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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  The Barnhart Effect Moderators: bert
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babentman
Posted: January 1st, 2009, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you SO much, I am working on the re-write and I canno thank you enough. Happy New year and let me know if you ever need anything! Glad you enjoyed it.

Brett.


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dresseme
Posted: March 16th, 2009, 3:19pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,

Ok, usually I like to stop at where I think the end of Act I would be.

My initial thoughts:  I'm really digging it!  Wow.  I mean, you start off really strong and then keep the pace going strong for the first 20 pages.  It kind of has an "Enemy of the State" feel to it so far, which is a good thing.

My only critique thus far is that your descriptions tell and don't seem to show a lot.  For example, you introduce Bay as saying "Everything about him is planned, organized and hygienic".  How do we know that?  Maybe if you showed him engaging in a planned/organized/hygienic activity.  You do that with a couple of other characters as well (Bishop, I believe).

Little nit-picks so far:

p. 1  - what city in Russia?

p. 3-  what city in Virginia?

p.3 - "like angry parents"?  I think that's a bit too vague; it doesn't really give me a picture.

p.5 -  Bishop's line at the bottom says "as well s"  not "as well as"

Other than that, I'm pumped to keep reading.  Good work!
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babentman
Posted: March 16th, 2009, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the input, starting yours now


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dresseme
Posted: March 16th, 2009, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,

Ok, finished!  And I can say, without hyperbole, that your script was one of the best I've read on the site.  Man, I wish I could write descriptions like you.  Fluid, concise descriptions.  Usually actions scenes are bogged down with giant wordy paragraphs, but yours (like the tunnel chase) flowed so nicely.  Good work!

Everything about the script worked; the pacing, the characters (Bishop was a pretty awesome villain), and the story itself.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and can't imagine someone not producing this.

I did have some usual nitpicks though, and here they are:  

-p.28 - Bishop's dialogue at the top seems a bit clunky.  I'd smooth it out a bit.

-p.41 - "Maybe I should have taken it?"  It seems like that should be a statement.

-p.63- I feel like his death should be different.  I know he's a bit drunk, but I think he'd be a little paranoid and wouldn't just open the door.

(Oh!  This isn't a nitpick, but I just wanted to say that I LOVED Olinsky's death scene.  Very epic/dramatic.  It played out well in my head.)

The only other thing I can say is that I was a little disappointed in the ending with how Bishop is caught.  The tape-recorder is such a commonly used device, I'm a little tired of seeing it.  If you could think of something else, I think it would give it a lot more.  Also, have you considered going more into Bay's backstory or just leaving it kind of a mystery?

Other than that, great job!   I loved the script and breezed right through it.
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babentman
Posted: March 16th, 2009, 8:28pm Report to Moderator
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You rock. Thanks so much. Cheers


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escapist
Posted: March 18th, 2009, 9:26am Report to Moderator
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I thought your writing was good for the most part, but the story felt full of huge holes to me.  I'll try to hit as many as I remembered:

- Bishop's team was unbelievably inept.  It was almost like you're trying to bash the CIA.  I'm actually going to have to separate all of their mistakes.  For starters, killing Barnhart.  He has hidden something they need.  Something tiny.  They don't have any leads except for Barnhart, and they kill him?  Seriously?  No kidnapping, no torture, no interrogation?  That's a silencing move, not an information extracting move.

- Secondly, they had been working with Barnhart for how many years, and they didn't know about Bay?  Heck, the coroner's office was able to find him before they did.  This is information that they should have had long ago.  Using Bay to lever Barnhart probably should have been something for them to consider before they killed him.

- Third, why didn't they just bring Bay in for questioning?  He had absolutely no reason to refuse.  Not that he could, since they're the CIA.  Instead, they run the world's clumsiest surveillance operation.  They don't even get his medical files at first, though they grab everything else!

- Laying off the CIA team for a while, let's switch to the Russian Mafia.  What the heck would they want with a bomb?  Small bombs for blowing up cars, maybe buildings, sure.  But a cutting-edge, specially developed bomb?  What would they possibly do with that?  And come to think of it, what makes Barnhart's bomb so special anyway?

- Onto Bay.  Why would he jump to the conclusion that somebody's following him?  And why would it cause him to spaz out?  This guy has no reason to suspect anything!

- The head of the Russian Mafia went to the press about having a new superbomb?  Seriously?

- If Mobile One has been following Bay on foot, how does he have a car?  There should be a driver.

- Having a black belt in karate does not make you an action hero.  The car chase is violation one, and the scene at Landon's is a much greater infraction.

- Barnhart performed a secret surgery to hide the chip in Bay's neck, then left a file that could trace back to it?  Really?  And how has Bay been unaware of this chip the whole time?  Assuming his dad fed him a believable line about the surgery, I'd expect that his neck problems would've led him to get an x-ray at some point.

- Infra-red cannot be used on images once they've already been captured.

- Bishop is caught by the confession on a tape recorder trick?  That's the oldest one in the book!  I honestly can't see him spilling his guts like this without something up his sleeve.

As for the writing, I thought your dialogue was really good.  There were a few awkward lines in some places, but on the whole, I thought it flowed very naturally.  The action sequence with the Mole and Bay fighting was excellent.  Really, really well done.  In contrast, I felt the car chase action was extremely hard to follow, and I couldn't really visualize it.

I think most of your character intros were overloaded with unfilmables.  Give us something that actually shows up on screen.

I really think Landon should be introduced earlier in your script.  Not necessarily on-camera, but even just a picture of her and Bay in his apartment would be good.

Finally, I think the bit with Landon disguised as the delivery girl at the end is way too overdone, and a really cheesy note to end on.


I have nothing that you can read.
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babentman
Posted: March 18th, 2009, 12:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks.


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