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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Edward's Return Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 27th, 2007, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Edward's Return by Elisabeth Dubois (elis) - Drama - Australia 1845… The contented life of Edward Seymour, a loyal bank employee, dramatically changes when his employer, Mr. Case, dies.  Laying on his death bed, Mr. Case bestows Edward his business and Estate, with one condition; -- Edward is to care for his two daughters. Edward agrees, marrying one of them; Although, in love with another woman. Weeks after the wedding, Edward is found murdered. A housemaid, his mistress, is wrongly accused of his murder and is convicted and hung. 165 years later, the present… Two ladies share inexplicable dreams and experiences; Unbeknownst to them, they are connected with Edward’s past. Edward’s wait is over; through the incarnation of these souls, the identity of his killer will be revealed. How will Edward execute the revenge of his unjust murder? 100 pages - pdf, format



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Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
bert  -  August 25th, 2007, 11:24pm
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elis
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New title:
Edward's Return


New updated version
Uploaded  the 26th August 2007.
Hope you enjoy.

I'll exchange a review for it.
Cheers



Revision History (6 edits; 1 reasons shown)
elis  -  September 9th, 2007, 7:38am
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JD_OK
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PM tonkatough, he only other australin around here i think.

what is NSW FTO?


Newton's Cradle - action/fantasy, 10th draft 109pgs pdf

IN QUEUE - Comedy - Coming soon!


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elis
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film and televison office.
They offer new writers the chance to apply for a grant once a year.
New writer being someone who has not had a feature length script produced before.
It gives you the option to develop your script with an editor and producer if you have one.


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Dethan
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Hey Elis,

Sorry I'm taking my time.  I'm reading it like an editor, so it is going to be a bit more critical then I normally would be in a review.  You write well. Only a few minor flaws here or there with grammar.  The story is very involving.  I'm 1/2 way through and there isn't a real "thriller" moment.  Right now it feels like a drama.

Below is my indepth review of the first 60 pages.  I give thoughts on plot & char after every 20.
Pg. 2. "Edward begins to read the document. As he reads, he begins
to show disbelief." - don't overuse "begins"?.  You use it a lot.

Pg. 2 MR CASE "On one condition. Once you agree
before Dr Chalmers, it is all yours. You deserve it. "- Â? Sounds awkward.

Pg. 3 Header needs FLASHBACK, might want to Super:8 years earlier.

Pg. 3 MR CASE "I am sorry lass."? - should be Lad. Lass is a girl or a lad's sweetheart. Unless it is different down under.

Pg. 4 another lass.

Note: I'm not sure you need the flashback to establish the relationship between Mr. Case and Edward.

Pg. 6 - EXT. CASE MANSION - DAY, this slug needs the date 1845, since you're moving back in time.

Pg. 6 :THOMAS, the gardener, a little older than Edward, tends to
rose beds." - needs a "the" before rose?.

Pg. 6 You need to cap MRS BLIGH and give her a description.

Pg. 8 Slug line needs PRESENT?.

Pg. 12 Slug line PAST- then back to PRESENT.  The switching... is becoming a bit confusing. Going to stop documenting the PAST/PRESENT switches.  But remember to tag them in the slug line.

Pg. 16 She then closes the curtains behind her desk and dimly
lights the office. - Sounds weird, end it at "desk". Also, she has a sink in her office? I cannot picture how this room is laid out from the description.

Pg. 16 PRIEST
I know pronounce you Mr. andMrs.
Edward Seymour. You may kiss the
bride.  - should be "now"

Pg. 19 Linda escorts WOMAN 1, Kathleen, out of her office and sees
MARY, Linda's sister, looking towards her with a faint
smile of acknowledgement, sitting in the waiting room. - Since you gave woman 1 a name, use KATHLEEN.

FIRST 20 PAGES THOUGHTS:
This is a fast paced 20 pages.  Lots of cuts and time shifts, and it is a bit confusing.  You also give us a lot of characters! And don't give yourself that much time to flesh them out.

The characters are very sketchy right now.  In the past scenes I'm not sure who I'm suppose to sympathize with Edwina? Helena? Or Sophia? For some reason I like Sophia best so far.  Her and Edward are the only two that relate.

As for the present, Linda, I feel, is the main character.  But I'm not sure of her purpose yet.

PLOT: If I didn't read the log line I wouldn't know where you are going with the story. With Linda waking up I thought you started with a dream.  But then you have more things of Edward with no "waking up" moments or spaced out moments. I'm unsure if how the two stories are connected.

20-40
Pg. 22 - FLASHBACK needs to be in the slug.  When done with the flashback you need a RETURN TO SCENE or RETURN TO REALITYÂ?. (I usually screw this up too.)
Pg. 23 - again, flashback.
Pg. 26 - SAMUEL
I just don't like your sister.
She's just a bitch.
- don't overuse 'just'. And this makes me like Samuel less.
Pg. 33 - SUSIE
Yeah, There is one, I've told, is
very good . - I'm told
SECOND 20 PAGES THOUGHTS:
This was smoother then the first twenty.  I'm feeling the story more and understand the character relationships. It is flowing better.  I'm still unsure how the present 3 ladies relate to the 3 main ladies in the past.
CHARACTERS: Edward isn't likeable enough for me to want Susie to help him.  Helena seems a little slow.  And Edwina, well, she confuses me.

The modern chars I don't know enough about to like.  I feel sympathy for Mary. I'm not sure why Linda is with Samuel.  And I'm unsure how the cemetary and the dead child fit into the main story arc.  Susie seems to be a catalyst, but I don't really know enough about her.

PLOT: Finally to the plot of the story! What happens to Edward!? It comes extremely late. Page 40. I'd try to put this around page 20.  We're almost 1/2 way through the script!

40-60
Pg. 51 Samuel is with a land DEVELOPER, ANTHONY. - Description for anthony? And we don't need developer capped.
Pg.51 Council need the
preliminary sketches by the end
of the month.- put an "s" on need.
Pg. 53 She takes a step back admiring - admires her work. Or, she takes a step back, puts her hand to her chin in thought, a self satisfied smile comes across her face.

THIRD 20 PAGES THOUGHTS:
Definitely picking up! Becoming a lot faster read.
CHARACTERS: I'm still unsure who I should be cheering for. I'm not sure what brought on the premonitions to these 3 girls? I'm going to take a wild guess and say their related to the past chars.  But there really isn't enough here to even say that. Edwina scares me. Helena still doesn't have much of a personality.  I still feel sympathy for Sophia. From what I can tell, she is the one that loses the most from Edward's death.

PLOT: Susie doesn't get enough information from the medium to do much of anything.  Two first names? Yikes! I was hoping for some type of clue to puzzle over. Right now you have 2 stories going.  One in the past that is orderly and makes sense.  Then, the one in the present that is a bit scattered.



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Dethan  -  June 8th, 2007, 11:23am
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Dethan
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THOUGHTS ON FIRST 60 Pages
This is an enjoyable read, but the plot points seem to be coming really late in the story.  It reads like a slow paced drama instead of a thriller.  I'm still working on how the two stories interconnect.  

Hope this helps.  I'll have the final 1/2 the script read by tomorrow.
Dethan


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elis
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A full analysis! More than I expected! Thanks!

By all means, take your time.
Your feedback, is very valuable towards this script at present.

The script does read as two stories; I wanted  to make it a little different, I get a little frustrated with  flashbacks.

But the need for a flashback in the beginning, as you mentioned is something I will rectify.

I thought it was more a thriller than a drama.
You're the first to point this out to me.

I will peruse through the script with all the comments you have made and fix, what needs to be fixed.  Thanks!

Yeah, I pick on others for using the word begins, and yet I am just as guilty: Really bad habit.

I now tremble on the edge of my seat; awaiting, your final words.

Thanks again for being so thorough!  I can tidy it up a little more before sending it off.
I have three weeks left.


I will post my full response

Elis




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Dethan
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60-80

Pg. 79 The crowd becomes alive
with profanities. - comes alive, or use heckles the hangman. Or use examples: Crowd shouts at the hangman: “Filthy whore”, “murderess”, “crocodile slut!”. You get the idea.
Pg. 80 The door bell is heard. - change to: Door bell RINGS.

THOUGHTS ON FOURTH 20 pages:
Getting closer to a reveal. The writing is smoother.

CHARACTERS: The Thomas/Helena relationship seems weird to me. A few glances and then he has money for a gift to woo her? Or it was in the family, either way it seems out of place.

The Linda/Samuel relations is also a bit quick.  I don’t feel like I know Samuel at all.  He feels distant.

Susie seems to be forced into the story. No friends, family, but seeing ghosts and happens to be Linda’s patient.

Helena/Edwina yikes! Bloody cloths!

PLOT: You are giving everything to the audience before your characters get to them: Edward’s death, bloody clothing, etc.  An audience should never be in front of the characters.  We should be with the chars on their journey of discovery. We need to be right there with them being shocked, frightened, and joyous.

80 - End
Pg. 83-84 Sophie drops her head. Climbing up the steps we see Edward. - You need to say Edward’s ghost.

And NOW you got Susie seeing things in the past? You need to designate that as a DREAM SEQUENCE with a RETURN TO REALITY afterward. Makes me wonder if we’re suppose to be seeing all the flashbacks as Susie’s? If so, you need to make that clearer.

Pg. 86 I’m not entirely sure why the parallelism between past/present. It also doesn’t make sense. The sisters, Mary and Linda would be Helena and Edwina, and Susie would be Sophia. And what is bringing on all these events? It seems like your trying to tell one story but in two different time frames without giving us a reason why.

Pg. 108 MARY
May I have a nurse?  -  is this slang?

THOUGHTS ON THE END:

You got better as you went. Fewer grammar mistakes.

I only felt jeopardy once in the script, when Marry was getting strangled.  Otherwise, only few paint strokes and some water faucets being turned on, neither scared me. Which is why I’d label this a Drama. Not many “thrills”.

The Past/Present playing out at the same time to create a cohesive story was an interesting concept.  I cannot think of a movie that has done that off the top of my head.  So, that was unique. You used it best during the HANGING sequence, which I really enjoyed. I kept waiting for them to try and kill Samuel. I think an attempted murder would have been great as a climax. Linda attacking her husband with Susie’s help!

Also, I think you focus too much on Linda, Marry, and Susie. Samuel could have been used better.  Shouldn’t he be the one trying to solve Edward’s murder? Also, since he is at the site of the Seymour manor he could find clues that inspire the sequences.

Maybe even a diary? It’d make the shifts have a reason. Instead, I kept wondering why the time shifts happened in sequence and at random times.  And why the spirits picked these people to latch onto.

I enjoyed the end.  It was touching. I’m not sure if having a baby named Edward is revenge.

This was a good read.  Unique way of going about telling this story, even it didn’t exactly work for me.

Hope this helped.  Look forward to reading more of your scripts.

Dethan


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elis
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Quoted from Dethan
60-80

Pg. 79 The crowd becomes alive
with profanities. - comes alive, or use heckles the hangman. Or use examples: Crowd shouts at the hangman: “Filthy whore”, “murderess”, “crocodile slut!”. You get the idea.


I like your style. Sounds a lot nastier.

Pg. 80 The door bell is heard. - change to: Door bell RINGS.

THOUGHTS ON FOURTH 20 pages:
Getting closer to a reveal. The writing is smoother.


Quoted from Dethan
CHARACTERS: The Thomas/Helena relationship seems weird to me. A few glances and then he has money for a gift to woo her? Or it was in the family, either way it seems out of place.


It is a heirloom, it belonged to Thomas' mother.


Quoted from Dethan
The Linda/Samuel relations is also a bit quick.  I don’t feel like I know Samuel at all.  He feels distant..


I didn't want him to be tied as Thomas in any way, not until the end.


Quoted from Dethan
Susie seems to be forced into the story. No friends, family, but seeing ghosts and happens to be Linda’s patient..


originally I had Mary as a patient and she was also drawn to Linda,  unbeknowst to them.
I will take another look at presenting Suzie.



Helena/Edwina yikes! Bloody cloths!


Quoted from Dethan
PLOT: You are giving everything to the audience before your characters get to them: Edward’s death, bloody clothing, etc.  An audience should never be in front of the characters.  We should be with the chars on their journey of discovery. We need to be right there with them being shocked, frightened, and joyous.


I know. Ithought I would try a different way of getting the audience to try and figure out who was responsible for the murder.


Quoted from Dethan
80 - End
Pg. 83-84 Sophie drops her head. Climbing up the steps we see Edward. - You need to say Edward’s ghost

Point well taken


Quoted from Dethan
And NOW you got Susie seeing things in the past? You need to designate that as a DREAM SEQUENCE with a RETURN TO REALITY afterward. Makes me wonder if we’re suppose to be seeing all the flashbacks as Susie’s? If so, you need to make that clearer..

I am not sure what you mean here. Susie does not have a flashback or a dream sequence. Mary is the main character in this scene and the one in trouble and the parallax is Sophie getting hung.



Quoted from Dethan
Pg. 86 I’m not entirely sure why the parallelism between past/present. It also doesn’t make sense. The sisters, Mary and Linda would be Helena and Edwina, and Susie would be Sophia. And what is bringing on all these events? It seems like your trying to tell one story but in two different time frames without giving us a reason why..


They are not meant to represent the same respective people from the past. Edward has waited for the three souls to reincarnate at the same time. this happens in the present; although, I know two are sisters, it's purely coincidental.



Quoted from Dethan
Pg. 108 MARY
May I have a nurse?  -  is this slang?.


Maybe! I thought that term would be used in the US. it means a cuddle , NURSE A BABY

THOUGHTS ON THE END:

You got better as you went. Fewer grammar mistakes.

I only felt jeopardy once in the script, when Marry was getting strangled.  Otherwise, only few paint strokes and some water faucets being turned on, neither scared me. Which is why I’d label this a Drama. Not many “thrills”.

The Past/Present playing out at the same time to create a cohesive story was an interesting concept.  I cannot think of a movie that has done that off the top of my head.  So, that was unique. You used it best during the HANGING sequence, which I really enjoyed. I kept waiting for them to try and kill Samuel. I think an attempted murder would have been great as a climax. Linda attacking her husband with Susie’s help!


Quoted from Dethan
Also, I think you focus too much on Linda, Marry, and Susie. Samuel could have been used better.  Shouldn’t he be the one trying to solve Edward’s murder? Also, since he is at the site of the Seymour manor he could find clues that inspire the sequences.  [quote=Dethan]

I really didn't want him too involved.

Maybe even a diary? It’d make the shifts have a reason. Instead, I kept wondering why the time shifts happened in sequence and at random times.  And why the spirits picked these people to latch onto.

[quote=Dethan]I enjoyed the end.  It was touching. I’m not sure if having a baby named Edward is revenge.  [quote=Dethan]

It is Edward, reincarnated. It makes for a sequel, which I have already started

This was a good read.  Unique way of going about telling this story, even it didn’t exactly work for me.

Hope this helped.  Look forward to reading more of your scripts.

Dethan


Once again,
thanks for the review Dethan




Revision History (5 edits; 1 reasons shown)
elis  -  June 9th, 2007, 2:29am
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Shelton
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Hey Elis,

Looks like you're up.  First off, you lied and told me this was in the Thriller section.  Minus 10 points.

I'm seeing that this is a drama and a period piece.  In addition to your classifying it as a thriller, I'm pretty sure I'm in for something new in terms of things I have read on this sight.  Well, here goes.

First off, I'm wondering why Mr. Case insists that Edward marry one of the girls and care for both of them, yet not require him to love them?  Taking this in a more modern context, which is probably the wrong thing to do since the story takes place 160 years ago...he should just be concerned that the daughter's are taken care of instead of saying "Marry and cheat."

Mr Case's death, from a seizure no less, seemed REALLY sudden.

I'm on page 15 and so far I can safely say that I have a good feeling of what's going on in the flashback storyline, but there really isn't much in the present.  

Edwina definitely seems to be a little off her rocker, but it helps to give some validity to Mr. Case's request.

Page 50 and the stories seem to be starting to tie together more now.  I think you should try to get to this a little earlier to get a deeper hook (not in the early page sense, but to keep the reader more interested in the story).  As it is, it's a lot of jumping back and forth and trying to figure out who these characters are and what's going on, but not in the thriller/suspense type way.

As I keep reading this further and further, I'm really starting to think that this script would be better structured to have more of the 1845 storyline in the beginning, and then filter in the present day stuff afterward instead of cutting back and forth all the time.

I really think that the 1845 story is much much stronger, and really hooks the reader, and with Susie being the one with the real crisis, you could get into that story and utilize the 1845 story again through flashbacks.  Just a thought, and it would probably be difficult to switch things around that much since there are some things that play into each other here and there.

Okay, on page 93 is something liek what I was talking about.  You're using a scene again, but you're adding on to it a little bit whil interweaving it with the present.  I think this works well.

The ending was a nice twist, and again I think you did a good job of blending the two stories, but the story needs to get in this mode quicker.

When I broke the script down, I ended up lookign at it in basically three stories.  The first one being the 1845 one, which was definitely strong all the way through.  Then there was Susie's storyline, and how she was seeign things and having to deal with that, and then there was Linda and Samuel, which for most of the script up until the very end felt like the weak link.

At the end it worked out great, but I think a lot of the stuff about them up front could be trimmed.  You can keep the stuff in there that alludes to something happening later on, but I'd say trim down as much of them in the first 45 pages or so that you can.

Overall, this was a decent read.  It definitely got better as it went on and the pace picked up, you just need to keep that pace going throughout.

Nice work.  





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Thanks Mike.

The Thriller/ Drama bit was due to the last review I was given; with consideration it was really more a drama script. Sorry about that! I had sent you a PM notifying of the change.

The story does entail a lot and I didn't want to use the flashback approach.
I wanted this to be different..

I realise it can get confusing but, it would be different on screen. Having the story set in in the present and in the past simultaneously shouldn't cause to much  confusion. ( well, I'm hoping.)

The reason I concentrated more on Suzie in the present was because of her past character being blind; therefor her sensitivity was increased.

I am very appreciative of your feed back and will make further alterations.
This script, accompanied by an editor, is being presented for funding in three weeks; this will allow me to work on it once more.

Once again, thank you, your review has been of great help.
Cheers,
Elis


Anyone else wanting to take a stab at this script in the next week and tear it to shreds, you're most welcome.


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Wow, you can't let your attantion slip when reading this script. So many flashbacks. the story is all over the shop.  Not recommanded for lazy readers.

This was what made your script so appealling for me. It was like a jig saw puzzle and you had to put all the pieces together.  Having two stories is a great hook to keep me reading to see just how the two stories will link.

Plus how can you not like a blind psycho nut bag like Edwina who likes to laugh in a evil tone.  

After page 60 you build a up really nswift momentum then doesn't let up and just swept me up in the story.

The hullicinations/illusion scenes such as the painting and all the taps in the house switched on add a nice touch and keep the story exciting and interesting.

I noticed you are putting this up for FTO funding? With all the recent crapfest of Aussie movies failing at the Box Office and ignored by mainstream Australia, I'm suprised the FTO is still operating.

After all the trash FTO has funded last year they would wanna have a damn good reason if they knock this back.  


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Thank you for the review.
I am glad you liked it...was there anything you didn't like or any suggestions on improvement?
Thanks again tonkatough.


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tonkatough
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Hmm, the only suggestion I can think of is . . . .

SPOILER

when the twist is revealed regarding the past lives that link past and present together, raise the drama and have Edward carry out his revenge and kill Edwina/Susie.  

It's just an idea,

But if you do get this excepted by FTO they're gonna make you "develope" the hell out of it anyway. Aussies producers and grant givers love their script development.  


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Quoted from tonkatough
Hmm, the only suggestion I can think of is . . . .

SPOILER

when the twist is revealed regarding the past lives that link past and present together, raise the drama and have Edward carry out his revenge and kill Edwina/Susie.  

  


Edwina was not the killer, Thomas was. That's why he was destroying the knife.


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