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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 7375 views)
James McClung
Posted: April 5th, 2007, 10:24pm Report to Moderator
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I don't understand why the two can't go hand and hand. I write for pleasure, first and foremost, but I do intend for my work to be produced. You can enjoy writing scripts and still make them sellable. There're easier ways of making money than selling scripts. If you're not personally invested in writing them, you might as well do something else.



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Ayham
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I read a couple of your scripts, Glen, and I really thought they were both very entertaining and well written. I see no reason for them not to get produced.

Many scripts in the unproduced section of this site are far more supersior to some of the ones that were produced, but I guess producing a script has certain politics to it that we don't know.

Vanessa in Sneaky Snatcher was just awesome...
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tonkatough
Posted: April 6th, 2007, 11:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
I hope maybe one day Don will add thread for those who want to make their script sellable vs writing for shear joy like you do. And I'm sure there are others here who feel the way you do and others who want it to be their profession rather hobby.


Ah gee, C'mon JD. that's a little bit arrogant don't you think?

It doesn't matter what the writers intent is, at the end of the day an unproduced script is still an unproduced script.



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sniper
Posted: April 8th, 2007, 4:57pm Report to Moderator
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Hi tonkatough,

I promised you a review of Sneaky Snatcher a few months ago and Iím sorry for taking so long. But here goes.

!!!SPOILERS!!!

I had a very tough time reading this script. The genre kept putting me off. I still donít know who your intended audience for this story is. Itís too violent to be a kids movie and itís way too sugarcoated to be a film for adults. It would probably work best as a childrenís movie, though you would need to tone down the violence a bit.

I get that itís basically a fairy-tale. Youíve got the familiar elements; the evil stepmother, the poor kids, the weak father, the magical creature and the wicked witch.

But for me it didnít work. Hereís why:

Story

I really liked the opening scene where we are first introduced to the Sneaky Snatcher. Itís confusing in a good way and I thought it was actually somewhat scary with the tapping on the window. Based on the opening, I thought this scripts was going to be sort of a kids detective story and I really looked forward to that. But then...

Enter the rabbit

And it totally fell apart for me. You introduce us to the Dawndales and Vanessa and from there on the story seemed to unfold at random. The fact the Bernard goes along with the fake kidnapping was so not believable. Iím a father of two myself and I donít care how crippled you are, a father would never go along with that - no matter what was at stake.

Another thing that I thought didnít make any sense, was the fact that Bernard had actually married Vanessa. I can understand your reason for him wanting/needing to marry Vanessa with the children and all, but why in the hell would she marry such a loser? That was never explained in the script.

After the two kids escape and the real Sneaky Snatcher turns up, Vanessa goes berserk and kills the Brinkles. That came on way too sudden to be believable.

Then you bring in Yulitza. Totally out of the blue. There was no real build up to her being/controlling the Sneaky Snatcher (or what ever the hell it is she does). From there on the story spiralled downwards. Why does she do the things she do? What is her motivation? She likes living dolls? Why? Did she have a child herself once that died? Was that her motivation for kidnapping the kids? Iím at a total loss here.

And what about the Sneaky Snatcher? What is that thing? Is it an actual person she can control or just some weird entity from the Ďpetrified forestí. This was such a let down.

It was obvious from the start the spirit of the dead mother was helping the kids but she finally appears at the end, she sort of just blows them off. Hi, kids - bey, kids.

And in the end the kids get send off to foster homes. Talk about an unhappy ending. Why not just kill them?

The Characters

Brice I liked. He was nicely written and came across very believable. The same with Jodi, except she acts and talks too much like a six year old to be a teen. Bernard was bland and uninteresting, a wimp basically. I actually hoped that he would die rather soon in the script so I didnít need to waste time reading about him.

Obviously, your intention was to make Vanessa evil. Well, you succeeded - and then some. I think you went over the top with her. You didnít have to make her THAT evil, it was too much on the nose. And as I stated before, I didnít buy how she went from evil stepmother to psycho killer.

What can I say about Yulitza. Other than she has some kind of mental power (not at all unlike Jean Grey from the X-Men), there isnít really any info on her in the script. She comes in too late in the story to make a real impact.

Dialog

The dialog was pretty good, I donít have any real problems here. The only thing that I didnít like was Angelaís dialog in the end. It was very stiff and cold and I donít think that that was your intention.

The Writing

Definitely the best thing about this script. I think your writing is strong, itís very visual, refreshing and inventive. I like your choice of words and the way you use them. Kudos - keep it up.

But be aware of only writing what we can see and hear. There were a couple of instances where you tell us how a character fells instead of showing it.

The action sequences were very well written and I thought the script was a fairly fast read. Another thing I think you nailed just right was the structure. I certainly felt that this was clearly divided into three acts and that is not always an easy thing to do.

Format

Iíve already mentioned some of this in my previous post, especially regarding dual dialog. Other than that I think you are pretty spot on here. But I didnít like they way you used POV and BACK TO SCENE. Sequences like that really slows down the pace and after a while they get somewhat annoying to read. Thatís a shame because itís so easy to write your way around a POV sequence.

I think you should stop using the SERIES OF SHOTS. It looks terrible and again slows everything down.

Well, thatís it for me. Iím sorry if itís sound like Iím taking a big shite on your script because that is not my intention. The story just didnít do it for me. It probably works for a lot of other readers - just not for me.


Cheers
Rob


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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JD_OK
Posted: April 8th, 2007, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough


Ah gee, C'mon JD. that's a little bit arrogant don't you think?

It doesn't matter what the writers intent is, at the end of the day an unproduced script is still an unproduced script.



No, I'm trying to be arrogant. Im for real tho.

Thread is like some ones to goes to take the script tp next level if they wanna have marketable script.

Questions in there regardin agents, production companies.  For people serious about their rewrites.

We dont have a thread like that here


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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tonkatough
Posted: April 8th, 2007, 7:52pm Report to Moderator
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Ah yes, I see what you mean in regards to agents and producers. I noticed there is a question section somewhere around here where people ask those kind of questions. So one does exist.

What would you call the thread? the rewrite thread? To a certain degree these threads already provide what you are suggesting. Having more threads will make things more complicated. Plus will create an elitist, hobbiest type hiearch system and would result in some writers feeling inadequte and will stop using this thread and then less people participate in this community and will have less people to read scripts.

You idea is valid JD,  but you have to be careful what you wish for.    


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Seth
Posted: April 17th, 2007, 3:33am Report to Moderator
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Tonka,

I thought I'd read maybe 50 pages tonight and then finish up tomorrow, but having gotten sucked into the story, I completed it in one sitting.

It's, imo, very good -- very interesting with many twists and turns. Right away, when Mrs. Jenkins asks, referring to the Sneaky Snatcher, if it tapped on anyone's window, I was drawn in, wondering what happens when it does tap on a window. I had my suspicions, but I wasn't certain. An excellent opening. One that, I think, would work well on screen.

I love what you did with Bernard. Him being an epileptic paraplegic adds a kind of layer, or texture that allows not only the character, but the story as well, to work.

Jodi, too, is interesting. I do, though, agree with Syrknows that, perhaps she should be younger. Still, given her near obsession with cats -- even going so far as to name her bunny, "kitty," I figure she's just eccentric. So 13's probably okay.

Brice fell a little flat for me. There wasn't anything about him that stood out.

Vanessa is an excellent villain. She serves her purpose well.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. Even so, I do have a couple of nits. First, I felt the sweatshop scene could be extended, showing the misery that Jodi and Brice surely would've had to endure while there. This, also, would serve to provide a more concrete reason for the two to escape. And secondly, along the same line, I would've liked to have seen the scenes with Yulitza extended -- for the same reason.

About the violence, I know different opinions have been posited. I'm not sure. For me, it works. It serves the story. Still, I'm not sure it's marketable. I couldn't, for example, tell you who it's targeted at. You're not interested in shopping this, anway, so, really, it's not an issue. That said, ultimately, I agree with you -- be true to yourself, write what you want. I have to say though, this things got legs. With a little tweaking, it could sell. Something to think about.

As for the ending -- I, agree with you, it is, in it's own way, a happy ending. The kids are free of the evil Vanessa, but leaving 'em in separate foster homes didn't sit well with me. My image of foster care, right or wrong, is of homes that aren't always the most loving of places.

Excellent job,

Seth





Scripts

Stranger Than Yesterday
Diplopia

And Sweetie XD


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dogglebe
Posted: May 20th, 2007, 10:34pm Report to Moderator
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I had a big problem with the story, Glenn.  The premise sounds like a fantasy, with a mythical creature kidnapping all the children.  And then you have a wicked stepmother.  And then there's the magical rabbit that helps Jodi and her family.

And then you end the fantasy with the sickly father and the kids being sold into slavery at the pirated DVD plant.  And the asian family.

And then you bring us back to fantasy-world with the witch.

This was a bad blend of fantasy and reality.  It would've worked so much better if you kept the fantasy level consistent through out the script.

I thought your characters need work.  You set them up to be bigger than life but, somehow, made them two dimensional.  Your introduction (physical description) of Brice led me to believe that he was a tough punk, but he had no substance.  I had no idea how old Jodi was supposed to be as her mannerisms and behavior kept changing.  You made Bernard to be extremely useless and full of self-pity.  Incidentally, you mentioned his epilespy about a dozen times before you showed him being an epileptic.  Don't tell us things; show them to us.  And Vanessa is too cartoony a viillain to be taken seriously.  If this story was more fantasy, she might work out better.

I recommend that you rewrite this, but make it more of a fantasy world.  Throw in some Grimm's characters and don't make it such a downer of a story.

Someone else mentioned your montages and that you should take them out; I agree.  They were disjointed and sometimes hard to read.


Phil
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dresseme
Posted: June 24th, 2007, 4:19pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry it's taken me a bit to get my review up.  I actually read your script about three days ago, but I needed to sit on it for a bit.  There was something I couldn't quite put my finger on about your script, and it wasn't until I read Phil's review above that I realized it.

What got me the most about your script was the mixing of reality and fantasy. I don't know if you've seen Pan's Labyrinth, but that film does a fantastic job of mixing the two.  And I think the reason it worked so well in that film was because it was a film of discovery.  A film where we were introduced to this fantastical world at the same time as the main character.  In your script, however, we're thrust into this world, and it's really jarring.  Also, no one ever really seems to be weirded out by all this crazy stuff happening around them.

For example, Kitty appears with no explanation whatsoever.  This bugged me.  And also, I agree with JDOK's comment before, that if you introduce this omnipotent force into your film, it creates a problem.  The characters are never in any real danger, because they've got a truly all powerful being with them.  So, whenever they're in danger, they say "Let's get Kitty to help us."

There's no question you've got an original mind (see Perplexity Grove), and it shows in this one too, but I think you had trouble balancing out your worlds.  

Also, some of your motivations are mixed up.  For instance, the kids are kidnapped voluntarily (to help their father) but then immediately want to escape and go home. How does this make sense?  They never even discussed it.

On the plus side, I loved your villain (the old woman).  Truly creepy.  That is definitely a scene I'd love to see played out.

Sorry to be so critical, but I'm just letting you know how I felt.   I didn't dislike the script, I just think it needs work.  Concentrate on character motivations and the blending of fantasy and reality.
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tonkatough
Posted: June 28th, 2007, 3:09am Report to Moderator
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Hey Dressel. Interesting opinion in regards to mixing reality with Fantasy. Your absolutly right in regards to Pan's Labyrinth plus I think this implys to just about every fantasy story from Wizard of OZ, Spirited Away, Beetlejuice, Labyrinth, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the list could go on and on and on. What they have all done is set up the hero in his/her own mudane world and gradually feed the fantasy into the story because they are two seperate worlds parraell to each other.

What I was trying to do with my script was create a world where fantasy exist in reality. There is no meshing of two worlds. fantasy is reality in my script.

Now I am not trying to defend my script cause I admit I stuffed up on this one, but I have noticed with the feedback that you have some people who slip easily into the fantasy elements of my script and except it while others are knocked out of the story by the fantasy protruding out of the reality they recognize as their own.  It is a fascinating reaction and my guess is it depends on what frame of mind the reader has when reading the script. A dreamer is going to react diffrently to this then would a realist if that makes sense.
  


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JD_OK
Posted: June 28th, 2007, 3:32am Report to Moderator
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Tonka- I havent read this in awhile, so I dont know if anything has changed but a REAl question poses since you want  'fantasy is reality' Why doesnt jodi ask the rabbit to create them money and take away mean vic?

If this rabbit can manifest food, surely it can make money....then no worries about government steppen in when they have money.


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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tonkatough
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Hey JD.

If the rabbit can manifest food then why can't it manifest money? The obvious answer would be because if it did and solved all the kids problems then you would have no drama and the story would have ended by page 10. But yeah I understand where you are coming from and you have made a very valid point.

One of the fundemental rules of fantasy is that it has to abide to very strict rules with in the story universe. I am guilty of not doing this as when coming up with the idea, I did not lay down any rules for rabbit magic and just created rabbit miricles that suited the story as it unfolded. I know better now.  

But with in the script it is obvious that the rabbit has limitations. It only manifest food and nothing else and bends the basic laws of physics- sort of.  So if the rabbit does not manifest anything else then that should be a clear indication that it can't do it.

But you are right that the rules and limitation of any magic and fantasy should be laid down in the story. But how is the best way to do it with out resorting to exposition or without making it obvious or distracting from the story?

I would love to hear your opinion on this and will except any advice cause I plan to write more fantasy one day and want to learn by my mistakes.  


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JD_OK
Posted: June 28th, 2007, 9:40pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough
Hey JD.

If the rabbit can manifest food then why can't it manifest money? The obvious answer would be because if it did and solved all the kids problems then you would have no drama and the story would have ended by page 10. But yeah I understand where you are coming from and you have made a very valid point.

One of the fundemental rules of fantasy is that it has to abide to very strict rules with in the story universe. I am guilty of not doing this as when coming up with the idea, I did not lay down any rules for rabbit magic and just created rabbit miricles that suited the story as it unfolded. I know better now.  

But with in the script it is obvious that the rabbit has limitations. It only manifest food and nothing else and bends the basic laws of physics- sort of.  So if the rabbit does not manifest anything else then that should be a clear indication that it can't do it.

But you are right that the rules and limitation of any magic and fantasy should be laid down in the story. But how is the best way to do it with out resorting to exposition or without making it obvious or distracting from the story?

I would love to hear your opinion on this and will except any advice cause I plan to write more fantasy one day and want to learn by my mistakes.  


Easy, simply just remove the manifestation part with the food, then there is no morewhat else it can conjure up question. It just uses plain witch magic for the rest OR add more depth to ur universe and come up with rules within the story.


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!



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dogglebe
Posted: June 28th, 2007, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough
What I was trying to do with my script was create a world where fantasy exist in reality. There is no meshing of two worlds. fantasy is reality in my script.


Unfortunately, it doesn't work.  When mixing reality and fantasy, you have to imagine a slide scale where fantasy is at one and reality is at ten.  Then you have to set it and keep it where it is.  With this script, your slide scale setting is constantly changing.

Imagine what would happen in the Harry Potter movies if Voldermort and Harry are fighting it out.  All the good wizard's are defeated, so Harry's by himself.  Things don't look good for him and it's only a matter of time before Voldermort overpowers him.

Suddenly, Harry pulls a Colt .45 from his shoulder holster and shoots Voldermort in the head, killing him.

That would suck, wouldn't it?


Phil

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tonkatough
Posted: June 29th, 2007, 7:36am Report to Moderator
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Yes dogglebe, that would suck as JK Rowling has taken seven novels to get to that moment so that is a hell of a lot of build up to one key scene. Do guns even exist in the Harry Potter universe?

But I see what you mean and thanks for the cool tip.

Harry Potter is one of those sort fantasy stories where you can only enjoy it for what it is, start to think really hard about it and start to question and you start to have problems with it.

Everytime I watch a Potter film I always wish they would kick those pesky kids to the corner leave Hogwarts and have the story follow the adults around- they seem so much more interesting and I would love to know what the hell a full fledge wizard does with all that magical power?


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