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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Mercenary: Soldier of Fortune Moderators: bert
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  Author    Mercenary: Soldier of Fortune  (currently 5219 views)
Don
Posted: November 13th, 2005, 5:14pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Mercenary: Soldier of Fortune by Guy Jackson - Action - A Canadian born soldier who has moved to America and become a mercenary for hire, is sent on an assassin mission. However in Canada, a revolution is brewing against the United States. Jason at first could care less about a war, because that would mean more work for him. But when the terrorist faction takes away the one thing he does care about, Jason embroils himself fully against the faction.  113 pages - pdf, format


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

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  April 3rd, 2008, 9:20pm
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guyjackson
Posted: December 24th, 2005, 2:05am Report to Moderator
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Ah finally signed up for a name on this message board.  

Wow I'm surprised someone actually read my screenplay.  Thanks alot I really appreciate it.  This was my second screenplay I have written.  My first is Resident Evil: Desistance which is also on Simply Scripts.  

I'm kind of learning on the run in terms of screenwriting so I'm getting better every day.  At least I hope I am.  

Again thanks for reading it.  It is much appreciated.  
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guyjackson
Posted: December 25th, 2005, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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I have a PDF format version of this script pending with Don right now if you want to wait for that.  I know those are easier to read than word documents.  It should be up in the next couple days I would think.

Haha and tomson sorry if you thought I was portraying Canada in a bad light or something.  I just was wondering why Canada is never in any movies.  The terrorists are always like South American or Middle Eastern.  I thought this would give it a new twist.    
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tomson
Posted: December 25th, 2005, 8:22pm Report to Moderator
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Terrorists can come from anywhere, even the suburbs of middle America, but Middle Eastern or S. American terrorists just seem more plausible than Canadians. I guess it's possible for a dog to eat a human, but a shark seem more believable. (hope that made sense)
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guyjackson
Posted: December 25th, 2005, 10:09pm Report to Moderator
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Haha yeah I got you man.  I'll keep experimenting.
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dejack03
Posted: December 31st, 2005, 8:00pm Report to Moderator
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Dude.  This would be a kickass movie; even if it does seem like "just another action movie."  Keyword there is "seem."  I liked it a lot.
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guyjackson
Posted: January 1st, 2006, 1:48am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from dejack03
Dude.  This would be a kickass movie; even if it does seem like "just another action movie."  Keyword there is "seem."  I liked it a lot.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Yeah I am really proud of this screenplay.  I'm going to bring this with me whenever I can get into film school, hopefully very soon.  

The thing that I was trying to portray with this script was that even though the main character is a killer for a living, he still is a human being and he does have a personal life and someone that he cares about.  

I personally am getting tired of these mindless action movies that have no backstory to them.  I am the type of person that likes to know where the characters come from when I watch a movie.  Not just archetypes running about on screen.  So I tried to give the main character some interest with this script.

I'm thinking about maybe instead of a sequel, which seems almost impossible to write with the ending I wrote, that I would write a prequel to this film explaining why he left Canada, how he ended up as a mercenary in America, how he met his wife, etc..  Just to explain more of Jason's history because I had so much I wanted to put down on paper but I didn't want to go past 120 pages, but that's still in the air.

I'm in the process of two more screenplays that Im focusing on so the prequel will be well in the future if I decide to, but if people like this one maybe a prequel wouldn't be a bad idea.        


Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  January 1st, 2006, 2:10am
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guyjackson
Posted: January 1st, 2006, 9:49pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah Don!

He posted my PDF formatted screenplay today.  They look so much better than Word documents.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/Mercenary-SoldierofFortune.pdf
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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 2nd, 2006, 9:59pm Report to Moderator
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I just downloaded it. I'll definitely check it out. My script "Anonymously Successful" will be up on the site in a couple of days. it's another "conspiracy/government corruption/assassination" type script that I think would be in your vein. I'd appreciate return feedback from you if that's possible bro.

Thanks
Tobias


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guyjackson
Posted: January 2nd, 2006, 10:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from TobiasMoran
I just downloaded it. I'll definitely check it out. My script "Anonymously Successful" will be up on the site in a couple of days. it's another "conspiracy/government corruption/assassination" type script that I think would be in your vein. I'd appreciate return feedback from you if that's possible bro.

Thanks
Tobias


You got it man.  I'll let you know when I read it.    
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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 2nd, 2006, 10:06pm Report to Moderator
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It's in my siggy fellas. The "full" script is on there (it's actually two parts merged into one - 182 pages full, but split into 89 and 93 separately). Whatever you fellas have, send my way, I'll definitely give them my full attention.

Anonymously Successful is being read right now by Warner Brothers....and 12 and 20 is being read by a sub of Miramax...so I'm jacked about that. Hope you dudes dig it.


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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 3rd, 2006, 11:21am Report to Moderator
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Hey Guy, I just finished reading it. We're all here to be brutally honest (and we should expect it), so that's what I'll be.

My Thoughts.

Decent story. It has a real "Metal Gear Solid" feel to it. Immediately I saw Jason as Snake. But it moves way too quickly and too easily. From William (who we don't know anything about) moving from Jason's friend to foe so quickly to your dialogue, which seems very surfacy at times, almost unbelievable at points - I believe you could thoroughly rework this thing into something very good. I would work on a more solid dialogue in certain spots. One thing my mentor always told me was "what would YOU say if you were in that position?" It helps to think like that. For example, if you were on a S&R mission in the jungles of Colombia, being chased by men with guns, would you jump on the chopper and say "Pilot, take off!"...not me! LOL I'd be screaming "Let's get the EEEEEFFF outta here! GO GO GO!!!"...just a thought though bro...

Page 55 - "If anyone was underneath the bed, they would be pretty holy right now, if you know what I mean" sounds really bad...almost ridiculous. Remove that. We don't need to know that. He's also not going to ask any questions about who they are in the middle of a gun battle. He's going to kill, period.

Ashley seems to know a bit too much. Her friend calls Jason "James Bond" and then when Jason leaves for Canada, she calls it his "mission". I'd dumb down her dialogue to make it seem like she's totally oblivious to what he does.  

If Jason is not wanted in Canada, then how did he get in so quickly? Once scene he's leaving for Canada, the next, he's taking aim at Sophie. With his background in the military, and being court-martialed, wouldn't arriving at the border set off some inquiries? I'd make his return into Canada covert and silent. I'd sneak him back in. I do know the border patrol here in the states have a military system in place for that very same thing. Does Canada?

Three guys jumping out of a garbage can to kill David? That seemed a little far-fetched to me bro. I'd have them sitting in a black car in the alley. That seems more plausible.

All in all, it all seems to move too quickly and too easily. With William kidnapping Ashley, to Francois' cheesy "prepare to die", and the ending with Jason speeding off in a boat and the TV reporting that "all's well" after the public not knowing anything (it was all well to the public before the covert op, so why shouldn't it be all well then?)....It all seems very amateurish.

With a little reworking, this could be really good bro...Don't stop writing...keep pushing. With some fine tuning, you could turn this into another "Bourne" type joint. it just needs a little work.


Now onto the technical stuff....

1. You have WAY too many "shooting" descriptors. Those are a no-no, and producers/directors HATE to see it. "Dissolve to", "Cut to", "Smash to", "Angle on" and the like need to be removed. Your job as the screenwriter is to show ONLY what you can see and hear. Let the director direct the camera angles and screen sequences. I do like how you describe in detail to give the reader great imagery. But that is not needed. Don't describe what the character is feeling or thinking, just write what the audience will see or hear.

At page 42, I was thinking, "He's really only about 20 minutes of screen time into the script, but he's got 22 pages of description".

2. "We see"....sometimes that is unavoidable, but should seldom be used.

For example, "We see Jason crouched down ready to attack." should be re-written to read:

"Jason crouches, ready to attack."

3. When someone speaks in Spanish/French, just write (In Spanish/French) under the character name. No need to mention "in subtitle", for that's a given.

4. Only use (CONT'D) if you're splitting the dialogue between pages.

5. CAPITALIZE character names only ONCE - when they appear on screen for the first time in a speaking role. If you have two new henchmen appear and they don't speak, you don't need to capitalize them. I see that in Tim Silverman. At the beginning, you show his full name capitalized when he appears on Jason's computer. Then in the mansion, he's "TIM"...at first glance, you appear to have two characters. Same thing with SENTRY...the next speaking line is from SENTRY #1. This occurs several times in your script.

6. "Beat" isn't common anymore. It can be used, but I prefer "pause". That's just me though.

7. "Begins to"....big no-no. On my last script coverage, the guy wrote "how do you begin to walk?" It hit me. You don't "begin" to walk...You just walk. "Jason begins to walk over to"....should be "Jason approaches" etc. etc.

8. Pretty much anything else with "to" behind to should be changed. "Walks up to", "Goes over to" should both be changed to "approaches".

9. When describing radio to radio communication, use "O.S." (off screen) rather than "V.O." (voice-over). Voice over is used for narration purposes only.

10. When describing a title card, simply write "TITLE OVER:" and your description.

All in all, read THIS - http://www.geocities.com/fabdaeclectic/ProperScriptFormat.pdf

Hope this helps.
Tobias


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guyjackson
Posted: January 3rd, 2006, 8:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from TobiasMoran
Hey Guy, I just finished reading it. We're all here to be brutally honest (and we should expect it), so that's what I'll be.

My Thoughts.

Decent story. It has a real "Metal Gear Solid" feel to it. Immediately I saw Jason as Snake. But it moves way too quickly and too easily. From William (who we don't know anything about) moving from Jason's friend to foe so quickly to your dialogue, which seems very surfacy at times, almost unbelievable at points - I believe you could thoroughly rework this thing into something very good. I would work on a more solid dialogue in certain spots. One thing my mentor always told me was "what would YOU say if you were in that position?" It helps to think like that. For example, if you were on a S&R mission in the jungles of Colombia, being chased by men with guns, would you jump on the chopper and say "Pilot, take off!"...not me! LOL I'd be screaming "Let's get the EEEEEFFF outta here! GO GO GO!!!"...just a thought though bro...

Page 55 - "If anyone was underneath the bed, they would be pretty holy right now, if you know what I mean" sounds really bad...almost ridiculous. Remove that. We don't need to know that. He's also not going to ask any questions about who they are in the middle of a gun battle. He's going to kill, period.

Ashley seems to know a bit too much. Her friend calls Jason "James Bond" and then when Jason leaves for Canada, she calls it his "mission". I'd dumb down her dialogue to make it seem like she's totally oblivious to what he does.  

If Jason is not wanted in Canada, then how did he get in so quickly? Once scene he's leaving for Canada, the next, he's taking aim at Sophie. With his background in the military, and being court-martialed, wouldn't arriving at the border set off some inquiries? I'd make his return into Canada covert and silent. I'd sneak him back in. I do know the border patrol here in the states have a military system in place for that very same thing. Does Canada?

Three guys jumping out of a garbage can to kill David? That seemed a little far-fetched to me bro. I'd have them sitting in a black car in the alley. That seems more plausible.

All in all, it all seems to move too quickly and too easily. With William kidnapping Ashley, to Francois' cheesy "prepare to die", and the ending with Jason speeding off in a boat and the TV reporting that "all's well" after the public not knowing anything (it was all well to the public before the covert op, so why shouldn't it be all well then?)....It all seems very amateurish.

With a little reworking, this could be really good bro...Don't stop writing...keep pushing. With some fine tuning, you could turn this into another "Bourne" type joint. it just needs a little work.


Now onto the technical stuff....

1. You have WAY too many "shooting" descriptors. Those are a no-no, and producers/directors HATE to see it. "Dissolve to", "Cut to", "Smash to", "Angle on" and the like need to be removed. Your job as the screenwriter is to show ONLY what you can see and hear. Let the director direct the camera angles and screen sequences. I do like how you describe in detail to give the reader great imagery. But that is not needed. Don't describe what the character is feeling or thinking, just write what the audience will see or hear.

At page 42, I was thinking, "He's really only about 20 minutes of screen time into the script, but he's got 22 pages of description".

2. "We see"....sometimes that is unavoidable, but should seldom be used.

For example, "We see Jason crouched down ready to attack." should be re-written to read:

"Jason crouches, ready to attack."

3. When someone speaks in Spanish/French, just write (In Spanish/French) under the character name. No need to mention "in subtitle", for that's a given.

4. Only use (CONT'D) if you're splitting the dialogue between pages.

5. CAPITALIZE character names only ONCE - when they appear on screen for the first time in a speaking role. If you have two new henchmen appear and they don't speak, you don't need to capitalize them. I see that in Tim Silverman. At the beginning, you show his full name capitalized when he appears on Jason's computer. Then in the mansion, he's "TIM"...at first glance, you appear to have two characters. Same thing with SENTRY...the next speaking line is from SENTRY #1. This occurs several times in your script.

6. "Beat" isn't common anymore. It can be used, but I prefer "pause". That's just me though.

7. "Begins to"....big no-no. On my last script coverage, the guy wrote "how do you begin to walk?" It hit me. You don't "begin" to walk...You just walk. "Jason begins to walk over to"....should be "Jason approaches" etc. etc.

8. Pretty much anything else with "to" behind to should be changed. "Walks up to", "Goes over to" should both be changed to "approaches".

9. When describing radio to radio communication, use "O.S." (off screen) rather than "V.O." (voice-over). Voice over is used for narration purposes only.

10. When describing a title card, simply write "TITLE OVER:" and your description.

All in all, read THIS - http://www.geocities.com/fabdaeclectic/ProperScriptFormat.pdf

Hope this helps.
Tobias


First off, I just want to thank you for reading my script in such detail.  I really appreciate it.  Most if not all of the points you've made make a lot of sense.  This was my first script I have ever written and I used Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil screenplay as my guide because I've never wrote using that format before.  That should explain the camera directions and the great amount of subtext.  I'm still having some difficulty with the formatting, but I'm working on that with each new script I'm writing.

All in all, I can't thank you enough.  That seemed like a real Hollywood critique and it has def given me a guide on what I need to do with my follow-ups.

I'm going to get to your screenplay probably by tommorow afternoon, and I'll let you know what I think.    

Later dude.  
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MegaC
Posted: January 3rd, 2006, 10:30pm Report to Moderator
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Fire in the sky.

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Iím short on time, so Iíll keep this short and sweet.

This is a well written piece of work. Reminiscent of Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid.

Descriptions:
For the most part, well written, but they were lacking something. Everything was too the point, hardly any detail just tons of action. Try to find that happy medium between simply action and detail. One Example:

We see SHANNON still tied to the chair. The RUSSIAN
MERCENARY is pointing his gun at her forehead. Two other
mercenaries are making rounds through the house and looking
through windows. A television is on in the room RUSSIAN
MERCENARY and SHANNON occupy. Another news report.

All action and no detail, it seems like their should be so much tension in the room, but it doesnít come out that way.

Dialogue:
What I like most about your script was the Dialogue. It seemed to flow well and the characters lines seemed to match their personalities. In a script like this, you have to know what youíre talking about, and you obviously do. Great work.

Overall really engaging and entertaining. Iíll keep my eye out for more of your work.
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TobiasMoran
Posted: January 3rd, 2006, 11:00pm Report to Moderator
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You're welcome Guy...anytime..I see potential brudda...keep up the good work...


BTW, I just re-uploaded the screenplay on my site...I fixed some typos...Just an FYI


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