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A Vegas Story by Rich Lugo (sentry24) - Action, Crime, Drama - CHRISTIAN'S VICE is the story of a hitman for a mob family who's tired of all the death and darkness in his line of work and decides to take a vacation. His vacation is not only a chance to relax and forget about the violence and sadness in his work but to learn if he can live a more simple and happier life. Yet on his way to Vegas he interferes with a man and his girlfriends personal problems not knowing that it's going to be the start of a million other problems causing him to go back to his violent ways. 109 pages - doc, format
Hi! My name is Ricardo Lugo and I wrote this script and I would like to welcome all readers to give me feedback on my script, whether it's good or bad. Just tell me what you think of the story and of my writing style. Also please go easy on me since this is my first script but please be honest in your opinions, thank you and ENJOY!!
Hi Ricardo. Congratulations on finishing a script.
I'm just gonna start right in, and put down points as I read.
-Don't say the hotel room is "outside of Vegas". That's a show-not-tell thing. -Don't include camera directions. -Don't write in things that are impossible to see. "usually it's worn in a tail" and "does the dirty work for the Gonococci family" are not things that we can see. -Introduce him the first time we see him. Describe him a little. Give him an age. When you introduce him, make sure there isn't a typo in his name. -Your description's a little wordy. Don't need to describe everything. -The opening voiceover is pretty snappy, pretty good. Watch your grammar, it gets confusing sometimes. -Don't say "somewhere in NYC". The title card accomplishes that. -More impossible to see stuff: "Most of the people...are in some way a part of the Gonococci family", "filled with smoke and the smell..." I won't mention these any more but I'm sure you get the idea. -"The rest of the story is told in flashback until we get back to where Christian was sleeping in the motel." There are several ways you can handle this, but I wouldn't suggest this one. You could start the scene
INT. SMALL CLUB - SEVERAL DAYS EARLIER
or, add what you have as a writer's note (ie, just put "NOTE:" before it). I'd suggest the first, personally. -Don't get sloppy with punctuation. It makes it hard to read. -Divide up your description a little more, into blocks of about four lines. This makes it faster and easier to read. -Mentioning things like film speed really draw you out of the story. If you have to do it (and I don't think that you do, as it isn't really your call to make), write it like a shot.
"Then we speed back up to regular time, and we come back to all of them seen at once. TOMMY and CHARLIE twin brothers who have never been really respected for there work since they are half Irish and half Italian. Timmy is the youngest and seems very energetic at times but an be sort of a pussy. Charlie the oldest brother is a lot more grounded and messes with his brother I guess you could say too much. BENNY is the son of the don and never backs down from anything."
This really really needs to be reworked.
-Don't use "u" instead of "you". It's all I can do to stop reading right there. -The Benny/Christian conversation is pretty damn well written.
I stopped reading on page eight. You know what? For a first script, the dialogue was quite good. I'm impressed. The reason I stopped reading is because of the abundant typos and grammatical errors. It was really bugging me by about page four and once the dialogue really kicked in, it was killing me. Clean it up and I'd be willing to give it another try.
Hi this is Ricardo the writer of Christian's Vice. I want all readers to know that the above post by Herectic is an old post from my first time putting this script on the site. All the points he made have been changed to the best of my ability and other things as well have been changed to make the script; I believe a bit better. It was originally 132 pages and is now 119 pages so alot of things have been changed.
So please leave new post on the edited draft of this script. Also this is a rated R script so don't post replies or read if violence and language offends you.
I'm sorry, but it didn't do anything for me. It's readable, and it's always a plus when a first script is readable (mine wasn't)...but it's got numerous issues if you want to continue developing it into something marketable.
To start, at least half, and probably 2/3 of the dialogue can be cut. There's a 29 line speech by Donnie that could be 3 lines. There's a page where Tommy, Charlie, and Benny just order food (I did something like that on my first script too, so don't be too hard on yourself). At most, the story is then 60 pages, really.
Action descriptions shouldn't be longer than 3-5 lines. Dozens of yours are far longer than that. Plus, they are far too wordy. Show, don't tell, as often as possible.
I.E. "He's not tired, just a little anxious about leaving" - how is an audience going to see this. Make him tap his hands on his legs. Have him toss and turn in bed. Show it.
And what makes this different from dozens of other mob movies where a killer wants out? The only thing is the gay angle for the cop. That's interesting. But you leave it.
Also, it's too coincidental that Janie runs into Christian at a bar...coincidences only work if they happen right at the beginning, or at least by the end of act one. Afterwards, if they are introduced, it comes across as just a quick way to get the plot to go where you want it to go.
I suggest reading "Stevi" in the action section for an idea of mob dialogue, and how to use dialogue to differentiate characters.
Also, check out Wordplay - a site by pro screenwriters. In the archives, there are 45 columns on screenwriting. I printed them all, put 'em in a binder, and read them each week. These guys nail everything...
Also, you haven't fixed the punctuation errors in your descriptions. They need to be shorter, and divided by commas where appropriate.
First of all thanks for your comments and the honest feedback. I do feel like I need to make that whole speech by Donnie a lot shorter. And when it comes to the seen with Tommy, Charlie, and Benny and the seen with Janie it's not a coincidence that they meet. The fact is that its like a dream to Christian it shows the audience what Christian and the rest of the characters were supposed to do while he was gone. Then it gets back into reality with him waking up in the bathtub.
And when people say that you shouldn't write what the audience can't see that's kind of wrong because they don't see the screenplay they see the movie. A screenplay tells the story and is a guide in which to help the director make a movie. And also I've seen many sold screenplays that use things that can't be seen by the audience.
Last but not least this isn't a screenplay about a killer who wants out, it's about one who's going on vacation. A vacation to escape his life but his vacation turns out to be worst then his regular life and he realizes there is no way out.
Couple things I didn't catch, then, upon one read. I thought he was trying to get out for good.
A good debate exists regarding writing what the audience can't see...I have read sold screenplays that do it, too. But they tend to be written by people who had already broken through the initial barriers that amateurs face, so they have more leeway, and they keep it to a minimum.
If you read the best of the best, it hardly happens. Check out the Erin Brockovitch script as a prime example - it's a fantastic script, amazing really, and I only remember the writer doing it once or twice.
Yes, the screenplay is a blueprint, but it's gotta get past readers before it gets to the director. And creatively showing the internal emotions of a character through external actions gives you a better shot. It makes the reader more engaged in the story, as they can visualize what's going on. Otherwise, it reads more like a novel, which engages the reader in a very different manner than a script.