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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Return to Weedland Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 10th, 2011, 8:08pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Return to Weedland by Juan De Biase (juandescribe) - Action, Adventure - Smuggling marihuana back in the 70´s in solo flights, from northern Colombia was no easy frisk. 131 pages - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 11th, 2011, 9:27am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Juan, it's "marijuana", not "marihuana".  You know...like in "Mary J", not Mary H.

I'm not sure what you're smoking but it certainly isn't marijuana.  If you're going to write a script about pot, you need to know the basics of pot and its cultivation and it's quite obvious you're completely clueless, based on your opening page.

This dodo ain't gonna fly...


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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juandscribe
Posted: May 21st, 2011, 4:42am Report to Moderator
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"To be... Or not to be, It keeps being the question. The peeper only sees a semantic typo between "marihuana or Marijuana" ignoring that for Mexicans and southern Californians the term sticks to "Mary Jean", but in Colombia were the best pot was once grown, the brand was, or still is with "h" in between. So let me tell you this friend, I smoked the best which was "Concha de Coco" of which I´m sure you´ve never heard of, but if you ever find out what this product was about, take a deep drag, it may unclog the grammar fumble in your mind... and one last thing: I was there.
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mcornetto
Posted: May 21st, 2011, 6:29am Report to Moderator
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Marihuana is a completely valid spelling.  

And guys, leave it at that - no need to keep arguing about it.  
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juandscribe
Posted: May 23rd, 2011, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Banal controversy ending accepted, wish that script context and subcontext would spring out instead of jib talk.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 23rd, 2011, 11:43am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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I tried to reread this, but it's not written very well at all.  So many mistakes everywhere.

Maybe English isn't your first language?

Anyway, if you want to get reads and comments on your scripts, you need to read and comment on other scripts.  It's the only way it works here.  Jump in and read some shorts.  Let people know who you are.. Quid pro quo all the way.

If you'd like, I'l delete my posts here, if you think it's hurting your chances of getting reads, but I do stand by my original comments.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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juandscribe
Posted: May 26th, 2011, 8:37am Report to Moderator
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Before deleting, if your help is generous, please point out the so many mistakes you´ve found so I can re-write.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 26th, 2011, 12:15pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Juan, my help is genuine…always.  I may come off as harsh, but my feedback is always honest and meant to help.

Here’s some help on Page 1, but as I said, you need to read all the scripts you can in here and provide feedback so people get to know you and will in turn, read your scripts.  It’s the way it works and if you give it a shot, I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.  It’s a great site to learn about screenwriting, filled with a great group of people.

Page 1 – OK, first of all, your opening Slug, “MOUNTAIN RANGE - DAY” is a bit of a problem right out of the gate.  Some may argue that it’s fine as written, but as the scene plays on, it becomes clear it’s not an accurate scene header.

Your opening passage is also troubling of what’s most likely to follow.  Check it out…

“A vast, green, mountain chained landscape extends its monumental structure with no limit to the eye.” – This is very awkwardly phrased, and is overwritten as well.  You’ve got a 127 page script here, Juan, and if the rest of the script is written anything like this opening line, it’s the reason your script is so long (too long, most likely).

The SUPER is fine as is, and sets your scene much better than anything else has yet.

But then, we go to a 6 line passage that is chock full of awkward lines, incorrect grammar, and run-on sentences.  You shouldn’t go over 4 lines ever.  Let’s look at it line by line…

“The gliding view descends to expose a cleared field on a mountain crest... A marihuana plant, facing the early sunbathing light wobbles alone in the cold highland mist... there is people actively working about on their daily “special chores”. A log cottage with a twined palm leaf roof, releasing smoke, stands out in the middle of the camp.”

You start with some camera direction that is awkwardly phrased.  If you really feel you need to do some directing here, you probably should have started out with an “AERIAL VIEW”.  Now, obviously, Spec scripts are not supposed to include such camera direction, but this is indeed a time when one would play nicely.  This entire opening sentence is a mess, though, and remember, since you didn’t change your Slug, this entire scene takes place on a “Mountain Range”, where in reality, your Slug should now be something like “MARIHUANA PLANT”.   Using an ellipsis here (twice) is incorrect and gives the line a poor feel and look.  Why is the plant “wobbling”?  How do we know it’s “cold”?  “there is people” – incorrect, should be “people are”, or actually, to do away with the passive verbiage, it would be, “people work…”.  “special chores” – since you don’t tell or show what these are, it makes no sense as written, as there’s nothing we can picture from this line.  The last sentence is again awkward and poorly written.

Now, Juan, keep in mind, this is simply 1 person’s opinion here and if you disagree with what I’m bringing up, that’s cool.  I’m going to say again, that I bet English is not your first language, and if that’s the case, a lot of these mistakes make sense.  In no way am I putting you down if this is the case..I’m merely bringing up issues that most will spot immediately, as they are red flags of what’s to come.

“It’s cold and the remnant fog refuses to dissipate. Huge piles of recently cut ripe marihuana branches are stashed in neatly uniformed rows...” – OK, here you once again mention that it’s cold, which is an “unfilmable”, meaning that you don’t want to write stuff that can’t be conveyed in a filmed version.  The entire first sentence comes off very novelistic.  No reason whatsoever to end the 2nd sentence with an ellipsis.  It’s incorrect.

“Sat in chained row, the workers peel off the leaves from the branches and place them on large wooden trays. The peeled stems amount on one side forming stockpiles.” – “Sat in chained row…” – No clue what this is supposed to mean, but it’s worded extremely poorly.  Are you trying to say the workers are chained together in a row?  The 2nd sentence is again, very awkwardly phrased with the word “amount”.  

Comma needed between “hand” and “wiggles” in the next line.

OK, so now we get some dialogue, but it’s problematic.  You have a V.O. coming from no one in particular, which is incorrect.  You also have “IN SPANISH” above the dialogue, which is again, incorrect.  This should be a wrylie, and if you want it to be subtitled in English, that too would be in the wrylie, and the actual dialogue would be written in English only.

Let’s look at the first 3 passages on page 2, and then I’m done.

“Another crew carefully hang the leaves on artisan stretchers for the mild sun to roast them into a golden- pigmented smoking product. The rows of stretchers with hung sun-dried leaves begin to glitter its blondish patina.” – “hang” should be “hangs”.  What is “artisan stretchers” supposed to mean?  You continually have been talking about the leaves of the plant, which I mentioned in my initial comments about you not understanding pot in general.  You came back and said how you were there and know all about this stuff, so maybe I’m confused.  Since when do you cultivate the leaves, as opposed to the buds?  The stuff about “for the mild sun to roast them into a golden-pigmented smoking product” is a total unfilmable, as you’re not showing this at all…you’re telling us, like in a novel.  The last line is just plain old poorly written.  You want to stay away from using words like “begin to” in screenwriting.


“The marihuana harvest gathering marches full steam ahead getting ready for the market.” – Again, an unfilmable and very awkwardly written line.


“Its destination: Gringo consumers.” – And another totally unfilmable line.  This one is called an “aside”.

So, Juan, hopefully, you see what I’m saying here.  All these notes are on your opening page, and that’s not a good way to start.  There are loads and loads of issues going on and most likely, they will be repeating themselves over and over throughout the script.

I hope this helps.  Now go read some scripts in here and introduce yourself to the peeps.  Everyone is very helpful here, so it can only help you as a writer.

Take care.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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juandscribe
Posted: May 30th, 2011, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for your contructive and very incisive comment, it sends me back to the stone age as a propective spec writer, but I can take it.  Since you´ve shown critical interest in my poor writing, Would you be interest in a re-write of my mess? that is, if its worth the chance.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 30th, 2011, 12:56pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Juan, I'm not interested in rewriting it unless there is money involved, sorry to say.  But, if you are looking for a ghost writer, I do provide those services.  Send me an E-mail if you're interested.

Best of luck with this.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Joe Bricky
Posted: May 31st, 2011, 8:39pm Report to Moderator
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I read a few pages, and I can say the writing is pretty good.  You need to go buy the "Screen Writers Bible" and get a few punctuation tips ingrained in your style.  Also, I would read "Avatar" and look at James Cameron's style.  It's very interesting.  You need to disregard some of the shooting script format, but he has a distinctive way of writing that's very cool and you could learn from.

Dreamscale -- it's really nice you're an expert on mariJuana.  I'm sure your mom is proud, but flaming a guy over an H.  Come on?  Why are we here?  If you were getting big bucks for your scripts... why would you care.  Try some constructive criticism and help people out when you post.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 31st, 2011, 9:26pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Uhhh...Joe...check out post # 7.  Is that not constructive criticism?  What am I missing here?

Not to put Juan down at all, but your comment about the writing being pretty good, makes it quite clear that you have no clue what good writing is.

I always try to help peeps.  Some don't appreciate that fact that I pull no punches and give it to them straight up, but the things I bring up are 100% accurate and meant to help them going forward.

The advice you're offering is cliche, meaningless, and downright foolish.  Telling someone to adapt James Cameron's style ain't gonna cut it for an unproduced, new writer...not now...not ever.

Juan said himself that he's an expert on Mary J, not me...but...I think I can hold my own with the best of them when it comes to Mary J facts and fiction.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Joe Bricky
Posted: June 3rd, 2011, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dreamscale, I do have a clue what pretty good writing is.  It's quite clear you're more of a griefer than someone interested in constructive criticism.  You give a lot of "I would have done it this way" advice which is, IMO too subjective to be constructive.  You're really good at telling him what you don't like.  But, hey, a five year old can tell me he doesn't like vanilla, but that doesn't make it not good to someone else.

The guy needs a lot of work on the technical aspects of "film" writing, but definitely can write.  There's a huge difference.  That's why I pointed him at some technical stuff.

As for pulling punches, the number of posts you have on here makes it very clear you're here more for your own entertainment than to help anyone.  So, you might want to reflect on how your posts are perceived by those you slam.  This is a place for writers who aren't experts to get feedback.  

As for pointing him to James Cameron, I totally disagree with you.  When you make your first $600 million, I'll listen to your opinion on Cameron.  Avatar's a great read and full of both technical and inspirational writing ideas.  Go look at Princess Bride, a classic.  The script breaks numerous rules.  Try not to be so Black and White "unfilmable" rule centric.  Not every script goes exactly according to the bible.  

If you spend a little more time on pointing out technical issues and pointing to resources, your next 4400+ posts might serve to encourage more than discourage.

Good luck with your hobby.
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mcornetto
Posted: June 3rd, 2011, 7:53pm Report to Moderator
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Warning guys.  This thread WILL NOT become a pissing contest between reviewers.  You are both entitled to your opinion about the SCRIPT.   If you want to agree or disagree with a particular criticism then that's probably ok too.  But the moment you start attacking each other you have gone way beyond the scope of this thread.  

The author is intelligent enough to determine whose criticism they want to heed and does not need your opinion on the character of the reviewers in order to make that decision.  I won't warn you again.  If this bashing of each other continues then I will start deleting.    
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Don
Posted: June 4th, 2011, 8:06am Report to Moderator
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Unlocked the thread.  Ditto to what Cornetto said.  Please stay on topic.  

Don


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