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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Action / Adventure Scripts  ›  Learn The Hard Way
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  Author    Learn The Hard Way  (currently 837 views)
Don
Posted: March 12th, 2017, 3:47pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Learn The Hard Way by Brian Lewis - Short, Action - A hired gun's moment of compassion sets into motion a war against his former boss. 6 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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RichardR
Posted: March 13th, 2017, 12:37pm Report to Moderator
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Some notes

I think this is a rewrite, and I like it, as far as it goes.  My problem is with Charlie and the brothers.  It's the usual "why didn't they just shoot Jacks when the could?"  Yes, if they kill him when they're supposed to, there isn't much of a story, but Charlie who is also a killer would just get it done, wouldn't he?  

I do like the dialogue as Jacks can find humor in his predicament.  He's engaging.  

Best
Richard
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Digitaldecayfilms
Posted: March 13th, 2017, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Richard,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my screenplay.  A bit of context for this one, it was entered into a competition last year where I was given a genre and a location and had 24 hours to write the script.

I'd attempted to show that Charlie no longer liked to "get his hands dirty" so that's why he shopped the job out to the two brothers.  The reason for them not efficiently just doing the job is because they were both inept.  If I hadn't had the 6 page maximum for the contest, I think I could have more elegantly explained these points.

Thanks!
Brian


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stevemiles
Posted: March 18th, 2017, 9:28am Report to Moderator
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Brian,

Nothing by way of suggestions for you.  I see it was written to parameters which explains the 'why'.  Quick and entertaining with your usual visual style keeping the action interesting, even if the situation does feel a little familiar.  Good stuff for 24 hours notice.  

All the best,

Steve  


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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eldave1
Posted: March 18th, 2017, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients



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Brian - solid writing.  First a couple of nit issues  


Quoted Text
BLACKNESS.

Too dark to make out anything. From outside the sound of a
muffled ENGINE. It sputters and dies.

A beat before footsteps POUND against pavement, getting
closer. Unintelligible VOICES, then...


Well written - but I got confused.

From "outside" what?

Also - the sputter and dies made me think of a plane crashing, not landing. Maybe if it was prefaced with the squeak of wheels hitting the runway.

SPOILERS

Would have liked some explanation of why Charlie just didn't kill Jacks. There are plausible ones - I would rather have you delete the first fight scene between Jacks and Charlie and make it dialogue explaining that (i.e., why not just kill him there). One of the rare cases where I think the dialogue would actually add more tension then the physical alteration.

Perhaps there may be something else Charlie is off to do - i.e., you took my son - I'm going to take your (insert whatever painful loss there would be here).

Writing - style wise - is very solid. Enjoyable.





My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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MarkItZero
Posted: March 23rd, 2017, 9:53pm Report to Moderator
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Very solid stuff. Was a really fun, bad-ass character in Jacks. Loved the stewardess line at the beginning.

Some little tweaks to consider...


Quoted Text
JACKS
All the meth's got you strung too
tight Kevin. You can never take a
damn joke.


**Maybe just...

JACKS
Never could take a joke.

Or, cut the whole thing. Not sure if you really need any dialogue there. Unless you think it's important we know the two guys are meth addicts.




Quoted Text
JACKS
There's gotta be a line somewhere.  
There's gotta be honor, somewhere,
in this.  Every ticket I've punched
had it coming, someway.  But what
Tommy was gonna do to that girl...I
couldn't live with it.


**Jacks certainly does some wise-cracking but I dunno if he's this big of a talker. Seems like he'd come up with something a little gruff, a little blunt. Maybe something like...

JACKS
There's a line you don't cross.
Sometimes you gotta squint real
hard to see it. But it's there.

Although that's still kinda talky. And possibly worse. I dunno, I'd try and keep tinkering to get the deeper message across but maintain the bad-assery a little more.



Quoted Text
He places his boot on Ludlow's throat.

CHARLIE
You killed my son,
asshole.  What
did you expect me to do?

JACKS
Nothing less.  We're killers
Charlie.  It's all we know.

Jacks stomps.


**I like those last lines from Jacks. This is probably worse, but another possibility is do a little callback with the whole discussion of "the line"...

CHARLIE
You gonna finish me.
Huh, Jacks? Where am I on
your precious line?

JACKS
Right on top.

Jacks stomps.


That rug really tied the room together.
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Digitaldecayfilms
Posted: March 28th, 2017, 12:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hello Eldave and MarkItZero!

Thanks for taking the time to read my script.

Eldave, you are absolutely right, in the opening context, it is confusing.  I'll definitely rework that.

As for why Charlie didn't just kill Jacks, I was really trying to portray him as a crime boss that no longer liked to do the dirty work, hence the expensive suit and hand washing.  Since you're the second person to comment on this character aspect, I totally see the need to explain that a little better.

Mark, I like all of your dialog suggestions.  I will probably steal a few for the rewrite!  Especially that last one.

I did want to convey early on that the brothers were speed freaks to convey their ineptitude when Jacks is later able to escape.  I don't think the world has ever seen a clever meth addict.

Thanks again guys!
Brian


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bjamin
Posted: March 31st, 2017, 8:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey brian, just a couple thoughts. Maybe give us Jacks name right off the bat. Like, as soon as his body hits the tarmac. The way it reads now was a little confusing in the sense, you hold back on his name until after you intro Cory and Kevin. And that forced me to re-read  the opening a couple times to get who is who right.

i do think you can leave some of the choreography of the fight to the imagination. but that's just me.

i liked that Jacks killed his boss's son over raping a 14 yr old. That was a nice touch.

you might consider having the tweakers more anxious to do another hit of meth to reiterate how distracted their habit has left them.

overall, it was a cool little bean.  good job and good luck. And thanks for sharing


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