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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Sneaky Snatcher Moderators: bert
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  Author    Sneaky Snatcher  (currently 7413 views)
tonkatough
Posted: December 11th, 2006, 11:02pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Mcornetto and martin for the read and feed back. i aprreciate it.

I was interested by your suggestion martin that killing felt out of place in my script cause of its fairy tale feel. Depends on what sort of fairy tale you mean. Disney or Brother's Grimm? I was sort of going for Brother's Grimm in its purest form and if you have read any of their stories then you should know what dark, violent little beasts they are.

But everyone has been right about the ending. Every fairy tale should have a happy ever after ending. So how did I muff that up?

To be honest I thought it was a happy ending. The kids are happy the father is happy, Vanessa is out of the picture. Sure the family got ripped apart but as the children's mother says "that's the way the cookie crumbles." This is also the theme for my story, Life deals you a crushing blow, just shut up. move on and get over it.  

I will start reading your Demon Beach script tonight Mcornetto

Oh my God! Did you see Sryknows new avatar up above? Is that Santa Cluase sticking a gun in his mouth?

Ah, he's a funny lad that one.  


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Alex J. Cooper
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Quoted from tonkatough

But everyone has been right about the ending. Every fairy tale should have a happy ever after ending. So how did I muff that up?

To be honest I thought it was a happy ending. The kids are happy the father is happy, Vanessa is out of the picture. Sure the family got ripped apart but as the children's mother says "that's the way the cookie crumbles." This is also the theme for my story, Life deals you a crushing blow, just shut up. move on and get over it.  


Maybe you should keep the ending like it is, but go into it more. I don't think the phone call was enough. maybe there should be a scene with Vanessa in jail, and Bernard at a home being fed my a beautiful nurse. Just to make things more complete.



Shorts:
I Named Him Thor
Footloose, Cut Loose
Tainted Milk
Marshmallows
Confucius & The Quest For Nessie
Wondrous Presentation
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mgj
Posted: December 17th, 2006, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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I was going to wait until after christmas to review this one but I manged to sneak it in sooner.  So (drum-roll) here we go:

This was quite an amusing tale you've crafted.  On one hand it's a very simple story about learning life-lessons and growing up and on the other hand, an unconventional fairytale with an assortment of offbeat characters.  

I can understand why you had a tough time thinking up a synopsis for this one.  It sets up a scenario about a mysterious kidknapper of sorts only to use this as a springboard to segueway in another direction that deals with imprisonment and standing up for yourself (this plot-device brought to mind for me 'Spirited Away', whether intentional or not)  In any event I like not knowing where a story is going exactly or how it will unfold so good job on that.

I've read the other reviews you've received so far and I agree with some of their critiques but not all all of it.  The thing about the kids giving in too easily to Vanessa's demands and allowing themselves to be chloroformed is something I will echo though.  This could be easily remedied by not making the kids willing participants in her scheme.  At somepoint they can still find a benefit to play along but initially they should be reluctant.  I think this is what you had in mind anyway.

While I enjoyed all of the characters you created, Vanessa to me, despite having her moments, felt a bit one dimensional.  Ultimately I just had a tough time believing that Bernard could ever have felt any sort of affection for her, let alone marry this woman.  I understand she's a golddigger and probably charmed her way into his life but this needs to be shown.  Perhaps she's still wearing that mask of false-sentiment in the earlier scenes.  Of course, the kids being the kids they are, are much too perceptive to fall for this. Bernard on the other hand is vulnerable and longs for any sort of affection.  In this senario, as the story opens, he's still blind to her charms and still in a state of denial.  By the end though he realizes how foolish he's been and how truely evil Vanessa really is (this would also make the climax between the two of them at the hospital all the more satisfying).

I like the old lady - what's her name?  I won't try to spell it but she was a good villian and a nice turn in your story.  Good I say because she was not simply evil, as was Vanessa, but tragic as well which made her all the more fearful.  I'm still new to Myazaki but I've noticed that he is very perceptive about human nature.  The old lady is another thing that brought parallels for me to 'Spirited Away'.

Others have mentioned that your story is too violent or mature for children.  This is where I'll disagree (I wouldn't expect a director would exploit this anyway).  I've always believed children are much more resiliant than we give them credit for.  That is exactly what fairytales are anyway - not just about happily ever after - but rather about preparing kids to deal with the sometimes harsh realities of life.  Of course Hollywood might disagree but who cares about them - they're a bunch of idiots anyway.  

I had no problem with the ending either.  I suspect kids from non-traditional upbringings will relate to this quite well.  As well the escape from the witch's liar and subsequent chase sequence in the forest felt just right and not too drawn out as a few others have stated.  Just my opinion but that seemed to me where you were having the most fun writing this.  The episodes in the sweatshop and hosptial were fine but felt a little flate in comparison.  

I seem to recall you mentioning once that you had trouble with foreshadowing.  I wouldn't say this is a problem here but you might include a scene at the beginning showing the mother's grave, either that or have Vanessa tear out any picture of the mother from the family album.  Just a suggestion anyway, anything to show that she still has a presence in the household.

Overall I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  It was a nice read despite the fact that it was a little uneven in spots.  I should also mention I liked our two protagonists.  I don't know if they're too old or not - that's a tough one.  Possibly but only by a year or so.  The little touches like the cat-ears were nice.  Maybe you could do a little more with Brice's character, make him more/less whimpy/tough.  He seemed to hover somewhere in between.



"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein
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tonkatough
Posted: December 18th, 2006, 5:02am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read MGJ

You hit the nail on the head regarding violence for children and traditional fairy tales.

Once upon a time (pun intended) Fairy Tales played an important role for children as they taught children life lessons and most importantly the consequences of ill will towards your fellow human being.  it has only been since the Victorian age and particularly with the Disney company that fairy tales have been turned into feel good, conservative trite to sell toys. Which is sad really.

I'll never forget when I took my five year old nephew to the cinema to see the Phantom Menace, how he was shocked and upset when the "goodie hero" Qi-Gon- Jin was killed in battle. Sure the poor little kid suffered a minor traumatic experience but at least he walked away with a valuble life lesson that violence is not cool and anyone can be victim of it be it good or bad.

That is the power of fairy tales.

As for the Miyazaki influence. The answer is no. I did not set out to duplicate his work for this script. All of my influence was from Brother's Grimm.  However Hayao Miyazaki and David Lynch are my all time favourite directors, I love their movies with a fierce passion so I guess it's only natural that they would influence my own writing style and imagination.

But while on the subject the script I am curretly working on is a fantasy epic that I have deliberalty burrowed heavily from Miyazaki's movies as a kind of personal tribute. It is filled to the brim with a little girl hero, big furry monsters, goblins and bizare magic.

But sadly at the rate I write it won't be finished until late next year.

As the wicked step mother, Vanessa is pure evil and a fairy tale clique. But by cripes she was the most fun to write out of all the characters I have written so far.

Anyway thanks again MGJ and I am actually standing here on the edge of Simply Scripts looking out far to the horizon for your next script (and some others from my favourite writers who frequent here)          


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TAnthony
Posted: December 22nd, 2006, 7:41pm Report to Moderator
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Alright this makes us even now.

This story was a pretty cool take on fairy tales. Overall great job.

SPOILERS AHEAD---------------------

Story
Good decision on opening the script with an exciting opener. In the beginning it seemed like it was really geared towards youngsters, besides the occasional curse word. However, the script took a somewhat unexpected turn. The closer it got to the end the more ominous and creepy it got. More and more people were getting killed and I thought that was pretty cool.

But I think you should really change the ending. The way you have it now it’s sort of a bittersweet ending, but hey this is a fairy-tale right? Got to have a happy ending.

Characters
You did an excellent job with the characters. I especially liked Mac and Dave. They were two pretty cool thugs. I do have a little complaint about Jodi and Brice though. Have you considered making them just tad a bit younger? I continued to imagine them younger than what they really were. You did a great job with Vanessa. I really really hated her.

No description is given of Mr. Gibson.
The Old Lady, Yulitza, is old as her name states, but how old? “Old” has a long range.

Questions/Comments
-What’s a jumping castle?
-A lot of this reminded me of The Brothers Grimm.
-How did Bernard wake up so fast after being chloroformed?
-Is Yulitza’s motivation for capturing children and turning them into dolls ever explained?

Overall
Overall there wasn’t too much wrong with the script. I liked this one more than Perplexity Grove and that was really good. If you ever do a re-write I would consider changing the ending, making Jodi and Brice a little younger, and maybe going into more of Yulitza’s story. Other than that Good Job.

Good Luck.


"You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home? -- Training Day

All of my scripts on SimplyScripts
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Mayhem - Sci-Fi
Loud and Nasty - Action/Thriller
Down and Dirty (Sequel to L&N) - Action/Thriller
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tonkatough
Posted: December 28th, 2006, 2:13am Report to Moderator
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thanks for the read Tanthony.

To answer one of your questions a jumping castle is . . . you honestly have never heard of a jumping castle? In America, don't you have those big rubber inflatable buildings that children jump on? every festival and carnival here in Australia has one. My god you have had a very deprived childhood if you have never jumped on  a jumping castle.  


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TAnthony
Posted: December 28th, 2006, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, I can't believe I haven't heard of a jumping castle before. I must've missed out on something big growing up.  


"You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home? -- Training Day

All of my scripts on SimplyScripts
http://www.simplyscripts.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?search=Tanthony

Mayhem - Sci-Fi
Loud and Nasty - Action/Thriller
Down and Dirty (Sequel to L&N) - Action/Thriller
Fool's Gold - Western
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kerrangster
Posted: December 30th, 2006, 4:09pm Report to Moderator
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I read your script and enjoyed it.  It was very well written.  It was a good spec script.  Until I get more experience under my belt I don't know what I can add?  I thought everything was great.  I'll take a little break and read it again after I finish with "How to write high structure, high concept movies by Robin Tobin.
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tonkatough
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Please to hear you are reading about story structure. You've gained my respect as a fellow writer.

If you want some reading I suggest you check out the link below.  It deals with plot structure. It is more to do with comics but the structure is the same as movies. I found the article very helpful and I hope you will too,

[url]C:\Documents and Settings\glenn bresciani\My Documents\My eBooks\writing comics part 3.htm[/url]

Thanks for the read and keep writing. I will be looking out for any future scritps you post here on SS.





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medstudent
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Glenn,
Again, I haven't read any of the above posts so some of what I saw may be a repeat of what others have already said.

You have a real gem here. Albeit a rough, uncut one, a gem. It needs some serious reworking but, in my humble opinion, if you do it you could have a real winner.

On to the review.

I'm going to break up my review into "Pro's" and "Con's" first then I'll go page by page and give you my thoughts while I read.

SPOILERS*****




PRO'S:
What you (almost) have here is a unique re-telling(somewhat) of a popular fairytale with great characters and premise.

The first 30 or so pages were written very well. I was completely pulled into your creative and unique story. I liked the development of each one of your characters. You've created a very mystical, sort of fantastic world.

Obviously, your format is spot on as far as I can tell. Easy to read with the right amount of detail and dialogue to move the story.

CON'S:

It took me until around page 70 to realize what was really wrong and missing with the story...that your protagonists (Brice and Jodie) don't have a goal. What are they trying to attain? Do they want to get rid of their step-mother? Save their father? Live on their own? We don't know because you haven't given them a clearly defined one. I know this fault all too well because that's what I've done in many of my scripts! After being told about this many times and not agreeing with it, or rather, not seeing it as necessarily something that must be defined, I started to go over different books, children's stories, screenplays and began to deconstruct them looking specifically for this. I found that most, if not all stories regardless of the genre have this fact clearly defined. I was so drawn into the story of yours that I didn't look for it at first. Didn't see it missing. But it is.

After the first Act or so your story falls apart. What I mean is, your tone changes, you add too many unessesary (sub)plots with too many additional antagonists. Again, I believe this is partly due to the fact that you didn't define the protagonists' goal and therefore their appropriate antagonist in the beginning. I think you're real protagonist is and should be Veronica (with her henchman). That's it. As it is now you have:
1. Veronica
2. Mac and his partner
3. The Sneaky Snatcher/Witch/Yulitza

With each antagonist you have completely unconnected plots. The only thing common to them all are Julie and Brice. This, in my opinion, is what is keeping this from being a polished gem...a movie.

These are my thoughts as I read. I'm going to write them as if I had a hard copy and wrote them in the margins of the screenplay itself.

pg's 1-5: From the first few pages it has the feeling of something like "The Grinch" or a children's fairy tale(?). I think the first few scenes need something specific to "nail down" the tone of the story for the readers/viewers.

With so many people after it, why does it continue to hang around?

pg 7: At least put some condiments in the fridge!

pg 9: What's a "pergola"?

pg 29: "Bernard is concerned as he stares at the tablets."  Just show hime staring at them without the "concern". We get the inference.

pg 33: I love the "hard labour" you've chosen.

I think you should have broken the scene at the sweatshop up. Drawn it out a bit. With what you have  they escape too quickly.

Why wasn't this scene put nearer the end?

pg 44: I wouldn't use the photo just yet. It hints at that already. I don't think you need to divulge anything else yet.

pg 46: "Hungry Hippos" -- Funny!

I just noticed you kept referring to Kitty as "he" but "he" is inhabited by a "she"? I see Kitty as a female. Maybe its just me.

pg 58: Why kill the news crew?

pg 40-62: It seems like all this should be happening at the end of the movie. I'm interested to see where this goes from here.

pg 63: No! You killed the old couple!

pg 67: What is the "Old Lady" for?

A problem I see at this point is, where is all the magic coming from? Who is controlling it? Why would so many characters have similar "powers"?

pg 69: Why would Brice be thinking about sleep?

pg 77: You killed Kitty!!

pg 84: You suddenly change "Yulitza" to "Witch". Witch is it (sorry, had to)?

pg 86: I just realized something...What are Jodie and Brice after? What is their goal? Vanessa is the only one with the goal.

pg 94: I'm confused. Is the Sneaky Snatcher a "living thing" that can be possessed by a spirit? Or an "illusion" like the old lady suggests?

pg 96: Ahhhh! The old lady the lived in the shoe!

pg 103: Why? Why not find a way to keep them with the father? What happens to the father?

Okay, Glenn. I hope this is at least coherent enough for you to take something from it. Good job and would love to see the rewrite of this.

Joseph





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medstudent  -  January 12th, 2007, 12:49pm
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MonetteBooks
Posted: January 12th, 2007, 3:14pm Report to Moderator
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Hi, Tonka,

I'm responding to your exchange reads offer here, because I can't find where I posted for it originally. Guess it got buried under more recent postings.

Since I uploaded the second version of my script,  I now have a third version. minus so many flashbacks.

After I upload this last version will be a better time to exchange reads. Thanks for your patience.

Monette
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tonkatough
Posted: January 14th, 2007, 5:38am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read medstudent. apreciate it.  

Yes, you are right. It is a vital part of a story stucture to have a clearly defined goal for the character, be it blow up the Death Star, help your alien buddy get back to his space ship or a bunch of cheerleaders who have sex with as many men as possible to help raise money so they can go to Dallas and try out for the cowgirls cheerleading squad.

So yeah you are right that the two kids don't have a goal or objective but that is because they are to busy trying to survive the wickedness of their step mother and get back home to their ill father and look after him cause no one else will. hey couldn't that be classed as a goal? Mybe not.

I think you are talking about a conventional story structure and yes this script is guilty of not being conventional. Nut it still has a begining , a middle and an end.

Monette please leave a message here as soon as your third draft is up for your Grave mishaps and I will read it in a flash. and hopefully you will do the same with mine

  


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medstudent
Posted: January 14th, 2007, 11:24am Report to Moderator
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Glenn,
I hope you didn't think I was bashing your screenplay in any way. In fact, of all the screenplays I've read on this site, this one has probably the most potential to actually be seen on film! I mean that. While most of the other screenplays are well written, there isn't anything that sets them apart from the thousands of screenplays out there. Yours is different.

I know what you mean about not being conventional. I want(ed) so bad to not be conventional that I missed some important parts of having a great story(screenplay). One of the most important things I've learned is that your characters have to take an active part in what is going on. In novels having passive characters who allow things other than themselves to move the story along is okay. But in movies, even the "non-conventional" ones have active characters whose actions move the story along...not the other way around. Trust me. I'm not talking about having certain things happen by a certain page...Act I, Act II, so on and so forth. I'm talking strictly about your character's goal. This is what is missing from your story. Take at look at The Brother's Grimm stories...I'm sure most, if not all characters have something they're after that is quite appartent from the beginning. Maybe I'm wrong. I haven't read anything by them, if I can recall correctly.

Anyways, my two cents is just that...two cents. Take it as you will.

Joseph


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tonkatough
Posted: January 15th, 2007, 6:01am Report to Moderator
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It's all good Joseph. It's all good. I thought your criique was very valid and I agree with you.  

Remember this isn't the first time we have exchanged script reviews on this website and I hope we continue to do so while we are both still wriitng.


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blackwrite
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The formatting is perfect. The dialogue is short, snappy and spot-on. The general writing is spare, clever and incisive. But the story is too linear. Of course, a monster story is simply find and kill Frankensten, sure. But aren't there always other things going on? subplots and whatnot?

Also, didn't get who the protagonist was and this started to annoy me. It was like you were introducing a new group of people every scene. I was beginning to wonder if this was the start of a Cecil B. DeMille epic.

And unless this is meant for Disney, I don't see how adults are supposed to find a "monster" who kills by tapping on the window interesting. I mean, the Cookie Monster, seems more scary than that.  If the "Sneaky Snatcher"  is a metaphor for something, I sure didn't get it.

Then again, I only read to page 15. I wanted to read more by just as I finished page 15, I heard this tapping on my window, see?

ricland
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