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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Fracture Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 14th, 2014, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
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Fracture by Lee Cordner (leegion) - Action, Thriller, Sci Fi, Conspiracy - Two men race against time to stop an event that threatens to wipe out all organic life.  111 pages - pdf, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: May 14th, 2014, 8:23pm Report to Moderator
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Your first six pages are fractured, not cohesive enough for me to figure out what is going on. Dialogue does not come off naturally for these skillful opponents. Given that, the break at page six is interesting and provides some suspense when Brock says Hansen can't be human. That is a real moment.
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Dressel
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Hey Lee,

Just finished up.  I liked it, but that like comes with an asterisk.  The asterisk is that at a certain point I really had no idea what was going on.

Let me back up:  First off, your formatting is solid. I would never, ever, ever want to write an action script, because I think it takes a particular skill in the description.  You have that skill in spades.  I think you write fluidly and it makes it easy to read action scenes that could be boring in someone else's hands.  So good work on that front.

Second, the story.  I enjoyed the story and kept reading at a swift pace. You'll notice, in my page notes below, that I stopped taking notes towards the third act, and that's because I was mainly swept up in the story.

BUT, even though I liked the story, I got really lost at one point and had a hard time keeping track of what was going on.  In the beginning, as you'll see, I felt like I was joining a movie in progress. And at about the half-way point, you try to bring us up to speed and it just becomes so much, that it's hard to take all of it in.  (The explanations of time travel, the fracture, the number of double crosses)  It becomes difficult to keep track of all the rules of the universe and who's playing who (and what motivations they have for doing what, etc).  The time travel stuff is hard enough to understand (as time travel is - and you even joke about it), but the fracture stuff (a concept you're introducing) is doubly confusing to tack on.

Like I said, I think your story moves swiftly, but I had to ignore the fact that I didn't quite understand what was going on at a certain point and just enjoy the action.  I think this could all be fixed by fixing up your first act.  I think that's where your main problem lies.

Here are my random notes as I went along:

Title page – This is borderline nit-picky, but someone once told me not to put what draft it is on the title page.  The rationale being that you don't want them to know how many drafts it has or hasn't gone through.  It's a mystery to them then.  They might not like that it's only had two drafts, for all you know.

p.1 – I feel like you haven't described the space enough.  I don't know where I am and am having to piece all this futuristic stuff together as I go.  I'd start with a good descriptor and maybe even a year in the slugline.  Also, explain what a DRONE in your world is.

p.2 – I'm so confused.  I feel like I'm joining a movie in progress.

p.4 – Strap hangers?  That's an odd way to put it.

p.5 – I do like that we don't know who the good guy is and who the bad guy is, but I did feel totally lost AS A READER, because you're launching us into a custom-made world with not much description.

p.6 - “The only thing staring...”  - Awkward line

p.6- Oooo....interesting development.

p.10 – Once again, don't be afraid to explain what a UPV is.  We don't know.

p.11 – I feel like we need a break at this point.  All we've really done is gone from one chase scene to another and swapped a character.  I'm not saying it's not well written (because it IS well written), BUT I need some context here.

p.13 – I love the transforming gun.

p.15 – UFA gear?

p.22 – The whole exchange with the Sports Car driver (and the dialogue after) seems like it could easily be cut to further the story along.  (Amended note: Ok, I see that it's a running gag now.  Maybe, just lose the conversation afterward about The Lion King. THAT seems unnecessary.)

p.28-  I kind of feel like I'm watching the second in a series of films, or something where I'm already supposed to know the characters.  I'm enjoying the story, but I don't really know anything about anyone, and the script continues on as if I SHOULD know.  I know you're trying to keep an aura of mystery over it (for reveals later, no doubt), but I think we need something by this point.

p.41 – I think the plot is interesting, but “The Grid” sounds a little too close to “The Matrix”.  I think you might have some problems there.  Both dealt with a similar story structure; especially with the city falling twice, and the hero being sent back a third time to stop it.

p.45 – “We gotta go get Aquora”  - Wait...why?

p.61 – Aquora seems less and less necessary as the pages go on.  I feel like he exists as a device to bounce dialogue off of.

p.62-  Ok, now you just need to come up with a solid reason why we would believe that he'd take Aquora with him.  It's a cool twist, but it feels contrived without a reason.  He knew Aquora for all of a couple hours before saving him.

p.65- Lose the hand stomp.  Too much already.

p.67 – I'm not gonna lie...I'm really confused about the concept of Fracture and the whole Hansen/Maddox thing.

p.97 - And now Irons is double-crossing?  I'm starting to lose track of motivations.

Hope this helps!

-Matt


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PatrickP
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Lots of action the first few pages. It's good but it takes me a while to grasp. Perhaps a montage would come in useful for the opening pages, unless we need to know the floor levels n stuff.
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Leegion
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Hey Matt,

Thanks for the read.  

Your questions, I'll try to answer as best I can:

Fracture -- the concept behind this is that you take the consciousness of a living organism and place it within a different vessel, ala switching brains.  It's confusing as all hell, probably could do with a further revision at some point down the line.  Essentially though, imagine your mind inside of another body.

Page 1 - Just like a sewer pipe really, like what's beneath NYC, subway tunnels, maintenance shafts, etc.

Page 10 - UPV Urban Pacification Vehicle - basically, it's a tank used for riots.

Page 13 - Pretty cool, huh?  I always considered having multiple devices as detriments in action movies, so cut it all down into one sole device and you've got yourself a machine gun/pistol/parachute thing.

Page 15 - UFA (SWAT of the 22nd century), imagine how a SWAT officer dressed minus the helmet.  I did draw out the character designs on paper, along with a design of the whole sky city, level-by-level, which I do hope to one day be able to scan and show off.  The concepts are pretty sweet.

Page 22 - Introduction of the extra that's not an extra, haha.  Yeah, the lion king speech where Hansen says "men are like lions, get angry if another gets to the lioness first" went a bit longer than I thought it would.

Page 28 - This is the second problem I mentioned.  The characters, in this version at least, felt as if they'd existed in a preceding story when in actuality they had not.  Guess I got caught up in the action and less in the character development.

Page 41 - Grid/Matrix.  I guess they do sound alike... might need to think on that.

Page 45 & 61 - Aquora... I suppose he isn't needed, so I may change this back to what it was in the beginning.  Alisha had a longer role.

Page 97 - Believe me, so did I, lol.  I lost count of how many double-crosses there were during this script and Irons' development was meant to be more, but ended up much less and just... another twist in the coaster, per se.  

On the ending, I am kinda doubting my skill a little, especially when "Alisha" isn't "needed" anyway and everything happens the way it's meant to happen...

Thanks for the notes, Matt.  I've logged them down in a Word doc.  Eventually, somewhere down the line, I will rewrite this and make it more... understandable.

-Lee
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Dressel
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Lee,

Yeah, I'd just really map everything out before you dig into the next draft.  If you're losing count, odds are your readers are too.

But seriously, I don't think I stressed enough how well I think you write action, so I'd keep up with this script.  Normally I steer clear of ACTION scripts, because there's just so much description and it usually drags.  Definitely not the case here.  Good work.

-Matthew


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Matt,

I'll be transfering most of the action to two new features coming up.  One's a fantasy, the other's a Western.  One's actually my novel, so...

I'll attempt to finish up "Based on a True Story" within the coming days.  

-Lee
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Leegion
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Just received a query email regarding the script from Robert Mattoso.  Thought I'd update folks here.  He's asked for a one-sheet.

Not sure what a one-sheet is... but I'll figure it out I guess.  
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In my experience, a one sheet includes a three sentence pitch, a synopsis, and a log line. But I believe it varies. But if you do this I think you should have your bases covered.


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I just did a quick Google search of this guy, and I would be cautious. I'm not saying you shouldn't submit to him, but I would be cautious. I've grown weary of anyone who calls themselves a consultant. Especially if he asks you for money.  If that happens: bolt.


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Been wanting to take a look at this and found some time today.

I think you would benefit from an establishing shot at the very beginning. Just opening up in tunnels is kinda jarring. Something as simple as Brock running/walking/sneaking into the tunnels would help clarify what situation he's in.

As mentioned above what kind of DRONES are these? For whatever reason I'm picturing mousers from TMNT, wow, but later on they sound more like robotic people. What kind are these?

A couple thoughts on the transforming gun. I don't like it. There, lol. It sounds cool I know but as a story device having a gun that does EVERYTHING feels like a cop out. I mean heck, this thing even turns into a parachute??? How? Why? Why not just give Brock a parachute straight up? Giving your characters limitations on what they can do makes for a more interesting story instead of having the ultimate swiss army knife bail them out every time. Maybe the gun can do two or three things, but give it some limits. Also, did Hansen use a portal gun on the train? See above.

Brock and Hansen's banter makes the chase seem like a rivalry and game. Just an observation.

Having people hang by straps is very sci-fi but also very strange. Like, The Jetsons's strange. Why not just have them sit like normal people?

The whole human angle is an interesting twist. But I don't know the significance. Why would Brock be so taken aback by this? I'm sure this gets answered later, but besides the shock factor it doesn't make sense. Yet. So you got me scratching my head. That's good. Now reward me later.

However if Hansen is human how and why would he be brought back to life so quickly? He can't even make it to the ER first? Robots or something comes out of nowhere and fixes him on the spot?

The first 14 pages are one giant bombastic (and expensive) chase scene, half gun fight, half Spiderman swinging through the city. The tank chase adds nothing to your story as is. I'd cut it and drop Brock  by the Chrysler building sooner.

I do like Trixie and her behaviors but was unsure of what she was at first. You describe her as , "a pearl, beautiful, curvy, stunning" That is confusing. Is she a drone? Cyborg? Android?

And a transforming office? Does everything transform in this movie? The gun, The tank's cannon, the arcade, the office, heck even Hansen transforms. Is this for Michael Bay?

Hansen chased Brock. Hansen died. Is brought back to life with a different face. Wakes up with seemingly no recollection of the chase with a sexy robot, and is called by some tough guy with no recollection of Hansen being involved in the chase either? Huh? Is this old or new face Hansen? Flashback or present day?

Page 20. Hansen's forced exposition could be less forced.

Cut the parking lot scene and elevator that follows.

Brock is supposed to be dead? How can he be dead? I don't believe this for a second and neither will your audiance because you showed him landing by the Chrysler building safe and sound earlier. This scene would work better if you didn't show that earlier, leave his fate more open ended? And Brock is not Brock but some dead guy from quadrant six? (Shouldn't quadrants have only 4 parts btw?) I went back and looked and that�s not true. You said Hansen was the one who's face was changed. I'm guessing this is some kind of typo but its a big one. And if it isn't this makes no sense. Was Hansen not Hansen in the beginning then? I am Jack's confused mental state.

USBs in the future still? Oh, and Ipad 10s. That makes this what, 10 years from now?

Here's the thing. We are close to 30 pages in now and what has happened? Half of this was a crazy chase and the other half a big case of mistaken identity. But I don't know why Brock is so wanted. I don't know why Hansen and everybody wants him dead. Very little has happened. Not that what's here isn't interesting or well written, but the story is stagnant. Speed things up because by now, almost a 1/4 of the way through the script you gotta take us somewhere.


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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
CameronD  -  May 22nd, 2014, 5:20pm
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Demento
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Quoted from Leegion
Just received a query email regarding the script from Robert Mattoso.  Thought I'd update folks here.  He's asked for a one-sheet.

Not sure what a one-sheet is... but I'll figure it out I guess.  


I got the same mail Lee. It went to my spam folder.

Be careful. By that guy's FB he's looking for scripts. He seems to have his own production company that wasn't done anything of note besides a few music videos and a short or two. I doubt he can make your Sci-Fi movie.

He most likely sent the same mail he did to you and me to other people on the board.
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Leegion
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Quoted from CameronD
Been wanting to take a look at this and found some time today.

I think you would benefit from an establishing shot at the very beginning. Just opening up in tunnels is kinda jarring. Something as simple as Brock running/walking/sneaking into the tunnels would help clarify what situation he's in.

As mentioned above what kind of DRONES are these? For whatever reason I'm picturing mousers from TMNT, wow, but later on they sound more like robotic people. What kind are these?

A couple thoughts on the transforming gun. I don't like it. There, lol. It sounds cool I know but as a story device having a gun that does EVERYTHING feels like a cop out. I mean heck, this thing even turns into a parachute??? How? Why? Why not just give Brock a parachute straight up? Giving your characters limitations on what they can do makes for a more interesting story instead of having the ultimate swiss army knife bail them out every time. Maybe the gun can do two or three things, but give it some limits. Also, did Hansen use a portal gun on the train? See above.

Brock and Hansen's banter makes the chase seem like a rivalry and game. Just an observation.

Having people hang by straps is very sci-fi but also very strange. Like, The Jetsons's strange. Why not just have them sit like normal people?

The whole human angle is an interesting twist. But I don't know the significance. Why would Brock be so taken aback by this? I'm sure this gets answered later, but besides the shock factor it doesn't make sense. Yet. So you got me scratching my head. That's good. Now reward me later.

However if Hansen is human how and why would he be brought back to life so quickly? He can't even make it to the ER first? Robots or something comes out of nowhere and fixes him on the spot?

The first 14 pages are one giant bombastic (and expensive) chase scene, half gun fight, half Spiderman swinging through the city. The tank chase adds nothing to your story as is. I'd cut it and drop Brock  by the Chrysler building sooner.

I do like Trixie and her behaviors but was unsure of what she was at first. You describe her as , "a pearl, beautiful, curvy, stunning" That is confusing. Is she a drone? Cyborg? Android?

And a transforming office? Does everything transform in this movie? The gun, The tank's cannon, the arcade, the office, heck even Hansen transforms. Is this for Michael Bay?

Hansen chased Brock. Hansen died. Is brought back to life with a different face. Wakes up with seemingly no recollection of the chase with a sexy robot, and is called by some tough guy with no recollection of Hansen being involved in the chase either? Huh? Is this old or new face Hansen? Flashback or present day?

Page 20. Hansen's forced exposition could be less forced.

Cut the parking lot scene and elevator that follows.

Brock is supposed to be dead? How can he be dead? I don't believe this for a second and neither will your audiance because you showed him landing by the Chrysler building safe and sound earlier. This scene would work better if you didn't show that earlier, leave his fate more open ended? And Brock is not Brock but some dead guy from quadrant six? (Shouldn't quadrants have only 4 parts btw?) I went back and looked and that�s not true. You said Hansen was the one who's face was changed. I'm guessing this is some kind of typo but its a big one. And if it isn't this makes no sense. Was Hansen not Hansen in the beginning then? I am Jack's confused mental state.

USBs in the future still? Oh, and Ipad 10s. That makes this what, 10 years from now?

Here's the thing. We are close to 30 pages in now and what has happened? Half of this was a crazy chase and the other half a big case of mistaken identity. But I don't know why Brock is so wanted. I don't know why Hansen and everybody wants him dead. Very little has happened. Not that what's here isn't interesting or well written, but the story is stagnant. Speed things up because by now, almost a 1/4 of the way through the script you gotta take us somewhere.


I'm actually taking a gander through it now and seeing what folks like/didn't.  The gun is liked 9/6, some folks deem it too simple, others say it's awesome, but with the positive/negatives surrounding it, I am thinking of changing it.

You are right, btw, with the opening 30.  Nothing really happens.  It's rather jumbled in parts, as others have said, being that this is a second draft I'm still not 100% sold on WHERE this thing is meant to go.  The first draft was more epic but less spectacular, if you know what I mean.

Brock doesn't show up until page 25, and even then he's not IN the scene, but his voice is.  I'll likely revert to that for a future rewrite.

Basically:  Brock's a terrorist.  Hansen's like a secret agent/cop that's chasing him.  The Hansen/Brock fight in the beginning isn't actually Hansen, it's a Spectre (not stated in-script, Spectres are rogues that infiltrate under select guises).

Trixie's an Android, like the Terminator/T-X (T3).  She's a pearl (spotless) and exceptionally attractive, kinda like a futuristic sex robot... well, not a sex robot, but, you get my point here, lol.  She's an attractive computerized woman, there.

USB flash drives.  This issue came up in the previous script too.  Essentially, what was cut from this version was the creator of the Grid, Matt Parker, who created the thing using data clusters and what-not, and put fail-safes on USB drives if the thing were ever to go wrong.  I think... I'll go into more detail in the next version.

"STRAP-HANGERS", misinterpreted, lol.  Strap-hangers are folks that grab straps inside trains, they stand there, not hang by the neck or something...haha.  

I'm booting up Version 3.0 now.  I'm looking to cut out at least 25 pages of this thing to bring it down to 85 - 90 max.  It's far too long for what it is, and though it's meant to be an "epic", epics don't need to be 110 pages long.

I'm also cutting out a lot of the action, and giving Sports Car Driver a name, like Joe or Julio or something, since he's a recurring character.

Consider this my 2nd vomit draft... if that's even a thing.

-Lee

------------------

@Demento/Dressel

Thanks for looking out, guys.  Much appreciated.  I'm not at all worried about anything with this guy, if he's phony, etc.  This script is 100% protected and I'm not going to hand it over without first receiving a legitimate contract that my lawyer will go through with me.
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Dustin
Posted: May 23rd, 2014, 2:03am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Demento


I got the same mail Lee. It went to my spam folder.

Be careful. By that guy's FB he's looking for scripts. He seems to have his own production company that wasn't done anything of note besides a few music videos and a short or two. I doubt he can make your Sci-Fi movie.

He most likely sent the same mail he did to you and me to other people on the board.


I've had my fill of those guys... dreamers. At first I found it flattering, now it just pisses me off.

That's why I got into it myself... if morons like that are doing it, and some of them are succeeding, then I can do it too.

What all producers need is a good script. Without that they have nothing. They can even actually have a script, but it be written by a not-so-good writer. They go ahead and the film fails before it's even begun. It all starts from a great script.

A writer creates a whole film in their head, that makes them a producer, director, DoP all rolled into one. We already know what we want to see. We already know the story we want to tell. Then we give it to somebody else and they believe they know better than us and change it. Even get some other dickhead to rewrite it for us.

Then it goes wrong.

People enjoy being told stories. Those stories don't all have to match an ideal. They simply have to tell a tale and entertain along the way. That's all storytelling is, all it's always been.

Another thing with me, I think, is that I don't like working for other people. I enjoy working with other people... I just have an aversion to 'for'.


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Quoted from Dustin

I've had my fill of those guys... dreamers. At first I found it flattering, now it just pisses me off.

That's why I got into it myself... if morons like that are doing it, and some of them are succeeding, then I can do it too.


They have to try. Can't blame a guy for trying.

What I don't get is how most of them come off so unprofessional. They have horrible looking websites, they suck at correspondence and so on. If you are a no-name than presentation is very important, because being anonymous and coming off so unprofessional is a sure fire way to turn people off. They have no reason to take you seriously.
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Quoted from Demento


They have to try. Can't blame a guy for trying.



Oh no, you can definitely blame them.


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Dustin
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Quoted from Demento

What I don't get is how most of them come off so unprofessional. They have horrible looking websites, they suck at correspondence and so on. If you are a no-name than presentation is very important, because being anonymous and coming off so unprofessional is a sure fire way to turn people off. They have no reason to take you seriously.


Websites are not really on the radar for most film-makers I've found, even the big guys can have crappy little websites.

It's mostly about building connections. Even if you don't want to work with some of them, then it's best not to burn that bridge just in case later down the line you may need that connect.

Talk to them, feel them out.... see if they're capable. It's worth letting them have your script to punt around to see if they can get funding... but don't let them have it on a real option unless they hand over some hard cash.


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Quoted from Dustin


I've had my fill of those guys... dreamers. At first I found it flattering, now it just pisses me off.


Aren't we all dreamers?  In my experience, you get nowhere in this world without giving people opportunities.

A little back story:

A few years ago I was contacted by an aspiring Spanish filmmaker by the name of Luis de los Rios here on the boards.  He enjoyed an Uncharted script I penned, so he contacted me and we got a discussion going about a 16-episode Batman series and some other projects.

A few years down the line and we're good friends, currently working on a 13-episode Spider-Man fan-fiction series called "The Spectacular Spider-Man".

Our Batman series is about to become a full-fledged online comic book.  And is currently a weekly episodic script series over on comicbookmovie.com under the name of ftoons, if folks want to check it out.  These scripts were written yonks ago, like 2011, so they're a bit underdeveloped and shaky.

Sure, this isn't Hollywood A-List Blockbuster territory but he approached me and I gave him my time for several projects, and frankly put, I'm having a blast with it.  

He contacted me, I gave him my time and now we're good friends living a small little dream of showcasing our stories to a community of people.

At least, that's my experience with giving people an opportunity.

-Lee
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Dustin
Posted: May 23rd, 2014, 2:16pm Report to Moderator
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Unfortunately mate, not all of them are like that. Which is why I suggested feeling them out first. If you like them and have a rapport going on, then why not. Personally now, I need to get paid and I'm only interested in marketable projects.


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Leegion
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Unfortunately not.  Some of them are a--holes.  I always make sure to get to know the person before making a decision on whether or not I want to work with them.  

Money on the other hand, well, if a student comes along (I've said this before) I'll give them the script for free with the deal that I receive 15% of whatever it makes off of Ad Revenue on Youtube/Video Hosting Websites.  

If it's a Hollywood Production Company however, they have to pay for it.  

Otherwise, scripts that I don't sell will gather dust and that would be a waste of time.
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cloroxmartini
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Read a few more pages in and it's not doing anything for me. Non-stop action, stuff getting blown up, Brock is super human with super human toys to take on what ever comes his way. Too many bad guys? Press a button and turrets pop from the ceiling and blow them away. Getting cornered? Pull a tarp off a rig and drive through a wall. Too many foes as you drive your tank? Press any one of the buttons on your steering wheel and take them out. You've just jumped out of your rig and are falling...what do you do? Produce a gas mask. Falling too fast? Twist a dial on your gun and you have backpack, which you put on while falling, and pull a cord, and voila, you parachute to safety. This guy twists through the air like a cat tossed from Burj Khalifa and lands on his feet. I have no idea of what is going on and no hint that I'm going to get one...so I lose interest. From page 1-5 I had no interest. For a moment on page 6, I had interest, and from 7 to 17 you lost me again. I don't care about anyone in your story, much like the recent Godzilla where I didn't care about anyone or anything. By page 17 I think I should be connecting with a character and I'm not.
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cloroxmartini
Posted: May 23rd, 2014, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Leegion


Basically:  Brock's a terrorist.



I would never have known...
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Leegion
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Hey Clorox,

Good stuff, man.  I like the notes and you're bang on target, bud.

I'm revising this at the moment.  Taking it back to its roots.  The "Hansen" thing is not part of it at all, there's no hefty action sequence other than the chase between Hansen and Brock, which then ends.

It's slower, more detailed and... this time around, starts fresh, as in you're meeting these characters for the first time.  I wrote this in a way that makes it feel like a sequel.  I know the characters, but the readers do not.  Meaning I'm not doing my job correctly in producing understandable work.

Give me about 2 weeks.  I'll try to get the revision up by June 5th.

However, getting into my scripts/stories takes time.  I don't simply throw you an inciting incident by a certain page, I build you up to it and I don't write in a conventional "by-the-book" kinda way either.  

Then again, I come from novel-writing... so I guess that's part of the reason.

-Lee
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cloroxmartini
Posted: May 23rd, 2014, 7:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Don
Fracture by Lee Cordner (leegion) - Action, Thriller, Sci Fi, Conspiracy - Two men race against time to stop an event that threatens to wipe out all organic life.  111 pages - pdf, format


Start with this?
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Dustin
Posted: May 24th, 2014, 3:27am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Leegion


Otherwise, scripts that I don't sell will gather dust and that would be a waste of time.


That's the way it goes, mate. There comes a time when you have to place a value on your work. Giving stuff away for free isn't a good idea, not only do you not make anything, but it doesn't say much for the budget, which means a terrible end product and your name associated with that.


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Leegion
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Quoted from cloroxmartini


Start with this?


I will be.  

The opening 10 of the third revision start with the 2 page chase scene, then flips to Hansen getting grilled in UFA HQ by his commander-in-chief where we then meet his new partner "Android Trixie", Brock's at the Arcade setting up his target "Wei Mitzu" and we then meet The Grid, which begins to go haywire and select Humanity as targets, which is thwarted quickly by Beckett (from Draft 1) who shuts the whole system down (humans, androids, anything with a data chip) and then reboots everything.

That's the opening 10 at least.  From there it goes the same way as draft 1 did, so there won't be anything happening that happened in this version.

-Lee
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