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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Heroes Reborn Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: August 10th, 2010, 5:37pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Heroes Reborn by Michael Collins - Action, Adventure - After a war between human and superhuman, Douglas Hartford is the last surviving superhero, living in exile in a city clouded with fear and violence. When a neighbor is brutally killed, Doug vows to find the killer and clean up the city at long last. As a police detective and emergency room nurse join him in unraveling the mystery, they discover that Doug may not be the last survivor after all... 119 pages - doc, format


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JonnyBoy
Posted: August 10th, 2010, 6:34pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Michael. Since you don't have a forum name I don't know if you're around, but here's hoping.

I opened this up because you have a great logline. A noir-esque detective story centred around the apparently sole survivor of a superhuman genocide...it's a great idea. So I thought I'd take a look, see if the script matched the logline for intrigue. I got to the end of the alley fight sequence (around page 12) then stopped, and I'll give you feedback and tell you why.

First off, I'd encourage you to get some proper screenwriting software. Celtx (www.celtx.com) is perfectly adequate, easy to get to grips with, and completely free, so I'd reccommend that. A PDF is just easier to read than a Word document, and looks more professional, too. That's not the only reason this doesn't look like a professional screenplay, mind.

Your actual formatting - sluglines, separation of action and dialogue etc., is all there. But your writing is way off. It's best if action paragraphs are four lines, max. Your first chunk of text is quite a bit longer than that, and STRAIGHT AWAY, page one, I knew that I wasn't going to get far with it. Take a look at scripts on here, professional and unproduced, and you'll see they're written entirely differently to yours.

Secondly, your use of V.O.s. I'm actually not against considered, effective use of voiceover, but here you're just using it as a cheat, a shortcut to get exposition across without putting the work in to give it to us in a far more interesting way via action and dialogue. Don't tell us everything upfront - let us learn it, bit by bit. Don't make it immediately obvious who Douglas is; that fight sequence in the alley on page 10 would be a great time to show us his superhuman nature. I like some of what you've written in dialogue, but generally you're in far too much of a rush to shove all the info down our throats at the earliest opportunity. This is a movie, you can tell us stuff through images as well as dialogue. For instance, the newspapers and mementos around Douglas' house hint at what's happened in the past, without his long monologue.

What you have here is far more novelistic than screenplay. If you want to write a novel, write a novel. If you want to write this as a screenplay, download Celtx and start again, because what you have here isn't a script. Not yet. As I say, you have a killer logline, a good basic concept, and some of what's here is promising. You may, in fact, have talent. But at the moment it's hard to tell, because it's just not laid out right. I also have a sneaking suspicion that there's not actually anywhere near 110 pages-worth of story here, given that probably half of the first 10 pages is rambling V.O. Like I say - start again. Read some scripts, particularly superhero stuff, and see how they do it.

Good luck, and if you re-write it to a more industry-acceptable way then I'll read it.


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Coleman
Posted: August 16th, 2010, 5:17pm Report to Moderator
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I was thoroughly impressed with this story. You have a sort of Sin City meets X-Men thing going on. Douglas reminds me of Mickey Rourke in Sin City.

There are some things that need to addressed. Your descriptions had too much passive verbatim and by that I'm referring to the overuse of "is doing, are talking, appears to be, etc". With a story that's as action filled and suspensful as yours, it would behoove you make every line as impactful as possible.

Your dialogue at times was way too long. So were your action and description blocks. Usually, dialogue should not stretch more than 4 lines long unless a character is making clear a revelation. When the action lines look like huge blocks it becomes difficult to focus on.

A quick read through and I'm sure you'll find ways to tighten up every line. Try to say more with less words. I noticed you used 2 and 3 sentences multiple times throughout when one compound sentence would have sufficed.

Be sure to switch this over to a pdf upload instead of a .doc one. You'll have more views and possible more critiques. That's what we are all here for afterall.

I can't say enough how much I love this idea. I even like how Douglas continually talks to himself with the voice overs. The ending is something I would not have put together  until about the last 30 pages. You really did tell a great story but now it's time to make it even better.

thanks for posting,
Brandon


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