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Serial Killer by Alex Sarris - Short, Comedy - A serial killer wanders through an unlocked door to take out his evil revenge on an unsuspecting victim in an ending that you will never forget. 2 pages - pdf, format
I think this is a clear example of a writer taking his first shot at writing a script. It might even be the first draft of a first script.
So, lets be nice.
To the writer, here's some brief observations (if you're around).
The first page - the little girl, the electrician, the painter, the gardeners and the small Honda.
You don't need any of these. You could literally have the man walk up the path to the house, for what it's worth.
I 'get' the attempt at humour (I think) with regards to the title of the script and the final scene, but...it's not enough, even for a two pager (which could essentially be a one pager if the needless detail was cut). It's not clever enough to be a sketch, unfortunately.
Also - unless we inhabit the world of 'Repo Man' (awesome movie from the 80's) a box of cereal generally doesn't just say 'Breakfast Cereal' on it. You could make up your own brand name to avoid any copywrite issues.
There is some good stuff I here but a lot of fat too. Your opening sequence is way to long considering what it is you are trying to say.
You need to make sure you CAPITALIZE you main characters when introducing them for the first time. That’s is important.
You tend to use passive verbiage a lot too. When describing action in your script, it’s good to lose the “ing” in your action.
The first sentence is a good example. A well dressed man is walking…
Should read as a well dressed man walks.
You don’t want your action to sound continuous rather something that happens and is done. You might want to make your characters more personal as well. Instead of schoolgirl, perhaps give her a name. That way, we become more invested in her.
You have to watch the un-filmable’s too. When you say something in your action like, CK says nothing as she passes by. Basically what you are saying is nothing. That is like saying the wind showed itself. You might be describing something but can you show it on screen? If not, don’t put it in your script.
Also, let’s work on being somewhat more creative with the action line as a whole. Take the time to decide how you want them to begin. The reason I say this is because in your action lines, you use “He” 15 times in a row to begin those sentences. After a while, it sounds like instructions, not action.
Bert’s right, this can either be trimmed down to a page, or take the time to fatten it up and developed into a story. As it stands, you are telling a story but in the end, you lose the readers interest.
I hope the writer chimes in. We all have to start somewhere. And here is where I started and have grown..and need to uh grow a lot more. We all start somewhere and you can't really be a writer unless you ...write.
One piece of advice, and this it to myself as much as you, read. Read scripts... all you can stand to read...
For the writer...I'm in the same boat...learning...I still have an overwriting habit I'm trying to break. Anyway, keep writing..look forward to reading some more of your work.
I have to say, I have learnt more about scriptwriting finesse here, than anywhere else; by reading other people's scripts and reading constructive feedback (the key being constructive). Harsh words like those of SiColl do nothing to help build a writing community.
Whilst this script is fledgling at best, we all had to start somewhere. He some ACTUAL constructive feedback:
You need to read a few of the better written scripts around here; I like the shorts section, because I am time poor and want to learn technique. A quick read of thd first few responses will tell you if the structure and technique used are 'good'. Also read the Academy's script writing guide (you'll find links through a search of this site or Google for it). Your structure is bad, but it is a little out of whack in places. The story isn't particularly good; but we all need to develop a comfort zone before we can break out of it. An artist doesn't pick up a brush and simply start painting masterpieces...
You've got a good handle on structure; develop that and play around more with story ideas. You have built up some good visuals in your action lines; but you need to tighten them(you'll get some advice on this by reading responses to the work of other people here). Keep at it; and don't get caught up in the occasional negativity.
No writer improves his craft, or anyone else's, by beating up the less capable...
Meh, this could've been better. I like how you set up the shower scene, very Psycho-esque.
I think the box of cereal should have an expiration date which he checks. When he sees that it's out of date, he kills it.
It's all set-up for one quick laugh. I think most people would roll their eyes if they saw this on film. I would cut it down to one page. Feels more befitting of a commercial. To sell what? I have no clue...
Let me start by saying it will be nice to have someone else from W.A on the boards, I live south of the river myself.
The logline drew me in with “an ending that you will never forget” I wouldn’t go that far but it certainly gave me a chuckle. Other than that, there was nothing here. It was basically all set up for that scene which is fine of course, that’s what it was meant to be.
However, the writing does need some work and I’ll be happy to elaborate if you’re around…hope so?