makes sense... but it doesn't really matter. I only pointed it out because the original sentence was fine and didn't need to be corrected.


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PKCardinal
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 11:14am Report to Moderator
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Count me among them that like the "and" omitted sometimes.

It's really scene specific in my book. If I'm writing a quiet scene that I want to take its time, I'll try and make the page reflect that visually. Make it say: "Hey, we're taking a little time here." So, probably not going to use fragments.

But, if its an action scene, I want the page to say: "Things are happening quickly. We don't even have time to write all the words!" You've gotta be careful though. It needs to read deliberate, and not like a typo.

But, Dustin, you are correct. It's wrong. And, still a good tool when used well.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Dustin
Posted: June 27th, 2019, 11:32am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from PKCardinal
Count me among them that like the "and" omitted sometimes.

It's really scene specific in my book. If I'm writing a quiet scene that I want to take its time, I'll try and make the page reflect that visually. Make it say: "Hey, we're taking a little time here." So, probably not going to use fragments.

But, if its an action scene, I want the page to say: "Things are happening quickly. We don't even have time to write all the words!" You've gotta be careful though. It needs to read deliberate, and not like a typo.

But, Dustin, you are correct. It's wrong. And, still a good tool when used well.


I will also do that. I use every tool there is. My only real point was that the original sentence was fine... and in fact more correct than the correction.


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