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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Out with the Old Moderators: bert
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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:30pm Report to Moderator
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In regards to mentioning 8 days... I was, and still am, genuinely pleased with my achievement. I kept everybody posted on facebook. This is just one of those scripts that went down easy, not much work to do afterwards. I felt it was brag worthy... but I can see that reactions from other people are not as fabulous as they are from my friends, and that it was a mistake to mention it. I was just used to everybody knowing and not having an issue with it.

I don't see the problem with it. If you've never been involved with 'the life' then a script like this would be impossible for you to write without lots and lots of research. The fact I penned it in a week is merely testament to my experience in the field and as such is actually an unfair example. Easy for me because it is an ex profession of mine.

Right now I have 40 cards pinned to a board. It's my next Hollywood attempt. I can't tell you what it's called, suffice to say it is original and high concept (not sci-fi this time either). The whole story is there in front of me. Took me a day to do the treatment. I've done some research on the chinese tea wars which are merely an aside to the film, took me a few days. other bits of research. That story is ready to go. When I pen it, it will take me under 2 weeks for a viable first draft.
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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from spesh2k


This isn't the point. Most likely, he had a 3 week deadline anyway to bang out the draft.

But you don't market the script by saying that it was only written in so-and-so amount of time. It puts a preconceived notion inside somebody's mind who hasn't YET opened the script. It may lower one's expectations or even keep one from reading it.

Most of the comments are judging Dustin's script based on the "8-day" mention - and most of these people who have commented didn't even read the script yet.


Writing films to a decent standard quickly is an asset, isn't it?
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Ledbetter
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DustinBowcot


I can seriously believe that Rocky was penned in a week. What's so great about it? It's a standard story, told over and over again.



Actually, Rocky was a true story about an actual boxer. So was R-2 and R-3. The guy fianally sued and was eventually compensated.

Shawn.....><
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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 1:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ledbetter


Actually, Rocky was a true story about an actual boxer. So was R-2 and R-3. The guy fianally sued and was eventually compensated.

Shawn.....><


It's still an age old story told over and over again. Poor guy overcomes the odds and proves he isn't a loser.
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:02pm Report to Moderator
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It is. I've had to knock out scripts for producers many times with a 4-6 week deadline (and that's for multiple drafts).

But when producers pitch to investors, the amount of time it took to write the script is pretty much never brought up.

It's the story that sells. The premise. Producers rarely care about the back story to the script and how it was developed (or how long it took to write) - now, saying that it's based on a true story or true life experiences is a different story. If they are interested in the premise, the "true story" claim adds to the credence of the script. And some producers really dig that.

But as for mentioning it took so-and-so days to write? Not so much. Yeah, producers do appreciate a quick and efficient turn around when knocking out drafts, but they're not just going to take your word for it when you tell them you wrote a script in 8 days. And I doubt it would entirely impress them as studio writers (established writers with big resumes) knock out drafts in less time than that regularly.

If you mention in a query letter that your script took only 8 days to write, unless they're head over heels in love with your premise or recognize your name, they won't take you seriously. Most likely, they'll toss your query letter into their circular file, if you know what I mean.

What I'm getting at is that they could care less about the writer and his journey (unless they are a name writer or have written produced work) - they care more about the product.


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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Ledbetter
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DustinBowcot


It's still an age old story told over and over again. Poor guy overcomes the odds and proves he isn't a loser.


...but he lost

Shawn.....><
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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ledbetter


...but he lost

Shawn.....><


A loser in life, Shawn.
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:14pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
Actually, Rocky was a true story about an actual boxer. So was R-2 and R-3. The guy fianally sued and was eventually compensated.

Shawn.....><


Shawn, it wasn't completely a true story. It was inspired by the Ali/Wepner fight. Wepner (the Bayonne Bleeder) was a huge underdog, but somehow managed to knock Ali down. However, unlike the film, Wepner didn't last the final bell - he was knocked out in the final round.

And Wepner wasn't exactly a no-name fighter. He had a good record and climbed the ranks - he fought Sonny Liston, who before Ali, was THE premiere fighter.

Unlike Rocky 2, there was never a rematch. And though parts of Rocky 3 were based on Wepner (the wrestling spiel near the beginning), the Rocky films were pretty much based on real life boxing events in general - when Rocky fights Clubber Lang in the climax, he wears Clubber Lang down (ala Ali's rope-a-dope tactics against the highly favored George Foreman).

And Apollo Creed's character was based on Ali's bravado.

I'm glad Wepner finally got his money, especially after years of Stallone going back and forth on what inspired Rocky - though ultimately, he admits it was inspired by the Wepner/Ali fight.


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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DustinBowcot
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 2:27pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from spesh2k
It is. I've had to knock out scripts for producers many times with a 4-6 week deadline (and that's for multiple drafts).

But when producers pitch to investors, the amount of time it took to write the script is pretty much never brought up.

It's the story that sells. The premise. Producers rarely care about the back story to the script and how it was developed (or how long it took to write) - now, saying that it's based on a true story or true life experiences is a different story. If they are interested in the premise, the "true story" claim adds to the credence of the script. And some producers really dig that.

But as for mentioning it took so-and-so days to write? Not so much. Yeah, producers do appreciate a quick and efficient turn around when knocking out drafts, but they're not just going to take your word for it when you tell them you wrote a script in 8 days. And I doubt it would entirely impress them as studio writers (established writers with big resumes) knock out drafts in less time than that regularly.

If you mention in a query letter that your script took only 8 days to write, unless they're head over heels in love with your premise or recognize your name, they won't take you seriously. Most likely, they'll toss your query letter into their circular file, if you know what I mean.

What I'm getting at is that they could care less about the writer and his journey (unless they are a name writer or have written produced work) - they care more about the product.


Yeah I thought so. So we're on the same page then. I see no problem with getting a script together within a month. Indeed I'd take a free challenge from any producer... I'd write a script on spec using their premise and characters within a month. If it's not better than anything anyone else is doing then no harm done, I take the script, remodel it and sell it somewhere else, or try to.

Obviously in a query letter to a producer I wouldn't mention the 8 day thing as it would appear as though I'm trying some type of distraction technique. The selling point of this script is its profitability... which is something I consider with all of my scripts.
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Forgive
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Quoted from spesh2k
Most likely, he had a 3 week deadline anyway to bang out the draft


It cerainly was to a dead-line. And having that ability is pretty important. If you've worked with producers and the like, then you'll know that having the ability to pull out a new draft quickly is important, and certainly an asset.

This is a first draft. If it gets interest, it'll go through a number of re-writes. And then the time taken to write it will be longer in total. Off the first this is not a problem.

And as for pre-conceived notions, I think this is something that people need to pull away from, because it's a false criteria. Any judgement needs to be based on the material - else, yes, you're going to miss stuff that's really worth-while.

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Posted: May 16th, 2013, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DustinBowcot

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.


The life, the mob, gang, hoodlums, borgata, syndicate, outfit.

Same thing.


Quoted from DustinBowcot
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?


Direct-to-video.

Maybe I should have used STV instead -- straight-to-video.


Quoted from DustinBowcot
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.


Either way, they're coming across as gangsters in those first few pages.

Problem is -- they don't sound like gangsters -- whether they are from London or not.


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


Well, I already pointed out examples in my first post of why I think it's not natural.  Maybe again?


INT. KNIGHT'S ARMS - NIGHT

The young black men walk into the bar.
Feliks' face changes to one of contempt.

FELIKS
Where is your respect?

A tall, powerfully built man named DELROY (1, a
mouthful of gold teeth, removes his scarf.

DELROY
We're at war Feliks.

FELIKS
You talk shit. We are not at war.

DELROY
As of now.

FELIKS
This is my son's party. If you
wanted to hit me you could have
done it any time.

DELROY
I did choose any time. I chose now.


Rival gang #1 just crashed rival gang #2's party and rival #2 is just gonna chit-chat about it?  I cringed when I read this.  The guns should have been out first thing soon as they walked in the door.  Instead, they exchange words with each other that just sounds like a scene out of a really bland STV-movie.  And why are these guys entering a bar to do their dirty.  Aren't they worried about law-enforcement and the possibility of a live-bug somewhere in that joint, being caught on tape trying to assassinate someone?  Or maybe there's surveillance across the street a few windows up?

or

ALEXANDER
I've just got out of fucking jail.

PO
If you continue being aggressive
you will leave me no choice but to
call the police.


How about instead "Watch your tone, jerk-off."




Quoted from DustinBowcot

No... you're really not.



I'm sorry, dude... but there are a lot of scripts that have been posted on here about mobsters/gangsters/mob/gangs -- and I couldn't get through more than 5 pages because
1-the writing needs work (or some flash, style,etc)
2- the characters seem unrealistic
3- dialogue is terrible, doesn't feel "real"

Of course, I have stated I am not a professional screenwriter, so you can take it or leave it.

But there was another member that felt the same way as me, so that's two people, and the rest seem to just be talking about how many days it should take to write a screenplay instead of giving you input on the script itself... so maybe you should consider some of my comments and sleep on it.
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
It cerainly was to a dead-line. And having that ability is pretty important. If you've worked with producers and the like, then you'll know that having the ability to pull out a new draft quickly is important, and certainly an asset.

This is a first draft. If it gets interest, it'll go through a number of re-writes. And then the time taken to write it will be longer in total. Off the first this is not a problem.

And as for pre-conceived notions, I think this is something that people need to pull away from, because it's a false criteria. Any judgement needs to be based on the material - else, yes, you're going to miss stuff that's really worth-while.


Yes, I know, having written for producers, that writing a new draft by deadline is important and an asset. But I think the a point of this discussion is being overlooked. The point is why even mention the script was written in 8 days before anybody has had a chance to read it? It's not going to earn you points. After the fact, when the work is produced and on screen, maybe then brag about how the first draft was written in 8 days (which is often the standard anyway and not really worth bragging about).

And your comment about pre-conceived notions... there's a lot things that people SHOULD pull away from, but producers (who aren't just busy reading scripts, but reading tons of query letters, putting together budget plans for features in development, etc) are not going to read a script based on the fact that it was written in 8 days and they will not hire you solely based on this fact either. Like you said, it's the material that is important, right? So why mention it's written in 8 days? It's just like if the log line is weak or is not something they're interested in, they're not going to read it. And for all they know, it could be the next Chinatown, but they wouldn't know because they're just not interested.

I know from having my feature "The Suicide Theory" produced (the first draft was finished within a week) that producers/directors/etc will have you rewrite the script several times (three months of rewrites before pre-prod and 4 years of rewrites when it was in the hands of other producers before that). And most of the time, a feature will NOT move into pre-production until at least 5-10 drafts have been completed (just an average, but how ever many drafts it will take to get it right and meet certain budget needs, casting needs, location needs).

Saying that you wrote a script in a certain amount of days (and Dustin has stated that he only mentioned it here, and not to the producers, so that should have ended the discussion) does not benefit your script or your chances of getting hired. It's about the quality and whether it fits what they are looking for.


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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Forgive
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 6:02pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Dustin. Reading back and forth a bit tonight.

I'm just looking at the link-in between Peacock and Danny - it sounds like he's just the DJ, but I'm wondering if there's more between them - and if there isn' then maybe there needs to be? Peacock (Johnny) gets Danny's compliance pretty easy - maybe the Oddball/Danny exchange needs to show that this is Danny's big chance, like he's been waiting for this for years - it's just that him taking the brief-case is quite central, and I'm not sure of his motivation at this stage.

Yeah - certainly shorten the following Alexander scene in the doorway - maybe even intercut with Danny once or twice.

I'm not totally getting the relationship between Alexander and Danny at this stage, and I feel that this needs to be cleared up - is this deliberate? I'm not too sure it works - you don't specify until p.18, and I don't now if this is a tactic or not.

I liked Danny's 'course it will.' line. We all know this is going to go tits-up, and we can just sit back and watch it.

For some reason, this didn't sit true for me:

Alexander hands Oddball the case but he refuses totouch it.
     ODDBALL
     Explain

Maybe:

Alexander offers Oddball the case. Oddball doesn't shift.

     ALEXANDER
    (It's) From the club.

&

Oddball's face changes to one of instant understanding and he snatches the case.

Oddball gets it, and grabs the case. (?).

Delroy's £2k is skipped over a little ...? And there's a chance of a little play here - we don't really know it's £2k, so maybe have Delroy say it - Shotterz question it - Delroy point out it's the 'market value'? Far as I understand it's £10k a hit, but like I'm saying, values drop??

How come you want to cut Aggro? I think he works well as a contrast.

p.30:

where Johnny is waiting, anxiously pacing up

Johnny anxiously paces up ... etc

Stopping here for now ... nice plot twist.

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Forgive  -  May 16th, 2013, 6:14pm
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Forgive
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Okay Michael - I don't want to split hairs here. I guess Dustin was chuffed, and yes, I do conceed that it's probably early for bragging rights; but in all honesty, it's not something that bothers me - it wouldn't put me off a read, but clearly it would others, so maybe that has to be taken into account.
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spesh2k
Posted: May 16th, 2013, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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Fair enough.


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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