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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Mirrors of the Nile Moderators: bert
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  Author    Mirrors of the Nile  (currently 4167 views)
Don
Posted: September 3rd, 2006, 6:23am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Mirrors of the Nile by Ayham Saati - Adventure - A Boy sets out to find his true identity, with the help of a Magical Mirror.  124 pages - pdf, format


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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  April 29th, 2008, 6:00pm
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iamyourfather
Posted: September 10th, 2006, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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Really cool idea for a script. This is very original, and the storyline works well. The thing that impressed me most is how you took things like homelessness, child neglect and abuse and managed to turn it into an adventure story. The mirror is a great device to give the story some excitement and fantasy.

Also, I liked the multiple plot outlines. There was always new information that helped connect the whole story together. You have a very good understanding of the visual medium. This could definately be filmed for someone like Disney. There would need to be a few rewrites to tighten things up, but for the most part it's a solid story. It's relatively low budget except for all the animal wranglers.

Lastly, I would have liked to have seen a connection bringing the pharoah's wife, the aunt who bought the mirror, and Anthony together. Maybe some mystical family line of Egyptians. Good script, and keep up the good work.

Luke Bradshaw
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Ayham
Posted: September 11th, 2006, 12:34am Report to Moderator
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" Lastly, I would have liked to have seen a connection bringing the pharoah's wife, the aunt who bought the mirror, and Anthony together. Maybe some mystical family line of Egyptians "

Luke, thank you so much for reading the script and for the input. The point you brought up about linking Anthony to the past history of the mirror sounds like a great idea. Would add more of a mythical feeling to the story. Thank you again
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JD_OK
Posted: September 11th, 2006, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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I took a qucik look at your script. and I can already see you have 1st errors many writers start with(which everyone falls victim to)

Camera direction. Loose them all, and any cut to, fade outs, close on, and the WE SEE, WE HEAR.

Now I would gladly readth story and comment on that if you wanna do the same with my script T.K. in my sing. let me know.


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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Ayham
Posted: September 11th, 2006, 11:39pm Report to Moderator
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JD_OK, thanks for your comments, and I promise to read your script in the near future, but at this point of time I am working on a writing project that I might actually get paid from ..FINALLY!!
I sent a synopsis to a story I'm working on to a friend who sent it to her boss (a big shot producer) who contacted me and showed great interest in the story, that's why I've been working day and night trying to come up with something decent to show this guy...
Regarding your input on the errors (cut to, dissolve to and We..etc...) I know and totally respect the majority of opinions on this site that are against camera directions. But I truly don't understand why are they against it?... in my humble opinion, a writer should use any medium available to make his subject a clear and pleasant read, camera directions are not a distraction, again in my opinion... How else would you tell the reader to concentrate on someone's finger, for example, if you don't write CLOSE ON finger? How would you alert the reader that the scene is over unless you CUT TO a different scene? People say it's a distraction, because the writer is NOT a director and it's not his job to direct the camera unless it's a shooting draft. but I think the writer IS a director. the writer is, after all, the creator of these characters that never existed before and now he brought them to life. I don't know man, that's just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong, let me know what you think.
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JD_OK
Posted: September 12th, 2006, 2:32am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ayham
JD_OK, thanks for your comments, and I promise to read your script in the near future, but at this point of time I am working on a writing project that I might actually get paid from ..FINALLY!!
I sent a synopsis to a story I'm working on to a friend who sent it to her boss (a big shot producer) who contacted me and showed great interest in the story, that's why I've been working day and night trying to come up with something decent to show this guy...


Congrats man! Thats awesome.


Quoted from Ayham
Regarding your input on the errors (cut to, dissolve to and We..etc...) I know and totally respect the majority of opinions on this site that are against camera directions. But I truly don't understand why are they against it?... in my humble opinion, a writer should use any medium available to make his subject a clear and pleasant read, camera directions are not a distraction, again in my opinion...


I understand where you are coming from. But I was truelly informed by a REAL proffessional screen writer (my consultant) That ANY SPEC script just needs to tell the story, no camera angles and we hear stuff. You can get the point across on how you words things.


Quoted from Ayham
How else would you tell the reader to concentrate on someone's finger, for example, if you don't write CLOSE ON finger?


Its how you word it :
ex:John looks down at his finger. or His index finger scrolls down the book.


Quoted from Ayham
How would you alert the reader that the scene is over unless you CUT TO a different scene?


You ALREADY do that when you put. INT.

Ex:
-->INT. HOUSE - Day

George walks in and hangs his coat on the door. Suddenlt he walks back out.

--> EXT. House - day

George walks to his car and locks the door.


Quoted from Ayham
People say it's a distraction, because the writer is NOT a director and it's not his job to direct the camera unless it's a shooting draft. but I think the writer IS a director. the writer is, after all, the creator of these characters that never existed before and now he brought them to life. I don't know man, that's just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong, let me know what you think.


It truely is a distraction, now I dont know if you have been around the these forums alot reading other scripts. But if you read and read dozens scripts, you just wanna imagine the story by the words. Having to stop to read.
Ex:
Betty takes her purse and places it next to her. PAN TO THE RIGHT, A HOLE IS PRESENT MONEY FALLS OUT

Bettytakes her purse and places next to her. Unknowly, money falls out a hole from the purse.

I hope this helps you.

One thing I hope you dont do is include camera direction to your producer. IT IS THE MARK OF AMATEUR. Trust me. Everyone will tell you the same as you can already see.

Sounds good, let me know when you will get time. At the point Ill look it over.


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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Ayham
Posted: September 12th, 2006, 2:49am Report to Moderator
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" One thing I hope you dont do is include camera direction to your producer. IT IS THE MARK OF AMATEUR. Trust me. Everyone will tell you the same as you can already see. "

" nodding while reading "

hey thanks for taking the time and explaining all that stuff, really appreciate it. points well taken.

Looking forward to reading your script and looking forward to cleaning my own.

Ayham



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bert
Posted: September 12th, 2006, 7:22am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ayham
...but I think the writer IS a director.


No he ain't.  The director is a director.  And when you put "CLOSE ON" or something like that, you are telling him how to do his job.  And he won't like it.

What you do is imply the shots you envision through the words you choose:

"John examines his finger.  Blood oozes from the cut."

The reader will SEE a CLOSE ON finger without your telling them explicitly.

Having said that, I opened the file looking for transgressions of this sort and actually found very few.  The constant FADE IN and FADE OUT should really go.  That's a for sure thing.  I assure you that it is a distraction.

For an experienced reader, a new slug line implies a new scene.  Your FADES are only clutter on the page and wasted space.

And it's a shame -- because the remainder of the script looks pretty professional -- so lose those fades that imply an amateur writer at work.

I also saw plenty of "we see".  I am of the opinion that very, very sparing use is OK -- but plenty of people will tell you even one is way too many.  There are very few sentences that cannot be rearranged to get rid of the "we see", and you should go back through this story and do it wherever you can.

I did spot a slug that reads "SEAGULL P.O.V.", and I think something really weird like that does demand a special slug.  There are no rules that are written in stone -- but you should adhere to spec script conventions as much as you can -- and save the "bending of rules" for special occassions that truly demand it.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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JD_OK
Posted: September 12th, 2006, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ayham
" One thing I hope you dont do is include camera direction to your producer. IT IS THE MARK OF AMATEUR. Trust me. Everyone will tell you the same as you can already see. "

" nodding while reading "

hey thanks for taking the time and explaining all that stuff, really appreciate it. points well taken.

Looking forward to reading your script and looking forward to cleaning my own.

Ayham






You're welcome. Just let me know when you get the time. and Ill start reading that evening!


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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Ayham
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"  There are no rules that are written in stone -- but you should adhere to spec script conventions as much as you can -- and save the "bending of rules" for special occassions that truly demand it. "

Bert,
Thanks alot for the advice, truly appreciate it and I'm truly glad I found this medium to publish my work and receive very, very constructive criticism without the bashing.


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Ayham
Posted: September 12th, 2006, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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A revised version of this story is up.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Ayham  -  September 18th, 2006, 4:12pm
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tonkatough
Posted: March 22nd, 2007, 7:04am Report to Moderator
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I have started reading your script. Up to page 67.

I am really enjoying this one. The mirror magic is neat and I like how you play around with and create some great moments with the concept eg; anthony turn into dog to beg for food, turn into lion to stop a domestic violence crime.

Out of all your scripts I have read so far, this one seems to really fit your mild and inoffensive writing style and ideas. With this script your style has a gentle, warm feel to it that enriches this childrens' tale.

With all your scripts the format is spot on. You forgot to introduce a few character names in up case. Your plot structure is solid and well excuted. You set up the plot turning points introduce villian and drama at just right the moment to keep the story interesting and keept me wanting to know what will happen next.    

Just a few comments.

Some of the dialouge is just little bit to obvious with your intentions.

page 46 I started to suspect that William is the five hundred dollar man. it is very glaring and obvious, I wrote this first and by 67 I was right. So predictable and not a surprise.

Page 48, the explaination for death of Katlyn's  baby is big a chunk of exposition. exposition sucks. it is boring to read and slows up the story. Why not just have katlyn say  something like "we lost our baby while hiking. "A freak accidnet involving a cougar . . ." That's all you need and the vaugeness intrigues your audience. Much better then ham fisted exposition.

I love the scene where Anthony is cornered  on the roof top and when he falls off, he escape death by "somehow" flash mirror at pigeon and turn into one, it is a over the top, unrealistic, bull shit scene and I love it. Most people here will scoff at a scene like that but not me. If your gonna make me suspend my disbelife you might as well as go the full hog. that's the beauty of story.

So i got to go back to writing my own script now and will review the rest as soon with in the next couple of days.      


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Ayham
Posted: March 22nd, 2007, 3:30pm Report to Moderator
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thanks again for the review Tonka, and I hope you like the rest of the story...

I'll make sure to read your new script when you finish.

my mild and inoffensive writing?
Not sure what this means exactly, and even though I know dialouge is not my biggest talents, I try to make it fit with the character...but it's something to think about in the future...Onething though, I ran this story by one of those script doctors and their biggest problem was the "offensive" language or profanities that were in, since the target audience is the younger crowd, so I had to go in and clean it up a little...

Page 48 and the death of the child, I was trying to show Kathrin's uncertainty about the death of her baby...if she "knows" for sure that a Cougar killed the baby then we'll have a problem, because the baby is Anthony...

Glad you like the "off the top" scene when Anthony is cornered...I think scenes like that in Fantacy movies are perfectly normal...
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tonkatough
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finished the script.  

So the whole motivation for killing anthony and making him become an orphan was pure greed. there you go.

The second part of your script was a little lose compared to the first half. The whole hero turn into duck, captured by Jack and have to rescue orphan thieves was more of a misadventure, a situation that is independent from the main story. It's a great scene but in the third act of your story it's not a good idea to be setting up new plotlines. The first half  is so busy setting up the mystery of anthony's real parents that this scene with jack disrupts the forward momentum of your story and adds another twenty pages you don't need.

Also felt there was way to much exposition. Mother explain the whole deal in thick paragraph size dialouge.  That annoys the crap out of me. It needs to simplified  and show it. Not sure how.  

But other then that this was an enjoyable story.  The way the mirror is used in story is imaginative and exciting.  Loved the scene when two people get caught up in mirror magic and turn into gorilla and have a big ape punch up, That was gold.



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tweak
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I just started it, and I am liking it.  There are problems with spelling and formatting.  There are some action sequences that can be implied.  

Thanks for writing an interesting story.  Finally, a feature length screenplay that is interesting and engaging.  I have been hunting for a good unproduced feature length one to read for days.

I am about half way through your script now.  The story concept is strong enough to keep the pages turning.  But there are some definite problems:

1) filler scenes (how many scenes do you need to show that Anthony is a good character?)
2) Mac -- this character I have a hard time handling; I am not sure what he adds to the story.  Think about cutting him out.
3) long dialogue -- there are places, where you think this is a play, not a screenplay.  Look to tighten these up.  A few is okay.  Also, there will be times where the actor will change your lines anyway.
4) sometimes too much acting direction -- while we like to limit camera stuff to only the bare minimum, we also like to limit direction for the actors.  Like the director, the actors need some freedom to interpret the character. If you cannot figure it out in the dialogue, then throw in some pointers.
5) weak character names -- the story is intriguing, experiment with character names
6) tons of characters -- how many characters do you need to tell this story?  There are a lot of scenes with extras that can just be cut.
7) camera direction -- while I am not opposed to it, limit it to when it drives the story.  Your job is to tell a great story; the director's job is show it with a camera.

I hope to finish this one up tomorrow.

tweak

Revision History (1 edits)
tweak  -  May 5th, 2007, 12:44am
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