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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Run For Your Life Moderators: bert
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  Author    Run For Your Life  (currently 7271 views)
Nomad
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 10:23am Report to Moderator
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Curt,

I got to page 4, and the only reason I continued from page 3 is because your dialogue was above average.  It's written how people actually talk, for the most part.  Well done.

A few notes:


  • Don't start the script with something that sounds like a line from Forrest Gump.  Just say, "Life is an adventure.  A really big adventure."  And you don't need to say, "I know this from personal experience."  We know it's from personal experience.

  • Once you're 18 you're no longer considered a BOY or GIRL.  MAN and WOMAN, are more accurate.

  • The orange rusty chains aren't important.  Or if they are, I didn't get to that point in the script.  It's a wasted line and it doesn't do anything for the story.  Remove it.

  • To say the school is, "Modern looking", and "Fresh looking" is redundant to say that is what the school looks like.  Notice the redundancy?

  • "Gym building" sounds weird.  Just say, "Gym".

  • Just say, "A floral banner hangs above the entrance."

  • Ah, this is my favorite line, "Teenage school pupils".  Uh... do you mean, "Students"?

  • "Current main-stream" = modern

  • You don't need to capitalize TEEN GIRL twice.

  • We already know that Remy is standing next to the drink table.  You don't need to tell us again when she sees a BOY approaching.

  • Several lines of good dialogue.  Well done.

  • What are, "two medium sized bottles of EMPTY vodka"?  Is Empty a type of vodka?  This is written awkwardly.



I didn't continue reading because I have a very short attention span.  I need to be hooked right away and if I'm not, I'm gone.

I would suggest that you write a couple shorts in order to hone your skills, but since you already wrote a feature, take in all the advice you get, and learn from your mistakes.

As always, these are just my thoughts.  There is absolutely no absolute way of writing.

Welcome to the club.

Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED

Revision History (1 edits)
Nomad  -  January 29th, 2013, 11:30am
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dogglebe
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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I do like the story.  It's a very mature and delicate them.  Very nice to see a younger writer doing something like this instead of a zombie script or some other horror movie fanfic piece.

Your writing can be much tighter.  One mistake you make regularly is how you introduce a character:


Quoted Text
A GIRL and a BOY sit on a swing. The sky is a glorious deepshade of red. Night is closing in. The girl we see is --

REMY ADAMS (20) -- Bubbly, beautiful and sweet. An American small-town girl to the bone. Earnest to a fault at times.

She’s smiling at the boy across in the opposite swing. His hands are holding onto the orange, rusty chains. This is --

DYLAN REBER (21) -- A short-haired, handsome bloke. Not quite jock, but not a nerd either. Consider him a sexysomewhere-in-between mix. Just right.


could be better written as:


Quoted Text
REMY ADAMS (20) and DYLAN REBER sit in adjacent park swings, against a bright red dusk sky.  She is the all-American girl; he is cute in a boy band sort of way.


Saying things like:  A MAN enters the room.  He is DOCTOR CHARLIE is a waste of space.  Just write DOCTOR CHARLIE enters the room.  All this extra wording does is make the script needlessly longer.  Looking at what I've read so far, I'm guessing you could trim this script by twenty pages.  And that makes a big difference to a script reader.

Try to avoid director shots and WE SEE's.  We don't see anything; we are not there.  And don't include a title card.  That's the director's job.

Several times, you used unfilmable descriptions:


Quoted Text
Then in rushes VICKIE MEXTON (mid 30’s) -- a control freak who only likes things done her way. She knows she’s hated by Remy, but she doesn’t care.

In Vickie’s hands are TWO COASTERS.


You need to describe things that can be recorded by the camera.  When you introduced Vickie, you gave us a complete breakdown of her personality and her relationship with Remy.  If I was watching this, I would only see a woman rushing in with coasters.  If there is bad blood between Vicki and Remny, you need to show this to us, not tell us.

I thought Doctor Charlie's explanation of cancer--while necessary--was too friggin' long.  We have a doughy-looking doctor talking for about forty seconds, which is way too long.  Try to cut it down to a third or a quarter the length.

Why does everyone think that going to law school makes people experts in crime scene investigation?

On page 23, Vicky refers to her fiance's daughter?  Her fiance has a son.

I'm going to keep reading this and get back to you with the rest.


Phil
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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
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Phil and Jordan, thanks very much for the constructive feedback.

I already have Final Draft open, and am in the midst of editing and rewriting, I have already learned so much.  Thanks so much guys, really means a lot.

And on page 23, Vicky refers to her fiance's daughter is correct.  Remy is Dave's daughter.  Dylan is Bree's son.  


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

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Leegion
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 4:22pm Report to Moderator
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Sounds very interesting, I'll give this a read shortly.
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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 5:11pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Leegion   Look forward to your thoughts!


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

Short scripts

GONE
(6 pages, drama/thriller)
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Forgive
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 6:37pm Report to Moderator
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Seen you on the boards of late, so I thought I'd take a quick look at this.

As far as I know, your OVER BLACK: isn't a transition, so belong son the left hand side of the page.

First slug: generally stick to DAY or NIGHT.

As far as character descriptions go, a lot gets said on what to say and what not to say. If it's one of your key characters, then go for a little extra in the way of description - something that sums them up. Here, you've said 'earnest to a fault'. I'm not sure it nails her character in one go  it leaves it a little vague to my mind - but's something you can play around with.

p.1
"She’s smiling at the boy across in the opposite swing." - This is a very horrible sentence and requires intervention.

'She smiles at - ' blah, blah, and describe him - we know he is on the swing, because instead of going 'A BOY etc' in your first line, you did things different - see? And such is the art of trimming.

(BEAT)
You probably want to know how it
ends.
-- Nope. Only if. Since we know nothing of the aventure. You have to entice us in with something, and if you have to say something like this, then there's something going awry.

Check:
http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/He%27s-Just-Not-That-Into-You.html
http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/500-Days-of-Summer.html
for how they develop the story interest with the use of V.O.

Okay, so I got to page three. But, like some of the reviewers have said, this script feels like you've packed enough for a three-week holiday when you're going for an over-night stay.

It's a good bash for starting out, but it should be pretty clear reading everything on the board on where to go from here.

Good luck with it.

Revision History (1 edits)
Forgive  -  January 29th, 2013, 7:56pm
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dogglebe
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 9:41pm Report to Moderator
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The problems I listed earlier run through out the script, which isn't the worst thing to say.  These formatting problems are fairly easy to solve.

My big concern deals with the story.  And, honestly, I think you should take the murder out of it.  This is a love story, more than anything else.  Two 'kids' in love, only one of them is dying.  And their running off means that they spend more time together, as long as Dylan is alive.  Everything else is fluff.

The relationship between Remy and Dylan is in a weird grey zone.  If you step to the left, it's a straightforward dramatic piece.  If you step the other way, you havge Raising Arizona.  Pick one!  Personally, I would go with Raising Arizona.  Kick everything up a notch or two.  Be a little surreal with your characters and their stories.

FWIW, I thought Casey was extremely unrealistic.  Having a waitress agree to take in two strangers is plot device theater.  Having the pharmacist give out free painkillers to someone who looks like he's in withdrawal is also unrealistic.  Allowing Remy's family to stay in the house during the investigation is also unrealistic; no one should be in that house!

As I said earlier, I think this is a very mature story for someone your age.  And you did a good job in telling it.  But now it's time to cut away everything that isn't needed.  Strip it down to bare-bones and tell us a love story.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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irish eyes
Posted: January 29th, 2013, 10:47pm Report to Moderator
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CURT!!

How are ya? So I see your script is up here.

I didn't read reviews so if I repeat anything... my apologies

Page 1

Your OVER BLACK needs to be on the left.

I like your presentation on the 1st page, in other words it's not 8 lines clumped together, making it unbearable to read.
So at that point, you know what your doing.

As for the actual writing :

A GIRL and a BOY sit on a swing.  The sky is a glorious deep
shade of red.  Night is closing in.  The girl we see is --
REMY ADAMS (20) -- Bubbly, beautiful and sweet.  An American
small-town girl to the bone.  Earnest to a fault at times.
She’s smiling at the boy across in the opposite swing.  His
hands are holding onto the orange, rusty chains.  This is --
DYLAN REBER (21) -- A short-haired, handsome bloke.  Not
quite jock, but not a nerd either.  Consider him a sexysomewhere-in-between mix.  Just right.

It's a nice setting, but you're mentioning the same people twice and over writing it..  in other words, why not start off naming the boy and girl and lose the opening sentence.

Lose the "we see" and "we realize"

You could write

SLOW MOTION

I think Gym is necessary not gym building and I don't know what fresh-looking is?

Page 2

You really like your FOCUS ON

TEEN GIRL then arrives at a HORNY BOY in a bad vomit-green
tux, it’s then that we leave her and..

This reads awkward and again lose the "we"

And I read forward to page 12 and so far I believe I have 9 or 10 characters which is a lot to keep track of as well as your slug times...

It's probably been pointed out, but a lot of actions are of what we can't see on screen:

Something terrible has happened.

We can’t really hear anything.

And a few  are over written:

PULL BACK -- the hospital is dull.  TINSEL hangs on the
walls.  A tacky and feeble effort to brighten the place up
for the season.  It actually makes the place look worse

Tinsel hangs from the hospital walls to brighten the otherwise, dull surroundings.

Just an example.

By the way, I have also had a few laughs so far.

Upto page 14 and I realize you've used every technical instruction possible..

Over black, Slow Motion, focus on, the screen is engulfed in pure white, title card, we cue, pan down, super, pull back, fade to black,  and now cue series of shots...

Maybe you're trying a little too hard to be fancy.

Had to stop at page 15, not because it's bad, it's more because i'm tired(late night at work)

I will read it all over the next few days.

So far, i'm actually enjoying the storyline, there's a lot of jumping back and forth, but the outline is pretty clear.

Should be interesting to see where the relationship goes from here.

I would suggest cutting down on the characters and lose some the technical jargon, especially all on the first 14 pages.

Curt, I am impressed by your writing and i'm sure the grammar has being pointed out from previous feedbacks, so i'll concentrate on the story and give you feedback on it when i'm finished.

Mark







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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: February 2nd, 2013, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks everyone for the pointers, between school and work, I am trying my best to rewrite this to the best of my ability.  Excited to have a third, better draft for this. . Thanks to everyone, it means a lot guys

-- Curt


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

Short scripts

GONE
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LuisAnthony
Posted: February 3rd, 2013, 11:11am Report to Moderator
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I'm on page 20 it's pretty good so far, I really like the idea of Remy telling the story as it goes on V.O. Your character development was good too, seriously everyone talks very natural and how a teenager would talk.

I'm going to read more later, I'm really enjoying it so far.

There are a couple of misspelled words like instead of stairs you wrote stares.

I hope you read more of mine hhehehe.
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irish eyes
Posted: February 3rd, 2013, 3:31pm Report to Moderator
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CURT!!!

page 14
Dylan who is lying in bed hooked up to a machine... passive writing

Dylan lies in bed

page 15

- DYLAN lying in a different room as a female nurse draws
blood samples from his arms.

Dylan lies

REMY watches from behind a glass window as this happens to
her boyfriend.  

Just ... REMY watches on from behind a glass window.. we already know it's her boyfriend

-- DYLAN is in bed, DR. CHARLIE is addressing him.

Charlie addresses him

INT.  REMY’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

INT.  REMY’S HOUSE - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

When you go from room to room in a house, I like to use mini slugs, for example

INT. REMY'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Living room

Remy stands up.
REMY
I’m ‘gonna go shower guys and then
head back to the hospital.  Tori,
would you give me a ride?
TORI
Not a problem.
Remy “smiles”, and walks out into --

Hallway

-- the hallway.  She goes for the stairs.  KATE approaches
from the other end of the hallway.

REMY
(Attempting enthusiasm)... Attempts
REMY
(Failing enthusiasm)... Fails

Curt, just watch out for the passive writing... I learned that lesson myself

She climbs the rest of the stares. .. stairs

ANGLE ON REMY.  
As she passes by the CAMERA, in a swooshing motion -- more technical instructions and I'm only at page 20.

Wow, your script just took a huge turn and i'm glad, cuz it was starting to get a little monotonous..
Nice job

Russ and Tori stand on the sidewalk with their two friends as
an old GREY-HOUND pulls up by the street and stops... you might want to say BUS here, otherwise it's a dog and that wouldn't make much sense

- INSIDE THE GREY-HOUND is almost empty. ... EWWW poor dog

Through the glass, we see
Russ and Tori wave good-bye as the bus pulls away... lose the we see

page 34

There lucky day.... Their

page 40

CASEY (CONT’D)
She’s hilarious  ... I think you mean Dylan here

page 41

Back in Dylan and Remy’s small town, night was arrived... night has arrived... also does the town not have a name.

page 42

Nurses pass us.  Doctors rushing to and from places.  It’s
almost as if one of their Leukemia patients hadn’t have went
on the run with his innocent murder-suspect better half.

Reads awkward, you could clean this up

page 44

We hear the FAINT sound of a toilet-flush, and a door opens... lose the "we hear"

page 49

ok, I think i'm onto the 4th series of shots..

page 68

Jesus, she’s killing me here Russ.  
Anymore of it and I swear you’re
going to see the Hover Dam rush out
of my eyes.  ... Hoover Dam

page 75

But then...
FLASH TO --
A FLASH BACK... flashing to a flash back, that's a new one

page 76

INT.  CITY-EDGE INN MOTEL - MOTEL ROOM... Motel room is not a time of day, I guess you mean SAME here

page 85

One officer, PRESCOTT, nods.  And walks towards a pay-phone.... wow the cops have  a pretty shitty form of communication

page 86

After this, he glance at the WALL. .. glances

Ok Curt I finished it as promised..

It turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster... with Dylan slowly fading away trying to capture his last moments with his true love.
I really enjoyed it, except for the anti climax ending to which Vicki gave herself up all too easy after being a complete bitch throughout.

How did Dylan know Remy was in Casey's apartment?... they had just been thrown out into the streets and he took off.

This was a great script and held me til the end, I thought the dialogue was excellant. But you had way to many camera angles for a spec script.

Good job Curt'


Mark





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rc1107
Posted: February 5th, 2013, 1:38am Report to Moderator
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Hey Curt.

It's becoming very clear to me that I'm not going to get the time to read your script all in one setting, and I didn't want to keep putting you on the backburner anymore, so I'll read this in the biggest chunks that I can.

I got the first act done tonight, exactly on page 30.

Though it definitely needs a lot of work, (Dan and Phil and others gave you some great examples on how to cut down on your novel-like descriptions and actions), I do like the story and I am very interested to see where our two protagonists go from here.

But, on the other hand, I'm just not buying Vickie's frame up.  It's way too easy for the story.  Don't forget, Vickie'll still have the blood on her hands (she's the one who threw Remy the vase for crying out loud), and she'll most definitely have more blood on her than Remy will.  You definitely need to work the frame-up better to get people to buy into it.  That moment changed the pace and tone of the movie and it was too big of a jarring jump.  Now it feels like a Coen brothers movie.  (I think Phil mentioned 'Raising Arizona', but 'The Man Who Wasn't There' and 'Fargo' jumped into my head first because of the subject of framed murder.)

I also don't like Tori and Russ, either.  They're not bringing much to the table and are very unlikable.  Tori's weird (and very long) tantrum in the restaurant didn't sit well and Russ was just kind of a boring goof.  They're just not adding much and this story can be told without them.  I'd suggest either fixing them up or cutting them out altogether.

But like I said, I do want to know what happens next and that's your main goal as a writer to to make the reader keep reading.  With everybody's advice about how to cut down on your descriptions and your actions, you'll end up with a very decent first act in no time.

And, just for the record, you're way ahead of the curve, so don't let all the people who checked out of the story early bother you.  You're on the right track by trying to get better and everything'll come to you without you even knowing it.

Hope you're doing good, Curt, and I'll be cracking open Act 2 as I get the time.

- Mark


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AmbitionIsKey
Posted: February 5th, 2013, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
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To everyone who is continuing to read this, and who has read this since my last comment, thanks so much.

With work and school and other things at the moment, I hardly find time work working on this and editing it and making it the best it can be.  I will get there though, hopefully a revised version is posted before the end of March when I jet off to the land of where Apples are la'big.

As for the story, the murder and the framing, I think I will edit this and fix everything but keep the story the same.  I didn't post this here to get it produced or anything like that, I simply wrote this because I wanted to see could I manage an original feature/and learn some more.

Mark, thanks very much for getting through it all, despite it's many flaws.  All the errors you pointed out shall be handy when I sit down to have a heavy edit/rewrite session.

And Mark (um, wait two Marks?!  I shall call the above Mark, "American Mark" -- Mark, thanks for getting through the first act.  Glad you're liking the story.  I understand all your comments and criticisms and shall take them onboard.  Again, I don't think I'll be making any changes to the story, maybe later down the line I will if I ever want to get serious about this.

Thanks everyone for the support!

-- Curt


"No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story..."

Short scripts

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Dreamscale
Posted: February 5th, 2013, 5:52pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Curt, I just found your script now.  You have been posting excellent, helpful feedback since you started and deserve all the feedback you can get, yourself.  This is exactly how SS is supposed to work.

I've read through the feedback quickly.  Sounds like I might as well wait for you to make some changes.  When you repost, I'll jump in and see if I can help as well.
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rc1107
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Picking this up from page 30 this morning, Curt.

-  It makes no sense the police would know Remy went to the hospital, but then not know where Remy's family is, especially when the murder happened at one of Remy's family members house.  Remy's family would lead them to the hospital, so they'd already know where they are.

- Also, I'll say real quick before I get back to the story.  Way too many camera directions.  Keep them out and just tell enough to get the story across.  We don't need to know that the camera PANS or TRACKS.  That's all shooting script talk.  This is supposed to be a spec script.

-  Another thing you're doing that's pulling me out of the story is making way too many references to other TV shows and films.  For instance, on page 41, a description reads:

'It’s like something right out of “CSI.”

That's a big no-no!  You want to keep people in the spell of the story.  When you make references and asides to the reader, you're reminding us that we're READING a script, instead of LIVING the lives of two people on the run.  Just stick to the story and the main action.

-  Wow, you're trying to fit every camera and editing direction you can in this script, aren't you?  Keep in mind.  Just tell the story.  If and when it comes time for filming, THEN make these suggestions to the director (if he lets you.)  Remember, keep us in the spell.  Technical garbage takes us out of the read.

(That being said, there is a time and a place for PRE-LAPS, as I've used them myself, but it's not a necessity in this story.  Especially since it hasn't been utilized in the previous 40-some pages anyway.)

-  All right.  I love carnivals.  But even I just barely skimmed pages 45-50.  The carnival doesn't push the story forward at all.  We don't learn anything new, except that Remy likes dolphins.  If that's really important, I'm sure you can say it without taking up 5 whole pages of story.

I know it's fun to go on our own little personal adventures in scripts, but try to always keep the story moving.  It's at a total standstill right now.

-  I thought Remy and Dylan were going to call their parents the next day, then all of a sudden it's four days later.  That seems like an important scene to skip over.

-  And you end a scene with this little tidbit:

'ON VICKIE -- she sighs.  Thinking she’s still getting away
with it.  Stuck in her own little reality world.'

I know how this one ends now.  :-)  Remember, not only are you using camera directions to take us out of the story, but you're also telling us how the story ends, also.  You have a SPOILER in the middle of your own story!

-  I don't find it believable that Casey just let them go, and then didn't even go to the police.  Casey needs some brushing up character-wise also.

-

Welp, I was able to make it to page 64 today.  I know it sounds like a lot of negative stuff I brought up during my read, but the good news is that I'm still interested in where this story's going to go, and I'll be reading more as time permits.

- Mark


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