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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Permanent Shadowing Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: August 29th, 2011, 8:38pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Permanent Shadowing by Jacob Greenberg - Thriller - An FBI science advisor uses a visible shadowing technique against the Mafia. 93 pages - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: September 2nd, 2011, 10:14am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Wow, Jacob...this is...well...I mean, it's...uh...

Damn, man, it's not good.  The writing is really bad, to the point of being comical, almost like you wrote it for a laugh.

I see it was written in 2008 and hasn't been modified since, so I don't feel to bad saying what I just did, as you obviously didn't care enough about it to even try and make it better once, in the last 3 1/2 years.

I know saying the writing is bad isn't much help, so I will throw out a few juicy lines to show what I'm saying.  Check this out and tell me if you think this is well written...

Here's your opening line, underneath your opening Slug of "LIVING ROOM" - "There is a living room with small sculptures and a lot of pictures on the walls and in the corners."

I have to include most of the opening dialogue between Steve and Anna, because it is just downright funny in its awfulness.  So, Steve's about to leave for an interview in the morning, and Anna (who doesn't appear to be his wife, cause she has a different last name, and is "dressed as a painter" has just given him an early Birthday present.  Check this stuff out -

"Steve opens the box in curiosity and takes out an ancient Samurai sword.

STEVE
(excited)
Oh my God! It is an ancient Samurai sword. It is beautiful!

Steve pulls out the sword.

STEVE (cont’d)
(sincerely)
This sword seems to me as the most dangerous of all the weapons.

Steve exercises a few professional moves with the sword.

Anna looks at Steve with a loving expression on her face.

STEVE (cont’d)
Where did you find this? It’s very expensive!

ANNA
I requested this sword from my
father. Do you like it?

STEVE
Of course! But… I cannot receive gifts from your father.

ANNA
Take it easy… It is a pity that you don’t want father’s help. He can find a suitable working place for you… He is a very influential man.

STEVE
(coldly)
Sorry, but I prefer to solve my problems myself.

ANNA
I know… You are a warrior!

Anna embraces Steve and puts her head on his shoulder.

ANNA
I still don’t understand, why did you leave the University?

STEVE
It was not interesting…

ANNA
I want you to take the sword. You must. It’s MY gift!

Anna kisses Steve on his cheek.

STEVE
(uncertainly)
OK! Thank you. You are so kind!

Steve kisses Anna on her cheek.

STEVE (cont’d)
The truth is that I dreamt about such a sword… I am a Marshal Art trainer. Ten years! It will be my talisman!

So without going into great detail, this reads like a spoof or pisser, in every way possible.  The dialogue is atrocious, and unintentionally hilarious.  Sounds like these 2 don't know a thing about each other, based on some of the exposition.

The amount of wrylies being used is WAY OVER the top.

There is repetition of certain words that again, reads very humorously.

Bottom line is that it just comes off as ridiculous, out of place, unrealistic, unintentionally funny, and something that no one is going to continue reading, unless they're being paid, owe you a huge favor, or are your Mom and Dad.

Sorry to be harsh, but again, the fact that you haven't attempted to improve this in 3 1/2 years shows me you don't really care.  Read some scripts in here and see how they are written.  Read your dialogue out loud and see what you think of it.

Best of luck to you.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  September 3rd, 2011, 9:45am
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drnoblet
Posted: September 3rd, 2011, 8:25am Report to Moderator
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Hi Jacob, thanks for the script.

Having read the first 20 pages I can agree and disagree with Dreamscale on some points.

Yeah, the writing is not really up to scratch - something already discussed considering it is a 2008 un-updated script. Maybe you have worked on it since, maybe not. Let us know...

My feelings is that the script is very dialogue driven. Skim reading the remaining pages it becomes clear that the lead character has some pretty long lines. I think maybe you could break down those monologues into seperate sections of dialogue and descriptive passages... make it easier for the actor and crew, please. This would also give the film some added style.

Some of the formatting or use of terminology is unusual. Scenes to be filmed outside (i.e. not in a building) are indicated (usually) by EXT. not OUT. That is in my experience. Now your use of OUT. does not mean much to the reader, but it indicates the script is written in an unusual style.

Another example is scene 59, INT. FRED’S PARK – DAY concerning the document. You have put a border around the text of the "document". What does this indicate? Are you suggesting it should be an INCLUDE? I would simply have a descriptive passage where by the document is picked up and read. Then have a character read the parts that are relevant. Having the full text of the document seems cheesy and would not translate well into film IMHO. How you have it sort of suggests you want the director to have a long include in which a close-up shot shows the full text of the document. Boring... and spoofi-ish.

Another thing that got me was your grammatical style... it seems choppy or not very fluent. Think about the syntax of how you phrase the words. Try to involve the actors more. It is a screenplay right? Not a radio script.

The basic concept seems interesting, and with improvement to descriptive elements (more?) and dialogue (less?) I think you could make this a half decent script. As it stands for me it smacks of a "B grade" script. Give the play character. Give the actors character.

Actually I sort of like the screenplay, and look forward to reading a future draft. Please see if you can do something with it.

Best wishes, David


Sadie : Sadie's life descends into a murderous hell. She's still not sure she did anything wrong.
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