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I was shocked — shocked! — to find this script bumped up in the portal. I saw that and was like wtf? This script is seven years old!
All kidding aside, thank you for the feedback, Steve. I'm not sure who you are. I thought Julio went by reaper. I get the screen names confused.
I agree with most of what you said. All I can say is that I don't really write this way anymore. I've grown a great deal over the last seven years. This script is really very amateurish next to my more recent work. I didn't even fully understand story structure at the time I wrote this — which I think is glaring like a beacon in the night in this script.
The only issue I have with your characters has to do with your minor ones -- Cop One, Bishop One, Priest (maybe not minor, but . . . ), Doctor -- I hate when writers do that. It's plain, boring and lazy writing if you ask me. You should always try to give all your characters their own name, a sense of their own individuality, even if they're minor.
This is an accepted practice in screenwriting. It doesn't bother me at all when I see it in a script. It's something I still do today occasionally, something pros regularly do, and it has never once been an issue when I've dealt with people in the business. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm okay with it.
Everything else, I pretty much agree with. This could definitely improve a lot with a revision. The problem is that it's such an early work. I've matured so much as a writer that this is a script I've moved on from for the most part.
It's interesting, though, the way I can still learn things from a review of it. Your review was really helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to read and offer your thoughts. Thank you!
Read this last night as per Steve's recommendation. I breezed through it in 45 minutes and I enjoyed it all the way through. You don't see many amateur scripts that have the guts to be this different, so props for that.
It's a pretty old script so I won't get too detailed with my notes. I don't have too many issues. A lot of things I'd normally bring up aren't valid because of how surreal and experimental the story is.
At first I was going to mention that there isn't a plot here, at least not until the last 20 pages. But for a script like this, it works. You mentioned not knowing much about story structure when you wrote this, but I wouldn't worry about it. My only hangup about the storytelling is that it takes a long time for things to get started. Nothing really happens for the first 50 pages.
As for more technical stuff... which I think you probably know now, but still... you should label your flashbacks. Also, as previously mentioned, your slugs were very vague. The worst was "INT. ROOM". It was a very visual story, and better slugs would have helped.
I liked the part when Trevor and Julia run into the strung-out kids. Yellow Eyes and the rest of them come across, at first, as the somewhat likable main characters. You empathize with them. But when they run into Julie and Trevor in the woods, they immediately become scary as fuck, and you wonder what they're going to do to Trevor and Julie. Really liked that scene.
There are a lot of things to like here, actually. The characters are very well done, definitely memorable. You have some great images here, too.
I was even okay with most of the dialogue, minus the "you have a worm from consuming raw pork at one point in your life" line. Kind of killed the mood for me right there… raw pork? IMO it sounds kind of on a nose and a little corny. I wouldn't have brought it up unless it was at such an important part in the story.
And... I guess that's all. Again, I enjoyed this one. Great job.
Thank you, Will. I agree with you for the most part. I did some research into brain diseases at the time and learned about the raw pork and worm and lesion thing. That was what inspired all that. I hadn't really learned to write technical exposition yet, though, as you can tell.
The last time I took a crack at revising this, I found it problematic because I've grown so much as a writer. I think it would take a page one rewrite to really update it. I can't see myself doing that when I've got so many current projects in the works. Still, there are things to be learned from these reviews. A lot of the criticisms are things I don't really think about anymore. I think it's a good thing to have my attention brought back to these little details.