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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Out with the Old Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: May 12th, 2013, 7:18am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Out with the Old by Dustin Bowcott - Thriller - A mobster’s son, orphaned as a baby, helps some gangsters get their turf back and in doing so gets revenge on his father’s killer. 108 pages - pdf, format


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Dustin
Posted: May 12th, 2013, 7:39am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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That was fast. Thanks for listing. I wrote this script in just 8 days.

Written for a group of friends. Aims were low production costs and strong characters that drive the plot.


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Forgive
Posted: May 13th, 2013, 4:45pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Hey Dustin. I checked this a couple of days ago, and waited to see if it got anything back.

I note that this was written in eight days -- and yeah, that's an acheivement that not everybody's going to be able to pull off, but I'm wondering if it suffered for it. And I know there'll be a couple of people her who will ask, 'why put it up if it's not your best offering?'

And I guess that's in someway the key to it - it really isn't the best you can do, it's the most that you can do. This is quantity over quality.

Story set-up's generally okay, but I think there's a lack of feel and attention to the early pages.

Read quickly, so good on that.

Pages 6-10 - really started to flat-line for me. I think most of what happened there could have gone into about two pages max, and then you're onto Peacock, and back to what feels like genuine set-up territory, not side-track alley.

I do think it could be something - looks like it has Nick Love & Danny Dyer all over it, but I think it needs to be better thought out than this.

Simon
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Dustin
Posted: May 14th, 2013, 2:39am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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I put it up just to show what I can do in 8 days. I actually wrote this in 7 then used the 8th day for a run through. I know it needs more, but I don't think much more. there are also a couple of errors I've noted since reading it through again.

If I read the back of the box for this film I'd buy the DVD as a gift for somebody and also rent it myself to watch. So it has marketability. Thrills spills. I'm not trying to win an oscar. I just wanted to entertain.

This was written very much for that level. 50-100grand to produce, everyone has a laugh making it and hopefully people enjoy watching it to bring the poor producers in a tasty profit.

I'll have to take a look at pages 6-10. I got the same feel as you from the early pages. Probably because on day 8 I cut 4 pages from the beginning. There was a whole scene where Alexander gets out of jail... but yeah, the initial ten are a little shaky. The flow isn't there. Thankfully it reads fast and things happen afterwards.

I'll give it another go over before I send it out to anybody. Thanks for the read and for not calling it a cliched piece of rubbish.


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Forgive
Posted: May 14th, 2013, 4:46pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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N. Love buzzed me up for another look as it's getting more like LSATSB

Another man walks in, AGGRO (40's)

In walks AGGRO (40's)

The CUSTODY SERGEANT looks a little harried.

The CUSTODY SERGEANT looks harried.

     ALEXANDER
Won't the police look here too?
-- too OTN

Alexander looks a little uncomfortable and takes a seat.

Alexander's uncomfortable ... but why would he take a seat? And I think this scene goes on too long - not enough riding on it.

Going to read some more tomorrow.

A lot of post p.10 is every reason to get rid of a lot of pre p.10
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Dustin
Posted: May 15th, 2013, 1:10am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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You may well notice then that Aggro plays no further part in the story, the character will be dropped. It was a set up for the Russian Mafia inclusion later in the film... but he isn't needed now.

Also, before the Underground Casino robbery, Oddball mentions that he has a cousin that works there, she then becomes his friend. So I need to edit that.

There are probably more errors in respect of adding extra words, and probably some poor verb choices too. I'm just pointing out the holes in the story that are bugging me more, right now.

I'll see what I can strip from pre page 10. I look at anything more than 90 as a bonus anyway. Cheers mate.


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KevinLenihan
Posted: May 15th, 2013, 5:35pm Report to Moderator
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"I put it up just to show what I can do in 8 days."

In a way, I give you credit for being honest about your motives. But I would suggest you think your posting strategy through a little better, Dustin.

There are 2 reasons I can think of for posting a script here. The first is the chance it will get discovered, and the second is to get notes which might help you improve the draft.

Saying that you wrote this in 8 days defeats both of those purposes. It makes someone less likely to open a script. I know when I saw that it scared me off.

When I read a feature, and I only read amateur scripts if I intend to give notes, it takes me several hours to read and produce the comments. That's a significant investment in time. But I am not likely to do that if I don't think the writer has carefully gone over his script.

So you are actually better off not telling us you wrote this in 8 days. Maybe just say it's a first draft and you welcome notes before you take on a rewrite.
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Guest
Posted: May 15th, 2013, 6:01pm Report to Moderator
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Disclaimer -- not a professional screenwriter myself, so you can take or leave the comments below.  Intentions were not made to sound harsh.  Forgive me if I appear so:

The most noticeable flaws are within the first 5 pages.  The dialogue is so wooden and OTN it's almost mind-blowing.  Did you read over this?  Don't you speak out your own lines to see if it flows well, if it sounds natural?

The blacks crash the party, and Feliks responds with "where is your respect?" ??  Where's his demonstration of power?  I thought Russians were crazy, volatile gangsters.

Delroy tells him "we're at war, Feliks."

Followed by more awkward dialogue that never should have happened.

Lead should have been flying soon as Delroy marched inside the bar.

Alexander and the PO is another example, especially when Alexander goes looking for a flat to kick it at and he's turned down.  We see that he's getting out of the can but do we need such OTN lines like "Look, this place is my last chance"?

If the first 5 pages are indication of anything... I think you might be using your dialogue to blatantly address how your characters feel or to address the situation....

Why don't you try the age old "show, don't tell."
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Forgive
Posted: May 15th, 2013, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from KevinLenihan
There are 2 reasons I can think of for posting a script here. The first is the chance it will get discovered, and the second is to get notes which might help you improve the draft.

Saying that you wrote this in 8 days defeats both of those purposes.


Not sure that I agree with you here, Kev. Certainly not the logic of what you are saying.

Take the pitch - low budget Brit flick: this is about right. Based around character driven, so you know it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Then I'm looking at the derivation, and there's a solid precedent - this is a Brit flick not an expensive US job. There's a bunch of stuff that's about right for the market it's aimed at. And to be honest with you -- this is as good as some people's first draft a month in ... so it's at a stage ready for notes and feedback.

If someone can produce something like this after 8 days, I'd say go for it -- fine if you're looking for re-write material. I don't see an issue. Story element's there, and it needs some work - but to say that it can't work simply because it was done in eight days ... doesn't carry weight to my mind.

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KevinLenihan
Posted: May 15th, 2013, 7:08pm Report to Moderator
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You misread me Simon, with all due respect. To quote myself:

"So you are actually better off not telling us you wrote this in 8 days. Maybe just say it's a first draft and you welcome notes before you take on a rewrite."

I did not say not to write a script in 8 days, though I would caution against it. What I said was not to tell us that he only spent 8 days with it. I am much less likely as a reader to want to open a script that someone spent only 8 days with. Writing a script in 8 days might be impressive and fun to brag about, but none of that serves the purpose, which is to get someone to read it.

And I don't know what you are talking about as far as budget or an "expensive US job". How is that remotely relevant? Personally, I think a low budget, dialogue based script is something you need to spend MORE time with, not less. None of which is to the point, though, as I did not say anything about the quality of the script(I have not read it) or its marketability.

My point was nothing if not simple: if you tell people you only spent 8 days with it, they are less likely to open it, so why tell them? Even if one is the next Sorkin, telling people you spent only 8 days with it is simply poor strategy.








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Dustin
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 12:45am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from KevinLenihan
"I put it up just to show what I can do in 8 days."

In a way, I give you credit for being honest about your motives. But I would suggest you think your posting strategy through a little better, Dustin.

There are 2 reasons I can think of for posting a script here. The first is the chance it will get discovered, and the second is to get notes which might help you improve the draft.

Saying that you wrote this in 8 days defeats both of those purposes. It makes someone less likely to open a script. I know when I saw that it scared me off.

When I read a feature, and I only read amateur scripts if I intend to give notes, it takes me several hours to read and produce the comments. That's a significant investment in time. But I am not likely to do that if I don't think the writer has carefully gone over his script.

So you are actually better off not telling us you wrote this in 8 days. Maybe just say it's a first draft and you welcome notes before you take on a rewrite.


All of my first drafts, every single one, takes under 2 weeks. That's with research. As I have already done the research for this film (I call it life experience) it went down very easily.

I like to do a minimum of 10 pages a day. With a script like this, once it gets exciting I can knock out 20 pages a day. Indeed I did that three times with this script. I think one day I wrote 30 pages.

What do you do with all your time?

If I'm not making a few sales then I am writing. I do not stop writing. Even yesterday I finished 4th draft of a 3 part drama. I devote 6-8 hours every day and probably even more. I'm not sure about anyone else... but I'm sure that if they devoted the same time I did every day then they could achieve first drafts in under 2 weeks too.

8 days is a long time. Fast for a first draft but like I said, most of this script is written from experience and I usually finish in under 2 weeks anyway.

I did another script in 11 days that has been accepted by a prod co, unfortunately I can't release any details of that. Not only did I do it in 11 days, I used their concept and characters. They love what I've come up with and we get together on the 25th to figure out the final draft. Also, crazily, to film a trailer on the same day, which I will be in too. Doing that has opened my eyes on how best to deal with indie producers.

Bang out an idea, but put it in script form so they can see the story. Every producer is going to ask you to rewrite it, and if they don't ask you you can bet they will ask someone else. So eff it... right? What's the point in polishing something you're only going to have to change anyway?

I'm glad I posted it here because of the advice on the while he is on the streetsfirst 10. I've also spotted a couple of other mistakes. It helps to get other people's opinions as this leaves my brain free for a while to crack on with something else. Now I can kill a lot of the first 10, the probation can be killed. Trawling the streets can be killed... it's fine to meet Alexander during the first altercation he has with the drunks. It's easy to recognise him because he only has one hand.

I should also point out that all of the parts were written for specific actors that I know. The actor playing Alexander really does only have one hand. He's a great actor that doesn't get much chance to be at the forefront. I've had some feedback from those guys and obviously they all think it's brilliant. Doesn't help me much though, unlike the comments from si regarding the first 10. That was exactly how I felt about them too. I'll certainly make a few changes before sending this one out to anyone.

cheers.


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Dustin
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:13am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from KevinLenihan
You misread me Simon, with all due respect. To quote myself:

"So you are actually better off not telling us you wrote this in 8 days. Maybe just say it's a first draft and you welcome notes before you take on a rewrite."

I did not say not to write a script in 8 days, though I would caution against it. What I said was not to tell us that he only spent 8 days with it. I am much less likely as a reader to want to open a script that someone spent only 8 days with. Writing a script in 8 days might be impressive and fun to brag about, but none of that serves the purpose, which is to get someone to read it.

And I don't know what you are talking about as far as budget or an "expensive US job". How is that remotely relevant? Personally, I think a low budget, dialogue based script is something you need to spend MORE time with, not less. None of which is to the point, though, as I did not say anything about the quality of the script(I have not read it) or its marketability.

My point was nothing if not simple: if you tell people you only spent 8 days with it, they are less likely to open it, so why tell them? Even if one is the next Sorkin, telling people you spent only 8 days with it is simply poor strategy.


It's not about time. It's about dedication to the story.

Before writing again in August last year I hadn't written a word for almost 10 years. I had four kids and had to get my life in order before writing again. Before that I'd write on paper, all hand written. During that ten year break though I constantly had the itch. It never left me. This time though, instead of writing on paper I decided to have a serious go, and I picked screenwriting. Wrote two scripts before I realised I was doing it all wrong. Anyway, since August last year I have written 5 features, a 3-part drama (1 hour episodes) and 6 shorts. I'm hoping to have at least two writing credits by December next year, at least that is what is on the cards.

This one was written for low budget... and it goes easy for me because I speak the language of the streets. I find it really easy to write these type of scripts. I know what these people think. Maybe not something to brag about... but i'm literally just writing from life experience. I know how these people speak. It flows onto the page for me.
This one will probably get made too. It's too easy not to. In my opinion the script is fine, the dialogue is good, the action is amazing. People will buy it... I know I would. If it is made well, in the budget I feel it needs... as there are guys out there wanting to make 10k films... then people should even recommend it to their friends. I'll certainly put some more work in before sending it out and more (no doubt) should a producer see the profit in this and ask me to rewrite.


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Guest
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:55am Report to Moderator
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The dialogue is atrocious, man.  You really gotta work on that.

It feels wooden, "on the nose," stiff, awkward.

Several words that come to mind^

I'm big on dialogue, especially with characters that are involved with "the life."

The first five pages read like something that's going to turn out to be a lame, DTV gangster flick.

I don't know... maybe it's me... I've read a lot of true crime novels based around the mob, the Westies, John Gotti, etc... read transcripts of actual recordings... watched documentaries.

I'm pretty well-versed in the area.  These guys don't sound the part, at least from what I have read.

The key to keeping my attention right away is the dialogue.

If I think every line is cringe-worthy, I'm going to pass, because it makes for a terribly distracting read.

But what do I know?  This is probably getting made, regardless.

Good luck to you and your pals.

Wish you all the best.  
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:21am Report to Moderator
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Most first drafts I write are finished around a week, including my feature that was produced out in Australia recently. Especially if it's based on my own original idea rather than writing for a producer. But of course, there's rewrites... and more rewrites. Five years of rewrites for the produced feature, though it was the first draft that got attention.

I've read some of your shorts, Dustin, so I know you're a capable writer, and for a first draft, this isn't that bad though I second Reaper with some of the dialogue (not all of it) - but especially within the first 10 pages. It comes off at first as one of those self-aware retro 80s style flicks (the severing of the baby arm was really over the top) - kind of like Machete or Hobo With a Shotgun. But going by the rest of the script, I don't think that was intended. I'm sure you'll smooth this one out.

I hear you on the tempo of writing a script... I'll try to get at least 5 pages done in a day, but sometimes, I'll be in the zone and I'll spend several days straight without sleep knocking out 20-30 and sometimes more pages at a time.

Anyway, it's always great to hear a fellow writer getting work produced, so keep us updated!

-- Michael


THE SUICIDE THEORY (Amazon Prime, 79% Rotten Tomatoes) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2517300/?ref_=nm_knf_i1
RAGE (Coming Feb. 2021) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8874764/?ref_=nm_knf_i2

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Dustin
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:54am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Quoted from Guest
The dialogue is atrocious, man.  You really gotta work on that.

It feels wooden, "on the nose," stiff, awkward.

Several words that come to mind^


I just read through the opening dialogue and I love it. Are you an American?


Quoted from Guest
I'm big on dialogue, especially with characters that are involved with "the life."


That's hilarious. The way you write 'the life'... Now that's wooden. Maybe fly in the 70's but this is the 21st century. Also something somebody without any experience (aside from what they've read and seen on TV) would say.


Quoted from Guest
The first five pages read like something that's going to turn out to be a lame, DTV gangster flick.


DTV as in Digital TV? I just googled and that's what I'm getting. It could be a US tv channel for all I know. Is it?


Quoted from Guest
I don't know... maybe it's me... I've read a lot of true crime novels based around the mob, the Westies, John Gotti, etc... read transcripts of actual recordings... watched documentaries.


I haven't written a film based around the mob. This is set in London and is about guys lower down the scale. Although there are big boys involved (none of them the Italian mafia) their parts are minimal.

You can also read whatever you want... it's not going to replace actual experience.


Quoted from Guest
I'm pretty well-versed in the area.


No... you're really not.



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