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  Author    Sneaky Snatcher  (currently 7374 views)
Don
Posted: December 3rd, 2006, 2:57pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Sneaky Snatcher by Glenn Bresciani (tonkatough) - Adventure - A captive little girl, whose stepmother profits on her fake kidnapping at the hands of an elusive creature, struggles to escape before the creature hunts her down for real. 104 pages - pdf, format


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Alex J. Cooper
Posted: December 3rd, 2006, 10:49pm Report to Moderator
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I've begun reading.

SPOILERS

First of all you have a great intro. It does a excelenty job of showing how infamous the sneaky snatcher is among people. the intro is plenty scary and sets the mood for the rest of the script. It's also very fast paced and seems to me it could have been a few pages longer.

I was suprised you showed the Sneaky Snatcher so early. It doesnt damage the character in anyway but i just expected him to be more elusive.

"In the f.g?" whats f.g?

In any other script i'd question the rabbits powers, but in this script is seems fitting since it is an interpretation of a fairy tale.

On the technical side of things, how does 'INSERT' apply? what's its use?

Wow, i hate Vanessa already. You can sure create hatable characters.

In the first 20 pages you've set the plot. I have to stope there for now because i have work soon but i'll read the rest tonight. So far the script is looking great and i look forward to finishing it.


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Alex J. Cooper
Posted: December 4th, 2006, 11:58am Report to Moderator
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And i'm back reading.

Hahahahaha. Sandra Sully.

b.g.? Background?

"JODI
You think they'll be okay?
BRICE
Yeah. They'll be fine."

Climbing Barbwire fences in a detention centre.... I know that sounds harsh but thats what i instantly thought of what would really happen. I hope you tell what happens to them at the end.

Stopping at page 63 becuase theres a doco about The Yardbirds on, but i'm really enjoying it. I'll finish it tomorrow for sure and i'll give you a proper review.


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tonkatough
Posted: December 4th, 2006, 11:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Mr. Cooper.  Thank you for reading and I am pleased you are enjoying the script. It means i am doing my job right as a writer.

To answer your questions f.g = Foreground. b.g = Background.

As describe in my trusty Elements of style for screenwriting book  an Insert is:

"Used when the writer wishes to focus attention on a object for a very specific reason. It is a shot within a shot"

Look forward to reading your final review and that's two I now owe you. I'll start with one of your short scripts and then your feature script when it is finished. That is a promise.


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Alex J. Cooper
Posted: December 5th, 2006, 11:38am Report to Moderator
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I've finished Sneaky Snatcher and i thoroughly enjoyed it. Through the whole script i could picture nearly every scene and that series of shots thing is very effective, i may have to start using it myself.

Your dialogue is spot on throughout the script. There's no cliche lines which is refreshing, except the seargent talking about irony treads the thin line. I think if i could play one character in this script it would be Male Nurse. He just seems like a cool Aussie bloke who asks no questions.

Sneaky Snatcher had so many antagonists. Each with their own agenda which i thought made the story more layered and action packed. Vanessa was my favorite, Her spite was portrayed very well through her dialogue and her always ominous actions.

I enjoyed the fact that Aussie slang was often used and that some of the characters acted in a way familiar to me. I related to the script more and enjoyed it more overall.

This seems like a childrens script with a twist. It has a lot of different qualities from opposite ends of the spectrum. The story has the imagination and innocents you'd find in many childrens movies but there are lots of mature type moments. The Sneaky Snatcher himself seems to me like the same kind of dummy as that of the Saw movies, so very spooky. And as for the news crew, well you'd never see that in a childrens movie.

My one arguement with Sneaky Snatcher is the ending. I remeber thinking the samething with your last script. They both have such bittersweet endings. Though it suits your last script, this script NEEDS a happy. Like all fairy tales, it should end 'happily ever after'. IMO, i would have loved to see the Angela use one final bit of magic on Bernards legs before she vanishes into the Heavens. And maybe the money Vanessa had in the gym bags appear before him, Brice and Jodi.

In conclusion, your writing has strengthened since your last script. You've created a great script that is original in it's perspective. I look forward to reading your future work.

One last thing of a technical matter:

YULITZA (O.C.)? is this a spelling error or is O.C. another technical abbreviation i dont know?


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sfpunk
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I am reading your script right now and so far I'm enjoying. It has a very unique plot and you have an excellent way of describing things without getting too wordy. I can picture all the scenes in my head and have a great sence of who the characters are and how their lines would be delivered were it a movie.

The only negative thing so far is that I feel you say too many things in dailogue that a normal person wouldn't say. They seem like information dumps and there have been a few times where it distracted me from the story you have going on. I plan to read this through once to get a good idea for the story and give you feedback on that. I should have taken notes as it'll take me a while now to find the exact dialogue quotes I am talking about but if I see anymore (I'm at page 31 right now) I will point them out. You or others may not even agree with me but so far it's the only bad thing I've noticed in what is shaping up to be a very interesting read.
Alex already said he liked your dialogue and I do too and I will agree there are no cliche parts but there are some parts that seem like info dumps and out of place.


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tonkatough
Posted: December 6th, 2006, 3:25am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Alex for your kind review and for keeping it spoiler free by not revealing any of the suprise revelations and plot twists and not spoiling it for other readers.

To answer your question, (O,C.) means off camera. It means the character is not on screen when they are talking.

SFpunk thanks for reading my script. I look forward to your explanation of my dialouge being info dumps. A lot of people have reviewed my scripts posted here so far and you are the first to say this. You have me very intrigued and I like to hear every ones perspective on my scripts. it helps one grow as a writer.

Plus I am pleased you have reviewed my script cause you have solved my dilema of which script to review next. I will start reading your Trial Of Ashes and post a review

A review deserves a reivew.    


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sfpunk
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Yes, Like I said it may be a personal thing that is no big deal and I may just envision the lines being said like you didn't mean them to be said. For example the conversation with the Dad and the Son where they kind of explain why the dad can't divorce vanessa seemed like a way off just explaining that rather than showing it through something. It can be done through dialogue but that one particular instance just seemed to throw it out there and I saw it as an info dump. It's not a big deal as your dialogue for the most part is tight and well done but just little things like that.

Secondly, you have characters talk to themselves alot which I also find to be a pet peeve of mine although ultimately it works on screen but when the Dad says "I'm So helpless" or something to that extent it just seems weird theyd say that out loud. We can see he's helpless and an actor should be able to imply that from a look rather than saying something out loud that a normal person probably wouldn't say.

That's my explanation of what I meant in the first post, I'm still working on this script and will have a review by the end of the week. Sorry I'm having to read it in parts but it's getting towards finals weeks and I'm reading scripts here as a break from studying.

As for reading my script, I appreciate your offer but if you have other things to read don't worry about it. It's my first script that I feel has too many plot holes to be fixed. If you do read it which would be appreciated, try to keep your comments to things such as formatting and general scripts things such as character development and dialogue rather than story issues. I feel that it was a good idea but will never be executed well enough to warrant a re-write. However, writing techniques are always nice to have.


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Steve-Dave
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Hey Tonka, got some for ya.

S
  P
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A pet peeve of mine is naming the person's home before they get a proper introduction.

Should probably just spell out foreground and background or tell what happens in the description without being so technical. (ex. Mac points to the barbed wire fence enclosing the compound.)

I really liked the idea of the rabbit who finds the food for them, and that they naemed it Kitty is just priceless. I liked the "does he sound like Bugs Bunny" remark too.

top pg 13 - I didn't really like the line "Venessa's the only thing keeping this family together."

Jodi seems like she should be younger than 13, maybe 9, 10 or even 11 would be more what I can swallow her being more easily. Maybe that's just me though.

Having the kids making DVD covers struck me as funny for some reason.

Are there supposed to be subtitles when the Indonesians speak? Cuz you put "Kota and Minjing beg Brice to go back to work in their own language. They are afraid." However, we wouldn't know what they were saying in the movie.

Put "to" when it should be "too". one was when Mac or Dave got a beer, and another on pg 39, and another one earlier. Doesn't really matter, but thought I'd mention it anyways.

I also thought the escape sequence ran a little longer than I felt it had to. It kinda made the script drag a bit there I thought.

But I like where this is going so far, a lot's happened so far than I expected. But I like Kitty, and you do a great job af making Vanessa a real bitch. I'm a little more than halfway finished, I'll have the rest for you soon.


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Alex J. Cooper
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Quoted from tonkatough

To answer your question, (O,C.) means off camera. It means the character is not on screen when they are talking.


Fair enough, i use O.S. (off screen) instead. Are they both acceptable or is there a more widely accepted one?


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tonkatough
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First up Alex. Yeah OC and OS are the same. the only reason  iuse OC is because of habit.

Sryknows. Thanks for reading. yeah I knew  the age of the children was gonna become an issue. I agonized over the age of brice and Jodi before I submitted. But I left Jodi at age 13 because I was worried that if I made her younger readers would criticize me for having a kid that was to smart to be a kid. and not a very realistic portrayal of a child. Oh well.

Nah I didn't intend there to be subtitles for the indonesians. I am guessing that visually speaking the body language and facial expression would be a rough idea of what is being said.

I'll look into the escape seqence. thanks for pointing it out. I don't like having things drag out.  I would rather nip that bad habit in the bud so i can cut out the dead wood and put in more story to the very limited page limit of a script

I look forward for your comments on the second half of the script.
  


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Steve-Dave
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finished!

S
  P
   O
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         S.....................................................................................

First off, I'm a bit confused as to why the kids would attempt to escapre from the sweatshop when a) they agreed to it in the first place, and b) why would they risk messing up Vanessa's plan and then going to a foster home? I think It'd make more sense if they just come to the realization that She'd never really bring them back and then go for the escape

And I think 10 is a good age for Jodi. Brice seems like he's 14 though, so that's all good I think.

I am also confused as what your target audience is for this. There was an instance early on where you refrained from cursing, substituting "stuff" in the place of a curse word, yet this is a very violent script, and actually have deaths in it. So, maybe you should just go the full nine and either make this more designed for adults, or tone down the violence a little.

I really liked the cabinets of kids and yulitza and her tea party fettish. That was pretty cool and well done.

bottom pg 89 - "won't allow myself to be beaten by a paraplegic". I think you reiterate that hes paraplegic too much, so I'd suggest using that and calling him a cripple more sparingly so that it has more effect when it is used, so the insult will be more harsh.

What became of the witch? Wouldn't she continue snagging kids? Maybe she should just die.

Escape sequences, I think all of them ran a little long. the sweatshop, the sequence when the snatcher killed the film crew and they got away from mac and vanessa, and when the kids were running away from the witch I think all ran a little too long. However, I think that's because I just don't like reading a whole lot of description, and prefer more dialogue rich scripts. so that may account for why I find them so tedious, so don't be too discouraged, it's probably just a style difference, and would probably be just fine on screen. You decide.

Replace f.g. and b.g.directions with more clever lingo. Like "in the distance" or "Jodi rides by a missing picture as she continues down the street." f.g. and b.g. takes us out of the story.

The last few pages of the ending, I didn't really like. I think they should stay with their father, and the dialogue between the kids didn't really seem too good. With all the magic that goes on, I'd think it would make more sense if Bernard's legs were fixed somehow and he gets to stay with his children. Perhaps even a wish with the ornament that the mother grants??? And if the mother can make herself appear to the kids, why didn't she just do that in the first place?

In conclusion, I liked it. the description I found tedious at times, and a few things I think could be better, but this was a really cool story with some interesting elements and concepts and really really great characters. This had a real "The Witches" quality to me (if I had to compare it to something) A very good effort. I love the feeling that you create with your writing. There is always a really cool, dreamlike fantasy feeling you give us, and is usually with all the small details you provide that account for a lot. Kitty, Jodi's ears, her drawings, the goat mask, the witch's house, it creates a very cool mood. and the description, though very abundant in this, are very well written and moves really quickly. nice job Glenn!


"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd" - George Carlin
"I have to sign before you shoot me?" - Navin Johnson
"It'll take time to restore chaos" - George W. Bush
"Harry, I love you!" - Ben Affleck
"What are you looking at, sugar t*ts?" - The man without a face
"Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death." - Exodus 31:15
"No one ever expects The Spanish Inquisition!" - The Spanish Inquisition
"Matt Damon" - Matt Damon
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Martin
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Hey tonka,

I've read up to page 50. My weekend was a little busier than expected but I should have a full review for you tomorrow.

I really like it so far. Great premise, good characters and I like your writing style. I'll hold off on detailed comments until I've given it a thorough read.

Good stuff so far.
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mcornetto
Posted: December 11th, 2006, 6:29am Report to Moderator
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It was interesting, creative and an entertaining read but it had some issues.  I didn’t think the main characters were developed enough and as a matter of fact by the end, and especially at the end, I didn’t like Jodi and Brice. Their flippant attitude toward the foster home was a bit of a turn off.

Another persistent problem seemed to be your surprise factor. If you are going to surprise us, in order to make it believable, you have to clue us in on that surprise.  Give us some knowledge we can use to really appreciate the surprise.

Your dialogue and your supporting characters were excellent though.  I loved the evil stepmum, the snivelling sick dad, and the wicked old witch and her living dolls. Even the sneaky snatcher was an interesting character.

pg 6

typo to should be too.

pg 29

I question whether you should use Sandra Sully. I think you should use Mary Stevens.

typo except should be accept (twice)

pg 31

typo well than should be well then

pg 35

Does he sound like Bugs Bunny?  This statement sounds out of character for Brice.

Brice believes Jodi a bit too easily.

This doesn't work. Some indication should have been made earlier that Kitty has special powers. Jodi did not need to see Kitty do it but Kitty should have done it earlier in order to make it believable now.

pg 40
telekinetic kitty?  This isn't going to work either unless you clue us in earlier.

pg 43
Mum's ghost! - give us some earlier clues PLEASE!!!  Like maybe when evil step mum is breaking the angels, have kitty cause a disturbance.

pg 63
Vanessa would have blood on herself too

pg 66
Please guardian angel make my shot true. This should be a reference to something that occurred earlier.  How does she know the angel will do this? Did she read it in a book?  We need to know how she knows the qualities of guardian angels in her universe.

pg 71
Two men are dead?  I must have missed that.

pg 72
I never got the impression Brice didn't believe her.

pg 82
typo to should be too.

pg 93
I do not believe Jodi again. How does she know her Mums spirit is in the sneaky snatcher?  What told her?  I can’t tell this and I can see more than she can.

pg 97
coarse should be course.
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Martin
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Okay, I finished your script.

I really enjoyed it. You have a great imagination and you’ve written a unique adventure story that draws from classical fairy tales and utilizes archetypes to great effect. For example, the wicked step-mother, the kind but helpless father. I thought the relationship between the siblings Brice and Jodie was the highlight of this script. Yes, they did sound a little young at times, but you have a knack for writing children and I’d hazard a guess that you have kids of your own.

Your writing is very good. There were a few typos in there, most of which have been pointed out in other reviews. The most common one is “to” when you should have “too.” I’d go through the script using CTRL + F to find these errors and fix them.

I love the intro. The story begins at a fast pace and sets up the mythology behind the Sneaky Snatcher very effectively.

The introduction to your central characters works well, too. And contrary to what a previous poster has said, there are plenty of clues as to Kitty’s identity so the revelation later on made sense in the context of the story.

I’m not sure why you have the kids agree to go along with Vanessa’s plan. In one sense it shows that they care about their father, but it also makes there decision to escape the sweat shop less plausible. If it were me, I’d have the kids initially agree to her plan, then get scared at the mention of chloroform and back out. Then have Vanessa forcibly subdue them. Incidentally, where did she buy the chloroform? It doesn’t seem like something you could pick up in the local supermarket, even in the fantasy world in which your story takes place.

I like the scenes at the sweat shop and I enjoyed Kitty’s part in the escape. My only issue with this sequence is that you have a fair amount of screen time with no focus on the Sneaky Snatcher. Maybe you could intercut some of these scenes with some more images of the Sneaky Snatcher stalking Vanessa while she makes deals with the press.

I was taken aback when the reporter and the news crew were killed. This is essentially a fairy tale, a story that both children and adults would enjoy. I don’t see how these killings enhance your story at this point, but they would probably limit the audience if this film ever gets made. Same goes for Vanessa stabbing people later on. It really feels out of place for a story like this and I’m not sure it adds too much to your story.

Having reached the end of the script, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to kill anyone to make this story work. Obviously it’s your story, but my suggestion would be to remove the killings and just have them injured. It would make your script more kid-friendly, which I think it should be. You could also cut down on the blood a little. Of course, it’s up to you but that’s my gut feeling.

I just love the scenes with Yulitza. Extremely creepy, suspenseful and fun at the same time. I especially love the dynamic between the siblings in this scene. “C’mon! She’s just an old woman!” Haha.

I also like the intercutting with Bernard attempting to Vanessa in the hospital. You bring your two primary conflicts to a head simultaneously and it’s very effective.

The very end is something of a let down. By all means have the kids in foster care, but I also think you should end with them visiting their father. Keep the family together. I don’t understand why you have them in separate foster homes either.

All in all, a very entertaining and original story.
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tonkatough
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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.



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mgj
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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
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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
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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tonkatough
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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James McClung
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SPOILERS...

- I would lose these SERIES OF SHOTS. They don’t seem to add anything to the scene. I think it would have the same effect without them.

- I would also lose the split dialogue. It’s disorienting. You might try MRS JENKINS/MR JENKINS or MRS/MR JENKINS instead. This pops up later. Try to fix it.

- Jodi’s description is too detailed. It’s unnecessary to mention her hair is shoulder length or that she still has her puppy fat. These kinds of descriptions pop up later as well, namely when the Mac and Dave characters is introduced. Cut them down some.

- I don’t understand this scene with Kitty at all. Where did all this food come from? Who does it belong to? What is Kitty’s role in retrieving it? It seems to me Brice and Jodi could very well have gotten it for themselves. It doesn’t make sense.

- You can lose this scene with Bernard watching TV. There’s no information the news report gives that hasn’t already been given.

pg. 21 – “No doubt this is the Sneaky Snatcher.” Exactly. No need to mention it. Lines like this serve no purpose. I’d scan for more of them.

pg. 22 – Bernard says “I believe you, son.” Didn’t Bernard say earlier the Sneaky Snatcher was just a hoax? Of course, Bernard will believe his son but I think he’d want more than what Brice initially says. Have him ask questions. “What did it look like?” You don’t need much but I just don’t find it realistic that Bernard wouldn’t question his son, even just a little. If anything, Bernard wouldn’t want to believe his son, at first, for Jodi and Melinda’s sake, just as he mentioned earlier.

pg. 29 – “I accept your offer.”

- Kitty speaks Indonesian? This is just silly. It would make more sense for the Indonesians to understand English. I mean, they had to understand some in order to understand Mac and Dave’s orders and operate the computer software. Perhaps they could even speak a little. It’d be broken English, of course, but still. I think you’d be better off having Brice explain the plan and have the Indonesians understand the first time around.

pg. 41 – Again, I don’t think the SERIES OF SHOTS works well here. It’s not an issue of formatting to me so much as a misuse of the convention. It you have lots of separate events going on at the same time, it works well. Here, everything flows nicely. There’s no need for a SERIES OF SHOTS when several things occur all in the same place, for example, the truck. I don’t mind the use of it so much but I think you should be more economic in using it and, more importantly, know when it’s appropriate to use it.

- I understand now that Kitty has special powers. Sorry. Took me awhile to catch on. In any case, I think this should be mentioned when Kitty is first introduced or, at least, shortly there after.

- Why do Jodi and Brice decide to reveal themselves to Vanessa? They really have nothing to gain from doing so. Even if they were caught trying to avoid her, I don’t understand what they were doing in the lounge in the first place. I think you need to explain their actions somehow.

- Why does Vanessa choose a butter knife as her weapon of choice? I assume it’s meant to be comedic but it doesn’t make sense. Someone like Vanessa would probably want the sharpest knife in the kitchen. This isn’t a comedy so there’s no need for this kind of absurdity. Lose the butter knife.

pg. 69 – You’ve already described the lounge room after it was destroyed. No need to reiterate.

- Mom? Guardian angel? Which one is it? Jodi and Brice keep switching between the two. Pick one and stick with it.

pg. 89 – “You want me to beat you to death with a mop?” This line is unintentionally comical IMO. I’d rephrase it.

pg. 91 – “Um... dah! I am about to kill you.” This line is also unintentionally comical. It also sounds out of character. Vanessa’s character doesn’t seem to regard anything she does as wrong. I think rather than admitting to attempting to kill her husband, she’d try to make some sort of excuse or insult, no matter how ludicrous in the context of what she’s doing.

- How did Vanessa miss Bernard not landing in the parking lot? Certainly, she would want to see the impact. You know, to be sure he’s dead. I’d fix this. It doesn’t change much but it just rings false that Vanessa would simply assume Bernard was dead.

pg. 97 – Why does Angela say she has something urgent to tell her children only to say a moment later they’ve already figured it out. This exchange is rather awkwardly written and feels rushed. I’d go over it.

Anyway, regardless of the amount of comments I've laid on you, I thought this was an excellent read. Very much like a modern day fairy tail but with a very distinct style to it. Although the plot was completely different, I saw similarities in this to Perplexity Groove. Amongst them, unique characters who are a little quirky manage to find themselves in totally far out situations. Definitely an original piece of work with a wide array of styles and tones throughout. From mystical and fantastic with the guardian angel subplot to dark and sinister with Ulitza. The whole while, however, I felt it was very well rounded.

I have no additional suggestions or advice. This worked very well for me. All I'd say is see to the comments I've left then I think you'd be in excellent shape.

Great job, Glenn!


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tonkatough
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A butter knife! Butter knife! When I read that my eyes nearly popped out of my head from shock. Could I be so stupid to write something like that by mistake? I quickly went through my script to check and written down was in fact "bread" knife. Which by the way is the biggest bladed knife in a knife set.

But still the thought of trying to kill someone with a butter knife is bizzare and would be very messy and exert a lot of energy. It would probably take about 200 jabs just to kill a person and I'd bet only half of them would penetrate. The attacker would be exhausted after doing that many thrusts. And I guess the victim would only die eventualy after bleeding out every last drop of blood from their stab wounds- if they where lucky enough to have their main artery servered.

Not a nice way to die.  

Thank you for reading and I will keep a look out for any future scripts you post here on SS.    


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James McClung
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My mistake about the butter knife. I don't know how I could've interpretted that wrong. I mean, "bread knife" was right there. I guess I was thinking about the butter knife in Perplexity Groove. I don't know why. I guess bread and butter are just commonly associated with each other. That's the only way I think I could have made the connection.

In any case, you didn't have a "butter knife." So again, my bad. Hope the rest of my review was helpful, at least.


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tonkatough
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Yes your review was very helpful and will make me think more carefully about any rewrites I do plus future scripts I will wirte.

Thanks james.


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datha
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Hi Glann,

It was fast and nice to read. Like your previous script this also was very visual. The spite of my bad English I “sow” everything very well in my head.

So I think DESCRIPTION was good. I was particularly fascinated by the first 5 pages! Something strange and dangerous was in a suburb and all the neighbors were chasing it! It was a great opening, better than E.T. (for me) because it was not set in the forest (the place where you can expect anything) but it was set in the suburb!

FORMAT also was good. They say that you can’t use the P.O.V.’s  in spec scripts but (I don’t use them) I don’t think it’s a problem if you still do them.

CHARACTERS: Vanessa is a good antagonist. She’s described well (probably better than any other). Her goal is clear and matches with her character. All another antagonists (Mac, Dave, Old lady…) also seem Ok to me.

The characters of the siblings also seemed to me quite good. Their goal was to take care of their father. You clearly stated it, but how? I don’t see how they wanted to do it.

The children speak and behave… inconstantly. Sometimes they can say something very intelligent and then they can do something very stupid, so…I can’t say much more about them.

I had a problem with Bernard. It seems like he knows Vanessa very well, it seems like he knows she does not like his children and still… I think mgj had good suggestion about him and Vanessa. I know you wanted to create a drama atmosphere by showing Bernard so vulnerable and week. I did not like the fact that he participates in Vanessa’s scam. (I understand that he does not do it voluntarily but still…)

I would like better if you could make him unaware of Vanessa’s plans. I think, like this, he could get more sympathy toward him from the audience.

Example: Vanessa puts something in his glass and makes him to asleep. Then she does what she did, she chloroforms Brice and his sister (by using the force!) and when Bernard wakes up Vanessa says him that his children were kidnapped by Sneaky Snatcher.

Like this, the siblings will have more clear reason to escape from the sweatshop in order to reveal Vanessa’s cruelty and to show to their father who Vanessa is in reality. (I’m sorry again for my poor English but I hope you get the idea what I’m talking about)

STORY: I never heard about Sneaky Snatcher before and I find it a really creepy story for children.  This story combined with the story about an ugly stepmother is a very good and very marketable idea.

So I liked it, but I think, like some another readers, that killing people in children’s movie is a very hard thing to be accepted by audience. I agree that there is a lot of violence in the movies, but the children movies are another, different thing, you can break all their bones but better if you don’t kill them.

DIALOG: Most of the dialog was fine. Still there where the places where I thought it could be less informative. Example:

                                     BRICE
                    Welfare’s never gonna let an epileptic
                    paraplegic raise two teenagers dad…

We see later that Bernard takes the peels, we see also that he has an epileptic attack. So I think you could make it shorter, something like that:
                                      
                                      BRICE
                  In your state?! Welfare’s never goona let
                  you to raise us…

GRAMMAR: The spite my poor English I remarked a few typos (which I did not in your first screenplay) I think it is an early draft and after revision you will correct them.

STRUCTUR: You know my opinion about the structure. Sneaky Snatchers structure was faire, I can’t complain about it.

You managed well to make good successions of the actions. My favorite was the opening where the neighbors were trying to catch Sneaky Snatcher. Another episode’s (The sibling escaping from sweatshop, escaping from Sneaky Snatcher, from old lady) also were good but the opening was GREATER.

I did not like the end, I preferred to see Brice and his sister with their father (like another readers suggested)

After reading both your scripts I have impression that you are a good screenwriter who has good stile of telling the stories and who always tries to write something original, something that stands alone from another insipid screenplays.

I wish you good luck and I will read all your future scripts on this board.
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Ayham
Posted: February 4th, 2007, 1:20pm Report to Moderator
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Tonka, just started reading your story and here are some early thoughts...

Loved how you started your story with some night action, pulled me to the story right through..

I like how you used a one-word scene heading. I do the same (Backyard, Back of house)

By the way when you use those make sure you tap the Scene Heading in Final Draft so the program knows it's a scene heading and your formatting will remain on course... As I go along I'm starting to notice few spacing problems especially in your scene headings, they don't seem to be spaced out correctly... Which writing software do you use?

Page 5, Mr. Jenkins burst into tears too quickly before taking the time to search for his son in a different room maybe?

Nice descriptions over all.

Cat named Slotty?? Haha

(Series of shots) well organized.

" Bernard paints on a sheet of canvas stretched on a frame " I like this.

" Brice stiffens mid-bite on his drumstick " And this.

Nice depiction of characters, their looks are spot-on with their behaviors... Jodi and her cat ear head band, her brother and the six earrings in one ear. He acts and talks stupid, she acts like an innocent little girl... their dialogue match their looks... Good.

I laughed when the Vanessa character was introduced and when she says to Bernard that she has a plan to get them rich and then says "you're a dead weight cripple"  I kind of imagined the careless way she's saying it and thought it was funny, then says " that pension is as useless as you are"... so up till this point in the story she's my favorite!
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Ayham
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More thoughts...

Jodi quivers with dread… Nice!

Page 18: Vanessa… if she knew how careless you (where=were) with them.

Vanessa is very well written, still cracking me up! “ You’re useless cripple! Go wheel yourself into the corner and stay there”  haha Very good.. Bad Vanessa!! But I love her.. Hey I wonder if this is my type of woman actually. I don’t know!!

“ Brice leaps out of the square of illumination” I like this

Hey maybe Vanessa needs to work harder on the kids to sniff the chloroform… They shouldn’t be convinced that quickly..


Anyways, I'm really enjoying this one so far... Like I said, you really did a good job on Vanessa. I can just visualize this woman as I'm reading, she's weird and creepy but she also does that with a kind of a hidden sense of humor that I find very appealing and keeps me wanting just to hear her talk...good job so far I'm having fun.

I'm stopping at this point, need to go for a jog ( I time it as the same time this cute neighbor of mine goes for her jog, but I stop after 3 minutes and she flies, but I need to keep trying)

I'll continue reading later in the evening after Super Bowl.

Cheers

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Ayham
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Moving on...

Bernard is to=too repulsed to reply.

Page 27 when the teens are carried away by Mac and Dave across the front lawn, shouldn�t they be covered so the neighbors don't see them?

Page 36 as the kids hatch out an escape plan. Didn't understand why. They agreed to go with Vanessa's plan didn't they? So why try to escape? Especially that not enough time had elapsed yet after their disappearance and they didn't suffer at all. Maybe they should decide to escape after few days because of the very hard work and bad treatment from Mac and Dave?

Page 41, I don't think you need a Series of shots here, just make it a normal action scene, I think it reads and flows better, which takes me back to page 37. The kids need to include the Truck Driver during the planning of the escape, he should be their main concern, and then comes the fact that Brice can't drive a truck, but isn't it a bit strange that a teenager can't drive a truck?

OK that truck thing is not working for me. The Indonesian man grabbing a handful of the driver and throwing him out, somehow I can't picture this. Boat people spend very long days in the sea with barely any food and water, and they have it even worse at a sweatshop, so for him to "grab" a truck driver and throws him out need to be reworked somehow. That whole plan and the reason for it need to reworked, I don't see a good reason for the kids to escape. And that whole business with Kitty the Rabbit is also confusing. If I had a rabbit or anything with these amazing magical powers, I'd ask him to tell me what the lottery numbers would be for the next draw and I'd be a millionaire, don't you think.........I take that back now after I finished the story, you explained it!... and it works...

Page 48 when the kids go back home and see the news truck, shouldn't there be a crowd of people watching? I don't know. That's usually the case.

Page 91..Bernard: I want a divorce.. Vanessa: Duh! I'm about to kill you...and then she says: Fine! We're divorced.....Nice!

Finished.

I like your story and I can see it easily made into a children's adventure. You're a good storyteller by the way and you knew how to create an atmosphere very suitable for your story.

This story can be easily made with low budget and will make a very entertaining kids adventure, which is your target audience I'm assuming.

I write a lot about children by the way and that's what made me like your story, two of my screenplays are about children. Check out my " Mirrors of The Nile " screenplay one day when you have time, I think this story is right up your alley, Tonka.

All in all, great work. I enjoyed this story alot and you wrote it so well. You're very good with dialogue and all your characters sounded they way they should.

Good job
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tonkatough
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Take your time JD. I've just started another script I promised to review then I'll get stuck into yours as promised.

I love the review system. fair go for everyone.


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sniper
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Hi tonkatough,

I'm about 20 pages into 'Sneaky Snatcher' and I just wanna drop the first part of my review.

!!SPOILERS!!

I find it quite entertaining and fast-paced. It's nicely set-up and mysterious. Definitely grabbed my attention from the get go. Nice work on the opening scene, though it is somewhat predictable, you added a little something extra with the tapping on the window. That was pretty creepy and I can't wait for you to tell me more about the Sneaky Snatcher.

I don't really have any suggestions regarding the story so far (though I did find the rabbit sequence a tad weird), my only concerns relate to structure and format.

In the opening sequence there's a lot of MAN# and WIFE#. You should probably just give them names. I found it a bit confusing reading this part because it was difficult to remember who and where MAN#3 was. Also, as a reader, I didn't really relate to them.

Capitalizing the dialog and putting an ! at the end of it, isn't that sort of a double effect - it means the same thing. I wouldn't cap the dialog - just use the ! at the end (which you do later on in the sequence).

Dual dialog is tricky. I've also tried doing it and it doesn't look good. The part where Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins scream 'Noooooo', I would probably just do it like this:

MR. JENKINS/MRS. JENKINS
Nooooo!

The other part where you use dual dialog, the characters are not saying the same thing. I would do that part like this:

MR. JENKINS
Chad! Open the door!

MRS. JENKINS
(overlapping)
Chad! Chad!

That's what I got so far. Will read on now.

Continue the good work.


Cheers
Rob


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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JD_OK
Posted: February 11th, 2007, 5:34pm Report to Moderator
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Mr and mrs needs a period after

interesting so far.... at page 5. im pretty tired and i dont know how much more im going to read tonight.

Actually your description are too wordy. Need to simplify more.

Remove telling in description. Things that can't be filmed. lines like this "No doubt this is the Sneaky Snatcher" shouldnt be in description line

I'm really not buying the reason you give for them staying with Vanessa. These children are above the age ten and can wipe themselves.
So this whole welfare would allow them to be under his care is kinda doesnt work. I meanhe has money to provde since he gets a disability pension.
Also another reason this doesnt work for me is you have created a fantasy world, where a sneaky snatcher kidnapschildren by tappin on the window.
A rabbit that manifests food. Yet they face a non fantasy welfare threat with just them leaving with their REAL father. Your excuse doesnt fit the realm you have created. Just my opinion.

avoid the use of "suddenly" in your action, as it actually has the opposite effect. Write action so it comes across as sudden.

You are over doing the point of views. You can write it so it come across as their POV

pg 32.. you need brief description b4 any dialog when you enter a scene

why doesnt kitty just look for a way out? If this rabbit can stack DvD cases, why cant get just create a way for them to escape?

I sure hope you explain this magical rabbit and why bernard married such a mean woman...looking forward to it in the next 60 pages

********************************************************
Mangled dead bodies, Vanessa kills the neighbors? man, you have one twisted about movie here. The Theme of your story shifts way to much.
How did vanessa even know which neighbor had the kids?

"Is kitty doing this?" I think this line is repetitive

you switch back and forth from yulitza to witch

all this violence in the hospital is going unoticed...hard to chew

You have way to much casual talking when "death" is on the line

You name specific people, which their name is never given in dialog. example indonesion family, yulitza

How does a spirit go from a living rabbit to a fake doll "sneaky snatcher" and what makes Jodi realize this?

What?! Mum just comes to say look after your dad? I didnt have to save you I just did for fun.... this doesnt make sense.
She could told them this at the very beginning with jodi talked to the rabbit.

Why is the dad ratting out on himself? It could takes months even years b4 they would find out, then they would take them away if that is the case.

Yultiza never being caught.... No explaination of this powers, by the witch or powers from a ghost.

There is a story here and very imaginative, but is in need of a REWRITE. Plot/structure/character motives/theme

The last 20 pages felt like a cop out to me none the less. You do a big build up of the mom with a terrible let down. "Okay, you wont see me anytime soon" ???

I'm not saying its terrible bad, nor am I saying terribly great. Just needs a overhaul done, so every action taken has a purpose and things come full circle. I know thats not what you would like to here, but it's just MY honest opinion. Take it for what it is worth if you agree with it.

Good luck buddy!


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!



Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
JD_OK  -  February 16th, 2007, 3:38am
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Scoob
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I dont know what to expect with this, Tonka. Im not an expert writer ( as you have had the unpleasant experience of finding out) but I will read pretty much anything and it is part of our deal. Im also looking forward to reading something outside my normal horror zone which I keep myself trapped in.

Well, I've had a few vodkas and I dont know what to expect. Im thinking maybe "Legend" or that David Bowie film with a baby in a maze. "Labryinth".
I can wish  - They were great.

This is from some notes I took down as I read Sneaky Snatcher.

Series of shots is cool, works for me. Gets me interested already in what the hell they are looking for.
Already Im interested in knowing what this Sneaky Snatcher thing is!
Great opening.
Dark figure with a goats head - great! Somewhat Donny Darko but looks great in my minds eye. That would scare the hell out of me , let alone an 8 year old kid.

Chads gone. Good start and build up.
I dont know why MR and MRS HARRIS dont or cant assist JODI home if they are that so afraid of her well being. Its all good up to this little pickle.

Writing is great, good dialouge, hasty pace and things are moving quickly. There is always something happening or people are talking about something that is pivitol.
Great description of VANNESSA, sour face and all. Truly Wicked Witch of the West material.

Up to page 17, the way you have written so far is swift, easy to read, take in and digest. Very easy to see.

It seems nice how you are making this "old school". A 13 year old with a sketch book for example. Im not being wrong I dont think when I say I dont see that happening a lot in reality nowadays but its nice you have written such a character that would/could/should be in an idyllic world.

VANESSA again, just seemingly easy to write dialouge but its not. You have created an atmosphere and characters we actually want to like or dislike already.

P22 - Rage - Rag. Simple SP.

P23 - "You're not chloroforming my children!" - I dont know. Maybe it is informative from a kids angle - pretty important that they might wanna ask "Whats chloroform?". Sounds a bit daft. But it also works considering who you are aiming this at. I guess the only alternative would be "drugging". Nitpick.

Same page, you have The pause for a beat. Im no expert but I think this is wrong?

Im on page 26 and things are going well. Good, quick entertaining so far. Dialouge is especially good.

I will continue tommorow. Nice one so far.





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tonkatough
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Thank you so much for returning the favor Scoob. it means a lot. I've been a bit jaded recently because I have done script exchange with some people (no names) and they never returned the favor after I read their script and that left me a little bummed.  Thank you for honouring your word.


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JD_OK
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Quoted from tonkatough
Thank you so much for returning the favor Scoob. it means a lot. I've been a bit jaded recently because I have done script exchange with some people (no names) and they never returned the favor after I read their script and that left me a little bummed.  Thank you for honouring your word.


yea I have noticed this too. I have seen u offer so many exchanges and agrees yet no one ever posted on urs.

But then again u didnt even reply to my review  

Whad up wit dat!?


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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tonkatough
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Ah, you make me sound like a sucker JD. Bur yeah, you're right it isn't fair. I try to do the right thing, but some people don't want to play fair.

And the reason I don't respond to all reviews is because I'm to busy writing a review for the next person.  At the moment I am in the middle of reading 3 scripts in a row. and one of those scripts the person has not yet returned the favor.

I've got to go read another script.


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JD_OK
Posted: March 30th, 2007, 2:56am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough
Ah, you make me sound like a sucker JD. Bur yeah, you're right it isn't fair. I try to do the right thing, but some people don't want to play fair.

And the reason I don't respond to all reviews is because I'm to busy writing a review for the next person.  At the moment I am in the middle of reading 3 scripts in a row. and one of those scripts the person has not yet returned the favor.

I've got to go read another script.



Nah I wasnt trying to say that at all. You are very active member and dedicated to improving your work and others.


I just hope you actually take the feedback you have gotten and make your script better. Three pages of replies and yet no new draft?

Sure so far you have gotten enough responses to form a new version. I would hold if I were you and get your new draft done, so you can start fresh review exchanges on your
new draft and learn what worked and didnt from there and make a 3rd draft if needed, better.

Im just saying, if u looked at my history on my thread, when I got enuff feedback, I made  changes and posted new version and so on. Its helps, trust me!!

I'll be there for exchange when u need it, for new draft.


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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tonkatough
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I'm glad you brought this up JD cause i have wanted to discuss it with you guys but just never had the oppurtunity.

I have a big, big problem with writing drafts. I hate draft writing. So no I will never drastically rewrite one of my scripts.  The reason being is because I set out to write the script that I want to write. I spend months agonizing over every little detail and try to create a solid outline before I even start writing the script.

  Script writing is a very personally thing for me and I just want to write my own stories.  I am so attached to my scripts that I find it impossible to drastically change it.  Why should I?

Having a person say they considered my script a joy to read is reward enough. it is the whole reason I write and create stories. It's that simple.  

But most importantly, yes I value everyone criticism and use it to guide me with the current script I am writing plus all future scripts I write.  trust me, ever since using this site and coping criticism, my whole approach to script writing has changed- for the better I hope.

  

  


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Scoob
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I dont think you need to really change that much about this script, I think it works fine and you tell a good fun story. Here is the rest of my review - apologies in the delay in getting it up here but Im writing what I wrote in notes the other night.

From Page 26:
I do feel sympathetic towards BERNARD - not just because of his disabilities but the way you have him written.
Im pretty worried what MAC and DAVE are going to do with these kids...

I really enjoyed the whole TV coverage, the reporting about the Sneaky Snatcher. Just nicely written, simple.

JODI gives her brother an idiot look - maybe rolls her eyes at him might sound a little better.

Think this is the first script I have read on here, or at least in a long time, that makes use of the double dialouge. Nothing major of course but nice to see it actually put to use.

The whole child labour thing is working well enough - not quite the fairy tale as I had expected, which is good.

JODI - Dogs dont eat people. I just like this whole little conversation between her, her brother and the hoods. Funny, simple and just nice dialouge to read.

When KITTY starts talking - kind of threw me off a little but it sent me back into what this is - which is a fantasy story. Felt like we'd been in reality a little long, and was about time something like this might happen.

The escape was good, again really well crafted and described if not a little long. Still, no real gripe about it.

The SERIES of SHOTS thingy - same as MONTAGE? Or are these two different? I guess I might be a little out of my depth asking about this but Im curious about the use of them. I guess a montage is being able to show shots of varoius things in different places and times whereas a SERIES of SHOTS would have to be happening all at once in one place? Pretty silly question I guess but just wanted to be sure about this as it would help myself out aswell.

There is nothing wrong with Hungry Hippos!

I like the way things are flowing, it's all now and not later. Helps keep things interesting and I like that there are no major gaps in time.

CONTINUE-



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Scoob
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CONTINUED:

55-57 - Reminds me of POLTERGEIST for some reason.

58- Mary and the boom operator are dead. That's one thing - having their bodies twisted sounds amazingly cool and I guess as long as it's not too grisly would be great. Baring in mind that this is a family adventure film, I would hope that this one scene would not make the rest of the script seem unsuitable. I dont think it is worth removing as it sounds great though, maybe just tinkering around with it a little?

P65- Mac left leg is broken: Mac's left leg is broken.

Not sure about the SMACK DOWN use. I know what it means but perhaps better to be described for someone who is not too hot on wrestling terms lol.

The ginger bread house mock up is cool - really nice visually.

Jumping castle is the same as bouncy castle. I know what you mean though. I dont think there is a set word for this anyhow.

69 - The bodies are all bent out of shape - again, I guess it all depends on HOW they are bent out of shape. It could be non-gruesome, like just rolled into a polo shape, some contortonist kind of thing.

You do put in some great moments, more or less the dialouge between JODI and BRICE. I think that was a nice way of putting death in a box with their discussion on page 71-72. Really well written.

73 - I hate jumping/ bumping /bouncy castles. I always used to think they would deflate when I was a kid, or that some one would burst the thing. Great scene.
Yulitza and the whole thing where JODI and BRICE are as make up dolls sounds like it would look great. A nice touch and a real trip on things.
The Sneaky Snatcher, being kind of unresponsive, makes it more bizarre and gives a creepy vibe. It's great.

Nice dialouge again. "Out of lego?"

75 - Your descriptions continue to be great. This has been a really good fun and interesting story. I am not, unlike many, am not too sure on how Scarlett O'Hara dresses. Maybe describe this instead of making a reference to her.

So I have the last part to read and I will do so momentarily.



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Scoob
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Just so sum it up really, I enjoyed this and you have some great ideas that you write down very well. Some really nice descriptions and at times, great dialouge between the characters - which also seem to be written very well.

One thing that I did notice is the tone of the script. It seems very cold in places, and some dialouge comes across maybe over mean. I know that sounds silly, as the bad guys should be bad, but in keeping with what this is, I think some could be altered.
Just minor gripes, really. When Vanessa is trying to kill Bernard and even when Brice is trying to suffocate the witch at the end - these moments might be seen as too violent for what I think you are aiming at. Personally, it dosnt bother me but might be worth a thought. Again, it is nothing major just small modifications.

Overall, excellent work. Some really cool visuals and a good story.



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tonkatough
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Thanks for the read Scoob. I appreciate it and pleased you enjoyed the story.

To answer your question regarding Series of shots, I'll try to explain the best I can. A couple of writers here have criticised me for using series of shots incorrectly, others have said it is very effective, so hey (shrugs) I don't know.

Flicking through my trusty Elements of style for screenwriting book, it says series of shots is: A number of short action sequences with out dialouge that condense a storyline with the main character.  So yeah, what ever that means.

I find the Series Of Shots comes in handy when you have a lot of fast paced action that covers several locations.  Instead of interupting the action with a slug line, better to just let it all flow more smoothly with a series of shots.

for example when the kids escape the sweat shop in a truck, a lot of action takes place inside and out of the truck. Rather then have to put in a slug line every time the EXT change to INT, I decided to just use series of shot.

A montage is a string of shots of events that take place over days, weeks or months to show that a lot of time has passed. Best example I can think of is movies like the Karate kid when show hero in training, learning karate for big fight. Show the progression of that training exercise in over a week. I hope that makes sesne.

Thanks for the read, I will look out for any future scripts you post here and will read another of your scripts. Maybe we can do another script review exchange again sometime in the future.    


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Scoob
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Thanks for clearing that up for me Tonka, it seems a pretty useful tool to use.

Absolutly, in future I would like to do another exchange with you, I enjoyed it.
All the best with any future rewrites and upcoming projects you have, I'll be sure to check them out.



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ericdickson
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1) Watch your INSERTS and P.O.V.  After an insert, make sure to write BACK TO SCENE.  You did this, for the most part, but missed a few places here and there.

P.O.V. should be avoided in a spec script.  You should just describe what someone's looking at in your action.  No need to use point of view.  Only sometimes it's absolutely necessary, but don't need to.  I do this all the time too, but am trying not to.  

2) Also, watch punctuation in your slugs.  For example...

INT.  HOUSE.  BEDROOM - DAY would be incorrect.  

should be...

INT.  HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY

3) When announcing your characters for the first time, you put BRICE,  aged fourteen.  Should be BRICE (14) or BRICE, fourteen.  


THE STORY...

To be honest, I had a real hard time getting into this.  I'm probably not the best critic on children's adventures or what kids like to watch nowadays, because I never watch these movies.  Still, I had several issues with the "Sneaky Snatcher" concept from the first page on.  

From page one, we start the story as several parents run around their neighborhood spouting dialogue like...


"The sneaky snatcher's here!  I saw him!"  

"There he goes!"

People are running around like crazy, chasing this crazy thing with a goat's head and we're not even on page 3.  By that point, I decided this story was ridiculous.  There's no build up to this scene, just action that comes out of nowhere.  This makes it hard for an audience to care about seeing what happens next.  You showed us the Sneaky Snatcher early on.  Why keep watching?      

I figured out early on this was a children's adventure, but I just couldn't take anything seriously.  

As in many kids movies, we have the smart pet, like KITTY that is sent on wild adventures (getting food, etc.).  You've also got a bunch of rug-rat kids and an evil stepmother who wants them out of the house.  

The kids get separated from their father, must escape to get back to him and foil their evil stepmother's sinister plan.  It's a familiar story seen in other films of the genre (can't think of any at the moment, of course), but you get my drift.    

The story seemed to have switched focus early on from the SNEAKY SNATCHER to Vanessa staging this fake kidnapping/media circus.  Even for a children's film, this was still way too much to swallow.  

What's the draw to this story?  Why do we care?  This is most important.  

In 3 NINJAS, the kids were tough, kicking butt, saving the day.  Even though the storyline was weak, kids still went to see the film and was a moderate success because of the concept.  

SPY KIDS is also a good example of "kids outsmarting the grown-ups" type of scenario.  I saw some of this in your escape from the sweat shop scene, but wasn't enough of this escape stuff to keep me interested.  

What is the real draw of SNEAKY SNATCHER?  Is it scary?  Funny? Why do we like these kids?    

Really fast paced action and description was good.  You definitely have a wild imagination and a wide vocabulary.  

Dialogue was pretty weak overall, but made me grin in a few places, especially with Vanessa.  I laughed out loud in a few parts.        

I thought, overall, the whole thing was a bit too syrupy sweet and cute with the whole "my father has epilepsy" thing and trying to get back to him and foil Vanessa's plan.  Then, all of the sudden, the Sneaky Snatcher pops up and we go in a completely different direction.        

What you have here are two different stories in one script.  The Vanessa kidnapping angle and the actual Sneaky Snatcher.  Neither of which had too much to do with each other.  I would suggest choosing one story over the other, or bringing in more of a "town legend" back story about the Sneaky Snatcher.  Add some mystery.  Is it real or a hoax?  (One eyed Willie from The Goonies)  

Remember, if you're choosing to do a children's adventure, think about what made other films in the genre successful.  I'm not suggesting ripping off ideas or copying other films, but just think about what made them appealing and use this in your own writing.    

I hope to hear more from you in the future.  Maybe we can exchange re-writes with one another.

Take care,
Eric D.  


      
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alffy
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Quoted from ericdickson


Also, watch punctuation in your slugs.  For example...

INT.  HOUSE.  BEDROOM - DAY would be incorrect.  

should be...

INT.  HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY
      


I thought the first slugline was fine, only I'd drop the DAY as it's not necassary.  Although I would use this;

INT. HOUSE / BEDROOM

Dunno if this is right?


Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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ericdickson
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Quoted from alffy


I thought the first slugline was fine, only I'd drop the DAY as it's not necassary.  Although I would use this;

INT. HOUSE / BEDROOM

Dunno if this is right?


I used to write INT.  HOUSE/BEDROOM  type sluglines, but I discovered that most writers don't do this.  They use dashes in between.  I'm not sure if it's considered incorrect, but I quite using this method.

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tonkatough
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Thanks for the read Dickson.

Hmm . . . You write a script and some people click with it and some people don't.

So what should I do? Should I try to mould and reshape my idea to please everyone, make it a nice cookie cut version like every other movie in the genre and run the risk of having mediocre story that everyone will think is bland.

Or just write a story my way with my own voice and let the reader decide if it is their cup or tea or not?

I dunno. I might have to sit here and scratch my head a bit more.  


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JD_OK
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Quoted from tonkatough

So what should I do? Should I try to mould and reshape my idea to please everyone, make it a nice cookie cut version like every other movie in the genre and run the risk of having mediocre story that everyone will think is bland.


If you want to sell a script. You write a story for an audience. Not for yourself.

Save the ones where its your story for when you can direct or provide your own funding. At that point it can be up to viewer if this is what they like or dislike


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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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James McClung
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Hey Glenn,

Thought I might come to your defense here. I've read over some of these other comments and I imagine you might find some of them a little disconcerting but I don't think you have anything to worry about. I thought your story was very original but not so out there that it's not sellable. You definitely do your own thing here but at the same time, this follows the basic fairy tale template. You've got the benevolent father, the evil stepmother, the witch, etc. There's plenty of stuff here that people can recognize and relate to. Your kids are very sympathetic characters as well. I mean, they've lost their mother and are being oppressed by an outside parent figure when all they want to do is be like normal kids. What's not to care about? While the context of your story is new and modern, the format is classic and timeless. Everyone's read fairytales before. In short, you definitely have an audience for this one.

I also must say while it's important to choose the audience you're writing for if you want your script to sell, you should write first and foremost for yourself. Otherwise, what's the point? Why not just turn off your computer? Obviously you can't write something like Eraserhead and think you're going to have a smash hit but just because you enjoy writing something fresh and interesting doesn't mean other people won't enjoy it as well. If you don't have passion for what you're writing, it's going to be crap, no matter how commercial an idea it is.

My two cents.


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tonkatough
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Thanks for sharing a thought from both sides of the argument.

JD, you and Dickson I would slot into the professional writing mold and you both treat writing like a buisness. So I understand your perspective. That's cool

Do you want to know how many producers I've sent a logline of my script to? none.

I have no real desire to write for the sole purpose of pleasing a producer. Just not interested.

Script writing is just a hobby. An outlet for me to flex my creativity. I love daydreaming up a story and trying my best to get it down on paper.  Having my script read by you guys is reward enough. I thank everyone who reads.

There is a huge push here on this site to sell script to producer and I'm just not interested in that. So sometimes with some comments it makes my scripts feel inadequate or not worth while because they are just done for the fun and love of it. you know what I mean, like if I don't take my script writing serious then it is not worth taking my scripts serious or reading them.

and yes I do abosrb everyones critisim and use it to shape and improve my writing technique. The criticism is vital for my writing growth.

Is there room on this web site for a hobby writer like myself or is it just for serious writers who take a professional stance on writing and want to hone their craft to get produced?

  


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JD_OK
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I really understand where you are coming from with your thoughts and feeling toward your writings and what u want to get out of it.

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.



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

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!



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James McClung
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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
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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
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Hi tonkatough,

I promised you a review of Sneaky Snatcher a few months ago and I’m 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 don’t know who your intended audience for this story is. It’s too violent to be a kids movie and it’s way too sugarcoated to be a film for adults. It would probably work best as a children’s movie, though you would need to tone down the violence a bit.

I get that it’s basically a fairy-tale. You’ve got the familiar elements; the evil stepmother, the poor kids, the weak father, the magical creature and the wicked witch.

But for me it didn’t work. Here’s why:

Story

I really liked the opening scene where we are first introduced to the Sneaky Snatcher. It’s 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. I’m a father of two myself and I don’t care how crippled you are, a father would never go along with that - no matter what was at stake.

Another thing that I thought didn’t 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? I’m 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 ‘petrified forest’. 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 didn’t 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 didn’t have to make her THAT evil, it was too much on the nose. And as I stated before, I didn’t 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 isn’t 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 don’t have any real problems here. The only thing that I didn’t like was Angela’s dialog in the end. It was very stiff and cold and I don’t think that that was your intention.

The Writing

Definitely the best thing about this script. I think your writing is strong, it’s 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

I’ve 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 didn’t 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. That’s a shame because it’s 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, that’s it for me. I’m sorry if it’s sound like I’m taking a big shite on your script because that is not my intention. The story just didn’t 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
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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
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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
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S

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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
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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
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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

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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
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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

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dogglebe
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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
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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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tonkatough
Posted: June 30th, 2007, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the suggestion regarding the conjuring JD. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner but I didn't notice your message there above dogglebe's.



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dogglebe
Posted: July 1st, 2007, 8:44am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from tonkatough
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?


Keep in mind that Harry was raised in 'real world,' so I imagine there would be plenty of guns there.  You could also strain the story's level of fantasy by showing a character using a fountain pen or playing a portable radio.  Using these everyday items would take us out of the illusion that the story creates.




Quoted from tonkatough
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.


The fantasy stays at the same level so there's no reason to question it.



Quoted from tonkatough
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?


A Snape spin-off?  That would be interesting....

Hey, when did we get a spell checker? (pardon the pun)


Phil

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GM
Posted: July 14th, 2007, 9:17am Report to Moderator
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Hey tonkatough,

Sorry for the wait, but got to finish the reading in one sitting. It was an interesting reading. I liked the opening since it establishes what everything revolves around. I also enjoyed the magical rabbit that they called kitty (an interesting name). It was funny and chidlishly cute. How did you come up with that?

I found it hard to believe that the children will do that to themselves. even the father. He may be in a wheelchair but he can still fight. I saw that scene more as a fight and leverage for the stepmother over the husband. not knowing where the children are, the father will have to go with the story.

also wouldn't the newscasters be suspicious about the recording? they only heard oral reports and thats it. a video recording is too much. it cries out set up.

Mac repeats the dogs things too much. i think the children will figure it out by then and so will Mac.  

The dad's seizure; i dont think he can wake up fast; unsure but I think that scene should be more btw the children speaking about what to do with what to do with dad.

what happened to the dad in the end. he should be talking with the kids at the end in a three way call. lol.  

You also have too much pov's. delete them.

I was kind of confused about the sneaky snatcher being the mother in disguise. does the exploding rabbit have anything to do with that?

Hope I helped you out,
Gabe
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