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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Trinity Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: September 11th, 2005, 5:56am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Trinity by Alex McKinnon - Action - When the immensely powerful Diana of Themyscira arrives in Gotham City seeking to preemptively eliminate an unfathomable menace, Batman is forced into the position of arbiter between her and a boy with power enough to alter the course of the entire Earth: Clark Kent. - pdf, format



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Black_Adam
Posted: September 11th, 2005, 10:11am Report to Moderator
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I am the author of this script, and I'd just like to say that I will take note of and answer any criticisms you may offer, big or small, thoughtful or petty. It'd really help me a lot, and I'd appreciate it tremendously. Hope to hear from you soon.
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quadmanjt
Posted: September 15th, 2005, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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i read this way back when it was a wopping 190 pages!  but i'm sure you've edited most of it and such.  the few things i remember about it is that it was very very action oriented with huge action scenes.

i'll be sure to take another gander at it this weekend.
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Black_Adam
Posted: September 15th, 2005, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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Needless to say, the action has been trimmed down. Sometimes I worry there's too much, but I still feel there's a lot of depth, meaning, and story for all the characters involved. I've still got a couple of minor revisions I'm thinking of making, but I want to see where I stand. Look forward to hearing from you.
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Black_Adam
Posted: November 9th, 2005, 5:55pm Report to Moderator
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If anyone's interested, there's a new draft of this particular script up. I'd love to hear what people have to say.
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dogglebe
Posted: November 9th, 2005, 6:38pm Report to Moderator
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And we'd love to hear what you have to say about our scripts...

Before I started reading this, I asked myself, "Aren't Clark and Bruce supposed to be the same age?"  It's always been that way in the comics.  Here, though, you're making Bruce atleast ten or fifteen years older than Clark.  I can't be sure of anyone's age because you don't mention it in any way.  I can only guess that Clark is in his late teens (a la Smallville).

You tend to describe things improperly.  On page one, you describe Clark as 'the boy next door in a world without neighbors.'  I'm not even sure what this means, but it's not something that can be recorded by the camera.  And if the camera can't record it, then you don't write it.

On page, you wrote, 'the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy.'

On page nine, you overdo Batman's description.  We all know who he is, describing him as 'a black piece of streamline night' and 'a man in monster's clothing' is over the top.

If you were to eliminate such descriptions as these, you'd probably trim five pages off your script.

You should give the thugs in the museum real names.  Cocky, Serious and Meek just don't do it, especially when these names don't always apply.

I've gone through the first twenty pages of your script and, for an action script, there should be more action to it.


Phil
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Black_Adam
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 8:29pm Report to Moderator
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First of all, thanks a lot, man. I disagree with some of it, but I appreciate any input.

In a book I read, the author expressed really getting into a script because the initial description of the protagonist used the phrase "... wearing five thousand years of Jewish suffering on his face." He used this frequently as an example of his preferred style of writing. †We'll both agree this is difficult to record visually, but I don't personally consider it "improper". I find it sums up a personality or expresses what's important about this character in this story better than "handsome" or "chiseled". But I'll admit, I'm new to this. In my head I try to write stories instead of blueprints. Maybe that's wrong, maybe I should cut back, maybe I should just write freestyle prose. Thanks a lot for telling me how you see it. I'll think it over.

The criticism noting the lack of action surprised me. I always worried I had too much. I don't think the script goes ten pages without someone at the very least getting punched in the jaw. Hmm. Maybe it's a little slow to start, though. There are a lot of threads that need to be created, you know? †Iíll try to make it tighter..

The rest of your criticisms are mostly just of my choices for the story, I think, and I hope the reasons for them become clearer with more reading.

I'll admit to being a little bit selfish about this. I'm asking for input without providing output, and you're right to point that out. I'll try to take a more active role in this site, do some more criticism. Thanks again.

Sincerely, Alex McKinnon

P.S: Sorry if it sounds like I'm shooting down your ideas. That's not my intention. I'm just trying to express the 'why'. I really am taking your criticisms to heart. I appreciate it all tremendously.
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dogglebe
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 8:57pm Report to Moderator
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If I can take criticism for my script writing here, I can take criticism for my criticism....

To reiterate:  at one point, you wrote, "'the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy.'"

How would you actually show this?  Rather than just say this, you may want to say that 'Bruce limps away from Alfred in small forced steps.' or "Bruce keeps the left side of his face away from Alfred.'  And few lines later, you then write, 'Alfred grabs Bruce by his chin and turns his face toward him.  The left side of his face is bruised; the eye is swollen shut.'

My way is visual and it's exact.  I'm not leaving room for guesswork.  At the same time, I'm doing doing the director's job by adding camera angles.

Too many people on these boards make the same mistake and describe things in a way that can't be recorded.  You have to write things as if the camera is recording it.

Action sequences don't have to be knockdown drag out fights.  You could have something as simple as the Batmobile racing through Gotham and coming to a screeching halt after a kid runs out into the street to get a ball.  As long as it's visually appealing, it'll work.

I have one script on the boards with a fair amount of action in it:  The Burnout.  Maybe you want to take a look at it.



Phil
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Black_Adam
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 9:46pm Report to Moderator
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I definitely see what you mean. But a director's job (and an actor's job as well) is also to understand and properly portray the characters and story, and I think some of those prose phrases can help. It's kind of obnoxiously hitting the nail over the head, I admit, saying "this is what these previous/upcoming actions mean, this is the sentiment to hit." I don't think it's a 'mistake' to give the 'why'. Used sparingly, it can be helpful (I believe). Maybe I'm not using it sparingly. I'll keep that in mind in future revisions.

For example, the "man in monster's clothing" description sort of expresses in one line what this character is going to be about. In this story, the idea of Batman being nothing but an ordinary man pretending/trying to be something more comes into play. The "boy next door in a world without neighbors" expresses what Clark is to be interpreted as throught the film, as Gotham is such an ugly place in which he doesn't fit. You didn't mention it, but Diana's "Venus with a sword." works the same way. They're little memorable phrases to keep in mind when interpreting what the character is doing, and I think it helps understanding and to clear things up. These lines appear less frequently throughout the rest of the script, as I mostly just use them for introducing characters.  I've read a lot of books on the subject of screenwriting, and they tend to suggest this sort of thing. Then again, odds are you've been writing longer than I have, so maybe you know better. I'll concede the "toll" line. Unnecessary. I guess I'm just a coward afraid of people not getting 'it'. I'll cut back.

I'm in the process of reading the Burnout, actually. Maybe that'll teach me to shut up and listen to you. I tend to reserve criticisms until I'm finished the whole product, though. Consequently, this means I tend not to make many criticisms. It's a vicious circle, what can I say.

Thanks again, Al

P.S: When dealing with characters forever in the process of hiding and deceiving, it's hard to express what needs to be expressed. Writing is hard! But (with help) every day in every way, I'm getting better.
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dogglebe
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 10:22pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Black_Adam

P.S: When dealing with characters forever in the process of hiding and deceiving, it's hard to express what needs to be expressed. Writing is hard! But (with help) every day in every way, I'm getting better.


In cases like you, you describe them as you physically see them.  You don't say things like Bruce Wayne thinks back to the night before when he was Batman.  Even if you're writing a flashback.  You write what Bruce is doing up to the moment the flashback begins.  Then you write the flashback.

The Burnout relies heavily on flashbacks.


Phil
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quadmanjt
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 10:51pm Report to Moderator
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dogglebe,

While I understand that the use of "non-visual" description should be excluded from the script, I see no problem in providing what I call "explination for description".  A good example is the phrase you have pointed out, "the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy."  This is just to tie the story together and help explain what the bruises or wounds may be that Batman has.  also, you've used "she's the girl next door" in your script.  How can this be shown as opposed to their script?

Also, it ticks me off when you claim your way to be the "ideal way" and push your script out as the basis for which everyone should model their's after .  Everyone has a different style of writting scripts and, if you haven't noticed, even some produced screenplays have used more "non-visual" descriptions than anyone on this site.  While you and many others have had more expierence with writting, no one is a big time professional here.

I know you probably didn't mean these comment in a harsh way, but it came off that way to me.

Finally, let me say that I have a lot of respect for you as a writer on this site and enjoy reading every script you post.  But it makes me mad when someone says "Your way is wrong because I do it different," or "If you want to see the proper way to write a flashback, then read my script."  You may suggest your script, but don't say it in a way that makes you sound conceded.

Thanks,
quadmanjt
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dogglebe
Posted: November 10th, 2005, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from quadmanjt
dogglebe,

While I understand that the use of "non-visual" description should be excluded from the script, I see no problem in providing what I call "explination for description".  A good example is the phrase you have pointed out, "the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy."  This is just to tie the story together and help explain what the bruises or wounds may be that Batman has.  also, you've used "she's the girl next door" in your script.  How can this be shown as opposed to their script?


There's a big difference between the two phrases that you provide above.  The camera cannot record "the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy."  It's too vague a description.  "The girl next door" is a valid description.  It pertains to a natural and wholesome beauty Mary Ann is the girl next door.  Ginger is not.  A better comparison might be from the movie 'Drop Dead Gorgeous.'  Kirsten Dundst's character was a girl next door.  Denise Richards was not.  This is a common description; I didn't make it up.  You seem to have a problem grasping it.



Quoted from quadmanjt
Also, it ticks me off when you claim your way to be the "ideal way" and push your script out as the basis for which everyone should model their's after .  Everyone has a different style of writting scripts and, if you haven't noticed, even some produced screenplays have used more "non-visual" descriptions than anyone on this site.  While you and many others have had more expierence with writting, no one is a big time professional here.


I never said that my way is 'the ideal way.'  In fact, I said several times in the past that there is no one official format.



Quoted from quadmanjt
Finally, let me say that I have a lot of respect for you as a writer on this site and enjoy reading every script you post.  But it makes me mad when someone says "Your way is wrong because I do it different," or "If you want to see the proper way to write a flashback, then read my script."  You may suggest your script, but don't say it in a way that makes you sound conceded.


The word is 'conceited, not 'conceded.'  If you're going to insult or belittle someone, atleast use the right words.



Phil
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quadmanjt
Posted: November 11th, 2005, 3:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
There's a big difference between the two phrases that you provide above.  The camera cannot record "the toll this crusade has taken is dangerously heavy."  It's too vague a description.  "The girl next door" is a valid description.  It pertains to a natural and wholesome beauty Mary Ann is the girl next door.  Ginger is not.  A better comparison might be from the movie 'Drop Dead Gorgeous.'  Kirsten Dundst's character was a girl next door.  Denise Richards was not.  This is a common description; I didn't make it up.  You seem to have a problem grasping it.


pleast point out where i said you made that phase up.  the whole point of that statement was to show that you have used the same type of phrases.  while i can understand how that statement can be vague(please bear with me.  i'm a huge batman fan so i knew what he was talking about while other readers may not), it still doesn't dismiss the fact that you have used such phrases in your script.

I was reading ShawShank Redemption today, which I consider to be one of the finest scripts ever written, and I found this just on the first 20 or so pages.

"The sound slams into Andy's brain like an icepick. He shuts his eyes tightly, wishing the sound would stop."

Can you show sound slamming into Andy's brain like an icepick?  Can you show him wishing the sound would stop?

Now onto the "common phrases" you speak of.

"He looks like he could piss ice water."

While this may be a general remark to better help explain a character, did they actually show him pull down his pants and piss ice water?  And I'm sure they didn't MAKE that phrase up either...


Quoted Text
I never said that my way is 'the ideal way.'  In fact, I said several times in the past that there is no one official format.


While you haven't said it in those terms, I have read several of your posts where you have shot down other writters ways and told them it wasn't right.  Especially the situation I've already pointed out with the flashbacks.  You were in a heated discussion with one person over how to write flashbacks and you specifically claimed that "there way was wrong and yours was right."  I remember this because it felt like a shot at that writter and a boost on yourself.  Guess what?  I've read hundreds of screenplays and seen flashbacks written hundreds of ways.


Quoted Text
The word is 'conceited, not 'conceded.'  If you're going to insult or belittle someone, atleast use the right words.


Excuse me for my spelling.  But if a simple spelling error is all you have to come back at me with in your so called "battle", then I have nothing to worry about.

JT

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quadmanjt  -  November 11th, 2005, 3:41pm
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Black_Adam
Posted: November 11th, 2005, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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Come on fellas, we're all friends aren't we? Nice to hear from you again, quadmanjt.

Dogglebe, I've been thinking about it and their are some instances in the screenplay that I should make more explicitly visual. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I still think some of the lines you pointed out ARE recordable and can be visually interpreted and realized, but that's not always the case, and there are several instances I should make clearer. Thanks.

Dogglebe, are you done with the Burnout or are you still working on it? I'm not quite finished yet, but I think I might have some suggestions.

Thanks for taking an interest, Al.
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dogglebe
Posted: November 11th, 2005, 6:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from quadmanjt

Excuse me for my spelling.  But if a simple spelling error is all you have to come back at me with in your so called "battle", then I have nothing to worry about.
JT


This isn't a battle.  This is a joke.  If you don't like what I write, then don't read it.

It's that simple.


Phil

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dogglebe
Posted: November 11th, 2005, 6:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Black_Adam
Dogglebe, are you done with the Burnout or are you still working on it? I'm not quite finished yet, but I think I might have some suggestions.
Thanks for taking an interest, Al.


I'm done with it, Al, atleast for now.  I'd like to hear your feedback.


Phil

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screenplay_novice
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I knew of the comic but I had never read it so I don't know if you're screenplay faithfully follows the storyline but I'm assuming that it does. I enjoyed your script. The retooling of the characters is unique. Trinity reminds me very much of the Else World comics by Dark Horse. Having only written one script myself (not very good I'm afraid!), I think your screenplay is well written and was an enjoyable read!

Jeremy


If you can't beat 'em, then get yourself a bigger stick!
John Mavity
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