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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Memwipe - 7WC Moderators: bert
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  Author    Memwipe - 7WC  (currently 9009 views)
Don
Posted: September 5th, 2010, 3:19pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Memwipe - 7WC by Herman Chow (coding herman) - Thriller - 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. 115 pages - pdf, format


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Brian M
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 12:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Herman,

I’m just reading in a random order and you’re up first! Congratulations on beating the deadline... seven weeks is not as easy as it sounds so everyone deserves a pat on the back. Now, your script, I was very impressed with this, especially for something finished in 7 weeks. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into everything here, and it shows, so well done on that. I never took notes on typos because it’s a first draft and we’re all going to have lots of them. There is quite a few here but nothing a few reads through won’t catch. This is my thoughts in no particular order, so I hope you can make some sense from them!

Definitely shades of Minority Report in the chase sequences, which is a good thing as I enjoyed that movie. Your action writing is fantastic. I sometimes struggle to find the right word to describe something but I’m guessing that’s something you rarely have trouble with. Everything read smoothly. Minor complaint would be the constant use of those damn “ing” words, slips from the present tense etc. Some people will crucify you for that, but I’m not going to be one of those people. I enjoyed your writing.

SPOILERS... PROBABLY, FROM HERE ON...

I think things could be a little clearer regarding the Memwipe company. We’re told it’s not strictly legal yet there are SUV’s with Memwipe logos speeding down every street in full view. I’m guessing it is legal to have your own memory erased if you pay for it, the illegal part is when you pay to have someone else’s memory erased without their consent. In my opinion, this should be made crystal clear. It was Kevin’s “not strictly legal” line which confused me slightly. What’s not strictly legal? What services do the company offer which are legal? Also, with the company already in the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons, I think you could show us this more. Crazy protesters, anyone?

Characters were great. I would have liked to have known more about Guy, as he is the one who helps Kevin in the end. Diane, too. The twists with her come a little too close together when they don’t need to be. Because of this, when we find out she’s not really helping Kevin by giving him the card (p82), it doesn’t have the shocking effect that you should be aiming for. To start with, I found it a little hard to believe that she would help him after her actions at the start (forcing herself on Kevin) and her jealousy of Grace, so I questioned it right away. That being said, you could still make it work. To give it more of an “Oh Sh*t” factor, you should not reveal Diane’s still working with Lambert on p84, maybe even not reveal anything about the tracking device. Wait until Diane meets up with Grace to show her the tape, then reveal she’s still working for Lambert and not helping Kevin at all. Just a suggestion.

Lambert, too. I wanted him to be real badass. What’s his motivations? At times, he seemed a tad...weak. I can’t remember which page (I should really start taking notes), but Rob basically makes a decision for him. Lambert’s the boss, he’s the man behind all this, he should be telling them what to do. Also, when Kevin escapes with Grace, he says to Lambert “please let me go”... WHAT? This is a guy who is helping people get away with murder for money and Kevin is a huge threat to him. He let’s him go? Doesn’t work for me.

I must say I enjoyed the first half of the script a little more than the last half. It might have been tiredness on my part, I’m not sure. I just felt it dragged a little towards the end of act two. I think you could set up your story quicker in the beginning. It takes nearly 30 pages to get to Kevin escaping with Grace.  But like I said, I really enjoyed the beginning so I would take that with a pinch of salt.

I’m glancing through the script now and I remembered a few things. Page 20, you have “Lambert hands him a huge present”. I think you mean Kevin. Also, page 38, Grace mentions Kevin’s name, but a few pages earlier, she didn’t even know that. He didn’t say his name to her in that time, I think.

I didn't really take to the name of the company. Memwipe just seemed so... I dunno. I thought it would grow on me as it went on but it didn't, and I can't put my finger on why. Sorry I can't be of more help here.

That’s all that’s coming to mind right now, I’ll post more if I remember more (I REALLY need to start taking notes), I’ll post here later.  

Overall, very entertaining and enjoyable, and it would make a great action flick. For 7 weeks work, you can be very VERY proud of yourself. We’re off too a great start. Top work, sir. Well done!

Brian
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Coding Herman
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 4:29pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brian, thank you so much for the review. This is my first feature-length script, so I really appreciate it.


Quoted from Brian M
Congratulations on beating the deadline... seven weeks is not as easy as it sounds so everyone deserves a pat on the back. Now, your script, I was very impressed with this, especially for something finished in 7 weeks. You've obviously put a lot of thought into everything here, and it shows, so well done on that.


Thanks for the compliment. Congratulations to you, too. I'll make sure I'll read yours after I finish with CM Hall's.


Quoted from Brian M
Your action writing is fantastic. I sometimes struggle to find the right word to describe something but I'm guessing that's something you rarely have trouble with. Everything read smoothly.


I was actually worried about the action sequences. Believe it or not, I have trouble writing them in a crisp, concise, and understandable way. This is because they are usually blocks of texts one after another and that might turn people off.

So this is a relief for me that you were not confused by them.


Quoted from Brian M
Minor complaint would be the constant use of those damn "ing" words, slips from the present tense etc.


Yeah, I get what you mean. I'm still learning when to use "ing" verb tenses.

Let say you have a person walking down the hall and he's checking for room numbers.
In this case, can I write: "Kevin walks down the hall, checking room numbers"? This is because he's checking room numbers while he's doing another action.

Yeah, I'm confused. Any one help?


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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS...


Quoted from Brian M

I think things could be a little clearer regarding the Memwipe company. We’re told it’s not strictly legal yet there are SUV’s with Memwipe logos speeding down every street in full view. I’m guessing it is legal to have your own memory erased if you pay for it, the illegal part is when you pay to have someone else’s memory erased without their consent. In my opinion, this should be made crystal clear.


I completely agree with you. I did have reservations about how I depicted Memwipe because I never showed the legal part of the company.

Thank god you got it, but I assume a lot of others won't. I'll keep that in mind when I do my rewrites.

Maybe I can show what Memwipe usually does in the beginning? Like having a client come in and request to have her memories erased? But then that'll lengthen my Act I. That means I need to trim something out. Hm.....decision, decision.


Quoted from Brian M
Also, with the company already in the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons, I think you could show us this more. Crazy protesters, anyone?


Yup, another thing I have to agree with you. I was planning to put Memwipe in a vulnerable position so Lambert has more motivation to keep things under wraps. AND to have Guy to investigate Memwipe.

Protesters right outside the company building? Or have them charging in? Hey, that sounds good! Thanks!



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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 6th, 2010, 5:19pm Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS


Quoted from Brian M
I would have liked to have known more about Guy, as he is the one who helps Kevin in the end.


I actually wanted to keep his real identity secretive as he's an undercover cop investigating Memwipe. Actually, I was planning to have him as an undercover reporter instead. The cop thing was a last minute change.

Maybe what you wanted to see is how Guy change from being Kevin's enemy to his friend? Uh.....I'm not too sure how I can do that without revealing Guy's real identity. Or should I just let the audience know about Guy in the middle of the script?

It'll be great if you can elaborate on this.


Quoted from Brian M
The twists with Diane come a little too close together. Because of this, when we find out she’s not really helping Kevin by giving him the card (p82), it doesn’t have the shocking effect that you should be aiming for.


You knew what I was trying to do! And it fails.

This is another decision I'll have to make, either:

1) Do what you suggested and not reveal anything at all. This will give the audience the shock effect, but will present a problem I'll elaborate in the next passage. Or...

2) Reveal everything, show that Diane called Lambert up before giving Kevin the key card. This way the audience feels concern about Kevin and worried that Diane will succeed.


Quoted from Brian M
To give it more of an “Oh Sh*t” factor, you should not reveal Diane’s still working with Lambert on p84, maybe even not reveal anything about the tracking device. Wait until Diane meets up with Grace to show her the tape, then reveal she’s still working for Lambert and not helping Kevin at all.


That's the first choice I listed above and this presents a plot hole. If I don't reveal the tracking device, then how can Diane know where Grace is?

Wait, wait. I think I know. Let Kevin think that Diane's on his side, so he'll tell her where he and Grace are. There! Problem solved.

Oh wait, but isn't that a bit contrived or unreasonable that Kevin believes Diane in such a short time?

Damn, another think I'll think about. Thanks for the suggestion though.


Quoted from Brian M
I wanted Lambert to be real badass. What’s his motivations?


This is another thing I need to work on. The balance between having a psychopathic villain and a relatable one. This time I want a relatable one but it turns out to be weak.

I actually have a backstory about Lambert, but it never made it to the page. Lambert worked in the biotech field when he was young. When he learned about memory erasing, he takes the chance to make it commercial.

At first people were very interested in getting their unhappy memories erased, but then things die down and the company loses money. So Lambert takes on clients who wants other's people memories erased.

Lambert's motivation is to keep his company running.....or you can say, money. I guess I didn't show enough of this. Or maybe I need another substantial motivation?


Quoted from Brian M
At times, he seemed a tad...weak. I can’t remember which page, but Rob basically makes a decision for him. Lambert’s the boss, he’s the man behind all this, he should be telling them what to do.


Hmm....I can't remember when Rob did that. Is it towards the beginning or end? I can't remember any instances like that. Lambert has been ordering Rob around all the time.


Quoted from Brian M
Also, when Kevin escapes with Grace, he says to Lambert “please let me go”... WHAT? This is a guy who is helping people get away with murder for money and Kevin is a huge threat to him. He let’s him go? Doesn’t work for me.


Maybe I should just get rid of that line. What I had in mind is that Kevin and Lambert had known each other for years and they developed some kind of friendship. So Kevin was begging Lambert to just let him and Grace go. They won't say anything. They'll just to someplace peaceful and quiet.


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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Coding Herman
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SPOILERS


Quoted from Brian M
I must say I enjoyed the first half of the script a little more than the last half. I just felt it dragged a little towards the end of act two.


I understand where you're coming from. The first half of the script is where audience gets into the world for the first time. So they'll feel fresh. By the time Act II finishes, the audience knows the world already and they're just waiting for the finale.

I guess what you really mean is: there's not enough different things going on to keep Act II energized. I was worried about that, too, because it feels like Kevin wasn't making any progress. Especially during the chase through the jam-packed street.

Speaking of Acts, I'm curious as to which event you think is the start of Act III. Is it when Kevin infiltrates Memwipe, or he getting captured in the Memory Archive?


Quoted from Brian M
I think you could set up your story quicker in the beginning. It takes nearly 30 pages to get to Kevin escaping with Grace.


There is a lot of things I need to setup in a sci-fi. How Memwipe works (that takes up a lot of space), the relationships between each characters, their motivations, the events that lead up to Act II, and other things that I need for the payoffs to work in Act III.

Most sci-fi have long Act I: Minority Report, The Island, Transformers, District 9, Avatar just to name a few.

But having said that, I know I need to work harder on combining different things into one scene. And maybe trim some of the descriptions and dialogue.


Quoted from Brian M
Page 20, you have “Lambert hands him a huge present”. I think you mean Kevin.


Uh-oh. It's not a typo, it's a plot point that was uncleared. I wanted to show that Lambert treats Michael like his godson or something. So when Kevin delivered his speech in the Body Storage Room, Lambert feels extremely guilty and is willing to surrender.

This flashback sequence is actually inserted after I finished the script. I should find another way to show how Lambert loves Michael.


Quoted from Brian M
Also, page 38, Grace mentions Kevin’s name, but a few pages earlier, she didn’t even know that. He didn’t say his name to her in that time, I think.


Thanks for pointing that out! I'll just replace it with "Hey."


Quoted from Brian M
I didn't really take to the name of the company. Memwipe just seemed so... I dunno. I thought it would grow on me as it went on but it didn't, and I can't put my finger on why. Sorry I can't be of more help here.


Do you have any suggestions? I know Memwipe is not a cool name, but I can't think of another that can explain what the company does.

You are a great help already. You let me know that the title and the company name is not that appealing.


Quoted from Brian M
Overall, very entertaining and enjoyable, and it would make a great action flick. For 7 weeks work, you can be very VERY proud of yourself. We’re off too a great start. Top work, sir. Well done!


This is a very great thing to hear, especially for my first feature script.

The first thing I want is to be entertaining. The second thing is having the audience rooting for the characters. Is Kevin relatable and likable to you? Is his inner flaw substantial enough? Did he transform in a reasonable way?

There are actually some major plot holes the size of (borrowed from Pia here) lunar craters. So I was quite relieved that you didn't really notice them. Or maybe you did but didn't say anything about them.

Anyway, thank you very very much. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions.


Herman


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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Brian M
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Quoted Text
At times, he seemed a tad...weak. I can’t remember which page, but Rob basically makes a decision for him. Lambert’s the boss, he’s the man behind all this, he should be telling them what to do.


Scratch that. I reread the earlier part trying to find this and it turns out I misread it and it was actually Lambert telling Rob. Sorry about that!

I wouldn't worry about the Memwipe company name. I wouldn't change anything on one person's opinion alone, especially mine! If others offer some better suggestions, then you can think about it. I don't have any suggestions... I don't think there's much wrong with it as it is... I just think that there's a GREAT name out there for this type of procedure and I just can't think of it at the moment.
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Coding Herman
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Thank you, Brian, for replying my question.

I just finished Catherine's, I'm onto yours now.


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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c m hall
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This is certainly an interesting story with lots of energy in it.

I didn't really understand the memory device: it shows a person's memories from an outside perspective?  It seems like every time people see their own memories on a screen they see themselves in the scene as well, not as they witnessed the experience at the time it happened.  That confused me but perhaps it's explained somewhere and I missed it.

The characters are a little flat, but considering the story line and the fact that they are all subject to memory manipulation, that's understandable and maybe unavoidable.

A few other things caught my attention:  on page 79 Lambert says "He's starting to remember" -- for me that was a truly exciting moment in the story and I think it was brilliantly done.

On (or around) page 95 Kevin sees the notice that a disc slot is empty and the time it was ejected -- that, too, is wonderfully to-the-point and exciting.

On page 101 Lambert uses the stun baton on Kevin, that's another excellent scene.

For my taste there was too much time spent avoiding infrared rays, but that would likely play well visually and be much quicker than it seemed while reading it.
Anyway, good job!



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Coding Herman
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Hi Catherine,

Thank you so much for your time and comments.

As writers, we're all in a very vulnerable position when receiving feedback. Especially when I didn't sound that good when reviewing yours. So this was a huge relief for me that, from your tone, you enjoyed it.


Quoted from c m hall
I didn't really understand the memory device: it shows a person's memories from an outside perspective?  It seems like every time people see their own memories on a screen they see themselves in the scene as well, not as they witnessed the experience at the time it happened.


That's one of the things I was indecisive on. Should I make the memories first person or third person perspective? It's not like the person is holding the camera so he couldn't see himself. It's a memory. And when we remember things, do we picture ourselves in it? Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't. Memories are such vague and interesting things.

So I finally go with the third-person perspective because it's easier to write and easier for the audience to tell what's going on.

I hope someone will weigh in. First person or third person?


Quoted from c m hall
The characters are a little flat, but considering the story line and the fact that they are all subject to memory manipulation, that's understandable and maybe unavoidable.


I was trying hard to give all of the characters something, especially Kevin. I think Kevin is the most well-rounded here, and because he's our protagonist.

I did have troubles giving three-dimensional characters to others like Diane, Rob, and Lambert. All of them were only shown when they were working. I actually have backstory and biographies for all three of them, they just don't make it on the page.

The one thing I so wanted to get in is the history between Kevin and Rob. They had something back in the days but I couldn't find a chance to squeeze that in.

Do you have any specific examples when you say the characters are flat? What do you mean?


Quoted from c m hall
Lambert says "He's starting to remember" -- for me that was a truly exciting moment in the story and I think it was brilliantly done.

Kevin sees the notice that a disc slot is empty and the time it was ejected -- that, too, is wonderfully to-the-point and exciting.

Lambert uses the stun baton on Kevin, that's another excellent scene.


Yay!! That was what I strive for. It's so happy that they payoff.

Once again, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.


Herman





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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grademan
Posted: September 7th, 2010, 1:36pm Report to Moderator
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Herman!

You met the 7WC with a thriller.

This was zippy despite the 115 pg. weight. I kept marveling at the amount of detail you put into this first draft.

The story had action instead of lots of talking heads.

The premise was clever for an amnesia piece. The title was good, tells what it’s all about. Maybe a MemWipe, Inc. would add something.

The one thing I didn’t like from a format perspective was the exclamation marks in the narrative. It’s a style thing, I know. I also noted several unnecessary “very” or “ly” or “ing” words but nothing overdone.

The characters were fairly solid as was the dialogue. Mary was good as the sweet old lady who carried the exposition and theme of the script.  Lambert and Lancaster are too similar for last names. In general a few characters would benefit from attention:

-- More info about James.

-- Guy could use a little something more – maybe a buddy type vibe when we discover he’s a good guy.  

-- And why Rob hates Kevin so much. Or at least alluded to in one of their confrontations.

-- Lambert should be a tad more desperate. Perhaps a threat from the hit and run cartel?

Gary

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c m hall
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Regarding "flat" characters -- the instance that comes to mind is where Kevin brings Grace to Mary's house -- Kevin seems (to me) to be amused by the mixed up interchange between Grace and Mary where one might expect him to show more compassion.

Which is fine, of course, not everyone shows emotion, even in an emotionally charged moment.

My original point being that this story, with so much memory manipulation in it, might not lend itself to subtle character development.   Which is fine.
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Herman,

As said. Would check out the first ten.

pg. 3

"Kevin takes off his suit and climbs in." - Maybe just his jacket would be better.

JAMES
I hear you, boss. But Plan A ain’t
working since.

This sounded funny to me. Maybe, "Since Plan A isn't working, obviously."

pg. 4

JAMES
Sounds like our boy’s having fun.
They just exit the back door. - reads like a typo.

pg 6
All equipments shut down with a fizzle. - "All equipment shuts down"...

I'm assuming Kevin is your protag??? Went to page 12. Is still a bit hazey at that point for me.

The attempted rape scene is the highlight for me thus far. I always feel and opener to a thriller or horror should be jarring. You just barely got me there.

As far as Memwipe inc. I think you should set this in the future a bit. Far away technology. Even farther away acceptance of it.

Not bad opener. As far as I'm going for now. reviewing features is a time consumming bastard for me. Hope this helps some.

James



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Hi Herman,

I really liked your feature. I think it's beautifully crafter and the story makes great sense. The ending is very easy to understand and I would understand it even if I haven't read it since I knew exactly how it would be past page 80 something.

Don't know about the plot holes - all of it makes sense to me.

Here are the page notes:

P1 – should be some upscale bar “men in business suits mingle”. I suggest you describe the bar as upscale then.
My feeling after reading p1,2,3 – you’ve got a very interesting story but it’s more a mystery slash comedy rather than a thriller. And maybe mystery and thriller overlap but this doesn’t send chills down my back. Which is not a mistake of course! -- just thought of letting you know.
Also, dialog on page3 is a bit farcical for me. Is it a comedy?
P9 –I like your story very much. It’s not very thrilling but I don’t mind. Memwipe Inc sheer existence is surreal but it reminds me of Dick Tracey or Mask and in these ‘unbelievable’ is totally believable. If you did not shoot for Dick Tracey – I’m sorry but that’s what I left is. Plus every woman in your story is dazzling – it’s got to be it!
P11 Diane cries out – what “hey”, “help”?
P12 – I think there’s exposition in this line: “People are snooping around, digging
stuffs up that aren’t even real.”
P13 “after the Michael’s accident” – I think it would be good if you either showed or talked about the accident extensively or brought it up later as I have no clue.
P18 Kevin asks Guy about what he did last night – why? You haven’t mentioned the night and how it’s related to Guy gone rogue/having a backstory. – kind of sudden.
P19 “and so AS everything else” – so IS maybe.
P22 – “she’s very weak right now” – I thought she was dying.
P24 – they are planning to ‘wreck Kevin’s brain” – I know where it’s going, maybe I should know – something to consider.
P31 – A tracking device – you tell us but how will the audience know…
Great first act, I think!
P32 – typo “honkS”
P33 “I’m sorry mister. I don’t even know you” – this reads forced. Plus, she was told she’s been married to a guy.
P33 She calls him “trustworthy criminal” – is she joking? Feels forced again.
P34 “he returns to his frantic search” – he just shoved away the mess, you did not mention he started the search.
P35 – maybe you could describe what he does instead of just saying “he searches/continues searching”.
P36 when he passes her the projector – did he grab it/have it in his hands?
P38 – “his troop is startled” – alert maybe (it’s just why should they be startled, a bit cartoonish visual)
P38 Kevin and Grace go to that same sedan? If Rob cared to puncture the tires why didn’t he leave half of his people next to the car.  I don’t think they’d go back to the car at all. And I wonder why “Guy is oblivious to what’s going on” – is this a set-up?
P39 Kevin drags the Guy out – a bit too easy. Guy came with the troops, he’s not a sissy, I’d think.
P41 I think I love it that he’s going to teach her to remember. This is so sensual.
P44 – “slightly nods”
P49 – Lambert talks about “his people” – this is a bit farcical again. You’re pulling away from the main character- why not to just show Lambert’s plan and get back to Kevin… Or maybe it’s just me, I like staying with the main character (in thrillers).
P49 I’m a little confused – Lambert is not against Kevin?
P52 – “she barely smileS”
P66 “don’t let anyone else see (no s) it”
P72 I don’t understand this “Like why it’s broken. And its purpose.” – I read on and now I do but I think the dialog on this page needs to be rewritten.
P82 – something is wrong with this sentence “but I’ve got you access”
P87 – Lambert asking for the cell phone – is he suspicious of Guy? How did he find out?
I’m on page 92 and I just remembered Pearson. Why Kevin gave him the disk with the memory? I see where it’s going (and it’s good I think at this point to know) but I think that you could do without Pearson at all. Plus now Kevin needs another disk and it’s too many he had to find/watch in such a short period of time. Also if it’s just like watching a tape he could have told Grace all of it. I think you could have some kind of device which inserts memories back into brains. That would be faster and more believable I think. Or maybe Pearson would make sense at the end but you stayed away from him for too long.
P95,96,97 – I really like overlapping sequence of scenes.
P105 What’s Guy’s motivation, why he keeps helping them – did I miss it?
P111 “He suddenly hearS whimpers”.
P114 I see Guy’s motivation! – nice work.

I do think that you can get rid of Pearson and the story would be cleaner. --might be just me.

I think your rewrite won't be a grand one, just a patch work here and there!
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Coding Herman
Posted: September 8th, 2010, 1:16pm Report to Moderator
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Wow, lots to response. Thanks for the read, everyone.

First up, Gary.


Quoted from grademan
This was zippy despite the 115 pg. weight. I kept marveling at the amount of detail you put into this first draft. The story had action instead of lots of talking heads.


When I looked at all the other 7WC scripts, almost all of them are between 90-100 pages long. I was worried that mine would be too long. So this is another relief that you didn't feel too much of a chore reading it.


Quoted from grademan
The premise was clever for an amnesia piece. The title was good, tells what it’s all about. Maybe a MemWipe, Inc. would add something.


Haha....Hey, Brian, are you reading this? Right now I have two conflicting opinions about the title. Good suggestion on MemWipe, Inc. though. I liked it more than just Memwipe.


Quoted from grademan
I also noted several unnecessary “very” or “ly” or “ing” words but nothing overdone.


Yeah, I don't know why, but sometimes the sentence reads more "vividly" when I add adverbs such as quickly. The "ing" thing is another debate. I see them in spec scripts all the time. So I'm not too sure when I can use them and when I cannot.

Can anyone shed some light on this issue?


Quoted from grademan
The characters were fairly solid as was the dialogue. Mary was good as the sweet old lady who carried the exposition and theme of the script.
  

Whew! I thought my dialogue was terrible. Sometimes I was trying too hard to add humor into the scenes and it just came off bad.

Of all the characters, I actually loved Mary the most. She's the most memorable one although her screen time isn't that much. I had fun writing her part.


Quoted from grademan
Lambert and Lancaster are too similar for last names.


Finally, one person mentioned this. I was actually waiting for this comment.

I picked Kevin and Lambert to have similar last names in the first place. What I had planned is that Kevin would discover Lambert's disc in the archive as well. And for that to happen, their last names have to be close in alphabetical order.

However, I shoved that idea away at the last minute because I thought, "If Lambert's the boss, he wouldn't leave his own memory in the archive." So that's why, and then I had no time to change Kevin's last name to something else. I'll change it in the rewrites.


Quoted from grademan
In general a few characters would benefit from attention:
-- More info about James.
-- Guy could use a little something more – maybe a buddy type vibe.  
-- And why Rob hates Kevin so much.
-- Lambert should be a tad more desperate.


Are you reading my mind, Gary? These are all of the things I had thought about when I was writing it, and I had all those information in their backstory, they just didn't make it to the page.

James is a little bit different because he was a last minute addition. I was going to Guy showing the video to Kevin, but since Guy is already busted, I have to introduce James back in. So that was something I need to tweak.

Can you explain about that buddy vibe when we discover Guy's a good guy? The thing is, I wanna keep Guy's real identity a secret. But I guess that makes no difference. So can you elaborate what you mean by Guy could use a little more?

Rob hating Kevin so much is in the backstory I didn't put in this story. Damn, I really need to think about how I'd sneak in a scene that they have some histories together.  I did, however, allude to it via Lambert's speech in the finale scene where Lambert told Kevin that he treated Rob badly when Rob was under Kevin's team. I guess that wasn't powerful enough.

I agree with you about Lambert, and you're not the only one who's saying that. At first I actually have Lambert to be the driver who killed Michael, but then I think, won't that be too much of a coincidence? Maybe I should have Lambert instead of David who killed that little girl and Pearson witnessed it? I don't know, what do you think?

Thank you so much, Gary. I really appreciated it.

I also admire your objectivity in your review. Whether you hated it, loved it, or just felt okay with it, your tone is almost the same! Although I do wish someone like Jeff who'll let out his emotion in full force...LOL.


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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Coding Herman
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Quoted from c m hall
Regarding "flat" characters -- the instance that comes to mind is where Kevin brings Grace to Mary's house -- Kevin seems (to me) to be amused by the mixed up interchange between Grace and Mary where one might expect him to show more compassion.


Hey Catherine, I'm just asking this because I'm curious about what you think about Kevin.

When you say Kevin should show more compassion, do you mean he should be more tending? Like he should explain the situation to both Grace and Mary? I want to know how you'd go about that scene.

The way I envisioned it is that Kevin is a guy with humor. So I just wanted to take that serious dramatic scene and made it humorous. I guess it backfires?

Thanks for replying my question.


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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Coding Herman
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Hi James, thank you very much for reading this, even though you didn't get to finish it.  


Quoted from jwent6688
I'm assuming Kevin is your protag??? Went to page 12. Is still a bit hazey at that point for me.


Can you point out why you think Kevin isn't our protagonist? Is it because the first 6 pages is all about Diane and Pearson? Because after that, Kevin is taking control of the story. He rushing to interrupt the procedure, he talking to his wife, etc.

Do you mean you wanted Kevin to have more screen time for the first 6 pages?


Quoted from jwent6688
The attempted rape scene is the highlight for me thus far. I always feel and opener to a thriller or horror should be jarring. You just barely got me there.


I kinda disagree with you. I don't think most thrillers have a jarring opener. Most of them have a slow build. And because of that, I wrote the rape scene so that I can get rid of the slow build in the first act. However, I couldn't get away with the long setup up until like page 20.

Having said that, I think this is not quite a thriller thriller. More like Sci-Fi Action Thriller.

Hey bert, do you mind adding Sci-Fi and Action in the genre?


Quoted from jwent6688
Not bad opener. As far as I'm going for now. reviewing features is a time consumming bastard for me. Hope this helps some.


I feel sad now because you couldn't make it through my script  

Just kidding. Anyway, can you pinpoint things that made you stop reading? Like is it too slow or just not interesting enough? Or what I had in the first 10 pages didn't let you ask the dramatic question, "What will happen next?"

You definitely helped. I liked the detailed page by page notes.

Thanks again, appreciated it.


Herman


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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Coding Herman
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Hey Khama, thanks for the read and review. I just finished with Brian's, I'm going to read yours now.


Quoted from khamanna
I really liked your feature. I think it's beautifully crafted and the story makes great sense. The ending is very easy to understand and I would understand it even if I haven't read it since I knew exactly how it would be past page 80 something. Don't know about the plot holes - all of it makes sense to me.


Thanks for the compliment. I always thought it's confusing, maybe it's just me. And trust me, there are glaring plot holes everywhere! If you sit down and think about it, you'll find the inconsistencies.

Uh-oh, you knew exactly how it would be past page 80 something. Isn't that a bad thing?


Quoted from khamanna
You’ve got a very interesting story but it’s more a mystery slash comedy rather than a thriller. And maybe mystery and thriller overlap but this doesn’t send chills down my back.


Yeah, you're not the first person saying that. Maybe I should change the genre tag to like Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller.


Quoted from khamanna
P9 –I like your story very much. It’s not very thrilling but I don’t mind. Memwipe Inc sheer existence is surreal but it reminds me of Dick Tracey or Mask and in these ‘unbelievable’ is totally believable.


I haven't seen Dick Tracy but I know it's a comic book, right? I've seen the Mask though. Any comparison to them is good because they should be entertaining, no?


Quoted from khamanna
P18 Kevin asks Guy about what he did last night – why? You haven’t mentioned the night and how it’s related to Guy gone rogue/having a backstory. – kind of sudden.


Haha....I guess Kevin's dialogue is too cryptic. What happened is that Guy doesn't want Kevin to see his own memory, so Kevin's first thought would be something Guy did last night that he wants no one to see. I'm alluding to sex here, but I guess it didn't work. Let me think of a way to better deliver it.


Quoted from khamanna
P34 “he returns to his frantic search” – he just shoved away the mess, you did not mention he started the search.
P35 – maybe you could describe what he does instead of just saying “he searches/continues searching”.


Good suggestions.


Quoted from khamanna
P38 Kevin and Grace go to that same sedan? If Rob cared to puncture the tires why didn’t he leave half of his people next to the car.  I don’t think they’d go back to the car at all. And I wonder why “Guy is oblivious to what’s going on” – is this a set-up?


There you go. You found a plothole. I should have written that Rob only has Guy and two other Troopers. So Rob and the Troopers go into the house and Guy stays behind in case Kevin came out. Hey! There you go! Guy's outside but he just stayed in the SUV instead of next to Kevin's car.


Quoted from khamanna
I’m on page 92 and I just remembered Pearson. Why Kevin gave him the disk with the memory? I see where it’s going (and it’s good I think at this point to know) but I think that you could do without Pearson at all. Plus now Kevin needs another disk and it’s too many he had to find/watch in such a short period of time. Also if it’s just like watching a tape he could have told Grace all of it. I think you could have some kind of device which inserts memories back into brains. That would be faster and more believable I think. Or maybe Pearson would make sense at the end but you stayed away from him for too long.


I don't understand. What do you mean Kevin has too many discs to find and watch? He got Pearson's already, all he wants is Grace's.

I guess to remember back what you have erased. You simply watched the video. I did contemplate about having the technology to put memories back in, but then that'd be really similar to Total Recall and makes the technology really complicated.

I also don't understand why I can get rid of Pearson. He's the key to David's hit and run incident. Without him, Kevin cannot connects all the dots together.

Can you explain it further, thanks.


Herman



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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c m hall
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[quote=coding]

Hey Catherine, I'm just asking this because I'm curious about what you think about Kevin.

When you say Kevin should show more compassion, do you mean he should be more tending? Like he should explain the situation to both Grace and Mary? I want to know how you'd go about that scene.

The way I envisioned it is that Kevin is a guy with humor. So I just wanted to take that serious dramatic scene and made it humorous. I guess it backfires?" end quote Herman

I can't say if it backfires, you know how you intended the scene to go, I do think that Kevin shows a lack of compassion and caring.  If that's what you intended than you shouldn't change a thing.
CMH


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khamanna
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About getting rid of Pearson - I'm not asking you just to scratch him, I'm asking if there's a way to rework the story, I'm thinking he's an auxiliary character but carries quite a weight... Just a thing to consider, think if there's a way to rework the story and then if it would better your story. As I remember at the beginning you almost opened on Pearson, I even thought he's your main man.

About mystery/thriller - your script is a thriller, but the first twenty pages are slow for a thriller perhaps. And maybe that's why people complain. Still it may work... see what the others say.

p38 - you call it plot hole but it's not, there are ways to rework that bit, it's no big deal at all.

But there's a plot hole in the story (I think and that maybe just me) - Lambert thinking that Grace would never come to her senses and counting on that. This is weak for me.

Enjoyed it. Thanks.
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 8th, 2010, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Herman, I’m taking notes as I go. I am not bringing up every little thing I see, as there are many grammar issues, typos, tense problems, etc.  I’m trying to point out things that I feel will help you going forward. Some may seem nit-picky (and some are), but if you embrace what I’m saying, I really think it will help.

I’m out of room for the first post, and up to page 45.  I’ll finish up these notes later and then come back with an overall assessment for you. Hope this helps.

Page 1 – “inaudible” – means unable to be heard, so I don’t think you want this in your first line, as the chatter is definitely not “inaudible”.

No women in here?

“Except for one: PEARSON HAMILTON. Thirties, tired around the eyes. He loosens his tie and downs an expensive Scotch.” – OK, listen, this may “read” well, but does it really work or make sense?  I don’t think so.  Check it out…First of all, you’re saying that every single person in the bar is talking and mingling with other people except this guy, which makes him out to be “different”, a loner, something he’s probably not.  Using periods instead of commas doesn’t work for me either in your description.  And finally, the description “expensive scotch” is an unfilmable, you know, right?  Unless “we see” a sign in the glass that says, “expensive scotch”, or “we see” the bartender pouring an expensive scotch into his glass, we don’t know what he’s drinking.  We can guess it’s scotch, but no way can or should we assume it’s expensive.  I don’t want to be a prick here, but I do want to make some points about writing.  Just some things to think about.

Your description of Kevin runs 4 lines.  That’s OK, but it’s a bit much, IMO, unless these details come into play in your story.

Page 3 – OK, your new SLUG doesn’t work.  You label it “EXT. BAR” but your first line says he runs across the street to an SUV.  Needs to be changed.

What is a “Memwipe SUV”?

Takes off his suit?  HUH?  You mean his jacket?

“At the front…” – What does this mean?

“But Plan A ain’t working since.” – HUH?  What is “since” doing in this question?

Page 4 – “They just exit the back door.” – “exited” if anything, but it doesn’t sound right…or normal.

“scatter” – “scattered”

This scene doesn’t make sense.  In the prior scene, they said they just exited the back door.  Then, in the following scene, you have them actually exiting the back door.  I’d lose the stuff about “he’s having fun. He just exited the back door”, as it doesn’t go anywhere, mean anything, and screws up this scene.

Page 5 – “Taser” – “TASER”

“Diane slides her body.” – HUH?  What does this mean?

Page 6 – How come these guys keep getting naked, taking off their suits?  You must mean suit jacket, right?

GENERAL NOTE – Watch your passive writing.  Lots and lots of “ing” verbs on display.

Page 8 – “This thought hits him like a thunderbolt.” – This is a really bad, cheesy aside that shouldn’t be here.  I’ve actually noticed a few of these but held off bringing it up.  I can’t stop myself any longer.  IMO, this kind of stuff can be a script killer, and can cause a reader to literally stop the read on sight.  Even worse, we don’t even know who you’re referring to, because you use “him”, and it’s not clear (to me) if it’s Rob or Kevin.

“equipments” – “equipment’s”

What happened to Kevin’s face that is making him about to explode?  Like literally, explode?  What am I missing here?

Page  9 –“Can’t” – “Can”

Page 12 – “stuffs” – “stuff”

GENERAL NOTE – I’m pretty lost as to what is supposed to going on…and why.  I also do not buy the conversation between Lambert and Kevin.  It just doesn’t sound real, or in the tone Kevin would speak to whom I believe to be the “big boss”.

Page 13 – Numerous mistakes in Lambert’s last speech.

Page 14 – “It’s just you and me here.” – HUH?  WTF does this mean?  There’s a bunch of other people that we’ve already seen and I’d have to imagine there’s a ton more in a huge building, running a company like this…right?  Or am I really confused?

Much of the dialogue here just doesn’t sound remotely realistic.  It’s full of exposition that isn’t getting across well.

Page 15 – OK, Herman, I saw on another post where you asked if someone could clarify passive verbiage for you.  Here’s a perfect example.  “Guy is carrying a digital camera and a notepad.” – This is passive because you have “is carrying”.  Scripts should not be passive.  This line should read, “Guy carries a digital camera and a notepad,”  - BUT, let’s look at the line in front of it as well, and do even more modification to this line.

“Kevin turns to see Guy running towards him. Guy is carrying a digital camera and a notepad.” – I’d rewrite these lines something like this – “Kevin turns, as Guy runs towards him.” – I read forward and see that the camera and notepad have absolutely nothing to do with anything.  Guy does get his camera confiscated, but it doesn’t come back into play, so why bring it up?

Page 15-19 – I’ve got a lot of questions in this part.  First of all, what in the world was Guy doing working on Pearson, when he has no clue what the company even does, and appears to be a brand new employee?  Makes ZERO sense.  This whole scene here is pretty much all exposition and for me, it comes off very clumsy and unrealistic.  It really takes away from what you’re trying to set up, which is a believable entity such as Memwipe.

Page 19 – No reason to have the answering machine state, “You have 3 messages.” – skip it.  Just go into the actual messages.  No reason, IMO, to use a wrylie “filtered” for the actual messages. And, it’s “V.O.”, not “O.S.”, or as you have it, “O.C.”.

So, you’re basically saying that Kevin is a pig with empty beer cans and multiple pizza boxes laying around – is that really the description you want us to have of him?

Page 20 – same deal with the answering machine saying, “Next message.” – Just skip this stuff, it’s a total waste of lines.

Page 21 – “DINNING ROOM” – “DINING ROOM”

“scatter” – “scattered”

“You’re the one who needs someone to care of.” – Missing a word or something...it doesn’t read correctly.

Page 22 – This scene doesn’t play out well.  Doesn’t come off as real.  He just drops the Popsicles on the floor?

When you have a sound effect, like “RING” or whatever, give it its own line. Make it stand out.

Who is James?  Did I forget him, or is this is first intro?  I don’t know…

Page 23 – This scene doesn’t seem real again.  Feels forced, fake for some reason.

GENERAL NOTE – The pace has really slowed down.  Things have a very “small” feel to them now.  We’ve been in Memwipe for the vast majority of the time now, and it just has a small, claustrophobic feel to it, which doesn’t bode well for a thriller like this.

Page 25 – “I’ve something to tell you…” – You’ve used “I’ve” like this a few times now.  It’s not correct, reads oddly, and would sound even odder.  Should be something like, “I’ve got something to tell you...”  I’d run a search for each “I’ve” in your script and check them all out.

Page 26 – Diane says “Were.” – I’d recommend her saying, “Were married.” – It has more umph, IMO.

GENERAL NOTE – I understand what you’re going for here, but it’s not making sense to me.  Everyone, except Kevin and Grace seem to be bad guys (and Guy seems like an idiot).  There doesn’t seem to be any “real world” outside of Memwipe.  No cops, no lives, no nothing.  It sounds like they’re about to fuck up Grace even more than she already is, and if Kevin lets this happen, the story’s over, as far as I’m concerned as a reader.  Let’s see where it goes and how it plays out.  EDIT – OK, at least Kevin saved her, but the scenes just don’t come off realistically.

Page 27 – “Rob orders him.” – bad line…lose it!

Page 28 – “…prevent her to move” – awkward and incorrectly written.  “…prevent her from moving.”

Page 31 – OK, so Lambert lets Kevin and Grace run off…why?  If he’s going to be following them anyway, why let them leave?  Makes ZERO sense.

Page 32 – “honk” – “honks”

Page 35 – So Rob is also some kind of evil enforcer dude?

“Rob sees three unmarked doors. All having a crack opened.” – Hmmm, I would hope they’re not marked, it’s a frickin’ house!  Why would they be marked or labeled?  Also, the 2nd sentence, reads awkwardly, try this, “Three doors, all opened a crack.”

Page 36 – Doesn’t Rob see there’s a balcony outside?  He should stick to doing mind erasures instead of being an enforcer thug type.

Page 37 – I am adamantly opposed to using exclamation marks in description/action lines, unless really warranted – here, they are definitely not!

What “wire”  Have we been intro’d to such a wire yet?  I don’t think so, but could be wrong.

“Rob’s looking into the shower stall.” – Another perfect example of a passive sentence that can so easily be converted – “Rob looks into the shower stall.”

“In the background…” – I think you mean, “outside the window”, right?

The wire breaks?  HUH?  What kind of wire just breaks off?  I don’t buy it at all.

Page 39 – This entire scene reads just awful, sorry to say.  Confusing, poorly worded, unrealistic.

A Trooper?  HUH?

“Why can’t we take the car?” – What car?  The one they just left with slashed tires?  HUH?

Page 43 – GENERAL NOTE - Herman, listen, man, I’m sorry to say this, but your action scenes need a lot of attention.  They’re poorly written, confusing, not visual, not properly set up.  I’m really not sure how to say all this, so I’m just trying to be honest and give you my opinion.

GENERAL NOTE – As I mentioned earlier – page 31 – there’s just no plausible reason that Lambert let them go in the first place, if he merely sent out this “Troop” to get them.  The last 12 pages of this chase, although the most exciting part of the script so far, is totally unnecessary. ..as in, it wouldn’t/shouldn’t happen.  Why make things difficult on themselves right off the bat?  They had them at the building.  They should have had them before their car left the garage.  Argh…

Page 44 – “opens and closes” – “open and close”

Page 45 – Oh boy…again, Rob proves he’s a complete fucking idiot!  C’mon, how could he not see them on the train?  I don’t buy it, which means I don’t buy the entire scene at all, and I’ve completely lost faith in the reality of what’s going on.

TO BE CONTINUED…


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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mcornetto
Posted: September 8th, 2010, 5:19pm Report to Moderator
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For seven weeks I think you did a smash-up job.   This script sits on a strong structure.  Overall, I really liked it and I think with some spit and polish it could be an excellent script.

Spit and polish

Characters were not interesting enough.  I just didn't care about them.  Like James I was going to put this script down in the beginning and the reason.  I couldn't tell who the protag was going to be and I didn't really care for any of the characters.  I realise after reading that you probably intended the rape scene to be part of your theme which was without good and bad memories one can't distinguish right from wrong but I have to tell you that scene just makes everyone unlikable.

I need to care a bit more about Kevin and Grace, either like them and relate to them or otherwise be so fascinated with them that I want to know what they're going to do next, you need to make them more interesting somehow.

I think a pre-scene at the beginning might help a bit in getting people through it.  Kevin, Grace and Lambert back in a better day, before all of this happened  or maybe just when it happened, without showing what happened of course.

Also this Pearson guy has a silly name.  Personally, I would change it because it ruins the tone of the beginning.  And speaking of names, the name GUY didn't really work for me because I kept thinking it was generic.  This could be just me but I found it confusing.  

There's a scene with GUY and LAMBERT toward the end with a ringtone involved that I don't think you really need and it was clumsy too.  So clumsy that I remember it after reading this hours ago.  I would fold the suspicion into another scene.

Lastly, there's the dialogue.  While it was sufficient and it carried the story along, I think it could have been a lot better.  Give your dialogue a bit more life.  I know that's kind of a general thing but I can't think of a single piece of dialogue that stood out in this script as excellent.  

If I think of anything else I'll let you know.  


Michael

EDIT:  One other thing was that I found the use of Troop and Troopers a bit distracting because they weren't good guys and generally I associate that word with people on the side of the law.  Personally, I would look for another word to describe them like Goons.  

  

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mcornetto  -  September 8th, 2010, 7:26pm
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jwent6688
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Quoted from Coding Herman
Can you point out why you think Kevin isn't our protagonist? Is it because the first 6 pages is all about Diane and Pearson?


Then Diane wiping his wifes arms also after relieving him. I admit, I didn't read your logline. I rarely do. With that in mind, I could't gather whether it was Diane or Kevin at 12 pages.


Quoted from Coding Herman
I kinda disagree with you. I don't think most thrillers have a jarring opener. Most of them have a slow build. And because of that, I wrote the rape scene so that I can get rid of the slow build in the first act.


That made no sense to me. I say a good thriller/horror needs a jarring opening. You disagree. Then say you wrote the rape scene to avoid the slow build?????

Here's an opener to an action thriller... A running back runs down the filed. Gets nailed. HALFTIME. A phone conversation says he must win. He snorts coke. ON FIELD. When unable to break tackles he pulls a gun. shoots contenders. Then himself. "Ain't life a bitch" - JARRING...

After a couple of kids throw a dead squirrel on Bruce Willis' drunken ass, we go home to find BW's wife cheating on him...
Our protag and pretty cool.

I love openings that don't involve any of the meaningful characters to set a tone. But the first important character you introduce should be your protag. Just my taste. Not a rule.

BW in Sixth Sense... Introduced right off. Shot. - Jarring

BW in Unbreakable... After a baby in a dept. store is born with it's legs broken (jarring) He's introduced talking to a woman on a train that wants nothing to do with him. Then survives the crash.

BW in Pulp Fiction???? Cannot even begin to understand the depths of QT. But he can break these ideas and make them work.

Always, just my opinion.

James


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Coding Herman
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Hey Jeff, I was waiting for the ass whipping. Finally you got to me.

First of all, thanks for reading my script and congratulations on finishing the 7WC.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 1 – “inaudible” – means unable to be heard, so I don’t think you want this in your first line, as the chatter is definitely not “inaudible”.


I forgot what that word is that describes you can hear the chatter but you don't know what they're talking about. Or is it simply just "chatter"?


Quoted from Dreamscale
“Except for one: PEARSON HAMILTON. Thirties, tired around the eyes. He loosens his tie and downs an expensive Scotch.” – OK, listen, this may “read” well, but does it really work or make sense?  I don’t think so.  Check it out…First of all, you’re saying that every single person in the bar is talking and mingling with other people except this guy, which makes him out to be “different”, a loner, something he’s probably not.


Um....actually, he is. I want him to be alone so that Kevin can easily approach him and talk to him.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Using periods instead of commas doesn’t work for me either in your description.


Which period and commas are you talking about? The period after PEARSON HAMILTON? Why doesn't it work?


Quoted from Dreamscale
And finally, the description “expensive scotch” is an unfilmable.


Yup, thanks for pointing that out. I guess I'll change that to just "drink". I added expensive just to hint that Pearson is rich, but I guess it didn't work out. Maybe Pearson sitting in this upscale and elegant bar already shows that he's rich.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 3 – OK, your new SLUG doesn’t work.  You label it “EXT. BAR” but your first line says he runs across the street to an SUV.  Needs to be changed.


I don't get it. He is outside the bar, running towards the SUV. But he's not in the SUV yet. He's still outside the SUV talking to James. The audience sees James from outside of the SUV. So is it correct to use EXT. BAR?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Takes off his suit?  HUH?  You mean his jacket?


Oops...that's right. I always confused suit with jacket. I always thought suit is just the jacket.


Quoted from Dreamscale
“At the front…” – What does this mean?


You know the place in your car where the stereo system, fan and A/C controls, and other buttons are? How do I describe it?


Quoted from Dreamscale
“But Plan A ain’t working since.” – HUH?  What is “since” doing in this question?


The "since" is "since people knew about the problems Memwipe has". I wanted to write down the entire sentence but then it just sounds unnatural. If I dropped the "since", will people understand what Jame's referring to? I don't know.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 4 – “They just exit the back door.” – “exited” if anything, but it doesn’t sound right…or normal.


My bad. "They just exited through the back door." How's that?


Quoted from Dreamscale
This scene doesn’t make sense.  In the prior scene, they said they just exited the back door.  Then, in the following scene, you have them actually exiting the back door.
  

Oh, com'on! Is not entirely chronologically linear. I'm just showing a few seconds before they exited from the back door and before James telling Kevin about that.


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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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 8 – “This thought hits him like a thunderbolt.” – This is a really bad, cheesy aside that shouldn’t be here. Even worse, we don’t even know who you’re referring to, because you use “him”, and it’s not clear (to me) if it’s Rob or Kevin.


What I planned to do here is that Kevin suddenly realizes what Rob's trying to do. So it's like a eureka moment for Kevin. Is there a better way to write it? Or should I just leave it out and the readers will know what's going on?

I don't understand why the "him" is not clear. Kevin is the last person who speaks, and this sentence comes right after, so it must refer to that person. Right?


Quoted from Dreamscale
What happened to Kevin’s face that is making him about to explode?  Like literally, explode?  What am I missing here?


Nooooo......Kevin's just angry. Man, my descriptions are failing miserably.


Quoted from Dreamscale
GENERAL NOTE – I’m pretty lost as to what is supposed to going on…and why.  I also do not buy the conversation between Lambert and Kevin.  It just doesn’t sound real, or in the tone Kevin would speak to whom I believe to be the “big boss”.


Do you mean that you don't understand how all these events come together? Like what is the purpose and the big picture?

I got other responses saying what Memwipe does is not clear enough. I should've start my story earlier to show what the company usually does. Maybe that'll help you understand more.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 14 – “It’s just you and me here.” – HUH?  WTF does this mean?  There’s a bunch of other people that we’ve already seen and I’d have to imagine there’s a ton more in a huge building, running a company like this…right?  Or am I really confused?


Hahaha....Yes, you are confused. It's just Lambert and Kevin in Lambert's Office. No one else. So Lambert is trying to lure Kevin to say what's on his mind. I guess that piece of dialogue is not clear enough.


Quoted from Dreamscale
“Kevin turns to see Guy running towards him. Guy is carrying a digital camera and a notepad.” – I’d rewrite these lines something like this – “Kevin turns, as Guy runs towards him.” – I read forward and see that the camera and notepad have absolutely nothing to do with anything.  Guy does get his camera confiscated, but it doesn’t come back into play, so why bring it up?


Thanks for the clarification. But I do see "ing" verbs in scripts, so when is it okay to use them?

Damnit. I need to get rid of the camera and notepad when I do my rewrite. I had Guy to be something in my mind but then I changed it completely in my third act. Now his camera and notepad don't make any sense.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 15-19 – First of all, what in the world was Guy doing working on Pearson, when he has no clue what the company even does, and appears to be a brand new employee?  Makes ZERO sense.


I don't understand how it makes no sense. He's a brand new technician under Rob's team at Memwipe. He knows how to work the panels but just hasn't visited the Memory Archive yet.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 19 – No reason to have the answering machine state, “You have 3 messages.” – skip it.  Just go into the actual messages.  No reason, IMO, to use a wrylie “filtered” for the actual messages. And, it’s “V.O.”, not “O.S.”, or as you have it, “O.C.”.


Yup, I agree with you on this one. Thanks for pointing that out.


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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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Who is James?  Did I forget him, or is this is first intro?  I don’t know…


Yup, you forgot about him. James was the guy in the SUV on page 2. And I know why you forgot about him because he wasn't doing anything for several pages already. I'll try to find a way to get rid of him or have him to do more things.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 23 – This scene doesn’t seem real again.  Feels forced, fake for some reason.


Care to explain why? Is it because of Lambert's reaction?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 25 – “I’ve something to tell you…” – You’ve used “I’ve” like this a few times now.  It’s not correct, reads oddly, and would sound even odder.  Should be something like, “I’ve got something to tell you...”


When can I use "I've" and when should I use "I have"?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Everyone, except Kevin and Grace seem to be bad guys (and Guy seems like an idiot).  There doesn’t seem to be any “real world” outside of Memwipe.


There is a real world outside of Memwipe. Is it because all I've shown is inside Memwipe that makes you think this way? But then the problem is the real world doesn't affect the story yet. I did allude to reporters trying to dig things up about the company, so that's something outside of Memwipe.

Do you mean you want some scenes that set outside of Memwipe? Let me think about it. In these pages, I'm still setting up what Memwipe actually is, so it might be hard not to take place inside the company.

And if I do show the real world right now, they'll be superfluous because they won't move the story forward at this point.

I'm just curious about what "real world" you're referring to. Can you please clarify?


Quoted from Dreamscale
It sounds like they’re about to fuck up Grace even more than she already is, and if Kevin lets this happen, the story’s over, as far as I’m concerned as a reader. OK, at least Kevin saved her, but the scenes just don’t come off realistically.


So I guess I made you concerned about Grace's fate? I'll take that as a good thing.

Again, what do you mean by "unrealistically"? Like the characters don't have enough motivations to do things? Or characters are doing things that don't seem proper in those situations? Can you list examples?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 31 – OK, so Lambert lets Kevin and Grace run off…why?  If he’s going to be following them anyway, why let them leave?  Makes ZERO sense.


I'll have to sneak in a piece of dialogue. Lambert doesn't want his people chasing Kevin in broad daylight. Lambert wants to keep this under wraps and takes action after knowing where Kevin is. Does it make sense? Or no?


Quoted from Dreamscale
What “wire”  Have we been intro’d to such a wire yet?  I don’t think so, but could be wrong.


The wire's been introduced on page 34. "Kevin fishes out his memory projector. A long wire tangled around it." Maybe I didn't make it stand out enough?


Quoted from Dreamscale
The wire breaks?  HUH?  What kind of wire just breaks off?  I don’t buy it at all.


Yeah, the wire breaks off from the projector. When you dangle a headphone by the wire for many times or for too long, the wire just breaks off. Does it make sense?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 39 – This entire scene reads just awful, sorry to say.  Confusing, poorly worded, unrealistic.


Just a writer, we obviously want the scene to be as clear as possible. And I wrote it and reread it a couple of times to ensure that. Of course, it only reads and sounds clear to me.

So can you please give examples as to what is "confusing" and "unrealistic"?


Quoted from Dreamscale
“Why can’t we take the car?” – What car?  The one they just left with slashed tires?  HUH?


Noooo......Jeff, what were you reading? The previous scene has Kevin and Grace escaped by driving the Memwipe SUV. And this scene it says they parked the SUV by a meter. So the "car" must be referring to the SUV? No?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 43 – GENERAL NOTE - Herman, listen, man, I’m sorry to say this, but your action scenes need a lot of attention.  They’re poorly written, confusing, not visual, not properly set up.  I’m really not sure how to say all this, so I’m just trying to be honest and give you my opinion.


All opinions are welcomed. I just need to know what are "confusing, not visual, not properly setup" so that I can change it. I just reread it and of course it's clear to me, so I need to make sure what's not clear to others.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Page 45 – Oh boy…again, Rob proves he’s a complete fucking idiot!  C’mon, how could he not see them on the train?  I don’t buy it, which means I don’t buy the entire scene at all, and I’ve completely lost faith in the reality of what’s going on.


At what instance do you think Rob should see them? Please clarify. Is it when Kevin and Grace at the front of the train, so is it when they stand by the door as Rob is on the platform?

I'm pretty sure in a semi-packed subway car, you can't see the front of the train when you're at the back.

Once again, I really appreciate you took so detailed notes, and I'm looking forward to reading your reply.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 9th, 2010, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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Herman, I will try and answer your questions, explain my issues better, and provide more detail, before I move onto the 2nd part of the read and review.

This post is in response to your post of 10:41 PM, 9/8.

I think it’s actually the opposite of what you used…audible chatter, but chatter is also fine.

OK, so you’re literally saying that every single person in this bar is mingling and engaging in conversation except for Pearson?  My point here is to say what you mean, and mean what you say.  There’s no reason that I can come up with that Pearson would be the only one not saying a word and by himself.  It doesn’t matter what he’s doing, actually, cause Kevin is going to talk to him no matter what.  And considering that Pearson hasn’t resurfaced with any character description through page 45, as I mentioned, whether or not he’s a loner, doesn’t matter.  No big deal, I was just trying to point out that sometimes, when you try and be “smart” with your prose, it ends up being the opposite.

Yes, the period after his name.  When you’re giving an intro description, just use a comma and make it into an actual sentence, telling us something about the character.  Like this (for example), “PEARSON HAMILTON, thirties, tired around the eyes, loosens his tie and downs a scotch.”

There’s really nothing wrong with the word "expensive", as long as you “show” it at some point (soon).  Again, I am merely trying to point you I the right direction and keep you away from pitfalls that line the road.  It’s easy to get stuck in these ruts – if you steer clear of them early on, you’ll never worry about them down the road.

He’s across the street from the bar, so my point is that the SLUG is not accurate.  You may or may not know that I am a real stickler when it comes to SLUGS.  I feel they are such a great opportunity to offer any and all the information you can to your readers (as well as potential filmers).  Since we don’t have the luxury of visuals in a script, SLUGS offer information that hopefully makes up for the lack of visuals a bit…or at least, they can.  Personally, I’d just lose that entire scene and start with him climbing into the SUV.

“At the front” is very awkward and confusing.  You want to be visual in your descriptions, and if nothing else, you want your readers to know exactly what you’re talking about and not have to pause for even a second to try and picture something.

The line doesn’t read naturally the way you have it.  I don’t know how it would read with more info, but I do believe you need to find a way to give a lot more info about Memwipe.  I’m still clueless up to page 45 about the company’s past legal dealings, public perception, etc.  It all needs to come out and made clear very early on, as it’s really the crux of this story.

Why would you want this to not be chronologically linear?  It makes no sense.


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Dreamscale
Posted: September 9th, 2010, 3:17pm Report to Moderator
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Responses to your post on 11:12, 09/8.

What is Rob trying to do?  Do we know what Rob is trying to do?  I have no clue, actually.  The point I was making is twofold…1)  the phrase “hits like a thunderbolt” (or anything like it) is a cheesy aside.  IMO, you should stay FAR away from cheesy asides.  2)  “him” is not clear (to me) because I don’t understand what anyone is realizing all of a sudden.  Yes, it is apparent, since Kevin spoke last, but it’s just a really bad line, IMO.  In a way, Kevin’s dialogue on the prior line is exposition.  In a way, it’s unrealistic for someone to blurt this out.  In a way, it’s just kind of dumb to me.

Herman, again, I was trying to make a point here with the line about his head exploding.  Be careful how you phrase things.  Write descriptively in a way that can transfer to film…in a way that when read, the reader instantly gets a visual of what you’re trying to convey.  In this scene, you’ve got a lot going on and IMO, it’s actually possible that someone’s head is about to explode, so it made me stop, and reread, just to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

My GENERAL NOTE pertains to the fact that since I know almost nothing about Memwipe, and the roles of every character intro’d, it’s tough to get a feel for what’s happening, why, and why I should care.  I would definitely agree you need to make it clear (clear isn’t really the right word, either) what Memwipe does, what has gone on there, etc.

I think it’s more than just the dialogue not being clear. It’s more of an unrealistic feel, based on this dialogue exchange, as well as the entire setup.

Herman, here’s the deal on “ing” verbs, or passive writing, what I refer to as passive verbiage.  You will see all sorts of things in scripts, be they Pro scripts, or any level below that.  There are certain things that you want to do and certain things you don’t want to do.  It doesn’t matter if you see it in Pro scripts…if you shouldn’t do it, don’t do it.  If you saw Peyton Manning close his eyes every time he threw a pass, and you were an aspiring Quarterback, would you do the same?  Of course you wouldn’t.  There are times when using a verb ending in “ing” is perfectly acceptable, but not when it’s your main verb, so basically, every time you see a sentence with passive verbiage, ask yourself a question, “Can I replace the “is (verb)ing” with just the verb

No big deal on the camera and notepad.  I was merely trying to simplify the example and I didn’t see where it came into play, this it’s probably not necessary.

It comes off like Guy doesn’t know anything at all about the company, or eve what he’s doing there.  This sounds like high tech stuff to me.  Why would they have some 20 something kid running a memory erasure procedure?  It’s downright crazy, if you ask me.  How would one “know how to run the panels” but doesn’t even seem to now what goes on at the company?  On page 15, Guy goes with Kevin to learn how things work, and he even says it’s “Orientation Week”, and talks about what he’s supposed to know based on the “Employee Handbook”.  All this kind of stuff comes way before someone starts actually working, and WAY WAY before they do something that could be potentially dangerous to anyone.  It’s basically a huge red flag that says this is far from realistic.

No big deal on the answering machine thing.  It’s just another way to save space, and at 114 pages, it’s something to think about.


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Brian M
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Quoted from Coding Herman
The first thing I want is to be entertaining. The second thing is having the audience rooting for the characters. Is Kevin relatable and likable to you? Is his inner flaw substantial enough? Did he transform in a reasonable way?

There are actually some major plot holes the size of (borrowed from Pia here) lunar craters. So I was quite relieved that you didn't really notice them. Or maybe you did but didn't say anything about them.


I've been reading through the comments and noticed I missed a few questions you had. Sorry about that.

I liked Kevin and I thought his character worked well enough. He certainly did everything in his power to help Grace and I could relate to that. The problems I found were with Guy. Like I said, He's not as developed and I'd like to find out a little more about him. The end twist with him came right out of the blue and during the script, I can't really remember any moments when he ACTED like an undercover cop (like when he ran away from Rob after using the laptop in the toilet... and undercover cop would have stood their ground).

Once everyone has read this and had their say, I'd love to know what the major plot holes were. I'm terrible at spotting some things, even when they are right in front of my eyes.
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Coding Herman
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Hey Brian, no need to apologize. Appreciate your reply.

It's good that you think Kevin is likable enough. Unfortunately, it's not enough for other people. So I actually planned to start my story when everything is still okay and showed what Kevin usually does in Memwipe.

That way I can achieve two things: make the audience care more about Kevin, and showed the audience what is going on within Memwipe.

I definitely agreed with the character Guy. At first I had him as an undercover reporter where his job is to dig up shits in Memwipe. So maybe I'll go back to that. And I'll actually play up his role more instead of making him look like an idiot. (Jeff thinks he's an idiot...hahaha)

Funny. Right before I submitted it, I could think of a lot of plot holes, but now I forgot most of them. Don't worry, Jeff had already discovered several. More to come.

Herman


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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Coding Herman
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Gee, I almost forgot replying to your post, Michael. Sorry about that.

But first, thank you so much for reading Memwipe. Especially from non-7WC participants.


Quoted from mcornetto
Characters were not interesting enough.  I just didn't care about them. I couldn't tell who the protag was going to be and I didn't really care for any of the characters.

I need to care a bit more about Kevin and Grace, either like them and relate to them or otherwise be so fascinated with them that I want to know what they're going to do next, you need to make them more interesting somehow.


Yup, I definitely agree with you here. I'll take your suggestion and start my story earlier during the "better days".

I'll start my first scene with Kevin and have him stay with us until he goes for Pearson. I think that why people were less confused as to who our protagonist is.


Quoted from mcornetto
Also this Pearson guy has a silly name.  Personally, I would change it because it ruins the tone of the beginning.  And speaking of names, the name GUY didn't really work for me because I kept thinking it was generic.  This could be just me but I found it confusing.


Changing names is not a big issue here. BUT what's confusing again?  


Quoted from mcornetto
Lastly, there's the dialogue.  While it was sufficient and it carried the story along, I think it could have been a lot better.  Give your dialogue a bit more life.  I know that's kind of a general thing but I can't think of a single piece of dialogue that stood out in this script as excellent.


I've been struggling with dialogue. Do you mean I should work more on subtext?


Quoted from mcornetto
One other thing was that I found the use of Troop and Troopers a bit distracting because they weren't good guys and generally I associate that word with people on the side of the law.  Personally, I would look for another word to describe them like Goons.


Duly noted.


Once again, thanks so much for your input. If you have anything you want me to read, just PM me.


Herman


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 9th, 2010, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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Responses to your post at 1:52 PM, 9/9

I looked back and found James.  Yeah, either flesh him out or drop him. There are a lot of characters who seem to be very much alike.

Herman, the scene on page 23 comes off, to me, as much of this does, just downright unrealistic.  It’s the classic cliché ridden scenario of some sort of “boss” and his henchmen doing whatever he tells them to move his evil plan forward.  The dialogue also comes off as exposition, and again, just doesn’t come off as remotely real. Wish I could explain it better, but that’s the best I can do.

Well, obviously, “I’ve is a contraction for “I have”, but in this case, it sounds very odd to me.  Do you speak this way?  Would you say, “I’ve something to tell you”,  “I’ve got something to tell you”, or “I have something to tell you”?   I don’t know, if it sounds OK to you, there’s nothing technically wrong with it.

I think what I mean is something many will disagree with.  For me a script or movie needs to show “real people” and sometimes, to make a person “real”, they need to engage in things that aren’t completely plot driven.  You know, I read 45 pages, and I can’t think of a single thing anyone has done that makes them seem like real people.  For instance, think about Harrison Ford’s character in “The Fugitive”.  An awful lot happened to old Harry, but there were numerous scenes in which he interacted with characters and situations that showed us he was a good, everyday kind of guy.  Your script has absolutely nothing that makes any character come off as anything more than what the plot requires. Does that make sense?

You don’t always have to move the plot/story forward, IMHO.  When you show things like I’m talking about, it sets your writing apart from the masses, breathes life into your characters, and hopefully, makes them interesting, intriguing, and likable.

Yes, I am concerned with Grace’s fate more than anything else, since I can tell she’s been messed up.
Yes, all of the above…I don’t see the motivations (and understand that a bunch of goons/henchmen/Troopers doing what their “boss” tells them to do is not motivation for me – it’s cardboard bad guys doing cardboard bad guy things), I don’t see believable dialogue or dialogue interactions, and I don’t see proper actions/reactions to situations.

But they do chase him in broad daylight…all over town, including a crowded subway system and train cars.  Nothing is kept under wraps at all.  There’s a bunch of people climbing on roofs on broad daylight…what would the neighbors think of this?  Cars passing on the street?   Wouldn’t someone be the least bit concerned about what’s going on?  How about the fight in the subway?  Where is all the security?  It looks like an attack is going on with a woman involved.

Nah, the wire thing is fine. I doubt the wire would just “break”, but it could pull out from the machine, I suppose.

OK, Page 39 – We’re talking about the scene with Guy sitting in the Memwipe SUV and Kevin and Grace run up, overpower him, and take off.  First and foremost, seriously, what is Guy possibly doing here, in the SUV?  You’ve already told me he’s a brand new hire and works on running the controls or something.  He hasn’t even gone through Orientation Week, for God’s sake, and here he is out chasing people down, during business hours.  Does that make any sense at all?  It doesn’t to me, and it’s so unbelievable that it actually angers me, and makes me want to give up the read.

How is it confusing or poorly written?  In many, many ways (which isn’t such a bad thing, Herman…it’s a rough first draft that was written and conceived in only 7 weeks!).  It starts out written from Guy’s point of view, which I don’t think it should, as Guy is such a minor character up to now.  The wording on the action is just…well…just not good, Herman.  All this stuff about the stun baton being turned backwards…blah, blah, blah, then a “Trooper” gets “stunned” and cartoonishly flies back into the rest of the goons and they all fall down.  Remember, this is simply my opinion here, so take it with a grain of salt.  If it reads well to you, run with it.

My bad…car/SUV – I don’t think of a car and an SUV in the same breath.

OK, this GENERAL NOTE you’re referring to here, is actually based on the scenes in the subway, not just on Page 43.  Here’s the best way I can answer your questions, and please, understand I am trying to help here, I’m not putting you down or anything like that.  If this doesn’t help, disregard it…but I bet it will.  I’ll answer your questions with some questions of my own…

Where is this script set (as in city)?  Do you have subways where you live and do you take them on a regular basis?  Is this subway in your script taken from one you are familiar with, or did you do research online that had pictures of whatever subway this is supposed to be?  If your answer is “I don’t know”, “who cares”, or “no”, then the problem is simple.  How can you write about something without being familiar with it?  You can’t.  The entire thing comes off to me as if you decided you wanted to move the action into a subway, and started writing, without having a clue about the details of the structure itself, where things are in relation to other things, etc.  The escalator stuff is very confusing, as in I cannot picture it happening the way you’re describing it.  Hope that makes sense and helps.

I don’t know when Rob should see them, but that’s not the point.  It comes off as an almost zany comedy chase scene.  It does not come off realistically or believable to me.  Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, I don’t know.  Rob is a technician at Memwipe, though, right?  Why is he doing double duty and acting like some kind of thug/goon?  Who are these Troopers?  Where is subway security?

OK, I’ve still got another 70 pages to read, and it’s going to have to wait until tomorrow, as we’ve got FOOTBALL ready to kick off soon.

Hope this helps, Herman.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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mcornetto
Posted: September 9th, 2010, 5:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Coding Herman

Changing names is not a big issue here. BUT what's confusing again?  

I've been struggling with dialogue. Do you mean I should work more on subtext?


What was confusing was the name GUY because it could be used generically like MAN.  "You see that guy, the one over there".  I probably didn't catch the character intro so as I was reading I thought the character was someone whose identity you were holding back from the reader.  It was probably just me so don't worry about it.

I don't think the issue with the dialogue has to do with subtext, though a bit of work at that would probably help.  What needs to happen to the dialogue is that it needs to be punched up so that there are at least a few times where I or someone else can go, "great line"!  I don't think I could easily quantify or explain exactly how you might approach changing it but I can tell it's missing.  

It's like the difference between a character saying...

"I hope it doesn't rain" to them saying "It's going to piss down and spoil everything, I know it."  
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Coding Herman
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Hey Jeff, thanks so much for the responses. It's always good to hear back from the questions I've posted.

This post is in response to your post of 3:21 PM, 9/9.


Quoted from Dreamscale
There’s no reason that I can come up with that Pearson would be the only one not saying a word and by himself.  It doesn’t matter what he’s doing, actually, cause Kevin is going to talk to him no matter what.  And considering that Pearson hasn’t resurfaced with any character description through page 45, as I mentioned, whether or not he’s a loner, doesn’t matter.


I guessed you're right. He's not the ONLY person in the bar alone. I just want him to be alone. So I shouldn't write, "Everyone mingles except for PEARSON". I should simply write, "Pearson sits alone at the bar." Sounds good?

But you will see him again later on. Forgot which page though.


Quoted from Dreamscale
He’s across the street from the bar, so my point is that the SLUG is not accurate.  Personally, I’d just lose that entire scene and start with him climbing into the SUV.


I can lose the scene with a quick fix, no problem. BUT, if I were to write a scene similar to this one, would EXT. BAR still be correct?

The reason I wrote this EXT. BAR scene is because in the previous scene, Pearson saw Kevin heading for the exit, so right now I'm showing Kevin got out of the bar and heads for the SUV. I just wanna show that Kevin and the SUV are closed to the bar.

If I just cut to the SUV scene, I'm not sure if the audience think I had cut to a different location. What do you think? Maybe I can show from the side window of the SUV, we can see the bar?


Quoted from Dreamscale
I do believe you need to find a way to give a lot more info about Memwipe.  I’m still clueless up to page 45 about the company’s past legal dealings, public perception, etc.  It all needs to come out and made clear very early on, as it’s really the crux of this story.


I agreed that Memwipe is not presented in enough details. I planned to rewrite my opening scene such that we're back in the normal days inside Memwipe and show how Memwipe usually function.

Brian seems like the only one who gets what Memwipe does and even he said it needs to be more clear. I guess he was in the same boat as you after page 45, confused about what Memwipe actually is.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Why would you want this to not be chronologically linear?  It makes no sense.


Never mind that. I can simply start that scene right in the back alley instead of having them bursting out the door. An easy fix.


I'll respond to the rest of the comments tomorrow. Enjoy the football game, Jeff!



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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RayW
Posted: September 10th, 2010, 12:14am Report to Moderator
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Part 1 of 2

PDF Page 7
He helps Diane up, takes off his suit for her.
takes off his suit jacket for her.

PDF Pg 16
GUY
Orientation week.
Kevin gives him a look.
KEVIN
We back in high school?
GUY
I gotta know the ins and outs of
how things operate here. It’s one
of the criteria stated in the
employee handbook.

Holy smokes. This company is a disaster!

PDF Pg 17
KEVIN
Newborn’s a pain, eh? I’ll be in
there for an hour.

The bald guard has a newborn baby keeping him up at night?

So... what did Kevin have to do for an hour in the memory archive?

Pg 21
He clears out a small section of the coffee table, takes out
the memory disc from his pocket, and places it there.

Wow. Originals only? Taken off site? No copies?

Lambert hands him a huge present. Overjoyed, Michael pecks
him on the cheek.

(As I'm reading this) I'm guessing Lambert is Grace's father?
By story's end I know the answer, but a fickle reader might get bogged down by this.

By pg 22 I like the Kevin/Grace/Diane triangle situational complexities.
And... then Diane screws it up on page 23. Normal, but... that's reality, isn't it?!
Keep it. I'm just appreciating it.

Character names are often arbitrary and I'm terrible with them.
Just as a general issue I try to circumvent, I make an effort to chose character names with alphabetical diversity.
I like how you have the younger characters referenced by their first names and the older Lambert by his last.
I did the same thing in Lapse. Convergent evolution. Two thumbs up!

Pg 24
Rob sips his tea as Lambert paces. This irritates him.
ROB
Can you chill? Everything’s still
according to plan.

I find the disrespect for business hierarchy unpleasantly interesting. Rather rude. No wonder the business is a wreck and the cops are on their tail.

Pg 25
LAMBERT
You better clean up this mess
before anything gets out.

I like how they're trying to "solve" their product's problems WITH the product. LOL!
Somewhere I heard that if the only tool you have is a hammer you tend to try to solve all your problems with the hammer.
Sissy, white collar, techno-wieners need to quit sanitizing memories and frying brains and just kill people the old fashioned way. Ha!

Pg 27
Diane jabs the needle into Grace’s neck.
DIANE
Were.

GD, Grace! Whattab!tch you are!

Pg 31/32
He grabs Grace’s hand and dashes out the building.
Grace is ambulatory after that procedure?
Wasn't she a veggie just the prior day with Kevin and Diane wiping off her paralyzed twitchy fingers back on pg 10/11?
Fix the first intro of Grace.

Pg 34
KEVIN
Just say it. What’s my name?
GRACE
I dunno.
Kevin mumbles a curse.

He loves her. He cares about her. He should just tell her "My name is Kevin Lancaster. Your name is Grace Lancaster. You are my wife and you are in danger. Please let me help you."

KEVIN
Look. It’s a very long story. I’ll
explain everything to you later.
But what we need to do right now,
is to find out why those people
want you dead. Pearson Hamilton,
does that ring a bell?

I'd strike that entire passage, but relocate the Pearson Hamilton question to some point in the following car evasion sequence.

Pg 35 Wasn't much of a MemWipe pursuit in the SUV.

Pg 36
CELL DISPLAY -- "Leave home now"
Before he can react, a car screeches outside the house.

No sh!t, Sherlock! That wasn't too bright.

He keeps watch as
Grace searches for the disc.
She ambles to the bed.

Holy smokes. There're bad guys charging in the living room and Kevin's watching while toast-brained Grace "ambles".
What a bad situation.

A glimpse of something silver catches her eyes.
She reaches for it. A disc the size of a palm, imprinted on
the front: HAMILTON, PEARSON.

Since grace is brain fried, have her knock over a chair Kevin had placed yesterday's work shirt onto, shirt shoulders on the chair back corners, the disk slides upward out of the breast pocket when the chair hits the ground.

Pg 37
EXT. ROOF - DAY
Kevin and Grace crawl up the slope. He’s right behind her,
clinging to the memory projector.

Don't try escaping unnoticed like this at home.
It makes a horrible thumping sound when you walk on the roof.
Otherwise, it's a nice suspenseful sequence.
Also, are these memory disks about the size of a mini-DVD?

The dangling wire on the projector? Do you mean the electrical cord or a wire to the headset?

Pg 39
His Troop is startled.
Gotta call the goons something better in re-write. MW Security? I dunno.
Memwipe seems to be a rather hig tech/capital business with a small employee count.
Make the Troop Rob's own "Dirty works" man. Make him an evil sidekick like Richter's in Total Recall, Helm (Michael Champion).

Scratch the startled troop altogether. Have Rob just running out the bedroom door then down the stairs yelling "They're on the roof!'

Pg 40 Nicely choreographed escape sequence.
Rob tends to the stunned Troop and glares at Guy with
unspeakable frustration.

Change to:
Rob steps over the recovering troop then places a hand on Guy's shoulder.
ROB
We need to talk about your future with the company, kid.


KEVIN
They can track it.

You can probably slip in a reference to GPS in there.

Pg 42
The train jerks forward. The Fat Man leans onto her. That’s
enough
. She sees an empty seat and darts for it.

strike That's enough.

Pgs 40-42 Nice flashback sequence.

Pg 47 Delete the Security guard, it adds nothing.

He manages a chuckle. The irony. strike The irony.

Pg 48 Sequence of Grace meeting her own Mom needs some suggestive setup beforehand. In real time it's... off.

Pg 50
LAMBERT
No. It’s our people. They all know
what they’re doing. Their positions
within the company. And most of
all, they know what they should
do...and what they shouldn’t do.

LOL! Boss is delusional!

Pg 51
INT. MARY’S HOUSE - DINNING ROOM - NIGHT
Kevin, Grace, and Mary eat their dinner. A plate of mashed
potatoes, roasted chicken, and salad sit on the table.

< holds head & shakes it > Even with a tracer somewhere on Grace, they had time to prepare a large supper then sit down and eat WITHOUT Bob & Co barging in.
Clowns. Lambert's a delusional buffoon!

Pg 53
KEVIN
You wanna forget our divorce.

In this moment of complete and honest sincerity, Kevin should use proper English. Change wanna back to wanted to

Pg 58
It’s a small device with blinking lights. The same one that
Lambert has. Mary picks it up and examines it.

I don't recall or missed the prior description/mention of such a device.
How it falls from Kevin's jacket or is discovered needs to be re-worked.
Sh!t just don't fall from our clothes. LOL!

He raises his arm and knocks-- strike raises his arm and

Pg 59
MARY
Nonsense. The only place you’ll
find marijuana is inside my body.

Funny, but needs some set up beyond her intro description of "A hip grandmother."
She have glaucoma? Cancer? Kevin make a quip or good natured taunt earlier?

Pg 60
MARY
What does that have to do
with marijuana?
Add What

Pg 65
He slowly creeps inside. He can hear heavy breathing. And
that’s not his own.
He grabs the clothing, readies to pull--

strike And that's not his own.

Pg 67
The driver, DAVID, twenties, Mohawk hair with sunglasses,
disembarks.

change disembarks to gets out then leans over her.

PEARSON
That’s a hit-and-run, for crying
out loud! How could I forget that?

WTH? It wasn't a hit and run. At least not David's
Previously: A red Ferrari stops inches in front of a GIRL.
No H&R there.

Pg 69
MORTIMER
No. I said I’ll invest after my
son’s charge is dropped.

Police, attorneys and plaintiffs must be all over this. Not to mention public records.
Hmm... need to figure a work-around this, but I do understand the importance of this set-up just fine.
Perhaps in the re-write it can be changed to a social indiscretion of a severe magnitude affecting Morti's business or political interests.
Make him a senator.
That would eliminate the police element.



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RayW
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Part 2 of 2

Pg 79
DIANE
Everything’s in here. Bolonski and
the disc.

Bolonski's and Grace's disks.

Pg 81
He pulls out blank papers and a device with blinking lights.
Ah! That's the tracer.
Somewhere in the near future and they're using cartoony blinking light tracers?!
Make it a funny looking metal poker chip thingie.

Pg 81 The "Sofa Situation" can be lost.

Pg 83 I think Kevin just had a brain fart since he deliberately left the Diane's blinking tracer thingie in the envelope at the restaurant not fifteen minutes earlier. Now he's hiding with her at Vickie's while she peddles a key card stating she couldn't get the disks when she just said that they were in the envelope.
Continuity.

She avoids his stare. Her eyes swell up.
DIANE
Don’t thank me. It’s all I can do.
Grace’s a lucky woman. Good luck.

Lying... NECK stabbing b!tch! Ha ha ha!

Pg 84
EXT. MOTEL PLATFORM - DAY change to patio or balcony

Pg 85 The key card has a blinking light in/on it? I understand the need for the audience to "know" how they are being tracked. Since this is near-future have them being tracked by cell phone GPSs or something. In Minority Report it was the eye scanners.

Pg 88
LAMBERT
Old and cheap, eh?

GUY
At six months old it's practically a dinosaur.

Guy chuckles, nervously now.
This is a great place for Lambert to almost catch Guy.
Keeps the suspense running.
Keep thinking about how to re-work this sequence, though.
Currently, most phones are programmable for different ringtones for different callers.
Maybe the rude old boss wants to call his young whipper-snapper nube employee, gets a different ringtone than he just heard, dismisses him.
Stupid, old geezer.
Whatever you think of this is a good place for it, though.

Pg 89
INT. MEMWIPE - WASHROOM STALL - NIGHT
Guy sits on a toilet seat with a laptop. He’s also wearing a
bluetooth earpiece.
GUY
Yeah, man. It’s suicidal going in
from the front.

Maybe this is supposed to be a nice-to-see, surprise reveal sort of thing, if so there needs only a sliver of set up beforehand.
Maybe back at the pg 79 brief meeting Guy can pass Kevin a business card or a receipt with a 1800 number that's really Guy's business phone.
Some skulduggery BS.

Pg 90
The grappling hook flies in through the opened window on the
top floor. It catches and secures onto the wall.

Having tried to toss a baseball duct-taped to a cord over the limb of a tree to pull it over years ago, I hafta be impressed with Kevin's prowess with a grappling hook and a five story building. Gotta love that movie magic!
(pg 17 They reveal a five stories cylindrical structure with a dome top.)

Pg 91/92 Need to figure a way to show Guy magically tapping into Memwipes security system.

Pg 93
In the mirror, he spots a pair of feet behind a closed
stall. He thinks nothing of it and keeps washing.

Guy is a dumb cop for not picking up his feet when Rob entered.
Rob's a dumb dummy, too. This time at night there ought to be no one else there.

Pg 94
He lifts up the toilet tank.
Commercial toilets have no tanks. Building code regulations.
Figure another work-around like... Guy has it tucked up under his jacket between his shoulders.
Since this is the near future, you can do the plastic keyboard and monitor bit.
It's rolled up and tucked in his sock.
Rob didn't hear clicking but does see Guy's feet underneath the stall door.
And that's a pretty neat magic trick to get out the bathroom door without being heard.
Maybe make it one of those baffled entries w/o a door.
Even still, surely Rob would have darted out the entry/door and been onto Guy in the hall.

Pg 96
Confused, shocked, and stunned. His knees weaken and slowly
drop to the floor. He stares idly at the display, ignoring
the approaching footsteps.

Mister bad a$$ can climb five stories up a glass tower but flips out over his dirty company scamming his own memories.
C'mon, Kev! Wise up! LOL!

Pg 100
Lambert, with a syringe in hand, comes from behind and jabs
Grace in the neck. Her body goes limped in seconds.

If you wanted to be a really sick man, you could write Diane as Lambert's daughter.
And I think you need a RETURN TO SCENE after this flashback to return to the Motel room.

Pg 101
Kevin turns towards the sound and sees Rob. Kevin quickly
presses the disk eject button a few times. Nothing comes out.

A: Kev shoulda pressed the button the moment he saw his disk slot. B: You need to insert disk eject

Lambert kneels beside him. He hands the stun baton back to
the Bald Guard.

Alright, you senile old geezer! get in the game!

Pg 102
Diane oversees them from behind.
Too bad evil Diane can't cultivate "a thing" for evil Don.
She doesn't really DO much other than facilitate misery, does she?
And I guess they all kinda forgot about Guy running amok in the building.

The door bursts open as a herd of people flocks in.
WTH?

Pg 103
KEVIN
Answer me, Lambert! You did all
these just to help that kid get
away with murder?

Reckless homicide or manslaughter, actually.

Page 105 It seems James has kinda been on the fence all this while. Now all of a sudden he's biased toward the good guys? Need some more prior wiffle-waffle on James.

Pg 108
Kevin ignores Guy and goes straight to the third one. It’s
Pearson. Kevin opens the freezer door and Pearson slumps
onto him.

If Pearson is slumping it's more of a refrigerator than a freezer. Otherwise - TIMBER!
And... why are they saving dead people in their covert, subterranean meat lockers?

Pg 109
He unlocks a drawer with a key and takes out a handgun.
IT'S ABOUT D@MN TIME SOMEONE USED ONE OF THESE!


Done

Super fantastic.
You did a wonderful job, Herman.
Lovely interweaving of core characters and story structure.

There are several movies this premise and story's pace remind me of.
Total Recall - For obvious reasons.
My short "Dona Marina: Origins" had several people citing it was adversely similar to the feature "Apocalypto".
Of course there were tremendous differences in everything other than setting, yet the point remains - They smacked of one another.
It's a (arguably) legit point or issue.
Some things are fine for rehashing over and over.
(How many civil war movies are there or westerns or WWII movies. Whatever).
But other things... well... folks only wanna see once. Ugh!
TR is about putting in false memories.
MemWipe is about erasing existing memories.
Two different critters to me.
So... now what? I dunno. It's something.
I just don't know what to do right off the top of my head.
Paycheck - Here, it's direct memory erasure. Pretty much kissin' cousins. Moreso than TR, but Paycheck wasn't wildly successful as TR.
Deja Vu - Deals with "Near Future Tech", much along the lines of Memwipe. Additionally there's a lot of running around and trying to figure out where all the bad guys are.
Enemy of the State & Eagle Eye - More "Near Future Tech" future mostly centering on 1984 Big Brother invasion of privacy. Also a lot of running around.
eXistenZ - More integration of scifi "Near Future Tech" amongst a current setting along with a mystery to figure out.

Where to go from here?
Alternative #1 - Cleanup what you have, tweak as you go.
Of the above movies, Total Recall I'd favor simply because it follows a decent three act structure: They're on Earth, They goto Mars, They find Quato/the alien oxygen thing/kill the bad guys. Love it.
The other movies had a bunch of running around A to Z.
That didn't do much for me.
MemWipe, as is, has much of the same feel.

Question: Can you, if even interested in breaking away from the "running around" model, figure out a stronger A=>B=>C story without absolutely reinventing the story's current mood?

The two simplest, broad-scoped, clean-up suggestions I'd modify:
A - Make MemWipe a investigatory government program, ala Project Treadstone from the Bourne series, the "Snow White" machine in Deja Vu, or the whole military lab thing in The Hulk.
Blame it on the government. Makes great scapegoat.
Government buffoons are a natural, favorite audience hate target.
Everybody wants to see their fellow man "stick it to The Man"!

B - Keep local police out of the situation by making Mortimer a corrupt and dirty Senator both in control of the project's funding and in need of its services due to his own indiscretions.

Something I'd like to see you include in a clean-up re-write, and is the biggest PITA, is to create a WHOLE world of "near tech" and integrate that into the story.
The hardest part is that it can't be so wacky the audience balks at it, (although I could cite the tech incongruities between Nixon's war on cancer [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Cancer ] from forty years ago which... really hasn't materialized much - and - Dick Tracy's eighty year old TV wrist phones which... pretty much everyone has today as cell).
Not every field of science progresses at the same rate, in other words.
MemWipe has memory erasure but no other "near tech".
Makes it kinda funny.
Total Recall could afford to go balls-to-the walls with crazy tech BS.
Not so, here.

This brings us to Alternative #2 - Re-craft with the core concept.
Ugh!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know EXACTLY what this entails but have no idea where to begin.
Just something to consider.

(Frankly, I'd go with the alt #1, cleanup, for the near future while back burner figuring out alt # 2 for years down the road.)

Hope you find a nugget or two in there.



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Coding Herman
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Hi Jeff, hope you enjoyed the game last night.


Quoted from Dreamscale
What is Rob trying to do?  Do we know what Rob is trying to do?  I have no clue, actually.


Fair enough. His intention, which in linked to what Memwipe does, is not clearly stated upfront and I have to rework this in the opening.


Quoted from Dreamscale
My GENERAL NOTE pertains to the fact that since I know almost nothing about Memwipe, and the roles of every character intro’d, it’s tough to get a feel for what’s happening, why, and why I should care.  I would definitely agree you need to make it clear (clear isn’t really the right word, either) what Memwipe does, what has gone on there, etc.


Why "clear" isn't the right word either? Again, I have to find a way to convey this info upfront. Brian and you are the only ones who stated this fact. And I believe what caused all these confusions is I didn't show the "legal" part of Memwipe, and I just put the audience right into "illegal" part.


Quoted from Dreamscale
It comes off like Guy doesn’t know anything at all about the company, or even what he’s doing there.  Why would they have some 20 something kid running a memory erasure procedure?  It’s downright crazy, if you ask me.  How would one “know how to run the panels” but doesn’t even seem to now what goes on at the company?  On page 15, Guy goes with Kevin to learn how things work, and he even says it’s “Orientation Week”, and talks about what he’s supposed to know based on the “Employee Handbook”.  All this kind of stuff comes way before someone starts actually working, and WAY WAY before they do something that could be potentially dangerous to anyone.  It’s basically a huge red flag that says this is far from realistic.


Ah, I got what you mean now. Sometimes when you say something unrealistic, it might help to be more specific because what's unrealistic to you might not be unrealistic to the writer. And this is because the writer is so subjective. Once you explained it, yeah, I see how it's wrong.

An easy fix would be have Guy just a brand new guy, on his first or second day, and let someone else in the previous scene worked the panels.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 10th, 2010, 4:53pm Report to Moderator
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Clear may not be the right word, because maybe it's not meant to be entirely clear exactly what they do...or did.  But, we have to have some idea of what's going on there and what has been going on.

The thing about Guy is deeper...why would someone in their 20's want to work for a company like this?  You make it seem like they're some kind of illegal entity.  Where would one get training to work at a place like this?  Is it the only such place of its kind?

Maybe, the fact that you represent Guy as being in his 20's that's an issue, as I just don't see how he would fit.  Know what I'm saying?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Quoted from Dreamscale
The scene on page 23 comes off, to me, as much of this does, just downright unrealistic.  It’s the classic cliché ridden scenario of some sort of “boss” and his henchmen doing whatever he tells them to move his evil plan forward.  The dialogue also comes off as exposition, and again, just doesn’t come off as remotely real. Wish I could explain it better, but that’s the best I can do.


I now see what you don't like about that scene. So you're telling me I should get this information across in a different way? Or should I just lose it?

I need to do some exposition here because I want the readers to understand why Grace is being kidnapped by Rob afterward. Maybe I can do it visually instead of in dialogue? Hmmm......have to think about this one.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Well, obviously, “I’ve is a contraction for “I have”, but in this case, it sounds very odd to me.  Do you speak this way?  Would you say, “I’ve something to tell you”,  “I’ve got something to tell you”, or “I have something to tell you”?   I don’t know, if it sounds OK to you, there’s nothing technically wrong with it.


Well, I rarely say "I've got", usually "I've" or "I have". But again, English is not my mother-tongue, so I don't know.

Wish someone can chip in on this.


Quoted from Dreamscale
For me a script needs to show “real people” and sometimes, to make a person “real”, they need to engage in things that aren’t completely plot driven.  You know, I read 45 pages, and I can’t think of a single thing anyone has done that makes them seem like real people.

For instance, think about Harrison Ford’s character in “The Fugitive”.  An awful lot happened to old Harry, but there were numerous scenes in which he interacted with characters and situations that showed us he was a good, everyday kind of guy.  Your script has absolutely nothing that makes any character come off as anything more than what the plot requires. Does that make sense?


Yes, it makes sense to me. So this means I need to have some scenes that reveal characters, and if they can also move the plot forward, even better.

And to do this, I guess the characters need to interact with the world outside of Memwipe. Or engage in situations not related to work.

Am I getting it right?


Quoted from Dreamscale
I don’t see the motivations (and understand that a bunch of goons/henchmen/Troopers doing what their “boss” tells them to do is not motivation for me – it’s cardboard bad guys doing cardboard bad guy things), I don’t see believable dialogue or dialogue interactions, and I don’t see proper actions/reactions to situations.


So what's missing is the boss's motivation, but then I want to reveal it at the same time Kevin discovers it. So should I show the boss's motivation upfront? Hmm....but I'll be showing a lot of things in the beginning.

Now that's a tricky thing about henchman and goons. Their motivation.......is listening to their boss! Haha. Okay, what if this is what they are paid to do? To capture targets for erasure. That's their job. Like police officers where their job is to capture criminals.

No? It sounds like I'm digging myself deeper into a hole.


Quoted from Dreamscale
But they do chase him in broad daylight…all over town, including a crowded subway system and train cars.  Nothing is kept under wraps at all.  There’s a bunch of people climbing on roofs on broad daylight…what would the neighbors think of this?  Cars passing on the street?   Wouldn’t someone be the least bit concerned about what’s going on?  How about the fight in the subway?  Where is all the security?


Lambert wants this under wraps. It's Rob who's reckless. I don't think capturing someone in a quiet suburban home would cause a riot. Rob thinks he can get Kevin easy in his home. They'd never thought Kevin and Grace would climb the roof.

What's wrong with cars passing on the street? There isn't a car chase.

Now the fight in the subway. It's all Rob being himself. And I have the backstory why Rob hates Kevin so much, it just didn't make it onto the page in this draft. And yes, there is subway security. They'll appear.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Nah, the wire thing is fine. I doubt the wire would just “break”, but it could pull out from the machine, I suppose.


I need to find another way to express it. Maybe "The wire breaks off from the projector"?


Quoted from Dreamscale
We’re talking about the scene with Guy sitting in the Memwipe SUV and Kevin and Grace run up, overpower him, and take off.  First and foremost, seriously, what is Guy possibly doing here, in the SUV?  You’ve already told me he’s a brand new hire and works on running the controls or something.  He hasn’t even gone through Orientation Week, for God’s sake, and here he is out chasing people down, during business hours.  Does that make any sense at all?  It doesn’t to me, and it’s so unbelievable that it actually angers me, and makes me want to give up the read.


True, very, very true. You're good at catching these things. Like other reviewers, they say Guy is not developed enough and I planned to either make him completely brand new (so he won't take part in this operations), or make him more competent.

Hopefully, that'd alleviate some of your anger and keep you reading my script! Sorry for making this hard for you.


Quoted from Dreamscale
How is it confusing or poorly written?  It starts out written from Guy’s point of view, which I don’t think it should, as Guy is such a minor character up to now.  The wording on the action is just…well…just not good, Herman.  All this stuff about the stun baton being turned backwards…blah, blah, blah, then a “Trooper” gets “stunned” and cartoonishly flies back into the rest of the goons and they all fall down.


Hmm.....Brian said my action sequences were well-written, and you're saying the opposite. I might need a third opinion now. But I agree with you about Guy's POV. I should change that.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Where is this script set (as in city)?  Do you have subways where you live and do you take them on a regular basis?  Is this subway in your script taken from one you are familiar with, or did you do research online that had pictures of whatever subway this is supposed to be?  If your answer is “I don’t know”, “who cares”, or “no”, then the problem is simple.  How can you write about something without being familiar with it?  You can’t.  The entire thing comes off to me as if you decided you wanted to move the action into a subway, and started writing, without having a clue about the details of the structure itself, where things are in relation to other things, etc.  The escalator stuff is very confusing, as in I cannot picture it happening the way you’re describing it.  Hope that makes sense and helps.


This script is set in a city. I live in Toronto and I take the subway almost everyday. So yes, the subway in the script is taken from the Toronto one.

The subway station depicted here is the actual St. George subway station, which has two subway platform levels because this is where two subway lines intersect each other. There are escalators to get to each level. For each one of them, there is an up escalator and a down escalator. They run parallel to each other with a narrow space in between them.

Each subway train has six cars. And there are five doors in each car. There is also the back door where transit employees can go to each car while the train is moving.

Sorry, I'm just rambling here. Maybe the subway system at your place is completely different than mine?

The reason why Kevin and Grace need to take public transit is because they need to get to Mary's house. They couldn't take the SUV or else they could be tracked.


Quoted from Dreamscale
I don’t know when Rob should see them, but that’s not the point.  It comes off as an almost zany comedy chase scene.  It does not come off realistically or believable to me.  Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, I don’t know.  Rob is a technician at Memwipe, though, right?  Why is he doing double duty and acting like some kind of thug/goon?  Who are these Troopers?  Where is subway security?


I think I'll have to check with other people who have reviewed this. I think technically it can happen.

Again, Rob's motivation is not stated here. I'll need to find some ways to put it in.

Don't worry, there's subway security.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Hope this helps, Herman.


They do help, Jeff. I need to know which parts of the story are confusing, unclear, unrealistic, unbelievable and why. And you've answered my questions quite efficiently.

Thanks a lot.


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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Quoted from Dreamscale
Clear may not be the right word, because maybe it's not meant to be entirely clear exactly what they do...or did.  But, we have to have some idea of what's going on there and what has been going on.


Oh no, I do want the readers to know what Memwipe actually does for the public. Like what kind of services Memwipe provide.

After reading 45 pages, can you guess what services Memwipe provide? What's legal and what's illegal about them?


Quoted from Dreamscale
The thing about Guy is deeper...why would someone in their 20's want to work for a company like this?  You make it seem like they're some kind of illegal entity.  Where would one get training to work at a place like this?  Is it the only such place of its kind?


Seems like Guy is giving me a lot of problems. But I don't understand, why wouldn't someone in their 20s want to work in this company? This is like a bio-tech company. Recent grads can apply for jobs there. All companies need fresh blood, right?


Quoted from Dreamscale
Maybe, the fact that you represent Guy as being in his 20's that's an issue, as I just don't see how he would fit.  Know what I'm saying?


Hmm.....I think I might understand what you're talking about. You're saying for a high tech company that can erase people's memory, the employees should be very experienced, at least 30 years old?

I'll have to disagree with that opinion. The low level jobs in each company are usually populated by the inexperienced and recent grads. The technicians in this company are those jobs. But you're right, I shouldn't let Guy out there with Rob chasing Kevin down.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 10th, 2010, 6:07pm Report to Moderator
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Herman, 2 things - I'm glad to hear that you actually did have a subway in mind when you wrote this.  That's great. I do not take a subway, never have, never will...but I do know what they look like.  I just couldn't get a visual here at all, and the stuff about the tug of war sounds kind of goofy, and maybe that's what pushed me overboard on this part.

Also, I'm not saying that something "can't happen", in regards to anything, especially the stuff about Rob or whoever doing goon work as well as technician work.  What I'm saying is that I find it unlikely and odd that anyone with a normal job/life would partake in things of this nature that could/would land him in a heap of trouble, both legally and physically.

It's the same deal with Guy, only worse...why would some kid, fresh out of school, jump into such shit?  You know?

I'll try and get through the end of yours this weekend, but it's unlikely as I'm booked tonight, have my Fantasy Football Draft all day tomorrow, and Sunday is the first full day of FOOTBALL!

Have a great weekend!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Coding Herman
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Hey there, Michael. Thanks for replying my questions.


Quoted from mcornetto
What was confusing was the name GUY because it could be used generically like MAN.  "You see that guy, the one over there".  I probably didn't catch the character intro so as I was reading I thought the character was someone whose identity you were holding back from the reader.  It was probably just me so don't worry about it.


I can see the confusion now. And this damn Guy character is giving me a hell lot of troubles. He will be completely re-written.....along with his name.


Quoted from mcornetto
What needs to happen to the dialogue is that it needs to be punched up so that there are at least a few times where I or someone else can go, "great line"!  I don't think I could easily quantify or explain exactly how you might approach changing it but I can tell it's missing.

It's like the difference between a character saying...

"I hope it doesn't rain" to them saying "It's going to piss down and spoil everything, I know it."  


Ahh.....yes, I got it. I need to think of more snappier and colorful words that are appropriate for each character. Cuz right now, I know all of my characters sound the same because I was so focused on what they should say to move the plot forward.

It's kinda like a double-edged sword. You have a story in mind but then your characters don't obey to it. And you have to try all sorts of different ways to get the story back on track, and as a result, making the dialogue unnatural.

Hopefully I'll sort this out in my rewrites.

Once again, thanks a lot, Michael. It really helps.


Herman


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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RayW
Posted: September 13th, 2010, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Ray:
Question: Can you, if even interested in breaking away from the "running around" model, figure out a stronger A=>B=>C story without absolutely reinventing the story's current mood?


I kept running the events of the story back and forth and finally figured out the ABC transitions:
ACT I : Setting and escape
ACT II : Meet Mom and snooping/data gathering
ACT III :  Diner set-up and entry into company

I don't know how much responsibility it is for the writer or director to make those transition points become apparent.

I think the escape from the MemWipe facility to the park and then into Mom's home went too smooth for me and so I didn't catch it.
And I think somehow Kevin needs more "No! No! No! I can't go back there! I can't go back there!...  SH!T!!!... I gotta go back there!" before or during the meet with Diane at the diner.



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Coding Herman
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Hi, Ray. Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the review.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 16
GUY
Orientation week.
Kevin gives him a look.
KEVIN
We back in high school?
GUY
I gotta know the ins and outs of
how things operate here. It’s one
of the criteria stated in the
employee handbook.

Holy smokes. This company is a disaster!


Hahaha....I know. I have to change this Guy character instead of making him look like an idiot. The company shouldn't let Guy work the panels before his orientation.


Quoted from RayW
So... what did Kevin have to do for an hour in the memory archive?


To look at Pearson's memory to find if there's anything related to Rob.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 21
He clears out a small section of the coffee table, takes out
the memory disc from his pocket, and places it there.

Wow. Originals only? Taken off site? No copies?


Good idea. I'll get Kevin to get a copy of the disc instead of the originals.


Quoted from RayW
Lambert hands him a huge present. Overjoyed, Michael pecks
him on the cheek.

(As I'm reading this) I'm guessing Lambert is Grace's father?
By story's end I know the answer, but a fickle reader might get bogged down by this.


Yeah, I should rework this flashback scene. I actually inserted it in after the script is finished because I wanted to show that Lambert cares about Michael.

I guess it really comes out of the blue that Lambert gave a present to Michael. You think Lambert is Grace's father, whereas Brian thinks Lambert here should be Kevin.


Quoted from RayW
By pg 22 I like the Kevin/Grace/Diane triangle situational complexities.
And... then Diane screws it up on page 23. Normal, but... that's reality, isn't it?!
Keep it. I'm just appreciating it.


I might need to make Diane less desperate. But glad you liked the love triangle.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 24
Rob sips his tea as Lambert paces. This irritates him.
ROB
Can you chill? Everything’s still
according to plan.

I find the disrespect for business hierarchy unpleasantly interesting. Rather rude. No wonder the business is a wreck and the cops are on their tail.


I already have plans to change Rob's backstory so that he has a more substantial reason to hate Kevin and disrespect Lambert, and Lambert can't do anything about it.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 27
Diane jabs the needle into Grace’s neck.
DIANE
Were.

GD, Grace! Whattab!tch you are!


Funny how after several reviewers, you're the first person who mentioned about Diane. And I liked your reaction to her character.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 31/32
He grabs Grace’s hand and dashes out the building.
Grace is ambulatory after that procedure?
Wasn't she a veggie just the prior day with Kevin and Diane wiping off her paralyzed twitchy fingers back on pg 10/11?
Fix the first intro of Grace.


She was a veggie because her brain is fried. Right now, the procedure wasn't finished yet, so she's still ambulatory. She just lost all of her memories.


Quoted from RayW
KEVIN
Look. It’s a very long story. I’ll
explain everything to you later.
But what we need to do right now,
is to find out why those people
want you dead. Pearson Hamilton,
does that ring a bell?

I'd strike that entire passage, but relocate the Pearson Hamilton question to some point in the following car evasion sequence.


You wanna explain your reasoning? I wanted here because I need Grace to believe Kevin just a little bit so she'll go home with him, and let the audience know that Kevin's goal is to look for Pearson.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 35 Wasn't much of a MemWipe pursuit in the SUV.


What do you mean?


Quoted from RayW
A glimpse of something silver catches her eyes.
She reaches for it. A disc the size of a palm, imprinted on
the front: HAMILTON, PEARSON.

Since grace is brain fried, have her knock over a chair Kevin had placed yesterday's work shirt onto, shirt shoulders on the chair back corners, the disk slides upward out of the breast pocket when the chair hits the ground.


Yeah, I guess I can work something like that into there.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 37
EXT. ROOF - DAY
Kevin and Grace crawl up the slope. He’s right behind her,
clinging to the memory projector.

Don't try escaping unnoticed like this at home.
It makes a horrible thumping sound when you walk on the roof.
Otherwise, it's a nice suspenseful sequence.
Also, are these memory disks about the size of a mini-DVD?


Viola! One of the major plot holes I can think of. Yes, Rob would've heard them in the master bedroom. But I tried to make Kevin and Grace wiggle themselves up, so maybe the sound isn't too loud.

Yes, the discs are about the size of a mini-DVD. Size of a palm.


Quoted from RayW
The dangling wire on the projector? Do you mean the electrical cord or a wire to the headset?


Yes, the electrical cord connecting to the projector.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 39
His Troop is startled.
Gotta call the goons something better in re-write. MW Security? I dunno.
Memwipe seems to be a rather hig tech/capital business with a small employee count.
Make the Troop Rob's own "Dirty works" man.


Like Rob has his own team of abductors, right? Yeah, I was thinking along the same line.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 40 Nicely choreographed escape sequence.
Rob tends to the stunned Troop and glares at Guy with
unspeakable frustration.

Change to:
Rob steps over the recovering troop then places a hand on Guy's shoulder.
ROB
We need to talk about your future with the company, kid.


I liked the description, but I'm not too sure about Rob's dialogue here.


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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Quoted from RayW
KEVIN
They can track it.

You can probably slip in a reference to GPS in there.


That means Kevin can't use his cellphone. Hmm.....I'm not too sure how GPS works, I'll have to research on it. Thanks.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 47 Delete the Security guard, it adds nothing.


Disagree. The guard blocks Kevin's way while Rob's chasing them from behind, so it adds more tension. And there has to be subway security after what Kevin and Rob did on the escalator.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 48 Sequence of Grace meeting her own Mom needs some suggestive setup beforehand. In real time it's... off.


What do you mean by "it's....off"? Mary has been mentioned quite a few times before her actual appearance, so I didn't get the lack of suggestive setup either. Please clarify.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 50
LAMBERT
No. It�s our people. They all know
what they�re doing. Their positions
within the company. And most of
all, they know what they should
do...and what they shouldn�t do.

LOL! Boss is delusional!


Again, how is Lambert delusional here? Please explain.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 51
INT. MARY�S HOUSE - DINNING ROOM - NIGHT
Kevin, Grace, and Mary eat their dinner. A plate of mashed
potatoes, roasted chicken, and salad sit on the table.

< holds head & shakes it > Even with a tracer somewhere on Grace, they had time to prepare a large supper then sit down and eat WITHOUT Bob & Co barging in.
Clowns. Lambert's a delusional buffoon!


Oh, Lambert told Rob not to chase Kevin down after the subway incident. Lambert wants Rob to take down Pearson first.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 58
It�s a small device with blinking lights. The same one that
Lambert has. Mary picks it up and examines it.

I don't recall or missed the prior description/mention of such a device.
How it falls from Kevin's jacket or is discovered needs to be re-worked.
Sh!t just don't fall from our clothes. LOL!


It was mentioned right after Kevin drags Grace out of Memwipe. Lambert shows Rob that he has put a tracking device on Kevin. I just didn't show when and how Lambert did it, although it can be implied that Lambert slips it into Kevin's jacket while Kevin's holding him hostage.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 59
MARY
Nonsense. The only place you�ll
find marijuana is inside my body.

Funny, but needs some set up beyond her intro description of "A hip grandmother."
She have glaucoma? Cancer? Kevin make a quip or good natured taunt earlier?


I guess what you're saying is that Mary is not properly setup to be so "hip and cool" that she'd be saying that piece of dialogue.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 67
The driver, DAVID, twenties, Mohawk hair with sunglasses,
disembarks.

change disembarks to gets out then leans over her.


Good suggestion.


Quoted from RayW
PEARSON
That�s a hit-and-run, for crying
out loud! How could I forget that?

WTH? It wasn't a hit and run. At least not David's
Previously: A red Ferrari stops inches in front of a GIRL.
No H&R there.


What happens is the car hit the girl while the car tries to stop. So the girl is in front of the car. I think I should've written it clearer. Maybe "A GIRL lies inches in front of the red Ferrari"?


Quoted from RayW
Pg 69
MORTIMER
No. I said I�ll invest after my
son�s charge is dropped.

Police, attorneys and plaintiffs must be all over this. Not to mention public records.
Hmm... need to figure a work-around this, but I do understand the importance of this set-up just fine.
Perhaps in the re-write it can be changed to a social indiscretion of a severe magnitude affecting Morti's business or political interests.
Make him a senator.
That would eliminate the police element.


This is a great idea! My first intention is that the police hasn't really noticed anything yet, so I shouldn't say "after my son's charge is dropped" because David is not even charged. Mortimer is just scared that the police will eventually go to David if Pearson's memory is not erased.

But making Mortimer a senator is a very good suggestion. But I'll have to find out why making him a senator would eliminate the police element. You mean the police won't investigate senators? Or senators have the power to evade police investigation?

And what do you mean by "a social indiscretion of a severe magnitude affecting Mortimer's business or political interests"?


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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First off congratulations on completing this in seven weeks.
That's quite an accomplishment and you should be proud.

I didn't really get into the story, but I had little problem reading the entire script.
For me, its very derivative of Minority Report.
The agency in the public eye under heavy scrutiny from outside groups.
The leader creating a cover up, his "star pupil" going rogue.
The estranged wife and dead kid driving our protagonist, etc. It's a lot of stuff.
The ethical debate of memwipes versus the pre crime prosecutions, etc.

I won't go into the technical aspects of your script, that has been covered by others.
The characters move well enough to keep the plot going but that's about it.
I don't get a sense of any depth to these people, is that because of wipes?
Another funny old lady in a script, I wish more of them wound up in theaters.  
I stopped reading when Kevin did not connect the hit and run to his kid?
Really? He would not thikn of his own child at all? Or make a connection there?
Honestly, I find the rich kid hit and run stuff very distracting.
One hit and run in a script is enough for me.
I'm much more interested if Kevin is solving the mystery of his son's death.
Who care about rich jerks and their sports cars?
A man piecing together memory threads over the mysterious death of his son....
...that's a script I'll gladly read! Its much more personal and motivations are clear.

Thanks for posting this and good luck with all your writing!
I look forward to reading more of your work, congrats again on your accomplishment.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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RayW
Posted: September 13th, 2010, 11:04pm Report to Moderator
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Howdy, Herman

Sorry for the late reply.
No worries.
We all got stuff to do.

I guess it really comes out of the blue that Lambert gave a present to Michael. You think Lambert is Grace's father, whereas Brian thinks Lambert here should be Kevin.
If it's a typo then Brian's correct and it should read Kevin gives his son a present.
If you typed what you meant than the relationship between a child and his father's employer needs to be developed.

Funny how after several reviewers, you're the first person who mentioned about Diane. And I liked your reaction to her character.
First, I see that I made a definite typo.
That shoulda read "GD, Diane! Whattab!tch you are!" for stabbing the poor Grace in the neck.
Second, and much more importantly, I feel that these reviews (which I've since learned should be more accurately described as critiques, which is what I was professionally taught to provide in a related field a hundred years ago) should cite both positive as well as negative aspects of a given piece or subject at hand.
Since you effectively demonstrated that Diane is NOT the caring person she purports to be I thought it appropriate to give credit where credit is due.
That's how I roll.
Deal.


You wanna explain your reasoning? I wanted here because I need Grace to believe Kevin just a little bit so she'll go home with him, and let the audience know that Kevin's goal is to look for Pearson.
Sure.
The sequence begins PDF pg 33
K - They're not following
G - I need to get out
K pulls over, G gets out, K puts his hand on her shoulder, G pulls back, K backs off, G stomps away (kinda crazy, but she's brain fried)
K - where you going?
G - somewhere safe?
K - where's that?
G - I dunno
K - we're going home
He grabs her, she resists
G - I don't know you
K - Say my name. What's my name?
G - I dunno
K curses
K - Look. It’s a very long story. I’ll
explain everything to you later.
But what we need to do right now,
is to find out why those people
want you dead. Pearson Hamilton,
does that ring a bell?
G - Why can't we goto the po-po?
K - 'cuz wheze B da bada$$es
G goes "Whut?" in the face
K - whut we do ain't 100% koo.
G - well... what do you do?
blah blah blah, on with the sequence.

So, in the middle of this otherwise fine and legit conversation between a desperate husband and his divorced, brain fried wife is a six line vomit including A: "But what we need to do right now, is to find out why those people want you dead." and B "Pearson Hamilton, does that ring a bell?"
A - No. What you need to do is to get your a$$es off the streets and hide from the MemWipe mafia ASAeffinP!
B - Don't lay that sh!t on her RIGHT NOW! Good Lord! That can wait. Get ya'll's a$$ out of public view!


Pg 35 Wasn't much of a MemWipe pursuit in the SUV.
What do you mean?
Begin sequence at pg 31
Kevin quickly grabs a pen from the table and twirls behind Lambert. He digs the pen into his neck.
He digs the pen a little deeper. Lambert grimaces.
Kevin has Lambert in a chokehold as they trudge towards the main door.
Kevin whispers into Lambert’s ears "Please let me go."
And pushes Lambert into the crowd. He grabs Grace’s hand and dashes out the building.
Lambert takes out a small device with blinking lights. A tracking device.
Kevin slams on the gas, spins the wheel, and honk the horn to avoid traffic. He glances at the rear mirror.
Blah blah blah
[Kevin] gazes at a distance behind her. A Memwipe SUV drives by.
He drags her back to his car.
Funny quip exchange.
End of sequence
Next sequence: INT. KEVIN’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Not much of a pursuit.
Kevin's a real dope for thinking that was all they were going to chase him for.
WE all know Lambert bugged Grace and that they can just chill, but Special K don't know that.

What do you mean by "it's....off"? Mary has been mentioned quite a few times before her actual appearance, so I didn't get the lack of suggestive setup either. Please clarify.
I just looked back over the PDF and I didn't see Mary/Grace's Mom mentioned at all.
However, screwit. Leave it as is. It's fine. I dunno WTH I was thinking. Seriously. I don't.
Well.... no... sh!t. I don't know what I want to do.
Maybe include "Since my place is blown we can try a friends place. Someone I know would like to see you.".
Eh... ? I dunno.

Again, how is Lambert delusional here? Please explain.
He speaks as if he has a fine, well oiled machine running at MemWipe.
Pfft! Krazee old man.
Police are nosing around.
Pearson d@mn near date raped Diane on a job.
Sleeping security guards at the 5 story data bank.
You have some rook kid in orientation frying people.
An employee just ran off with his toasted wife out of your facility.
Your private security people couldn't catch them - twice.
Rob... really isn't on payroll, but he's in your office dissin you left and right.
BUT - he want's to maintain the following delusion:
LAMBERT
Do you know why Memwipe is so
successful?... It’s our people. They all know
what they’re doing
. Their positions
within the company. And most of
all, they know what they should
do
...and what they shouldn’t do.

The h3ll they do.
Lambert's operation is chock full of half-wits, and he's the half-iest of the lot.
But don't get me wrong: keep him as is.
He reminds me of the CEO in Robocop; completely delusional towards problems with the company and immediate situation.

I guess what you're saying is that Mary is not properly setup to be so "hip and cool" that she'd be saying that piece of dialogue.
Correct.
Just a brief prior reference to Mom's pot usage oughtta do.
K passes to G an ashtray of roaches from the kitchen table to set supper.
K - how're the cataracts, Mary?
M - they hurt, but the doctor has me on this new medicine...
K and G smile at one another.

Some dumb sh!t passage as that.
(BTW, people use pot for glaucoma pain management. Not cataracts. Kevin is f#ckin' with Mary but she doesn't realize it.)

What happens is the car hit the girl while the car tries to stop. So the girl is in front of the car. I think I should've written it clearer. Maybe "A GIRL lies inches in front of the red Ferrari"?
Having been hit by a car myself and having seen the aftermath of more than plenty pedestrian vs. vehicle incidents - people, especially kids, don't fall over. They go airborne. Like... and easy twenty to fifty feet, flying Walinda terminating in a road rash rag doll roll if they're lucky (ungodly pumpkin smash, if not).
Girl was a sad, bloody, grassy mash in the culvert.

But I'll have to find out why making him a senator would eliminate the police element. You mean the police won't investigate senators? Or senators have the power to evade police investigation?
Heavens, no. Senators and Representatives are investigated like anyone else. However, because they are ELECTED officials public opinion determines if they have a paycheck coming next electoral season.
Making him a Senator does not eliminate police work from a H&R.
However, there isn't much police work if he was caught doing something that was politically embarrassing or scandalous but not really illegal.
However, later I see that there's really a memory cover-up of Michael being killed in the H&R, so you need to stick with that. But the situation still could benefit from some re-work.

If you wanna stay in the private sector, have the Senator's son hit the child while conducting illegal activities for the father, say stealing computers from the campaign offices of his opponent or running drugs to finance his re-election campaign.

If you want to make this a covert governmental operation, have the child be a fatality from a chemical spill accident during the transportation of illegal substances. Senator has his finger in many dirty pies.

And what do you mean by "a social indiscretion of a severe magnitude affecting Mortimer's business or political interests"?
If it becomes publicly known that the Senator is up to his eyeballs in nefarious shenanigans he will not be re-elected - and he will lose money.



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Grandma Bear
Posted: September 14th, 2010, 7:15pm Report to Moderator
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Herman,

I haven't read the other comments, but it looks to be a lot of it. I saw Jeff had commented so I'm going to assume that he pointed out typos, grammar errors and occasional wrong word usage. There were quite a lot of those, even for someone like me suffers from the same problem.  DINNING ROOM!  

Anyway, this will be pretty short. Not because I don't want to try to help, but rather because I thought you did a fantastic job with this one for a first draft. I still have 2 of the 7WC scripts to read and they could be amazing, but so far this script is the best one. The plot is solid. Some minor changes are needed, but...  You should be able to fix this one up real nicely.

Your action writing was pretty good. Not fantastic, but very good.

The beginning left me a little confused. Not because of the action, but I wasn't sure who was going to be our "hero". At first I thought it was Pearson, but that changed quickly in the alley as I instantly hated him when he was going to rape Diane. I didn't really like her game either there, so it left me a bit unattached.

One thing that didn't ring true to me is that if Kevin and Grace are married. Kevin should be the one to decide what is best for Grace. Not some corporation. If they are already divorced, then some other family member like parents or sibling make that decision.

I think there also need to be a better explanation what exactly they hope the procedure will do for Grace. I learn that in the end, but for that to work early on in the script we need to get a decent explanation. Right now it doesn't make sense at all. She just woke up. Shouldn't they be happy about that instead of trying to fry her brain again? That's how it comes across now. At least to me.

pg  31. Grace has just woke up, but somehow she knows enough to run behind Kevin and that she's in danger. After an experience like that, I think I would be very confused and not trust anyone.

Lambert says let them go, but immediately thereafter they are in hot pursuit of them? Doesn't make sense.

Also think it was extremely stupid of them to run back to their house. Seems to me that would be the first place they would look for them.

pg  38. Grace remembers his name, but neither one of them seem to even notice. I thought that would be a big deal.

pg  39. Grace asks why they can't take the car? The had just seen the flat tires...
The add at the subway station reminded me too much of Total Recall.

pg  58. IMHO, Rob needs to say who they are and what authority they come from. No one will let in people that can't identify themselves. Especially when they come to search for weed.

All the videos seem to be from a third person's perspective. In your own memories you can't see yourself unless you're looking in a mirror.

pg  71. Why is she wearing a wedding ring and why is she putting it back on? Are they married or not? If they had already divorced I don't see why she would wear one at all. Maybe that's just me.

What's with all the text messages and the phone not saying who it's from?

pg  88. Why wouldn't they let him get in to the archives and grab him there instead of going through the whole action stuff on the outside of the building. Especially the game with the lights. They have the capability to lock the building down. Let him in and then lock it. Makes more sense.

pg  92. Why is Guy typing on the computer while a guy is taking a leak next to him? I mean, he must have known he was out there...  and why is Rob in there doing that anyway? I thought he was trying to catch Kevin. Not many people will stop and go to the bathroom while their hot on someone's heels.

pg 107. Corpse like features?  Ugh... that doesn't really work for me.

In regards to those people in the freezers, you need to have a really good explanation to why they are there. That made absolutely no sense to me. I can believe these people occasionally kill people whether by mistake or not, but why hang on to them. Why not trying to get rid of them. That part didn't work for me.

Kevin is sort of the nice guy here until we find out that he's in on this too. They just swipe his memory every now and then too. That was disappointing to learn for me as I felt he's not at his core as nice as I thought and Mary had told us.

Grace was okay I suppose.

Lambert didn't really fit the description of him. I think he was older, gray hair glasses and a tweed suit. His office also gave the wrong impression to me. MemWipe is a very high tech company in steel and glass and such. They way you described Lambert and his office sounded more like an old professor or an old Brittish guy.  I think he would be more menacing if he was as slick as the rest of the company.

Excellent work!  You should be very proud!  


.
SS, is still free...
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Coding Herman
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Quoted from RayW
Pg 81
He pulls out blank papers and a device with blinking lights.
Ah! That's the tracer.
Somewhere in the near future and they're using cartoony blinking light tracers?!
Make it a funny looking metal poker chip thingie.


True. I didn't have much time to research on what future tracers would look like. I just looked at some websites that feature pretty amateur security stuff. That's why I wrote it in the present days. I'll see what I can do with the technologies.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 83 I think Kevin just had a brain fart since he deliberately left the Diane's blinking tracer thingie in the envelope at the restaurant not fifteen minutes earlier. Now he's hiding with her at Vickie's while she peddles a key card stating she couldn't get the disks when she just said that they were in the envelope.


What I wanted to show is that Kevin sensed Diane has a change of heart. Back in the diner, Kevin told Diane that she can go back. And now Diane said she's sorry, it's all Lambert's fault, so Kevin might think Diane is actually helping him.

Maybe that didn't come across too clearly?


Quoted from RayW
Pg 85 The key card has a blinking light in/on it? I understand the need for the audience to "know" how they are being tracked. Since this is near-future have them being tracked by cell phone GPSs or something.


Again, it's that future technology thing. But will it feel weird if I decided to take place during present times?


Quoted from RayW
Pg 88
LAMBERT
Old and cheap, eh?

GUY
At six months old it's practically a dinosaur.

Guy chuckles, nervously now.
This is a great place for Lambert to almost catch Guy.
Keeps the suspense running.
Keep thinking about how to re-work this sequence, though.
Currently, most phones are programmable for different ringtones for different callers.
Maybe the rude old boss wants to call his young whipper-snapper nube employee, gets a different ringtone than he just heard, dismisses him.
Stupid, old geezer.
Whatever you think of this is a good place for it, though.


I need to rework the entire sequence. As Michael had mentioned, I do agree it's a bit clumsy and almost to the point of comedic. But to answer your question, Lambert just wanna see if Guy has the ringtone that he just heard.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 89
INT. MEMWIPE - WASHROOM STALL - NIGHT
Guy sits on a toilet seat with a laptop. He’s also wearing a
bluetooth earpiece.
GUY
Yeah, man. It’s suicidal going in
from the front.

Maybe this is supposed to be a nice-to-see, surprise reveal sort of thing, if so there needs only a sliver of set up beforehand.
Maybe back at the pg 79 brief meeting Guy can pass Kevin a business card or a receipt with a 1800 number that's really Guy's business phone.


Hmm.....I'm just trusting the audience to connect the dots together. 'Cause having Kevin passing a business card to Guy doesn't sound right. I doubt Kevin has a business card on him at the time. BUT Guy messaged Kevin all the time, so they both can communicate with each other already, right?


Quoted from RayW
Pg 90
The grappling hook flies in through the opened window on the
top floor. It catches and secures onto the wall.

Having tried to toss a baseball duct-taped to a cord over the limb of a tree to pull it over years ago, I hafta be impressed with Kevin's prowess with a grappling hook and a five story building. Gotta love that movie magic!


Yup!


Quoted from RayW
Pg 91/92 Need to figure a way to show Guy magically tapping into Memwipes security system.


I probably have to set Guy up as a nosy tech-savvy guy instead of an idiot.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 93
In the mirror, he spots a pair of feet behind a closed
stall. He thinks nothing of it and keeps washing.

Guy is a dumb cop for not picking up his feet when Rob entered.
Rob's a dumb dummy, too. This time at night there ought to be no one else there.


Rob thinks Guy and everyone else should be roaming around, searching for Kevin. And Guy doesn't realize it's Guy who came in.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 94
He lifts up the toilet tank.
Commercial toilets have no tanks. Building code regulations.
Figure another work-around like... Guy has it tucked up under his jacket between his shoulders.
Since this is the near future, you can do the plastic keyboard and monitor bit.
It's rolled up and tucked in his sock.
Rob didn't hear clicking but does see Guy's feet underneath the stall door.
And that's a pretty neat magic trick to get out the bathroom door without being heard.
Maybe make it one of those baffled entries w/o a door.
Even still, surely Rob would have darted out the entry/door and been onto Guy in the hall.


I liked the rolled-up keyboard and monitor idea. Sounds cool. But I didn't get the part with Rob's entry without a door. Can you explain that part again? Thanks.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 96
Confused, shocked, and stunned. His knees weaken and slowly
drop to the floor. He stares idly at the display, ignoring
the approaching footsteps.

Mister bad a$$ can climb five stories up a glass tower but flips out over his dirty company scamming his own memories.
C'mon, Kev! Wise up! LOL!


Kevin never thought his memory was erased as well. Actually, no one knows their own memories were erased because it's standard procedure to erase the memory of having the procedure. Kevin didn't think he has anything in his memory to be erased.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 100
Lambert, with a syringe in hand, comes from behind and jabs
Grace in the neck. Her body goes limped in seconds.

If you wanted to be a really sick man, you could write Diane as Lambert's daughter.


I liked the suggestion! But Diane already has a motivation. What I'm thinking is actually have Rob be Lambert's son.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 101
Kevin turns towards the sound and sees Rob. Kevin quickly
presses the disk eject button a few times. Nothing comes out.

A: Kev shoulda pressed the button the moment he saw his disk slot. B: You need to insert disk eject


Kevin was too shocked to do anything when he sees his name. And good catch on the "disk eject" bit.


Quoted from RayW
Page 105 It seems James has kinda been on the fence all this while. Now all of a sudden he's biased toward the good guys? Need some more prior wiffle-waffle on James.


Completely agreed. At first I planned to have Guy in there, but since he's busted, I need another character to do the job. Since I introduced James in the beginning, so I might use him here. And of course, this unplanned plot point shows. It does feel coming out of the blue. I need to rework James.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 108
Kevin ignores Guy and goes straight to the third one. It’s
Pearson. Kevin opens the freezer door and Pearson slumps
onto him.

If Pearson is slumping it's more of a refrigerator than a freezer. Otherwise - TIMBER!
And... why are they saving dead people in their covert, subterranean meat lockers?


Another thing I need to explain in the re-writes.


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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 14th, 2010, 10:20pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
Super fantastic.
You did a wonderful job, Herman.
Lovely interweaving of core characters and story structure.


Glad you liked it. I need all of the compliments I need for this one. This is my first feature-length script, BTW.


Quoted from RayW
There are several movies this premise and story's pace remind me of.
Total Recall - For obvious reasons. It is about putting in false memories.
Paycheck - Here, it's direct memory erasure.
Deja Vu - Deals with "Near Future Tech", much along the lines of Memwipe. Additionally there's a lot of running around and trying to figure out where all the bad guys are.
Enemy of the State & Eagle Eye - More "Near Future Tech" future mostly centering on 1984 Big Brother invasion of privacy. Also a lot of running around.
eXistenZ - More integration of scifi "Near Future Tech" amongst a current setting along with a mystery to figure out.


I'm surprised you can list so many similar movies. I guess I'll need another spin in my script to make it fresh.


Quoted from RayW
Where to go from here?
Alternative #1 - Cleanup what you have, tweak as you go.
Of the above movies, Total Recall I'd favor simply because it follows a decent three act structure: They're on Earth, They goto Mars, They find Quato/the alien oxygen thing/kill the bad guys. Love it.
The other movies had a bunch of running around A to Z.
That didn't do much for me.
MemWipe, as is, has much of the same feel.

Question: Can you, if even interested in breaking away from the "running around" model, figure out a stronger A=>B=>C story without absolutely reinventing the story's current mood?


Actually, I planned MemWipe to have a Three Act Structure as well. Maybe it wasn't that obvious.

Act I - setup in the company to Kevin and Grace escaped
Act II - trying to make sense what's going on
Act III - go back to MemWipe to steal the memory disc

I might need to tweak some parts so that it feels less like just running around.


Quoted from RayW
The two simplest, broad-scoped, clean-up suggestions I'd modify:
A - Make MemWipe a investigatory government program, ala Project Treadstone from the Bourne series, the "Snow White" machine in Deja Vu, or the whole military lab thing in The Hulk.
Blame it on the government. Makes great scapegoat.
Government buffoons are a natural, favorite audience hate target.
Everybody wants to see their fellow man "stick it to The Man"!

B - Keep local police out of the situation by making Mortimer a corrupt and dirty Senator both in control of the project's funding and in need of its services due to his own indiscretions.


That is a good suggestion. I did actually think about having a government agency that does memory erasure for the "greater good". But I scraped it because it makes things too complicated, too political. And I'm not too familiar with politics. Plus, same as you, I only had 4 weeks to write. So I might come back to this idea. Thanks.


Quoted from RayW
Something I'd like to see you include in a clean-up re-write, is to create a WHOLE world of "near tech" and integrate that into the story.
The hardest part is that it can't be so wacky the audience balks at it.
Not every field of science progresses at the same rate, in other words.
MemWipe has memory erasure but no other "near tech".
Makes it kinda funny.


Again, it's another time constrain thing. I didn't really have much time to think about all the gadgets. I'll consider them.


Thanks so much for the advice, Ray! I really appreciate them. Hopefully you'll stick around long enough to read my re-writes!


Herman


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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 14th, 2010, 10:38pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
I kept running the events of the story back and forth and finally figured out the ABC transitions:
ACT I : Setting and escape
ACT II : Meet Mom and snooping/data gathering
ACT III :  Diner set-up and entry into company


You got Act I and Act II correct. The midpoint is when Kevin meets Pearson. But Act III, I think, starts when Kevin infiltrates the company. Another interpretation is when Kevin got captured, but then it's too late into the script. So I'm not too sure either.


Quoted from RayW
I don't know how much responsibility it is for the writer or director to make those transition points become apparent.


I think the point is we DON'T want to make them become apparent to the audience. The Three Act Structure is supposed to blend in with the story. The structure becomes invisible when you enjoy the film.


Quoted from RayW
I think the escape from the MemWipe facility to the park and then into Mom's home went too smooth for me and so I didn't catch it.


I'm not too sure if that's a good or bad thing. But how can the escape from MemWipe be smooth? It's a perfect example of how the story turns into a different direction.


Quoted from RayW
And I think somehow Kevin needs more "No! No! No! I can't go back there! I can't go back there!...  SH!T!!!... I gotta go back there!" before or during the meet with Diane at the diner.


I agreed with you. But maybe not during the meeting with Diane, but rather with Grace either at Mary's home or in the motel. I need more internal struggle for him.

Thanks again.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 15th, 2010, 6:55pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Herman, sorry for the long lapse in between reviews.  Listen, I got up to page 65, and I’m afraid I’m going to stop there.  Here’s the deal…

First off, it appears that most writers in here don’t like my review style, don’t agree with me on both simple and complex script issues, and basically don’t want to hear what I have to say (I’m not lumping you into that group BTW).  Therefore, I’m going to step back from all this and try my best to simply comment on story and the like.

This story isn’t working for me.  Through 65 pages, I don’t know what’s going on, what’s supposed to be going on, or why.  None of the scenes seem remotely realistic.  None of the action seems real.  None of the characters have my attention.  The plot seems very much like a number of movies I’ve seen.

What finally killed the read for me was the last scene I read, at Mary’s house.  Everything about it, and I mean everything, came across as completely unrealistic, juvenile, and poorly put together.  I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel here.

Again, we’ve got Rob and Guy parading around like some sort of cops, acting like complete buffoons.  Searching for marijuana?  HUH?  The way they search the place is right out of a Keystone Cops scenario.  I just couldn’t buy into any of it, and for me, it spelled the end.

So, in a nutshell, I think you need to do a number of things with this script to get it to the point where it’s readable.  First, you need to figure out who each character is, and write them so that they come off as believable and realistic.  Next, you need to figure out exactly what Memwipe is, what it does, why it does what it does, and how it operates, then you need to get that across to your readers.  Finally, you need to figure out exactly what your story is and put it together so that it all makes sense right from the get go.

Herman, if there’s 1 thing I can stress to you, it’s that everything I’ve said about your script in all the posts I’ve written, is that my only goal was to help you as a writer.  That’s it.  It doesn’t make me feel good to bash scripts in any way.  Hopefully, you’ll buy into some of the things I’ve brought up, and hopefully, everything makes sense, whether or not you agree with it.

You’ve gotten a lot of great, positive feedback from others, so maybe I’ve just completely lost it and no longer know what makes a script good or not so good.  Who knows anymore?

I apologize for not finishing.  In no way does that mean your script is so bad I couldn’t get through it, cause that’s not the case at all.  I just don’t really care to continue and I feel spending the time that I do with reviewing, isn’t worth it at this point.

So, keep at it, clean this baby up, and bet of luck with it and all your future writing.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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seamus19382
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Hey Herman!  Congratulations on finishing this in seven weeks.  That's awesome.

So here's the deal.  I think you have a bit of a problem in that it's like a couple of other movies.  Having said that,  I liked this one.  A lot.  I agree with Pia that this is one of the best 7wc.  I don't agree with her why though!

This was(for the most part)  really well plotted and put together.   I think there's a mention of Kevin and Grace's child early on.  I would hold off on revealing that until the scene with Mary.  Let us wonder what it is she's trying to forget.  

I'm not sure I buy them erasing Kevins memory.  He's still doing the same thing, so why erase the memory that he's done it before?  Or am I missing something here?  Oh, does Kevin help cover up the hit and run of his son, and that's what they're erasing?

Also, does David hit two kids?  And is that really necessary?  Isn't hitting Kevin's kid enough?  

And the ending is WAAAAAAYYYYYY too long.  It just keeps going and going and going.

Again, I am really impressed with this, and especially that it was done in 7 weeks.  Where it falls flat for me is the actaul writing.    Again, I realize there wasn't a lot of time for editing, but your descriptions and dialogue really felt flat and cumbersome for me.

You need to work on making it leaner and more economical.  In your action sequences in particular.   The scenes in the subway, and the last scene are where it shows the most.  They're long, and somewhat confusing.

But this is really good.  You're not far off from a top notch thriller.  Good work.
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Coding Herman
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Wow, lots to response. Thanks everyone for the review.

First up, Electric Dreamer, welcome to the board!


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I didn't really get into the story, but I had little problem reading the entire script.
For me, its very derivative of Minority Report.
The agency in the public eye under heavy scrutiny from outside groups.
The leader creating a cover up, his "star pupil" going rogue.
The estranged wife and dead kid driving our protagonist, etc. It's a lot of stuff.
The ethical debate of memwipes versus the pre crime prosecutions, etc.


I agreed. There are many similar plot points between the two. I already have an idea of how to go about my rewrite in a different direction. Hopefully it will not be similar to another movie!


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
The characters move well enough to keep the plot going but that's about it.
I don't get a sense of any depth to these people, is that because of wipes?
Another funny old lady in a script, I wish more of them wound up in theaters.


Characters is definitely something I need to work on. The opening scene is just a prime example of how to get the readers not to like my characters. I also need to have my characters, especially Kevin and Grace, to interact more with the "outside" world to create more depth.

Glad you liked the old lady. Seems like Mary is getting more attention than my main characters. I'll definitely keep Mary.  


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I stopped reading when Kevin did not connect the hit and run to his kid?
Really? He would not thikn of his own child at all? Or make a connection there?
Honestly, I find the rich kid hit and run stuff very distracting.
One hit and run in a script is enough for me.


I was actually worried that it was too coincidental that David did two hit-and-run, and one of them is Kevin's child. So I'll change that, and it's not gonna be a hit-and-run.

But I don't understand why Kevin should connect David's hit-and-run to his kid. Is not like any car accident should be related to his kid, right?


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I'm much more interested if Kevin is solving the mystery of his son's death.
Who care about rich jerks and their sports cars?
A man piecing together memory threads over the mysterious death of his son....
...that's a script I'll gladly read! Its much more personal and motivations are clear.


That's a good idea, too. But if a man loses his memory, wouldn't he be more worried about who he is than his son's death? Unless he remembered everything up to the point of his son's death. Hmm.....sounds like Memento now.

The idea is good, but that'd alter the core idea of my story.

Thanks again for the comments. They helped.

If you have anything you want me to read, just holler out.

Herman


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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Coding Herman  -  September 15th, 2010, 10:19pm
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Coding Herman
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Hey there, Ray. Thanks again for replying my questions.


Quoted from RayW
You wanna explain your reasoning? I wanted here because I need Grace to believe Kevin just a little bit so she'll go home with him, and let the audience know that Kevin's goal is to look for Pearson.

In the middle of this conversation between a desperate husband and his divorced, brain fried wife is a six line vomit including A: "But what we need to do right now, is to find out why those people want you dead." and B "Pearson Hamilton, does that ring a bell?"
A - No. What you need to do is to get your a$$es off the streets and hide from the MemWipe mafia ASAeffinP!
B - Don't lay that sh!t on her RIGHT NOW! Good Lord! That can wait. Get ya'll's a$$ out of public view!


Ahhh.......I get what you mean now. So it feels out of place and awkward for Kevin to blunt out that exposition passage while they're being chased.

BUT I agreed with your point A, Kevin doesn't know he's being chased yet. He just wanted Grace to listen to him.

However, your point B is valid. Kevin shouldn't dump all this info at her at the time.


Quoted from RayW
Pg 35 Wasn't much of a MemWipe pursuit in the SUV.
What do you mean?

Kevin's a real dope for thinking that was all they were going to chase him for.
WE all know Lambert bugged Grace and that they can just chill, but Special K don't know that.


I get what you mean now. It wasn't meant to be a pursuit, but I did think of a pursuit happening on the street which I put it near the end of Act II.

I guess I'm making Kevin pretty dumb, eh? Thinking that Lambert really let him go. I was pegging on the long relationship between Kevin and Lambert, and Kevin thinks Lambert would sympathize with him.


Quoted from RayW
Again, how is Lambert delusional here? Please explain.
He speaks as if he has a fine, well oiled machine running at MemWipe.
Police are nosing around. Pearson d@mn near date raped Diane on a job. Sleeping security guards at the 5 story data bank. You have some rook kid in orientation frying people. An employee just ran off with his toasted wife out of your facility. Your private security people couldn't catch them - twice. Rob... really isn't on payroll, but he's in your office dissin you left and right.
BUT - he want's to maintain the following delusion:
LAMBERT
Do you know why Memwipe is so
successful?... It’s our people. They all know
what they’re doing
. Their positions
within the company. And most of
all, they know what they should
do
...and what they shouldn’t do.

The h3ll they do.
Lambert's operation is chock full of half-wits, and he's the half-iest of the lot.
But don't get me wrong: keep him as is.
He reminds me of the CEO in Robocop; completely delusional towards problems with the company and immediate situation.


LOL. You pointed out exactly why I need to rework the structure of this company, AND why I need to make Lambert more badass.

Don't you feel it's better if Lambert is more menacing than delusional? If he's delusional, then the tension and the stake won't be as high. Right?


Quoted from RayW
I guess what you're saying is that Mary is not properly setup to be so "hip and cool" that she'd be saying that piece of dialogue.
Correct.
Just a brief prior reference to Mom's pot usage oughtta do.
K passes to G an ashtray of roaches from the kitchen table to set supper.
K - how're the cataracts, Mary?
M - they hurt, but the doctor has me on this new medicine...
K and G smile at one another.

Some dumb sh!t passage as that.
(BTW, people use pot for glaucoma pain management. Not cataracts. Kevin is f#ckin' with Mary but she doesn't realize it.)


I'm starting to like your suggestions more and more. Cool shit.


Quoted from RayW
What happens is the car hit the girl while the car tries to stop. So the girl is in front of the car. I think I should've written it clearer. Maybe "A GIRL lies inches in front of the red Ferrari"?
Having been hit by a car myself and having seen the aftermath of more than plenty pedestrian vs. vehicle incidents - people, especially kids, don't fall over. They go airborne. Like... and easy twenty to fifty feet, flying Walinda terminating in a road rash rag doll roll if they're lucky (ungodly pumpkin smash, if not).
Girl was a sad, bloody, grassy mash in the culvert.


Holy, hope you're okay now, Ray. But yes, I agreed with you on this one.


Quoted from RayW
But I'll have to find out why making him a senator would eliminate the police element. You mean the police won't investigate senators? Or senators have the power to evade police investigation?
If you wanna stay in the private sector, have the Senator's son hit the child while conducting illegal activities for the father, say stealing computers from the campaign offices of his opponent or running drugs to finance his re-election campaign.

If you want to make this a covert governmental operation, have the child be a fatality from a chemical spill accident during the transportation of illegal substances. Senator has his finger in many dirty pies.


I loved the political angle. You're full of good suggestions, Ray!


Herman


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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RayW
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Holy, hope you're okay now, Ray.
Yep.
But it does explain some of my drain bamage.

HA!



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Coding Herman
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Ha, funny guy.

I'm going to read Lapse now.


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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RayW
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Oh gawd.

I'm going to bed.
I can't watch.

Headzup: Use a crib sheet to keep up with characters.



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Craiger6
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Hey Herman,

I’ll preface my comments by saying that I congratulate you, and all of the other 7WC participants for completing your features in such a short amount of time.  As someone who has been trying to “stretch his sea legs” from shorts to features, I’m actually quite impressed at what you have put together here.

I’ve only commented on short scripts up until now, so this has been a learning experience for me as well, and I hope that my comments are helpful.  

I haven’t read through all of your reviews yet, so I apologize if I’m being redundant.  I’ve taken page by page notes on things that popped out at me.  A lot of them have to do with typos and the like.  Given that you were under time constraints, I think it’s quite understandable.  I only point them out so that you will have a head’s start when you start re-writing.

At the end of the page by page notes, are some pros and cons, and brief wrap up.  I hope this helps in some way, because I enjoyed this and given the deadline, I think it is something that you should definitely re-visit.  Also, the length of my comments should in no way be interpreted as a negative reflection of my enjoyment of this piece.

P. 1:

“KEVIN (O.S.)
I’d go easy on that.”


Ha.  Nice irony here.  I actually didn’t catch it the first time, but you’ve got a memory erasing specialist telling some dude at a bar to go easy on the drinks!

I’m a few pages in and you introduce Diane as a bombshell.  I just went back to check the opening description you gave to Pearson to see if he was a really handsome guy, and you describe him as “tired around the eyes”.  I only mention it because I’m immediately suspicious of Diane.  I could see her possibly being so forward with Pearson if he looks like he has money, and/or looks like George Clooney, but as you described him, and coming on the heels of Kevin’s appearance, I’m a bit suspicious.  There is nothing wrong with that, just curious if this was on purpose.  

P. 5:

You seem to have capitalized “taser” throughout.  Curious if this is an oversight, or you had something else in mind.  I could see you capitalizing if it was a specific product you had in mind, but I think the term “taser” is ubiquitous enough that you wouldn’t have to cap.  

P. 6:

“He helps Diane up, takes off his suit for her.”

S/B jacket I think.  Or maybe suit jacket at the least.

P. 7

“An ultra-cyber building in stainless steel color, cold and uninviting.”

Not a big deal since I think I get what you are going for, but I don’t necessarily get the “ultra-cyber” description.  I think the stainless steel, cold and inviting description does the job though.

P. 8

“Memory Visualizer”

I think I’d just CAP the whole thing.

P. 9

“She’s not the prettiest woman, but nevertheless, a lovely lady.”

Ever since I began writing, and reading other scripts, I always notice that we tend to make everyone handsome, or incredibly good looking.  Like aren’t there any normal looking people in movies.  Haha.  Anyway, I get, and applaud what you are after here, but I think it reads a bit awkward.  Just a little revision needed IMO.

P. 12

“People are snooping around, digging stuffs up that aren’t even real.”

S/B “stuff” not “stuffs”.

P. 23

“Behind the glass pane, Diane watches disapprovingly.”

Between this and her assault of Kevin on the previous page, all I can say is, PSYCHO.

P. 29

“He ignores Lambert’s plead from behind.”

S/B “plea”.

P. 30

“Kevin quickly grabs a pen from the table and twirls behind Lambert. He digs the pen into his neck.”

Hmmm, I’d kind of like to see him make use of something more forceful than a pen here.  You mentioned that there were guards.  Maybe they have guns on them and he wrestles one away.  A bit clichéd, but I think it’s more forceful than a pen.  I think I might go with something like that here.  Just a thought.

P. 34

“GRACE
Are you a trustworthy criminal?”


I liked this line.  Nice.  (IN RE: my comments about Grace at the end, this is what we need more from out of her.  Lines like this that highlight her personality)

P. 40

“Why would anyone wanna that?”

S/B – “Why would anyone WANT that?”

P. 41

“KEVIN (V.O.)
How frustrated it is that someone took your seat.”


S/B “frustrating”.

P 41 – Flashback Sequence

I’m not sure that I got the gist of what it is that you were shooting for here.  Was this when Grace and Kevin first met?  Is he trying to refresh her erased memory by bringing her to the scene of where they first met?

If so, I think you may need to make this a little clearer.  Also, you might want to use this scene at a different point in the screenplay considering they are now on the lam and being followed.

P. 44

“Suddenly, he catches a glimpse of Rob through the back door.  Rob’s scrambling through the aisle in the next car.”

Ha, what is this guy the Terminator.  Well, you’ve been pushing the envelope for the last 20 pages or so.  The action has been pretty good, keep it up.

P. 44

Oh, okay, I see what you were getting at with the whole pen thing and the seat on the train.  Still a little confused as to why Kevin would share that bit of info with Grace though.  I’m sure it will come around though.  Back to reading.

P. 45

“He spins around, push people away, and runs after them.”

S/B “PUSHES people away…”

P. 49

“We’re successful is because of our clean operations.”

Strike the “is”.  “We’re successful because of…”
















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(Continued)

P. 52

“It...just happened. Like any other couples.”

S/B “COUPLE”.

P. 52

“Kevin inserts a memory disc into the projector. He wears it and turns it on.”

In re: the memory projector, you’ve repeatedly mentioned that they wear it around their necks.  Just curious as to why?  Can they just place it on a counter or something, or does it have to be worn around the neck.  Just wondering why it is necessary to operate in this way.  If it’s something specific to the device, I think I am missing it.

P. 58

“MARY
Nonsense. The only place you’ll find marijuana is inside my body.”


Ha.

P. 63

“I bet she paid for all of these.”

S/B all of “THIS”.

P. 64

“He can hear heavy breathing. And that’s not his own.”

This reads awkward.  I’d revise.

P. 65

“He walks away, leaving Mary confused.”

I’m also confused because on P. 64, before being interrupted by Rob, you write the following about Guy:

“As he turns away, he notices a pair of feet hidden behind the clothing.”

Perhaps you meant to say that he sees a pair of shoes.  If he saw feet, then even Rob’s distraction would not stop him from throwing the clothes aside.  That said, Guy has been kind of an Eff Up thus far, but that would be a really bonehead move.  Too bonehead IMO.

P. 66

“David quickly gets back into his car and guns the engine. As he speeds away, he finally notices Pearson watching him from down the street.”

So if Kevin watched the disc of Pearson’s memory the night before as you wrote, wouldn’t this have stuck out to him as being significant?  Again, I may be confused about what the device does when being worn; otherwise, it would seem that Kevin should have picked up on this the night before.

P. 67

“We’re doing everything we could.”

S/B “…everything we CAN.”

P. 68

“If you still couldn’t sort out this mess, you’re going to jail with my son.”

S/B “If you still CAN’T…”

P. 68

“INT. MARY’S HOUSE - DINNING ROOM – NIGHT”

Wouldn’t it make sense for Kevin and Grace to move on?  They know Memwipe is already wise to Mary’s place.

P. 70

“I finally understand why we were divorced.”

So, considering that Grace just found out that she had a son that her husband attempted to erase from her memory, notwithstanding his good intentions, I was willing to roll with this line.

But, then on P. 71, you write:

“Grace gets off the swing and runs towards the sidewalk. She picks up her wedding ring.”

I don’t know, it seems like Grace is acting terribly juvenile.  Almost like she is regressing (the swing), or has suffered some sort of brain damage as a result of the procedure.  I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but if the procedure has had no affect on her mental state, I think you need to work on developing Grace’s character a bit.  As currently constituted, she’s just kind of a victim who throws tantrums.  I’d like to see her get more involved with her own recovery.  Anyway, that’s just my take on her at this point.  I’ll keep an open mind as I continue.

P. 77

You reveal Guy as the person who has been texting Kevin the whole time.  I’ll admit that I was surprised at this.  I had been thinking that James was the one who was helping Kevin along the way.  

P. 78

“They all shake their head.”

S/B “shake their HEADS.”

P. 80

“He stops before two MOVERS who are transporting a long sofa out of a furniture store, blocking his way.”

Hmmm, a little clichéd.  Ithink you’ve done a very good job thus far being creative with your action scenes.  I’d like to see you come up with something different here.

P. 81

“Kevin’s caught dead center of an incoming car.”

S/B “ONCOMING car”.

P. 84

“...without noticing a blinking light suddenly flashes.”

Act III begins.  I don’t think you missed your mark by much, but in a re-write, with some cuts, you can probably move this up a few pages.

P. 86

“You saw anyone pass by?”

S/B “You SEE…”

P. 86

“You looking for me?”

A couple of things jump out for me with this line, and the one that follows.  I think you might be better served with “Are you looking for me?”  Otherwise, it kind of makes Lambert seem unprofessional, or jocular.  I think that is fine if you’ve set the character up in that way, but as is, he’s the head of the company.  This line just reminds me of something that Tony Soprano might utter, not necessarily a CEO.  That said, if you’ve envisioned Lambert as a rags to riches kind of guy (and I think that might be something you might explore as to take some suspicion off of him, that’s fine) but you need to set him up as such.

My other issue with this exchange is that Guy is a newbie with the company, right?  Why would Lambert even really be interacting with a guy who has just been hired recently?

P. 86

“Doesn’t really worth a look.”

S/B “I’SNT worth…”

P. 89

“How’d you gonna get in?”

S/B “HOW’RE…”

P. 90

“Where’s he?”

S/B “Where is he?”

P. 91

“But stumbles against a pedestal that holds a statuette.”

I think I might be envisioning this place differently, as I don’t see why they would have statuettes.  As I envisioned it from reading, I thought it was more like a modern warehouse where they kept computer software.  Not a big deal, I may have just missed the mark on the interpretation.

P. 92

“Wiping sweats off his forehead…”

S/B “Wiping SWEAT…”

P. 95

I’ve been very impressed with your action scenes throughout.  They can probably be tightened up a bit, but I’ve enjoyed the way you’ve upped the ante in each instance.  Just like in the movies!  Nice job.

P. 102

“You still haven’t gotten Pearson.”

Maybe, “You still don’t have Pearson.”?

P. 103

“No one responses.”

S/B “No one RESPONDS.”

P. 103

“I always thought Michael was just unlucky. Wrong place at the wrong time.”

I think I would go with something more terse here considering he is surrounded by a bunch of hostile people.  Maybe he’s just choking him and screaming.  Might be hard to get all of that out in this instance.

P. 109

“Lies!”

I dunno, this line doesn’t work for me.  After all this guy has done to him, I’d just like for him to come with something else.

P. 110

Nice page.


PROS:

“The feeling of knowing something’s happened to you, but not remembering anything about it. It’s worse than knowing the truth.”

This quote from the script appears to be the major theme of the story, and I think that it is a very interesting concept.  On more than one occasion while reading, various things that have happened to me popped into my head and I found myself going back and forth on this whole idea.  In the end, I think I would agree with the quote above.  

If I recall, this line was towards the backend of your script.  For what it is worth, I think I would try and move it up somewhere earlier in the script.

Action Scenes

I thought your action scenes were terrific, particularly your first one.  In fact, as I said earlier, this is where the script really took off for me.  As I also noted within the page by page notes, I think you have a nice knack for upping the ante just when the reader thinks all is well.  As someone who struggles with that same thing, I’m envious.

CONS:

We never see Memwipe take it too the next level.  Meaning, I got the impression that they were this evil corporation, but they never actually went that extra mile to protect themselves.  Okay, so they abduct Pearson in the first scene, but I think you need to put in a murder early on, probably by Rob, that shows us that they mean business, and aren’t to be trifled with.  

Kevin/Grace relationship

I’m not sure I would out and out, qualify this as a “Con”, but I do think that you need to re-visit the relationship in your re-write.  As I mentioned in the page by page notes, at times I was indifferent to Grace’s plight because she was acting like a child.  

Granted, she’s been through a lot, but I think you need to make her a more dynamic character in your re-write.  As currently constituted, she comes off as a character that is simply reacting to her surroundings.  Make her more pro-active.

Names

So, I tend to have a problem with choosing names for characters as well.  I guess it doesn’t matter much, but the names you chose for you characters seemed kind of pedestrian for me (no offense to anyone named Rob or Kevin, but they didn’t necessarily work for me in this instance).  We have Kevin, Rob, and James in the first few pages.  In fact, I found it a bit distracting when you had Kevin and James talking to each other.  It may just be me, but I kept thinking of the King of Queens.  Not sure if you are using FD, but if so, they have a name database.

At the outset, I need more background on the conflict between Rob and Kevin.  I glean that they are probably competitors at work, but their also seems to be something more personal going on, but I don’t think that it ever really shows up.

Well, as I said in the beginning, I thought this was a terrific effort, and you should be very proud of your accomplishment.  I really enjoyed the story, and think that you should definitely not give up on this one.  I hope that some of this can be a help to you.

CR


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Coding Herman
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Hi Pia, thanks for reviewing my script. I was anticipating it, actually.  


Quoted from Grandma Bear
I thought you did a fantastic job with this one for a first draft. I still have 2 of the 7WC scripts to read and they could be amazing, but so far this script is the best one. The plot is solid. Some minor changes are needed, but...  You should be able to fix this one up real nicely.


You just made my day, Pia. I had a very opened mind when I submitted it because, afterall, this is my first attempt at a feature-length script. If it sucks really bad, it's okay. At least I'll get to know what I need to do next. But I don't mind if this is actually enjoyable for the readers either.    


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Your action writing was pretty good. Not fantastic, but very good.


Again, I was really worried about my action writing because when I wrote it, it was very clear to me, but that doesn't mean it'll be clear for others. So this is quite a relief.

Some descriptions need tightening and rewording. I'll need to read more action scripts to see how they're done.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
The beginning left me a little confused. Not because of the action, but I wasn't sure who was going to be our "hero". At first I thought it was Pearson, but that changed quickly in the alley as I instantly hated him when he was going to rape Diane. I didn't really like her game either there, so it left me a bit unattached.


I hear you. The dreaded opening sequence without a likable character. Several reviewers had said the same thing.

In the rewrite, I'll open it with Kevin during the better days before the Pearson abduction. I hope that way it'll clear the issues of protagonist confusion.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
One thing that didn't ring true to me is that if Kevin and Grace are married. Kevin should be the one to decide what is best for Grace. Not some corporation. If they are already divorced, then some other family member like parents or sibling make that decision.


I agreed with you to a certain degree. It's weird that Lambert allow a veggie Grace staying inside his company, but then that way he can keep an eye on her if she wakes up.

I guess I can say that Lambert convinces Mary and Kevin that keeping Grace inside the company is the best.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
I think there also need to be a better explanation what exactly they hope the procedure will do for Grace. I learn that in the end, but for that to work early on in the script we need to get a decent explanation. Right now it doesn't make sense at all. She just woke up. Shouldn't they be happy about that instead of trying to fry her brain again? That's how it comes across now. At least to me.


Agreed. Maybe that's why Jeff gave up on reading.

I need to find some way, maybe a red herring, to give Rob the motivation to fry Grace's brain. I don't want to reveal the true nature of the procedure until near the end of Act II. I want to reveal it around the same time as Kevin discovers it.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Lambert says let them go, but immediately thereafter they are in hot pursuit of them? Doesn't make sense.


It wasn't that clear here. Lambert didn't want his people to chase him on the city streets. Instead, Lambert wants to know where Kevin will be hiding and secretly get him there. That's why he shows Rob the tracking device right after.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Also think it was extremely stupid of them to run back to their house. Seems to me that would be the first place they would look for them.


I might need to rework this. But the reason is Kevin needs to know how Grace is connected to Pearson, so they go home and search for Pearson's memory disc, plus picking up the memory projector.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  38. Grace remembers his name, but neither one of them seem to even notice. I thought that would be a big deal.


That's a mistake on my part. Grace shouldn't remembered his name yet. I'll just replace it with a "Hey!" instead. Thanks for the catch.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  39. Grace asks why they can't take the car? The had just seen the flat tires...
The add at the subway station reminded me too much of Total Recall.


Arrgghh. It's the SUV Grace was talking about. I'll need to change that. Jeff was also confused about it.

I better watch Total Recall now as reviewers have been mentioning about that movie. Need to find some fresh situations.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  58. IMHO, Rob needs to say who they are and what authority they come from. No one will let in people that can't identify themselves. Especially when they come to search for weed.


True. But I assume the audience will guess it's the police Rob is forging. Maybe I'll have Rob flash his badge and show Mary a fake search warrant or something?


Quoted from Grandma Bear
All the videos seem to be from a third person's perspective. In your own memories you can't see yourself unless you're looking in a mirror.


Another reviewer had mentioned the same thing. I was actually deciding between first and third person when I wrote it. But then I thought, memory is different from a video in which you're the person holding the camera. In a memory, you can visualize yourself in that scene, it's just how you would remember the scene would unfold.

I settled on third person's perspective because it might be clearer to the readers as to what's going on, and it's easier to write.

I'm still not sure what to do with it. Hmm......


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  71. Why is she wearing a wedding ring and why is she putting it back on? Are they married or not? If they had already divorced I don't see why she would wear one at all. Maybe that's just me.


You're right! I haven't thought about it. Maybe I should just take out that part as a whole. Another reviewer said Grace's "throwing ring" action seems juvenile.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
What's with all the text messages and the phone not saying who it's from?


An anonymous caller.  


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  88. Why wouldn't they let him get in to the archives and grab him there instead of going through the whole action stuff on the outside of the building. Especially the game with the lights. They have the capability to lock the building down. Let him in and then lock it. Makes more sense.


True. I should tighten up that section and cut out the game with the spotlights.

My reasoning is that Lambert tries to lure Kevin into the building and capture him there, but then that fails because Kevin spotted him. Kevin doesn't know Lambert is setting him up. So Lambert make things easier for Kevin (cutting out the lights) to let him in.

But I guess you're right. Once Kevin is inside Memwipe parameter, Lambert should lock down the building and capture him right there.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg  92. Why is Guy typing on the computer while a guy is taking a leak next to him? I mean, he must have known he was out there...  and why is Rob in there doing that anyway? I thought he was trying to catch Kevin. Not many people will stop and go to the bathroom while their hot on someone's heels.


Darnit. I'm making Guy stupider by the minute. He didn't realize it was Rob in the washroom. But I guess a smart person would be on high alert even if the person taking a leak isn't Rob.

Rob isn't catching Kevin at the time. He was taken out of this operation, remember? What he did instead was bringing Pearson in and he has to take a leak.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
pg 107. Corpse like features?  Ugh... that doesn't really work for me.


What do you mean? Maybe I should describe the features like pale face and lips instead of just "corpse-like"? Or you just don't buy living people with corpse like features?


Quoted from Grandma Bear
In regards to those people in the freezers, you need to have a really good explanation to why they are there. That made absolutely no sense to me. I can believe these people occasionally kill people whether by mistake or not, but why hang on to them. Why not trying to get rid of them. That part didn't work for me.


True. But I was thinking, dumping the bodies anywhere would be discovered sooner or later. So why not keep them right underneath your office so you'll know no one will ever find out?

The more I thought about it, the above reasoning might not be substantial enough. I'll think of something to explain the body storage.


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Kevin is sort of the nice guy here until we find out that he's in on this too. They just swipe his memory every now and then too. That was disappointing to learn for me as I felt he's not at his core as nice as I thought and Mary had told us.


I was actually hoping for a revelation rather than a disappointing moment. Ouch. I want to make Kevin finally realizes what he did before and regret about it. This leads to his final decision to just forget about what he has done, or to live with it.

How about this? Kevin was forced to take part in the memory erasure, so maybe the audience might sympathize with him?


Quoted from Grandma Bear
Lambert didn't really fit the description of him. I think he was older, gray hair glasses and a tweed suit. His office also gave the wrong impression to me. MemWipe is a very high tech company in steel and glass. The way you described Lambert and his office sounded more like an old professor or an old Brittish guy.  I think he would be more menacing if he was as slick as the rest of the company.


Agreed. I don't know why I envisioned him as an old professor like guy. Maybe it's the stereotype we label to old people? Making Lambert a slick and tech-savvy person would be interesting to see.


Again, thanks so much for the review. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.


Herman


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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 16th, 2010, 5:03pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Jeff, thanks for revisiting my script.


Quoted from Dreamscale
First off, it appears that most writers in here don’t like my review style, don’t agree with me on both simple and complex script issues, and basically don’t want to hear what I have to say (I’m not lumping you into that group BTW).  Therefore, I’m going to step back from all this and try my best to simply comment on story and the like.


All types of comments are welcomed. I accept both praise and harsh criticism.

Your review style is quite unique, full of energy and emotions. Although I don't know what your voice is like, I can actually hear the words coming out of your mouth and envision your facial expression while I was reading the reviews.

They're fun to read.....when you're not the victim. Haha.


Quoted from Dreamscale
This story isn’t working for me.  Through 65 pages, I don’t know what’s going on, what’s supposed to be going on, or why.  None of the scenes seem remotely realistic.  None of the action seems real.  None of the characters have my attention.  The plot seems very much like a number of movies I’ve seen.


I really need to get the requisite info out in my Act I, and especially during my opening sequence. What I had done is that I dropped my readers right in the middle of action (the Pearson abduction), without giving too much background information about the what's and the why's. I didn't fully explain what Memwipe usually does either. Maybe that causes the confusion?

All of this will come together at the end of Act II. But of course, I can't expect a reader to go through the script when I couldn't hold their interest in Act I.

About the issue of things being unrealistic. I guess we have different standards. I agree with you that Guy working on the panel before orientation is unrealistic. I also agree with you that Rob hunting down Kevin is also unrealistic. I'll need to show Rob's motivation in the re-writes. But the conversation between Kevin and Lambert at his office sounds realistic to me.

I think it's amazing how different people within similar geographical area and culture (you in the States, I in Canada) can have different viewpoints on human behaviors.


Quoted from Dreamscale
What finally killed the read for me was the last scene I read, at Mary’s house.  Everything about it, and I mean everything, came across as completely unrealistic, juvenile, and poorly put together.  I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel here.


You mean when Rob didn't search the master bedroom and when Guy didn't rat out Grace in the walk-in closet? I agreed with you. I'll need to rework that entire sequence because I didn't like it either. As they say, the first scene that comes in mind is always a bad one.

But what do you mean by "juvenile"?


Quoted from Dreamscale
So, in a nutshell, I think you need to do a number of things with this script to get it to the point where it’s readable.  First, you need to figure out who each character is, and write them so that they come off as believable and realistic.  Next, you need to figure out exactly what Memwipe is, what it does, why it does what it does, and how it operates, then you need to get that across to your readers.  Finally, you need to figure out exactly what your story is and put it together so that it all makes sense right from the get go.


I actually wrote backstory and biographies for each character, how Lambert found Memwipe, what the company does and how it became what it is. I think what I failed at is the execution and the presentation.

I was afraid to reveal too much to the readers in the beginning so that when it comes to the end, there's nothing to reveal. Maybe that hints there isn't enough revelations in my story? Or maybe I bunched up all the reveals at the end?

I think I have an idea of what to reveal in the setup now. What Memwipe is and why it does what it does are the two main points I need to get across to the readers.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Herman, if there’s 1 thing I can stress to you, it’s that everything I’ve said about your script in all the posts I’ve written, is that my only goal was to help you as a writer.  That’s it.  It doesn’t make me feel good to bash scripts in any way.  Hopefully, you’ll buy into some of the things I’ve brought up, and hopefully, everything makes sense, whether or not you agree with it.


There are certain things that I don't agree with, but hey, no hard feelings at all. Actually, it's the other way around. I really appreciate your input. Especially for newbies like me.


Quoted from Dreamscale
You’ve gotten a lot of great, positive feedback from others, so maybe I’ve just completely lost it and no longer know what makes a script good or not so good.  Who knows anymore?


Well, as William Goldman said, "Nobody knows anything." Even the worst movie of all-time get praise from some moviegoers. They're all just opinions. You just couldn't get into my story at all (and you're not the only one), and that's okay.

But what's important is what I do with those different opinions. I'm sure I'll keep some  to the heart, while for some others, I'll just scratch them out.


Quoted from Dreamscale
I apologize for not finishing.  In no way does that mean your script is so bad I couldn’t get through it, cause that’s not the case at all.  I just don’t really care to continue and I feel spending the time that I do with reviewing, isn’t worth it at this point.


Not a problem. Not able to finish a script tells me as much as finishing it.


Anyway, thanks again for reading. I'll get to Unforgettable as soon as possible.


Herman


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 16th, 2010, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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Herman, I want to respond to your question about what I mean by "juvenile".

Basically, I mean that it doesn't make sense.  It doesn't come off as realistic or believable.

The Juvenile reference means something along the lines of someone making up a story about something they have no concept of, like a kid telling his parents an obvious fib about how something got broken, for instance.  You know, you hear it, and you just sit back and say, "Uh huh.  I see.  Oooookay.  Riiiiight, got it."

And in no way am I putting you down with this.  It's just how I felt reading the majority of the script.  A good example is that last scene I read.  To me, it's just downright goofy that Rob, Guy, and the Troop would appear at Mary's house, and say they were there to check for marijuana.  It's also really ridiculous that Mary would say, OK, c'mon in.  And then, Rob (I think it was him, at least) decides not to even search the final room, based on Mary eyeing a different room.  It's just comical in some ways, and very juvenile to me.

Herman, just for the record, I'm a perfectionist.  Always have been, always will be.  It's a curse I live with in every facet of my life.  I can't help seeing flaws in things...they just jump out at me, and I feel like I should bring them up.  It happens all the time, in every movie I watch, in every thing I do.

I wish to God I wasn't like this, but there's nothing I can do.  I can't tell someone something's good or great unless I believe it truly is.  Obviously, some things are more important than others.  You can get away with some obvious flaws in logic, etc, or just assume it's the old "movie magic" as Ray likes to say.  It's a problem for me, though.  I want movies to make sense.  I want them to be realistic.  I don't want to read a script or watch a movie for the first time, and immediately "see" blatant issues and mistakes.  It doesn't make sense to me how things get by people so easily.

Hope this makes sense and helps.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Coding Herman
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Hey Jeff, thanks for the reply and the clarification. They will help me with the re-writes, and they will force me to do more research!

There's one more thing I want to say:


Quoted from Dreamscale
Just for the record, I'm a perfectionist.  Always have been, always will be.  It's a curse I live with in every facet of my life.  I can't help seeing flaws in things...they just jump out at me, and I feel like I should bring them up.  It happens all the time, in every movie I watch, in every thing I do.


I've never seen you explained yourself like this before. Maybe if you put in this disclaimer, there'll be less controversy (and arguments) when doing your review in the future?


Herman


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 16th, 2010, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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Ha...yeah...riiiiiight.  I doubt it.  I think I'm done with doing reviews and the like here.  Just not worth it anymore.  I truly enjoy helping others but when that help isn't helping, and my words hurt, there's no place for it.

You know, it's funny, actually.  Everyone thinks I'm such a dick for what I say and how I say it, but what I say and bring up is exactly what I'd expect in return, and I just can't seem to get it.

Every now and then, I actually make a mistake or two myself...   HaHa...

When there's a mistake or an omission in something I write (or do in general), I want to know about it....and I want to fix it IMMEDIATELY!  My entire life and career, I've always been the type who doesn't just do what I'm told, the way I'm told to do it...I find better ways, easier ways, more efficient, productive ways...and that's usually a problem, until I can prove what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, is actually  a "better way".

There are literally countless examples of things that even my close friends would "call bullshit" on.  Then, slowly, they'd come to me, one by one, and tell me they finally see the light and although they doubted me for literally years, they're all of a sudden buying into whatever it was.  It's weird, but it's also true.

Again, Herman, I honestly do hope that something I said in here will help you move forward in your writing.  And if it's only 1 single thing, then, at least I can feel good about that.  I don't aim to please, but I do aim to help.  I just don't seem to go about it in the right way.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Coding Herman
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I hear you, buddy. There are always more effective ways to do things, but people tend not to do them by the most effective ways.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I wanted to quote something from Sniper:


Quoted from Sniper
I don't get all this back and forth about Dreamscale's reviews. I mean, it's his subjective opinion - harsh or not, honest or not - that's all it is. Take it for what it is - or don't take it for anything. It's totally up to you.


So I hope you'll review like you usually do, and for the receivers, think about the quote in mind and take in what you think is useful. There's always something useful in every review.

And finally,


Quoted from Dreamscale
Again, Herman, I honestly do hope that something I said in here will help you move forward in your writing.  And if it's only 1 single thing, then, at least I can feel good about that.  I don't aim to please, but I do aim to help.  I just don't seem to go about it in the right way.


You damn well can feel good about it! There's absolutely more than one (or ten, as a matter of fact) thing you said that will help me with my rewrites.


Herman


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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Coding Herman
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Hi Michael, thanks for reading my script. It's rare for non-7WCs to review my script because I wasn't that active on the board.


Quoted from seamus19382
So here's the deal.  I think you have a bit of a problem in that it's like a couple of other movies.  Having said that,  I liked this one.  A lot.  I agree with Pia that this is one of the best 7wc.  I don't agree with her why though!


I agreed. Total Recall, Minority Report, Deja vu, etc. It was just so hard to find really fresh ideas within the four weeks. In the rewrites, I'll make sure I'll have some original elements in my script.

Glad you liked it. But what don't you agree with Pia? I thought both of you gave relatively similar reasons for liking it. No?


Quoted from seamus19382
I think there's a mention of Kevin and Grace's child early on.  I would hold off on revealing that until the scene with Mary.  Let us wonder what it is she's trying to forget.


I see. There's always a fine line between revealing too little and too much. I was afraid people would say the child came out of nowhere if I didn't mention about him early on. So I'll take your suggestion in mind.  


Quoted from seamus19382
I'm not sure I buy them erasing Kevins memory.  He's still doing the same thing, so why erase the memory that he's done it before?  Or am I missing something here?  Oh, does Kevin help cover up the hit and run of his son, and that's what they're erasing?


There is some information I didn't show, although I have it all in my mind. I just don't know how I can show this info without being too expositional and I don't know when I should show it. I didn't have enough time to rewrite my first first draft.

To answer your question, it's actually Kevin himself wants his own memory erased because he couldn't live with himself as the one who fried Grace's brain.

About the hit and run of Kevin's son, it's all Lambert. He erased the memory of a witness. Kevin didn't know anything about it. I doubt Kevin would cover up the death of his son.


Quoted from seamus19382
Also, does David hit two kids?  And is that really necessary?  Isn't hitting Kevin's kid enough?


That's exactly my thought after I've written it. Hitting two kids is too much. I was having Lambert who ran over Kevin's child at first, but then it's too coincidental. For the next draft, I'll have something other than hit and run. I feel hit and runs are all accidents and I want there are some motives behind the deaths.


Quoted from seamus19382
And the ending is WAAAAAAYYYYYY too long.  It just keeps going and going and going.


I hear you. From infiltrating into Memwipe, getting into the memory archive, get captured and brought into the erasing room, then escaped to the body storage room. It's a very long sequence, but I want to keep this sequence or else things won't make sense. I'll trim here and there, maybe the spotlight game just to move things faster.


Quoted from seamus19382
Where it falls flat for me is the actual writing.  Again, I realize there wasn't a lot of time for editing, but your descriptions and dialogue really felt flat and cumbersome for me.

You need to work on making it leaner and more economical.  In your action sequences in particular.   The scenes in the subway, and the last scene are where it shows the most.  They're long, and somewhat confusing.


Especially during the escalator tug of war, right? I was writing on the fly and it clearly showed.

Once again, thank you so much for your suggestions.

Is there anything you want me to read? There's a feature in the drama section, right? You want me to read that one?


Herman



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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Quoted from Coding Herman


Glad you liked it. But what don't you agree with Pia? I thought both of you gave relatively similar reasons for liking it. No?


I think the difference is what really worked for me was the story itself.  I thnkfor the most part, it was well thought out, carefully plotted and moved pretty quickly.  

What needed work for me, was the actual writing.   Please don't be insulted by that.  I absolutely realize that it's a lot to write a feature in 7 weeks, and it doesn't leave too much time to rewrite, and revise.

I There's always a fine line between revealing too little and too much. I was afraid people would say the child came out of nowhere if I didn't mention about him early on. So I'll take your suggestion in mind.  

No joke!  If it weren't for that, screenwriting would be easy!   I think you do a good job of suggeting that something is wrong, so if you hold off on revealing what it actually is, it won't feel out of left field.

Especially during the escalator tug of war, right? I was writing on the fly and it clearly showed.

Yes, and also the scene when they're in the house and the Troop comes in and the end.


Is there anything you want me to read? There's a feature in the drama section, right? You want me to read that one?

Yes, Bobby Blewzinski Sings The Blues is in the drama sections.  If you get a chance to read it, I'd appreciate it!


Herman



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Coding Herman
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Thanks for the reply, Michael.

I'll get right to reading Bobby Blewzinski Sings The Blues.


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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Blakkwolfe
Posted: September 23rd, 2010, 6:28pm Report to Moderator
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Mixed feelings about this...Seems like the intensity level needs to be cranked up a few notches in the characters, in the conflict...

Nothing on the whole really stood out to me to me as being terrible, other than some extraneous dialogue (ex. pg.33 Kevin: Say My Name. Grace: What? Kevin: Just say it. What's my name? Grace: I dunno.)

I'd have had Grace shrug or look perplexed at his question, following the show don't tell has more power than dialogue.

Rob, the leader of the henchmen, is functional, but could be more. Had no doubt that Diane was working for Lambert.

Really liked the scene when Kevin realizes his memory has been comprimised (pg. 95). That was a very cool moment.

Pg. 48...The truth hits her? What is the truth? Suspect it's Grace's mom (Like Mary, by the way. She creates a striking visual image, as opposed to everyone else, who are a little dull - the five o'clock shadow and scar on the tough guy, the tweed suited executive, the  sultry cougar-all somewhat textbook stuff)

Think more needs to be done with Memwipe. Seems like this would be a secret, absolutely covert type of service that would only be available to the highest bidder- they'd hide from the government and certainly wouldn't be public knowledge- which is what they are trying to protect- not just to get some punk kid off a vehicular manslaughter charge (of which a good lawyer would be able to get him off, even for a fatal hit and run...There's precedent, unfortunately, of exactly that)

Can't really say too much else about it...Gonna check the other responses and see if that triggers any other thoughts. I did finish it, it just really didn't hit me square in the jaw, forcing me to pay attention.

Think this works fine as a thriller, granted with a sci-fi edge to it- Inceptionesque, in that regard.

Regardless of nitpicks, it's still a very nice job for a short period of time.


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper

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Blakkwolfe  -  September 23rd, 2010, 6:52pm
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Coding Herman
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Ah geez, can't believe I missed replying you. Thank you so much for reading this. I wasn't as active as other 7WC'ers, so getting reads is harder for me. This is much appreciated.


Quoted from Craiger6
I’ve only commented on short scripts up until now, so this has been a learning experience for me as well, and I hope that my comments are helpful.


Trust me, it's fun writing a feature. You get more out of it. I hope I'll be reading your feature soon! Your comments are definitely helpful.  


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 1:
“KEVIN (O.S.)
I’d go easy on that.”


Ha.  Nice irony here.  I actually didn’t catch it the first time, but you’ve got a memory erasing specialist telling some dude at a bar to go easy on the drinks!


Believe it or not, I didn't realize it. You're the first person who spotted the irony. I was like, "Oh yeah!" I guess what I had in mind was to have Kevin convince Pearson to get away from the drinks and go with him to Memwipe if he wants to forget things.


Quoted from Craiger6
You introduce Diane as a bombshell.  I just went back to check the opening description you gave to Pearson to see if he was a really handsome guy, and you describe him as “tired around the eyes”.  I only mention it because I’m immediately suspicious of Diane.  There is nothing wrong with that, just curious if this was on purpose.


Good catch. I wanted Diane's motive to come as a mini-surprise. I wanted to hide that Diane is actually working with Kevin all along. So I might need to change that.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 5:
You seem to have capitalized “taser” throughout.  Curious if this is an oversight, or you had something else in mind.  I could see you capitalizing if it was a specific product you had in mind, but I think the term “taser” is ubiquitous enough that you wouldn’t have to cap.


Oh, I thought Taser is a brand name of the stun weapon, like Kleenex. But I guess the name is so common now that I don't need to capitalize it.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 9
“She’s not the prettiest woman, but nevertheless, a lovely lady.”

Ever since I began writing, and reading other scripts, I always notice that we tend to make everyone handsome, or incredibly good looking.  Like aren’t there any normal looking people in movies.  Haha.  Anyway, I get, and applaud what you are after here, but I think it reads a bit awkward.  Just a little revision needed IMO.


Same here, I don't write my characters as handsome and beautiful unless the story requires them, like Diane with her seductive skill.

I think the sentence is awkward because of the "but nevertheless"? Will it sound better like this: "She’s not the prettiest woman, but still a lovely lady."?


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 23
“Behind the glass pane, Diane watches disapprovingly.”

Between this and her assault of Kevin on the previous page, all I can say is, PSYCHO.


Hahaha....do you mean her character is like a psycho, or did it remind you of the movie Psycho?


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 30
“Kevin quickly grabs a pen from the table and twirls behind Lambert. He digs the pen into his neck.”

Hmmm, I’d kind of like to see him make use of something more forceful than a pen here.  You mentioned that there were guards.  Maybe they have guns on them and he wrestles one away.  A bit clichéd, but I think it’s more forceful than a pen.  I think I might go with something like that here.  Just a thought.


Good one. But the guards don't have guns on them. None of the people at Memwipe have guns. That's why they only use stun batons, syringes, and other non-lethal weapons. The reason is that I don't think the government will issue lethal weapons to a company who does memory erasure.

But I get what you mean here. I have an idea where Memwipe hires a private military company (PMC) to protect them from crazy protestors. Now the securities will have guns on them. Does that sound okay? Or too impossible?


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 34
“GRACE
Are you a trustworthy criminal?”


I liked this line.  Nice.  (IN RE: my comments about Grace at the end, this is what we need more from out of her.  Lines like this that highlight her personality)


Do you mean Grace need to be more witty? 'Cuz I can feel sort of a vibe here from all the reviews that Grace is not well-rounded enough.


Quoted from Craiger6
P 41 – Flashback Sequence

I’m not sure that I got the gist of what it is that you were shooting for here.  Was this when Grace and Kevin first met?  Is he trying to refresh her erased memory by bringing her to the scene of where they first met?

If so, I think you may need to make this a little clearer.  Also, you might want to use this scene at a different point in the screenplay considering they are now on the lam and being followed.


Yeah, I agree the flashback sequence wasn't that clear. What I was shooting for is for Grace to remember who Kevin really is, like how she first met him and this is all real, not some story Kevin made up. After Grace remembered it, she takes initiative to care for Kevin.

I'll need to rework the flashback sequence a little bit, and to make it clear it shows the first time Grace met Kevin. At first, before the flashback, I had Kevin asks Grace if she remembers where they are and this is the first place they met. Somehow I deleted this dialogue.

The placement of this flashback can be a problem and seems a bit out of place. I wanted here because this is the slow scene between the two big chase sequences. I don't want the action scenes to be so close together.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 44
“Suddenly, he catches a glimpse of Rob through the back door.  Rob’s scrambling through the aisle in the next car.”

Ha, what is this guy the Terminator.  Well, you’ve been pushing the envelope for the last 20 pages or so.  The action has been pretty good, keep it up.


Yeah, this Rob character needs to be rewritten. Some reviewers have asked why Rob would desperately chase down Kevin. They're just competing co-workers, it's not like they have a grudge against each other.

But there is a backstory between Rob and Kevin that didn't make it on the page. Rob was under Kevin when he first started. Kevin didn't treat him well and Rob vowed to get ahead of him. Maybe this motivation is not substantial enough either.

But I have a question: What do you mean by "you’ve been pushing the envelope for the last 20 pages"? Like is it too unrealistic and cartoonish? Just want some clarifications on that.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 44
Oh, okay, I see what you were getting at with the whole pen thing and the seat on the train.  Still a little confused as to why Kevin would share that bit of info with Grace though.  I’m sure it will come around though.  Back to reading.


I guess it's too much of a coincidence that Grace would actually remember the exact "pen" sequence.  Kevin didn't know what Grace would remember, he was just trying to get Grace to remember something.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 24th, 2010, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Herman, as I've mentioned a few times, TASER is all capped when you look at their home page.  Wiki just caps the "T".

So I would imagine either "TASER" or "Taser" is acceptable, but I'd follow what the actual manufacturer uses, which is "TASER".


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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Craiger6
P. 52
“Kevin inserts a memory disc into the projector. He wears it and turns it on.”

In re: the memory projector, you’ve repeatedly mentioned that they wear it around their necks.  Just curious as to why?  Can they just place it on a counter or something, or does it have to be worn around the neck.  Just wondering why it is necessary to operate in this way.  If it’s something specific to the device, I think I am missing it.


They wear the projector like a headphone so it can extract your memory from your head and display it on the wall. If you inserted a memory disc, then you can just place it anywhere you want. I guess I didn't make it clear enough at the memory archive scene between Kevin and Guy. I'm actually thinking of ditching this device.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 58
“MARY
Nonsense. The only place you’ll find marijuana is inside my body.”


Ha.


Sounds like everyone likes Mary. I'll definitely keep her in in my rewrites.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 65
“He walks away, leaving Mary confused.”

I’m also confused because on P. 64, before being interrupted by Rob, you write the following about Guy:

“As he turns away, he notices a pair of feet hidden behind the clothing.”

Perhaps you meant to say that he sees a pair of shoes.  If he saw feet, then even Rob’s distraction would not stop him from throwing the clothes aside.  That said, Guy has been kind of an Eff Up thus far, but that would be a really bonehead move.  Too bonehead IMO.


I see what you're getting at here. Actually, Guy doesn't want Grace to get caught. Maybe I'm just cheating here when I made it looks like Guy's trying to catch them. And of course, since you read the ending, you know why.

This Guy character has been giving me a lot of troubles (along with Rob). This sequence as well. I have to rework all of this.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 66
“David quickly gets back into his car and guns the engine. As he speeds away, he finally notices Pearson watching him from down the street.”

So if Kevin watched the disc of Pearson’s memory the night before as you wrote, wouldn’t this have stuck out to him as being significant?  Again, I may be confused about what the device does when being worn; otherwise, it would seem that Kevin should have picked up on this the night before.


Damnit! Yeah, you spotted a plot hole. Maybe I can argue Kevin was too tired and he wasn't paying much attention when he watched the disc? Nah....need another fix.



Quoted from Craiger6
P. 68
“INT. MARY’S HOUSE - DINNING ROOM – NIGHT”

Wouldn’t it make sense for Kevin and Grace to move on?  They know Memwipe is already wise to Mary’s place.


True. I did plan to have them moved to a motel right away, but that'd take away the surprise that Kevin knew Diane was working with Lambert all along. Again, it's my bad, I shouldn't adjust character's action to fit the story. It should be the other way around.


Quoted from Craiger6
I think you need to work on developing Grace’s character a bit.  As currently constituted, she’s just kind of a victim who throws tantrums.  I’d like to see her get more involved with her own recovery.  Anyway, that’s just my take on her at this point.  I’ll keep an open mind as I continue.


Characters is something I really need to work on. I think I got Kevin down alright, but not the peripheral characters. Grace getting more involved with her own memory. This is something I'll keep in mind. Thanks.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 77
You reveal Guy as the person who has been texting Kevin the whole time.  I’ll admit that I was surprised at this.  I had been thinking that James was the one who was helping Kevin along the way.


I hope it's a pleasant surprise and not an out-of-the-blue one. And I applaud you for remembering who James is because he hasn't been mentioned since Kevin and Grace escaped. I didn't really plan James to be a red herring, but it just happens to be.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 80
“He stops before two MOVERS who are transporting a long sofa out of a furniture store, blocking his way.”

Hmmm, a little clichéd.  Ithink you’ve done a very good job thus far being creative with your action scenes.  I’d like to see you come up with something different here.


Agreed completely. I'll just remove that cartoonish scene.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 86
“You looking for me?”

My issue with this exchange is that Guy is a newbie with the company, right?  Why would Lambert even really be interacting with a guy who has just been hired recently?


My bad again, characters doing things to serve the story. They interact to heighten the suspense and tension of the scene. Another reviewer said this sequence is clumsy and I'll probably do something different there. And now you added another reason why I really need to rework it!


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 91
“But stumbles against a pedestal that holds a statuette.”

I think I might be envisioning this place differently, as I don’t see why they would have statuettes.  As I envisioned it from reading, I thought it was more like a modern warehouse where they kept computer software.  Not a big deal, I may have just missed the mark on the interpretation.


I envisioned it as a cross-over between a classical library and a hi-tech modern warehouse. Hard oak spiral staircase, carpeted floor, statuettes decoration, with shelves that store digital information. Completely different from the Memwipe exterior.

But like you said, not a big deal since it's the art director's job.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 95
I’ve been very impressed with your action scenes throughout.  They can probably be tightened up a bit, but I’ve enjoyed the way you’ve upped the ante in each instance.  Just like in the movies!  Nice job.


Glad you liked them. I always tried to give my characters complications and stumble blocks to climb over. Smooth sailing is dull. But what I need to work on is incorporate these stumble blocks into the overall story, not just the action scenes. Sometimes I do, like Kevin not getting Grace's disc when he thinks he finally got it.


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 103
“I always thought Michael was just unlucky. Wrong place at the wrong time.”

I think I would go with something more terse here considering he is surrounded by a bunch of hostile people.  Maybe he’s just choking him and screaming.  Might be hard to get all of that out in this instance.


True. I think "Wrong place at the wrong time" is redundant. I'll also change the dialogue a bit to make it sound more crisp and snappy. But I'm pretty bad at dialogue. You got any tips on how to make them work?


Quoted from Craiger6
P. 109
“Lies!”

I dunno, this line doesn’t work for me.  After all this guy has done to him, I’d just like for him to come with something else.


At first, I wanted Kevin to just swear and curse the hell out. But he's not known to say expletives throughout the script, so I throw out a line here to show his anger. I guess that didn't work. You got any suggestions as to what kind of things he should be saying to Lambert?


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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Coding Herman
Posted: September 24th, 2010, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Hey, Jeff, thanks for checking out this board again.


Quoted from Dreamscale
Herman, as I've mentioned a few times, TASER is all capped when you look at their home page.  Wiki just caps the "T".

So I would imagine either "TASER" or "Taser" is acceptable, but I'd follow what the actual manufacturer uses, which is "TASER".


I think what Craig meant is not to use cap but just write "taser". I followed what wiki does and just capitalize the first letter. But I've also seen other scripts, I think one of them is Pia's, where she didn't capitalize anything.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 24th, 2010, 6:13pm Report to Moderator
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I understand but the correct way is "TASER" - all capped.  It's a brand name, and it actually is an acronym for a fictional weapon called the "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle".


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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Craiger6
PROS:

“The feeling of knowing something’s happened to you, but not remembering anything about it. It’s worse than knowing the truth.”

This quote from the script appears to be the major theme of the story, and I think that it is a very interesting concept.  On more than one occasion while reading, various things that have happened to me popped into my head and I found myself going back and forth on this whole idea.  In the end, I think I would agree with the quote above.


Yay! Finally, you're the first one who can pinpoint this dialogue as the major theme. Others got the theme all right, but didn't state this quote.  Another thing I want to bring out is if it's better to forget the bad things that's happened to you and just remember the good things. I guess this, too, links back to that piece of dialogue.


Quoted from Craiger6
If I recall, this line was towards the backend of your script.  For what it is worth, I think I would try and move it up somewhere earlier in the script.


I'm not too sure about this. It's quite hard to bring out the theme before the midpoint. I need to dramatize a lot of things first before the theme makes sense. Stating it in Act I would sound silly, maybe somewhere in the first half of Act II would work.


Quoted from Craiger6
Action Scenes

I thought your action scenes were terrific, particularly your first one.  In fact, as I said earlier, this is where the script really took off for me.  As I also noted within the page by page notes, I think you have a nice knack for upping the ante just when the reader thinks all is well.  As someone who struggles with that same thing, I’m envious.


Which "first one" did you think is terrific? Is it the attempt rape or the climbing on the roof scene?

It's not as hard as it seems to up the ante. Just brainstorm whatever that could go wrong to your characters and pick out the ones that you like.

I'm envious of your writing style, btw.


Quoted from Craiger6
CONS:

We never see Memwipe take it too the next level.  Meaning, I got the impression that they were this evil corporation, but they never actually went that extra mile to protect themselves.  Okay, so they abduct Pearson in the first scene, but I think you need to put in a murder early on, probably by Rob, that shows us that they mean business, and aren’t to be trifled with.


Good idea! I'm thinking about putting Rob as one of the PMCs who uses brute force whenever possible. The PMCs is the means of protecting themselves.

I might also need to blame Kevin on something so Rob needs to fulfill his duty to catch him.

Some reviewers think Memwipe should be some kind of secret government agency. Hey, maybe it is and is funded by the government all along. The government can use the technology whenever they see fit. That's where the funding for PMCs come from.  


Quoted from Craiger6
Kevin/Grace relationship

I’m not sure I would out and out, qualify this as a “Con”, but I do think that you need to re-visit the relationship in your re-write.  As I mentioned in the page by page notes, at times I was indifferent to Grace’s plight because she was acting like a child.  

Granted, she’s been through a lot, but I think you need to make her a more dynamic character in your re-write.  As currently constituted, she comes off as a character that is simply reacting to her surroundings.  Make her more pro-active.


I focused too much on Kevin because he's our true protagonist. I gave everything for him to do, and I neglect my second protagonist, Grace.

It's always hard to balance this out. If I give Grace too much to do, then Kevin would seem not as active. How about this? Grace did something in order for Kevin to achieve his main goal. That way it wouldn't seem disjointed as both characters seem to be doing different things.


Quoted from Craiger6
Names

So, I tend to have a problem with choosing names for characters as well.  I guess it doesn’t matter much, but the names you chose for you characters seemed kind of pedestrian for me (no offense to anyone named Rob or Kevin, but they didn’t necessarily work for me in this instance).  We have Kevin, Rob, and James in the first few pages.  In fact, I found it a bit distracting when you had Kevin and James talking to each other.  It may just be me, but I kept thinking of the King of Queens.  Not sure if you are using FD, but if so, they have a name database.


I don't really get this. They are just normal people, why would they have some exotic names?


Quoted from Craiger6
At the outset, I need more background on the conflict between Rob and Kevin.  I glean that they are probably competitors at work, but their also seems to be something more personal going on, but I don’t think that it ever really shows up.


As I have stated in the previous post, there's a backstory between them but didn't make it on the page. I'll think of something that's more substantial because you're right, Rob doesn't need to be that desperate, he's just another memory erasure specialist.


Quoted from Craiger6
Well, as I said in the beginning, I thought this was a terrific effort, and you should be very proud of your accomplishment.  I really enjoyed the story, and think that you should definitely not give up on this one.  I hope that some of this can be a help to you.


I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Your comments definitely help with my re-writes. I already have lots of ideas to add to the story.


Once again, thank you. And don't hesitate to contact me if you want a read.

Lastly, do you mind reading the re-write in the future?


Herman


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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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Dreamscale
I understand but the correct way is "TASER" - all capped.  It's a brand name, and it actually is an acronym for a fictional weapon called the "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle".


Wow, I never knew this! I always thought it's just some random name the company puts out.


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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Dreamscale
Posted: September 24th, 2010, 7:09pm Report to Moderator
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HaHa...no, TASER is the manufacturer.  Just go to their web site and  check it out.  If you're using these things in your script, you should know how they work, what they really do, etc.


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Coding Herman
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Quoted from Dreamscale
HaHa...no, TASER is the manufacturer.  Just go to their web site and  check it out.  If you're using these things in your script, you should know how they work, what they really do, etc.


I used wiki when I researched about Taser. I know it might not be the most accurate, but it gives me the info I need quick and fast.

I only looked at how it is used and the effects it has. I skipped the Etymology part.


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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Atlas
Posted: September 5th, 2011, 7:22pm Report to Moderator
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Herman, others have commented on some of the strange/awkward phrasing and this is a first draft and hastily-written to boot, so I'm going to give some structural suggestions instead. I haven't read past page 32 so please excuse it if I missed something important.

The reason the first act feels long is that the inciting incident (which seems to be Grace waking up) doesn't happen until page 22. Move that up to 10-15 and get into the story sooner.

For example, you could do it like this:

1-15 Introduce characters. Have Kevin explain how Memwiping works to Guy using metaphors.

15 Wake Grace.

15-25 Explore how Grace's presence changes things.

25-30 Grace is wiped.

Usually I would say don't put the inciting incident later than page 12 but you have some potentially interesting scenes describing and demonstrating memwiping.

Turn Guy into more of a naif about Memwipe so you explain things to the audience through him more explicitly, like Witwer in Minority Report.

The way you portray Kevin's home life seems a bit cliche to me. It reminds me of Riggs in Lethal Weapon, and that came out in 1987. Try to find a fresher way to do it--maybe his apartment is as empty and austere as his life without Grace in it.

Have Kevin get the news about Grace right after reluctantly agreeing to a date with Diane, i.e. just when he's ready to move on.

The reason you're getting reports of protagonist confusion is the way you introduce Pearson Hamilton--he's a guy with a problem, which screams "protagonist." He's also the first person we meet. Start on Kevin, then have him meet Pearson. Starting on Pearson kind of makes Kevin feel like the inciting incident in Pearson's story.

Speaking of Peason, I'm not sure what his importance is after page 30 but if you have him die during the procedure (around page eight) it would help establish the stakes for when they do the same to Grace.

Describe the memory projector more clearly the first time it appears. Also come up with a clever acronym instead of "memory projector" if you can.

Someone else mentioned a few movies they found this similar to, and you seemed to find it helpful. Here's what I thought of:

Minority Report
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Total Recall

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Atlas  -  September 5th, 2011, 7:39pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: September 5th, 2011, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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Atlas, this is much better feedback than you've given anyone to date and has a much 'softer" feel to it, meaning, much easier to take as constructive criticism, aimed to help the writer.

Problem is that this thread is almost a year old and Herman hasn't been on the boards since February.

You can read and comment on anything you want, obviously, but I'm pretty sure your feedback is falling on deaf ears, unless 'someone" notifies Herman, and tells him to respond, to make my post seem A-Holish (you know who you are, "someone").


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