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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  The Silence of the Lands Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Silence of the Lands  (currently 1089 views)
Don
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Silence of the Lands by David Scott Mangione - Action, Adventure, Historical, Action, Drama - In 1834 Texas, a wealthy Mexican landholder is threatened by Anglos. He must defend his family and property from the Texas Rangers and Texas government to avoid abandoning his land. 112 pages - pdf format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  November 26th, 2018, 3:50pm
revised draft
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HyperMatt
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 10:19am Report to Moderator
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I love that title!


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DSM
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 5:36pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks. I hope you enjoy the screenplay.
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HyperMatt
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 6:19pm Report to Moderator
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I'll give it a look when I get a chance.


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DSM
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 6:25pm Report to Moderator
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Can you recommend something of yours to read?
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eldave1
Posted: May 12th, 2018, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, D - read a few pages. Struck me that you could be more efficient by paying closer attention to the scene headings. example:


Quoted Text
INT. BANK - DAY

GREGORIA DE LA GARZA, 42, waits in front of the steel cage
at the the Bank of San Antonio. She stands out in her
colorful Mexican dress.


If move the name of the bank to the header you can save space:

INT. BANK OF SAN ANTONIO  - DAY

GREGORIA DE LA GARZA, 42, colorful Mexican dress.
waits in front of a steel cage

Same here:

Quoted Text
EXT. RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

A semitrailer stops in the back of the parking lot.


You already have parking lot in the header - don't need it in the action. e.g.,

EXT. RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

A semitrailer stops in the back.


Quoted Text
The bank teller, CHRIS, 24, walks up to Gregoria after
checking her balance.


An unfilmables in bold - and not needed. We couldn't have seen him check her balance and you indicate later in dialogue anyway. Just:

CHRIS, 24, approaches Gregoria.

Is all you need.


Quoted Text
A LARGE MAN in a suit, impatiently gets in line behind her.


clumsy here IMO - how does one impatiently get in line? Describe what's he's doing.


Quoted Text
Three more people get in line. The large man approaches the
cage.


people needs to be CAPPED


Quoted Text
Gregoria turns and holds her hand out to stop him.


Look for places to lose the "ands." reads crisper as:

Gregoria turns, holds her hand out to stop him.


Quoted Text
She turns back to the teller. This gets the attention of
the SECURITY GUARD. He walks toward her.


Should be Chris - not teller - although unless he is a reoccurring character - just refer to him as Teller from the start (like you did with Security Guard).

Anyone - just based on the opening pages - you could use a little clean-up I think. Hope these notes help


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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DSM
Posted: May 13th, 2018, 10:37am Report to Moderator
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Awesome. Very helpful. I appreciate the time you spent on such detailed notes. Exactly what I needed as I try to learn the craft. Will apply to the rewrite,  I can't wait to read some of your stuff. I agree with every comment. Seems so obvious now which is a little painful. I'll apply that to the whole script and then notify you when I post the rewrite. Back to work.
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eldave1
Posted: May 13th, 2018, 7:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DSM
Awesome. Very helpful. I appreciate the time you spent on such detailed notes. Exactly what I needed as I try to learn the craft. Will apply to the rewrite,  I can't wait to read some of your stuff. I agree with every comment. Seems so obvious now which is a little painful. I'll apply that to the whole script and then notify you when I post the rewrite. Back to work.


Glad they helped - best of luck with it


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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HyperMatt
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Pages 1-6:

A curious start to what could be an interesting script. You really give a lot of empathy for Gregoria from that first bank scene and then with her kids working in the cauliflower fields. Hopefully what follows is a vivid examination of prejudice, but what do I know?

Pg. 3 migrant workers, any new characters should be in caps.

Pg. 4 how are you going to show the trailer is filled with the smell of burning kerosene?


The first time we know this is set in the 40s was when Ronald throws the paper on the burner. It seemed near-contemporary to me at that point. You might consider indicating it earlier as this is a period piece.

I like the fairy tale like transition to La Parra Rancho with Gegoria telling her girls the story. Now the story might go in a different directionÖ


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HyperMatt
Posted: May 14th, 2018, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from HyperMatt
The first time we know this is set in the 40s was when Ronald throws the paper on the burner. It seemed near-contemporary to me at that point. You might consider indicating it earlier as this is a period piece.



That's because I didn't read the logline properly before I started reading. Silly me.


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DSM
Posted: May 18th, 2018, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you so much for reading. I wrote "Silence of the Lands" to portray the true story of Texas during the time of the Alamo. It is rarely mentioned that the American immigrants stole most of their land from the Mexicans. The courtroom scene was taken from actual transcripts from Juan Seguin and Antonio Navarro. I believe it is a story that needs to be told.
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Dustin
Posted: May 20th, 2018, 2:20am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder than dialogue.

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Quoted from DSM
Thank you so much for reading. I wrote "Silence of the Lands" to portray the true story of Texas during the time of the Alamo. It is rarely mentioned that the American immigrants stole most of their land from the Mexicans. The courtroom scene was taken from actual transcripts from Juan Seguin and Antonio Navarro. I believe it is a story that needs to be told.


I would avoid this film. I love Westerns when they are done well, but this sounds cringe-worthy. Who cares who conquered what land? Everybody was fighting everybody and there had to be a winner. The losers crying later just shows the mercy of the victors - who allow them to live on after defeat.

You don't get that in Africa. They swing newborn babies by their legs and smash their heads off trees to kill them just because they're from a different tribe they believe needs to be wiped out. The Muslim factions too, killing each other in the most vicious of ways.

All this bullshitty claptrap where we're meant to feel sorry for Mexico over Texas, which is land the Spanish conquered hundreds of years ago anyway. OMG, the shock, the horror, give that man an Oscar!

I can just see their poor Mexican faces, a halo of sunlight about their heads, framing their innocence, their courage, and heart, lotsa, lotsa heart.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Unfortunately, the world only has so much sympathy to give. Mexico losing Texas is way down the list. Those are my thoughts after reading your logline and brief summary.
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DSM
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Quoted from eldave1


Glad they helped - best of luck with it


Applied your suggestions to entire script. The revision has just been posted
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DSM
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I'm not making judgments. Many find the truth about history interesting especially when it's taught incorrectly. You might too Dustin if you read the script. 1834 to 1839 is a unique period in World history.  From 1821 to 1846 a family who owned land in Texas became citizens of Spain then Mexico then Texas then the United States. That's a fairly eventful 25 years.
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HyperMatt
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Up to page 20, and I have to say I am really enjoying this so far. The whole thing feels very elaborate and lavish and has a lot of empathy for the family of protagonists. Richard and his men are clearly established as the antagonists and they seem to have real motivation to do whatever evil did that they are sure to do in the next few pages.
I feel like the story really starts at La Parra Rancho and the migrant worker story at the beginning seems redundant. I'm sure it will make sense as I continue to read.
Hopefully, the momentum will continue through the rest of the script.


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DSM
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Thank you. Gregoria is in 1941 then La Parra ranch is in 1834.
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HyperMatt
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This seems much more a drama than an action adventure, but this could change as the conflict seems to be heating up. I really like the charecterization of Domingo. He is clearly the protagonist. Although I think he may have handled the death of his father to well. I think he should have affected him more and it would raise the stakes.
Wedding scene was really elaborate. It reminded me of that Godfather wedding scene.


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DSM
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Keep reading. The death of his father hits him hard very soon. Thank you for the comment.
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HyperMatt
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I finally finished the script. I think it is more of a western than anything else. It felt very much like those Spanish/Mexican-centric Westerns from the 60s, like Guns Of San SebastiŠn.


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DSM
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I am going to watch that and I think you are suggesting to describe the genre as western. I thought of that but it didn't seem to belong with the westerns I am familiar with, I think it is historically ironic that the illegal immigrants in the 1830s were Americans entering Mexico. Not many seem to know that. Thank you so much. I hope it was worthwhile.
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HyperMatt
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I could really see Anthony Quinn with a role somewhere, but unfortunately heís dead.


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HyperMatt
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SILENCE OF THE LANDS Ė By D. Scott Mangione
It really is a Western Drama.
The good news is that you have a solid compelling story, with good tension, good stakes, strong sympathetic characters that you (or at least) really rooted for, especially Domingo and his wife. Iíve found a lot of romances in script really corny, but this was a really strong, spiritual relationship. You really felt for Bernada when Domingo left home, when she was beaten up, when she had her baby. You give the villains belevible convictions for doing what the
But a lot of work to be done, a lot. It seems that you are a good story teller, and I suspect that you spent a lot of time on this (and how many drafts?). It feels like it was a labour of love for you. I wonder how long it took you to write? (Iím always wondering how long it took writers to finish their feature scripts. The story really feels like a labor of love for you personally. I like some of the intimate scenes  like father and sons looking at the night sky.  
The relationship between Lorenzo and his son reminds of the relationship between Jacob and his sons in the book of Genesis for some reason. Especially on page 13 where he effectively gives Domingo his blessing.
I love the land granting scene on Page 7; very ceremonial. This is going to be a very expensive period film. I think of things like ĎThe massive partyrrom is supported by pillars of Cyprus and oak crossbeams.í
You donít always indicate age of new characters in the script, like Bernada.
Although the dialogue is engaging and somewhat believable, a lot of it goes on for too long, you spell out things that are already clear in the script, is redundant (e.g.Domingo telling us that the statue is badly damaged), says what we already know. I think that cutting unnecessary dialogue cut your script by at least 15%. Getting it down to the magic 100 page number.
The scene where Borland and Miller meet Domingo I thought this was some kind of rouse by Hayes, I was thinking Ďthis would be a brilliant twistí.
Personally, I really hate that script device Ďa beatí itís like taking the place of something else.
Numbers in dialogue should be spelt out in words. 6000 by nightfall should be ĎSix thousand by nightfallí. I donít know how that convention came about.
I like the confrontation with Rafael where Domingoís fatherís killer is revealed.
I think that speech of Domingo speaking to Julianís grave needs to be seriously reworded. IN fact the speech is unnecessary, the reaction on Domingoís face is enough. Good scene where Rafael is Ďresurrectedí and he and Domingo are resurrected. It shows how invested I was in the characters.
Your action scenes. I would put actual gunfire descriptions than bang, bang, although I have seen that in a lot of scripts that have become films.  
Whose is that voice in Domingoís head? We donít even know if it is a man or a woman,  young voice or old voice
I love that seen where Richard throws gravel at Domingoís feet.
I love that graphic image of hank tortured and tied to a cross on page 45 that was quite a brutal effective scene
I really hate that script device Ďa beatí itís like taking the place of something else.
Iím in two minds about the bookends. Up till the end I thought they were unnecessary, but I thought they were fitting reaching the end of the tale, nicely complementing the story.  I think you should still explore if the story could work without them. I think you should at least reduce the first bookend from its 5 pages.
There are a few typos, which I have emailed to you. I donít think Rangers needs to begin with a capital letter. This is a constant problem with us newbies. Iíve just had my latest script reviewed and Iím annoyed at myself for how many typos are in it. Iím going to get into the habit of having a neutral person check through it.
You need to give age of new characters introduced.


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DSM
Posted: June 28th, 2018, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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thank you so much for comments and advice. Will consider how to apply them.
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DSM
Posted: June 30th, 2018, 9:47am Report to Moderator
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I never answered your question. I spent 9 weeks writing the first draft with some small changes after that.
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DSM
Posted: June 30th, 2018, 10:05am Report to Moderator
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Somewhere along my studies, I was taught numbers in dialogue should always be written numerically. It has to do with preference of actors.
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HyperMatt
Posted: June 30th, 2018, 12:49pm Report to Moderator
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Were you working on it full time or outside of a full time job.
Man... if i didn't have to work full time, the stuff I could do.


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DSM
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Totally full time. Doing nothing else. If you can handle being poor it can be done.
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