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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Inescapable
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  Author    Inescapable  (currently 810 views)
Posted: October 19th, 2018, 11:50pm Report to Moderator

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Hyper Matt,

Thanks for the input. Here's the thing, though. The film already opens with a scene and then fades to black. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a SUPER (against a black screen) followed by the quote, then open with the opening scene, only to fade to black again. I'll think it over, though.

Matthew Lincoln
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Private Message Reply: 15 - 19
Posted: October 20th, 2018, 7:30am Report to Moderator

Action speaks louder than dialogue.

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A LARGE, suburban house rests on a hill. Secluded. Gated.
Though itís night, the scene is warm. Hazy. Like a dream.

Use your slugs and the following action wisely, also as actively as possible.


A gated mansion tops a winding hill.


Thereís a bright red-orange light emanating from the house,
filling the frame. 

There's = passive.

Better = A bright red-orange light emanates from the house, filling the frame.

However, within the context of the previous sentence, it should be rewritten similarly.


A bright orange-red light emanates from a gated hilltop mansion.

Try to include as much information as you can whilst keeping your sentences fluid. Avoid passive writing like 'It is...' 'There is...' etc. Keep things as active as possible.

Gotta go.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: November 12th, 2018, 5:45am Report to Moderator

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Hi there Mr Lincoln. I have seen you comment on others work so thought I'd give yours a look.

I'll be writing my comments as I read through. I have only skimmed the comments section so apologies if I repeat something already said.

First up, a quote. Is this just for the benefit of the reader or do you want it on screen?
If on screen (assuming you want it on a black screen since it's before FADE IN then I would bring it down into your first page. use BLACK SCREEN, then OVER BLACK followed by quote
That's how I have seen it done anyway

Your first action block duplicates the slug line in that there is a house. To be honest, the first 3 blocks of descriptions feels like it could be restructured to convey the same with less words.

Oh look, you have used OVER BLACK, why not use that for the quote? Maybe the way you have done it is fine, what do I know.

Is a man being reported missing breaking news? Not a criticism, just a question - Don't think I have seen breaking news of a CEO going missing, unless he's a celeb? I'll read on

Hmm, I've said this before somewhere else, and again it's probably personal choice - But I don't like this style of writing with things like "What's odd, though" and "Been around for years, decades maybe" - I don't know what the term for it is - as a reader I want short concise actions and descriptions, giving me just the info I need - Why tell me it's odd? just tell me what's there and I'll (as the reader) will decide it it's odd or not - Hope this makes sense.

More of the above type of writing "A look that screams ďbusiness executiveĒ" - I'm gonna stop pointing these out as I go, as I get the feeling there will be a lot of them - and as I said, maybe it's just me that doesn't like it

Pops up? from where? I think this might be the wrong word as in my mind "pop" is full of energy

"It takes him a minute to fully come to" - Are we watching him for the whole minute while he gets his shit together?

Is wail the correct word here? I thought wailing was a high pitch scream, not banging on a door.

Found the dreaded "We See" - No need to put "We see, we hear etc". This is for the screen, if it's there, we see it, if it makes a noise, we hear it - no need to tell us that

Quoted Text
photos of four men, including Foster, taped to the board. Two of the four men
are crossed out by a RED X.

Fosterís photo, and that of another MAN(40ís) are the only
pictures that arenít crossed out.

Double information here, you have told us twice that two photo's are not crossed out.

I'm a little confused. I think you misuse the CONTINUOUS - You say foster leaves, next slug line is a CONTINUOUS, so I'm thinking this is the room Foster just walked into - took me a while to realise it isn't - Then next slug line Foster is back in the Factory, I thought he left? Very confused

Definitely misusing the CONTINUOUS, they are everywhere.

A shoot out, and a typical movie thing is happening, bad guys can't hit their target to save their lives. I mean, you have described some kind of battle bot, target sensors locked - and he still can't hit a company CEO - Is this guy some kind of former special forces or something? - I don't buy it

Quoted Text
Thatís right, you better run

Don't like this line - a bit cliche, but also, he has just had a gun fight with a battle bot - this line makes it seem like he is keeping his cool too much - again, former soldier?

How is it this guy is adept with weapons? He takes it apart - maybe it's because i'm British and we generally are not exposed to guns - Who knows

Reading this is very laborious - By that I mean, lots of action blocks that don't flow well, kinda feel's stop and start, not getting a good rhythm.

Got to page 10, I am skimming a few pages now.

Why are there lots of dialogue in capitals?

You have put flashback as part of a slug line - FLASHBACK needs it's own line, then open with a slug showing us where we are

OK I have skipped to the end.

Story - A nice story of revenge, he's obviously been planning it for a while and wanted to enjoy watching the guy fighting for his life. To be honest I was expecting it to be more like a deadly escape room than a prolonged bot battle.

Writing can be cleaned it a lot I think - A lot of descriptions and action hurt my eyes reading it.

Try and condense what you have, remove anything unnecessary, anything duplicated and anything we can't see or hear.

Rearranging some of what you have might also make this read a bit easier.

Hope any of the above is useful

Good luck to you


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Posted: November 12th, 2018, 9:32pm Report to Moderator

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First off, thanks for taking the time to read my script. I need all the feedback I can get. I want to address as many of your points as possible. I'll do this by subject.


You asked if I plan to put the Doyle quote on screen or is it for the reader's benefit. It's mostly for the reader's benefit-- to set the tone for the story. I didn't want to put it on screen with OVER BLACK: because I already have that for the news report.


As far as the house, I was trying to describe the scene. I wasn't trying to repeat an action block. I'll clarify that, if I need to.


Foster's disappearance is very news-worthy in this story. Palmer Robotics is a major Robotics company. In this world, Robert Foster and Dr. Kirk Palmer are the equivalent of Bill Gates, or Elon Musk. Also, in the real world, A CEO being kidnapped or disappearing would be very news worthy. Also, most of the future tech in the story comes from Palmer Robotics--as is seen in the City scene towards the end.


You mentioned that I gave double information regarding the pictures of Foster. I corrected that today.


As far as how Foster is adept with guns, I was toying with the idea of this as a feature. In that, I planned to elude to the fact that Foster does some hunting/skeet shooting. There wasn't a place for it in the short.


I know the droid misses when it first fires on Foster. Foster does get shot towards the end. Do you think I should've had him get hit right off the bat?


I'll look over this and see if it could be done differently.


The slugline for the flashback should be correct format. A way it can be done is

INT(or EXT). LOCATION-TIME-FLASHBACK. This comes from "The Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier. It's on pages 156 and 157. Mine was a slight variation of that.


As far as some of the sentences being done in all caps, I see If I can do that better. Same goes for some of the "We Sees".

Anyway, thanks again for your feedback. I read it again and see if I can sharpen up some of the action,  and make it leaner(This version kinda is the trimmed down version. I had more scenes, but cut down on some of those so it wouldn't go past the 30 page limit  I gave myself.)

Matthew Lincoln

P.S. What did you think of the two big reveals in the story?

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: November 13th, 2018, 4:44am Report to Moderator

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No Worries - just to add, I am an amateur writer so you are free to ignore all I say lol

In a strange way, for the screenwriter, words are the enemy - by that I mean, we have to try and convey a lot of information/feelings/tone with as few words as possible. This obviously comes with practice. I think tightening up your action blocks will shave off a few pages.

Let's see if I can't give an example

Quoted Text

Itís a decrepit joint that looks as if itís been around for
years, decades maybe. Whatís odd, though, is that the factory
has locks and bars on windows that look as if theyíve been
recently installed.

I would probably go with

Quoted Text

Ancient, except for shiny new bars and locks on the windows.

I'm pretty sure that conveys the same with far less words. A word of note, I have been told off for using adjectives in my slug line - But I like them, used correctly I think they immediately set the tone of the scene and remove words from the following action block

Quoted Text
INT(or EXT). LOCATION-TIME-FLASHBACK. This comes from "The Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier. It's on pages 156 and 157. Mine was a slight variation of that.

Thanks for that, I have that book somewhere, I'll get it out and look it up.

I'll be happy to read a rewrite

Good luck


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