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Hmmm, this is interesting and kept my interest up enough to read the whole thing.
I don't get it though, when it's all said and done. Biggest issue is your use of "someone" or "man" continually for whoever it is that is onscreen, which we never find out, either. Another small issue is your use of V.O. when you don't need it. Example - someone disappears O.S. If they disappear or leave the scene, you don't need the O.S. stuff. You did this in a number of places. Action lines are a bit clunky, in an almost Brandon does this, Brandon does that, etc. Writing needs a little more life or oomph.
All in all, not bad though. I'd like to understand what I just read though.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I think you had an interesting premise. I saw kind of where it was going early on and thought it was interesting enough. When he crossed the street, thatís when I got a sense of freshness to the story. And plot-wise, you did a good job of progressing the story along.
The writing has its good points but I think it could be tighter and more dynamic. Your descriptions came off as a laundry list of actions. He does this. He does that. It felt tedious at times. You need to be more energetic in your writing. I didnít get a sense that you were excited about this script. Iím sure you must have been excited about the idea but it doesnít really come through in your writing. It comes off as though it was a chore.
The someone cues got confusing. It was sometimes difficult to tell if it was the same someone or a new character. After a while I could guess but readers shouldnít have to stop and reread just to see whoís who like that. You have a concept that can be difficult to grasp initially. The last thing you want to do is create any confusion over who or what weíre seeing.
I thought it had some clever ideas in it. It was intriguing. I think you need to work on your writing but the idea is interesting and shows youíre pushing to be creative, which is a good sign for the future.
Needs some work but overall, assuming itís an early work of a newer writer, itís a good effort.
BRANDON (30), bags under his eyes, seems as if he hasnít slept in days as he sits on his couch.
He sits in the dark, watches television. The bluish light from the television glows onto his face.
-- You don't need one or the other. Take your pick. You say the same thing twice. It's a waste of a line. Sure you want to be visual, but you're trying to be an author here and not a screenwriter.
-- Tone down your new broadcaster... It just doesn't flow very well.
-- Plus you're underlining your dialogue. Why? You can't do that... Well, you can as you showed us. But you're really not suppose to do that. Not if you wanna be taken seriously, anyways.
-- This slight breeze you always have could or should be shown. How about you have him pull his robe together a bit at the top to convey it's a little chilly?
You have a script and a story here... Unfortunatley it's only 8 pages long and we can't... atleast I can't tell if it would be worth reading anymore into it. You write well enough, save for some mistakes like "underlining your dialouge" and other mishaps like not describing something when you could.
Your story is a little typical... I've seen movies that follow this very closley... "AFTER HOURS" has a story on it that is similar to this one. "TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE" had an episode with a similar story using a DJ... If you were to further this script and actually make it something you could call a "SCRIPT" and not a treatment... Then I'd watch a slew of anthology films such as the one's I've listed above and then some.
Twilight Zone Ray Bradbury Theater Body Bags Creepshow Tales from the Darkside Afterhours
and so many more have covered so much ground it's almost impossible to tread new ground. It's possible, though.
Yeah, I've been told before I can't underline dialogue, but then I was hired by a management company to write a script for them (off the strength of a feature length I have posted in the drama section entitled THE SUICIDE THEORY), and many of the rules I learned on websites like this, they told me to break them - they told me to underline dialogue, capitalize the character name in description - even after they've already been introduced. I thought it was absurd at the time, but I guess I got used to doing it.
I do agree with the SOMEONE - I should have given him a name like DOPPLEGANGER or TWIN or something.
I'm not really a new writer - been doing it for eight years now. Though many, as have I, will read that there are certain rules you can't break, it all depends on the producer or manager or whoever you're writing for. Different RULES apply. Now, recently, I was told to do things I thought were wrong so that I wouldn't appear as a NEWER writer and so that producers would take me serious.
So, just so because you've read something by Syd Field or somebody, doesn't necessarily make it the standard. I had to learn that the hard way. Lots of sleepless nights...
As for THE SUICIDE THEORY, I have a director who has committed to the script and we will try our damndest to get it made. It's going to be a fun year...
Oh, and thanks for the advice, guys (Dreamscale, Breanne, Baltis). I sort of had the idea in my head while I was working on another assignment, so I sorta rushed through this a bit, recently noticed a lot of the things you were talking about.
I was just so tired of getting reviews from the same person for a work that wasn't my idea, I guess I was too eager to get this on the read page and to get reviews from other writers that I respect.
Check out THE SUICIDE THEORY - hopefully, I can get the ball rolling on this project soon. And hopefully it will sway your mind about me being a BEGINNER or NEWER writer. This is like the first short I've written in 5 years, so I'm still a bit rusty.
I'm also more than willing to check out any of your works
I'm not really a new writer - been doing it for eight years now.
I apologize for the newer writer comment. It was an assumption.
As far as being told to break rules, I understand exactly what you mean. Iíve written work-for-hire scripts in which I was told directly to put CUT TO, etc., into a script.
I want to make it clear that when I said you came off as a newer writer, that had nothing to do with you breaking any rules. I could care less about the rules others will bust you on. My comments were in regard to your action descriptions as they are. Some of them are terrific and some seemed forced. But thatís just my opinion.
Re someone: The first time I saw SOMEONE, I thought you might have been talking about the MAN. Then you said the someone looked exactly like Brandon. Then I thought maybe Brandon was the man. I didnít know if this is what you were going for but it came off as though you just werenít clear. Personally, I think you need to clarify both the someone part and the man part. I think TWIN is nice and clear so long as itís clear this isnít an actual biological twin. But I also think the man thing should be clearer to. Man is just so vague. Maybe AXE MAN?
Again sorry about the newer writer comment but it had nothing to do with the rules thing.
I knew I recognized the name from somewhere. Then I seen you mentioned "The Suicide Theory" I read that a few months back, a great script, probably my favourite feature I've read on here. Great to see its being produced too, keep us posted on any developments.
As for this, there was a great suspense and "what the hell" factor to it. The whole thing reminded me of a ghost story I heard when I was young, in particular the announcememnt on TV about a killer on the loose before strange sh?t started goin' down.
Brandon seeing what looks like to be himself all over his desolate block has a creepy, unnerving undertone to it. I saw the mirror-like, double identity type thing coming early on but I still enjoyed watching it unfold.
In terms of the formatting it interests me that you've heard different tips and advice from different circles. People can get strung out on the "right" way to write screenplays but as you've proved there are many views on this. Since you are dealing with industry professionals you're opinion or way of going about it is just as valid as the next person...if not more, considering you are quoting from people in the business.
Having said that there were times where the prose could be cut down. There were cases of "is" being used quite a bit and overwriting in general. You describe things "hairs stand up on Brandon's arms" and "cold sweat" that can't be seen nor detected by the audience. These type of details are usually frowned upon...unless you were told different. Also the SOMEONE & MAN could be clarified more clearly.
Overall this was a vwery intriguing concept but I think you could have taken it a step further. The ending especially seemed way too abrupt. You offer us no explanation for Brandon possessing this pyschic ability as he seems to be unaware of it himself. It all seems very twilight zone-ish with little or no questions answered for the viewer in light of whats taking place.
As i said a interesting premise you have here, makes for a decent read...Too many unresolved "why's" and "how's" though.
No offense take Breanne. I've been told I have a simple way of writing description. When I started off, I was very prosey in my description, then I was told to cut down on it, so I kind of went the way of writing the script as sort of a blue print for a film - which it is - but my descriptions in this particular script are a bit dull in parts. Especially with a short script, I guess there's more room for prose in the description. Needs some spice to grab the reader's attention more
As for writing for hire, I was told to add more punch to the description, which I did and enjoyed greatly - more freedom.
I'll work on this as soon as I find more time as I believe it could be developed into something unique. I was sort of going for a David Lynch kind of story with some coherence.
Hi Michael. I read this before I read the comments, which is a first for me! Yeah, this a good idea but it seems to a bit confusing to most of us. We get the gist of it. I thought early on that Brandon was some sort of time traveller, five minutes or so ahead of his 'real' self? But's its good to keep some mystery in it I suppose. If you show too much it dilutes the overall effect. Formatting and actual writing was good.
have you got a link to THE SUICIDE THEORY? Is it still the drama section? Cheers,man.
Dreamscale - Okay, this is sorta like a brief Twilight Zone episode. I never thought too deeply into whether the main character BRANDON was a time traveler or if he could see the future. When I wrote this, I wrote it as a one night kind of thing. It just so happens one night BRANDON sees weird things - almost like looking into a mirror - except that his reflection depicts what is going to happen a few minutes before it actually happens. BRANDON doesn't realize what exactly he is seeing until he tries getting into his DOPPLEGANGER'S apartment and hears the DOPPLEGANGER'S voice, which not only sounds exactly like him, but says exactly what he says when his DOPPLEGANGER tries getting into his apartment.
It's weird because he sees the future, doesn't really know it until he reacts to his weird visions - it's almost as if he's going back into the past when he reacts to his DOPPLEGANGER (eg. walking across the street, going into the apt, ect.)
It was meant to be a "little bit" confusing, but I'm sure I need to add a bit more coherence to it. I may have gone a bit too David Lynch on this one when I should have probably gone more David Cronenberg...if that makes any sense
Yeah, that makes soem sense, and that's what I thought was the deal.
So, the TV talks of a serial killer. And we see this axe weilding killer dude lurking around. But then, it kinda seems like everything Brandon sees is back to that Doppleganger theme, and I'm still confused about that aspect of it.
As I said earlier, I liked it...it held my interest...I eanted to see more and find out what the deal was. I love ambiguity, but for me, it's a bit too ambiguous and leaves me unable to put the pieces together.
Good job though, bud!
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
I donít think you need to explain it. I think itís fine remaining mysterious. I just think the way itís written got confusing. It lost something for me. If I were watching a produced film, it would have been a non issue. But I didnít feel the need to have it explained. I was fine with the ambiguity.
hey, not sure if your still checking this board, but just read your script, and def enjoyed it. I was iffy about it at the beginning, but the repetitiveness managed to rope me in and get me interested. The one issue is once you get outside the story and look back on it, all you have is a serial killer who tries to kill a guy, and a guy whos a bit crazy. it would be nice to show a real link between the two, as opposed to it looking like the serial just stumbled in on this guy in the middle of his trip. Has he had these experiences before? Is it specifically the serial killer that brings it out? or is it just a slightly twisted premonition that saves his life? But it being short and trippy as it is thats really not much of an issue. Good stuff, and I'll try to find your feature now.
Mine: HARD CASE ††††††††††† (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...
APU ††††††††††† (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
Thanks bro for checking this out. Been busy with a lot of other projects, so I never got a chance to get back to this one and do some rewrites. Good feedback, I'll definitely use it once I get back this short...
Well, this was written way back in 2009 and I'd pretty much forgot about the script until some college kids out in India decided to ask permission to shoot it. I normally charge $, but the script pretty much collected dust for 10 years (I do make certain considerations for film students). And I kinda wrote this just fucking around.
Anyway, the script is a little confusing, as is the film. But it is kinda neat. And it's a strong effort by the filmmakers. The production quality turned out pretty nice.
Haha, not bad Michael. To be honest, after reading your take on it, I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. Such a nice, simple concept and the acting had peril, intensity, and I thought overall they did a nice job with this. And I didnít even look behind me, either.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the way it turned out. But I had go back 10 years to read the script again to see if there was any clarity in the script that didn't translate to the screen... and there wasn't lol. Still, it's a weird story w/ some cool shit in it, nonetheless. And it was the director's first film! So kudos to her. It was weird, though, talking to them and having everybody call me sir... I'm not that old!
They captured the confusion of your script very well lol.
Just kidding. They did a good job.
Lol thanks Breanna. It is weird revisiting a script you wrote over a decade ago. While it helps me realize how far I've come as a writer, which is good, I also realized I wasn't that bad, either. Definitely rough around the edges in all facets, but the ideas were kinda there.
Yeah, the young'ns who filmed it were very sweet in approaching me about the script and really surprised me by how good of a job they did, especially the young director Vitasta -- I believe this was her directorial debut (could be mistaken though). I don't really put too much into short scripts/short films -- I only write them to fill time in between my main focus (features) or if I think I could turn it into a feature. But it's always nice to see something you wrote on screen and is a nice filler in between feature film releases (which take FOREVER... and come far and few between).
Thanks again for checking it out and sticking through it!
Checked this out, the production value isn't bad at all. As far as the story goes though, I have no idea what I just watched and what the overall idea is. I was waiting for some kind of big reveal, but then it just ended :/
My 2 cents in.. BREAKING THE RULES - I agree with you as I'm sure most do, and or that break the rules themselves as I do. Some scripts / stories "require" breaking the rules here and there to better get a "point" across. It should take nothing away form a well written script of a good story.
Initially, I thought this was a classic case of doppleganger but slowly can to know this was about the man's innerself trying to warn him about the danger. At the end, it turned bad for him. I'm not completely sure about this. Need verification.
I also noticed the starting of the film was a bit different than that of the script and no cat either. All of this is understandable. Shooting constraints.