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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  The Bad News First Moderators: bert
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  Author    The Bad News First  (currently 4773 views)
Dreamscale
Posted: March 27th, 2012, 7:52pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from Forgive
Thank-you Jeff. You do my ego no end of good.


Simon, I didn't mean it that way.  I just didn't know you were involved with this.  That's all.



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Forgive
Posted: March 28th, 2012, 2:49pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Quoted from Dreamscale

Simon, I meant it that way.  I really did. Jack should have asked me. Not you. Me.



Sorry Jeff - I should have put a by my first post.
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Dreamscale
Posted: March 28th, 2012, 3:05pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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The more emoticon usage, the better, in my book.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: April 17th, 2012, 10:23am Report to Moderator
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Hey Eric and Simon,

I was asked to give this one a looksee about a month ago.
So, I'm getting a little better about getting through my personal queue.
I've got the latest Amazon draft, so let's dig in...

P. 3
Wonky parenthetical.
The wryly goes below the character name, not beside it.

P. 6
I'm a tad frustrated with the narrative so far...
We're focusing on people talking about exciting things.
I want to see the exciting thing that will pull me into the story.
Show the van on the move, helicopters and a text going to the news man.
But he's more into scoring on a Saturday night than his job.
Those sample visuals tell me more in a fraction of the time.
Even if you want to conceal the identity of the crook...
I can't see any reason why you wouldn't slambang us right into the tale.

P. 11
Same aforementioned problem again...
We're hearing second hand about cops pressuring the newsroom.
That's exciting stuff, why aren't we seeing that on the screen?
The characters in conflict with each other are not onscreen acting out that conflict.
Why not?
All the scenes so far have depicted no immediate in your face conflict.

P. 13
I don't think Darby would be pacing furiously at zero years of age.

P. 20
Marty's speech about Friendly didn;'t make much sense to me.
I don't see how a prank video with 1,500 hits has the police up in arms.
Again, the conflict of the story is being delivered through exposition.
I want to see the conflict and not be told how to feel about it.

I'm stopping at page 20 for today.
Felt pretty at arm's length throughout the read.
I keep hearing about catalyst type events, but don't get to experience any.
Some of the early Miami color was decent.
I was a transplant there for three years. You could spice that up some more.

Overall, it read okay, not much tripped up my pace.
But I did have a hard time distinguishing characters.
Friendly is the only one I can even recall the name of.
So far, I wouldn't say this is a 46/100 rating though.

This feels pretty close to "The Paper". That's the easy connection.
You can boil that film down to the "ensemble workplace" sub genre.
And the best of those IMHO is, "M*A*S*H".

You may want to spend some time with that film and soak up that genre vibe.
I think it's narrative choices could help you streamline your script.

Regards,
E.D.




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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Forgive
Posted: April 17th, 2012, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read ED - I'm sure Jack will be popping up on the boards. I'd be interested to heard what else you have to say about this - I had my angle on it, and I'll post that up once I've digested the remainder of your feedback.

Cheers

Simon
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: April 17th, 2012, 6:48pm Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

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Quoted from Forgive
Thanks for the read ED - I'm sure Jack will be popping up on the boards. I'd be interested to heard what else you have to say about this - I had my angle on it, and I'll post that up once I've digested the remainder of your feedback.

Cheers

Simon


Sounds like a plan.
I'll read on as my work schedule allows.

Regards,
E.D.


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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Electric Dreamer
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 10:26am Report to Moderator
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Hey Guys,

I'll pick this up again this morning.
The more I think about it, the more I believe the Altman film can help out.
I love how the conflict of the Korean War polarizes the character conflicts.
And how they have to find a way to cooperate despite their differences.
There's something in there that I feel will help you crack this story.

P. 24
Friendly's comments come off as really snide.
All the wise guy commentary right before a woman gets terrorized?
Who would want to hear that guy?
Am I so out of touch that people actually enjoy things like that?
Saying the cops suck cuz they don't have leads an hour after a crime...
How does that make the cops stupid? It's just been a hour.

P. 25
Oh, it was a trick. Just a blow up doll and drunk cops.

P. 29
Three pages of new exposition about a ghost/potential murder deal.
I'm suffering from exposition overload.
The script's about a quarter gone and we're still bringing in new stories.
I'd like to see some development on the fistful you already established.
I'm wondering how some, if not all, of these interconnect.

P. 30
This beat here best exemplifies my issues with this script...

SARAH
The cops were just in here asking
about Friendly. You just missed
them.

KURT
Dodged that bullet.


I want to stop dodging bullets and generate live conflict on the page.
Consider this alternative...
Kurt's interview gets crashed by some pissy cops.
They put the squeeze on him to produce Friendly.
A cop with an axe to grind leaning on a reporter. That's conflict!
Those kind of scenes drive stories and usually engage readers.
Conflict gets the reader involved, they may even take sides.

Stopping at page 42 this morning...
I'm unclear as to what Friendly does for the paper.
He makes these editorialized videos with little to no fact.
Is he a reporter? Why does he get such latitude from his boss?
Has he done stuff in the past that was great, but now he's a bit of a mess?
Something like that might legitimize his antics to the reader.

We've got Friendly and the Lawson thing...
The armored truck robbery...
The disgraced football player...
And the ghost dad thing that could be a murder.

Script's one third gone and I don't have much to go on with these stories.
Do you really need all of them to tell this story?

And here's a biggie...
How do these news stories help the reader learn about the characters?
Perhaps looking at these segments through that filter may help.

Regards,
E.D.


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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Forgive
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Cheers ED - makes me think I need to re-read it - but you're touching on some of my thoughts here, something I raised with Jack - let me know what you think -- but I felt there was some of lack of clarity on what was the 'A' story - I agree it could (you'll say should) be cut down -- and personally I really liked the ghost story (it's not really a ghost story ... ), but IMO there was some really nice imagery there, and I began to feel for that story-line.

Your point about conflict is an interesting one, and would change the tone of the script, which at present is not an 'in-your-face' job, but more evasive puzzle  -- indecision aside, I feel that intrigue is as good as conflict, but maybe not to everyone's taste.

Hope to see Jack soon (?). Cheers for the feedback.
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ericdickson
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 6:26pm Report to Moderator
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Hello fellas.

I just stopped by and ready all your comments.  I can see the news van at the beginning in a chase with the helicopter to amp things up a bit, more action, more tension right away.  Agreed.

I'm thinking that what the script needs the most is to provide a definite link between Lawson and all three stories, including the ghost story.  And the staff can use this to trap Lawson.  I think the Alex Ray story distracts from the Lawson investigation and pulls away from the A story.

I also think Darby figures out the link between the Rock Star bank robberies and Alex's father too quickly.  This should be a drawn out investigation that could ALSO bring Dennis Lawson to the forefront of a police investigation.  Maybe he had something to do with covering it up.  Something, anything to keep him in the story.

There should be a direct connection back to Dennis Lawson in each scene, keeping the A story going full speed ahead.

I also feel I should drop the Steve character altogether and trim the page length by ridding of him and the scene at the restaurant.  

Structurally, I could spec this thing down and cut and cut format to keep a smoother pace.  I also think intercutting the three stories more will help keep the Lawson case more prevalent, fresh and at the forefront of this story.

With that being said, I'd like to offer you the chance at a re-write.  Simon's done his version.  You seem to have some good ideas.  I'm done with this script for now and have moved on to a more straight-forward mystery.  

Help yourself.

Eric D.  
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Baltis.
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 6:58pm Report to Moderator
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Write to reel... Same site that tee's off on writers for page counts and over writting,120 being far too long, then openly admits in the same review that he never goes over 110 pages -- except for the time when he wrote a 111 page script and that it was only 2 lines and his fade out.  

That, to me, sounds like over writing.  
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 7:19pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Write to Reel also has a rather crazy formula in which each and every scene in which 2 or more characters are talking (without any action taking place) is a subtraction of points.  I honestly can't think of a single movie that doesn't have a few talking scenes and IMO, depending on how they're handled, they are not necessarily a problem, automatically.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Write to Reel also has a rather crazy formula in which each and every scene in which 2 or more characters are talking (without any action taking place) is a subtraction of points.  I honestly can't think of a single movie that doesn't have a few talking scenes  

Dialogue heavy scenes are fine...however, if they are just idle chatter that don't reveal character or move the story forward, they are a waste of everyone's time and the audience will get bored.

Look at Inglorious Basterds' beginning scene for example. It is brilliant. It looks like idle chatter, but is tense and layered. Of course, few can write dialogue like him.  


.
SS, is still free...
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 9:22pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from Grandma Bear
Look at Inglorious Basterds' beginning scene for example. It is brilliant. It looks like idle chatter, but is tense and layered. Of course, few can write dialogue like him.  


Well, I can't completely agree with you here, Bear Pia, as I wrote in my initial review of Bastards, I found the opening scene a bit ludicrous in the fact that it went on for like 20 minutes of dialogue between 2 people in, I think, 4 different languages?

Now, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it on 1 hand, but on the other, no one, and I mean no one other than QT could get awy with such a thing, especially opening up the movie.

My point relates to Write to Reel's "scoring system", in which they automatically deduct points every time 2 characters have a conversation in which they can call it talking heads, no matter what's being said, or how long it plays out.

Is that right?  I am going off memory here, but I think I'm right in what I'm saying.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 9:28pm Report to Moderator
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If the conversation is extremely well done, layered and intelligent like IB, then it will work. I do however agree with you that if it's automatically knocked down for two people talking then that's stupid. I'm not familiar with write to reel btw...nor do I care to be.


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Baltis.
Posted: April 18th, 2012, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
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If two charcters are saying things like:

Dan-Hi

stan-hi

Dan- how are you doing today?

Stan- i'm fine, dan.  How are you doing?

Dan- i'm doing fantastic, stan.  Thank you for asking.

Then, yeah, that's a problem.  But if you are weaving personality, character trait and believability in there... Nothing wrong with that.  Life isn't all beef and no sides.  It's a mixture of both... A good movie should also be.
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