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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Family Scripts  ›  The Inventor Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: September 22nd, 2019, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Inventor by Bill McIntyre - Family, Comedy, Drama, Sci Fi - An introverted teen inventor gets more than he bargained for when an enigmatic girl forces him to confront his lack of confidence to pursue his unrealistic scientific ambitions despite overwhelming obstacles.  120 pages

synopsis - pdf format

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Don  -  October 3rd, 2019, 4:10pm
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Kevin_S
Posted: September 25th, 2019, 2:40pm Report to Moderator
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Bill,

I like your idea.  It felt like I was reading a book/screenplay.   I don't want to tell you wrong, but I think this is a little overboard?  


Quoted Text
ZAC WITTER, 17, sitting in front of his transmitter with
headphones on, is a withdrawn dreamer who has, for most of
his life, been ridiculed for his love of science by his
parents, teachers and some of his schoolmates.

Discouraged on all fronts he has been told he just doesn't
have what it takes to invent anything useful. His failed
inventions to date have proved his detractors right.

I guess maybe stopping at "his love of science." Then drop the rest.  We learn that information later in the script.

Here is another example I think you might be overwriting.


Quoted Text
INT. ZAC'S DISPLAY - CONTINUOUS

At the far end of the gym is Zac's relatively sophisticated
electronic display.

With him are his best friends LEXIE de LIMA, 17, an athletic
part Mexican and part Apache girl who has been adopted into a
Caucasian family. She traces her American Indian roots back
to the Chiricahua tribe. She is a whiz with mechanics.
Lexie rides a big red 1946 Indian Scout Roadmaster motorcycle
given to her by her Chiricahua grandfather.

GUS NIBLEY, 16, is a quick-witted, comical African American
boy who has been friends with Zac since kindergarten. His
family is pressuring him into getting a good education and to
become a lawyer. Gus wants to be in show business so he acts
in all the school plays.

Zac, a zealous Tesla devotee, is getting the chance to prove
the famous scientist's theory that Earth's electricity can be
harnessed wirelessly and transmitted around the world.
His interest in Tesla's belief that he had been contacted by
alien beings through interstellar radio impulses, and Zac's
own amateur radio-telescope, has caused Zac the most grief. A
male and a female teacher stroll by smirking. Zac keeps his
head down.


I think, for the most part, you only want to write what you can see or hear on the screen.  In the example above you have told all this information.
Later on in the script, again your characters bring it up.

I think you need to fix some of your slugs?  I'm not a formatting guru.  I think you use continuous when you don't need too.  You left off "time" on some of your slugs.  

Page 66 there is a typo where you have OFFICE CRINGE instead of SHERIFF CRINGE.

I feel like there was no payoff on some of the setups.  For instance, you had Zac's first science fair a catastrophe.  He talks about entering the big science fair.  His grandfather gets him reinstated after the big debacle. We never see Zac compete in it.

Also, the science teacher Bolt comes off a little unrealistic to me.  Do you think it would work better if he held Zac to a higher standard than the rest of the students?  What came to my mind since Zac's mom left Bolt at the alter is that Bolt would end up being Zac's father.  I kept hoping that was the case as I read along, but Bolt was just another villain.  

It felt like you rushed the ending.  Maybe you could have Zac compete in that science fair as part of the third act?

I think you got the workings of a good story. It just needs tightening up a bit.  Maybe one of the experienced writers here will give you better advice than I can.  

Good luck and all the best!
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BillMcI
Posted: September 25th, 2019, 3:16pm Report to Moderator
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Good points Kevin. Most appreciated that you would take the time and I will certainly be reviewing the script with a view to improvements.
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