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  Author    The Avondale Park Killer - 7WC  (currently 4682 views)
Brian M
Posted: September 8th, 2010, 2:35pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
GENERAL NOTE involving Kevin – We don’t know who he is, but Mel sure seems to remember him, which is odd to me.  Also, the entire scene with them searching for clues seems very strange.  Why would she tell him anything?  Why would they immediately do this?  It’s bad timing anyway you look at it, and doesn’t compute for me – let’s see where it goes from here.

Page 34 – It’s also weird that this super rich dude, who has his own maid, brings chicken home.  The maid should be cooking them gourmet meals.


Re: Kevin. I wanted him to be the violent, junkie ex-boyfriend, who uses Melissa at every opportunity. That's why he steals the Rolex from the room, while Mel actually thinks he does want to help her. Melissa can remember Kevin as she dated him before Tom, but she can't remember how clingy, almost stalker-like and violent since she left him. I need to find a better way of getting this across.

Ah, the chicken. Surely super rich dude's love some takeaway chicken once in a while, too? I do, but I'm broke.


Quoted from Dreamscale
A girl turns her head, walks towards him. Her name is JENNIFER (2, with the good looks of a Playboy model.” – Really awkward intro.  How about, “JENNIFER (28, good looks of a Playboy model, turns her head, walks towards him.”

Another issue with the Flashback – who is having this Flashback?  It can’t be Mel again, because she wasn’t involved in the beginning of it, so I have to assume it’s Tom’s, but Mel is the one with amnesia and should be the one having the Flashbacks.  Also, like before, it’s not staged properly, as in, it doesn’t fit where you have it.

Page 35 – Who is Claudia?

Page 36 – “You’re memories…” – “Your memories…”


That's a much better intro. Thanks.

Looks like my flashbacks are not working in any way and it's something I'll need to seriously look at. Do you think that doing them from Mel's POV is the way to go? To begin with, I just wanted to show their past, not from any particular point of view, but I'm not having some serious second thoughts.

Claudia's name was changed to Jennifer at the last minute. There's always one instance that slips through!  


Quoted from Dreamscale
“Every little helps” – “Every little bit helps”


Stupid Tesco adverts! Consider it fixed.  


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 47 – A baby’s been in that locked room all along?  C’mon now…that’s not working for me.  Let’s see where it goes…wait a minute…the baby is only a few months old?  Mel would still be showing, and in a filmed version, we’d know this.  DECEPTION…unfair deception!

Page 50 – Adam says “Don’t wait 3 months before you call again”, meaning it’s been at least 3 months since the wedding?  This doesn’t make sense.


I've made a mess of this. Carrie was taking care of the baby for the first few days and the door was locked so Mel couldn't enter and find all the baby stuff. I completely missed the part where I was supposed to explain that. Thanks for pointing that out.

Adam, yeah, that doesn't make sense. I forgot to cut that part, too.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 65-67 – Some issues with this scene – apparently, you’re saying there is a staircase that leads into the garage…not a door, since Tom can see her in the garage from the staircase.  This doesn’t make sense.  Also, the garage door would be closed and Mel didn’t open it.  We also have to assume that of all these cars in the garage, the Porsche is in front, with nothing blocking it in.  I think some more attention to detail is needed here, or earlier, so we have a better picture of this garage.

Page 67 – Here’s a serious problem.  Mel did not strap Dylan into any car seat, so he’s just laying there in the front seat of a Porsche.  With the collision of a street lamp, this kid’s dead, or in really bad shape and Mel is in deep s*** now!


I wanted to have the elevator lead down to the garage but also a staircase which also leads to the main house. Tom can't see Mel down there, but he hears the crowbar dropping, and goes down to check it out. I need to describe this better.

You're right. That baby would fly right through that windshield in the real world. Car seat it is, I'll fix that.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 71 – Again, I don’t buy it.  This was a major car crash.  People would have seen it, the police would be involved, Mel would be in deep s***.  How’d they get the car back?  It had to of been wrecked?  Too many things don’ add up here at all.

Page 72 – OK, you tried to explain it but it still doesn’t really fly, IMO.  I’d rethink the scene.


I didn't think it would fly. This was the major problem for me, and it's something that I'll need to find a fix for.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 86 – OK, another logic flaw here.  How’d she get to the church?  She’s not allowed to drive, doesn’t seem to have her own car, and just got knocked out.  Based on the fact they live in an extravagant mansion, I’m sure the church is far from walking distance.

Page 87 – So you’re saying Adam somehow got a hold of Tom’s phone and sent this message?  Like Tom just left Mel lying somewhere after he knocked her out?  Adam lives really close by as well…and the church is really close too?  Lots of things aren’t working for me logically, Brian, and I hope you take them into account when you rewrite the next draft.


I was aiming for a small neighborhood, but a very rich neighborhood. I thought most towns had a church in walking distance? Maybe I'm way off the mark here.

Adam did get a hold of Tom's phone and sent the message, I'm hoping that sounds believable. I don't like the scene where Tom knocks Mel out and leaves her there and I'll be changing that. I want him to show his angry side so maybe he can just hurt her and leave with the baby, I don't know. I'll need to find a way to correct this.


Quoted from Dreamscale
I bet it’s difficult to tell whether or not I liked the script.  I did. I really did.  And for a 7 weeks effort, I think you did an outstanding job.

IMO, things definitely went downhill in the 2nd half, there were many logic issues/problems, as well as time line issues, and as noted, I feel like all your Flashbacks are seriously flawed, but f***, this is a first draft, written and conceived in a mere 7 weeks…that stuff can easily be fixed.

You did a really good job in putting this together.  I can tell there was a lot of thought and planning.  It’s got a good flow and feel to it, things move along at a decent clip, there’s action, mystery, suspense, and intrigue.   It has a definite thriller vibe and feel, and it easily passes with a PG13 rating, so a bigger audience.


I'll take any compliments I can get! Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.


Quoted from Dreamscale
OK, what didn’t work and why?  Well, the biggest issue I think is a simple question, Why?  Why?  Why?  And, why?  There are so many things to pose that question to, starting simply with, why would Tom suddenly go on a killing spree like this?  Why would Adam attempt to do what he did to Mel, in a church, in broad daylight, for God’s sake?  Why would Adam kill Carrie?  Why would Tom want to be with Mel?  Why didn’t Mel have a single friend or family member at her side once during the entire script, and based on everything that happened to her, why wouldn’t she let someone in on what was going on?


I agree with you. I had concerns with some scenes, and you've confirmed my suspicions. I won't start a rewrite until I have clear answers to all those questions. I admit to being lazy with parts of this!


Quoted from Dreamscale
Let’s make a point to discuss the Flashback scenes.  I’m curious what your responses will be to what I brought up about them in the notes.  Also, wondering WTF was up with Kevin, and what happened to him, as he had no “ending” did he?


I'll definitely have another look at those flashbacks. I'm thinking Mel's POV might be the way to go. Kevin, I forgot all about, to be honest. I'm kicking myself.

Anyway, thanks a bunch for the detailed notes. They will help me greatly. I should be ready for your entry this weekend, if not a little earlier. Thanks again!
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Brian M
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Hi again, Herman.

I've answered some of the questions in my reply to Jeff above, but I'll get to the rest.


Quoted from Coding Herman
Page 55-57, Tom's reaction seems too sudden, he was nice and understanding a few minutes ago, and now he sounds like a bad guy to me. He should plead Melissa to give up Dylan first, when that doesn't work, then he can threaten her.


Page 82 now, I'm getting a little tired of Melissa trying to run away now, this is like the fourth time she's been doing that. And the third time with Dylan. Maybe you should take her somewhere else to spice things up a little. I couldn't tell apart how each escape is different from another.


You're right. That would work much better.

True. I'll think of something else to make things interesting here.

Flashbacks were a big part of the downfall here, by the looks of things. I've got a lot of thinking to do on them, for sure.

I really wanted Melissa to suspect Tom, the reader to suspect Kevin, and the Adam part to come as a real WTF moment. The problem there, is that the reader will feel cheated when Adam is revealed, for a few pages at least, until we find out Mel was right after all. I need to make Kevin more of a suspect, that's a priority.

Why does Tom kill girls? Again, it's something I need to make clearer in the flashbacks. I didn't want to do the thing so many movies do - he kills because he's rich and he can... I didn't want that. I wanted him to have a reason, and I'm not sure if the reason I gave is strong enough. He blames the "golddigger" Jennifer for the death of his father and was obsessed with her, trying to prove that she poisoned him to make it look like a heart attack. Being a millionaire, he has girls throw themselves at him everywhere he goes (Claire at the restaraunt) and he doesn't like it. He hates these types that only marry for money and add that with the death of his father by one of those exact types, it drives him to kill. I don't know if that actually makes sense in anyway, but that's what I was going for.

Again, thanks for the very detailed notes. I appreciate the time you've taken to do this and I will use them in the rewrite for sure.

Brian
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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Brian M
Tom hates these types that only marry for money and add that with the death of his father by one of those exact types, it drives him to kill. I don't know if that actually makes sense in anyway, but that's what I was going for.


It makes sense to me, but you have to show us that those previous victims were all gold diggers. I think that's the missing link.


FEATURE:

Memwipe
- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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khamanna
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Hi Brian,

I'll get straight to the page notes - I think this way I'd be of help best.

p1 - I'd rephrase "and he does, with passion".
p2 - Exposition in Tom's "in a few hours we'll be thousands of feet in the air on route to the Carribbean"
I'm on page 3 and I think in you rewrite you could tweak your opening to give the script the thriller feel. (maybe?)
p4 - passing the baby to Tom for the bouquet - this is nice touch.
p9 - Tom says "her memories" maybe "her memory"? Otherwise looks like he keeps in mind some important memories.
The Nurses answer is a bit long, I think. I think you could cut straight to "answer any questions she has. Tell her stories and we'll see".
p11 - this is a bit bland fo rme - him breakin gthe memories to her plain and simple.
The sentence "she has quick flashes" - I wonder if there's a way to get around it but still show that those are her quick flashes.
p12 - Nurses lines - sounds a bit stilted to me.
I'm on page 17 and I really like the steady flow of it though it reads very slow. I don't think it's a bad thing, besides you keep true to the flow which is good (and a hard thing to do).
I also feel like it's not a big screen movie but one of those TV movies, which is not a bad thing either - I mean we should only pray for it to happen one day (and TV is as good for me)
p18 - this is a nice turn. I think in the end we ought to learn that Tom is not a killer and Tom is going to prove it to us himself.
Melissa running into Andrea is a nice touch too.
I'm beginning to get strong Agatha Christie vibe (Mel for a detective)

This is more of a crime I think, but the genres overlap of course...

p23 - I wish Tom was less unlikable. "you'll get a free dinner" - he's awful.
p25 - Turned off the TV - like he owns her.
p26 - Carrie is funny and alive.
p31 - I think Melissa jumped to conclusions a bit too fast. As a reader I think Tom is innocent. Plus she goes around telling people without any evidence on her hands. I wish she saw something suspicious, heard more...
Kevin probably appears in a script a bit too late.
p35 you have "Claudia walks away" - think you mean Jennifer.
p36 "You're memories" - typo
p40 - "to stop it FROM swaying" perhaps.
p42 - when Tom earlier admitted he "is a killer" - he was probably referring to the death of his dad.
"you're using again" - using what? she remembers?
p57 Sounds like Tome doesn't love her one little bit - too harsh.
Why Carrie's sudden change of heart - "I'll help you to take Dylan away from him"?
p59 - I like Mel's reasoning - I wish you could show it to us earlier. Show Tom's hatred for gold diggers, maybe?
p 81 - She's a sick person and he decides to let her go?
p91 - "when first mEt you"

The thing I didn't like - Mel's got hit by a car has nothing to do with the killings. It's a bit too convenient and too simultaneous. Why Adam went on a killing spree, they knew him for a long time and he started now?

Other than that it's an easy read. Straight Forward I think. Good job!
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Brian M
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Hey Khamanna,

Thanks for taking a look and this and posting your notes. They will help a lot.


Quoted from khamanna

The thing I didn't like - Mel's got hit by a car has nothing to do with the killings. It's a bit too convenient and too simultaneous. Why Adam went on a killing spree, they knew him for a long time and he started now?

Other than that it's an easy read. Straight Forward I think. Good job!


I think you missed a bit right at the end, there. Adam only killed Carrie, accidently after he tried to rape her and she fought back. He was prepared to kill Melissa because if she went to the police with evidence about Tom, they would most likely find out he murdered Carrie and it's game over. Mel was right in the end, and Tom was responsible for the other murders.

I'll have to disagree about the crash. I think it has everything to do with the killings. Before the crash, Mel was madly in love with Tom, had a baby and married him, all in a very short time frame (just over a year, I think). She would never think he could kill anyone, or she would never have married him. After the crash, she has to get to know him again. If the crash never happened, she wouldn't have been suspicious of him and there would have been no story. In the flashbacks (which don't work as they should), she remembers good things and bad things about their time together. Bad things like his obsession with Jennifer and his father's death, which lead her to believe that she's right and Tom is a killer.

It's been a great exercise for everyone involved and I'm sure everyone will be happy with their finished product once the rewrite's are out of the way. Thanks again for reading, it's much appreciated.

Brian

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khamanna
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Yeah, Brian, I just checked. Thanks for letting me know. I really like that angle.
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Grandma Bear
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Brian,

just noticed you commented on my script! Thanks!

I think you did pretty good here for  a first draft. Congrats!! Now to the nitty gritty...

I didn't read the other comments on your script, but I did notice several people including Jeff provided page by page notes so I skipped that and just read this while lounging by the pool today.  My favorite thing to do.    

The only thing I'm going to suggest about the writing is that you have a LOT of orphans. Probably adds a whole extra page to the script with those extra lines. For example, on page 2 you could replace the words "laughs nervously" with the word titter and the sentence would be short enough to fit on a single line eliminating that orphan. A lot of the times the easiest way is to simply get rid of the word "and".

I would also suggest writing END FLASHBACK. There were a few times when I had to reread something just to figure out if we were still in the flashback or not.

Adam's toast in the beginning is a perfect place to hint at some of the things to come. Not to give him away, but something so when we find out he is the killer it doesn't come out of left field so much. It's a tad long. Nothing wrong with that if you make it count�

In the hospital  when Melissa wakes up. The nurse asks if there's someone she wants them to call, but they already know who she is and who her husband is and Carrie, seems to me they would either automatically contact her parents or have Tom handle that part.

It should also be a doctor that tells Tom and Melissa about her status and what to do and not to do.

One big question before I forget. Were Mel and Tom really going to go off on a honeymoon in the caribbean and leave a 3 month old baby at home? That lowers my opinion on both of them.

Don't get why they keep the baby a secret. Doesn't make sense.

They drive on in a really nice area with fancy houses. Their's is the biggest, yet later in the story it seems that a lot of things are within walking distance�like Carries house for example.

You use the word "smirk" at least 3 times in this script. This is the definition of smirk according to the dictionary "to smile in an affected, smug, or offensively familiar way". I don't think that's what you meant when you wrote that.

Would Tom really have a fat woman with stringy hair and rotten teeth as his maid? I wouldn't if I was him. Everything has to fit. She doesn't fit in as a maid to someone living large like that. At least not to me. If I was rich like that I wouldn't pay to have someone repulsive to look at. Not to mention take care of my baby.

There's a lot of dialogue...

I don't get that Carrie and Melissa have known each other since 7th grade and Carrie has known Tom for 5 and they met by chance in a restaurant.

Seems to me Melissa goes from angry and suspicious to being totally neutral a little too easily. Like she's afraid of Tom, but in the next scene she's back at the house and things are back the way they were.

Why is Kevin trying to pick the lock to the house? What's his plan? Burglary? Does he know Melissa or the maid are at home? If so, why not knock on the door?

Characters:

Melissa. She's not bad, but she does a few things I don't like. Those things need to be taken care of IMHO since it's crucial that we like our "hero". When Tom first takes her back to the mansion she does seem like a golddigger. Not good! She says to Tom in the restaurant that she's not that kind of girl that can be bought. Please keep her that way.

I also thought she was very distant from the baby. Even when Tom, Melissa and Andrea are all in the kitchen. It's Andrea who's feeding the baby. She should show more motherly instinctive behavior. Right now she seems very cold.

I thought she jump way too quick to the conclusion that Tom was the killer. Sure she hears him saying so on the phone, but if he really was the killer, would he really tell someone that on the phone? There need to be other stronger clues for her to so persistently accuse him.

IMO, her amnesia doesn't come across as being that big a deal. If I was her I would ask a million questions. Who's in this picture? How did we meet? Where are my parents? I would be looking at things, touching things. Trying to remember. Melissa just seems to accept everything too easily and is even excited at being so rich. Next day she spends all day shopping?????  Doesn't make her a great character. Makes her shallow if you ask me. The memories seem to come back very randomly as well.

Tom. I'm having a little bit of a problem with Tom falling for Mel. She's not gorgeous. She's not too bright. Not highly educated or funny. Not even that charming. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, just seems that Tom is at least 2nd generation wealth and as such would be highly educated and used to a certain class of people. I think you need to show us something about her that we can believe he fell hard for.

Why is he out late at night being fried chicken? I don't know about things in the UK, but if this was in the US, I would say that would be out of character for a man of his social status. Not that I know that many mega wealthy people, but they tend to like "fine foods" not a bucket of fried chicken if you know what I mean?

Kevin. Not sure what to think about him. I guess he was there to be a possible suspect? I got the feeling they had been together in the past, but he had beat the hell out of Melissa? If so, why is she even talking to him? She seems to remember him. Wouldn't she remember the beating too?

Adam. Just an annoying guy. I would have liked to see him a little more menacing or "sick" or something. Doesn't mean he has to act like a real whacko, but he is the killer�  He could be the opposite of a sicko. Like Hannibal Lector,  cold, calculating. Very polite, charming� You need to set him up better for the reveal and we have to be able to believe it is him. Also would like to know a little back story on him so we can better understand why he became a rapist to begin with.

I'm not really finished yet, but I have to serve dinner now and reply to Blackout!  Any questions, just fire away.  


.
SS, is still free...
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Brian M
Posted: September 14th, 2010, 11:04am Report to Moderator
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Hi Pia,

Thanks for checking this out. I appreciate your comments. I'll try to answer a few the best I can.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
I don't get that Carrie and Melissa have known each other since 7th grade and Carrie has known Tom for 5 and they met by chance in a restaurant.


My mistake. I left this in by accident and have some explaining to do in the second draft!


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Melissa. She's not bad, but she does a few things I don't like. Those things need to be taken care of IMHO since it's crucial that we like our "hero". When Tom first takes her back to the mansion she does seem like a golddigger. Not good! She says to Tom in the restaurant that she's not that kind of girl that can be bought. Please keep her that way.

Tom. I'm having a little bit of a problem with Tom falling for Mel. She's not gorgeous. She's not too bright. Not highly educated or funny. Not even that charming. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, just seems that Tom is at least 2nd generation wealth and as such would be highly educated and used to a certain class of people. I think you need to show us something about her that we can believe he fell hard for.

I also thought she was very distant from the baby. Even when Tom, Melissa and Andrea are all in the kitchen. It's Andrea who's feeding the baby. She should show more motherly instinctive behavior. Right now she seems very cold.


Ah, it appears she does come across as a bit of a gold digger in a few scenes. I'll see to that. Tom's reasons for falling for her are that she's not like those other girls who throw themselves at anyone with a big wallet, so I can see how this is a problem. A major problem, actually. I think she could be a pretty cool character if I can keep her the way I intended throughout the entire script. Hell, maybe people will even root for her and that will be a first for a lead character in my feature scripts! I will improve my character skills eventually, I know I will!

I agree with you about the baby. If a baby looks at me, they start crying! Maybe that's why I write them like they're a toy and nobody cares about them. I'll fix this.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
IMO, her amnesia doesn't come across as being that big a deal. If I was her I would ask a million questions. Who's in this picture? How did we meet? Where are my parents? I would be looking at things, touching things. Trying to remember. Melissa just seems to accept everything too easily and is even excited at being so rich. Next day she spends all day shopping?????  Doesn't make her a great character. Makes her shallow if you ask me. The memories seem to come back very randomly as well.


I actually cut a few questions out in the last quick edit because I felt she was asking too much! Oops. I'm not sure, on one hand, it would seem more realistic to have her asking a question every minute. On the other hand, it could make her extremely annoying , and I don't want that. I'll have to find a way to balance this. As for the shopping, it was Tom who suggested to Carrie to take her because he felt she acted strange at breakfast in the morning.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Kevin. Not sure what to think about him. I guess he was there to be a possible suspect? I got the feeling they had been together in the past, but he had beat the hell out of Melissa? If so, why is she even talking to him? She seems to remember him. Wouldn't she remember the beating too?


Kevin did date Melissa in the past, but when she ended it because he was using drugs, he became almost a stalker type. He only hit Melissa after she left him, and just before she met Tom. Because she has lost the last year of memories, she can only remember the drugs and not the violence. I should work to get this across better, as it's not really clear at all. Thanks.

Again, thanks for your thoughts. I've already got a whole lot of ideas that will improve this, but I just need the time to start a rewrite... and I hate rewriting!

Brian
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George Willson
Posted: September 16th, 2010, 8:30am Report to Moderator
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First up on my reading list is this one. Knowing a little about basic story I was just waiting for something to happen in the first few pages, and you set it up very well. Great event to open with.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems a bit weird for the nurse to be the authority they're leaning on for the information. The nurse told him what was wrong, and he referenced the nurse later. I would think a doctor would be a more natural source.

On 36... Uh, Claudia? Maybe that's supposed to be Jennifer. I'm sure if I look over the previous reviews, I'll find that comment in spades.

Ok, on 65 here's where you pull a pet peeve of mine. A character is asked a direct question where the answer would undoubtedly destroy the conflict if only they answered. The character withholds the answer and the conflict continues. I always think that if it were me and I'm in that situation, I would answer to diffuse the situation rather than hold on to whatever. If Tom just answered the question, your story would end. You shouldn't place characters into that situation. It has always felt artificial to me. When he finally talked, it was significant, sure, but also had no reason why he wouldn't say something earlier, especially the first time she brought it up pages ago.

So I reached the end of it, and this is quite good. I was initially concerned when your amnesiac seemed to be only temporary, but it worked out very well through the whole story. I thought the flashbacks were well placed and told just what they needed to. I think the twists at the end were also well done. As I was reading, I had both alternatives in my head and pondered which I would prefer it ended with. In the end, you actually managed to deliver both, so I was quite happy with that.

There were some points that annoyed me, though I'm not sure how fixable they really are. Melissa was at times very, very over the top irrational. I can see using the condition as an excuse for that, but some of her moves were just nuts. In addition, Tom seemed quite over the top at times in dealing with her. Whether he's a good husband or not, he loses a lot of credibility by smashing her head into a door. Ok, so she smashed a mirror over his head, but remember that she gets a handicap for her amnesia. What's his excuse?

Overall, this was very well done, though. I enjoyed the read. It definitely has a lot of potential. Good job.


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Brian M
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Hi George,


Quoted from George Willson
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems a bit weird for the nurse to be the authority they're leaning on for the information. The nurse told him what was wrong, and he referenced the nurse later. I would think a doctor would be a more natural source.

On 36... Uh, Claudia? Maybe that's supposed to be Jennifer. I'm sure if I look over the previous reviews, I'll find that comment in spades.


You're right. It should be a doctor. I'm not sure why I didn't go back and fix this before I sent it in.

I'm beating myself up about the Jennifer/Claudia mistake. During a last minute name change, there's always one instance that slips past. Always! I can't believe I missed that.


Quoted from George Willson
Ok, on 65 here's where you pull a pet peeve of mine. A character is asked a direct question where the answer would undoubtedly destroy the conflict if only they answered. The character withholds the answer and the conflict continues. I always think that if it were me and I'm in that situation, I would answer to diffuse the situation rather than hold on to whatever. If Tom just answered the question, your story would end. You shouldn't place characters into that situation. It has always felt artificial to me. When he finally talked, it was significant, sure, but also had no reason why he wouldn't say something earlier, especially the first time she brought it up pages ago.

So I reached the end of it, and this is quite good. I was initially concerned when your amnesiac seemed to be only temporary, but it worked out very well through the whole story. I thought the flashbacks were well placed and told just what they needed to. I think the twists at the end were also well done. As I was reading, I had both alternatives in my head and pondered which I would prefer it ended with. In the end, you actually managed to deliver both, so I was quite happy with that.


I hear you. It's probably a situation I'd be best avoiding. I'll see what I can do in the next draft.

Delighted you liked the ending. I wasn't sure the double twist would work but no one has complained about it so far, so I'm quite happy.


Quoted from George Willson
There were some points that annoyed me, though I'm not sure how fixable they really are. Melissa was at times very, very over the top irrational. I can see using the condition as an excuse for that, but some of her moves were just nuts. In addition, Tom seemed quite over the top at times in dealing with her. Whether he's a good husband or not, he loses a lot of credibility by smashing her head into a door. Ok, so she smashed a mirror over his head, but remember that she gets a handicap for her amnesia. What's his excuse?

Overall, this was very well done, though. I enjoyed the read. It definitely has a lot of potential. Good job.


I will need to work hard with Melissa's character, as a lot of problems have been pointed out to me. Tom, too. I'm really stuck over him smashing her head off a door. I wanted the reader to think when he does this, Melissa might actually be right and Tom does have it in him to be a killer, but it does make him come across as over the top. I'll be thinking over this scene before I do the rewrite.

Thanks a lot for reading, George. It's very much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've loved taking part in this challenge and it's something I'll definitely be trying again. I'll be starting yours tonight, so I should have something up by tomorrow. Thanks again!

Brian
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Grandma Bear
Posted: September 19th, 2010, 9:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Brian M
Tom's reasons for falling for her are that she's not like those other girls who throw themselves at anyone with a big wallet, so I can see how this is a problem. A major problem, actually. I think she could be a pretty cool character if I can keep her the way I intended throughout the entire script. Hell, maybe people will even root for her and that will be a first for a lead character in my feature scripts! I will improve my character skills eventually, I know I will!
Your intensions are good. Her reactions when she first get to the mansion is total "golddigger" attitude.


Quoted from Brian M
I agree with you about the baby. If a baby looks at me, they start crying! Maybe that's why I write them like they're a toy and nobody cares about them. I'll fix this.
Mother instincts are stronger than any other instincts. How many times have you heard about not coming between a mother "bear", a mother "moose" or whatever? It's very strong and the instinct is to protect the baby at all cost.


Quoted from Brian M
As for the shopping, it was Tom who suggested to Carrie to take her because he felt she acted strange at breakfast in the morning.
I understand. I just don't think it fits in this situation. If I couldn't remember anything...husband...mansion...whatever. The last thing I'd want to do would be go shopping. I'd be all obsessed about remembering.  Hope that helps.  





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SS, is still free...
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Brian M
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Thanks for coming back to this, Pia. Everything you have said has helped a lot!
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Murphy
Posted: September 22nd, 2010, 6:30pm Report to Moderator
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Brian, first off, well done for knocking out a feature in 7 weeks, not easy and while probably not the best way to have a fully fledged feature written it seems a good exercise and think overall you did a pretty good job of it.

The biggest thing I got from this is that it is clear you know how to write a screenplay, I liked your action, the dialogue was great and think you did a great job on giving the two main characters something real. Though also think secondary characters, especially the brother given how important he turns out to be, needed some more development. But the writing is good and it certainly helped get through this.

What I liked:

The introduction, great scene to start with, and while yes you could have dropped the vows and started with them leaving the church, it is still a good way to introduce us to everyone at once. It was not out of place as it forms a major part of the story and served its purpose rather well.

The dialogue was decent, nothing too much wrong here. Along with your well defined characters the fact that they talk to each other in real voices really helped me get through the script.

The initial car crash scene, decently written there.

What I hated:

The end! Sorry but the double twist was not needed and really was the final nail in a story I had great trouble believing.

The plot. I never bought it for a minute, despite the fact I bought into the people. The whole story is so full of holes I am amazed it stays together at all. It relies so much on people not asking the right questions, not saying the obvious, an overheard telephone conversation that is not followed up and quite frankly a ridiculous farce. In fact despite my dislike of the ending I guess it fits because the only way I could possibly believe Tom's behaviour during this script would be if he was actually the killer. Which even if that was the case it still should not be, as the final reveal should be a surprise.

The Baby. Yes by all means have Maria or Carrie look after the baby, but keeping him locked up in the house???

The killer. Knew pretty much straight away it would be him, you had no other characters introduced, and you certainly tried a bit hard to give Kevin the Red Herring role.

Every single scene had either Tom or Mel in it, you never left them for a minute, giving the brother and maybe even Kevin a small sub-plot of their own would have gone a long way towards the development of their own characters.


I could go on, but I have to think that for a 7 week script then this is not too bad, the major plot problems can be forgiven when putting the idea of the challenge into context. You certainly passed the challenge.

But I am pointing this out because I have read you mentioning that this is a a first draft and you tend to write another. I would advise that you don't. Be pleased with what you have accomplished in 7 weeks, be pleased you managed to pass the test and be proud of what you came up with. But I don't see how another 5 drafts and a few months could turn this story into anything else.

You clearly can write well, I think you would be much better served by locking this down and starting something new, something you can take the time to plot out and make sure it works on all levels.

Hope I have not been too harsh!

Cheers.

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RayW
Posted: September 23rd, 2010, 4:59am Report to Moderator
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Part 1 of 2

Wooo-Who! Last one for me!
Hi five, Brian.

Zippy good story you gots here.
Now let's butcher it!
BAH-HA-HA!


Crib sheet:
MELISSA KING (24), naturally beautiful, her cheeks glow
TOM HOWARD (39), ruggedly handsome and self-assured with a neatly trimmed moustache
ADAM HOWARD (35), a little tipsy with an air of confidence about him, Tom’s younger brother

KEVIN SCOTT (23), tall, skinny, scruffy, bags under his eyes, not the usual type of resident in this neighborhood
MOLLY (23), a beautiful blonde
CARRIE (24), talks too fast for her own good
ANDREA (50), the house maid, overweight with stringy hair
(Keep Andrea just the way she is. No wife wants pretty maids in the house any more than
moms want pretty high school teachers for their boys. Just common sense.)
EDWARD (42), cares more about his hair than anything else
(You can probably ditch Ed and substitute Adam.)
JENNIFER (28 ), with the good looks of a Playboy model


PDG pg 6
MELISSA
God, I can’t even breathe in this
dress.
TOM
Flight’s not for another two
hours. There’s lots of time to
change.
He holds her hand.
TOM (CONT’D)
For the record, I don’t think
there’s any need.
I think you
look beautiful in your dress.

A$$. Between the gold clubs, the Porsche and this you've done a fine job suggesting Tom's a control freak. Already.

PDF pg 7 That was  nice opening sequence.

PDF pg 8
Large trees line up alongside a glistening lake. Crime
scene tape corners off an area of the woodland. POLICE
OFFICERS and FORENSIC TEAMS roam around inside the area.

exchange corners for cordons
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cordon

PDF pg 9
Melissa struggles as the nurse grips her arm. She injects
the syringe
into her IV line.

The nurse walks towards a GROUP OF DOCTORS in the corner of
the room.

Whoa! When did they magically appear in the room?

Insert a reference back up on PDF 8...
A heart monitor beeps steadily. Melissa, in a hospital
gown, lies on the bed unconscious, an oxygen mask pulled
over her face.

... RIGHT ABOUT HERE that Drs and a nurse quietly converse in the corner.
Her eyes flicker slightly, then gradually open. Confused,
she takes in her surroundings. Barely able to move, she
stares at the TV.


Or, since the very next scene cuts to Tom, LATER, just delete the reference to doctors in the
room and have the nurse simply walk out the door.

PDF pg 10
NURSE
We have to run some more tests,
but I think I’ve got a good idea
of what’s going on. Your wife is
suffering from retrograde
amnesia.

Yeah, others have also commented and I concur that is definitely a first conversation with a doctor rather than a nurse.

Pg 12
TOM
I proposed to you two months ago.
You made me the happiest man in
the world.

Two months ago. Met a year ago. Nice. In a hurry, Tom?
As the story moves along Tom's neurotic detailing wanes.
On the rewrite be sure to maintain that consistently throughout the story.
He can be innocent and annoying simultaneously.

Pg 13 Yeah. More doctor rather than nurse conversation.
Now, the part where Tom asks if anyone else has been to visit would definitely be a nurse question.
Either have Tom ask the doctor and he direct Tom to the nurses or just have Tom thank the doctor and know to go ask the nurses himself.

Pg 17
TOM
Then you wouldn’t have seen your
pictures.

That was a sweet touch.

Pg 20
TOM (CONT’D)
I’m going out for some chicken.
Do you want some?

A man in a mansion does not go out for "some chicken"
Figure something exotic, like mango chicken at SuchNSuch. Something.
I'm cool with him not wanting the maid to prepare everything.

Here's the deal: As writers we're all fussin' and fittin' over every little word or sentence or sequence or whatever just to pad or thin the screenplay to some magical page count - which, to varying degrees, is legit/reasonable.
What would a director do when he goes to shoot this?
Toss in a two second sequence of Andrea the maid putting on her evening jacket as she's walking out the back door as Tom enters the kitchen. "Good night, mister Howard." "Good night, Andrea. See, you in the morning."
Ta da.
Done.
Now... do you really wanna suck up... six or eight lines spoon feeding the director to suggest the maid isn't a live in?
Or can we leave that little smidge of a tid bit for the director to figure out on the set?

Tom switches the light off, exits the room.
Was the light already on and he thoughtfully turned it off while she pretended to sleep.
Or did the a$$ flip it on as soon as he entered?

Exchange Adam for Edward for the "Mel meets Tom" flashback.
No need in adding extra cast when you don't need to.

Pg 24
MELISSA
If I say yes, will you let me get
back to work?

Tom smiles.

INT. HOWARD MANSION - KITCHEN - MORNING

Melissa enters the kitchen to that same unmistakable smile
as Tom pours two mugs of coffee.

This transition from a year ago flashback to current needs a END FLASHBACK or something.
However, I see from other comments and your own replies that there will be some big re-write clarifications.

As a general suggestion, I'd try to limit those as being those from a single character rather than from multiple charchters.
This FB clearly has information only Tom knows, so we know it's his not hers.
I'd figure in the "How we first met" information into a brief conversation with another character, either Tom to someone or Mel to someone.

No answer from Melissa. He proceeds anyway.
A$$

Pg 26
TOM
I wasn’t anywhere near the park.

"SuchNSuch is in the other direction."

Pg 27
MELISSA
I’m not listening to this.

She's being a bit too excited over this.
Either tone down her outbursts or predicate with a little more justification.
She did just get home yesterday, after all, and she really doesn't know WTH is going on with much of anything.

Instead of them doing something frivolous like burning plastic at the shops have Carrie spend the day driving Mel around town to familiar places to jog her memory. Maybe they go to Carrie's home to look at her memory/scrap books.

Pg 29
CARRIE
Listen, honey I’ve known Tom for
over five years. Whatever is
making you unsure about him,
forget it. He’s a great guy.
You’ve got everything you could
ever want. You’ve married an
insanely successful and handsome
man. Everything you have now, you
deserve it all.

From other comments I see other people are having trouble with this. I don't know why.
Not all of my friends know each other, but maybe I travel in pretty wide and diverse circles.
It's easily plausible.
But monkey with the dates if you you feel so compelled.

Pg 30
She looks at the main door. Another BANG from outside. She
walks closer to it.
The sound of someone trying to pick a lock. She puts her
hand on the door handle, takes a deep breath. She pulls the
door open.

The banging on the door and "lock picking" are not explained.
Explain or change.
Any particular reason he can't use the doorbell?

Pg 31 Gotta ditch Kevin calling Mel "Baby", twice. It's weird, considering.
Also we need some back story on him IN the story pronto, otherwise her selective amnesia is starting to look pretty weird.
Maybe Carrie can ask about him on the way out the door.

Pg 32
MELISSA
I was gonna tell Carrie but she
would never believe me over him.
KEVIN
You can’t trust her. Just keep
this between me and you, okay?
She nods.

Need to establish why she trusts Kevin so much over Carrie.

KEVIN (CONT’D)
I know that I’m probably not your
favorite person right now, and
you have every reason to be
pissed with me. You might be with
him now but your still my baby.
Do you hear me?
31.
Melissa nods her head.
Yeah. We need back story, pronto.

I'm wondering if when Tom kisses her hand in the hospital if her first flashback could actually be of Kevin RATHER than Tom?
Or maybe some innocuous item in the house can be a visual trigger of Kevin.

Pg 33
KEVIN (CONT’D)
We need to find something
concrete that says he’s involved.

Strange dude beats on the front door a couple of times, at night, while Mel's husband is either out at work still or killing victim #4 and ol' Kev is just ready to throw him under the bus.
Mel's right there with him.
Needs re-work.

KEVIN
It could be anything. Clothes.
Jewelry. Anything that’s for a
girl and not yours.

Is she going to remember "what's hers"?

Pg 34
MELISSA
You’ve gotta go. Now.

D'ja think?

Pg 35
Melissa makes her way down the last few steps of the
staircase. Tom awaits, a bucket of fried chicken in his
hands.

Goodness. I stand corrected. Maybe 39yo men who live in mansions do go out for "some chicken".


Need to mention how Kevin slinks out the back door or something.
Make it exciting.

The Burial of Tom's Father flashback sequence needs a END FLASHBACK

Pg 37
MELISSA
Just small stuff, bits at a time,
you know?

Have the doctor talk to both of them at the same time about her memory returning bits at a time.
She can throw in there at this time "Just like the doctor said."

NEWS BROADCAST (V.O.)
Police have confirmed another
girl has been reported missing.
Claire Jackson, nineteen--

Nineteen year old gold digger? Was she in like Digger Scouts? Gold Brownies?

Since this the third or fourth killing in A.Park surely the cops and media would have picked up on a pattern and given the murderer a nickname such as the "Avondale Park Strangler" or "High Society Killer" or "Upper Crust Killer".
Something.
Later, when she's spilling her beans to Carrie she can state she thinks Tom is the "Blah Blah Blah".

Pg 38
BACK TO SCENE
There you go! Whatever works for you, put those in to end all flashbacks.

TOM
My watch. It was in our room but
I can’t find it.

For obvious reasons, they're not sleeping in the same bet together, yet.
Go back to after she's been brought home and had the grand tour to put some flirty dialog of Mel's that Tom is just going to have to date her all over again before they sleep together.
However, she will allow him a kiss - and that brings the Kevin flashback - NOT Tom, and it freaks her out a little.

Pg 39
MELISSA
Yeah.

No. She needs something smart alecky here.
"Getting there."
"Not just yet."
"When the squirrels bring back the rest of my nuts."
Something.
Make her smart.
Give the actress that will play your leading lady something that will get her an Oscar in her jewelery cabinet.

MELISSA
Carrie! Call me when you get
this. The missing girl, I think
Tom has something to do with it.
You’ve gotta call me.

Okay. Maybe Missy isn't the brightest star in the sky.
What if suspicious Tom had left the kitchen but was eavesdropping just outside in the hall?

She sets the phone down, rushes out of the room.
And Tom is there.
BUSTED!
C'mon, Mel! Wise up, Buttercup!
(See what I'm saying?)

Pg 40 Using the crowbar to bust open the SUV back door needs to be reworked.
Maybe she just knocks over his prized golf clubs when she scoots around to open the drivers-side door to simply pop the back door catch.
Or when it opens the golf club bag can roll onto the garage floor with a large clatter.
She quickly darts down to grab them back up and bangs her forehead on the bumper enough to make a mark.
She stuffs the bag back in but Tom-the-neurotic-control-freak notices one of the head socks/mitten/whatever is knocked off or remains on the garage floor.
On her jog shortly, Kevin will remark on either the scratch or a band-aid in her forehead.
When he's finished appreciating her sweaty boobs, of course.

I mean... hey! Priorities.



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RayW
Posted: September 23rd, 2010, 5:02am Report to Moderator
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Part 2 of 3

Pg 41
TOM
Are you okay?
MELISSA
Yeah... I’m fine.

Have the doctor back at the bedside conference with the two of them include that as Mel's memories come back in disjointed pieces that she may experience some mild anxiety attacks.
She can then plausibly attribute her weird behavior here to that and Tom can reluctantly buy it.
Get rid of the blood elements. That just complicates the story too much.
No one sees dripped blood from a spouse or loved one and NOT aggressively follow up on it.

Pg 42
MELISSA
I called Carrie and left her a
message hours ago. She’s gonna think I’m
crazy!


Pg 44
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET, Andrea stands outside a
shop, watches on open-mouthed.

It will be interesting to see what Andrea saw that was so mouth agape-able about what looks like Mel and Kev briefly arguing in the street.

TOM
Touché.

No! "Guilty as charged."
LOL! Gotta throw those teasers when you can.

CARRIE
Did you see how far I hit that
frickin’ ball?

Where the h3ll is she hitting golf balls outside?
I thought this was in Manhattan?
Where the h3ll IS Avondale Park, anyway?

Pg 45 Need to establish during the wedding that Adam and Carrie are a new or recent couple.

Pg 46
MELISSA
I know what I heard!
That catches Tom’s attention. He turns to see what all the
fuss is about.

Slick, Mel. Regular Jane Bond you are, eh?

Pg 47
CARRIE
Just a minute! Girl talk over here!

On re-write make her more of clever, sweet jet setter.
Bumpkin girl next door types just can't socially compete.

CARRIE (CONT’D)
But if you keep pursuing this,
I’m gonna have to tell Tom, for
your own safety. Believe me when
I say I only want what’s best for
you, sweetie. I always have.

I like how you've set up this veneered friendship between Carrie and Mel.
Now that Carrie's feeling her opportunity to "land a big one" is being threatened her true colors are biting through. Nice.

Carrie laughs and wiggles her a$$ more than necessary.

Pg 48
SNAP! She pulls the key out, looks at it. It’s broken in
the lock.

Don't try that at home. It takes a great deal of effort.
You'll likely to just bend the steel key.
I'd ditch that entire break/throw/slumpNcry/door-magically-opens-anyway bit.
On the fourth key (because the audience is pre wired for the magical third anything to work), just as she hears Tom, Adam and Carrie calling after her, with concern, entering the house or approaching the bottom of the steps, she opens the door!

Um... I've read the comments others have made about the implausibility of this baby scenario and agree with them.
If the plot doesn't absolutely depend upon this later, I'd figure a completely different shocking twist of the room's contents.
I know the subject material adds a great deal of emotional charge to the story and to delete it would also delete a great number of pages/minutes, so... I dunno.
I'm pulling a Billy from Predator: I know something out there. I just can't see it.


Pg 49
TOM (CONT’D)
Carrie was going to take care of...
... Andrea keep an eye on him since
the accident.

I'm surprised there wasn't a wedding video and pictures scene.

Pg 50
TOM
It was my decision to keep this...
... This could have done more harm
than good.

Worm in there that the doctor had suggested it.
Could be a big fat lie, doesn't matter.

TOM (CONT’D)
I know you’ve been having a hard
time the past few days. I understand
why your anxiety attacks are
happening.
I just want to say that
I’m here for you.


Pg 51
ADAM (CONT’D)
And don’t wait three months
before you call again.

I don't know why people reading this have been thinking it's been three months since the accident.
No.
Dylan was BORN three months ago and Adam hasn't been INVITED OVER in three months.
The wedding and accident have been only a week ago: several days in the hospital + several days at home.

She’s not convinced.
ARGH!!
It's an UNHOLY UNFILMABLE!!!
Stab it with a wooden steak!
(That was a joke. I know it's s'posed to be stake.)
"She gives him a long, uncomfortable stare."
"She stares at him,  judging."

Pg 52
MELISSA
I’m pregnant.

"I'm a flunky."
Something a smarta$$y waitress would say.

BACK TO SCENE needed at end of "Pregnant Barf" flashback.
(Assuming the entire baby-thing remains.)

Pg 53
Melissa stares at Tom, waits for an answer.
TOM
That’ll be Carrie. Pull yourself
together.

He really is a d!ck.

Pg 54
Carrie grabs Melissa, gives her a comforting hug.
B!tch! You're half as guilty as Tom for not telling Mel, miss "Shop til night time the first morning home".

Get the killer's nickname in on that newspaper headline.

Whatever happened to "mouth agape Andrea" viewing Mel and Kev arguing on the street?

Pg 55
MELISSA
I thought I could trust you to
listen to me at the very least.

Other readers were wringing hands over Mel's paucity of friends.
Honestly, people are so cliquish that it's certainly likely Mel's rags-to-riches rise to station has not gone over well with the jet-set peer group.
Perhaps Mel's old waitress buddies feel pretty uncomfortable taking a cab to posh Avondale.
Prior mention of such could be made and explains why it seems only Carrie comes calling to check out Mel.

Pg 56
TOM (CONT’D)
Carrie’s told me everything.
She draws daggers at Carrie, betrayed.
CARRIE
I had to, babes.

See?! Here you've done an excellent job of Carrie playing "the Game".
She probably doesn't give a sh!t about Dylan, but she does want to suck up to the people that could butter her bread: Tom and Adam.
So she circumvents/betrays the wife by playing the "It's in your best interests, Babes." card.
On the rewrite make her a junior play-yah!

Tom can’t muster an answer.
His refusal to explain or question is odd.
I know you have to string out a proper answer to as late as possible, but...

Pg 57
TOM
Look at you, you’re a mess. They
will make you look even more
crazy and unstable, if that’s
possible. You will never get to
see Dylan again. Believe me, I
will make that happen
.

strike Believe me, I will make that happen
"Don't make that happen. Please."

Tom turns to Carrie, snaps.
TOM
It’s none of your damn business!

She's overstepped her girlfriend-of-brother bounds.

What happened to the poor and unfortunate Andrea in this scene?

Pg 58
MELISSA
I’m sorry... I can’t trust you
anymore.

No sh!t. Carrie, WTH were you thinking?
Can't play both sides of the court, sweetie.

Pg 59
Melissa, in her full running gear,  jogs down the walkway by
the shops.

She's really stressed out so have her running this time.

As she comes to an abrupt stop have Kevin exclaim "Hold up, Sea biscuit!"
She can dismiss it and pick up with the charming "What do you have?"

Pg 61
KEVIN
Why not just kill this Jennifer
girl Why the other girls?

Kevin's background and involvement really needs to be worked out.

MELISSA
They won’t take anything I say
seriously. Not after the
accident.
Kevin looks confused.
KEVIN
Why?

A: Cause you ain't got sh!t for evidence.
B: Kevin? WTH is wrong with you? You know Mel ain't got sh!t, too. "Why?"! Idiot.

KEVIN
This Claire girl. They haven’t
found any body. For all we know,
she might be alive and well and
just ran away to be with some
asshole boyfriend
or something.

strike might be alive and well and just ran away to be with some asshole boyfriend
may have found her goldmine and their off to Aruba
Claire could be Kevin's replacement after he was fired.

Pg 62
KEVIN (CONT’D)
It means the world that you’ve
found it in your heart to forgive
me and give me another chance--

Yeah, you big wanker!
You didn't tell Mel she just popped a bun three months ago, either.
Didja?

Pg 63
MELISSA
It was him, wasn’t it? Is he
trying to scare you?
KEVIN
Listen to me--

There's a WHOLE story here we're not seeing. Bring it in.
If you're not doing anything else with Kevin, he can be Melissa's co-worker/lover from back in their restaurant days and they could've just been coming off a spat when Mel accepted Tom's request to go out.
And he's been pining away since.

Pg 64
TOM
He’s not allowed to be within
five hundred feet of you.

I guess than answers the agape jawed Andrea response!

Pg 65
Tom grabs her arm tightly.
That poor girl's arms! LOL! What is that? About the fourth time someone has grabbed them?

Pg 66
Out of breath, Tom stumbles to the top of the staircase,
looks down the hallway.

Killer shouldn't be that winded from running a single flight of stairs.
He might be breathing a little hard, but not out of breath.
In fact, you should have "Killer" Tom be eerily healthier than cardio-Mel.

SMASH! Melissa cracks Tom over the head with the large
mirror from the wall.

GD, Mel! That was crazy. I think you just signed your name to the nut-house lease with that action.
Otherwise, I'd have Mel whack Tom in the head with a large book of nursery rhymes.

MELISSA
Come on, boy.

You need to show Mel spending more time with Dylan, since discovery, to demonstrate the re-establishment of mother-baby bond taking place.

Pg 68
Mmm... not that I have a magical solution, but this half-cocked grab-the-baby-and-run plan of Mel's is pretty bonkers.
Best suggestion I can come up with is grab a random something out of the fridge and say "It's important that I run away with this!"
Then plan it as your walk to your garage and sit behind the wheel of your car.
Then complicate it.
Pretend you're going to take your cat/dog/goldfish.
Now, what do you do?
You don't want your audience rhetorically yelling at your protagonist "You stupid c^nt! WTH kinda plan was that?!"

If you insist on keeping the baby and you do have Mel pop him in a car seat then even still - don't have her crash the car.
It has to be a guiltless accident so that your audience wont disapprove of your protagonist, even if she is just nuttin' out a little.
Cursed bike courier could dart out between cars forcing her to side smash a parked car or a driver parked on the side of the road could open his door into oncoming traffic and she knocks off his door.
Something.

Pg 69
MELISSA
Well, I’m gonna go to the toilet
real quick, but when I come back,
I expect a clue!

ladies room

Pg 70
A hand GRABS Melissa as she exits.
Gooooood heavens! Again?!
She's just got "Squeeze me" in a glowing bubble over her head, right?

Pg 71
TOM
That’s right... Anybody who beats up a woman
doesn’t deserve to breathe the
same air as the rest of us.

Audience won't forgive a woman beater, even a "reformed" one.
Just keep Kevin a coke head.
Anybody that can't keep his rent money out of his nose doesn't deserve her.

Tom lets loose his grip on Kevin’s throat. He falls to the
floor, breathes heavily.

Tom escorts a shaken Melissa back to their table.

Between these two lines the audience needs to see Kevin leave the restaurant, defeated.

Pg 72
TOM (CONT’D)
What I can’t live with is you
putting my son, our child's, life in danger
with such reckless actions.



Pg 74
TOM
How’s the headache?

After an accident like that she's going to be aching from head to toe .

Pg 76
MELISSA
Andrea! You have to take Dylan
and run from this place as fast
as you can. Go to the police.

Okay. That was just plain crazy.

She rushes down the street. Someone walks towards her. She
waves her hands, tries to get his attention...
She gets closer. It’s Kevin. She slows down. Kevin walks
towards her.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world...
Kevin really DOES need a restraining order.

Pg 77
Melissa tries to walk past Kevin but he puts his arm out,
stops her.

She ought to be grateful he didn't grab her arm!
Aw, c'mon Kev. For old time's sake: Grab her arm!

Already out of breath, she struggles on down the street.
The h3ll she is! She's the jogging marathon woman - with an answering machine!


Pg 82
Melissa makes a break for it with the baby. Tom pursues.
Alright. Your protag belongs in the nut house.
Gotta work on that sympathy angle.
Gotta get the audience to feel more sorry for her than the evasive husband.



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